Train Into the Valley of Madness: Episode 4

The Train Into the Valley of Madness Episode 4

“Sorry to bring a whole train load of passengers but I wasn’t expecting this. It seems the whole area was struck with a random factor incident. There were only supposed to be five guests, not sixty-nine,” said the Conductor to the Hotel Manager.

“Not to worry. I was forewarned two days ago. The desk clerk has every one assigned to a room and of course the five originals have been assigned suites as prescribed in an earlier announcement,” replied the manager. “But there is a few concerns. Come to dinner this evening and we will talk about them. In the meantime do your best to get all your passengers organized and please bring the five original guests in first. If they have a companion they may remain together. We don’t want anyone asking more questions than we can answer,” he added.

“What about the police officers. No matter what they will want to conduct some sort of investigation and if we try to stop them I am afraid they may go to extraordinary measures to get answers,” warned the Conductor.

The Manager replied thoughtfully, “Send them to me. I will deal with them.”

The Conductor replied anxiously, “I’ll get them now. They are already stirring things up.”

“Bring them straight to my office,” replied the Manager.

Detective Sam Wakes stared in disbelief at the hotel manager.

He said in challenge, “You can’t expect me to believe that.”

“You are right Detective. I do not expect you or Detective Barnes to believe anything. It’s not required. The fact is however its true. Your person of interest is one of the original five, thus, since were psychically connect you were drawn in. What becomes of you when this all plays out is not up to me, or the conductor,” the manager explained.

“Who is it up to?” Wakes demanded.

The manager said thoughtfully, “We would all like to have the answer to that question Detective Wakes. In the mean time you and Detective Barnes have been assigned to a nice room with a view of the valley. I ask only that you be discreet in your inquiries and try not to get the other guest agitated. Now please go get settled in, your baggage will be along soon.”

“We didn’t bring baggage for a day cruise,” Barnes countered.

“It has been provided, and before you ask, no, I do not know who provided it,” the manager instructed then quickly ushered the two detectives out the door.

Lassiter Leeks cringed. Detective Wakes glared at him but knew he couldn’t do anything, not until he could figure out what was going on. Wakes didn’t tell the manager he wasn’t investigating anything. He was on a man hunt and he was going to bring a cop killer to justice one way or another.

“This way Mr. Leeks. We have a very nice suite made up for you,” said the Porter.

“What the hell is going on. I don’t need a room; I need to get the hell out of this valley and up to the road,” Leeks snarled.

“I wouldn’t know anything about that. All I am to do is show you to your room,” the porter exclaimed and ushered Leeks to the elevator, which was an old…very old model that required an operator. The operator looked as old as the elevator, maybe older and a little nearer to a cadaver than a living thing, but not cold and dead, just grey, and gaunt.

The room looked like it was transported out of an old duster, but it had its own bathroom, bed room and sitting room, with electric lights an old time radio, a well-stocked coffee bar and a small beer fridge and liquor cabinet with sample sized beverages.

Lassiter Leeks said, “Well if I gotta hang around this ain’t so bad but listen up. You keep those two coppers out of my way and I’ll tip you big time. If you don’t I’ll do something not so nice.”

The porter smiled and said in response, “That is not up to me. Maybe you should talk to the manager and we are not allowed to accept tips. We are well provided for and well paid for our services so that tips are not necessary.” Then he turned abruptly on one heel and started for the door. At the door he said, “Your luggage will arrive soon.”

“Maddy. What have you gotten us into.”

“I didn’t get us into anything Sherry. The plan was perfect. How did I…how was I supposed to know this would happen.”

“Mr. Venton. Your suite is ready. Please follow me.” A porter beckoned and pointed toward the elevator.

“What room. I didn’t reserve a room?”

“You will have to take that up with the manager. In the meantime lets go up to your suite and get settled in. Then your luggage will follow. It can’t follow until you are registered and settled in your room. Your partner has been provided for as well.”

“Maddy. What’s going on. Is this some kind of set up. Maybe our marks were smarter than we thought and they were on to us all along and now they’re fixing us.”

“Shut up Sherry. You’re talking nonsense. This is all just a great big mistake. As soon as we get back to the city we can clear out just like we planned. In the meantime maybe we should just cruise along. Maybe this is a good thing.”

“All is well for the moment. The police officers seem to be complying and I have seen they are being treated like special guests,” said the Manager.

“That’s good. I am being assaulted by the whole lot of them wanting to know how long they will be held prisoners,” the conductor replied.

“You and me both, but the Boss’ll be upset if we tell them anything and I doubt they want to hear the truth anyway. I wouldn’t if it was me, but then it’s already happened to me and I am…well…that doesn’t matter. Just keep quiet. That’s all,” the manager said gloomily.

By Donald H Roberts

Catch up on the episodes! Read the Beginning

Read past episodes

Train into the Valley of Madness – Beginning

SERIAL FICTION BEGINNING All Aboard The ancient steam locomotive chugged into the station. The seven passenger cars emitted dozens of chattering, cheerful, grumpy, and noisy passengers with a hundred different versions of their experience aboard the Valley Of Dreams tour train. When the platform cleared the five passenger cars were removed and next group climbed…

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The Train Into the Valley of Madness Episode 2

Samantha Bleck watched the world chug by slowly. She was lost in a dream that fit nicely into the scenery just past the window. The book in her hands was her own, a murder mystery she had written that somehow fit perfectly into this strange journey to nowhere. It was like her imagination was coming…

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The Train Into the Valley of Madness Episode 3

A shard of lightning flashed into the canyon access to the valley, striking the bridge and sending a shock wave along the track into the wheels of the train. A rippling sensation ran rampant through the cars until it reached the engine. The Conductor strode purposefully through the cars. “Valley Of Dreams. We have arrived…

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