Chapter One

'Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo'

Elijah looked up at the great stone walls of the cathedral. It was raining hard, water seeping through his riding coat and falling from the brim of his hat. A man was waiting for him under the large doorway's ark and emerged, torch in hand, to greet him. The detective glanced down at the crooked backed man as he took the horses reins.

"I am here for the priest, is he here?" The detective asked as he dismounted.

"He has been waiting sir." The man said and led the horse away.

Elijah watched him go before entering the church. The only sound in the huge building was the sound of water dripping off his coat and his footsteps on the marble floor.

He stopped once he reached the alter and looked around the church. Lit candles were placed strategically throughout the immense building, providing just enough flickering light to chase the shadows to the corners.

He looked up at Jesus hanging from a large wooden cross then right below to the statue of the Virgin Mary, hands clamped over her heart and head bowed.

"I had taken it you are not a man of faith, detective." Elijah turned to see the priest, who was also looking upon The Virgin with a sad smile.

"I wouldn't say that father. Faith I have, but as to being a man of God I have yet to convince myself." The detective replied.

"Ah, that may be true, but it also may be true that something might convince you other than yourself. I have someone I would like to introduce you to. Mind he's quiet and a tad bit strange but that is understandable under the circumstances."

"Circumstances, Father?"

"His family was killed right before his eyes but for some reason the killer left him alive." The priest said before opening a door leading to a small room. Elijah didn't know where to look until John walked to the farthest corner of the room.

There sat a boy of about twelve. His clothes were covered in blood which had started to crust and flake off; more of it covered half of his face and matted down his hair on the right side of his head. He was clutching his knees to his chest and looking off at something only he could see.

"His name is Samuel, Samuel Bennet. He had a sister and both his parents, Marie and Clement. They were frequents here. His younger sister Nettie was baptized here only last week. He's always been the quiet type but he smiled a lot."

From the description, Elijah was coming to the assumption that the boy was simple but had that train of thought cut off by the sound of the boy's faint raspy whisper.

"Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo." Pitch black eyes looked at him sharply before focusing on that far off place again.

You shall not feel,

Unsafe and cold.

I will be there,

So dry your tears.

Be not afraid,

Of what shall not come.

Samuel continued to sing as tears silently cascaded down his face. The sound of his voice echoed throughout the barren room and made some inner part of Elijah shiver. He ignored it and focused on what the boy had said earlier.

"Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo. I will come back for you, you cannot hide." He bit into his bottom lip, worrying the sensitive flesh between his teeth.

Hush little darling,

Please, not a word.

No one shall find you,

In these—

"Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo." Samuel gasped and covered his eyes in his hands. "Gone, all gone…"

"Yes they are gone, but there is nothing that you or I can do to change that."

"Sir! I find it highly despicable— "

"However," Elijah continued as if the other man hadn't spoken. "You can tell me what happened and I'll find the man that killed your family."

Samuel continued to hide his face in his knees, not even giving an indication that he had heard the detective.

"Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo." Was the muttered reply.

"Yes he will come, but not if I catch him. So you need to tell me. Samuel, tell me!"

Samuel moved fast as lightning and knocked Elijah to the ground, hands clutching his shoulders, his whole frame shivering as he looked Elijah dead in the eyes. There was a clatter as the object that had been hidden in the boy's lap fell to the ground.

"You have no idea what it's like! You demand of me what I cannot give. I don't remember, yet I can still hear their screams. Don't ask me to tell you; I cannot tell!" The boy's tears fell onto Elijah's cheeks as he looked up at the shaking being.

"I cannot get his voice out of my head 'Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo'. That is all I can tell you." Samuel whispered before returning to his spot in the corner. Elijah pulled himself up and cleared his throat.

"Father, I am taking this boy into custody."

"Custody, sir? I fear I must object, he is now in the sanctuary of the church."

"If you keep him here you will not only be obstructing justice but luring the killer onto yourself."

"No God fearing man would kill a priest, Elijah." Father John sputtered.

"You may be a priest, but that will not protect you. Hand the boy over to me and I will see to it that he is cared for properly." The detective said, his voice the embodiment of calm.

"Father…" Samuel said, looking at the old priest. "I would like to go with him." Although his voice was quiet it was also strong.

"But…" The priest paused. "I take it that he will be leaving with you no matter what I say?"

Elijah nodded and clapped the man on the back. "Glad you see it my way."

"I'm afraid I don't have any coats that'll fit you." The priest pulled a woolen blanket out of the closet in the corner and wrapped it around Samuel's shoulder. "This will just have to do until Elijah can get you something new to wear."

"Thank you Father." Samuel said, hugging the blanket closer about himself.

"Come lad, we must get going if we are to make it home before tomorrow." Elijah said and turned to leave.

Samuel's soft footsteps followed him as he left the church and out into the cold air. It had stopped raining and the setting sun was dying the storm clouds a deep blood red.

The man from earlier was waiting with the detective's horse. "Good day, sir." He said, his voice rasping in the cold air.

"And a good day to you too." Elijah said as he lifted Samuel into the saddle. He placed his hat back on his head and mounted behind the boy. As they road down the church road, Samuel's eyes caught sight of something and stayed focused on it until he was unable to see it anymore.

"Something catch your interest?" Elijah queried. Samuel snapped his head back around so that he was facing straight ahead.

"A squirrel."

Elijah held back a laugh. He highly doubted it was a squirrel.


"Eunice, prepare some tea and a tub. Also schedule an appointment with a seamstress."

"Is there a special occasion coming up s—Oh my!" the woman exclaimed as she caught sight of the boy standing next to her master. Elijah placed his hat on the hat rack by the door and had Eunice help him coat of his coat and jacket.

"Yes, we have a new house member that requires some proper clothes. I will leave his care in your hands as I have work to do."

"Yes sir." She said placing the coat away in a closet by the door. "Come lad and sit in the kitchen while I heat up some water for a bath." Elijah watched as she led Samuel away. The detective sighed and ran a hand through his hair before jogging up the stair. He walked to his study and locked the door behind himself.

The fire had been lit in anticipation and its warmth made him sigh. He sat down and pulled a notebook out of the top drawer of his desk. There the detective wrote all his observations and notes on the case he was currently working on and this case was no different. Little black notebooks identical to the one he held took up two shelves of the bookshelf behind him, some of them showing signs of age.

"…boy shows obvious signs of shock but seems to be in full possession of his thoughts and feelings. No physical wound that I have seen and is fit, albeit a little short for a boy his age. I have taken him into my care and entrusted him to Eunice at the moment. He admits to have lost memory of the incident of his family's death. The only thing he can tell me about that time is 'Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo'."

Iterum revertar ad vos non abscondo. I will come for you; you cannot hide.

Elijah leaned back in his chair and tapped his pen to his lips. Why would the killer leave the boy alive only to come back and try to kill him later? What was the point. Unless this was all a game to the killer. A game of hide and seek. However if that was case, Elijah had just made the game much more complicated by taking Samuel into his custody.


Sometime later the detective emerged from his study and went to the downstairs resting room. Eunice was sitting in a chair knitting, her copper colored hair gleaming in the firelight.

Samuel was sitting in the chair in front of the coffee table, studying the chess board. He moved his rook forward to capture a black pawn. Elijah sat down and captured and moved his knight in place to capture the boy's pawn.

"I didn't know you played chess." The detective commented.

Samuel looked up at Elijah, then down at the board again. "There is a lot you don't know about me, sir. However, Eunice taught me the basics so I decided to practice. Check."

The detective smiled and moved his knight in front of the boy's king. "Checkmate."

He looked up at Eunice as she placed a tea tray by the chess board. "Here you go dear." She said with a smile in Samuel's direction. Her eyes landed on the object in the boy's lap.

"What a beautiful music box, mind if I listen?" She said, referring to silver box on the boy's lap. Elijah watched as Samuel took a key from around his neck and placed it in the whole at the bottom. He turned the key, counting under his breath, then sat it on his lap again.

Soft chimes filled the air, weaving an intricate melody. Eunice smiled and pulled Samuel along to the melody, leading him in a slow dance. For the first time Elijah saw Samuel's smile and even though it was small it was still warm. It left the detective wondering where that warmth came from.

As the box wound to a halt Samuel stopped hands falling to his sides. "I would like to go to bed now." He told Eunice quietly.

"Are you sure you don't want to eat anything before you go to sleep?" she asked worriedly

He shook his head. "No thank you."


"I'll eat in my study tonight, Eunice. Be sure to bring some blackberry tea with you." Elijah said.

"As you wish, sir; I'll bring you your plate shortly." She closed the door and went downstairs to the kitchen. She ladled some of the thick beef stew that was simmering over the fire onto a plate, cut two slices of fresh bread and placed them with the stew.

Next was the blackberry tea, she scooped some of the dried berries into the strainer over the cup and poured the hot water on top. Now where was the sugar bowl?

She opened the pantry door and opened her mouth to scream but the only sound that came out was a wet gurgle as her throat was slit. The copper-haired woman stumbled and knocked over the jar of sugar, white crystals scattering about her body, slowly dying red with blood.


A scream pierced the night and Eunice almost dropped the tray she was carrying. Setting it down hurriedly, she lifted her skirts slightly and ran up the stairs.

"Elijah, are you alright?" She called sown the hall. She looked into the study to find it empty.

"I'm in here, Eunice." Her master's voice echoed down the hall from the room where Samuel was staying.

"Is the young master alright?" she asked as she entered the room. Elijah was standing just inside the door, looking at Samuel who was sitting in the position he had found him at the Cathedral. Silent sobs shook his body and grew louder as he caught sight of Eunice.

She stumbled back a little as he ran and hugged her, his small body quivering. "Please don't die, Miss Eunice."

Her eyes widened considerable before she kneeled down to look him in the eyes. "Where would you ever get such an idea, swe—Samuel?"

She brushed the hair out of his eyes and wiped his tears. "Look I'm right here." The housekeeper smiled and Samuel smiled back hesitantly.

"Now come back to bed, I'll be here first thing in the morning." She tucked him in the bed and brushed Elijah's shoulder with her hand on the way out. He followed her until they were once more downstairs standing in front of the table in the main room with the tray of food on it.

"What happened to him? Why does he wake up screaming, Elijah?" She asked softly.

He sipped his blackberry tea and looked at her closely. It wouldn't be right to hide the truth from her, she deserved to know the fate of the boy in her care. "His family was murdered before his eyes not a fortnight ago. The nightmares are probably his subconscious reliving the only events of the murder that he hasn't forgotten." He almost dropped his cup in shock. That was it!

"Eunice," he said while bundling her into her coat. "Get a good-night's sleep; I need you to be here extra early tomorrow so you can deliver a message for me. Now go home to your children, I'll see you in the morning."

"O-oh um, yes sir; I'll be here at five." She said as he shut the door. Elijah threw the bolt and carried the tray upstairs into the room across from Samuel's. Dragging the chair from by the desk he propped it by the door and went into his office to retrieve his notebook.

What followed was a long night of nightmares and note taking.