“Very useful thing, this telephone,” said Uncle Boris. “Far more effective than the telegraph. How did you know I would be at this hotel?”
I laughed. I said, “I scryed. It’s a less predictable technology but it still works on occasion.”
“What can I do for you, dear?” he asked.
“I could use some help. I’ve been asked to deal with some sort of revenant. It looks like a soldier from the First World War. It has killed four people and appears likely to kill many more.”
I could hear the smile in Uncle Boris’s voice as he said, “Only four? Never mind. I have not seen you in years. I shall take this triviality as an excuse to visit. I own an automobile. I appreciate that machinery even more than the telephone.”
“Phillipe?” I whispered.
He did not answer. He did not seem to have heard me. He stood, his back to me, unmoving, in front of the fireplace.
I hesitated. He still did not move. I realized that he had not moved since I had entered the room. He did not appear to be breathing.
The golem turned its head. It was an eerie thing to watch. Though sculpted to appear to be a man; it was still sculpted. It had no muscles, no flesh, no skin stretched over inner workings. The clay moved.
Father hopped back, putting himself out of the golem’s reach. He clenched his fists.
I said, “Stand aside Father. I carried my hammer across an ocean. Let me put it to use.”
Father picked a diagram off the floor. He looked at it for a moment and frowned. He handed it to me. “What do you make of this, Rose?” He asked.
It was a drawing of a man. More precisely, it was a drawing of the parts of a man with arrows and notes indicating how those parts fit together. “Perhaps this was the retreat of a student of medicine?” I ventured.
Father studied the jars that lined the chamber’s walls. Hearts, lungs, hands, feet, various body parts were suspended in a yellow liquid within the jars. “Perhaps,” Father said.