Elijah threw open the Bible to the passage Wilhelmina had marked. It was the oldest Bible he had seen; it was fit that he use it to purge the world of sin and bring a new Paradise.
"My friends!" he shouted to his Flock. "The hour of our deliverance is here!" The throng cheered wildly, and he held up his hands for silence.
Gunfire and shouts rang above them; Lord Grimelys had become the hot spot when the mother lode was discovered in its basement. While others squabbled, the Flock had surreptitiously entered the mansion and descended to the lode entrance. They saw none of the things that supposedly haunted the mansion.
"Now join me in prayer, that we may save our fellows from their folly."
Elijahs followers joined hands.
In the depths of her estate Wilhelmina Whateley saw it all and laughed.
"Hear us, O Lord!" Elijah cried. "We, Your servants, have suffered all evil to come unto us!"
"Hear us!" the Flock intoned.
"We have embraced the sins of the world. We have brought humankinds folly into ourselves!"
"I call upon the enemies of light to take us, as is their duty! I call upon the beasts of darkest Hell to claim their own and leave this world in peace!"
"Hear us!" The Flocks eyes gleamed.
With his finger in the book, Elijah began to chant. The mine behind him shuddered and moaned, and the passage beyond yawned into infinity. Suddenly, light bathed the entrance, poisonous, burning, and white.
From somewhere in the void, something began to step through.
Ebon claws dug into stone and mortar, fighting for purchase. A vast maw bellowed in pain and triumph. For an instant the onlookers saw into its infernal world, and whatever
remained of rationality snuffed out.
The Thing stepped out with a rumble, Its black skin bloody and smoked. A rack of horns crowned Its head. As It looked upon Its new world, Its inhuman face broke into a grin.
"I LIVE!" It howled, and the Flock screamed. Hell had come to town, and the resident lunatics welcomed It.
So intent were they, that they failed to notice the shadowy form that appeared at the foot of the stairs .