. The Great Fire
“Mr. Farquhar, stop!” Martha Foehammer called out. She swallowed several times in a failing effort to maintain her fractured composure. “The flames are too intense! You will only get yourself killed…” Martha caught her words with a hiccough before she had finished. What had she been going to say? Surely not ‘…get yourself killed too?’
Poor, dear Ezra; vainly sacrificing himself trying to save a child. She held Cecil tight against her chest, doing her best to shield him from the myriad embers carried by the winds. Apart from Abigail Sharp the only one to remain following the loss of the lorry was Ichabod, the man who’d escaped from the asylum near the marshes.
“Stop! You want me to stop? Randall would never leave me!” Despite the rasp, Whiskey Jack’s voice rose loud and clear. He looked like a beast, blackened with ash from head to toe. His eyes seemed to glow white with some otherworldly energy. “So long as there`d be a chance that bastard would dig!”
“Mr. Farquhar,” said Abigail Sharp,”no one is casting doubt on your partner’s integrity.” She placed a hand upon Martha`s shoulder as she raised her voice. As with the others, she was hoarse from the irritation caused by the smoke. “There are two children with us that need shelter and medical attention. We must go. Only you are strong enough to carry the boy.”
“Listen here,” said Whiskey Jack, “I don’t mean no disrespect but there ain’t nowhere we can take them anyhow.”
“We shall take them to my husband.” said Martha, regaining her composure. “The Dunsany has been empty for months. Please, Mr. Farquhar.”
“The Dunsany!” yelled Ichabod. In the light cast by the fire, his ragged clothes and tangled hair gave him the appearance of a scarecrow. “The Dunsany!” he repeated, glancing over his shoulder as if in fear of being attacked from behind. “Foul Spirit! I take my leave of you all.” Without another word, he turned and ran off down the street, disappearing into the smoky haze.