What do you carry from your past?
Electa and Elsbeth Schell came to America in 1858 from Austria, and they brought with them not only their past but that of their homeland as well.
They carried the dark secrets of their family and those of their neighbors aboard the ship that brought them to Boston. In the deep recesses of their hearts and minds, as well as their luggage, they carried things both fair and foul.
The two sisters lived in Cross and worked as weavers in a small mill located near the border with Pepperell. Both young women were quiet and tended to mind their own business. Their English was halting, but passible, and they did their jobs well, which was all their foreman cared about.
He and others should have cared about what accompanied the sisters on their trip.
Duncan Blood was the first to notice the arrival of the strange guests, and thus he was the first to attempt to find the origin. It did not take him long to locate the sisters, but it did him little good.
The Schell women were unaware as to what had come with them.
Neither Electa nor Elsbeth knew that they had brought a drude from Austria to America.
The drude crept from its place in the folds of the travel chest, and from the minds of the sisters, it picked its shape. It wrapped itself in the cloak of nightmares and settled in to feast upon the dreaming lives of Cross’ citizens.
A few, like Duncan, chased the beast out, but many others were unable to do so.
For nearly a year, Duncan hunted the creature as it literally scared people to death. Finally, he located it in the home of Thomas Nevin, the local schoolmaster.
On the night of March 1, 1859, the drude attempted to hide in the thoughts of Thomas Nevin, who had given it refuge.
Duncan ended the drude’s existence by putting a single bullet through Thomas’ head.
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