The Hollow has too many surprises.
My father was, according to his journal, ‘taken aback and set on my heels.’
‘I had spent a fair portion of the morning following a well-worn trail that gave me a hope that I might find some semblance of sanity and respite from the strangeness of this place,’ my father wrote.
‘I was bitterly disappointed.
‘When the trail came to an end, I indeed discovered a place of human habitation. I found a pair of men, and at first, I thought they were putting a horse through its paces in a curious carriage. This was an incorrect impression I learned a moment later as they rounded a corner and the dust settled.
‘What sort of an animal it was, I have no knowledge. Never, in all of my varied travels, have I seen such a creature. It was tall, easily eight feet if not taller, and it looked as though it was some manner of bird. The wings seemed ineffectual, but its legs propelled it at a speed that the finest of stallions would have been envious of.
‘I confess that I was struck dumb and still, yet so too were the men with the creature. They did not seem to expect any others.
‘All three of us regained our senses at the same time, and the man in the driver’s seat reached for a pistol.
‘I drew mine quicker, and for the first time, I had occasion to use the weapon.
‘It roared with the ferocity of a lion. The shot passed through the neck of the creature and into the chest of the man, sending him sprawling onto the ground, his pistol being deftly caught by his companion.
‘As that man tried to bring the weapon to bear, I fired again. The shot slammed into the man’s belly, causing him to drop his pistol. He collapsed to his knees tried to pick up the weapon again, but once more, I pulled the trigger.
‘The shot took off the top of his head.
‘I must say, I am enamored of this pistol.
‘I walked forward and took the dead man’s weapon, searched them both for more ammunition, and then cut off a bit of creature to see how it might taste.
‘It was tolerable.’