En route to New Orleans, Johnny reveals to the Agency visions he had received when holding the single letter Virginia had sent her father. He explained a possible location for her at the Armes d’ Roi hotel and Dr. Cobb’s drinking a strange pink liquid as he sobbed over the letter. The Agents recognized the description but remained silent on the matter, leaving Johnny none the wiser.
After settling in to the Presidential Suite of the premier Grunewald Hotel, thanks to Dr. Cobb, the Agents immediately set out to locate the Armes d’ Roi. A bit underwhelmed by what the rundown tavern and flophouse they found, the Greenhorn retreated from a failed inquiry inside and allowed the veterans to take over the investigation. From the large, scarred bartender, Big Dave, they were able to surmise that Jean Angelo (Virginia Cobb’s tramp of a beau) still dwelt in an upstairs room but that Virginia had abandoned him, leaving with all her things.
The Agents, flashing private investigator badges, were allowed to approach Jean Angelo’s room. Alas, in the stairwell leading up to the second floor, they encountered a greasy-looking fellow the Greenhorn recognized from his vision. It was Jimmy, to whom the letter had been given. Just as attempts were being made to politely allow the little fellow to slip between the crowd of investigators, Jean Angelo appeared at the bottom of the stairwell and shouted threats at Jimmy, believing he had abducted Virginia. Jimmy fled. With jean Angelo struggling to get past the agents in the stairwell, Jimmy leapt from the second floor gallery t the courtyard below but a loud snap and a shriek alerted the Agents to Jimmy’s crumpled body and broken ankle.
As Jean Angelo turned on Jimmy in an attempt to throttle him, Big Dave arrived and yanked his little brother, Jimmy into his arms. that’s when jean Angelo produced a Derringer and the situation grew even more serious. Agents attempted to dissuade Jean Angelo with pleas and the showing of badges but the stalemate was proving too strong. Then a bulging envelope fell from Jimmy’s person and landed hard, scattering bills in a heap at his feet.
“You’ve been holding out on me!” was all Dave growled before dropping his little brother, scooping up the slightly less bulky envelope and dashing from the scene. Less concerned about the money, the Agents remained behind to sort out the trouble between Jimmy and Jean Angelo and, of course, Virginia.
With surprisingly little pressure, Jimmy revealed that he had indeed abducted Virginia, selling her off to a “wealthy fella” in a big black automobile. He had done this a few times over the last couple of years by promising prostitutes a date with a rich man. This time, however, the “wealthy man,” whose face he had never quite seen, needed a girl promptly and offered more money than Jimmy could refuse. So he nabbed Virginia, drugging her and hiring a cabbie who had made this drive for him before, to take them to an old abandoned plantation house in Pearlington, Missisippi.
Off they went, hiring their own cabbie by the name of Bartholemew “Bats” Monjour; a heavyset curmudgeon who talked a lot about his wife and even more about advice his spiritualist gave him. By near-dusk, they had arrived at the Lonely House, which Bats was able to tell them was haunted. he said it was told that during the Civil War, the men of the family left the plantation to go fight, leaving behind a mother and her adult daughter. In this time, the slaves revolted and it was said they cannibalized the women because their bodies were never found. Someone pays the taxes on the place, but no one has ever moved in due to its haunted nature.
Undeterred, the Agents entered the building whose floor was a constant hazard to traverse. the Greenhorn’s psychometry revealed the slave revolt among many other more recent violence moments, mostly perpetrated by a black smudge of nothingness, which the Greenhorn could not perceive. Luckily, by Jimmy’s description, they soon located the old library where Jimmy said the “wealthy man” would take the women. All they found was a hole in the floor, that upon closer inspection was hewn by tools and not worn away. Alas, just as soon as the Irish Sawbones yanked out a handfull of the tormentilla growing out of the hole, the doors slammed shut, the room grew cold and the shadows condensed into one corner of the room. Atop the shroud of shadow was the vague impression of a dog’s skull.
Immediately the thing began to try and overpower the Greenhorn’s mind. Defeated it lashed out by whirling debris about the room. The Agents were unable to harm the thing conventionally, prompting Geneviève to leap out a window. Kitty would attempt to follow but fell through the floor, precariously close to the entity. Futile attempts to attack the thing were made again but then, without warning, the Greenhorn stepped forward and into the shadowy presence. Suddenly, the shadows began siphoning seemingly into the Greenhorn’s person. What little daylight left then shone on the room again and the Creeping horror was gone.
They regrouped, the Greenhorn used his abilities to discover that Virginia, just moments away from bloody sacrifice over the hole, as had been done to five other women, at the hands of the black smudge. But, upon sight of her black velvet choker, she was suddenly reprieved. Left with only more questions, they proceeded to search the house for more signs of Virginia. Alas, all they found was a dog skull and some eerie photos in the ground under the hole, the shirt of one Molly LeBlanc, a priest’s maniple, and psychic impressions of the girls waiting to be slaughtered.
Upstairs, they found a children’s play room strewn with feces and filth. recognizing it as an attempt to corrupt and befoul the area for occult purposes, the Agents began to sprinkle holy water around the room. That is when a bloody apparition appeared, looking much like one figure in the photos they found buried downstairs. In her torment, she seemed grateful and began to lead the Agents into the attic, where, after a life-threatening fall to Dr. McCulkin, they found a trunk stuffed with the still-clothed bones of Mrs. Brooks and her daughter, locked inside and left to starve by the slaves that revolted. The younger ghost appeased her furious mother who then allowed them to remove the trunk for proper burial.