Using a disguise purchased from a theatrical supplier of renown in London Town I did visit the local hostelry.
Adopting the persona of a travelling fellow-well-met I quickly gained the confidence of the locals there with the free and easy furnishing of ale.
Once accepted, I enquired of the strange man who lived atop the hill in the foreboding mansion.
The tales told that night would bring fear and dread to even the most God fearing man.
The debauched Lord of Scottish origin was variously described as a wreck, an expensively attired gent and a flamboyant popsie. Others admitted to never having a clear view of the dark man by virtue of only encountering his visage by the light of a full moon.
As the lamps were lit the talk turned to the mansion and the grounds. No-one would dare to trespass or explore lest they were shot or mauled to death by the wild lion loose within the high walls constructed after the gales of ’72. Children were dissuaded from going near with fables of witches intent on stealing their shadows.
Strange comings and goings involving darkened carriages were described, now in whispers. How the most dangerous and adventurous from London, Paris & beyond would come for the decadence but would never return, some choosing to live a life of piety from the moment they were free of him.
Now in candle light, the remaining few told of devil worship, other-world visitations and the sure and certain fact the ‘Mad Lord‘ was the last of the aristocratic vampires that stalked the old lands, feeding off the good and stealing silly young maids to satisfy their lustful ways.
As was his custom, the vicar of St. Michaels arrived at the latest of hours seeing it as his duty to guide the wayward of his flock home. Partaking of his nightly tipple his gaze fixed on mine. The candle light danced on his silver cross burning my eyes. Evidently, he could see me.
Paying for all the drink they could possibly want for that night and for every night ’til Michaelmas, I departed to the sounds of cheers from the drunken men of the homes and farms hereabouts all unaware to this day they had supped with the wild devil who lives atop the hill.
Be easy and free when you’re drinking with me
I’m a man you don’t meet every day