I think it was only at the very end of the Lavender Lodge job, when we were fighting for our lives in that unholy guesthouse, that I glimpsed Lockwood & Co. acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series. Download The Hollow Boy: Lockwood & Co ., Book 3 pdf · Read Online The Hollow Boy: Lockwood & Co., Book 3 pdf. Lockwood and co series by jonathan stroud ibookpile free. Whether you are looking at the weird, misplaced eye-ball of a mutant, or the blood.
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The Hollow Boy - Jonathan caite.info - Ebook download as ePub .epub), Text File .txt) or read book online. As a massive outbreak of supernatural Visitors baffles Scotland Yard and causes protests throughout London, Lockwood & Co. continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in exterminating spirits. Anthony Lockwood is dashing, George insightful, and Lucy dynamic, while the skull in the. PDF - The Hollow Boy. As a supernatural outbreak baffles Scotland Yard and causes protests against the psychic agencies throughout London, Lockwood and .
Well, that was horrible. I gave a frantic jump sideways, tripped, and dropped my sword. How had it happened? But it was too late. It was a vile sensationa sickly, shifting mix of loneliness and resentment, speared with cold, hard rage. I grabbed at Lockwoods arm. Hold on, Im getting something else The face contorted suddenly.
My name is Lucy Carlyle. I make my living destroying the risen spirits of the restless dead. I can throw a salt-bomb fifty yards from a standing start, and hold off three Specters with a broken rapier as I did one time in Berkeley Square.
Im good with crowbars, magnesium flares, and candles. I walk alone into haunted rooms. I see ghosts, when I choose to look for them, and hear their voices, too. Im just under five feet six inches tall, have hair the color of a walnut coffin, and wear size seven ectoplasm-proof boots. Now were properly introduced.
So I stood with Lockwood and George on the second-floor landing of the boardinghouse. All of a sudden it was very cold. All of a sudden I could hear things.
Dont suppose theres any point trying to break down the door, George said. No point at all Lockwoods voice had that far-off, absent quality it gets when hes using his Sight. Sight, Listening, and Touch: Lockwood has the sharpest eyes of us, and Im the best at Listening and Touch. George is an all-arounder.
Hes mediocre at all three. I had my finger on the light switch on the wall beside me, but I didnt flick it on. Darkness stokes the psychic senses. Fear keeps your Talent keen. We listened. We looked. I dont see anything yet, Lockwood said finally. Im getting voices. Whispered voices. It sounded like a crowd of people, all speaking over one another with the utmost urgency, yet so faint it was impossible to understand a thing.
What does your friend in the jar say? Its not my friend. I prodded the backpack. Theres ghosts up here. Lots of them. If youd listened to me, you wouldnt be in this mess, would you?
Were not in a mess! I snapped. And, by the way, we cant just stab a suspect! I keep telling you this! We didnt even know they were guilty then! Lockwood cleared his throat meaningfully. Sometimes I forgot that the others couldnt hear the ghosts half of the conversation. Sorry, I said. Hes just being annoying, as usual. Says theres lots of ghosts. The luminous display on Georges thermometer flashed briefly Temp update, he said.
Its dropped eight degrees since the foot of the stairs. That fire door acts as a barrier. The pencil beam of Lockwoods flashlight speared downward and picked out the ridged gray surface of the door. Look, its got iron bands on it. That keeps our nice little old couple safe in their living quarters on the ground floor.
But anyone who rents a room up here falls victim to something lurking in the dark He turned the flashlight beam wide and circled it slowly around us.
We were standing just below a shabby landingneat enough, but cheaply furnished with purple curtains and an old cream carpet. Several numbered plywood doors gleamed dully in the shadows. A few dog-eared magazines lay in a pile on an ugly bureau, near where a further flight of stairs led to the top floor. It was supernaturally cold, and there was ghost-fog stirring. Faint wreaths of pale green mist were rising from the carpet and winding slowly around our ankles.
The flashlight began to flicker, as if its fresh battery were failing and would soon wink out altogether. A feeling of unquantifiable dread deepened in us. I shivered. Something wicked was very close. Lockwood adjusted his gloves. His face glowed in the flashlight beam, his dark eyes shone.
As always, peril suited him. All right, he said softly. Listen to me. We keep calm, we take care of whatevers up here, then we find a way to tackle Evans. George, rig up an iron circle here. Lucy, see what else the skull has to say. Ill check out the nearest room.
With that he lifted his rapier, pushed open a door, and disappeared inside, long coat swirling behind him. We got to work. George took out a lantern and set it on low; by its light, he busied himself with the iron chains, creating a decent circle in the center of the carpet. I opened my backpack andwith some difficultytook out a large, faintly luminous glass jar. Its top was secured by a complex plastic seal and, inside it, floating in green liquid, was a leering face.
And I dont mean nicely leering. This was more the kind you get behind bars in a high-security prison. It was the face of a ghosta Phantasm or Spectertied to the skull that rested in the jar. It was godless and disreputable and had no known name. I glared at it. Are you going to be sensible now? The toothless lips grinned awfully. Im always sensible! What do you want to know? What are we dealing with up here?
A cluster of spirits. Theyre restless and unhappy and Hold on, Im getting something else The face contorted suddenly. Ooh, thats bad.
Thats real bad. If I were you, Lucy, Id find a window and jump out. So what if you break both legs in several places?
Its better than staying in here. What have you found? Another entity. Cant tell what it is yet. But its strong and hungry, and The bulging eyes looked sidelong at me. No, sorry, theres a limit to what I can sense, imprisoned in this cruel jar. Now, if you let me out, on the other hand I snorted. Thats not going to happen, as well you know. But Im an invaluable member of the team! Says who? You spend most of the time cheering when we nearly die.
The rubbery lips screwed tight in outrage. I hardly ever do that now! Things have changed between us. You know thats true! Well, it was sort of right. Things had changed between us and the skull.
When it had first begun talking to me, some months before, wed viewed it with suspicion, irritation, and distaste. However, as the weeks passed and wed gotten to know it properly, wed learned to really despise it, too. George had long ago stolen the ghost-jar from a rival agency, but it was only when Id accidently twisted a lever in the lid that I realized that the spirit trapped there could actually speak to me.
At first it was simply hostile; gradually, however, perhaps out of boredom or a desire for companionship, it had begun offering help in supernatural matters. Sometimes this was useful, but the ghost was untrustworthy. It had no morals worth speaking of, and more vices than you would think possible for a disembodied head floating in a jar.
Its evil nature affected me more than the others, for I was the one who actually talked to it, who had to put up with the gleeful voice echoing in my mind. I tapped the glass, making the face squint in surprise. Concentrate on this powerful spirit. I want you to locate its Sourcefind where its hidden. With that, I stood up. George had finished the circle around me. A moment later Lockwood emerged onto the landing and joined us both inside the chains. He was as calm and composed as ever.
Well, that was horrible. What was? The decor in that bedroom. Lilac, green, and what I can only describe as a kind of bilious off-yellow. None of the colors went atall. So theres no ghost there? Ah, there is, as it happens. Ive fixed it in position with salt and iron, so its safe enough for now.
Go and look, if you like. Ill replenish supplies here. George and I took our flashlights but didnt switch them on. We didnt need to.
We were in a paltry little bedroom. It had a single bed, a narrow dresser, and a tiny window, black and studded with rain. All this was illuminated by a horizontal orb of other-light that hung above the bed, merging into the pillows and bedsheets. In its center reclined the ghost of a man in striped pajamas.
He lay on his back, as if asleep, his limbs hovering slightly above the sheets. He had a small mustache and rumpled hair. His eyes were closed; his toothless mouth sagged against a stubble-dusted chin. Cold air streamed from the apparition. Twin circles of salt and iron-filings, emptied by Lockwood from the canisters on his belt, encircled the bed.
Whenever the pulsing aura drew too close, the particles of salt ignited, spitting out green fire. Whatever they charge for a room in this place, George said, its way too much. We withdrew to the landing. Lockwood had refilled his canisters and was reattaching them to his belt. See him, did you? Yes, I said. Think thats one of the missing men? The question is, what killed him? The skull says theres a powerful spirit here. Says its a bad one. Thatll be on the prowl at midnight. Well, we cant wait till then.
Lets see if we can hunt it down. We checked the next bedroom, and the bathroom next to that. Both were clear. But when I opened the fourth door, I found two ghosts within. One man lay on the single bed, much as the V isitor had in the other room, only curled on his side, with one arm bent beneath his head. He was older, thickset, with sandy hair cut very short, and dark blue pajamas.
His eyes were open, staring into nothing. Close byso close that their auras of other-light nearly touchedstood another man. He wore pajama bottoms and a white T-shirt. He looked as if he had just gotten out of bed, clothes rumpled, straggle-bearded, long black hair all tangled. I could see the carpet showing through his feet. He gazed up at the ceiling as if in mortal fear. There are two death-glows, Lockwood said. Ones much brighter than the other.
Different dates, different incidents. Something killed both these men while they were sleeping. Im just glad neither of them slept naked, George said. Particularly that hairy one. Lets pen them in. They look passive, but you never know. Got your iron, Lucy? I didnt answer him. Spectral cold was beating upon me, and with it came echoes of emotion: I opened myself up to it.
Out of the past I heard the sound of breathingthe steady breathing of a person heavily asleep. Then came a slitheringa soft, wet flapping noise, like a landed eel.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something on the ceiling. It beckoned to me, pale and boneless. I jerked my head around, but there was nothing there.
You all right, Lucy? Lockwood and George were at my side. Over by the bed, the ghost of the bearded man stared upward.
He I saw something. Up there. Like a hand reaching down. Only it wasnt a hand. Well, what do you think it was? I gave a shiver of disgust. I dont know. We penned in the two ghosts and checked the final bedroom on the floor. It had no dead occupants, which made a nice change. Then we considered the final flight of stairs.
Greasy filaments of ghost-fog were pouring down it, cascading like water in a weir, and the beams of our flashlights seemed to warp and twist as they probed the darkness. Yup, thats where the action is, Lockwood said. Come on. We gathered what remained of our stuff. From the depths of the ghost-jar, the grotesque face watched us keenly. Youre not going to leave me behind, are you? Im hoping for a ringside seat when you perish horribly.
Yeah, yeah, I said. Have you located the Source of all this? Somewhere above. But you knew that already, didnt you? I slung the jar unceremoniously into my backpack and hurried after the others.
They were halfway up the stairs. Didnt much like the way Evans said hed come back to sweep us up in the morning, George whispered as we neared the final landing. It sort of implied there wouldnt be much of us remaining. But I suppose hes exaggerating. Lockwood shook his head. Not necessarily. Some spirits suck so much energy out of their victims, the bodies go all dry and papery, like empty shells.
That might explain why the police couldnt find Evans has probably burned them on that fire downstairs. Or folded them up and put them in a box under his bed. Or hung them neatly in a wardrobe, like a collection of unusual, slightly pimply suits. Im not making it up. Thats happened. Thanks, Lockwood, George said, after a pause. That makes me feel so much better. But what do they get out of it?
Evans, I mean? I suppose they help themselves to the victims money and belongings. Who knows? Theyre obviously quite mad Lockwood raised his arm; we halted on the topmost steps. The landing was similar to the one below. It had three doors, all of which were closed. The temperature had dropped again. Ghost-fog flowed across the carpet like boiling milk. The whispering of dead men rattled in my ears. We were close to the heart of the haunting. All of us moved slowly, as if great weights bore down on us.
We looked carefully, but saw no apparitions. Skull, I said, what do you see? A bored voice came from my backpack. I see great peril, it intoned. Great peril very near. You mean to say you cant? Honestly, youre rubbish. You wouldnt notice a Wraith if it strolled up and dropped its pelvis in your lap. I shook the backpack. You dirty old pile of bones! Where is this peril? Not a clue.
Far too much psychic interference. I reported this. Lockwood sighed. All we can do is pick a door, he said. Well, I guess theres one for each of us. Ill go for this one. George advanced confidently to the door He flung it open with a dramatic flourish.
What a pity, he said. That was so obviously a broom closet, I said. Look, the doors a different shape and hasnt got a number or anything. Really, you should choose again. George shook his head. Not a chance. Your go. I chose the door on the right. It had a sticker with the number 1 on it. Holding my rapier in front of me, I pushed it open. It was a small bedroom with a sink and mirror.
Standing in front of these, faintly luminous, was a skinny, bare-chested man. His chin was white with shaving foam; he held a cutthroat razor in his hand. As the door opened, he turned and looked at me with sightless eyes. Sudden fear poured through me. Fumbling at my belt, I located my supplies of salt and iron filings and emptied them out across the floor. They created a barrier the spirit could not cross. It hung back, circling from side to side like a caged beast, staring at me the while.
I wiped my ice-cold brow. Well, I said, mines done. Lockwood made a slight adjustment to his collar. He regarded the final door. Yep, I said. Thats Room Two, by the way, the one Evans mentioned. So therell probably be a ghost or two inside Lockwood didnt look the happiest Id ever seen him. He hefted his rapier in his hand, rolled his shoulders, and took a deep breath. Then he gave us his sudden radiant grin, the one that made everything seem okay.
Well, he said, after all, how dreadful can it actually be? He pushed open the door. The good news was there werent a couple of ghosts inside.
The bad news was we couldnt count how many. It was packed with them: Some were bright, others much fainter. They were gaunt, unshaven, hollow-cheeked, and empty-eyed. Some looked as if theyd just been awakened from deep sleep.
Others had died in the act of dressing. They overlapped each other in that mean and dowdy space, crammed between the dresser and towel rack, between bed and washbasin.
Some looked at the ceiling; others drifted haltingly, staring toward the open door. They were all victimsbut that didnt make them safe. I could taste their resentment at their fate, the force of their blank hostility. Cold air lapped at us: George cried. Theyre aware of us! Get a barrier down before Before they moved, George was going to say. But it was too late. Some ghosts are drawn to living thingsperhaps they sense our warmth and want it for themselves.
These men had died lonely deaths, and the urge for warmth was strong in them. Like a tide, the host of luminous figures surged forward: Lockwood dropped the canister of iron that he was about to pour, and swung up his rapier. My sword was out too: Some spirits fell back; others moved deftly left and right, out of rapier range. I grabbed at Lockwoods arm. Theyll surround us! He shook his head. No, theres nothing down there! And if they follow us, were trapped.
Weve got to find the cause of all this. Weve got to keep going up. But were at the top of the house! Are we? What about that? He pointed. I looked, saw a narrow wooden attic hatch, high up in the ceiling. George, Lockwood said calmly. Pass me the ladder, please. What ladder? George was busy throwing a salt-bomb; it ricocheted off the wall, peppering the Shades with particles of bright-green fire. Pass me the ladder, George.
George waved his hands above his head in panic. Where from? Down my trousers? Theres one in that closet you opened, you twit! Oh, yes. I remember. George leaped for the little door. Ghosts pressed in on us. Their whispering had become a roaring. At my side I saw the outline of a man in a vest and jogging pants.
He shimmered toward me; I slashed the rapier diagonally, slicing him in two. The two halves tumbled, flowed together, re-formed. Beyond, Lockwood had brought lengths of chain from his bag; he was dragging them into a rough circle in the middle of the landing.
In a moment, George was back; he had the ladder, the kind that expanded on telescopic legs. He jumped into the center of the circle, next to Lockwood and me. Without words, he extended the ladder up toward the ceiling, balancing its end against the rim of the attic opening, just below the hatch.
All around us, the landing had filled with eerie light. Figures Ectoplasm fizzed against the barrier of chains. Up the ladder we went, first Lockwood, then George, then me. Lockwood reached the hatch. He shoved it hard. A band of blackness opened, expanding slowly like the edges of a paper fan. A smattering of dust fell down. Was it me, or had the assembled ghosts below us suddenly grown quiet? Their whispering stilled. They watched us with blank eyes. Lockwood pushed again. With a single crash, the hatch fell back on its hinge.
Now there was a hole, a black slot gaping like a mouth. Chill air poured down from it.
This was where it stemmed from, the horror of the house. This was where wed find the cause. We didnt hesitate. We scrambled up and, one after the other, were swallowed by the dark. It was also pitch-black. A hazy column of other-light drifted up through the attic hatch from the ghosts below and lit our three pale faces; otherwise we could see nothing.
And there was something with us, close and all around. We felt the pressure of its presence, hovering over us in the dark. The force of it made it hard to breathe, hard to move; it was like we were suddenly crouching in deep water, with the awful weight of it crushing down Lockwood was the first to fight back. I heard rustling as he reached into his bag and drew out his lantern. He flicked the switch and turned the dial; a soft warm radiance swelled from it and showed us where we were.
An attic: There were old brick Great crossbeams spanned the shadows high above us, supporting the weight of the roof. A few broken tea chests lay in one corner. Otherwise the room was empty. There was nothing there. Or almost nothing. Cobwebs hung like hammocks between the rafters, thick and gray and heavy, like ceiling drapes in an Arabian bazaar.
Where the rooflines hit the floor, they were piled in drifts, plugging the corners, softening the edges of the abandoned room. Threads of webbing dangled from the crossbeams, twitching in the little air currents our activities had stirred. Some of the webs glittered with frost. Our breath made bitter clouds. We got stiffly to our feet. Theres a well-known fact about spiders, a curious thing.
Theyre attracted to places of psychic disturbance; to longstanding Sources, where invisible, unknowable powers have loitered and grown strong. An unnatural congregation of spiders is a sure sign of a potent and ancient haunting, and their cobwebs are a dead giveaway. To be fair, I hadnt seen any in the guest rooms of Lavender Lodge, but then, Mrs. Evans was probably pretty handy with her duster. It was a different matter in the attic, though. We gathered what remained of our equipment.
In our haste to climb the ladder George had left his bags below, and between us wed used up our chains and most of the salt and iron. Luckily, Lockwood still had his bag containing our vital silver Seals, and we each had our magnesium flares tucked safely in our belts. Oh, and we still had the ghost-jar too, for what it was worth. I dumped The face had grown faint, the plasm dark and cold.
You oughtnt to be up here Even Im nervous, and Im already dead. I used my rapier to cut away a few dangling cobwebs near my face. Like weve got a choice. You see anything, let me know. Lockwood went over to the window, which was almost as tall as he was. He rubbed a circle in the filthy glass, brushing off a thin crusting of ice.
Were overlooking the street, he said. I can see ghost-lamps far below. The Source must be here somewhere. We can all feel it. Go cautiously, and lets get this done. The search began. We moved like climbers laboring at altitude: All around us the dreadful psychic weight bore down. There were recent handprints by the hatch, perhaps where the police had made their cursory inspection. Otherwise, no one had been in the attic for years. In places, the floor had been roughly boarded, and Lockwood pointed out the thick layers of dust lying over everything.
We noticed certain swirls and curling patterns traced faintly into that dust, as if it had been stirred by curious motions of the air, but no footprints at all. George poked in the corners with his rapier, winding cobwebs around his blade. I stood in the middle, listening. Beyond the freezing rafters, beyond the cobwebs, the wind howled around the roof. Rain lashed against tiles; I could hear it running down the pitch and drumming onto the window.
The fabric of the building trembled. Inside, however, it was quiet. I could no longer hear the whispering of the ghosts in the rooms below. No sounds, no apparitions, not even any ghost-fog. Just vicious cold. We gathered at last in the center of the attic. I was grimy, tense, and shivering; Lockwood, pale and irritable. George was trying to get a mass of sticky cobwebs off his rapier, rubbing the blade against the edge of his boot. Lockwood said. Ive no idea where it can be.
Any thoughts? George raised a hand. Im hungry. We should eat. I blinked at him. How can you possibly think about eating now? Very easily. Mortal fear gives me an appetite. Lockwood grinned. Then its a pity you havent any sandwiches. You left them in your bag, back down with the ghosts. I know. I was thinking of sharing Lucys. This made me roll my eyes. Mid-roll, my eyes stopped dead.
Lockwood was always first to notice when anything was wrong. I took a moment before replying. Is it me, I said slowly, or is there something lying on that beam? It was the crossbeam almost directly overhead. Cobwebs hung down from it, merging with the shadows of the eaves.
Above was a funny patch of darkness that might have been part of the beam, or part of an object resting directly on it. You couldnt really see it from below, except for something poking out on one side that might have been hair. We regarded it in silence. Ladder, George, Lockwood said. George went to get the ladder, pulling it upward through the hatch. Those guys are still down there, he reported. Just standing around the chains.
Looks like theyre waiting for something. We set the ladder against the beam. You want my advice? In its jar, the ghost had stirred. The worst thing you can do is go up and look. Just chuck a magnesium flare and run away. I reported this to Lockwood. If its the Source, he said, we have to seal it. One of us has to climb up. How about you, George?
Seeing as how you went for the broom closet just now. Georges face generally expresses as much emotion as a bowl of custard. It didnt display overwhelming delight now. Unless you want me to? No, no Hand me a net, then. At the heart of every haunting is a Sourcean object or place to which that particular ghostly phenomenon is tethered.
If you snuff this outfor instance, by covering it with a Seal, such as a silver chain netyou seal up the supernatural power.
So George took his net, ready-folded in its plastic case, and started up the ladder. Lockwood and I waited below. The ladder jerked and trembled as George climbed.
Dont say I didnt warn you, the skull in the ghost-jar said. George climbed out of the lantern light, drew close to the shaded beam. I took my sword from my belt. Lockwood hefted his in his hand. We met each others eyes. Yes, if anythings going to happen, Lockwood murmured, Id say its likely to happen just about Shimmering white tentacles erupted from the beam. They were glassy and featureless, with stubby tips. They uncoiled with ferocious speedsome aiming high for George; some striking low at Lockwood and me.
Just about now, really, Lockwood said. Down swung the tentacles. We scattered, Lockwood diving toward the window, me toward the hatch. High above, George jerked away, dropping the chain net, losing his balance.
The ladder toppled back. It wedged against the angle of the roof behind, knocking Georges feet clear, leaving him dangling by two hands from the topmost rung.
A tendril flopped against the floorboards next to me, merged with them, went through. It was made of ectoplasmic matter. Unless you wanted to die, you had to prevent it touching your bare skin. I gave a frantic jump sideways, tripped, and dropped my sword. Worse than dropped itit vanished through the open hatch to fall among the ghosts below. High above, things werent much better. Letting go of the ladder with one hand, George tore a magnesium flare from his belt and lobbed it at the coils.
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