North American, US General American (GenAm)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
Rats in the Walls by H. P. Lovecraft, first published in Weird Tales, March 1924. On July 16th 1923 I moved into Exam Priory after the last workmen had finished his labours. The restoration had been a stupendous task, for little had remained of the deserted pile but a shell like ruin. Yet because it had been the seat of my ancestors, I'd let no expense determine the place had not been inhabited since the reign of James. The first, when a tragedy of intensely hideous though largely unexplained nature, had struck down the master, five of his Children and several servants and driven forth under a cloud of suspicion and terror. The third son, my lineal progenitor and the only survivor of the horde line with this sole heir denounced as a murderer. The estate had reverted to the crown, nor had the accused man made any attempt to exculpate himself or regain his property. Shaken by some horror greater than that of conscience or the law, and expressing only a frantic wish to exclude the ancient edifice from his sight and memory. Walter Della Poor 11th Baron Xom fled to Virginia, and there founded the family, which by the next century had become known as Dellape, or Exam Priory had remained untended. The leader allotted to the estates of the Norris family and much studied because of its peculiarly composite architecture on architecture involving Gothic towers resting on a Saxon or Romanesque sub structure whose foundation, in turn, was of a still earlier order or blend of orders, Roman and even Druitt IQ or native Kim Rick. If legends speak truly, This'll Foundation was a very singular thing, being merged on one side with the solid limestone of the precipice from whose brink the priory overlooked a desolate valley three miles west of the village of Manchester. Architect's and antiquarians loved to examine the strange relic of for Gotten Centuries, but the country folk hated it. They had hated it hundreds of years before, when my ancestors lived there, and they hated it. Now, with the moss and mold of abandonment on it, I had not been a day in an Chester before I knew I came oven a curse it house, and this week workmen have blown up X m priory and are busy obliterating the traces of its foundations. The bear statistics of my ancestry, I had always known together with the fact that my first American forebear had come to the colonies. Under a strange cloud of details, However, I had been kept wholly ignorant through the policy of reticence always maintained by the Della pores. Unlike our planter neighbors, we seldom boasted of crusading ancestors or other medieval and Renaissance heroes. Nor was any kind of tradition handed down except what may have been recorded in the sealed envelope left before the Civil War, by every Squire to his eldest son. For posthumous opening the glories we cherished work, those achieved since the migration, the glories of a proud and honorable if somewhat reserved, end on Social Virginia line. During the war, our fortunes were extinguished and our whole existence changed by the burning of Carfax, our home on the banks of the James. But my grandfather, advanced in years, had perished in that incendiary outrage, and with him, the envelope that bound assault to the past. I can recall that fire today, as I saw then at the age of seven, with the federal soldiers shouting, the women screaming and the household howling and praying. My father was in the Army defending Richmond, and after many formalities, my mother and I were passed through the lines to join him. When the war ended, we all moved north, whence my mother had come, and I grew to manhood, middle age and ultimate wealth as a stolid Yankee. Neither my father nor I ever knew what are hereditary Envelope had contained. And as I emerged into the greenness of Massachusetts business life, I lost all interest in the mysteries, which evidently lurked far back in my family tree. Had I suspected their nature, how gladly I would have left exempt Priory to its moss bats and cobwebs.