The sun had set less than two hours ago. The Transylvania night was still young. Moodrum stood by the '31 Model A - a class automobile! He waited to serve his Master. He would be arriving any minute now on the train from the city of Poprad, about four hours from Bramstoke. The Master had been away for three days, and although it caused Moodrum to shiver to dare think it, the time had been a wonderful three days along ... away from him.
He would think it now, but he would not dare think it later. He was practiced at putting such thoughts from his mind, and he would practice that fine art now. As the gentle and aged servant could hear the approaching train in the darkness, the thought was gone forever.
There were few people at the station. There was the station master and a few employees, and all the others were there to meet the passengers on the train as he was doing for his Master. As the train slowly moaned to a stop and hissed its completion, there was that moment of inaction, as everyone waits for someone to emerge. Soon the passengers began filing out, one by one, and Moodrum knew the Master would be last.
When only his boot was visible, Moodrum instantly recognized him. Then he appeared in full form. He was regal as always; tall, straight and strong in stature. He was wearing his long, black cape with the bright red lining, for the October night was more than a little cold in Transylvania. His medallion hung around his neck from its thick, black and red ribbon and he carried his cane as a man who did not need it - but used it as a king might use a scepter.
He paused in the doorway before stepping down and looked about the small crowd, but Moodrum knew he wasn't looking for him. The Master was pausing to let all gathered look at him; for the Master knew exactly where Moodrum was situated, and after the slight pause he stepped quietly and majestically down to the pavement.
"Welcome home, Master," greeted Moodrum. "I wasn't sure that you wouldn't be away longer."
"Three days proved long enough, Moodrum." The servant opened the door to the rear compartment of the vehicle. "It was a successful trip, all in all." He floated into the back seat like the fog in the air.
"Very good, Master. I'm glad to hear it." From deep inside the dark compartment, the Master's pointed smile beamed forth as Moodrum closed the door.
End Chapter Two