THE MISTERY OF THE MISSING CORPSES
It had happened some years ago.The investigation had since long been closed. No one was looking for the dead bodies that had disappeared from the coffins. The corpses had disappeared while they were exhibited in the funeral chapels adjacent to the hospital. From midnight to six in the morning the funeral chapels remained closed. During these hours ( this time) they were guarded by video cameras and a guardian stood in there. Teddy knew the night guardian of the mortuary chapels by sight. He had also exchanged a few words with him. When, shortly after the corpses disappeared, he learned that Charles D., as the guardian was called, was dead Teddy thought that his sudden death____Charles D. was a middle aged man___had something to do with the disappearance of the corpses from the mortuary chapels.. The night when the corpses had disappeared, seven in all, there was a power outage ( an interruption of electricity) of about an hour. During that hour the surveillance cameras had shut down. The corpses had to have taken out of the coffins during the time that the electricity was lost . But he, the guardian, was there, into the funeral chapels , and he had to go through the chapels every half hour. Teddy had always thought that Chatles D. or he was the one ( or one of those) who made the corpses disappear or he, at least, had seen who had made them disappear. And his death so close to the disappearance of the corpses had made him suppose that Charles D.had been killed because someone feared that he could tell what he had seen the night when the corpses had disappeared.
Teddy who, after teaching law at one of the most prestigious universities of the country, ( had) decided to become a gardener, was a great reader, interested in the most various topics. He frequented rather assiduously The Blue roses , which was the largest and also the most well-stocked library in the provincial town , where he lived. Just a short time after his death Teddy had come to know from the librarians of The blue roses that also Charles D. had been a regular visitot to that library. It had been ( was) almost a surprise for Teddy, since he had never happened to meet ( to see) Charles D. there, at The Blue Roses. “Ah, more than in books he was interested ( he was always looking for) in articles in newspapers and magazines….and in some brochures, yes, those publications made of anniversaries, of celebration, all stuff ( all things) that only he was looking for….” The librarian Marcella told Teddy. Oh, how many times had that pain in the…..oh, that good man, peace to his soul, that rest him in peace, how many times he had driven her crazy to look for publications, pamphlets, catalogues that they librarians did not even know where all that stuff had been put, where had gone to end, the librarian Marcella had added. “ Our good friend Charles D. was a local history lover. He was interested above all in cemeteries…Yeah, I seem to remember he, Charles, was doing a research not only on cemeteries here, in our town, but…also on all those of the province, at least, but perhaps on all the cemeteries of the region…. Ah, a very good man our dear Charles” the librarian Paul said, almost thoughtful. “ But sure! Now I remember that he had mentioned of his reseatch in the cemeteries to me too….Indeed he said that he had already made arrangements with the publisher who would publish his research…..yes, on cemeteries “ the librarian Marcella said.
But look, Charles D., who had to have been keeper of funeral chapels for all his life, he had been very interested in cemeteries too…He was doing a research on cemeteries, which he intended to publish, when he had died. It was impossible for Teddy not to think that even Charles’s research on cemeteries had something to do with….the corpses that had disappeared from their coffins in the funeral chapels, where he, Charles D., was on guard. And he, Teddy, was more convinced than ever that Charles D., who had died a few days after the disappearance of those corpses; from the coffins; and from the funeral chapels, had been killed, even if his was ( had been ) considered a death for natural causes. Teddy went to the library quite often. . Every time he had gone back there, after he knew that Charles D.too had attended the Blue Roses, he hadn’t missed the chance to ask about Charles D. to someone of the librarians. He asked about the material, documents, or newspapers, or depliant that the deceased Charles had come to look for there in The Blue Roses. Teddy had also asked them if it had happened that some of them of the library could have seen at least something of that essay on the cemeteries which Charles was going to publish…..This, but even other he had dared to ask about Charles D., since he was very impatient , even anxious to find evidence to support his conviction, that the keeper of funeral chapels ( Charles) had been killed because he knew who had made the corpses disappear , as they were exposed in the funeral chapels. Sure, that Charles knew who had taken those corpses away, if he hadn’t even been involved in…their disappearance.
Ah , they, the librarians of The Blue Roses, they had said him, who kept asking about Charles D., that they did not remember, they could not know if the pamphlets, the depliant, and all the publications, mostly occasional, which the deceased man had come to look for, ah it was impossible for them to know if all that material was still in the library….and even if it was there it was very difficult to know where it had ended up( where it had been put). Of course the librarians said him ( Teddy) that they couldn’t give him the information he asked about Charles D., they couldn’t since they didn’t know. But he, Teddy, had (gotten) the feeling that they, the librarians didn’t want to tell him what they knew about Charles . Probably they had been ordered not to answer his questions ( about Charles D.) In fact after no long time they, the librarians of The Blue Roses had started even to avoid to spend time to talk with him. Just as if they were afraid of letting something would slip from them , if they started talking to him.
Teddy didn’t give up. He kept asking questions about Charles D., when he went to the library . They, the librarians continued not only not to give him answers when he asked about the deceased frequenter of the library, but even to avoid him. It happened that one of the librarians, Thomas, who(m) Teddy met at the theater, said to him, in a very low voice, looking around as if he feared someone else ___there, in the theater hall___could hear what he was saying, that he was very sorry for the way they librarians behaved with him….But they had received the order not to talk to anyone, not only to him, about Charles D. And they librarians knew well that he, Teddy, as soon as he could talk to them, he started asking about Charles D. “ How? But WHY? Yet I heard ( I came to know) from you librarians that he, Charles D., used to come to the library , looking for material for his research on the cemeteries !” Teddy exclaimed, in a tone of voice too loud for Thomas, who probably found it worrying. In fact the librarian had immediately gestured him, without saying a word, to be silent. When they were coming back to their seats in the audience Thomas said him, in a very low voice, that he would told something about Charles D. later, when they went out of the theater. Once they went out of the theater Thomas , walking by side him, told Teddy that they librarians had been forbidden to talk about Charles D., above all with the library-goers, because of that unfortunate, but indeed terrible fact ( story) of the corpses disappeared from the funeral chapels where they had been exposed , into their open coffins. The corpses had disappeared while he, Charles D., was on guard to the funeral chapels. The empty coffins had remained in the funeral chapels. “ Do you want to mean that Charles was involved in the disappearance of those corpses?” Teddy asked. He also couldn’t hold back from saying what he thought : that Charles D. had to have known WHO had taken the corpses away from the coffins and from the funeral chapels, and precisely since he knew, Charles D. had been killed, even though it was said that his death was ( had been) of natural causes. Thomas and Teddy were walking down the street when the director of the library ___The Blue Roses___had come out of a bar. He, the director had looked at them, first one, then the other, with a stern frown. ( giving them a stern frown). Thomas hastened to greet him, and he, the director, said: “ Oh, what are you talking so animatedly about?” “ We just got out of the theater…we liked very much this performance of King Lear “ Thomas said, almost embarrassed. “ Ah, Shakespeare, yes, and who doesn’t like Shakespeare? “ the director said, nodding, and soon after moved away. Thomas remained silent for several minutes. Only when the director turned into another street he grabbed Teddy by an arm and said, in a trembling voice : “ Listen…I didn’t know if Charles D. was killed. But I now that just before he died our dear friend was sure he was about to become rich, very rich ( he would soon become rich, very rich)” “ Did he tell you?” Now was Teddy who grabbed Thomas by an arm, forcing him to stop. “ No, he didn’t ell me. But since ( as)Charles’s good soul went around saying he was going to become very rich, I knew too” The librarian spoke looking at the ground. “ But who did you know from? Who told you it?” Teddy asked, pulling ( yanking) Thomas by his arm, while he looked at him with impatient, ferocious eyes ( look).
“ Sorry, but I can’t tell you that …I can’t tell you more than I told you “ And soon after saying so, Thomas started running, like he was running away from someone chasing him. Teddy stood looking at him , with the palm of his nose. He felt stunned, dizzy.
As much as Teddy was looking forward to seeing Thomas again, after their meeting at the theater , when he went back to the library, he could never find him. His colleagues said him that Thomas was ill. A month went by and Teddy had been not able to see Thomas again. When he asked again about him, the other librarians told him that Thomas was in vacation. Teddy asked them where he had gone and they, his colleagues, glaring at him, said they didn’t know. Another month went by during which Teddy hoped in vain to see again Thomas, when he learned from the local news that Thomas V. had died , run over by a train in a nearby town station. Thomas was absolutely shocked, indeed even frightened by that news.
At Thomas’funeral he tried to approach the relatives of the young librarian, who had no parents , and had grown up with his maternal grandparents. Thomas didn’t have brothers and sisters. In addition with his grandmother, with whom he lived, there were his uncles, his aunts, and his cousins, but all of them seemed to know nothing about Thomas’life, since they had seen him only from time to time. There was only she, his grandmother Adalgisa who could really have known Thomas. His grandmother had raised him, and Thomas had always lived with her, also when he had been adult. Teddy introduced himself to Thomas’ grandmother as a frequent visitor of The Blue Roses, where her grandson had been a librarian.
Teddy was wondering how to do for getting information about Thomas from his grandmother when , with his surprise, it was the old woman who invited him to her house, even for dinner. And for that it was enough for Teddy to say his name. “ Teddy…yes, Thomas told me about you” , Mrs Adalgisa said as soon as he said his name. They were in the cemetery, while Thomas was buried. “ Eh…the corpses disappeared from the funeral chapels and…that one, the keeper of the funeral chapels….Thomas told me that there was someone who frequented the library who was he too interested in in this affair….someone named Teddy “ Thoms’ grandmother said him, in a whisper. The next day, when Teddy went to her for dinner, Mrs Adalgisa told him that her grandson ( grandchild) had left a report of his searches concerning those missing corpses and that one…..the keeper of the funeral chapels, yes, Charles D.. Thomas had asked her to deliver all the report of his investigation…not, not to the library, but precisely to him, to Teddy, in the case…..something ( had ) happened to Thomas. “ Do you mean that Thomas was afraid….of being killed?” Teddy asked, feeling his heart pounding. Grandmother Adalgisa nodded. “Of course, Thomas feared what…. What really happened” she said, with a sad smile.
Oh, he had found out very shady affairs, worse than dirty, indeed terrible realities which left dismayed, he, that good guy of Thomas…, just he, who would have ever said it? That good boy of Thomas, the most humble, the least talkative, the one who stood more on the sidelines among the elegant and even a bit flickering librarians of the great, renowned library ___The Blue Roses___
Thomas, as he had left written in the introduction to the report of his research, which he called investigation, had been absent from his job in the library not because he was ill, or even to go on vacation, but precisely because he had decided to investigate, trying to understand WHY those corpses had disappeared from the funeral chapels. WHAT was behind that anguishing metropolitan horror event? And did he, Charles D., have anything to do with that disappearance? Thomas wrote ( had written) in his report that he had started investigating from the cemeteries , in which Charles D. had been so interested.
Therefore he, Thomas, had spent several nights in the cemeteries. And what he had found was really creepy, terrifying. The corpses just buried were stolen, then the empty coffin was placed again into the pit or into the niche, it was buried again, so that the look of the burial ( tomb) did not arouse suspicion. Thomas wrote ( had written) that Charles D,’s corpse ( body) had also been stolen on the night of the day he (it) had been buried. This was ( had been) the terrifying, more than shocking discovery of Thomas. He told ( wrote) of having witnessed, as far as he could see in the dark illuminated with flashes of light ( even if he had been only able to see for moments, where the darkness was broken by flashes of light), being hidden behind a tombstone, or even, sometimes, into the pit dug for an upcoming burial,( he had seen/ glimpsed) those unearthings, which were carried out ( which were performed) by hooded men whose face, also because if the darkness, he had never been able to see. But he had seen their big hands, indeed the leather gloves into which their hands were….How tireless, and how incredibly quick, and how precise those big gloved hands were so as they appeared to him as ( while) they removed the earth or the tombstone from the burial, and then they open the coffin with hammers ( with hammer blows), and then those big gloved hands grab the corpse, as if it were a piece of wood. Thomas had felt those big gloved hands tight around his neck.
Thomas wrote, in his report, that Charles D. had been an accomplice of those who had stolen the corpses exhibited in the funeral chapels. Then the organization that had stolen the corpses had decided to kill him because Charles demanded too much money for his silence. Charles had been killed by his doctor.
The organization which stole corpses(______) was headed by The Miserere Nobis___that was the biggest voluntary association not only there in the town, but in the whole region. Also the supervision of the funeral chapels was entrusted to The Miserere Nobis, which took care of everything needed for burials and funeral honors.
But ( however) Thomas had not been able to know, to find out why and for what the corpses were stolen, and he regretted this in his report. He hoped that he would succeed in it, if he had the time. Indeed Thomas had written “If time will be left for me” He was afraid that THEY would kill him before he could find out WHY, for what the corpses were stolen. “ The Miserere nobis is very much powerful “ : these were the last words of his report.
Teddy , without knowing how found himself in the cemetery where Thomas had been buried. Teddy was walking all over the cemetery, looking for Thomas’s grave, which he couldn’t find. Suddenly Teddy felt the cold of a metal bar hitting him between head and neck. He fell into the pit dug at his feet.