The Secrets Of Covingport Manor: Part Five
- The Secrets Of Covingport Manor: Part One
- The Secrets Of Covingport Manor: Part Two
- The Secrets Of Covingport Manor: Part Three
- The Secrets Of Covingport Manor: Part Four
- The Secrets Of Covingport Manor: Part Five
- The Secrets of Covingport Manor: Part Six
- The Secrets of Covingport Manor – Part Seven (pending)
Nothing happened. The stone door didn’t budge. I pulled the iron handle again and had the same result.
The door might have been sealed shut. But who would seal shut a mausoleum door?
Or maybe I was an idiot, and there was some special way to open the door other than the obvious pull that I had tried.
I grabbed the handle to try a third time at prying open the door. With a hiss, I pulled my hand back at the feeling of a sharp burning on the palm of my hand.
Blood dripped down my hand from a cut. It would be my luck to get tetanus or something from messing around in a private graveyard. My private graveyard now, but still, I know better than to mess with dead people.
Or so I thought, seeing as I was poking around anyway.
Shit, that hurt!
I shook my hand out to try and relieve the burning, but all I managed to do was spray blood all around me.
The wind picked up while I focused on my hand. I hadn’t noticed until the surrounding air was pushing me towards the mausoleum. I looked up, and the dead leaves that had been lying dormant on the ground were now whipping about the clearing.
The wind blew hard at that moment, and it sounded as if someone was screaming. It echoed everywhere around me. Covering my ears, I looked around for anywhere to run away from this onslaught of wind, leaves, and dust that was attacking me.
The only place for me to take cover was the mausoleum. I grasped the iron handle and used all my strength that formed from my desperation to pull it open.
Stone scratched against stone as the door opened. It wasn’t easy to open. The door weighed a ton, but I managed to open it enough to slip inside.
I swatted at the cobwebs that were made in the entryway as I pushed in.
Please don’t let there be spiders!
The wind was blowing hard outside, but it was going in the direction the door opened. I got a breeze, but the whipping leaves and air weren’t coming inside.
I turned on the flashlight from my phone to get a better look.
The room was small, and I realized that this wasn’t a mausoleum but a crypt.
A flat marble sarcophagus was placed in the middle of the room. Behind it was a staircase leading down. On either side of the staircase was a knight statue. I turned and found two more by the entry and two on each side of the other walls. Eight detailed knights stood guard in this room.
Chills ran up my spine at the realistic details of the knights. Each looked ready to fight an army on their own.
There were no windows, but there were torches in each corner of the room and one on either side of the staircase. Cobwebs covered each one, and that was all the confirmation I needed to believe that no one had been in here for a long time.
I walked over to the sarcophagus and saw there was a plaque on top. Coldness from the marble swept over me as I brushed the dust off to read the inscription.
Here Lies the Marquess
Edward James Hawthorne Covingport
March 29, 1693 – November 14, 1714.
If this was the Covingport crypt, why was everyone else buried in the graveyard instead of in here? Or downstairs.
Were there so many Covingports that the crypt was full?
That felt impossible. Edward had died two hundred years ago, not long enough ago to fill a crypt.
I turned towards the stairs at the back of the crypt. Made of stone, there were a few cracks in them from aging. Besides the few cracks, they felt sturdy and looked to be in good condition.
I made my way down the stairs. They were double in length, and halfway down, the hallway opened up.
I gasped, both in shock and awe. The room was large. It had to be at least two stories tall. There were pillars at the bottom of the staircase and placed throughout the room. Two large knight statues guarded the end of the stairs and were placed throughout the room against the walls. I could see that each was as detailed as those in the crypt entrance.
A broken pillar was crushed and lying on the floor in pieces to my left. It was the only one that had fallen, and it left a few cracks in the flooring. The light was reflecting off the dusty mirrors in the room and off the glass chandelier in the center.
The chandelier was the largest I had ever seen. White candles still sat in the holders of it.
The room was breathtaking. And yet, it felt wrong somehow. The entire room was empty.
Not a single plaque hung on the walls that I could see. Which meant Edward Covingport was the only one buried in this family crypt.
That realization brought an onslaught of questions about why no other Covingports were buried in the family crypt.
I turned and made my way back up the stairs. I had a lot of questions, and exploring this crypt had only created more about my family, this place, everything.
The wind had stopped its excessive blowing, and only a slight breeze remained. The crypt door was easy to push closed. It must have been hard to open because no one had been buried in there since Edward’s death.
I made my way back through the woods and to the manor. It took me a few minutes to find Frank and Elaina tidying up the study.
This room seemed to keep me awed each time I saw it. The back wall was full of bookshelves that traveled all across the left side of the room. In the middle of the wall, there was an open archway that leads into the office. In the office is where Aunt Blaire’s desk and personal library of her favorite books were. A set of glass French doors to the greenhouse were also in there, with a window on the right with a perfect view of the woods and garden. Outside the window was a gated garden that was mostly dead and would need to attend one day. Once I fixed it up, the view would be stunning.
The right side of the wall had windows and half bookshelves underneath them, which gave natural lighting in the room. It was one of my favorite parts. A double fireplace was on the same wall as the connecting door to the living room. The fireplace had a stone wall dividing the two rooms, but I knew if I knocked it out, the massive fireplace would look gorgeous, blazing in both rooms.
Soft burgundy couches surrounded the fireplace. There was a matching mahogany table set in the center of the room under a crystal chandelier. The dark wood of the shelves, table, and ceiling created a sense of calm in the study with the natural light. The light grey marble flooring kept the room from being too dark.
The overall sense of wonder from the study, though, came from the shelves being full of books. If I were to bring all of my books from home, I would doubt they could all fit. But seeing as I could put more bookshelves in my bedroom and the office area, I wasn’t too worried about it.
Elaina smiled when she saw me standing in the doorway. “How was your adventure?” She had been vacuuming the rugs but was giving me her full attention now.
“It was interesting,” I admitted. “There’s not much that needs repairing from what I saw. A few things by the lake. Definitely the greenhouse. The graveyard needs cleaning, and there’s a pillar in the crypt that needs to be replaced.”
Frank looked over from where he was dusting the books. He seemed surprised as he stared at me. “What do you mean a pillar needs replacing in the crypt? You went in there?”
“Well, yeah. It took a few tries to get the door open because it was stuck. Which makes sense since the only one buried in there is Edward. So, no one’s been in there in probably two hundred years.”
Elaina’s jaw had dropped, and she was staring at me as intensely as Frank was.
“What?” I asked them.
“No one else is buried in there because the door was sealed shut,” Frank said.
“Sealed shut? It’s a family crypt. Who would seal it shut?” I asked them, confused. It made no sense to me.
“It’s because-” Elaina started, but she stopped as Frank turned to her. He rubbed a hand through his hair as they shared confused looks. Elaina began wringing her hands together around the dusting towel she was holding. Their hesitant looks dragged on, and the silence in the room became tense.
“Because what?” I asked. I felt like I was watching a ping pong match as I glanced between the two of them during their unspoken conversation.
Elaina took a deep breath as she focused her attention back on me. “From what you’re Aunt Blaire found in her research, the crypt was sealed shut because Edward put it in his will do so.”
“So, everyone in the graveyard?” I asked.
“Not true Covingports from our understanding,” Frank said with a shrug. “I told you, those who were loyal to Edward believed he was murdered. They upheld his wishes and sealed it shut to prevent anyone unloyal from being buried there.”
“So, the research says, anyway,” Elaina added.
“According to her research, Edward put that in his will because he believed someone was trying to kill him. Everyone called him paranoid, but his wishes were granted,” Frank said with an eye roll.
“Whoever sealed it didn’t do a good job. It’s open now,” I told them.
“Perhaps it’s for good reason,” Frank said with a smile. He seemed satisfied. I didn’t understand what he meant, but I couldn’t think too much about it as Elaina spoke up.
“We made you the list of groundskeepers. The ones that aren’t listed in the phone book,” she said, handing me a notepad.
“Thanks! I’ll get right on this.”
“Would you like some lunch?” Frank asked. “I can bring it to you.”
“Yes, thank you. I’ll be in my room making phone calls.”
He nodded in recognition of what I said as I headed out of the study. It was quiet, but I swore I heard him and Elaina whisper finally as I went to my room.