The Story of Mr. Arnold.
Told from the accounts of local legend, history book, diaries, and family bibles of the town of Long Blade; and police statements of detective Edward Schaffer of Boston Massachusetts.
For the sake of confusion, the tale has been formed together by news reporter David Jackson, of the Long Blade Post. Any scientific fact of the truth of this tale has not been found. Thus the question of fiction or fact about the story is left solely to the reader.
With that in mind, let us begin.
If one does not know the town of Long Blade, one would never hear of it. It is a small outlandish village, only found by those who are unlucky enough to get off course in their travels. There is nothing wrong with the little backwoods town, only that it is so hard to find, that its original founders our not known. Ina fact, many of the inhabitants had been looking for their history of the town for almost two generations. Sadly, there was none.
However, this did not stop the people of the town from being very productive. Even with the lack of outside business, the people had found ways to build their community, and flourish under their christian ways. They had founded a local market, a sawmill , a school, a church, a hospital, and a local paper.
The geography of the town however, was spread out over about twenty miles. And most of the residents, lived on farms about three miles further. This made traveling often something difficult to do. Most of the children had to have private schooling from the town’s teacher, and the school building was mostly used for town meeting, and refuge during times of trouble. The town market was the place visited most frequently, as farmers ofter had to come for supplies, and the fact that the building doubled as a postoffice.
The local paper was very successful though, and acted as a way for people to know what their neighbors were up to. It was this paper, that I now find myself at a desk writing out the tale of the local farmerArnold Finn. Arnold has now past away, and out of respect, I take his side in this report. However, many others have sided against him, and claimed him to have been a crazed man. But I will now continue.
Arnold Finn was a fairly resident of Long Blade. He had only lived on his farm for about seven years, and in that spanned of time, had built up a reputation for being one of the most successful farmers to have ever lived their. This was probably on the account that he had much knowledge of treating soil, and the science of farming, while most of the other local farmers only had their self taught knowledge.
Mr. Finn was a learned man, and was very much what one might call a “city dude.” He had moved his family out of their life in the town where he was a very successful botanist, to the farm where he learned his new life. The reasons for this drastic change is unknown, but most believed that he had been running form something. Trying to hide himself from whatever had been in that city. There of course was no proof of this, but from what the locals of his previous life said, that seemed the most likely reason.
I do have a letter from one of his previous friends at the time, that I had been corresponding with while searching for data for this story. Here is it in full. Of course, we had been pen pals for some time before he told me this bit of information.
“It happened on the last day that I saw my friend Arnold Finn. The day was very cold and stormy. I sat at my desk pondering over one of my books, when Arnold came through the door.He was soaked to the bone, and had a crazed look in his eye.
“Good Lord Arnold!” Said I, springing from my seat. “Did you walk over hear in this storm?” He didn’t answer me, and kept looking over his shoulder. Closing the door behind him, and locking it he finally acknowledged me.
“You have to help me Timmons.” He said, a panic in his voice. I asked him what was wrong, and suggested that he com and sit by the fire. He refused, and told me that what he was about to tell me, I could never repeat to anyone, ever again. Sorry Mr. Jackson, but I will not brake that promise. However, I find that what he told me after that, is something that I can tell you.
He told me that he was leaving the city that very evening, and that he was never going to return. He told me o always remember that, and that if ‘he’ ever came back home, don’t trust him, and protect his wife and children. I promise him, and he left. The encounter was something that I will never forget. I have not seen my friend since, and I hope that you are able to discover what has happened to him without me braking my vow of silence. But if you do discover what has he told me about,I am sure that you yourself will never believe it. I would not either, if I had not remained in my office after Arnold had left. I sat back in my chair and felt the cold hand of fear come over me, as I now pondered what he was telling me.
It had only been a few minutes since he left, and I was looking out my window into the darkness of night, when I saw it. Their was a flash of lightning, and in the darkness was something that made me scream out of terror. I, a man who has been through war, and lived through many a horror, screamed at what was looking at me through the window. It was Mr. Arnold Finn.
As soon as I had gotten my courage back, I rushed out of the office, and questioned my door man. He told me that he had personally seen Mr. Finn leave the house in a carriage. He said that he had watched them go down the path from the house, and turn down the road. Two things made me afraid, one was the the road was almost a mile away. I had known Arnold to not be a fast runner in any way. The second was this, Arnold had been wearing a different shirt than the one in the window.
I hope that I have been of some help to you Mr. Jackson. I wish you luck on your quest, and pray that God will protect you from what you might find.”
I now will ask you to have to ask you to not question e about what Mr. Finn told Mr. Timmons. He has not told me, and as of a month ago from me writing this, has passed away in his sleep. Whatever he was tole, as died with him forever. However, Mr. Finn had talked to other people in the seven years he had live on his farm, and the one who he had spent the most time with was his farm hand Samuel Spivey. I have had the fortune of knowing Samuel personally, and have asked him to come down to my office to write his side of the story. He is not the best writer, and I ask you to try your hardest to follow along with his words on this page.
“I had been working for Mr Finn for the past six years. After his first year of farming, he learned the hard way that it is seldom a one man job. We worked long hours together, and most of the time, we were on two different side of the land. For the first few years Mr. Finn was as nice of a boss as a fella could a hoped for. Smart too. But during the last year, things got a little odd. I should say that he got a little odd. Mr. Finn started acting like he was afraid of something. Most of the time I left the shed that I lived in and got to work earlier that Mr. Finn, and as always, he would come walking up the path an hour later with a bag of breakfast Mrs. Finn had made for me. She was always a nice sort. Occasionally, the children would come out to the fields to help us work before they start their schoolin’ for the day. They were sweet little things, but good Lord if they weren’t the smartest little things you ever saw. But soon enough, Mr. Finn started coming to the field another hour late. He didn’t have a sack of breakfast for me anymore, so I started makes my own. And the children never came to help us anymore. I ain’t the smartest man alive, but even I know that was strange. Then over the course of the next few weeks, Mr. Finn started gettin’ worse! He was forgettin’ to shave, and to take a bath. He was always a clean sort, and took a bath every day that he could. He also looked like he was loosin’ sleep too. One day I asked him if their was anything wrong. That was when he asked me the strangest of questions. He looked around himself, as if he thought someone might hear him, and leaned in real close to me. Then he whispered. “Have you seen me recently?” I didn’t know what to answer. Had I seen him? I told him that I seen him every day. Then he asked me if I had seen him any other time. Other than the time I was with him. I was rightly confused, and told him that I didn’t understand a word he was sayin’. He got a little mad at me, and said that he was going to go into the woods to urinate. It wasn’t like Mr. Finn to say something like that, as he was a proper man. So I knew he was really upset that I couldn’t answer his questions. So while he was gone, i tried to figure out what he was sayin’. Eventually I saw him walking back, and was going to ask him to repeat the question when he spoke first. ‘I’m goin’ to the house.’ he said. ‘you keep workin’ here.’ I wasn’t about to argue with him, and told him i would. Just a few minutes later as I was workin’ I had to stop and wipe the sweat from my brow. It was a mighty hot day, and I knew that I would have to quit soon, if I had to work for two men. As I stood up and raised my hand to my brow, I saw Mr. Finn walkin’ back from the woods. I rubbed my eyes just to make sure if I was really seein’ him. Just a few minutes ago I saw Mr. Finn walkin’ back the farmhouse, and now hear he was. Almost as if he had been put right back from wear he started. When he got close to me, I took a step back. He saw me do this and asked what was wrong. I quickly stuck out my hand and touched him to see if he was real. That was when he grabbed my hand, and asked me what I was doin’. I told him what had happened, and I saw an expression that I had only seen on his face a few times in my life. He looked downright scared. Shoving me aside he ran down the path to the farmhouse, and left me their alone. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just went back to my working. I worked until the sun went down, and the whole time I was wonderin’ what had happened. I eventually went back the shed, and was gettin’ ready to go to sleep. But then I finally understood what had happened. I put the events of the day together as best as I could. I still wasn’t sure what I had seen, but the best thing I could think of was that it was a ghost of some sorts. Mr. Finn was asking me if I had seen it. It must have looked like him, and so it must have been what I had seen. I knew Mr. Finn was in trouble, and grabbed my lantern and ran all the way to the farmhouse. When I got there, I saw that there was only one light on. It was in Mr. and Mrs. Finn’s room upstairs. The front door was open, so I rushed in to see what was wrong. What i saw I am still afraid to tell. I won’t write it down, and I won’t speak it out loud. You will hear it from other people, but not me. But I still ran all the way to the town, and when i got there i told the first person I could. Then i collapsed from runnin’ so far. That is the end of my story.”
Samuel Spivey has now moved away from Long Blade, and I have lost any connection I had with him. His story is a strange thing, and probably one of the most informed and insightful. After my meting with him, I learned that he almost never, went to the farmhouse, and only a few times out of the year went into town with Mr. Finn. His impressions of what was happening are very much only from Mr. Arnold Finn himself. He was not told of what had happened outside of their time together in the fields.
So, I had to take my search into town. Many people their had their opinions about what had happened to Mr. Finn, but I could smell the bias in their stories. In fact, there was only one man in the end, that I could trust. The local shop owner Tripp McMullen. He was a long time friend of Arnold Finn, and was the last man in Long Blade who would defend his name. It took some doing, but I was able to finally get him to tell me the most important part of his times with Arnold. He was very reluctant to tell me this.
However, a few months ago, when he was on his deathbed, he asked me come and see him. The ride to his house was filled with anticipation. I knew what he wanted to tell me, and I was ready to hear it. But when I got there, he was already dead. My hope hope crushed, I mounted my horse, and was about to leave when his housemaid stopped me. She handed me some paper with writing on it. I asked her what it was, and she said that it was from Mr.McMullen’s personal journal, and that he ordered her to give it to me if he ever died.
I thanked her, and immediately road back to my desk to look over the personal letters. I was astonished at the new light this was to shed on my search. Truly I was now to have new information to follow. Bellow is the journal entry from Mr. Tripp McMullen. I ask that you take him at his word, as I have.
“This day I have been a third party to the oddest thing I have ever witnessed. Even as I write this I wonder if I have actually scene the things I have seen today. As I was tending my shop this morning, I was created by a number of the usual faces. Nothing much to report. Ordinary people asking for ordinary things. However, at around nine o’clock in the morning, I received an outlandish visitor.
He wore very fine clothes, something from the city i believe. And he had a long black coat. Though he was trying to conceal it, I noticed, ticket into his trousers was a pistol. In his left hand he held a large black bag. His lack of facial hair, and fair skin, told me that he was rather young, and didn’t get out too much.
“Hello sir!” I said, walking behind the counter. Something about the man, made me want to put something between us. Even though he was young, he looked as though he carried much authority. “How may I help you?” He slowly walked over to the counter, observing the room as he did. When he finally got to the counter, he looked at me for the first time.
“I’m looking for a women named Bolden. Mrs. Susan Bolden.”
“May I ask who you are?” Is said, trying to muster up as much boldness as I could.
“Ah yes, forgive me. My name is Schaffer. Detective Edward Schaffer from Boston, Massachusetts.” Now, it was the first time I had heard something like that. I asked him what he was doing int the area. But he wouldn’t tell me. He said that he was in a hurry and had been traveling a long time, and that he was told that he must find Mrs. Susan Bolden before it got too dark.
Not wanting to interfere with the law, I told him where she lived, and he left without so much as a thank you. I was rather put out by his presence, and couldn’t wait till the next time Mrs. Bolden came by the market, so I could ask her what was going on. But tat day wouldn’t come for a while, and I was soon to forget about the events of the morning when Mr.Arnold Finn into town. He had his whole family with him. All except his bumbling farmhand Samuel Spivey. But I do not think he would count as family.
Being a long time friend of Arnold, I walked out into the street to talk to him, but stopped when I saw him loading his children into a carriage. The scene was very emotional, with tears from all. At one point Arnold and his wife broke out into an argument. It ended with her walking back to their wagon and not getting into the carriage with the children. That was when Arnold saw me. He walked over the shop, and gave me a letter.
This was when I really saw him. He seemed tired, ragged even. He was even starting to smell of body odder which was something Arnold always hated. I could see the bags under his red eyes, and the hair starting to protrude from his chin. Something was wrong. I didn’t know what, but something was wrong.
“I need you to mail this letter for me right away.” I took the letter and told him I would. Without another word, he turned and left on his wagon. I stood there in the muddy road, wondering what was happening this day?
I eventually went back inside, and did what he had asked. That was when something happened. Something that I question to this day. Arnold Finn walked through the door. This was not a strange thing, but I saw something different. He was not tired, he was not ragged . He was not the man who gave me the letter. He was NOT Arnold Finn. I don’t know who this man was, and I don’t know why he looked just like my friend, but had I not seen Arnold’s appearance just a moment ago, I would not have known the difference.
“Hello Tripp. How are you doing?” I immediately pulled out the pistol I had hidden underneath the counter, and held it to the man.
“Who are you?” I demanded. He wouldn’t answer. I kept asking the question, but the man just stood there, a strange smile on his lips. He slowly walked backwards through the doors, and I rushed after him. When I got through the doors, I saw him far down the road , running away. I took aim, and shot. I missed, due to how much I was shaking. Then, he darted into the woods, and was gone.
I wasn’t sure what I had seen today. A detective, a friends waisting away, and an imposter all came into my shop. But now that I think about it, was it an imposter?Was it even real? What had I actually scene? I wasn’t able to talk touch the thing. I haven’t scene it all day. But I know it wasn’t Arnold. I know because he called me Tripp. Arnold never called me that. He only ever called me Toby, after my middle name.
That was the end of Tripp McMullen’s story. I never knew if he saw this apparition again. However, I now had two new names to check; Detective Edward Schaffer, and Mrs. Susan Bolden. I knew of a woman in the area named Bolden, so I decided to find her first.
It took me a few days of riding around the country side of Long Blade to find out that she lived rite outside of the city. When I found the house, I saw that it was on top of a large hill. The house could see all over the area of farmland, and far off, I saw a field with a shed on the outskirts. I could only assume that that was the shed that Samuel lived in. Then about a mile from that was a farm house. I felt a chill run down my spine. I knew that I would have to go there eventually, but I dreaded it.
“Who are you?” I heard the voice of an old woman, and turning around I saw Mrs. Bolden, lugging a water bucket to her house. I told her who I was and why I was there. the told me that there was no point in me asking her about Mr. Finn’s innocence, because the police had already deemed him guilty.
I told her that I wasn’t here to find out if he was guilty or not, and that I only wanted to know what part she played in the story. In the end I had to promise her that I wouldn’t slur her name with my news paper, as we reporters usually do. Of course I promised her, and told her that I would let her read the first printing of the story.
She took me inside, and we both had a cup of tea together while she told the story. I was amazed at what she had to tell me, and asked her to write it down, so that I would have written proof that it was from her, just as I did with all of the others. She shortened it down some, but it held all of the important details that will fill in the blanks for you readers.
“The reason I wrote to my nephew Harold Bolden, was because I knew he had a friend with the police. I asked him if he could send someone down here to find some answers for me. The answers that I needed were about Mr. Arnold Finn. I knew the man a little, but nothing too personal. He occasionally would go for walks in the woods, and would walk past my house. Once every blue moon, he would stop by and we would have a cup of tea, and he would tell me what was happening in the world.
I seldom left my house, due to my old age, and I only got news from those who passed by my house to pay me a visit. Arnold came by the most, and I took a liking to him. he reminded me of what a young man was supposed to be like, and not like these rude young vagabonds I see now days.
Arnold was like kin to me, and it pains me to hear of what happened to him. But, the reason I wrote my nephew, was because of new that came to me one day. A young lady called Amy rode by on a money afternoon to bring me my medicine. She was a sweet young lady. So, naturally I asked her to com inside and have tea with an old lady. While they were talking, there was a knock at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone else that day, and was surprised to see Arnold standing on my porch.
“Well, hello Arnold.” He seemed a little odd to me that day. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something about him was different. Something was strange. He looked at me as though his face only knew one expression. “Arnold?” I asked. I was truly worried about him.
He didn’t answer. I told him that he could come inside if he wanted to, and that I was having tea with someone I would like him to meet. But he just turned and ran away. Honestly I had to wonder what I saw. What on earth was wrong with Arnold to make him act so strangely? I shut the door, and turned to see Amy standing behind me. She asked me if that was Arnold Finn, and I confirmed it.
She rushed over to one of my windows, and pierced out of it. I asked her what she was looking for, and she said that she wanted to get a look at the man. I told her that he was married, and she laughed at me. Evidently she wasn’t looking for him for those reasons. She said that she had heard strange things about him.
I told her that Arnold was a very good man, and that people should stick to gossiping about themselves, instead of him. She told me that she hadn’t heard bad things about him, just that odd things happened. I asked her what she was talking about, and she told me the most absurd thing. She said that people had been visited by him on different times through the years so they know what he looked like. But recently, over the past few month, those same people had seen a man. This man was watching them. Each person, every day for a week, saw this man watching them at different places in the day. They all said that the man they saw was Arnold Finn.
I told her that that was the strangest story I have ver heard, and asked her to keep it to herself. She asks me why, and I said that I would have a word with Arnold himself and see if this was true, and if so, why he was doing it. She agreed and left, telling me that she would come by next week, just to make sure if I was ok. Honestly, just because of my age, people think I can’t take care of myself.
As the days past, I waited on my porch each afternoon to see if Arnold would pass by. It took some time, but he did. I called to him, and he came to talk. After asking him if the stories were true, he looked a little frightened. It wasn’t a look I like to see on a man, especially a man like him. He told me that he had to leave, and that I should lock my door at night, or go stay with a relative. This was a warning that made me fear. Arnold was a brave young man, and he was the only person I knew that thought of me as an equal. So, if he was afraid, so was I.
After he left, went inside, and looked out the window watching him leave. As he vanished down the path, I walked over to the kettle and poured myself a coup of tea. I walked back to the window, and looked out again. There he was, coming back down the path. Arnold was walking by, the same way he had come earlier, as if he had come all of the way around again. But that was impossible. The path stretched for miles. I don’t even think it had an end.
As he came parallel to my house, he stopped. Then with a sudden jerk of his neck, he looked over at me through the window. The face, was something I had only seen once. It was the same face I had seen on him when he came the day Amy was here. I was sure something wasn’t right with him. Was this the same man who I was just talking to? Suddenly, he started walking over to the window. The walk was so stiff that it didn’t look normal.
For some reason, I felt afraid of him. I quickly ducked under the window, right as I saw his shadow in the sunlight that came through. He was looking in, looking for me. Then I heard the sound that gave me hope. I heard a horse coming up the path. The shadow at the window left, and I could hear Amy calling out. She had come back, and I thanked the Lord All Mighty that she did.
Amy said that she would stay with me until the problem was solved. That’s when I wrote my letter and sent it to my nephew.
Eventually this big shot city detective Schaffer came. He said that he would solve this problem in a matter of days, and that I should just stay out of the way. Honestly, I almost regretted my letter when I saw this young man who needed a slap to the face. But he did find out what was going on. At least that’s what he told me. But many others have believed something different from that day. Too many people have turned from seeing Arnold as a good man. They only see the evil that happened in his name. Only a few of us know the truth that that detective showed us. It just goes to show how fast a rumor can spread in these parts.
I hope my story has helped you young man. Please use it to tell the truth about Arnold. More people need to hear the facts and not the fear.”
That was the last thing I ever heard from Mrs. Bolden. She died a week ago. Rest in Peace Mrs. Bolden, for your letter has help the reputation of Mr. Arnold Finn. It also helped me find a solid climax to this adventure. I knew that if I wanted the answers that I was looking for, I would have to talk to the detective that came.
It took much work, but I eventually was able to track him down and send him a letter. I waited for some time before he finally wrote back. The letter that he sent was something that to this day is something that will always make me question the minds of men.
-“Dear Mr. Jackson, I have read you letter, and will tell you my investigation of Mr. Arnold Finn. Wether you believe me or not is completely up to you.”-
When my friend Harold Bolden came to me to ask me to unofficially investigate this strange man, I was rather hopeful that your little village would be more supportive of this case. However, upon my arrival, I met with a local shop keeper who was rather rude to me, and right away I knew that my quest was not going to be one of simplicity.
I eventually was informed of the happenings of the place by Mr. Susan Bolden, and even to me it was strange. I immediately questioned everyone I could find in the town. They all had similar stories, though some were harder to extract than others. I eventually knew that I would have to question Mr. Finn himself if I was to get to the bottom of this.
So, I walked out to his farm, and found him on his porch. He was sitting in a chair, holding a shotgun in his hands. In the end, I had to use my official title for him let me come any closer. I told him why I was here, and what I knew. He then told me to come inside so the we could talk in safety.
He told his wife to wait for him outside, while he and I talked in front of the fire place. That was when I noticed that the windows were all boarded up, and the fire was roaring. He was trying to keep someone out. That was when he told me his story.
He said that years before he was he had been followed. When I asked him who was following him he told me that it was his double goer. I had no idea what he was talking about. But he kept rambling on about how he was never going to escape this thing, and that it was only a matter of time before he was completely consumed by his ‘Double Goer.’
When I told him that he wasn’t making sense, he got furious and, with the help of his gun, forced me to leave. Not wanting to get shot, I left, and went back to town. That was when I decided that I would have to return the next day. By the time I was back to the town, the sun had set, and I knew that I would have to sleep on the porch of the shop or get lost in the dark.
So I sat there with the shop keeper. He was mostly there to make sure I didn’t cause any problems, more than to keep me company. That was when a young man came running out of the woods. He was screaming something about killings, and Mr. Finn. The man collapsed at our feet. I quickly grabbed a lantern, and ran off to the farm, yelling behind me for the shop keeper to bring a wagon and some help.
As I rushed through the woods I felt as though I was heading to something that was truly, beyond my help. But I knew that I had to do something, or let everyone down. The woods were dark, and the speed at which I ran caused the branches that hit my face to cut me each time.
Then I saw the farmhouse. There was only one light in one of the upstairs windows. Rushing in, I pulled my pistol from my pocket, then I slipped on something wet. Shinning my lantern on it, I saw the pool of blood that surrounded Mrs. Finn’s body. She had been killed. I heard a scream from upstairs, and I headed towards that.
Coming to the only door that was shut, I kicked it open, and found Mr. Arnold Finn. He had a knife in his hands and a crazed look in his eyes. I aimed my gun at him, and told him to drop the knife. He did so. I led him out of the house and told him to explain what happened. All he would say was, ‘My double goer killed her. He was hiding in my room when I finally found him. It was the first time I ever saw him. He was me.’
I quickly tied him up, and ran back up to the room to check and see if there was anyone else there. The room was empty, but I saw that the knife was no longer where it had fallen. I could hear Mr. Arnold screaming in terror, and rushing back to where I had left him, I found him dead. His throat had been slit. I show the latter around, looking for whoever did this.
That was when the moon came out from behind a cloud, and I saw him. He was running through the fields about a hundred yards off. I gave chase and eventually caught up to him when we reached the road. I aimed my gun and screamed for him to haul. But at that moment, my foot hit a root, and I stumbled. The gun went off in my hand, and the man hit the ground. I started walking over to the body, hoping he was alive to be questioned. Then I heard the turning of wheels, and the came the wagon full of men. The wheel rode right over the man’s skull, splitting it in half.
I the wagon went on to the farmhouse, not knowing what it had just done. The face was unidentifiable. I could no linger tell if this man was the one who was what was called the ‘Double Goer.’ The rest was predictable. The people said that Finn had gone crazy and killed his wife, then slit his own throat. This was not in my report, but that did not matter. People believed what they wanted to.
I am sorry to tell you this truth Mr. Jackson, but that is all I could ever come up with. I was never to know for sure if there was ever a man who looked just like Mr. Arnold Finn.”
That was that last lead. That was the last piece to the puzzle. Many theories have come to this story. If you want to hear mine, here it is.
I think there was a man. A man who looked just like Mr. Arnold Finn. This man must have scene Finn some time in his life. Maybe the man had mental problems. I don’t know. But something made him want to torment this man, and kill him. I don’t know for sure, but Finn just have thought that. After all, he sent his children to live with someone else. He would have sent his wife, had she not insisted she stay with him. Maybe this man wanted to live Finn’s life, and when he could not, he took away his life completely.
Of course, others have said the name of Double Walker, Double Goer, and Doppelgänger. They are all the same. But I don’t think that what we saw was a ghost. What was seen was a real man. However, that wont stop the story of the crazed man named Arnold Finn, the Double Goer who steals your life.