The Thief of Souls

“Yes,”  I said with some distraction.  “Died three months or so ago.  Stroke, I think.”

Addington frowned.

“Pity he never finished it,”  he said.  “that machine.  Or perhaps it was a pity he got so consumed with it.”


I have not been able to solve the mystery of Hector Jarvis’ present whereabouts, or his relationship with the Desmond and Judith Rostow that had convinced them to entrust him with their souls.  They had no children, and there was no family that I could find.   I did discover that a Hector Jarvis had been an engineering student at MIT but had dropped out after his junior year.  Somewhere along the way, I surmised, he had run into Desmond Rostow and become his protégé and perhaps his surrogate son.

In any event, what I did know was that Jarvis had left town not only with Rostow’s fortune – but with the Apparatus for the Transfer of Brain Electricity.  And he had most certainly also left with the brain electricity – the souls, of both Desmond and Judith Rostow entrapped and stored in the silver rectangular containers like the ones Addington had drawn for my benefit.  The same containers which had, for a time, held the stolen souls of Lane and the blonde girl.

I also surmised that wherever Jarvis had run off to, he was checking the local population for suitable hosts for the souls of Desmond and Judith Rostow to inhabit.  And the day would come of course when Jarvis himself would need a body, and a soul to steal, so that he, too, could live forever.

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