The Diary of Percy Cavor
13th December 1795 (Evening)
Bole Manor, the Village of Wold Newton, Yorkshire
Fortunately the rantings of Countess Karnstein were somewhat abruptly ended by the impact of a meteor. Not that we were immediately aware that this was the case.
There was a loud ‘bang’ presaging the arrival of this celestial wanderer which shook Bole Manor to its very foundations to be followed a few moments later by a second ‘bang’ as the meteor hit the ground. Immediately the Manor was suffused in an eerie green light and the copper wires von Frankenstein had hung about the room glowed red. Crockery was shaken from the table, several vases were persuaded to fall from the mantle, the candles illuminating the drawing room were altogether extinguished and Lady Hortense, poor delicate lamb, was knocked to the ground.
My immediate thought was that we had fallen under artillery bombardment and that those duplicitous Frogs had decided to export their revolutionary cant to these fair islands in a violent manner. So concerned was I that, in an effort to save Lady Hortense from their treachery, I threw myself across her and enveloped her protectively in my arms, the lady seeming very pleased with my gallantry. Fortunately this assumption of Gallic duplicity was soon disabused: Heathcliff entered the room to announce in a stentorian voice that ‘a black ball’s come smashing out of the sky bashing a damned great hole in a field by Wold Cottage and near taking John Shipley’s bloody head off in the process’.
It says much for the disarray of the party that no one reprimanded the man for his use of such uncouth language but I suppose we were all somewhat distracted. You will appreciate, Dear Journal, that a meteor going to ground in Yorkshire is a rare and peculiar event. For a moment all was chaos but then von Frankenstein was moved to make an urgent examination of the electro-magnetic measuring instruments he had set up, searching for intelligence regarding the effect of the meteor’s arrival. After a moment’s perusal von Frankenstein was able to declare that all those residing in Bole Manor had been subjected to a dose of electro-stimulation a thousand times greater than that ever experienced by a human being.
A somewhat sobering announcement to be sure, but on reflection not one that I was able to correlate with any physical or mental alteration to my person. As I stood away from the delightfully soft and yielding form of Lady Hortense, the only effects I was moved to note was that my hair now stood on end, that there was an odd tingling sensation in my fingers, a stiffening in my nether regions and that my sense of balance was momentarily confused (as was that of Lady Hortense, the lady being obliged to lean against me for support). But other than these I could discern no ill-effects of this electro-stimulation.
Therefore it was without a moment’s hesitation that I accepted Sir Algernon’s suggestion that we should go to investigate this singular occurrence. So, laden with devices von Frankenstein declared indispensible with regard to the prosecution of a correct scientific examination of the meteor, we all took our leave of the house to the half mile to the spot where the meteor had landed.
On arrival at the crater we scientists were denied the opportunity to examine the meteor by the intervention of the local magistrate, Major Edward Topham. It appears there was some bad blood between the Boles and the Tophams, and no matter how insistent Sir Algernon was that his august colleagues should be allowed to examine the meteor, Major Topham was equally insistent that they should not, being determined to wait upon the arrival of the local militia and their announcement as to the benign nature of the meteor. This infuriated Sir Algernon and the conversation quickly became rancorous.
I am not, Dear Journal, a man given to ill-disciplined argument and as the discussion became increasingly heated I decided to slip away and examine the countryside for other pieces of meteor debris. My decision and my footsteps appear to have been directed by Fate. Approximately one hundred yards from the crater I stumbled upon several small fragments of rock which I first took to be Chondrite. However on closer examination I came to note the rock’s amazingly light weight and its green, almost luminescent, colouration, these idiosyncrasies I was unable to attribute to any substance known on earth. I was convinced that these fragments of rock were of alien provenance having been stripped from the main body of the meteor when it entered the earth’s atmosphere.
But even more astonishing discoveries awaited me. Having secreted my rock fragments in my specimen bag, I began to walk quickly back to Bole Manor in order that I might examine my finds more closely by the use of Sir Algernon’s Leeuwenhook enlarger. It was as I passed under the branches of an oak tree that I espied the most wondrous object. There, hovering unsupported some fifteen feet from the ground, was a rock roughly spherical in shape and perhaps three inches in diameter. At first I could not believe my eyes but having clambered up the tree and studied the object from a distance of but a few inches I must tell you that its state of levitation could only be achieved by some particular property enabling it to defy gravity.