The Unburied

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Author: Charles Palliser
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Dr. Ned Courtine, an academic and historian, is invited to visit an old friend over twenty years after an unpleasant parting. He goes, understanding he has forgiven Austin Fickling for the past wrongs. He also is hoping to unearth an original manuscript at Fickling's school that proves his theory of King Alfred from the tenth century. During his visit he notices Fickling acting unusual, but puts the actions down to past disagreements. Instead he focuses on the ghost story he hears and the manuscript he is attempting to discover. While looking into the ghost story, he meets the recluse miser of the village and is invited to tea in a few days to learn more of the tale and the unusual inscription left behind. By the end of his stay Courtine has uncovered more information on his historical specialty. He also sees the brutally murdered body of a man he had spent some time with just a few hours earlier. The doctor's time of death was fixed to an hour before Courtine had seen the man alive, which is impossible. This tale is set in a small English village in a winter in the 1880's. It is a divided village with a great cathedral and two small, unprepossessing schools. These schools are rivals and the adminstration from one is usually attacking the other. Since both are tied to the cathedral and the Church of England, there is an uneasy alliance. The people are pleasant to Courtine. At the same time, there is bickering between different sections of the townfolk.

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