George and Amos are swept up by a train in a mostly unlikely place – in the parlor of Fern Blythe. Weird, but the professor lives for intrigue, and George is a natural thrill seeker, so they don’t hesitate for too long.
Once aboard the mysterious train, Amos sees Sebastian surrounded by ghostly, woody-smelling beings. They sigh with anticipation as they eye the group with interest. The ghostly beings are of bluish hue, and their skin is unattractively cadaverous. Something about them is reddish as well.
George has a psychedelic experience as he clings to the threshold of the train door. “Gusts of strangeness” envelope and release him; a foggy gloom outside is the only visible feature other than the twisting strangeness.
Sebastian attempts to talk down the ghosts with his midwestern charm. They must be Yankees, or worse, as the charm is of no avail.
They bustle around Sebastian, and Dr. Thompson and Ms. Blythe approach the ghosts.
A ghost lunges at Sebastian, and he dodges, and another one takes a feeble swipe. The mode of attack seems strangely amorous.
Sebastian is pulled away by the Dr. and the group begins to absquatulate to the next car.
Before they get too far, the ghosts follow and attack Elliot Parker. A ghost grabs and tries to kiss Mr. Parker, while Tiny Barrington tries to liberate his American counterpart with his revolver. But Parker beats him to the punch, shooting the wood-scented fiend through the back of the head. The ghostly being hardly seems bothered by this loss of intracranial pressure, which the party finds unnerving. Tiny passes out from, which is unusual in that he is not fondling anything. His gun stays awake, and shoots Mr. Parker.
The Doctor decides to retreat from uncomfortable vicinity to the brawl, as does Ms. Fern Blythe.
Mr. Parker dodges more ghosts, but he is grabbed after a few feints, and most of the rest of the group joins Dr. Thompson in the next car.
Banks and Parker stay behind and witness Mr. Barrington’s soul being sucked out of his body. “Tiny Zombie” Barrington tries to grab his old friend Parker, who gets away.
The intrepid explorers find themselves safe and sound in the next train car, but witnesses Tiny and his entourage try to break down the door between the cars.
They are are informed by one Randolph Alexis that they are aboard the 9:15 to Liverpool, which is “running a bit late.” They see strange sigils and bones in the next car, and find another man, Mr. Stanley, who is overjoyed to see us. Mr. Stanley seems to be the less dominant personality of the two wayward travelers. Mr. Alexis explains how they came to be in the car:
" Once I thought the train would someday be empty. I seen now it will be filled and there will be no room for more. Time is different here. It seems to be mo more than a month since I made my great error and yet my register," – he points to the ceiling where thousands of tiny ticks have been made with uncompromising regularity – “this shows so many long episodes of sleep that i’ve calculated carefully to be the year 1911.”
He is informed he is off by 12 years.
Mr. Alexis tells a rambling story of magic and heroism; he attempted to make a gate, the gate was poorly made, it was more of a barrier, and they were trapped. The zombies were sealed away in one part of the train.
Mr. Stanley says he may know a way out and asks the group to follow him into the next car. There is a large amount of human entrails on the floor, and as a sausage lover, Banks takes this the hardest.