Today we have Q for...Quirky Characters. Yeah. I know. I'm stretching the "however distantly" thing but Q is being troublesome (along with X, Y, and Z, which I have no idea what to post on yet...) so this is what I came with.
Silas Beadle is probably the quirkiest character in West of Paradise and I have to say, he was fun to write. Jack first meets him back in 1879 after he's arrived in the past (remember, he went back in time BEFORE Katherine). He's just bought a house that needs work when Silas appears...
“It’s haunted you know.”
An old man stood at the gate, his cane tapping the stone, his sharp eyes examining Jack.
“Excuse me?” Jack had asked.
“This place, this house you’ve bought. It’s haunted, didn’t they tell you?”
Jack looked at the house he had just purchased, a house half gutted by fire. It was a fine house nonetheless, with a nice view of the Charles River to the rear and a high wall fronting the street. With a small investment it could be restored and Jack knew enough about carpentry that he felt up to the task of overseeing such a project.
He shrugged at the old man. “I guess they declined to mention the fact,” he said, “And you are?”
The old man had stepped forward and offered a hand. “Silas Beadle,” he said, “I’m with the Herald. I wrote about the last family that lived here.”
“Some unfortunate event I imagine,” Jack said.
“A series of unfortunate events, actually,” Silas said, “This house has been witness to little else.”
Jack was curious, even if was a load of shit, and he invited Silas inside.
“You’ll excuse the mess I hope,” he said, waving at the crates and covered furniture, soot covered sills and scorch marks that deteriorated into a shell of a great room with a view of the river.
“Nice view,” Silas acknowledged.
They watched the night fall, listening to the crickets and peepers while fireflies danced at the edge of the property. Silas told Jack about the house, from the time it was built over 100 years ago to the present day, and by the time he was done Jack could see why someone might think the place haunted, or cursed. But he shrugged and laughed it off.
“I’m afraid I don’t believe in ghosts or curses,” he said.
“No, I didn’t think you were the type,” Silas said, “But I was curious who bought the place and that was a good opening, don’t you think?”
“You mean none of it’s true?”
“No, no, it’s all true, all the death and burning. It all happened as I said. And it was a damned good excuse to come talk to you, don’t you think?”
“Then you plan to write about me?” Jack asked, surprised.
Silas smiled. “Not right now. Maybe never. Mostly I like to collect information.”