“The West Tower” is an unfinished story set in a grand old castle located in the Black Forest, Germany, outside Berlin. This is a 5000-word fragment.
It revolves around a house-party attended by various European aristocrats and two Americans, Steve Allison and Billy Buckner. The narrative, though unfinished, weaves together elements of adventure, mystery, and historical intrigue against the eerie backdrop of a haunted German castle.
The story begins in Berlin, where Helen Tranton, an acquaintance of Steve and Billy, encounters them in a hotel lobby. She introduces them to Captain Ludvig von Schlieder, leading to an invitation to a house-party hosted by Erich Steindorf.
The castle, rich in medieval history and reputed to be haunted, particularly the West Tower, becomes the central setting for the narrative. The guests, including young men and women from noble families across Europe, share stories and engage in various social activities. Steve Allison captivates the audience with a tale about his Scottish ancestors, highlighting his storytelling prowess.
Amid the festivities, Steve and Billy, who are actually in Germany under the pretense of being jewel collectors, plan a covert exploration of the castle. Billy’s venture into the West Tower results in a mysterious and potentially supernatural encounter, adding an element of intrigue and suspense to the plot.
- Steve Allison: A young American, known as the “Sonora Kid,” who is in Germany with his friend Billy. He is portrayed as a skilled storyteller and a man of action.
- Billy Buckner: Steve’s friend, who takes on the task of secretly investigating the West Tower, leading to a chilling encounter.
- Helen Tranton: An acquaintance of Steve and Billy, she is delighted to run into them in Berlin and plays a role in getting them invited to the house-party.
- Captain Ludvig von Schlieder: A German officer who extends the invitation to the house-party to Steve and Billy.
- Erich Steindorf: The host of the house-party, described as a wealthy and popular figure in Berlin society. He owns the castle and shares its dark history with the guests.
- Various European Aristocrats: Including British and Russian guests, they add to the diverse and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the house-party.