I looked toward the letter and back over my shoulder at Mr Brizelthwaite then back to the letter.
“The evil ones are coming?” I said in a whisper, as the only illumination was still my torch, the dimness lending the atmosphere a conspirational air.
Mr Brizelthwaite sighed heavily. “I’m afraid so, lad.” He shook his head then placed a hand on each of my shoulders.
Leaning into my ear he said, “What I’m going to tell you, you’re not going to believe. All I ask is you ask this question of yourself, when I’m done; ‘Of what benefit is it to Mr Brizelthwaite to tell me this rubbish?’”
I shook my head. “Mr Brizelthwaite, I doubt you’re going to tell me any rubbish,” I said.
“Young lad, you haven’t heard what I’m going to tell you.”
Jacob lent across his desk and turned on the lamp then sat down in his chair. “Derek, quickly make us a cup of tea. We don’t have a lot of time and I have a lot to tell you. So you’re prepared for when you cross over.”
My eyes blinked and my chin sagged. The tone he’d used was really serious, I mean really serious. There was no smile waiting to erupt on his face, lurking in the background ready to demarcate his statement as a little jest.
Jacob nodded. “Five please.”
I left for the kitchen.
“Ah, young Derek, there you are. I was getting a little worried. You’ve taken your time.”
I placed our cups on Jacob’s desk then dragged a hand down my face as I attempted to collect my thoughts.
“You sounded serious.”
“Very serious, Derek. There are bad times ahead unless we can stop them.”
Jacob held up his hand. “Let me tell you what I have to say and I’ll answer any questions you may have then, young lad.”
“Ok, Mr Brizelthwaite.”
“It started, oh, so long ago, Derek, and my bones are weary. As the years have gone on the responsibility has weighed heavily…”
I’d never heard Jacob talk like this before. He always seemed to be such a happy soul. I picked up my tea and continued to listen.
“It was the likes of Sir Isaac Newton, François-Marie Arouet, whom most know by the name Voltaire and John Locke, who sowed the seeds, all for very good reasons, but were blinded by their own reasoning and logic.
“What I’m talking about is the birth of science – which was no bad thing – but when working in tandem with blind belief in the scientific method, The Enlightenment, began to erode mankind’s received wisdom; knowledge acquired through thousands of years of living in harmony with Nature.
“Two hundred years ago around the end of the 17th century it started and has continued, though corrupted to such a degree, there is, now, mortal peril for all.”
As Jacob paused to sip at his tea I frowned. “I don’t understand, Mr Brizelthwaite…”
“Jacob. Please, lad, Jacob.”
“Ok,” I nodded. “Jacob, it is. How can science put us all in mortal danger? Apart from wars and stuff like that?”
“It’s not science per se; it has more to do with how scientific knowledge is becoming the only allowed knowledge; with its evangelists, like Richard Dawkins, dictating the boundaries of scientific investigation, by stating which areas do not warrant investigation, to their way of thinking: completely opposite to the scientific method, in fact.”
“I don’t get it, Jacob. How can that put us in mortal danger?”
Jacob held out his cup. “A refill first, I need to gather my thoughts. Then I’ll tell you the rest.”