Watson has come to regret accepting an old friend's invitation to take a sort of holiday at the friend's country estate (that's where the Red Tower is, of course...creepy, and supposedly haunted). the place is full of stern, awkward people, who can be divided into two camps: those who feel spiritualism and seances are a waste of time, and that James Crain should get over the death of his mother and stop trying to contact her via a medium who has come to dominate Crain's life; and those, like Crain, who have become believers in the paranormal. though, he's in the minority. of course Watson is a doubter, even getting tetchy over Madame Farr's intent to link him up with the spirit of his dear departed Mary--not buying into it.
then again, a few chapters ago, Watson is the one who was apparently woken by a ghost in the middle of the night, prevented from peacefully sleeping off the effects of a anxiety-inducing Tarot card reading. he should just go home to Holmes. but he did telegraph Holmes, with a few hints of what has been going on, and with an assurance that he would write Holmes again if things got "more sinister".
I suspect Holmes--who had said he was going to find out what he could about Madame Farr when Watson left, and who won't be thrilled about any hint of distress in a telegram from his closest friend--may be showing up at Crain Manor any second now...
pretty cool book, so far--I'll do my usual and go dark about plot points now that I've divulged the gist of the beginning, and just hope it fulfills its early promise.