In the morning an old woman complains about a strange odor, and in the afternoon a hunter reports foul water in the stream. Looking at the map I determine that both problems seem to originate from the same place – an old abandoned mill deep in the woods.
That evening I go out there to investigate, and, following a terrible smell to its source, find a tiny, decaying body jammed into the bucket paddle of the water wheel. The corpse is like nothing I’ve ever seen, a leathery biped with a savage face and pointed ears.
I scrape it out with a shovel and put it in a bag. I go to the Professor’s and call him away from his dinner to have a look. He’s dumbfounded as well – it certainly isn’t human, but doesn’t seem to be any kind of known animal either. I want to burn the putrid creature immediately, but the Professor insists we put it on ice for further study.
Curious, the next day I go back out to the mill to explore further and find, wedged in the same place another body, this time a miniature human, which I realize with horror has my features. Overcoming my shock, I shovel the thing into the bag and take it to the Professor.
He’s excited beyond words, convinced that he’s finally on the trail of the ultimate mystery of these woods that has eluded him for so long, and takes the corpse away for dissection. That night I hear the alarm – the mill’s on fire and it soon burns to the ground, oddly sparing the surrounding trees. The old poacher tells me he heard the sound of screams as the flames leapt to the sky, but nothing out of the ordinary is found in the blackened site. When the Professor returns to the bodies they too have been reduced to ashes.