The investigators repair the bridge and head into the plantation. They observe a large mansion that has seen better days and a run-down hamlet inhabited by share-croppers. They are met at the door by Old Ben the butler and also meet Aunt Bess the Gist nanny and house-keep. They then observe Elly, a very attractive but aloof maid. They meet Caleb Gist and are taken on an extensive tour of the plantation grounds before having a evening meal and enjoying some idle banter. The artist, Hudson, spends much of the next day resting and regaining some much needed health.
During the evening they check out the study and the inquisitive reporter, Chet, closely inspects the books that Albert Gist had shown interest in. Chet uncovers five occult tomes – an original Spanish language book written by a Franciscan monk about the snake worshiping religion of native indian tribes; an english translation of the book; two volumes of Papa Shapo and a diary of Findley Gist that detailed the horrendous experiments he conducted on unfortunate slaves. These books contained spells in relation to Kukulcan and Dambala snake worship and shook Chet’s sanity but also gained him some Cthulhu mythos awareness too.
Dale spots a strange man staring at him from across the garden but decides against approaching him. That night the investigators suffer torrid dreams of writhing masses of snakes and wake in the middle of the night to find an emissary of a snake god in their rooms. The Hougan snake priest appears to be unearthly and informs the investigators that they have been summoned to the plantation to perform the will of the Master. The snake god’s ritual offerings are being stolen by another party and the group is instructed to attend tomorrows ceremony and follow the route back to the offender’s lair and confront them.
The next day the group resist Caleb’s suggestion to leave early and happen to see Joe at the study window. The young boy informs them that his sister is being held under armed guard in their shack when suddenly his mother appears from the tree line and heads towards him. The canny investigators realise straight away that her movement is the same as the zombie they had encountered earlier and whisk Joe inside while the bold and protective Professor steps outside to ward of the undead woman. The old academic lands a series of effective blows with his trusty walking stick while the other two investigators begin to hurl objects at the creature. Being stupid and carried away with youthful vigour, Dale throws the terrified youngster into his mother’s arms. The zombie seizes its prize, turns and heads back into the woods, vainly pursued by the Professor. The group manage to see both the boy and his mother sink into the depths of the river – a scene that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Wracked with guilt the group decide to make amends by freeing Joe’s captive sister but not before they foolishly promise Caleb that they will leave within the next hour. Unfortunately the locals are keeping too keen an eye on them and their movements are detected and their ways blocked. They return to the mansion to find a throng of people milling about outside and tables, food and drink laid out as if for a festival. They spot two strangers amongst the crowd but the reporter is off-form and fails miserably to communicate with them. Meanwhile the Professor asks the wrong girl for a drink and suffers the side effects from a dodgy mint julep. Albert Gist talks them all into staying for the night of the ceremony.