As the group was still gathering the morning of the 16th, a Lt. Poole of the police came to the office to see me.
“Were you aware this is the 9th murder of this kind in the last year.”
Myself “No, so I assume you have been keeping this secret.”
“Yes. 9 have had that same symbol carved on their forehead.”
Myself “I see. Tell me more.”
“We’re pretty sure they are some kind of ritual murderers. We think the victims may have learned too much about something.”
Myself “I would much like to see the files on all of these murders, then. You didn’t happen to bring them did you? What else can you tell me.”
“No, Mr. Westinghouse. If you want to see them you’ll have to come down to the HQ.”
“We thought we had some strong leads, but they turned out not to be.”
Myself “Such as what?”
“There’s an organizatioon called the Sacred Order of the Protectors of the Temple of the Lord.”
Myself “I’ve heard of them. They are known publically. Their temple is quite garrish. They’re called the Protectors, for short.” They are a society, like the Masons are a society, arranged in Lodges around the world. There are Lodges of the Protectors and the Lodge of the Temple. One Temple Lodge is the overseer for a number of Protector Lodges.
“Yes sir. I had it on very good authority that several members were seen at the scene of several of the murders shortly after. I have become convinced it is probably a coincidence.”
Myself “How did it come to be known they were seen there.”
“Well, 1 person was recognized at 3 different scenes. Mordakai Lemming. From there we found other possible members who were seen.”
Myself “Is he a higher up of the Protectors or just a member?”
“Supposedly a 12th degree Protector. Out of 12.”
Myself “How did you find them to be members of the Protectors?”
“We were able to question some of them. My first clue it may have to do with this was Mordakai’s ID at 3 scenes, then I discovered several of the otheres intervewed at crime scenes were members.”
Myself “Did you interview Mordakai?”
“Oh yes. He said he was interested in stopping murders like these and was looking into them himself to figure out who the murderer was.”
Myself “Sounds viable for an order called the Protectors.”
“The victims come from every walk of life. Poor, wealthy…”
Myself “They weren’t all members of a particular club? Any connections to Harlem?”
“No and no. Not that we have uncovered.”
That was all he could help with, so leaving a note for the others I went with him to examine the files. There seemed nothing important at first, only one thing stuck out. It was not only linked to the Bloody Tongue but Carlysle as well:
A Peter Henshaw I recognized from the society pages. Henshaw was one of Carlysle’s best friends and rumors he even dated Erica Carlysle. He died last year. I next interviewed the investigator who handled Henshaw’s murder.
“Very strange, very strange. He had become vary secretive over the months leading to his murder, according to his friends and family. This seems common among all these victims. Their patterns change. Quite frankly, some of his friends thought he may have picked up a girlfriend…a black girlfriend. Because he had started going up to Harlem a lot in the evenings.”
Myself “I was told there was no Harlem connection.”
“This is the only one among all the victims. He sure seemed obsessed about something there. Then, one day, one of his servants went up to wake him and found him in his bed basically cut open with that symbol cut into his forehead.”
Myself “Just like Jackson yesterday. No connections to anything in particular in Harlem?”
“Nothing we could find. We have no idea what he was doing up there.”
Myself “No one every saw him with any woman?”
Myself “How did they find out about Harlem?”
“The family actually owns a steamcar, and Harlem is where the driver took him. He always dropped him off at an intersection from which Henshaw would walk away and disappear. Then he would pick him up at a designated spot later. There was a bar he went to a couple times for only a few minutes…”
Its the Bloody Tongue bar we burned down!!
“…once an alley off 137th St. east of Lenox Ave.”
The alley of the Juju House!!
“The alley opens into a square. There’s an old pawnshop and a store of African oddities, run by this old man who couldn’t be involved. He’s just an old, old man. His name is in the records somewhere…(looks through them) Silas N’kwane.”
The name on the back of the Emerson Imports card!! That must be the old man at Juju.
Myself “Nothing came from interviewing him?”
“Who? The oldman? No! He’s just an old man. Not very bright either.”
I then returned to the office.
While I was gone, the rest gathered at the office and discussed what else could be done.
Theo “Someone needs to talk to Erica. Perhaps it should be formal, like an invitation to dinnnerr, rather than a reporter (assuming Will) showing up at her door.”
Cassandra “You have to understand the social circles of the upper crust. The guards would indeed simply throw someone out who tried to just knock on the door and see her. She’s 26 and sole heir to the family fortune. She’s a busy woman and known not to enjoy talking of it at all. She’ll never see anyone who calls for that purpose. Roger nearly ruined the company by draining it of money, and allowed her no say in business. She was almost destitute until she turned the company around.”
Theo “Then why go looking for him.”
Cassandra “I guess, in the end, he was her brother.”
Theo “So how to talk to her. She’s the best person who has been to Africa and come back. A formal invite, considering her stat of mind about the Expedition, would probably do no good. What if one of us were at a similar social function that she was at?”
Will “A fine idea. We need someone in that social circle to get us in, who she might talk to.” At this, Will looked straight at Cassandra. The perfect way in. We put Cassandra on finding out the next function Erica would be attending.
Cassnadra “Unfortunately, we aren’t on very good terms. I used to do opium with Roger.”
Will “You never thought to mention that!”
Jon “Why didn’t you say something!”
Cassandra “You never asked. I was about 18 at the time. Erica would have been 20. I may be able to play on her sympathy still. Her brother was older, about 24 then, and Erica felt like I was being taken advantage of. Then of course there’s the incident with M’Wuru.”
Theo “The African woman? What incident?”
Cassandra “After she started getting her claws into Roger, adn he stopped seeing me, I confronted ‘Anastasia’. We had words and even a brief physical encounter. I can still get us to the party, regardless of anything else.”
Theo “Tell us more about M’Wuru. What was her business with Carlysle.”
Cassandra “I don’t know, but she knew things. Things no normal human being should know. The things like my brother knows.”
Will “Oh, how did you discover that?”
Cassandra “I just knew.” Then Cassandra laughed hysterically, one of her oddities. “Of course I could tell.”
Will “Do you think Roger got involved? And what about that dream about Nyarlathotep?”
Cassandra laughed her laugh again “I was trying to seduce him for Nyogtha, and SHE took him for Nyarlathotep.”
Theo “Why Roger specifically? Did you like him?”
JOn “Was there something special about him?”
Cassandra “I don’t like anyone, except for Will. I don’t like you (Jon), nor you (Theo). I had no regard for him. First, he was weak. Second, he had tainted blood. 3rd he could be a source of money. At the time we were already starting to look into obtaining the canopic jars for Nyogtha and knew Nyarlathotep’s peopel wanted them too. We thought his money could give us an edge. The taint is of course came over from Europe with his sorcerer great grandfather Vane. Being a sorcerer taints your blood, and your decendants pay the price. As it says in Necronomicon Blesssed be the known, all of who sorcerers are dead.”
Theo “How was Roger paying it?”
Cassandra “He wasn’t yet. But if you have such tainted blood,you can be seduced very easily, have a proclivity for turning into evil creatures and tend to make decisions, even in your innocence, that aid evil.”
Will “So what directly is the African woman’s interest? Why care about him?”
Cassandra “I wish I knew. I didn’t know she was with Nyarlathotep particularly until now. I only knew we both wanted him and his wealth and she won.”
Theo “He was seeing Nyarlathotep in visions.:
Cassandra :Not on his own.”
Theo “Are you saying he was duped?”
Cassandra “NO no no no. I’m not saying they were fake, but she must have initiated it. I think Nyarlathotep touched him because she is his servant.”
Jon “Should we look into this Vane?”
Cassandra “I think it won’t matter.”
Jon “If his grandfather were in league with Nyarlathotep, maybe…”
Cassandra “If it were any being but he, I would agree. You have to understant he is beyond all these petty things. It doesn’t matter. If you become tainted with evil, you belong to Nyarlathotep no matter who else you worship. That’s why this is funny. I tried to get him for Nyogtha, the greatest evil I know of. And Nyarlathotep, who makes Nyogtha look like Saint Peter, took him for his own.”
Will to Cassandra “Will you at least try to talk to her?”
Jon "I think Will should go as the press, and Atwater is a perfect choice. He’s a wealthy doctor, with many upper crust patients
Cassandra “You’re right in half. Will as the press would be looked down on. Atwater, however, can walk in that high society with great respect.” She was of course, precisely correct. After spending the rest of the day finding out when we could meet Erica, she returned with good new. Erica will be attending a benefit 3 nights from now, and was sure she could procure 2 invitations. We put her on the job.
Will decided to go to Prospero to see Elias’ editor, but Kennsington was out of town, though only until tomorrow afternoon. Will assisted Jon and Theo went in researching Emerson Imports and to discover who Miriam Artwright is. Jack offered to go to Emerson himself, being in a related business, to check them out. He waited until after his runs were finished in late afternoon to make his visit, and Theo went with him.
As far as Jon and Theo’s early morning research:
- Emerson is a freight warehouse, owned by Arthur Emerson. An import company, seemingly normal on all accounts.
- Artwright is the head librarian at Cambrige, Mass. Harvard University.
About 2:30 Theo and Jack arrived at Emerson, having taken the business card with him.
Theo “You ready Jack?”
Jack “I was born ready.”
Jack made some small talk with the drivers, one making a delivery to Macy’s, another full of merchandise for a furniture store catering to wealthy, a third a load of textiles from India; nothing suspicious.
Jack entered the warehouse, Theo remaining outside on watch. Inside there were a few laborers working, and in the back a brand new large steampowered forklift. Stairs led up to 2 offices on stilts attached to the wall. He approached the older man performing inventory and shook his hand.
“How are you? I’m Jack Burton.”
“We know a lot of the drivers around the docks. You own your own delivery don’t you? And steamcar?”
“I do. I heard you had a big operation here.”
“No, we don’t need anymore transport. Things are a bit slow, we are only working one of our docks right now so we aren’t in need of extra transportation.”
Jack “Are you Emerson?”
“You mean Mr. Emerson the owner? No, he’s up in the office.”
Jack “Because I got this card from a friend of mine, I thought you were Emerson.”
“No, just go up and pound on the door.”
Up the steps, Jack was welcomed into the office and met Emerson, a balding man who had gained some excess weight probably since his fulltime desk job, but underneath still a strong man.
Emerson “Come in, come in. Have a seat.”
Jack “Name’s Jack Burton. How are ya sir?”
“Just fine. What can I do for you?”
Jack “Well, you know like I told you man downstairs a friend of mine passed on your business card so I figured I’d come talk to ya.”
“My card,eh? Are you interested in imports, exports, or transportation?”
Jack, handing Emerson the card “Mainly transporting but I know some people that might be interested in the import and export. I’ve made a lot of contacts in my years of driving.”
Emerson, now ignoring Jack’s reply “Where did you get this card?”
Jack admitted his first thougt was ’There’s got to be a door around here somewhere.’
Jack “A friend of mine gave it to me a couple days ago, maybe a week.”
Emerson “What’s your game, Mr. Burton?”
Jack stumbles with his words fora moment.
“This card has a name on the back of it.
Jack “Yeah, I don’t know who that is.”
“I know when this was done and you haven’t had this card a week.”
ack “No, no, just 2 days ago.”
“2 days ago? And how did you get this card again?”
Jack “This friend gave it to me to inquire about a job for transport.”
“Ok. Bill! Hey Bill!”
Bill from downstairs came up, and Emerson met him outside the door on the walkway “What’s up boss?”
“You need to take care of that shipment down there. Get it ready to move out.”
Bill “Sure boss” and left the room. Emerson then sat back down.
“Ok now, what were you saying?”
Jack “Like I said a friend of mine, couple days ago, gave me the card to inquire about transporting.”
“So the man you got this from was a teamster?”
Jack “Well, he has connections to the teamsters.”
“You want a job?”
Jack “Well yeah! I have my own vehicle, steamcar as a matter of fact.”
“I’d be happy to take a look at your car to see if it looks like you’re capable of handling our freight. Would you like a cup of coffee?”
Jack “Sure, I’ll take some coffee.” Emerson started percolating a pot.
Jack paid close attention, in case Emerson tried to drug or poison him. Emerson did no such thing.
After asking Jack how he took it (a little sugar) as well as fixing his own, they began talking again.
Jack “The main thing I’m curious about is, I usually haul meat products on the porkchop express. What kind of products would you expect me to be hauling? I want to be sure I can handle it.”
“well, a variety of things. Primarily furniture, curios, things like that. I get them from all over the world.”
At this point, Jack could here several men coming up the steps. Through the glass enclosed office he saw Bill approach down the walkway. The door opened and 2 men in suits entered.
Arthur Emerson then drew an axe handle suddenly, from behind his desk “Don’t come near me murderer!”
Jack “Whoa! Murderer?”
The 2 suited men then showed their badges, the leader drawing his revolver “You’re under arrest for the murder of Jackson Elias. Hands behind your back” as the other moved to handcuff Jack.
Jack “You need to call Sgt. Joe Friday. He’ll explain everything to you.”
“Inspector Carson, to Sgt. Carson. I like the sound of that. Come on you!”
Much to Theolonius’ dismay, he then saw Jack drug out of the office and whisked away to jail. Theo, knowing they wouldn’t trust any Chinamen, hightailed it to the office. Of course, Emerson gave Elias the card, heard he was murdered, and now assumes the man with the card must be the killer. Interestingly, the fact that he was scared of being killed means Emerson is innocent. A very helpful encounter, Jack’s arrest notwithstanding.
When Theolonius came bursting through the door, it was I, Will, Atwater and Father Jon at the office discussing matters.
Theo “Jack’s been arrested!”
Of course, we got to the station post haste, but dispatched Will and Theo to Emerson’s.
Myself “I would like to see your prisoner, Jack Burton.”
Atwater “Jack Burton.” The desk clerk sent for Poole.
Poole “Unfortunately he’s already been sent up the river. Sent him to Sing Sing.”
Myself “Impossible. You can’t do that so fast.”
Poole “Well, all I know is, after we brought him in, word came down from the Commissioner’s personal representative that he wanted the man in handirons and shipped to Sing Sing.”
Myself “Where’s Sgt. Friday.”
Pole “Friday? He’s the one who ordered the whole thing.”
Atwater whispered to me “Maybe they’re maneuvering him into a better position.”
Myself “Where are they right now, on the road?”
Poole “I would assume so, Friday took personal charge of the detail.”
Assuming Jack was safe we returned to the office, where we found Jack…and Friday.
Myself “Thank God it’s Friday!” Friday had him chained like a dangerous killer, put him in the back of a paddywagon and drove him halfway to Sing Sing, just to teach him a lesson, before bringing him back.
Friday “If I hadn’t been there and chanced upon the scene, could you imagine… What’s your plan for tomorrow?”
Myself “Will Will meet with Jackson’s Prospero editor, we need to pay a visit to Arkam and Harvard, as well as investigate Juju House fully.”
Atwater “You want me to go to Arkam?”
Myself “I don’t want to risk you not returning in time for the benefit in case of unexpected events. Perhaps Father Jon.”
At Emerson’s, Will was greeted at the door and allowed in by the foreman Bill, Theo remaining outside as before.
Will “You just has a man here, who was arrested.”
Bill “Oh yes.”
Will “I’d like to speak to Emerson. I’m a friend of the man who was murdered.”
Bill “Let me ask him.” Bill returned quickly, checked Will’s paper credentials, and was allowed up to see Emerson.
As they entered, Theo noticed 2 men in suits surely watching the warehouse. Theo assumed police.
Upstairs, Will showed Emerson his credentials.
“Oh you doing a story about that murderer we caught.”
Will “I’m looking into it. Jackson was a friend of mine. I was supposed to meet him the day he was murdered. Through my connections I heard about the arrest here. It seems he was arrested so quickly, are you afraid for your own life?”
“No, just a good, law abiding citizen. I saw he had that card I have Elia, so he must have killed him. Let me show you that card. Look, this is my card. I hand them out a lot. But only 1 of them has the name Silas on the back. In handwriting that I saw written on their just 4 days ago.”
Will “By Silas? Who is this Silas?”
“That was written there by Elias. He came to see me 4 days ago.”
Will “He was here 4 days ago? He was only supposed to arrive teh day he was found killed.”
“Yes. He came here asking if I had any connections with Mombasa.”
Will “Do you?”
“Just one. I’m the US agent for a Mombassan exporter named Adjah Singh. He sends shipments once am month, and everything we get from him goes to the same place: a place in Harlem called Juju House. It’s run by Silas. When Elias left here, he said that he thought that he was on the right track, that it was a matter of life and death for the World (sarcastically with mocking grunts) and that he was going to visit Juju.”
Will That’s all?"
“Yes. I told him not to.”
“They’re darky foreigners down there. Bad to boot.”
Will “What do you deliver to them?”
Will “You have no idea what’s in it?”
“So. It comes directly from Mombassa, onto my wagons. My men deliver it and then get out of the area fast. Those people are weird.”
Will “Could you tell me when you’re getting your next shipment from them?”
“No. I would if I knew, but no word yet. I saw in the papers about the brutal murder of Elias, and I recognized his name. I knew him getting mixed up with those Juju House people would get him in trouble.”
He then walked Will out, and Theo reported on the suited men.
Emerson “I don’t know who they are. Just a minute.” He left briefly.
Theo “I’m wondering if they’re the protectors.”
Emerson come back with his axehandle.
Will “Theo has a hunch that whoever they are, they may be looking out for you.”
The closest mystery an was looking a little nervouse as 2 of Emersons men then appeared with makeshift weapons of their own, and with Emerson approached him.
“Hold on right there.”
Emerson “Why are you loitering around my building?”
“You’re under surveillance.”
Emerson “By who?”
“New York’s finest” flashing a badge. “We have reason to believe an organization behind the murder of a citizen may now put your life in danger as well.”
Emerson “What organization?”
“I don’t know. I was ordered by my Sgt. to come here, put a man at each corner, and be sure no unwelcome foreigners come near this place.” This satisfied Emerson as far as the men were concerned, but Emerson was now worried.
“I’m starting to get nervous. If the cops think something is going on…”
This was of course a brilliant anticipatory move by Friday, after Jack’s arrest tipped him off to our comings and goings.
Will and Theo walked back inside with Emerson. Will “Anything else you can tell us, Mr. Emerson?”
Emerson “Not about Jackson’s visit. As far as Juju House, the shipments vary enormously in size. Sometimes they stink something awful.”
Will “Could you let us know when you know of their next shipment is coming in?”
Emerson “I could cer…. Hey, who’s are, who’s back there (looking toward the far end of the warehouse)!” Theo immediately made his way in that direction.
Emersn “There’s someone in the back!” A few seconds later, a single figure was seen dangling on a rope, slithering with speed through one of the skylights.
Emerrson “Bill, close those skhylights. And tell my wife I’m not going to be home tonight. Police protection or not, I’m not letting my warehouse be invaded.”
Will gave him the agencies card, adn Emerson insisted no more shipments would be going through her to Juju. Theo asked him to let it come, and we’ll take it. Will also explained who Jack was, and understood what had occured “Jack is a bit of an idiot.”
Will and Theo returned to the office after their Emerson visit
Finally, and it may be coincidence, but Roger’s sorcerous great grandfather was named Vane, which is Roger’s middle name.