Friday Evening, 1/16/1925
Retcon: As the party leaves Kensington, he mentions that Elias’s funeral will be the following Monday at 2pm.
After meeting for dinner, the group tries to follow as many leads as they can before everything closes for the weekend. They determine they will meet at Emerson Imports the following morning at sunrise, as Handsome insists he knows how workers operate, and that these average working types will be there early.
Nathaniel tried to research the symbol carved into Elias’s forehead, but was unable to find anything in the 3ish hours he had before the New York Library closed. He did feel that if he kept working, he would find something.
Lady Jade used her credibility as a doctor to gain access to Dr. Huston’s patient records at the Medical Affairs Board. She uncovered disturbing notes about Roger Carlye’s mental state leading up to the expedition, and that Erica prompted Roger to begin seeing Huston for treatment. She also determined that Huston may have had an inappropriate relationship with a patient, Imelda Bosch, who eventually committed suicide. As Jade thinks back, she remembers that the assailants in Elias’s hotel room were definitely Kenyan (01 Anthropology role!)
Bonnie, Handsome, and Barry went back to Barry’s place in Brooklyn. As they got near, Bonnie and Barry noticed someone tailing them. Barry and Handsome ignored him, while Bonnie turned to him, yelled something in a slavic tongue, flipped the bird, and went inside as the tail turns and walks away, making a confused face at Bonnie.
As Barry prepares to head to his back room to make phone calls to Miriam Atwright and Anthony Cowles, he hears from his guys that there has been an unusually high number of customers in his pawn shop, with some folks just browsing. As Barry is confused by this activity, a stranger walks in. An African who is just browsing, Barry sizing him up and notices a concealed knife, and that he has no money. Barry asks for his name, as Bonnie grabs a cane from the wall, and moves between him and the door. As Barry questions the man (who calls himself the obviously false name “Mombasa Nairobi”, he makes a break for the door, being stopped by Bonnie’s quick reflexes. She hits him in the head and stuns him. Barry had 5 mobster customers in the shop, and one of them intervenes, putting a gun at the guy’s head. When he attempted to run again, even at risk of a bullet to the head, the mobster pistol whips him and he is knocked out. Barry, Bonnie, and Handsome tie him up and take him to the back room. One of the mobsters, at the behest of Bonnie, checks outside and spots a car idling, that speeds off as he yells at it.
In the back room, Bonnie searches the man’s pockets and finds the concealed knife, a mathcbook for “Fat Maybelle’s” in Harlem, and a strange, unsettling tatoo on his forearm. He does not wake up.
Barry makes a call to the Harvard U library, and hands the phone to Bonnie, who interviews Miriam Atwright on Elias’s interest in Harvard’s book. She learns that the book is called Africa’s Dark Sects (insert sex joke here), and it disappeared from the collection mysteriously a few months ago (April 1924) with a “strange odor.” Her library may have some leads on the subject, but it would take serious hands-on research.
Bonnie also asks about Erica Carlyle, and Atwright surprisingly knows much. She divulges that Carlyle has an estate about 30 minutes north of NYC, and that she is very hard to reach, but that the tabloids would have more information about her current social circle. Bonnie proposes to Barry the possibility of approaching Carlyle’s contacts as someone soliciting a donation to gain insight to Erica’s current status.
Barry then calls Anthony Cowles and sets up an appointment (as a “Mr. Green”) to meet with him and Nathaniel the following day at 10 am to discuss his lecture, before he must return to Arkham.
Jade and Handsome have the following nightmare (and lose 1 San each):
“You are pacing back and forth in a hotel room—
it is the Chelsea Hotel! Notes and papers are
spread across your bed and desk, interspersed
with photographs and other bits of evidence
about the Carlyle Expedition. A glance at the
clock reveals it is half past 7. You are muttering
to yourself. What you are saying is important
but you can only hear snatches of it—Handsome, Jade, Barry, Nathaniel, Bonnie…Where are you???
You feel a great sense of apprehension and
dread. Suddenly there is a knock at the door. It
must be your friends! You hear yourself saying
“Finally, they’re here!” and throw the door open.
Instead of your friends you see three men, two
blacks and one white. Suddenly, one of them
strikes you, leaving you stunned. You regain
consciousness to find yourself held fast by two of
the men while the third scores your forehead
with a switchblade. You try to cry out at the
sting—but your voice is lost in a gag. The blood
weeps from the cuts, rivulets running up and
down your forehead as you swing your head
round to see what your tormentors are doing. In
a panic you realize that one man is holding a
wickedly sharp machete, muttering in some
strange language. You struggle with all your
might as you see him raise it up above you but to
no avail—there is tremendous, overwhelming
pain as he brings it down, stabbing into your
abdomen. The pain is unbearable and, begging
God to save you, your world goes dark.”
After a long night, the captive still has not woken up, so Bonnie, Barry, and Handsome leave him with one of Barry’s guys, and leave to meet Nathaniel and Jane at Emerson Imports.
At Emerson, Handsome leads them to the guy in charge (he knows him because of how he dresses: nicely!). Arthur Emerson tells them Silas N’Kwane (the name on the back of the business card) manages the Ju Ju House (1 Ransom Court in Harlem), a store for African artifacts, both decorative and ceremonial (clothes, pottery, traditional weapons, etc.). He also tells them he receives the imports for the Juju House from Ahja Singh in Mombasa, Kenya. He doesn;t have anymore information for the investigators, but tells them that maybe his dock workers know more, as some of them are from Harlem.
Bonnie and Jane decide to head on to prepare to contact Erica Carlyle.
Handsome, Barry, and Nathaniel go to meet with Cowles (and meet his unbelievably HOT daughter Ewa). He divulges the main points of his lecture (see handout). Barry asks him about Africa’s Dark Sects, and he reveals that he knows little about it (that it’s really rare because the dead author’s heirs attempted to stop it’s publication to protect his integrity, and that most of its 15 copies were destroyed). Nathaniel asks him about ‘real’ magic, to which Cowles replies that he is a believer, both in magic and unexplained events. He believes that there is an ancient underground city in the desert of Australia, and that spells could be found in dusty, old, incoherent tomes. Upon finishing, Barry tells Cowles that he may be in Australia at some point. Cowles tells him to find him there if he arrives after June, and if he is not, to look up Prof David Dodge in Sydney, who is house sitting.
Remaining NYC leads:
Huston’s Notes on Carlyle (ought to be read…)