1: The Games Afoot, Follow Your Spirit

15th January 1925

Side Murder 01
Jackson Elias – Crime Scene




(SEE HANDOUT 02) – Telegram sent to Irma by Jackson Elias:

Jackson Elias was a good friend, although they’d not seen each other recently, shared a similar outlook and were of a similar generation. Whenever they met up it was a continuation of the last meeting and always enjoyed each other’s company.

(SEE HANDOUT 01) – For further background on Jackson Elias:

Jackson had written several books on death cults investigating the Thugees of India, head-hunters in the Amazon basin, Central American and Mayan death cults, English Witch cults and had also published a series of interviews with cult leaders called The Black Power in 1921.

Irma was also very friendly with Jackson’s publisher, Jonah Kensington of Prospero Press New York City. Indeed if Irma hadn’t been shackled to Hearst, he could well have published some of his travelogues with Prospero instead.

Jackson, being an expert on death cults, knew about the Waki-Waki and he and Irma always kept track of and corresponded with each other about their work. It was interesting that Jackson should mention the Carlyle expedition. It was quite old news. Irma had to wrack his brain and then remembered that the expedition had commenced shortly after the war in April 1919. As it was a quiet day, he refilled his coffee and ordered cuttings to get him everything on the expedition.

Information on Jackson Elias:

Jackson Elias is 38, of medium height and build, and dark-complexioned. He has a feisty, friendly air about him and. as an orphan in Stratford, Connecticut, he learned to make his own way early in life. He has no living relatives, and no permanent address.

You like him, and value his friendship, even though months and sometimes years separate one meeting from the next. You’d be upset and probably crave vengeance if anything happened to your friend. The world is better for having Jackson Elias in it.

His writings characterize and analyse death cults. His best-known book is Sons of Death, exposing modern-day Thugees in India. He speaks several languages fluently and is constantly travelling. He is social, and enjoys an occasional drink. He smokes a pipe. Elias is tough, stable, and punctual. Unafraid of brawls or officials. He is mostly self-educated. His well-researched works always seem to reflect first-hand experience. He is secretive and never discusses a project until he has a final draft in hand.

All of his books illustrate how cults manipulate the fears of their followers. A sceptic, Elias has never found proof of supernatural powers, magic, or dark gods. Insanity and feelings of inadequacy characterize death cultists, feelings for which they compensate by slaughtering innocents to make themselves feel powerful or chosen. Cults draw the weak-minded, though cult leaders are usually clever and manipulative. When fear of a cult stops, the cult vanishes.

16:30 AM:

The Carlyle Expedition:

The Carlyle Expedition - 1919
The Carlyle Expedition – 1919

Carlyle was a wealthy playboy who set off for Egypt via England.

He was accompanied by the English Egyptologist Aubrey Penhew (of the Penhew Foundation), Dr Robert Huston, a fashionable Freudian psychologist, Miss Hypatia Masters a renowned photographer, and Jack Brady his fixer.

They had then travelled from Egypt to Mombasa arriving there in July 1919 to go on safari after being exhausted from their labours at an Egyptian dig site.

However the expedition ended in tragedy when it was reported missing in October 1919 two months after leaving Nairobi on August 3rd.

Roger’s sister Erica Carlyle then set off from the US to discover what had happened to her brother. She was accompanied by Mrs Victoria Post and went to Mombasa after hearing of reports of a massacre of Europeans near Aberdare Forest. Police authorities in Kenya later confirmed this massacre in May 1920. In June five, natives were hanged for these murders despite almost certainly being scapegoats.

Jackson Elias calls:

17:11 PM:

Irma makes some calls and lets the rest of the Investigators know that something may be up.

The cuttings are duly delivered and Irma commences his perusal of the file. Then the phone rings. It is Jackson; well the telegram did say that he would be arriving today after all. He sounds a bit withdrawn. He speaks briefly asking Irma to meet him later. Irma wants to come over straight away but Jackson won’t have it, “Things to do” he says and rings off telling Irma he’s staying at Room 410 of the Chelsea Hotel in New York.

17:37 PM:

Irma calls the investigators, reaching Trent, Joseph and Gupta. Irma then calls the hotel back and the receptionist confirms that Jackson has just left the hotel.

Having lost too many friends in the past by acting too late, Irma tells the other three investigators to head for the hotel. No way is Jackson going to be found on the slab. Not this time.

Everyone races over to the hotel from various parts of Manhattan. If we can plot up in the reception and have a guy on guard in the road at the foot of any fire escape, we have a good shot of protecting Jackson from any would be assailants.

17:57 AM:

20 minutes later and the investigators arrive. Jackson has come back! The receptionist confirms it and Joseph and Trent rush into lift barely fitting into it with their bulky sports bags. Meanwhile Irma and Gupta take the stairs.

Tiptoeing up to the door of room 410 Trent presses his ear to the door and hears people speaking in accented English, is that an African accent?

He furtively picks the lock and opens the door with Joseph at his shoulder with Soukesians silenced .45 auto. A Negro confronts him, and attacked with a machete-like knife called a Pranga, Donelly shoots winging him and he staggers back. Trent pulls out his trench gun fitted with a bayonet but before he can attack, Joseph fires his second shot killing him.

Stepping over the Negro’s body Donelly is attacked by a second Negro similarly armed with a fearsome looking Pranga. He shouts, “Die for the Bloody Tongue” and lunges. Joseph shoots him dead. Looking around the room, we see Jackson in a pool of blood. He has been partially disembowelled. Quite dead. Not again.

At the back of the room is a white man in similar garb to the two dead Negroes climbing out of a window on to the fire escape. Trent takes careful aim, shoots and…

And nothing! Dud round. A fourth shot over his shoulder from Joseph hits the third assailant in the leg almost removed the entire limb. He falls and bleeds out.

Poor Jackson is beyond help. Not only that, but as Greg grimly points out later, as Jackson’s heart has been cut out and partly consumed, he cannot be resurrected. If their fancy dress was not enough to highlight it, we now knew that the assailants were no ordinary robbers, and murderers, they were evil cultists with knowledge of magic.

A bizarre pattern has been carved on his face.

(SEE HANDOUT 18) – Symbol (Cult Of The Bloody Tongue) Carved Into The Forehead Of Jackson Elias:

Just as we are taking grisly, stock of the situation there is noise from the doorway, “FISH!” yells Joseph gun barrel pointed at the door. “SPANNERS” is the reply from Irma’s gravelly voice and we all lower our guns.

Too late, Again.

We search the white guy outside the window. He has blood around his mouth. UGH.

Has he just eaten Jackson Elias’s heart? No one deserves to go out like that. Unsurprisingly there is no identification, though the headband and red strip of material (the bloody tongue his fellow cultist mentioned) is pretty distinctive. Maybe Greg or Wes will know something. He does have a photo in his pocket. It is a picture of a steam ship in a busy harbour. In the background are junks, could it be Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai? Somewhere like that anyway. The name of the boat is obscured but the first three letters of it are “DAR”. Trent notes that it is not the Carlyle Expeditions boat, which was called “Imperial standard”, or Erica Carlyle’s boat, which was “Fount of Life”.

(SEE HANDOUT 14a) – Photograph Of A Large Yacht In A Harbour, Shanghai:

Irma checks the Negro we first encountered and he finds a letter. Dated Cairo Egypt 3rd January 1919.

It reads:

Dear Mr Carlyle,

I am informed that you seek certain knowledge of our land and can perhaps aid you in this. In my possession are singular curios, which I most happily believe of interest. These I willingly send for your consideration, if a price can be agreed upon.

Naturally, they are ancient and must command a goodly sum.

I will arrange matters to your satisfaction when your agent calls at my shop, in the Street of Jackals in the Old Quarter. Until then I remain your most humble servant,

Faraz Najir.

(SEE HANDOUT 11) – Letter To Roger Carlyle From Faraz Najir:

The other Negro had a match-book. It was from the Stumbling Tiger Bar in Shanghai.

(SEE HANDOUT 13) – Matchbox From The Stumbling Tiger Bar, Shanghai:

Guessing that is the port in the photo is too.

Searching Jackson Elias, we find a bag of pipe tobacco. That is why he left the hotel. But why didn’t he meet Irma straight away? That decision cost him his life.

Nearby his body was a book entitled:

“A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology and Christendom Volume II”.

As Gupta picked it up a letter fell out. It is Harvard University headed paper.

Dated November 7th 1924

To Mr Jackson Elias, C/o Prospero House Publishers, Lexington Avenue, New York City

Dear Mr Elias,

The book about which you enquired is no longer in our collection. The information you seek may be found here in other volumes. If you will contact me upon arrival, I will be most happy to further assist you.

As always,

Miriam Atwright

(SEE HANDOUT 16) – Letter From Miriam Atwright Responding To Jackson Elias From Harvard University Library:

In addition, we find two business cards and a flyer at the scene. One is for The Penhew Foundation in London for a Mr Edward Gavigan, Director.

(SEE HANDOUT 12) – Business Card Of Edward Gavigan, Director Of The Penhew Foundation, London, England:

The other is for:

Emerson imports 648 West 47th Street, New York, New York Telephone HA 6-3900.

Handwritten on the reverse of the card is the name Silas N’Kwane.

This is right here in the Big Apple; our first local lead and has to be a priority!

Checking the address on a map it is not Harlem, it is near the Theatre District and next to some wharves.

(SEE HANDOUT 15) – Business Card Of Emerson Imports – Name On Back Of Card – Silas N’kwane, New York, U.S.A:

The flyer is for a lecture for:

The Cult of Darkness in Polynesia and the South-west Pacific.

A 2 hour lecture with slides delivered by professor Anthony Cowles PhD of the University of Australia and presently Lockesley Fellow of Polynesian esoteric at Miskatonic University (Arkham) at Schuyler Hall N.Y.U 8pm TONIGHT ONLY.

(SEE HANDOUT 17) – Lecture Flyer “The Cult Of Darkness In Polynesia & The South-west Pacific”, New York, U.S.A:

Sadly, subsequent calls showed that “tonight” was actually 3 weeks back but we can still try to track down the good professor at Miskatonic if we get a chance.

18:23 PM:

Leaving Trent at scene to deal with the Police, Irma, Joseph and Gupta went to Prospero books to speak with Irma’s friend and Jackson’s publisher Jonah Kensington.

Irma phoned from the lobby and told Jonah he had to see him straight away, then gunned the engine and drove right over. Jonah was no fool and could tell by the tone of Irma’s voice it was bad news.

He broke the sad news of Jackson’s murder.

Jonah broke out the Brandy and everyone raised a sad glass to the departed.

Then he got out Jackson’s files and showed the investigators what Jackson had been working on.

(SEE HANDOUT 21) – Letter, Jackson Elias to Jonah Kensington, some of the Carlyle Expedition may still be alive:

(SEE HANDOUT 22) – The Nairobi notes by Jackson Elias given to Irma by Jonah Kensington

It seemed that Jackson had discovered that not all of the members of the expedition had been killed.

His investigations led him from New York to East Africa and Hong Kong.

He had also interviewed someone called Nails Nelson who claimed to have met Jack Brady in Hong Kong.

He discovers that the cult of the bloody tongue is based in Kenya and is led by a priestess who is part of the Mountain of the Black Wind.

This sparks a memory of a meeting on the Arabian Peninsula, which Gupta and the other investigators had after their adventures in Iraq. They visited a man claiming to be a descendant of Abd Al’Hazred author of the original al azif or Necronomicon.

Debunked as at best a charlatan and worst a reformed cultist, Greg had dismissed him out of hand prompting a somewhat premature departure from the Arab’s pleasant home.

Just before Gupta left, the Arab had enigmatically warned:

“Stay away from the bloody tongue and The Mountain of The Black Wind”.

Possible Leads:

Reviewing what we’d found while awaiting the police Trent considers his options:

Our first course of action should be to check out the New York address of Emerson Imports. It is an address in central Manhattan not far from the Theatre District but he is unsure whether it is on the Hudson shore or the East River. We should definitely tool up and go and reconnoitre that location in force.

We can also try to find out if there are any Kenyan communities in Harlem to see if we can trace where the assailants may have been staying. Even among fellow Negroes, these new arrivals should stand out.

The academics can try to trace Professor Anthony Cowles or any attendees of his lecture at NYU to find out what it was about and whether Jackson spoke to Cowles afterwards.

Irma can use his press influence to get international cuttings services to provide copy for Penhew Foundation and find out if Erica Carlyle ever made it home. If so, we should try to contact her.

We can check our own reference works for mention of the Cult of the Bloody tongue and the Mountain of the Black Wind in Cultes des Ghouls, the Necronomicon and the Book of Eibon. We can also try to find the significance of the symbol.

can contact the librarian, Miriam Atwright at Harvard and find out which book Jackson Elias was trying to obtain.

Other leads such as:

Investigating the offices of the Penhew Foundation in London’s Tottenham Court Road.

The trader Faraz Najir and his shop of curios in the Street of Jackals in Cairo Egypt.

The Stumbling Tiger Bar in Lantern street Shanghai and Seeking out Johnstone Kenyatta in Kenya Can all wait until we reach the correct part of the world to investigate further?

Yegor Gaidar

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