11: Our Trip to London

26th January 1925

The Crew Of Our Curtiss NC-4
The Crew Of Our Curtiss NC-4

New York City, U.S.A:

09:30 AM:

 So it is agreed that the plane will leave on Wednesday 28th January 1925. Trixie is the pilot, with Simon and Curtiss as navigators and Gupta as gunner. Greg insisted on mounting the Maxim on the front of the plane. He thoughtfully provided a box of tracer ammunition too.

Curtiss was worried it would unbalance the plane and not have a proper mounting as the Maxim is a larger calibre than the Lewis gun which had been fitted there.

27th January 1925

Liverpool Docks
Liverpool Docks

The Ship Arrives At Liverpool:

11:00 AM:

Greg, Joseph, Wesley and Trent book their passage for Thursday 29th January 1925 due to arrive in Liverpool on Sunday 1st February 1925.

We have decided to blend in with the shy and retiring upper classes and so will travel First Class.

During the three days prior to departure Gupta does some further research on Gavigan.

He is a well regarded Egyptologist, quite renowned and has sponsored several digs. The Penhew foundation seems very well funded. Gavigan has written several articles which whilst informative are very lengthy and rather dull.

Emerson helps us with the importation documentation and we all take great care to dismantle all our large gun parts inside telescopic equipment. Not only will this hide it but will also protect it from any damage from overzealous dockworkers.

28th January 1925

Curtiss NC-4 Engine Problems
Curtiss NC-4 Engine Problems

The Flyers:

09:00 AM:

Heading to the plane we see that it is finally all in one piece. The new parts gleam in the weak winter sunshine.

We don our greatcoats and multiple layers and head to the pilots’ cabin. The engines start first time and purr reassuringly. Curtiss has done a fine job. The plane looks better than new.

We take off for Halifax.

Halfway into our flight we see that there is a problem. The plane is using up fuel at an alarming rate. Trixie diverts to Boston. After a detailed examination of the plane we find that the fuel line has lots of small pin pricks in it causing it to leak fuel. It wouldn’t crash but its range would be greatly reduced. Trixie confronts Curtiss at gunpoint demanding to know what is going on.

Curtiss is clearly shell shocked after Honduras. He babbles about his plane and then about how he should be dead. He can’t deal with being alive after he was killed. Feeling slightly responsible Trixie lowers her gun realising that this trauma is a side effect of the resurrection process she instigated. She utters the charm in reverse trying to undo some of the damage but nothing happens.

Curtiss is handcuffed and bound. James Gibson, Marijner’s comrade from military hospital, is called from New York and agrees to come out to New York to collect Curtiss and take him to a sanatorium. He is getting too experienced in this process. I wonder how many more calls like this we will have to make. Best not think about it. We’ve chosen our path. We can’t change it now.

With Curtiss controlled Trixie and Simon work on the plane. They spend a day examining every aspect of the airplane and its engines but thankfully find nothing. By then the outfitter has obtained the new fuel line and they can set about replacing it.

They have lost 3 days and will now not reach London until Wednesday 4th of February 1925.

Trixie sends a blunt telegram to four on the boat.


Lucky Greg wasn’t on the plane, she thinks. Curtiss might have died again. Oh well!

29th January 1925

The Statue Of Eros In Piccadilly Circus
The Statue Of Eros In Piccadilly Circus

The Sailors:

12:00 PM:

Greg arranges to meet Natalja on 3rd February at the statue of Eros in Piccadilly at 11am. Eros? Is Greg learning humour? Natalja won’t see the joke.

The last time they met she was so scared of him she tried to bind him against harming her. But despite this, she still has agreed to turn up. Hope she doesn’t want to kill him or anything.

All the crates and provisions are loaded in the hold and the four enjoy the opulent surroundings as they sail to Liverpool. Even Greg relaxes and opts not to swim around the boat doing his perimeter checks though he tries to insist on watches but is shouted down.

He reluctantly agrees not to have watches and lets everyone sleep. Is he going soft or just resigned to his doom?

After an uneventful voyage we arrive in Liverpool on Sunday 1st February and get a train south to London.

We book into the Savoy late on Sunday afternoon and Greg starts to look into renting a property and hiring 2 cars for us.

Our plans are as follows:

See Mickey Maloney of The Scoop in the morning.

Contact Tommy at Scotland Yard. Greg had previously sent him a telegram advising caution, to which he had responded that caution was well advised and that Gavigan very highly connected.

Go to Limehouse and see what kind of operation Panchi Chabout is running.

Look over the Penhew Foundation building in Tottenham Court Road.

London is very closed on Sundays. It is far worse than New York. We take it easy and in the evening give the Penhew Foundation building a once over.

It’s quite a large building and very well appointed. The building is open daily on weekdays 10 till 5. The foundation is clearly very rich. There is a back entrance behind busy Tottenham Court Road. The back entrance is heavily padlocked with a large chain. The back entrance is open Noon to 4pm. I guess the limeys don’t want to have to get up early to deal with deliveries.


We discuss the merits of visiting, versus the risks of being identified as snoopers. Joseph reminds us that we can create more Dust of Suleiman out of Egyptian mummies so a smash and grab should definitely be the order of the day. Well remembered that man.

2nd February 1925

Out On The Town In Old London Town
Out On The Town, In Old London Town

A Night On The Town In London:

20:00 PM:

After a quiet day spent getting acclimatised to dreary smoky London Town, the appalling coffee, lousy tasting cigarettes and warm beer we start our UK investigations in earnest on Tuesday.

We ask idly about the Limehouse area and find out that it has a bad reputation. Lots of foreigners live there. It’s also notorious for drug dens especially opium houses.

We pick up a copy of the latest edition of The Scoop. It is lurid and rich with scandal. Just our sort of paper. It is full of tales of murder in all its grisly detail, interspersed with tales of the weird or macabre; a proper penny dreadful.

A Night On The Town In London:

06:00 AM:

Early Tuesday morning at 6.00am we head to Limehouse. We speak to some dockers in a Limehouse pub. Turns out Panchi Chabout is Indian. He employs Arab, Malay and Indians and several dangerous looking types are seen lurking outside Panchi Chabout’s warehouse doing nothing in particular. His warehouse is 2 storeys and fairly nondescript, neither decrepit nor new.

Trent calls Scotland Yard and leaves a message for Tommy. We worked with him on a previous investigation against a cult of witches in Scotland and know he is a good man.

Understandably we can’t reach him straight away and leave a message.

Fearing for Greg, Joseph and Trent choose to meet Natalja at Piccadilly at Noon instead.

She is her usual ebullient self but agrees to work with us. Maybe Paris was a bit boring for her after our recent New York exploits. She seems even more relieved when Trent hands her a package. A shiny .38 automatic with 2 magazines. All highly illegal here but really not anything to worry about. She asks about the case so we tell her what we know. It’s like she never left. Let the good times roll.

We call Mickey Mahoney and he is only too pleased to see us. What’s his angle I wonder? He’s a news hound and can sense a story in the air. 4 New Yorkers arrive in London looking to investigate their murdered friend. Of course it’s a good story for him but if we can get this jackal to work for us that’s all good. We need some local knowledge.

Greg and Wesley go to The Scoop in a grubby office on the third floor of an office block in Fleet Street. Mickey is an Irishman and very friendly. He was a good friend of Jackson Elias.

Jackson saw Mickey in December 1924. Mickey explained that he appeared quite scared. Here was a man whose books tended to debunk cult activity but this time his investigations tended to confirm the existence of a murderous cult instead.

Jackson was flustered and desperate. He believed that there was murderous cult at large in London. He visited the British Library and was particularly interest in two of Mickey’s stories.

The Article
The first story was headlined “The Slaughter Continues” from the autumn of 1924.
An unidentified foreigner was found floating in The Thames this Tuesday, the 24th victim in a series of bizarre slayings.
Though Inspector James Barrington of The Yard had no immediate comment, sources exclusive to The Scoop agreed that the victim had been beaten by one or more assailants, and then stabbed through the heart.
This series of murders has continued over the space of three years, to the bafflement of our faithful Metropolitans. Must we hope that Mr Sherlock Holmes, though reported by Mr Doyle to be in retirement, will one last time rise to the defence of our majestic isles?
Readers of The Scoop are reminded that this esteemed journal has a standing reward for information, leading to the apprehension and conviction of the perpetrators, in an amount now risen to £24 with the latest death. Be on guard!

(SEE HANDOUT 26) – Scoop Article on Monstrous Attacks:

The fact that the victim was beaten and then stabbed through the heart is very, very similar to the method of killing detailed in “My Life as a God”. This is a ritual of the cult of the Black Pharaoh which looks to be alive and well in London. This is what scared Jackson.

Not sure how he knew about these rituals when he hadn’t had access to Roger’s books like we have. Still he was ever the resourceful man and obviously managed to figure it out.

Mickey has some police contacts and offers to introduce us to James Barrington.

He does indeed sniff a story. Happy to help us but wants exclusive rights on anything we discover.

A UK exclusive is fine, but we remember that Irma won’t be sick forever so Hearst should be happy with something.

There is a second article. Equally strange but unrelated.

(SEE HANDOUT 27) – Scoop Article Reward Monstrous Attacks:

This details an animal attack in Lesser Edale. This would be unremarkable except that Edale is near Castle Plum where the Vanes live. The Vane family are the English relatives of Roger and Erica Carlyle. Article is dated September 8th 1924. Worth investigating of course, but this is less pressing than other matters.

Returning to our hotel, The Savoy, we meet Tommy in the lobby.

I’m not afraid to say that this man restores my faith in the constabulary. Very careful too. He has refined his craft working for Special Branch covertly investigating foreign agitators and undesirables. Helpfully he is currently investigating the docks and is the perfect man to ask about Mr Panchi Chabout’s business at Limehouse.

After receiving our telegram he looked into Edward Gavigan, director of the Penhew Foundation which he laudably did in his own time. A very good man, he’s been remarkably thorough.

He was quite guarded around Natalja as he was suspicious of her standoffish mannerisms coupled with her Franco-Russian accent.

Gavigan is indeed exceptionally well connected. He is a member of White’s club whose membership is solely selected echelons of upper class society. Even some Prime ministers have been refused membership. Gavigan also frequents the Masonic Temple at Great Queen Street. This is the chief Temple in England and again is only accessible to the highest members of society.

So he’s a big cheese. Great. I’ll love reading the headline when he’s found face down floating down the river with a Ghoul knife in his heart. Be a great story for The Scoop too.

Tommy tells us Gavigan also likes a good time. The man likes to go to The Blue Pyramid, an Egyptian themed club in Soho with belly dancers and such. If adherents from the Cult of the Black Pharaoh do reside in London then this is surely a very good place to start looking for them.

His Mayfair flat is an easy cab journey from all these locations.

Greg asks him about the Coroner at Scotland Yard and Tommy says he will try and arrange a meeting with him. He can’t promise but will see what he can do.

Tommy is certainly impressed with us. He likes the death ray we gave him. He tested it on a dog then had the carcass autopsied by a vet. The vet could find no noticeable cause of death.

He leaves the hotel with a promise to stay in touch. He also can’t resist warning us to be careful in our dealings with Natalja. She’s not one of us after all.

Looking into Jackson Elias’ visit to the British library Greg and Wesley head there to try to find out which texts he had been studying.

They meet a few familiar faces from the last time we were here at the end of our journey on the Orient Express. It was only a year and a half ago after all. They are able to inform us that Elias had been studying a version of The Necronomicon.

This version was published Mainz, now part of Germany, in 1454 by Olaus Wormius. It is written in Latin. We had no idea he was so scholastic.

We book a separate room for Natalja and turn in. It is more for our safety than hers.

4th February 1925

Out On The Town Again
Out On The Town Again

Another Night On The Town In London:

10:00 AM:

Mickey’s contacts prove effective and we have a meeting with Mr Barrington of Scotland Yard. He is the officer investigating the 24 murders of foreigners in the docks.

Barrington confirms that Elias came to see him with tales of a cult involving Egyptian ex pats.

Barrington unwittingly sealed Elias’ fate by raising this query with Gavigan. This action was quite understandable as being director of the Penhew Foundation Gavigan was a renowned expert on Egypt. He visited him in December 1924.

Gavigan advised that there was no evidence to support the presence of a cult in London.

Oddly Barrington confided that he was the second Police officer to take charge of this investigation. His predecessor strangely disappeared one day.

The investigators asked Barrington about the murders. Barrington confirmed that several of the victims frequented The Blue Pyramid on Dean Street. So maybe Gavigan went to the club after being told about it by Barrington and isn’t a cultist after all? Nope doesn’t wash. Greg’s ghoul knife is still targeting his heart.

Of all the victims, only one was ever found alive. His dying words were “Hotep”. Gavigan helpfully advised the police that this was Egyptian for “peace”. Which it is?

It is also the final syllables of the infernal deity Nyarlathotep.

We tell Barrington perhaps wrongly, that we are investigating the death of our friend Jackson Elias in New York and whom we saw murdered in front of our eyes in the Hotel Chelsea.

Barrington warns us against any action on our own. While he welcomes our input into the case, if we do actually find a link we are to bring all evidence of our suspicions straight to him. As he says “England, gentlemen, is most certainly not the Wild West!”

A further piece of information is shared. Apparently during police investigations a spice dealer named Tewfik al-Said, an Egyptian national who has a shop around the corner from The Blue Pyramid in St. Anne’s Court, was found to be used as guide by the Penhew Foundation on some of its expeditions in Egypt.

Before we can blame Barrington for inadvertently getting Elias killed we then find out Elias visited Gavigan himself. So the only author of Elias’ death warrant was Elias himself. Stupid. He should have been more careful. Being an idiot doesn’t stop him being our friend but doesn’t stop him being idiotic either.

We leave cognisant of his warning but ready to completely ignore it anyway. He is not going to be much help to us because he will never believe that Gavigan is wrong. Even if he does he will just disappear like his predecessor.

We head back to the Savoy with much to think over.

Hopefully our friends in the airplane will arrive soon.

Yegor Gaidar

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