5: Jonah Kensington in Trouble

18th January 1925

Jonah Kensington's Office
Jonah Kensington’s Office

New York City, U.S.A:

01:07 AM:

Driving back from the failed meeting with Erica Carlyle, we follow up the lead of the Harlem speakeasy, where the three strangers had driven back to after spying on Jackson Elias’s funeral.

As we would stand out, we sought to make use of Donelly’s friend Earl Hines.

The Cotton club wasn’t a million miles from the speakeasy on 139th and 5th, so we headed there. It was after midnight, so the shows would just be hotting up. Cab Calloway was playing.

With luck he’d do his famous number “Minnie the Moocher”. It was one of Earl’s hangouts too, so a good place to try and find him.

Trent, Simon and Gupta head over with Greg at the wheel. Greg stays in the car, while the other three enter the Cotton Club.

Joseph went on ahead, and will meet them inside.

They quickly spy Joseph in a booth. As they go over, a troupe of dancing girls pass by on their way to the stage. All of them seem to know Donelly, with many blowing him a kiss, or asking him what he’s up to later. Clearly, he hasn’t got his African tryst out of his system yet.

Gupta chuckles at this, nudges Trixie, who theatrically caresses Joe before giving him a huge smacker on the lips.

Trix: “Why honey, you weren’t about to forget about lil ole me, was you?”

Joseph bemusedly leads the others to the back, where they spy Earl Hines backstage playing the band with some recreational candy.

The owner of The Cotton Club, Owney Madden, raises his hat to Joseph. He then sends over a bottle of champagne. Joseph has clearly been here a lot.

Catching Owney’s eye, Trixie flirts briefly, but they soon go out back. Earl Hines is quizzed about the speakeasy. He tells the investigators it’s called Fat Mabel’s, very low rent, with a few down at heel customers, but no real action. Some brothers from Africa provide the protection, with the main man going by the name of, Mukanga.

This name is known only too well to us. Silas N’Kwame taunted us with his name, telling us he made the corpse worm.

Earl doesn’t know this, but does know the rumour that Mukanga has powerful Ju-Ju, which he uses on his enemies. He also imports the booze they sell from Africa. Turns out some white folks go there, so we won’t need Earl to risk his well-being.

We part with kind words, laughing as yet more dancers faun over Joseph on our way out. Never knew he was so popular.

We leave the club. Harlem is awash with people and very lively. Everyone seems to be here. Greg sat seething in the car and is a bit jumpy from all the bennies he’s taken ,but hasn’t spotted anyone taking especial interest of us, so we drive back to the warehouse for some much needed sleep.

We keep watches through the night but all is uneventful.

Roger & Erica’s Physiatrist Records

07:41 AM

Refreshed we review the items recovered from Ju-Ju house again, with clearer heads. Wesley examines the headband, as he deduces the robe and claws to be simply ceremonial.

Trent, on a mission, tries to track down Victoria Post, Erica Carlyle’s private secretary who had accompanied her to Africa, in search of news of her brother.

Greg speaks to Gibson and arranges for Irma to be taken to a safe house, while he organises a sanatorium in up-state New York.

Following up the number plates we saw parked outside Ju-Ju house, Violets McGee tells Trent that, another trace came in recently. Details of all three of our cars that were parked outside the Chelsea Hotel, were being sought. Clearly The Bloody Tongue had staked it out. The name of the P I, requesting the trace was that of the missing P I from Harlem, was one, Walter Van Buskirk.

We are slightly worried that Mukanga knows about Trent, Joe, Gupta and Irma, as they were all at the Chelsea Hotel, but we can’t sit on our hands. We just have to keep investigating.

However, we have to be a bit cagey, so we resolve not to send any of those four to Fat Mabel’s when we check it out later.

Violets also tells us that one of the phone numbers from N’Kwame’s notebook, comes back as that of M Hopkins of 139th Street, Harlem. This is Mabel Hopkins, AKA Fat Mabel.

Another is for a drug-store.

The third is still untraced.

Greg decides to go the NY Medical Records Bureau to try to track down the psychiatrists notes on Carlyle. If they were taken by Huston, with him being declared dead in Africa, the records become property of that Bureau. Going on a Sunday will give him fewer staff to deal with too.

Wes and Greg head to the Medical Affairs Board on Park Avenue and 61st. Their combined credentials impress the one clerk on duty, Adrian Ferris, who is only too pleased to grant them access to Huston’s files. It turns out that it was Roger Carlyle who was having the dreams. Not Erica. However, Erica was the one who referred Roger to Huston after being concerned for him.

(SEE HANDOUT 24) – Details Of Roger Carlyle’s Dreams:

There are two files.

A fat one about Roger plus a smaller one about Erica.

Huston thinks highly of Erica. He finds her very level headed. Just troubled by her brothers condition.

Greg is immediately worried. Roger has dreamed of a black pharaoh. Greg knows this is a manifestation of Nyarlathotep.

As we study the files we see Huston becoming more and more circumspect. He knows more than he is telling. The more Carlyle’s treatment progresses the vaguer his reports.

Huston had studied under Freud, after graduating from John Hopkins University. He founded the U S Psychiatric society. Greg knew him, remembering his sharp intellect, salacious wit and suaveness. Greg saw through it all. Maybe Greg couldn’t joke as well, but he saw the bully beneath whom he so liked to dominate his patients. Evil man.

His notes show that he is losing influence over Roger. Roger has fallen in love with “Anastasia” A K A M’Weru. It is she who now controls Roger?

Roger & Erica’s Physiatrist Records:

14:34 PM

Trent tracks down Victoria Post. Cuttings show she left Erica Carlyle’s service in the early 1920s. She is now a governess, working for the wealthy Voorhuis family. Trent calls her and she agrees to meet, saying that luckily she has Sundays off so can meet us today at around 6pm.

Meanwhile Joe, Trixie and Simon go to Fat Mabel’s to check it out. Greg drives them but once again stays in the car.

Joe will be known to them, but this may be a good thing as it will help to draw them out.

Lightly armed they bring a sample of Canada’s finest, knowing Greg sits in the car seething with a huge arsenal of weaponry in his sports bag.

Mabel is a large imposing Negress. She is very standoffish, unimpressed with the sample she is offered. Her clientele is predominantly Negro, though there are a couple of white people in the bar. Africans rise from a nearby table abruptly, to tell us we are not wanted. They practically push the three investigators out, warning us that the place belongs to them. Furthermore it is protected with powerful Ju-Ju.

They head back to the warehouse without further incident.

That afternoon Greg looks at the headband. He sees the sign of Nodens on it. Like the three items which came from Easter Island. Nodens is relatively benign as these strange gods go. It protects against creatures called Nightgaunts.

Cross referencing symbolism on the mask, he sees that it relates to the cult of the Spiralling Worm. It is known as, the Mask of Hyame.

Meeting Mrs Victoria Post:

19:10 PM

Trent meets Mrs Victoria Post at a drug-store. Victoria was very friendly with Erica. She travelled with Erica to Port Said in Egypt, to find out about Roger. Erica was very worried about him.

During their travels in Africa they stayed in cities. They did not actually visit the sites themselves. Just spoke with the authorities. They then attended the trail of Rogers murderers.

Erica had never been expecting good news. She was prepared for the worst. She had been worried about roger for a while, before he left on his expedition. He had been going to Harlem a lot. Erica didn’t like the way M’weru, Roger’s new girlfriend, was always manipulating him. He was with her for ten months or so, before he left.

She couldn’t say if Roger’s dreams began before he met M’weru or not.

Victoria also told us about Jack Brady. She said that Roger had got Jack Brady off a murder charge. After that Roger and Jack became very friendly.

Erica has been the bright one, while Roger was neglecting his duties in the company firm.

Victoria confirmed the Carlyle’s law firm was Dunston Whittleby & Grey.

As Trent leaves, Victoria gives him a photo of the Carlyle’s and M’Weru.

The Carlyle Expedition - 1919The Carlyle Expedition Team – 1919

Jonah Kensington is in Trouble

21:06 PM

Jonah calls the warehouse. He sounds agitated and just says:

Jonah: “You need to come down here. There is something that you must see.”

Pressed for details by Greg he just repeats the same words before hanging up.

We know a trap when we hear it. They got to him. He was spotted at the funeral . Now The Bloody Tongue have him.

Gaidar: “DAMN!”

We grimly prepare and head over to the Prospero Press office at Lexington and 35th.

Greg, Simon and Gupta find an adjacent building and climb up to the roof ,where they have a view of the office, and surrounding buildings. We call the office from a drug-store, but get no reply.

Simon goes down to the main door of the Prospero Press office building , and sets off a smoke grenade hoping the subsequent fire alarm will drive out poor Jonah, and his captors.

No luck, people come out, but not the people we want. It’s a quiet Sunday evening. There are very few people in the building.

Trixie, Joe, Wesley and Trent arrive separately. They head to an apartment building opposite the offices. They are dressed in overalls.

As they approach, Joe spies a silhouette on the roof of the apartment building. Simon shoots him, winging the man who ducks back out of sight. They enter the apartment building.

Suddenly all the lights go out in the surrounding blocks. The concierge speaks to the four saying that they are the second crew to arrive from the power company. The other crew were all Negroes, and headed up to the roof. The concierge directs the to the service stairwell at the back.

On the other side of the street , Greg, Simon and Gupta hear an exultant shout. Something has been summoned. They debate whether to cross the street to back up the other four, or stay put.

A hunting Horror manifests out of thin air near them. Simon shoots it with both barrels of his Elephant gun, before Simon and Gupta flee before it. Greg, who was already heading downstairs to the other building, comes back up. Gupta fires a volley from his Tommy gun, holding creature at bay.

As the barbed serpentine tail whips down the stairs after them, Greg shoots it with his shotgun blowing the tail off the beast.

Simon having reloaded shots a cultist on the other roof.

Heading upstairs the four in the apartment building start to creep. Trixie stumbles, but cleverly shouts out into the darkness as if she has lost her shoes in the dark. The four hear limping footfalls coming towards them from above. They ambush the descending cultists on a landing. Trent and Joseph shoot two cultists dead.

More people come down. Everyone crouches down in the darkness. Two cultists pass by us, the last is in ceremonial garb.

Trent shoots him 5 times with a Tommy gun.

Trixie shoots another dead.

Checking the body, Trent finds identification showing the JuJu man to be, Mukanga N’Dairi. We pick up his staff.

Where are the others?

What of poor Jonah?

The worst is yet to come.

Yegor Gaidar

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