9: The Gateway

23rd January 1925

Visiting Erica Carlyle
Visiting Erica Carlyle

New York City, USA

12:00 PM:

As we drive away from the collapsing warehouse we still can’t hear any sirens and realise that we have got away clean.

Being in 3 vehicles, we can go different ways:

Trixie, Greg and Simon head to the Bronx to check out the apartment of the recently deceased Leland Jefferson’s driver.

Joseph and Trent head over to Rodney Maniba’s apartment. He was the dockworker we saw berating poor mad Silas N’Kwame.

The others get in the truck and drive the bulk of the ordnance back to our warehouse taking the usual circuitous route.

Chasing up final leads:

Joseph and Trent arrive at their destination first. The tenement block‘s front is easy to pick, as is the apartment door. Trent is through the door and inside quicker than some people would be using their keys. It was really easy to find even without a door number. It was the only one in the block with a telephone line heading to it. We search the place thoroughly but all find very little. Joseph fishes the remnants of a burnt telegram stub out of the fireplace. The only legible words left are:

“Deal with them!”

Trent finds a stash of $498 and a phone book. Like all the others, we have found it just lists phone numbers. No names.

The only other thing we find is a photo of the Carlyle mansion taken from the road. As there is no snow on the ground it must have been taken several months ago at least.

We wipe down the apartment and leave with the phone book, photo and telegram stub.

Meanwhile Trixie, Greg and Simon have reached the Bronx tenement. This lock on the main entrance is harder to open so Greg crowbars it delicately, ensuring only half the lock is hanging off the door. Nothing too suspicious then. Some of the residents hear the crash and splintering of wood and start shouting. We leave and go up the fire escape at the side of the building hoping to access his apartment from the roof. As we walk up, Greg’s good night continues when he drops his Trench Gun. The large shotgun clatters loudly on the metal steps outside a window. It opens a few minutes later and we have to placate an angry man with $5 from Simon. He had started to threaten us but then realised that we were all very well armed and promptly thrust the bill in this pocket and closed the window.

We get to the roof without further mishap. The access door on the roof isn’t even locked and we can go down the stairs to the drivers’ apartments’ door, 6A. We crowbar his door, as Trixie can’t seem to get the knack of picking these locks. Nothing there. Too clean. These people make paranoid Greg seem reckless by comparison. We had to check, but, as we expected, it’s a bust.

We head back to the warehouse feeling slightly disgruntled.

Back there we all debate the merits of going after Erica Carlyle’s lawyer, Bradley Grey. The muscle is too stupid to influence Erica, so if anyone is doing so, it has to be him.

We discuss a snatch and accident before our meeting. Without him with her, Erica may be more forthcoming, but since we are not the cultists we are in conflict with, we can’t just kidnap and or assassinate someone with any evidence, even if he is a corporate lawyer.

We do track him down though; Greg drives to the nearest Drug Store with a list of all the Bradley Grey’s in the phone book. He doesn’t want the call traced so won’t call from the warehouse. He calls all the numbers pretending to be from the detective agency Grey had sent to watch us, the same agency who had been dissuaded from further surveillance by Trent’s friend Mr Colt and Joseph’s best friend Mr Browning. After numerous attempts and lots of wasted nickels, the right guy finally answers sleepily and Greg is able to confirm his address.

Therefore, we have a relatively quiet night, as does the lawyer.

Total Solar Eclipse:

06:00 AM:

This is the date of our 04:00 PM appointment with Erica Carlyle.

To have maximum impact Trixie Trent and Wesley all cast the incantation “Voice of Ra”. This makes then more charismatic and persuasive. It is their hope that this will make Erica listen to us and so be more sympathetic to our cause.

In the morning before our drive to Westchester, we do a little more research. We review Bradley Grey’s cases to try to get a handle on what kind of lawyer he is. He is purely a corporate lawyer. He has only ever worked in New York. He is nothing to do with the lawyers Carlyle used to get Jack Brady off the murder charge in California.

We also try to research Abner Vane Carroll, Erica’s ancestor who was transported to Virginia in the 17th century from Derbyshire in England but can find nothing.

The 09:00 AM total solar eclipse seemed to rattle Greg a little but no one died and so the rest of us stopped caring.

Meeting With Erica Carlyle:

16:00 PM

All 8 of us drive over to Westchester in up-state New York, back past Sing-Sing prison. As previously agreed it is Trent, Wesley, Trixie and Simon who head inside. Greg, Joe and Gupta stay outside with their well-stocked sports bags.

2-armed guards are at the gate but we are not searched. As we walk to the house, we see further armed guards and dogs patrolling the grounds of the mansion.

Joseph Corey, Erica’s bodyguard, greets us politely and leads us to the red room. He too, doesn’t pat us down either. Just as well. He’d need quite a big table to keep all our weaponry on if he had done so.

Erica Carlyle comes to meet us. We are given drinks and light refreshment.

Erica Carlyle is quite engaging, but still somewhat guarded. She does admit that the guards on the gate and in the grounds are the result of an attempt by some African men to break into her library and steal from the safe housed in it.

Erica Carlyle had done her homework, she had read Irma’s novella “8 go up the Congo” about our African misadventures. Victoria Post had also contacted her to tell Erica Carlyle of Trent’s interest in their trip to Egypt in search of her brothers lost expedition.

The safe had housed some occult books purchased by Roger Carlyle. Our friend the late Jackson Elias, who started this affair by being killed before he could meet us, had written in his London notes that he had to access the books in Carlyle’s safe.

We come clean admitting that Jackson believed that the expedition had survived. This belief had been lent credence by the fact that he was hacked to death by African cultists in his rooms at the Chelsea Hotel. They would not have attacked him without reason. He was convinced that all the members of the expedition survived. He supported this view by confirming that no bodies of any white people had ever been found.

Erica Carlyle starts to get convinced. Her lawyer tries to debunk our claims but she remains receptive.

Erica Carlyle admitted that she didn’t understand her brother’s relationship with Mweru – Anastasia – Nenoncha Burnay.

Mweru had accompanied Roger Carlyle his expedition to Egypt.

We realised she could be the priestess of the Cult of the Black Wind mentioned by the Bloody Tongue’s cultists and in our researches.

Erica Carlyle agreed to show us the books in the safe. More than that, she even agreed to let us take them away with us for more study.


(SEE HANDOUTS 19 – 19A and 19B)

(SEE HANDOUT 19) – Carlyle’s Books

(SEE HANDOUT 19a & 19b) – Carlyle’s Books


This is a small handwritten diary amateurishly bound in pale whitish leather over thin wood. It was written in the early 19th Century by Montgomery Crompton. He was a British soldier serving in Egypt fighting against Napoleon’s forces. In 1801, he was wounded whilst under the command of General Abercrombie.

While recovering he was taken into the cult of the Black Pharaoh. Once recovered he left the army. As a cult member, he committed many violent acts including torture murder and rape.

When he returned to England in 1805, he went to live in Liverpool and replicated the cult there. He was caught and imprisoned in an asylum.

Wesley took an hour out and skimmed this slim text gleaning what he could. Being a medical man, he quickly spots that the whitish leather is in fact human skin.

One page was specifically marked. The text is as follows:

“Its angles were magnificent, and most strange; by their hideous beauty I was enraptured and enthralled, and I thought myself of the daylight fools who adjudged the housing of this room as mistaken.”

“I laughed for the glory they missed. When the six lights lit and the great words said, then HE came, in all the grace and splendour of the higher planes, and I longed to sever my veins so that my life might flow into his being, and make part of me a god!”

Wesley thought the cultists always want to die becoming a god don’t they? Not much of an incentive if you ask me.

The Black Pharaoh is a known form of Nyarlathotep. It is also called Nivrin Ka.

Could this passage allude to the asymmetrical pyramid, and the Back Pharaoh both of which appeared in Roger’s dreams?


This is written in Middle English from a Greek translation. Translation made in 1496.

It may not even have been written in Greek originally but could be a second-generation translation.

There are some annotations in the first third of this book but peter out before halfway. Could they be Roger Carlyle’s notes?


The Book of Eibon is said to be the book of magic of the great Hyperborean wizard Eibon.

We need to contact Natalya who was forced to read a fuller translation of this book when she was studying under Rasputin in Siberia. She is currently in Paris and Greg has a contact address for her. Maybe Natalya can tell us about the contents of the text. It took her 2 years to read.

Despite Grey’s misgivings, Erica gives us her blessing to look into Roger’s expedition further.

She even agrees to check her records and pass on the names of her contacts in Africa whom she visited in 1919.

Erica also offered to help us financially but we turned her down, perhaps because we value us independence?

Erica Carlyle was also impressed we spoke out and didn’t get innocent Africans hung for your assault/kidnapping in Kenya, this stoked some doubts she had about the verdict in her Brother’s case.

If she isn’t on the level she’s a great actress but the worst cultists are, aren’t they?

She’s done exactly what she should do, if she wanted us to reveal what information we had.

Bradley Grey is more believable because he was advising Erica not to have anything to do with us.

Bradley Grey mentioned a blast from the past saying we were con artists and this is the sort of thing Bloomberg tried to convince the late Mr Benton Vaudeville Banks III of.

There are some tenuous links to London:

A business card for a director of the Penhew Foundation in Tottenham Court Road in London.

Evidence of items shipped to England by confederates of the Bloody Tongue in 1921 from California Illinois and Pennsylvania all sent to London.

A shipping note to Panchi Chabout in Limehouse for machine parts.

Research Abner Vane Carrol the ancestor of Roger who had lived in England.

The only other lead rather than to read the books is to somehow break into the Wilberforce’s town house on Park Avenue and try and get access to Mortimer’s room.

Trent & Gaidar:

21:55 PM:

Trent lay back on the Davenport smoking one the last of his Havanas.

Opposite on a wooden stool Greg sat glowering at him.

Trent said:

“I tell you Greg she’s on the level. You heard her offer to back us.”

Greg retorted angrily:

“That’s all you know. Remember our misadventure in Europe on that infernal train? We all thought that was our own choice. Yet we ended up being puppets on that bastards string. Dancing a merry jig for Nyarlathotep himself.”

“Just get yourself a dose of reality. This frail has you spell bound. Even the old good cop/ bad cop routine worked on you. Why do you think that shyster lawyer was shooting us down? Part of the act!”

“She’s the descendant of a cultist or warlock. That makes her wrong like her brother. Not being taken in. Not again. We will be sacrificed like poor Heather was and that other limey dame from the train. No! I owe too many people already. No-one is getting put on the slab on my account.”

“And why go to London anyway, because some Asian in Mombasa shipped a few masks to Kenyan cultists in New York and they then shipped stuff to Panchi Chabout in Limehouse? Or was it the business card? If that’s the case, if anyone ever find Donelly’s body they’ll be searching every fun-house in Manhattan.”

Trent smiled:

“C’mon Greg. Erica did give us the books and I couldn’t see anything in her eyes telling me she knew what was in them.”

“Not like Natalya the ice queen.”

“As for that lawyer, of course he shot us down. Erica’s company is the goose that laid him a golden egg. He doesn’t want company resources squandered on us when they could be squandered on his firm instead.”

“Yes she’s pleasing on the eye but I wasn’t taken in, she’s on the level. The accounts do link the Cult of the Bloody Tongue’s shipments from the US to England. No, I’m not going to England on the strength of a card found in poor Jackson’s pocket; but I do want to know more about this Penhew guy and the place to do that is England. Hell you could even look up some stuff on Erica’s ancestor Vane the warlock if you were over there.”

“The British Library is nearly as good as the Library of Congress.”

“Lighten up man. There’s plenty of blame going around for Heather and the limey chick. Not just lying at your door.”

Greg sighed.

Well put it to a vote. But I am gonna demand a $1,000 from each and every one of us. I need to make exit strategies and hospitalisation arrangements in London Egypt and Kenya before any of us leave the US. That way when we’re all shot or traumatised or both we just need one of us to make one call and everybody is evacuated and treated in the best way possible. Whether that’s a military hospital or the finest sanatorium.”

“You don’t know her and I don’t know her but we’ll put it to the gang and then it’ll be all our faults.”

“Meantime I’m off to see Ed the gunsmith and check on Curtiss and the plane.”

“If you can’t wait; my vote is a no.”

And with that, Greg walked out of the lounge ending the conversation.

Yegor Gaidar

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