4: The Clues Pile Up

17th January 1925

Funeral Of Dear Jackson Elias Evergreen Cemetery, Brooklyn
Funeral Of Dear Jackson Elias – Evergreen Cemetery, Brooklyn

New York City, U.S.A:

07:51 AM:

Greg takes a pep pill and joins the others.

There’ll be time to give them up when he’s dead. For now, there’s work to be done.

It’s done the trick, as he brews the coffee he remembers that New York Medical Records Bureau may well have Huston’s records on Carlyle. That could explain how Jackson was able to reference them too. Greg can use his medical examiners credentials to obtain the records.

Trent’s head seems right this morning. Or he’s resolved in his head. Once the decision to die is made, the suicidal will have a load off his mind and be far less down. Greg ceases such dark thoughts. He’s a rotten psychologist anyway, Huston said so. Instead Greg puts it down to the uppers with which he laced Trent’s coffee.

Acting with purpose, Trent calls Violets McGee, now on desk duty at the 51st precinct and asks him to trace the phone numbers in Silas’s diary via the reverse phone directory New York’s finest has.

He then traces the address of the missing PI in the licensed investigators registry. This was Walter Van Buskirk. We have his address and the phone book lists a secretary’s number and a direct line. Both lines are dead and the office boarded up. Nothing more can be done now but we should try and locate his secretary soon.

Joseph is on the case too and speaks to his bootlegging contacts about Cesare and Rickie Cedanicci. Unfortunately no-one seems to know or care why they got chopped up. It’s a rough biz and all organisations lose guys all the time in turf wars. It’s not unusual enough of an occurrence to worry about.

Simon tries to track down the murdered priest, a Reverend Elijah Jackson. He gets an address of the Baptist church in Harlem and Simon, Trent, Gupta and Joseph all drive there. Reverend Elijah Jackson was a campaigner against low living and railed against the speakeasy and houses of ill repute. His parishioners remembered him arguing with some Africans and being jostled by them but it was three long months ago and no-one can remember exactly what it was all about.

It’s now 1pm and we drive back to the warehouse to get ready for the funeral.

Trixie & Wesley Meet With Prof Cowles:

12:20 PM:

Trixie and Wesley arrived late Friday night and secured bedrooms in Miskatonic University campus late on Friday night before going to visit Professor Anthony Cowles. He had given the lecture mentioned in a flyer found on Jackson Elias. The lecture was entitled “The Cult of Darkness in Polynesia and the South-west Pacific” and was given at N.Y.U 3 weeks earlier.

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

Trixie calls his house and speaks to his teenage daughter, the sexy young Ewa Cowles, who informs Trixie that the Professor will be only too pleased to meet with the famous female pilot and the renowned Professor Wesley Freundlich-Fock.

They visit quite early and the glamorous young daughter is clearly captivated by Trixie’s endeavours. Professor Anthony Cowles is also very amiable and only too pleased to expand upon what the lecture was about. He is a vigorous bearded Australian who likes academia but also likes being in the field too.

Cowles doesn’t recall seeing Jackson at the lecture, had he done so he would definitely have spoken with Jackson, as the professor was an avid fan of Jackson’s books. He regrets that he not met Jackson and now never will.

Cowles explains that there is a myth cycle common throughout many parts of the world and indicating that there is core belief system underpinning many different native religions. Linked to this is a bat cult that existed in Australia. Aboriginal history is unwritten and they have song cycles which are taught to younger generations by the tribal elders.

In one such song cycle Giants are killed by wind creatures paving the way for the cult of the bat. His main points of the lectures are as follows:

(SEE HANDOUT 23) – Prof. Anthony Cowles N.Y.U Lecture Notes



A bat cult once existed among the Aboriginals of Australia. It was known across continent, and the god of the cult was always known as the Father of All Bats. Adherents believed that by making human sacrifices to their god they themselves would become worthy enough that the Father of All Bats would appear to them. Once he was enticed to appear, he would conquer all men. Sacrifices were run through a gauntlet of worshippers who struck the victims with clubs embedded with the sharp teeth of bats. The teeth were coated with a substance derived from rabid bats. The poison was quick-acting, but victims apparently went mad before they died. Leaders of the cult reputedly could take the forms of bat winged snakes, enabling them to steal sacrifices from across the land. Cowles believes that this cult became dormant or extinct hundreds of years ago. Its former existence is the reason that he became interested in Jackson Elias’ books about present-day cults.


An Aboriginal song cycle mentions a place where enormous beings gathered, somewhere in the west of Australia. The songs say that these gods, who were not at all like men, built great sleeping walls and dug great caves. But living winds blew down the gods and overthrew them, destroying their camp. When this happened, the way was open for the Father of All Bats, who came into the land, and grew strong.


Cowles shows the investigators a set of four over-exposed glass slides. Each shows a few sweating men standing beside enormous blocks of stone, pitted and eroded but clearly dressed and formed for architectural purposes. Dim carvings seem to decorate some. Billows of sand are everywhere. Though he did not bring the book with him, Cowles says that the discoverer, one Arthur MacWhirr of Port Headland, kept a diary in which he records several attacks on the party by Aboriginals. MacWhirr reportedly records deaths to victims from hundreds of small punctures, reminiscent of the earlier bat-cult.


Cowles tells finally of a tale he collected from near the Arafura Sea in northern Australia. In it Sand Bat, or Father of All Bats, has a battle of wits with Rainbow Snake, the Aboriginal deification of water and the patron of life. Rainbow Snake succeeds in tricking and trapping Sand Bat and his clan into the depths of a watery place from which Sand Bat can only complain, and is unable to return to trouble the people.

Cowles is also looking for a John C Scott, the recently deceased front man for the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight to seek funding for an expedition into the outback of Western Australia. Not wishing to share that Wesley watched Mr Scott bleed to death and helped burn his house down, he just suggests that the professor will need to seek funding for his expedition elsewhere.

Wesley and Trixie part with friendly words, offering to meet the Cowles again before they leave in June for their south Sydney home in Australia.

LT. Poole Is Looking For Trent:

13:30 PM:

Greg fields a couple of calls. The medical examiner warns him that Chief Poole wishes to speak to Trent about an incident in Harlem.

Violet McGee calls back and says weirdly that someone is already trying to trace some number plates, which are exactly the same as the ones we wanted tracing from outside Ju-Ju House. The phone numbers need more work.

Violet McGee calls back and says weirdly that someone, claming to be a private investigator, was also trying to trace some number plates, which he knew to be from our vehicles.

Also it turns out Erica Carlyle, 26, is having a party at the big house in up-state New York. A bit of digging at the press office confirms she is running the old company. Carlyle Senior, was big in armaments apparently. Shame he didn’t take enough of this merchandise on his African trip, wasn’t it!

Trent decides to go and meet Poole.

14:00 PM:

Poole immediately accuses Trent of being involved in the Ju-Ju house incident and points out that several witnesses reported seeing several large white guys in gas masks entering and leaving the building.

Evasive Trent deflects and starts to talk about the unsolved homicides.

Poole confirmed that the PI, Van Buskirk, was looking for a missing boy whom the police had never been able to find.

Another victim of The Bloody Tongue was Connolly, a longshore-man working at the P&O line.

The murdered teacher, Roberta Barlow had reported that she had been followed on a number of occasions.

The Funeral Of Dear Jackson Elias Evergreen Cemetery, Brooklyn:

15:00 PM:

Greg Irma and Joseph attend the funeral while Simon and Gupta watch from a second vehicle.

As the three enter the chapel they double the number of people in attendance.

The priest is Laurence T O’Delle Jnr from the Seaman’s Episcopalian Church. Also present are Jonah Kensington, Jackson’s friend and publisher and an elderly lady Agatha Wainwright.

All the travelling and moving around left poor Jackson a very lonely man. This is hardly the send off he should be getting.

The service begins and Greg gets up and says a eulogy. He then chats briefly with Agatha who explains she knew Jackson in East Africa. Before they can talk further a young white man enters the Chapel sheepishly and sits at the back fidgeting.

He is slightly dishevelled and very nervous.

He leaves as soon as he is approached.

Joseph, Irma and Greg pay their last respects and leave.

From outside Gupta and Simon watched his approach from their car. Its beat up car driven by a Negro with two others inside it. One white guy and one other Negro. Only the white guy gets out.

Minutes later he’s legging it out to the car and they’re leaving. Simon has the plates but worries it’s dodgy and pursues surreptitiously. He does a great job and they never even realise that they are tailed. The jalopy heads over the bridge and back into Manhattan.

It drives to corner of 139th and 6th in Harlem. Looks like a speakeasy but so did Ju-Ju House. No heroics, they observe a short while and leave before they are themselves spotted and tailed.

15:22 PM:

Joseph and the others arrive back. Gibson is there with Trent. Trixie and Wes return from Arkham shortly after.

We discuss Erica Carlyle’s party and decide that the best way to meet is get an invitation via Carole Pride, the New York post gossip columnist who we helped on a previous case. She reluctantly agrees to get us in and briefly explains that Erica is never outside the company of her bodyguard Joe Corey or the family lawyer Bradley Gray. Westchester is about an hour out of New York. Far enough to offer exclusivity and some privacy, near enough for a rich socialite like Roger to head back into the city whenever he needed to.

Joseph says his contacts suggest that the Bloody Tongue are bootleggers, or using bootlegging as a cover.

We get ready for the party. Gupta will act as a rich Maharajah, Simon and Trixie a famous couple and Trent and Carol as an unmatched pair.

The pills have caught up with Greg and he offers to hold the fort with Irma, Joseph and Gibson. Silas remains out cold, handcuffed, chained up in a straitjacket with that same diesel stained tarpaulin thrown over him.

The Party Of Erica Carlyle, Westchester, New York:

22:09 PM

Trent, Carole, Gupta, Trixie & Simon drive over to the Carlyle residence. They pass Sing-Sing prison on the way. After we arrange valet parking for the big limo, Carol takes the lead and we breeze into the mansion in her wake. It’s well secured. It may be open this evening but it has an open grass perimeter devoid of cover and a 12 foot tall spiked iron fence surrounding it.

We mix with the party-goers; lose Carole who, with her task complete, drops Trent like bad smell at the first opportunity.

Smart girl.

We wander around and see its quieter upstairs. Finding a locked door, Trent flourishes his lock picks and opens it. It’s the family library. He switches the lights on and walks around it followed by the others. Thousands of books line the shelves stacked 20 feet high. Trent spots a very comprehensive occult section.

We remember, too late, that this must be where the family safe is located.

Abruptly the doors open and a beautiful if severe young woman in a ball gown walks in with a tall broad man who must have been folded into his dinner suit and a weasely looking older man.

This must be Erica Carlyle with her bodyguard Joe Corey (obviously armed) and her lawyer Bradley Gray. Gray speaks coldly demanding who we are and what we are doing in a private part of the house. All look very angry. We try to speak to Erica but she just tells us to get out and Joe Corey makes sure we do.

We are practically frog marched off the premises.

We have to leave.

We can’t get anywhere. Greg will have to try, maybe with a recuperated Irma and the beneficial effects of a Voice of Ra spell we may yet be able to speak with her, but not at this time.

What a bust!

Tired and frustrated we arrive at the warehouse just after 01:00 AM Sunday morning.

Yegor Gaidar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *