December 7 (Wednesday late evening)
A long gray thread hangs from the empty hook in Professor Clarkson’s secret closet. On the floor beneath the hook are several thick black goat hairs.
Annie finds two books on Locksmithing and Lockmaking in the bookcase, solidifying the fact that the Professor was heavily into locks.
Upon returning to their hotel room, Elmer and Nikoli find an envelope addressed to Elmer Mannerly in the center of the bed. It reads: “You have been selected to interview for a prestigious position with the University of New York Library”. Elmer writes a note and leaves it on the dresser, thanking his “benefactor”.
Annie spends another hour studying Zoroastrian Mysticism Vol III Rifts and Gates and is able to follow the pattern of the text. She recognizes that it begins to talk about a type of portal, but then seems to stray off into unrelated topics, and then begins talking about a different type of portal. She realizes that the entire section is actually still talking about the portal, but using advanced terminology and referencing other works without giving any informative details: (“ephemeral lining”, “phy-recular cruxis”, “manifesting as described by Dr. Phonteus’ 1874 paper”, “reacts in opposition to the results of Huffman’s experiments”, etc.) Realizing she will need to gather additional research materials for cross-reference and spend at least a week or more to understand the text, she takes the book to Nikoli, leaving it on his chest as he slept."
Annie spends a couple hours studying the Lockmaking book from Prof Clarkson’s study. It is a high-level book using advanced locksmith terminology that she is already familiar with. She begins learning more details on the interior structure of different locks which will surely help her lock picking skills once she has finished studying the book.
Douglas is compelled to finish fixing the King in Yellow book, and finally completes it at daybreak. He breathes a sigh of relief as he scribes the final missing piece prominently on the final page of the book: the Yellow Sign.
December 8 (Thursday)
Elmer and Nikoli awake just after dawn and head to a restaurant to catch breakfast while they wait for Annie and Douglas to awake. On their way back to the hotel, they hear the sound of some young boys laughing, and then cheering. This is quickly followed by a loud cracking sound, like that of a whip, and hideous cackling laughter. Nikoli runs toward the alley where the sounds are coming from, pulling his gun. Elmer follows behind. As they round the corner they see 4 young boys on the ground laughing and picking up candy. Over them is a short, 4’ tall old woman with long, scraggly, black but graying hair. She wears a knitted shawl over 1600 German period style woman’s attire. She holds a long switch and is thrashing the boys as they grab and fill their pockets with candy.
Nikoli threatens her, aiming his pistol. Elmer runs to confront her. Her face is gnarled and gruesome, with sharp teeth and bright yellow eyes. She hisses, and turns to run away. Elmer trips her with his cane. Nikoli runs forward and tries to pin her to the ground. He slips as she rolls back and whips the back of his left hand; this leaves a long welt but doesn’t hurt. “You’re Nasty!” she hisses, and runs away.
Elmer helps Nikoli up, and he chases after her. However, as he round the corner he sees no sign of her. “I’m going to find you,” he threatens as he heads back to Elmer.
Elmer instructs the children that when they find candy, they need to take it somewhere else and not just stay there eating it while they are picking it up. A couple of the boys steal away, and the others leave when he mildly intimidates them in a non-hostile way.
Annie and Nikoli take a taxi to the hospital. Nikoli recognizes the cab number is the same as the number on many of the taxi receipts found at Prof Clarkson’s home. Nikoli begins asking the cabbie about their routes and fares, and Annie gets him to explain the initials and costs on the receipts.
Nurse Linda Richards asks Nikoli if Annie is the investor he spoke of. She shows the gold coins to Annie and explains that she only accepted them as payment for the 3 women that had been found at Judge Riddle’s home because one of the Doctors told her they were worth anywhere between $20 to $40 each, and that a collector might even pay up to $50 for some of the coins. Annie offers $210 ($180 to cover the cost of the women’s treatment plus $30 extra). The woman declines, stating that they are worth $240 at a minimum, and she fully expects to have additional money that she can donate to a charity – as the strange man that paid with these coins requested. Nikoli convinces her to sell them for $225: $15 under their minimum value, but $45 that could go towards the charity.
Douglas and Elmer take a taxi to the New York University Library. Elmer begins searching the library for texts on Indian folklore. Douglas approaches the 2 librarians (an older man and a younger man) behind the help desk. They are pointing to and reading a newspaper together. Douglas asks where he can find books on the occult and Indian folklore. He explains that his friend is looking for information on Indian folklore and he is doing research on Zoroastrian mysticism. The younger librarian points him to the 200 Religion section for Zoroastrian mysticism, but tells him that they will likely not find much of interest for Indian folklore. “The Indians don’t like to share their tribal stories with white men. But, we should have some high-level information in the 300 Social Sciences section.”
As Douglas converses with the librarians, they begin referencing articles in the newspaper: “There’s a lot of strange things happening lately.” “Can’t believe how the judge just dismissed the tribe’s complaint regarding the state taking their monthly supplies. But it serves him right for what happened to him.” They point out several newspaper articles that describe the incident with the Indians and Judge Anderson, and other strange things that have happened over the course of the last few days:
Black Wing’s Petition Denied
Food Thieves Strike Judge Anderson’s Home
A Trusted Clerk Arrested
Burglaries in Manhattan
Suspected Gambling House Pays Out Dearly
Kicked to Death By a Horse