Journal Posts

Tag: private_journals

Chapter Two: Sep. 5-8, 1933 - Death of Sea-Captain, Continued
Early the next morning, September 6th, Stacey Meredith Whitehall III and Jeeves headed down to the lobby of the Amherst Hotel. They were off to meet with Commander J.B. Douglas, former captain of the Arkham, who was to be the shipmaster on the Starkweather-Moore Expedition. The headline of the morning paper changed all that (see Famed Sea Captain Murdered!) as the commander had met with an untimely end. Neither Starkweather or Moore were at breakfast that morning, and Stacey quietly informed the others as to what happened. Dr. Tyson went to the 3rd floor to see Professor Moore, while Stacey opted to head to the top floor to talk to James Starkweather.

Both found waiting reporters. While Dr. Tyson had trouble getting rid of the newshound on his tail - indeed, he was stuck on the elevator with the man for what seemed like an eternity - Stacey Whitehall did not have that problem. The small lobby of Starkweather's suite was packed with reporters, all clamoring for an interview or a statement. Unable to press through the mob, he saw a lone man in a rumpled trenchcoat and hat sitting in a small room alone. The man turned out to be a homicide detective with the NYPD, one J.J. Hansen. After introducing himself, the detective asked a few rote questions about the recently-deceased Commander Douglas. When Stacey let it slip that the commander was staying at the Westbury Hotel in Chelsea, Detective Hansen quickly excused himself. Realizing what the detective was up to, Stacey opted to round the other investigators up as they finished their morning coffee. "If the good police detective gets to the scene first," he explained, "we shall likely never know if this tragedy was connected with the sabotage of our expedition and whether or not this Lexington woman was invovled."

Detective J.J. Hansen of the NYPD was investigating the possible homicide.

That being said, they piled into Dr. Tyson's Packard and raced down to the Westbury Hotel. Upon arriving, Evvy and Buernor made their way to the commander's room on the second floor. They found a uniformed police officer guarding the entrance to room 23, a bored look on his face. Retreating down the stairs, they found the others conversing with the surly desk clerk. A crisp $10 bill got him to change his attitude and answer a few questions. It appeared that J.B. Douglas hadn't had any visitors and no one had asked about him. He had checked in three days ago, and paid up for ten. He'd had two brief phone conversations, and mentioned something about Lexington.

Stacey decided he needed to have a look through the commander's room. Buernor had caught a glimpse as the officer checked the murdered sea captain's room, and saw a door that must lead into the ajdoining room. Hatching a quick plan, he had Jeeves run outside and secure the services, as they were, of a lady of ill repute. A few words and dollars were exchanged, and she accompanied the two British gentlemen upstairs to room 21 after clearing it with a bemused desk clerk. "Now lie there and pleasure yourself while we attend to business," Stacey instructed as he and Jeeves examined room 23.

She worked hard for the money. So hard for it, honey.

Commander Douglas's room had been tossed. After several minutes of quitely searching, the duo found a few, tantalizing clues. First, a group of the commander's journals, covering the months of 1930-1931 when the Arkham was at sea during the Miskatonic University Expedtion, was missing. Second, a half-written letter to the commander's brother, Philip (see Douglas' Unfinished Letter to Philip), was on a desk. Third, a number of phone numbers and names were written on crumpled pieces of paper pulled out of the wastebasket. There were numbers present for both Acacia Lexington and James Starkweather, as well as someone named Gerald Brackman. One piece of paper mentioned something called 'The Purple Cup' and had a trio of last names.

Before they could get much else, a pair of squad cars and a police sedan pulled up outside. While O'Neil ran interference, the rest slipped out the back. Jeeves just heard them headed up the stairs, and he and Stacey quickly exited the room. There was no way past them, and as Detective Hansen had already met Stacey, he was best avoided. There was only one way to go - out the window. The pair barely managed a controlled fall, and landed atop a heap of garbage. "Hey, get back here!" They could hear yelling from the window as they ran out of the alley, and both were sure that the prostitute was able to give a good description of them.

They all met up several minutes later. Stacey and Jeeves needed to get clean clothes - the garbage stench was not coming out of their apparel any time soon. The rest opted to follow up on what information they had gathered. They quickly learned that Gerald Brackman was an attorney, and made an appointment with him for the following morning. They could not reach Acacia Lexington by phone, and discovered that the Purple Cup was a tavern near the waterfront, not far at all from the Westbury Hotel. Dr. Tyson, Buernor, and James made their way there, and despite the recalcitrant sailors' hard stares, they managed to learn that Douglas had met three of his old crew there the night he was murdered. The fellow had overheard them saying they would never go back to the ice. As per his letter, it was apparent that Douglas had not actually been hired by Starkweather, and had only come to New York to tell the man off once and for all.

The 7th saw the investigators follow up on several leads. James and Dr. Tyson met with Brackman, who despite dissembling for legal nicities, indicated that he had helped Douglas finalize his will. Evvy spent some more time at the docks, making sure the Boeing 247s were loaded properly on the Gabrielle. Buernor began to follow up on where to find a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy, while Dr. Schevchenko spent time making sure he reported back to the Soviet Embassy. After clearing up other matters, Dr. Tyson joined Buernor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where both quickly determined there would be no legitimate way to secure a mummy. With Evvy's help however, they managed to get in touch with a certain...procurer of antiquities. Stacey's considerable forture enabled the group to purchase one of a pair of authentic mummies. Upon his return to the Amherst Hotel, James found another letter warning the investigators not to go on the expedition (see Warning Letter).

The mummy they found wasn't Boris Karloff!

The morning of the 8th, they attended J.B. Douglas's funeral, a small, sad affair. They talked briefly with his brother, Philip, who revealed that J.B. never talked about his trip to Antarctica, save when drunk. He mentioned that Paul Danforth had returned a howling madman, and had to be restrained during the voyage back. He also mentioned "strange, cold, black stones - I think they are the reason he lost two fingers to frostbite." Six months later, he was much better and returned to the sea. After bidding them a farewell - and after they had dealt with a nosy reporter named Hawkes - the investigators set about to finish their duties for the day. Tomrrow was the 9th of September - departure day!
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