Ray Brannigan’s biological clock wakes him at the usual 6:00am. He cleans up, shaves, and puts on his three-piece suit. Placing the Closed sign in the window of his barbershop, he walks back to the alley to find the Ford Model-T truck he purchased from Alistair Sinclair. Jumping in the cab, Ray drives to his favorite greasy spoon for breakfast, and then makes his way to Columbia University.
Ray takes in the sprawling campus and asks passing co-eds if they know where he can find Professor Rudolph Pearson. Eventually, he is pointed towards Philosophy Hall, where he finds Pearson’s office on the sixth floor. Entering the office, Ray is greeted warmly by a secretary, who informs him that Professor Pearson is not in.
“I’m sorry, but Professor Pearson will not be in this morning,” she says politely. “However, he will be attending Professor Sinclair’s lecture this evening. If you’d like, I can put your name on the guest list.”
Adding himself to the guest list and thanking the secretary, Ray leaves the office to busy himself for a few hours. After a quick lunch and shoe shine, he sits alone on a park bench – visions of Andre Vollinchanski’s blood-splattered apartment throbbing in his brain. Beginning to believe that nothing will erase the horrific images he’s witnessed, Ray wrenches himself back to reality and repeats over and over to himself, “I must see this through.”
Ray returns to Columbia University and makes his way to the auditorium. Standing at the podium is Rudolph Pearson, who enthusiastically introduces Professor Sinclair to the assembly. Despite the rude fashion that Alistair ended their brief association, Ray cannot help but be impressed with the professor’s oratory skills. The room is captivated by his every word.
After a spirited question and answer period, refreshments are served. Ray briefly catches Alistair’s eye as he chats with Rudolph Pearson; the two share an uncomfortable moment of recognition. Seizing the opportunity, Ray approaches the two and introduces himself to Pearson. Alistair politely excuses himself and goes off to mingle with the other academics.
Ray asks Professor Pearson if he knows the whereabouts of Ivy Morgan and Jonas Markham. Appearing taken aback, Pearson inquires as to the nature of Ray’s relationship with the two. Ray recounts a brief overview of the events in Red Hook, which seems to satisfy Pearson’s curiosity. He asks Ray to wait until the reception concludes, and then promises to meet with him in private.
An hour later, Ray finds himself in Pearson’s office, drinking a glass of Scotch whiskey and listening intently. Pearson recounts his meeting with Ivy and Jonas the evening before; the makeshift bible full of black rites and blasphemies, the agreement to translate portions of text, the possible meaning of CONVENTO DI SAN FRANCESCO – KINGSPORT, MASSACHUSETTS. The professor tells Ray about the German first edition of Unaussprechlichen Kulten that resides at Miskatonic University, and the letter of introduction he wrote for Jonas Markham. Believing that Ivy and Jonas may have gone to the University in search of answers, Ray asks Professor Pearson if he could get a letter of introduction as well. Pearson agrees to write the letter, and tells Ray to stop by the following morning to pick it up. With that, Pearson excuses himself and shows Ray to the door.
As he returns to his apartment, Ray’s mind is racing. Though it may prove to be the most foolish thing he’s ever done, Ray resolves to follow the tracks of Ivy Morgan and Jonas Markham; hopefully finding answers to questions that had, until mere days before, never entered his mind.