Ivy Morgan – June 14, 1926, 3:00am
Ivy is awoken by Jonas, who is standing over her, wild-eyed and sweating profusely. Although Ivy seems to have soaked through her sheets, she doesn’t seem to have suffered the same mental strain as the ever-more-fragile Jonas Markham.
She goes to the bathroom and splashes her face with water, then returns to the bedroom and sits at the foot of the bed. Even though the vivid memories of her trip to the Dreamlands are fading quickly, foremost in Ivy’s mind is CONVENTO DI SAN FRANCESCO – KINGSPORT, MASSACHUSETTS. She’s suddenly overwhelmed by regret for not listening to her grandfather and learning a foreign language while at Barnard College. Despite the language barrier, Ivy is astute enough to recognize the word Massachusetts. She gets up, walks over to her desk, and fumbles through her drawer looking for a sheet of paper. Finding one, she picks up her fountain pen and wisely writes down the foreign phrase before it fades from her memory. Completely exhausted, Ivy collapses on her bed.
Ivy wakes at noon. Heading downstairs she finds Jonas, who is disassembling and reassembling his rifle. When he finishes, Jonas wrings his hands for a few moments and begins disassembling the rifle again. He acknowledges Ivy briefly and returns to his work. Ivy can see that he hasn’t slept.
Jonas Markham – June 14, 1926, 3:00am
Jonas stands over Ivy as she bolts up in bed. She gives him a cautious appraisal before going to the bathroom to splash her face with water. When Ivy returns, she sits at the foot of the bed, deep in thought. Jonas can see that Ivy has sweated through her sheets, but she is either unaffected by their subconscious adventure, or better at hiding her mental fragility than Jonas is.
Although the vivid memories of his trip to the Dreamlands are all but faded, foremost in Jonas’ mind is CONVENTO DI SAN FRANCESCO – KINGSPORT, MASSACHUSETTS. He doesn’t take to foreign talk, but Jonas does remember seeing a Kingsport, Massachusetts before. As he racks his brain for an answer to the riddle, Ivy suddenly jumps up from the foot of the bed and walks over to her desk. She shuffles frantically through a drawer and pulls out a piece of paper. She writes something down and then collapses on her bed. Walking over to the desk, Jonas reads Convento di San Francesco – Kingsport, Massachusetts in Ivy’s now-familiar scrawl.
Jonas leaves the room and heads down stairs. He has been wringing his hands ever since he woke up, and it’s beginning to annoy him. Heading to the living room, Jonas pours himself a drink, grabs his rifle, and sits on the sofa. Almost unconsciously, he begins disassembling his firearm. In what has become an evening ritual, the last week-and-a-half keeps playing over and over in Jonas’ head like a silent movie; Leroy Turner’s four-valve trumpet, Marnie Smeaton’s corpse, The Slaughtered Lamb, the flying creature carrying the metal cylinder ( with a BRAIN in it, for GOD’S SAKE!), The strange alien vista, Red Hook, the dream. How on EARTH did he end up here – in the one place he never wanted to be – in New York City?
And suddenly, Jonas remembers. He runs out of the house, jumps in the Packard, and begins rifling through the glove compartment. He got the map of Massachusetts from Dr. Josiah Stave at NYU, and had found Arkham easily. He had every intention of heading to Miskatonic University after he met with Madam Tesheka in Harlem, but was sidetracked by the Negro who led him to Blue Heaven Ballroom.
Bringing the map back into the light of Ivy’s living room, Jonas finds what he was looking for. There, just south of Arkham on the map of Massachusetts, is Kingsport. It’s a long-shot, Jonas thinks, but too much of a coincidence to not look in to. He toys with the idea of waking Ivy up, but decides instead to disassemble, clean, and reassemble his rifle for the next six or seven hours.
Around noon, Jonas hears Ivy come down the stairs. He finishes reassembling the rifle, briefly acknowledges her with a phony smile, absentmindedly wrings his hands for a few moments, and then begins disassembling the rifle again. Ivy pours herself a drink, makes a quick phone call, and sits down next to Jonas with a matronly smile on her face.
Ivy Morgan and Jonas Markham – June 14, 1926, 12:00pm
Ivy and Jonas sit next to each other on the sofa and discuss what they can remember from their shared adventure in the Dreamlands. The details that both can recall are vague – a ship, a pirate with a parrot on his shoulder (Not a pirate? Not a parrot?), an island, a beautiful city, a mountain, a dark castle (No, not a castle – something more familiar – something out of place). Alistair and Connor were there, but they looked different. In fact, everyone looked different, yet they were the same. Weird.
Their discussion is cut short by a knock at the door. Ivy leaves briefly and returns with a bag of food from Bamboo Inn, one of the numerous inexpensive Chinese restaurants in Harlem. As she’s laying the food on the coffee table, she notices the map of Massachusetts that Jonas brought in from his car. Suddenly, Ivy remembers the sheet of paper on her desk and runs upstairs. When she comes back down, Ivy notices Jonas wringing his hands nervously while surveying the white cardboard boxes and chopsticks.
As they eat, Jonas shows Ivy the map and points out Kingsport. He, like Ivy, has no idea what to make of the foreign talk, but thinks it’s too coincidental to pass up investigating the clue. He suggests talking to the folks at the Slaughtered Lamb to see if they can shed any light on Kingsport. Ivy says that she is meeting Alistair at the Hotel Belleclaire at 3:00pm, and that they should rest and relax for a while before they do anything. Her concern for Jonas’ well-being is evident as she periodically looks from his wringing hands to the rifle on the coffee table.
Ivy Morgan and Jonas Markham – June 14, 1926, 3:00pm
Jonas, who is sleep-deprived but wide awake, goes upstairs to take a long, warm bath while Ivy sits on the couch to relax. As 3:00pm approaches, she gets up, wraps the Holy Bible in brown paper, grabs her gun and flask, calls for Jonas, and heads out to her Daimler. Jonas comes out moments later, with the Massachusetts map and the piece of paper with CONVENTO DI SAN FRANCESCO – KINGSPORT, MASSACHUSETTS written on it in his hand.
“If this Pearson fella can tell us what’s in that book, then p’raps he can tell us about this foreign talk,” Jonas says blankly. Noticing that he isn’t holding something, Jonas begins wringing his hand methodically. Ivy tells Jonas to grab the idol from his car (“just in case we need it”). When he returns, the two start off towards Manhattan.
Ivy enters the Hotel Belleclaire. Alistair Sinclair, whose attempts to conceal his suddenly advanced age appear to be successful, stands in the lobby. When he sees Ivy, he walks towards her purposefully, exchanges a brief nicety, and heads out to the street. He acknowledges Jonas as he enters the car, and then begins to shuffle through his attaché case silently.
Both Ivy and Jonas attempt to question Alistair about their dreams, but because he either doesn’t remember or is trying to avoid the topic, his answers are brief, cryptic, or off-topic. He rarely makes eye contact and continues to rummage through his case as Ivy pulls up to Columbia University.
As they enter Philosophy Hall, Ivy attempts to discuss the matter further with the professor, but he will have none of it.
“I appreciate the concern, Miss Morgan, but I have a lecture to give. Can’t go in unprepared, what?”
With that, Alistair leaves Ivy and Jonas standing alone in the lobby.
The two exchange confused looks, and enter the hall. Alistair is engaged in conversation with Rudolph Pearson, who points to various faculty members and introduces them to Professor Sinclair. From across the room, Pearson notices Ivy and Jonas and gives a nod. The hall continues to fill up with faculty and students. Jonas and Ivy take a seat near the back of the room. Fearing that his constant hand-wringing may draw unnecessary attention, Jonas wisely removes his jacket and conceals his hands from the people seated around him.
Alistair is as good as advertised. Despite what has befallen him over the last forty-eight hours, he is in his element. The audience is engrossed from the first moment, and applauds wildly when the lecture concludes. The question and answer period is almost as entertaining, with the professor exhibiting his standard aplomb in the face of admirer and detractor questions alike.
While Alistair tries desperately to hide it, it is clear to both Ivy and Jonas that he is avoiding them during the reception. Although he appears to be constantly surrounded by faculty, students, and other well-wishers, he seems withdrawn and periodically eyes the hall to see if Jonas and Ivy are still there.
In the meantime, Rudolph Pearson approaches Ivy and Jonas and greets them warmly.
“Miss Morgan, Mister Markham – it’s a pleasure to see you again under much nicer circumstances,” he begins. “If I failed to truly convey my heartfelt thanks at our last meeting, I apologize profusely. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you.”
Ivy asks Professor Pearson if it would be possible to meet with him privately. Noticing the wrapped volume under Ivy’s arm and the determined look on her face, he agrees to meet with them after the reception.
Ivy and Jonas help themselves to hors d’oeuvres and champagne, and wait for the hall to empty out. As the last of the faculty and students are leaving, Alistair Sinclair attempts to sneak out with them. Ivy stops the professor and tells him that she and Jonas are going to meet with Professor Pearson to discuss the book Ivy found in Red Hook. She asks Alistair if he’d like to join them.
“I shan’t be joining you. So sorry to disappoint, Miss Morgan, but I’m brassed off with New York. Bella gerant alii! Give us a bell if you ever find yourself in London.”
Alistair walks out of the hall and into the night.
After a few minutes, Rudolph Pearson returns and shows Ivy and Jonas to his office. He offers them a chair and sits down behind his desk.
“Now, how can I be of assistance?”
Ivy Morgan and Jonas Markham – June 14, 1926, 7:00pm
Professor Pearson looks from Ivy to Jonas.
“You performed a service for me, for which I’m grateful,” he says. “If discretion is your desire, then you have my assurances that I will not betray your trust.”
Ivy unwraps the tome and slides it across the desk to the professor. He thumbs through the various papers, stopping for a minute or two to read. He furrows his eyebrows periodically, conveying a look of disdain or disgust. He asks Ivy where she found the book and she describes the chamber beneath Stone Church in Red Hook.
After approximately twenty minutes, he looks up from the text.
“Three languages make up the pages in this…book,” he begins. “The first is English. From what I can tell, most of it is gibberish, but there are some unwholesome and sacrilegious ravings scrawled on these pages. It’s nothing that I’d be inclined to read for pleasure.”
“The second language is definitely Latin – and old Latin at that. I’ve only skimmed it briefly, but there are incantations written on these pages. Perhaps a religious rite or ritual – black magic, perhaps.”
“The third language is German. I’m not fluent in the language, but I am lucky (or unlucky, rather) enough, to have skimmed the first edition of Unaussprechlichen Kulten. I recognize several of the passages in this book to be taken directly from the German first edition.”
“I’m afraid that this text would be of no use to anyone that isn’t fluent in German or Latin. However, there are people at this university that could translate the text. They would need to be compensated for their efforts – one hundred dollars should cover the cost. I’d also need to break the text up in to almost-indiscernible sections, as to not arouse any suspicion about the true nature of the tome.”
“I would also ask that you allow the university to take possession of the original once it has been translated. It is an impressive find, and would be a welcome addition to the university’s occult collection.”
“But I caution you, once you’ve received the translation, be careful. The study of occult knowledge has been known to take a heavy toll on the minds of the learned. You read the translation at your own peril.”
Ivy and Jonas take a few moments to digest everything that Professor Pearson has said. Reaching in to her pocket, Ivy hands the professor the piece of paper with CONVENTO DI SAN FRANCESCO – KINGSPORT, MASSACHUSETTS written on it.
“It’s definitely a derivative of “Vulgar” Latin, which was spoken primarily by Roman soldiers during the fall of the Empire. I’m not certain, but I would guess Italian or Spanish.”
As if he suddenly remembered something, Pearson stands up, walks over to the bookshelves at the front of his office, and begins to scan the shelves. After a few seconds, he pulls a book off the shelf and hands it to Ivy. It reads Sant Francesco.
“This is a book of poems by the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer, published in 1895. The forty-three poems in the text were inspired by the life and works of Saint Francis of Assisi. Catalan is another derivative of “Vulgar” Latin.”
“As for convento, it could mean anything from apartment to monastery, depending on the dialect or derivative. So, it could mean St. Francis Apartments or St. Francis Monastery, or something similar.”
“The only Kingsport I know of is the port town located just south of Arkham. I’ve only ever stopped there while on a bus or train, on my way to Miskatonic University.”
Professor Pearson stands up from his desk, yawning. “I’m sorry, but it has been a very long day and I have to wake up for Effram’s memorial service tomorrow. If you wish to leave the book and money with me, I should be able to have it translated within a week to ten days. I will contact you when it’s finished.”
Ivy Morgan and Jonas Markham – June 14, 1926, 8:00pm
Grateful for Professor Pearson’s insight and in need of a good meal and a stiff drink, Ivy and Jonas leave Columbia University and head to the Empire Room at the Waldorf Astoria. Jonas, who until recently had enjoyed his meals meager and freshly killed, is in awe of the opulence of the five-star restaurant. When the two are finished eating, they drive back to Ivy’s Morningside Heights home and pack for their journey to Kingsport.
Over the course of the next hour, Ivy and Jonas finish off the remainder of Ivy’s scotch and discuss their plans. Not surprisingly, the scotch seems to sooth Jonas enough to limit the frequency and severity of his hand-wringing. Ivy purposely directs their conversation away from recent events and sees a noticeable change in Jonas’ demeanor.
Packed and sufficiently self-medicated, Ivy and Jonas agree to wake early for the long drive to Kingsport. Both go to sleep trying to recall the name of the city that they encountered in their dreams…
…Marash Monjak and Myra Vingo are standing in the market district of Baharna. The bustle of shoppers, merchants, diners, and entertainers has been replaced with near-silence. By all accounts, it is midday – yet the square is all but empty. The silence is broken occasionally by the sound of cries and whimpers. Upon closer examination, there are a few bodies scattered about the square. Marash and Myra approach one of them cautiously.
The cries grow louder as they stoop over the body of a woman covered in festering boils. Her cries are interrupted by gruesome coughs which expel a thick, black ichor from her lungs. As the two adventurers try to question the woman, she gives out a long, harsh breath and falls dead.
Throughout the square, the sounds of whimpering and cries of pain grow louder, as Marash and Myra are greeted with the harsh realization that all is not well in the city of Baharna…