|A likeness of the esteemed author of this letter.|
Well old chap I suppose you must be wondering what this is all about? Why has Monty left me these letters? The truth is that someone will need to know what has transpired in the unfortunate case of my incapacitation, incarceration or untimely death. It is my steadfast conviction that the nefarious organisation who perpetrated a monstrous murder is brought to account, if not by myself then by someone following in my footsteps.
I shall begin at the beginning as is prudent. I had received a telegram from a confidant, the accomplished author and expert on the occult Elijah Jackson. He had information concerning the Carlisle expedition and informed me of his immanent arrival. Not knowing the importance nor the significance of the Carlisle expedition, and not being in a position to ask given that I was reading from a telegram, I immediately used my telephone to call Dr Raymond Howser MD who is the world’s leading light in the field of Phrenology and who also finds time to indulge his penchant for archaeology. The Dr was dismissive of my enquiries fobbing me off with an Egyptian anecdote. In truth I doubt the Dr knew much of the Carlisle expedition in the first place though his mention of it being a ‘doomed expedition’ held the ring of truth.
A few days later I received a most unsettling call from Elijah Jackson himself. He had arrived in New York and wished to meet at his hotel room at 8 pm. He then abruptly disconnected the line before I could ask the most elementary of questions. Sensing something was desperately wrong I immediately called Dr Howser to persuade the amateur archaeologist to meet with me immediately whence forth we would endeavour to reach Elijah expeditiously. Getting Dr Howser to attend to the matter urgently proved fruitless as he had prior engagements and so I used the local metropolitan train to pay an urgent and unannounced visit to Mr Jackson’s Hotel room.
I must confess to using some subterfuge in attempting to gain access to Mr Jackson’s room. This should come as no surprise given my current profession. The concierge revealed that Elijah was out but that did not allay my fears for my friends safety. I gained access to the level on which Elijah was staying and tried the door to his room. Much to my consternation it was locked and no amount of ‘tampering’ with the blasted lock would aid in it’s opening. Cursing my ill fortune I scouted the outside of the hotel but could not discern an appropriate fire escape that would grant me access to Elijah’s hotel room.
At this juncture Dr Raymond Howser MD deemed it necessary to grace us with his presence. It seemed the urgency of my call had alarmed him after all and he had cancelled his meetings for the day. We returned to the hotel lobby where in the Dr caused a scene by trying to bribe the concierge and then, upon being rebuffed, threatened to call the police. I swiftly ushered him from the foyer and across the road where we partook of some light refreshments while we awaited Elijah’s return. I could not shake the ‘bad feeling’ I had.
A good 20 minutes prior to our meeting time we returned to the hotel, ascended in the lift and knocked briskly upon Elijah’s door. With no response I had little choice but to break down the door. What I saw beyond was a scene of horror but certainly no worse than the aftermath of a good old fashioned trench shelling as I experienced first hand on many an occasion during my stint with the British army. Raymond was stunned yet I had the presence of mind to notice a fleeing figure heading towards the fire escape. I drew my .45 and fired a single round that hit the scoundrel square between the shoulders. Incredulously the villain survived and continued fleeing at such rapid pace that before I could fire another shot he had vanished into a waiting black automobile and fled the scene.
I now have the unfortunate task to describe the scene that had so unmanned the good Dr. My acquaintance Elijah Jackson had had his intestines removed, his chest sawn open and an occult rune carved into his forehead. The rune looked not unlike a sun. He had on his person a ticket to a lecture along with several items that suggested Elijah Jackson had been making inquiries into a great number of occult activities from around the globe. The sound of a siren led us to the point of no return. Could we trust the police to solve this crime? I could not with good conscious answer in the affirmative and so the Dr and I took it upon ourselves to solve this murder. To do this we would need to retain the evidence we had collected and so we hastily vacated the scene before the immanent arrival of the constabulary.