Bacon's Head

A Report of the Boston Occult Society

(Spring, 1922)

Submitted by Alasdair Charles "Charlie" McNish,

direct from operatives' notes

    Towards the end of the Howard Phillips Affair, I was contacted by Sir Martin Murray.  He said that he was purchasing an occult item in Austria, and wished bodyguards -- not for his body, but for his spirit.  I told him that I had an operative in the Middle East right now...

day, March, 1922

    Algie gets telegram to meet Sir Matin Murray in Vienna at a hotel and bodyguard his spirit.
    Sir Martin is famous occult collector - Algie knows of him.

    Vienna - to hotel, rooms there.

    Message says where/when to meet - do so - his room.

    Auction to buy ring - Ring of Solomon - + fears that he could be in danger once he's got it. - Discrete "protection" for a while until he reaches England - not obvious protection.

    No pre-view - but auction moved up to tomorrow night.

    Sir Martin will pay us 4000 ukp plus expenses.


Page 3

    We get 2000 ukp from Charlie as an advance.

    "Black Tie" is interpreted freely by everyone but Algie and Edward (and sort of O'Reilly)

    Arrive - 3rd floor - buffet dinner - champagne - + ~20 other people.  String quartet.  Everyone here is titled or faking it.
    Algie fancies one woman (turns out to be Lady Mag(net?)), but she fancies the magician (really??).  There is a rich non-snob Swede - rest are snobs.

    After dinner, chars and display tables set up, podium fopr head of house (to run auction), champagne, brandy, cigars.

  1. Blood Ankh - Sir Martin buys it
  2. Manuscript Beth Eloim (Eloian?) - Swede bids - ours for 65 ukp.
  3. Magician stuff - Swede buys it.
  4. Hand of Glory  - George Walker (the American)
  5. African junk - Sir Martin
  6. "The Magus" - bidding vs. Lady Mag(net?), Frenchman, Sir Martin, Russian.  Ours for 350ukp.
Servant takes a long time... 3 - 4 minutes later

Page 4

    Scream - Aupsburg strides to door -- O'Reilly + Vendredi follow - down hall, and into room w/items - the assistant who just left room sprawled - he is passed out.  furniture destroyed, stuff scattered - body of 1st servant scattered limb from limb around room.
    O'Reilly (looks for sword - it is there) - hte "head" (brass ????) is missing!
    Trail of blood leads to dumb-waiter.  (leads to basement) - v. large - empty - bloody footprints + handprints.  Sickly-sweet smell - smell of ghouls.

    Auction cancelled.

    Take items bought.

    Investigate - (Aupsberg will pay us)

    Archie will go down in dumb-waiter, others walk down - vault full of safes, boxes, shelves for auction items.  Wall has been dug out + caved in behind dumb waiter.  Call for servants + shovels.

    Couple of hours digging - perhaps quicker to check sewers. - hole coming into sewers - [going / go in?] - 1/2 hour or so - realise gone - maybe saw ghoul.

Page 5

    Police tell us not to leave town.

    Meanwhile, Vendredi hypnotises servant who passed out -- saw no ghouls.


Next day

    Edward + O'Reilly take an interpreter and look in library re. head . - constructed by black magician in image of Roger Bacon - can answer question on metaphysics + deep philosphy.
    Edward gets an old book of head period in bad enough condition with no title outside - go back to house, ask for translator, give status report so servants can hear - Edward says he has found book dealing w/head + how to use it + taking back to hotel + study.
    Priest stay w/Edward + in (bar?) for "safety".

    Algie reads "The Magus" (loses 4 SAN)

    Tell Charlie to look out for mechanical head among his ghoul friends (yeah, sure!).
    Charlie suggests - how would ghouls know it was there? - date of auction changed -

    Talk to Aupsberg - he had a good reason to change date - he suspects it was one of guests - argaret Jameson, Micheal D Borsavin (French), Klaus Hunderprest (Austrian). - these - each one offered + tried to buy head ahead of time - Hunderprest was very angry when wouldn't sell ahead of time.

    Try to remember how those three reacted at the auction - hypnotist helps us -
    Hunderprest didn't seem as shocked as everyone else, perhaps?

    Go visit him.  - Archie, Vendredi, Duvalier.

    Hunderprest - in 50's to 60's, really rich guy, repellant cast to face - slightly pointed head, face long, skin oily + coarse, olive complexion + blond hair + beard - something v. strange about him.
    Talk for a while - he is annoyed - reacted to "head at auction".

    - He lives in basement - weird! - door in back (no windows)

    Edward's idea - take dog around H'pst's home - no reaction in particular.
    Vendredi + Duvalier go down into sewers to look for way in.  Can't find anything. - Rig up thread either end so can tell if anyone goes through that section.

    Go to Aupsberg - write letter explaining head found, available, + is it worth offering for auction.  Aupsberg doesn't want to do that.

    Everyone but Fishface in hotel, so no sewers to check.

    Graveyards?  an ancient one down the street from Fishface's house.  After cleaning up, Vendredi, Duvalier + Algie go there -
    Notive some police doing their rounds.  We hide - they walk through graveyard.  The notice us - Duvalier throws his darts - they miss?
    Algie acts drunk, asks the way to the X Hotel.  They rush us, tackle us, Duvalier drugs one, the other goes for help - Vendredi unlocks handcuffs.  We run while he fixes the evidence.

    Night.  We sleep.

Next day

    Morning.  Papers - "another" grave robbery but this one was foiled - frightened them off.
    3rd time almost caught - but this time is the first time they saw faces.

Page 8

    Peter Klauser tells us something about Hunderprest - He doesn't have job - family money - lives from selling old family jewelry (pawn shops) - occasionally makes money as occultist.

    Go investigate the graveyard?
    5 different graveyards have reported robberies - go back + look - seems random - some ancient (+ some rich in jewelry?) + some others.  - Twice have seen people from top.

    Check pawn shops near him - over last year or so, sold about 5,000ukp worth of jewelry, some ancient - w/dates of sale, but no correlation w/robberies.

    Algie shaves off moustache.  O'Reilly finds that Duvalier has not showed up + has his room locked.  - he's not in his room - the lockon the window has been forced.
    Message for Duvalier @ front desk (in German) - "The safety of your friend depends on leaving well enough alone." - left sometime before late this morning.  Don't know who left it.

    Peter fetches 3 goons (2 shotgun, 1 pistol) to assault the basement.

Page 9

Next day

    1 a.m.

    Peter, Algie, Edward, O'Rielly,, + the goons leave to assault.
    Park right outside alley.
    The goons go ahead to deal with occupants + get door open.  A gunshot (fairly quiet).  One says it's clear.  We go in.

    Fishface is dead.  No one else here.

    We find a secret door.  Stinks - sweet - ghoul smell.  Light switch in tunnel.
    Algie leads, from Peter, etc.

    60' down.  Walls marble slabs from mausoleum - tapestries from shrouds, interwoven w/filthy.  Electric light.  Algie goes into shock, recovers shortly.

    2 doors -
    door B opens - v shadowy - someone there!  It attacks.  Peter shoots - it goes down.  There's more!  Edward shoots, etc.

    The next one - goes down.

    Two more - One gets through

Page 10

    Algie comes around.  The goon shoots his shotgun + several go down, and Edward shoots the one attacking him.
    Shotgun + stick killls the rest.  There were 10.  We were lucky.

    Short corridor to natural cavern - ghouls' quarters - some cloaks (huh?) + chest.  There's a hole going down + out (in direction of graveyard).

    In our room - small table + chair - book (Liber Tenebra) + head on platter (encrusted w/blackish substance - burnt blood).  Some tombs in one of the walls.  (O'Rielly takes the head) [take book]

    Door A - hallway ending in room - a tomb - a woman laid out on slab (dead)

    Check tombs in main room - 2 empty - one has body of Duvalier - he's alive! drugged.
    Chest contains old jewelry.  leave it.
    Back up to the apartment.

    Leave it so police will discover, + leave.

    Take Duvalier to hospital, us to hotel.

    Aupsburg gives us each a gold signet ring w/crest.

    Fly to Holland, chat w/Fokker factory, ferrry to England, couple of days in England, leave from Southampton to U.S. on the "Mauretania".