Darkness on Cold

Part Five

Boston Occult Society: Independent Agent's Journal

(Spring, 1930)

Recorded by Carrie Walker

Saturday, March 29th, 1930

    Check articles about expedition members - only persons known to be going is the reporter from the Camden Star Courier - Paul Garvin. Related article - Dr. Reginald Peterson - world-reknowned oceanographer - being recruited.
    Back @ apartment + ask Zach to do dinner.  Will meet @ restaurant (where he took Garvin).
    Dinner - talk about Garvin - he's 22.  Does he bathe?  Bad dandruff?  Z - he's athletic, no dtracting features.
    Z - suggests dinner w/Gravin to get him to put in a good work w/the yard for the doctor + bring me as "friend of the family"
    Gary + Bo start @ yard on Monday.

Sun 30th March 1930

    I get a visitor - Moore.
    He;'s polite, complimentary, points out the incident has made business tough.  The police are focussing on local businessmen - won't happen again, I assure him.  I say I have some ideas to take the heat off.  I say the success and well-being of local business is a priority of mine.

Mon March 31st 1930

    Zack calls.  Dinner w/Paul garvin @ Ruth's Steakhouse tonight.  8:15pm
    Dress to impress.  Arrive @ 7:30pm
    The maitre d' rechecks his booking w/some help ($100), I go to the lounge for a very strong tonic water.  Good gin.
    Zack turns up @ 8.  He looks out of place.
    Paul arrives at 8:15
    We go to dinner.
    (Tips are doled out discretely and plentiful well)

    Doc gets up to leave.
    Talk w/Paul for a while.

    I plant a rumor that the mob are looking for the guys who did the shooting - anti-communist American Free Militia? - that said the Cult of the Sickle was running it.
    He doesn't think commies are involved, but he does take notes.
    I bubble a lot.  he doesn't say much.
    I pick up the tab and take a cab home.
    The staff @ Ruth's Steakhouse is very happy.

    Sit up and drink w/Rocky.

    Knock on door.
    It's Smoodgen.  Takes a cigarette, no booze.
    Says it's going to get hot.  State Police rousting usual suspects.  Since I've had contact w/them, + the State Poclice are tough, they'll get results...
    I need to wrap up + get out.
    - asks what we're doing.
    Cult of Silla - name familiar to him
    I mention Tablets of Destiny (Tupsimati), Hubert, Blair, Journals, + so on.

    Rocky mentions that Smoodgen has a tic on his way out.
    AS leaves too fast before we can catch up to follow him.

    ROcky thinks we need to get into the expedition - need a way to get to the North Pole (+ back) to stop the ritual.

    Will meet w/others for breakfast + talk... (9 am @ Pop's Diner)

Tuesday April 1st, 1930

    5 police knocked + came in
    3 plain clothes + 2 uniform
    Rocky wakes me, I make sure everything's hidden, + they knock on my door + want me to go downtown.  I come out in robe, + they say they want me to go for questioning.  I go get dressed while they talk to Rocky.
    Go is separate cars to station.
    Separate interrogation.
    Ask about Smith, Rocky, gun in apartment (!?) Airship, shooting, etc...
    I'm kept in cell.

    Then Rocky knocked on the door + I wake up...

    Pop's Diner, 9am

    We go back + forth a lot, and eventually think we can get on the expedition.
    Got to identify the cultists...

    Zack checking on job @ shipyard as night shift doctor.  Starts tomorrow evening.

    I'll hit the libarary.  Find nothing about Tablets of Destiny (Tupsimati).  Something about wind gods, but nothing about cults, not in US anyway.

    Rocky goes to take the tour himself.  Tells me he has appointment to apply for Navigator on ship.

Wed Apr 2nd 1930

    Bo has remembered the list of people from an open file cabinet

Anderson, John ?
Arledge, Thad ?
Baine, Andrew O. Ferguson, Howard
Brass, Alexander R. ?
? Garvin, Paul
? Iverson, Donald S.
? Paladino, Marco
? ?
Kent, Alan M. ?
Marshall, Riley B. Reynolds, Steven T.
Martinez, Juan A. ?
McConnell, Charles Strasser, Heinrich
? ?
? ?

    People from multiple countries, mult. jobs, + addresses are not all in this area.
    Blair was not on the list.

    I get the list, as much as he remembered -- 14 of 29

    Zack will hit library, check on names.  Only one is Martinez - made a movie, story of a boy + his dog.  He was cinematographer.
    Looks up names of Ithaqua.  Nothing new.
    Calls us.  Rocky answers.  Z tells up about Martinez.

    Rocky has interview @ yard w/Dilbert Compton.  Blows it.

    Evening - Gary + Bo go to job.
    Z to job, shown around, + so on.
    intro'd to file clerk, receptionist.  Over to clinic (sep. building).  Nurse, & Dr. Kevin C. Christie - locked his office (doesn't need medical histories - none on night workers anyway).  He is on expedition (his first big trip).
    Quiet night; just Z + the nurse (age 22)

    G&B - Mr. Atwater (Chief Engineer) left his door open tonight.
    Some sort of engineer - most of stuff on desk means nothing, but is a memo dated a week or so ago from Sharps Detective Agency:
    "Dear Mr. Atwater,
        "Came to attn. that shipment of 200lbs of heavy canvas missing - Removed from supply truck @ east end.  Driver knows nothing.  Likelihood of success remote in view of previous incidents, but will keep informed.
                        "Duncan J. Bailey, SDA"

    G+B drop by office + chat up nurse.

    Zack in coversation w/nurse finds that Dr. Christie insists on personally approving everyone who goes on trip - has rejected folks on non-medical grounds.

Thus April 3rd 1930

    Z calls.  Rocky answers - pass to me.  Rocky's good w/coffee.

    Tells me dr not well cared about, + personally approves every member of expedition, + fails some who pass physical.
    He's Dr. Kevin C. Christie.

    I tell Rocky to research him.  All he gets is that he works w/Camden Expedition..  Rocky heads to library to keep looking.

    Before lunch, Rocky suggests stalking him - I say I'll do it.  R suggests the cops, but I say I want it done properly.

    Z, G, +B go to work.
    Z checks Dr's office (his diploma from U. Tenn)  Chats w/Dr, also day nurse Betty (30-ish, married).
    Dr takes a cab...

    Later, while Gary distracts nurse, Z+B check Dr's office.  Get his addresss.  Records not locked.

Friday April 4th 1930

    Z calls again -

    Keven C. Christie grad U. Tenn.  Home address.  Leaves work ~6.  Works 6 - 6.

    Rocky  checks it out - 3rd floor apartment - top floor - fire escape.  Building has 6 apartments, 2 stairwells.  Solid door.  Lots of stakeout places.

    Rocky realises I mean to hit the doctor.  He doesn't like it.  He goes motorcycle shopping.

    I stake out Dr's apartment - watch him arrive, + overnight.
    He has a visitor - middle-aged man, upper-middle class.  arrives 9:30 - 10-ish, leaves ~45 mins - 1 hour later.  Walks up, when leaves, walks away + takes cab a block or so down street.

    Gary distracts nurse (goes outside for smoke) while Z+B check officxe again.
    Then G+B go look @ list of expedition members - get full list (w/posn on crew, age, nationality.  Page per person, including addresses.)

Saturday 5th April 1930

    I come back in the morning...

    Z calls R - to tell me I have a date w/reporter Sunday pm

    Sleep, matinee movie w/Rocky, dinner.

    After dinner I stake out apartment again.

    Z examines list of crew.  3 or 4 live near dock - all mechanics.  A lot of crew are out of town.  One is Norwegian - Otto Johansson - phot journalist.

Sunday April 6th 1930

    On way home fr work, Z finds paper - man found dead in aprtment, died a week ago.  Very grisly death, as if hacked apart by animal.  Don't know who he is. <address>

    Z+G+B drive by the place.  Poor neighbourhood.  Police car out front, no cops in car so probably in apartment.  Plain cop car there too (also no-one in it).

    Stop.  Gary goes up.  Cop outside door.  Pleasant conversation.  G says he was a mountie, RCMP.  State Police are involved because of nature of death - related to airship drive-by?  Here, not guns - hacked up.  No idea why related - that's the State boys' job.  G talks about a grisly animal attack he was involved in, gored + stomped + body spread around.  Gnoph-Keh the natives call it.  Pretty much extinct, but this one was trained.  G. gives his address, + cop will call him to look @ it when State cops are gone.

    G comes back + fills in Z+B.

    Lunch w/Paul Garvin + Z.

    Z arrives in taxi to pick me up + then to lunch.  Talk.
    Paul will take me next time he visits the yard.
    Pleasant lunch...

    Evening.  time to have some fun on this boring day.

    Take a taxi to high street.  Buy tobacco.  Walk to house.  Inconspicuous.
    UP fire escape.  Take time.
    To apartment. listen + observe.  He's eating.  back to the window, 20' away.  Open window, walk over.
    Empty 20-round clip into him.
    Leave like mist on the evening air.

    Back home.

Monday April 7th 1930

    Z - paper - someone died in apartment last night.  Dr. Christie, the doctor on Camden expedition.  Police believe it's connected w/murder @ yard.

    Send Rocky to library to get dirigible books.

    I suggest getting Bo on as security - obviously they need it!

    Z goes to work today to commiserate on Christie's death.
    Nurse's reaction is fear.  He tries to assuage her concerns.
    Z goes to security to get key to Dr's office.  Z lies on couch and snoozes.
    In pm, William Atwater drops by Dr's office.  Thanks him, and asks if he can come in during days.  Z accepts.

    I call Gary + ask him to tell doc (when he wakes up) that I went to dinner w/him.

    Doc calls after 6.  He now has day shift - unfortunate death - shoot w/SMG - linked to drive-by.  Need doctor to take over day shift, so he is.  Not on expedition yet.  Day nurse is nervous, actually whole place is nervous, guards nervous.
    Dinner w/zack @ restaurant (not expensive) in 20 minutes...

    G+B - all on heightened alert.  Boss is here - asks to see G+B, one at a time.
    "How well did they know Dr. Christie?"
    "Know anyone who'd wnat to kill him?"
    "Did he have a drinking problem?"
    "Did he have any enemies?"

    G+B being put on slightly different duty.
    Expedition victimized by thefts of equipment + parts
    - list of stuff reported missing - incl 200 lbs heavy canvas, etc, etc, (gives list).
    Wants G+B to investigate.  All they've found out is that it's not just a clerical error, it's a real theft.  Different places, times, ways.
    So released from patrol to do thefts.  Can go through offices, but do it when people not there.

    Z tells me about death (hacked apart) @ <address> + his boss died - shot - last night.  Z is day-shift doctor + will use that to introduce himself w/staff + talk.

    I study dirigible books.

    G+B search:

  1. G, Chief accountant's office:

  2.     Accounting records, also that some of stuff on list was never delivered to this location.  A lot (but not all) has gone missing between shippers + receivers.
  3. G, Chief engineer: nothing
  4. B, chief personnel:

  5.     nothing that they don't already know, but it's clear that Christie made all the staffing choices - v. weird!
  6. Pilot/navigator: just flight plans, etc.

  7.     late Nov, fly to USN Air Station at Lakehurst, NJ, then Spitzbergen Norway, + thence N. Pole.
  8. Regular accountant: nothing
  9. Secretaries, office administrators, etc.: nothing
Tuesday April 8th, 1930

    Z going to work in taxi - get faster + faster + straight @ building where there's a man waving hands at the taxi - he crouches in the back.

    Rocky calls me out of bed @ 9 to read the paper.

    Paper - another gruesome death - in same apartment as last one!  This time know who it is - officer Wilson, investigating previous death.
    I ask Rocky to call Gary to look into it.  Wilson was the officer G talked to.
    Rocky tells me they're sleeping + will be over for dinner.
    Rocky suggests arranging for a maid every couple of weeks.  Also wants a bigger radio.

    Police arrive at G+B's - B is being arrested.  3 officers - for conspiracy to commit murder.
    More officers streaming in, searching.
    Gary too is arrested.
    Taken + separated - booked but not charged.
    Interrogation room...

    Z wakes in hospital - hurt + morphined.
    Later, woken by plain-clothes cop.  Asked what happened.
    Says driver drove straight into building.
    Asked if he recognizes "this man" - drawing of Smoodgen.  He answers no.  Ever been to < > street?  No.  Ever been to apartment < > ?  Guy killed there - in paper.  Connection to Gary Trudeau - has he ever been there?  Dunno.  What about Bo?  Dunno.
    Nurse shoos off police.  Z asks her about driver - dead.

    Later, B+G interrogated.  Don't know which did it, but prettys sure one of them are.  Bo talks about stopping outside the (animal killing) apt - says his brother came across something like that in Arctic.
    Show him a picture of man w/face slashed - Smoodgen.  then show drawing of Smodgen.

    G interrogated same way.  Mentioned he talked to Officer Wilson.  Noticed area was staked out v. heavily, curious + asked what's going on.  what connection to Theodore Bryant?  This man?(Smoodgen)  Met him once or twice - worked for landlard, talked about problems w/apt.  Ever have beef w/him?  Threaten to kick them out?  Did he kill him? No.  Did Dr. Smith kill him? Don't follow his whereabouts, don't believe he would.  What about Bo?  Don't think so.  Did he owe any of you money?  No...

    A questioned again... also about Theodore Bryant?

    G+B don't show up.
    We eat + enjoy dinner (4-ish)
    Then call Zack's office.  Not there, didn't turn up, left no message.  No answer @ apartment.

    Bo calls Z (not there) + Sharp - leave message for him.

    I'll call Paul Garvin, see if my uncle called him.  No.  He suggests calling police.
    Rocky doesn't call police (doesn't like idea), but does find him @ a hospital.  Can't see him - police have ordered no visitors, not even family.
    I call flower shop - just rings.

    I'll call Paul back.  Tall him found him in hospital, and police won't let anyone talk to him.  Paul says he'll look into it.

    Police ask Z who his niece is - Carrie Walker - travelled inot town togther.  he says phone # is @ house.

    Give Rocky all phone numbners, + $150, + he'll go visit Atlantic City.  Give Jennifer's #, etc.  Letter to Jenny, authorizing fund movement, etc.

    ROcky - taxi to station, 1st train to Boston.  But police want him to go to police station + answer questions.  He says he has to call employer, + police says can do from hospital.  Still has his bag, etc.
    Other man wants ot go through bag - fine - but what happened to Dr. Smith?  Don't know.
    Bag is clean
    "Tell me about your employer"
    "Ever asked to do anything illegal?" No.
    "Ever seen her kill anybody?"  That little thing?  No way!  Doesn't seem the type.  Bossy + likes to think she's playing important.  Intersted in airship, the one Doc's working for.  Doc + cops got jobs @ ship.  Talk... talk... talk...
    "Ever heard of mafia?  Gangs?"  Boston?  Nah!  Only men are in gangs - she's a chick!
    "Would it bug you to know she's in a gang?"  You serious?  Just pulling my leg, right?  Men w/big machine guns are in the mob, not her.
    "Ever seen her fire a gun before?"  Never seen her hold a gun.
    "Who seeing in Boston?"  Jennifer Ashley-Jones.
    Asks him to wait... he's away for a while.
    Comes back 30 mins later w/picture - of old doctor.  Never seen him.
    Picture - Smoodgen - seen him before?  Yeah, someone her nibs knows.  She met w'/him + he wasn't invited.
    Another man - No, just the second guy.
    "So - these three guys are all dead." Smoodgen + the one he didn't know were messed up ones.  He thinks CW is in danger.
    "This ain't her style?" Smoodgen torn up.
    Picture - man w/innards all over.  "This?" Rocky ais v. sick.  She's a little girl!
    "All men connected w/you + your friends.  Who do they keep dying?"
    Dunno - she has money, perhaps something.  Rocky says that what happened to second guy would happen to her, + she needs protecting.
    "Think we should keep her in protective custody?" No way could take her + put her away somewhere, she's just that sort of person.  Can watch her, but to lock her up would kill her.
    (Asks about contact in Boston)
    "Bring her in for her own safety?"  I wouldn't - done nothing illegal, so can't lock her up.
    "Could convince boss of danger + go to safe house?"  Could convince of danger, but not so sure about safe house.
    ""Put off trip for a couple of days + try to convince her to come down + talk to them."  Deal.

    Officer checks /wdesk sergeant - Dr is in custody at hospital, part of Judge Benson arrest warrant.  Makes no sense.
    Rocky leaves, taxi to apt...

    Go to hospital but first "clean" apartment.  weapon, booze, flush the gin.
    Hide weapons outside apts. (gun, ammo, knife)

    Bag w/change of clothing, toiletries, airship books, + paper.  plenty fo cigarettes. + taxi to hospital.
    Desk, ask if I can see Dr. Zachariah Smith.  Police aren't allowing visitors or messages.  How is he?  Will find out.
    Z is resting comfortably, was in car accident.  Will be OK.

    ~hour later plain clothes cop approaches.  Asks if I'm CW.   I ask for news about Dr. Smith.  Will be released tomorrow.
    Can't talk to him.  Arrested.  Involved in one or more murders.  (I'm wearing feminine + flattering but practical outfit)  Dr. Smith is uncle.  Came to Camden recently.  He came to set up practice, + after that I stayed on, airship interesting.  Camden sleepy, few murders - but since me + Z arrived, 4.  "That's awful."
    "Anyone you know died?"  No.  Related murders?  "Yes, if nothing else by time."
    G friend of Z - doesn't work for me.  Z doesn't work for me.  Rocky's only person works for me.  G+B friends of Z.
    "Lucky coincidence - 3 employed at shipyard."
    Did you know Dr. Smith got promotion?  Yes, after other doc murdered.
    "Theodore Bryant?" Was he murdered?  No, just a name.
    When can I see my uncle?  "Transfer him to station tomorrow, will put in good word to see him tomorrow night."

    Officer will give message to Z saying I'm here.

    Rocky arrives, checks apt., goes to hospital.

    I run into Rocky!
    Police asked him to station - asked him not to leave just now.

    Back to apt.
    Rocky says they said I was in the mob!  I say I'm not.  I also agree I wouldn't do that killing mess.  Smoodgen - business assoc or family friend.  Dead - messed up.  Mob, + mafia, like in Chicago w/booze - not girls like me, says Rocky.  Supposed to take me into protective custody @ safe house - since I know one of them I might be next.
    I don't want to be in custody.  Rocky can protect me, I say.  Rocky insists that Smoodgen + Doc + police stuff is a warning.

    Coffee + snack + sleep

    Z interrogated again

Wed 9th Apr

    Knock on door - Rocky answers - says a v. large man @ door.  I ask him to get name + business - R says he has no name, + his business is w/ me.
    9' tall arab, dressed as arab - turban, short pants, sandals.  Hands me a letter.
    Letter says - from Mr. Danning.  Says he is disappointed that allowed Smoodgen to indulge in his most dangerous of vices, but not wholly my fault.  He understands that a number of compatriots arrested, for murder of Smoodgen.  Help on way in form of lawyer called Mr. Horatio Dewey, but needs me to find the cult + find a way to implicate them in murders, otherwise difficult for Dewey to do his job.  Should not remain in Camden much longer.  Please return letter to "my messenger."
    I give the letter back, + he leaves.

    Phone book - Theodore Bryant is listed w/address.  Go there - apt in nicer part of town.  3rd floor (top).  No fire escape.  GO up + knock.
    Police line - do not cross.
    Door is locked.  Unlock it + go in.
    Apt. is well appointed.  Obviously well off.  Large bloodstain in living room.  Blood splattered, someone ripped apart.
    Pictures, but don' recognize anyone in them.  Search apt. for anything cultish.

    Nothing that is remotely cultish.
    Search the place thorouhgly.  Just about to give up, no cult, no clue of any involvement, until...
    Come across a rolltop desk. - already opened (police?) briefcase - papers describing an airship, a secret one, built in Camden, NY.  Also apparently this airship is connected to "Richter + Wiley" of NYC.  Some supplies easily re-routed by changing address.
    2 secret compartments - one empty, other diary.  Diary - covers most of a year, ending a couple of days ago.  He's a lawyer.
    Take briefcase + diary.  Go back to apt.

    G+B interrogated + let go.

    Spend rest of day reading diary.
    half way through, but can tell that details Bryant's devotion to Ithaqua, + activities to reach N. Pole.  At NP, Dec 21, release the Wendigo from his unjust imprisonment.  Talks a lot about Ithaqua - lots of info [+1 Mythos, -d3 SAN].

    G calls boss, abut fired anyway.  Report what they'd found out about lost shipments, stuff shipped from shippers + never arrived...

    Call police station to see if I can see Z, but he's already been released.

    Z talks w/G+B @ the house.

    Z calls.  Rocky answers.  Z+G+B to come over.  Rocky will get meal for us all.
    Z - the driver of the cab he was in had a fit or something + just froze up + accelerated downhill + into building.  Driver died.
    So I say driver was possessed by cult trying to kill him.  Tell them the cult is building another one.  Where all the supplies are going.  Camden, NY
    Tell them about Bryant + Camden NY project.

    Call Dewey.  Will come by

    30 mins later, arrives

    Itroductions.  I tell him about Bryant, diary, plans.  He wants diary - we come up w/plausible connection between cult + murders.

    We read second half of diary - (Z + me) Read all night.  (Z skims first half)
    Bryant was leader of cult in this area.

Thursday 10th Apr

    G+B+Z stay the night.

    G finds Camden NY - train to Utica, then rent car + drive.  Near Finger Lakes.

    Horatio Dewey drops by + picks up diary.

    Will leave town tomorrow.  Tell Dewey where we're going + we should keep in touch.

    Tonight I recover Tom + knife + so on. Pack.

    Z will stay behind as doctor @ project.

    G went back via house - burned to ground.

    Papers - Police released name of two unknown victims - Smoodgen, + Bryant.

    Gary gets new elephant gun, + 30.03, in Philly before we go.

    Paper - cause of fire unknown.

    Stay in Apt tonight.

    Keep watches tonight.  I'll stay up for a good while...

Fri 11th Apr

    Z goes to work (he will take over apartment)

    Rocky, G, Bo, and I go to Camden, NY.