Wednesday, 28th January
When the investigators got together at the café, Arthur didn’t show up. They waited a while then decided to check in on him.
The concierge let them go up to the apartment, where they found the door open. Inside there were signs of a struggle and the window to the fire escape was open. Arthur had been abducted! Down the stairs, at the bottom they found vehicle tracks in the fresh snow… thick tyres with a wide wheel-base.
They decided to head for Emerson Imports and follow the Jimmy Wales lead. The building is a warehouse by the docks, with an office upstairs. The investigators told the guard that they needed to speak to Mr. Emerson and he waved them in. By the warehouse, a small truck was being loaded with crates by a couple of dock workers. Basile narrowed his eyes… one of them looked just like that guy who was watching them yesterday. And the truck—could it be that the wheelbase matched the tyre tracks outside Arthur’s apartment?
Mr. Emerson was horrified to hear that his squash partner had apparently been abducted and offered whatever help he could. Looking through employee records, the investigators found that Mukunga M’Dari works here. They noted his address and those of two other employees they suspected of being cult members.
The truck left to do its deliveries and the investigators decided to scout around the warehouse. They realised that Mukunga M’Dari was across the warehouse, leaning against a wall, watching them… and took that as a cue to leave.
Armed with M’Dari’s address, they headed to his apartment in Harlem, where Jude swiftly picked the lock. M’Dari lives in a shabby room with sparse furnishings : a bed roll, a few clothes, a table and chair, and various Kikuyu ceremonial items like masks, shields and wooden carvings. They found a few curious things. First, an encrypted telegram from PHARAOH in London :
Second, a curious wooden box. On the lid was carved a three-legged monster with a massive tentacle in place of its head. Inside the box were three glass vials containing a golden liquid, scintillating and slightly syrupy. The vials are sealed with wax.
A more thorough search revealed a small piece of paper tucked into the mattress which had been crudely re-stitched. On it was the word GIZABLCKPHRO. Calculating that this was the key for the telegram cipher, they were able to decode its message:
RECEIVED TELEGRAPH NEW YORK CECIL GOULDING FRIEND JACKSON ELIAS STOP KNOWS ELIAS RESEARCHED CARLYLE STOP FIND OUT WHO HE IS WHAT HE KNOWS
Cecil decided he should stop sending telegrams to Mr. Gavigan in London.
Leaving the apartment, they decided to check in at Teddy’s Saloon. Adam’s friends were there, but when the investigators started to question them about their friend, they looked guilty. The interview didn’t turn up anything new.
It was 7pm. Suspecting that their friend had been taken to the Ju-Ju House, they decided it was time for a break-in under cover of darkness.