Wednesday 12th October, 1938
The investigators reconvene at Orme Library to explain the recent horrors to the old men of the Inquiry. (Quinn McCafferty is absent; he continued onto Kingsport.) Dr Armitage is horrified by what they’ve been through and contemplates ending the matter, but the investigators insist that they continue – especially Erin, who still has the threat of strange blood in her veins.
The group also compares what else they’ve learned. Erin had dinner with Dr George Belling the previous evening and found him a tiresome piscetarian, but he mentioned that the Gloucester chapter of the Helping Hands has been quiet of late. Joseph shows telegrams from booksellers he asked about The Tears of Azazoth. Two had never heard of it, but the third – or rather, someone named Wendy Laverton sending a message on his behalf – claims that he saw it in Joseph’s own shop! Joseph is sure this is untrue, but is disturbed by the statement. He’s even more disturbed by what he sees in Lutie Simmons’ journal when he skims it; he pushes it away in revulsion, but glimpses enough to deduce that she worshipped ‘The Black Man’, and that her cult is greater that just the group Quinn and Amelia faced at the farm yesterday.
Finally, the group discuss the third mysterious document. Professor Rice explained that he was keeping watch on Dr Armitage as he slept, just in case he was writing the documents himself. Rice experienced a moment of vertigo, then came around to find the document had appeared – and half an hour had vanished. This document seems like a sequel to the third; among its strange entries, it describes the death of Quinn McCafferty in an Arkham factory. Armitage asks what they know of McCafferty and if they can trust him; Amelia vouches for him, but can’t explain his appearance in the document. More and more, the group wonders if these files could somehow be missives from the future.
As the Inquiry disbands, Armitage insists the investigators take some time to recover from the stress of the last case, and they agree. They go their separate ways for several days to rest, seek treatment and do research. Joseph finds no trace of the Tears in his shop, but does find a consignment note that might be related – books sent from the Kingsport Yacht Club, but that were never delivered. Amelia’s laboratory is repaired, and an elderly woman loses her mind when she’s accidentally locked in the radio telescope lab overnight. All she can say when found is el faro – ‘the lighthouse’. The event prompts a visit from Detective McGrail, who tells Amelia that Sheriff Colquitt took the credit for saving Nora Wynne, saving everyone from some awkward questions. He asks her if it’s all over; she’s unable to tell him what he wants to hear.
Finally, a week after their last discussion, the investigators meet at the town library to plan their next movements. Erin is keen to look into a boarding house mentioned in the third document, where McCafferty might have stayed – or will be staying. Joseph presents further telegrams from his bookseller contact, who now denies any earlier message; he wants to investigate this ‘Wendy Laverton’ and perhaps the Kingsport Yacht Club. Amelia and Morgan mostly suggest further research.
A decision is delayed, though, as two large Irish men enter the library – and ask the investigators where they can find Quinn McCafferty…