March 20th, 1925

My dearest Betty,

I would feign disinterest in the subject of this letter, but you know me too well to be deceived. It's been all I could do to keep my eagerness for the details from being written all across my face. I know Louis would never have given me the details had he realised just how desperately I hung on every word.

It's not that I'm a romantic. Well, of course I am, but honestly my interest is mostly fueled because these are the two most important people left in my life. Violet is my best friend, and I have longed for her to find even a small semblance of the happiness I had with Searle. And Louis...

It can be difficult sometimes. Of course I wish him all the best, but there are those moments, flashes when the light hits him just so, and I forget who he is. Or rather, who he isn't. 

When Louis first returned from the Legion, I struggled with how to deal with him. At times he is so like my lost husband, but then it passes and I see how truly different they are. Louis laughs easier than Searle ever did, but he has a darker side, an impetuosity that throws him deeper into darkness than my late husband. He is such a congruity of parallels and differences that he confuses me at times. But the fact remains, he is my brother-in-law and we have known each other for so long that I cannot do otherwise than wish him all the happiness in the world.

And so, with all that in mind, to the heart of the matter.

When we crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Mauretania, one of our companions in First Class was a Count Kurosov, some Russian nobleman with paranoid bodyguards who failed spectacularly to protect him during an assassination attempt. Indeed, it was Louis and Lord Covington who stopped the attempt. 

Violet and Count Kurosov saw much of each other during that voyage. I actually think she was quite taken by the man. I can't blame her. The Count was a perfect gentleman, rich, handsome, and charming. The idea of being on his arm sounds like one of those fairy tales my mother used to read at night. Brothers Grimm was it? The Little Cinder Girl! I know at the time I wistfully thought it could be Violet's path to happiness. 

Of course, the boat ride was magical in and of itself, and like all magical things was all too fleeting. I'm quite sure Violet, like myself, thought she would never see the good Count again. Had I been her, I would have tucked my memories of the Mauretania into a neat box to warm me in the dead of winter for the rest of my life. Violet hasn't had the depth of experiences outside New York that I have, and no doubt it was that much more powerful for her.

But as I said, these things end. England and its peculiarities beckoned, and then we were off to the Mediterranean which holds its own charm. I will admit I do not know precisely when they found each other again (I was, as you might guess, somewhat less observant and concerned for others on that part of our journey), but sometime on our leisurely cruise across the Med, Louis and Violet renewed their passions. Or at least, so it was for Louis. 

He speaks of her longingly, wistfully. I truly believe he still cares for Violet. It is difficult to say whether he would have ever made an honest woman of her (there are fraught complications especially now that he is not just the heir, but head of our branch of the family), but I do believe he would have seen to it that she was treated well. Obviously, her profession makes for some awkwardnesses, although money can buy everything, even the silence of wagging tongues if need be. 

In truth though, I'm not sure that until now Louis had thought very much about her profession at all. You see, despite their relationship, which in fairness is still quite a fledgling, when Violet found out Count Kurosov was in Cairo, she renewed her acquaintance with him. From my reckoning, she has spent quite a bit of time with the good Count and really, I can't fault her. 

Louis, meanwhile, has been off enjoying the city as only a man can. It is perhaps a sign of our times that he seems utterly unfazed by his own indiscretions, but hers are another matter entirely. I gather that he simply asked where she had been all day the day before and she very simply told him that she'd spent it with the Count. Violet has ever been a forthright woman and not one to play coy, but I do wonder whether she realised the ramifications of such a proclamation.

Louis is now entirely conflicted. His feelings for her are in disarray, and he is finally having to deal with what her profession might mean for their relationship- if they are even calling it that. I'm fairly certain if you asked them both there would be a difference of opinion on that score. 

Regardless, I told Louis he had to really think on his feelings for Violet. If he loves her, he needs to figure out what that means for him, for her, for them, the family... At times like these I am quite happy not to be a man with all their responsibilities. 

I've tried to catch Violet for a heart to heart, but her schedule has been frightfully hectic it seems. I worry that she is burning the candle too much and will fall ill with all her coming and going. The only time I've been able to speak with her at all was at meals, and I could hardly ask her about such matters in public. 

Hopefully it will all turn out for the best. I pray that Louis finds it within himself to take the situation firmly in hand rather than wilting away under the implications. 

As for myself, I've been keeping busy with the titles Doctor Kafour suggested. He seems to appear at my shoulder frequently when I am in the Egyptian Museum Library, but he has not been anything other than genteel. In truth, with my lack of knowledge of Egyptian he has been quite helpful on occasion when Lord Covington was not around providing explanation of certain colloquial phrases. 

I shall write when I know more. I feel our time in Cairo is borrowed, waiting upon the New Moon. In ways, our departure might solve many problems. 

Yours always,


March 19th, 1925

Oh Betty, 

I hardly know how to explain what has happened over the past few days. I have, of course, continued my research into the stone Nyiti gave me, but there have been occurrences that beggar belief. I suppose I should just start at the beginning.

Do you remember Vanheuvelen? He was a former member of the Clive Expedition who Lord Covington took pity upon and brought to stay with us at the Shepheard's Hotel, ostensibly so he could work with the man on some scrolls he had found. 

Well, now that I think on it, since Vanheuvelen's appearance there has been an increase in cats about the place. When we first met him he was in a place overrun by the creatures and I thought it just the locality. However, it has only been since his arrival that Moza has had friends around. Indeed, his friends seem to multiply every morning although thankfully they have not all decided to decamp in my sitting room. 

Several nights ago, Lord Covington and Vanheuvelen were working diligently in Vanheuvelen's rooms when there came a yowling racket from the hallway followed by loud scraping at the door. Bursting through the door with gun drawn (very dashing sounding isnt it?), Lord Covington found no one there, but a set of very large claw marks down the front of the door- claws much larger than a housecat. This frightened Vanheuvelen quite a bit, who already did not particularly care for the cats anyway, but they both were committed to continue reading. 

Violet was not terribly impressed that these scrolls were taken from what appeared to be an active temple, and had a word with our new Dutch friend, urging him to return the scrolls which he refused. I daresay she might have had a good shot of convincing him, but she disappeared for the rest of the day and I've seen very little of her since. 

Regardless, I awoke a day or so later to find a young, pretty Arab woman seated at my coffee table petting one of the cats! I was shocked that anyone was in my rooms, much less when I was still in a state of undress! Really, has no one any decency anymore? 

She did not give me the impression that she meant me harm, and, indeed, was quite polite, so I sat down with her and poured us tea. She introduced herself as Neris, insisting that she'd been told that I was a "very nice lady." Although she wouldn't say by whom, I got the distinct impression from that and other things she said that she meant by the cats. Imagine!

Her request was very simple- she wished to see the scrolls returned to the rightful owner. I had no objections to such a proposition, although I did attempt to find out precisely who she thought the proper owners were and how I could be sure she was one of them to no avail. She merely insisted that she would see them returned safely were I to obtain the scrolls. 

The last preposterous thing she said to me was that if I had the scrolls to tell Moza (Moza! My cat!) as he knew how to contact her! I cannot say that I believed a word, although I did believe her sincerity in her belief that she was not mad. One thing I knew for certain was that I did not want to wake up to find strange people in my rooms anymore.

I confronted Lord Covington, insisting that the scrolls had to go back to where they belonged and he reluctantly agreed. I believe he has read all that he feels is necessary from such, although I know Van Heuvelen has wishes to use them as evidence for his academic writings. 

Covington and I concocted a plan, and thus Louis took Vanheuvelen out for a lad's night on the town while Lord Covington feigned tiredness. We then went to his rooms and I took the scrolls to my own. I believe Lord Covington then went a tad overboard in making it look as if the place had been burgled, but regardless. 

Back in my rooms, I set the scrolls beside my bed and, not knowing what else to do, I turned to Moza. I told him to tell Neris that I had the scrolls and she could come collect them. He padded out the window and returned a short time later, curling up on my lap as he often does as I read. 

I had determined that I should stay awake all night in case Neris arrived, however I must have fallen asleep. In the morning the scrolls were gone and on my bed there was a huge dead mouse! A dead mouse! I was appalled!

I made Mary wrap it in a tissue and marched down to the front desk where they were all in a tizzy over the "break in" in Vanheuvelen's rooms. I will admit to adopting an offensive position and broke in to decry the filthy mice that they were harbouring, getting Mary to open the tissue onto their front desk to prove my point. I believe it was a well timed, perfectly suited distraction from the haranguing that had been happening to poor Lord Covington.

I do not know what else went on after that, as Louis begged a word, but I shall tell you what went on thereafter in another letter. You will have to wait on tenderhooks, though, as I can tell you that my next update will be full of juicy gossip. It is difficult to end this here, but I must go. 

I look forward to when I have more time to write.


PS- I realise much of this sounds like fiction, but I assure you, I am quite sound of mind. The happenings of my daily life are becoming more and more unbelievable, but it is happening to too many of us to deny it's reality.

March 17th, 1925

My dear Betty,

I'm sending on the unfinished manuscript of my previous letter, as then I don't have to attempt to explain what happened. Frankly, I don't know what to say.

They came running out of the pyramid, eyes wide with crazy stories of speaking with a god. They claim to have been shown things menacing me, which could either be a group hallucination or a convenient excuse once they finally realised just how strange and frightening that place was.

I won't recount all of what they claim happened as it would read far more like fiction than I care to repeat. They claim to have met Nyarlathotep which of course is not possible as no one else entered the pyramid while I sat outside and he does not exist. He is the fiction of the crazed minds of those we have been reading. The others seem quite adamant though, and I do not know what happened to our guide, but certainly something occurred. 

I'm comforted by knowing that even if they did meet who they claimed to that I have read enough to know that anything said by him would have been lies. He offered them all sorts of inducements, of which none were taken, even going so far as to offer to resurrect Searle. 

I might have believed them had they not offered that tidbit, for it would be impossible for such a thing to happen. Although, considering what has so recently happened to me, I have to question the motives of their saying such a thing. Surely they would know what pain such an idea would cause me? Surely they would not take a joke so far as to hurt me like that? I cannot come to a satisfactory conclusion on why they should say such things.

We returned to Cairo for a quiet evening. The others seemed quite out of sorts after the events of the day, although I could hardly wait to begin my new investigation into the stone poor Nyiti gave me. Doctor Webber and Lord Covington I believe spent a goodly amount of the night propping up the bar, but myself, Violet and Louis seem to have had an early night.

Today I went to the Egyptian Museum. It is situated in a palace and is simply full of wonderous things. After a tour, I arranged to meet a Doctor Kafour after lunch who it was thought might know the symbol on the stone. 

Kafour himself was quite pleasant, short and thin in a surprisingly tidy office for an academic. (Does it surprise you I often speak of academics with such ease, as if accustomed to them? It surprises me. It is certainly not where I thought my life would be.)

I gave him a rubbing of the marking on the stone, which he believes to have been a protective ward, much like Lord Covington thought. The stone he believes to be limestone, which I was surprised by. Apparently the only time limestone was used in any great amount was for the facing stones on the red pyramid of Dhashur. However, the stone itself has a pink hue and that is surprising as the red was only used internally, not on the outside.

Another uncommon feature is that it certainly is not usual for pyramids outside to be written on. If this is part of an arcane ward, it may be the first knowledge of such a thing on the outside of a pyramid! To think, such secrets kept in the bottom of a basket of an old woman. If it was part of the original design built by Sneferu then it certainly would have some significance. It could turn the entire construction of the pyramid into a massive ward. Kafour was reluctant to assume such, but if the readings are to be believed, then it would seem possible. I cannot help but speculate if there was external warding, what did it want to keep out? Perhaps the God my friends claim to have met?

At any rate, Kafour identified what he believes the ward to be, although he thinks it is broken in half. He calls it "the eye of light and darkness" although warned that it may be a more literary version of the name than the original meaning. The complete design should be an eye with an Ankh up and down on either side, which does seem to fit with what I found. 

Doctor Kafour gave me some titles of other texts, quite a few a bit more esoteric and speculative rather than strictly academic, but was otherwise quite helpful. He did warn me not to remove the stone from Egypt without permission. I don't particularly feel as if he has any rights to it, as I believe Nyiti to be the one who had the choice. She clearly wanted me to have the stone, and I feel a genuine responsibility for it. 

The cats were quite affectionate upon my return. Moza has gotten quite bold now, almost expecting his saucer of milk as if it was a right. Quite the little imperator I've found it seems. Sometimes it makes me wonder who is domesticating whom in this situation. I think I may consider buying a cat when we return to New York. They are surprsingly good company.



March 16th, 1925

My dearest Betty,

You'll notice this is not my normal letter paper. I have purchased some local paper which is crude compared to what we are used to and write this in the shade of one of the great pyramids at Dhashur, waiting for my companions. They are currently inside the bent pyramid, in a hidden room I found that was just too disconcerting for me to stay in. I said I would rest outside and await their return and thus have found pen and paper to occupy me. 

Today we headed south, as I believe I wrote in yesterday's update. Our rented car is certainly getting used well. Lord Covington drove us south along the Nile, which is actually quite different from much of the rest of Egypt. It is green beside the water, and easy to forget the barrenness of the desert beyond. 

Louis and Doctor Webber insisted on stopping and shooting a crocodile! I do not lie. Even now the creature lies baking in the sunlight, strapped to the hood of the car. Its an undignified way for such a beast to end up, but really, there was no other way to transport it. Why they could not have done so on our return trip I'll never know, but that is men for you.

Before coming here to Dhashur, we went to a very small town, really a village called El Wasta. It is the village that holds some of the workers who fled the Carlyle Expedition, Unba. His mother was the one who had sent Monsieur Besart to the collapsed pyramid to view the ceremony there. I surmised that she must have known what was going on if she could have predicted the ceremony and had hoped to speak to her. Sadly, that was not to be.

We did find Unba, who was sorely disfigured. He spoke no English, only slow and halting Arabic, although not, I believe, due to any mental deficiency. His right arm and shoulder and the right side of his face appeared as if gouged away. Doctor Webber guessed that it must have been an animal attack, although I had not thought that there would have been animals who could do such damage here near the Nile. Perhaps a crocodile? When questioned, he demurred saying he had been found savaged, but that his mother's healing skills had healed him. No doubt the memories were too painful and he had been so helpful already I hated to press him. I wish now that I had thought to ask him about his mother's healing ability, but I was still reeling from the meeting with his mother and wished to be away.

Unba's mother, Nyiti, could tell us nothing. Not because she did not want to, but because her jaw and hands had been burnt away. Truly, it was rather gruesome. Indeed, I believe it a miracle that she was still alive, no doubt only due to the ministrations of her son. She was an old woman and the wounds were old enough, so it is likely that he has taken care of her for many years. My heart was moved greatly, and when we parted I gave Unba a goodly sum to help ease their lives. I doubt very much that the poor man can work, his aged mother even less likely.

In spite of her injuries, Nyiti made a valiant effort to communicate with me. It was difficult, as I had to rely on yes and no questions primarily, but we managed a kind of communication I believe. Unba had been reluctant to let us speak to her, but she seemed quite strong willed and interested in doing so. 

In their hut, which was dismally small, I had been explaining to Unba the reason I had hoped to speak to her when Nyiti became quite agitated. She gestured with her arms, and I realised she was attempting to point to something at the far side of the hut. Eventually, I found what she wanted, a rush basket buried under many things. It had a symbol on it that Lord Covington says was a symbol of protection. 

I brought it to Nyiti and she gestured me to open it. Inside there was a peculiar white stone, several inches span and several inches thick. It had an odd symbol on it that looks like a part of an eye, although not like the Egyptian eye motifs that normally grace such things. Through a halting and painful question and answer I determined that it was a source of some magic- potentially protection magic. It was not to do with the dark magics of the Carlyle Expedition, nor was it against the dark magic but somewhere inbetween. 

Nyiti was quite vibrant during that exchange and I could tell she was a formidable woman before she lost the ability to communicate. I do wish we had been able to meet her prior to her disfiguring. She was quite insistant that I take the stone (perhaps even use it?), but sadly seemed to dull after she gave it to me. I have no doubt that it cost her dearly to step me painstakingly through our conversation, if one can call it that, but I do hope she finds some comfort in future.

I have to admit to having become completely absorbed in thoughts as to what this stone might mean or do. While I am not one to imagine that magic exists, it is clear this is a stone thought to contain some power. I have not been willing to part with it since Nyiti gave it to me as I feel a burden of responsibility for it. Certainly, this was this woman's prize possession and I feel I owe her a duty to investigate and learn all I can about it. I am positively itching to return to Cairo and begin investigating it.

I was naturally disappointed when we continued with our plans to come here to Dhashur. I am so full of thoughts of this stone that it is difficult to focus on the other things we have found here. We came to the bent pyramid, which is where Carlyle and Penhew "disappeared" for a night. That, I believe, I solved this afternoon. 

We requested entrance to the unused side of the bent pyramid after our tour of the northern entrance and were granted it with a guide. Inside, there were some big black columns which Violet and I went to look at, and I found a very straight line in mine- too straight. Pushing, it swung open and allowed access to stairs that climbed higher in the pyramid to a room equipped with a chair, a number of columns, a map, a star chart and some heiroglyphics. 

Truth be told, I found it rather frightening. There appeared to be plenty of light despite the complete absence of windows and certainly no modern lighting. After our initial shock, Lord Covington and Doctor Webber began exclaiming that the map was impossible, having Australia on such a map completely unplausible. Louis took a seat in the throne (for that is what the chair looked-

March 13th, 1925

My dear Betty,

The Memphis area is quite stunning. Saqqara holds a plethora of pyramids, and there is an incredible statue of Ramses II, an ancient Pharoah. Egypt is rapidly making me examine the mortality of man, not with our own small lives, but in the greatnesses that we can produce. It is humbling to think of these great structures built so very long ago.

Louis wanted to climb the step pyramid of Djoser, as did Violet, but after seeing the lifting process necessary to reach the first step, I stayed happily on the ground. He got into some trouble with the local guards for his excursion, but fortunately, money talks. I would hate to imagine what having to get him out of an Egyptian prison. Even my persuasive abilities might be pushed at that.

After a long day of exploration, we returned to Cairo. My new friend is actually quite a surprising comfort. Moza's presence upon my return to the hotel was very nice indeed. He has become used to me, I believe, and has even consented to play with the laces of one of my boots when I dangled it nearer to him. I was happy having earned even this small bit of trust.

There was a letter in the affirmative to Doctor Webber on our return. I am quite relieved, as I do believe I would have made a poor weilder of any weapon, but less a magical sword. I realise this sounds outlandish, but somehow it seems less unlikely than it might have. I went with him to the mosque in case any translation is required, but I admit to also being quite curious at the thing itself. Sadly, they insisted my translation was not necessary, so I left him with the imam for instruction.

Today we tracked down Mr Vanheuvelen, a former member of the Clive Expedition and an inveterate drunk. He seems quite the cheerful fellow and would be, I imagine, quite a fascinating companion if one appreciated his interests. Sadly, his drinking is what got him tossed from the Expedition, although he doesn't seem to bear them too much bitterness. He says that the scrolls the Expedition found with the supposed Queen mummy were actually in quite good shape- this being contrary to the "illegible and damaged" report we had recieved from those of the Expedition. Unfortunately, he could not tell us what they contained.

He also claims to have found a hidden temple within Cairo itself with the help of that dreadful Mr Winfield. One has to wonder what Mr Winfield could be up to helping this man as he does not seem to be the type to just give such information away. Indeed, I would have thought that anything Mr Winfield did was for his own good, and giving information that would lead to such a find would seem too valuable to give away. I am forced to wonder whether Winfield is taking advantage of Vanheuvelen's good nature and using him in some way. 

At any rate, this temple may be in use still, and the scrolls he spoke of included worship of Bast, the cat goddess. Covington was quite excited about some of the scrolls, even going so far as to set the man up in Shepheard's Hotel next to us for greater access to the scrolls. 

But of greater import, Louis and Violet went on a romantic interlude this evening. Covington had his scrolls to interest him, Webber is deep in a copy of the Koran and my Arabic/English dictionary, and thus I feigned tiredness rather than go out with the two.

It is nearing midnight and they have not returned to my knowledge. I am conflicted. While I would love to see them happy, the timing seems... misplaced. I worry for them both for entirely different reasons. I shall, of course, report any interesting news.

Wistfully yours,


PS- We are dashing off to visit an Omar Shakti and I am unsure when I'll get to send this, so I thought I'd let you know that I have been unable to determine what precisely happened during Louis and Violet's evening together. I fell asleep shortly after penning this letter and at breakfast it was business as usual between them. Either they have already begun a secret affair and thus nothing new is going on between them, or else nothing of note beyond two friends having dinner occurred. I'm not sure whether I am disappointed or not.

March 11th, 1925


When we arrived in Memphis today, I was quite shocked to see how heavily fortified it was. Louis insisted this was not entirely unexpected as much of North Africa is quite regularly armed. A leftover from the wars, I imagine. Nevertheless, we were let in easily enough, but sadly found that only 3 of the 5 Clive Expedition members at Memphis. No doubt I need to spell out who they are, as I have an inkling that certain embarrassments of theirs may even have made the American papers.

Even though the natives in Egypt generally seem quite poorly, the workers on this site bothered me. They were unusually sullen and silent, and everywhere I looked I could see such poverty. Its quite a disgrace. It is reminiscent of that summer we visited the Carolinas. It chills me to see such broken spirits all gathered in one place.

James Gardner, Johannes Sprecht, and Agatha Broadmoor, though, were quite genteel. The newspapers in Cairo had mentioned that the Clive Expedition had lost the body of an unknown Egyptian Queen and of course Louis asked after it. Gardner clearly thinks that Professor Clive is being too secretive and that the queen is known. He let us in on her secret identity, and I was quite surprised at her history. Seemingly, she was overthrown by the next in line and accused of heinous crimes, although I was assured by my more learned colleagues that this is entirely normal behaviour in Egyptian history.

Regardless, arrangement for removal had been arranged. Three nights later there were screams from the pyramid, and the sarcophagus, the body, and the bodies of the policemen who had been guarding it went missing. Quite the puzzle.

Agatha, who reminds me of Grandmother with her offbeat manner, was an absolute surprise. Beyond her aged appearance and scattered thoughts, she is appears quite knowledgable. I had been surprised to see someone of such advanced years in such a place, but I digress. She believes there was ancient magic involved in the disappearance, the ancient power of Nidicris, which of course Gardner counters with the entirely rational thought that there must be a hidden passageway that the thieves used.

Nevertheless, I found Agatha compelling. She and I got to talking and walking after dinner. She is a medium, it seems, and has a connection with the dead. I made an offhand remark of how my husband would have loved here and she replied with the shocking "Yes, Searle would have." I swear to you, his name had never crossed my lips before that moment. 

I have, of course, heard of mediums who can contact the dead, and I will admit that early in my bereavement I very much wished to believe that they existed and could actually do so, but I never rationally believed it possible until now. 

We went back to her tent so that she might attempt to contact him. I was concerned that he would think ill of what happened on the boat ride and asked her to find out what he knew. After entering a trance, she began to answer questions. He loves me, he knows what happens on the boat and he does not think ill of me. Truly, it was so touching. I had a very difficult time keeping my emotions under control. She also said he had a message for me:

"What you are doing, you may join him soon."

A rather disturbing pronouncement, and one I believe, especially in light of England. Clearly those who believe in this cult take it quite seriously. 

The Black Pharoah seems to be what is linking everything together- here in Memphis, in Cairo, in England. I know not whether Gavigan actually believed in it all, but I am certain that historically this is a cult of some sway.

Indeed, this missing Queen is yet another link. Apparently, if she is the one Gardner believes (which Doctor Clive would not commit to when he arrived back to camp), then she also worshipped the Black Prince and was a sorcerer of some reknown herself. 

I am becoming more and more convinced that the Sword of Bazian may be necessary in our future. Before we left Cairo, I helped Doctor Webber compose a message to the imam regarding its procurement and await, hopefully, a positive outcome. If it does not, I am considering, dare I say it, actually converting to Islam in order to wield the sword for us. Should it occur, Louis would have to teach me to use it, which I am quite sure he could manage. I more fear that I shall not be up to it. This heat is terribly draining- even worse than New York summers. 

We did, in the end get to meet Doctor Clive and his assitant, Mr Winfield. They were distant and obvious suspicious of us. Considering we had claimed to be amateur archeologists, I am unsurprised at that, although I was greatly surprised at the churlish, sneering behaviour of Mr Winfield. There is a man who I hope you never shall meet. His manner went beyond the bounds of polite society and I had the distinct impression that if he could have inflicted harm, he would have. Perhaps even for the sport of it. A dreadful personality, and one I hope does not spell ill for Agatha.

We are staying the night here in Memphis and shall see the sights before we head back tomorrow. While it is nice to see everything, I almost miss my hotel room at Shepheard's. There is comfort in the familiar.

Yours wistfully,


March 10, 1925

My dearest Betty,

We went to Giza today. The pyramids are such an amazing sight. Inside the pyramids is a strange experience. It was surprisingly hot and stuffy inside, and I found I couldn't stay there for too long. But oh so fascinating! 

We also saw the Sphynx, Abu Al Hal-the father of terror, which was still being excavated. Apparently the nose fell off some time ago, so it seems rather sad to visit, but will no doubt be a much more impressive sight once its full glory is restored through the excavation.

I managed to find us an excellent guide. He was very knowledgable, patient, and considerate for he and Dr Webber were kind enough to ensure that the heat did not entirely drain my reserves. When the full heat of the day was upon us, he took us to a local house of surprising elegance. The tea there was not as terrible as Cairo (did I mention the tea here? If you do come, you must ensure to only drink the mint tea as they do not have a decent cup anywhere) and the pastries were delightful. The pastry was a light, flaky delight of varying tastes- I believe dates and pistachios were in several.

We then climbed the pyramids. I mean on the outside of them. It was quite a trek, even with the three Arab helpers, and I did not make it quite to the top, but I got high enough to have a stunning view of the Valley of the Kings. Louis and Doctor Webber insisted and bribed the photographer from below to ascend with us and so we have fantastic photos from the bottom and close to the top. 

Returning to earth, I bought some toys for Dot's children and Louis and I sent her our regards. I know she will be thrilled to know we are thinking of her.

The day was lovely, although dreadfully tiring. 

Upon our return, I found the hotel staff had very efficiently contacted the French Embassy and found an address for William Besart who we know sourced items for the Carlyle Expedition. He is in the Red Door, Street of the Scorpions. (I love the names of places here. They all sound so very exotic and exciting!) 

I also found my new friend on my balcony upon our return. I've named him Moza (which means sock in Hindi) for his left front paw is the cleanest white. He is a beautiful tabby otherwise, and quite engaging. I'll admit to sneaking some milk up to my room for him after dinner. Normally he is on the balcony, stretching in the sunlight, but last night he chose to curl up on the corner of my bed.

Cats are quite revered here, did you know?

After a decent lie in, we headed out to meet Mr Besart. After a trial by fire getting past his landlord (I presume), we found Mr Besart sprawled on a couch. He was smoking a dreadful smelling weed, and quite groggy. Louis eventually woke him, but he was clearly under the influence of something. 

I don't believe this Frenchman is much of a thinker or from polite society, but we unfortunately needed information from him. He sourced and illegally shipped some items for Robert Carlyle directly to the Penhew Foundation. No doubt that is where Gavigan found them.

Seemingly, at Dhashur with the Carlyle Expedition, Jack Brady told Besart that Carlyle, Huston and Sir Aubrey disappeared when they entered the bent pyramid, missing for a whole night. They returned believing they had found something amazing. Besart was then approached by one of the mothers of the diggers, a woman named Nyiti. Her son, Unba, and several others who live in a township south of the pyramids had fled because Carlyle and the others had consorted with "an ancient evil" and that their souls were gone. She said he should go to the collapsed pyramid in the dark of the moon for proof. 

If he is to be believed, Besart went and witnessed Carlyle and the others performed a strange ritual there with hundreds of madmen. Besart then recited a ghastly tale of destruction and insanity. He most likely dreamt terribly and believed it. To be fair, given his proclivities, no doubt he was on some intoxicant which made him see these things. He now spends his life smoking hashish or opium trying to forget what he believes he saw. It was quite sad to witness his crumbling mind.

We returned to Shepheard's Hotel for one of their fine dinners and light conversation. Sadly, the evening was marred by a lighthearted conversation between Doctor Webber and Lord Covington. Covington was hoping to find an airplane to go south in, and after Louis exclaimed his worry after seeing Covington drive. Webber said he was more concerned having seen Covington attempt to land that one time... Which I realized was with Searle. I excused myself from dinner after that.

I realize this is getting long winded and morose, so I shall continue later.



March 8, 1925


The mosque trip was spectacularly eye opening. Architecturally, the Ibn Tulun was even more stunning than yesterday's specimen, however this has been a visit more about the information and discussion had than the building.

The Mosque had been broken into, a fact we had heard in passing. Upon our arrival, we were guided about and talked to until Doctor Webber brow beated him into further disclosure. He took us to a basement where something had managed to dig into the mosque and steal their prized possession- a girdle that the priests have been protecting for centuries. There were chunks of what I must assume was a rhino, or elephant or other large beast that had been sliced up during the attack. Really, quite revolting and I found Doctor Webber's poking and prodding was nauseating as it was.

Our discussions then turned unusual. I admit, Doctor Webber and the priest had already begun to speak as if they believed all the insane theories that have been postulated of late. However, then the priest spoke of the sword.

The Sword of Barzai. I am almost certain the priest was talking of the Sword of Barzai, and even looking at it, I believe it may be one and the same. The name has been bastardized through several languages, but I believe it may be the same one. It should have "magical" properties when wielded against unnatural beings, and I will admit that while I cannot claim to believe it, I did ask the question. The confirmation of the priest, and Doctor Webber's remarks on the unusually clean and sharp cuts on the flesh, it all somehow adds up.

I can't think that this is correct. I can't. After what I just went through, this is unbelievable. Have I lost Searle all over again only to now lose my mind in a different way? 

Please pray for me.


March 7th, 1925

Dear Betty,

I am much more myself. A good night's sleep with Violet watching over me and I felt much better. Doctor Webber makes a good strong tonic that no doubt also helped.

Cairo is poor, dreadfully so, but I am attempting to enjoy seeing it. We headed to the Street of Jackals in the Old Quarter to talk to a Faraz Nazir. He had information about the Carlylse expedition for Jackson. Unfortunately, his shop had been burnt by a "hideous demon" although the guide said it was an accident. Heavens help me if it was actually a demon. I still don't hold that these strange things are real, but there does seem to be an extraordinary amount of believers.

The beggar who I talked to indicated Najir has opened a new shop in the Khan El-Khalili, which is the old Bazaar. I love the Bazaar. It reminds me of the one in Marrakesh, with the array of colors, close buildings and hawkers. It's the kind of place you could spend hours just wandeering in. Small children ran to and fro, and I momentarily got lost in the sight. I do miss the happiness I felt on the ship, even if it was based on illusion.

The gentlemen found shops full of weaponry and seemed delighted with themselves. Violet found a beautiful hat that is most becoming on her and will keep the sun off her skin. For myself, I bought nothing. I was listless, more interested in our surroundings and the bustle of the people than the articles for sale. 

Faraz Najir's shop on the potters road is full of curios and touristy items. Much of it is tat, but as the only tourist place on this pottery row, he no doubt does quite well. The man himself was polite for the most part, however sadly disfigured. No doubt from when his shop burned. He was very reluctant to talk of his shop's demise, and would not discuss Jackson Elias or the Carlyle expedition at his shop. I persuaded him to talk with us in more private settings and he arranged for a room in a nearby mosque to speak him. Clearly the holy ground made him feel more at ease. 

Before the fire, Najir sold antiquities. He confessed to having traded in stolen goods, some of which Roger Carlyle took interest in- particularly from the time of the Black Pharoah. Nazir had artifacts, including the statue of the Black that Violet saw in Gavigan's and a crown worn by the Black Pharoah himself. Honestly, I almost wish his old shop was still open as from the sounds of things, he had a great many fascinating articles. He gave us the name of Carlyle's agent in Cairo and mentioned that there is another Penhew Foundation expedition here in Egypt.

He also told of us a group called the Brotherhood who he claims was behind the destruction of his shop. Incidentally, he claims it was done by glowing blue flame- quite like that man in the sanitarium in England claimed. Doctor Webber played along with him, indulging this fantasy of floating fires and secret societies. 

Beyond that, I found the Mosque of Sultan Hassan itself almost more interesting than the tall tale that Najir had to say. The architecture is beautiful. In truth, there are so many beautiful mosques here. We shall be visiting another tomorrow, and I feel blessed that I have been able to view this and tomorrow's mosque as traditionally foreigners, especially women, are not allowed inside.

We spent the rest of the day at a coffee house that has been open for 120 years- which they mean quite literally. They stay open day and night. I have spent most of the rest of the evening catching up on the news and my correspondence. I hope to write you in even better form soon.

Your friend,


PS- No sightings of Searle since our arrival. I am both saddened and guiltily relieved.

March 14th, 1925


My morning was at least not unremarkable as Moza has found two friends to join him. They are wary of me still, although Moza was at first as well. One is a ragged mix of colours. Almost as large as Moza, he looks at me with a baleful eye as his other one appears to have been lost long ago. 

The other is a tiny cat, almost more like a kitten. I believe it is a female and it is quite a stunning reddy orange colour. Its fur is very tight and she sits just like one of those Egyptian statues of cats. The staff at breakfast assured me it must be an Abyssinian breed- apparently quite rare. 

I travelled with the rest of my companions to visit an Omar Shakti, just north of Cairo, narrowly avoiding the heat of the day. Nazir had put us onto Shakti as the potential original owner of the Black pharaoh artifacts that he had acquired. The others don't quite seem to remember it that way, but I am certain that is what the poor man said. Indeed, I recall thinking that there was a link between Mr Shakti and the Brotherhood who were potentially responsible for Nazir's burning. I was therefore quite cautious on our trip to see him.

Shakti owns a cotton plantation and I could not help but notice how sullen his workers were, much like the workers at the Clive Expedition in Memphis. I can't help but wonder what type of man could create such reticence in his workers. Indeed, remembering the cold calculation of Mr Winfield at Memphis, I begin to wonder if there isn't a connection. But I am getting ahead of myself

Omar Shakti was an educated man, approaching 50, who wore one of those ridiculous hats they call a fez. His nation's reverence and love of cats was much in evidence as he spent much of his time holding or gently stroking a feline. It was surprisingly unnerving, although I could not quite put my finger on why that might be. He was polite, though, and seemed happy to accomodate us over supper. 

We spoke at length about the Carlyle Expedition who were hosted by Mr Shakti several times. It definitely felt like he knew more than he said, but with Louis explaining everything to him, what did he need to say? Sadly, I feel he may have given the enemy significantly more information than we recieved in return. I am also concerned he nearly gave away the game with his excursions in London. I would have said he was drunk, but he did not appear so. It is frustrating that he could be so easily led.

Shakti does appear to have been lying in some cases. Violet is sure he knows more about ancient Egypt than he let on. His claims to merely be an amiable Egyptian friend of the Penhew Foundation feel suspicious, and not just because I am becoming convinced that there is something rotten to the very core of the Foundation itself. He claims to have known Aubrey Penhew prior to the fated Carlyle Expedition, which only ratchets up my suspicions. 

I have no proof of any of this, but the coincidences are mounting. The workers in Memphis and at Shakti's, the supplicants at Gavigan's- these are not the happenings of good and honest men and the work they produce. I know enough of man to know that when the spirit is broken so fully, it is usually due to a reason other than nature. 

At the core of these incidences are a group of men who I cannot but think of as dark and mysterious. On the one hand, I desire greatly to follow logic and reason, but the mounting evidence of their belief in the tales of yore that we have come across borders on the religious, which is often at peculiar odds with the logical. I can, of course, understand the power of faith and how it may move a man. What I begin to wonder is what happens if that faith is misplaced, or directed in such a way as to go against the nature of man? 

These philosophical thoughts plague me. I have decided simply to accept that anyone with any connection to the Penhew Foundation should be regarded as suspicious and treated with the utmost caution. Even if you do not believe in cults and monsters, as I, it is impossible to dismiss the truly terrible manner in which their hired men live. I may not have seen physical harm upon their bodies, but their spirits are broken as surely as if they were slaves. I cannot imagine a man who had a spark of goodness who would allow their hired help to dwell like that.

I hope to have better, less ponderous musings for you tomorrow. We shall go south to investigate a few other leads and no doubt view more pyramids. Really, when I thought of pyramids before I thought they were rare and special. Having seen so many, now, their charm has begun to pale. 


March 5th, 1925

Dear Betty,

I can hardly bring myself to contemplate what I wrote you on our trip to Egypt. I lost my way. 

It must have been due to all the connections with my honeymoon with Searle. That must be it. I cannot imagine what I would have done when the illusion broke had Violet not been here. Doctor Webber has given me a tonic which has dulled my panic somewhat and I am writing to keep myself awake for now.

It feels like I've lost Searle all over again and my heart is breaking. We arrived at Port Sayid, and Searle helped me unload our baggage. He looked at me and smiled, I got was called to interpret some Arabic for Louis and Doctor Webber and then... then he just wasn't there. He had just vanished. 

Something inside me just broke. I fell apart when I could not find Searle, and nothing around us reminded me of him. It has been so long since nothing was familiar, I felt so alone and frightened. 

We are taking the train to Cairo today where we will be staying at the Shepheard's Hotel as per Lord Covington's plans. I had so been looking forward to being here, but now the whole affair feels like the desert around me- dull and devoid of any life.

Please don't think ill of me,


March 2nd, 1925

Darling Betty,

We stopped in Athens today. The Acropolis was beautiful as always, but it does get so very hot at the top of that hill. The children would have wilted in the sunlight, so after a short time viewing the ruins I brought us down. I found Violet, the children and I a lovely gyro seller down an alley near the Acropolis. The children weren't hungry, but were content to play in the street as Violet and I rested while the men continued to peruse the ancient foundations.

We went on to the Temple of Zeus, which was fascinating. I do believe Lord Covington may be buying into the lunacy of the books we are reading. He appears to have been studying the area in more detail than usual and I do hope he isn't looking for something that isn't there. I'd hate to think anyone in our party wasn't entirely in control of their faculties. 

We finished Athens out with a good round of Ouzo, more for the menfolk, although Searle refrained. I remembered once I tasted it how much he despised that licorice drink and why. Dreadful stuff. I was happy to just sit with Searle and enjoy the companionship of our fellow travelers. Violet and Louis have become rather friendly again, and it would be nice to have another couple on this trip. 

Tomorrow we are on to Port Sayid. We skipped Port Sayid on our honeymoon and entered Egypt via Alexandria, so it will be nice to explore someplace new, although returning to these towns has made me feel young again, like we were childless newlyweds once again.

Will write when we reach Egypt!

Love always,


February 28th, 1925


The others are becoming difficult. Over tea, they insisted on talking about the books we have all been reading again. It was worse than Barcelona. There at least they were being open and musing. Today they were paranoid, pushy, and rude.

I don't mind discussing these books. They have fanciful ideas, and some certainly crazy spells. I really don't believe these are too much more than folk tales finally written down, but Lord Covington was adamant that there could be no crossover. Clearly he is mistaken, and became quite testy when I pointed out that his claims were based on air. Really, I thought an academic would know better than discussing unfounded claims. 

Honestly, I can't imagine why they would openly discuss these. And beyond that, how does one discuss such material when it is so disparate? Obviously the Livre D'Ivon and Liber Ivonis are connected and have similarities as the first is a commentary on the second. But gracious me, how am I supposed to explain the insane musings to one who hasn't read them? 

Besides which, it is definitely not suitable discussion material in front of the children.


February 26th, 1925

Dear Betty,

Sometimes I wonder if I should have been born in Europe. The air, the people, the buildings... it all feels so wonderfully like I belong here. I knew that my love of travel would once again infect me given time and the right places, and so it has.

It started after that dreadful discussion in Barcelona. Needing to clear my head, while the others went on a whirlwind tour of the city, I wandered down to the Cathedral, where Searle and I had stood upon the altar, holding hands, and spoke our vows quietly to each other once again. I could feel him in that place, like he was reaching out to me from beyond the grave and reminding me once again that he means those words, now and forever.

From then on, it has been as if he were here. I can see him laughing through the streets as we walk, and almost feel his arm in mine as we meander the alleyways. I've endeavored to steer my compatriots to all our favorite sights, which they are happy to let me do as none have been in these towns to see the sights before. (I believe Louis came through Marseille when he joined the Foreign Legion, but no doubt the soldier life provided very little in the way of free time to enjoy the wonders of humanity)

Marseilles is lovely as always. Visiting ports is such a delightful way of visiting cities. While I cannot introduce my companions to all the beauties each city has in store, I can find the highlights, the good cafes and provide them with the genuine experience of the place. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it.

Wistfully yours,


February 25th, 1925

Dearest Betty,

We are back on the open sea. I had hoped that traveling would lift my spirits, but I seem to be under the same malaise that overtook me on the Mauretania. The whole business with Gavigan has put me off. Lord Covington insisted on showing me how to shoot a gun before we left, which I dutifully informed him I already knew how. It seems my lack of action that night is cause for concern among my companions. I am unconcerned by it, as what else would they have me do? Shoot people? Has it really come to that? I, for one, am hoping that this sorry business with Gavigan is over and therefore there will be no need for such business in future.

Louis is also being very trying. I'm not sure he means it, but he keeps rhapsodizing on about when he and Searle were younger. They were on a Mediterranean cruise when they were younger and our current cruise reminds him of his brother. No doubt he is missing his brother too, but sometimes the references to him seem almost cruel. I realise its been years, but Searle was truly the love of my life. I miss him every day. It is difficult enough that Louis has such a similar profile, and thankfully their personalities are different enough. But it does not make living with his absence easy

I must admit that I was already thinking about Searle quite a bit. The last major travel I did was to retrieve his body, and before that, our honeymoon. The Mediterranean is once again beautiful to see, but this is not the same. Then, it was such a happy time, and we had our whole life set out before us. We spoke of our plans, of our dream of children, and I prayed to God for our continued happiness. 

It is with bitter eyes that I see the blue waters now. By now we should have had children, should have a family. How is it God's plan that I am here, alone? 

I have attempted to be sociable, but my heart is not in it. I know there will be excitement when we reach the various ports on this trip, but I do not know that I am up to it. I retired from the others early today and am once again ensconcing myself in books. Different books from the disturbing ones I read on the Mauretania though, I assure you. 

Indeed, as we are spending time in port during the days and are only truly free on board as we sail to the next port, I couldn't continue my reading solely during the day even if I wanted to. Fortunately, I don't believe that will be necessary. I have yet to have disturbing dreams reading these books. The Dark Sects was full of terrible ideas and imagery, but the Livre D'Ivon which I had started in New York has been much more suited to my study. 

In ways, I wonder if I would have made a good sociologist. That is what they call people who study societies isn't it? These folk tales and obvious oral histories are fascinating, and no doubt have their place in history and people's minds, but I wonder if those who read into such things aren't a tad too trusting? 

Take for example, the discussion we had today as we sunned ourselves in Barcelona. I was enjoying the sunshine and didn't particularly wish to ruin a perfectly lovely day with the theories put forward in these books, when Doctor Webber and Lord Covington began to discuss, in depth, some of the things that they have been reading. Forgiving them for the obvious crassness of speaking of such matters in good company, I do hope we were not taken for fools by those who could understand us. 

The gentlemen proposed that potentially some of what we read in these books is more than simply fiction. A preposterous notion, for sure. I wonder if the odd shapes in the shadows we saw at Gavigan's unnerved the good doctor more than he let on, as he actually went so far as to suggest that he is concerned that these things may be real!

I am concerned for him. He was injured during that night, and perhaps finding his own blood spilled frightened him, but his background as a soldier would make me think that unlikely. I hardly know what to think. Hopefully it is just a phase brought on by too much reading, too much time to think, and the heightened pressures of fear. 

I am retiring now to my reading. Unlike my compatriots, I know what is real and what is fiction. Perhaps I shouldn't have lent Violet the Dark Sects of Africa for the journey? She is smart enough I doubt she will be taken in by the fanciful and no doubt with her past she will find it less shocking than I. It will keep her entertained at the very least.



February 23rd, 1925


We are leaving England. I'd like to say that we have seen all we'd like to see, but it feels much more like we are sneaking away before the authorities can find us.

I don't feel like I can put it all into writing, for it might be found, but suffice it to say that Gavigan has been dealt with and there is no chance that he will be able to order our deaths again. But I get ahead of myself.

The party at Mentmore went wonderfully. It is a bit of a surprise how similar yet different the English are. The division between the old moneyed gentry and us was not as noticable as it might be, but certainly where Annie was concerned, it was clear she has some polish necessary. The guests were of course very understanding and would never think of pointing out the occaisional faux pas, but I do worry that I have left Annie's education to too short a time. 

Fortunately, Lady Covington agrees with me and has accepted Annie as her charge. She will finish off Annie's education in high society, and really, its probably best this way. Taking her to Egypt is almost out of the question. As is, our recent activities have been most decidedly unsuitable for a young woman like herself. Lord knows we aught not to have been involved, much less a girl on her own. Yes, I'm aware of your suffragette leanings, but there are still proprieties to think of.

Anyway, the fact that Lady Covington is happy to host and finish Annie's education has been a blessing. I know she'll be in good hands, and it allows myself and my companions to swiftly exit the country before the authorities put two and two together. 

Last night, or possibly this morning, Gavigan was dealt with. This much at least I feel safe in telling you. I shan't recount all the horrors we witnessed at his estate, but his departure from the world has resulted in the saving of several lives at the very least. His questionable taste in caballa was in clear display as he cavorted with a whole tribe of easy duped imbeciles who took his word as gospel. At least, I presume they haven't all been reading all the lunacy that we have collected from Gavigan and others. 

Regardless, there was a frighteningly savage ritual of some description taking place on the grounds of Gavigan's house, (which I should have recognised the name of as the Arabic word for Egypt- blast getting knowledge through intermediaries!) which involved some dreadfully gauche selections of costumes and drums. There were 4 among the host who I believe had no idea what was going on. They had been taken from the Blue Pyramid (and thank heaven we weren't the ones taken so!) and driven out to Gavigan's estates. Clearly they were thinking the party would continue there, for they walked along happily before one of the robed and cowled amateurs bound them to a stone plinth. 

Drums were played and lewd women danced until it almost appeared that the shadows were other than what they seemed. No doubt they were burning incence or some other hallucinogen in the bonfires and torches that lit the area. It appeared to unnerve my companions who took it upon themselves to try to rescue the chained revelers. 

Dastardly as he was, Gavigan and his compatriots called out to "Proceed with the sacrifices" which it soon became apparant was the cruel injuring and killing of the poor bound souls. My companions redoubled their efforts, but I had seen enough and ran to ring the constabulary. 

We left quickly, after Doctor Webber assured us that the innocents would not die from their injuries,  and returned to Mentmore. It was very early Monday morning by then and I slept hard. I awoke early this afternoon, finding my companions in various states of sleepiness, but we were of one mind on the matter. After that night's escapades, knowing the London police were looking for a group of Americans, making ourselves scarce seemed the prudent option. 

We leave for Egypt tomorrow, so this shall be my last letter from England. Lady Covington has promised to send on correspondence that arrives for me so fear not, your letters will arrive eventually! I miss hearing of your escapades. You may continue to write via Mentmore, or else we shall be staying at the Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo once we arrive. I do not know how long we shall be there, but we will be heading to Nairobi afterwards, where it will no doubt be very difficult to get regular post.

Take care of yourself and if you are saying prayers, be sure to keep us in your thoughts. 



February 20th, 1925

My dear Betty,

Its funny how sometimes life seems just the same no matter where you are.

I did manage to talk Violet, Annie and Doctor Webber into Madame Toussard's which was as intriguing this time as it was the first. Annie seemed quite taken with the lifelikeness of the models and Doctor Webber seemed to enjoy it as well.

The Blue Pyramid, I must admit, was a bit of a setup. Violet and Louis had gotten information from the man who tailed myself and Lord Covington from the Penhew Foundation that something funny was going on there. Louis, naturally, had to investigate and insisted we go get kidnapped by whoever was behind whatever was going on there. Really, I should know better than to go through with these things. Your father would shake his head at me.

Nothing of the sort happened, however, so perhaps the information Violet and Louis obtained was not accurate.
 After our "failure" of a night at the Blue Pyramid, we went back to Mentmore. I connived with Lady Covington to throw a party, ostensibly to show Annie how to host, but really because I'm curious about how the English toffs do things. Besides, who doesn't like a party?
I spent most of the week relaxing at Mentmore and training Annie in the finer qualities of life. Lady Covington and I have occasionally clashed on minor issues, but Annie is coming along splendidly. Her eagerness to learn will probably be her saving grace as she has quite a lot to catch up on.

We did nip into London on Friday to have a look at a plinth (Monolith? Obelisk?) at the heart of a court case involving Mr Gavigan. Apparently a bona fide crazy man took an axe to it. Violet and the good doctor paid him a visit at a sanitarium where he has been incarcerated. Imagine! The thought of walking into a sanitarium scares me itself, but talking to one of the patients? Even my manners would be sorely tried by such. I must admit to not being sanguine about such things. It is a frightful proposition.

Anyway, the plinth in question was definitely strange. It didn't look it, but I swear something was funny about that thing. For starters, it's still February and quite chilly in the morning. When we first visited it, the morning was quite brisk and there was even a dusting of frost. Despite being cold when I sat on the nearby bench, I found standing next to the plinth I was quite comfortable. I swear the stone was warm enough to notice- like the stones around a fire. I'm truly not sure what was the point in seeing that accursed thing (and the crazy man did say it was cursed) but it wasn't particularly fun. Fortunately, we went back to Mentmore shortly thereafter.
The Covington's house is just beautiful. I can hardly get over it. I know I said the same about the Vanderbilt mansion when I moved in, but there are mansions and there are castles. Mentmore may not technically be a castle, but it certainly feels like it.
The gentlemen have thoroughly enjoyed the stay as well. They went hunting with Lord Covington and have been driving about the fields with abandon. I daresay they may enjoy it a bit too much over here.

In truth, things feel very normal here. It's almost as if we went visiting to the Hamptons but with more rain and accents. 

Plans are afoot, but I feel we are a ship without a rudder, in danger of stagnating in the comfort of familiarities. I almost wish it would...