January 18th, 1925

Dear Betty,

The most awful thing happened the other night. By the time you get this, you may have heard this news already. 

Do you remember Jackson Elias? Searle and I met him in India on our honeymoon. Some dreadful thugs murdered him Friday night in his room at the Chelsea Hotel!

Jackson called me in the morning, arranging to meet us in the evening, but when Doctor Webber and Lord Covington arrived, three men had chopped up poor Jackson! I arrived and horrendously saw the body of my poor friend stretched out and blood everywhere. I've never seen anything like it. Absolutely dreadful. That room will probably have to have a new rug and wallpaper if they want to keep renting it. The maids will have a devil of a time with the bedclothes. 

Myself, Violet, Louis, Lord Covington, and Doctor Webber have decided we shall finish Jackson's last wishes. He had previously contacted us to investigate the disappearance of the Carlyle expedition, but we are woefully lacking in information to go on. 

From what we knew, we drove to Massachusetts and spoke to a lovely librarian in Harvard. She was very helpful and myself and Lord Covington spent some hours reading about cults in Africa. It was fascinating, if barbaric. Did you know there are people who believe letting themselves be possessed by alien spirits will cure diseases? I'm unclear how that is supposed to help.

Then we visited a professor in Arkham, Massachusetts who was quite happy to discuss his work with us. His daughter was quite charming too and will no doubt break hearts with that face of hers when she grows up. I never saw his wife, but his daughter had impeccable manners. I have no idea why Jackson was interested in this work, unless it was a future project, but it was about more cults. 

I am back in New York now after two relatively uneventful nights up north. I am tired from our trip, but find the idea of carrying on Jackson's work invigorating. 

Lou has this ridiculous idea that the men who killed Jackson were working for someone else, and seems excited to be investigating this. He seemed a bit lost since arriving home and I'm glad he has something to get him interested in life again although I do wish it hadn't had to involve so much blood. He and Violet are getting along easily, so perhaps the awkwardness of the other week was just the surprise of seeing each other again. 

I have invited Miss Erica Carlyle over for a chat, and must go see to the arrangements for refreshments. I don't want a repeat of the anchovies Mother seems to think is fashionable happening again, so Cook will need instructions. I know Mother had hoped Lou would take an interest in her at New Years and if he happens by when she is here I may endeavor to 'accidentally' leave them alone and see if anything will kindle.

Yours truly,


January 1st, 1925

Dear Betty,

I hope you had an elegant, wonderful evening to ring in the New Year as we did. The culmination of all the work I put in with Mother was just lovely. Everybody seemed to have a good time, the punch was tastey, and I'm glad to say there wasn't anything worth printing in the evening rag.

James (Searle's youngest cousin from the other side of the family- the side with that unfortunate hair lick) had the misfortune to bring along some surly looking fellows, but I believe Lou and my dear Lord Covington dealt with them quietly. Thank heavens. I cannot imagine the embarrassment I would have had to deal with had anything untoward occurred. Its bad enough I mistakenly sat the Martins with the Nightengales. I'm quire sure when she rises that Mother will let me know all about it.

Lou and Violet danced together. It almost breaks your heart to see the two of them, remembering how happy they were together. Do you remember it? I had thought for sure I'd have to cut my honeymoon short to come attend their wedding.

But their meeting seemed to go well, despite the awkwardness and bad manners Lou had displayed a few weeks ago when he walked in on our normal tea chat. He seems quite taken aback at how things have turned out for Violet, but really, what does he expect, running off on her like that?

You must come to New York if we hold another party. I know you'd enjoy it, and I so would like to see you again.

Wishing you all the best for this bright New Year,