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...


February 13th, 1925

Dearest Betty,

London. Oh, London! There truly is a reason this city is the capital of the world. It may not be as clean as New York, but the bustling, teeming streets are just so enchanting. 

Annie, Violet and I have been completely successful in our shopping endeavors. New dresses for all, of course. I have outfitted Annie with good quality outfits for all occasions. She should now be able to pass in society once I brush up her manners. 

While I have been enjoying playing the older sister to Annie, I am wondering if she is a bit of a liability. Our purpose here in England is rather specific, and not always in the best taste or good sense. I worry slightly that I may have brought her into trouble that she does not deserve. Her presense has also provided tricky as we have had to juggle her slightly to keep her out of the loop. Fortunately, I believe she has been too excited about everything to notice. 

Sotherby's was somewhat of a bust. Most of the books were not worth anything, although the Pnakotic Manuscript is apparently quite valuable and Life as a God is bound in actual human skin. That last detail was quite unsettling and I was quite pleased not to have been the one of us reading that. 

The Penhew Foundation turns out to be actually run by the very man we were looking for, Mr Gavigan. My suspicions are that he is a dubious character, and I promise that is not purely predicated on his order to kill us. (I did mention that before didn't I?) Once we had this information then Lord Covington and I went to meet him. 

I know, I know, your father would tell me never to walk into the enemy's den. I could hear him saying it in my ear even as we did it. But he had extended an invitation to Lord Covington, who couldn't possibly go see him alone, and so I went. 

It is surprising the Penhew Foundation has not become a museum in its own right. The amount of Egyptian and other foreign antiquities there was staggering. While waiting, I perused some of their books and was impressed.

Mr Gavigan was surprisingly polite. Certainly he gave no hint that he had ordered our death. He did slightly seem uncomfortable every time I mentioned Jackson Elias. I suspect he ordered his death as well, sadly. He was less helpful than one could have hoped, but he did say he would try to pass on details so that Erica Carlysle can find closure on her brother's death. 

We had arranged for Violet and Louis to trail anyone who might have followed us out of the Penhew Foundation to reduce the possibility of our death. They did follow someone, although I never had any wind of him, and got some information out of him which they planned on acting on last night. I want to have nothing to do with those plans so shan't recount them to you here. 

Annie and I did have a mostly lovely evening last night, though. The concierge found us last minute tickets to the West End, so we used it as an excuse to wear all our new pretty dresses and have a girl's night out. I spent our preparations explaining how to tell the high class men from the lower and eventually made it to the Gargoyle Club- a wonderfully artistic and decadent club. I highly recommend it for your next trip.

Unfortunately, before we hit the club, Anne's former beaux Joe found us after the theater. He was very apologetic and made a good plea to win Annie's affections back. I do believe I was able to talk her out of it again, but his appearance did slightly marr the evening.

The Gargoyle Club, though, was a real delight. I met a Bertrand Russell, who was fascinating to talk to. He was perfectly charming, if a tad rogueish. Never have I been in a place quite so wonderful. Most of the clubs in New York are enjoyable, but the conversation is of a much lower caliber. Here, there was intellectual stimulation in so many ways that I wish I could stay here and return every night. It had some eclectic and risque parts, but really, don't all the best clubs these days? I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. 

Today we plan on attending the Blue Pyramid Club tonight (although I do wish I could talk them into returning to the Gargoyle Club) and I am hoping to entice my compatriots to Madame Toussard's Waxwork Museum this afternoon. I remember how eerily lifelike the mannequins were on my honeymoon and have no doubt that the others would enjoy it.

Yours wistfully,


February 10th, 1925

Dear Betty,

We have safely arrived in Mentmore Towers, England, home of Lord Covington, complete with all luggage as well as Miss Annie Anderson in tow. The house (dare I call it a mere house?) is extravagant and beautiful, and finally I really understand the extent of the title he bears. This is old money at its most classic, with extra wings and furnishings older than we are. Truly it is humbling to see what true breeding is like.

Tomorrow we alight for London. We shall search out this Gavigan fellow, visit the Penhew Foundation, and most importantly, go shopping. I've taken Annie under my wing and I will do this properly, starting by dressing her in the part. Lord Covington also remembered there is a newspaper fellow who might be of help to us and I thought I might bring some of the books we got off of Erica Carlysle to Sotherby's and have them evaluated.

As much as I enjoyed the Mauretania, it is really very lovely to be here.



PS Lord Covington has said that if you wish to mail me while we are still in England that you can send it to Mentmore Towers and his servants shall ensure that it reaches me. Look forward to hearing from you once again!

February 9th, 1925


Things have taken a decided turn! Last night the Captain had arranged a masked ball full of dancing and good vintages. We all turned out in our best, and I made certain to find suitable attire and masks for Annie as well. Louis, playing the gallant, escorted Annie and made certain she danced most of the evening. She was absolutely enchanted. 

It would appear, however, that Joe did not take kindly to this. He confronted Louis, so enraged that he actually struck my brother-in-law! As happenstance would have it, Joe made the mistake of doing so just as Annie and I were walking on the promenade, resulting in Annie seeing the whole affair, including Louis's black eye. 

Needless to say, Annie has finally come to accept what I've been telling her- that a man such as Joe is not really a suitable travelling companion for a young woman like her. He may have been a good friend, although she finally sees that we were correct in surmising that he hoped to become more, but he puts her in a rather compromising position as a companion. 

Tonight there is another dance, and tomorrow we land in England. I cannot just send Annie with Joe to whatever fate he has in store for her, even if his heart is in the right place and so I've consulted with Lord Covington and have offered to bring her with us, at least for a time. She seems excited, if scared, by the prospect which I can understand completely. 

As much as I love travelling, I am looking forward to sleeping on dry land. It has been a much more trying trip than I expected. 

Yours Truly,


PS- I actually slept better last night. I wonder if it had something to do with the reading I've been doing as I was so tired from the dancing that I fell immediately to sleep. As such, I had only read some of this book during the afternoon and not before bed. I intend to repeat this experiment tomorrow and see if it the cure to my ills!

February 8th, 1925


I am not sleeping well. It is most definitely putting me out of sorts. I have never before had these issues when travelling, as I am usually so excited by the prospect and by what I see that I am quite tired at night. 

Now I find myself plagued by evil dreams. I wake from them with feelings of unease. It is not a pleasant feeling. 

As such, I have taken things quietly of late. Aside from last night's Captain's Table, which once again ended with our party and friends being the stars of the night, yesterday very little of note happened. I spent much of it walking the promenade, talking with Annie or Violet or reading. 

I do hope my spirits pick up.