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-