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.