April 9th, 1925


We are still on safari, skirting the mountains north of Nairobi now. Africa continues to be a multitude of unexpected beauty and challenges.

I do believe Lord Covington has caught some illness or malady. He has become pale and sweaty, and decidedly unwell. Our guides have been every understanding, allowing him to take breaks and providing assistance for him. Covington, bless him, is soldiering on.

I do hope I don't get whatever it is. While I am starting to feel able for our daily treks, no doubt such an illness would finish me.

I saw a pack of hyenas today. The guides warned us it was likely feeding off a dead animal, so I declined to investigate, although they followed us for several hours afterwards. Chilling, really, the look the in their eyes. If I don't make it home, no doubt they will have my body picked clean in moments. I apologize for my morbidity, but it seems to have followed us these last few days.

Love always,


April 7th, 1925


Our gentlemen have had their first taste of the hunt. I hear them talk at night of the "Big 5" so I expect they will want to continue this wretched safari for a time. We came upon a group of water buffalo, who were less than enamored by our presence.

I stepped back with the porters and guides, and watched in abject terror as the bull charged at Louis. It took shots from all three gentlemen to bring it down, but it slid to a stop right in front of Louis, and until that moment, I hadn't actually believed it would stop.  I will admit to briefly being grateful I wouldn't have to tell Mother of his demise, due to her own recent demise, which I felt dreadfully guilty for.

These creatures are massive. We posed for a picture with the dead buffalo, and it was enormous. I will send a copy later if I am able. If the buffalo had still been standing when it hit Louis, I have no doubt I would be burying a second Vanderbilt heir. It is a prospect I don't like to think on.

The walking has become easier, but I am still tired. Violet has made friends with our guide, Sam, although I haven't bothered. Moza at least keeps me company, even when I lag behind. I find his tail swishing ahead of me in the brush to be quite comforting. He has stamina far greater than I would have expected with all his napping.

Yours truly,


April 4th, 1925

Betty dearest,

I am dog tired. We have been walking almost all day, and my feet are dreadfully sore. The charm of the plains evaporated after the first blister appeared. 

Everyone is in great humor. They have laid foods out for us for meals, and tents set up before we reach tonight's rest. I haven't the energy to write more, but nothing much beyond walking has happened. 



PS- Moza, the traitor, seems perfectly fine.

April 3rd, 1925

My darling Betty,

Nairobi is strangely reminiscent of England, except it is hotter and full of coloureds. I find the wide mix of unknown languages spoken in the street to be a surprising delight. It has been such a time since I was somewhere where I knew so little of the language being spoken. There are a surprising number of Hindi speakers, something I noticed in Mumbasa as well, and a goodly number of Indians (the kind I met in India with Searle, not the savages Custer defeated) make up a sizable portion of the workforce here.

The safari is scheduled for tomorrow, so we went to the McMillan Library to search out the location of the Mountain of the Black Wind. Mrs. McMillan was lovely, and helpful, and they have a fabulous collection of maps and photos that we spent time with- and quite a bit about the Carlyle Expedition including a grisly account of finding the massacre. Doctor Webber and I expect the Mountain of the Black Wind is to the north of the Aberdair mountain range near Mount Kenya, which at least gives us a direction to travel. 

We found a picture of the expedition in which Hypatia Masters was clearly pregnant, although I don't recall her being married. The notes we have only indicated her desire to use new lenses on the Nandi Tribe, who are a local tribe from the Kenyan Highlands who worship the sun. At any rate, I doubt her family would like it known she was with child out of wedlock, so I ask you not repeat it.

Despite my desire to stay and read more on local legends and my reservations at going into Blacktown, my companions insisted my translation skills were absolutely necessary and so I accompanied them to meet with a Mr. Kenyatta, who of course, spoke perfect English. I was glad of my heavy netting regardless, as Blacktown has an unsavory nature, although it is clear Mr. Kenyatta and his Kikuyu Central Association are attempting to modernize the populace. I will admit, my attention wandered as he spoke to Doctor Webber.

We were led deeper into Blacktown to a car, a trip that was harrowing and eye opening. Such degredation simply isnt seen back home, thankfully. I admit to clutching Louis' arm rather tightly through that trip as I could not quite feel safe and was apprehensive. He drove us to a village where we were greeted by delightful young black children, the best part of the day.

That is where we met Okumuo, a brusque native, who clearly knew of the cult of e bloody tongue, and very unwilling to speak to us. He warned us off pursuing the cult, going to their mountain, or attempting to cast spells there- something that I dearly hope he was in error about. He drew us a map, and told us of M'weru- their priestess. After some argument with Doctor Webber, he led us to a hut full of protective symbols with an old man.

I remembered the time I spent with that old lady in Egypt who gave me the stone. I suddenly felt better about our trip here, and promptly seated myself close to him and waited. Bundari was old, and Okumuo said he speaks with the Other Side, praying to N'gai to stave off the evil. We waited for hours, but our patience was rewarded.

Bundari told us of the Bloody Tongue, of a man at the railway station planting flowers to guide us, and of the gods work that is moving towards something. M'weru has made a prophecy of a god-child, part human, part not. My mind went to the pregnant Hypatia, and I shuddered. I believe Webber's thoughts were along the same line.

Intriguingly, they knew of the eye of light and dark. Bundari will look for the rest of the sign, and I feel this could be important. Now I wish I had more time in the library in Cairo, although as I recall, I had found as much information as I could there.

Bundari gave Violet a whisk and a wooden cage with a chameleon who will protect us, although not against magic. I will admit I was disappointed they were given to Violet, although I hope it means he does not feel I require help. Surely he knows that Bast will protect me? I did ensure to tell Moza not to eat the poor chamelon upon our return. 

Oh, but our return! The stars here are amazing. It was pitch dark when we left the village, and the car headlights did not interfere with the amazing view that was above us.  I have never seen so many stars all at once. I was tired, but the stars were so beautiful, that I stayed up the whole trip back to Nairobi. Even the chug of the engine couldn't dampen how beautiful the African plains are at night. 

We go on safari tomorrow, although we must find our recommended guide first. I asked Moza if he wanted to come on safari with us as I couldn't decide whether it would be a good idea or not. He was on board, so our party really will be full. I hope he doesn't get lost in the grasses.

I cannot guarantee the regularity of my future correspondence while we are in the bush, but I will try to ensure they make it to you. I admit I am excited and terrified in equal measures. I do wish I had more time to spend in the library before we leave.



April 2nd, 1925 - Late

My dear Betty,

Well, the cat is truly out of the bag now. I apologise for the state of the previous letter, however it fell from my lap when the excitement started and I was only able to retrieve it after much had occurred. I can't sleep from the excitement of the day, and feel quite pleased with myself.

They all know now. Well, I assume Louis will tell Violet if he hasn't already, and Webber certainly knew what I'd done. No doubt Lord Covington suspects as well, so I consider it an open secret now. Its not as if Bast forbid me from speaking of it, indeed, she told me to sing her songs, so I don't imagine she will have a problem with their knowing.

Circumstances being what they are, Louis took the news of my appointment as a priestess of Bast quite well. He seemed slightly worried, but not disbelieving- presumably having witnessed my power call forth a fog to cloak us in. Really, I was impressed myself, I can hardly imagine he wouldn't be. He did not seem too convinced of the talking to cats, though.

At any rate, we have settled into Nairobi and I know the gentlemen wish to be off on safari tomorrow, so I should attempt to sleep again. I just had to pen this quickly to let you know we are currently safe from any flying balls of flame and that I am finally feeling more secure in my new position. I shall tell you of Nairobi later.

Love always,

Priestess Rose
(not sure of that title, yet, though)

April 2nd, 1925

My darling Betty,

I am so concerned for you. On our arrival in Mumbasa, we stopped by the library, which is where I heard the terrible news of the Tri-State Tornado. I do hope it has not affected you or your family. The article was maddeningly unclear in the actual boundaries of the destruction, and I am anxious for word of your safety.

Mumbasa was quaint, if clearly of English control and influence. We were questioned by customs on our arrival, however they were polite and allowed us to continue on. The good planning of Lord Covington and his batsman have no doubt smoothed our entry here. It was a whirlwind stop, as we were to head out to Nairobi on the next train, however enough for some slight excitement.

We naturally found it necessary to visit the market and the library and various other places, and I noticed an Indian man watching us, at least three or four times. Briefly caut his eyes, but he disappeared into the crowd. Certain I saw him in front of the library and in the market. He was surprisingly well dressed for the area, bearded with a turban, which would make him a Sikh. I cannot imagine he was part of the customs department, but I do not know who else would have known we were here in Mumbasa. 

It is a mystery that will no doubt stay unresolved as we are now on a wood-burning train bound for Nairobi (which is why I had you send your telegram response there). It is a rather different experience than trains in America. I managed to get Louis to take this time to write home, although I hardly know who to address it to.

Africa appears to be more beautiful than I expected. We saw Kilamanjaro from the distance earlier this afternoon, quite arresting in its prominence. At one point Moza awoke from one of his long naps to look out the window, pawing insistently. I turned to look and would you believe there was a pride of lions walking past! I watched out the window for as long as I could see them, and Moza lost interest as I did. I do hope this will not be the only time we see such beautiful creatures. I felt quite awed by the experience as Moza curled back up onto the seat beside me.

Louis got himself on top of the train for unknown purposes, and fortunately nothing happened. I am quite relieved that I was preparing for the dining car and unaware of his movements until afterwards. I was mortified as it was, and the smell of the smoke from the engine was dreadful when he appeared. 

He came in for lunch, and became brash and boastful with everyone who passed into his orbit. I recognized his darker side, and stepped in to smooth things over, which soothed a few ruffled feathers. Things became even better once I convinced him to go change his clothes, resulting in less noxious fumes for the rest of us passengers. Honestly, Louis's manners often make me wonder that he and Searle were brought up in the same house. 

I have seen very little of Violet and Doctor Webber on this train. They are in the other compartment, with Louis, and frankly it has been a relief to have an escape from his manners. 

Mary and I spent some time working on her reading this afternoon. She actually has quite the capable mind when she applies herself. She is the second person this trip I have taught as Doctor Webber has recently taken an interest in Arabic. Teaching a language is much more difficult than merely reading, of course, but the good Doctor is much more determined. I imagine I will have him fluent in no time if he keeps up his interest. 

The light is going, but we will arrive in Nairobi later. An odd red and blue light passed-


TO: Mrs Elizabeth Carpenter


1st April, 1925

March 31st, 1925


I feel much better having gotten that off my chest. I don't know why I procrastinated so long in writing it.

We land tomorrow in Mumbasa, where we shall catch a train to Nairobi, still on the trail of Elias and the Carlyle Expedition. I've been reading again, a book called the People of the Monolith, which is practically banal in comparison to others that I have read lately. I do believe it sounds like the author has encountered some of what he writes about and gone soft in head. Mostly it is lots of poetry. Actually, I thought it fairly quaint.

I am also re-reading the Black Rites, that which speaks of my new deity, Bast, although it really misses a lot of the nuances, now that I've been taught more. Doctor Webber and Violet have been reading the Liber Ivonis, and I gather not enjoying it as much.

I do hope you and yours are well. I fear I shall miss your latest missives until they are sent on from Cairo. Hopefully they will land at the Nairobi hotel shortly.

Love always,


April 7th, 1925

Dear Betty,

We had a quiet day yesterday. No major kills for the gentlemen. Today, however, we were able to go by car, blessedly. 

We loaded into the truck, at which point it became obvious they were hoping to take us to where the gentlemen could kill a lion. I stamped my foot down immediately. I can be certain that Bast would not accept excuses on this front. The gentlemen clearly aren't happy with my decision. 

They have taken to speaking in quiet voices outside of my hearing, which concerns me. We didn't happen on a lion, so my resolve has not been fully tested. I hope it isn't fully as I have given an oath and I shall not be persuaded to go back on my promise to Bast. It is unthinkable. Frankly, I don't think  I would survive her wrath if I did.

Good night,


March 30th, 1925


I know, I owe you the rest of this tale. As I said before, I am ashamed for my part, and horrified remembering it. 
As I wrote before, we found Shakti's Cairo business place, and Violet recognised one of the men from our fracas at the pyramid. Louis sits down beside him and puts a gun discreetly in his side and "I think you should take us upstairs." I am beginning to wonder what sort of a man Louis was when he was away with the legion. 

The man led us to the back of the shop and upstairs. Louis sat him down in the chair. The rest of us searched, but there wasn't much beyond clubs and other weaponry stashed about the offices. Then the gentlemen turned to the man in the chair...

He did eventually tell us another way in to the pyramids. Covington, surprisingly, lost his nerve during the interview. I don't like to think of him like that. I don't like to this of any of us as we were that day...

We purchased burkas and rope and headed out to the pyramids, four of us in the native female garb.  Covington was our male escort, and the rest of us were his wife and her sisters who wished to view the pyramids, or at least so we told the police who asked were clearly worried due to the previous night's excitement.

We found the hidden entrance to beneath the pyramid, and slid down the rope to a dark passageway. Once our eyes adjusted, I could see evidence of things, bodies, dropped down into the hole. It occurred to me thst these people we have been dealing with are truly depraved and cruel creatures. I cannot see a glimmer of goodness in those who would dump people into a place like this. 

We followed a passageway, that was altogether frightening. The silence was oppressive in places. Occasionally there were drafts and foul stenches, causing our torches to gutter. It was altogether eerie. Red liquid dripped on my head and I could not bring myself to investigate what exactly it was. I found myself closely crowding to my compatriots. 

The passageway kept branching. At one point, there were drag marks to the right, we went left. We had to cross deep pits, past luminescent fungi. Louis kept a pratter on about inane things, tales when he was young. It reminded me of Searle, which for once I found comforting and a source of strength. If that was his intent, there are surprising depths to my brother-in-law.

Somewhere down there, I found a black flower. A flower, living in the dark! I had never heard of such a thing, so I picked it up and it stung me, like a thorn. I folded it into my robes.

Eventually, we met a dead end covered in heiroglyphs, so Covington went forward to read by the flickering torchlight. It warned of Children of the Sphynx that dismember for their Dark Lord living there. With more trepidation, we back tracked.

Out of nowhere, two things grabbed Covington from behind. He yelled and shot, and I turned to see an ugly, mummified hands gripping his shoulders. Whatever it was seemed to be pulling him away from us, so I dropped my lamp, grabbed his arm, and began hauling on it to keep him from being taken. 

The monsters were hugely tall. Even the gentlemen barely reached their midchest. One looked much like a crane for a head, while the other looked much like a crocodile on a man's body.

Shots rang out, which was deafening in the tunnel. I changed my grip to around Convington's waist as the crocodile's teeth splintered along both sides. He roared in rage which was cut off as Webber stepped up and removed his head. 

I lost my grip as Covington was freed, and fell back into the sand as Covington fired at the ibis looking monster. It rushed at him, stabbing him with its beak. I grabbed my lamp and began crawling to Violet as the men fought on. When all went silence, we were all standing. 

We eventually came to a cavernous room of black marble. Far side was too far for lamp light to reach, but the ceiling was made of stars. We crossed a creepy bridge across a wide expanse, that would no doubt be filled with adoring masses if the chamber was open, to find a vile green throne with a giant hole behind throne, pitch black, ripped open... A mummy on a dais surrounded by canonic jars. Attempts to destroy the mummy were unsuccessful and instead the jars were unceremoniously smashed.

I will admit to being completely terrified. It was a place of dark magics and dark desires. When Louis and Doctor Webber went into a red mist and came back ashen faced, I was too frightened by their fear to ask questions and too petrified to follow in their wake.

In exasperation, I believe, the gentlemen decided to throw the mummy into black emptiness. Webber and Louis lay dynamite at the throne & altar as we left, having never found the girdle of Nidicris. As the explosions went off, I resolutely refused to look back.

It almost sounds benign, writing it like this, but I assure you it was a harrowing experience. I felt ill by the time we were leaving, hours after we had entered. Perhaps it was the exhaustion.

And that was Cairo.