Fox gets interrupted at breakfast by messenger boy, Meeks is on the phone.
He wants to meet soon, round the corner.
Kent stays in his room reading Henslowe’s notebook.
Phipps and Horowitz head to UCLA to try to find a cryptographer to decrypt the accounts book.
Meeks and his silent partner are waiting in the diner for Fox. Meeks has the police report, but wants a favour, opening the back door of a restaurant when a delivery arrives. Fox reluctantly agrees.
At UCLA, Phipps heads for Maths Dept. and finds a student, Alfred Kendall who likes cryptography. $10 to decrypt the book.
Horowitz finds a directory and finds George Ayers’ office listed, in the History dept. There he finds Dr. Romans name is actually on the door, who pops his head out of another office. He took the office in 1926 after Ayers had been gone a long time. Horowitz should speak to the Head of History Dept on Monday.
That evening, tooled up, Phipps and Fox enter the Mexican restaurant, the Happy Sombrero. It’s a little odd, they’re served food and asked for “anything else?”. Clearly there is stuff happening. Many of the tables are busy, mostly Mexicans. A barman eyes everyone entering.
A Mexican in a zoot suit enters and chats to the barman. Things are happening. Fox heads to the door to the back, but there’s just a passage, a toilet and phone. No backdoor. There’s a guy standing behind bars heading up the stairs, glaring at Fox. No back door. Fox waits in the toilet, thinking.
He hears the cage door being unlocked and Spanish spoken – new arrivals are greeting the guard. Fox ducks out into the main restaurant and catches Phipps eye. Phipps knocks over his table, food and drinks and Fox sneaks into the kitchen, and to the back door, watched by confused cooks.
Meeks comes in the back door, stuffs the report into Fox’s hands and starts pointing his gun and badge around. Fox exits the back door, Phipps bails with other guests out the front of the restaurant, as gunfire erupts.
That night they study the report. There were13 deceased, including all Walter Winston’s colleagues, and a Ramon Echavarria. The investigation wasn’t great, and they thought it was a deviant sex club. There were odd animal wounds on the bodies.
The 1924 Police Report on the farm
Kent wakes up in the early hours in his dark room. There’s a terrible smell in his room, and the sound of dripping liquid. He finds the bedside light, and sees a writhing, stinking mass on the table where he was reading. Black organic liquid drips onto the floor. Henslowe’s notebook has turned into black, rotten mush. White and pink worms wriggle in the gunk.
Kent has heard of occult magic spells used like this – to target the imagery in the book maybe. The hotel find him another room, and put a large cleaning charge on Kents bill.
In the morning the receptionist hands Phipps a letter from his sister and Fox a telegram from Janet WInston-Rogers.
Phipps and Martin Horowitz head off to UCLA early. They catch up with Alfred who’s worked all night translating the book of accounts. The books cover 1918-1922, and show sales of N referred to once as ‘Nectar’ through various code names like Umbrella, Slick and Moses. Towncar is clearly the accountant, and Black is the owner. A slip translates the Black codeword as Echavarria and Towncar as Buchwald. Phipps knows that accountants need to be registered.
In the history department, Martin meets Samantha Burnish, the aged secretary who remembers creepy George Ayers and organising a trip for him to Africa.
Dr MacDunn the head of History also knows Ayers and his trip to Ethiopia, and that he sent reports back for a short while. He wilts under Horowitz’s intimidation and agrees to bring Ayers’ stuff over later today out of storage.
At lunchtime, the group drive up north out of the city to find the location of the farmland mentioned in the police report. After some directions, they arrive at a patch of farmland, next to a new and expanding housing sprawl.
They find the remains of two buildings, and blackened rotting timbers. One of the beams has add symbols engraved on it – Kent sketches them. In the long grass a feral cat scratches his leg.
Phipps heads down the hill to talk to the housing construction crew. They say the land is cursed, Phipps senses the foreman’s odd and gets from him and some $$ that he’s been paid by a PI, Jack, to call him when anyone comes sniffing. He promises not to, for some dollars.
Late afternoon they leave the farm and drive back to UCLA
George Ayers’ stuff has been brought into a spare room at the history dept. Lots of dusty boxes of books and papers. Kent remembers his name now – Ayers published a weird controversial paper in the early 1920’s.
In the papers they find his travel itinerary to Ethiopia, his address book, and lots of odd stuff about ancient religions. Ayers writes about Gol-Goroth, the FIsher from outside, and the Liar from Beyond. They also find a film poster “Queen of the desert sands” signed from the a-list actress Olivia Clarendon. “Thanks for your help”
From quick scanning the documents, Ayers seemed to believe in the Mythos, but believed Gol-Goroth was a fool.