In the early hours of the morning, on the plane Martin demands an explanation for the hurried departure. Phipps and Kent tell him what they remember while Fox flies back to New York, anywhere but LA.
Fox has changed his clothes and showered, but he’s in pain from being hit. Martin bandages his ribs while they refuel. The smell of Nectar gives Martin a strong memory. He’s standing at a rough wooden door, in a rough wooden room. Dogs are barking somewhere else.
Kent sits quietly during the flight and reading Trammels’ Testament front to back. It has sections on LA, Bangkok, Siam, Mexico and Malta.
The LA section is Trammels writings about taking over Echavarria’s worship and cult, his natural destiny. He believes Echavarria was lying about Gol-Goroth and was actually worshipping Nyarlethotep. The Big N has spoken to Trammel and confirmed this.
The section about Bangkok contains letters from an educated woman, Trammels’ peer. SS is doing her own research and seems less convinced it is Nyarlethotep or Gol-Goroth. She warns Trammel about worshipping the wrong deity. There is an address given, and instructions if any of Trammels worshippers wanted to join in their rites in Bangkok.
The Mexico section has letters from a PO Box in Mexico City, from a JB. They start positively about the use of the song of the Mouth. Over the letters it emerges that JB and de la Luz have disappointed Trammel and not made as much progress as desired. They promise big things with their new record, but the tension is clear.
The Malta sections refer to a Montgomery Donovan, in Valetta, Malta. He seems to have been experimenting with ways of increasing the output of Nectar, through various unpleasant means. A few months ago it looks like he succeeded, output has increased massively, enough doses for tens or hundreds of cities, at the LA volume.
They land on Saturday afternoon, the group split up back to their homes and families. They agree to meet up again in a few days over dinner with Janet Winston-Rogers and plan their next steps.
Martin heads to his apartment and drops in on Howie. Howie’s struggling with a demand from his landlord for back rent they say he owes, but he wasn’t even renting it then. Martin takes up his problems and visits the landlords offices. Howie made a simple error on the form, but they refuse to correct. Martin threatens them, and they back down.
At the asylum hospital Martin borrows some lab facilities, and tests some of the liquid from Fox’s clothes, where the tongue hit him. From basic tests it proves unusual, partly alive and with chemistry Martin has not seen before. Slightly shaken, Martin makes some progress, but comes to no firm conclusions about it yet.
Finally a session with Dr. Karl. Nervous about whether he will get re-commited, Martin reveals some but not all of his adventures. Dr Archer is very interested and ask more. Martin gives Dr Karl the sample and suggests he could spend some time investigating it.
Adrienne, Fox’s wife, is happy to see him back, but nervous about his employment status, now that Winston rogers has passed away. Fox is also bruised and she’s concerned about his health, but he brushes her off with glib reassurances. She asks him to fix some bits round the house, but he’s hurt.
A couple of days later he goes out to the bar with his gang. They’ve missed him, and welcome him back with jokes and affectionate mockery. Over drinks and cards, Fox loses money and rebonds. They complain that Clyde who they had brought in to play cards when Fox was away was not a good player.
Henrietta is away at a week of Long Island parties, so Phipps stays with Uncle Theodore. Phipps is badly affected by the events in Los Angeles, but some good food and brandy helps. Theodore puts pressure on him to keep his sister under control, Phipps eventually agrees to help get her married.
Back at his tattoo parlour customers have been missing him, and he is busy with needles for several days. Diego has put an envelope under the door, returning the money. He seems to be doing well at his painting.
Eric, Kent’s colleague at the University of Columbia, has become very interested in wider influences after Kent mentioned some of what happened in LA in 1924. He’s been looking for correlations of psychic activity to August 1924 and has found a weak pattern of increases in cattle mutilations and odd animal behaviours around that time. He’s also contacted Universidad Complutense in Madrid and found that Bartolo has gone back to Ethiopia to help the Italian army retrieve the Obelisk of Axum.
Mrs Jarvis has kept Kent’s apartment clean and tidy while he’s been away. She looks tired and unwell. He sits her down and gets her to talk about her nightmares. She has been dreaming about Kent, seeing him bloody in a ring, fighting for his life. She sees his blood staining the sink, no matter how hard she scrubs it off.
After resting and recuperating, they have dinner with Janet Winston Rogers. She brings along Eugene, who seems to be a suitor. After listening to their adventures, she’s keen for them to finish the work her father started and end the cult. However she has also received a letter from lawyers representing Samson Trammel threatening legal action against her ‘thugs’ that broke in to his house and stole several books. They demand the return of the books. The letter makes no mention of anyone killed.
The group discuss and decide that Ethiopia is the best bet. From Trammels’ Testaments of the Dripping Mouth Emanates it’s clear there is cult activity in Siam, Mexico and Malta as well as LA, but the group think that the stone in the safety deposit box is a clue to perhaps some defensive capabilities in Ethiopia. Phipps and Fox refuse point-blank to go back to LA, even though there’s unfinished business.
Several days later, the group board the Hindenberg to cross the Atlantic, then over several hops from one city to another they travel across Europe, over the Med and then take a steamer down the Gulf of Aden to Massaua in Abyssinia.
Barging through customs, they explore the hot, dusty town, find the Internationale Hotel and information that Bartolo is encamped with an infantry division south of the city.
Hiring camels they rush off to the camp, and find a drunken Bartolo Acuna in his tent.