* * *
Agent Sanderson headed over to the carousel to talk to the man who had been working at night. The man working there had a slim, nondescript face, and brown hair. He wore a polka-dotted bow tie, a light colored suit, and a straw boater hat.
â€œHey sir, how you doing?â€ Agent Sanderson said, walking up to the man.
â€œWelcome to the carnival!â€ the man said. â€œAre you riding the carousel? The lineâ€™s right over there.â€
â€œNo, Iâ€™m not riding the carousel.â€
â€œI just wanted to ask you a few questions. Did you happen to be around the man whose arm was ripped off the night of?â€
â€œOh! Well, Iâ€™ve already talked to the police. Are you the police?â€
â€œWell, could I see your badge?â€
Agent Sanderson pulled out his badge and glared at the man.
â€œAll right Inspector,â€ the carousel driver said. â€œI was here. I was here at the carousel.â€
â€œDid you happen to hear the man talk about anything in particular?â€ Agent Sanderson said.
â€œNo. He was babbling. He seemed to be quite mad!â€
â€œDo you remember anything he said?â€
â€œIâ€™m â€¦ not â€¦â€
â€œKey words. Key words.â€
â€œI donâ€™t honestly remember. He didnâ€™t seem to say anything that made any sense to me. You know when someone goes off, talking and talking, and youâ€™re not really paying attention but theyâ€™re not making any sense anyway? Does that make any sense?â€
â€œAbsolutely â€¦ not sir.â€
â€œYou know what I mean.â€
â€œIs there anything of important you could think to tell me besides his arm being ripped off?â€
â€œNope. Saw a man. Got his arm cut off. Iâ€™ve seen worse.â€
â€œOh! Many crazy things happen at the carnival. Have you been in the House of Freaks?â€
â€œAre you trying to sell me the show?â€
â€œIâ€™m just saying thereâ€™s â€¦ sometimes â€¦ sometimes the knife acts â€¦ they donâ€™t hit what theyâ€™re supposed to. Itâ€™s quite â€¦ spectacular. I just run the carousel though. Sometimes â€¦ sometimes I help with some of the other rides. But thereâ€™s some strange things that happen here.â€
â€œLike-like what? Besides the Freak Show.â€
â€œSometimes the tricks go wrong.â€
â€œWell, I heard â€¦ you know Emmanuelle Vasconcellos? Who does the horse show? I heard they had another girl that works with her. Until the accident a few years ago.â€
â€œOh I donâ€™t know for sure but I understand she got â€¦ trampled to death!â€
â€œWell, thatâ€™s a shame. Is there anything else in particularâ”€â€
â€œHer eyes flew right out of her head when it stepped on her face! Thatâ€™s what I heard. Itâ€™s a dangerous thing.â€
â€œDo you think the carnivalâ€™s haunted?â€
â€œNo, not haunted. Course not. Itâ€™s only been here 20 years. Itâ€™s not like itâ€™s on an ancient Indian burial ground or something. Or are we?â€
â€œWell, beside that, is that all you can conjure up about strange happenings?â€
â€œI hear some stuff happened but, you know, I donâ€™t really remember. I donâ€™t see anything myself.â€
â€œIf you happen to rememberâ”€â€
â€œI think the cemeteryâ€™s haunted, myself.â€
â€œSwan Point Cemetery.â€
â€œAll right, well â€¦â€
â€œFull of dead people, you know. Cemeteries.â€
â€œThank you for your time, sir.â€
â€œKeep up â€¦ keep up the good work.â€
He left the odd man.
* * *
Yoosung spotted Agent Sanderson by the carousel. It made him so happy, he went over to the man and took his arm.
â€œWhat is your name?â€ he asked the older man.
â€œOh jeeze!â€ Agent Sanderson said. â€œYou startled me. Why are you so interested?â€
â€œBecause I love you!â€
â€œWhoa â€¦ all right you little Korean boy, you listen here! You can walk with me if you want. Weâ€™re going to the cemetery.â€
â€œOh, thank you.â€
â€œAll right. Just stop talking.â€
The two headed for Swan Point Cemetery, climbing over the wall near the pony rides.
* * *
Miss Fairfield saw Dr. Huxtable heading for the Parisian Theatre and stopped him.
â€œSir Dr. Huxtable?â€ she said.
â€œYes?â€ he replied. â€œThatâ€™s my name. Yes?â€
â€œI think you and Pendergast would be interested in going to that psychic. Madam Zarah.â€
â€œUh-huh. Her tentâ€™s right over there.â€
â€œHow many tickets do weâ”€â€
â€œPsychic?â€ Pendergast said.
â€œYes,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
â€œWe have quite a few tickets,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œShe doesnâ€™t try to possess people, does she? I donâ€™t like that at all.â€
â€œWell, she didnâ€™t try to possess me when I went,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
â€œIâ€™m going to pass, myself,â€ Pendergast said. â€œNope. Nope. Nope. This sounds suspiciously like possession! Iâ€™ve been there. I donâ€™t like it.â€
â€œIâ€™ll go!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
He asked for a swig of Pendergastâ€™s flask and the man gave it to him. He wailed again.
â€œThere is no way that youâ€™re drunk already!â€ Pendergast said.
Dr. Huxtable howled strangely again. Pendergast rolled his eyes. He headed for the games fairway, soon running into Miss Edington and Bricker.
* * *
In Swan Point Cemetery, it was very dark.
â€œHold me!â€ Yoosung said to Agent Sanderson, grabbing his mangled hand.
They wandered through the cemetery and heard two figures in the dark, moving through the grounds. One of them had a flashlight. They appeared to searching for something.
Agent Sanderson drew his sidearm. He flung Yoosungâ€™s hand away, pushing the youth behind him, and pulled out his flashlight.
â€œIdentify yourselves!â€ he called, shining the light at the figures.
He recognized Johnson and James.
â€œWhat the hell are you doing out here!?!â€ Agent Sanderson said.
â€œThatâ€™s a fine hello, Sanderson,â€ Johnson said.
â€œGood to see you too â€¦ you. Whatâ€™re you searching for?â€
â€œComing back to the crime scene.â€
â€œCrime scene? Where what happened?â€
â€œThat a manâ€™s arm got ripped off.â€
â€œOh, that scene.â€
â€œI was with the group out here the other night and we found a marked off place out here and one of the tombstones knocked over. We were trying to find that place again.â€
â€œAll right, Iâ€™ll follow you and try to help you.â€
â€œBy the way, in case you need to shoot me again, my nameâ€™s Joell. Joell Johnson.â€
â€œAll right. Iâ€™ll try to keep that in mind.â€
â€œSensei, thank you!â€ Yoosung said.
â€œI never learned the name of your companion,â€ Johnson said to Agent Sanderson.
â€œAre you talking about my companion?â€ Agent Sanderson said. â€œThis is not my companion.â€
Johnson looked at Yoosung.
â€œWhatâ€™s your name?â€ he asked.
â€œUh â€¦ Yoosung,â€ the youth said.
â€œNice to meet you,â€ Johnson said.
â€œAll right, letâ€™s get going,â€ Agent Sanderson said.
Johnson tried to find the spot in the dark cemetery without luck.
â€œWhatâ€™s the call, boy?â€ Agent Sanderson said after theyâ€™d been looking for a while.
â€œProbably should have come out here way earlier,â€ Johnson said. â€œWell, if any of you want to make that nine oâ€™clock show, Iâ€™ll go with you. But if you want to keep looking out here, stay with me, then Iâ€™ll do that.â€
â€œIâ€™ll keep looking. I ainâ€™t interesting in some clown shows.â€
â€œWhatever sensei wants,â€ Yoosung said.
â€œOh Jesus,â€ Agent Sanderson said.
â€œI feel this would be a more productive option,â€ James said.
* * *
Miss Fairfield led Dr. Huxtable to the fortune teller cottage on the fairway. The interior was divided into several areas by hanging curtains, heavy with incense and the smell of fried onions, and everything clashed. A woman was just putting out her cigarette. She was middle-aged and dressed as a gypsy.
â€œWelcome!â€ she said. â€œWelcome! I knew you would come! Who wishes their fortune told? Who wishes to know the future? Your loves. Your hates. Your wishes. Madam Zarah can tell all.â€
â€œIf you knew I was coming then you know itâ€™s me!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œI do know! I was testing you!â€
â€œI â€¦ passed?â€
â€œWith flying colors! Come! Come! Sit!â€
â€œThe best ones.â€
â€œCome and sit. Do you wish your palm read? Do you wish me to leave the tea leaves? Perhaps you want to look in the crystal.â€
â€œThat will be three tickets.â€
He handed over three tickets.
â€œLet me see your palm,â€ Madam Zarah said.
â€œWhich one?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
â€œThe left one.â€
He handed her his right hand.
â€œThe left one,â€ she said again.
He held out his left hand.
â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™m sorry. I had a drink. Outside. I had a drink.â€
â€œAh yes, the fruit of the vine!â€ Madam Zarah said. â€œIt is a beautiful thing. It can give clarity or â€¦ delusion!â€
She looked at his palm, telling him she could see his lifeline and his death line.
â€œI see you are a man of great influence,â€ she said.
â€œHo ho!â€ he said.
â€œA man who â€¦ who knows much, who is very wise.â€
â€œAnd who is very rich!â€
â€œYes. I see all these things. I see a beautiful woman in your future.â€
â€œYes, with dark hair. A young woman. A very young woman who will make you very happy.â€
â€œBut you must beware! I also see danger. Here.â€
She pointed to his palm.
â€œFrom the woman!?!â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
â€œNo, itâ€™s a different line,â€ she said. â€œThe danger is if â€¦ is if you make a mistake. You might lose the woman. So beware. Beware. Be wary. Now, the tea leaves.â€
She pushed a curtain aside. There was a camp stove with a low flame under a pot. She put a little tea into the cup and poured the water in.
â€œYou make the tea now, yes?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œDo not drink the last,â€ she said as she handed him a cup of tea. â€œJust sip from the cup. Leave a little in the bottom. Donâ€™t drink the leaves. They are very bad to drink.â€
He slurped down some of the tea. She took the cup back.
â€œAh â€¦ I understand that Marie Antoinette was a slurper,â€ she said. â€œPerhaps you have royalty in your blood.â€
â€œWhat?â€ he replied. â€œI was knighted by the king!â€
â€œAh, then you are of royalty. I see that the woman you are with is not the one that you want to be with.â€
â€œWhat? Who is it?â€
â€œAh. Long dark hair. And a â€¦ she is from â€¦ she is not from the country you are from.â€
â€œWhere is she from?â€
â€œI see that she is someone you already know.â€
â€œI know this woman.â€
â€œAlready. But you have not yet recognized that she will be your true love.â€
â€œHer name is â€¦ girl?â€
â€œThe tea leaves do not tell me such specifics.â€
â€œLook closer. Please.â€
Madam Zarah looked closer at the cup.
â€œNo, it seems to be forming â€¦â€ she said.
Dr. Huxtable threw three more tickets at the woman.
â€œGive me the name!â€ he cried.
â€œThe name is not here,â€ Madam Zarah said. â€œBut â€¦â€
â€œGive me tickets back then.â€
â€œI see her initial. Her first name â€¦ no, it is only one letter. I do not know if it is her first name or her last.â€
â€œDo you know if it is the first letter though?â€
â€œIt is the first letter!â€
â€œOr is it between somewhere?â€
â€œIt is the first letter. Yes, it is the first letter. An â€˜M.â€™ Look for a girl, a woman. â€˜M.â€™â€
â€œDo you know a â€¦ Maria? Or a â€¦ Mary? Do any of these sound familiar?â€
â€œYes. All of them.â€
She put the cup aside.
â€œAnd you want the crystal as well?â€ she said, taking the other three tickets from the table.
â€œYes!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œAll right,â€ Madam Zarah said.
â€œCan it not be about women now? Can we do something else?â€
â€œI only tell what I see. I do not control what I see. I do not control what I tell. Only â€¦ what is given to me by the spirits.â€
â€œBy the great winged one?â€
â€œI have read about him.â€
She pulled the purple silk scarf off the round object on the table. It proved to be a crystal ball.
â€œNow,â€ she said. â€œNow, you must look into the crystal. Gaze deeply. For some, who are of strong mind â€¦â€
Dr. Huxtable leaned forward and put his forehead against the crystal.
â€œNot that deeply,â€ she said.
â€œOh,â€ he said.
â€œFor some of strong mind, sometimes you will see light glowing from the crystal.â€
â€œBut you must look. Look deeply in the crystal. And â€¦ and you might see more than I. What do you see in the crystal? First tell me and then I will tell you. Look deeply. Donâ€™t look at me. Look at the crystal.â€
â€œI see a giant head! Heâ€™s looking at me!â€
A glow began from the heart of the crystal.
â€œOh wait, also a light though,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œBut also a light.â€
â€œNow, focus on the light,â€ Madam Zarah said. â€œAnd you tell Madam Zarah what you see first. Then I will tell you what I see.â€
â€œI see a fire that burns bright.â€
â€œOh. Now I see it too. I see your fire.â€
â€œI think there is danger. Fire is a danger to you in the future.â€
â€œAh! Get it away!â€
â€œYou must not allow the fire to hurt you. You didnâ€™t leave any candles burning at home, did you?â€
Dr. Huxtable looked up, mouth open, and thought for a long time.
â€œNo,â€ he finally said.
â€œGood,â€ Madam Zarah said. â€œGood. That is the first clue. Look deep. Look deep. I see â€¦ there is â€¦ yes. Something bad. I see something bad in the crystal.â€
â€œNo! Look for the good. Donâ€™t look at the bad.â€
â€œStay away from fire.â€
â€œFire bad. Fire hurt.â€
â€œI can see that if there is a fire in the future, you must avoid it. At all costs.â€
â€œDo not go into the fire, you say?â€
â€œDonâ€™t smoke. You donâ€™t smoke, do you?â€
â€œGood. That is a good thing.â€
â€œI saw that you didnâ€™t smoke. So, make sure that you stay away from fire.â€
â€œEspecially â€¦ I see a safe. There is a safe. Do you have a safe in your house?â€
â€œIs thereâ€™s a chance thereâ€™s a safe in your house you donâ€™t know of?â€
â€œOh! Is it yours?â€
â€œNo. I donâ€™t have a safe. I am but a humble gypsy seer. Stay away from fire and look for a safe at your house.â€
â€œAnd Mary. Or Marian. Or Muriel maybe. Muriel is coming to mind.â€
â€œYouâ€™re so welcome.â€
She covered the crystal back up and turned to Miss Fairfield.
â€œDo you wish your fortune told?â€ she asked the woman. â€œAgain?â€
Miss Fairfield shook her head and followed Dr. Huxtable out.
* * *
They met for the Star Studded Show around 9 p.m. Dr. Huxtable, Pendergast, Bricker, Miss Fairfield, and Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas all went to the show. Bricker had won a cheap kewpie doll at one of the booths.
The Parisian Theatre was a two-story wooden building painted with street scenes of Paris. About half of the 60 seats in the building were filled for the Star Studded Show. The ticket taker, a young man with a Boston accent and palsied hands, had noted how lucky they were to see the show as it was usually reserved for the weekends, but the movie they had planned for that night had not arrived.
Carl Denim was the announcer and when he told them his name, Dr. Huxtable let out a shout.
â€œThatâ€™s my name!â€ he called.
â€œWhy, thatâ€™s amazing!â€ Denim cried. â€œItâ€™s a great name.â€
It turned out that Denim was also four of the dance and comedy acts for the Star Studded Show. He was middle-aged, wore a top hat, and had a bit of a goofy face. Despite his different costumes, he always wore the top hat.
Sonny â€œCrazy Legsâ€ Poacher was the main act of the show. A middle aged Cajun negro from New Orleans, so Denim billed him, he tap danced, played banjo and fiddle, sang, and told jokes. Another act was The Great Navarro, who dressed in a tuxedo, wore a monocle, and carried a silver wolf-headâ€™s cane. He was billed as a Spanish count and was a knife thrower, juggler, and slack wire artist. Finally there was the Inscrutable Fu Man Jow, an Oriental magician with a red and black round-topped tall rimmed cap and black Chinese clothing. All of them but Nigel Bricker recognized Fu Man Jow. They realized he was the same man as the Amazing India Rubber Man in the House of Freaks.
The entire show took about a half hour with numerous acts between the men. It was actually quite fun. At the end, the curtains closed.
Dr. Huxtable ran down to the curtain and tapped on it. He pulled it aside to look at the empty stage behind. An old negro was sweeping the stage.
â€œWhat you doinâ€™ back here?â€ he said with a frown.
â€œWhere did â€¦ where did they go?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
â€œThey got places to be! Whatchu doinâ€™? You canâ€™t be back here.â€
â€œI got to be the same place. Whereâ€™d they go?â€
â€œNope. Old Billy ainâ€™t gonna let you come back here, now.â€
â€œYou have to go out front.â€
â€œIâ€™m Old Billy!â€
â€œYouâ€™re Old Billy.â€
â€œThatâ€™s right. Iâ€™m Old Billy. Now, you can go out front and â€¦ thatâ€™s the only place you can go. Weâ€™re done with shows for tonight until the Red Hot Harem Dance Show in a half hour.â€
Dr. Huxtable left the Theatre and headed around the side. He found a back door that read â€œNo Admittance.â€ It was unlocked. It looked like there were several dressing rooms on one side of the hallway.
â€œWeâ€™re not supposed to,â€ Pendergast said. â€œIt says â€˜no admittance.â€™â€
â€œStop your wallowing and come on,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œIâ€™m not wallowing.â€
â€œThen come on.â€
â€œWeâ€™re going to get yelled at by the negro again!â€
â€œWeâ€™re rich. We can do these sort of things.â€
Dr. Huxtable, Pendergast, and Miss Fairfield entered the back of the Parisian Theatre. Bricker had decided to wait outside and Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas had gone to the carousel. Inside the building were several dressing rooms. Dr. Huxtable went to the first door and knocked. It opened and they recognized Sonny â€œCrazy Legsâ€ Poacher standing there, shirtless.
â€œWhy, you ainâ€™t sâ€™pose to be back here, yâ€™all, no,â€ he said. â€œYou gots tâ€™ get out.â€
â€œI just came back here to say that I really enjoyed the show and I want to give you and your troupe a tip,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œOh. Aâ€™right. I take it.â€
Dr. Huxtable took out five one-dollar bills.
â€œYeah, anâ€™ derâ€™ five oâ€™ five oâ€™ em dere,â€ Poacher said.
â€œThatâ€™s a dollar apiece,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œGood show. Keep it up.â€
â€œDollar piece, mhm-hm.â€
â€œI â€¦ would like to also to give you all more money if you would allow me and my compatriots to come in and ask a few questions and then we will be out of your way.â€
â€œYou talk tâ€™ Carl Denim down dere now down dere.â€
â€œOld Billy said â€œGo one back there talk to â€˜em.â€™â€
â€œCarl Denim down dere at dâ€™ end dere. Go down dere now. Carl Denim. He talk dâ€™ show up. He know all dâ€™ questions. And all dâ€™ answers.â€
â€œRight down dâ€™ end dere. Last one down at dâ€™ end.â€
â€œAh â€¦ yes.â€
The man had gestured down the hall to the last dressing room. Dr. Huxtable had barely been able to make out a word heâ€™d said with his thick, Cajun accent. They headed down the hallway.
One of the doors jerked open as they walked by and the Great Navarro was there. He looked down his nose at them.
â€œHuh,â€ he said, rolling his eyes.
He walked down the corridor to the back door and left.
They reached the last door and Dr. Huxtable opened it and went in.
â€œIs this the end?â€ he said as he entered the dressing room where Carl Denim sat. â€œI donâ€™t know how far to go.â€
â€œWhy folks, youâ€™re not supposed to be back here!â€ Denim said.
â€œWell, I gave the Crazy Legs man a tip and he said â€œCâ€™mon do dere.â€™â€
â€œI canâ€™t even understand him myself! I have no idea what he says or what heâ€™s ever said.â€
â€œEver in my life.â€
â€œBut he plays a great banjo and can tap dance like nobodyâ€™s business.â€
â€œNow, I like that.â€
â€œBut you canâ€™t be back here folks. Iâ€™m sorry. This is just for â€¦ we got the Red Hot Harem Hoochie Coochie Girls coming by â€¦â€
Dr. Huxtable had taken out a five-dollar bill.
â€œMy friend says itâ€™s okay to be back here,â€ he said. â€œHe led me here.â€
â€œYou can come in,â€ Denim said, taking the bill. â€œI can talk to you for a few minutes, but you have to leave before the girls get here.â€
â€œBecause weâ€™ve had people try to peep and peeping is not good.â€
â€œPeeping is bad. Yes.â€
â€œYes. Exactly. Well, come in. Good Lord. You have a whole crew here.â€
â€œWell, Iâ€™m Carl Denim. Carl Denim. I used to be a vaudevillian. Is this for the paper?â€
â€œYes. My paper.â€
â€œVery good. I used to be a vaudevillian. Now I announce for the show and do a few acts. As you can see, Iâ€™m getting on in years.â€
He laughed loudly. Miss Fairfield got to work setting up her camera. Dr. Huxtable laughed uncomfortably.
â€œWhat questions do you have?â€ Denim said, sitting and posing for the camera.
â€œFirst of all, could you talk about how you found this group?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked. â€œWho are these people and how did you find them and how long have they been here?â€
â€œI tell you, sir, it was a search, I tell you. I had to go to New Orleans to find Crazy Legs. And all the way to Spain to find Navarro. Why, Fu Man Jow? All the way to China.â€
â€œI traveled. I followed the route of Marco Polo. I knew. I knew that if I did I would find fantastic things, and so I did. I found the greatest magician who has ever lived!â€
He told a story about all of the hardships and heartaches he went through to find the amazing men and that they have been together for years and during the summer, every weekend night, there was a Star Studded Show. He also mentioned that during the rest of the year, there were movies shown during the weekend.
â€œSo, you have a very diverse cast and I appreciate them and I like them and I give them money from my own wallet,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œYes?â€ Carl Denim said.
â€œBut me and my friends are into more dark performances. Do you have anything â€¦ more excessive that you would not like to perform in front of the general audience that you could show us? Something thatâ€™s not ready for stage or you donâ€™t to show other people.â€
â€œIâ€™m not sure what you mean sir.â€
â€œMy friend here,â€ Dr. Huxtable went on, pulling another five-dollar bill out of his pocket. â€œHe says that maybe these sort of shows, thereâ€™s sometimes some dark stuff that â€¦ is behind all this magic.â€
Pendergast had come up behind Dr. Huxtable and put his hand on his shoulder.
â€œWhat are you on about, old boy?â€ he asked.
â€œIâ€™m trying to get us a private show,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œA good private show.â€
â€œDark? Dark? Is this going to be possession? I donâ€™t like possession!â€
â€œNot possession. Not possession. No possession.â€
â€œWell, we donâ€™t do any possession,â€ Denim said. â€œYouâ€™ve seen the magic show.â€
â€œBut anything more â€¦ special is the word?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
â€œWell, have you been to the House of Freaks?â€
â€œYes. We want more. We want â€¦ grittier. Darker.â€
â€œIâ€™ll see what I can find out for you.â€
â€œYes. We would pay well.â€
â€œI would have to talk with the park owner.â€
â€œWhat kind of darkness are you looking for, exactly? I need something more specific.â€
â€œSomething â€¦ something that you do not see with the normal eye that you cannot even remotely believe because it is monsters, mystical magic. I donâ€™t know what you have but something of that nature.â€
â€œMaybe you should be more cryptic, old boy,â€ Pendergast said sarcastically.
â€œNo, I want monsters,â€ Huxtable said. â€œDark monsters.â€
â€œMonsters, you say?â€ Denim said. â€œWell, thereâ€™s the House of Horrors.â€
â€œBeen there, done that.â€
â€œAh. I see. I see.â€
â€œWe need more. Something that makes children afraid and grown men question what theyâ€™ve seen.â€
â€œLet me talk to the owner.â€
â€œWhat was your name sir? What was your name?â€
â€œSir Doctor Carl Huxtable!â€
â€œSir Doctor Carl Huxtable.â€
â€œI was knighted.â€
â€œOf course. Of course you were. Of course you were.â€
Denim reached out his hand to shake with Dr. Huxtable and the other man instinctively held out the hand still holding the five dollar bill. The men shook hands and Dr. Huxtable found the five dollar bill gone. It had been expertly slipped away.
â€œOh, magic!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œAh yes, itâ€™s nothing but magic here at the carnival,â€ Denim said. â€œNothing but magic!â€
â€œSo you will speak to the owner for me?â€
â€œOf course. Of course.â€
â€œShall we contact you?â€
â€œI will see what I can do. If you want something gritty and terrifying, Iâ€™ll see what I can do.â€
â€œJust â€¦ just â€¦ you could probably find me at the park. Some say Iâ€™m loud. Easy to find.â€
â€œI donâ€™t see it. I donâ€™t see it.â€
â€œI donâ€™t either.â€
He posed for a photograph by Miss Fairfield and they left.
* * *
Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas had gone to ride on the carousel. Miss Edington didnâ€™t recognize the man running the ride even though she thought Miss Fairfield had talked to the night carousel driver the night before.
After she rode the carousel, she walked over to the man.
â€œHey, you new around here?â€ she asked.
â€œWhy no maâ€™am,â€ the man replied. â€œI run the carousel every night.â€
â€œWell, unless someone takes over while Iâ€™m on break.â€
â€œI was here last night and I didnâ€™t see you. Were you not here?â€
â€œI was here I thought. Well, Red took over for a little while. Heâ€™s a little slow. Oh, I know why you want to see him. Heâ€™s slow â€¦ heâ€™s like a child, so heâ€™s probably not your type.â€
â€œI wasnâ€™t thinking about that at all.â€
â€œI could tell the minute you were asking about him.â€
â€œNo. No. No.â€
â€œOh, youâ€™re welcome. Have a great time at the carnival!â€
* * *
The search of the cemetery was proving fruitless. It was not until well after 9 p.m. that they found the spot. Finally. They stumbled across the scene of several ropes strung across the trees and a post with a notice from the Providence Police Department declaring the area a crime scene with warnings not to disturb it. A tombstone was there, tipped over, but nothing much else.
â€œWell, what do we want to do, boy?â€ Agent Sanderson asked.
â€œYouâ€™re the one whoâ€™s familiar with this place, correct?â€ James said.
â€œYeah,â€ Johnson said. â€œI wanted to see if anything had changed.â€
â€œLike the slime that we found?â€
â€œThatâ€™s my hunch. I wanted to find out.â€
Sanderson looked around as best he could in the dark with just the light of the flashlight but could not find any indication that any kind of attack had taken place at the spot. He did not think it was the place where the man had his arm ripped off.
â€œSo, we know that he walked to the carnival from the cemetery,â€ Sanderson said. â€œShould we look at the front of the cemetery.â€
â€œI guess we shouldâ”€â€ Johnson said
â€œHe walked a straight line?â€
â€œI guess we should go further in but weâ€™ve never been around here when it was dark, going further than this so weâ€™d be stumbling around, looking for nothing.â€
â€œI think we should check while weâ€™re still here,â€ James said.
â€œWell,â€ Agent Sanderson said. â€œI suppose we could just look another 10-15 minutes before going back.â€
â€œAll right,â€ Johnson said.
They spread out and looked with their flashlights, Yoosung staying close to Agent Sanderson. Whey they didnâ€™t find anything by 9:45 p.m., they headed back to the carnival to the Parisian Theatre.
â€œThe Red Hot Harem Dance Show!â€ a barker called.
He was the man with the red jacket, the top hat, the waxed mustache, and the wild eyes.
â€œIt starts momentarily at the Parisian Theatre!â€ he called out. â€œCome see the Hoochie Coochie dancers! Hello! Hello! Hello! Come to the Red Hot Harem Dance Show!â€
He walked over to them, getting closer than was comfortable. Then he was off to bark at other people.
There werenâ€™t nearly as many people at the park as there had been earlier. Agent Sanderson and James both spotted Miss Edington by the carousel. She obviously saw them as well.
â€œHello Suzanna, how have you been?â€ James said, getting her name right for the first time.
â€œEnjoying the carnival, what do you call it?â€ Miss Edington said.
â€œI believe so.â€
â€œItâ€™s been a while.â€
â€œWhere did the others head off to?â€ Johnson asked.
â€œI think they came out of the â€¦ oh, they went around the building where that show was,â€ Miss Edington said. â€œI havenâ€™t seen them since. But I went to go to the carousel. Thereâ€™s a new guy there. I havenâ€™t seen him before, but he says heâ€™s been here every night, so â€¦ I donâ€™t know. He thought I was asking about that cute, dumb fellow but I wasnâ€™t.â€
â€œWell, Iâ€™m going to head to the Parisian Theatre to meet with the others,â€ Johnson said.
â€œIs that where all of the others went?â€ James asked.
â€œI think so,â€ Miss Edington said.
They all headed over to the Parisian Theatre.
* * *