Monday, January 30, 2017
(After playing the Call of Cthulhu scenario â€œDark Carnivalâ€ by David A. Hargrave from Curse of the Chthonians Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with Kyle Matheson, Ambralyn Tucker, Collin Townsend, Ben Abbott, Ashton LeBlanc, Katelyn Hogan, Hannah Gambino, and Camilla Ekker-Runde.)
Sir Dr. Carl Huxtable had been very busy since November of 1925. In early December, he had read in the paper about the disappearance of his friend, Providence Police Officer Anthony Bridges, and guessed it was related to the horrible Holmes Sanitarium they had been investigating in Greenwood, just north of Providence. He had also read about the other escapes from the asylum and the eventual disappearance of Dr. Freygan. It chilled him to think of that man still out there. He had also continued to teach psychology at Brown University.
He was a tall man with brown hair and a mustache. He generally wore tweed jackets with patches on the elbows.
He had studied the spell in the black book theyâ€™d found in the Pendergast House in Ohio. It purported to allow the caster to create portals or gates between any two points though he had a devil of a time figuring it out as the book was written in such terrible and disjointed fashion that it was almost impossible to comprehend. Despite continued study, it was not until May 9, 1926, that he learned the spell. The spell stated it could create a gate between two locations, dimensions, or worlds though it required the expenditure of essence, whatever that meant.
He immediately set to learning another spell that allegedly allowed other spells to work better. Unfortunately, it was also written in such vague and insane matter he was unable to understand how to cast it at all.
He was still working on that by January of 1927 when Stewart Masters, the dilettante Dr. Huxtable had given the Greek copy of the Pnakotica to back in November of 1925, visited him. He had found the scroll when investigating the village of squatters outside Greenwood, Rhode Island, related to his dealings with Holmes Sanitarium. Masters was a friend who he knew through the Providence Athenaeum and a scholar of various languages, including Greek. He had agreed to translate the scroll for Huxtable at that time.
Now he stood outside of Dr. Huxtableâ€™s house, eyes wide and overcoat unbuttoned despite the cold. He was an average-looking man with a thick mustache and balding head. He wore glasses that were slightly askew. Dr. Huxtable knew he was in his 50s. He held, in one hand, the scroll, wrapped in cloth. In the other, he held a soft-sided binder overflowing with hundreds of sheets of paper.
â€œIâ€™ve got your translation!â€ the man said with a wild grin. â€œIâ€™ve got your translation because â€¦ it took a little longer than I needed â€¦ I kept it a little longer than I needed because I wanted to learn a spell and I did.â€
He laughed disturbingly.
â€œIt seems quite interesting,â€ he went on. â€œI might try it some time. Yes. Yes.â€
Dr. Huxtable reached for the binder and the man handed off both that and the scroll. Dr. Huxtable closed the door. Masters seemed much different from the calm man he had spoken to a little over a year ago.
Dr. Huxtable gave up on learning the spell and concentrated on reading the translation of the Pnakotica. It took him a year to plow through the scattered manuscript, reading it all carefully. The typed and occasionally handwritten pile of papers, many of them covered front and back, were mostly housed in a soft-sided binder. It was a rambling collection of prehuman history, myths, and legends. Though the translation started out comprehensively, with typed pages on one side of the paper, it soon broke down with various footnotes and other markings, handwritten or typed on the back of pages, apparently in Mastersâ€™ attempt to accurately convey the writing. None of the pages were numbered but they were, luckily, in the correct order.
The ancient manuscript it was translated from was apparently from ancient Lomar and noted the Lomarians were â€œmenâ€ and that they learned their secrets from the â€œGreat Winged Onesâ€ who visited them and helped them. There was some indication in the translation that the hieroglyphics in the scroll were those of some prehuman crinoids that gave birth to all earthly life. It was quite disturbing.
There was also a single spell in the massive work which claimed to be able to Contact Winged One. He began studying the spell but had not learned it by May, 1928.
* * *
Milo James was an alienist, practicing psychology and psychiatry though he didnâ€™t have any kind of degree or license. Only 21 years old, he had bushy brown hair and was trying to grow a beard unsuccessfully. His hair was longer than many people were comfortable with and he had long eyelashes. He wore flannel shirts and dungarees with a rugged-looking jacket over them. Many people thought he was a bohemian. He was originally from Canada but had lived in Providence for four years.
James used to know a famous Providence artist named Julian Bernard who disappeared in April 1926, some two years before. The last person James had heard Bernard was working with was a rich Rockefeller who lived in the Blackstone neighborhood. Bernard had been secretly bisexual and had many partners. He also did a great deal of drugs. He had actually been James first boyfriend when, after dating two other women in his life, he had begun to question and experiment. However, he didnâ€™t feel Bernard respected him enough, as the other man enjoyed multiple lovers. He had disappeared not long after James had decided to end the relationship. James felt there was no closure and still wondered what had happened to the man.
On May 15, James had been contacted by physicians at Rhode Island Hospital to act in his capacity as alienist. They had a man who had been mauled and his arm ripped off a few days before who was not lucid. His chart said he was in his early twenties but his hair was completely white. They had contacted other local psychologists and alienists to try to calm the man but James soon realize he needed more time before any attempt could be made to get anything from him. He had been paid $50 for his services.
James remembered Kent Howard being mentioned in the paper the day before as having been attacked in Swan Point Cemetery and recognized him.
* * *
Nigel Bricker, Joell Johnson, Evelyn Fairfield, Suzanna Edington, and Virgil Thomas had visited Rhode Island Hospital on Tuesday morning, May 15, 1928, and were standing by the nurseâ€™s station, having just been told Kent Howard was still unconscious. When the nurse mentioned the man, she glanced at a nearby door, which they guessed was Howardâ€™s room. Then Bricker and Miss Fairfield saw a man exit the room. He didnâ€™t look like a doctor or even a professional, but he stepped up to the nurseâ€™s station.
James gave the people a half-hearted smile and handed off a piece of paper to the nurse with his diagnosis of Howard. The nurse seemed confused for a moment but then looked down at the paper and looked at the man with recognition in her eyes.
â€œOkay, thank you, doctor,â€ she said. â€œThank you.â€
She put the paper in a file.
â€œAre you Kent Howardâ€™s doctor?â€ Miss Fairfield asked the man.
The man looked at her a moment.
â€œYes, Iâ€™ve been seeing him,â€ James said. â€œAnd who are you?â€
â€œMiss Evelyn Fairfield,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
â€œOkay, itâ€™s nice to meet you, Miss Fairfield. May I ask why youâ€™re here? And is this your â€¦ husband?â€
He gestured at Bricker.
â€œNo,â€ Miss Fairfield said. â€œItâ€™s not. This is Nigel Bricker.â€
â€œNigel,â€ James said. â€œOkay. Itâ€™s nice to meet you Nigel. Um â€¦ so why are you here at the hospital and â€¦ do I know you?â€
James had turned to Johnson.
â€œIâ€™m Joell Howard,â€ he lied. â€œAnd Iâ€™m his brother.â€
James frowned. He didnâ€™t think the man was telling the truth.
â€œOh â€¦ kay,â€ James said, turning to the blonde woman. â€œAnd you are â€¦ miss?â€
â€œIâ€™m Suzanna Edington,â€ Miss Edington said.
â€œOkay then,â€ James said, turning away.
â€œHas he said anything about what happened to him?â€ Johnson said. â€œWhat happened to my brother?â€
â€œIâ€™m â€¦ Iâ€™m sorry. Iâ€™m not allowed to say anything about his current state right now.â€
â€œEven to family?â€
â€œI â€¦ frankly donâ€™t know if you are family. I just met you â€¦ Joell â€¦ what did you say? Joell Howard? Okay.â€
â€œWell, I mean â€¦ Iâ€™m his brother. So â€¦â€
James though the man was definitely lying to him.
â€œDo you all know each other?â€ he asked. â€œYouâ€™re all here at the same time and youâ€™re all looking at me and it seems â€¦â€
â€œYes,â€ Johnson said.
â€œYou could say we are acquainted,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
Miss Edington looked uncomfortable.
James thought the woman looked familiar, having seen her photograph on the society page of the newspaper. She wore what appeared to be very expensive clothing.
â€œWhat are you doing here at the hospital, if I may ask?â€ James asked.
â€œWell, we were here to speak to Kent Howard,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
â€œYou were here to speak to Kent Howard as well? So, are you familiar with this man?â€
â€œYes, we all came here together,â€ Johnson said. â€œThis is our group.â€
â€œOh Lord,â€ Miss Edington said.
â€œIncluding Suzanne?â€ James asked.
â€œSuzanna, Iâ€™m sorry.â€
â€œYes, Miss Suzanna and I are with them,â€ Virgil Thomas said to the man while looking at Miss Edington.
â€œWhy are you looking at me!?!â€ Miss Edington said.
â€œWhere are your manners?â€
â€œIf my brother said anything about what happened, even if it sounds crazy, we need to know,â€ Johnson said. â€œThatâ€™s my brother in there.â€
Miss Edington turned and walked away. She reached in her purse as she went, taking out a cigarette and a long filter, which she fitted together. Virgil Thomas gave James a nod and followed her.
â€œI must go see to his paperwork,â€ James said. â€œIâ€™m very sorry I canâ€™t tell you anymore.â€
He turned to leave.
â€œIf he says anything about Lucy Pringle, contact me,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
She took out a notepad and a stub of pencil and jotted down her name and the telephone number of the Providence Journal, handing it over to James.
â€œLucy â€¦ Pringle?â€ James said. â€œIâ€™ll make a note of that. Thank you.â€
* * *
Bureau of Investigation Agent Ramsey Sanderson had been out of Providence on Monday, having a meeting in Washington all day. He was an older man with a mangled right hand, salt and pepper hair, and scruffy facial hair. He was very tall and thin. When he returned to the office on Tuesday, May 15, Agent Smith approached him in the early afternoon.
â€œSome Miss Fairfield wanted you to call,â€ he said to his superior. â€œFrom the paper. Yesterday.â€
He apologized for not giving it to him when he first came that morning.
â€œI forgot all about it,â€ he said. â€œIt was on my desk.â€
He handed the other man the written message. Sanderson read it and telephone the Providence Journal.
* * *
â€œAnother telephone call,â€ Assistant Editor James Updyke told Miss Fairfield. â€œThatâ€™s three in two days.â€
Miss Fairfield didnâ€™t care for Updyke for good reason. He was a snob who threw his power around and often spoke down to the reporters, secretaries, photographers, and anyone in a position below his at the paper.
â€œMiss Fairfield,â€ she said, picking up the telephone receiver.
â€œHello Miss Fairfield,â€ a gravelly voice came over the line. â€œDo you know whoâ€™s speaking?â€
â€œThat is correct, maâ€™am.â€
â€œYeah, I did call your office earlier, but you were not in. We were just looking into â€¦ Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve read the paper of the man whoâ€™s mauled and then his sweetheart missing?â€
â€œYeah, I did see that. I read it over lunch. It was disgusting. What can I do you for though? What can I help you with today?â€
â€œIâ€™m sure you read the paper.â€
â€œYes, I read the paper. It was sad. What is it I can help you with today?â€
â€œI did get a posse together to go check out the carnival and then another incident happened. Iâ€™m sure you saw the paper today.â€
â€œI think something fishyâ€™s going on around there and we could definitely use some police help.â€
â€œThat sounds about right. I think I ought to check in on things here. Iâ€™ll head on over if Iâ€™ve got the time. What time do you want to meet?â€
â€œI think everybodyâ€™s pretty busy today but maybe we can go out at night.â€
â€œAll right that sounds good.â€
â€œIâ€™ll let you know when I get a group together.â€
â€œThat sounds great.â€
* * *
On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 15, 1928, Dr. Huxtable was teaching one of his introductory psychology classes after lunch. Towards the end of class, he had a thought.
â€œWould anybody like to help me with an endeavor that would give them extra credit towards their final grade?â€ he asked in his strange, high-pitched voice. It made him sound older than his 30 years.
Yoosung was a blonde young man of Oriental descent and average looks. From Korea, his mother had been American and his father Korean. He had come to the United States for school and had been a student at Brown University for a year with plans to be a veterinarian. His cousin had loved animals and when she passed away, he aspired to heal animals.
He had heard all of the rumors around campus about Dr. Huxtable: that he didnâ€™t actually have a degree being only 30 years old, that he had not really been knighted by King George V as he always claimed, that he was just a con man, and that he was simply insane.
He did need extra credit though.
â€œYou would be accompanying me and we would be psychoanalyzing some very unfortunate events,â€ Dr. Huxtable went on.
Of his class of nearly 25 students, only Yoosung made eye contact. The rest were looking away or down at their textbooks. It was very quiet in the room.
â€œIâ€™m sorry, what was that?â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œDid someone say something? Iâ€™m 30 now. Iâ€™m getting quite old. You must respect me.â€
Yoosung raised his hand.
â€œIs-is that you, Yoosung?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œYeah,â€ Yoosung said.
â€œYou will accompany me?â€
â€œYeah, I need the extra credit.â€
â€œFine. If that is the only one who will volunteer â€¦â€
None of the other students made any kind of eye contact as he looked over the classroom.
â€œFine,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œClass is dismissed. Except for Yoosung â€¦ or however you say it. I donâ€™t talk to you much.â€
The rest of the students filed out. Yoosung could hear some of the students talking to each other as they left.
â€œMy God, heâ€™s so strange,â€ one young man said.
â€œEvery class gets weirder and weirder,â€ another said.
â€œI thought he was only 30,â€ yet a third whispered.
Soon only Dr. Huxtable and Yoosung were in the room.
â€œYoosung, I know that you really want to be a cop when you grow up,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œYes,â€ Yoosung said.
He had actually told Dr. Huxtable that when the man has asked at the beginning of the semester, hinting that was what he thought the boy wanted.
â€œSo we will be psychoanalyzing the disappearance of this young boy,â€ Dr. Huxtable went on. â€œHave you read the paper? Yes?â€
Yoosung just stared at the man.
â€œOf course youâ€™ve read the paper, Yoosung,â€ Dr. Huxtable went on. â€œSo, we will be going to the carnival tonight to see how the â€¦ ummm â€¦ process of investigation has come along.â€
â€œThat sounds great,â€ Yoosung said.
â€œI will pick you up your dorm. What dorm do you live in?â€
Yoosung told him.
â€œFantastic Yoosung,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œThis will be a great trip for the both of us. Good-bye.â€
He turned and sprinted out of the room.
* * *
Miss Fairfield telephoned Bricker, Ingerton, and Miss Edington. There was no answer on Ingertonâ€™s telephone. She arranged to meet at 7 p.m. at the entrance to the park where they had met the night before. Then she went to the hardware store and purchased a half dozen flashlights, putting them in her camera bag. She called Sanderson and invited him to the meeting as well.
* * *
When Bricker asked Potter for the evening off, the man was glad to give it. The two had not been getting along very well. Between tools going missing and people coming to the shop looking for him when he wasnâ€™t there, the man was happy to see less of him. The people were rude to Potter refused to divulge their names or even tell him why they were looking for Bricker and Potter was, quite frankly, sick of it.
* * *
Updyke approached Miss Fairfield at the desk she where she was editing obituaries.
â€œEvelyn,â€ he said to her. â€œYet another telephone call. This is getting excessive.â€
He sniffed. She knew he didnâ€™t approve of women in the workplace.
â€œNâ€™yeah,â€ he said. â€œYou need to not do that. Okay?â€
â€œItâ€™s part of the job,â€ she said.
â€œItâ€™s over there. Just go take it.â€
She picked up the telephone.
â€œMiss Fairfield,â€ she said.
â€œHello itâ€™s Milo â€¦ Doctor Milo,â€ the voice on the other end said. â€œI believe we met at the hospital.â€
â€œOh! Did Kent Howard wake up? Did he say anything about Lucy?â€
â€œUh â€¦ I-I havenâ€™t seen him quite yet. Uh â€¦ so I really donâ€™t have any more information than â€¦ what I told you today. I was â€¦ I was wondering what you were up to â€¦ because, I donâ€™t mean to be forward but what is your connection with Joell?â€
â€œI wasnâ€™t sure if you could talk about it while we were there.â€
â€œI mean, heâ€™s just an acquaintance but weâ€™re just some concerned people looking into the missing person case.â€
â€œMissing person case? The two missing persons?â€
â€œYeah. The carnival. Two nights. It canâ€™t be a coincidence.â€
â€œI donâ€™t think so either. I think weâ€™re like-minded in that. I want to help in any way I can. You seem genuinely concerned and â€¦ I am too as Iâ€™ve been seeing â€¦ Kent Howard â€¦ Iâ€™ve been seeing him for a while and Iâ€™m worried about his condition. I want to find out anything that I can find out about him.â€
â€œWell, weâ€™re all meeting tonight at seven at the ticket office outside the security shack.â€
â€œOh, are you? At the carnival?â€
â€œOkay. Well, I guess Iâ€™ll meet you there.â€
* * *
When Dr. Huxtable got home late that afternoon, he had a light supper. Then he telephoned William H. Pendergast VI.
â€œYes, Mr. Pendergastâ€™s residence,â€ a voice answered.
â€œDo you know who this?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
â€œIâ€™m sorry, sir, I donâ€™t.â€
â€œAre you serious?â€
â€œThis is Withers, sir, Mr. Pendergastâ€™s Valet.â€
â€œOh, I thought you were Pendergast. Itâ€™s been so long. Iâ€™m sorry, could youâ”€â€
â€œMay I ask whoâ€™s calling, sir?â€
â€œHeâ€™ll know when he hears the voice. Do not worry.â€
â€œI need a name, sir.â€
There was a long pause on the line.
â€œSir. Doctor. Carl. Huxtable,â€ Dr. Huxtable finally said.
â€œThank you sir,â€ Withers replied. â€œOne moment please.â€
It was a minute before the receiver was picked up.
â€œYes, yes!â€ the voice on the other side was Pendergast. â€œDr. Huxtable!â€
â€œIs that your boy missing?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
â€œMy boy? What are you talking about?â€
â€œThereâ€™s a young Pendergast boy, I read in the paper, heâ€™s missing in the carnival.â€
â€œYes! Yes! No! No, not my boy.â€
â€œYou need to watch your boys more carefully.â€
â€œNot married Dr. Huxtable. No.â€
â€œWell, how many boys do you have?â€
â€œNone, Dr. Huxtable. As a matter of fact, his mother is a fifth or sixth cousin of mine. Very distant relation.â€
â€œSo, it does not affect your lineage very much then, yes?â€
â€œNo. No. Not at all, actually.â€
â€œSo, I should not find the boy?â€
â€œUh â€¦ if â€¦ well â€¦ what?â€
â€œI could find the boy.â€
â€œWell, Iâ€™m sure the police would appreciate itâ”€â€
â€œIâ€™m better than the police, you know that.â€
â€œWell, then, they would very greatly appreciate it then, Iâ€™m sure. Yes.â€
â€œWould you appreciate if I found your boy.â€
â€œHeâ€™s not my boy but I donâ€™t suppose it would be a bad thing. It would, of course, increase my impression of you, as always, Dr. Huxtable. That would be hard because itâ€™s so high already.â€
â€œOf course! Would you like to help me find your boy?â€
â€œHelp you? Wha? I wouldnâ€™t know even how to go about starting to do that.â€
â€œWeâ€™re going to go to the carnival at night and find the boy.â€
â€œOh, well, I suppose I could tag along if you like. It could be a â€¦ it could be a â€¦ wait. They donâ€™t serve alcohol there, do they?â€
â€œYou could bring it.â€
â€œOh damn. I hate bringing my own. Withers! Withers! How is the stock? Oh good. Oh good. All right, yes. Fine. Fine. Where are we? Are we meeting at the carnival? Where? Are you - what? Yes?â€
â€œCould you come pick me up at my place? And then we must go pick up a young Korean boy.â€
â€œWell, of course. I love to drive. Whatâ€™s the address?â€
â€œDo you love young Korean boys?â€
â€œNot particularly. No.â€
â€œWell, we still have to get him. Iâ€™m sorry.â€
â€œI suppose thatâ€™s fine. Whatâ€™s the address Dr. Huxtable.â€
â€œItâ€™s 151 Meeting Street.â€
â€œWhat time do you want me to pick you up?â€
â€œRight. Right. Right. Iâ€™ll be around directly. Yes.â€
* * *
Dr. Huxtable went to the front window to wait for Pendergast. In only a few minutes, the hardtop Cadillac sedan pulled up on the street in front of the house. Pendergast laid on the horn and then took a flask out of his jacket and took a swig. The man didnâ€™t even look at the house. He just waited.
Dr. Huxtable came out of the front door, fumbling with the lock for a long time. Then he sprinted as quickly as possible to the motorcar. He climbed into the passenger seat.
â€œAll right,â€ Pendergast said. â€œGuide on!â€
Dr. Huxtable guided him to one of the dorms where Yoosung had been waiting for hours.
â€œLock the doors until I know if itâ€™s him,â€ Dr. Huxtable said when they pulled up.
Pendergast looked around.
â€œThereâ€™s no locks on these doors,â€ he said.
â€œThereâ€™s no locks on the doors, you say?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
Pendergast rolled down the window and leaned out.
â€œYou, boy!â€ he called. â€œAre you a Korean?â€
â€œIf he says yes, thatâ€™s him,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œYou can see him. Heâ€™s right there.â€
â€œIs that your boy?â€
â€œThatâ€™s your boy! Weâ€™ve found him! Hooray!â€
Pendergast looked confused.
â€œYes, thatâ€™s him,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œAll right câ€™mon!â€ Pendergast said. â€œCâ€™mon!â€
Yoosung walked over to the motorcar and climbed into the back seat as Pendergast took another swig from his flask.
â€œGood to see you, sensei,â€ he said quietly. â€œYou never gave me a time.â€
â€œOf course I didnâ€™t,â€ Dr. Huxtable replied. â€œEvery psychologist must predict the time.â€
â€œOh, thatâ€™s so rude, Dr. Huxtable,â€ Pendergast said.
â€œItâ€™s not rude, itâ€™s psychology,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
Pendergast put the car in gear and they headed down the street.
* * *
Most of them took the trolley up to Arthur Stone Road and then walked the rest of the way to the carnival. Miss Fairfield rode her bike. Both Sanderson and Miss Edington took their respective automobiles. They all met at the main ticket booth. Coincidentally, Dr. Huxtable, Pendergast, and Yoosung arrived around the same time. Miss Edington recognized Pendergast, having met him at some event or another. Miss Fairfield recognized the man from the society pages of the newspaper.
Johnson also recognized Pendergast, wanting to know the enemy: the bourgeoisie rich. From what he had read, however, Pendergast had no issues with unions in the factories owned by his family. He knew Pendergast inherited his wealth some years before and had then moved his parents into a less ostentatious mansion. Before he had taken over, the unions had not been able to touch the family business, almost as if his family was always one step ahead of them. Since he had taken over, the unions had found success in getting in. Either Pendergast didnâ€™t care or was fine with them.
When Miss Edington bought tickets, she could smell alcohol on the breath of the older gentleman at the ticket booth. He had a red nose, obviously the results of heavy drinking, and looked to be in his early 50s. He didnâ€™t look too happy. He slurred his words slightly and it was uncomfortable for Miss Edington to deal with the man at all.
â€œEnjoy the show,â€ he said to her.
Miss Edington walked back to the group and told them of the drunk ticket taker.
â€œDo you like rides Yoosung?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked very loudly.
â€œYes,â€ Yoosung replied.
â€œOf course you do! This will be the best extra credit youâ€™ve ever received.â€
When they reached the ticket booth, Dr. Huxtable couldnâ€™t help but smell the whiskey.
â€œIâ€™d drink if I looked like that as well,â€ he muttered to Yoosung.
Then he turned to the ticket taker.
â€œExcuse me sir, how many rides are in the carnival?â€ he asked.
â€œUh â€¦ thereâ€™s carousel,â€ the man said. â€œThereâ€™s Ferris wheel. Thereâ€™s the Tunnel of Terrors. Thatâ€™s a good one.â€
â€œWhat about a carousel?â€
â€œThereâ€™s a â€¦ thereâ€™s a carousel. Thereâ€™s the â€¦ uh â€¦ Ferris wheel. Wait. Did I say that?â€
â€œThe pony rides. Thereâ€™s the wax museum.â€
â€œThereâ€™s â€¦ the â€¦ fun house. Thereâ€™s the house of mirrors. Thereâ€™sâ”€â€
â€œWhat about a Ferris wheel?â€
â€œThereâ€™s a Ferris wheel. Thereâ€™s â€¦ uh â€¦â€
â€œSo, about 10.â€
â€œYeah. Yeah. Thereâ€™s the Mighty Hercules. He does an act. He bends bars in half.â€
â€œCan I have 30 tickets please?â€
â€œThatâ€™ll be $3.â€
People in the line behind Dr. Huxtable were starting to grow impatient.
â€œHereâ€™s a five,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œYou keep the change and keep up the drinky drink, yes?â€
â€œOh-oh, I will,â€ the man said. â€œThatâ€™s all that keeps me going.â€
James walked up to Dr. Huxtable.
â€œDonâ€™t encourage him,â€ he said.
Dr. Huxtable let out a little scream and turned to the man.
â€œWell, if itâ€™s what he liked, then psychology says â€˜Do it â€˜til you die,â€™ yes?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œWell, in my studies of psychology, you do whatâ€™s best for the person, not necessarily what they want,â€ James said.
â€œOh, well, I was knighted by the king, young sir.â€
â€œYoung? Excuse me!â€
â€œSo, I think my opinion holds a little more authority.â€
â€œUh â€¦ Iâ€™m not quite sure thatâ€™s true.â€
â€œHeâ€™s a good king. He was good. I like him.â€
â€œCome one! Come all! Come to the Parisian Theatre!â€ a man nearby yelled. â€œTonight at five, seven, and nine p.m.! Carl Denim will be doing his magnificent Star Studded Show!â€
The man who yelled was wearing a long red jacket and a top hat. He had a thin, waxed mustache pulled to points and wild eyes.
â€œOh!â€ he said when he saw Miss Edington. â€œI recognize you! Hello!â€
He moved closer to the woman but she turned and walked away. He leered at her with a happy moan.
â€œCome to the Star Studded Show!â€ the man continued to pitch. â€œYou canâ€™t miss it.â€
â€œWhat happens if we miss it?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
The man quickly walked to him, getting far too close.
â€œWhy, youâ€™ll miss the most spectacular show of your life, sir,â€ the pitchman said. â€œThat is all. Nothing less than that!â€
â€œHow many tickets is it?â€
â€œOnly one! Only one ticket. The show is at five, seven, and nine.â€
â€œThatâ€™s a lot of numbers.â€
â€œThatâ€™s many, many numbers. Yes, it is. Bring your friends! Bring the girls! Theyâ€™re be excited! Theyâ€™ll be mystified! They will be nothing short of amazed.â€
â€œCan young Korean boys attend as well?â€
â€œIf theyâ€™re accompanied by an adult, of course! Of course!â€
Dr. Huxtable looked at his watch. It was almost 7:00.
â€œSo, as I was saying Pendergast, weâ€™re here to find your young boy!â€ Dr. Huxtable said, turning to the other man. â€œThe missing boy! Follow me, Pendergast, I think we should look over here for your young boy first.â€
â€œYes yes,â€ Pendergast said.
Young Yoosung, upon seeing Sanderson, fell in love with the man at first sight.
Dr. Huxtable headed up the games fairway, followed closely by Pendergast and Yoosung, who looked longingly over his shoulder at Sanderson. Miss Fairfield ran to catch up to them and the others followed.
â€œMr. Pendergast!â€ she called.
â€œYes yes,â€ he said. â€œCan I help you?â€
â€œIs it your boy thatâ€™s missing?â€ she asked. â€œFreddy Pendergast?â€
â€œItâ€™s not boy!â€ Pendergast said.
â€œItâ€™s his boy!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œNot my boy!â€ Pendergast said. â€œI have no children!â€
â€œHe has three sons!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œSo, how are you related to him?â€ James asked.
â€œOh, his motherâ€™s like a fifth or sixth cousin or something,â€ Pendergast said.
â€œWhy are you looking for him?â€ Miss Fairfield asked.
â€œWell, this is Dr. â€¦ Sir Dr. Carl Huxtable,â€ Pendergast said.
â€œYes!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œOf Brown University and his â€¦ uh â€¦ associate â€¦ young Korean boy,â€ Pendergast said. â€œI didnâ€™t catch your name.â€
â€œYoosung,â€ Yoosung said.
â€œYoosung! Sorry,â€ Pendergast went on.
â€œExcuse me,â€ James said. â€œSir Doctor?â€
â€œSir Dr. Carl Huxtable,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œI was knighted. I was knighted.â€
â€œKnighted by the king,â€ Pendergast said.
â€œKing George. Long may he reign.â€
â€œHe wanted to come out and look for the boy. I read in the paper heâ€™s a runaway so, probably, heâ€™s run away. Maybe heâ€™s joined the carnival.â€
â€œHow astute of you to come to that conclusion.â€
â€œAre you close?â€ James asked.
â€œNever met the boy,â€ Pendergast said. â€œNever his mother, even. They live here.â€
â€œWell, why, may I ask, are you here?â€
â€œNothing better to do tonight. There are no parties.â€
â€œThereâ€™s always time to get drunk,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œWeâ€™re here looking for him too,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
â€œAnd itâ€™s a carnival!â€ Pendergast said.
â€œYou all are here to find the young boy as well?â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œAnd steal our fame?â€
â€œWe donâ€™t do it for the fame,â€ Miss Fairfield said.
â€œWhat fame?â€ James said.
â€œNeither do we!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œWell, really we were looking for Lucy Pringle first,â€ Miss Fairfield said. â€œIf itâ€™s not a coincidence, we want to prevent any other people from going missing.â€
â€œSo you think they are connected, yes?â€
â€œIt just seems strange. Two people missing in the same week.â€
â€œWell, supposedly one was a runaway. The other went missing in the â€¦ swamp? Yes? Or am I mistaken?â€
â€œOne went missing in the cemetery and the other in the Tunnel of Terrors.â€
â€œSwamp. Cemetery. Itâ€™s all the same.â€
â€œSwan Point Cemetery,â€ Pendergast said, taking another swig from his flask. â€œSwan Point.â€
â€œItâ€™s really not the same,â€ Miss Edington said.
â€œSwamp Point Cemetery,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œSwan!â€ Pendergast said. â€œPoint.â€
â€œSwamp Point Cemetery.â€
â€œSwan. Like the bird. You know, the ugly duckling.â€
â€œYes. The swamp swan.â€
â€œWhat the hell is wrong with him?â€ Miss Edington asked.
â€œI concur, Savannah,â€ James said.
â€œWho the hellâ€™s Savannah?â€
â€œIâ€™m not that good with names.â€
She gave the man a look.
â€œDancing has begun at the North Star Pavilion!â€ a barker called, walking down the fairway. â€œDancing has begun at the North Star Pavilion. Come and dance the night away.â€
â€œI want to go to the Tunnel of Terrors where the boy went missing, supposedly, yes?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œAll right,â€ Pendergast said.
â€œItâ€™s also dark there, so you can drink more.â€
â€œI can drink anywhere.â€
â€œYou can drink more in the dark.â€
â€œProbably shouldnâ€™t drink more right now.â€
â€œMr. Pendergast, should we allow these people to â€¦ accompany us?â€
Pendergast simply shrugged.