The investigators awoke to newspaper reports of rioting in Harlem. This, coupled with the atrocious weather, meant the New York-based investigators achieved little beyond making several phone calls.
Meanwhile, in Arkham Dr Dudley and Dr George visited the library to carry out more research while Ikil disappeared for the day for “personal” reasons. Dr Dudley gained the distinction of being the second member of the party to be thrown out of a library when he annoyed the librarians too much; apparently, he was “disturbing the books and other library users”.
A Day of Rest
On Sunday, the group rested—much had happened in the last few days, and many of them needed to refresh themselves.
Please Come With Us
Early on Monday morning, Charles and Jacob were woken by an officious knocking on their hotel room door. Opening the door, Jacob discovered two uniformed policemen. The pair “requested” Charles and Jacob accompany them to the 8th precinct. With little choice, the pair got their hats and coats and braved the terrible January weather.
Arriving at the 8th precinct, they were shown into a meeting room. After a short delay, Lieutenant Poole arrived and proceeded to exhaustively question the pair again about Tom Washington, Jackson Elias and the murders that until recently had been pinned on Hilton Adams.
Toward the end of the interrogation, Poole asked them both to remove their shirts. This the puzzled duo did. When they asked why Poole revealed all three of Jackson’s killers had identical disturbing tattoos on their chests. In the ensuing conversation, Poole revealed he also thought Hilton Adams was innocent and that Captain Robson was likely corrupt—he did wear, after all, very nice suits for someone on a captain’s salary.
Leaving the precinct, the pair made their way back to the hotel, but this was not the sanctuary they thought it might be. Entering the lobby, both spotted a man wearing a dishevelled, ill-fitting suit. The man carried an old battered suitcase and what looked—suspiciously—like a badly disguised shotgun wrapped up in brown paper.
Realising this was likely one of Tom Washington’s brothers, the pair fled upstairs. Luck was not with Charles, though, as the man realised Charles’ identity. The man gave chase. Although Charles managed to get into the lift and temporarily escape, the man intimidated the desk clerk into revealing Charles’ room number.
Minutes later, he was at Charles’ door demanding entry. Charles was having none of it. As the pounding on the door intensified, Charles rushed onto his room’s balcony to shout for help. As the door splintered inwards, the antique dealer dived under the bed. The man entered the room. He was now brandishing his shotgun and shouting incoherently. Hotel security arrived and then wisely left. It was only the arrival of the police and the man’s inevitable arrest that calmed the situation.
As the man was being led away—bizarrely—both Lieutenant Poole and Dr Dudley, Dr George and Ikil Lit arrived at the hotel. Poole had come at reports of trouble and wasted no time in inviting himself up to the group’s suite. Here he questioned the three men lately of Arkham and also examined their chests. At Dr Dudley’s perceptive questioning, Poole revealed the tattoo he was looking for represented a jagged spiral ending in a bloating humanoid figure whose arms ended in claws. With a gasp, Dr George realised he had seen this tattoo before—four years ago in Peru on Augustus Larkin’s chest! This revelation caused much wondering among the group—they belatedly realised they had no idea what had happened to Larkin as they had not stopped in to visit him after the strange doings in the Peruvian highlands.
Blizzards besieged New York on the 27th. While this effectively consigned the group to the hotel, it also damped the ardour of the rioters in Harlem, which was universally seen as a good thing. Ikil took the opportunity to call Sing Sing to arrange a meeting with Hilton Adams. This was a remarkably easy and straightforward process; the group could come on the 29th for a half-hour meeting.
A(nother) Police Interview
Many of the group busied themselves with preparations to visit Sing Sing or more research.
At the 8th precinct, the crazed shotgun-wielding madman who had terrorised Charles Collins finally got his interview with Lieutenant Poole. It did not go well. During the interrogation, the man—Thaddeus Washington—repeatedly forgot his own name, raved about his brother’s death, admitted to various and sundry felonies and demanded his release. He was convinced the police should release him as “none of them had witnessed him threatening Charles with his shotgun because they weren’t there at the time.”
Later that day, Thaddeus was on his way to Sing Sing—there, he would languish until his trial; Lieutenant Poole was taking no chances.
Everyone Goes to Sing Sing
Rising and breakfasting early on the 29th, the group made their way to the station and, from thence, to Sing Sing. The prison lay about 30 miles to the north. By early afternoon, the group had arrived at the prison, had been extensively searched and escorted to the Death House. On the way, however, they encountered the same crazed madman who had threatened Charles several days ago. The man demanded Charles pay his bail and got increasingly aggressive when Charles refused. Charles had his revenge by telling the prison guard escorting the group that the man had tried to convince him to help him escape…a severe beating doubtless lay in the hapless farmer’s imminent future.
This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.
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