Monday September 19th, 1921.
Heading to Manteno, IL, near Durning, Richard quickly writes up his news story for his paper and then, later that afternoon drives down to Durning and convinces Nurse Holdt to take him on a tour through the facility. She informs him that Dr. Shulacher, another of the doctors who works there, has done incredible things with therapy and hypnosis to decrease the necessity of frontal lobotomy by almost 25%. During his tour, Richard finds Grace Perry in room 608. She reaches out through the bars and Richard moves away. “Show your star to Julius Coffin,” she says quietly then breaks into wailing as Richard walks away. Richard heads back to the room at the local motel he is staying in and looks up the Chicago numbers for Grace Perry (no number listed anymore) and Julius Coffin (he finds the number handily, including an address). He falls asleep and awakens in a room in Durning. It is dark and the entire place seems eerily deserted. He sees a shimmering blue light coming from room 608 and he peeks in. Grace is madly writing on the walls of her cell in tiny scrawl from ceiling to floor. The symbols and letters do not appear to make any sense. Approaching Richard she collapses in front of him asking, “Can I say goodbye now?” He tells her yes and she takes his hand.
He is suddenly in a bright, warm place with humid air. It is the inside of a cabin and an older woman is cleaning the kitchen and whistling a tune happily. A hangman’s noose is thrown over the rafters. Looking out the window he sees what appears to be a small settlement of similarly built houses. Clearing his throat, the woman turns and says she was expecting him. She says her name is Wilma Taggart and that the year is 1892. She says she is almost done packing and has a horrific intermittent twitch to her face that makes all who see it uncomfortable. Angered and disoriented, Richard grabs a weapon and threatens the old woman who response happily that she is going to die anyway and that threatening her with death won’t really do much. She gets on the chair and puts her head into the noose. Losing patience, Richard kicks the chair out from under her and she begins to be throttled. He lifts her up, saving her slightly, and then drops her again to cut her down. She gasps from the floor about needing to hang another rope. As he steps out into the sunlight (the air is very damp here) and is suddenly back in Durning being accosted by the night watchman. After explaining away his presence there, he is released and heads back to his motel room where he attempts to “act normal” until dawn where he sets out for Chicago.
Tuesday, September 20th, 1921
Calling Julius (who has been in quite a state since returning from Tremont a few days previous), the two men tentatively begin a conversation about “strange events”. Dreading for a moment that Monteith is there to expose his presence at Tom Wilson’s cabin, he is instead relieved that there is a person about that believes him and who, by all appearances, has been through exactly what he has been through. The two spend the vast majority of the afternoon exchanging information.
Monday, September 19th, 1921
Julius goes to purchase a few bottles of alcohol to bring to Toothless Tom, guardian of the Rampton Papers, to see if he has found any information on O’Bannon. Tom replies to the negative but is VERY excited to finally get some “brew”. He promises to have something for Julius within three days. Consulting his notes, Julius recalls that Rampton was going to the Caribbean Queen to meet Jessie McQuaid, a bootlegger. He tracks down an address for McQuaid and pays him a visit. The man that McQuaid was living with, Carter Haskins, apparently went insane a few days after Jessie McQuaid went missing and broke all the mirrors in the apartment and sliced up anyone he could get his hands on, all the while muttering about insane things: a swing that never has a child upon it, the orderly is not what he seems, a man told him about a man who saw in an eye in the sky during the war, and that he talked about the 5th patient, a man named Abbott. Julius, in a fragile state, returns home and sleeps the rest of the day.
Wednesday September 21st, 1921
Martha and Graham are spending the entire week together being newly betrothed. At a lunch, Martha is seized by a sudden insight on what happened the previous Saturday at the ill fated séance and the two scramble across town to the Library. There Martha finds a text that explains that some rituals, even relatively innocuous ones, can be altered by larger magical forces nearby. Large outpourings of magic can cause ripples that can affect others attempting to work magic. They leave the library and Martha bumps into Vernon Gabrieux, the man her father tried to get her to marry. He exchanges some polite (yet somehow very pointed) conversation with her and invites her to lunch. She and Graham decline and beat a hasty exit. Vernon calls after her, “Your father sends his regards.” Martha goes pale as a sheet and takes Graham back to her apartment and shows him the text she lifted from her father who still lives in Arkham. He vows to help her unravel the mystery of it all.
Friday September 23rd, 1921
The final dress fitting for tomorrow’s party at the Coffin Estate is in the morning. Calling Graham she is surprised that he does not answer his phone. Returning back to her apartment she finds the place ransacked and, panicked and angered now, her precious book stolen. The phone rings and it is Vernon Gabrieux’s driver, Louis Cloutier, who requests Martha’s arm at the party tomorrow night, that is, if any of her plans have changed and she becomes available. Martha, convinced that Gabrieux is behind the theft of her book and that Graham is likely in danger (she hopes he is not involved!) she begins preparations for the following evening’s party.