Saturday, 12th December, 1925
Around 9.30am, the investigators visit Willard Puncheon’s maisonette in Hardwick Street, Finsbury. Mister Peelman is able to deal with the locked door. On opening the door they notice three rocks arranged in a row – it has the appearance of some sort of occult ward. Miss Sharp carefully disrupts the ward after Miss Gwynne photographs it.
The investigators then search the small but well furnished flat. The most obvious feature of the room is a large blood stain on the carpet presumably marking the place where Puncheon was injured. They do no locate the Scrolls of Endless Shadows but they do find four notebooks that contain the notes Puncheon was making while translating them. They also find his diary.
The diary reveals that Puncheon has been visiting the British Museum regularly.
Puncheon believes that he’s been followed to and from the British Museum, and that someone watches his flat at night. Though he’s never caught a solid glimpse of his shadowy pursuers, his diary entries are increasingly paranoid, culminating in the cryptic phrase: “Could it be that we have attracted the attentions of the mysterious Children of legend? If so, then God help us all.”
A week ago, two strange men approached him at the museum. Speaking with French accents, they told Puncheon that their employer (never named) would like to meet with him regarding his translation of the Scrolls of Endless Shadow. No one outside his immediate circle could possibly have known about the scrolls, and so he denied all knowledge. The Frenchmen reacted angrily, and
said threateningly: “Then, monsieur, you will be seeing our employer sooner than you think.”
By the end of the diary, Puncheon has become obsessed with translating the scrolls, and is certain that the Curse of Nineveh is real. He writes: “Only by deciphering this fabled curse and its blasphemous rituals can I save us all. The others will not listen to me, and so I must act alone. I will try tonight to enact the ritual of protection, as outlined on the scrolls. Then I shall be safe from harm,
and able to free us all from the grip of Nabu.”
A very old book – Et Fragmenta Sargona - is also located but will require considerable study to make clear what relevance or use it has.
During their search, it is realised there is a man of Arabic appearance standing in a small public park opposite Puncheon’s flat. Mister Peelman leaves the flat by the bathroom window and creeps around ambushing and blackjacking the man from behind. He is bundled into the flat and when he recovers from being stunned, he reveals that he was one of the Children of Tranquillity, a very junior member, who was simply tasked with keeping an eye on Puncheon’s flat. He professes to know little of what is going on, and suggests that the investigators contact his superiors if they seek further information.
In the evening, Sir Malcolm invites the investigators to dine with him at the Traveller’s Club, as they have an indication that Campbell Thompson may be staying there. During dinner, they are able to confirm this and find out he is staying in a suite on the fourth floor. When they go upstairs and knock, Carruthers, Campbell Thompson’s valet confirms that his Master is at home, and he agrees to seem them.
There are two main issues discussed. The first is that Campbell Thompson is quite clear that whatever he may have written previously, there is no curse, nothing supernatural involved, and everything that happened on the 1919 Expedition must have a natural explanation. He is quite insistent on this point, but the investigators may well feel that he is simply protecting his reputation, rather than truly believing what he is saying now.
As to the Horn of Alu, he personally packed it into its crate on the steamer the expedition returned to England aboard in 1919, and personally discovered the fact it was missing on arrival in England. He believes it was stolen en route or on the London docks, and has spent years looking for it. He has uncovered rumours that lead him to believe it fell into the hands or at least one dubious ‘collector’ of antiquities as so many other artifacts have. He has also heard rumours that it may be about to resurface at an auction over the next few months and is waiting to see what happens. He agrees to pass on to the investigators any further news he hears.