Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In which John Ashton Smith makes his second report...

"Dear Dr. Armitage,

I am pleased (and relieved) to report that we have made some progress in our investigation, although the information I have uncovered is certainly troubling.

Persephone arrived today, as you promised. Miss Caroline and I briefed her on the situation here while Maddy was at Hudson picking up Miss Gardiner. She has been released into Maddy's care for the time being. Her recovery has been nothing short of remarkable.

She was more than willing to speak with Persephone at some length regarding why and how she came to be here. It appears that Mrs. Bishop has been in contact with a certain "Dr. West" (which I suspect may be a pseudonym) who has been purchasing dolls which, for various reasons, were never completed and/or sold. Mrs. Bishop believes that this Dr. West is purchasing these dolls to rehabilitate them as companions for children in a "church-run orphanage." Miss Gardiner fears the God(s) in question may not have anything to do with the one Mrs. Bishop believes. She mentioned that Mrs. Bishop had stated, in a befuddled way, that this Dr. West was using "salt" to fill the dolls, and wondered aloud why he didn't use pellets. Perhaps this is something you could question Mrs. Bishop about? Persephone also asked about the box and key, but Miss Gardiner had no knowledge of either one. For the moment, she will also remain here while she recuperates.

Talk of "salt" has me greatly concerned. I reviewed both the Herbert West and Randolph Carter files, as well as Maddy's Donald Tyson translation of the Necronomicon, but found nothing regarding using essential salts to animate (or reanimate) dolls. Perhaps you could cross-reference the Wormius version with the Tyson translation? The section I am referencing starts on page 143.

Percy has been using GIS, cross-referencing with Google Maps, to try to determine possible locations for Chester's Farm. As of tonight, she hasn't come up with anything promising. Maddy has some knowledge of local farms from a previous position, and this is proving invaluable in narrowing down prospective locations.

Speaking of books, Maddy and Miss Caroline were kind enough to bring me along to the local Barnes & Noble today so I could look for another book I needed. (I admit that I'm not accustomed to traveling in a handbag, however!)

Miss Caroline did offer me the use of her little studio flat (in a bookcase!) while I'm here, but I didn't want to put her out. Maddy has cleared a shelf of a nearby bookcase off for me. It's quite comfortable. I've not been made part of a family like this on any other assignment. It's quite pleasant.

I know I shouldn't say this, but I'm not looking forward to leaving.....


John Ashton Smith

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