The Armitage Files
Tears Of Azazoth: discussion continues. I now find, for reasons I cannot now express as words on paper—more a musical tone, a thought tingling in the back of the primal brain—buzz, buzz—that it did exist, that it does exist. None of us can recall the original reference, and it is damnably annoying. The sensation that a memory is tantalizingly close, yet will not surface from the turbid waters of the unconscious. Rice blurts out that a reference to it appears in the Necronomicon. And suddenly I find myself in agreement with him. Yet by poring over that dread volume (the shudders this has aroused in me, the increasing awareness of the patterns of movement in the Dreamlands, the thing my weary perceptions thought it saw at the darkened window that night). In my confidence that reference to The Tears would be found in the crazed perorations of the mad Arab, I entered into a gentlemanly wager with Wilmarth, with a case of sherry as the prize. He was certain that it would be found in a case file—specifically in the interview transcript with the late fortune teller and embezzler Wolf-Dietrich Gudzuhn. Neither of us will be forced to replenish the department’s liquor cabinet, for there was no reference to it there, either. Ashley thinks he heard it around the campfire during the Western Australia expedition, but cannot recall from who. Dyer says I told him about it in 1928, but I have no recollection of having done so.
Increasing sense that all of the threats are unknowingly connected. An odd thought occurred to me while performing my morning ablutions: that this is what it feels like to be caught in the workings of a grim destiny, before all of the pieces have moved into place.
But what if the pieces started out in place, and we are living in reverse, through the process of an entropic devolution? That it begins in horror and ends in horror, and that only from our vantage point… no, I have lost the thread. The backwards metaphor does not pertain if it is a continuum — yet there is something to it that I have yet to grasp.
When Ashley asked for the file on the American Preservation League, it turned up missing. Am now jotting down notes to reconstruct from memory. Political party, full membership approximately twenty, subscribers to its bulletin number in the hundreds — led by founder Fred Jahraus (Jarasz?) — financed by subscriber donations — ideology primarily isolationist — most of its platform planks typical of that cause (avoid entanglement in world affairs, esp. European; limits on immigration, esp. by non-Anglo Saxon, non-Northern European) — eccentric beliefs prevent their association with accepted political organizations of similar stripe: include call for currency devaluation, and a complex formula of changes to Electoral College engineered to increase clout of states with racially pure populations — Jahraus part of large household consisting of self, his mother, and many former foster children of his mother — all fervent APL supporters. Came to our attention as inconclusive avenue of investigation during the Red Hollow case. It was Peaslee who brushed up against them. Diagnosed them as evidencing odd affect characteristic of possible psychological disorder. Peculiar speech delays reminiscent of, but not identical to Innsmouth residents. On account of his short exposure to them, Peaslee cannot rule out the possibility that they share a mundane disorder. Whatever the case, the fear of outsiders that animates their political tracts makes them difficult subjects for interaction. Yet Jahrauis also seemed oddly trusting after Peaslee made a modicum of effort to appear sympathetic to his views.
For some reason the word “Thomarites” or “Thomar” comes to mind.
Impressions of the thing seen in the library: hair covered, the crested top of its head (bony skull structure reminiscent of yeti of Himalayan folklore?) reached to top shelf of map section, therefore seven feet in height approximately — scales or curious follicular pattern in areas where hair was not present — patterns of hairlessness not consistent, suggesting mangy quality or wear — pungent ammonia smell mixed with something like vanilla, but searing, esp. at the back of the throat — provoked substantial welling of tears — subsequent to encounter, both Rice and I were left coughing up mucus for 48 hrs. — mucus was yellowy-green in color — viewed under microscope was seen to contain long filaments of unidentified inorganic matter, black in color — have since dried out and resolved into a fine powder. Moist impressions left in rug near card catalogue.
As I looked into the apparition’s empty eyes, I was unable to shake the unbidden impression that the thing I was looking at was somehow not a creature, but a sort of omen or harbinger. A symptom, given apparent solidity, of a greater illness infecting the world. Or perhaps a hallucination given sudden solid form. A rip had appeared in the very fabric of conventional time and space, manifesting this thing, as the mediums of a generation past summoned ectoplasm from the boundless æther.
Detective Patrick Mahone found dead on factory floor. Regrettable loss of a fine investigator. Colleagues surprised to find him there. Factory worker Will Moran indicated to police that Mahone was seen on the shop floor hours earlier.
Condition of corpse: head neatly severed from body. Blood present both in head and in torso, but did not spill from either wound, remaining in the body as if kept there by unknown force. Only when body moved by medical examiners did the remains begin to exsanguinate.
Witnesses said he was asking questions about the contents of a factory warehouse. On followup investigation warehouse was found to be empty. Fresh scuffs and dust marks on floor pointed to recent movement of crates. Factory managers maintain warehouse has stood empty for months. Address found on our man led to the room he’d rented in a nearby boarding house. Room was found ransacked. Notebook missing. Boarding house landlord, a Mrs. Wilmer Callahan, reported seeing several “swarthy, (unusually?) short, foreign” men enter Moran’s room. Said she would normally have challenged them, but declined from doing so due to “awful look” on their faces. Based on Mrs. Callahan’s testimony, local authorities arrested a trio of Chinamen for the slaying. Scant evidence, aside from her mention of foreigners, ties these three restaurant workers to any crime.