The Lost Tiara

By Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin

Illustrated by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin

Part of the Sinclair Narratives



September 1918~

I walked into the Parker Hotel restaurant and there she was. She stood from her usual booth in the back corner. The jade glass above the bench back casted an alien glow to her auburn hair, stripping the fire from it. As you are forced to stare at the White Mountains once on the Kancamagus, I had to force my attention higher to meet her green eyes that glowed in contrast to her hair. Her skin was like alabaster Irish pottery still hot from the kiln, dappled by red heifers running on the plains seen from the Highlands above. She had moved her head so that it was not being robbed of all its glory from that emerald thief. I was instantly brought back to a time in a rowboat, as I walked the long trail to meet her, on Hood's pond when we got her stocking caught on the oarlocks. Well I...knew her before she was married and I got to know...her again after Jack had passed.

I continued on through time from those days to meet her outstretched arms projecting from her glorious dignant flagpole stature. As I continued on, the appearances of youth that had filled our days in Topsfield were being stripped from my eyes as I got closer to see the matriarch, now in her 70's, that still could on occasion, scandalize Boston. Though as I walked closer I knew I remained the same in her eyes as I did on that pond, with my bemused and helpless smirk feigning to help her remove herself from her predicament as she broke my stare from her rose when the charley horse had, really, settled in.

The advantages and the curses of being an immortal! You could not share all of your gifts with those you loved.

"Henry, It is always a pleasure seeing you my dear friend! I need not tell you that time is kinder to you than most of us who are forced to deal with our creaks and crows feet," she exclaimed.

Isabella then and now was a beauty. She was often captured by the gifted of our day with the old pig hair that slapped back and forth on the old duck. The most famous being John Singer Sargent.

I think she admired anyone she could nickname Jack.

"My dear Izzy, you are always my white rose just budding in the morning dew."

"Sit Henry, and let me lean into you and catch an air of yourself and the journeys you have been on. I always can catch the scent of those bonny heaths you were sired on so long ago."

  I had shared my secrets with her about my immortality and my youth in Roscommon outside of Edinburgh. With her red hair, I don't doubt she could have been that runt a cottage or two down from my parents in one of her past lives.

"You know that is some six hundred years ago and thousands of miles from here. I am amazed that such a smell could last that long."

"Our souls carry imprints that are affected by all of the senses that we carry with us, for the eternity of our lives! I need not tell you this my old friend…" she laughs and continues, "It is not you who is in truth old, but me. Ha!"

"You know that is not true!" I said holding my dear friend's hand and smiling into her eyes. "As I said, I have a few hundred years on you my dear." 

A few hundred years is an understatement, especially if you include all of the lives I still remember through the millenniums...I gave up reincarnation for a while; I had seen my double chins within a few old paintings and decided not to age in this go around. Especially in a painting when I was Rene Anjou at fifty. At that age I don't think I would be able to get Jeanne d'Arc's panties off anymore if she survived the fire.

"Yeah, but you do not have the crows feet to show for it and do not smell of camphor in the morning..." she laughs and squeezes my hand as she looks at the ground and comes back into my eyes with her smile, "Now down to business Hank." I hated when she called me that, nothing good ever happened after that point. "I have a proposition for you."

"I thought you said you were too old!"

"Oh, I am never too old to proposition you my dear Henry!" she said with a knowing smirk as she goosed me and looked the other way. Then she looked back quickly at me, "So Hank, do you want to hear my offer?" I remained quiet and looked at her seriously now. "See Hank, I have this friend of mine who works for the Peabody Museum, a beautiful young lass. She is in the acquisition process of obtaining, as you say, some relic. In my opinion it would be in truth a crowning achievement."

"What would this relic be?"

"Well, lets ignore him for a second. She also has an opportunity to acquire...a Russian diadem," she pauses, "One of those diadems…" she says leaning in so I can only hear.

It had only been two months since the Tzar and his family were assassinated. I was amazed that any of the Royal Jewels could make it this far already. "I know you had collected some scrupulous items in the past…"

"Who said I wanted it…"

"I know you...you are probably trying to figure out some way to extricate this tiara from that young lass. Are you expecting me to seduce her?"

"Well yes, but that is beyond the point," She smirks while grabbing my hand, "I want you to help her get my tiara, as you called it."

She produced a picture of the diadem, "It was worn by Marie Feodorovna, the mother of Tzar Nicholas II. The Kaiser was her nephew. Her sister was the queen of England. Now the German front is falling and the Kaiser is in hiding from his cousins," Isabella stopped to sip her B&B, neat, "You believe Prince Albert ruled England by continually knocking up his wife, Queen Victoria. Marie's sister!

The usurpation by pregnancy did not endear her to her children. She called them all 'toads'. Now because of this dysfunctional family, we find ourselves sending our young men to die because her grandchildren could not get along," She stopped to take another sip, bigger than the last. "You believe it Henry, there is a rumor that the last straw was when the Kaiser reached down during a polo match and loosened King Edward's saddle. Bertie fell into a mud puddle and it cost him the match to the Kaiser."

"The international bankers are not helping things either. Some think they are behind the deaths of two of the Queen's grandchildren, Alexandria and her husband Nicholas." I said.

"Yes, our old friend, Jane, is besides herself with complicity through her Jack," she pauses, "How dare I give that man the same nickname as him? Jack was ten times more of a man than Junior." 

She was speaking about her husband Jack Gardner, the descendant of the founder of the Salem Marine Society. Their headquarters are in the Franklin Building that was deeded to them by Thomas H. Perkins, a grand uncle of Jane's. "Junior" was one John Pierpont Morgan the Second.

In time my friends, the Parker Brothers, would create a banking game centered around building up a monopoly. Its mascot would be based on Junior and feature George Peabody's railroads. Talk about duplicity...

"OK, back to the subject." We could have gone on some amazing tangential roller coasters before we eventually circled back to the snack stand and picked up where we started, but by then we had shared some cotton candy along the way. "This crown? Where is it now?"

"The little I know is that George Frederick Kunz of the United States Geological Survey was over in Russia around the time of the Tzar's family's assassination. He was in contact with a Pyotr Semenov of Russian Geographic Society. Semenov knew Nicholas," Izzy wipes her lips after another bigger sip, this time, "He was friends with members of the Root Commission that Wilson sent over. There is talk that someone within Elihu Root's camp has it now."

She then sat back into the booth with one arm on its narrow back below the jade glass which was casting its glow on her once more. The other was sprawled away on the table holding her drink that just clinked with its ice. Her legs were far apart, stretching the silk of her gown to its fullest. 

"So tomorrow, go meet my young friend at the Peabody, Hank."

"Must you call me that?"

"Yes, and I want you to find this ring too." She handed me a photo.


A musty place filled with trinkets brought back by nefarious ship captains that despoiled the lands of savages. These savages had believed in public sanitation centuries before these men who at the time still threw their night soil out the windows every morning.

I walked through this emporium of bones that were wrapped in linen to the sounds of intonations which resonated off some priests' funky bronze beards and the chants and the drums of the red chiefs that placed their bones in circular holes. I ventured past cannibal forks and real Revere ware that sat next to each other under glass as I wondered which of their previous owners were the most civilized. The Revere ware was donated from the church who hung eighteen people in this town. Geisha gowns hung next to the horned Samurai helmets with bushy mustaches of their lovers behind the silk curtains as I rounded the corner and saw some real nice gams.

Peabody found the museum lacking funds and had his name applied some time ago. He was the same man who hired Junior's grandfather to begin the House of Morgan. The same man who anchored our national bank's fate to the Bank of England through the Rothschilds. It was his partner's son, John Pierpont Morgan the First, who created the Federal Reserve. Junior's father made the switch from Peabody & Co. to JP Morgan & Co.

The museum was the creation of the East India Marine Society. Jack Gardner's grandfather created the Salem Marine Society. Later it was headed by Thomas H. Perkins, the scion of the Forbes fortune. Perkins through his nephews controlled Barings & Co. They held two thirds of the Bank of England by controlling Hope & Co. Upon Jane and Junior's marriage they connected the two marine societies, but more importantly, the two national banks.

OK, now for the strange part involving a cat and a toothbrush along with a time machine. Inside the Hoyt Block, built on the ruins of the Kimball that burned in 1899, is a strange shaft in the center of the building lined with windows on three floors. It took me three years of staring at the frosted glass while standing up using the loo to notice something strange. The window was in the middle of the building. Light dawns on Marblehead...Beyond the frosting was a time machine into which I threw a toothbrush, missing Peabody by an inch and spooking a cat to join him inside.

Peabody's knowledge of the future made him and the Rothschilds into the international powers they are today. For Peabody is Junior.

The cat is still walking around Salem. I never found out what happened to my toothbrush…

 The gams.

 As this woman with the light chestnut hair was stretching to look up at some Oceanic war club, a gam was just breaking the fabric of the slit in her couture. There was a figurehead of an old Scotsman that I had caught peering down too. She looked over her shoulder and caught me; I swear the Scotsman looked away.

"You must be Hank."

"I hate that name!"

"Isabella sent her love."

"Any luck finding the tiara?"

"Diadem," she corrected me. "Well I was meeting with the director here; he was informing me that some of the East India Marine Society had travelled with George Frederick Kunz and the Root Commission," She said as she was turning and fixing her dress, "This cute little man was informing me that the Society, since the days of John Andrew's fur Commission and Captain White's days smuggling weapons to support Russia against that tiny Frenchman, during John Quincy's stint drinking водка with Tsar Alexander I (The granduncle of Nicholas II), men of Salem have been manipulating Imperial Russia. You believe that? In fact, some of their members sailed some Russian generals, not favorable to the Tzar, before the war to New York on the Corsair III with Morgan. Then they took that cute train, the Blue Comet, you know, the one that takes the movie stars to Atlantic City and to Manchester Township within the NJ Pine Barrens? Are you listening…?"

"Yes! Go on." I did drift away for a second thinking of what her other leg might look like.

"Well, there under the scrub pines Morgan was providing the funding for some ordinances while Samuel P. Bush of Wilson's War Industries Board was selling them. All last year's models, I hear. Samuel brought his son Prescott, who just graduated from Yale, to help train these cossacks on how to shoot the cannons. I think the grandson of the founder of Yale founded the town named Whiting nearby," she paused, "You think you can look higher than my hem line? Thank you! The funny little man said that was in 1916, right before the war; he hinted to some strange rumors about the site now. But I digress; let me get back to the crown." She was friends with Izzy.


"Yes diadem. Thank you. I'm sorry, do I know you from somewhere? It's just the way you smirk at me seems familiar. Never mind...the diadem, yes; it's just I get so carried away with the war. Let me ask you," she shifts her contrapposto and points her pearled purse at me in her white gloved hand, "do you believe all of the stories about the sinking of the Lusitania? I mean it was sunk years ago. I always believe there is more to things than you read in the papers.." She definitely was one of Izzy's closest friends, it was proving...

"The diadem?"

"Yes, I am sorry. I seem to have trouble focusing around you. Are you sure we never met?"

She looked real familiar. I mean I would like to get real familiar with her. I would like to know her too… I just shrugged.

"Well the diadem, he says, might have come over on the Corsair, but he knows Charles Crane brought it by train back toward Boston. He says the museum is sending representatives over to his house in Ipswich this week to inquire about it."

We walked about the shelves of stuffed animals under the peers of the stuffed shirts the museum hired as security. We realized some had been listening to us and began to tag along through that gallery to the next one. As we rounded past the turtle that had been dripping oil for a hundred years, we gave them the slip. We ducked and headed for China as the guards headed toward India. We made it pass the gift shop and exited onto Essex Street.

Once out onto the sets, I held her hand and kissed her white glove goodbye. She walked off with her gams pendulating through the slit in her dress. Quite nice…

I headed down Essex towards the Miskatonic University to meet my old friend Professor Wilmarth. I knew Albert could fill me in more on this 'diadem', especially if there is any magic connected to it.


Professor Albert in Miskatonic University library

I found Albert outside his book once more floating through the shelves of the basement of the University. Albert's soul was confined many years ago to an ancient tome. One he never discussed with me. It was his secret that he kept for his own security, which was quite safe since this collection held thousands of volumes.

Albert was an old friend I found to be of quintessential origin derived from a family of Sasquatch, with a vestige of those genes explaining his Venus flytrap eyebrows. He had been the professor of ancient lore in this musky university set on the property of the original governor's house facing the lane where Dyer had once streaked down past angry crowds of Puritans. I always thought Dyer may have been the original Dunwich Horror, for she did bear a deformed child who died soon after birth.

Albert was studying the Berlin Codex of the Gospel of Mary when I interrupted him. "Hello Henry, how are you!"

"Great my old friend!" I said, shaking his hand, "I see you are reading her side of the story again…"

"My dear friend, there are two sides to every divorce," Albert said shaking his head at me while peering over his glasses, "I figured I would try to see things from her vantage point from the tower above." 

A long time ago, for a short period, and before Sarah was born, I spent some time with Mary before she took the kid to Egypt and then France as I headed toward Ireland before settling in Japan. That was during the time we tried to start this little commune... 

"Can I ask you about the Feodorovna diadem?"

"Very dark stuff. If not handled right. It is a tiara lined by diamonds charged by the wearers own bioelectricity thus creating a field to catalyst the Qliphoth stones that are set into it, controlled by its wearer," Albert stopped to look up at me with a jeweler's eyepiece still over one of the lenses, making one eye look surreally large, "Local lore says the people of the sea in Innsmouth section of Ipswich came from the Baltic in 861. After resisting Rurik and his band of Swedes in bloody combat for almost a year they took to the sea and followed the cod that they lived upon and settled on Cape Ann.

They were the people of Chud. Linguistically their name means strange or enemy. They were said to have white eyes like fish from the deepest parts of the ocean. Their earliest recording in Slavic annals originally translated to mean wonderful or miraculous; till politics turned against them. Being foreign or different eventually made them  scapegoats for all the evils before Rurik arrived when the Slaves were fighting amongst themselves. It is said they were last seen leaving what is now called Estonia after their defeat by Rurik's forces; they just walked under the sea with their wealth, never to be heard of again.

In old Slavic myths they were said to be the sons of the Jörmungandr born of Angrboðahe, the World Serpent. They received the Qliphoth Gamchicoth which was split into twelve separate stones by Rurik. Rurik kept the stones as the Chud fled. He had them placed in the diadem. In time its origin was lost, but it was secretly kept within the old Slavic and Rus states. Crane's mother is one of the fish folk from Innsmouth; she informed him about the myths of the crown and the desire of the Chud to regain their homeland that once stretched from the Baltic to Kyrgyzstan.

Chud myths said that in the year of the fire serpent a flaming star would be seen in the sky pronouncing the time of the Chud to return home. On February fifth last year, such a meteor was seen during the Chinese Year of the Fire Dragon over Chicago. A month later the Russian Revolution started. Crane had seen the meteor over his home in the city. He then called for a sacrifice to be planned to bless their return home; the Tzar and his family would be killed, the descendants of Rurik. Afterward they would reclaim the diadem with the stones."

"Where is the diadem now?" I asked in a state of excitement, "Does Crane have it?"

"No my dear Henry, we have an agent in play…"


When I left the Miskatonic I took a left walking up toward the Common. I figured I would walk to get back to my Packard Electric, instead of taking the trolley that just went past. I gave Louie the day off.

I was parked on the other end of the park near the old Senator Silsbee Mansion. I soon found myself passing the infamous home in which Captain Joseph White was murdered in on my way to the location Ann Pudeator was last seen flying overhead. Funny his nephew, Joseph Jr. White, was seen often flying on wine in his home built on her lot, till he choked on some cork. In the end they both suffocated.

If indeed I had seen her flying past tonight, she would have just ducked behind the Franklin Building. The building which holds the Salem Marine Society of which old Jack, Izzy's husband, was a grand member before his passing. I was just leaving the round partition of sets and I was taking the perimeter path to the right on the crushed pea stone. I could use a little more exercise than I would have received if I had taken the path to the left of the gazebo, which would have taken me directly to my car.

As I passed the old Congressman Jacob Crowninshield's House, a place once occupied by the Miskatonic's most infamous student, I got a chill. Asenath Waite Derby was the first female to be enrolled in that University. A descendant of the fish people of Innsmouth. For years children would run past this home, for fear she might be scowling down from her window, at one time scowling; at another pleading. 

She was alternating in between her body and her husband Edward Pickman Derby's; locking his soul up in the old Reverend Bentley study, within her own skin.

Bentley was the man that warned Salem of the Illuminati threat; who the town was never quite sure if he was in truth a member of...

Edward would be seen looking through her eyes pleading for help from anyone who went past the window of his old study.

Suddenly, I was jumped by five men appearing from behind the various oak and maple trees on my path from the dark. I brandished my cane, side stepped, and with my left hand articulated a movement striking my cane to the back of the neck of the closest attacker, pushing him into my adversary just to my left. Then I swung low to the man charging to my right, now in a crouch I had switched hands and was using my cane to hit him behind the knees to bring him down. As I swung clockwise, about to stand and address the remaining two, a shadowy lithe figure was seen walking back to the University; the remaining men were rendered unconscious. I called after the figure, to give thanks, but she continued on her way.. By her stride and cadence I had figured my savior to be a woman.


After my encounter the previous night, I decided to stay in Salem at my old home on English Street. Instead of returning to my rambling manner in Methuen. At this time I was still known as Edward Francis Searles by the public. The heir to the Central Pacific Railroad, inherited from my wife, the elderly widow of the treasurer of that corporation, now deceased many years. This left me with somewhere around the twenty-third largest estate in American history, but my wealth accumulated over the years far outstretched that status. Regardless of this, I still liked my cozy cottage on English Street. I had spent many fine years here with Caroline, until her death.

We had spent many lives together. I first met her in Ireland near an old tin mine my father, Joseph of Arimathea, introduced to me. I was still a little despondent over that failed commune I mentioned earlier.

Why do men need leaders rather than finding their own greatness within themselves? I was the son of man and God at the same time, just like every person on this planet, but little did they see. I could not spend the rest of that lifetime making fish sandwiches for them. Caroline (many lives ago) got me out of my depression then and travelled with me through the British Isles and eventually to Japan where we settled and had many children and grandchildren. Maybe that is why I kept coming back to this house.

A messenger knocked on the door. He handed me a handwritten note sealed in wax asking me to join my new friend from the Peabody at All Oakes for a lunch with Jane and her husband JP.


I had Louie pick me up. We were to pick up Teddy, Keno, and Nikola at Teddy's daughter's house in Beverly. Over the years, before Jane married, she was part of the crew that sunned and swam at Rice's beach. Teddy and she almost had a little fling; well that is what he remembers. The act of Jane trying to drown him out in the surf, he had considered an act of affection.

"So what adventure are you bringing us on to today Henry!" the old president had asked as Nikola and Reno proceeded into the car after him.

"We are going to pick JP's ear, with the help of Jane, to find out more about a mysterious Russian tiara," I said looking back over my shoulder.

Recently Teddy was in the habit of wearing his old Rough Rider hat. He has been wearing it ever since we went to war in Europe. If you think you would be sick of all the times he used to say 'Bully!' before, you have no idea. Keno, who charged up San Juan Hill with him (who remembers the charge much differently than Teddy), has had his fill with war. Nikola has been quiet lately, he feels a little uncomfortable being Serbian, even though most people don't know where Serbia is, nerveless that they started the war…

"I just got a new Crane crapper for my wife; you would think that after I got her and the kids such a grand present, she would stop complaining about leaving the seat up!" Louie started looking at me then to the gentlemen in the back (and not on the road),"I mean I installed it, I clean it, I wipe it down (after myself and others), and I lift the seat. All she has to do is look to see if the seat is down! You think she can flip the toilet and retrieve her earnings—she accidentally flushed! NO! In thirty years of my life I have only forgotten to look four times, that is four times, and I never fell in! Is it really that difficult? I ask you…"

In chorus everyone yelled at him to look at the road.

"You think Mr. Crane can help me? Maybe send me a note? An instruction manual?" Louie pleaded.


We pulled under the overhang of All Oakes. The Grew's grand mansion in West Manchester near Tucks Point. It stood on the hill at the entrance to Manchester Harbor. The butler came to open our doors. Louie just brushed his hands away and scooted him away. We all got out on our own. Louie kept warding off the butler like he was a vampire.

Inside Jane greeted us, "Henry, have you found anyone special?" Then she greeted Teddy with a raised fist, "Bully!" Last she looked at Keno, "I see you still would fit handsomely in a bathing suit." This comment grew Teddy's ire. She then went on to grasping Nikola's hand, "Henry, who is your distinguished friend!" She was quite enamored.

"This is the eminent inventor Nikola Tesla."

"The man who lit up the Columbian Exposition," said Jane with a leer, looking him up and down like he was a Christmas goose hanging in a shop on Central Street. 

Jane's sister-in-law's father was the president of the organization that put on the world fair in 1893. Florence had kept her up with all of the gossip. Tesla had worked with Moses Farmer of Salem to oversee all the lights for the extravaganza. He was with Farmer when he died of exhaustion soon after opening night.

"Yes madam." Nikola answered as he kissed her hand.

JP and Charles Crane walked in drinking martinis. They were wearing black tuxedos with tails. Crane held a cigarette in a holder. "Jane, my dear. Can you check with staff about dinner?" JP asked with airs.

Jane grabbed the next scotch on the rocks that passed on a tray and said in between sips, "Go check yourself!" Then she grabbed Nikola's arm and walked away. As she trailed off in the distance with him we could hear her ask, "If you tell me your stories of the fair, I will show you mine…"

Inside All Oaks in Manchester by the sea with Tesla and Jane Norton Grew

"So you must be Henry. Your name has been floating around the Fraternity for years," scoffed Crane.

"Anything good?"


I have to admit, over the years I have proven to be a thorn in the side of the graduates of Skull & Bones, The Hiram Lodge, and the Illuminati. They keep doing the funky chicken dance trying to raise Cthulhu and I keep throwing their rhythm off.

"I hear Wilson sent you along with the Root Commission?" Teddy interjected to defuse the tension in the air.

"Yes. Elihu thought Cyrus and I would be good choices. I happened to be traveling with George Frederick Kunz to Russia for years with the USGS, where we have become quite close with Pyotr Semenov of Russian Geographic Society. We all had become quite familiar with the landscape and the people. Let's say that Root found us an important asset." Crane said nonchalantly.

Teddy had Root appointed 'for him' to Secretary of State by the party. He was a holdover from McKinley, where he moved up from his post as Secretary of War. He never quite liked, or trusted him.

Root feigned support for Wilson's neutrality, but was biting at the bit to enter the war in aid of the British. After the March Revolution in Russia, Root was scared of a communist government, for the people could overthrow the power structure of the world in which the powerful nations controlled the weaker ones.

British and American bankers had manipulated Imperial Russia and their resources for years. They could not have those resources in the hands of the Russian peasant. His mission was to plead for Wilson's support in a propaganda war to overthrow the Provisional Government for the Bolsheviks. Once he was given the go ahead, it only took a month to turn the peasants, with all of this fake news, against the Provisional Government; that was the end of Communism by and for the people. These Americans rigged their election. You would not believe all of the division in the country Root had created. They had the peasants believing the world was flat again.

The international bankers would continue to pull the strings. Cyrus McCormick Jr. was the heir to the International Harvester fortune. They had large contracts with the Bolsheviks to sell them tractors. Cyrus and his family were all a little touched, there was a lot of inbreeding between themselves and the Rockefellers…His grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, had him sent along to protect their interest, in case the Morgan's took too much control.

"So what were your findings?" Teddy probed.

"Ah I was just their tour guide, I left the politics to them. I find myself a bit of rock hound," Crane answered. I think they both were dancing around the issue of the diadem.

"Did I hear someone mention diamonds?" interjected Izzy's friend,"Diamonds are a girl's best friends. What is even better than diamonds are diamonds on a tiara."

"You mean diadem." I said looking in her eyes instead of her gams this time. "I believe I never got your name the other day?"

"Oh my, oh my; where were my manners; it is Jezebel DeWitt, of the Charlotte DeWitts," she said as she extended her white gloved hand to me smelling of rose water. She pulled it away and swung toward Crane before I could kiss it. "Diamonds. The DeWitts found it easy to switch from plantation life to diamonds. We had a long history of working with Africans."

"What brings you here today my dear?" Crane asked as he looked her up and down. Jezebel...just swirled about the room looking at the furnishings, almost knocking over a few.

"Oh me and Jane go back to Finishing School days. You know Endicott and all," she then leaned in and hugged Crane's arm, "You were talking about diamonds?"

"Sorry, there are plenty of diamonds in Russia, but they are not being properly exploited to create a strong market for them," Crane replied enjoying the attention this Jezebel was showing him, "Kunz and I were more interested in metamorphic rock and the geology of the Caucasus and Czechoslovakia, I must admit."

"I hear the blackmarket is hot looking for twelve rare stones in Moscow?" I probed.

With that JP interrupted him and pulled him toward his study. Teddy led me away to find Jane and Nikola, "We should find Jane before she gets too cozy with our Serbian friend."

Keno interrupted us before we could find those two. "I was just talking to Wood and House. You believe that old Yankee House is still kicking. He is still pissed at you for charging up San Juan Hill without his orders. You did almost get us all killed." General Leonard Wood was head of the forces in the Spanish-American War. Keno and Teddy served under him. Col. House was the major financier and advisor of Wilson. Little did Wood know it was House who told Wilson to pick General Pershing over him to lead the American forces in Europe. Wood was removed to Camp Funston which was part of Fort Riley in Kansas.

"You boys moved far," Jane said as she came back into the room with Nikola on her arm quite flushed.

"Lets go, before she moves...any further," as Nikola was saying this, Jane goosed him and he leapt almost spilling the drink he was sipping. It went down the wrong tube and he was trying to recover, as he moved quickly away from Jane's advances. Teddy was getting infuriated.

"Yes, let's leave this place," demanded Teddy. 

Keno was eating prime rib dappled with crème fraîche on a crostini. He still had a few Greek tarts on a napkin in his other hand. "What! We are not staying for dinner?" Tesla was already in the car with Louie

Louie did not join us inside because he was playing craps with his cousin, the gardener of the mansion. By the looks of it, he was winning. He stood up with a smile shaking the dice and his cousin slapped the dust from the steps they were sitting on as Nikola walked past him for the car.


We were rounding Ocean Avenue, past Crow's Nest, when I asked Tesla what he had learned. We all decided to take a slow route back to Salem and we were enjoying the salt marsh and river that ran through the u-shaped road to the beach on the other side. We stopped and had a clear view of Boston that day.

"Well, when I was setting up the lights from Westinghouse, after JP blocked us from using Edison bulbs, JP was having a very important meeting at the German Imperial Building at the fair. The fair was a disguise to bring world bankers together to discuss how to split the world's finances. JP was there to ensure the Rothschilds' control.

He was meeting with Adolph von Hansemann who took over the Disconto Gesellschaft of Berlin. The bank was founded after the liquidation of M. A. Rothschild & Sons of Frankfurt am Main, their original bank. Disconto Gesellschaft had floated many loans to the Russian Tzar and for the construction of their railroads in which JP had his hands involved. The Rothschilds were becoming weary of Queen Victoria's grandchildren running Europe. They wanted to remove them.

In that meeting was Prince Maximilian of Baden. He was leading the way for the abdication of the Kaiser and the formation of a new government in Germany. Paul Warburg, who had worked with Nelson Aldrich and JP to create the Federal Reserve, was there as well.. Four years before the war, Warburg was decorated by the Kaiser.

Crane was there too; in that meeting he was formalizing contracts for Westinghouse to electrify Russia after JP left the meeting. I knew that part, but I didn't know that the Disconto Gesellschaft was promising funds at that time for any future Russian revolution with other Germans through Crane. Crane's intermediary was a Czechoslovakian named Thomas Garrigue Masaryk, who got Crane an interview with Wilson," explained Tesla.

"Anything else you learned?" asked Teddy, seeming still frustrated.

"Yes, Jane is really touchy," interjected Nikola.

"There are rumors that House, Root, Morgan, and Warburg had formulated a group back in June to lead America in its foreign affairs. They are calling it the Council of Foreign Relations. 

Nikola, there is good reason that Jane is...touchy. She never was in love with JP. Her grand uncle is the main partner in Baring Brothers & Co.  in England and her marriage was intended to consolidate the remaining controlling third of the Bank of England that the Rothschilds held. Barings also controls Hope & C0. which gave them their second third.

On the flipside...the Rothschilds and the Morgans hope to have their Federal Reserve control the Bank of England. I am not sure who would control who in the end, but it is the first step in consolidating the world banks together.

Hope & Co. , as of recently, has aligned themselves to offer funding with the House of Morgan to develop the train system in Russia, something the Tzar was against. Disconto Gesellschaft will have control through Baden of the Reichsbank; I already mentioned the cartel who control the Bank of England. Soon the world would really be screwed. Especially if they could gain control of the State Bank of Russia. Then again, the Russian bank has been bankrupting the Russian Treasury for a century now," I filled in.

"Plus, Morgan made the first loan of twelve million dollars to Russia at the beginning of the war. He was never sure if that went straight to the State Bank without any diversions. His firm's involvement with British and French interests fueled charges he was maneuvering the US into supporting the Allies in order to protect his and the Rothschild's loans. He is the official purchasing agent for the British government, buying cotton, steel, chemicals, and food; receiving a one percent commission on all purchases. He is also behind the syndicate of about two thousand and two hundred banks that floated a loan of five hundred million dollars to the Allies. The British sold off their holdings of American securities and by late 1916 were dependent on unsecured loans for further purchases," Teddy added as Keno was skipping rocks.

"Did anyone ask Crane about that manual for his crapper?" Louie had asked.



Opulence. When decadence has gone so far that it has returned from its fifth revolution around the globe and all it brought you back was a T-shirt with the Eiffel Tower on it; that is what you call Opulence. There was nothing else you could call this manor built on the hill of the ancient Chud fortress.

Castle Hill was the shining jewel of Boston's Gold Coast. This was indeed the middle of the Country Place Era in which any person stemming from the Five Points could rob, steal enough to find themselves emblazoned in between the sheets of Whose Who, and still have enough money to stay out of Colonel Mann's tattler.. Equipped with their own stock of poaching Merry Men, they could build their own royal forest. Castle Hill was no less.

Frederick Law Olmsted's, who designed the landscape for Central Park and the Columbian Exposition, sons designed the landscape for the Crane's. Their centerpiece was a one hundred sixty foot wide lawn lined with evergreens and statuary running for a half mile down a hill to the ocean. Halfway was a casino replete with a ballroom, opposite a building filled with guest cabanas and a seawater swimming pool in between both of them. That is where we found ourselves the next day. At the top of the hill was Crane's father's Italianate mansion. A place his mother hated. She hated it so much that his father had to promise he would tear it down if she still hated it in ten years. I got a feeling that it would only be up for another eight years.

In attendance was Teddy talking to Colonel House with his daughter Alice spending most of the time in the ballroom. Keno was going over old times with General Wood along the perimeter of the monstrous pool. Taft was trying to avoid Teddy. A big band played in the arcade that also served as the retaining wall for the hill above, while people started to dance. Louie was in the ballroom at the crap table again with Jezebel on his arm…

I walked up to Louie and the mystery woman. "Are you winning?"

"Lady luck is on my side today," he said jostling his elbow up with Jezebel hugging it. Louie raised the dice and she blew on them, before he gave them another winning toss. "Hot dang!"

"Dear Henry, I find you within the most fabulous of homes," Jezebel said with a seductive leer as she moved to my elbow. She gave Louie one more rub on his head for luck as we walked off.

Mrs. Crane, the Matriarch, walked up, "Hello my dear Jane."

To my surprise, Jezebel answered, "Hello, how was Chicago this winter?"

"It was in the crapper; though it had its ups and downs." This was an old phrase she had been using for years. Her husband owned Crane plumbing and Otis Elevator.

"Another fabulous party, I must say," Jezebel/Jane said. It is strange to have a woman on your arm when you do not know her name, and at the same time feel like you might have known her for a lifetime.

There was something familiar about her. Then the light hit Mrs Crane just right. It was not till that moment did I realize she was wearing the diadem. I looked closer and realized the Gamchicoth stones were missing. From behind her appeared this Russian Starets with a long beard in greasy peasant robes.

Could it be? He was rumored to have died before the war in 1916. He had suffered the three fold death, the death Merlin befell,death by earth (two bullets), water (poison), and air (suffocation from drowning). This was the same ritual Stephen White was trying to use on the Knapp brothers to button up Yog-Sothoth resurrection. Here he was still alive, but how?

 "Madame, you look wonderful in my diadem," the Russian Starets complimented.

"Oh, you are a silver tongue devil," Mrs. Crane said, blushing, as she touched the corner of the tiara.

"I know," said Rasputin as he walked away.

What was going on here? As I was still in shock over seeing a man who the world thought was dead, I noticed Jane/Jezebel had slipped away.



The party continued. Louie started losing. I decided to walk back up the hill, not directly back toward the house, but toward one of the gardens. I have these hunches; that sometimes pays off.

The music started to fade away as I headed toward the Rose Garden. On approach I could hear chanting intermixed with what seemed to be...whales gargling?

I was approaching from above as the people in their black robes came into sight circling the dormant fountain in the middle; another circle rounded under the pergola, with its decaying roses, held by a series of concrete columns. The two circles spiraled into each other. As the chants increased and the circle dance picked up speed, the fountain sent high intermediate bursts that in time increased in frequency. I was hiding behind the retaining wall on the grass above the garden leaning on one of the cedars.

Round and round they went. Then in the middle, the largest whale of them disrobed and the circle stopped.

Taft had gone into the buff again and looked around at everyone else still robbed with hoods still covering their faces, "What, it is not that type of ritual?" Everyone remained silent and Taft walked off, leaving his robe behind.

The circle began to whirl about once more. At its crescendo, a man walked into the middle and stretched out his arms wide into the sky and gave a loud howl which seemed to make everyone stop and look in his direction. As his head was lifted in mid-howl his hood fell off. There he was again, back from the dead.

The Starets, Rasputin.

"My brethren from the sea! It is time for you to go back and take your ancestral home once again. Rurik's kin is dead. The curse upon us has been lifted. The Chud will walk the strand of our fore-bearers once more. Once more we shall control the land and sea!" pontificated the tall greasy Russian.

I never found these political speeches very interesting…

A woman was now standing by his side. She lifted her hood and she was wearing the diadem. It had the stones in place, except the center one. Rasputin lifted his hand and said, "This stone I will place in the center of the diadem and Vellamo will rise once more and control the Jörmungandr." 



He placed the stone in the middle and Gamchicoth was made whole again. The twelve stones lit up as the bioelectricity flew out of the woman into the diamonds powering the Gamchicoth. A white film fell from the top of her eye sockets and covered her eyes. She began making sounds of which one would imagine emanating if they had seen whales having sex in the coldest part of the arctic, miles from the sun.

In the distance a rogue wave was forming exposing a mile of ocean floor. As the woman's call continued, the wave, growing in height, was ever approaching. When it reached the point in height of the exposed floor's length, it broke. The wave curled crashing down, stretching a mile, and fell soaking those within the circle. We could hear Taft down by the beach howl like someone just rammed a potato up his ass.

Rasputin then snatched the crown off her head, "That is enough!" and walked away.

I remained dry from my high point and I started to walk back to the casino. As I could hear the music of Duke Ellington grow louder upon my approach, I was confronted by ten men.

As I sidestepped with my left hand on someone's right elbow, just before I could twist his wrist to dislocate his elbow with a continually growing force, I noticed it was Bjorn. One of my third generation Viking reincarnated crew.


"Yes Henry!" Bjorn yelled before I could dislocate his elbow.

"Who else is here?" I had asked.

"Olaf and Magnus." They waved among the group. Bjorn continued, "We were moonlighting for the catering company's security…"

As the Duke began the next song, the four of us started our dance. The secret of fighting is instant reaction to action. Dance teaches you that each note from the band creates a new step. Eventually, starting with the rhythm section, the band incorporates the dancer into the band composing the flow of the music. Indeed, the bassist who was placed off the same plane of the band under the arcade saw us as he stared over the pool. The drummer followed his lead. As the Duke acknowledged how the rhythm had changed, we were full force into the fight.

The movements of dervishes were evident as we lifted legs and whirled upward with wide arcs encircling their arms from above, grasping their elbows and complimenting the movement by placing pressure on their shoulders at the fulcrum point as we lifted their elbows. Then following the movement of the music lower to swipe the next one's legs in one direction and their torsos in another. Then inspired by the ethnic flavor, I rose quickly and dropped with my foot out connecting to one's stomach. As I reached the bottom of my crouch I threw out my arms and rose up again hitting two more.

I at least imagined the four of us within a synchronized battle akin to those swimmers in the cinema, but the other three much preferred brute force. By the end of the battle I had reached the far side of the dance floor opposite from the band across the pool. I was still in motion and I joined the other dancers; only the bassist saw the fight and he gave me a little nod and a smile. Then he shook his head in a silent damn!

As I spun Jane/Jezebel grabbed my hand and I noticed the ring  which Izzy had sent me to find. "Hello Hank!" she said as she placed her other arm around my waist and goosed me. "Izzy sends her love."

The ring, I only caught a glimpse, was strangely familiar. Much of this exploit seemed like déjà vu.

"What is wrong? You don't know how to dance?" she taunted. 

I had stopped to stare at the ring, but now I continued. Although I was not doing any formal dance, I was still that hidden instrument in the band, thanks to the bassist.

She started to follow my lead as we moved in and around the notes. In time, I found the band bringing her under union rates as well. They started following her movements. In time, she was leading the band as it moved from the dancers to every musician in turn and back again in a fluid motion, which was contagious as the rest of the dance floor felt this special movement and swayed with us like a large chorus. After the song she just left again, but everyone else continued to dance through to the sunrise.

"Henry, we need to leave and get some rest for the train tomorrow," Keno had said. "I lubricated the old general and he spilled the proverbial Boston beans; It seems that JP has over-extended in Europe during this last war and America joining has not produced enough liquidity needed for some hush hush plans. He needs to go to his aunt and beg for some funding in the Berkshires."



Steam was wafting up from the cup of lapsang souchong. Its smoky pine character was intermingling with the vapors from the wood burning fire in the train's boiler belching out its own complimentary aroma. I was in my private sleeping car. Ah! The privileges of owning controlling shares in a railroad. I was like the delinquent emperor playing the pauper in some Dickensian tale. Besides the silk smoking jacket, the king size bed, the chestnut paneled room, private bath, and the leather nailhead chair I found myself sitting in, everything else about my journey was steerage rate. When I left this car to go into the various main cars, I asked for the same service as the rest. Which really meant everyone in coach was elevated to first class. Riding with me you became a pauper in a country with gold toilet seats for everyone.

In the cafe car I met Nikola, Teddy, Keno, and Louie. They were enjoying a continental breakfast. Louie was on his fifth plate. With five kids, he did not get to eat much at home. After I sat down, Olaf, Bjorn, and Magnus sat in the booth behind us. They passed plates of bacon to me. Bjorn loved his bacon….Conversation flowed between the two tables.

During our breakfast, conductors came down the aisle handing out surgical masks. They had received a telegraph from Boston concerning the wave of influenza hitting the state and wanted to prevent it from spreading to the fresh mountain air of the Berkshires. We were asked to wear them as we left our tables and seats in the cars.

"Wood was mentioning something about this flu, that sounded funny. Many of his soldiers at Camp Funston attached to Fort Riley in Kansas were the first to come down with the virus in March," explained Keno. 

In fact we were to find out, these were the first to suffer from a new strain of the virus that started in the British camp at Étaples in Northern France in the winter of 1917.

In time I got up to use the loo. I put on my mask and made it out of the cafe car into the next. By the time I got to the John, fumes arriving from my mask knocked me out.



I floated to cloud 6. Cloud 9 was being cleaned. There I met my 6 foot rabbit friend dressed in tweed drinking a cup of my tea. 

"Hank! How do you drink this liquid forest fire?" he asked as he dropped the china that shattered on the cloud below, before falling off the edge.

"Oh just let me sleep," I pleaded, "Why do you need to harass me?"

"Hank, do you think you can get that worm onto your hook?" Harvey had taunted.

"You know I don't like killing anything after that trip to Sikkim! I could not hurt a night crawler or sea worm," I retorted.

"Not that worm; I am talking about the Jörmungandr!" taunted the tweed clad pest, "Do you believe you can lift a single paw of that cat?"

"There is no pussy I can not control if I just smile right…"

"Hank, that might 'ring'...true, but I believe she might smack you first!"

"Whom is that?" I stammered as I fought to go back to my rest, "and stop calling me Hank!"

"Do you realize you do not have her name yet, but her name has been on the tip of your tongue in your dreams for years."

"I know her from some not too far away time, but my mind is clouding who she is, like it is protecting me from something."

"What do you think all of those top hat fools are up to?" the hare teased me, "What will they gain if all of those hats fall off the heads of state throughout Europe?"

"I don't care, I just want to curl up on this comfy cloud and sleep for an aeon," I pleaded.

"Hanky, Hank! Do you think this craze of 'turn your head and cough' is a natural occurrence?" asks my urushiol friend.

"I don't care! Stop calling me Hank! Let me be!" I said slapping his hand.

"Hank!" said Jezebel/Jane, "There is no need to hit me."



I was in bed in my home, Kellogg Terrace, in Great Barrington. Not sure how I got there or why this mysterious woman was with me. "How did I get here?"

"I found you being lifted by four men, I believed you were not introduced properly to them, so...I attempted to requisition you from them;" she explained with a sly look, "when they refused, I extricated you from their unconscious bodies."

"So how did I get here?" I asked.

"Well I found your friends and rode together with them from the train."

"So how did you end up in bed with me?"

"Well none of your friends thought you would complain waking up to a beautiful, half dressed woman," she said as she dropped her chemise from her shoulder, "Were they not right?" As she lifted her hand to drop the chemise from the other shoulder, I caught sight of that ring again.

"The ring. I know it from somewhere…"

"Yes, you should," she had said, "It once was our wedding ring."

Could it be? Her death all of those years ago was so painful. She died softly, but like all those I had cared about; they die before I do. Even though my friends came back reincarnated, Caroline had said something strange upon her death. Leading me to think she would not want to find me again. So I just blocked her out.

"Why did you ever disbelieve you would find me again?" she asked with that sweet wonderful smile that was always reminiscent of a child at the apex of their ascent on the swings.



Louie had driven us to Lennox in time for the shuffleboard. Ventforth Hall was the prestigious Jacobean Revival-style mansion that JP's aunt Sarah built and she loved her shuffleboard. Not only did you have to play shuffleboard when came to her house, you had to wear clothes from her roaring twenties. I was just happy I didn't have to wear short pants.

All the women had to wear those large white straw hats with ribbons that bowed their brims and tied under their chins. The second requirement was that they had to wear one of those dresses reminiscent of the Women in Frank Benson's Summer. Sarah ran about as the perfect hostess, but to JP, she was like the Red Queen at her croquet festivities.

This was going to be fun to watch. The man that has floated three billion to the allies has come to his aunt to borrow money…What was even more fun was knowing that JP is George Peabody. Remember that story of the time machine?

Peabody had his family beg him for money, to whom he never gave any. He thought they were all losers, besides two of his nephews who he used to infiltrate Harvard and Yale, with his donation of museums to both universities.

Now to see him beg a family member for money would be a joy to behold. To make things even more delicious, his aunt died in 1869.

We all had to dress in the fashion with which she was familiar, always demanding that everyone be dressed in the latest fashion of fifty years ago. Nobody was allowed to out do her with current fashions she did not know.

JP had to come here to his aunt's house to speak to its current owner, Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt. A woman who only became a medium after her husband died on the Lusitania. She had believed that JP was in coercion with Churchill and Wilson to allow the German's to sink it, which in time brought America into the war. Her connection her to Sarah (beyond living in her mansion) was that Sarah and her husband's mother died on the same day in 1869. They met sitting outside of the pearly gates.

Louie, Nikola, Teddy, Keno, and myself were all dressed in the latest...Victorian fashions. We ventured behind the carriage house and walked on to the shuffleboard court for another meeting with JP's disembodied aunt. On the way Louie fell behind. It seemed like he was captivated by something.

Margaret called to Teddy. "My dear President! It is an honor to have you at my tiny manor once more."

I was going to love watching it all play out. I told Nikola about this; he always liked the cinema and he brought the popcorn. We retired to the Adirondack chairs and just passed the popcorn back and forth.

"Madam, it is a pleasure to see you again. I am sorry to hear about Alfred," Teddy said, holding her hand in both of his, "He was one of the best tennis players I met in New York. If you want some condolence, I know about loss." Teddy had lost a son, wife, and father prematurely.

"Thank you my dear President." She now swung around and called the group together, "Quiet everyone! I am calling in Sarah Morgan now. She wants to talk to her nephew." 

With that her eyes rolled back and a little ectoplasm escaped from the corner of her mouth. Sarah now in control of her body just wiped it with the tip of her handkerchief. I hoped this went well for her. Well, better than it had for Edward Pickman Derby.

Sarah spoke, " 'Controlling our currency, receiving our public monies, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, it would be more formidable and dangerous than a naval and military power of the enemy' is what William Bryan Jennings was reading when he was asked by Wilson about his ideas of entering the war. A quote taken from President Jackson about the dangers of the previous national bank. Your predecessor, Mr. Peabody and your Rothschild friends created the 1837 Panic which caused thousands to default on loans from England in response to Jackson closing the last bank. Now you were afraid that England would default on their loans to you if they surrendered to Germany; so you and that Texan, Col. House, had to manipulate Wilson into the war. Nephew, your father created that bank just for that purpose, holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, to offer their lives for your profit!

You Mr. Crane were hiding in the woods on Jekyll Island watching these vultures carve up our treasury! JP! You arranged a half billion dollar loan to Britain and France on three billion dollars of ammunition and supplies in which you made one percent on all of the loans from all the banks lending to them. Then you made your profits again as they bought everything from your companies. You had them coming and going! Talk about one large layaway program! I personally would rather owe Capone than you!

You needed Wilson to declare war for the treasury to fund the war through the War Loan Act, extending one billion dollars in credit to the Allies, so the British could pay you back two hundred million dollars and one hundred million dollars from the French before they were forced to surrender to the Germans, thus defaulting on your loans! Then the British run up a new overdraft with you to the tune of four hundred million dollars, and you wanted the treasury to write you out another check...So you had your Federal Reserve just create the money through that devious Mandrake Mechanism. Also you had Bernard Baruch and Samuel P. Bush to get Wilson to spend ten billion a year on the American war effort, which went straight into your coffers.

Now I ask you; what did you do with all of the money that now you come to bug my spirit for my money?' " the spirit of Sarah Morgan bellowed. 

JP looked over to Colonel House and whispered, "I have expensive mistresses…"

The truth of the matter was far more circumventing than that. See, it started with railroads. America needed railroads to move iron to build its cities. To make the iron you needed coal. To move the trains you needed coal. To make trains and rails you needed iron. Many in the Gilded Age learned that if you owned iron, coal, rails, and trains you had a perpetual money machine. Then JP applied this to war profiteering by floating the loans needed to buy his weapons as Sarah had mentioned.

So JP brought it to the next level. Using his time machine he was taking gold from the future to build up his bank in the past to be in the position it was at the beginning of the war, but he was spending too much money in the past which threatened that the bank would be liquidated before the twentieth century. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul…

Then Lionel Rothschild learned what he was up to and wanted his cut. He went back in time to his father's death and took his fortune to pay off the Rothschilds. Which explains why his father's probate was much smaller than most economists expected. The Rothschild's were taking their points also for establishing the connection through their French and English houses to allow Morgan to finance those countries during the war.

Now he was begging for money from his dead aunt through a medium that believed he was the cause of her husband's death by working with Churchill, House, and Wilson to sink the Lusitania, which was carrying his ammunition to England when her husband drowned. 

This was something Keno got in trouble for recently…He toasted the sinking of the Lusitania, because the British sank one of his family's ships during the War of 1812. He got kicked out of the social club, he had created, in Marblehead for that toast. Keno kept quiet during this all and sulked away. His wife was making a fortune selling gun powder through her family's company, Dupont.

JP was besides himself.

"What do you have to offer?" demanded Sarah.

That is when Rasputin walked in again. He stood up from his shuffleboard game as JP coughed loudly. Twice!

"My dear beauty," he said kissing Margaret's hand, "exquisite charm you have!" he said, as he was leering down her body. "I can bring your husband back from the sea. Us Chud have powers over the ocean and those kept beneath her waters."

Margaret broke the connection with Sarah to find out more about her husband, "You can bring back my dear Alfie!" 

Her head jerked backward as Sarah broke through again, " 'Don't give him 

anything!' "

Margaret broke free again, "You really can bring him back?"


Alfie's mother Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt Shepard, who is Sarah's constant companion in Heaven, now rushed into Margaret's body, "That bastard's father would have nearly got me killed, if I hadn't switched to the Olympia!"

Nikola's friend from the Columbian Exposition, the painter Millet, died on Morgan's Titanic', the sister ship of the Olympia. That is a conspiracy for another day…In fact Nikola knew some of the architects who built Sarah's home after they left the fair that year.

Margaret, Alfie's wife, gained control again and spun three times clockwise, forcing all spiritual communication to be broken. She took Rasputin's arm, "Follow me. I will get you the money."

Ventforth had many secret corridors and tunnels. Only Margaret knew where the money was stashed. It was not the first time she had to get money from Sarah to her favorite nephew…

JP and General Wood followed them. Before Wood took off he was talking to Keno. I assumed about San Juan Hill. Keno sometimes was even more fixated on that charge than Teddy, but he had more fun poking at Teddy's failings on that day with others…

We began to walk back to our car, when we realized we had forgot about Louie. We started walking back behind the carriage house when we found him by a tree in a trance. 

"Louie!" I yelled as I shook him.

"I'm sorry. I was fascinated with the fairy house by the tree."

Fairy houses are like little Shinto shrines which you build for the little forest gnomes and brownies. From time to time it is good to leave a little food or something to them.

"I was having a fine chat with one of the brownies. He has a Russian cousin that Rasputin had kicked in the ass while he was tending the hearth of this grand duchess  he, with whom Rasputin, not his cousin, was having...religious experiences. In the nude…" Louie said with a little Irish leer looking sideways at his shoes, "Wink wink and all. He says he knows a way to control Rasputin."



We went to this small diner to get dinner. When we were sitting there, I asked Keno about what he and the General had been discussing.

"He was running me out on the history of the base he is in charge of now. You know Custard was stationed at Fort Riley? It was the base from which the Buffalo Soldiers had hunted the Natives. He told me a little secret," he said leaning into the table, "It was the base where the scarlet fever blankets came from."

Many of my friends lost family due to those Plain Wars and those blankets. It was genocide.

"He was mentioning that they had a little accident at Camp Funston. See, at Étaples, France a virulent flu started. In 1916 the British base, with a mixture of Imperial Russian and French soldiers in it, first caught the influenza. It probably started with the pigs, geese, chicken, and horses they kept on the base. Maybe it was from the 1889 Russian flu? That does not matter, the important part was that mustard gas was in the ground and lungs of soldiers that might have caused the flu to mutate."

"So what is the point?" demanded Teddy.

"The flu in America started at Camp Funston and the county which it is in," Keno was flabbergasted at how thick Teddy could be at times, "Doctor Wood. He was never a general; he was a military doctor with political connections."

"I heard him mention a Dr. Milton Winternitz," Teddy said.

"He is the doctor working on chemical warfare with the army at Yale," Keno answered, "Wood was bragging he was going to leave his brain to him and the university the other day."

"I heard Crane mention that now they will have enough to pay ole Milty," Louie said, "They thought I was still in my trance when they walked by with Margaret."

"What else did they say?" I asked.

"They said they were catching the four o'clock train to Boston. From there, they will take another train to New York and then the Blue Comet to Manchester New Jersey to meet Winternitz," Louie said, scratching his head.

"Camp Kendrick is in Manchester. It is a chemical warfare proving ground. It just had a flu outbreak this month on the fifteenth, which spread through the woods to Camp Dix," Teddy informed us, "Back in 1916 it was the Imperial Russian proving ground."

Proving grounds were where the military tested weapons. Why the Imperial Russian Army had one in America is anyone's guess...

"Teddy, didn't Wood always brag he studied chemistry under Professor Kendrick at West Point?" Keno asked, "I believe Kendrick was in Kansas during the Plain Wars too."

"That would explain why they would name a chemical warfare base after him," I offered. "You think they made this influenza?"

"Why would they do that?" Teddy asked angrily. He probably would have the hardest time believing his successor and his old general were up to such a devious affair. After all, at one time he was in the position of control that Wilson is now in. Even though he lost the presidency to Wilson, he could not think he was that evil.

"Before the Black Plague, labor and wages were controlled by governments not allowing workers to travel out of their villages looking for better wages. After the plague, workers ignored these sanctions and were free to travel between countries, let alone villages, looking for work. This led to the first labor reforms in Europe.

Sometimes the hair of the dog can fix a problem. The fear of the virus would prevent workers today from traveling in between nations looking for better wages. On top of this, the destruction of factories throughout Europe would keep wages low for a generation at least. Then in each country the bankers planned to create propaganda to foster hate against immigrants. By keeping the workers divided throughout Europe the workers can not organize to force the factories, backed by the bankers, for a better wage.

That is why they were so afraid of the Provincial Russian government empowering the worker. Their form of communism has been spreading throughout Europe, threatening the bankers' plans. Plus returning soldiers to America would increase the unemployment rate and the Federal Reserve likes to control unemployment, GDP, and inflation. With low unemployment they can continue to raise interest rates to capitalize on Congress' payments to them.

Then they can turn off the flu once paid, and let the remaining soldiers back into the economy to weaken American labor that has been thriving throughout the war. Plus, the virus would keep those soldiers from filling the jobs in the factories that would be developed in Europe after the war. Imagine all those contacts these soldiers made while in Europe; they had to stop them from immigrating."

"How dare you think our great nation could do anything so devious!" Teddy lashed out at me across the table.

Louie mentioned, "Panama…"

"Errrrr!!" Teddy rescinded.

Louie continued, "Cuba…"

"Shouldn't we be catching a train!" Nikola asked nervously.

"Well, I did go into that long winded explanation because I knew we missed the last train already," I had picked up a habit of memorizing train schedules and trainspotting. A very Scottish habit.

"What have I missed?" Caroline asked as she walked in with Bjorn, Olaf, and Magnus.

"Henry has just informed us that Wood, Crane, House, and Rasputin had plans of releasing a plague and he just sits there all calm, telling us we have missed the last train!" Keno yells back at her.

"That is OK. I got a rigid airship at my disposal," Caroline told us.



We were flying in a 23R Rigid Airship that was sold to Caroline's clandestine organization. I still didn't know if Caroline was her real name, at least in this lifetime. Who was this organization that could supply her with surplus British airships?


The airship had three gondolas that were suspended from the keel: the forward gondola contained the control room and one engine driving a pair of swiveling propellers, a second amidships contained two engines each driving a fixed four-bladed pusher propeller on outriggers, and the aft gondola contained the fourth engine driving a single two-bladed pusher propeller and an emergency control car. A 240 hp Maybach engine from the crashed German Zeppelin L33 replaced the Rolls-Royce engine which was standard in the last gondola. Louie was skeptical about flying in it, he thought it would sink like a led balloon….

We were amidships in the keel gathered in the crew quarters. We had windows on each side through which Caroline and myself took to looking. Nikola was zoning out looking through the window on the other side. Teddy and Keno were preparing Olaf, Magnus, and Bjorn for battle, checking gas masks, handing out Colt M1911s, and Browning M1918s. Olaf, Magnus, and Bjorn brandished their Skeggøxser with wide grins laughing amongst each other.

Caroline pointed to Lyndhurst below on the Hudson, the Gothic revival country house owned by Anna Gould. "Who are you?" I asked (I knew who she was, but…), "Is Caroline your name? What is your connection with the diadem? How did you get this airship?"

"Well I know you know John C. Spenser?" she said. 

Spenser was Secretary of the Treasury and then Secretary of War for President John Tyler when he recruited Edgar Allan Poe (as agent Dupin) and myself to work for a secret department protecting Tyler from Henry Clay's assassins. 

I nodded and she continued. "As you remember after his resignation from the Treasury office, after the Princeton Disaster, he started the Office of Economic Security. It seemed appropriate that after Webster and Clay continued to try to create a national bank and to assassinate the presidents, a clandestine office should be created to protect the economy and the presidents of this nation. Tyler and the new president were in alignment with this idea, since Clay tried poisoning Polk in 1833 during the Bank War."

I already knew this part. Dupin and I were too late to save Polk from their second attempt to kill him. Thomas Ewing, the then Secretary of the Treasury, had delivered the typhoid poison to him on a riverboat after he left office and then less than a year later his son poisoned President Zachary Taylor. His son was Taylor's personal secretary.

I had left the O.E.S. then. After, Spenser the Chief of The Division of Public Monies of the Treasury Department would be appointed by the Treasurer to head the O.E.S. The Secret Service became their public arm in 1901 after McKinley's assassination. Teddy succeeded him to the White House. Tyler and Teddy had ascended to their thrones after the assassinations of the presidents they had served. Originally the Secret Service was created after the Civil War to catch counterfeiters, but Teddy would become the first president they were charged to protect. The O.E.S. still worked in the shadows of the Secret Service to foil assassination attempts and to protect the economy of the United States.

"With the recent switch to the Federal Reserve, things got dicey for a while. E.B. Daskam was the Chief under Treasurer McClung and Thompson. Thompson was quickly escorted out by Wilson for John Burke to dismantle the Independent Treasury for the new Federal Reserve. Daskam felt like he would be compromised, so he handed the position to the one we call the 'Fiddler'," explained Caroline, "And yes, Caroline is my birth name."

"The Fiddler?" I asked.

"JP thinks he is named after a Fiddler crab. Because he fiddles into his business and then hides in the sand," she laughs, "but he is more like the Irish fiddler that calls the tunes out for us to follow."

"Do you know who he is?" I inquire.

"Nobody does. We get our orders from 'The Bodhrán'," continues Caroline, "I have been working under him since 1913. I followed the Root Commission over to see what they were really up to. That was when I ended up following Rasputin and the tiara."

"Diadem," I prodded her.

"Diadem." she scolded and leaned back into me, "Do you mind if I continue…? The others are investigating how the bankers brought down the Tzar, but I was ordered to follow the diadem."

We found ourselves flying over the Statue of Liberty in New Jersey when we had a few biplanes open fire on us. Louie and I descended to the Sopwith Camel trainer outfitted with a Lewis gun on Foster mountings, which could fire forward over the top wing.

"Henry, stop complaining. I'm your driver and you always control the shots; so shut up and man that gun," Louie said as he pulled the lever to release the plane. My debate over flying was over.

As soon as we descended away from the airship, our enemies formed a lufbery circle around us. Louie dropped lower and I took advantage of the Foster mounting and shot up at them. We broke up their circle. One of them dropped down and was on our tail. Louie barrel rolled and came out behind them and I shot away. We had now two pilots out of the eleven parachuting. We then came upon a fighter with a right mounted gun. Louie aileron rolled to the right and I opened fire sending another chute out after shredding their wing. 

 I felt like we could have taken on the Red Baron after the rest fled. We followed the airship for a while providing a rear guard.



We were flying over a scrub forest of ancient pine. It was a strange forest of giant like bonsai trees that seemed to break all of the rules in the book (if they could read in the first place). I began to become entranced by their strange beauty.

This was the home of the Jersey Devil, thanks to a bit of propaganda and an insult from Benjamin Franklin.

A forest that extended back to the Pleistocene Period when these woods were one of three islands in the Atlantic.

After centuries of pine growth without other nuts or seeds falling on these shores, the pitch pine dug in deep and created a few defensive measures against the hardwoods that took over other forests.

First they like fire! Yes a tree that likes fire!

The bark is fire resistant and its cones are serotinous; they open up in the heat. Then the pine cones drop into all of that new fertilizer created by the fire.

They even have means to start these fires on their own!

They attract small worms called lopers. These lopers dry out the outer layers of the bark which then liters the forest floor waiting for a lightning bolt or a misplaced cigarette.

Whoosh! Instant fertilizer.

I was staring below and watching the rivers dance in between the trees to disappear and reappear again. Several lakes and ponds we flew over. Houses were rare and separated by miles. We flew over several blueberry fields. As we came over Manchester we could see ruins of an old forge next to a cranberry bog colored a reddish pink as the Pineys were harvesting the fruit below. There above the bogs was an old observation tower our captain had seen. He decided it would be a good place to moor after dropping us off.

Below we could see the Blue Comet, which carried movie stars and bankers through the trees leaving the station to continue on to the secret nudist resorts and the casinos in Atlantic City. The tail of the comet painted on its cars, we could see shooting through the pines after it left the station. They must have just arrived.





Camp Kendrick.

I just donned my gas mask and followed Olaf down the ladder from the bomb bay doors. Magnus and Bjorn were already posted as guards on the ground as Keno, Teddy, and Nikola followed me. Caroline was out scouting ahead of us all…

We had floated in with the engines off. The crew had lowered the ladder just next to one of the hangars. After we disembarked they continued to float toward Lakehurst before turning their engines on again.

I looked through the window and I saw Caroline inside. She was walking past a Handley Page Type 0 biplane bomber and hundreds of casks marked with skulls and crossbones. She was toying with her gas mask in her hand, ignoring the twenty guards around Crane, JP, Wood, Dr. Winternitz and Rasputin.

"My dear Grigori," Caroline said as she slinked her way forward, "You know a girl's best friend is diamonds."

"Get away your harlot!" Rasputin yelled back with a flourish of his arm.

"What is only better?" she peered over her nose with her brow turned down and stared straight into his eyes and answered knowingly, "A tiara made of diamonds." She then rushed him.

Startled, Rasputin placed the diadem on his head and inserted the center stone. A wave of air blasted in front of him pushing her down and lifting the lids on the casks. Gamchicoth had been activated. Through the power of the Jörmungandr had over water, the liquid in the virus rose out of the casks and began to make its way through a hole in the ceiling. It was working its way to the clouds. Soon the weather system would carry it up the coast.

We came bursting in. Olaf, Bjorn, and Magnus dressed in gas masks and helmets barged in with their axes. Opposite them were some Cossack/Bolsheviks in gas masks and German issued plate mail behind a Maxim M1910 machine gun. Olaf, Bjorn, and Magnus all jumped out of the way.

Teddy and Keno braced their Chauchat M1915s on some crates just inside of the door and hid their bodies behind the corrugated steel of the hangar. Fire was going in both directions. About a hundred rounds on either side must have been expended, causing no harm to anyone.

A few minutes later, it was much the same. I just had a seat and waited.

The machine gun fire went in between Caroline and Rasputin. The bullets bisected the room with him on one side and her on the other. They just stared at each other. In time Caroline just flipped him off. He put on some noble airs and just raised his chin at her and huffed, looking away in disgust. Even the mystical powers that were emanating from the diadem seemed to pause in mid air and tapped its foot.

Olaf, Bjorn, and Magnus were still on the floor hiding from the bullets flying overhead behind a solid metal work bench. Crane, JP, Wood, Dr. Winternitz, and the remaining guards stood behind Rasputin. I am not sure where Nikola went.

I was sitting outside of the hangar, waiting. Teddy and Keno were doing their best screaming over the bullets, shaking to and fro with the recoil of the guns.

I remembered what Louie learned from the brownie.

I began to contemplate the lotuses of war elephants. Who was I? I was this immortal who used to wear a kilt; a man who wore a dress. I have lived long enough to know a tartan is a sham and yellow kilts are from cow's pissing on them. I have been turned down in nightclubs and had drinks thrown in my face, on good nights. I have lounged about for months without getting out of bed over the last five hundred years. I have been kicked in the face after being jumped from behind by ten men. I have starved and occasionally turned a blind eye to injustice.

Also...I have saved hundreds. I have saved the single forgotten man with only him knowing. I have laughed with the best and loved many. I have broken bread and shared my meal when I had nothing but half of a loaf. I have given feasts and hosted the weekly ceilidh for years. I have danced holes in floors and danced in celebration with friends on tables to let the heavens know they have one of us coming. I have brought on the sleep of Morpheus with my flute and have heard the best ever played for me on brass, wood, skins, and silver. I am every human, as they are me. I am the son of man as you are the son of God. We are the same.

Hanging between the intersection of two beams of wood I learned the secret of the circumpunct that Siddhartha learned by sitting under the Bodhi Tree. When the ego is removed, what is left are the lotuses and the raging war elephants. I am the bullets. I am my opponent who doesn't know there is no opposition. As I hung my heart at the intersection of two wooden beams I realized the secret to the circumpunct which Siddhartha learned sitting under the Bodhi Tree.

They ran towards Siddhartha wildly, yelling blood-curdling screams. They shot poisoned arrows at him. But as these arrows flew towards the Prince, they turned into lotus petals and fell harmlessly at his feet. Nothing could disturb the peace of his meditation.

Also Nikola introduced me to this guy, with the strangest of eyebrows. Bigger than Albert's...We were sitting below a giant Norman Rockwell painting at the Yankee Doodle Taproom in Princeton. This other Albert said that once the die is rolled, all potentials exist. He taught me never to mourn the five sides in which you lost. Just hold dear the one in which you didn't. The other five realities are no longer important.

I think the brownie was old enough to tend to Buddha's hearth...

Teddy and Keno were still yelling and shaking over their fire. Olaf, Bjorn, and Magnus were still hiding with their axes. The Bolsheviks were still grinning to their machine fire. I looked through the window and saw Crane, Wood, and Winternitz starting to play a game of poker. JP stood there clipping his cigar.

Nikola had just snuck through a window behind them with a wire and smiled at Caroline. Then he pointed to the hard rubber chair next to her. Well, she took a seat.

I walked through Keno's and Teddy's bullets going one way and the Bolsheviks bullets going the other way. At my feet lay lotuses. Rasputin just stared at me confused. I was looking confused. I took the stone out of the center of the diadem that was on my head. To the outside world I looked like Rasputin. TomAto, tomatO...I was wearing the diadem and I replaced the stone upside down. The waves emanating from the casks returned from the sky and settled inside them.

"How did she get the diadem?" JP asked as he pointed to Caroline wearing it as Rasputin stood before him dumbfounded.

Then Tesla stunned everyone. He had a wire suspended at thirty thousand feet by a balloon released from the airship. He had signaled them before they had gone too far off. The balloon transferred the current from two coils on the ship to the atmosphere. At the receiving point a similar balloon bore an electrode that received the electricity and a transformer that reduced the current to a set voltage to knock out everyone behind Rasputin when Nikola (who was wearing rubber soled shoes) touched the wire to the ground. Caroline was safe sitting in the rubber chair. Olaf, Bjorn, and Magnus were on a rubber mat used to cushion workers' feet in front of the steel bench. Teddy and Keno were still shaking, but now it was from the stun blast.

With that Tesla walked over to JP who was now floundering on the dirt floor, "Cut my funding for my tower! Huh!"

JP looked up from the floor and swore he saw me sitting in the chair in a dress with the diadem on. He then looked back to see Caroline sitting on my lap wearing it.

The airship had wired some troops from Camp Dix and they just came through the back of the hangar. General Wood started barking orders at them as he was getting off the floor.

"Ignore that man and arrest him," Teddy ordered.

You know what? A president always trumps a general.

"Nikola, why didn't you just set up that balloon contraption when you could of just ran a lead from the generators on the ship



As we were leaving a sounder ran past us. The local Pineys would let their pigs run through the woods to rummage and come back to sleep. This pack was led by one nasty large boar; which just happened to knock down Bjorn.

Within the week Bjorn came down with the flu and gave it to one of Lilly's girls. We might have stopped the virus from spreading from Camp Kendrick, but these pigs had been going through the craters where mortar rounds had dispersed the gas over the last month. They had already infected soldiers at Camp Dix earlier this month who had dreamt about having bacon in the morning.

The virus had spread throughout Europe once these doughboys had received their orders. Bjorn brought it north. He was lucky though; he only had a stuffy nose and slept in for a fortnight, with one of Lilly's girls who he had infected.

We tried...

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley."



So Caroline and I met Izzy at the Parker Hotel. She was sitting at her usual table with the glass casting a green glow over her red hair, almost neutralizing it. Her glass of B&B, neat, stood in the light outside of the green shadow. 

"You two, come have a seat with me," Izzy asked, patting the space on the bench next to her.

Caroline slid in next to her and I sat opposite them. It would have been awkward to be goosed by Izzy in front of Caroline. She would never let up. She would love to watch me squirm.

"So did you get me my little tiara?" she asks.

"You mean diadem?" I say with a smirk.

"Yes, diadem," Izzy consented. Caroline smiled at me.

I did, but I took out the stones. I had placed them in my Chapel with the rest of the relics I have been preserving from the wrong sorts of people throughout the centuries.

I handed the diadem over before I excused myself to the latrine.I am amazed Izzy didn't have her French commode behind her bench.

I had to walk around a partition lit by a jade light to go inside the bathroom. Inside it was casted in the same light. There were paneling on the three walls opposite the stalls. The base of the panels were thick wood. The upper polished thin layers that were attached together seemed grey in the green light. Smaller rectangular panels sat beneath them. In between the panels were mirrored pilasters embellished with gilded linden carvings. I found it an interesting addition, but the jade light was distracting from the work.

When I returned to the table Izzy asked, "How did you like the addition to the restaurant I had put in?"

"Nice, but what is with the jade light?" I questioned.

"Come with me, you two," Izzy said as Caroline slid out to let her pass.

We came to the men's bathroom and Izzy brazenly just walked in. When we were all inside; Caroline was staring at the urinals sinking into the floor, bemused.

"So you don't like the light Hank?" asked Izzy.

With that she flipped one switch off and turned on another that was behind some molding. The room was in natural light and the walls were amber.

"Yes, my dear friends. The Amber Room came to St. Petersburg in 1717 and it left two hundred years later. The Provincial Government feared the Bolshevik's would sell it off to fill their oligarchs' pockets. To save the room from those heathens in the second revolution, George Kunz worked through Pyotr Semenov to bring it to me." Izzy explained. "After the first revolution Saint Catherine's Palace became a public museum, but the Amber Room was off limits. So they made a copy replacing colored glass with the amber in front of the mirrors."

We just stood there amazed looking at her.

"It's the Russian's hand in it. There is no doubt about it. Shall we stand here and shed tears and call each other names…" Izzy said before she took another sip. "What about the tiara...sorry... diadem?"

"Well, we can list it as a loan from you? It can be stored in one of the vast private vaults under the Peabody. There is a vault available within the fourth sub basement which is not connected to any of the tunnels in the city. There is only one guarded staircase down to that level," suggested Caroline, as she held her palm outstretched and tilted her head.

"Henry, I see you found your ring…" Izzy said. "Did you have to seduce her?" she said as she slugged back another deep swallow of her drink and grinned with expectation.

I just kept quiet.

"Caroline, you found your relic?" wondered Izzy.

"Yes I did!" she answered as she hugged my arm and leaned in her head.



A dust storm combined with the ash of burning horse shit kicked up a stinging, stinking yellow haze. The sun was said to have gone dead black in Kansas and so would the world; the 1918 Epidemic had begun. General Leonard Wood knew Camp Funston was a major migratory flyway for seventeen bird species and many pig farmers had let their animals run wild in the area. He knew that, from his studies in France, when a bird virus and a human virus infect the same pig cell, their different genes can be shuffled and exchanged like playing cards, resulting in a new, especially lethal, virus. The next step was easy, Camp Funston was in fact a chemical warfare base well stocked with mustard gas. All he had to do was mix a small amount into the daily disposal of the camp's horse shit during one of the areas' many dust storms. One special boar's blood would go a long way in his plans.

At one point, doctors proclaimed it was over. In fact, it was more like a great tsunami that initially pulls water away from the shore—only to return in a towering, overwhelming surge. This second wave hit outside of Boston at Camp Devon. Then a third wave, that Woodrow Wilson would not survive without being physically and mentally weakened by the flu.

In February of 1918 Wilson and Teddy's cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt had come to Boston to meet with Henry Cabot Lodge who was in opposition to his League of Nations. Wilson did survive Lodge's attack there, (narrowly avoiding a dinner with Lodge for a press conference with the man who would succeed President Harding), but during the Versailles Peace Conference on April 3 1919, Woodrow Wilson collapsed. He began to abandon his principles during a period of extreme weakness, paranoia, and severe confusion. The result was a disastrous peace treaty, which only laid the tinder for World War II. Influenza was widespread in France and it had already killed Wilson's young aide. In Camp Deven soldiers got meningitis and an authoritative 1927 medical review concluded, "There is no doubt that the neuropsychiatric effects of influenza are profound...hardly second to its effect on the respiratory system." This had explained his confusion.

This flu was far beyond the usual seasonal cough, sore throat, and sniffle. Not only had it created bronchial pneumonia but it produced massive cytokine storms which further damaged the patient's own tissue. The destruction of the lungs, according to the noted influenza expert Edwin Kilbourne, resembled the lesions from breathing poison gas. Those who survived this had to suffer through the inflammation of the epithelium and endothelium. This was the swelling of the linings of the blood vessels and those within your organs that would lead to multiple mysterious diseases throughout the body. These linings are what triggers the cytokine storm to be released which would cause massive inflammation leading to Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome. As with SARS CoV2 and Covid19, this would have produced meningitis causing headaches and confusion along with Deep Vein Thrombosis, which can lead to strokes.

Wilson's bad health loosened his control at home and abroad. He was still facing strong opposition from a Republican controlled House headed by one man, Henry Cabot Lodge, that blocked his Treaty and the League of Nations that threatened the Banker's Council of Foreign Relations. Demobilization of the soldiers was chaotic and violent; four million soldiers were sent home with little planning, little money, and few benefits. Major strikes in the steel, coal, and meat packing industries disrupted the economy. Some of the strikes turned violent. A series of race riots, primarily whites attacking blacks, broke out. Then fears of anarchist bombings grew. The international bankers also feared the other worker based organization, the Anarchist, along with the Communists. Fears over left-wing subversion, combined with a patriotic national mood, built a national scare as the people became divided while the epidemic continued.

It was a time where 'Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms....The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters very little if it is true or false.'

Then there was the Palmer Raids. On August 1, 1919, Attorney General Palmer named J. Edgar Hoover to head a new division of the Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation, the General Intelligence Division (GID), with responsibility for investigating the programs of radical groups and identifying their members. Palmer and Hoover arrested thousands around the country without provocation. Throughout Hoover's tenure as head of FBI, he would have many people assassinated who threatened the bankers. Wilson was too weak at the time to do anything. Some rumor that his wife Edith was running the country for him.

In October 1919, Wilson's veto of the Volstead Act was overridden by Congress. Prohibition began on January 16, 1920 which gave rise to the mafia and to a Boston bootlegger, who's son would have brought down Henry Cabot Lodge, if he was not assassinated as president…

Out of the maelstrom came a sitting Ohio Senator, who was rumored to be partially black. A  birther conspiracy grew against the junior senator, a man who had strong ties to the militant Ohio KKK. He was also a married man; the Secret Service would later escort his seventeen year old mistress into the White House. He was a pandering, womanizer who thought he had no chance of winning the election, and dreaded if he did win. He was the international banker's puppet that won the election through his calls to 'Return to Normalcy'.

People dreaded 1920 and its epidemic more than we dreaded 2020 and its epidemic a hundred years later. Funny how a perfect storm repeats every hundred years. 2020 was the book end to 1920 as we had faced our twentieth year at war. Harding won through a landslide against Eugene Debs, the original Bernie Sanders.

During his tenure an antilynching bill failed, which in 2020 still failed. The Tulsa Massacre happened. White WWI veterans white and black fought each other. The American Legion was created to fight a war at home against the unions. Harding had filled many of his cabinet posts with personal friends with no experience, while the bankers filled positions of real importance like Mellon who created a huge tax cut for the wealthy. Still, all of the political scandals that had happened during his presidency have not seen the light of day. The most during any one president's administration. Also he had seen anti-immigration laws passed. He passed Taft as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Taft continued to hold his naked rituals. It was just that he had a new robe to start them in. The international bankers had a Bonesman in place now, again.

I admit, the O.E.S. does not have a good history of preventing presidential assassination. The funny thing is, Harding died in office in August 1923 amongst rumors of poisoning…Right before Harding's death he was ratifying a treaty for America to join a World Court.

He was suffering from an acute gastrointestinal attack with pneumonia, just as Dr. Miller had said of the dying William Harrison. Could both of them have died from typhoid poisoning by coincidence…? At least Trump didn't urinate in the fireplace during state dinners...

The Flu left Wilson with his left side paralyzed, a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and he frequently suffered digestive tract issues. Did Wilson survive a typhoid attack too? His health declined throughout January 1924, and he died on February 3, 1924.

It just keeps continuing. That young Assistant Naval Security Franklin Delano Roosevelt that travelled with Wilson to negotiate the Versailles Treaty suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage when Japan was seeking a peace treaty and he died in office…

And what of the founder of the O.E.S., President John Tyler? He would die of a stroke as well. Tyler died right after he was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives in 1862. The O.E.S. has and continues to protect the presidents, but these were their failures.

I wrote this postscript many years after this stories first publication in the October 1923 edition of Weird Tales (mostly panned and ignored then) as the nation has been at war for at least twenty years and we find ourselves in the middle of another flu epidemic a hundred years later outside of Camp Kendrick which became Lakehurst Naval and Engineering Base in Manchester. The location of Led Zeppelin's I's famous photograph and the Hindenburg disaster that inspired it. Which brings us into our next story.

You remember that boar that brushed Bjorn? The Boar was the God Cerxes which brought forth the hundred year plague, and we are going hunting…

Continued in What a Boar!