Friday 20 March, 1925
They began exploring Cairo. They investigated renting a flat for the remainder of the season, bought cooler clothes, got a safety deposit box at the Bank of England offices, and initiated some wire transfers for money hiring a dragoman (translator) arranged by the Semiramis Hotel. James was accosted by two locals offering their services as guides. One was an ugly 11 year old orphan boy named Mah’Mud, the other a cleaner 20 year old man named Hakim. James allowed Hakim to shoo off Mah’Mud and arranged for Hakim’s services.
On Saturday, James and Sean met with Hakim to enter Old Cairo and find the Street of Jackals and Faraz Najir, the curios dealer connected by Jackson Elias with the Carlysle expedition. Hakim led them through the Old City, questioning locals to find their way. Eventually the went into an alley where 3 men blocked their way. Hakim faded back, the oldest of the men demanded their money as they all pulled switchblade knives menacingly. They looked back to Hakim who also pulled a knife and said “Quickly now, my brothers are not patient.” James tried some ridiculous BS about not having any money, but Hakim knew far far better. He put his money on the ground, and when the youngest brother retried it Sean attacked him. They fought in the alley, Sean taking down the oldest brother with his own hidden blade, and James shooting down Hakim dead. The other two brothers retreated dragging back their wounded sibling, James and Sean ran. The brothers started yelling “Murderers” in arabic, and James and Sean paniced as the they ran down the street attracting a lot of attention from a forming mob. They had no ideas where they were, where to go, could not speak the language and were chased by an angry mod growing every second. They got lucky when a crate of chickens broke open during the chase and the flapping chickens caused enough distraction for them to hide. It took the rest of the day to find their way back from the Old City, scared at every turn that the locals would turn on them.
Meanwhile Chuck and Helen had hired the orphan boy Mah’Mud intending to have him follow Hakim. Mah’Mud was very enthusiastic. Over the next few days they arranged a flat, and with Mah’Mud’s help found the old shop of Faraz Najir. It was a burned down pile of rubble. Local shop owners told Mah’Mud it had burned down 5 or 6 years ago by a fire demon, but that Najir had survived and ran a shop off the Sharia Muzzedin Allah. The next day they tracked down Faraz’s new shop, selling tourist curious, but when they mentioned the Carlysle Expedition he freaked out and shooed them from his shop. When they resisted he started yelling for the police and they left.
Mah’Mud watched him for them. He went to a coffee shop then to prayer at the local mosque.
They visited the Egyptian Museum a couple of times, asking if someone could help them translate an ancient Latin book on the occult. They made an appointment later int he week with Dr. Kafour, the museum’s curator of occult.
Reading the Cairo Bulletin they found there was a Penhew expedition, the Clive Expedition, currently excavating at Memphis. Helen knew about them, but had neglected to mention it not thinking it important. Gleaning useful information from the newspaper reminded them of Mickey Mahoney, they wondered how he was faring? He sure had helped them in London and they hoped he was safe…
They next day they waited for him in the street outside the coffee shop. He wanted nothing to do with them, until they bribed him with more money than he could resist. He agreed to meet with them at the mosque at 1pm the next day.
Faraz met them and took them to a quiet room in the mosque. He demanded the money first and promises that he would never see them again.
Faraz told the Roger Carlysle was in Egypt looking for information on the Black Pharaoh, a mysterious figure from the third dynasty whose reign was ended by Sneferu at the dawn of the fourth dynasty. Najir had come into posession of a number of artifacts related to the Black Pharoah: an ancient scroll detailing the entrance to a hidden room in an unnamed pyramid, within wich the Black Pharoah was supposedly entombed; a bust of the Black Pharaoh; a small tambour (drum) bearing odd symbols supposedly of mystical power; and a strange circlet with a large zircon which was said to be the crown of the Black Pharaoh and the key to his triumph over death.
Faraz said Carlysle asked for the items to be sold to Carlysle’s agent in Cairo, a frenchman named Warren Besart.
When pressed as to where he had gotten the artifacts, Faraz was unwilling to say. Another sizeable bribe got him to admit to stealing them from the home of a wealthy plantation owner named Omar Shakti whom he believe was connected to the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh. Shortly after selling the items, Faraz’s shop was attacked by a demon of pure fire and malevolence who burned down his shop. Faraz barely escaped, though badly burnt and hideously scarred.
When pressed about the Brotherhood, Faraz said they were very powerful here in Cairo and that the investigators were fools to be meddling. Faraz had heard the Brotherhood was rumored to be involved in the recent theft of a mummy from the Clive Expedition, and also that they wanted an item located in the Mosque of Ibn-Tulun, but he did not know what it was or why they wanted it. That was all he knew.
Concluding the interview, he stressed that he never wanted to see them again and did NOT want to be involved with anything related to the Brotherhood. If he saw them investigators again, he would implicate them in robbery with the police. They assured him he would not need to worry about that and left.
It was now Thursday, they contemplated what to do about their appointment at the museum and a planned trip to the Clive dig, as well as this new name, Warren Besart.