January 31, 1925
They quickly plotted their heist. Dr. Kelly called in a favor from her publisher Jonah Kensignton, who got them two press passes to cover the Carlyle charity ball for a local gossip rag. Sean and Arthur (the hired safe cracker) used the invites pretending to be a reporter and photographer. Tex thought he could get in as a chauffer for the reporters of the low class rag, but the guards at the gate weren’t buying it and he had to wait outside the grounds. Security was tight for some reason, surprisngly so.
Sean and Arthur kept a low profile. They were able to find the library, but not get private access right away. Sean was able to peruse the books and spotted a collection of poetry by Poe amongst a rack of english and french reference works. That was odd…
When the guests retired for dinner, all the press people were asked to wait in the kitchen where there was some food for them. Sean pretended he had left his notebook int he library and had to retrieve it. A young servant girl named Saxony was assigned to take them there to find it. In the library, Sean started to panic as he didn’t know what to do with the girl. Even though some violent thoughts crossed his mind, he decided to try romance instead to distract her. Boy was he surprised then young Saxony was much much more receptive to the idea than he had anticipated! Apparently Saxony had a “thing” about doing “it” where the rich people lived. While she was attacking Sean, Arthur snagged the Poe book then was ordered into the hall by Saxony. Poor Arthur had to watch out while Sean and Saxony did their “thing” in the library, listening to Sean being forced to call Saxony “My lady” while she called him “Raoul, the gardener.” Saxony really like the way Raoul plucked her roses!
Arthur flipped through the Poe book and found a note with a safe combination written on it! His job just got easier! He kept the note and stuffed the Poe book behind a plant as Sean and Saxony came out of the library adjusting their clothing. They all returned to the kitchen.
After dinner was over they were allowed to mingle again, but only had about 30 minutes before they were expected to clear out. Sean and Arthur returned to the library, but there were two couples there talking cribbage. Sean tried to be rude to get them to leave, but was unsuccesfull. Luckily though, they wrapped up their conversation and left. They still needed to find the safe. Locking the doors, Sean looked behind where the Poe book as found and discovered a panel that revealed a button when swung aside. Pushing the button caused the bookcase to release from the wall with a click, and swinging it out they saw a safe. Arthur quickly spun the dial to the numbers on the paper, the easiest safe cracking he had ever done.
Inside Sean found 4 books of varying sizes and ages. They quickly took the tomes, closed the safe and bookcase, replaced the Poe book and vamoosed. Hiding the books under their coats, they walked down the drive, past the guards at the gate, to Tex waiting in the car and took off back to New York.
Returning to James’ townhouse, they waited for him and Dr. Kelly to return from the party they had attended as an alibi for the burglary. Sean paid Arthur the balance of his fee, and Tex dropped him at the subway. They stayed up late in the night looking over their haul.
One of the books was very old and in a strange language none of them knew. Another was also old, though not quite as old as the first, and written in middle english (readable but difficult), the other two were more recent, one was hand written, the other a collection of macabre poems.
James and Dr. Kelly spent Sunday skimming the two more recent volumes. One was a collection of disturbing poems with a personalized note to Roger Carlyle on the title page. The other was a handwritten diary of a British soldier from the Napoleonic era. Monday, Tex took copies of the unreadable book to a professor Compton at NYU. The professor said he needed to see the original but might be able to help identify the language and time period if given enough time with it. Meanwhile james began arranging for a trip to London for the group. Sean began making arrangements for his brothel while he was gone, and Dr. Kelly went to the university to request a leave of absence for her trip and ran some errands to prepare for the journey.
While Dr. Kelly was leaving her bank, she just happened to notice two rough looking black men closing in on her quickly on the street. Panicking she ran for her car and they gave chase. She managed to get in the car and lock the doors, but one broke the passenger window and reached for her as she took off with squealing tires while the other jumped on the back and pulled a wicked looking African blade from his coat. Dr. Kelly spotted a black Hudson speeding towards her as she pulled out, and a crazy car chase through Manahattan ensued complete with men clinging to her car, breaking windows with wicked knives, and trying to ram her. Eventually she slammed on her brakes just as the guy on the back was starting to climb in the window making the chase car slam into him, but wrecking them both. As two more black men piled from the Hudson Anne fumbled for the .32 revolver in the glove. She managed to shoot down the one who attacked from the drivers side, but emptied the revolver in the process. She fled as other man came scrambling through from the passenger side and almost grabbed her coat. Running down the street screaming for help with the large menacing figure chasing her she thought she was doomed when she spied a police cruiser turning the corner up ahead! What luck! She ran to the police but the chaser had fled down an alley and escaped.
Dr. Kelly was tied up with the police until late in the day. Tex was worried about her. When she returned and told her story, Sean berated her for not being more careful. He had told her that his girl Gloria, who was beaten for information, had told the black attackers at the brothel last week about Sean’s cousin Anne. Not taking the warning to heart nearly cost her a grisly fate.
Meanwhile, Tex took the book to professor Compton who identified it as a rare dialect of Norman French from the early 14th century. Professor Compton was quite intrigued, but Tex refuse to leave the book with him.
They had tickets for a steamship to London on Saturday. It was Wednesday. Talk of loose ends came up, and Sean mentioned the Ju-Ju house. Did they dare?