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Private Eye

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About Private Eye

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  • Birthday 05/04/1958
  1. D6 Pulp Heroes?

    I have a draft pulp sourcebook for Mini Six sitting on my hard drive. I could do with someone taking a look at it with a critical eye.
  2. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    There follows a mopping up operation, involving the characters and the police under the supervision of Inspector Barrington. Investigating the house they locate the mechanism that opens the secret door, and make their way down into the cellars. Here they discover a number of further artefacts and clues, most importantly a ledger showing materials that Gavigan has shipped to from places across the globe. One of the entries refers to Ho Fong Imports in Shanghai, and the two heroes decide to follow up their leads in Shanghai as their next step. They make their farewells of Inspector Barrington (somewhat to his relief) and leave the cultists in his capable hands. Making their way to Southampton, they book first class cabins on the Eastern Queen, and set sail. On board they notice a smart but aloof aristocratic gentleman surrounded by a number of tough looking bodyguards. Amongst the other travellers they soon strike up a conversation with an elderly academic, one Professor Paterson. Although a little hesitant at first, they soon find themselves discussing matters of a vaguely occult nature - especially when they realise the professor has a keen amateur interest in such matters. Eventually he invites them to his cabin late one evening where he promises a "demonstration". Heading for the cabin, they are attacked by a group of crewmen from below decks. Although they easily defeat the attack, the crewmen make good their escape, especially after Pyroman slips and falls whilst following them down a set of steep steps. Eventually arriving at the Professor's cabin, they find he has set up a strange piece of glass, an odd-looking brazier burning incense, and an ancient book.... The Professor uses the book to invoke a strange effect in the glass, and the light form a candle starts to produce odd patterns on the wall of the cabin. Gradually this clears and reveals chanting cultists on a beach under a night sky. The waters heave and boil, and a gigantic, tentacled head emerges from the deep. The Professor frantically tries to terminate the effect, and American Eagle freezes with a sick cosmic terror. Only Pyroman keeps his cool, and leaning forwards, pinches out the candle between thumb and forefinger. To the relief of all the image immediately vanishes. American Eagle leaves without a word and makes his way to the rail, where he stares out to sea and takes deep, calming breathes of the night air. Back in the cabin, a stammering Prof Paterson tells Pyroman to see to his friend, and swiftly closes the door as he leaves... After fortifying themselves with a drink or two, they retire for the night, briefly noticing a scruffy little priest who seems to be making notes in a diary.... The next day the Professor does not appear at breakfast, and at his cabin a crewman, who appears to be on guard, tells them the Professor is "indisposed". Reluctantly they wait to see if he puts in an appearance and lunch. Finding the little priest they saw the night before, they seek to strike up a conversation, but find he seems to only speak Russian, or some other, similar slavonic language. When the Professor does not show up at lunch they go back to the cabin, where a different crewman again refuses admission, giving a slightly different account of the situation. The pair decide to speak to the captain and head off towards his day cabin. As they approach, they see the Aristocratic gent and his bodyguards playing shuffleboard. Pyroman realises this is the same part of deck where he saw the little priest making notes the night before. Almost at the same time he sees the priest himself and two other men, approaching the shuffleboard game. Suddenly the two men draw pistols, and the priest a hand grenade. Mayhem seems about to break loose...
  3. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    The pair swiftly split up and start to investigate the building. American Eagle flies up and starts looking through the upstairs windows. He is disappointed to find that although the curtains are drawn back, he looks in on ordinary-looking bedrooms, but with no sign of anything unusual or sinister. Downstairs, Pyroman floats on the earth's magnetic field and looks in through the windows through one of the upper corners (hoping he will be less likely to be spotted). Again he is disappointed - the place seems deserted, and he has no idea where the men from the truck have gone. At the far end of the house, he finds himself looking in on an enormous high-ceilinged room, luxuriously appointed, and with a huge stone fireplace at one end. As he watches, one of the stone pillars of the fireplace slides to one side, revealing a hidden stair. Out of this troops a line of people dressed in long robes and hoods hiding their features. They march straight to the front door,and opening it, light torches before heading across the island towards a large stone monolith that looms out of the darkness. Pyroman flies up and over the house and tells American Eagle what he has seen. After a brief discussion, American Eagle flies off to alert Inspector Barrington and his men, and Pyroman shadows the cultists from the safety of the air. From here he sees that in the midst of them is a young woman, with bound wrists. Increasingly worried, he follows them towards the monument. Here the young woman is chained to a stone altar slab, and the cultists start a strange chanting, while two of them, who look to be leaders of some type start making a series of strange gestures. Meanwhile American Eagle has informed Inspector Barrington of the situation, and he gives his men the signal to move in. As they do so, American Eagle turns and flies back to the estate. Here he can see the torches of the cultists and heads towards the monument. In response to the chanting and gesturing, a strange roiling vortex forms, and out of appears a hideous winged monstrosity that creates a sense of spiritual sickness deep within Pyroman's soul. Somehow he keeps control of himself, and as the THING flaps higher into the air, he activates his force field and flies after it. American Eagle is approaching the ritual, when one of the gesturing leaders spots him. He unleashes a green bolt of energy (that American Eagle has seen before...) which slams into him and knocks him clean out of the sky. He crashes into the ground, and slowly drags himself to his feet in the middle of a smoking crater. Above, Pyroman unleashes a blast of electricity that smashes into the hideous flying creature. Enraged it turns on him, snapping at him with a hideous beak full of teeth - with a blinding crackle of energy, the force field is penetrated and Pyroman cries out in pain... On the ground American Eagle shakes off the effect of the strange energy blast and strides forward - only to take another blast in the chest..... Above him Pyroman breaks clear of the creature's grasp, and blasts it again - this time the THING seems to take flight and flaps off into the darkness. Pyroman pursues. On the ground Barrington's men have arrived and a gun battle begins between the police and the cultists. American Eagle closes with the cult leader, and with one punch knocks him flying so that he fetches up senseless on the ground about 7 yards away. He turns to the other leader figure, who in turn is starting to gesture towards the Eagle and to chant... In the air, Pyroman blasts the foul THING once more, and it spiral down to the ground, smoking and crackling with energy discharge. One final blast pins the THING to the ground for a moment before it explodes in a welter of foul smelling gore....
  4. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    The following day brings a somewhat difficult interview with Inspector Barrington. As tonight is the scheduled day for the mysterious truck to leave from the Blue Pyramid club, Barrington agrees to allow the heroes to continue to operate in England and to participate in the proposed activities that night. However, he insists on them strictly following his intructions, and makes oblique references to "back-up". He is also not as sceptical as they expect when they relate their tales of "monsters" being conjured up on board the (now sunken) ship. The rest of the day passes with the heroes doing their best to recuperate, and prepare themselves for what might follow. Eventually, as arranged, they return to Scotland Yard where a number of vehicles and plain clothes officers are in evidence. After a brief discussion it is agreed that the heroes will shadow the truck from the air, while the police vehicles follow by road at a discreet distance. Barrington suspects the likely destination is the country estate of Gavigan, out on the east coast, and shows the characters a map of the terrain - a large mansion built on an island accessible only by a causeway or by water. They agree that if this is the destination, the police vehicles will wait on the main road until one of the heroes signals them in (Barrington is concerned they will be quickly spotted as they cross the causeway, and wants to be sure this only happens at the right moment). As the hour approaches, they all get into position - the undercover police vehicles parked inconspicuously and American Eagle and Pyroman on a convenient rooftop. As they watch and wait, a fog starts to form, obscuring the view for all of them. The lorry eventually arrives, picking its way through the misty streets, and about 20 people leave the Blue Pyramid and climb into the back. They are dressed in rather tatty plain clothes, but by the light of the door through which they emerge, American Eagle is sure he recognises at least one as a waiter from the club. Once everyone is on board, the truck rumbles off into the dark, and American Eagle and Pyroman silently take to the air and follow. Behind them, Barrington's convoy also follows.... The journey takes a number of hours, and it becomes apparent that Barrington's guess is right - they are heading for Gavigan's country estate. Arriving, the truck rumbles across the causeway, and pulls up outside the mansion - the passengers climb out and enter the building through the front door, opened by Gavigan himself. They enter, and the door closes behind them and all goes quiet. After a brief pause, Eagle and Pyro drift over and start looking through the windows of the building (taking care not to put themselves in a position where they might be seen). To their surprise, the place seems completely deserted...
  5. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    Well now you're talking.... I think I need to seriously consider this - if only work was not so all-consuming. Hmmm. Time to rope in the kids perhaps....
  6. supers and pulp for me! I would love to see a golden age supers/pulp sourcebook....
  7. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    For the curious, the stats for the Thing: Reflexes 3D+1, melee combat 5D, dodge 4D+1 Coordination 3D Physique 9D Knowledge 2D Perception 4D+2 Presence 6D, intimidate 7D Invulnerability 2D Move 10 Strength Damage 9D Fate Points 0 Ka Points 12 Character points 2 Body Points 50 I use intimidate against the character's willpower (or presence) as a substitute for sanity rolls - failure results in a fight or flight reaction (or gibbering catatonia), with a roll every round to recover, with a steadily increasing chance of success. The idea is to threaten the characters with loss of ability to act properly in the scene, but with ultimate inevitable recovery, with no long term harm (unless of course they choose to roleplay a permanent problem!)
  8. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    Thanks - I must say we have had a real blast with this one. I'm an old-time gamer and bought the original Star Wars rpg when it came out. I've been an intermittent D6 fan ever since, but I think D6 Powers (revised) is my favourite version - slightly odd perhaps, because I didn't really rate DC Universe. The players are my 2 eldest sons - and the eldest confesses that D6 is his favourite system - pretty good for a system that came out before he was born! And many thanks to yourself, for the rules - excellent stuff. All I need now is a comprehensive pulp/golden age sourcebook - or maybe a D6 version of Adventures into Darkness!
  9. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    Pyroman activates his force field, just in time, as a bullet pings off it and whines away into the hold. Above, a voice calls down not to shoot, because of the hydrogen cylinders, and the sailors close in, swinging their weapons. American Eagle decks a couple then leaves the rest to Pyroman and takes off, heading for the source of the commands, who he takes to be the leader. Below, Pyroman uses his magnetic powers on the metal weapons of the crew and takes several of them out with ease, before the rest start to back off warily. That is when he notices a faint chill wind blowing, and a small vortex of dust and debris starting to form in the centre of the hold. Somewhere, someone is chanting in a weird tongue..... Up above, American Eagle confronts the ship's captain - and takes a bullet from his revolver (he has only 2D Armour, so takes some damage, but as he has plenty of hit points this hardly bothers him). He responds in kind, and the captain crashes to the deck, unconscious. Down below, the crew have made themselves scarce, and Pyroman gawps in amazement at the strange, tentacled THING forming in the vortex. It is hideous beyond belief, but Pyroman manages to somehow keep his mental "cool" (with a lucky willpower roll). The thing lashes out with its tentacles, and Pyroman takes to the air, toppling a pile of cylinders on the thing with his magnetic powers. It seems to shrug off the attack and starts after him, crawling up towards the deck of the ship.... American Eagle catches the full horror of the thing as it lurches into view, and his nerve snaps - with a shriek he hurtles into the air and streaks across the ship's rail, heading downriver at high speed. Left on his own, Pyroman fights on, until the thing rips up one of the crane supports, and bats Pyroman out across the river (though he takes little damage thanks to his force field). As he rights himself and heads back into the fray, he is joined by a slightly shaky American Eagle, who has managed to shake off his fears and regain a little of his normal self-control. The two hurtle back towards the ship - which is now chugging away from the dock, but apparently with no-one at the wheel, most of the crew having leapt overboard rather than face the thing. Suffice it to say that an all-out battle takes place involving lightning bolts, super-strength punches and tentacle-dodging, culminating in a colossal explosion as Pyromn inadvertently causes a fire, ultimately detonating the hydrogen..... The thing perishes in the ensuing conflagration, the ship sinks, and debris from the explosion rains down across London, causing several fires. The duo rather shamefacedly help the fire crews to rescue trapped victims and extinguish fires before sneaking off to their hotel to lick their wounds....
  10. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    Pyroman and American Eagle hover above the vehicle, and shadow it from the skies as it rumbles through the foggy streets. Eventually they find themselves winding through the Limehouse district to the docks. Here the truck pulls up in front of a large warehouse. The door opens and several lascars emerge, armed with large curved blades, and proceed to remove the crate, placing it on a small trolley, while their leader, a small swarthy man, pays off the truck driver. Afterwards, the truck rumbles off again, and the lascars push the trolley into the warehouse. Pyroman and American Eagle drift up to the roof - from here they can see the dockside, and that a tramp freighter is being loaded - it is to here that the lascars convey the crate. The heroes decide to board the ship clandestinely, and fly a large circular course out on to the river, before coming in fast and low over the water to the side of the ship away from the shore. They find that most of the crew are busy with the loading on the other side of the vessel, and they manage to get on board without much difficulty. Here they decide to descend below decks and find there way into the holds to see what the ship contains..... The first stage passes without a hitch and they make their way forward without significant difficulty. They find themselves at a large door leading into the forward hold, and make their way inside, slipping into the shadows. From here, they spend some time watching, and looking over the cargo. Amongst the boxes and crates they find collections of metal plates, which American Eagle realises are a titanium alloy - strong, light and very expensive. They also find powerful, but light liquid pumping equipment, and Pyroman discovers electrical apparatus which he recognises as a device designed to track and detect movement in 3 dimensions - it could be for use in a submarine or aircraft. Moving around the hold, they discover a huge pile of cylinders, labelled as containing hydrogen - as they stand looking at this, they are discovered by a crew member, who steps forward, brandishing a pistol, and calling for help. Pyroman, eager for a fight, leaps forward and knocks the thug unconscious with a single blow, but behind him, numerous crew men are closing in, some armed with pistols, others wielding crowbars...... behind them lie the pile of hydrogen cylinders.....
  11. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    OK, bit of a hiatus due to pressures of work etc. However, off we go... The following day, they rise fairly late, and after breakfast, take a taxi to Scotland Yard. As they arrive they notice that there is a lot more activity than they expected, and the Yard itself is almost besieged by members of the press. Its almost impossible to push through the crush, but one helpful reporter tells them that there has been a murder - at Scotland Yard itself. They decide they have to get in, and walk off until they find a secluded alley, where they both rise into the air and fly up the side of the building, hoping to enter through the roof. Swooping down onto the roof of Scotland Yard, they are (slightly) surprised to see Inspector Barrington, sitting on a chair, obviously waiting for them.... He looks tired and drawn, but smiles when he sees them. They land, noticing in passing a large piece of machinery on the corner of the roof, covered by a tarpaulin, which looks like a gigantic searchlight. Barrington takes them down to his office, and tells them the news - Tewfik Al-Sayed is dead. He was placed in a cell under close guard (and heavily sedated). About 4am the officers on duty outside the cell heard an dreadful cacophony of screams from the cell. thy immediately rushed to open the cell, but by the time they did so, it was all over - Al-Sayed was dead, strangled and with what appeared to be a broken back (the autopsy results are awaited). There was no sign of anyone (or anything) else in the cell.... The three discuss the case for some time. The remaining leads they have are Gavigan and the Penhew Foundation, and the mysterious trucks that leave the Blue Pyramid (due to take place tomorrow night). Barrington confirms that Yalesha has been installed in a safe house. He also thanks them for leaving the hidden drawer at Tewfik's, open for him to find Eventually they decide to stake out the Penhew Foundation that night and Barrington agrees to provide two undercover men - McGuffin and Blake, and they arrange to met them at a local pub. They decide to spend the rest of the day at the British Museum. Here, by luck they spot some Egyptian papyrus that bears a resemblance to the one in Tewfik's flat. The translation suggests that it might represent a curse of some type, relating to an obscure demon, or spirit, or god... Eventually evening comes, and they meet McGuffin and Blake as planned - the pair stick out a bit as although they wear suits, they also have police issue hobnail boots.... They split up into two teams - American Eagle and McGuffin watch the front, and Pyroman and Blake, the back. As the evening wears on, a fog starts to rise..... Eventually they find themselves having to change position in order to keep the building's exit in view. Round the back, they are in the process of shifting to a better vantage point, when they become aware of a large (for the era) truck coming along the road. Swiftly taking cover, they watch the truck draw up outside the Foundation. Three burly men emerge and the pair watch as they manhandle a crate out of the building, and into the truck. Pyroman sends Blake to tell American Eagle and McGuffin what's going on - he disappears on his errand, trying to be as stealthy as possible (which means he doesn't strike too many sparks from his hobnailed boots...) Round the front, McGuffin and American Eagle hear Blake's approach, and he quickly tells them what's going on. Eagle suggests they inform Barrington of developments and that he should stand by - they head off to do so, and American Eagle (taking the pair by surprise) rises into the air before swooping over the rooftops towards the back of the building. Meanwhile the crate has been loaded, the three thugs board the vehicle, and with a rumble of the engine, it starts to head off down the street. Pyroman glides into the air to follow....
  12. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    Arriving, they find that Barrington has posted police guarding the building - but with instructions to allow them in, as long as they do not remove any evidence. They agree to this arrangement, and Constable Jones allows them in. The whole flat is decorated with a heavy Egyptian theme. In the living room is a large, slightly odd-looking mirror on one wall, a glass cabinet containing various egyptian statuary - though none that stands out as unusual, and a large writing desk. The latter is locked, but American Eagle forces the lock with the slightest exertion of his super-physique. Inside are papers relating to the spice shop - invoices, accounts, orders etc - all look completely above board. However, as they examine the desk Pyroman spots a mark on one of the shelves, that looks like the mark left by multiple finger marks. Pyroman grasps the shelf in the same position, and finds it pulls out with a slight click. this releases a secret drawer in the side of the desk.... Inside they find a number of curious items, including: a black silk robe, an inverted ankh on an iron chain, two sandstone jars containing respectively a red liquid and a strange powder that seem unknown to contemporary science, two curious metal rods, a silk headdress with inverted ankhs embroidered on it, and an ancient papyrus scroll. Puzzled by their findings, they unroll the ancient, crumbling scroll, but find it is written in ancient Egyptian heiroglyphs, which they are unable to read. They decide to put everything back where they found it, but leave the drawer open for Inspector Barrington's benefit. They decide to retire to the hotel to rest up for the rest of the night, and keep their appointment with Barrington in the morning, and see is he is able to arrange for the scroll to be translated......
  13. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    Arriving at Scotland yard, they have a slightly hard time with the desk officer (they after all wearing ordinary clothes with super-hero masks). Eventually, the officer sends a constable to see if Barrington is still around (he is technically off-duty) and asks the heroes to take a seat. After a few minutes, They become aware of a chill in the air, and a smell like..... burnt hair..... from the main entrance a few wisps of fog start drifting into the building. Tewfik starts shaking and blubbering in apparant terror, and begs for them to "protect him" and that "it's outside". The desk sergeant rolls his eyes and steps outside "for a quick look around". Everything goes silent. After a minute or two, Pyroman steps towards the door - but is shaken by a blood curdling shriek from outside. Taking American Eagle by surprise, Tewfik slips his grip and flees through the door leading deeper into the building. The sound of activity within (murmured voices, footsteps etc) stops suddenly with the shriek...... Pyroman activates his electrical field and steps out of the door. The immediate area is illuminated by the glow of his field, and over to the left he sees a huddled form on the ground - and a hideous, writhing, tentacled form crouched over it. Pyroman snaps (fails his willpower roll) and takes to the air, fleeing back inside the building, slamming the doors magnetically behind him. For a moment American Eagle finds himself alone in the reception room. Deciding to follow Tewfik he plunges further into the building to find his quarry in the grip of two burly constables, and with Pyroman hovering nearby, eyes bulging with fear. Down the corridor comes Inspector Barrignton, with the constable sent to find him. Barrington listens for a moment, then draws a revolver from his pocket and heads for the door. The Eagle, and Pyroman (who has managed to get a grip on himself), follow. Outside, all the fog (and the tentacled horror) have gone. All that remains is the body of the sergeant, apparently asphyxiated. Barrington gets Pyroman to help take the body inside, and American Eagle takes off to search the area - but with no luck. Later, Barrington and the heroes try to question Tewfik, but he is in a pitiful state, and Barrington arranges for the Police Surgeon to administer a tranquiliser and places him under heavy police guard in a cell. The surgeon also dresses American Eagles wounds, including the strange "burn" left by the green flame that struck him. It is clear that Barrington has a fair idea who they are, and arranges to meet them the following morning, to question Tewfik again. The two heroes leave, takin to the air, and decide to search Tewfik's flat before returning to their hotel.....
  14. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    The heroes face off against the thugs, and stand back to back. American Eagle, hoping to avoid conflict tries to reason with them, but to little effect. As they stare at the thugs, there is a sudden flash of green fire which blasts a small crater in the ground at their feet. This seems to be a signal of some sort, and the thugs rush to the attack. A rapid but frenzied battle ensues. Pyroman activates his force field, then blasts one of the thugs into unconsciousness with a lightning bolt. He then glances round looking for the source of the green flame, and sees a figure stood in the upstairs window of the spice shop, arms half raised. American Eagle takes out one thug with an elbow smash to the face, but misses grabbing a second. Next moment there is the sudden sound of gunfire as the thugs level their pistols at the pair and shoot. One of the bullets aimed at Pyroman goes wide, the other bounces off his force field. The two shots aimed at American Eagle both hit, but thanks to his Body Armour and high body points, only inflict flesh wounds. In the next exchange, Pyroman takes out his remaining foes with a dramatic double attack, the lightning bolt arcing from one victim to the second. American Eagle grabs one of his remaining foes and dashes him into a brick wall, knocking him out. The final thug drops his gun and runs off into the night. Before either hero can pursue him, another bolt of green flame, this time clearly emanating from the figure in the window, strikes American Eagle. Bypassing his Body Armour, it brings him to his knees and leaves him tingling with a strange cold fire. Pyroman takes off and heads for the window as the figure retreats into the house. Hurtling inside, he unfortunately gets tangled in the curtains and lands to free himself. Down in the street, American Eagle shrugs off the effects of the green blast, and flies up, following Pyroman into the house. Inside, as Pyroman disentangles himself from the curtains, they both see Tewfik fleeing further into the house. Without hesitation, American Eagle follows him. The final confrontation takes place in the bedroom: Tewfik conjures a strange silver nimbus around his hands and lunges at American Eagle, who manages to dodge. The Eagle retaliates by trying to hurl the bedclothes over Tewfik -who dodges in turn. Pyroman dashes down the hall, activating his electrical aura, and kicks Tewfik hard, causing him to lose concentration. The nimbus around his hands dissipates, and American Eagle looms over him, demanding that he "talk". The Eagle roles a spectacular intimidate against a rather feeble willpower roll by Tewfik, who dissolves into tears demanding police protection. After a few moments discussion, the heroes mask up and fly Tewfik to Scotland yard, hoping to meet up with Inspector Barrington. Next: terror at Scotland Yard.
  15. Masks of Nyarlathotep

    OK, a bit hectic at home and work at the moment, so we only managed a fairly short session. Dick and Tom head back to the hotel after leaving Yalesha (hopefully) safe in the hands of Scotland Yard. Tired after their endeavours they sleep in a little the next day, and over breakfast decide to visit Gavigan at the Penhew Foundation to see what he will tell them about the G'harne Fragments - they expect a lie, as of course they have the document themselves. At the foundation, Gavigan is apparently away, but has left a letter for them on expensive paper, and written with a beautiful copperplate hand. He tells them he has confirmed that a private scholar associated with the foundation has the G'harne fragments on long term loan - of course he cannot tell them who, as that would be a "breach of trust". Thoughtfully the pair leave. They decide to follow up the leads given to them by Mickey Mahoney, and take a taxi to Soho to check out the artist, Miles Shipley, and his strange pictures. The house is locked up like a drum with bars at the windows, and drawn curtains. Knocking eventually results in the door being opened by an old lady (apparently Miles' mother) who takes them into the parlour where they meet Miles - crazy by any definition. Strangely, the whole house smells like the reptile house at the zoo.... They are taken up to the blacked-out garrett, where they are shown some of Miles' pictures. These are unsettling but have no major adverse affects (good willpower rolls by the players - but they only got the message after looking at the third picture, which showed a mountain, probably in africa, with a horde of cultists dressed like the ones they initially encountered in NY wearing bloody tongue masks, and with a huge figure bestriding the mountain, with similar features) Miles offers to show them his "masterpiece" and moves to open a locked cupboard in the corner of the room - only to be stopped by a gutteral (and totally out of character) command from his mother. Declining to buy any of the paintings, Dick and Tom decide to take their leave, but to possibly follow things up that night.... Lunch and a further discussion follows. They remember that Inspector Barrington mentioned a spice dealer, Tewfik al-Sayed, who had a shop in Soho. As they are in the area they decide to look him up, and soon find themselves in his unassuming little shop. They ask him about his relations with the Penhew Foundation, and Elias, but it is difficult as they constantly interrupted by a steady stream of customers. Eventually they arrange to come back that evening - Tewfik lives above the shop and promises them "tea". Returning to the hotel they try to decipher the G'harne Fragments, but neither has any skill with languages or the occult (a lucky break, as it happens!). They wonder about sending the book back to NY for Dream Master to look out, but take no action on the point (perhaps lucky for DM). Eventually, at the hour appointed, they return to Tewfik's shop. As their taxi drives off into the diatance, they are surprised by a large group of thugs who appear from side streets, blocking the way in both directions. Faces hidden by hoods, they advance, brandishing guns and knives....