At the Mountains of Madness, 1

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Agnes Baker came to London in her pursuit of information regarding the ancient world of Hyperborea; it had been a hopeless pursuit. She feared that the vision she had had—her past as a sorceress—was simply a dream, a consequence of a blow to the head. Three weeks on from her arrival she waited tables at the Cod Cafe, a “greasy spoon” near Putney Bridge, and saved the pennies for her return fare to Arkham.

She served a dapper gentleman. “Thank you, my dear,” he said; Agnes almost sighed when she heard his familiar American twang.

“Sir, if you only knew how homesick I am,” said Agnes.

“Ah, a compatriot, well, you must return home!” And he whispered confidential-like: “This awful country is ruining my digestion.”

“I will, soon, just a few dollars more and I will have enough.”

“Good to hear it, miss!”

Later when café was empty, Agnes returned to his table to clear away the crockery. She noted with a smile that most of his battered fish was left untouched. She picked up his cold plate and beneath it was revealed a crisp five pound note.

˜

Agnes Baker leaned out over the rail of the S.S. Carpathia, surveying Southampton dock. She felt a tap on her shoulder, it was her gentleman benefactor.

“I’m glad you made it aboard,” he said extending his hand, which Agnes gladly shakes, “my name is Arthur Danforth.”

“Agnes Baker,” she beamed.

˜

“Mr. Danforth, this is where I grew up,” said Agnes, indicating the rectory. The new friends continued their stroll through Arkham’s old cemetery. They rested against a lichen encrusted headstone. The sunshine was pleasantly warm and the cemetery a quiet spot, excepting an angry robin who twittered at them ceaselessly. Agnes flickered her eyelids, allowing the sunlight to sparkle and jump inside her head.

She descended into a series of tunnels hidden beneath the cemetery. The crumbling stonework indicated that the passageways are as old as the city itself. She discovered a dark hall, and she examined it for some indication of its purpose. Agnes found a sheaf of musty papers. Using her cigarette lighter to read them she realised that the papers link the city’s founders to witchcraft; a sketch, like da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, slipped out and glided to the earthen floor. She continued reading: they hinted at a coming doom. She dug her nails into her palms, praying that the doom will not come to pass.

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