We’re going to Herefordshire together with Dr Highsmith, to have a little chat with that fellow in the asylum, Alexander Roby is his name. Dr Highsmith wants a second opinion from Herbert, and the rest of us are invited to come along for some reason. Not that I don’t like a trip to the country side, but I don’t see what I can add to the decision that is due in about a month from now, regarding the poor chap. And frankly, I am not sure that either Esther or Leopold have much to offer in the regard.
But not to dwell on questions like that. At twenty minutes past ten, we left Paddington station, after I had made sure that my motorcycle would be delivered with the same train as we travelled with. The staff at the station seemed like decent, salt of the earth reliable chaps, and I felt completely confident in the British Railway.
The trip started out nicely enough, but to be honest, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that this Dr Highsmith was a polite enough, but clearly lacking in spirit and diversity. To be frank, he was a bore, and I think that, after less than an hour, the only one enjoying, or even paying attention to, his ramblings of psychological balderdashery was Herbert.
When we finally arrived, or so I thought, we were at the quaint little hamlet of Wobly, and by Jove, what a wobbly place that was! I have to say that maybe my view of the place, and its inhabitants may be somewhat coloured by the appalling lack of service and dedication the station staff showed, when they apparently managed to misplace my motorcycle! A large, magnificent motorcycle, which they promised would be transferred to the new train we were going to take. At first, before I realized the vileness of their lack in trustworthiness, I Thought them to be as skilled and reliable as the railway staff in London. But I was sorely mistaken. Clearly, the people of Wobly are not the most reliable kind.
How on Earth do you misplace a motorcycle on a small, rural train station?
Later that day we finally arrived to St Agnes. The asylum sort of dominated the landscape, where it was place on a hill above the village. After a quick look I decided to not impose on the asylum’s accommodations, and stayed at the railway inn. Before going to bed though, we were invited to the asylum, which made me even more confident in my decision to stay down at the inn. The patients’ rooms had sturdy bars in the windows, which made me wonder if they were some sort of criminally insane.
Soon enough, though, Alexander Roby proved to be harmless, but curiously strange. When he talked to him, or rather tried to talk to him, we were accompanied in the small cell, by Mr Reeves and Mr Price, who diligently wrote down everything the strange fellow had to say.
While Herbert tried to start a conversation, with sadly meagre results, I leafed through a couple of books Mr Roby had in the room. I have to say that I was a bit surprised to see that the books to some degree seemed to cover topics strangely similar to the play, Carcosa – the Queen and the Stranger, as well as what we’ve read about the King in Yellow.
In a moment of peculiar inspiration I quote a verse of Cassilda’s song, and all of a sudden Mr Roby gets very talkative. Too bad though that he lacked a bit in coherence and clarity. He rambled on about some supposed co-workers of his, Edwards and Malcolm Quarrie, and some woman named Delia. But he also rambles on about the things he had scribbled in the books, like Hastur, Cassilda, the King in Yellow, and how something must be stopped. Good thing that Mr Reeves wrote it all down, because at the moment I could make neither head nor tail of what the clearly unbalanced man was talking about.
But I did realize that it had some striking similarities to the play and the books we’ve read. And to be honest, that piqued my curiosity, much more than the poor man’s mental state, I’m afraid.
Later that evening, another man’s mental state showed some strange phenomenon. I fear that it might have to do with a somewhat excessive use of alcoholic beverages. But our friend, Leopold, vehemently claimed that he saw coal drawings of monster on the wall papers in the library of the asylum. Of course he was completely wrong, but he still started to peel off parts of the wall paper before we saw it and stopped him.
After that I went back to the station and the inn. To my frustration, my motorcycle still hadn’t arrived!
This Wednesday started with my motorcycle still being lost.
We went back to Mr Roby’s room, but this morning we got called out by his neighbour inmate. A man by the name of Lucius Halliwell, who was wearing a straight jacket. In after sight that maybe should have made us a bit doubting. He claimed that he had seen the King in Yellow. When asked about it, he claimed that the King was everywhere, especially on Carcosa, in Hastur beside Hali, in Carcosa.
The chap had suffered a brain injury in a car accident. And the reason to his straight jacket was that he had killed an orderly about a year ago.
Clearly he was completely demented. After all, even Mr Roby called him stark raving mad, and that he clearly didn’t understand anything.
I suppose he must have heard us the day before, through a small hole between the cells, that we found.
This day, we didn’t get much more information out of Mr Roby, and we decide to go back to London. But we also wanted to see the place where the strange things that had put Mr Roby in the asylum had taken place. We tried to get in touch with Grahame Roby, and a day later, we got a message that the house was no longer in the family’s possession. But we have the address, and might be able to get to see it anyway.
In the evening we got back to London. When we got back the news that Mr Black had started talking, and to our relief he seemed to recognize his wife. But he was clearly still mentally affected as he refused to talk about anything else but the apes.
I tried to find out if a Malcolm Quarrie had a phone, but without success.
I talk to dear Mabel, and asks her help in finding out anything about Malcolm Quarrie. And once again she proves her invaluable worth! She manages to dig up information about a Malcolm Quarrie, who lived at an address in Westminster until the spring of -26. And that he seemed to have some connection to the Royal Society until February that same year.
Maybe it is a coincidence, but it fits quite well with the period of madness that seems to afflict Mr Roby (October to April). Not to mention the time of the strange happenings that resultaed in Mr Roby’s being locked away at the asylum. And the address, in Mayfair, is apparently quite close to the place where Mr Quarrie last had a known address, in Mayfair.
We should take a look at both places. And maybe we can find some interesting information if we contact the Royal society as well.
This is probably nothing, but I have to admit it is a bit exciting to examine these strange dealings. Makes me feel a little like Sherlock Holmes!