CHAPTER VI: "A SCREAM AND GUN SHOTS AT MIDNIGHT"
The short trip from the Etolin to the beach was strenuous for the four of us. The dark man sat at the bow, the professor behind and we took position at the aft. I tried to examine the sliding slot of the crate and the strange stains around it, but there was not enough light to see what substance it was.
Upon landing, the professor suggested that we unload the equipment and hide it. He stated that there was an old building left on the island from the 1880's and we should seek refuse there until communication could be made with the chartered ship.
The wind was picking up and a slight drizzle was upon us. This was common for this region, I told myself. Somehow, I felt as though there was more than an approaching storm in store for our expedition.
I took the .45 and placed in within my jacket, as did Crawford and Carter. We watched the dark man intently as we made our way towards the topical vegetation. After securing the equipment, I noticed the professor did not remove the radio provided by the Etolin. The three of us quietly passed the word amongst us to be ready for anything. What happened next what totally un-expected as the dark man turned to us as spoke two simple words that sent an searing fear within us all. Not because of the words, but because of the sound of his voice- there was almost an unperceivable multiplicity to it.(16A)
The words, although self explicit, gave us the knowledge that the dark man was the leader here, not the professor.
The dark man turned, with the professor in tow, into the vegetation- we followed but always with a short distance between us and them. After a short trek and the weather becoming more violent, we approached a large building. Decrepit, moldy and encrusted with vines and vegetation- it looked the stuff of nightmares...and I was not far from wrong.
There was a large weather-worn sculpture in the front of the building. It was a anthropoid-like shape, but having the head of a cephalopod, sitting in a crouched position on some type of oddly-angled throne. There was emblazed upon the base a swastika and badly worn away words. Clearly, one such phrase was clearly and horrifically clear: "Esoteric Order of Dagon".(17)
The other "Aus Äonen Vergangenheit die alten kam"- Ward said meant 'From eons past the elder ones came'.
Ward stated that Dagon was a demon worshipped by the Assyrians during Biblical times. He said the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Temple of Dagon and each night, the Dagon idol was smashed. He stated that the Order of Dagon was no longer in practice for centuries. I told him to reserve that judgment.
I, too, was familiar with Dagon and it's implications that the cult still existed in secret.
Our hand torches illuminated the main entranceway as the dark man and the professor entered first. As we entered, we saw the interior was vast and as the exterior, overgrown with local vegetation. Overhead, a large glasspayned ceiling leaked of the rains outside.
There were bas-relief symbols in the architecture of strange, fish-like men. Some of the signage appeared to be from very different ancient civilizations mixed with more modern German design. The border seemed to be a time line of some type. Ward pointed out that the far left corner appeared to be a symbol of a star falling to Earth, followed by carvings of ancient man. He also recognized Assyrian and Babylonian demonologies carved along side a sign he believed to be Arabic.
As the carvings encircled the large room, it seemed to be chronicling humankinds history- ending in the far right column with a square panel depicting what seemed to be a door with a man on one side and a fish-thing on the other.(18)
I knew the importance and secrecy that might be symbolically contained within the carvings, as for centuries Freemasonry has done the same to keep our secret history alive to our kind without overt revelations to outsiders. Edward, also a Mason, looked at me with a strange gaze in his eyes. I believed he thought the same.
As the others and I began to recognize more and more of these symbols and began talking to ourselves. We began to realize what link the Thule Society and the Necronomicon may have to do with what was happening. Crawford said the Necronomicon was a book of history, incantations and demonology of what was called the Old Ones. Crawford new little more than that.
There was some Latin that was carved around one such carving.
Ward, pointed to that particular carving, saying aloud, 'Dagon rises up to meet his children', it says!"
Before Ward could finish his sentence, the dark man stopped and abruptly turned towards us.
" Stay here until the professor and I return."
We all looked as each other for a moment, realizing this was a turning point in the trek into the madness to come.
"No." I said.
The professor muttered, "What?"
"No. I'll not take another damned step until you or...or...'Phillips' tells us what is going on! Not one damned step!"
The others backed to my side, assuring the dark man and the professor that we were together in our assertiveness. The dark man pushed past the professor and proceeded towards our group with purpose. I withdrew my weapon and aimed it at him.
"Stop! I've seen enough that I'll blow your damned brains out! Now you'll tell us! What's in that damned crate?!"
The dark man, almost amused, slowly took off his eyeglasses. Wards hands, although shaking, managed to shine the light into the face of the dark man. His eyes were bulbous, almost fish-like, his lips thin and his teeth were like yellowed parchment.(19)
God, I saw gill-like slits quivering around his neck!
"You don't want to know."
At that instant, a scream emanated from the room and a man-shape leapt from the shadows towards the dark man. With ease, the dark man picked up his unseen assailant and threw him to the ground and stepped back- his eyes ablaze and making a hissing sound.
Our lights saw that it was a man- a Japanese sailor whom had attached the dark man. As he fell unconscious, he muttered,
Edward said that the fainting sailor said the name of a Japanese devil-god. We focused our attention back to the danger at hand.
The dark man, backing into the darkness behind of the professor, eyes glowing red, glared at me which seem to penetrate my mind. As he moved back, a leathery unfolding sound was heard and our flashlights became focused on the dark man, what we though was his overcoat was spreading outward becoming large bat-like membranous wings.
We saw his body was pale, having bluish veins and odd-shaped feelers protruding from his chest. A ghastly, mouth-like orifice was opening in his abdomen, revealing rows of thin, razor-like teeth. His legs were like a horses but instead terminated into quasi-fin like appendages. An unnatural amalgamation of anatomy- unknown & unnamable. God help us! He wasn't human!!
The professor leapt forward, screaming, "Wait! I've done all you've asked! I kept it alive so it could join with the others!"
The dark man-thing, with one large flap of his wings, began to rise from the ground. I emptied half of the magazine of the .45 into the thing and in the chaos that immediately followed-the dropping of lights and a crash of glass overhead, the dark thing was gone.
NEXT CHAPTER : "A REVELATION AND A MURDER"