The investigators followed up on notes left by the late Prof. Porter to contact a long-time friend of his in New York, Colonel Francis Wellington. Retired from the British army, he settled down in New York. After years of his time abroad in Africa, returning to his home country of England he found his life insufferable there and sought a new life in America. He requested the company come visit him in New York to listen to a proposition of his.
When they arrived at the hotel he was staying in, Wellington talked of a special auction from Frederick Albert Ausperg. Established long ago in Vienna, Austria, after the war Ausperg relocated to New York and re-established himself as a premier auction house that specialized in rare collections. The following evening Ausperg would be hosting a special auction for several items notable for their roles in the occult and supernatural history. Wellington proposed that the group along with his ward, Miss Rosie Franks, act as his agents secretly bidding on auction items he desired. He would extend a line of credit to obtain these lots items. To sweeten the deal, Wellington offered a retainer for their services and a cash bonus if they could obtain the items he wanted while not spending the majority of his money.
The investigators agreed. The following late evening at the house of Ausperg, the auction was preceded by a late buffet dinner, champagne, and chamber music provided by a string quartet. Among the auction guests were a variety of American and European members of high society. The first half of the auction went without incident, however during the second half a horrible murder occurred.
A servant responsible for preparing the auction items was torn limb from limb and one of the lots, a brass head, was missing. Clues indicated the murderer used a dumbwaiter to reach the auction vault on the 2nd floor from the cellar. Sadly another body of a servant was found in the basement along with bloody footprints leading from the dumbwaiter to the outer yard.
An impromptu investigation was started before the police came. The company determined that the dumbwaiter could only reach the 2nd floor if called by pushing a button on the top floor. After clearing the servant staff of wrongdoing, it was suspected that one of the auction guests must have pushed the button and set the series of horrible events in motion. Through thorough investigation and interviews, the group was certain that one guest was involved.
Unfortunately their prime suspect, Klaus Hunderprest had the backing of incompetent police. Clearly he did not kill the poor servant, tearing the body into bits. Nor did he have the missing supernatural artifact in his possession. The police were convinced that the responsible party forced their way into the cellar and somehow gotten to the top floor unnoticed, taking the dumbwaiter back down, and escaping with the brass head. Incensed, the party had to watch as all the auction guests were allowed to leave later in the evening, including Klaus Hunderprest.
Not wanting the criminal to slip away, the investigators followed Hunderprest to his residence. Quietly observing the dilapidated apartment building where he lived, they decided to act and see if they could recover the brass head. Breaking into his apartment, they found an abandoned tunnel with a ladder running deeper in the the bowels of New York. Carefully pressing further, they came across Hunderprest along with three other figures sitting around the brass head in what appeared to be a derelict section of the sewers.
To their horror, the beings accompanying Hunderprest appeared to be rotting corpses that were animated with unnatural life. The retort of gunfire echoed in the brick chamber as the investigators struggled in an open melee against Hunderprest and his undead comrades. Terrifyingly as Hunderprest and the other beings were shot and killed, large parasitic worms with spindly segmented legs and a mouth of flailing tendrils ripped from the spines of the fallen bodies. Some escaped into the sewer lines, but others were crushed under foot, their high pitched wails not only ringing in the ears of the company, but also within each of their skulls.
Recovering the brass head, the group returned to Ausperg and notified the police. Ausperg was grateful to have the stolen property recovered and the standing of his auction house returned. The police were quick to pin the murder on Hunderprest, as clearly the man was mad and had dug up and displayed several corpses within the sewers connected to his basement apartment. The investigators decided not to press the police further in resolving the matter, realizing the truth would likely be met with disdain and claims of utter madness.
One small item of note. Several weeks later Clarence Cooper obtained a parcel in the mail. A simple note from one of the auction guests along with an old pamphlet.
Dear Mr. Cooper,
I have heard of the stalwart efforts you and your companions made in recovering the items stolen from Ausperg’s collection. I commend you and feel rather embarrassed at my bravado that evening which was nothing but braggart comments making me appear a buffoon. I sincerely hope that this document may aid you in your studies and your blossoming career in archaeology.
With Warmest Regards,
Sir Martin Murray
Prodigies of the New-England Canaan
A colonial US pamphlet, circa early 18th century. Author Rev. Ward Phillips. It is an exceedingly rare pamphlet depicting attacks by the Devil on a particular area of New England. This is similar to other works (such as Cotton Mather’’s Wonders of the Invisible World), however it has a ring of truth and a more ominous meaning in the described events. It is a true Mythos book.