Episode 30 - WE LOVE YOU!


          "Unpleasant," Yeats recalled our Channel crossing as we strode through the darkened London morgue towards Westcott's office, "... but in no way comparable to that of Villiers' young Lord and his mechanical bride, the Future Eve. Did you know that the word Hadaly is Persian for what is an ideal?"

          "I neglected to bring that up with Peladan - after all, the Sar was waving a sword in my face..." I reminded Frater DEDI, though it might have been as if I was talking to one of those lain out beneath sheets all around us, for the attention he paid.

          "Fortunate Villiers! safe in the Cemetiere of Pere Lachaise while his old world becomes trampled by Ubu. Well, one may not refute the ascent of comedy over symbolism and its subtleties," Yeats sighed, "...any more than the triumph of profanity over the sacred. After us, Altius, the Savage God!"

          We found Westcott working late over a cadaver, alone, in his magnificent uniform.

          "Gentlemen! How is Paris?" inquired Cancellarius, laying down his scalpel, "...does it still endure?"

          "Oh it does!" Yeats said, "though its best men are dead and the better survivors dying off too. The Praemonstrator, who unfortunately seems to be quite healthy, sends you his regards... of a sort..."

          I opened the briefcase which I'd preserved, through such adversity, in Paris and Germany. "Here are the Protocols. I'm afraid there is nothing in them that can be attributed to or about Fraulein Sprengel... they appear to be a private matter between some Russians and certain Zionists. Only this additional page of perhaps Qabbalist incantations may be of use to the Golden Dawn..."

          "It is I who should apologize to you," Westcott replied. "Only yesterday I received a cable from a source in the Surete... the Horos pair have been detained. Monsieur Theo has been charged with serious crimes, not the least of which is immoral actions against children, so their claim stands discredited."

          "And we... we return back to the point from which we started..." Yeats complained.

          "Yes. But, thanks to Cameron, we have better knowledge of whom our rivals are," the Coroner allowed, "and perhaps a few allies, also. In my humble experience, the root of error is in denial of the humanity of others... for example, consider the wholly unenlightened attitudes towards women on the Continent. They have essence and potential as we do... nor must we forget the important contributions of Madame Blavatsky, whatever we think of her heirs."

          "You have what we in America call a silver tongue, Coroner!" I complimented him.

          "I do what I can," shrugged Cancellarius, "and, withal, I look forward to this new century..."

          "Though I do not..." Yeats countered.

          "That is because you can reasonably expect to see a great deal of it while I cannot. I am not afraid of eternity but... since it is eternal... I shall quite miss the humble pleasures of the mortal plane as these do..."

          And Westcott waved to include the silent clientele of his morgue.

          Yeats had an appointment, so I made my way back to Chancery Lane and let myself into Crowley's. A lamp, burning dimly in the temple of mirrors and regalia, gave me hope my landlord had beaten me back from Paris, though I had not seen him on the crossing.

          "Frater Perdurabo!" I called out. "Aleister! Halloo... is anyone here? Bennett?"

          Receiving no answer, I proceeded to my room, only to find Florence Farr stretched out on the bed...

          "Crowley?" she purred, eyes heavy with sleep, "no... is it Altius... you've returned? Come... sit down beside me, tell me a story of Paris..."

          A decanter and two glasses had been thoughtfully placed on a silver tray on the bureau, I poured a drink for myself, another for Florence and brought the glasses to the bed.

          "Sit down," she said, and I was pleased to.

          "Well," I began, "it is quite over for that Horos couple. Master Theo has been initiating young girls... very young, children really... into a sort of sex magick that the police on both sides of the Channel don't really appreciate. Everything else has apparently flown off to Russia..."

          "How... how Russian of them," Florence said, removing a tiny white envelope from her blouse and shaking a clear powder into my drink. "This is to calm your nerves... I already have taken some and you see what it's done for me!"

          "Is that hashish?" I asked, tasting a few drops. "Yeats told me he'd tried some but I never quite found time. How busy they all are with their Exposition and intrigues!"

          And I downed the contents of my tumbler quite whole, and Florence removed the glass as if to bring me another.

          "Parisian women are smart... but I never stopped thinking of you..."

          And then she did a rather curious thing, lifting my hand to her own cheek beneath the black gauze...

          "Silly boy. Dear, silly Cameron," she repined, "...these aren't wrinkles, whatever Willie might have told you... they're the cancer. I am not vain, Altius... I'm dying... however slowly. We've known each another as angels do but now must part..."

          "I... this is potent, this hashish... that's what it was, wasn't it?" There were so many more questions I had but I could not move my lips, nor my hands. Abruptly the muscles of my back gave way and I fell to the bed and, above, the face of Aleister Crowley bobbed into my field of vision like a cloud across the sun.

          "Actually it's not; rather it is an interesting poison used by Amazonians which they rub on their arrows. It kills, of course, but in regulated doses renders the victim quite as one of Westcott's cadavers, which shall be useful for your transport. Bennett!" my landlord ordered.

          Struggling mightily I succeeded only in repeating one word of Crowley's remarks, and that barely above a whisper.


          Unable to rise but also wide awake, staring, aware of moving my lips but without sound, I now beheld Bennett smiling, raising a syringe for my edification before rolling up my shirt and jabbing my arm. Florence Farr embraced Crowley, they kissed deeply, each sigh and moan another nail in my... in what Bennett wheeled into the room...

          Another coffin!

          "Mathers has already tutored you in what's to be done next... it's nothing really, relax, enjoy the ride for what it is. We'll be taking a train to Inverness, then a short jaunt to Boleskine on the shore of Loch Ness, a wild, mystic landscape... and there shall be revealed the mysteries of vril, as interpreted by Vartanian, by way of Lord Lytton's autarchy, the Tur. 'Will not a wave of vril, properly impelled, wash even the memory of what we have heard the stranger say out of the tablets of the brain?' Tur? Tower? I read your mind moving by your eyes Cameron; that is the magick of curare... one seems dead to all save knowing eyes. No happiness without order, no order without authority, no authority save under the unity... eh... ah, do you concur, DEDI?"

          Astonishingly, the man who'd arrived to help Bennett and Crowley lift me into the coffin was Willie Yeats... Maud had arrived with him, both regarding me with the predatory glare of Irish hawks.

          "We act on behalf of the Strong One, a master who lives life as wholly mental as does his body repose," said Yeats, "...a pure Daimon who acts downwards upon life from the astral plane. We, and you, shall retrieve this daimon of architecture... bring mortal man to his plateau of choice and enter the condition of the fire. If we succeed the veil is lifted... if not, we are condemned to reincarnate again and again..."

          "While on this material plane," said the ever-practical Maud, "anarchy is loosed, the lion of Albion slaughtered in his den. If Saxon steel be required to secure Celtic liberty, so it must happen..."

          "And only beautiful, lofty things will survive into the age of our New Druids... no more horrid puppets rattling on Urizen's cluttered stage. God gives the law, the ancestors of blood obey it..." Yeats nodded, "...and that rather settles it, no? Stop! I have heard the master's breath, Stand still! Don't you see bats whirring past? Hear the call of his owls... Ouboo!... Oouboo?"

          "Love is the law, Cameron, love under will," pronounced Crowley, leaning his face so closely next to mine that I could smell the French wine still on his breath, see the remnants of some European beast between his teeth as his hand began drawing the lid of the coffin down.

          "Remember... we love you!"


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