Carl Ellis Journal January 1929
Tuesday, 1 January 1929; Home --
King has made his move. Nothing unexpected in the essence -- yet somehow there is a repulsion and an abhorrence in the concrete words that I do not feel in theory.
A claim. Protection -- ownership -- betrothal. By right of name. He weds himself to Mrs. Williams in all but fact.
It is so, merely because he says so? It is so, merely because he wishes it? Where is the right in that? !!!
It is monstrous! Appalling! The essence behind what he has done! By right of name, he says; She is mine because I want her to be? The colossal GALL of him !!!
He calls her Medea. Why? All of his moves, even the impassioned ones, are reasoned. What the Devil is he up to? WHAT?
The alliance has become his tool, a means to buy him time. I begin to grimly regret starting this venture. The cost, I see now, will be very high.
Let us hope. Hope that that time is also ours; that the tool comes also to our hands, and that we gain commensurate to the costs. It will be difficult. Very. But I shall call him tonight -- and say nothing if he does not.
Softly, Carl, softly. Do not weep -- ssh! Do what you have done before: think! Feel, but understand what it is you feel!
Consider -- ALL of us are trapped by the Alliance, from both sides. They are as affected by King's pronouncement as we; more so, in some ways. Word is deed, to them.
Consider scapegoats. Pawns. Even they have homes and families. War within the Alliance will hurt them too, far more deeply than they may avoid; it will cast them out, strip them of status and security -- for even in revolt, they may not void the treaty, even if we do, even though it places them as pawns at the mercy of King's enemies.
Consider -- and understand why we must not rebel.
By right of name. Protectorship may come to King from Faigon, by way of others. But right of name? IS she really named? Did Faigon name her? Can I know? Can I ask? I will speak to Cromwell. He will know.
Consider, a bit more rationally, what King has said. It is not entirely "I am right because I wish it," however much it sounds that way.
It is, in effect, a wager. A bet -- and a dare.
"I want her, and I lay claim to her. I shall wager everything -- my life, my position, everything -- on that claim, and on my ability to keep it."
Within the Alliance, he cannot touch her. His words are empty -- so long as it exists, and we are both members. Empty to us, without deed; but an important driving goad to others! We shall have other assaults to weather too: political ones against King, from those who do not see us.
We are not pawns. There are yet things we can do. I have sworn to give her a watchdog; it is now time.
Time to call Dani? Perhaps she is best. The other alternative is ... less satisfactory.
Time to call King.
Wednesday, 2 January 1929; Home --
Early morning. Soon we will take Rachel to France. I am tired, but ready. I think it will be a long day. She is excited! Ah, it is so good to see. Adam is quiet today, small wonder.
A line from a poem strikes me, heard or learned long ago. I do not remember the writer's name, or the body of the work, but one line remains clear:
"The ceremony if innocence is drowned."
There was more -- something about goodness being faded, weakened, and Evil filled with passion -- I wish I could remember. It seems topical just now.
(Yeats? "The best are something something, and the worst are filled with passionate intensity...?")
More, I hope, later. Time to go.
Late Evening, Same Day --
Back from France, about which more later. Cromwell talk. He convinces me that to meet with Faigon is a mistake; though he calls himself Dante and is King's foe, one of the Five. Could he be the one we seek? Uncertain -- or unlikely -- but I am told that in order to announce a prior naming, or otherwise challenge King on that basis, Dante would have to become Faigon once again -- and he is bound by nothing. No treaty, no common understanding, not necessarily his own word! A different sort of creature, one whose limits we do not know. Best not to tamper -- but to be on guard.
Another interesting point: it seems that FC has decided to make his own claim! He cries foul, wishes to state grievance against King! His right -- but who will judge? In any event I consider myself disqualified; but his case, what I have heard, sounds like no case at all.
I remain uncertain as to what my part in this ought to be; Cromwell thinks I know one thing, King tells me another, and what do they want of me? Dante was one of the Five, but now he is become Rasputin -- what then? If King is right to say he has designs on Mrs Williams, ought Cromwell not to know? How is it I found out first?
Cromwell's holiday must be pleasant indeed.
France was lovely in the snow, postcard-perfect in whites and smoke and icicles. Everything is shrouded in packed white, and there are no autos on the roads. We took a sleigh out to the House.
There are children everywhere. Flushed, excitable, noisy in tatterdemalion wraps and scarves, startling contrast to the serene and skeletal trees. And so many. I think they must import them for the season.
Rachel will get along there just fine.
It was sunset, more or less, when we came through. Alex has been working on the gatehouse; some of the portals have been moved to the doorways of partitioned rooms which he is building, with beds, facilities, food. I recall him mentioning this to me; safe rooms, he called them. A place to sleep, out of danger. The work is far from done, most of the rooms are unfinished, and there are a lot of tools & supplies lying around. It will be very clever when he is through.
Woodsmoke and cool bite of air; Christmas green and holly berries or something like them everywhere; picture book porches done up in garlands. Everybody waved hello or called out season's greetings. Rachel loved it. Eyes big as saucers, everywhere at once, torn between hiding and sitting forward for a better view.
The House is not so decorated, but there is a green wreath on the door, and a line of tall candlestaves to either side of the chapel walk that were not there before. I wonder what it was like here at Candlemas -- or Christmas Eve -- or Solstice? I imagine wonderful fragments, full of ancient love and ancient ritual. Someday we shall have to be here as well, to take part.
Full circle. The ancient ritual renewed. We put winter roses on Pierre's grave. I prayed.
Later, dinner. Lunch for us. Met and spoke with Bent and the tutor, whose face I shall always remember but whose name escapes me now. We discussed Rachel. Plans, methods, schooling, religion. Many things that had not occurred to me.
Still later, business with Bent. I brought with me a number of papers, written requests to be passed on to the attorneys. Should we need funding, it will soon be available. My visit to London next month ought to finalize things. Bank accounts, wire addresses, establishment of signature identities in three countries and under several names, with options to add. Bent seems pleased. Dunno why, it's his money I am spending!
Lastly, I spoke about the House, and about the Eyes that See. I was concerned that march might bring hardship here, or open conflict.
Sleighride back home after midnight, and here we were, sunset once again. Warmer, gusty, raining, foggy.
I liked France.
Thursday, 3 January 1929; Home --
Up early today, though it is unlike me. Bought some roll paper, pens, and several small clocks. I want to have several of the recorders to ship out to King, & one to take with me when we travel. Adam can make a few more while we are gone. Everything is simple but the pens -- difficult to find the proper balance between too much ink and too little. Too much and it blotches, or runs out too fast; too little and it dries out, clogging the pen. And the assembly is sensitive to vibration -- not well suited to trasin travel at all. Lots to try yet, but only two days -- and now Clay is here.
Clay has agreed to take Adam with him to Mexico; maybe to Silverton afterwards. JNot too impressed with the boy's loquacity or manner though ... but Clay is quite intolerant in his way, even though he does not mean much by it. Toward Tony, though -- animosity! Why?
He is trying to convince me that I should leave a lot of my things behind. I suppose he is right ... sigh ... and I have come to the conclusion that Clay is one of the few who still knows nothing about Julian and I. I am torn as always, between playing it out and playing along.
Hm. Wonder how Carl and Alex are doing. Knorri .. brr!
Friday, 4 January 1929; Home --
I have been thinking some more about the things I discussed with Bent. My initial reaction was to say, "Yes -- something must be done!" and prepare the place for self-sufficiency. Now I see that that will not be enough.
Pierre built the Estate from the ground up, with his own hands, his own insight, his own love. The House and the Village are proud and happy tributes to those things, but it is not sufficient to acknowledge the debt. It must be built upon.
Beginning all this is easy. Moving the funds is a start; it allows for the opening of many channels. Land; buildings; equipment -- if the gates of Hell open in a year or two, someone must be prepared to keep the mails going, and feed the hungry. We cannot do it all, even the enormous amount of money in the Estate coffers is insignificant to this much need. Perhaps Friedman will help -- if I ask him. In the event, we begin with what we have.
The Estate -- reopen the old outbuildings, clear some of the scrublands, prepare to buy livestock. See towards hiring an estate manager, to know and care for the place as I only wish I could, and make a place for him to live on the grounds somewhere. And prepare to learn it myself! French, for starters -- also husbandry, estate economics, oenology, politics, and people people PEOPLE! I have been handed a tremendous responsibility, but it is one that ought also to be a great joy. I do not wish to shirk it! Even if I must share the burden, and never become as well-loved as he obviously was, I shall not abandon it, no! People -- my Lord -- the lifeblood of the World Soul! What better chance to grow, to touch them?
In the summer I shall return here for a month or so, and we shall begin. It occurs to me that, differences aside, Adam with his quick hands and industry and Rachel with her love of growing things might each do well by helping here.
Let the clearing begin after harvest; let the stock and the new buildings start with Spring. Within two years, God willing, the Estate will be ready to weather the storms.
The Village -- Meet the important people, learn their concerns and their needs. See to the neglected things -- money, school, Church; clear the wells, build new deeper cisterns. Let the Estate buy up the fallow lands, and try to turn foreign interests over to local folks. Have a powerhouse built locally, if there is none; begin careful stockpiling of necessities such as fuel and food. Fill the cisterns. Clothing. Medicine. How many doctors do we need?
Discuss with Bent the possible need for armament.
Horses, pigs, cattle, sheep -- what works best there? Why? If the "bounty of the Mother is withdrawn," could it mean famine? Drought? What survives the best?
I feel like Joseph, interpreting for the Pharaoh. Joseph the Dreamer -- hmmm!
Elsewhere -- England is strong, so is America. Good. Stay out of Germany, it is an economic shambles. I know too little about other places.
America is a key! It must be -- she is the greatest threat to world-wide chaos -- the richest -- and she is self-sufficient. Much attention here!
Purchase land, build generators, stockpile fuel. I want radios to keep in touch if there is no other way. Supplies -- lots of them -- but this time to store. Food, drink, medicine, fuel, clothing. Gold & silver -- especially the latter! And how to do all this with as little attention as possible drawn to it? And LEGALLY! I will have no Treasury men looking for Carl Ellis, dear me no!
Newhaven must get the same treatment as the House needs. Speak to Straight -- how quickly may we begin? Alex & I must speak soon. Can we buy nearby farms? What about water?
Amûn i well cared-for; but what about the Lightbringer?
I am going to have a LOT to speak to Juan about, I think!
The list is enormous. The time required is even greater. I shall have to speak to Julian -- but more & more it seems clear that this house will not be home for much longer. Between meeting with my people and recruiting and building up the safe places I shall have to be most often zig-zagging between France and the East Coast. California is simply too far away. (Oh yes. Remember to move or duplicate the Lab.)
Julian? What do you want, my dear heart? Will you help me, be at my side -- can you love this work? Or are we to begin finding dissatisfaction? Will we slowly drift apart? No -- say no -- say never! But it is possible.
In some things it is good that I have begun already to plan ... for more than ever it is clear that, if I wish to devote myself to developing the Nation, I must relinquish in greater part my command and hold on the Army -- and I am frightened of doing so.
By the end of Spring, or maybe Summer. Unless something changes my mind. Unless another way is found.
Troublesome, this is. And frightening. But encouraging too, in a sense. The Fight is too pervasive: we shall never be able to fully protect anything from it. There is no Maginot Line, imagined or otherwise. Not yet. But this is a concrete plan for the good, something real, a chance to grow and to build. It feels ... hopeful.
And on that note: Two letters came today, one from Meagan, one from Franklin. Franklin's is a well-detailed report on the Ireland situation. A very good job -- I hope Andrew agrees to take it on, when he gets home. I do not wish to leave the boy waiting for word any longer than is needful.
Meagan's, however, is the wonderful one!
She is in Beirut, with her husband; and she is happy. More than that -- she seems a different woman! Something has touched her; she writes as though she has begun to see, or to think, in ways she never did before. I feel as though she has joined us at last.
Granted, we shall never agree on anything, God forbid! But there is a feeling of some truthfulness or insight in her letter that I had not seen. If marriage has given her this, then even if Chandler is the foullest villain, he has blessed us all in this much.
Somewhat later, and a new bottle of ink. The waxed-reed nibs hold the ink much better, and are not so subject to spillage. Had I the time, I might seek to compensate better for the train's motion & other shocks ... but these will have to do for a first try. Hopefully the changes in the ambient flux will be spread out over some noticeable area, so as to make the pen sweep rather than spike. That way, one may note the difference between motion and flux.
Telegram from Cromwell -- informs me that I may contact a man, upon my arrival East, to negotiate terms of contract. Gah. The man sounds like a Nightsider. What a dismal life he must lead, to sour him so.
Clay and Adam. Hmm. No natural chemistry, and worse, no real understanding. Must speak to each of them in private; but Clay must learn not to talk down to the boy so much! Adam is typically quiet -- but when they talk it still feels like abuse, however glad Adam may be to think of ge3tting away from here. Poor fellow.
Now it occurs to me that by turning up the gain on the difference engine, I can eliminate the motion problem! means an amplifier -- thus triodes -- thus big power supply, & split the boxes so all the iron & AC does not hurt things. Can do - must try - will report later.
Much later. Almost midnight. One done -- will not have time to make the ones for King. not this way. Drat. Something to lv in Adam's hands? Have to send for supplies -- mail order -- hmm. Make a list in the morning, he can finish & ship them out.
Saturday, 5 January 1929; On the Road --
Heading south towards Bakersfield. Rather more luggage than I expected, but a good bit of it is "scientific" things for Mule's Eye. Hope the Box is all right; it is in the passenger-access section of the baggage car. Took a bit of talking to the porter to let me leave it there, as it is rather larger than the usual run of handbags -- but once I explained that it was for measuring certain aspects of the weather, and I had to be able to wind the mechanism and change the paper (and showed him) he complied readily enough. Heh. Now I feel like a spy.
After all this fuss I sure do hope it yields something interesting by way of results. I am jotting down arrival times and so forth in a little notebook, to match later with the paper rolls. Night time will have to fend for itself -- but the train schedules will help greatly, and it should be simple to determine how far off schedule the train is, come morning.
Two telephone calls this morning before we left: One from Andrew Scott, who is FINALLY back in London, and one from Lazlo, who is worried about Rebecca and all of that.
Andrew will speak to Franklin, and then we will see what he says about Ireland. Everything went well, he has found no signs of Avilenes, but the burned house yielded some papers which he wishes me to see. Another quote (from a third book?) and a lot of stuff about grave-robbers. Seems the Dark are trying very earnestly to find some ancient device, or perhaps someone long-dead who knows how to use it. Another, and a very powerful, Key? Or what? Intriguing, and fascinating. I cannot wait to see the papers.
Lazlo is concerned about Eveling. Very. He feels, perhaps rightly, that if I feel so strongly against what we are doing, perhaps it is more than just nerves. Maybe what we contemplate really IS wrong.
There is no way to know for certain, and someone has to take on those burdens and make those decisions. It might as well be me -- at least I know the desperate price I am paying in grief and sin and peace of mind!
But <<fill in notes from Lazlos' phone call here; the call was never role-played and so no notes were actually taken.>>
Almost six PM. Time to check the paper tape, then to dinner.
Sunday, 6 January 1929; Flagstaff, AZ --
We are here. Not much to see of Arizona so far, but what there is is impressive in a stark sort of way. Dry, flat, with few trees and lots of ruddy tan coarse soil. Buttes and mesas loom upwards with startling abruptness, gaunt and much larger and more massive than I expected. The sense of sheer GIANTNESS surprised me; almost I feel the very earth moaning under the colossal mass of a vertical mountain. Awesome. And a bit frightening, in some creepy back-of-the-neck sort of way. It is as though I half expect them to look at me; or to begin to walk.
Everywhere there is a fitful, bitter wind, and a restless shroud of snow. It is COLD! I am glad of my warm clothing ... and of the comfort of this fine, though simple, hotel. Getting to the caves will be no picnic.
Tomorrow we catch the 10 o'clock bus north, to the town of Tuba City. Then east to Mule's Eye, and then north and north until we fall off of the world.
Cold. Empty. Desperate. Thank God for her.
One grat consolation is the Box, which seems to have picked up something at least. The tape has all sorts of fuzzy spots, and a few little spikes that are either ponic events or times when the porter walked too near the crate. Either way, a return trip along the same path would prove very revealing. If this works -- then there are an AWFUL lot of things we can learn about the structure of the Earth's ponic field! And some of them may be vitally important. If shapes like those on the covers of the Books are actually significant structures waiting to be Opened, then finding those same structures naturally occurring in the Earth's flow would be a boon to he Dark! Such places are places we might find them ... or perhaps greater locks we might use to close doors they try to open.
It occurs to me now that I need not make the things with the rolled paper, if there are people to travel with them. Instead, perhaps a tank circuit attached that would ignore the slow changes near towns, and catch only the spikes! Connect this to a bell or a buzzer or light; mapping crews might catch on fast! The sensors would still have to be far from the people, of course; and the box is still large and heavy; but the back of a big wagon or stakebed truck would be sufficient. With a dozen trucks and trained crews, we might have a rough force map of the USA in six months -- or one of Europe in a year! Yes! Must begin on these as soon as practicable. King will get Adam's pair, I hope, within ten days, and more can be made....
Have to speak to Clay, he knows lots of folks that are good at trailblazing, & making or reading maps. Hmm.... This sounds more & more like American Products Co -- An assembly shop, to turn out a few dozen of the things, ship them out and give them to the explorers -- and wasn't that Barnes fellow some sort of guide or drover? I wonder where he went. I wonder where THEY are now! Hmm, indeed!
A couple of hours ago, the first of two rather remarkable things happened. I had only just handed a couple of letters to the porter for mailing and returned to pack up my stuff, when I received a telepathic call from Carl ... AND from Alexander ... at the same time! Never felt its like before -- very bizarre indeed.
The news they brought me was sobering. The Knorri mission is over; the last known Knorri in Chicago are dead. Accident or otherwise, it is done ... they attacked the party, King set off a charge, and the things were crushed under a hundred tons of rock.
And all of their history with them.
No, not all, really. Carl says there are miles of tunnels down there, and rooms, galleries, all filled with writings and the like. An archaeological treasure trove! The two of us agree that we ought to get some university sponsorship and send teams down to photograph and preserve it all. Like Egypt in Chicago -- must not let it go ignored!!
The last of them, he says, were bestial. Degenerate. They no longer thought -- only acted. A sad end... though not the most tragic. Perhaps there remain others, somewhere, who still think and dream ....
King and Carl nearly died -- thank God for Alex! They would all be gone, if it were not for him. Must remember to properly thank him.
The other thing. Rebecca. When we parted company: another Unfolding. How extraordinary.
A unique and wonderful things, this; yet in all I am of mixed feelings about what I have learned.
An example of his art, I think. Gah.
She is beautiful, that way. Like a poisonous fish, or a waterfall -- beauty that has nothing to do with peace or repose. A symphony of scar tissue? A mosaic of miseries? Perhaps.
Uncounted numbers of facets; angles; delicate threads that are needle-thin, needle-sharp; yet each intertwined with the others, a Chinese puzzle that is rigid and strong. Armor. It protects well whatever is inside, IF there is anything inside; but all of the needle points are directed OUTWARDS.
Grim; remorseless, yet beautiful.
I once again am moved to question just what it is that I see ... and just what the purpose is of this creation. For creation it is, I believe, deliberate artistry, whatever its design.
"Stay away. Stay away. Stay away. I bite." How lonely.
I note, too, my own changes, my own preoccupation. Once, the mere occurrence of the Unfolding would have been enough to transport me, unnerve me for days. Now it is what I saw, not how or why, that commands my thoughts. Have I been jaded? No indeed! The significance is not lost on me, & fascination remains; but my fascinations are merely my own -- while others' problems affect all of us.
Monday, 7 January 1929; Tuba City, AZ --
Spent the day in a large, beaten motorbus, swaying and rattling north along a road that was at times nearly impossible to find. Light gusts and flurries of snow kept visibility down, and wisps of freezing air crept in through the cracks in the windowsills, but overall the bus was warm enough, and the snowfall never got too heavy. The three of us were comfortable enough, and the coach was far from crowded -- usually only two or three others, with room for twice as many -- but there was not much to say. I asked Clay about surveyors for the mapping parties (he suggested hiring Geology students) and commented on the similarity of what I was thinking about to the bits we know of APC. To Clay it was elementary: he has long felt sure that the APC devices and those of Maserk and Interigal were related, so the things I mentioned only clarified the issue. He believes that all of the ponic batteries and fancy locators are designed to help do in deep ocean just what I hope to do on land: Map the flows, and chart the conjunctions.
If it helps them find certain long-lost places of Power ... so much the better ....
A disquieting thought.
Sometime this afternoon, another telepathic message, this time from Dani: "Call me!" That's all. Well! I cannot return her "call", I do not know her well enough ... and here, on a bus, there are no regular telephones. What am I to do?
Well, I tried and I tried -- and in the end she obviated the difficulty by calling back, an hour or so later. She is concerned about my letter vis. Marklin and Caldwell -- it seems that Lenore's brother Roger is one of her beaux. Imagine my surprise ... I can certainly understand her distress.
I eased her mind somewhat, learned to my astonishment that they were introduced by Zelda (!!!) and asked her to contact Theo and to think about watchdogging Mrs. Williams. So that issue is now well in hand. I'd match Dani against a Nightsider with confidence, if I had to.
So -- Tuba City. Funny little town, not much here; though I seem to recall DAF saying something about owning some establishment here? It was long ago, and I forget now. Makes little difference anyway.
My principal concern on the long ride was for my equipment, strapped onto the top of the coach in the grip of the elements, but it all seems okay.