November 21, 1928 -- Letter To Hannalore Rhyner
Mailed From Arturius Rand's home in Arkham, MA
21 November 1928
I was indeed still at Professor Rand's home when your letter arrived . . . but only just. Had it come a few hours later, there is no telling when I might have seen it! As things are, your note arrived in timely fashion, and is much appreciated. I thank you.
Truthfully. I had not expected to hear from you so soon. I did not expect on-going reports! It is rather disappointing to hear that you have had no contact with the rest of Mr. King's followers, or with their society; but at the time when you wrote your letter Zelda had not met any of our people either. In the past few days, she has met with more than a few of us, singly or in groups. Perhaps, if you express a desire, the same sort of introductions may be forthcoming . . .
Does this letter seem abysmally stark or professional? It is not meant to be so. I am very concerned for your happiness and well-being; not merely for your safety, or the "success of the mission". Many have told me, however, that my letters read very stiffly; so what am I do do? Enroll in a literary charm school? Whatever the case, please understand that we worriers think often of you there.
I have heard of Doctor Cromwell from several sources. He would seem to be an important and enigmatic figure to most; though no one seems to like him very well personally. I wonder whether "Cromwell" is his own name, or a mask such as the Nightsiders use? He would seem to need such a psuedonym, working amongst them as he does. I pray he is more genial with long acquaintance than in the brief meetings which have been described to me!
In months to come I hope to sponsor a continuing program of medical research into the Nightsider Condition. Alex Chase in particular is very intrigued by this possibility, as he feels that there is a good chance of total recovery for those with the Condition who have not yet "crossed over". While we have no hard facts as yet to justify this optimism, it is something of which you ought to be aware.
Mister Emerson is not well, I saw him yesterday; but he is rather haggard and all at odds from lack of sleep. I believe that he has been trying to keep to Zelda's hours as well as his own, and it has run him down considerably. Should you write to him, I beg you to urge a slower pace. He is reluctant to listen to us.
Last Saturday, all of us -- all the active participants in the Fight - gathered together to meet and talk. We held a brief ceremony in memory of the honored dead. Your late husband was named amongst the others. It was quiet; simple, and very moving. I thought you should know.
With regard to Mr. King . . . I do not know what to say, exactly. The uneasiness you feel in his presence is not merely a personal reaction; it is something we all feel, when in close company with the Nightsiders. A very basic warning signal. But the possibility that he may try to force his attentions on you is not a welcome one at all! I am surprised at the possibility - but perhaps I should not have been. None of us fully understand him, or his motive, or his desires. It is a mistake to believe otherwise or to become complacent.
Even so, I cannot imagine King working so long and hard to forge this alliance merely to arrange an introduction. Thus I do not believe he will risk its disintegration merely because he becomes swept away by an affection which you do not share! Since I am discounting possibilities, however, let me say this; if anything untoward should happen, get out! Your health and safety are immensely more important than the treaty, and the alliance must not be used a a bargaining chip. In the event, we shall rebuild as we may.
I see this letter taking a rather pessimistic tone. Do not think that I mean to sadden you! That is not the case. I shall be writing another letter to King directly along with this one, urging resolute action and a conclusion to this middle phase of things. The treaty documents in their latest form were, on the whole, well received. I anticipate no further big surprises from our end.
Happy Thanksgiving, dear lady. My heartfelt good wishes, and Julian's as well, go with you. It is my fond hope that I shall be able to wish you Merry Christmas in person.
With Most Sincere Regards,