What have I done to deserve this, sirs and madams? Welcome back to the blog-about.

When last we spoke, it was in the wake of the crazed beating of Samuel Thompson, the kindly preacher who arrived at the Jones estate with the best of intentions and left with some of the worst indentations I have ever seen inflicted upon a man. Things were, in a word, not great, and it brings me no small amount of sorrow to say that the state of affairs in Charleston has not improved in the slightest; Sir Quincy Jones remains a blithering idiot, and Roland, Fuser, and I are still powerless to do anything about it.

After two weeks of making daily telephone calls, I was finally able to contact Dr. Richard Thompson and offer my apologies for the barbarism to which his younger brother had been subjected. I suspect that Dr. Thompson could detect the ill-concealed anxiety and frustration in my voice, for he was very patient with me, even going so far as to assure me that Samuel was not hurt all that badly; however, when I pleaded for him to consider making a house call, he told me quite firmly that he would be having nothing more to do with Sir Quincy Jones, and that I should think myself fortunate that his brother was not pressing charges. Before he abruptly ended the call, he advised me to have my associate institutionalized with all possible speed and then return to England at once for some much-needed rest and reprieve. It is a shame that we have not spoken since, for he is clearly a very sensible person.

I should mention that while I was conversing with Dr. Thompson, I was forced to contend with Sir Quincy, who, for the entire duration of the call, stood uncomfortably close to me and demanded that I refrain from making any sort of apology to “that addle-brained, pompous, wafer-eating oaf or his kin” on his behalf, saying that in reality he had done Samuel a favor, as the repeated blows he had delivered to the preacher's head might very well have realigned whatever had come loose up there, and if this proved to be the case, then he would expect a heartfelt admission of gratitude for his efforts.

Compounding my torment, dear friends, is the fact that the fears of which I made mention three weeks ago have been realized; Sir Quincy talks ceaselessly of his imminent “grand adventure,” and he busies himself with the preparations necessary for him to take an extended leave of absence from his ancestral home.

Dreading the answers I might receive, I asked him about the nature of this adventure, remarking that he seemed quite excited about it, and I was surprised by his response. As I have said, although Sir Quincy spends the majority of his time in the throes of madness, there are rare moments when he demonstrates such keen understanding and fine judgment that one thinks him entirely sane. When prompted by my inquiry, he was seized by one of those moments, and as he looked me in the eye and gave me a politely amused smile, it was as if he had suddenly returned unblemished from the oily depths of his own delusions and was whole once again, my equal and my friend.

He summoned Roland and Fuser, and the four of us sat around the table in the parlor, where it seemed a very important meeting was about to take place. I swear that I shall never forget the cool, confident fire that glowed in Sir Quincy's eyes as he leaned over the table that afternoon and said in a voice that was hushed but not quite a whisper:

“My friends, this is it. We are embarking on perhaps the greatest literary expedition in history. We are going to find the rest of the story.”

He leaned back in his chair, grinning proudly.

I asked him what exactly he meant, and he said in reply that three days hence, he would begin his quest to find the second half of the tale of King Orofyld XVIII. He informed us that whoever had originally deposited the volumes of parchment on his doorstep had only left enough for a partial reading of the story; in its current state, the tale was incomplete, and this, Sir Quincy declared, was simply impermissible.

Roland and Fuser exchanged glances, and I, playing along with his grandiosity, pretended offense at having been gifted with an unfinished version of the king's tale. For this, Sir Quincy apologized deeply, saying that he had intended to inform me sooner, but had decided to withhold this revelation upon seeing how enraptured I had become with the story (poppycock!).

As Roland chuckled and Fuser smiled meekly, I deigned to accept his apology, and I questioned his rationale for the proposed quest, tactfully expressing my doubts regarding the existence of the remainder of the manuscript. While Sir Quincy allowed that he did not know for certain that the document had been finished, he argued that its second half must exist somewhere, for as he phrased it:

“All stories have endings, and one so great and memorable as that of His Majesty's rise cannot possibly be lacking in this regard.”

How in the world should I have responded to that, sirs and madams? I could offer no answer to the preposterous leaps in logic which presented themselves in that statement, and so I lapsed into silence as he eagerly expounded upon the itinerary he had planned for our journey. Adrift in my own muddled thoughts, I was not paying close attention to Sir Quincy as he spoke—although I did hear him mention the town of Arkham several times, a name which, for unknown reasons, rings familiar to my ear. I wonder if perhaps I have read of it somewhere, or heard it echoed in a song long ago...

Well, I suppose it does not really matter, does it? What matters is the fact that come the morrow, Sir Quincy Jones will sally forth on his imagined quest, and I, tragically, shall embark with him, for as you know, I am a gentleman through and through, and I will not have it said that I abandoned my poor friend when he needed my help most desperately. Madness be damned! I swear on the good name of my family that I shall break Sir Quincy of this fever, and until then I shall not leave his side. Woe be to those who would cast aspersions upon the solemnity of this gentleman's vow!

Do you know, Roland actually told me yesterday that he is looking forward to this silly misadventure? He said—and with such casual sincerity, mind you, as if he truly meant it—that I should consider being more cheerful about the whole affair, and that maybe, just maybe, our adventure would turn out to be half as thrilling as any of the glorious deeds of King Orofyld XVIII. The gall of that mischief-maker! Why, if any of my other servants ever dared to speak so brazenly, I would bestow upon them the most severe of punishments! Annoying bloke!

Oh, enough of this. I must rest tonight if I am to weather the idiocies that tomorrow threatens to bring. Before I go, the seventh chapter of the apparently unfinished tale, transcribed for your pleasure:

Read Chapter Seven

Wish me well, dear friends; all too soon, I shall have left Charleston behind and become stranded somewhere in this vast, unfamiliar country, accompanied by a madman, a mild Argentinian, and my most flippant of servants.

Ever yours, and ever classy,

Good Sir Darcy