Let the record show, sirs and madams, that my life has now been officially endangered. Welcome back to the blog-about.

I daresay, I was in a foul mood when I last wrote to you. The thought of lingering in Myrtle Beach with Sir Quincy Jones was weighing unpleasantly on my soul, and I was right to dread it, of course; had I been forewarned of the frightening incident that would befall us during our stay, I would have insisted that we not only leave the seaside town immediately but that we quit the state of South Carolina altogether.

In fairness, I must admit that the past few days have not been awful in their entirety. On Wednesday the weather was mild, and we wandered around aimlessly, visiting the local shops, restaurants, amusement parks, and other local attractions. While we were out and about, Sir Quincy, ever the courteous knight, cordially greeted every person who was unfortunate enough to cross paths with us, and let me assure you, it was mortifying to watch their reactions: some merely eyed him with worry and disgust, or pulled their children close to them, or stared down at their phones, walking past without a word of acknowledgment (these people he branded as “unacceptably rude,” shouting insults after them as they hurried away), while others politely returned his greeting or stopped for a brief chat. One young couple, thinking, perhaps, that he was some sort of mascot or street performer, even asked if we would take a photo of them with Sir Quincy, which of course Roland was only too happy to do. All of this served to feed into my associate's delusions, and he formed the opinion that, aside from some of the ill-mannered riffraff, the citizens of Myrtle Beach were pleasant and honorable people who knew a great warrior when they saw one.

The danger did not become apparent until yesterday morning when Sir Quincy made it known that he wished to dine at a tavern that had been highly recommended to him. The tavern in question was, as you might imagine, not a tavern at all but a local Waffle House (a chain of breakfast establishments iconic of the American South, if you are unfamiliar), but Sir Quincy could hardly be led to believe this.

Having risen late, we arrived at the restaurant in between the busy hours of breakfast and lunch and found it mostly empty. We were welcomed by the servers and cooks behind the counter (most Waffle Houses maintain their kitchens in full view of their patrons, who enjoy watching the preparation of their food) and were told to sit anywhere we liked. Sir Quincy urged us to dine at the bar in order to get the “full tavern experience,” and we let him have his way, for he was unusually animated that morning, and I sensed that it would be of no use to point out the many vacant booths that were available. I had already tried in vain to persuade him to once more leave his billiards cue in the car, but he would hear nothing of it, chastising himself for having made the mistake of heeding my advice at the tavern of the owl, whose lovely barmaids, he argued, would have been endlessly entertained by his mighty weapon.

Our waitress was a middle-aged woman who, understandably bewildered by the four tourists who had just strolled in, stared over her thick-rimmed glasses at Sir Quincy Jones as he sat down, adjusting his steel chest-piece and leaning his trusty blade against the counter. Realizing she should refrain from asking questions which were better left unanswered, she proceeded to take our orders and treat us with hospitality, and for a short while I was at least able to pretend that I was in the company of sensible, well-adjusted people.

It was a very short while, indeed, as Sir Quincy soon went about asking the restaurant staff if they could share any rumors about a mysterious northern town by the name of Arkham. No one had any idea what he was talking about except for one of the cooks, who remembered attending a church by the name of Arkham when he was younger. When the cook shared this, Sir Quincy laughed aloud, saying:

“No, no, my good man, I seek no church! I am a noble knight, a man of arms who honors the gods with his deeds, and it is true that the only reason for a knight to seek out a church in this land should be to hold its preachers accountable for the falsehoods purveyed by the wagging of their foolish tongues!”

Following this, he launched into a tirade on the subject of faith, the purpose of which was chiefly to mock and lambaste poor Samuel Thompson, the Charleston preacher whom he had victimized several weeks ago, and to express pity for the “hordes of unthinking sheep who follow blindly the arrogant convictions of their shepherds,” and to indulge in similarly inflamed rhetoric.

He began his rant just as a trio of men who had been sitting at the far end of the restaurant were preparing to leave, and as they stood in line to pay their bill, I noticed that these men were very clearly angered by Sir Quincy's words. One of them, a stout fellow with a thick beard, was staring daggers at us, and meeting his eyes, I shrugged my shoulders and smiled sympathetically. My peace offering did not seem to mollify him, for he merely muttered something under his breath and left the restaurant in a huff; through the storefront window, I watched as he and his friends piled into an old Jeep and drove off.

At the time, this encounter somewhat unsettled me, but I soon put it from my mind and thought little of it until we returned to the hotel later that evening. The clock struck eleven as Roland pulled into the parking lot, and as he maneuvered the car into its space, we saw that the lot was occupied by two vehicles; one was a dark-brown van, and the other I recognized as the old Jeep from earlier in the day. As we got out of the limousine, a gang of six men suddenly rushed out of the van and blocked our passage to the hotel entrance. They were dressed in ghostly white gowns and pointed hoods that concealed everything but their eyes, and one of them, brandishing a heavy lead pipe, asked us in a low drawl if we thought it was fun to laugh in the face of God.

I have heard horrible stories of the Klan, sirs and madams, but I can say with absolute certainty that I have never harbored a desire to meet them in person. Trying to keep the tremors out of my voice, I ventured diplomacy, replying that no, we did not revel in making light of anyone's beliefs, and that all we wanted was to retire to our rooms for the night and be on our way in the morning, and if they would be so kind as to allow this, we would be very grateful to them. In response, I was told to “shut up, you limey faggot,” and to “hand over the heathen, and the nigger,” by which I assume they were referring to my associate and his mild servant (yes, Fuser is indeed of Argentinian descent, friends, but I suspect it mattered very little to these bigots).

Sweat broke across my brow as I stood there, trying to conjure up a means of diffusing the situation, and at that moment, Sir Quincy, who had been leaning forward and squinting at the interlopers in the dim, orange glow of the streetlights, cried out unexpectedly:

“Ah, I thought mine eyes did deceive me, but no! The dead walk among us tonight! You, friend Darcy, you who would not give credit to the truth of Jonathon's words when he spoke of the unholy things that haunt the dark, sequestered corners of the world, what say you now that they reveal themselves 'neath the gaze of a Carolina moon? What say you now, eh?

Spectres! Restless spirits of the ancient past, glutted on hatred and innocent life, your days are long since done! Your banners are torn asunder, and your fury is powerless against the noble warriors of this modern age! Fly, ghosts, fly back to Saint Desert-Myth or whichever villainous enchanter from whose breast you first sprang, or be ruined upon this mine glorious blade, and sleep forever with your withered doctrine clasped betwixt your unhappy claws!”

Having thus spoken, he charged forth with all the wild abandon of a rabid dog, and so surprised were the Klansmen by this turn of events that three of them felt the cruel sting of the billiards cue before they could react. As Roland cheered him on and Fuser and I watched in stunned silence, Sir Quincy delivered unto his foes such a ghastly thrashing that they scattered before him, whimpering and clutching their bruises, retreated to their vehicles, and fled, speeding around the corner and out of sight.

Once we were safely back in our rooms, Fuser helped Sir Quincy to dress his wounds—he had sustained a few blows during the skirmish, though you would not know it from the dignified way in which he continued to carry himself. Roland and I remained awake for the greater part of the night, waiting for the local constabulary to knock on our door; it seemed, however, that no one had alerted them, despite the considerable racket we had raised. We checked out of the hotel early this morning, and so far we have been on the road without further incident.

Now, the terrors of last night seem like a distant dream. As I sit in this limousine heading north, my associate dozing beside me in the backseat, I am amazed that we came out of the ordeal as well as we did. When I think of what further misfortunes may lie ahead, I become very tired; in fact, I am very tired right now.

The ninth chapter of the tale of King Orofyld XVIII, transcribed in full. After giving it some thought, I have decided to resume my critique of the “history” in our next correspondence, so you may look forward to that:

Read Chapter Nine

Until next time, my friends, and I do sincerely hope that all of you are having a better go of it than I.

Ever yours, and ever classy,

Good Sir Darcy