IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

The friends of Jackson Elias meet for a coffee before he begins a most fateful journey.

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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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As the conversation continues, Tremayne chugs American coffee with evident relish. He pulls a snakeskin humidor out of a jacket pocket and offers the assemblage rather meaty cigars before lighting one himself, careful not to puff clouds of smoke in the ladies' faces though.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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"Thank you, but I'll pass," says Amy. She knows he probably doesn't expect her to take a cigar, but she cannot resist the impulse to use a sly quip that occurred to her. "I'm Amy Lawrence, not Amy Lowell." The famous poetess is well known for smoking cigars.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Jordan accepts the big cigar and lights it with relish. He then replies to Amy's quip.
"I thought so because of the lack of a moustache defacing your very fine lips.", Jordan's lack of appreciation for the poetess was no big secret.

He gingerly straightens his own whiskers with his thumb and turns to Tremayne.
"Did you ever hunt tiger, Tremayne? I hear they are the most wicked things, more often turning the hunter into the hunted."
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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I'm sorry but I will have to refuse since the tobacco is bad for the vocal cords and lungs and without them fully functional I will be unemployed.
Clark says with a smirk
"The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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-You are going so soon? I was expecting you would stay more time here.- says Michael surprised.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Dayton shakes hands with all around him, shares in the Irish coffee and cigars, laughs and thoroughly enjoys the gathering.
Raiko wrote: When [Jackson's] coffee arrives he presents his cup knowingly to his pal James, while simultaneously trying to ask about the Yankee’s and Giants chances of meeting in a fourth consecutive World Series.
Dayton shakes his head and says, "Not likely this year, Jackson. The Yanks will need to go through Rogers Hornsby and the Senators this year, and Rogers won't let that happen. The Babe has some serious competition this year." After talking statistics for a while, he begins listening with interest to the discussion of Jackson's African expedition, and asks, "Is there some way that I can help, Jackson?"
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Tremayne looks rather guilt-struck. "I do apologise Miss Lawrence, been spending too much time in the company of just rough men. Next time I shall pack some decent Pall Malls."

Tremayne turns to Jordan. "Yes old boy, I have had to hunt a few when they've attacked a village or the chaps building railways. Not to be underestimated, I know one sepoy who was killed when the cat punched him in the back of the neck. Big paws. But I'm much happier mountaineering than hunting in all honesty."
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Jordan nods, excited by the news. "Hunting a thinking opponent is dangerous sport, it is both more challenging and addicting when your target can strike or shoot back."

He sips from his upgraded cream coffee and continues,

"There are few things that make you feel so alive like that sort of hunt, except maybe making love to a beautiful woman. There is nothing that can make a man feel mightier than that, especially not when the weather outside is too hot and the wine inside is nice and chilled."

He smiles at Amy for a moment and then concludes.

"Mountaineering? In the very vertical way? I prefer hiking through mountains myself. My knee doesn't bend the way it used to after I took some shrapnel in it."

He slaps his leg to emphasise.
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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The Coffee Pot - Corner of 8th Avenue and West 23rd Street, New York City
1:45pm, Tuesday 23rd June, 1924

Jackson accepts one of Tremayne’s cigar, commenting he prefers his pipe, “but I won’t say no.”

He artfully dodges any questions about his Africa trip, or offers of help, repeating that he never talks about a book at such an early stage, and claiming that, “It’s probably just a wild goose chase anyway, too unbelievable to be true.”

Wherever possible Jackson steers the conversation onto other matters, baseball, boxing, prohibition, the Olympic Games in Paris and asking what Archie thinks of the British climbers George Mallory and Sandy Irvine disappearing on Mt Everest earlier in the month; did he think they’d still be found alive? Could they have reached the summit?

At the same time Kensington listens to Tremayne’s plans and says that while the works that Prospero House normally publish are bent more towards the supernatural and the mysterious he would certainly be willing to publish Tremayne’s accounts after his expedition. However, if he has no firm plans, then perhaps he would consider helping out Kensington first?

“Another of my author’s is planning a trip into the Cascade Mountains east of Portland, Oregon, in search of ‘Skoocooms,’ – giant, carnivorous, wild-men said to live in those hills according to the folklore of the local tribes.”

Kensington raises his eyebrows, “Sightings of such creatures have been made by loggers and trappers in the area, and so my man Ford, thinks there’s a good book in it. I’ve provided Ford with an advance so that he could hire a local guide, and he’s only planning to spend a month or two at the most in the area, but the north-west is still such a wild and lawless region – I’d feel better if he was with an experienced man that I could trust.”

--------

Amongst all the conversation and questions, the only thing that Jackson doesn’t appear to be ready for is Amy’s increasingly insistent pleas to be taken along. This appears to catch him totally by surprise. Recovering his wits, the best that he can manage is, “Now look Amy, it might seem like a fantastic adventure to travel to East Africa, but you really must put your education first.”

“The chances are that this is all just a complete waste of time, but if not then it might be really dangerous. I couldn’t forgive myself if any harm came to you - perhaps another time?”
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Amy looks crestfallen, on the verge of tears. "Please let me come with you!" she begs. "I can be packed and ready to go by the time you are." In truth, she was already packed. "If there's going to be danger, I want to be with you when you face it." Sudden realization strikes her: if it is dangerous, he might not ever come back. She might be able to survive not seeing him for months on end, but she didn't know how she'd cope with never seeing him again. The floodgates open, and the tears spill down her cheeks. "I'm worried that it might be too dangerous for you! What if something happens to you there? Don't you know that I love you?!" The words are out before she even realizes what she's saying.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Michael makes a quick smile and the pretends to never heard this. She finally admit it!
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Tremayne nods assent to Kensington's suggestion. "Well, if I've got a sporting chance of a publisher in America, I believe it's time to resign my commission and turn full time mountaineer, explorer and author. I would be happy to go to Oregon for your creatures, good mountains I have heard."

Tremayne politely ignores the scene with Amy.
OOC,Can Tremayne maybe make a psychology roll to get a sense of whether Elias is hiding something or lying?
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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"Oregon?", Jordan chimes in loudly, helping to draw attention away from the Amy-situation. "That's bear country. I hope you brought your hunting gear, Tremayne, the Rocky Mountain black bear isn't as friendly or helpful as the Rudyard Kipling ones they have in India."
He smiles with the cigar clenched between his teeth.
"You're not sending your newest catch to get eaten by wild bears and wilder men, are you, Jonah?"
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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The Coffee Pot - Corner of 8th Avenue and West 23rd Street, New York City
1:46pm, Tuesday 23rd June, 1924

The normally unflappable Jackson Elias is momentarily left stunned and speechless by Amy's declaration of love; he quickly regains his relaxed, self-assured demeanor though. Smiling fondly at Amy he asks, "Could we speak privately for a moment outside Amy?"

Jackson takes a final sip of his coffee, stands and addresses the others, "It's probably time to say goodbye for now guys. I've got a lot to do today before I leave."

"Archie, my room at the Chelsea is paid for until the end of the week, so you're welcome to use it."


He then just waits to see if Amy accompanies him to the door.

Jonah and Elizabeth nod encouragingly to Amy - Elizabeth is beaming, she has long been trying to set up Elias with a nice young lady - then Jonah reaches to shake Tremayne's hand, "That's great Archie, I'll arrange your train tickets and an advance for expenses. It's good to know that Ford will be in safe hands - I can introduce you tomorrow."
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Amy eagerly goes outside with Jackson, hope surging anew within her and a smile returning to her face. Now he'll surely take me with him after all! she thinks, drying her eyes with a handkerchief.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Jackson, it was my delight to see you before you leave.
Clark, his old past friend, says with a smile as he shakes his hand.
Please, don't forget to stop by when you return as you know how much I love to hear about your adventures. You will find me in the usual place, just follow the music downtown.
He then turns to Jonah and Elizabeth
It was my pleasure. Have a good night my lady.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Marko stood and shook Jackson's hand, "Good luck on the trip and let me know if you need any legwork done back here." He began to gather his things and prep to leave himself.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Michael feels some pity for Amy.
-Goodbye Jackson, and try to return in one piece.
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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"Don't come back crying if a lion mangles your leg , Elias, you should have taken a decent shot along.", he grins as he leans back in his chair, waving Jackson off.
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: IC - Prologue - New York, June 1924

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Tremayne grins at Jackson and shakes his hand. “Good luck old son, can’t wait for the next book. Telegraph me if you have problems with the British authorities. And I’ll take you up on the offer of your room, most kind.”

Tremayne shakes hands with Jonah and raises his hat to Elizabeth. “Until tomorrow old boy.”

Finally, he turns to Jordan (who Tremayne is finding a little wearing). “Bears? Thanks for the warning. I shall do as we instruct young subalterns in India – apply the five ‘P’s.”

“Politeness, Polish, Precautions, Preparation, and Plenty of firepower. The five Ps have served my country well.”


Tremayne raises his hat in polite farewell to the rest of the gathering.
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