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Underby Private Work Journal, 30 July

I know not yet the outcome, but it would seem the deed has been done. Last night, quite late, in fact the sun was just threatening to tickle the sky with its rosy fingers when I heard the trap door swing down in the hidden back room. I placed one more glass of whiskey in front of old Pete, his head down on the bar, perhaps praying to Dionysus for more fervor in his pursuit of spirits, should such a thing be possible, and crept over to the middle westside bookcase and withdrew a certain volume. The bookcase swung open and I walked inside the cool humid room.

Pip stood at the bottom of the ladder, cloaked entirely in black. He looked not at me, but to the well in the back of room which still glows eerily such an eldritch green, and sometimes I fancy that I can hear a hum as well. I followed his eyes, and found myself lulled into a deep stare, though noticing I was lulled into a stare was enough to also break me from it. I looked away from the well and back to my small assistant.

“Well?” I asked at length, as he spoke not. “What is the news?”

He brushed past me and re-opened the bookcase, entering back into the Bucket of Blood. He pulled off his cloak as he rounded the bar and tossed it beneath.

I watched as he stepped onto his crate, and began to rearrange the bottles to his liking, humming not his customary tunes. He did all this in deepest silence.

“Speak, will you? Did the airship fail? Did it remain aloft, or were you successful?” It is not in my nature to usually beg for such answers, but I found myself quite overtaken with anxiousness. Perhaps something else compelled me, something not of my own being. As I write these words I begin to wonder did HE not have some part in my fervor at that moment? Can he read these words as I write them? Wishes are truly pointless, yet I do wish he had never come to this city.

Where was I?

My questions, yes. Pip looked up at me only briefly after I questioned him so, and for a time still said nothing. He made me feel rather queer in my own establishment, and so I took up my coat and hat and went to make my way from the property, as I rounded the bar he finally spoke.

“aye,” he said in his brittle reedy voice. “aye, she went down.”



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