Diary entry for October 12th, 1923 – continued
As I left the bookshop it was already dark as I stepped onto the dirt road, into the Rhode Island night, and I thought I heard an owl far off in the distance. There was a chill in the air, and there would doubtless be a frost in the morning. The houses of brick and tile looked as precarious and sickly as the marshy ground on which they were built, and a pagan offering of fish and sticks nailed on to a gatepost startled me, though I had been shown them before in town by my friend Crowley, who had informed me that they were a good luck charm placed here by those who still clung to what he called the “old” beliefs, which were believed to ward off spirits known to reside in these parts.
I confess that the events of the day, followed by this strange piece of fortune, was enough to send a brief chill down my spine. Nonetheless, I felt a great sense of hope for the future as I set out on foot along the road towards my hotel, Mr Lovecraft’s words still echoing in my mind, deciding that he must indeed be all right if he was a friend of Aleister’s and spoke so eloquently. The night was dark, but I decided that if even one star shone far away that would be enough for me. Looking up I saw Carcosa, the Hyades, Hastur, Hali and Aldebaran twinkling in the distant sky.
Though I have made a great many journeys on foot at night time at home in Connecticut and have never been prone to flights of fancy, I must confess that from time to time on my journey I fancied I saw great nebulous shapes moving a ways off in the distance, obscured by the undergrowth in the forest beyond the fields that passed either side of the track. At one point I was convinced that I heard footsteps following me. I turned around; no one there. Only ships that pass in the night, I suppose.
When I got back spoke to Crowley briefly. He vouched for Mr Lovecraft’s character, and also volunteered the information that our friend has a number of interesting skulls in his collection which I would no doubt want to see given my research into human precursors. Indeed I was thinking about writing a book on the subject, and we agreed that arrangements would be made for a meeting of the three of us upon my next visit to town…
There is no more in the diary to suggest that the discussed further meeting ever occured, but Beckett does mention a visit to a bizarre “occultist” who had a number of un-usual skulls in his collection, on which occasion Beckett read a short story called “The Thing In Darkness.”
In 1924, less than a year later, Beckett disappeared in Mexico while researching for a new book. He was never seen or heard from again. The diary, which has been authenticated, is believed to have been held by a private collector in London for some years prior to it coming to light.
The manuscript is now in the collection of Mr Sterling Pons of London, England, who is also an author…
Ilustration credit: Moebius