A Meeting in Ionia and The Unfortunate Events That Followed

Dearest Elvira,

My rendezous in Erythrai with Hafez, the Mohammedian arcanist I've told you about, and Herr Schimmelmann the archaelogist was a smashing success. 

Hafez is quite the genial host; I always look forward to the preliminaries at his grand Aegean villa, though my equilibrium and fortitude is always tested by his taste for inebriating consumables. The Bacchanalian nature of the festivities included innumerable decanters of rakai, a liquor with both heady and hallucinatory effects. Archimedes, with his famous Cretan Bull like constitution fared almost as well as Hafez himself, a good stout fellow and partner indeed. The loss of his wits by Herr Schimmelmann was quite comedic. My own faculties were tested dearly, and I kept my composure throughout the night, though in an amusing turn by morning I found my self in sweet repose in the shade of an outcropping along the shore some distance from our host's estate. 

In the afternoon we got down to business in fine Turkish style. Convening in Hafez's parlor around his heirloom hookah; Turkish tobacco is of the finest quality my dear and I shall return to Hertfordshire with an ample supply. 

As Saturnian as Hafez Mustafa's comportment is in times of revelry, he is equally earnest when it comes down to business. Schimmelmann was in quite a state of alcohol induced ague; the fortitude of the gentle Bavarian has clearly diminished with advanced age. Sorry for the lengthy digression my love.

The whereabouts of the alchemical tome of Uruk has narrowed significantly and my latest quest for the truths of the ancients nears fruition. Schimmelmann's production of maps and sketches will I believe prove invaluable, and Hafez at a fair price will provide all the necessaries.

On my last day in Turkey came the arrival of damned unpleasant news from Istanbul. Our poor compatriot Helmut's dauntless spirit overwhelmed his good sense. On his return from acquiring additional funds and strong backs from Prussia he ran afoul of one the Kaiser's Mark V Leviathan dreadnaughts. Instead of assuming the more sensible strategem of out running the behemoth, he fool heartedly engaged the heavily armed airship. The outcome, needless to say, was nonfortuitous. Alas, I assume jolly good Helmut perished in the ball of flame that was the damn fine ship Daedalus. 

Well my dearest, my return to Britain has for the present been forestalled, as Archimedes and I must engage a reputable, but not too reputable, commercial transport.

Yours always fairest,


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