Opening their paper at breakfeast they learn the shocking news that Captain Douglas has been found dead (see Famed Sea Captained Murdered). Starkweather and Moore cannot be found. The press is worse then ever before.
The investigators are interviewed by the lead detective, detective Hansen, who is most interested in the one that drove him to the hotel. He learns nothing usefull from them, from him they learn that the Captain still had his money when hauled from the water, so robery appears not to have been the motive. A vague description of a large framed man, probably strong, in a hat and overcoat running from the scene is all they have. Douglas’ brother has been notified.
In order to protect the expedition and seen as a matter of honor, the investigators decide to look into the Captains death. After all they were responsible for looking after the man.
At the Westbury Hotel they find that the deceased Captains room is under lock and key, guarded by a policeofficer. It has not yet been searched. The clerk at the hotel, for a small compensation gives them the following information:
Douglas checked in three days ago. He has had no visitors, nor has anyone asked for him at the desk. He spent most of his time here in his room
He made several telephone calls. The clerk does not know to whom, but did overhear one conversation where the name «Lexington» was mentioned.
Checking the hotel register they notice that a man named Mr. Anthony Sothcott checked into the hotel the day after Douglas. According to the clerk the man asked for the roomnumber 21 specificly, claiming it was his lucky number. The man was very well dressed, powerfully build and spoke with a German accent. Sothcott checked out today, before the clerk came to work.
The clerk leaves little doubt that they can see room nr. 21 if they, hmm, pay another small fee…
They find nothing at all in room 21 of interest, just a bed, bedding, a chair and table, a pitcher and basin, and a cracked mirror. However there is a door leading into room 23. Sneaking into the room, they quietly search it. The fist thing that strikes them is that it has already been searched. Douglas possessions is strewn about, his luggage opened and the bed linen torn from the mattress. The floor is covered with scraps and shards of items that have been carelessly smashed. The room has been thoroughly, and none to gently, searched. They find the following items in the room:
- Two framed photos, with glass broken. One shows the ships Arkham and Miskatonic at Hobart Harbour, dated 1930. The other depicts Douglas in uniform with another man, clearly a relative. A brother perhaps?
- Papers, letters and personal effects. Packets of letters from Douglas’ brother are here, as well as seaman’s certificates, personal papers, and a scrap book of his travels on the Miskatonic Expedition to Antarctica. These have been gone through and scattered around the room.
- Several small bound journals. These date from 1920 through 1933. The entries are terse, infrequent, and contain mostly technical shipboard information. (Miles traveled, crew discipline, shipboard repairs, etc.) The volumes covering the period between September 1930 and March 1931 are missing; the time of the Miskatonic expedition.
- Several crumpled sheets of paper hold potential clues, as follows:
- Starkweather, Amherst Hotel. WH-5040; 10:00 A.M.
- Gerald Brackman GR-7738
- Philip—10:40, 12:55, 3:10, 8:45 (overnight)
- Wykes, Grimes, Brewer—Purple Cup
- A. Lexington QB-0505 [several check marks next to the phone number]
- A partially written letter from Douglas to Philip, found among the scattered papers on the floor. (see wiki for the letter)
This is all they find before the cops are, and they must sneak out.
Information about the clues:
1. The Purple Cup is a bar down by the docks, close to where the body of Douglas was found floating.
2. Gerald Brackman: A lawyer, offices at the 4th floor of 8th avenue and 91st street Manhattan. Brackman has little of substance to tell them. He confirms that he met with Douglas on September 5th at 2 p.m. The reason for the meeting and what was discussed between them is confidential, especially in view of the fact of Douglas’ death. Douglas left no papers or documents in Brackman’s care, nor did he discuss anything about the expeditions or his other reasons for being in New York. The relationship between the two men was purely professional.
3. Acacia Lexington: They are unable to reach her by phone, even after several attempts. A ploy is conceived in order to arrange a party and invite Lexington.