Starkweather-Moore Expedition: Beyond the Mountains of Madness
Statement by Philip Douglas
Mr. Douglas has no explanation for his brother’s murder. The surviving younger brother is a simple man of forty-six, thin-faced and deliberate, who is genuinely sorrowed by the death.
He has no information regarding his brother’s business in New York. He knows nothing about any link to Acacia Lexington or her party. He did not know of the expedition’s interest in the Commander.
In fact, on his arrival in New York, Philip was surprised to read in the New York papers
about J. B. Douglas’connection with the expedition. He tells the investigators that his brother frequently swore over and over that he would never return to the Ice.
Asked about the items mentioned in the unfinished letter he tells them that these items never arrived, and Philip has no idea what they might be.
Questioned about his brother’s role with the Miskatonic Expedition, Philip is able to contribute Information. Commander Douglas came to stay with his brother for several months after his trip aboard the Arkham with the Miskatonic Expedition. En route from the Ice, he had to have two fingers amputated due to frostbite. He returned from the journey a much-changed man, somber, introspective, and given to spells of brooding in which he would drink to excess. Philip recounts this last item hesitantly, somewhat embarrassed for the deceased.
During these drinking bouts J. B. would ramble in a disconnected fashion about some of the things he experienced while he was at the South Pole. Afterwards he would fall asleep, and often waken in a sweating panic from some dream. When Philip asked him what the dreams were about, J. B. always insisted that he could not recall what he said while in his cups, and often denied outright that any of the events mentioned had occurred.
Philip pieced together a more complete picture after listening many times to his brother’s fragmented tales:
- In one of these stories, three men went snow-crazy and attempted violence on their fellow crew mates. Two were restrained and finally recovered, but the third ran off into the snow and was never found.
- In another, Commander Douglas spoke of some icy black stones found on the ice, and how cold they were. Philip has the vague impression that these stones were somehow linked to his brother’s loss of two fingers.
- The name Danforth came up frequently. Commander Douglas would often shake his head and say, “That poor, poor devil Danforth.” At other times he would demand, “Blast you, Dyer, police your crew!” and “Make him stop that damned screaming!”
After about three months these plunges into gloom became less frequent, untilthey vanished altogether. Six months after his return from the Ice, Commander Douglas left the farm to take up his duties once more. Afterward, aside from infrequent letters, Philip had no direct contact with his brother until a telegram arrived saying he would be up to visit sometime early this month.
With this the grieving brother bids his farewell.