I have been much too tired, confused and altogether discombobulated to write anything coherent over the past few days. Even now, when faced with the task of recording but three days of my life, I fear that I will not have enough ink with which to do so, not to mention enough strength in my hand and hours in the day. Therefore, I will write what I can and attempt a recap and in-depth discussion at a later time.
Apr 24 - This day I visited Peter in the hospital (bearing books (Barnard's Dictionary of Early to Middle Sanskrit (1921), Talismans of the Gangetic Plains by Victor H.S. Nuttenwold (1917), Symbolism in Pre-Vedic Art by D. D. Turley-Smith (1919) and Indian Mythology by A.B. Keith (1917)) and cigarettes), and I was pleased to see that he was looking quite well. Like myself, he was interested in digging deeply into the recent burglary attempts and was open to interpreting the event in rather unconventional ways. We had an intense study session, the notes from which will be enclosed at a later time (copies must be made...I am eager to have at least four copies of everything I have acquired or written about in India), but here I include a copy of Peter’s drawing of the yantra on “Mumbles,” the thief, and my transliteration. We were unable to interrogate Mumbles, which ended up being as unfortunate as I had feared it might.
I spent the night, which turned into a fiasco of fantastic and horrible proportions. Peter and Ashan ended up in catatonic states, Mumbles was mauled by a jackal and I was left with many more questions than answers. I do not know how I escaped so lightly. I was very, very fortunate.
Apr 25 - On this morning, Peter informed me (he quite surprised me with how quickly he recovered!) that he was leaving, going back to Europe. I was not as cheerful and understanding as I ought to have been, I know. That was wrong of me. But the thought of losing him, well…it was frightening. As was putting our investigations on hold and admitting defeat, even if it was only temporary. But then John Daniel was hospitalized in a condition startlingly similar to Peter and Ashan’s, and McCormick decided to close the dig until further notice. And so I am to leave too. Perhaps, as Peter attempted to convince me, that is really what is best. Perhaps I am indeed foolish to think I could do the least bit of good here, that I would stand a chance against such a powerful cult of determined and dangerous individuals.
I also received this note from my father. Hearing his voice—for I can hear it in my head even as I read the brief words—makes me long to be home once more. I am normally content to travel and to experience life outside of England, but at this moment I want noting more than to be at my first home, the home that will always be home, even if I eventually choose to purchase a house and reside elsewhere. Would that I could be a girl again, could run into my father’s arms and ask him to hold me tightly until everything felt alright again! Perhaps I will do so anyway. He would never judge.
Apr 26 -
We are in Karachi now, John Daniel is dead, seemingly by his or someone else’s hand (apparently not that of something as impartial as illness), and I do not know what to feel. I feel tired and worried and scared, but also relieved, but it all is mashed together and leaves me a bit numb. I know this: I am leaving India. Surely the jackals and evil men will not follow me. But I feel that this cult is like a ghost that will always haunt me and will overshadow all that I do, think and dream. I will not, cannot rest until this murderous mystery is unraveled. But, also, I cannot think on this all hours of each day. I am determined to put my mind elsewhere during the journey. When I am home and when I feel safe and happy again, then I will be ready to delve into the horrors of the past and—dare I prophesy?—the future as well.
Tomorrow to Tehran, then to Constantinople/Istanbul, followed by Munich on the 7th, where Peter and I will part ways after one last night. Then I am off to London and, hopefully, I will arrive by the 9th. You never know with trains these days…
I am determined not to ask Peter more about John Daniel and other such matters for at least a few days after we part. I do not think that either of us has the strength to deal with such controversial and complex issues right now.