The Lost Journal. Part 3.

Extract from the journal of Dr Headonious Burro of Miskatonic University

Wednesday 5th May 1909

I scarcely know where to begin. After what was a nondescript day, we have experienced a truly dreadful night. Soon after nightfall a few hours ago, a most terrible storm set in. It seemed to come from nowhere, as is the wont of these tropical squalls, and attacked our camp with an almost animalistic savagery. The sky thundered down upon us, seemingly wanting to wash us from the island and back into the sea. We clung on for dear life throughout the night until, just before midnight, the sky was rent asunder by an almighty lightning bolt that struck the dig site full square!

We all rushed from out tents to see what had occurred only to be confronted with a scene that would not have appeared out of place in Dante’s Inferno! A huge crater had been blown into the side of the hole and the entire scene was lit by many small, fierce fires. Poor Professor McMillan received quite bad burns to his hands retrieving some of the burning digging equipment, so much so that Dr Hidayat was required to bandage him up and I can not see him being able to work on the dig for many days.

Oh but if that were my only worry… Professor Ellison, crazed and half-mad from her fever, used the confusion and turmoil to run from the doctor’s tent and flee into the jungle that surrounds this accursed inlet. For full half an hour after we could hear her thrashing about in the undergrowth bellowing and screeching out curses and gibberish. Sometimes she lapsed into lucidity and would pause to hurl insults and warnings at us. She has become convinced that some great evil is watching us, waiting for us to open its resting place so it can devour us. In turns she implored us to fill in the hole, ordered us to return home and threatened us with the most vile and shocking things. Professors Heron and Delcon were dispatched into the jungle be time after time she gave them the slip. In the end they returned soaked through and filthy from their many falls and slips. They intend to continue the search tomorrow at first light.

Ever since the lightning strike, the blessed calculating machine AMAT has been spouting an endless steam of numbers interspersed with half-words and curious sounds. I’ve set Professor Ruttenberg to the task of recalibrating her (I must admit that I see AMAT as a ‘she’) though he hardly looked happy about it – there is something about looking into its eyes as its faux-human voice coldly recites a constant whisper of queer babble. Odd then, that I should feel so comforted by her presence here. She represents the light of science in this dark and ancient place and I feel warmed by that light.

The other presence I feel all the time yet am considerably less comforted by is that of the revolting locals. All through tonight’s drama they did nothing to help and I would swear that I saw a look of pure pleasure in some of their eyes as they saw us struggle. Professor Vestal has offered to lead their work teams in the dig tomorrow and I am thankful for it as she has a way of managing to be around them far better than I.

Oh, I do hope poor Ellison is safe… all alone in the jungle. I shall not forgive myself if anything happens to her.

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