After a very late night, where the investigators burned down Ho Fong’s main Shanghai warehouse, they slept in late having breakfast served to them by the hotel. The morning newspapers had the fire on the front page. The police are looking for a European who vaguely matches Phillip Gibbs who was reported at the scene looking suspicious. David Whittaker went over the log books that he found at the warehouse. Nothing concrete, but he did find shipments of “art objects” and “books” to various places most notably to the Penhew Foundation in London and to Ahja Singh in Mombasa, Kenya. Though there were other shipments to Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, those two rang loud bells and trace back to the murder of Jackson Elias in New York. The oddest entry was for multiple shipments of mining equipment to a Mortimer Wycroft of Cuncudgerie in Western Australia. Nothing previously found has any connection to Australia than a vague image in a dream by Dr. Norman Addams. Mr. Whittaker also went and visited Isoge Taro with some of the pieces of the strange equipment found in the warehouse. Captain Isoge pulled out a engineering plan of a rocket, something that his source had picked up. The similarity to the pieces to this plan was unnerving. Mr. Isoge felt that this information was very valuable to his government. The reference to AP remains mysterious.
Jacques Tabarin Dupond on the other hand that morning received an unsigned note from the front desk that read: “I saw you in my dreams, if you can rescue her, I will be willing to chance a meeting, even though my life would be in danger by doing so.” This was of course believed to be the infamous Jack Brady, but it was disturbing to Monsieur Dupond that his dreams may have been more than a dream.
David Whittaker then spent most of the rest of the afternoon scouting out Ho Fong’s mansion just outside of the International Settlement to decrease any interference by the Gurkha. He then started to form a plan to break in, if someone else could come up with a distraction. The mansion had high walls, but nothing a ladder hidden in an alley couldn’t solve. Had barbed wire, broken glass, and broken off spear points on top, but nothing a blanket couldn’t cover. Then the problem to escape was potentially solved by his discovery of a shack that houses the gardener that has a outhouse, dumping pit that probably goes to the sewer.
While Mr. Whittaker was scheming the plan to break into Ho Fong’s mansion, Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond were brain storming a distraction. After some discussion of luring Mr. Ho out into public for a gathering or even that Monsieur Dupond might arrive and announce himself and become the distraction, it was felt that those options either cost too much or were too dangerous. So they went to the Silk Butterfly House to see about hiring some prostitutes for a fictitious party at Ho Fong’s mansion. They approached Madame Gee and Dr. Addams flattered her with the money that could be made by providing flower girls at such a high profile event. She offered both of them tea and girls, though they only partook of the tea. Then Monsieur Dupond had one last, slightly strange, request. He wanted the girls to bring fireworks to shoot off at their approach to the mansion around 10:30 at night
So with a plan in place, the investigators headed to the mansion to put the plan in action. They placed the ladder they had stashed in an alley way along the backside of the mansion’s walls, David Whittaker then laid a trap where he soaked the blanket with oil and put two hooded lit lanterns underneath it. If the blanket would to be pulled off, the plan would be to set a fire and cause burns. Dr. Norman Addams scaled down the wall with grace, using his sword cane to brace his landing. Mr. Whittaker and Monsieur Dupond both fell hard twisting their ankles. Dr. Addams noticed the Inner Court that was surrounded by a small stone wall, four to five feet high, with a wooden door that lead into it. The door was easily unlocked and the investigators entered the mansion unseen as fireworks were exploding on the other side of the mansion. Monsieur Dupond knew from his dream within a dream that he knew that Mei Ling was hidden in a room with no windows. The garden was beautifully maintained with a sand ocean surrounded by manicured bushes and trees. Though there were rooms across the garden, the investigators focused on the northeast corner where they saw part of the mansion that had no windows. They saw a bronze statue of Buddha through a translucent paper wall, but saw no obvious entrance beyond. Exploring to the room to the south, they saw a woman, who did not even notice their entrance, bobbing back and forth eating something still alive. Realizing that there must be a room at the north east corner of the mansion, they went back and examined the Buddha statue in detail. Monsieur Dupond noticed that there was a thin line around the next of the statue. He then tried to rotate the head, which caused the statue to slide across the ground opening up a short hallway. Unbeknownst to the investigators, they were noticed going into this room. The hallway had two alcoves, but as soon as Monsieur Dupond walked down the hallway and looked back, he saw the same shadow of a statue he saw in his brief stint inside Jack Brady’s mind. They walked into a large room where they saw the giant 8 foot statue of the Bloated Woman which they all feel look straight at them, but they have seen and felt worse and all shrugged off it as just the light from above catching the crystals the statue. Monsieur Dupond looked up to see where the light came from and saw that the faint light of the room came from shimmering characters that were the Bloated Woman in classic Chinese. He became mesmerized, feeling himself sucked into another world. He walked down a hallway to the the Bloated Woman where they embrace with her tentacles caressing him. He realizes what is happening and screams, falling to his knees as he gains a grip again in reality. They also saw a locked teak cabinet and Mei Ling locked in her glass torture chamber. They got Mei Ling out who was in poor shape, naked, starved, and festering with wounds from rat bites. She was in no shape to resist and didn’t even register that she was freed.
Dr. Norman Addams then noticed that Ho Fong and one of his guards was walking him back to his room. David Whittaker saw that a room south of the Inner Court that shut, seemingly by itself. Thinking that someone had noticed them, decided to change plans and burst out through the front door. So he fired his gun at Ho Fong and his guard causing them to duck into another room, and they ran past. Dr. Addams made the mistake of looking behind him and saw the Sorcerer who they have encountered before materialize behind them. He had a glass prism that shone with the colors of the rainbow. Throwing the prism down, it smashed and the light began to coalesce into three shapes. Hideous creatures that looked like a mutation of an anglerfish and a piranha with tentacles flickering in the pale light of the hallway. The investigators run even faster, because Dr. Addams has seen these creatures before ……