The -uick Brown Fox Jumps over the La-y Dog
Saturday, August 12
Willow, unfortunately, had no luck using magic to track down Moon; the entire island apparently gives out a low-level interference that means that Willow won't be able to track down Moon's gateway until we're practically right on top of it -- and by that time we probably wouldn't need the spell any more. She has some ideas on that front and will be heading back to the mainland; no, she wouldn't tell me what they were, you know how the girl loves her dramatic reveals. The only thing she said was, "Where Sean O'Lochlain can't do the job, you call in Lincoln Rhyme." I didn't get the references. She's leaving tomorrow.
In the meantime, I had a little more success. Nollop's too small to have a demon bar, but there is a public coffee shop where they apparently like to hang out (offering "long green squash bread," and yes, it was exactly what you'd think -- still, most people don't seem to be having a problem avoiding letter 26). The proprietor, once he learned who and what I was, told me that the local demons kept vampires off the island when they could and were mostly interested in maintaining a low profile. Nollop isn't tiny, but it's small enough.
Olm -- that was the owner's name -- told me that Moon, and about six or seven followers, had come in there a couple of mornings ago looking for recruits, but had left when they weren't able to find any. Not entirely sure he was telling the truth -- he kept looking up nervously at one of the other demons there -- looked like he was half Burchells and half Polgara. I fixed what he looked like in my head. Still, the place didn't seem like it was invasion headquarters. I'll keep you posted.
M L N O L
Wednesday, August 16
Willow would not inform me either, though I do note that Lincoln Rhyme is the protagonist of a series of successful mystery novels by Jeffery Deaver. Make of that what you will.
In the meantime, she also informs me that our letters are being read by representatives of the Nollop High Council. I cannot say I approve, though as you say, it is their island and they are permitted to do as they wish. I do wonder if perhaps we should be more elliptical in our references, though so far they do not appear to have objected.
Continue with your efforts. For my part, I am working my way through a maze of paperwork and books concerning Nollop and its founding to ascertain if perhaps we can get more of an understanding on Moon's efforts and plans. I will let you know what I discover.
M L N O L
OFFICE OF HIGH ISLAND COUNCIL
Saturday, August 19
It is my duty to inform you that the ban on the 26th letter of the alphabet applies to all correspondence on the island, whether it be incoming or outgoing. You will not be punished, but Mr. Giles, should he use the forbidden letter in the future, will be banned from writing to you for the duration of your stay on the island.
A copy of this missive is being sent to Mr. Giles. You have both been warned.
Island High Council
M L N O L
Friday, August 25
Where's Willow? I certainly would have expected her back by now. I hope none of Moon's followers got to her on the mainland, though if they did they'd probably be the ones in trouble. Still. Let me know.
My efforts have been stalled for the last week; Moon and her underlings have pretty much completely gone to ground, and my one lead, the Polgara/Burchells, has been very careful not to lead me anywhere -- until today. I saw him in the street and followed him, at a distance, until he was well out into the Nollopian wilderness. I lost him, but caught up again a bit later, when I looked down into a small canyon -- too far down for me to jump into -- and overheard a ritual which I was not able to disrupt. It seemed to be centered around an idol of some sort, though the only wording I could actually make out was "sphinx of black quart_, judge my vow." That should narrow it down. (The blank is the missing letter 26, of course.)
I marked where I was so I could try to find a way back, and went back to Nollopton.
Oh: And this is the last time I'll be able to use the letter Q. Seems it fell off the inscription as well, and the High Island Council has informed us that it's banned from here on out.
So don't use it!
The -uick brown fox jumps over the la-y dog