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Xenophon

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Here's the beginning of a novel I wrote on themes germane to this forum. If you like it, let me know. I'll email you the rest free of charge.


THINGS FOUND, THINGS CHANGE
by
Martin Tyrsegg

DEDICATION: To those few who, even at this late date and hour, “noch bleiben treu.” To strive against the times assiduously enough puts one in some sense outside time. There shall our battle be won.

TRIGGER WARNING: The following novel contains a number of truly gruesome crime scenes. These, however, are all committed on an individual level. The crime daily in process of commission against the white race is collective and far more macabre.

CHAPTER ONE
ALL THAT IS THE CASE

9 DECEMBER
I.
I had just gotten back from my annual visit to Whidbey Island in America. Seeing my old friend Thorsten Hadur there on the 8 December anniversary has become a sort of rite for us both. Here now in Vienna my mood was as sunny as the early winter morning. I stood near the end of Marc Aurel Strasse, admiring the pure strong Romanesque lines of St. Ruprechtskirche. Absolute simplicity of surface and angle effect here a powerful impact down the centuries.
Not for the first time did bittersweet regret well up in me that my early dream of turning architect had come to nothing. My initial education had run down the wrong lines, events had intervened, and---what more to say?---things changed. Things still change.
As for example the little phone in my pocket. It went from dutiful silence at my reverie to an impertinent buzzing. I took it out and started to answer. But before I could get a word out, the caller cut in. “Doktor Wolfe---Hiedel?” My friend Inspektor Jandt’s voice. And it sounded strained.
“This is he. What is it Theo?”
“Where are you? Right now?”
“Looking at Ruprechtskirche. Why?”
“Good, good. Can you hurry over to St. Elisabeth’s? It’s not far---“
“Slow down, Theo.” Anything that rattled the phlegmatic Inspektor Jandt could not be commonplace. But then I knew it could not be commonplace from the simple fact that he called me. “First, which St. Elisabeth’s? The city features several.”
“Elisabeth von Ungarn. Behind St. Stephansdom---“
“I am aware of the location. I have dwelt here a good many years. Now, may I ask why you are calling? Why you need me?”
He ignores---or sidesteps---the question. Puts me instead one of his own. “Hiedel, have you had breakfast?”
“You know I never eat in the morning. It dulls the mind. Now again may I ask---“
“You haven’t. Good. Now, just get over here please. You will see why I asked.” I hear agitated voices in the background, a hasty and muttered “Wiederhoeren” from Jandt, then nothing. I sigh and pocket my phone. That sunny mood of mine? As stated already, things change.
While I wend my way through the labyrinth of narrow Gassen that is Vienna’s Innerestadt, this business of change stays with me. Yes, again, things change. The Inspektor for instance. Up until a few years ago Theo Jandt had been a deceptively grave and forbidding police inspector with a truly marvelous sense of mad-cap humor that reared its head at the most unpredictable of moments.
That had all changed with his divorce three years ago. His wife of a decade had up and run off to California with the assistant military attaché to the American embassy in Budapest. The latter was not only black but a negress in the bad bargain. As in female. Not to mention drug-using and physically abusive. (For while the erstwhile Therese Jandt admitted to these shadows over paradise, she never mentioned that her change of lifestyle had been a mistake.) Left to raise a six year old son by himself, Theo has understandably altered. It is difficult for any unhappily single male over thirty to keep up anything like good humor. Add to that the burden of parenthood and a job with highly irregular hours, and you get change for the worse. The sole good to come of it---and I am here being selfish---is that Theo and I have grown into something resembling friends. A rare experience in my life. And a thing almost unheard of between a police officer and a civilian consultant like myself.
If I did not know where St. Elisabeth’s was, I would be able to find it by the atmosphere alone. The air fairly crackles with something like static electricity as I turn into Milchgasse that will bring me around the church’s rear. Come out into Singerstrasse fronting Stephansplatz, I see a truly impressive collection of official vehicles: ambulances, TV vans, police cruisers, the anonymous black sedans that spell out Serious Official Presence.
Before essaying to cross the cordon of yellow tape and blue uniforms, I look up and regard the structure itself. A spark of my earlier mood returns. But just a spark. Oh, the Gothic style of the edifice is pure enough. Still something has always struck me as slightly out of place about this building precisely HERE. In Vienna, I mean. The red brick walls, framed in white, belong further north. North and east. In places like Danzig or the Baltic dominions where the church’s founding Order flourished. Still as a sign of the essential unity of culture from here all the way there---there and beyond---yes, I suppose St. Elisabeth’s is very much in place here after all.
I am still gawking aloft when I become aware that I am attracting attention. Rightly so. Persons who choose to go sightseeing on the scene of what appears a major crime become suspects by definition. Or what is that ominous English euphemism? They become “persons of interest.”
This person redirects his interest. I walk over to where a beefy and gray-haired senior constable keeps an eye on one very much junior admitting---or refusing admittance--- to various personnel. I have an awkward moment fishing around in my pockets for my consultant’s pass, till suddenly the older officer cracks a smile. “That is all right, Herr Doktor. Inspektor Jandt sent word to let you in.”
“Thank you, thank you very much…Preuner.” Relief floods me. Not only at being thus easily admitted, but also because memory spares me an embarrassing gaffe like not recalling a man’s name. As I start to slip through, this Preuner’s eyes twinkle and he asks (of course), “Did you find it yet?”
Before I can cough up one of my stock replies, the junior constable---clueless but trying to impress with his diligence nonetheless---adds with a frown, “And if you do find anything, don’t touch it! Point it out to one of the detectives.”
Preuner withers the neophyte with a glare. And as I make my way to the entrance proper, I hear him start to lecture the youngster. “The question is a joke, Dummeresel. A joke we have running with the Herr Doktor…”
His voice fades behind me as I enter the hush housed in every Gothic church. Even with at least half dozen detectives, a forensics team somewhat larger, and assorted uniformed officers, the silence of the place remains largely intact.
Not so its atmosphere. While activity congregates up near the altar, even from here by the door, the stench of blood threatens to overcome the incense of centuries. The distance to what I presume must be a body stretches a good twenty meters and the place smells like a butcher’s shop all the same. I begin to appreciate why Inspektor Jandt asked me about breakfast. I am not so often called in on cases that I can trust my stomach under all circumstances.
Theo has spied me and, along with a younger detective, he makes his way down the marble nave. I am fully aware that as a matter of tactics policemen wear crepe-soled shoes. Still there strikes me something faintly supernatural about two fairly large men traversing a stone floor in such a cavernous chamber and not making a sound.
As the two draw near, I am afraid I cannot keep a slight sneer of disgust off my face when I see who it is with Inspektor Jandt. I know I do not so much as pretend to try. Jonas Bihm and I do not like each other, to state the case mildly. The meterosexual Bihm enjoys a certain quiet notoriety for pretending to be homosexual---“gay”---in order to improve his promotability. Detective after four years on the force. Sergeant now after but eighteen months as a detective. For this I despise him. As he hates me for belittling the fact that he IS a (mostly) highly competent investigator.
When he draws into earshot, I nod at the Socialist Left lapel button he sports, “Bihm, nationalize the people, not property.” He glares, but says nothing. He can’t really. Police on duty are prohibited from making political statements. Gay and minority police on duty can do whatever they damned well please IF no one makes a stink about it. Having this in mind, doubtless, Jandt ignores both my remark as well as his underling’s flouting the regulations.
Instead he asks me, “Have you been following the Masane matter, Doktor?” My evident incomprehension is answer enough, and he goes on. “Kalikara Masane, age ten, has been missing for nearly three days.”
“A Ugandan refugee,” Bihm puts in using the same tones as those with which the Hofburg’s servants once uttered, “the Crown Prince.”
“Maybe he got homesick,” I suggest. “In earnest, though, why not ask the mother’s pimp boyfriend? That’s how these cases usually play out.”
“Please, both of you,” Jandt says flatly. “Unless I miss my guess, we have just found the boy.” So saying, he glances up the nave towards the altar.
“You don’t know? And why call me?”
“Wolfengraf, I want you to walk up this aisle and go take a look at what you find near the altar. Until you do that, I do not want to say anything that may influence you.” Jandt, as I noted when he called earlier, is visibly upset. He is holding himself together with an effort. As, I realize, is Bihm. Hence the latter’s disinclination to rise to my baiting.
So, I walk up the nave. The other personnel gathered inside the altar rail part for me as I come near. The white marble floor glistens with copious gore just begun to dry and fade to maroon. As I take in the sight, I fight the urge to gag. Gag all the same.
On the floor is the body of a negroid boy. Dismembered. Only…In my time as a consultant, I have seen other corpses dismembered. Almost without exception, the resulting disarrangement was random. A leg here, an arm there, the trunk cast to one side, and so on. Here…here the arrangement is LOGICAL. That is the only word for it.
The body lies on its back. The legs are placed in correct relation to the trunk. The arms as well. A gap of about twenty centimeters is left between each severed limb and the body. Enough to make clear the amputation. But not enough to disturb the overall structure of the body itself.
No, what disturbs the overall structure is the fact that the head is missing. I turn to a forensics team member whose name eludes me. Or maybe the scrub-suit---haz-mat get-up, or what have you---induces anonymity. Seeing my line of sight and raised eyebrows, he shrugs. “We haven’t found it. We’ve been looking for over an hour. It looks like the perp might have taken it with him.”
I resume my scrutiny, looking closer at each body part. It only takes a few moments to realize that what I had taken for bare floor spots between blood splashes are not. Each body part has been tagged. A length of thin wire holds a paper tag to each severed limb, to the trunk, and yes. To the lopped off little penis as well.
My eyes are no longer perfect and I have to lean in close after putting on my reading glasses. The first thing I note is that each tag is hand-lettered in elegant Fraktur script. Black ink on white paper. German language. In apparent order, the tags run:
The right arm: “1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things.”
The left arm: “1.11 The world is determined by the facts, and by these being ALL the facts.”
The trunk: “1.12 For the totality of facts determines both what is the case and also all that is not the case.”
The right leg: “1. 13 The facts in logical space are the world.”
The left leg: “1.2 The world divides into facts.”
The penis: “1.21 Any one can either be the case or not be the case, and everything else remain the same.”
Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. A first even in my experience (which has sometimes been exaggerated by those who do not know me properly. In many cases, at all) Without stopping to ponder, I move on. As Jandt hinted, the only way to take in a crime scene is to do so before opinions begin to hatch. “Don’t think, look!” There, you see? The fact I am already framing my impressions in Wittgenstein’s words is itself no good sign.
I look to where should be the head. As expected, the unattached white tag here reads, “1. The world is all that is the case.” The very beginning of the Tractatus. My eyes are drawn far more by what lies alongside it? Alongside? I turn to the anonymous forensics technician again. He shakes his head. “There must have been a draft from the door. When we came in, the tag was lying atop the paper. Don’t worry. I have a photograph of it.”
“What is your name, please?”
“Ehrler, Herr Doktor. Heinz Ehrler.”
“Good work, Ehrler. I will inform Inspektor Jandt.”
“Than you, Herr Doktor.”
Which leaves me feeling embarrassed. Ashamed of myself. I have had to learn the hard way how to deal with people. And it has cost. Dearly, and not only myself. To what end? A little honest praise would scarcely have left me out of pocket.
I force myself to look back at the other paper. An A4 sheet onto which a circle has been drawn. One nearly fifteen centimeters in diameter. Two secants pass through the figure’s center, dividing it into four equal quadrants. These have been colored yellow, green, black, and red. Somewhat superfluously, I think, Hebrew letters under the circle spell out “Malkuth.”
While I was conducting my examination, Jandt and Bihm returned to the communion rail. Though neither kneels, the eyes of each are as eager as any maiden at her first Communion. (Listen to me! Do maidens even go to Communion any longer?) “Well?” asks the Inspektor when I am slow to speak.
“Strange. Damned strange,” I begin.
“We knew THAT already!” Bihm spits.
I smile with what I hope is infuriating indulgence. “I was not going to stop with that. First, out of the welter of intriguing leads and misleads, is the matter of the missing head. In its place, the killer left the symbol of the Sefira Malkuth. I doubt that was accidental or done from ignorance. In Qabalistic tradition, Malkuth is the Sefira of the genitals, not the head. By his choice of placement, I would guess that our killer intends to signify some inversion of the wonted order.”
“Do you think the tie-in with the Qabalah is significant?” Jandt asks.
“Yes and no. Doubtless the killer sets a great deal by it. But knowledge---knowledge, half-knowledge, and sheer fantasizing about---the Qabalah are so common nowadays, that that information alone will provide too many trails to reliably suggest a killer. As Marx himself suggested, the entire West is Judaized.” At this Bihm jerks as if prodded with a hot poker. Various personnel continue with their work too casually to mean anything other than that my faux pas has been duly noted and filed.
Except for the Inspektor who remains a police officer, not a social justice warrior. “And those numbered tags?”
“From Witthenstein’s Tractatus.”
“I know that. What do you think the link is?”
“Off the top of my head, I cannot possible imagine. It might be significant that the entire first chapter has exactly as many propositions as pieces the body was cut up into. Or maybe that is just an unhappy accident of human anatomy. As for the content of the propositions and their bearing on the case…again it were too early to say.”
Bihm cannot contain himself any longer.“You do not find it ‘significant,’ Herr Doktor, that the killer employs both Jewish mysticism AND a book by one of the world’s pre-eminent Jewish philosophers?”
“What is your aim here, Bihm? To bait me into Jew-baiting? Wouldn’t you say apprehending the killer is at least as important as advancing some DIB agenda?”
“Actually, Herr Doktor, in the long run---“
“In the long run,” Jandt interrupts Bihm, “we’ll both be cashiered if we fail to make progress in this matter of the killing. Towards that end, I very much want to hear what Dr. Wolfengraf has to say further about his impressions.”
“As I have been stumbling towards saying all along, Inspektor, my impressions are just that. Something like a photo album one picks up in the train station: are these pictures random, a group of friends, a family, a photographer’s portfolio? At the moment, what we have is what seems to be dead African boy in a Catholic Church, left here by a killer with a penchant for both the Qabalah AND Anglo-American philosophy.”
“So what is your next move?” Jandt asks.
“To look into the question none of us has asked yet. Why HERE? I do not mean Vienna. I mean this precise church.”
“That is exactly what I am afraid of. I, myself. The police commissioner. The mayor of Vienna. The Bundespräsident himself. All have telephoned me within the past hour. When the papers get hold of this…” He makes a sour face and shrugs.
“I am afraid I do not follow.” Sometimes I overlook the most obvious things.
“The church!” Sergeant Bihm explodes. “The name of the church!”
“St. Elisabeth of Hungary?”
“Its other name, the Church of the Teutonic Order! Even you---ESPECIALLY you---must know what the media could do with that. The tie in between a race murder today and a military order founded on racism!”
I suppose I could try to point out that no one yet knows whether this is a race murder, a sex killing or an occult oblation. Or that the Teutonic Knights were no more (and no less) racist than, well than just about EVERY people’s warriors down through history. But that way lieth reason. Which, for all that facts fill up logical space, wins damned few arguments. Instead I try emotions.
“Bihm, did it ever occur to you that I agree with you? At least on some things?”
He stops and eyes me with suspicion. For which I cannot blame him. “What do you mean?”
“For one thing, I do not blame the Jews for the West’s ills. At least not completely. As Aleksandr Slavros the Russian writes, what good can you say about a people that LETS itself be corrupted? A people that ADOPTS all the evils it claims to reject? For that is what the West has done and persists in doing. Or, again, a little while ago I spoke ill of the missing boy’s people. And I meant every word of it. But, look at ourselves. Colonizers carried plagues to Africa and elsewhere: alcohol, syphilis, and worst of all money mania. What those native peoples lost was better than what we gave. The best thing anyone can say about White Aryans is that they have been culpably naïve in cultural adoption.”(1)
Bihm is looking away from me, running one hand over the back of his too-perfect hair style. “OK…OK. We do have a killer to find.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Jandt puts in. For a Detective Inspektor, he does have a fine tuned sense of when to stand aside from his subordinates’ squabbles. Especially when one---myself---isn’t exactly a subordinate at all. “Come on. Let’s discuss what is our next move.” He leads the way down the nave.
Bihm makes what I imagine what might be an honest effort to be friendly. “Do either of you remember the Miews case in Germany some years back?”
“No,” I lie. “What was it?”
“Back around 2004, 2005 one Armin Miews ran a persona ad soliciting a hookup for cannibalism. And he found a taker! Some other guy was actually turned on by the idea of being eaten. Literally eaten. Name of Brandes. So Miews and Brandes shared a snack of the latter’s penis as the latter bled out.”
“And why do you bring this up now, Bihm?” Jandt asks wearily, though the time is still well short of noon.
“I was trying to recall any case weirder that the one we same to have at hand.”
Weirder? One might start with Bihm’s disturbing level of recall about what ought to be the most repellent of matters. I do not wish, however, to disturb the fragile working-peace between us.
Theo labors under no such scruples. “After hearing you recite that, Jonas, I would say yes. Your fascination with the matter. As a species we are seriously disordered.” While I might argue for the truth that “mankind’ represents multiple species, I let the Inspektor’s remark stand. And, as we emerge into the street, a Balenciaga billboard puts exclamation point to Theo’s contention. A female toddler aged perhaps four holds up teddy bear sporting a black-leather bondage ensemble.(2)
My good resolutions, which have been at high simmer for some long moments boil over. But before I can open my mouth to scald with superheated steam, Bihm exclaims, “Look!”
We follow his pointing finger and do. Across the street, not twenty meters distant, a club’s marquee: WORLD. As in all that is the case.

II.
Making our way to the corner’s street crossing, I nearly bump into a scurrying official. One Müller, I think, of the Bureau of Bundessicher-something-or-other. Spying my face, his arm jerks and the hand comes out of his pocket before he catches himself. He stammers, embarrassed, “He—Herr Doktor! Did you find it yet?”
“When I do, you will know,” I assure him.
Bihm, presuming on our newly declared truce, asks, “Why does everyone always ask you that? Find what?”
Jandt strides on and answers for me back over his shoulder, “Der Graal.”
“The Grail!? There’s no need to be sarcastic.”
“I’m not,” the Inspektor says placidly.
Come up close to the club’s marquee, we see that the name there is actually a little more complex than simply the World. More complex and a great deal more intriguing. For, near at hand, the whole reads: “around the WORLD is all that is the case.” We look at each other, the Graal forgotten. “It was no well-ordered mind that authored that,” Jandt observes. “Perverse sex paired with analytic philosophy.”
We pass a glassed-in hoarding by the entrance promising “Male and Trans Pole Dancers,” plus “Nude Amateur Review.” Inside though, even our hetero-pulses quicken. On the wall facing the door, in day-glo colors is painted the Qabalah’s Tree of Life. As depicted by tradition, save that Kether at the top is a leering male face, garishly made-up and with negroid features despite the Sefira’s white color. That and Malkuth at the bottom is depicted not as a circle but an elongated penis with yellow, green, red, and black stripes. “Behold the new Adam?” I suggest facetiously and Bihm gives me a disapproving look.
Initial excitement yields to mild confusion as we take in the rest of the décor. On the wall to the left are a tastefully executed set of the Elder Futhark’s runes, artfully interspersed with the coiling foliage of traditional Nordic wood carving. On the right, the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Though something seems a little off about these. Oh the Renaissance iconography is consummately drawn and correctly colored…It takes me a few long moments before I realize what is wrong. There are only twenty-one cards. The Fool---key to the whole---is missing. Before I can ponder this, Bihm interrupts. “Here, Herr Doktor, what is this?”
He is looking behind us. I turn and view the wall in which the entrance is set. Indeed. Covering this surface is what looks to be the entire Enochian Great Table, in all its parti-colored, intricate detail. “John Dee’s tablets for Enochian magic,” I inform my companions. This entire establishment is on the order of an occult smorgasbord.”
“Eclectic, like our killer,” the Inspektor drily notes. He looks up scanning the ceiling. Bihm and I follow his lead. Nothing. Gray expanse and invisible when the room’s strobes or other lighting paraphenalia are turned on. Noting our puzzlement, Jandt says, “I was checking for symbolic logic. It seems to be about the only form of arcane semiotics wanting. All in all, this is curious ambience for what gives itself out as a gay bar.”
“A CLOSED gay bar,” a voice booms from across the dance floor. “Club does not open until noon.” Looking that direction, we spot a strapping bartender type apparently restocking supplies. He wears a black leather vest, gold chains, and the usual Rorschach gallery of mismatched tattoos. Call me old fashioned, but I feel the cornflower eye-shadow, magenta blush, and screaming candy apple-red lipstick undercut the otherwise macho message of his attire.
Still, the wall behind the bar reassures me as to the bar’s gay street-cred. Photoshopped nudes of various straight male celebrities adorn the area, most of them festooned with what are meant to appear to be autographs. I am no follower of popular culture, but even I recognize most of the persons depicted. Brad Pitt sodomizes a grinning Justin Trudeau, while alongside that footballer Ronaldo plays catamite to a younger George Clooney. And not letting the boys have all the fun Cher (presumably still alive) takes a black rubber dildo to a simpering James Dean. Meanwhile, I am finding my sarcasm a thin defense against growing queasiness. The aphorist spoke true. “Democracy means freedom to degrade yourself in any fashion so long as it does not interfere with your neighbor’s degradation.”
Theo’s voice snaps me back to matters at hand. “We are here on police business.”
“Our licenses are all in order.” The barman says this just a little too quickly.
“Who said anything about licenses? Would you like me to check?” Jandt has him now. “We need to speak with the manager. The owner, if possible.”
The beefy queen sets down the bottles he was dusting, a little cowed but his lips done up in an insouciant scarlet pucker like an inflamed hemorrhoid. “I will see if she is in.” He disappears into the back. Before I have time to deliver any snide observations, or Bihm to register any protests at his boss’ manner, the messenger is back. “She will see you. Door at the end of the hall.”
As we turn down a shag-carpeted corridor straight out of the 70’s, I whisper to Theo. “So fast. Almost like she was listening right around the corner.” And, indeed, the space tingles faintly like someone had just been standing here. Someone? No…something else. But before I can analyze just what, my two companions have passed on before me and I must hurry to catch them up. The Inspektor raps on the door after his wonted manner: lightly enough to be civil; authoritative enough not to be ignored. Inside, a throaty woman’s voice calls, “Herein.”
Theo gives just the faintest hint of a bow. “I am Inspektor Jandt of the Bundespolizei. This is my colleague, Sergeant Bihm, and Herr Doktor Wolfengraf, a consultant. May we ask you some questions?”
“You just have,” she tries hard for nonchalance and leaves one slipper mired in agitation.
“We are not here to play word games,” Jandt reminds her.
“Indeed? What else is there EXCEPT language games?”
Have you ever noticed? When a highly anxious person attempts to purr, she rattles? Aesthetics aside, this lady has just broken the first rule of badinage with the authorities: never piss off your interlocutor.
The Inspektor steps very close to her, his standing knees almost touching hers seated. “It is a rule of law that one identify oneself to the police. It is one of etiquette that one stands to receive guests. Stands and shakes hands.” He says this with menacing cold precision.
I had almost expected her to make some riposte alluding to “rule-following behavior.” Instead she blinks and swallows hard. Stands and shakes the hand Jandt offers. “Clovis Sayn, this club’s owner and manageress.” She follows and shakes Bihm’s as well.
But when she takes my hand, her arm jerks as if given an electric shock. Eyes widen in terror. I clutch her hand the more tightly. It won’t do to have any displays here. I know what she feels. The first time…after. The first time this happened to me, it was the same. Not every man or woman who walks the streets is a man or woman. Not after the accustomed fashion at any rate. This, her difference, is what I felt in the hall she had just vacated a moment ago.
I let Clovis sink back into her desk chair. Take the opportunity to observe her. Not as a police functionary or however you describe my status. I might not be a man by normal standards. Still a man remains a man. And this Fräulein Seyn merits a second look. Aged about thirty, she is only a little shorter than myself. Perhaps seven or eight centimeters. Her legs are slim and comely. Hair a dark brown, slightly curly, and shoulder length. The neck, while thin, is not attractive. The chin too strong for a woman. Whence, then, my fascination?
There the eyes. I cannot say for certain whether they are hazel, exotic green, or just some shade of brown. Intensity outstrips color. From moment to moment, though, the message behind the intensity seems to shift. The fear of a moment ago gives way to that feral in this. The eyes of a cornered feline, an abused child, or a shell-shocked soldier. They attract by repelling. And she is most definitely avoiding my gaze this moment.
She is also speaking. “So please tell me, Inspektor. What is the reason for this already slightly intrusive visit?” She somehow seems to have recovered the poise that has been missing since we entered.
“It is for me to ask the questions,” Jandt begins stiffly, then suddenly pretends to yield with a stern uncle’s semi-smile. “However, your query is reasonable. There was a body found this morning. In the church across the way. Certain evidence there points to some connection with the name of this establishment.”
“’Certain evidence’? What precisely?”
“I am not at liberty or inclined to divulge that information.”
“Then how am I supposed to establish my non-involvement?”
At a glance from Theo, Bihm answers. “What brings us here is that a written scrap of evidence seemed to refer to the name of this establishment.”
“Surely even a semi-literate policeman must realize that ‘world’ IS a common term.”
“The reference was rather more specific, containing nearly half of your club’s name.”
“A quotation from a well-known book, I am assuming. A book written by a native son of this city as well.”
Bihm does not give up easily. “All easily explained, yes. However, given the PROXIMITY of your place of business to the crime scene, even you must admit the apparent link is worth looking into.”
“I admit nothing,” Clovis counters. “What’s in a word, a name?”
“What indeed?” I pounce at last. “Look at YOUR name. Clovis?”
“---was the name of a Merovingian king of France. Is that a crime?”
“The name is derived from ‘Clodovica,’” I counter. “A Latin rendering of ‘Ludwig.’ And ‘Seyn’? In 1808 Napoleon had promulgated an edict that all persons in his dominions, including Jews, adopt an inheritable surname. The Viennese philosopher’s ancestors at that time were in the service of the Seyn-Wittgenstein family. They adopted the latter half of the appellation.”
Clovis’ eyes lock onto mine. “And how about if I analyzed YOUR name, ‘Herr Doktor’ Hiedl Wolfengraf!?”
I have to fight against being thrown back into my chair. A few moments ago, this woman knew nothing of what she was. And now she has grasped what I am. And…who?”
Or has she? The vindictive blaze has gone out of her eyes. The note of triumph died out of her tone. “I…mean…is my name… I mean is a mere coincidence about my name and some ‘evidence’ you have a crime on my part?” She seems, for this moment anyhow, genuinely perplexed, confused even.
“Of course not,” Theo reassures her. “Still, you must admit that the physical proximity of your club to the evidence hinted at is striking. And now, with what Dr. Wolfengraf has revealed about your name…”
“I told you, Inspektor: a coincidence.”
“Truly? Fräulein, please be advised, it is very much my business to discredit most ‘coincidences.’ So I must ask: is Clovis Sayn your birth name?”
“And I must ask, no demand. I must demand, Inspektor Jandt that you and your companions leave my establishment. You are welcome to return when and IF you obtain proper authorization. Be advised, too, I have friends with no small influence.”
Sergeant Bihm, surprisingly, rises to the occasion. “I take it you mean men whose visits here they do not wish to become public knowledge. That tactic cuts two ways. Those photographs behind the bar, the photoshopped celebrity porn. I am guessing all are copyrighted material. Could you stand up to even ONE lawsuit brought by the copyright holder? To say nothing of the well-known individual whose head was superimposed onto the pornographic image? And what of the forged or purloined autographs?”
Clovis has tears in her eyes, sweat on her brow. Still she manages to sniff, “A matter for civil law, not criminal.”
“Policemen can carry tales as well as make arrests,” the Inspektor takes his turn to purr.
I am only half listening by now, though. For I feel a presence come barreling down the hall. The shag carpet may cover sound. It cannot muffle this much energy. Purely physical---I catch myself. No. The energy is not purely physical. Its carrier tries to PROJECT pure physicality but, there is more to him or it than that.
The door bursts open. A tall, lithe, leonine black man. As nearly perfect a physical specimen as I have seen. “Clovis! Are these men bothering you?” And though I described him as leonine, it is a cobra’s eye that takes in the three of us.
Clovis melts into a miasma of palpable relief. “No, Damba. A small misunderstanding is all. These gentlemen were just leaving.”
“The misunderstanding yet lingers, I am afraid,” the Inspektor interjects. “Our interview was commencing, not concluding.”
Sure of himself, Damba strides over to Clovis and leans over her. From my angle I can see down inside his partly unbuttoned Luigi Borrelli. The Glock stuck inside the inner waistband interests me far less than the tattoo on his chest. Every bar overseer needs armament. No man needs a tattoo. And his choice speaks volumes about its wearer.
I overhear him murmur, “I will handle this, Clo.’”
He turns to us. His earlier aggression upon entering has dissipated. His tone is one of reasonable concern. “Please, gentlemen. No one troubles Clovis while I am here. If you have no warrants or other papers, please go.” Make no mistake though about the shift in tone. If earlier he regarded us with the eye of a coiled cobra, now it is with one of the same serpent only slightly relaxed. At bottom, nothing has changed.
For all his wokery, Bihm can function as a hard-assed policeman when he wants to. “Damba? Is that a first name or a last name?”
“A first name.”
“So what is your last name?”
“Okello.”
“Going by your accent, I would guess you are not Austrian.”
“No, I am not.” One has to admire Damba Okello for not making this easy on Sergeant Bihm.
“Then where are you from?” As one has to admire Bihm for so impeccably keeping his poise.
“Uganda.” The same provenance as the missing and apparently murdered boy. At this, one could hear a pin drop.
But only for a beat. Bihm has already gone on. “Very well then, Dabma Olleko---“
“That is Damba Okello---“
“---I assume your passport is up to date and your visa in order?”
Bihm, sadly, has overplayed his hand. A homosexual African negroid “refugee” enjoys rights in Austria previously only known to Archdukes. Damba snake-smiles. “You three were just leaving, I believe?”
We are nearly in the street before any of us speak. Bihm hisses, half to himself, “I hated having to do that to the man! Shaming him, degrading him---“
“Bihm!” Jandt speaks sharply. “You are a Detective Sergeant, not a United Nations case worker. It is at least possible that one or both of those individuals inside know something about the murder. If you want to exude pity, think of the victim.”
Bihm simply stares. And why not? Every reality of his job flatly contradicts the tenets of his education. And the educated man of today will let the entire world perish before he contravenes---or simply corrects---one jotted tittle of any humanist dogma. As I said years ago, who controls the textbooks controls the state. The state and, sadly, the future for as far as I can see.
As we step out into the street and chill wind I stroke my cheek and ask, “What next, Theo?”
He looks my way and starts to reply. Catches himself and stops. For he sees that I have crossed my left index finger over the thumb as I stroke my cold cheek. The sigyll stands for the Othala rune. Rune peculiar to Wotan whom the Romans assimilated to their god Mercury, the messenger. Indication in the code that Theo and I have worked up through the years: we need to talk privately.
“Here, Jonas” he says, taking a small notebook out of his coat pocket. Scribbles something on a page and tears it out. “I have just thought of something important and the damned cell phones are not secure. Take this to Oberrat Altmann over there.” He points towards a knot of official personnel outside the entrance to St. Elisabeth’s.
The only slightly skeptical Bihm takes the folded paper and strides off. On it are written words to the effect, “Please, thank the bearer effusively for delivering the ‘important tidings.’ Ask him if I had anything else to say or any other nonsense questions that come to mind. Then jot some verbiage on this page and have him deliver it back to me. A thousand thanks, Jandt.”
After the Sergeant has gotten out of earshot, I say to Theo, “You were right to call me in on this. This is no ordinary murder. The occult angle is paramount.”
“Do you think this Clovis Sayn did it?”
“That it is something it is far too early to say. But…no.I do not think so. She is nonetheless involved somehow, I believe. But not as the perpetrator. You saw her just now. When we came in, and later with Damba. She strikes me as someone who has gotten involved with that which she cannot cope.”
“Like my---like Therese?”
After all it had been Therese Jandt’s stumbling around in the occult that first brought Theo and I into contact. My success at extricating her that won me my relative tenure as a frequently resorted-to consultant with the Bundespolizei. “Only obliquely. Our Clovis strikes me a good deal less naïve than was Therese. And, probably, somewhat involved, as hinted. Also…Theo you might as well know. When I shook Clovis’ hand, I could tell. She is…like me.”
“Like you?” Theo knows what I mean, though only in rough outline. Which is one of the reasons why he never asks me about having “found it yet.” He knows the thing sought; not its implications.
“Yes. I doubt whether she knows it, though. At least not fully. Good gods, it took ME how long to piece it together? And after that, how many more years to figure out WHY? My mission, if you will.”
“And you still do not know how, do you?”
“Very little. Almost nothing of that. But, back to the matter at hand, whatever Clovis is, I do not think she is the killer. A killer at all in fact. Though that leaves the question: when she figures out what she is and who…where will she line up? With whom will she side?”
“I might see what you mean. She will have little reason to love you.”
“To put it mildly, Theo. To put it mildly. What concerns me too is her attachment to him.”
“Whom? Damba?”
“Yes. He hides a good deal. I could feel that when he approached her office.”
“That was all an act?”
“He has concern for her, I think. That much is genuine. The question is WHY he is concerned for Clovis. It is difficult to untangle the skein of motives for any love. There is something else that might be highly significant. Did you notice anything about the Tarot cards painted on the wall of the club?”
“Tarot is a matter of which I am totally ignorant.”
“Good. But the cards on the wall should have numbered twenty-two. One, the Fool, was missing.”
“And you think this important?”
“Some authorities, Charles Williams and Alastair Crowley for instance, take the Fool as the most important card in the entire Tarot. A trump of trumps, as it were. For all his limitations, the Fool is the card of daring, new beginnings, spontaneity. The answer to the only philosophical question, ‘Why is there anything at all, rather than Nothing?’ ”
“So the Fool is something like the wild card in the Tarot deck?”
“In a manner of speaking. Or something like Da’ath among the Sephiroth.”
“Like what?”
“There are ten Sephiroth in the Qabalah. Da’ath---knowledge---is a sort of shadowy eleventh that does not properly exist on the one hand; that crops up throughout the entire Tree on the other. Like Wittgestein’s notion of logical form: it can be shown but not nailed down. In any case, back to the Fool. The other esoteric displays in the bar were complete, as near as I could tell. The Tarot alone was not.
“So, why exclude the Fool from the wall’s display?”
“The Fool is tattooed on Damba’s chest.”
I let that sink in. When I divine Theo is about to confess to complete bafflement at it all, I spare him. “I will consult my sources tonight. When something like this, today, happens it sends out ripples everywhere. First, though, I need to see Dr. Hofmann at the Kunsthistorisches. Ask him about the church over there. I doubt very much that there was anything random in its choice as a murder site.”
I see Sergeant Bihm returning with the paper returned to him. “Oberrat Altmann sends his compliments. ‘Not everyone would have thought of that. Smart fellow, that Jandt.’ His exact words.”
The Inspektor pretends to read the Oberrat’s reply. Pockets the inane note. “Come along, Bihm. Time to speak to the press. Hiedl, you’ll want to skip that of course.”
“Of course.” Before we part though, I voice one other question that has been worrying the margins of my mind. “Why is that, I wonder?”
“Why is what?” Bihm turns.
“Why does a perfectly attractive woman like Clovis Sayn want to run a sordid club for homosexual men?”
Bihm eyes Theo who, for some mysterious reason, seems to be finding my question amusing. “Well, I demand? How could the lady let herself get dragged into such a disreputable calling?”
At this, Theo bursts into open laughter and even the politically correct Bhim cannot stifle a snicker. The former recovers first, “’Drag’ is right, Hiedl. Didn’t you see the Adam’s apple on Clovis? That strong chin?”
Bihm is savoring my discomfiture like fine wine, “In short, Herr Doktor, that’s why the lady is a trans.”
OK, OK, very well und Gott verdammt. As many have said of me in the past, never have I understood woman.

III.
I decide to walk to the Kunsthistorisches. The distance is scarcely a kilometer. I can be there in well under twenty minutes. That is what I love about my Wien, its being built to human dimensions. Seattle, for instance and on the other hand, suffers the modern infirmity of having been designed for the automobile’s convenience, not man’s. It is well I did not have to physically pass through the place for my visit to Whidbey Island yesterday.
Really, I should call Doktor Hofmann before barging into his office. My old friend is the most methodical of men, as befits his position of Direktor für Altertümer. And my respecting his habits is at least part of what has permitted us to become and remain for many years friends. I abhor, however, the horrid present-day custom of shouting into one’s cellphone while striding down a noisy street. “Saving time” they call it! Has no one STILL failed to notice? The people who save the most time never have a moment to spare. As with the financial fruits of most men’s labor, saved time goes to benefit parasitical others.
I turn off Am Graben into Dorotheer Gasse. Enter the Café Hawelka. Franz, the waiter who has been here nearly as long as the café itself, nods to me and goes off to fetch my Brauner without a word passing between us. Set habits, known expectations, reliable relationships…how DID “innovation” become such an overpowering neurosis?
When my coffee arrives, I smile my thanks and take a sip. Then I call Dr. Hofmann. Frown as the automated voice message informs me the number is “no longer in service.” That is just like Paul. Misplace or lose his device, buy a new one and assume he must purchase a new telephone number along with the SIM Card. Even my technologically antediluvian self knows better.
I check the time. It is still early, but I am hungry. Better to present myself unannounced at Dr. Hofmann’s office on a full stomach. I tilt my chin up at Franz and he comes just near enough for me to hear. “The usual?”
“The usual,” I confirm. Then, after a moment’s reflection, I add, “Oh, und ein Achtel Gruener Weltliner.” For many years I, out of discipline’s necessity, did not touch alcohol. Even now only the merest small measure. As noted things change. But there are things it does not pay to change very much.
When my Eierknockerln, eggs and salad arrive, I tuck in. The dish is not on the establishment’s menu. But I am an old, old customer and we have history, myself and the management. I am nearly through eating when a thought occurs to me. I need not bother with Paul’s cell phone. I remember his office number. I think.
The phone answers on the third ring. “Bei Geihl. Bitte sehr?” A woman’s voice. No, more of a girl’s. I stammer an apology and ring off. Very well and verdammt. So I do not remember Paul’s number. Things change. Museum Direktor’s telephone numbers do not.
It is only a small detour to pass by the Hofburg. Though I loathe the palace---and the later Habsurger---as symbol of the capital’s mongrelization, I am much enamored of the Roman ruins discovered below the street there not so many years ago. A true thousand year Reich, theirs. I spend a few minutes pacing the site and gazing on the stones. What some dull-witted people would call wasting time. How could there be any waste? Any at all? I am investing my pittance in the Romans’ plenty. When I have realized enough of a return, I move on.
I find myself scowling at scattered historical signs here and there downtown. These lay blame for certain events on “the Fascists.” To go by the markers’ tone, one might suspect that those agents were beings on the order of invading space aliens. Space aliens and not Austrians such as those who walk the streets here today. For a higher proportion of Austrians espoused the Party than did their German brethren to the North. Among them no minor players either: Skorzeny, Kaltenbrunner, Seyss-Inquart. And, of course, the Obvious. I realize glumly scanning the well-fed lax faces passing me by in the street, I am wrong in one particular. The “Fascists” were Austrians to be sure. Only they were not at all such as those who walk the streets here today. Those then were men and women. These are humanoid, yes. But more and more bovine and porcine. As content as their quadraped cousins in some Schlachthof feedlot before…
That thought I leave unfinished. Walk to the Kunsthistorisches with a purposeful stride. As if what I were to conduct there had a bearing on what is afoot here with feedlots and worse. Far worse.
Inside the museum’s entryway, I flash the pass Doktor Hofmann obtained for me at the Kasse attendant whom I do not recognize. In recent months I have been rather a stranger here. I see with regret, for instance, that I have missed an Elder Breughel exhibition by two days.
Inside the museum proper, I make for a door marked “Staff Only.” I raise my pass and greet the guard Wincklemann by name and with a genuine smile. My memory is not so bad after all. I remembered to look at the name tag over his left front shirt pocket, did I not?
My heels echo off the linoleum tiles of the corridor leading to Hofmann’s office. I am relieved to see that his door stands open. Good. He has not gone to lunch yet. Indeed, he more often skips that meal than he interrupts his work for it. Down the hall a portly man just entered middle age approaches. His face is familiar; his suit without nametag. I try to slip by with a simple, “Grüß’ Gott.”
“Doktor Wolfengraf! We see so little of you lately. Have you found it yet?”
“When I do, you will know,” I assure the face that rings a bell. Rings a bell while answering to no name I can think of. I finish my journey to the office with slightly quickened steps, turn into the doorway and---
---stand completely nonplussed. An unknown female sits behind Dr. Hofmann’s desk. Her air bespeaks ownership. Very much after the fashion of a stray cat sidled onto the sofa in a spinster’s parlor, I start to sniff. Then I take in that shaggy mane of hair, the girlish face---I feel a pang. Stand there gaping.
She looks up through the most exquisitely endearing mannish tortoise-shell glasses and frowns. “Yes? What do you want?”
“I---I was looking for Dr. Hofmann. This IS his office…Isn’t it?”
A cloud passes over the cerulean blue of her eyes. But her gaze stays steady. “I’m sorry. But Dr. Hofmann died two months ago. Suddenly, I am afraid. A heart problem. And you are? I have been promoted into his place. Perhaps I can help you.”
My head reels a little, but I keep my stance firm. Death: I have dealt with before. Rather often come to think on it. And as recently as this very morning.“Myself? I am Dr. Wolfengraf. Hiedl Wolfengraf.”
She gives a little start. “Oh! Oh? Dr. Hofmann often spoke of you. In glowing terms. An old friend he said. So, I had not expected someone so---“ She seems suddenly a little flustered. “So young. Relatively so, I mean.”
I take heart. Some years ago, I grew out my moustache into a full handlebar again. I liked to tell myself I again look the twenty-five I did when I first sported that fashion. This intriguing creature’s confirmation touches very much my vanity. “Me? A relative? Oh, I see. Relatively young. Um…thank you. And how may I call you?” I find myself stammering like a school boy.
“Ilse. I mean, Ilse Geihl…Doktor Ilse Geihl…But Ilse is who I am.” She seems to be foundering a little herself.
“Geil? I think I just called you. I thought I had a wrong number. Yes, she said the name ‘Geil.’”
She reddens a little. “Geihl! With an ‘h.’ Not geil.”(3)
“Oh but you are! Geil, I mean.” I blurt and it is my turn to redden. This talk is turning into a disaster. But the shaggy mane so like…And the NAME even. ‘Geihl” sounds so exactly like ‘geil.’ And---vardammt!---‘geil’ is an anagram of Geli. Geli who had shaggy hair like this. Am I even seeing Dr. Gehl? Not projecting Geli onto her just because of some incidental tonsorial resemblance? To be a PhD and a Direktor in a first-class museum like this, this Ilse must be as old as Clovis Sayn at the least. And why she couldn’t she have an Adam’s apple like that one and let me compose myself, speak with reason and to some purpose?
The Fräulein Doktor manages to close her mouth. Her gaze drops and she says, “Thank you too. Relatively. Herr Doktor Hiedl---“
My turn to make a correction as to name. “Wolfengraf. My family name is Wolfengraf. Hiedl is my given name.”
“I…I don’t think I ever heard it before. I like the way it sounds.”
“Yes, thank you once more. It means a sort of underground river in the Bavarian dialect.”
“A river underground. A good name for someone who thinks.”
I pretend to sigh. “Like most well-chosen names it is more a challenge to than a description of its owner.”
“Which remark shows you are in fact a thinker. Now, Doktor Wolfengraf, what can I do for you? As I said earlier---I did didn’t I?---as I think I said earlier, I am the heiress to Dr. Hofmann’s position as Direktor. And, as a privilege of that office, I have access to all his work files. Oh, and please, do sit down. Can I get you anything? Coffee?”
“No, no. I just ate. As for my business here, that may take a little explaining. Paul, Dr. Hofmann, perhaps hinted, did he not, that I am often employed by the police as a consultant.”
“He mentioned that, yes. But, frankly, he also seemed a little puzzled. What exactly does an occult consultant do?”
“I do not know what are your personal beliefs, Dok---Ilse.” I am relieved when she does not correct me. “However, a certain percentage of the cases that come to the attention of the police have occult connections.”
“Truly?” She exudes skepticism. And I am here to ask---and have answered---certain questions. I am not hear to perform parlor tricks or win converts.
“The vast majority of such cases involve unstable or pathologically vain individuals who only THINK they can summon demons or cast spells. You can see how an individual knowledgeable about these matters, such as myself, might be highly useful to the police in tracing out the leads in a criminal matter.”
“Yes, I suppose so. But…you seem to hint that these are not ALL the cases.”
“I did so hint, yes. But rather than lecture you about the history of and credentials for hermetics, I prefer to save time. The case that brings me here today involves, I am convinced, one of the common run. An individual who strikes me as vain or unstable, but certainly no necromancer.” As both salesmen and statesmen know, the only way to get out of the starting gate is on shoes of falsehood.
She smiles, not wholly won over, but willing to play along. “Paul DID sometimes refer to you as a ‘hermetic hermenuticist.’ Perhaps I begin to appreciate what he meant. So, what did you want to ask me. Is this about the killing near the cathedral?”
“News travels, doesn’t it? Yes. A body was found in the Ordnungskirche behind St. Stephansdom.”
“A poor little African boy wasn’t it?”
This annoys me. With only slightly veiled sarcasm I reply, “Things would be just as awful if it had been some ‘privileged’ little Austrian boy, wouldn’t they? Either way, my interest lies in the killer and especially his motives---these will most likely be what catches him. That or a slip in his methods.”
“So, how can I help you with that?”
“I am here to ask what you can tell me about the Ordnungskirche itself. Not the edifice’s history. I can get that off the internet. I am more interested in its prehistory, or at least its very early history. What was the church’s site BEFORE it became hallowed Christian ground? As an antiquarian you can answer that, correct?”
“I am something of an authority on Roman sites all along the Danube Valley’s middle reaches. So, yes I can do that. But how will that help you? It is almost certain that your killer knows nothing of any of that.”
I smile, a little superciliously I am afraid. “So far as reading written sources go, you are probably correct Dr. Geihl. Still, education in these times ruins quite as many men as it improves. A disturbing number of killers with an occult bent are educated men. That aside…well, here. Tell me if I am right. Most Christian churches were constructed on sites sacred to pagan creeds, yes?”
“Yes, that is so.”
“In Vienna, Budapest, doubtless elsewhere too, though, Christianity built on the remains of Rome. The Romans themselves adopted the gods of the peoples they conquered. Thus, as a matter of course, THEY built on the sites of previous tribes. Here in Vienna, that means building on Germanic sites, no?”
She turns this over a moment. “On the whole, yes. Not every Roman temple even here occupied a previous people’s temple site. And in this area, there was some intermixture. At different times, different sites were sacred to early Germans, Celts, Hallstatt peoples, perhaps Illyrian. There remains a good deal we do not know. Much that is conjectural. Still, your basic point is largely true.” She gets up. Goes to an old fashioned metal filing cabinet against the wall. She is some minutes going through drawers and muttering. As I am those same minutes admiring her figure from this rear angle.
Returning she sets several files of varying thickness on the desk. “As you probably know, Dr. Hofmann devoted a great deal of work to WHY various sites were chosen for temples. Why the same sites were occupied by widely disparate creeds of peoples very little if at all kindred. I have never gone very deeply into his work. But from what I understand, he was convinced that temples were most often located at points where Ley lines converge. You know about Ley lines, don’t you?”
I am getting excited. “Yes! My friend Thorsten Hadur has performed some remarkable experiments at such sites. Of earthshaking import in the long run, he and I are both convinced.”
Ilse is looking at me dubiously. “WHO?”
“Thurston Hatter,” I hastily amend.
“Oh, good. For a moment I thought you said the name of him. That terrorist who was running around Europe last year. The one they killed at Castel del Monte, Thorsten Hadur. But who is this other one? Thurston…?”(4)
“An inspired amateur. It is not important. I can provide links to the Internet if you are interested. Now, you were saying? About Ley lines and Dr. Hofmann?”
“Yes, Dr. Hofmann was convinced that not only that Ley lines’ intersections provided the locations of most if not all ancient temples, but that there was an art to locating such intersections.”
“An art?”
“Yes. What few people credit the Ley lines’ hypothesis almost all agree that mankind once possessed the ability to pick up on Ley intersections. An instinct after the one that allows birds to migrate without getting lost, salmon to return to the same stream to spawn, or even some few people today to douse underground water.” At that reference she smiles shyly my way. Which smile I return with interest.
She goes on. “In short, it is commonly believed that the ability to intuit Ley nodes represents a faculty that has become atrophied. Following Rene Guenon however, Dr. Hofmann was exploring the possibility that what has been lost is not an ability but a technique. That what we lack today is not a faculty but rather the technique of exercising it. Unfortunately, when he died, Dr. Hofmann had not gotten very much past a great many uncatalogued notes. That and compiling some monumental reading lists on topics related to his researches.” She gestures at the heap of papers.
I am not sure what my face conveys. She adds, however, “There is more in the cabinets.I can give you access to all the material. Intellectual property regulations here at the museum demand, though, that the papers remain physically present in this office.”
“Photocopying?”
“I am afraid not.”
“In a way I am relieved. Could I follow this theme I might be writing another book. One even longer.”
“Another?”
“Let us not speak of it. Authorship is for me a struggle.”
“’Dein Kampf?,’” she suggests, adorning her little jest with two perfect dimples.
“Mine, indeed. More to the immediate purpose,” I say, “do you or did Paul have anything specifically about the church in question, St. Elisabeth von Ungarn?”
“That I DO have!” And pride in her own authorship lights up Ilse’s features. She slides her computer monitor around to face me. Closes a document she was working on and hunts around among the resulting screen’s icons. She clicks on a Word file and up pops the rather daunting title, “Ethnicity, Gender, and Labor: Diversity Among Rome’s Mid-Danube Slave Populations.”
Sensing something subtle in my posture, she soothes, “The title is just to grease the skids for possible publication. Aside from politically correct filler padding out the opening and close of each chapter, it’s a book about architecture.” And when I say nothing, she adds, “Yes. Really.”
The duplicit doctoress scrolls down about a quarter of what must be a four hundred page document. Halts at what seems a random point, but clearly means something to its author. After hunting around for a few minutes, she highlights a passage:
“’It has been documented by both Brodzski and Lessinger(46) that Vienna’s Ordnungskirche was erected on the site of several earlier ones dedicated in order to St. Basil, the ‘heretic’ Arius, the Roman god Apollo, and ultimately the Germanic deity Baldur.’”(4)
“That is quite a lineage,” I observe. “I am somewhat uncertain as to any logic in the developments over the ages. The succession of names, I mean.”
Ilse rolls her eyes like the little girl whose daddy misses a reference in her favorite cartoon. “And how WELL did you know Paul? He was always saying that, ‘After the first few centuries, the Christians named churches with as little sacredotal discrimination as crows pick carrion. Things were not always so.’ Forget Elisabeth and the Teutonic Order. But St. Basil? He is considered responsible for Orthodoxy’s victory over Arianism in the East. He likewise denounced the said-to-be heresy at the Council of Constantinople, contributing to its eventual extirpation in the West. He was the natural figure here to name a church after. I mean a church previously dedicated to Arius.
“As for Apollo, consider the god’s role as the transmitter of culture to men. At one and the same time, patron of music, medicine, poetry, archery, learning in general. Where Arius taught that all men could indeed become ‘sons of God’---
“---Apollo taught them to draw as near godhood as was possible for any except the apotheosoi who BECAME gods. And Baldur---“
“---was considered to be the Teutonic equivalent of Apollo, the one who would return after Ragnarork as righteous king over a peaceful and plenteous Golden Age,” Ilse finishes. We look at each other. I wonder: is she tingling like me? Leaving her to that, I speak first.
“And, you see Ilse? It does not matter that the killer KNOWS none of this consciously. These facts are all built into the temporal STRUCTURE of the spot. Which means it enters into the psychic ambience influencing people present there. It’s as ineradicable as…” I trail off. I was going to add: “…as logical form in a proposition.” I cannot go around spilling what is, after all, still highly classified evidentiary material.
Besides she is looking at me curiously. “I am afraid I do not follow. Talking like this, are you certain this is truly one of your ‘ordinary’ cases? The non-occult ones?”
I am not listening however. Something else has just occurred to me. Arius had been very much prophet to the Aryans: nearly every Germanic tribe had been Arian before their often forcible conversion to the Roman church: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians, Suevians, Vandals. And hadn’t, much later, the great voice of the Germanic peoples declared, “Who sees in this movement only politics understands nothing. Our aim is to restore the godlike in man.”

IV.
It is a long walk from the Kunsthistorisches to my lodgings near Westbahnhof, almost forty-five minutes. But the soon-to-set sun is warm on my face, and with me marching long ago became a sort of ritual. Besides, I need to walk just this moment. The agitation will not let me sit on a bus or the U-Bahn.
I try telling myself that what troubles me is this murder case and its occult implications. Certainly there is truth in that. Truth in the same proportion there is salt in one’s Gulaschsuppe. As for the rest…? I am nearly all the way to Zieglergasse before I can…yes, before I can state what is all the case: that geil Doktor Geihl. I am above all annoyed with her. With myself over her.
That forced and duplicit “explanation” of hers about the loathsome title of her book manuscript. “Ethnicity, Gender, and Labor: Diversity Among Rome’s Mid-Danube Slave Populations”! If stooping to that is the price of publication in these times, then it is prohibitive. Better to let one’s writing gather dust in an attic (or, yes, on USB) than, as it were, deck out Achilles in drag parading propaganda as research.
And yet the woman strikes me so fresh, so surpassing fascinating! Her views? What do those figure? Certainly I have often seen how airily a woman dismisses her own most “deeply-held convictions” when the right man heaves up on her horizon. And hadn’t Ilse just now been showing me the strongest signs of infatuation? Who cares what she thinks she “thinks”? A man does not want the “views” in a woman. He wants HER!
But then and damn me, she already has doubts about me. Helping me on with my overcoat, she frowned at the lapel pin. The Armanen kaun rune. She pondered a moment, then brightened and said. “Oh! I thought you were one of them.”
“One of whom?”
“You know. The VPUO.(7) The ones who wear the:---“ And she held up three fingers. “Oh, I am sorry! I don’t mean to patronize you. With your interests you would certainly know the Algiz Rune. Those VPUO use it as their symbol.”
“I do indeed know the rune,” I smiled, a little amused---and touched---by her sensitivity to my feelings. On this note I was prepared to leave.
However she had not finished with the topic. “You, I see, have lopped off the VPUO’s left arm. Well done, Doktor Wolfengraf.”
And whatever possessed me to answer honestly? Verdammt! What a question! Pride possessed me. That and honor. And if I can preserve those, let hormones be damned. (I wish I could mean that.) “In fact, if you construe the Algiz as a humanoid facing yourself, it is the RIGHT arm that is missing in the Kaun rune. Algiz, with both arms raised, is a figure of supplication. A sign that befits those who persist believing in the electoral swindle even in these times, as VPUO does. Kaun presents but the one arm, the left. Raised in the old Roman salute. Frank declaration that the only possible work to be done in these Dämmerung-days is that of the left hand.”
I must have spoken with some heat. For she took a step back, dropped her now troubled gaze, and turned to the papers, her computer. “You must excuse me, Herr Doktor. I have work to do.” She did not look up. And, when I had taken only two or three steps down the hall, I heard the door close behind me. The sound was almost furtive. The dead-bolt shooting home was not.
I had frightened her.
Which with women can cut two ways. The one, of course, a complete off-cutting. The other, total surrender. Or so cheap romance novels promise. Real life…? In my experience, real life has been as dim as this oncoming December evening, I am afraid. I really ought to take the S-Bahn. I have walked enough for one day. And I am eager to be home to my beloved Rubia.
No, no. Herr Doktor Wolengraf is no philanderer. Though Rubia might contest the remark. The little Spanish Papillion bitch is insanely jealous of my attention. She was a gift from a friend, one Dr. Manuel Ezquerra. One of a number of persons mysteriously missing and presumed dead during last year’s panic across much of Europe involving the “right-wing terrorist” Thorsten Hadur. It was Miguel, in fact, who suggested to me the name Rubia. “It means ‘blond’ in Spanish,” he pointed out when I protested there was nothing at all ruby-hued about the gamboling light yellow puppy. The name not only suited her to a tee, but avoided the whispers that might have arisen had I used the appellation “Blondi.”
Vienna gets dark early in December. We are well into twilight by the time I turn into Stumpergasse and open the door to my old Wohnhaus. I have lived in this lane, off and on, since I came to the capital many years ago. My life here has the feel of an old shoe slid on over woolen socks. Before I can start up the stairs, though, I feel a sort of birdlike flutter in the hall behind me. I turn.
A plump hen of an old lady is clucking, “Ach Hiedl, here you are.” She starts to jerk an arm out from under her apron and winces in pain. “Au! This arthritis. I can barely raise my arm, even when I move slowly.”
I put one hand on her shoulder, the other under her elbow and soothe, “It is all right, Frau Zakreys, all right. There is no need for that any more.”
“I know, Hiedl. But I forgot. I was worried. All day long, I have not seen you. And Rubia was barking earlier. She misses you. Und…und…sag mir: habst du ‘was gefunden?”
“No, no not yet.” She shuffles back to her rooms, clucking to herself the while. I watch till she closes the door. Then start up the stairs myself. Four flights of stairs are not so many. That is what I used to say every day. Every day when I was younger.
Inside, a little golden-haired cannonball comes pelting at me. Still nearly two meters short of the doorway I stand in, she launches herself. And then Rubia is bathing my brow, cheeks, moustache, and chin in dog spit. All the while serenading me to a litany of canine complaints and doggish delight. For all her spontaneity each time, this is Rubia’s invariable rite.
As are the blood-sausage and milk I treat her to afterward. While she crouches munching and slurping, I gaze with appreciation out the East wall’s bank of windows. When it is light out, I can even see the spire of St. Stephansdom rising over the roofline across the way. I was fortunate indeed to find this place when I returned to Vienna after my long absence. To find myself in this place, I should say. In this place and with Frau Zakreys as before. As before, but in far better accommodations. For I must have windows. I spent long hours of the worst days of my life in an underground office. I have nightmares about the place still. And now, I absolutely must have the windows.
Rubia has done eating. Time for her next ceremony. She trots off to my bed and retrieves an old stinky stocking from under it. Then she eyes the layout. The living room where we stand is my office. The large bedroom is decked out as the living-room/bedroom. Carefully the little dog considers her choices.
Clausewitz once said that, given a choice of A or B, one’s opponent in war would always choose C. So too Rubia. As ever and again, she trots over to the shut door of the smaller, mostly empty bedroom. She eyes me archly. When I make no move, she very carefully sets down the sock and barks at me. Once. Twice. Thrice. When I still make no move, she sighs theatrically and looks at me plaintively.
“I have told you before, Rubia. That room is for work.”
Satisfied with the explanation, she takes up the stocking and trots off into the living room/bedroom. For the next half hour, we play fetch, tug-of-war, and people-chew with the sock, my hand, and occasionally my ears. Finally, when Rubia has sufficiently been compensated for my workday neglect of her, she goes to water bowl and slakes her thirst. Then she waits patiently beside the bed until I hoist her onto the foot of the mattress. From whence she betakes herself to the pillows and sinks into slumber.
I make coffee and sit facing out the West windows. Were it light, I could see Schloss Schönbrunn, palace and grounds. That and the hills out near Lainzer Tiergarten, the old Imperial hunting estate. I sip the coffee and wonder. How did I ever wind up doing just exactly THIS? Sitting here waiting for the man to come.
Early on I had faced adversity. Later, shown myself a man of ability. My boyhood passed in Lambach, then small cities like Steyer and Linz. After that what amounted to an arduous apprenticeship in Vienna and points north, west. I had had some years definite success in Berlin, hadn’t I? Then one day to wake up in Vienna again. With a PhD in Parapsychology, true. But making a living---of a straitly limited sort---as an “occult consultant, specializing in runelore.” Which, shorn of esoteric appendages, makes me something of a hybrid cliché. Sherlock Holmes grafted onto---far more distastefully---Sigmund Freud.
By my coffeecup on the nightstand rests an old Walther PPK. In 7.65mm caliber. Usually I keep it as a paperweight on my work desk. Why had I brought it in here? I have mixed feelings about the weapon. On the one hand, its weight, classic lines, and rich blue finish rouse confidence. After some early wavering on the point, I have decided. Decided as firm as the Walther’s steel frame: men without weapons are slaves.
On the other hand, the pistol makes me vaguely uneasy. Nothing to do with its potential for an accident. I live alone here and only fools cause accidents. But the PPK’s left walnut grip is charred at one corner. When, why that happened, or even how I got the firearm I do not recall. But I am uneasy over it. I have only fired the piece one time. And that one time, just the one round. I am as certain of that as I am that I do not know why I fired or at what.
My head has started to hurt. The temple like usual. Which reminds me. I have that sort of work to see to. Even if I were not thusly reminded, I could not forget the task. My phone’s “message received” light is flashing. Theo, of course. Demanding to know what my promised sources have said. I send him back an “in a meeting” icon.”
Which I set out to make true. I get up and go into the kitchen. Consultations demand certain amenities, and I ready what I think needful. Rubia has followed me and I put her off with some leftover Millirahmstrudel. She wants blood-sausage, but I abominate meat enough not to indulge her more than canine health demands. I gather my supplies and go into the little bedroom.
Very well. I promised the Inspektor to check with my sources. But which? My contacts are wide enough for the task. Still as the poseur pontificated, “We choose our advice by our choice of advisor.”(9) Perhaps Frenchmen like him really do. I look for competence, not confirmation. In general, for all that I often poke about in the uralt past, I have found more recent consultants more informative. And in the case at hand, the crime scene’s connection with the Teutonic Order will be grabbing all the contemporary attention. That martial tie-in decides me. I summon Eugene.

V.
“Why me? I mean I sincerely hope---‘Hiedl’---that you were not expecting me to feel FLATTERED.” The raised eyebrows and dramatically lowered jaw make Eugene’s normally handsome longish face almost grotesque.
“No, it is just as I told you. St. Elisabeth’s is, as you have long known, also home of the Teutonic Order. The martial aspect to this matter, naturally, suggested yourself.” As I have explained to him three times already.
He half turns on his heel and looks heavenward. “Rub it in, why don’t you. Just rub it in, ‘Herr Doktor.’”
I am honestly puzzled at this. “Rub what in, Eugene?”
He inclines his head and looks out at me from under disapproving brows. “’Martial aspect’? Martial as in Mars. As in that whole ‘Mars without Venus’ canard they were forever casting in my teeth!”
That is the entire problem with Eugene. I should have remembered. He is perhaps the bravest personage I have ever met, and I have known many. On a par, certainly, with my Leon from Belgium. But he is also stereotypically homosexual to the point of caricature. Thus EVERYTHING is always about him. Drama queenery carried to the point of a decadent art all its own. I need to mollify him if I am to redeem my promise to Theo.
“Eugene, you know as well as I. That imprecation---witty as it was---would never have found a footing had you not been a very Mars himself.”
“’A’ Mars?” He cocks his head, interest piqued.
“THE Mars. The old saw about you without Venus was something like the legionaries’ jest about Caesar. ‘Every woman’s man and every man’s woman.’ Save that YOU faced first class martial competition in your day. Caesar? He merely fought a few colonial wars.”
“Well,” Eugene turns and faces me fully once again. “If THAT was your intent and your meaning, I suppose I can hear you out. What precisely are you after?”
I have to strain to make out what he is saying. That is another problem with Eugene. Even when he gives you his undivided attention, his Savoyard-French accent renders his German nearly unintelligible at key junctures. Inexcusably, I think. He has dwelt here a great many more years than I have.
“What am I after? As I told you. There was a murder in the Ordnungskirche. I know you have no idea of who. I am simply trying to find out WHY. Why a murder in precisely this church? What motivated, or at least influenced, the choice of venue.”
“Well, ‘Hiedl,’ you yourself said once upon a time…what were the precise words? Oh, yes. ‘We stand at the end of the Age of Reason. A new era of magical insight is dawning.’ So there, in broad strokes you have your answer.”
“Which is no answer at all. I mean I already suspected magic is involved. What I need to know is what sort, with what goal. To that end, I need to know what you have heard on your side---if indeed anything.”
Eugene relishes making me wheedle. Lingering jealousy over what remains, in fact, a scrap of vanishing history. Or, rather, one being erased. “Marc did mention to me not so very long ago that the Ordnungskirche is built on the site of a very ancient wooden temple to Baldur.”
I already knew this. Still it is good to have the report confirmed. That and highly impolitic to let Eugene know he is purveying second-hand news. “Yes!,” I make myself exclaim. “That is what I need. Now we may be getting somewhere.”
Apparently thinking matters brought to a satisfactory climax, Eugene yawns with histrionic emphasis. “You are? Then may I go now?”
“Not so fast---please. Please, Eugene. I have already given you the details. How do things look from, well, from your side. What is their import? Where do they tend?”
“If you want to see how things look from this side, ‘Hiedl,’ you should stay here. Not just the one quick visit. You were gone before we had really digested the news you were even coming.”
“As I have told you before. I have no idea how that happened. Or why.” I am, understandably, anxious to have our talk back on track. Not sure now how to get it there.
Eugene unbends. “That, I suppose, really is not my concern either. Very well. You said something earlier about how the Malkuth sign was placed where should have been the body’s head. Well, there is your entire explanation right there.”
“Can you unpack that for me?”
“Do I look like a footman,” he glares.
“I meant unpack intellectually. Like explaining a plan of battle. One does not simply say, ‘I---I---‘”
“Took Belgrade?”, Eugene helpfully suggests.
“---took Belgrade. One speaks in terms of marches, countermarches, flanking maneuvers, sapping, mines---“
“I get the idea,” he cuts me off, a little supercilious as usual. “Listen closely. I will not repeat this. I have better things to do, even here in my retirement. As we have established, the matter of Malkuth at the head suggests inversion. So does every other aspect of the situation. Baldur, recall, means “Shining One.” But the body left on the site of his temple was a Ugandan. One of the blackest peoples on this Earth. Again, going up a level, Apollo’s temple has been replaced by one sacred to a Semitic creed. Apollo was god of learning; the Aryans have never learned that the Christian ‘teaching’ foisted onto them is a hoax. Apollo was the most aristocratic of gods; the Nazarene’s gospel is ever leveling through enforced degradation of its adherents’ faculties. The dead boy, you tell me, was a refugee. What are today’s ‘refugees’ in Europe except passive-aggressive invaders? And what are today’s Europeans except traitors who welcome the invaders into their holiest of holies? For that is what placing the corpse at the altar amounts to. There. Are you satisfied, ‘Herr Doktor.’”
“Nearly. All the crime’s details are arresting enough. What might have been called ‘shocking’ as recently as this century’s turn. But there is that which gnaws at me about this case. A profound unease on my part that this is not simply the work of just one more emotionally disordered but otherwise ‘perfectly normal human-being.’”
Eugene favors me with a fencing-master’s encouraging nod. “There is where that philosophy book comes in. That Tractatus is not being used as some wry post-modern commentary on the killer’s actions. It is being employed as a rite all its own. Look at the book’s very first, let us call it what it is. Not a proposition. The very first verse in this grimoire. ‘The world is all that is the case.’ The killer is working a black-magic rite to render permanent the world-inversion his actions show without saying. Look closely at the book, ‘Wolfengraf.’ There are exactly seven main propositions. There will be in all seven killings. Killings to make sure the inverted world becomes---and remains---‘all that is the case.’”
I am already shaking my head. “Every sociopath with a straight razor and a set of occult paperbacks is absolutely convinced of something very much the same. HIS rite will reorder the universe. Meantime the mental hospitals fill up with the killers’ many twin siblings or, as in America, they are named to ‘inclusive’ school-boards and elected to municipal offices. Appalling, yes. Dangerous, clearly. World-altering magic, scarcely.”
Eugene shrugs. “So why bother troubling me if you have the entire matter puzzled out? Only one question before I go. WHY do they, your sociopaths, fail as mage?”
“Why?” I had never asked myself, to be honest.
“Why?” Eugene repeats.
“Well, isn’t it evident?” I stammer. “Such individuals are powerless. All they have is a somewhat dangerous blade in one hand and pages of impotent verbiage in the other.”
“’…pages of impotent verbiage in the other,’” he is already echoing. “Like so many other questions, ‘Hiedl,’ this is a matter of POWER isn’t it? What if I told you that rumors have started to swirl over here that the source of the power needed for that change is about to become available? It has long been here. But long unknown. Occulted, as they say.”
“How do you know this? And what power?” Excitement and fear course through me as they have not for many a long, long year.
“Know? I just told you. Rumors swirl. Like any edition of rumors, these may be true or they may be false. As for what is that power, ask yourself.”
“Ask myself?”
“Yes, ‘Hiedl.’ Ask yourself---everyone else does.”
“The Graal?!”
“As I just told you: ask yourself. Ask yourself why you are anywhere at all, given what happened. Ask yourself why you are anywhere at all just NOW. And ask yourself why you are just exactly HERE.”
Then he himself is gone.
I come out of the tiny room and lock its door behind me as always. I go into the living/bedroom, where Rubia snores faintly from my pillow. I crack the window. Incense was needful for my earlier purpose. This does not mean I want it smelling up the apartment all night.
The new moon’s thin crescent casts a silver wash over the sleeping city. Silver. Ambiguous stuff. The metal as such repels the very creatures of Hel. As quicksilver, its touch is deadly to man. I wonder which this is. For a long time, I stand there at the window. Gazing out upon the Donau, the Dom, and my beloved Innerstadt.

VI.
I am seventeen years old again and strolling down the Untere-Donaulände in Linz. I am also dreaming and know that I am dreaming. A faculty I developed years ago in the long nights near Loos. Or years after, accepting the timeline in this dream. I file away that awareness of other orders of reality. Try to enjoy my youth once more. Try again. Try harder.
If I seem agitated, it is because I am. For just a few paces ahead of me strolls Stefi. My first love and, in some ways my truest. Truest even if I never spoke to her. Unlike actual events, my dream anxiety lends me courage. It may be the courage of despair, but it comes to courage all the same. I have never dared address her, this Fräulein Stefi? That is about to change.
I take three or four quick steps. Surely she must hear my approach. I plant both feet and fairly boom, “Stefi? We need to speak!”
The slim maiden’s stately progress does not miss a beat. She pivots as if on cue and I see---Clovis Sayn! Her face’s features are sneer-distorted, but her eyes terror-troubled. She chants in a sing-song: “The abomination comes not with mere murder/ The abomination comes not with dismembering/ The abomination only comes when the disparate pieces are joined.”
I waken in a sweat with woman’s mocking laughter still ringing in the room. The hour, predawn. My hammering heart slows as I readjust to waking reality. I get up and check the doors, the windows. What stands drawn on, in some cases carved into, sash or sill. Nothing amiss. The episode was a dream, albeit far far far from “just a dream.” I settle into bed once more. Sink back onto the pillows. Rubia licks my nose consolingly. Sleep returns, this time uninterrupted.
Which episode causes me to rise late, nearly eight a.m. I will have to hurry if I am to make the 9:30 meeting Theo and I agreed on via text message late last night. His office in Landespolizei Headquarters lies on Schottenring to the far side of the Votivkirche.
Still, since we are struggling for civilization, he and I, it will not do to neglect its forms and usages. Coffee I must have, even if it is the execrable creosote-based Nestle’s instant. Along with it I have a piece of Schwarzbrot und Nutella, while Rubia settles for the rest of last night’s pastry with a sliver of blood-sausage.
I have just taken the first bite of my bread when I hear the door’s mail slot open, my morning paper flop inside. Then---Hallo! What’s this?---I hear a letter drop in as well. A rare thing truly in these days of email and social media.
The headline of the “Neue Kronen Zeitung,” however, distracts me from the mail. The 28-point banner reads, “EIN NATI-ONALISTISCHER MORD?” Worse, far worse, than the worst fears Inspektor Jandt voiced yesterday. Especially that clever bit of hyphenation in the adjective.(10)
The text of the piece (a.k.a., what gets left unread) disgorges more of the same half-digested speculation. Insinuations do heroic duty in place of premises, all leading up to the inevitable conclusion that latter-day Teutonic nights have declared race-war on harmless refugees. This last is all the more apodictic given that it is unsullied by any considerations so irrelevant as evidence.
I stop in its tracks the rant I feel coming on. My boyhood friend August was right. When I start piling polysyllable upon polysyllable, the explosion is coming. Something like, I understand, how commandos pack sandbags around explosive charges to intensify the blast from their plastique.
I set aside the paper. It serves no need of mine. Oh, I rationalize the subscription to myself on the grounds that it offers a sort of barometer of public opinion. But that vitriolic American Bierce spoke true when he described the barometer as, “an ingenious device that tells us what kind of weather we are having.” And the “Kronen Zeitung” stands on the same level as the Frankfurter Zeitung, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and what have you. One and all superfluous evidence that my sometime correspondent from Chile, Serrano, was correct. Men truly are devolving into a species of two-legged termites. Breeding without let, one mind ruling all, and gnawing away at the edifice that makes possible their pointless existence.
Satisfied to have gotten that miniature rant off my chest I go to take up the letter just delivered. Pause to let Rubia lick Nutella off my spoon. So, who has written to---
I stop and stare. The envelope has no return address. Just my own and my name. This written in the same elegant Fraktur as that on the Tractatus-tags at yesterday’s crime scene. I am certain of this. As certain as the Kronun-Zeitung’s editor of his insinuations.
Certainly I should not open the missive. Beyond a doubt, I should deliver the thing intact into the hands of Inspektor Theo Jandt and his staff. I hesitate holding my arm up off of the table, the letter in midair. Rubia gives a hopeful little yap on the off-chance the epistle turn out to be edible. Then I decide.
I give myself the benefit of the doubt. For I am certainly a police consultant, am I not? I slip my little knife from my suit jacket pocket. Fumble doing so and, by my honor, spy a spot on blood on the blade.(11)
Slitting open the envelope, I take out a sheet of lined notebook paper. Although I cannot be sure, the slightly yellowed paper certainly looks similar to that from which yesterday’s tags were scissored. As I start to unfold the letter, something small and dark falls out onto the table.
I pick up the object and at once drop it in disgust. A strip of Scotch tape holds together what seems to be a tuft of black pubic hair. With a grimace of distaste, I bring my face nearer it. Snap sharply at Rubia who thinks she is being done out of a choice snack.
Up close like this, I can smell it. The faint negroid stench of the clipping. Yesterday’s body was that of a youth too young to have begun to mature. I recall there had been no hair at all in the bloodied genital region. But the photo in the newspaper showed Kalikara Masane to have been a wooly-headed little specimen. And, yesterday, it had been just exactly the head that was missing. Very carefully, then, I use the haft of the knife to slide the hair-clipping to table’s edge and drop it into the envelope held open beneath it. Rubia, sensing the gravity of the situation, has withdrawn almost a meter and sits on her haunches silently watching.
Now for the letter proper. The writing is the same as on the envelope, the tags. The message is brief and comes quickly to its puzzling point: “Behold, the New Adam cometh. You of all men must be told---Da’ath.”
On an impulse, I look at the envelope’s postmark. 8 December. The day before the killing.

NOTES
1.Both points were made by Hitler in his table talk.
2.An actual advertisement in 2022. Underscoring the point, papers on a coffee-table in front of the girl referenced a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with child pornography.
3.In German, “geil” means nubile. Of course, in either German or English, geil and Geihl sound the same. Still, and it drives men to distraction, women can and do pick up nuances like this.
4.See “Return To Whidbey” by this author for a great deal more about Thorsten Hadur.
5.None of this is true. The book in your hands is a work of fiction not a tome of archaeology.
6.
7.Volkspartei Unser Österreich: “People’s Party, Our Austria.” A fictional nationalist party. The name is borrowed from an actual body, “Ľudová strana Naše Slovensk,”: People’s Party Our Slovakia. This is a group, under the leadership of Marian Kotleba, presently imprisoned at EU behest. While one takes heart at Kotleba’s (relative) courage, one also must berue the band’s apparent trust in electoral politics. We need more Breviks, fewer ballots.
8.
9.The quote is from Sartre.
10.“Nati—“ in German would be pronounced “nazi.” In fact, the title comes from the first word in the Party’s complete name: “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei.” In the headline above, the indication would be clear that the paper strongly suspected the killer of being a Nazi. Or, more to the point, wished to whip up popular sentiment to that effect.
11.“Blood and Honor”---Blut und Ehre---was the motto graven into the blades of knives carried by Hitler Jugend members. Though he never mentions the matter, Dr. Wolfengraf seems to have come into an heirloom somewhere along his way.
 
Abyssos said:
I haven't had time to read this in full yet, but this is high quality literature. I'm interested in getting the rest. My email is in my signature.


Thanks. I will send you the rest. Seven Chapters in all.
 
Xenophon said:

Please don't put your real name, or other identifiable info within this, as people may try to slander you outside JoS, given the context of this path.

If you wish, you can resubmit this post and a moderator could delete this one.
 

Al Jilwah: Chapter IV

"It is my desire that all my followers unite in a bond of unity, lest those who are without prevail against them." - Satan

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