Miscellaneous Places

Will’s Shelf

The bookshop Will’s Shelf is a musty shop on a smaller street in the city centre, with sun bleached books in the windows. The shop is quite large; the front room is seven times ten metres and the cashier point is close to the door. In the middle of the back of the room there is a spiral stair going up to a equally large room for stationary and children’s books. Most of Corien Cogh’s books can be found on the shelves.

Trevor Will is just above two metres high white male with black short-trimmed hair and brown eyes. He still have a straight back from the days of his time in the Southern army during the Civil War. He is for New Orleans and brought many things from his home; esoteric and occult knowledge, war memorabilia, occult books, and bigotry. Uncommon from his old friends and relatives he does not look down on the non-white, but rather the other way around. White people will usually find him looking down on them from his two metres and any inquires about ”advanced” topics, from science to the esoteric, will generally be ignored or dismissed, even if they prove they have knowledge in the area and that they know that Trevor has the requested books. Customers of nearly any other skin colour (the more uncommon to the city the better) will get vague and non-committing answers, but both prompt and expert service if they prove they have insights in the esoteric. A part of the store room behind the counter has been partitioned off and behind the locked door (FoC: Burglary Good (+3), CoC: Lock picking) he keeps about two dozen of occult and Mythos tomes. Trevor buys and sells these books and the turn over is rather high; there is a 30% likelihood that a given book has been sold within two weeks. He rarely reads the Mythos tomes as he barely understands them, but the occult books he usually studies before he sells them.

As Mr Will discriminate against whites it might perplex the casual observer that Elmer Caton succeeds in buying books, and occasional selling books, in the bookshop. At first, when Elmer Caton approached Trevor Will he was plain ignored, but Elmer did some homework. He learned of Mr Will’s bigotry and employed a black man to go talk to Mr Will on Mr Caton’s behalf. After several persuasion attempts Mr Will agreed to allow Mr Caton the opportunity to demonstrate his skills. Mr Caton did this successfully and Mr Will recognised in Mr Caton a hunger for power more powerful than the racism prevalent in any white person in the city. Mr Caton wanted occult power badly enough that he could accept a black man to talk on his behalf! This impressed on Mr Will and he decided to make an exception, albeit one that costs Mr Caton quite some – he buys at a premium and sells at a discount.

Mr Will keep a neat ledger of all purchases of occult books, with complete names as Mr Will knows them, even with addresses when the book arrives or departs by mail. The ledger is kept well hidden in the inner room, in a secret compartment in a chiffonier with a set of drawers and pigeonholes, which are exposed when the writing surface is turned down for usage.

The crash site

The site where Christin Barnett lost her life is some kilometres outside the city. The road meanders along a hillside about 20 metres above the river, but usually about 40-60 metres from it. In one curve, not a very narrow one, a car have crashed through the wooden guard rail, down the gentle slope and into the river. When an observer stands and looks along the path it is a quite obvious where the car has driven—it has flatten several bushes, broken quite some branches of others and some smaller trees and the tire tracks are clearly visible—but seen from the side, either from the road or from the river, it is not as easy to see.

The track goes straight from the curve, like if someone has come from the city and missed the curve and went straight into the river. The driver might have been conscious when plunging into the river because it has veered slightly to the left about halfway down to steer clear of a mature maple tree. (The truth is that Corien Cogh was still at the wheel then and had to make an evasive manoeuvre to not have an accident.)

Available clues

About 70 m from the crash site, on the road towards the city, a good tracking roll (FoC: Good (+3) Investigate, CoC: Track (Hard)) will reveal that a car ha been turned around here. There are some tyre marks in the sand next to the road on both side and both the size of the turning radius and the pattern of the tyres matches the car.

Another clue that is much harder to find, among the other footprints from the police, reporters etc. that showed up at the site. A really good tracking roll (FoC: Good (+3) Investigate, CoC: Track (Hard)) will reveal a set of foot prints that stands out. The foot prints are close the left side of the tracks about 10 m after the maple tree. The ground is soft and muddy and close inspection clearly shows the marks of a woman’s shoes, and the three footprints are placed as if someone has stepped out of the car, on the driver’s side. It is off course impossible to say if the wearer stepped out of the driver’s door or the passenger door behind the driver, but there is no chance of mistaking them for any of the police or reporter’s shoes and the marks are not that old that they could be from before the accident. (This was the only place Corien Cogh stepped on soft ground, after this she took of her shoes and made sure she stepped on firm ground.)

A well trained bloodhound could be employed to try to follow the various scent trails left by the media and police. Such a dog will (FoC: Good (+3) Investigate, CoC: Animal Handling (Hard)) find one set of tracks leaving the site on a diagonal from the marks of the female shoes up to the road towards the city and that this single person walks into the city. It is up to the Keeper to decide how far the dog succeeds in following the trail, a well-trained dog is marvellous at tracking fugitives but Corien Cogh most likely took a taxi after a few streets once inside the city border. That taxi driver will be quite hard to find and depending on the time it takes to locate him, he might not be able to give a reliable description of Corien Cogh. She could also have hitched a ride with some passing car, that driver might be possible to locate via advertising in the news papers, but it will be quite slow progress and take up to a week before the driver presents himself (and maybe one or two red herrings in the shape of helpful people misunderstanding the request).

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