CTHULATHON: DAY 287

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Cthulhu | 288 of 365

III. The Madness from the Sea
If heaven ever wishes to grant me a boon, it will be a total effacing of the results of a mere chance which fixed my eye on a certain stray piece of shelf-paper.

CTHULATHON: DAY 286

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Cthulhu | 287 of 365

It was nothing on which I would naturally have stumbled in the course of my daily round, for it was an old number of an Australian journal, the Sydney Bulletin for April 18, 1925.

CTHULATHON: DAY 285

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Cthulhu | 286 of 365

I had largely given over my inquiries into what Professor Angell called the “Cthulhu Cult”, and was visiting a learned friend in Paterson, New Jersey; the curator of a local museum and a mineralogist of note.

CTHULATHON: DAY 284

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Cthulhu | 285 of 365

Examining one day the reserve specimens roughly set on the storage shelves in a rear room of the museum, my eye was caught by an odd picture in one of the old papers spread beneath the stones.

CTHULATHON: DAY 283

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Cthulhu | 284 of 365

It was the Sydney Bulletin I have mentioned, for my friend had wide affiliations in all conceivable foreign parts; and the picture was a half-tone cut of a hideous stone image almost identical with that which Legrasse had found in the swamp.

CTHULATHON: DAY 282

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Cthulhu | 283 of 365

Eagerly clearing the sheet of its precious contents, I scanned the item in detail; and was disappointed to find it of only moderate length. What it suggested, however, was of portentous significance to my flagging quest; and I carefully tore it out for immediate action.

CTHULATHON: DAY 281

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Cthulhu | 282 of 365

It read as follows:
MYSTERY DERELICT FOUND AT SEA: 
Vigilant Arrives With Helpless Armed New Zealand Yacht in Tow. One Survivor and Dead Man Found Aboard. Tale of Desperate Battle and Deaths at Sea. Rescued Seaman Refuses Particulars of Strange Experience. Odd Idol Found in His Possession. Inquiry to Follow.

CTHULATHON: DAY 280

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Cthulhu | 281 of 365

The Morrison Co.’s freighter Vigilant, bound from Valparaiso, arrived this morning at its wharf in Darling Harbour, having in tow the battled and disabled but heavily armed steam yacht Alert of Dunedin, N.Z., which was sighted April 12th in S. Latitude 34°21′, W. Longitude 152°17′, with one living and one dead man aboard.

CTHULATHON: DAY 279

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Cthulhu | 280 of 365

The Vigilant left Valparaiso March 25th, and on April 2nd was driven considerably south of her course by exceptionally heavy storms and monster waves.

CTHULATHON: DAY 278

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Cthulhu | 279 of 365

On April 12th the derelict was sighted; and though apparently deserted, was found upon boarding to contain one survivor in a half-delirious condition and one man who had evidently been dead for more than a week.

CTHULATHON: DAY 277

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Cthulhu | 278 of 365

The living man was clutching a horrible stone idol of unknown origin, about foot in height, regarding whose nature authorities at Sydney University, the Royal Society, and the Museum in College Street all profess complete bafflement, and which the survivor says he found in the cabin of the yacht, in a small carved shrine of common pattern.

CTHULATHON: DAY 276

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Cthulhu | 277 of 365

This man, after recovering his senses, told an exceedingly strange story of piracy and slaughter. He is Gustaf Johansen, a Norwegian of some intelligence, and had been second mate of the two-masted schooner Emma of Auckland, which sailed for Callao February 20th with a complement of eleven men.

CTHULATHON: DAY 275

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Cthulhu | 276 of 365

Being ordered peremptorily to turn back, Capt. Collins refused; whereupon the strange crew began to fire savagely and without warning upon the schooner with a peculiarly heavy battery of brass cannon forming part of the yacht’s equipment.

CTHULATHON: DAY 274

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Cthulhu | 275 of 365

The Emma, he says, was delayed and thrown widely south of her course by the great storm of March 1st, and on March 22nd, in S. Latitude 49°51′ W. Longitude 128°34′, encountered the Alert, manned by a queer and evil-looking crew.

CTHULATHON: DAY 272

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Cthulhu | 272 of 365

The next day, it appears, they raised and landed on a small island, although none is known to exist in that part of the ocean; and six of the men somehow died ashore, though Johansen is queerly reticent about this part of his story, and speaks only of their falling into a rock chasm.

CTHULATHON: DAY 271

Later, it seems, he and one companion boarded the yacht and tried to manage her, but were beaten about by the storm of April 2nd, From that time till his rescue on the 12th the man remembers little, and he does not even recall when William Briden, his companion, died.

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Cthulhu | 271 of 365

CTHULATHON: DAY 269

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Cthulhu | 269 of 365

Cable advices from Dunedin report that the Alert was well known there as an island trader, and bore an evil reputation along the waterfront, It was owned by a curious group whose frequent meetings and night trips to the woods attracted no little curiosity; and it had set sail in great haste just after the storm and earth tremors of March 1st.

CTHULATHON: DAY 268

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Cthulhu | 268 of 365

Our Auckland correspondent gives the Emma and her crew an excellent reputation, and Johansen is described as a sober and worthy man.

CTHULATHON: DAY 267

The admiralty will institute an inquiry on the whole matter beginning tomorrow, at which every effort will be made to induce Johansen to speak more freely than he has done hitherto.

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Cthulhu | 267 of 365

CTHULATHON: DAY 266

This was all, together with the picture of the hellish image; but what a train of ideas it started in my mind!

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Cthulhu | 266 of 365