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To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder. -"The Curse of Grayface and the Introduction of Negativism," Principia Discordia, by Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C.

April 25 began, for John Dillinger, with a quick skimming of the New York Times; he noticed more fnords than usual. "The fit's about to hit the shan," he thought grimly, turning on the eight o'clock news- only to catch the story about the Drake Mansion, another bad sign. In Las Vegas, in rooms where the light never changed, none of the gamblers noticed that it was now morning; but Carmel, returning from the desert, where he had buried Sherri Brandi, drove out of his way to look over Dr. Charles Mocenigo's home, hoping to see or hear something helpful; he heard only a revolver shot, and quickly sped away. Looking back, he saw flames leaping toward the sky. And, over the mid-Atlantic, R. Buckminster Fuller glanced at his three watches, noting that it was two in the morning on the plane, midnight at his destination (Nairobi) and 6 A.M. back home in Carbondale, Illinois. (In Nairobi itself, Nkrumah Fubar, maker of voodoo dolls that caused headaches to the President of the United States, prepared for bed, looking forward to Mr. Fuller's lecture at the university next morning. Mr. Fubar, in his sophisticated-primitive way, like Simon Moon in his primitive-sophisticated way, saw no conflict between magic and mathematics.)

In Washington, D.C., the clocks were striking five when Ben Volpe's stolen Volkswagen pulled up in front of the home of Senator Edward Coke Bacon, the nation's most distinguished liberal and leading hope of all those young people who hadn't yet joined Morituri groups. "In quick and out quick," Ben Volpe said tersely to his companions, "a cowboy." Senator Bacon turned in his bed (Albert "the Teacher" Stern fires directly at the Dutchman) and mumbled, "Newark." Beside him, his wife half woke and heard a noise in the garden (Mama mama mama, the Dutchman mumbles): "Mama," she hears her son's voice saying, as she sinks back toward a dream. The rain of bullets jolts her awake into a sea of blood and in one flash she sees her husband dying beside her, her son twenty years ago weeping for a dead turtle, the face of Mendy Weiss, and Ben Volpe and two others backing out of the room.

But, in 1936, when Robert Putney Drake returned from Europe to accept a vice presidency in his father's bank in Boston, the police already knew that Albert the Teacher really hadn't shot the Dutchman. There were even a few, such as Elliot Ness, who knew the orders had come from Mr. Lucky Luciano and Mr. Alphonse "Scarface" Capone (residing in Atlanta Penitentiary) and had been transmitted through Federico Maldonado. Nobody, outside the Syndicate itself, however, could name Jimmy the Shrew, Charley the Bug and Mendy Weiss as the actual killers- nobody except Robert Putney Drake.

On April 1, 1936, Federico Maldonado's phone rang and, when he answered it, a cultivated Boston voice said conversationally, "Mother is the best bet. Don't let Satan draw you too fast." This was followed by an immediate click as the caller hung up.

Maldonado thought about it all day and finally mentioned it to a very close friend that evening. "Some nut calls me up today and gives me part of what the Dutchman told the cops before he died. Funny thing about it- he gives one of the parts that would really sink us all, if anybody in the police or the Feds could understand it."

"That's the way some nuts are," pronounced the other Mafioso don, an elegant elderly gentleman resembling one of Frederick II's falcons. "They're tuned in like gypsies. Telepathy, you know? But they get it all scrambled because they're nuts."

"Yeah, I guess that's it," Maldonado agreed. He had a crazy uncle who would sometimes blurt out a Brotherhood secret that he couldn't possibly know, in the middle of ramblings about priests making it with altar boys and Mussolini hiding on the fire escape and nonsense like that. "They tune in- like the Eye, eh?" And he laughed.

But the next morning, the phone rang again, and the same voice said with elaborate New England intonation, "Those dirty rats have tuned in. French Canadian bean soup." Maldonado broke into a cold sweat; it was that moment, in fact, when he decided his son, the priest, would say a mass for the Dutchman every Sunday.

He thought about it all day. Boston- the accent was Boston. They had witches up there once. French Canadian bean soup. Christ, Harvard is just outside Boston and Hoover is recruiting Feds from the Harvard Law School. Were there lawyers who were witches, too? Cowboy the son of a bitch, I told them, and they found him in the men's crapper. That damned Dutchman. A bullet in his gut and he lives long enough to blab everything about the Segreto. The goddam tedeschi

Robert Putney Drake dined on lobster Newburg that evening with a young lady from one of the lesser-known branches of the House of Morgan. Afterward, he took her to see Tobacco Road and, in the cab back to his hotel, they talked seriously about the sufferings of the poor and the power of Henry Hull's performance as Jeeter. Then he took her up to his room and fucked her from hell to breakfast. At ten in the morning, after she had left, he came out of the shower, stark naked, thirty-three years old, rich, handsome, feeling like a healthy and happy predatory mammal. He looked down at his penis, thought of snakes in mescaline visions back in Zurich and donned a bathrobe which cost enough to feed one of the starving families in the nearby slums for about six months. He lit a fat Cuban cigar and sat down by the phone, a male mammal, predatory, happy. He began to dial, listening to the clicks, the dot and the dot and the dot-dot, remembering the perfume his mother had worn leaning over his crib one night thirty-two years ago, the smell of her breasts, and the time he experimentally tried homosexuality in Boston Common with the pale faggot kneeling before him in the toilet stall and the smell of urine and Lysol disinfectant, the scrawl on the door saying ELEANOR ROOSEVELT SUCKS and his instant fantasy that it wasn't a faggot genuflecting in church before his hot hard prick but the President's wife "Yes?" said the taut, angry voice of Banana Nose Maldonado.

"When I reached the can, the boy came at me," Drake drawled, his mild erection becoming warm and rubbery. "What happened to the other sixteen?" He hung up quickly. ("The analysis is brilliant," Professor Tochus at Harvard had said of his paper on the last words of Dutch Schultz. "I particularly like the way you've combined both Freud and Adler in finding sexuality and power drives expressed in the same image at certain places. That is quite original." Drake laughed and said: "The Marquis de Sade anticipated me by a century and a half, I fear. Power- and possession- are sexual, to some males.")

Drake's brilliance had also been noted by Jung's circle in Zurich. Once- when Drake was off taking mescaline with Paul Klee and friends on what they called their Journey to the East- Drake had been a topic of long and puzzled conversation in lung's study. "We haven't seen his like since Joyce was here," one woman psychiatrist commented. "He is brilliant, yes," Jung said sadly, "but evil. So evil that I despair of comprehending him. I even wonder what old Freud would think. This man doesn't want to murder his father and possess his mother; he wants to murder God and possess the cosmos."

Maldonado got two phone calls the third morning. The first was from Louis Lepke, and was crudely vehement: "What's up, Banana Nose?" The insult of using the forbidden nickname in personal conversation was deliberate and almost unforgivable, but Maldonado forgave it.

"You spotted my boys following you, eh?" he asked genially.

"I spotted your soldiers," Lepke emphasized the word, "and that means you wanted me to spot them. What's up? You know if I get hit, you get hit."

"You won't get hit, caromio," Don Federico replied, still cordial. "I had a crazy idea about something I thought might be coming from inside and you're the only one who would know enough to do it, I thought. I was wrong. I can tell by your voice. And if I was right, you wouldn't have called me. A million apologies. Nobody will be following you anymore. Except maybe Tom Dewey's investigators, eh?" he laughed.

"Okay," Lepke said slowly, "Call them off, and I'll forget it. But don't try to scare me again. I do crazy things when I'm scared."

"Never again," Maldonado promised.

He sat frowning at the phone, after Lepke hung up. Now I owe him, he thought. I'llhave to arrange to bump off somebody who's annoying him, to show the proper and most courteous apology.

But, Virgin Mother, if it isn't the Butcher, who is it? A real witch?

The phone rang again. Crossing himself and calling on the Virgin silently, Maldonado lifted the receiver.

"Let him harness himself to you and then bother you," Robert Putney Drake quoted pleasantly, "fun is fun." He did not hang up.

"Listen," Don Federico said, "who is this?"

"Dutch died three times," Drake said in a sepulchral tone. "When Mendy Weiss shot him, when Vince Coil's ghost shot him and when that dumb junkie, the Teacher, shot him. But Dillinger never even died once."

"Mister, you got a deal," Maldonado said. "I'm sold. I'll meet you anywhere. In broad daylight. In Central Park. Any place you'll feel safe."

"No, you will not meet me just now," Drake said coolly. "You are going to discuss this with Mr. Lepke and Mr. Capone, first. You will also discuss it with-" he read, off a card in his hand, fifteen names. "Then, after you have all had time to consider it, you will be hearing from me." Drake farted, as he always did in the nervous moments when an important deal was being arranged, and hung up quickly.

Now, he said to himself, insurance.

A photostat of his second analysis of the last words of Dutch Schultz- the private one, not the public version which he had turned in to the Department of Psychology at Harvard- was on the hotel desk before him. He folded it smartly and pinned on top of it a note saying, "There are five copies in the vaults of five different banks." He then inserted it in an envelope, addressed it to Luciano and strolled out to drop it down the hotel mail chute.

Returning to his room he dialed Louis Lepke, born Louis Buchalter, of the organization later to be named Murder Inc. by the sensational press. When Lepke answered, Drake recited solemnly, still quoting the Dutchman, "I get a month. They did it. Come on, Illuminati."

"Who the hell is this?" Lepke's voice cried as Drake gently cradled the phone. A few moments later, he completed checking out of the hotel and flew home on the noon flight, to spend five grueling twenty-hour days reorganizing and streamlining his father's bank. On the fifth night he relaxed and took a young lady of the Lodge family to dance to Ted Weems's orchestra and listen to their new young vocalist, Perry Como. Afterwards, he fucked her thirteen to the dozen and seven ways to a Sunday. The next morning, he took out a small book, in which he had systematically listed all the richest families in America, and placed her first name and a check after Lodge, as he had done with Morgan the week before. A Rockefeller would be next.

He was on the noon flight to New York and spent the day negotiating with Morgan Trust officials. That night he saw a breadline on Fortieth Street and became profoundly agitated. Back in his hotel, he made one of his rare, almost furtive diary entries:

Revolution could occur at any time.

If Huey Long hadn't been shot last year, we might have it already. If Capone had let the Dutchman hit Dewey, the Justice Department would be strong enough now, due to the reaction, to ensure that the State would be secure. If Roosevelt can't maneuver us into the war when it starts, all will be lost. And the war may be three or four years away yet. If we could bring Dillinger back, the reaction might strengthen Hoover and Justice, but John seems to be with the other side. My plan may be the last chance, and the Illuminati haven't contacted me yet, although they must have tuned in. Oh, Weishaupt, what a spawn of muddleheads are trying to carry on your work.

He tore the page out nervously, farted and crumbled it in the ashtray, where he burned it slowly. Then, still agitated, he dialed Mr. Charles Luciano on the phone and said softly, "I am a pretty good pretzler, Winifred. Department of Justice. I even got it from the department."

"Don't hang up," Luciano said softly. "We've been waiting to hear from you. Are you still there?"

"Yes," Drake said carefully, with tight lips and a tighter sphincter.

"Okay," Mr. Lucky said. "You know about the Illuminati. You know what the Dutchman was trying to say to the police. You even seem to know about the Liberteri and Johnnie Dillinger. How much do you want?"

"Everything," Drake replied. "And you are all going to offer it to me. But not yet. Not tonight." And he hung up.

(The wheel of tune, as the Mayans knew, spins three ways; and just as the earth revolves on its own axis, simultaneously orbits about the sun and at the "same" time trails after the sun as that star traverses the galaxy's edge, the wheel of time, which is a wheel of ifs, is come round again, as Drake's phone clicks off, to Gruad the Grayface calculating the path of a comet and telling his followers: "See? Even the heavenly bodies are subject to law, and even the lloigor, so must not men and women also be subject to law?" And in a smaller cycle, Semper Cuni Linctus, centurion stationed in a godforsaken outpost of the Empire, listens in boredom as a subaltern tells him excitedly: "That guy we crucified last Friday-people all over town are swearing they've seen him walking around. One guy even claims to have put a hand through his side!" Semper Cuni Linctus smiles cynically. "Tell that to the gladiators," he says. And Albert Stern turns on the gas, takes one last fix, and full of morphine and euphoria, dies slowly, confident that he will always be remembered as the man who shot Dutch Schultz, not knowing that Abe Reles will reveal the truth five years later.)

Camp-town racetrack five miles long During Joe's second trip on the Leif Erikson, they went all the way to Africa, and Hagbard had an important conference with five gorillas. At least, he said afterwards that it was important; Joe couldn't judge, since the conversation was in Swahili. "They speak some English," Hagbard explained back on the sub, "but I prefer Swahili, since they're more eloquent in it and can express more nuances."

"Are you the first man to teach an ape to speak," Joe asked, "in addition to your other accomplishments?"

"Oh, not at all," Hagbard said modestly. "It's an old Discordian secret. The first person to communicate with a gorilla was an Erisian missionary named Malaclypse the Elder, who was born in Athens and got exiled for opposing the imposition of male supremacy when the Athenians created patriarchy and locked up their women. He then wandered all over the ancient world, learning all sorts of secrets and leaving behind a priceless collection of mind-blowing legends- he's the Phoenix Madman mentioned in the Confucian scriptures, and he passed himself off as Krishna to recite that gorgeous Bible of revolutionary ethics, the Bhaga-vad Gita, to Arjuna in India, among other feats. I believe you met him in Chicago while he was pretending to be the Christian Devil."

"But how have you Discordians concealed the fact that gorillas talk?"

"We're rather close-mouthed, you might say, and when we do speak it's usually to put somebody on or blow their minds-"

"I've noticed that," Joe said.

"And the gorillas themselves are too shrewd to talk to anybody but another anarchist. They're all anarchists themselves, you know, and they have a very healthy wariness about people in general and government people in particular. As one of them told me once, 'If it got out that we can talk, the conservatives would exterminate most of us and make the rest pay rent to live on our own land; and the liberals would try to train us to be engine-lathe operators. Who the fuck wants to operate an engine lathe?' They prefer their own pastoral and Eristic ways, and I, for one, would never interfere with them. We do communicate, though, just as we communicate with the dolphins. Both species are intelligent enough to realize that it's in their interest, as part of earth's biosphere, to help the handful of human anarchists to try to stop, or at least slow down, the bloodletting and slaughter of our Aner-istic rulers and Aneristic mobs."

"Sometimes I still get confused about your theological terms- or are they psychological? The Aneristic forces, especially the Illuminati, are structure freaks: they want to impose their concept of order on everybody else. But I still get confused about the differences between the Erisian, the Eristic and the Discordian. Not to mention the JAMs."

"The Eristic is the opposite of the Aneristic," Hagbard explained patiently, "and, therefore, identical with it. Remember the Hodge-Podge. Writers like De Sade, Max Stirner and Nietzsche are Eristic; so are the gorillas. They represent total supremacy of the individual, total negation of the group. It isn't necessarily the war-of-all-against-all, as Aneristic philosophers imagine, but it can, under stress, degenerate into that. More often, it's quite pacifistic, like our hairy friends in the trees back there. The Erisian position is modified; it recognizes that Aneristic forces are part of the world drama, too, and can never be totally abolished. We merely stress the Eristic as a balance, because human society has been tilted grotesquely toward the Aneristic side all through the Piscean age. We Discordians are the activists in the Erisian movement; we do things. The pure Erisians work in more mysterious ways, in accordance with the Taoist principle of wu-wei- doing nothing effectively. The JAMs are left-wingers, who might have become Aneristic except for special circumstances that led them in a libertarian direction. But they've fucked it all up with typical left-wing hatred trips. They haven't mastered the Gita: the art of fighting with a loving heart."

"Strange," Joe said. "Dr. Iggy, in the San Francisco JAM cabal, explained it to me differently."

"What would you expect?" Hagbard replied. "No two who know, know the same in their knowing. By the way, why haven't you told me that you're sure those gorillas back there were just men I dressed up in gorilla suits?"

"I'm becoming more gullible," Joe said.

"Too bad," Hagbard told him sadly. "They really were men in gorilla suits. I was testing how easily you could be bamboozled, and you flunked."

"Now, wait a minute. They smelled like gorillas. That was no fake. You're putting me on now."

"That's right," Hagbard agreed. "I wanted to see if you'd trust your own senses or the word of a Natural-Born Leader and Guru like me. You trusted your own senses, and you pass. My put-ons are not just jokes, friend. The hardest thing for a man with dominance genes and piratical heredity like me is to avoid becoming a goddam authority figure. I need all the feedback and information I can get- from men, women, children, gorillas, dolphins, computers, any conscious entity- but nobody contradicts an Authority, you know. Communication is possible only between equals: that's the first theorem of social cybernetics- and the whole basis of anarchism- and I have to keep knocking down people's dependence on me or I'll become a fucking Big Daddy and won't get accurate communication anymore. If the pig-headed Illuminati and their Aneristic imitators in all the governments, corporations, universities and armies of the world understood that simple principle, they'd occasionally find out what's actually going on and stop screwing up every project they start. I am Freeman Hagbard Celine and I am not anybody's bloody leader. As soon as you fully understand that I'm your equal, and that my shit stinks just like yours, and that I need a lay every few.days or I get grouchy and make dumb decisions, and that there is One more trustworthy than all the Buddhas and sages but you have to find him for yourself, then you'll begin to understand what the Legion of Dynamic Discord is all about."

"One more trustworthy than all the Buddhas and sages?" Joe repeated, finding himself most confused when he had been closest to total comprehension a second earlier.

"To receive light you must be receptive," Hagbard said curtly. "Work that one out for yourself. Meanwhile, take this back to New York and chew on it a bit." And he presented Joe with a book entitled Never Whistle While You're Pissing: A Guide to Self-Liberation, by Hagbard Celine, H.M., S.H.

Joe read the book carefully in the following weeks- while Pat Walsh, in Confrontation's research department, checked out every assertion about the Illuminati that Joe had picked up from Hagbard, Simon, Dillinger and Dr. Ignotius-but, although some of the book was brilliant, much was obscure, and he found no clue to the One more trustworthy than all Buddhas. Then, one night high on Alamout Black hashish, he started working on it with expanded and intensified consciousness. Malaclypse the Elder? No, he was wise, and somewhat benevolent in a fey sort of style, but certainly not trustworthy. Simon? For all his youth and nuttiness, he had moments of incredible perception, but he was almost certainly less enlightened than Hagbard. Dillinger? Dr. Ignotius? The mysterious Malaclypse the Younger, who had disappeared, leaving behind only the inscrutable Principia Discordia?

Christ, Joe thought, what a male chauvinist I am! Why didn't I think of Stella? The old joke came back to him "Did you see God?" "Yes, and she's black." Of course. Hadn't Stella presided over his initiation, in Dr. Iggy's chapel? Hadn't Hagbard said she would preside over George Dorn's initiation, when George was ready? Of course.

Joe always remembered that moment of ecstasy and certainty: it taught him a lot about the use and misuse of drugs and why the Illuminati went wrong. For the unconscious, which always tries to turn every good lay into a mother figure, had contaminated the insight which his supraconscious had almost given him. It was many months later, just before the Fernando Poo crisis, that he finally discovered beyond all doubt the One who was more trustworthy than all Buddhas and all sages.

Do-da, do-da, do-da-do-da-DAY

(And Semper Cuni Linctus, the very night that he reamed his subaltern for taking native superstitions seriously, passed an olive garden and saw the Seventeen and with them was the Eighteenth, the one they had crucified the Friday before. Magna Mater, he swore, creeping closer, am I losing my mind? The Eighteenth, whatshisname, the preacher, had set up a wheel and was distributing cards to them. Now, he turned the wheel and called out the number at which it stopped. The centurion watched, in growing amazement, as the process was repeated several times, and the cards were marked each time the wheel stopped. Finally, the big one, Simon, shouted "Bingo!" The scion of the noble Linctus family turned and fled Behind him, the luminous figure said, "Do this in commemoration of me."

"I thought we were supposed to do the bread and wine bit in commemoration of you?" Simon objected.

"Do both," the ghostly one said. "The bread and wine is too symbolic and arcane for some folks. This one is what will bring in the mob. You see, fellows, if you want to bring the Movement to the people, you have to start from where the people are at. You, Luke, don't write that down. This is part of the secret teachings.")

Slurp, slurp Camp-town ladies sing this song.

(But how do you account for a man like Drake? one of Carl Jung's guests asked at the Sunday afternoon Kaffeeklatsch where the strange young American had inspired so much speculation. Jung sucked on 'his pipe thoughtfully- wondering, actually, how he could ever cure his associates of treating him like a guru- and answered finally, "A fine mind strikes on an idea like the arrow hitting bull's-eye. The Americans have not yet produced such a mind, because they are too assertive, too outgoing. They land on an idea, even an important idea, like one of their fullbacks making a tackle. Hence, they always crumple or cripple it. Drake has such a mind. He has learned everything about power- more than Adler knows, for all his obsession on the subject- but he has not learned the important thing. That is, of course, how to avoid power. What he needs, and will probably never achieve, is religious humility. Impossible in his country, where even the introverts are extroverted most of the time.")

It was a famous novelist, who was later to win the Nobel Prize, who actually gave Drake his first lead on what the Mafia always called il Segreto. They had been talking about Joyce and his unfortunate daughter, and the novelist mentioned Joyce's attempts to convince himself that she wasn't really schizophrenic. "He told Jung, 'After all, I do the same sorts of things with language myself.' Do you know what Jung, that old Chinese sage disguised as a psychiatrist, answered? 'You are diving, but she is sinking.' Incisive, of course; and yet, all of us who write anything that goes below the surface of naturalism can understand Joyce's skepticism. We never know for sure whether we're diving or just sinking."

That reminded Drake of his thesis, and he went and got the last words of Mr. Arthur Flegenheimer, a.k.a. Dutch Schultz, from his bureau. He handed the sheets to the novelist and asked, "Would you say the author of this was diving or sinking?"

The novelist read slowly, with increasing absorption, and finally looked up to regard Drake with extremely curious eyes. "Is it a translation from the French?" he asked.

"No," Drake said. "The author was an American."

"So it's not poor Artaud. I thought it might be. He's been around the bend, as the English say, since he went to Mexico. I understand he's currently working on some quite remarkable astrological charts involving Chancellor Hitler." The novelist lapsed into silence, and then asked, "What do you regard as the most interesting line in this?"

" 'A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim,' " Drake quoted, since that was the line that bothered him most.

"Oh, that boy imagery is all personal, just repressedhomosexuality, quite ordinary," the novelist said impatiently. " 'I was in the can and the boy came at me.' I think the author hurt the boy in some way. All the references are tinged with more than normal homosexual guilt."

My God, Drake thought, Vince Coll. He was young enough to seem like a boy to Schultz. The Dutchman thought Coil's ghost was shooting at him in that John in Newark.

"I would imagine the author killed himself, or is in a mental hospital by now," the novelist went on thoughtfully.

"He's dead," Drake said grudgingly. "But I won't give you any more clues. It's fascinating to see how well you're doing on your own."

"This is the interesting line," the novelist said. "Or three lines rather. 'I would hear it, the Circuit Court would hear it, and the Supreme Court might hear it. If that ain't the payoff. Please crack down on the Chinaman's friends and Hitler's commander.' You swear this author was American?"

"Well, he came of German ancestry," Drake said, thinking of Jung's theory of genetic memory. "But Chancellor Hitler would hate to admit it. His people were not Aryan."

"He was Jewish?" the novelist exclaimed.

"What's so surprising about that?"

"Only that scarcely two or three people in the whole world, outside the inner circle of the Nazi Party, would understand what was meant by the Chinaman and Hitler's commander. This author must have delved very deeply into occult literature- things like Eliphas Levi, or Ludvig Prinn, or some of the most closely guarded Rosicrucian secrets, and then made a perfectly amazing guess in the right direction."

"What in the world are you talking about?"

The novelist looked at Drake for a long time, then said, "I hate to even discuss it. Some things are too vile. Some books, as your Mr. Poe said, should not allow themselves to be read. Even I have coded things in my most famous work, which is admired for all the wrong reasons. In my search for the mystical, I have learned things I would rather forget, and the real goal of Herr Hitler is one of those things. But you must tell me: who was this remarkable author?"

("He just called me," Luciano told Maldonado, "and I got this much at least: he's not a shakedown artist. He's aiming big, and he's big already himself. I'm getting my lawyer out of bed, to run down all the best Boston families, and find one with a son who shows signs of having the old larceny in his heart. I bet it's a banking family. I can hear money in a voice, and he has it.")

Drake was persistent, and finally the novelist said, "As you know, I refuse to live in Germany because of what is happening there. Nevertheless, it is my home, and I do hear things. If I try to explain, you must get your mind out of the arena of ordinary politics. When I say Hitler does have a Master, that doesn't mean he is a front man in the pedestrian political sense." The novelist paused. "How can I present the picture so you will understand it? You are not German How can you understand a people of whom it has been said, truthfully, that they have one foot in their own land and one foot in Thule? Have you even heard of Thule? That's the German name for the fabulous kingdom the Greeks called Atlantis. Whether this kingdom ever existed is immaterial; the belief in it has existed since the dawn of history and beliefs motivate actions. In fact, you cannot understand a man's actions unless you understand his beliefs."

The novelist paused again, and then began talking about the Golden Dawn Society in England in the 1890s. "Strange things were written by the members. Algernon Blackwood, for instance, wrote of intelligent beings who preexisted mankind on earth. Can you take such a concept seriously? Can you think about Black-wood's warnings, of his guarded phrases, such as, 'Of such great powers or beings there may conceivably be a survival, of which poetry and legend alone caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds'? Or, Arthur Machen, who wrote of the 'miracles of Mons' during the Great War, describing the angels, as they were called, and published this two days before the soldiers at the scene sent back reports of the incident. Machen was in the Golden Dawn, and he left it to rejoin the Catholic Church, warning, 'There are sacraments of Evil as well as of Good.' William Butler Yeats was a member, too, and you must certainly know his remarkable lines, 'What rough beast/ Its hour come round at last/ Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?' And the Golden Dawn was just the outer portal of the Mysteries. The things that Crowley learned after leaving the Golden Dawn and joining the Ordo Templi Orientis Hitler suppressed both the Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis, you know. He belonged to the Vril Society himself, where the really extraterrestrial secrets are kept"

"You seem to be having a hard time getting to the point," Drake said.

"Some things need to be approached in hints, even in allegories. You have taken mescaline with Klee and his friends, and spent the night seeing the Great Visions. Do I need to remind you that reality is not a one-level affair?"

"Very well," Drake said. "Behind the Golden Dawn and the OTO and the Vril Society is a hidden group of real Initiates. There was a German branch of the Golden Dawn, and Hitler was a member. You want me to understand that to treat these sacraments of Evil and these beings from Atlantis as no more than fictions would be to oversimplify; is that right?"

"The Golden Dawn was founded by a German woman, carrying on a tradition that was already a hundred years old in Bavaria. As for these powers or beings from Thule, they do not exist in the sense that bricks and beefsteak exist, either. The physicist, by manipulating these fantastic electrons- which, I remind you, have to be imagined as moving from one place to another without passing through any intervening space like a fairy or a ghost- produces real phenomena, visible to the senses. Say, then, that by manipulating these beings or powers from Thule, certain men are able to produce effects that can also be seen and experienced."

"What was the Golden Dawn?" Drake asked, absorbed. "How did it begin?"

"It's very old, more than medieval. The modern organization began in 1776, with a man who quit the Jesuits because he thought he was an atheist, until his researches into Eastern history had surprising results"

(It's him! Hitler screamed, He has come for me! And then, as Herman Rauschning recorded, "he lapsed into gibberish." The boss himself, Dutch Schultz moaned, Oh, mama, I can't go through with it. Please. Come on, open the soap duckets. The chimney sweeps. Take to the sword. Shut up. You got a big mouth.)

We've got two real possibilities, Lepke's lawyer reported. But one of them is Boston Irish and what you described was the old original Boston accent. The second one is probably your man, then. His name is Robert Putney Drake.

Standing before the house on Benefit Street, Drake could see, across the town, the peak of Sentinel Hill and the old deserted church that had harbored the Starry Wisdom Sect in the 1870s. He turned back to the door and raised the old Georgian knocker (remembering: Lillibridge the reporter and Blake the painter had both died investigating that sect), then rapped smartly three times.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, pale, gaunt, cadaverous, opened the door. "Mr. Drake?" he asked genially.

"It was good of you to see me," Drake said.

"Nonsense," Lovecraft replied, ushering him into the Colonial hallway. "Any admirer of my poor tales is always welcome here. They are so few that I could have them all here on a single day without straining my aunt's dinner budget."

He may be one of the most important men alive, Drake thought, and he doesn't really suspect.

("He left Boston by train this morning," the soldier reported to Maldonado and Lepke. "He was going to Providence, Rhode Island.")

"Of course, I have no hesitation in discussing it," Lovecraft said after he and Drake were settled in the old book-lined study and Mrs. Gamhill had served them tea. "Whatever your friend in Zurich may feel, I am and always have been a strict materialist."

"But you have been in touch with these people?"

"Oh, certainly, and an absurd lot they are, all of them. It began after I published a story called 'Dagon' in, let me see, 1919. I had been reading the Bible and the description of the Philistine sea god, Dagon, reminded me of sea serpent legends and of the reconstructions of dinosaurs by paleontologists. And the notion came to me: suppose Dagon were real, not a god, but simply a long-lived being vaguely related to the great saurians. Simply a story, to entertain those who enjoy the weird and Gothic in literature. You can't imagine my astonishment when various occult groups began contacting me, asking which group I belonged to and which side I was on. They were all terribly put out when I made perfectly clear that I didn't believe any such rubbish."

"But," Drake asked perplexed, "why did you pick up more and more of these hidden occult teachings and incorporate them in your later stories?"

"I am an artist," Lovecraft said, "a mediocre artist, I fear- and don't contradict me. I value honesty above all the other virtues. I would like to believe in the supernatural, in a world of social justice and in my own possession of genius. But reason commands that I accept the facts: the world is made of blind matter, the wicked and brutal always have and always will trample on the weak and innocent, and I have a very microscopic capacity to create a small range of esthetic effects, all macabre and limited in their appeal to a very special audience. Nevertheless, I would that things were otherwise. Hence, although a conservative, I support certain social legislation that might improve the conditions of the poor, and, although a poor writer, I try to elevate the status of my own wretched prose. Vampires and ghosts and werewolves are worn out; they provoke chuckles rather than terror. Thus, when I began to learn of the old lore, after 'Dagon' was published, I began to use it in my stories. You can't imagine the hours I have spent with those old volumes at Miskatonic, wading through tons of trash- Alhazred and Levi and Von Juntzt were all mental cases, you know- to sift out the notions that were unfamiliar enough to cause a genuine shock, and a real shudder, in my readers."

"And you've never received threats from any of these occult groups for mentioning lok Sotot or Cthulhu outright in your stories?"

"Only when I mentioned Kali," Lovecraft said with a wry smile. "Some thoughtful soul reminded me of what happened to Bierce after he wrote a bit frankly on that subject. But that was a friendly warning, not a threat. Mr. Drake, you are a banker and a businessman. Certainly, you don't take any of this seriously?"

"Let me reply with a question of my own," Drake said carefully. "Why, in all the esoteric lore which you have chosen to make exoteric through your stories, have you never mentioned the Law of Fives?"

"In fact," Lovecraft said, "I did hint at it, rather broadly, in 'At the Mountains of Madness.' Have you not read that? It's my longest, and, I think, my best effort to date." But he seemed abruptly paler.

"In The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,'" Drake pursued, "you quote a formula from Eliphas Levi's History of Magic. But you don't quote it in full. Why was that?"

Lovecraft sipped his tea, obviously framing his answer carefully. Finally he said, "One doesn't have to believe in Santa Claus to recognize that people will exchange presents at Christmas time. One doesn't have to believe in Yog Sothoth, the Eater of Souls, to realize how people will act who do hold that belief. It is not my intent, in any of my writings, to provide information that will lead even one unbalanced reader to try experiments that will result in the loss of human life."

Drake arose. "I came here to learn," he said, "but it appears that my only possible function is to teach. Let me remind you of the words of Lao-tse: Those who speak do not know; those who know do not speak.' Most occult groups are in the first class, and their speculations are as absurd as you think. But those in the second class are not to be so lightly dismissed. They have left you alone because your stories appear only in magazines that appeal to a small minority. These magazines, however, have lately been printing stories about rockets and nuclear chain reactions and other matters that are on the edge of technological achievement. When these fantasies start coming true, which will probably occur within a decade, there will be much wider interest in such magazines, and your stories will be included in that renaissance. Then you will receive some very unwelcome attention."

Lovecraft remained seated. "I think I know of whom you are speaking; I can also read newspapers and make deductions. Even if they are mad enough to attempt it, they do not have the means. They would have to take over not one government but many. That project would keep them busy enough, I should think, to distract them from worrying about a few lines here and there in stories that are published as fiction. I can conceive of the next war leading to breakthroughs in rocketry and nuclear energy, but I doubt that even that will lead many people to take my stories seriously, or to see the connections between certain rituals, which I have never described explicitly, and acts which will be construed as the normal excesses of despotism."

"Good day, sir," Drake said formally. "I must be off to New York, and your welfare is really not a major concern in my life."

"Good day," Lovecraft said, rising with Colonial courtesy. "Since you have been so good as to give me a warning, I will return the favor. I do not think your interest in these people is based on a wish to oppose them, but to serve them. I beg you to remember their attitude toward servants."

Back out on the street, Drake experienced a momentary dejection. For nearly twenty years he's been writing about them and they haven't contacted him. I've been rocking the boat on two continents, and they haven't contacted me. What does it take to make them show their hand? And if I don't have an understanding with them, anything I work out with Maldonado and Capone is written on the wind. I just can't afford to deal with the Mafia before I deal with them. What should I do- put an ad in the New York Times: "Will the All-Seeing Eye please look in my direction? R. P. Drake, Boston"?

And a Pontiac (stolen an hour before in Kingsport) pulled away from the curb, several houses back, and started following Drake as he left Benefit Street and walked back toward the downtown area. He wasn't looking back, so he didn't see what happened to it, but he noticed an old man coming toward him stop in his tracks and turn white.

"Jesus on a pogo stick," the old man said weakly.

Drake looked over his shoulder and saw nothing but an empty street. "What is it?" he asked.

"Never mind," the old man replied. "You'd never believe me, mister." And he cut across the sidewalk toward a saloon.

("What do you mean, you lost four soldiers?" Maldonado screamed into the phone.

"Just what I'm saying," Eddie Vitelli, of the Providence gambling, heroin and prostitution Vitellis, said. "We found your Drake at a hotel. Four of the best soldiers we've got followed him. They called in once to say he was at a house on Benefit Street. I told them to pick him up as soon as he comes out. And that's it, period, it's all she wrote. They're all gone, like something picked them off the face of the earth. I've got everybody looking for the car they were in, and that's gone, too.")

Drake canceled his trip to New York and went back to Boston, plunging into bank business and mulling over his next move. Two days later, the janitor came to his desk, hat in hand, and asked, "Could I speak to you, Mr. Drake?"

"Yes, Getty, what is it?" Drake replied testily. His tone was deliberate; the man was probably about to ask for a raise, and it was best to put him on the defensive immediately.

"It's this, sir," the janitor said, laying a card on Drake's desk. Drake looked down impatiently and saw a rainbow of colors- the card was printed on some unknown plastic and created a prismatic effect recalling his mescaline trips in Zurich. Through the rainbow, shimmering and radiant, he saw the outlines of a thirteen-step pyramid, with a red eye at the top. He stared up at the janitor and saw a face without subservience or uncertainty.

"The Grand Master of the Eastern United States is ready to talk to you," the janitor said softly.

"Holy Cleopatra!" Drake cried, and tellers turned to stare at him.

"Kleopatra?" Simon Moon asked, twenty-three years later. "Tell him about Kleopatra."

It was a sunny afternoon in October and the drapes in the living room of the apartment on the seventeenth floor of 2323 Lake Shore Drive were pulled back to reveal a corner window view of Chicago's Loop skyscrapers and the whitecap-dotted blue surface of Lake Michigan. Joe sprawled in a chair facing the lake. Simon and Padre Pederastia were on a couch under an enormous painting titled "Kleopatra." She looked a good deal like Stella Maris and was holding an asp to her bosom. The eye-and-pyramid symbol appeared several times in the hieroglyphs on the tomb wall behind her. Sitting in an armchair opposite the painting was a slender man with sharp, dark features, shoulder-length chestnut hair, a forked brown beard and green eyes.

"Kleopatra," said the man, "was an instant study. Would have made her Polymother of the great globe itself, if she'd lived. She damned near brought down the Roman Empire, and she did shorten its life by centuries. She forced Octavius to bring so much Aneristic power to bear that the Empire went prematurely into the state of bureaucracy."

"What do I call you?" said Joe. "Lucifer? Satan?"

"Call me Malaclypse the Elder," said the fork-bearded man with a smile that seemed to beam through endless shifting veils of warm self-regard.

"I don't get it," said Joe. "The first tune I saw you, we were all terrified out of our minds. Though when you finally showed up looking like Billy Graham, I didn't know whether to laugh or go catto. But I know I was scared."

Padre Pederastia laughed. "You were so terrified, my son, that you were trying to climb right inside our little redhead's big red bird's nest. You were so frightened that that hefty cock of yours"- he licked his lips- "was squirting juice all over the carpet. Oh, you were terrified, all right. Oh, my, yes."

"Well, I wasn't so scared just at that moment you mention," said Joe with a smile. "But a little later, when our friend here was about to appear. You were terrified yourself, Padre Pederastia. You kept hollering, 'Come not in that form! Come not in that form!' Now we're all sitting around the living room behaving like old chums- and this- this being here is reminiscing about the good old days with Kleopatra."

"They were terrible days," said Malaclypse. "Very cruel days, very sad days. Constant wars, tortures, mass murders, crucifixions. Bad times."

"I believe you. And what's worse, I can understand what it means if I believe you, and I can live knowing that you exist. And even sit down in this living room and smoke a cigarette with you."

Two lit cigarettes appeared between Malaclypse's fingers. He passed one to Joe. Joe drew on it; it tasted sweet, with just a hint of marijuana.

"That's a corny trick," said Joe.

"Just so you don't lose your old associations to me too quickly," said Malaclypse. "Too quick to understand, too soon to misunderstand."

Padre Pederastia said, "The night of that Black Mass, I simply had worked myself up to the point where I totally believed. That's what magic is, after all. The people who were here that night relate to left-hand magic, to the Satan myth, to the Faust legend. It's a quick way to get them involved. It worked with you at the time, but we've brought you along fast, because we want more help from you. So now you don't need the trappings."

"You don't have to be a Satanist to love Malaclypse," said Malaclypse.

"In fact, its better if you're not," said Simon. "Satanists are creeps. They skin dogs alive and shit like that."

"Because most Satanists are Christians," said Joe. "Which is a very masochistic religion."

"Now, just a minute-" said Padre Pederastia with some asperity.

"He's right, Pederastia," said Malaclypse. "Nobody knows that better than you- or me, for that matter."

"Did you ever meet Jesus?" Joe asked, awed in spite of his skepticism.

Malaclypse smiled. "I was Jesus."

Padre Pederastia flapped his hands and bounced up and down in his chair. "You're telling too much!"

"For me, trust is total or nonexistent," said Malaclypse. "I perceive that I can trust Joe. I wasn't the original Jesus, Joe, the one they crucified. But- this happened a few centuries after I experienced transcendental illumination at Melos- I was passing through Judea in the persona of a Greek merchant when they crucified Jesus. I met some of his followers the day he died, and I talked with them. If you think Christianity is a bloody religion as it is, this is nothing to what it would have been if Jesus hadn't seemed to come back. If the seventeen original apostles- five of them have been purged from the records- had been left on their own, they would have passed from horror and terror at Jesus's death to vindictive fury. It would have been as if Islam had come seven centuries earlier. Instead of slowly taking over the Roman Empire and preserving much of the Greco-Roman world intact, it would have swept and mobilized the East, destroyed most of Western civilization and replaced it with a theocracy more oppressive than Pharaonic Egypt. I stopped that with a few magic tricks. Appearing in the persona of the resurrected Jesus, I taught there was no need for hatred and vengeance after my death. I even tried to get them to realize that life is a game by teaching them Bingo. To this day, nobody understands and critics call it part of the commercialism of the Church. The sacred Tarot wheel, the moving Mandala! So despite my influence, Christianity focused obsessively on the crucifixion of Jesus- which is really irrelevant to what he taught while he was alive- and remained a kind of death worship. When Paul went to Athens and made the link-up with the Illuminati, who were using Plato's Academy as a front, the ideology of Plato combined with the mythology of Christ to deliver the knockout blow to pagan humanism and lay the foundations for the modern world of superstates. After that, I changed my appearance again and took the name of Simon Magus and had some success spreading ideas contradictory to Christianity."

"You can change your appearance at will, then," said Joe.

"Oh, sure thing. I'm just as quick with a thought projection as anybody." He pushed his pinkie thoughtfully into his left nostril and worked it around. Joe stiffened; he didn't care to watch people picking their noses in public. He looked resolutely over Malaclypse's left shoulder. "Now that you know as much as you do about us, Joe, it's time you started working with us. Chicago, as you know, is the Illuminati nerve center in this hemisphere, so we'll use this town to test AUM, a new drug with astonishing properties, if ELF's technicians are correct. It's supposed to turn neophobes into neophiles."

Simon slapped his forehead and shouted "Wow, man!" and started laughing. Pederastia gasped and whistled.

"You look blank, Joe," said Malaclypse. "Has no one explained to you that the human race is divided into two distinct genotypes- neophobes, who reject new ideas and accept only what they have known all their lives, and neophiles, who love new things, change, invention, innovation? For the first four million years of man's history, all humans were neophobes, which is why civilization did not develop. Animals are all neophobes. Only mutation can change them. Instinct is simply the natural behavior of a neophobe. The neophile mutation appeared about a hundred thousand years ago, and speeded up thirty thousand years ago. However, there has never been more than a handful of neophiles anywhere on the planet. The Illuminati themselves sprang from one of the oldest neophile-neophobe conflicts on record."

"I take it the Illuminati were trying to hold back progress," said Joe. "Is that their general aim?"

"You're still thinking like a liberal," said Simon. "Nobody gives a fuck for progress."

"Right," said Malaclypse. "They were the innovators in that instance. All the Illuminati were and are neophiles. Even today, they see their work as directed toward progress. They want to become like gods. It's possible for humans, given the right methods, to translate themselves into sentient latticework of pure energy that will be more or less permanent. The process is called transcendental illumination, to distinguish it from the acquisition of insight into the true nature of man and the universe, which is ordinary illumination. I've gone through transcendental illumination and am a being composed altogether of energy, as you may have guessed. However, prior to becoming energy fields men often fall victim to hubris. Their actions cause pain to others and make them insensitive, uncreative and irrational. Mass human sacrifice is the most reliable method of achieving transcendental illumination. Human sacrifice can, of course, be masked as other things, such as war, famine and plague. The vision of the Four Horsemen vouchsafed to Saint John is actually a vision of mass transcendental illumination."

"How did you achieve it?" Joe asked.

"I was present at the massacre of the male inhabitants of the city of Melos by the Athenians in 416 B.C. Have you read Thucydides?"

"A long time ago,"

"Well, Thucydides had it wrong. He presented it as an out-and-out atrocity, but there were extenuating circumstances. The Melians had been stabbing Athenian soldiers in the back, poisoning them, filling them full of arrows from ambush. Some of them were working for the Spartans and some were on the side of Athens, but the Athenians didn't know which ones they could trust. They didn't want to do any unnecessary killing, but they did want to get back to Athens alive. So they rounded up all the Melian men one day and hacked them to pieces in the town square. The women and children were sold into slavery."

"What did you do?" said Joe. "Were you there with the Athenians?"

"Yes, but I didn't do any killing. I was a chaplain. Of the Erisian denomination, of course. But I was prepared to perform services to Hermes, Dionysus, Heracles, Aphrodite, Athena, Hera and some of the other Olympians. I almost went mad with horror- I didn't understand that Pangenitor is Panphage. I was praying to Eris to deliver me or deliver the Melians or do something, and she answered me."

"Hail, she what done it all," said Simon.

"I almost believe you," said Joe. "But every once in a while the suspicion creeps in that you're simply doing a two-thousand-year-old man routine and the butt of the joke is me."

Malaclypse stood up with a little smile. "Come here, Joe."

"What for?"

"Just come here." Malaclypse held his hands away from his sides, palms turned toward Joe appealingly. Joe walked over and stood before him.

"Put your hand into my side," said Malaclypse.

"Oh, come on," said Joe. Pederastia snickered. Malaclypse just looked at him with a gentle, encouraging smile, so he reached out to touch Malaclypse's shirt. His hands still felt nothing. He closed his eyes to verify that. There was no sensation whatever. Thin air. Eyes still shut, he moved his hand forward. He opened his eyes, and when he saw his arm sunk into Malaclypse's body up to the elbow, he almost barfed his cookies.

He drew back. "It can't be a movie. I'd be almost willing to say a moving holograph, but the illusion is too perfect. You're looking right at me. To my eyes you are unquestionably there."

"Try a few karate chops," said Malaclypse. Joe obliged, swinging his hand like a scythe through Malaclypse's waist, chest and head. For a finale, Joe brought his hand straight down through the top of the being's head.

"I suspend judgment," said Joe. "Maybe you are what you say you are. But it's pretty hard to take. Can you feel anything?"

"I can create temporary sensory organs for myself whenever I want to. I can enjoy just about anything a human enjoys or experiences. But my primary mode of perception is a very advanced form of what you would call intuition. Intuition is a kind of sensitivity in the mind to events and processes; what I have is a highly developed intuitional receptor which is completely controllable."

Joe went back and sat down, shaking his head. "You certainly are in an enviable position."

"Like I said, it's the real reason for human sacrifice," said Malaclypse. He, too, sat down, and Joe now noticed that the soft upholstery of his chair didn't sink beneath his weight. He seemed to rest on the surface of the cushions. "Any sudden or violent death releases a burst of consciousness energy, which can be controlled and channeled as any explosive energy can be. The Illuminati would all like to become as gods. That has been their ambition for longer than I care to say."

"Which means they have to perpetrate mass murder," said Joe, thinking of nuclear weapons, gas chambers, chemical-biological warfare.

Malaclypse nodded. "Now, I don't disapprove of that on moral grounds, since morals are purely illusory. I do have a personal distaste for that sort of thing. Although, when you've lived as long as I have, you have lost so many friends and lovers that it is impossible not to take the deaths of humans as a matter of course. So it goes. And, since I achieved my own immortality and nonmateriality as the result of a mass murder, it would be hypocritical of me to condemn the Illuminati. For that matter, I don't condemn hypocrisy, though it is also personally distasteful to me. But I do say that the method of the Illuminati is stupid and wasteful, since everybody is already everything. So, why fuck around with things? It is absurd to try to be something else when there is nothing else."

"That kind of statement is simply beyond my comprehension," said Joe. "I don't know, maybe it's my engineering training. But even after my own partial illumination in San Francisco with Dr. Iggy, this kind of talk doesn't make any more sense than Christian Science to me."

"Soon you'll understand more," said Malaclypse. "About the history of man, about some of the esoteric knowledge that has been lying around for tens of thousands of years. Eventually you'll know all that's worth knowing about absolutely everything."

(Tobias Knight, the FBI agent monitoring the bugging equipment in Dr. Mocenigo's home, heard the pistol shot the same time Carmel did. "What the hell?" he said out loud, sitting up straight. He had heard the door open and footsteps walking about and had been waiting for a conversation and then, without warning, he had heard the shot. Now a voice spoke, "Sorry, Dr. Mocenigo. You were a great patriot, and this is a dog's death. But I will share it with you." Then there were more footsteps and something else. .. Knight recognized the sound: it was liquid being poured. The steps and the pouring liquid continued, and Knight abruptly tore himself out of his state of shock and pressed the intercom. "Knight?" asked a voice which he recognized as Esperando Despond, the Special Agent in Charge for Las Vegas. "Mocenigo's house," Knight said crisply. "Get a whole crew out there double-quick. Something is happening, one killing at least." He released the intercom and listened, paralyzed, to the footsteps and the liquid sounds, which were now mixed with subdued humming. A man doing an unpleasant job, but trying to keep his cool. Knight recognized the tune, finally: "Camp-town Races." The humming and walking and slurping continued. "Do-da-Do-da" Then the voice spoke again: "This is General Lawrence Stewart Talbot, speaking to the CIA, the FBI and whoever else has this house bugged. I discovered at two this morning that several people in our Anthrax Leprosy Pi project have accidentally been subjected to live cultures. All of them are living at the installation, and can easily be isolated while the antidote works. I have already given orders to that effect. Dr. Mocenigo himself unknowingly received the worst dose, and was in advanced morbidity, a few minutes from death, when I arrived. His whole house, obviously, will have to be burned down, and I am also, due to my proximity while examining him, too far gone to be saved. I will therefore shoot myself after setting fire to the house. There is one remaining problem. I found evidence that a woman had been in Dr. Mocenigo's bed earlier- that's what comes of allowing important people to live off base- and she must be found and given the antidote and each of her contacts must be traced. Needless to say, this must be done quietly, or there will be a nationwide panic. Tell the President to see that my wife gets the medal for this. Tell my wife that with my last breath I still insist she was wrong about that girl in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. In closing, I firmly believe that this is the greatest country in the history of the world, and can still be saved if Congress will lock up those damned college kids for once and for all. God bless America!" There was a scratching sound- my God! Knight thought, the match- and the sound of flames, in the midst of which General Talbot tried to add a postscript but couldn't get the words out because he was screaming. Finally, the second shot came, and the screaming stopped. Knight raised his head, jaw clenched, repressed tears in his steely eyes. "That was a great American," he said aloud.)

Over cigars and brandy, after George had been sent off to bed to be distracted by Tarantella, Richard Jung asked pointedly, "Just how sure are you that this Discordian bunch is a match for the Illuminati? It's kind of late in the game to change sides."

Drake started to speak, then turned to Maldonado. "Tell him about Italy in the 19th century," he said.

"The Illuminati are just men and women," Maldonado replied obligingly. "More women than men, in fact. It was Eve Weishaupt who started the whole show; Adam just acted as her front because people are used to taking orders from men. This Atlantis stuff is mostly bullshit. Everybody who knows about Atlantis at all traces his family, or his clan, or his club, back there. Some of the old dons in the Maf even try to trace la Cosa Nostra back there. All bullshit. Just like all the WASPs tracing themselves back to the Mayflower. For everyone who can prove it, like Mr. Drake, there's a hundred who are just bluffing.

"You see," Maldonado went on more intensely, chewing his cigar ferociously, "originally the Illuminati was just a- how do you call it- a kind of 18th-century women's liberation front. Behind Adam Weishaupt was Eve; behind Godwin, who started all this socialism and anarchism with his Political Justice book, was his mistress Mary Wollstonecraft, who started the woman revolution with a book called, uh"

"Vindication of the Rights of Women," Drake contributed.

"And they got Tom Paine to write on women's lib, too, and to defend their French Revolution and try to import it here. But that all fell through and they didn't get a real controlling interest in the U.S. until they hoodwinked Woody Wilson into creating the Federal Reserve in 1914. And that's the way it usually goes. In Italy they had a front called the Haute Vente, that was so damn secret Mazzini was a member all his life and never knew the control came from Bavaria. My grandpa told me all about those days. We had a three-way dogfight. The Monarchists on one side, the Haute Vente and the Liberteri, the anarchists, on the other, and the Maf in the middle trying to roll with the punches and figure out which way the bread was buttered, you know? Then the Liberteri got wise to the Haute Vente and split from it, and it was a four-way fight. You look it up in the history books, they tell it like it was except they don't mention who ran the Haute Vente. And then the good old Law of Fives came into it, and we had the Fascisti and it was a five-way dogfight. Who won? Not the Illuminati. It wasn't until 1937, manipulating the English government to discourage Mussolini's peace plans and using Hitler to get Benito into the Berlin-Tokyo axis, that the Illuminati had some kind of control in Italy. And even then it was indirect. When we made our deal with the CIA- it was called the OSS back in those days- Luciano got out of the joint and we turned over Italy and delivered Mussolini dead."

"And the point of all this?" Jung asked coldly.

"The point is," Maldonado said, "the Maf has been against the Illuminati more of the time than we've been with them, and we're still doing business and we're stronger than ever. Believe me, their bark is much worse than their bite. Because they know some magic, they scare everybody. We've had magicians and belladonnas- witches, to you- in Sicily since before Paris got hot pants for Helen, and believe me a bullet kills them as dead as it kills anybody else."

"The Illuminati do have a bite," Drake interjected, "but it is my judgment that they are going out with the Age of Pisces. The Discordians, I think, represent an Aquarian swing."

"Oh, I don't go for that mystic stuff," Jung said. "Next thing you'll be quoting I Ching at me, like my old man."

"You're an anal type, like most accountants," Drake replied coolly. "And a Capricorn as well. Down-to-earth and conservative. I won't attempt to persuade you about this aspect of the matter. Just take my word, I didn't get where I am by ignoring significant facts just because they won't fit on a profit-and-loss statement. On the profit-and-loss level, however, I have had reasons to believe that the Discordians can currently outbid the Illuminati. These reasons date back many months before the appearance of those marvelous statues today."

Later, in bed, Drake turned the matter around in his head and looked at it from several sides. Lovecraft's words came back to him: "I beg you to remember their attitude toward their servants." That was it, basically. He was an old man, and he was tired of being their servant, or satrap, or satellite. When he was thirty-three, he was ready to take them over, as Cecil Rhodes had once done. Somehow, he had been maneuvered into taking over just one section of their empire. If he could think, truthfully, that he owned the United States more thoroughly than any President in four decades, the fact remained that he did not own himself. Not until he signed his Declaration of Independence tonight by joining the Discordians. The other Jung, the alter Zauber in Zurich, had tried to tell him something about power once, but he had dismissed it as sentimental slop. Now he tried to remember it and, suddenly, all the old days came back, Klee and his numinous paintings, the Journey to the East, old Crowley saying, "Of course, mixing the left-hand and right-hand paths is dangerous. If you fear such risks, go back to Hesse and Jung and those old ladies. Their way is safe and mine isn't. All that can be said for me is that I have real power and they have dreams." But the Illuminati had crushed Crowley, just as they smashed Willie Seabrook, when those men revealed too much. "I beg you to remember their attitude toward their servants." Damn it, what was it Jung had said about power?

And he turned the card over, and on the back was an address on Beacon Hill with the words "8:30 tonight." He looked up at the janitor, who backed away deferentially, saying, "Thank you, Mr. Drake, sir," without a touch of irony in his face or voice. And it hadn't surprised him at all that, for deliberate contrast, the Grand Master he met that night, one of the five Illuminati Primi for the U.S., was an official of the Justice Department. (And what had Jung said about power?) "A few of them will have to fall. Lepke, I would recommend. Perhaps Luciano also." No mystical trappings: just a businesslike meeting. "Our interest is the same as yours: increasing the power of the Justice Department. An equal increment in the power of the other branches of government will proceed nicely when we get the war into gear." Drake remembered his excitement: it was all as he had foreseen. The end of the Republic, the dawn of the Empire.

"After Germany, Russia?" Drake asked once.

"Very good; you are indeed farseeing," the Grand Master replied. "Mr. Hitler, of course, is only a medium. Virtually no ego at all, on his own. You have no idea how dull and prosaic such types are, except when under proper Inspiration. Naturally, his supplied ego will collapse, he will become psychotic, and we will have no control over him at all, then. We are prepared to help him fall. Our real interest now is here. Let me show you something. We do not work in general outlines; our plans are always specific, to the last detail." He handed Drake a sheaf of papers. "The war will probably end in '44 or '45. We will have Russia built up as the next threat within two years. Read this carefully."

Drake read what was to become the National Security Act of 1947. "This abolishes the Constitution," he said almost in ecstasy.

"Quite. And believe me, Mr. Drake, by '46 or '47, we will have Congress and the public ready to accept it. The American Empire is closer than you imagine."

"But the isolationists and pacifists-Senator Taft and that crowd-"

"They will wither away. When communism replaces fascism as the number one enemy, your small-town conservative will be ready for global adventures on a scale that would make the heads of poor Mr. Roosevelt's liberals spin. Trust me. We have every detail pinpointed. Let me show you where the new government will be located."

Drake stared at the plan and shook his head. "Some people will recognize what a pentagon means," he said dubiously.

"They will be dismissed as superstitious cranks. Believe me, this building will be constructed within a few years. It will become the policeman of the world. Nobody will dare question its actions or judgments without being denounced as a traitor. Within thirty years, Mr. Drake, within thirty years, anyone who attempts to restore power to the Congress will be cursed and vilified, not by liberals but by conservatives."

"Holy God," Drake said.

The Grand Master rose and walked to an old-fashioned globe nearly as large as King Kong's head. "Pick a spot, Mr. Drake. Any spot. I guarantee you we will have American troops there within thirty years. The Empire that you dreamed of while reading Tacitus."

Robert Putney Drake felt humbled for an instant, even though he recognized the gimmick: using one single example of telepathy, plucking Tacitus out of his head, to climax the presentation of the incredible dream. At last he understood firsthand the awe that the Illuminati created in both its servitors and its enemies.

"There will be opposition," the Grand Master went on. "In the 1960s and early 1970s especially. That's where your notion for a unified crime syndicate fits into our plan. To crush the opposition, we will need a Justice Department equivalent in many ways to Hitler's Gestapo. If your scheme works- if the Mafia can be drawn into a syndicate that is not entirely under Sicilian control, and the various other groups can be brought under the same umbrella- we will have a nationwide outlaw cartel. The public itself will then call for the kind of Justice Department that we need. By the mid-1960s, wiretapping of all sorts must be so common that the concept of privacy will be archaic." And, tossing sleeplessly, Drake thought how smoothly it had all worked out; why then was he rebelling against it? Why did it give him no pleasure? And what was it Jung had said about power?

Richard Jung, wearing Carl Jung's old sweater and smoking his pipe, said, "And next the solar system." The room was crowded with white rabbits, Playboy bunnies, Bugs Bunny, the Wolf Man, Ku Kluxers, Ma-fiosos, Lepke with accusing eyes, a dormouse, a mad hatter, the King of Hearts, the Prince of Wands, and Jung was shouting over the din. "Billions to reach the moon. Trillions to get to Mars. All pouring into our corporations. Better than the gladiatorial games." Linda Lovelace elbowed him aside. "Call me Ishmaelian," she said suggestively; but Jung handed Drake the skeleton of a Biafran baby. "For Petruchio's feast," he explained, producing a piece of ticker tape. "We now own," he began to read, "seventy-two percent of earth's resources, and fifty-one percent of all the armed troops in the world are under our direction. Here," he said, passing the body of an infant that had died in Appalachia, "see that this one gets an apple in its mouth."

A bunny passed Drake a 1923 Thompson machine gun, the model that had been called an automatic rifle because the Army had no funds to buy submachine guns that year. "What's this for?" Drake asked, confused. "We have to defend ourselves," the bunny said. "The mob is at the gates. The hungry mob. An astronaut named Spartacus is leading them." Drake handed the gun to Maldonado and crept upstairs to his private heliport. He passed through the lavatory to the laboratory (where Dr. Frankenstein was attaching electrodes to Linda Lovelace's jaws) and entered the golf course again, where the door opened to the airplane cabin.

He was escaping in his 747 jet, and below he could see Black Panthers, college kids, starving coal miners, Indians, Viet Cong, Brazilians, an enormous army pillaging his estate. "They must have seen the fnords," he said to the pilot. But the pilot was his mother and the sight of her threw him into a rage. "Leaving me alone!" he screamed. "Always leaving me alone to go to your damned parties with father. I never had a mother, just one nigger maid after another acting as mothers. Were the parties that fucking important?"

"Oh," she said reddening, "how can you use that word in front of your own mother?"

"To hell with that. All I remember is your perfume hanging in the air, and some strange black face coming when I called for you."

"You're such a baby," she said sadly. "All your life, you've always been a big baby." It was true: he was wearing diapers. A vice president of Morgan Guarantee Trust stared at him incredulously. "I say, Drake, do you really think that is appropriate garb for an important business meeting?" Beside him Linda Lovelace bent in ecstasy to kiss the secret ardor of Ishmael. "A whale of a good time," the vice president said, suddenly giggling inanely.

"Oh, fuck you all," Drake screamed. "I've got more money than any of you."

"The money is gone," Carl Jung said, wearing Freud's beard. "What totem will you use now to ward off insecurity and the things that go bump in the night?" He sneered. "What childish codes! M.A.F.I.A.-Morte Alla Francia Italia Anela. French Canadian bean so up- the Five Consecrated Bavarian Seers. Annuit Coeptis Novus Or do Seclorum-Anti-Christ Now Our Savior. A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim-Asmodeus Belial Hastur Nyarlathotep Wotan Niggurath Dholes Azathoth Tind-alos Kadith. Child's play! Glasspielen!"

"Well, if you're so damned smart, who are the inner Five right now?" Drake asked testily.

"Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo," Jung said, riding off on a tricycle. "The Illuminati is your mother's breast, sucker," added Albert Hoffman, peddling after Jung on a bicycle.

Drake awoke as the Eye closed. It was all clear in an instant, without the labor he had spent working over the Dutchman's words. Maldonado stood by the bedside, his face Karloff's, and said, "We deserve to be dead." Yes: that was what it was like when you discovered you were a robot, not a man, like Karloff in the last scene of Bride of Frankenstein.

Drake awoke again and this time he was really awake. It was clear, crystal clear, and he had no regrets. Far away over Long Island Sound came the first distant rumble of thunder, and he knew this was no storm that any scientist less heretical than Jung or Wil-helm Reich would ever understand. "Our job," Huxley wrote before death, "is waking up."

Drake put on his robe quickly and stepped out into the dark Elizabethan hallway. Five hundred thousand dollars this house and grounds had cost, including the cottages, and it was only one of his eight estates. Money. What did it mean when Nyarlathotep appeared and "the wild beasts followed him and licked his hands" as that damned stupid-smart Lovecraft wrote? What did it matter when "the blind idiot God Chaos blew earth's dust away"?

Drake pushed open the dark paneled doorway of George's room. Good: Tarantella was gone. The thunder rumbled again, and Drake's own shadow looming over the bed reminded him once more of a Karloff movie.

He bent over the bed and shook George's shoulder gently. "Mavis," the boy said. Drake wondered who the hell Mavis was; somebody terrific, obviously, if George could be dreaming about her after a session with the Illuminati-trained Tarantella. Or was Mavis another ex-Illuminatus? There were a lot of them with the Discordians lately, Drake had surmised. He shook George's shoulder again, more vigorously.

"Oh, no, I can't come again," George said. Drake gave another shake, and two weary and frightened eyes opened to look at him.


"Up," Drake grunted, grabbing George under the arms and pulling him to a sitting position. "Out of bed," he added, panting, rolling the boy to the edge.

Drake was looking through waves upward at George. Damn it, the thing has already found my mind. "You've got to get out," he repeated. "You're in danger here."

October 23, 1935: Charley Workman, Mendy Weiss and Jimmy the Shrew charge through the door of the Palace Chop House and, according to orders, cowboy the joint.. Lead pellets like rain; and rain like lead pellets hitting George's window, "Christ, what is it?" he asked. Drake stood him up stark naked and handed him his drawers, repeating "Hurry!" Charley the Bug looked over the three bodies: Abadaba Berman, Lulu Rosenkrantz and somebody he didn't recognize. None of them was the Dutchman. "My God, we fucked up," he said, "Dutch ain't here." But a commotion has started in the alleys of the dream: Albert Stern, taking his last fix of the night, suddenly recalls his fantasy of killing somebody as important as John Dillinger. "The can," Mendy Weiss says excitedly; he had a hard-on, like he always did on this kind of job. "Man is a giant," Drake says, "forced to live in a pigmy's hut." "What does that mean?" George asks. "It means we're all fools," Drake says excitedly, smelling the old whore Death, "especially those of us who try to act like giants by bullying the others in the hut instead of knocking the goddam walls down. Carl Jung told me that, only in more elegant language." George's dangling penis kept catching his eye: homosexuality (an occasional thing with Drake), heterosexuality (his normal state) and the new lust for the old whore Death were all tugging at him. The Dutchman dropped his penis, urine squirting his shoes, and went for his gun as he heard the shots in the barroom. He turned quickly, unable to stop pissing, and Albert Stern came through the door, shooting before Dutch could take aim. Falling forward, he saw that it was really Vince Coll, a ghost. "Oh, mama mama mama," he said, lying in his urine.

"Which way do we go?" George asked, buttoning his shirt.

"You go," Drake said. "Down the stairs and out the back, to the garage. Here's the key to my Silver Wraith Rolls Royce. It won't be any use to me anymore."

"Why aren't you coming?" George protested.

"We deserve to be dead," Drake said, "all of us in this house."

"Hey, that's crazy. I don't care what you've done, a guilt trip is always crazy."

"I've been on a crazier trip, as you'd call it, all my life," Drake said calmly. "The power trip. Now, move!"

"George, don't make no bull moves," the Dutchman said. "He's talking," Sergeant Luke Conlon whispered at the foot of the hospital bed; the police stenographer, F. J. Long, began taking notes. "What have you done with him?" the Dutchman went on. "Oh, mama, mama, mama. Oh, stop it. Oh, oh, oh, sure. Sure, mama." Drake sat down in the window seat and, too nervous for a cigar, lit one of his infrequent cigarettes. One hundred and fifty-seven, he thought, remembering the last entry in his little notebook. One hundred and fifty-seven rich women, one wife, and seventeen boys.

And never once did I really make contact, never once did I smash the walls The wind and the rain were now deafening outside Fourteen billion dollars, thirteen billion illegal and tax-free; more than Getty or Hunt, even if I could never publicize the fact. And that Arab boy in Tangier who picked my pocket after he blew me, my mother's perfume, hours and hours in Zurich puzzling over the Dutchman's words.

Outside Flegenheimer's livery stable in the Bronx, Phil Silverberg is teasing young Arthur Flegenheimer in 1913, holding the burglar's tools out of reach, asking mockingly, "Do you really think you're big enough to knock over a house on your own?" In the Newark hospital, the Dutchman cries angrily, "Now listen, Phil, fun is fun." The seventeen Illuminati representatives vanished in the dark; the one with the goat's head suddenly returned. "What happened to the other sixteen?" Dutch asked the hospital walls. The blood from his arm signed the parchment. "Oh, he done it. Please," he asked vaguely. Sergeant Conlon looks bemusedly at the stenographer, Lang. The lightning seemed dark, and the darkness seemed light. It's taking hold of my mind completely, Drake thought, sitting by the window.

I will hold onto my sanity, Drake swore silently. What was that rock song about Jesus I was remembering?

"Only five inches between me and happiness," was it? No, that's from Deep Throat. The whiteness of the whale.

The waves covered his vision again: wrong song, obviously. I have to reach him, to unify the forces. No, dammit, that's not my thought. That's his thought. He's coming up, up out of the waves. I must rise. I must rise. To unify the forces.

Dillinger said, "You're right, Dutch. Fuck the Illuminati. Fuck the Maf. The Justified Ancients of Mummu would be glad to have you." The Dutchman looked right into Sergeant Conlon's eyes and asked, "John, please, oh, did you buy the whole tale? You promised a million, sure. Get out, I wished I knew.

Please make it quick. Fast and furious. Please. Fast and furious. Please help me get out."

I should have gotten out in '42, when I first learned about the camps, Drake thought. I never realized until then that they really meant to do it. And next Hiroshima. Why did I stay after Hiroshima? It was so obvious, it was just the way Lovecraft wrote, the idiot God Chaos blew earth's dust away, and back in '35 I knew the secret: if a cheap hoodlum like Dutch Schultz had a great poet buried in him, what might be released if any man looked the old whore Death in the eye? Say that I betrayed my country and my planet, but worse, add that I betrayed Robert Putney Drake, the giant of psychology I murdered when I used the secret for power and not for healing.

I see the plumbers, the cesspool cleaners, the colorless all-color of atheism. I am the Fate's lieutenant: I act under ardors. White, White void. Ahab's eye. Five inches from happiness, the Law of Fives, always. Ahab schlurped down, down.

"This Bavarian stuff is all bullshit," Dillinger said. "They're mostly Englishmen, since Rhodes took command in 1888. And they've already infiltrated Justice, State and Labor, as well as the Treasury. That's who you're playing ball with. And let me tell you what they plan to do with your people, the Jews, in this war they're cooking up."

"Listen," the Dutchman interrupted. "Capone would have a bullet in me if he knew I was even talking to you, John."

"Are you afraid of Capone? He arranged to have the Feds put a bullet in me at the Biograph and I'm still sassy and lively as ever."

"I'm not afraid of Capone or Lepke or Maldonado or" The Dutchman's eyes brought back the hospital room. "I'm a pretty good pretzeler," he told Sergeant Conlon anxiously. "Winifred, Department of Justice. I even got it from the department." The pain shot through him, sharp as ecstasy. "Sir, please stop it!" He had to explain about DeMolay and Weishaupt. "Listen," he urged, "the last Knight. I don't want to holler." It was so hard, with the pulsings of the pain. "I don't know, sir. Honestly, I don't. I went to the toilet. I was in the can and the boy came at me. If we wanted to break the Ring. No, please. I get a month. Come on, Illuminati, cut me off." It was so hard to explain. "I had nothing with him and he was a cowboy in one of the seven days. Ewige! Fight No business, no hangouts, no friends. Nothing. Just what you pick up and what you need." The pain wasn't just the bullet; they were working on his mind, trying to stop him from saying too much. He saw the goat head. "Let him harness himself to you and then bother you," he cried. "They are Englishmen and they are a type and I don't know who is best, they or us." So much to say, and so little time. He thought of Francie, his wife. "Oh, sir, get the doll a rofting." The Illuminati formula to summon the lloigor: he could at least reveal that. "A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim. Did you hear me?" They had to understand how high it went, all over the world. "I would hear it, the Circuit Court would hear it, and the Supreme Court would hear it. If that ain't the payoff. Please crack down on the Chinaman's friends and Hitler's Commander." Eris, the Great Mother, was the only alternative to the Illuminati's power; he had to tell them that much. "Mother is the best bet and don't let Satan draw you too fast."

"He's blabbing too much," the one who wore the goat head, Winifred, from Washington, said. "Increase the pain."

"The dirty rats have tuned in," Dutch shouted.

"Control yourself," Sergeant Conlon said soothingly.

"But I am dying," Dutch, explained. Couldn't they understand anything?

Drake met Winifred at a cocktail party in Washington, in '47, just after the National Security Act was passed by the Senate. "Well?" Winifred asked, "do you have any further doubts?"

"None at all," Drake said. "All my open money is now invested in defense industries."

"Keep it there," Winifred smiled, "and you'll get richer than you ever dreamed. Our present projection is that we can get Congress to approve one trillion dollars in war preparations before 1967."

Drake thought fast and asked softly, "You're going to add another villain beside Russia?"

"Watch China," Winifred said calmly.

For once, curiosity surpassed cupidity in Drake; he asked, "Are you really keeping him in the Pentagon?"

"Would you like to meet him, face to face?" Winifred asked with a faint hint of a sneer in his voice.

"No thank you," Drake said coolly. "I've been reading Herman Rauschning. I remember Hitler's words about the Superman: 'He is alive, among us. I have met him. He is intrepid and terrible. I was afraid of him.' That's enough for my curiosity."

"Hitler," Winifred replied, not hiding the sneer now. "Saw him in his more human form. He's progressed since then."

Tonight, Drake thought, as the thunder rose to a maddening crescendo, I will see him, or one of them. Surely, I could have picked a more agreeable form of suicide? The question was pointless; Jung had been right all along, with his Law of Opposites. Even Freud knew it: every sadist becomes a masochist at last.

On an impulse, Drake arose and fetched a pad and pen from the bedside Tudor table. He began to scribble by the light of the increasing electrical storm outside:

What am I afraid of? Haven't I been building up to this rendezvous ever since I threw the bottle at mother when I was 1 1/2 years old?

And it is kin to me. We both live on blood, do we not, even if I have prettied it over by taking the blood money instead of the blood itself?

Dimensions keep shifting, whenever it gets a fix on me. Prinn was right in his De Vermis Mysteriis, they don't really participate in the same space-time as us. That's what Alhazred meant when he wrote, "Their hand is at your throat but you see them not. They walk serene and unsuspected, not in the spaces we know, but between them."

"Pull me out," the Dutchman moaned. "I am half crazy. They won't let me get up. They dyed my shoes. Give me something. I am so sick."

I can see Kadath and the two magnetic poles. I must unify the forces by eating the entity.

Which me is the real me? Is it so easy to flow into my soul because there is so little soul left? Is that what Jung was trying to tell me about power?

I see Newark Hospital and the Dutchman. I see the white light and then the black that does not pulsate or move. I see George trying to drive the Rolls in this damnable rain. I see the whiteness of whiteness is black.

"Anybody," the Dutchman pleaded, "kindly take my shoes off. No, there's a handcuff on them. The Baron says these things."

I see Weishaupt and the Iron Boot. No wonder only five ever withstand the ordeal to become the top of the pyramid. Baron Rothschild won't let Rhodes get away with that. What is time or space, anyway? What is soul, that we claim to judge it? Which is real- the boy Arthur Flegenheimer, seeking for his mother, the gangster Dutch Schultz, dealing in murder and corruption with the cool of a Medici or a Morgan, or the mad poet being born in the Newark hospital bed as the others die?

And Elizabeth was a bitch. They sang "The Golden Vanity" about Raleigh, but none could speak a word against me. Yet he received the preference. The Globe Theatre, new drama by Will Shakespeare, down the street they torture Sackerson the bear for sport.

Christ, they opened the San Andreas Fault to hide the most important records about Norton. Sidewalks opening like mouths, John Barrymore falling out of bed, Will Shakespeare in his mind, my mind, Sir Francis's mind. Roderick Usher. Starry Wisdom, they called it.

"The sidewalk was in trouble," the Dutchman tried to explain, "and the bears were in trouble and I broke it up. Please put me in that room. Please keep him in control."

I can hear it! The very sounds recorded by Poe and Lovecraft: Tekeli-li, tekeli-li! It must be close.

I didn't mean to throw the bottle, mother. I just wanted your attention. I just wanted attention.

"Okay,' the Dutchman sighed. "Okay, I am all through. Can't do another thing. Look out, mama, look out for her. You can't beat Him. Police. Mama. Helen. Mother. Please take me out."

I can see it and it can see me. In the dark. There are things worse than death, vivisections of the spirit. I should run. Why do I sit here? The bicycle and the tricycle. 23 skiddoo. Inside the pentagon, the cold of interstellar space. They came from the stars and brought their images with them. Mother. I'm sorry.

"Come on, open the soap duckets," the Dutchman said hopelessly. "The chimney sweeps. Take to the sword."

It is like a chimney without end. Up and up forever, in deeper and deeper darkness. And the red all-seeing eye.

"Please help me up. French Canadian bean soup. I want to pay. Let them leave me alone."

I want to join it. I want to become it. I have no more will of my own. I take thee, old whore Death, as my lawful wedded wife. I am mad. I am half mad. Mother. The bottle. Linda, schlurped, sucked down.


A nine-year-old girl named Patty Cohen lived three miles down the coast from the Drake estate, and she went mad in those early morning hours of April 25. At first, her parents thought she had gotten hold of some of the LSD which was known to be infiltrating the local grammar school and, being fairly hip, they fed her niacin and horse doctor's doses of vitamin C as she ran about the house alternately laughing and making faces at them, howling about "he's laying in his own piss" and "he's still alive inside it" and "Roderick Usher." By morning they knew it was more than acid, and months of sadness began as they took her to clinics and private psychiatrists and more clinics and more private psychiatrists. Finally, just before Chanukah in December, they took her to an elegant shrink on Park Avenue, and she had a virtual epileptic fit in the waiting room, staring at a statue on the end table and screaming, "Don't let him eat me! Don't let him eat me!" Her recovery began from that day, and the sight of that miniature representation of the giant Tlaloc in Mexico City.

But three hours after Drake's death, George Dorn lay on his bed in the Hotel Tudor, holding a phone to his ear, listening to it ring. A young woman's voice on the other end suddenly said hello.

"I'd like to speak to Inspector Goodman," said George.

There was a momentary pause, then the voice said, "Who's calling, please?"

"My name is George Dorn, but it probably wouldn't mean anything to the Inspector. But would you ask him to come to the phone please and tell him I have a message for him about the case of Joseph Malik."

There was a constricted silence, as if the woman on the other end of the phone wanted to scream and had stopped breathing. Finally she said, "My husband is working just now, but I'll be glad to give him any message you have."

"That's funny," said George. "I've been told Inspector Goodman's duty hours are noon to 9 P.M."

"I don't think it's any of your business where he is," the woman suddenly blurted. George felt a little shock. Rebecca Goodman was frightened and she didn't know where her husband was: something in the tone of her last three words revealed her mental state to George. I must be getting more sensitive to people, he thought.

"Do you ever hear from him?" he said gently. He was feeling sorry for Mrs. Inspector Saul Goodman, who was, come to think of it, the wife of a pig. If, just a few years ago, George had read in the paper that this woman's husband had been shot down at random by some unknown revolutionary-type assailants, he would probably have whispered, "Right on." One of George's own friends of that period might have killed Inspector Goodman. There was even a moment when George himself might have done it. Once, one of the kids in George's group had called up the young widow of a policeman killed one December by young blacks and called her a bitch and the wife of a pig and told her that her husband was guilty of crimes against the people and that those who had shot him would go down in history as heroes. George had approved of this verbal action as a means of hardening oneself against bourgeois sentimentality. The papers had been full of stories about how this policeman's three little kids would have no Christmas this year; such tripe made George urgently want to throw up.

But now this woman's anguish was coursing through the wire and he was feeling it, just because her husband was not known to be dead, just missing. And probably not dead at all; otherwise why would Hagbard have said that George should get in touch with him?

"I-I don't know what you mean," she said. She was starting to break, George thought. In another minute she'd be blurting out all her fears to him. Well, for Christ's sake, he didn't know where Goodman was.

"Look," he said sharply, pushing back against the flow of emotion coming through to him, "if you hear from Inspector Goodman, tell him if he wants to know more about the Bavarian Illuminati he should call George Dorn at the Hotel Tudor. That's D-O-R-N, Hotel Tudor. Have you got that?"

"The Illuminati! Look, uh, Mr. Dorn, whatever you want to tell, you can tell me. I'll pass it on to him."

"I can't do that, Mrs. Goodman. Thank you, now. Good-bye."

"Wait! Don't hang up."

"I can't help you, Mrs. Goodman. I don't know where he is, either." George dropped the phone into its cradle with a sigh. His hands were cold and moist. Well, he'd have to tell Hagbard he couldn't reach Inspector Goodman. But he had learned something- that Saul Goodman, who was supposed to be investigating Joe Malik's disappearance, had himself disappeared, and the words "Bavarian Illuminati" meant something to his wife. George crossed the small room and turned on the TV. The noon news would be on. He went back to his bed, lay down and lit a cigarette. He was still exhausted, from his sexual bout of the night before with Tarantella Serpentine.

The announcer said, "The Attorney General has announced that he will speak at six this evening on the early morning epidemic of gangland-style assassinations at widely separated locations all over the country. The death toll from killings of this type has reached twenty-seven, though, local officials refuse to say whether all- or any- of these deaths are connected. Among those shot are Senator Edward Coke Bacon; two high-ranking Los Angeles police officers; the mayor of a town called Mad Dog, Texas; a New York fight promoter; a Boston pharmacist; a Detroit ceramicist; a Chicago Communist; three New Mexico hippie leaders; a New Orleans restaurateur; a barber in Yorba Linda, California; and a sausage manufacturer in She-boygan, Wisconsin. There were bomb explosions at fifteen locations, killing thirteen more people. Six persons around the country have disappeared, and four of these were seen being forced into cars at different times last night and this morning. The Attorney General today called this 'a reign of terror perpetrated by organized crime,' pointing out that though the motives for the widely scattered slayings is obscure they bear the earmarks of gangster killings. However, new FBI director 3eorge Wallace, who has ordered FBI agents around the country into action, issued a written statement declaring- quote-'Once again the Attorney General has treed the wrong coon, proving that law enforcement should be left to the experienced professionals. We have reason to think that these murders are the work of Negro Communists directed from Peking.'-end of quote. Meanwhile, the office of the Vice President has issued an apology to the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League for his reference to 'Mafioso rubouts' and the League has withdrawn its picket line from the White House. Remember, the Attorney General will address the nation at 6 P.M. tonight." The announcer suddenly changed his facial expression from neutral newscaster to pugnacious patriot. "Certain dissident elements keep complaining that people don't get a chance to participate in decisions made by their government. Yet, at a time like this, when the whole nation has an opportunity to hear the Attorney General, the ratings are not always as good as they should be. So let's do everything we can to build up those ratings tonight, and let the whole world know that this is still a democracy."

"Fuck!" George shouted at the screen. He didn't recall TV newscasters being that obnoxious. Must be a fairly recent development, something that had happened after he left for Mad Dog-maybe a late outgrowth of the Fernando Poo crisis. It was in this very hotel, George remembered, just after the bloody Fernando Poo demonstrations at the UN that Joe Malik had first broached the subject of Mad Dog. Now Joe had disappeared, not unlike those people who, as George knew, the Syndicate had snuffed in earnest of their good intentions, having accepted Hagbard's gift of objets d'art. Not unlike Inspector Saul Goodman who perhaps had gone down the same rabbit hole as Joe.

There was a knock at the door. George went to it, turning off the TV set in passing. It was Stella Maris.

"Well, glad to see you, baby. Strip off that dress and come over to the bed, so we can reaffirm my initiation rites."

Stella put her hands on his shoulders. "Never mind that now, George. We've got things to worry about Robert Putney Drake and Banana Nose Maldonado are dead. Come on. We've got to get back to Hagbard right away."

Traveling first by helicopter, then by executive jet and finally by motorboat to Hagbard's Chesapeake Bay submarine base, George was exhausted and dazed in terror's aftermath. He rallied when he saw Hagbard again.

"You motherfucker! You sent me to get goddam killed!"

"And that has given you the courage to tell me off," said Hagbard with an indulgent smile. "Fear is a funny thing, isn't it, George? If we weren't afraid of dying of diseases, we'd never develop the science of microbiology. That science in turn creates the possibility of germ warfare. And each superpower is so afraid that the others may wage germ warfare against it, each develops its own plagues to wipe out the human race."

"Your mind is wandering, you stupid old fart," said Stella. "George isn't kidding about nearly being killed."

"The fear of death is the beginning of slavery," Hagbard said simply.

Even though it was early, George found himself on the verge of collapse, ready to sleep for twenty-four hours or more. The submarine's engines vibrated under his feet as he trudged to his cabin, but he wasn't even curious about where they were going. He lay down on his bed, and picked a book off the headpost bookshelf, part of his getting-ready-for-sleep ritual. Sexuality, Magic and Perversion said the binder. Well, that sounded juicy and promising. Author named Francis King, whoever that is. Citadel Press, 1972. Only a few years ago. Well, then. George opened at random:

Within a few years Prater Paragranus had become Chief of the Swiss section of the OTO, had entered into friendly relationships with the disciples of Aleister Crowley- notably Karl Germer - and had established a magazine. Subsequently Prater Paragranus inherited the chieftainship of Krumm- Heller's Ancient Rosicrucian Fraternity and the Patriarchate of the Gnostic Catholic Church-this latter dignity he derived from Chevillon, murdered by the Gestapo in 1944, who was himself the successor of Johnny Bricaud. Prater Paragranus is also the head of one of the several groups who claim to be the true heirs and successors of the Illuminati of Weishaupt as revived (circa 1895) by Leopold Engd.

George blinked. Several Illuminati? He had to ask Hagbard about this. But he was already beginning to visualize into hypnogogic revery and sleep was coming.

In less than a half-hour, Joe had distributed ninety-two paper cups of tomato juice containing AUM, the drug that promised to turn neophobes into neophiles. He stood in Pioneer Court, just north of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, at a table from which hung a poster reading FREE TOMATO JUICE. Each person who took a cupful was invited to fill out a short questionnaire and leave it in a box on Joe's table. However, Joe explained, the questionnaire was optional, and anyone who wanted to drink the tomato juice and run was welcome to do so.

AUM would work just as well either way, but the questionnaire would give ELF an opportunity to trace its effect on some of the subjects.

A tall black policeman was suddenly standing in front of the table. "You got a permit for this?"

"You bet," said Joe with a quick smile. "I'm with the General Services Corporation, and we're running a test on a new brand of tomato juice. Care to try some, officer?"

"No thanks," said the cop unsmilingly. "We had a bunch of yippies threatening to put LSD in the city's water supply two years ago. Let's just see your credentials." There was something cold, hard and homicidal in this cop's eyes, Joe thought. Something beyond the ordinary. This would be a unique guy, and the stuff would affect him uniquely. Joe looked down at the nameplate on the policeman's jacket, which read WATERHOUSE. The line behind Patrolman Waterhouse was getting longer.

Joe found the paper Malaclypse had given him. He handed it to Waterhouse, who glanced at it and said, "This isn't enough. You apparently didn't tell them you were going to set up your stand in Pioneer Court You're blocking pedestrian traffic here. This is a busy area. You'll have to move."

Joe looked out at the street where crowds walked back and forth, at the bridge across the green, greasy Chicago river and at the buildings surrounding Pioneer Court. The brick-paved area was an ample public square, and there was clearly room for everyone. Joe smiled at Waterhouse. He was in Chicago and knew what to do. He took a ten-dollar bill out of his pocket, folded it twice lengthwise and wrapped it around a cup of the tomato juice, which he deftly filled from the plastic jug on his table. Waterhouse drained the tomato juice without comment, and when he tossed the cup into the wastebasket the ten-dollar bill was gone.

A bunch of baldheaded, cackling small-town businessman types was lined up in front of the table. Each one wore an acetate-covered badge bearing a red Crusaders' cross, the letters KCUF and the words, "Dominus Vobiscum! My name is --." Joe smilingly handed them cups of tomato juice, noting that the lapels of several bore an additional decoration, a square white plastic cross with the letters CL printed across it. Any of these men, Joe knew, would love to put him in jail for the rest of his life because he was the publisher of a radical magazine that occasionally got very explicit about sex and several times had published what Joe considered very beautiful erotica. The Knights of Christianity United for the Faith were rumored to be behind the firebombing of two theaters in the Midwest and the lynching of a news dealer in Alabama. And, of course, they had close ties with Atlanta Hope's God's Lightning Party.

AUM would be strong medicine for this bunch, Joe thought. He wondered if it would get them off their censorship kick or just make them more formidable. In either case, they would be bound to bust loose from II-uminati control for a time. If only there were a way he and Simon could get into their convention and administer AUM to more of them

Behind the KCUF contingent there was a small man who looked like a rooster with a gray comb. When Joe read the questionnaire later, he found out that he had administered AUM to Judge Caligula Bushman a shining ornament of the Chicago judiciary.

There followed a succession of faces Joe did not find memorable. They all had that complex, stupid, shrewd, angry, defeated, cynical, gullible look characteristic of Chicago, New York and other big cities. Then he found himself confronting a tall redhead whose features seemed to combine the best of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. "Any vodka in that?" she asked him.

"No, ma'am, just straight tomato juice," said Joe.

"Too bad," she said as she tossed it down. "I could use one."

Caligula Bushman, known as the toughest judge on the Chicago bench, was trying six people who were charged with attacking a draft board, destroying all its furniture, ruining its files and dumping a wheelbarrow full of cow manure on the floor. Suddenly Bushman interrupted the trial about halfway through the prosecution's presentation of its case with the announcement that he was going to hold a sanity hearing. To the bewilderment of all, he then asked State's Attorney Milo A. Flanagan a series of rather odd questions:

"What would you think of a man who not only kept an arsenal in his home, but was collecting at enormous financial sacrifice a second arsenal to protect the first one? What would you say if this man so frightened his neighbors that they in turn were collecting weapons to protect themselves from him? What if this man spent ten times as much money on his expensive weapons as he did on the education of his children? What if one of his children criticized his hobby and he called that child a traitor and a bum and disowned it? And he took another child who had obeyed him faithfully and armed that child and sent it out into the world to attack neighbors? What would you say about a man who introduces poisons into the water he drinks and the air he breathes? What if this man not only is feuding with the people on his block but involves himself in the quarrels of others in distant parts of the city and even in the suburbs? Such a man would clearly be a paranoid schizophrenic, Mr. Flanagan, with homicidal tendencies. This is the man who should be on trial, though under our modern, enlightened system of jurisprudence we would attempt to cure and rehabilitate him rather than merely punish.

"Speaking as a judge," he continued, "I dismiss this case on several grounds. The State is clinically insane as a corporate entity and is absolutely unfit to arrest, try and incarcerate those who disagree with its policies. But I doubt that this judgment, though obvious to any man of common sense, quite fits into the rules of our American jurisprudential game. I also rule, therefore, that the right to destroy government property is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and therefore the crime with which these people are charged is not a crime under the Constitution. Government property belongs to all of the people, and the right of any of the people to express displeasure with their government by destroying government property is precious and shall not be infringed." This doctrine had come to Judge Bushman suddenly while he was speaking without his robe. It startled him, but he had noticed that his mind was working better and faster this afternoon.

He went on, "The State does not exist as a person or thing exists, but is a legal fiction. A fiction is a form of communication. Anything said to be owned by a form of communication must also thereby be itself a form of communication. Government is a map and government paper is a map of the map. The medium, in this case, is definitely the message, as any semanticist would agree. Furthermore, any physical act directed against a communication is itself a communication, a map of the map of the map. Thus, destruction of government property is protected by the First Amendment. I will issue a more ample written opinion on this point, but I feel now that the defendants need suffer in durance no longer. Case dismissed."

Many spectators trooped out of the courtroom sullenly, while those who loved the defendants surrounded them with tears, laughter and hugs. Judge Bushman, who stepped down from the bench but remained in the courtroom, was the benign center of a cluster of reporters. (He was thinking that his opinion would be a map of the map of the map of the map, or a fourth-order map. How many potential further orders of symbolism were there? He barely heard the praises showered on him. Of course, he knew his decision would be overturned; but the judge business already bored him. It would be interesting to get into mathematics, really deep.)

Harold Canvera had not bothered to fill out a questionnaire and therefore was not under observation and was not protected. He returned to his home, and his job as an accountant, and his avocation, which was recording telephone spiels against the Illuminati, the Communists, the Socialists, the Liberals, the Middle-of-the-Roaders and all insufficiently conservative Republicans. (Mr. Canvera also mailed out similar pamphlets whenever anybody was intrigued enough by his phone messages to send him twenty-five cents for additional information. He performed these worthy educational services for a group calling itself White Heroes Opposing Red Extremism, which was a splinter off Taxpayers Warring Against Tyranny, which was a splinter off God's Lightning.) In the following weeks, however, strange new ideas began to appear in Canvera's taped phone messages.

"Lower taxes aren't enough," he said, for instance. "When you hear some so-called conservative Bircher or some follower of William Buckley Jr. call for lower taxes, beware. There's a man who's squishy soft on IIluminism. All taxes are robbery. Instead of attacking Joan Baez, a real American should support her for refusing to pay any more money into the Illuminati treasury in Washington."

The next week was even more interesting: "White Heroes Opposing Red Extremism has often told you that there's no real difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Both are pawns of the Illuminati scheme to destroy private property and make everybody a slave of the State, so the International Bankers of a certain minority group can run everything. Now it's time for all thinking patriots to take an even more skeptical look than ever before at the so-called anti-Il-luminati John Birch Society. Why are they always putting up those stickers saying, 'Support Your Local Police'? Ever wonder about that? What's the most important thing to a police state? Isn't it police? And if we got rid of the police, how could we ever have a police state? Think about it, fellow Americans, and Remember the Alamo!"

A few of these new strange ideas had come from various right-wing anarchist periodicals (all secretly subsidized by Hagbard Celine) that Canvera had mysteriously received three months earlier and hadn't glanced at until swallowing the AUM. The periodicals had been mailed by Simon Moon, as a joke, in an envelope with the return address Illuminati International, 34 East 68th Street, New York City- the headquarters of the Council on Foreign Relations, long regarded by the Birchers as an Illuminati hotbed. "Remember the Alamo," Canvera had picked up from Bowie Knife, a publication of the Davy Crockett Society, a paramilitary right-wing fascist group which had splintered off God's Lightning when their leader, a Texas oil millionaire of gigantic paranoias, became convinced that many apparent Mexicans were actually Red Chinese agents in slight disguise. Later, the dogma became retroactive and he claimed that the Chinese had always been Communists, all Mexicans had always been Chinese, and the attack on the Alamo was the first Communist assault against American capitalism.

The third week was quite remarkable. Evidently, AUM, like LSD, changed some personality traits but left others fairly intact; in any event, in Canvera's irregular evolution from right-wing authoritarianism to right-wing libertarianism, he had somehow managed to arrive at a thesis never before enunciated except by Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade. What this rare man did was to give a three-minute spiel in favor of the right of any person, of either sex, to use any other person, of either sex, with or without their consent, for sexual gratification of any sort needed or at least desired. The only option he granted the recipients of these intimate invasions was the reciprocal right to use the initiator for their own needs or desires. Now, most of the people who regularly called Canvera's phone service were not offended by any of this; they were Lincoln Avenue hippies and dialed him only when stoned, for what they called "a really weird and far-out head trip," and they were bored that he was no longer as funky as in his old Negro-baiting, Jew-hating and Illuminati-castigating days. However, there were a few members of White Heroes Opposing Red Extremism who called occasionally to check that their contributions were still financing the dissemination of true Americanism, and these people were severely puzzled and finally disturbed. Some of them even wrote to WHORE headquarters in Mad Dog, Texas, to complain that there was something a little bit peculiar in the Americanism lately. However, the president of WHORE, Dr. Horace Naismith, who also ran the John Dillinger Died for You Society, Veterans of the Sexual Revolution, and the Colossus of Yorba Linda Foundation, was in it only for the money, sad to say, and had no time for such petty complaints. He was too busy implementing his newest fund-raising scheme, the Male Chauvinist Organization (MACHO), which he hoped would milk mucho denaros from Russ Meyers, illegal abortionists, pimps, industrialists who regularly paid female workers thirty percent of the salaries of men doing the same jobs, and all others threatened by the Women's Liberation Movement.

The fourth week was, to be frank about it, definitely bizarre. Canvera discoursed at length on the lost civilization that once existed in the Gobi Desert and denounced those, such as Brion Gysin, who believed it had destroyed itself in atomic war. Rather, he asserted, it had been obliterated when the Illuminati arrived from the planet Vulcan in flying saucers. "Remember the Alamo" was now replaced by "Remember Carcosa," Canvera having discerned that both Ambrose Bierce and H. P. Lovecraft were describing this tragic Gobian society in their fiction. The hippies were again delighted- this was the funky kind of trip that had originally made Canvera a mock folk hero among them- and they especially appreciated his call for the U.S. to abandon the next moon shot and launch a punitive expedition to Vulcan both to wipe out Illuminism at its source and to avenge poor Carcosa. The WHORE regulars, however, were again upset; all that concern with Carcosa struck them as creeping one-worldism.

The fifth week, Canvera took a new turn, denouncing the masses for their stupidity and proclaiming that the boobs probably deserved being governed by the Illuminati since most of them were too dumb to find their own behinds in a dark room even using both hands. He had been browsing through a volume of H. L. Mencken (sent to him over a year earlier by El Haj Stackerlee Mohammed, ne Pearson, after one of his put-prayers-back-in-the-public-schools tirades); but he had also been pondering an invitation to join the Illuminati. This document, which came in an envelope with no return address, informed him that he was too smart to stay with the losers all his life and ought to climb on the winning side before it was too late. It added that membership dues were $3125, which should be put in a cigar box and buried in his back yard, after which it promised "one of our underground agents will contact you." At first, Canvera had considered this a hoax- he received many put-ons in the mail, together with pornography, Rosicrucian pamphlets, illustrated with the eye-and-pyramid design, and pretended fan letters signed by such names as Eldridge Cleaver, Fidel Castro, Anton Szandor Levay or Judge Crater, all of course cooked up by his Lincoln Avenue audience. Later, however, it struck him that 3125 was five to the fifth power and that convinced him a True Illuminatus was indeed communicating with him. He took the $3125 out of his savings account, buried it as instructed, made a pro-Illuminati recording as a gesture of good faith and waited. The next day he was shot, several times, in the head and shoulders, dying of natural causes as a result.

(In present time again, Rebecca Goodman enters the Hotel Tudor lobby in answer to the second mysterious phone call of the day, while Hagbard decides George Dorn needs to be illuminized further before Ingolstadt, and Esperando Despond clears his throat and says, "I want to explain the mathematics of plague to you men")

Actually, poor old Canvera's death had nothing to do with the Illuminati or with his former compatriots in WHORE. The man had been practicing the libertine philosophy of his post-AUM phone editorials and had tampered with Cassandra Acconci, the beloved daughter of Ronald Acconci, Chicago Regional Commander of God's Lightning and a long-time contributor to KCUF. Acconci arranged, via State's Attorney Milo A. Flanagan, for the local Maf to do a hit on Canvera. But there are no endings, any more than there are any beginnings; it next developed that Canvera's seed lived on in wedlock with Cassandra's ovum and was in danger of becoming a human being within her previously trim abdomen.

Saul Goodman had no idea that the room he was in had last been rented to George Dorn; he was conscious only of his impatience, not knowing that Rebecca was at that moment on an elevator approaching his floor And a mile north, Peter Jackson, still trying to put together the July issue of Confrontation virtually singlehanded, dives into the slush pile (which is the magazine industry's elegant name for unsolicited manuscripts) and comes up with more fallout from the Moon-Malik AUM project of 1970. "Orthodox Science: The New Religion," he reads. Well, lets sample it, what the hell. Opening at random he finds:

Einstein's concept of spherical space, furthermore, suffers from the same defect as the concept of a smoothly or perfectly spherical earth: it rests upon the use of the irrational number, ?. This number has no operational definition; there is no place on any engineer's scale to which one can point and say "This is exactly ?," although these scales are misleadingly marked with such a spot. ?, in fact, can never be found in the real world, and there are historical and archeological reasons to believe it was created by a Greek mathematician under the influence of the mind-warping hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria. It is pure surrealism. You cannot write ? as a real number; you can only approximate it, as 3.1417 etc. Chemistry knows no such units: three atoms of an element may combine with four atoms of another element, but you will never find ? atoms combining with anything. Quantum physics reveals that an electron may jump three units or four units, but it will not jump ? units. Nor is ? necessary to geometry, as is sometimes claimed; R. Buckminster Fuller has created an entire geometric system, at least as reliable as that of the ancient Greek dope fiends, in which ? does not appear at all. Space, then, may be slanted or kiltered in various ways, but it cannot be smoothly spherical

"What the ring-tailed rambling hell?" Peter Jackson said aloud. He flipped to the end:

In conclusion, I want to thank a strange and uncommon man, James Mallison, who provided the spark which set me thinking about these matters. In fact, it was due to my meeting with Mr. Mallison that I sold my hardware business, returned to college and majored in cartography and topology. Although he was a religious fanatic (as I was at the time of our meeting) and would, therefore, not appreciate many of my discoveries, it is due to this man's perverse, peculiar and yet brilliant prodding that I embarked on the search which has lead to this new theory of a Penta-hedroidal Universe.

W. Clement Cotex, Ph.D

"Far fucking out," Peter muttered. James Mallison was a pen name Joe Malik sometimes used, and here was another James Mallison inspiring this guy to become a Ph.D. and invent a new cosmological theory. What was the word Joe used for such coincidences? Synch-something

("1472," Esperando Despond concludes his gloomy mathematical calculations. "That's the number of plague cases we might have right now, at noon, if the girl had only two contacts after leaving Dr. Mocenigo. Now, if she had three contacts" The assembled FBI agents are gradually turning a pale greenish color from the neck up. Cannel, the only actual contact, is busy two blocks away stuffing money into a briefcase.)

"That's him!" Mrs. Edward Coke Bacon cried excitedly, addressing Basil Banghart, another FBI agent, in an office in Washington. She is pointing at a photo of Albert "the Teacher" Stern. "Ma'am," Banghart says kindly, "that can't be him. 1 don't even know why his picture's still in the file. That's a no-account junkie who once got on our most-wanted list because he confessed to a murder he didn't even commit." In Cincinnati, an FBI artist is completing a portrait under the direction of the widow of a slain TV repairman: the face of the killer, gradually emerging, combines various features of Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll, George Dorn and the lead vocalist of the American Medical Association, which group was at that moment boarding a plane at Kennedy International Airport for the Ingolstadt gig. Rebecca Goodman, rising in the Hotel Tudor elevator, has a flash memory of a nightmare of the night before: Saul being shot by the same vocalist, dressed as a monk, in red-and-white robes, while a Playboy bunny danced in front of some kind of giant pyramid. In Princeton, New Jersey, a nuclear physicist named Nils Nosferatu-one of the few survivors of the early morning shootings- babbles to the detective and police stenographer at his bedside, "Tlaloc sucks. You can't trust them. The midget is the one to watch. We'll be moved, all right, when the tear gas hits. Fun is fun. Omega. George's brother met the dolphins first, and that was the psychic hook that brought George in. She's at the door. She's buried in the desert. Any deviation will result in termination. Unify the forces. You hold the hose. I'll get Mark."

"I've got to start telling you the truth, George," Hagbard began hesitantly, as the Midget, Carmel and Dr. Horace Naismith collided in front of the door of the Sands Hotel ("Watch the fuck where you're going," Carmel growled), and she was at the door, her heart was pounding, an intuition was forming in her mind, and she knocked (and Peter Jackson began dialing Epicene Wildeblood), and she was sure of it, and she was afraid of being sure because she might be wrong, and the Midget said to Dr. Naismith "Rude bastard, wasn't he?" and the door opened, and the door of Milo O. Flanagan's office opened to admit Cassandra Acconci, and her heart stopped, and Dr. Nosferatu screamed, "The door. She's in the door. The door in the desert. He eats Carmels," and it was him and she was in his arms and she was weeping and laughing and asking, "Where have you been, baby?" And Saul closed the door behind her and drew her further into the room. "I'm not a cop anymore," he said, "I'm on the other side."

"What?" Rebecca noticed there was a new thing in his eyes, a thing for which she had no word.

"You can stop worrying that you'll get back on horse," he went on gaily. "And if you've ever been afraid of your sexual fantasies, don't be. We've all got them. Saint Bernards!"

But even that wasn't as weird as the new thing in his eyes.

"Baby," she said, "baby.What the hell is this?"

"I wanted sex with my father, when I was two years old. When did you have that thing about the Saint Bernard?"

"When I was eleven or twelve, I think. Just before my first period. My God, you must have been a lot further away than I ever imagined." She was beginning to recognize the new thing. It wasn't intelligence; he had always had that. With awe, she realized it was what the ancients called wisdom.

"I've always had a thing about black women, just like your thing about black men," he went on. "I think everybody in this country has a touch of it. The blacks have it about us, too. I was in one head, a brilliant black guy, musician, scientist, poet, a million talents, and white women were like the Holy Grail to him. And your fantasy about Spiro Agnew-I had one just like that about Ilse Koch, a Nazi bitch from before your time. It was the same thing in both cases, revenge. Not real sex, hate-sex. Oh, we're all so crazy-in-the-head."

Rebecca backed up and sat down on the bed. "It's too much, too fast, I'm scared. I can see you don't have any contempt for me, but, Lord, can I live knowing that somebody else knows every single repressed desire I have?"

"Yes," Saul said calmly. "And you're mistaken about Time. I can't know every secret, darling. I've only had a smattering of them. A handful. There are a dozen people right now who've been through my head the same way, and I can look any one of them in the eye. The things I know about them!" He laughed.

"It's still too fast," Rebecca said. "You disappear, and then you come back knowing thongs about me that I only half know myself, and you're not a cop anymore What do you mean, you've joined 'the other side'? The Mafia? The Morituri groups?"

"No," Saul answered happily. "Much further out than that. Darling, I've been driven mad by the world's best brainwashers and put back together again by a computer that does psychotherapy, predicts the future and steers a submarine all at once. On the way, I learned things about humanity and the universe that it would take a year to tell you. And I don't have much time right now, because I've got to fly to Las Vegas. In two or three days, if everything works out, I'll be able to show you, not just tell you-"

"Are you reading my mind right now?" Rebecca asked, still awed and nervous.

Saul laughed again. "It isn't that simple. It takes years of training, and even then it's like an old radio would you like to hear a scientific lecture while you're being laid? That's a perversion we've never tried before." His hand moved down from her cheek to her neck and then began unbuttoning her blouse.

("There's a Morituri bomb factory in your building," Cassandra Acconci said flatly. "On the seventeenth floor. The name on the buzzer is the same as yours."

"My brother!" Milo O. Flanagan bellowed. "Right under my nose! That freaking faggot!")

"Oh, Saul. Oh, Saul, Saul," Rebecca closed her eyes as the mouth tightened on her nipple and Dr. Horace Naismith crossed the lobby of the Sands, affixing the VSR badge to his lap'el, and passed the Midget again "Well," the Attorney General told the President, "one solution, of course, is to nuke Las Vegas. But that wouldn't solve the problem of the possible carriers who could have hopped a plane already and might be anywhere in the country now, or anywhere in the world." While the President washes down three Librium, a Tofranil and an Elavil, the Vice President asks thoughtfully, "Suppose we just distribute the antidote to party workers and ride this thing out?" He is feeling more than usually misanthropic, having had an appalling evening in New York due to his impulsiveness in answering a personal ad which had touched his heart

("Thank you Cassandra," Milo A. Flanagan said fervently. "I'm eternally grateful to you."

"One helping hand deserves another," Cassandra replied; she remembered how Milo and Smiling Jim Tre-pomena had helped her get the abortion the time she was knocked up by that Canvera character. Her father had wanted to send her to New York for a legal D amp; C, but Milo had pointed out that it would look kind of funny to some people for the daughter of a high KCUF spokesman to have an official abortion. "Besides," Smiling Jim had added, "you don't want to fool around with them New York Jew doctors. They might do dirty things to you. Just trust me, child; we've got the country's best-qualified criminal abortionists in Cincinnati." Actually, though, the real reason Cassandra was blowing the whistle on Padre Pederastia's bomb emporium was to annoy Simon Moon, whom she had been trying to get into her bed ever since she met him at the Friendly Stranger Coffee House six months before. Simon hadn't been interested, due to his obsession with black women, who represented the Holy Grail to him.)

"Wildeblood here," the cultured drawl came over the wire.

"Have you finished your review yet?" Peter Jackson asked, crushing another cigarette butt in his ashtray and worrying about lung cancer.

"Yes, and you'll love it. I really tear these two smart-asses apart." Wildeblood was enthusiastic. "Listen to this: 'a pair of nursery Nietzsches dreaming of a psychedelic Superman.' And this: 'a plot that is only a put-on, characters who are cardboard, and a pretense of scholarship that amounts to sheer bluff.' But this is the crusher; listen: 'a constant use of obscene language for shock effect until the reader begins to feel as depressed as an unwilling spectator at a quarrel between a fishwife and a lobster-pot pirate.' Don't you think that will get quoted at all the best cocktail parties this season?"

"I suppose so. The book's a real stinker, eh?"

"Heavens, I wouldn't know for sure. I told you yesterday, it's absurdly long. Three volumes, in fact. Boring as hell. I only had time to skim it. But listen to this, dear boy: 'If The Lord of the Rings is a fairy tale for adults, sophisticated readers will quickly recognize this monumental miscarriage as a fairy tale for paranoids.' That refers to the ridiculous conspiracy theory that the plot, if there is one, seems to revolve around. Nicely worded, wouldn't you say?"

"Yeah, sure," Peter said, crossing off book review on his pad. "Send it over. I'll pay the messenger."

Epicene Wildeblood, hanging up, crossed off Confrontation on his own pad, found Time next on the list, and picked up another book to be immortalized by his devastating witticisms. He was feeling more than usually misanthropic, having had a disastrous evening the night before. Somebody had answered his personal ad about his "interest in Greek Culture" and he had thrilled at the thought of a new asshole to conquer; the asshole, unfortunately, had turned out to be the Vice President of the United States, who was interested only in declaiming about the glorious achievements of the military junta that had ruled in Athens. When Eppy, despairing of sex, had tried to steer the conversation to Plato at least, the VP asked, "Are you sure he was a Greek? That sounds like a wop name to me."

(Tobias Knight and two other FBI agents elbow past the Midget searching for whores who might have been with Dr. Mocenigo the night before, while outside the VSR's first contingent, the Hugh M. Hefner Brigade, led by Dr. Horace Naismith himself, marches by singing: "We're Vetrans of the Sexule Revolution/ Our rifles were issued, we had our own guns/ One was for fighting, the other for fun/ We rose up in arms and none failed to come/ We're Vets of the Sex Revo-loooooooooootion!")

You see, darling, it all revolves around sex, but not in the sense that Freud thought. Freud never understood sex. Hardly anybody understands sex, in fact, except a few poets here and there. Any scientist who starts to get an inkling keeps his mouth shut because he knows he'd be drummed out of the profession if he said what he knew. Here, I'll help you unhook that. What we're feeling now is supposed to be tension, and what we'll feel after orgasm is supposed to be relaxation. Oh, they're so pretty. Yes, I know I always say that. But they are pretty. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Mmmm. Mmmm. Oh, yes, yes. Just hold it like that a moment. Yes. Tension? Lord, yes that's what I mean. How can this be tension? What's it got in common with worry or anxiety or anything else that we call tension? It's a strain, but not a tension. It's a drive to break out, and a tension is a drive to hold in. Those are the two polarities. Oh, stop for a minute. Let me do this. You like that?

Oh, darling, yes, darling, I like it, too. It makes me happy to make you happy. You see, we're trying to break through our skins into each other. We're trying to break the walls, walls, walls. Yes, Yes. Break the walls. Tension is trying to hold up the walls, to keep the outside from getting in. It's the opposite. Oh, Rebecca. Let me kiss them again. They're so pretty. Pretty pretty titties. Mmm. Mmm. Pretty. And so big and round. Oh, you've got two hard-ons and I've only got one. And this, this, ah, you like it, don't you, that's three hard-ons. You want me to take my finger away and kiss it? Oh, darling, pretty belly, pretty. Mmm. Mmm. Darling, Mmm. MMMMM. Mmm. Lord, Lord. You never came so fast before, oh, I love you. Are you happy? I'm so happy. That's right, just for a minute. Oh, God, I love watching you do that. I love to see it go into your mouth. Lord, God, Rebecca, I love it. Yes, now I'll put him in. Little Saul, there, coming up inside you, there. Does little Rebecca like him? I know, I know. They love each other, don't they? The way we love each other. She's so warm, she welcomes him so nicely. You're inside me, too. That's what I'm trying to say. My field. You're inside my field, just like I'm inside yours. It's the fields, not the physical act. That's what people are afraid of. That's why they're tense during sex. They're afraid of letting the fields merge. It's a unifying of the forces. God, I can't keep talking. Well, if we slow way down, yes, this is nicer, isn't it? That's why it's so fast for most people. They rush, complete the physical act, before the fields are charged. They never experience the fields. They think it's poetry, fiction, when somebody who's had it describes it. One scientist knew. He died in prison. I'll tell you about him later. It's the big taboo, the one all the others grow out of. It isn't sex itself they're trying to stop. That's too strong, they can't stop it. It's this. Darling, yes. This. The unifying. It happens at death, but they try to steal it even then. They've taken it out of sex. That's why the fantasies. And the promiscuity. The search. Blacks, homosexuality, our parents, people we know we hate, Saint Bernards. Everything. It's not neuroses or perversion. It's a search. A desperate search. Everybody wants sex with an enemy. Hate mobilizes the field, too, you see. And hate. Is safer. Safer than love. Love too dangerous. Lord, Lord, I love you. I love you. Let me more. Get the weight on my elbows, hold your ass with my hands. Yes. Poetry isn't poetry. I mean it doesn't lie. It's true when I say I worship you. Can't say it outside bed. Can only say love then, usually. Worship too scary. Some people can't even say love in bed. Searching, partner to partner. Never able to say love. Never able to feel it. Under control. They can't let us learn, or the game is up. Their name? They got a million names. Monopolize it. Keep it to themselves. They had to stamp it out in the rest of us, to control. To control us. Drove it underground, into background noise. Mustn't break through. That's how. How it happened. Darling. First they repressed telepathy, then sex. That's why schizos. Darling. Why schizos break into crazy sex things first. Why homosexuals dig the occult. Break one taboo, come close to the next. Finally break the wall entirely. Get through. Like we get through, together. They can't have that. Got to keep us apart. Schisms. Always splitting and schisms. White against black, men against women, all the way down the line. Keep us apart. Don't let us merge. Make sex a dirty joke. A few more minutes. A few more. My tongue in your ear. Oh, God. Soon. So fast. A miracle. Whole society set up to prevent this. To destroy love. Oh, I do love you. Worship you. Adore you. Rebecca. Beautiful, beautiful. Rebecca. They don't want us to. Unify. The. Forces. Rebecca. Rebecca. Rebecca.