Chapter 8

Inthemeantimeaquieteryetevenmorespirituallypoignantphaseofthehorrorhadbeenblacklyunwindingitselfbehindthecloseddoorofashelf-linedroominArkham. ThecuriousmanuscriptrecordordiaryofWilburWhateley,deliveredtoMiskatonicUniversityfortranslationhadcausedmuchworryandbafflementamongtheexpertsinlanguagebothancientandmodern; itsveryalphabet,notwithstandingageneralresemblancetotheheavily-shadedArabicusedinMesopotamia,beingabsolutelyunknowntoanyavailableauthority. Thefinalconclusionofthelinguistswasthatthetextrepresentedanartificialalphabet,givingtheeffectofacipher; thoughnoneoftheusualmethodsofcryptographicsolutionseemedtofurnishanyclue,evenwhenappliedonthebasisofeverytonguethewritermightconceivablyhaveused. TheancientbookstakenfromWhateley’squarters,whileabsorbinglyinterestingandinseveralcasespromisingtoopenupnewandterriblelinesofresearchamongphilosophersandmenofscience,wereofnoassistancewhateverinthismatter. Oneofthem,aheavytomewithanironclasp,wasinanotherunknownalphabetthisoneofaverydifferentcast,andresemblingSanskritmorethananythingelse. TheoldledgerwasatlengthgivenwhollyintothechargeofDrArmitage,bothbecauseofhispeculiarinterestintheWhateleymatter,andbecauseofhiswidelinguisticlearningandskillinthemysticalformulaeofantiquityandthemiddleages. 

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