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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