Raiders of the Forbidden Valley
Chapter 11: Marcus Brody and the Limehouse Monster
The train sped along through the night heading northward. Marcus had found out where Alexander Hume was through some friends and colleagues at the infamous Miskatonic University. He was out in the vicinity of Niagara Falls, investigating a second ancient archaeological site. When Susan had arrived with tales of seeing Indy being bundled into the back of a paddy wagon by four policemen he had set about trying to secure his friend's release, while simultaneously arranging for three tickets to Niagara Falls and for his lecture to be cut short. By the time he had managed to speak to the relevant people Indy had been already sprung by a well-known, idle playboy.
Indy had arrived at the hotel room with only enough time to change his khakis and leather jacket, before they had to rush out and catch their train.
Indy sat in their first class carriage nursing a glass of cognac. He was sore, tired and angry after his long day. He was also very embarrassed with his subsequent arrest. Susan sat across the room looking at him - she had a radiating warmth and beauty. Indy felt his spirits raise just looking at her.
"Qwam Sung Ho knew where we were in New York," he rumbled.
"Perhaps he has people looking for you all over...", Marcus began.
"No, that little bastard who tried to kill us in the park was the same guy who pounded my head in Melbury MacDonald's office, the one who kidnapped Susan. He seemed to be pretty well trusted by Sung Ho. It's a safe bet that he knows where we are." Indy examined the bottom of his glass.
"Indy, I have something to tell you. Until a few hours ago I wasn't sure of my memories and the importance of them, but I realise that I do have something to tell you and Miss Kirkmuir. Something about Qwam Sung Ho. I believe I may have had dealings with him in my past." Marcus paused and savored Indy's expression. "Don't be so surprised Indy, I was something of an adventurer in my youth, too."
"Why didn't you tell me this before Marcus?" Indy started.
"Because I cannot be sure that the man that I met was this Sung Ho fiend. It was a long time ago, before the Great War. You were still living with your father in Utah and I was back in London. I was sitting in my club when an old acquaintance of mine came in. I had known Sax for quite a while, but had lost touch as he had become something of a noise in the diplomatic corps travelling extensively through the Middle East and Egypt. Anyway, as I recall, Sax was in something of a state that night and I asked him to join me for a brandy. He did so reluctantly and for a while we talked about...well, in truth we talked about nothing at all really. I asked him about his wife, Elisabeth, and as I remember he visibly paled and changed the subject asking about my work. We basically spent an hour or so making small talk. However, he then told me something that piqued my curiosity greatly. He told me of a mysterious businessman who operated out of the centre of the Limehouse area of London. A man known only as 'Mr King.'"
Marcus looked at them and smiled. "Now this was 1912 and Limehouse was a den of villainy. It was a warren of dark and dangerous streets which was comprised of West India Dock Road, Pennyfields and the Limehouse causeway. It was quite literally a no-mans land that the Metropolitan police deemed so dangerous as to bombard the area with double patrols. Many people entered Limehouse and were never seen again. The area had an enormous Asiatic community living and working there. Many of these people were firmly entrenched in a secret criminal empire which had laws and customs more arcane and ancient than any of the laws of England. This empire seemed to be entirely under the control of the Mr. King character. It was apparent that nobody had met Mr. King, but he owned a considerable amount of property and was a known drug trafficker. Sax had become obsessed with tracking down the truth behind this man, he was struggling to become a writer and had received a commission from The Strand magazine that requested an article on Limehouse. He told me that he had started combing the streets of Limehouse, searching for any information on Mr. King. Elisabeth, his wife, was terrified that he would end up falling victim to King's empire but Sax had the strength of his convictions and naivety behind him. Sax admitted that he had treated his lovely wife shoddily throughout the entire business but that his sole objective became the search for the elusive Mr. King."
" I ordered another couple of brandy's and Sax continued with his tale. He eventually garnered enough information for the article and even though he had not seen Mr. King, it was published. For a few short months life went back to normal for Elisabeth and Sax, he was bitterly disappointed that this emperor of crime had managed to elude him, but settled down. Then, the bug caught him again, and he was off searching once more for King. He spent weeks searching and then finally caught hold of a tangible trail that would eventually lead to the discovery of Mr. King. He had discovered a man called Fong Wah during the writing of his initial article. Wah had been a dealer in exotic delicacies, but Sax had suspected him of being much more than that. He had badgered Fong Wah for months trying to get him to show the way to Mr King and eventually the Chinese merchant had relented. Sax realized, with considerable hindsight that Fong Wah had done so with considerable malice. He had introduced Sax to a beautiful Chinese woman, a singer and dancer called Suzee Pai. She had a six month old infant called Mae Ling and claimed that King was the child's father."
"Mae Ling was the name of the woman who strapped me to that torure table," Susan interjected.
"She's Quam Sung Ho's daughter, but she can't be the same child. She can't be more than twenty nine!" Indy started, but Marcus raised a hand.
"Consider the nature of Sung Ho's quest Indy. Anyway, Sax told me that Suzee was in fact Fong Wah's wife, well one of three wives but that she also belonged to Mr. King. The trail was now short and had quickly led Sax to the mysterious Mr. King. He was taken to an old Chinese laundry and here he met "Mr. King." His quarry was delighted to see him and welcomed him like an honored guest. Sax described King as a tall and thin Chinese man. He told me that King was one of many aliases that he had used throughout the years and that his real name was in fact "Dr. Fu Manchu!"
"My God Marcus, was this friend of yours Sax Rohmer by any chance?" Indy chuckled.
"As a matter of fact he was. Now Sax came away from this meeting with instructions from Mr. King that allowed him to write as many "romances" as he wanted about Fu Manchu. It was supposedly a gift in deference to Sax's tenacity and bravery but in my opinion it was something else entirely. This Chinese crime lord wanted a smokescreen hiding his true identity and purpose and what could be more of a smokescreen that total public acknowledgement?"
"So Fu Manchu reasoned that if enough people believed him to be a fictitious character then they would never consider him to be anything more?" Susan interjected. Marcus nodded and smiled.
"However, a year had passed since this meeting and Sax was beginning to realize the ramifications of selling one's soul to the devil. His dear wife Elisabeth had been spirited away by this man's minions. Fu Manchu was another of his aliases, his real name was in fact Kwam Chung So, although I didn't know this at that the time...and even that may be an alias. Anyway, I'm straying into idle speculation now, Sax had received instructions to go to a certain dock in Limehouse and take delivery of a package from the captain of a steamer called "The Black Orchid." This package had quite considerable cultural and historical significance and Mr. King, Fu Manchu or whatever he was calling himself that particular month was keen to have it. One the package was delivered safely and unopened to this Oriental devil, Elisabeth would be released unharmed. Sax had gone to the docks and found everyone on the Black Orchid dead - the captain was hanging from the ships mast and the package was hanging from the captain. Sax was shocked and horrified by this, but followed the instructions he had received and come to the Hambone club where he had fortuitously met up with me!"
Marcus took a sip of cognac.
"I looked at the package, which Sax had deposited in the cloakroom and my curiosity took hold of me. Much to Sax's horror I opened the package and found a scimitar and death mask inside. By the markings on the mask and the scimitar I quickly came to the conclusion that these artifacts were in fact the death mask and sword of your old friend Nurhachi. These relics were priceless and legendary and could not fall into the hands of a villain the likes of the mysterious Mr. King. I spent a few hours convincing Sax that both he and his adorable wife would never be seen again if he blindly followed his foe's instructions. Sax had heard enough tales about Limehouse to realize that I was telling him the truth. Eventually he relented and allowed me to tag along under the guise of the "faithful manservant." Together we went to face a terrible and heartless enemy. The trail that Sax had been given took us into the heart of the vile squalor that was his villain's home and lair. We arrived at an old quayside paper mill and were immediately apprehended by three Chinese ruffians. They were not sure of my presence and as a show of respect and deference I had removed my trusty bowler hat. The thugs searched us and when they were satisfied that neither of us had weapons we were allowed into the building. The scene that met our eyes was like the mad hallucinations of an opium junkie. Many men, of all races, were sprawled around in various states of drug addled torpor. An eerie red light filled the entire room and in the middle of this sat our enemy. I shall never forget him, he was tall and thin with fingers like talons. As he saw Sax carrying in the package, a tin and immensely cruel smile crossed his features, but never touched his eyes.
"Welcome Sax, I am so glad that you could be of some assistance to me! Tell me who is your friend?"
Indy, the man's voice was perhaps the most evil thing that I have ever heard and it's effect on Sax was astounding. The man, who I knew to be brave and stouthearted man began to stammer like a terrified child visiting a stern headmaster.
"I am Brody, Mr. Rohmer's batman sir! I hope that my presence is of no trouble to you? " I interjected, afraid that Sax would give the whole game away. On hearing that I was of no import, this villain chose to ignore me and devoted his entire attention to Sax and the package. He ordered my terrified friend to open it. Now bear in mind that Sax knew that the fiend had his wife captive the man showed remarkable calm in his unwrapping of the artifacts. When the villain saw his prize a delighted laugh echoed from the depths of his black soul. One of his guards moved forward, but Sax picked the scimitar up.
"What of my wife Dr. Fu Manchu?"
The villain paused, and for a moment I fancy I saw a flicker of doubt cross his eyes, but the smile broke out again. He nodded and a huge brute behind him banged a gong. Sax watched nervously as Elisabeth was brought into the room. She was dirty and had obviously been held in a dirty cell, but appeared to be unharmed. The guards that held her arms looked at their master and he held his hand out. Sax nodded and handed the scimitar to one of the villains thugs. A moment of tension passed and Elisabeth was released. She ran to Sax and they embraced. I took advantage of the moment and fired my old service revolver at the guard holding the scimitar"
"Revolver Marcus? I thought that the guards had searched you for weapons!" Indy looked at his friend. Marcus smiled.
"I had my old webley secreted in my bowler. I would never remove my hat in respect to foul villains like these. Anyway , the bullet tore into the fellow's side and he was killed instantly. I rushed forward and started firing at the advancing enemies. However, my route to the relics were blocked by a wall of villains. I fired blindly and one of my bullets smashed a kerosene lamp. Liquid flame spouted everywhere and a fire started spreading through the building. Sax and Elisabeth had already started running from the building. I looked behind me. I will take the images with me to my grave. Men who were insensible through drugs were being roasted alive. There was an eerie serenity to the pictures of death - nobody screamed. I caught sight of the evil Chinese mastermind and was shocked to find him staring directly at me. Making no attempt to escape form the encroaching inferno, and I swear Indy that he started to laugh. As soon as this happened men began to scream as if some spell had been broken. I escaped from the inferno and joined Sax and Elisabeth. We retired to their house and I implored Sax never to reveal the truth behind his creation. I thought that it was much better to keep Fu Manchu as the villain in a series of romances, as he liked to call them. The elusive and mysterious Mr. King was never heard of in Limehouse again. Two years later whilst I was living in Edinburgh, mulling over a job offer that would bring me closer to my best friend and his son I received a letter. On it was an ornately painted green dragon and some sinister Chinese characters. I never got them translated but the message was clear. The villain was alive and had not forgotten my involvement in his defeat in Limehouse that night!"
"What about the crew of the ship? Who killed them?" Susan asked, entranced by this tale.
"Nobody knows for sure, but an old friend of mine, a retired detective called Lestrade told me that it looked like the captain had killed his crew and then committed suicide. The reason for this action will never be known, as will the location of the dig that uncovered these relics"
There was a moment of silence as Indy mulled over his friends tale and wondered why he seemed to take after him more than his father.
A voice rang out through the train carriages.
"Next stop Niagara Falls!"
Marcus smiled, brought out of his reveries.
"We'd best get ready to disembark. I fear that this adventure is far from over."
Indy, Susan and Marcus stood on the platform and watched as the train pulled off heading for Canada. A tall well-built man approached them.
"Marcus Brody, how the Hell are you?"
The trio of adventurers turned to face a middle-aged Native American. Marcus smiled and dropped his case - he shook the man's hand warmly, but this wasn't enough for the newcomer. He grabbed Marcus in a vigorous bear hug.
"You'd insult me with a handshake? You are my brother Marcus Brody!" the man growled happily. "Now who are these nice people?" he said looking at Indy and Susan.
"Ah Grey Wolf this is Indiana Jones," Marcus started. Grey Wolf grinned broadly.
"I've heard about a lot of the work you've done on some of my people's sacred sites! You have a good reputation...for a white man!" he laughed.
"Your people? What tribe are you from?" Indy looked at him amiably enough.
"Don't you know all us Red-skins are the same!" Grey Wolf looked sternly at Indy. Both men paused and laughed. "I've heard about the work you did on the Spanish sites in California, Dr. Grey Wolf. You have a very good reputation amongst my people."
"What tribe are you from, paleface?"
Marcus stood bemused by the banter. Indy had heard of Grey Wolf and was impressed by the man's tenacity and courage. Not everyone was as liberal as Indy and some people seemed to think that anyone of a less that pink hue were the enemy. Grey Wolf had become a well-respected archaeologist despite this attitude.
"Grey Wolf, let me introduce Miss Susan Kirkmuir to you?" Marcus moved forward.
"I knew your brother. Dougal was a bit impetuous but would have made a fine archaeologist. I am sorry for your loss!" Grey Wolf looked at Susan with sincere eyes.
"Thank you," Susan said, suddenly touched by this stranger's words of sympathy.
"I have tracked down Hume for you Marcus, though why you would be interested in this charlatan is beyond my understanding!" Grey Wolf said with sudden vehemence.
"He may have some clues to why my brother committed suicide." Susan looked at Grey Wolf, who nodded sagely.
"Then we will visit him and find out what you need to know. He is at a motel not far from town."
Grey Wolf walked the three adventurers to his old jeep. It was battered beyond belief, the vehicle had seen its way through the war and worse, by the look of things. Grey Wolf had bought it cheap as surplus and it was his pride and joy. They climbed into the jeep and started driving towards Hume's hotel.
A sleek black sedan pulled out behind them and started following them through the streets.
The rear windows slowly opened and a machine gun was pointed out of either side of the car.
Suddenly the jeep was battered in a hail of deadly hot lead.
Site Author: Micah Johnson
Page Author: Hannibal King
Created: July 20, 1999
Last modified: October 4, 1999