Alex heads into the vault and immediately sees the jaguar is gone!
There is a crash sound that everyone runs to the storeroom. They see one of the window’s bars have been cut, and a renzhe is handing the jaguar out the window. Jack throws a knife at the renzhe, who falls back. Clara shoots the man outside, but he grabs the jaguar and pulls back. Jack shouts to Rex to tie up the man, and check on the Pinkertons.
Alex climbs through the window, avoiding the acid that is still glistening on the bars, and follows the renzhe down the alley. Jack follows her out the window as the renzhe races to the street. They see a Ford Model A pull away with the renzhe standing on the running board, his right arms dripping blood where Clara’s bullet had wounded him.
Molly pulls up in a red convertible, looks at the chase, and slides into the passenger seat as everyone else jumps in. Clara hops into the driver seat and they take off.
As the Model A races off it jumps a sidewalk and scrapes on a building as the driver tries to take a corner too tightly. Clara follows in the Dusenberg, fishtailing as she compensates for the high-speed maneuver!
The Model A turns toward Chinatown via a wrong way on a one-way street, then swerves back on another street. Clara follows with ease and more than a little panache.
Just as the Model A seems to pull away and gain distance, Molly takes aim and shoots out the tire on the Model A, which causes the other driver to lose control and crash at full-speed into a mailbox. The front of the Model A crumples and steam starts shooting out of the radiator.
Clara brings the Duesenberg to a skidding halt. Jack and Alex leap out and race up to find the jaguar within and two piles of dust (one where the driver was, having gone through the windshield and a second against the wall just beyond the mailbox).
They examine the car and find it is registered to Soo Kwan Ha, at an address in Chinatown. Clara retrieves the masks that rest on or near the piles of dust.
Now with a moment to breathe, Molly explains the reason for her racing over (at what turned out to be an opportune moment). She translated the word Jack had asked her about… “Mustast” is an Estonian word," she explains looking grimly at Alex, "meaning Black Heart."
Realizing there was nothing more to be done at the accident scene, the Intrepids drive back to the auction house while Molly reports on her research into Olivier Levasseur – a pirate and privateer and his mysterious hidden fortune.
While she is talking, Alex picks up the jaguar and sees a series of visions of a stone cave, the jaguar being worshiped, a jungle, tall mast ships, fighting between natives and Europeans, a Spanish man stabbing an old native priest.
When the team arrives back at the auction house, Rex is waiting outside. He stabilized Freddie and has what’s left of the remaining renzhe (dust) in a bag, “for analysis.” They climb into the cars and head to Molly’s penthouse at the Ritz.
Molly explains the chest with the jaguar also contained several papers in Re’ French.
- Jack decides it’s time to call his cousin Tully for help tracking down Aunt Veronica, an expert after a fashion on things mystical.
- Rex has some more analysis to do.
- Molly wants to look further into the connections between Levasseur, the Jaguar, and the Flota de Espana Nova.
- Clara want to track down the Chinatown connection, to find out where and perhaps WHY the renzhe were after the Jaguar (if that was, in fact, their goal…)
- Alex feels the chief concern is Blackheart and her interest in things, keeping her darker concerns to herself.
End of Act One
Join us next time for the next thrilling Chapter of The Case of the Silver Jaguar!