Molly Mercury leaves the Auction House with everyone else – Clara drops her back at the Ritz, so she can access her Library. She no sooner get inside when Rufus informs her that “You have phone call, Madam.”
The call is from Miss Doris LaFluer (she’s a gum-chewer) – the Head Secretary over at the Association Auction House. She explains that there was an internal mis-communication and that Mr. Bishop also needed your assistance with some other pieces in the auction. Could you come over to their warehouse?
Before Molly can call a taxi or have Albert drive her, she gets another call – this time from Jack. He wants to know if the name “mustache” or something that sounds like “must-tast” is in a language familiar to her. She tells him it sounds like it might be a Slavic language of some sort, but she’ll need to check. Molly grabs a tome on comparative linguistics as she heads out the door (hoping to flip through it on the way…)
She gets to the American Art Association-Anderson Gallery Warehouse – it’s on the waterfront on Manhattan’s west side. A very small, nondescript building near a Customs office. Rose Lorenz (who the Intrepids met earlier at the auction house) is there to meet her. Miss Lorenz has the draft/mock-up of the auction catalog for the coming show, and it’s then that Molly’s brain starts to put pieces together. Miss Lorenz is here to show Molly around to the pieces that they need her help with, but then Miss Lorenz has to take this mock-up back to the House so it can be finished and taken to the printer for type-setting or some such (she goes on a bit).
It seems the Jaguar was found in a chest that had two compartments. Both were intended to be watertight, but one had lost its integrity over time. This larger compartment was where the Jaguar was housed. The smaller compartment, had retained it seal for the most part, and the paper inside are in reasonably good shape for their age and travails. They need her help with them as they are written in an extremely rare French dialect called “Re’ French.”
The Jaguar (once verified as authentic) is going to be the centerpiece of an auction of 18th century seafaring and Pirate artifacts. The chest and papers seem to belong to Oliver Levasseur.
Somewhere in here, Molly realizes she’s going to be a bit, so she calls back to the Ritz and tells Albert to tell the rest of the group that she’ll be missing the pre-arranged dinner meet at the Club, as she needs to do more research.
There are many other pieces from various nautical widgets and wingdings, to some coins, jewels, etc. Another piece that catches her attention is a lot that was submitted by some villagers in St. Lucia… they have some wax-covered (and thus perserved) partial log-book pages from the Spanish Conquistador Osvaldo Zarapata… the expedition leader of the Flota de Nova Espana! There are only a couple pages, and they seem to be his last entries (perhaps a candle was knocked over as the ship went down… preserving the pages…?) He talks about a storm came out of no where… and it didn’t effect Dar’s ship at all – “el trabajo del diablo”!
Molly also realizes she’s going to need to research the folklore of the Flota de Nova Espana… There is reference (she thinks – it’s really quite damaged) to a shaman or “pagan priest”?
Goodness! Languages! She forgot all about Jack’s question! Sounds like “mustache” – what is this? A new party game? Still, that sounds like a part of a northern Slavic sub-family… Lithuanian or something… >pages turn frantically< “Mustache, mustaste, mustast…” Ah, Estonian! (She was close). Estonian for… oh, no… not that…
She’s got to warn the others!
She calls the club – they’ve left hours earlier…
She calls Albert, and he explains that he believes (from his short conversation with Mr. Incognito) that they were returning to the Auction House to either prevent it from being burgled or perhaps burgling it (he was not clear).
Molly runs for her car – there’s no time to lose!