THE LEGEND OF FRANKENSTEIN, Book III!
In his tireless quest to discover the secrets of his creation, the Monster of Frankenstein crosses the great Pacific and searches Asia for a hidden cult of necromancers, rumored to hold the secrets of life and death!
In China, he will battle the tongs of Old Shanghai and the dreaded “hopping ghosts” of Hunan Province. There he first encounters a secret society, the oldest on Earth, bent on world domination.
In the most desolate region of Tibet, he discovers a lost city inhabited by the worshippers of a forbidden god that demands human sacrifice!
Forced to aid this cult or forfeit the secrets of raising the dead, the Monster finds himself embroiled in a war against the deadly minions of the warlord, Black Tiger!
Then, the Monster returns to America where he lays the foundation of an empire. And in doing so, he is led into the most unholy alliance of all!
Read MONSTER OF THE EAST today!
Book IV coming soon!
MONSTER OF THE EAST
At last, we give you the third installment of the Monster's adventures! In this book you will see the Monster travel from Old San Francisco, across the Pacific, with only a dead woman for a companion. Not even the tongs of Shanghai or the "hopping ghosts" of Hunan Province can stop him from fing the lost citadel of the Tcho-Tcho people! But will even an alliance with these cultists save him from the clutches of the Yellow Claw?!
Read MONSTER OF THE WORLD today!
Denizens of Chinatown
After my botched attempt to kill Morbley, I wished to avoid any contact with other men, especially Americans. I spent the day in the vicinity of Corona Heights, gathering berries and even shooting a rabbit which I roasted over a spit. Only at dusk did I return to the city.
There was much buzz in the streets that night and it seemed my presence attracted very few people’s attention. When I searched the rubbish bins for newspapers, a copy of the Call informed me of the massacre of the 7th Cavalry in the Dakotas. While this dampened the spirit of the Centennial celebrations about to occur, the Americans were already fired up with a desire to avenge Lieutenant Colonel Custer and send every man, woman, and child of the Sioux and Cheyenne nations to Hell.
My concerns, however, were closer to home. I returned once more to the southernmost portions of the Barbary Coast, where lived the Asian population. As always, the Celestials spread before me like the waters of the Red Sea. More than a few muttered a word or phrase that sounded like Jiang-shi.
Then a trio stepped out of a gambling house and almost ran into me. As I recognized the rotund figure in his brocaded gold vest I simply took hold of his two large bodyguards by their heads. One fired a pistol into my gut and the other tickled my ribs with his knife, so I knocked their heads together and let their bodies slump to the boardwalk.
The rich Celestial attempted to run but I snatched him by the scruff of his coat collar and turned him around to face me.
"Hello again, my friend.," said I, "Thou wert quite helpful before, so I thought I would trouble thee again for thy help."
"Oh sure! Glad to help my buddy!"
"Tell me of the short, dark people that the Chinese hate so much."
"Charlie Wong no know no short people!" he said, his slanted eyes bulging, "Only know niggers with dark skin!"
I lifted him higher. "Thou can profit from the information I ask or we can take a walk to the piers, Charlie."
"Them Tcho-Tcho! Much bad people! Much bad magic! Evil spirits! Them make Jiang-shi!"
At this strange name of Tcho-Tcho I started for I had heard of these people before in the pages of the Cultes des Goules and the Unausprechlichen Kulten by the Comte d’Erlette and Von Juntz, respectively. I’d even seen one or two of their artifacts and I cursed myself for not guessing these people’s identity sooner.
"I have heard of the Tcho-Tcho. But what is Jiang-shi, pray tell?"
"Hopping ghost. Dead that walk—take life from living!"
Mr. Wong was unfamiliar with that word so I asked him a different question. Even so, I took note of a crowd of Celestials beginning to gather around us, albeit at a considerable distance.
"Why are they here, these Tcho-Tcho people?"
"They buy land by Corona Height! They build great house—half buried in side of hill. They tell white men it Chinese whorehouse but we know better! It house for devil worship and bad magic!"
"Yes, temple. They bring big, black stone from China—it come just two days ago. Joss men say them Tcho-Tcho make altar with evil stone!"
I set Mr. Wong back on the ground and thanked him with a five-dollar gold piece. I left for the alley where I now knew the strange Asian race to have their home and the Celestials allowed me to pass. Yet still I heard them murmuring amongst themselves and I can not say I liked what I imagined them to be saying.
Back in the alley I discovered three doors, each below the street level and accessible via steps. I decided the one furthest from the street and completely obscured by boxes and barrels would be the most likely choice. There I stopped, looked to the street and even above me to the scant windows that opened upon the loathsome alley. I listened, and heard only the scampering of rats and the more distant sound of human rats at their mischief. I determined, as best I could, that no one had followed me and no one was watching. Even so, I proceeded with some apprehension.
This door I found locked so I broke it off the hinges and set it to the side. Ducking under the lintel, virtually crawling, I discovered an ill-lit landing and steps descending further. Since I had made considerable noise upon entry, I made no attempt at stealth and merely descended as quickly as possible down the winding steps. At the bottom I found only another door and this I attempted to open.
The handle had been connected to a spring-loaded trap and a small spear shot from a hidden recess. Due to the necessity of crouching under the low ceiling, it struck me below the heart. I plucked it out and kicked down the door.
Drawing my weapons I found there a candle-lit room, cut from the earth. Before I could study the room further, a net fell upon me. This I might not have minded save that it was cleverly fitted with numerous fishhooks.
I broke free with a cry of agony and saw the Tcho-Tcho people ready to lunge at me, machetes in hand. Yet they stayed their hands, likely at the command of the robed priestess sitting on a chair of Chinese design. Had they wished me dead, the men could easily have dealt me dismembering blows while I was freeing myself. That they did not was both a relief and a concern.
Looking at them, I began to feel lightheaded and flushed with heat. The hooks or the spear, possibly both, had been drugged.
Seeing the Tcho-Tcho approach, I drew my heavy knife and prepared for the worse. They seemed not to notice or if they noticed they certainly did not care. Then I noticed, as one spoke to his brother, that they had sharp teeth.
I had seen men with sharp teeth before, and women also; men and women who were dead and fed upon the living.
Yet these men had not fangs but filed teeth as I had read of some cannibal tribes of South America. If so, such customs might explain much of the animosity of the Chinese towards them.
The priestess stood and approached me, unafraid. Blinking, I studied this wonder-worker, this raiser of the dead, as best I might. She extended a yellow hand and after some seconds I realized she held a small cup with a reddish liquid.
"Vehh!" she said. When I did not respond she said, "Drink!"
A dozen ominous thoughts went through my blurred mind as to what the drink might contain. Still, as I dropped to my weakening knees, it occurred that if these strange people wanted to kill me they could employ faster and more certain means than to poison me. I drank half and spilled the rest.
I sat there some minutes, staring at the wooden floor whilst about me there was some activity. At last my mind cleared and I felt life return to my limbs. I daresay even the fresh wound below my heart had begun to heal. While I heal quickly, and even regenerate portions of lost flesh, I had never had healing proceed so fast as this.
The men removed the remains of the net and the priestess stood before me again. "Ba’shak k’nah?" she asked.
I stood up and foolishly slammed my head against the low ceiling. Settling on a kneeling pose, I replied, "I fear, madam, I speak not a word of the language of the Tcho-Tcho people."
The priestess stared, immobile, but the other three moved closer, peering at me closely with cold curiosity.
"Speak English, I pray thee."
"English is much poor language," the priestess relied, "Is no good many things."
"Perhaps, yet it must suffice for the nonce. Thou art a wonder-worker and hast such skill as to raise the dead."
Though I said this I did note that the woman who had been so raised was not with us. I presumed her to be beyond one of the two doors on the wall opposite of the one by which I had entered.
"Thy people are hated and despised by the other races of man as am I. Could we not find some common ground by which we might aid one another?"
"Tcho-Tcho need no help," she said flatly.
"The Chinamen believe thou seekest to raise a temple within the confines of the city. They will oppose thee."
"Sons of T’ang die before and die still."
"Why hast thou come across the great Pacific? Was it to raise this temple and incur the wrath of men both yellow and white?"
"Is fitting we establish temple in San Francisco now there is Visionary. Already we dig tunnel into sacred hill of the Oadl. Altar stone very good basalt with much power—see many sacrifices."
"Visionary? Oadl? I do not understand. Dost thou intend to perform more human sacrifices? To what end?"
"Visionary has seen Veethra-Hwal and he dreams. First we dream with Visionary and soon he is here. He will be priest and leader because America people accept him and they call him leader. He will lead temple and spread our ways and all the world sees Veethra-Hwal and knows the path to Carcosa."
"Carcosa? Dost thou mean Carcassone in France? I saw it once."
"Not France. Carcosa in Hali."
Bewildered, I asked, "What is Veethra-Hwal?"
"I show you."
And with that the priestess took out her amulet of black stone which had, until that moment, hung about her neck, beneath her robe. She intended to show me, I believe.
But at that moment I heard a sound from the door I’d kicked in. For an instant, I wondered if it was the anticipated "Visionary". But ere I could turn a shot rang out and the priestess was struck. She looked down at the wound above her heart and the spreading yellowish-green stain—a stain nearly the same hue as my own inhuman blood.
Read more in MONSTER OF THE EAST!