(Continued from pt. 1)
To say that I was discomfited by the content of the package would be too broad a statement. Rather might it be said that while I wished to know what lay within the box I was averse to actually opening it. This was in and of itself most puzzling, for no outward characteristic of the item gave cause for such reticence. It was as I have said, almost entirely plain, yet it somehow conveyed upon me an impression of weight, of moment, to which I could put no name. I felt rather than knew that opening the box would set my feet upon a path heretofore unimagined and in no wise foreseeable to me in my current state and that, moreover, the option of avoiding this path into the unknown would evaporate with the unveiling of the contents.
For a time, indeed, I resolved not to look within and turned instead my attention to events economic, attempting to enjoy the paper and a cup of tea. This proved fruitless, however, as my attention returned incessantly to that which awaited me upon my writing desk. When I realized my tea had gone quite cold and I had no idea what my eyes had looked over in the daily, I gave up the lost cause and returned to the study.
Unfathomable and unnameable misgivings set to one side, I opened the box. No spring-trap or vial of noxious liquid leapt out. I released a breath I had not known I was holding, and laughed aloud at my behaviour.
A journal, bound in leather and clasped with a simple black strip of fabric closed by a brass button lay within, resting upon several further objects. A silken cord, scarlet in color, served as a restraint by way of preventing the lid from opening beyond some ninety degrees. From this were suspended three medallions, possibly originating as coins, with what I believe to be writing characters of the Far East, most likely Cantonese, all of bronze. Within the lid itself, apparently glued in place, a section of parcel stationery. Printing thereupon indicated its point of origin was the Tower of London (!) in the year of Our Lord nineteen-hundred and twelve, while postal stamp marks showed passage through the Netherlands. The section before me had been inexpertly torn from a larger piece, leaving an irregularity on one edge. The specific means of its affixation did not immediately present itself nor did it occur to me at that time to seek for any thing which might lie beneath.
The interior cavity of the box was lined with a parchment inscribed in Greek. It had been cut lengthwise, interrupting the lines of text. I was not at that point able to make sense of the snippets visible to me, yet it did appear as if the pages continued not only to the lower edges of this space but, further, across the bottom as well, giving me hope to interpret more following the removal of the remaining contents.