Path, Investigate Billington
I began, in the absence of any honest choice, to develop a plan. I suspected, rightly, that I knew far more about the business of expeditions into that region than Billington. I would employ that expertise to convince him of the fruitlessness of such a voyage! I could, of course, attest to its danger, though Billington seemed, during our brief conversations on the subject, undaunted by the possibility of ending up in some cannibal’s crockery. If, however, he could be made to understand the nonsensical basis of of his anthropological motive, I might, I reasoned, convince him that the risks were simply not worth it.
I decided, however, that I might utterly fail in a theoretical argument without foreknowledge of the antithetical position. I would need to know where the man had first developed these blasted ideas about species memory if I had any hope of countering them.
Now, gracious reader, you might well offer a guffaw at the arrogance. I, little more than a mercenary with a penchant for languages, meant to argue with a Cambridge intellectual. Billington was, you may recall, a ranking officer in the both the British Naturalist Society and the London Order of Orientalists. He was known, in such circles, as an expert. To be frank, I haven’t the foggiest of ideas why I thought I might succeed in this debate, and yet, my entire plan hinged on such success. Moreover, I approached my investigation without the slightest concern that I might not be quite sport for the task. It was as if, in all of those missing memories, I became convinced that I was made, in some dim long-ago, the equal of Billington on this particular subject. It became, then, only a matter of seeing the evidence he might bring against me.
My plan required only my freeing myself from the confines of my room and sneaking past Nurse Huzzit, a great brute of a woman who hailed from one of those tiny European countries famous for producing horses and wars in Poland. It had become all the rage to raid their sanitariums for capable hospital staff. To her credit, she was a rather thorough nurse, though a bit too enthusiastic with the clyster. To find the doctor’s laboratory, I would first need to evade Nurse Huzzit!