Thursday, November 16, 2006

Houdini and Lovecraft According To Letters to Lillian Clark. IV.

final extract ...

[1925 February 10 to Lillian Clark] (6) "I was awaked the next day by the arrival of a most unexpected guest-who under divine Pegana but C M. Eddy, Jr., of The City! He was here on literary business, interviewing magazine editors & stopping with Houdini up in West 113th St. Let's hope he can soon do something with that extended note! I was really glad to see the poor chap - any breath from home--& shewed him my room with considerable pleasure. We then called on Kirk, & with him went out to the Taormina for dinner, later shewing Eddy the illuminated skvline from the "Prospect Terrace" at the foot of Montague St. Leaving Kirk at the subway, Eddy & I started out to explore the colonial mazes of Greenwich Village, when whom should we meet-on the Clark St. train platform-but Samuel Loveman, Esq., nonchalantly bearing in his arms the bronze Buddha which he had purchased at last! Introductions followed, after which the three set out for Greenwich. Eddy had an engagement at Houdini's house at midnight, so we had to hustle a bit! but we managed to include the salient points by brisk walking, bidding Loveman farewell at 11:30, after which I piloted Eddy to Houdini's home via the Bronx subway. I then returned to 169 & read "Lords of the Ghostland", by Edgar Saltus. Meanwhile I had word that S H would arrive on Tuesday, so had sent L D C a card to that effect. When Tuesday dawned, L D C telephoned that she would be in to that noon, staying overnight here, (the room next mine was temporarily vacant) & proceeding to Providence Wednesday afternoon. I met her at the Grand Central, shew'd her Loveman's outfitted room & Buddha, & thence conducted her to 169 Clinton, where we met Kirk just going out & induced him to return. A telephone call now came from S H, asking me to meet her for dinner at the Milan restaurant in West 42nd St., & after an affirmative reply I got Eddy on the wire & arranged for a general party there-L D C, Eddy, Loveman, Kirk, Kleiner, S H, & H P L. Kirk went down to get S L & R K, & L D C & I rested & proceeded to the restaurants very attractive Italian place which Eddy later learnt is a chosen haunt of Houdini & his wife. We all met successfully, & the dinner was delightful. Eddy then went to the Hippodrome to meet Houdini, Kirk, Loveman, & Kleiner went up to Belknap's, & S H, L D C, & I returned to 169 Clinton, where S H made lemon tea with my Sterno in Kirk's room. We then retired, S H rising early for business, whilst L D C & I observed more conservative hours. "

{We wonder what Eddy was up to with Houdini. How much did HPL know at this time? Why do the anecdotes to Lillian, his aunt, stop abruptly at this point about Houdini, when it was non-stop for several letters? Just not enough information to speculate.}

(6) pp.110, 111 of H. P. Lovecraft: Letters From New York, ed. Joshi & Schultz, Night Shade Books, San Francisco, 2005.

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