Manifest 3231: Dr. Haselhurst
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The R. H. Commission on Unusual Cargo

Authorized by the Board of Regents of said Commission

Manifest #3231

Curator: Adam Charles Haylen

Storage Instructions:

Doctor Haselhurst must not be allowed to return to France. He will protest, bargain, barter and threaten, but under no circumstances is the good ship Renley (a Navre de Commerce housing several pieces of Commission cargo) to be permitted a course which takes it north of the 30th parallel.

Notwithstanding this command, the good doctor is to be made as comfortable as possible, provided with suitable rations, news and books, and a wide berth and privacy to continue his research on the Cargo.

To this point, the lower deck is to be considered a part of Dr. Haselhurst' personal quarters. No crew are to be allowed below deck.

Description of Cargo:

The Cargo is man, of average stature and build, who neither sleeps nor eats. Of his nature I am uncertain, though how he came to be under the Commission's care I am well acquainted.


Exhibit 2: Remarques, 1681

Remarque 1 - 9/14/1683

Dr. Haselhurst is a rather odd figure. We had become acquainted some time ago, in the summer of '74. The Baron Clyton, at the time Worshipful Lord Mayor of London, had held a banquet in honor of several of the surgeons of the City, and awarding them titles and honours of esteem to those who had stood loyally to the cause during the Plague a decade prior.1

I, at the time having served the Commission as an agent for some eight years, and had been employed as a Yardsman of the Commission for several years prior. I recall that during the evening in question, there was some quarrel had between the Lord Mayor and a noble Frenchman by the name of Jean La Minutte, whose interests in the East India Company gave him great disdain to be in the company of Haselhurst, who he had previously identified as a member of the Commission. In attempt to give assistance, I approached Haselhurst and, through discreet communication of our signs and modes of recognition, confirmed this accusation. Having identified myself as such, Haselhurst and I elected to take our leave before the opportunity arose for the French noble to give cause for violence. We left the banquet, with Haselhurst taking along with him two young servant-girls and a bottle of the Lord Mayor's bourbon, and the four of us made our way to a local tavern to enjoy frivolity in the eve.

Despite his educated, and thoroughly enjoyable demeanor, Haselhurst remained an enigmatic figure for the evening, refusing to partake in either the bourbon or the charms of the young ladies, instead prying me with questions about my work, and sharing my knowledge of Cargo to which I had attended.

We departed that evening politely, and I did not see him for several years, until by chance I has been assigned to this very ship, which was under the stewardship of Haselhurst himself. I include with these remarques, my journal pages from the time which I feel have relevance.


Exhabit 6: Journal Pages from Dr. Haylen, 1681

April 10, 1681

Haselhurst has spoken naught a word to me since leaving port. While I am certain he has matters which require his attendance I am unsure whether he approves of my addition to his ship's crew. I know of no reason how I may have offended the man, though if I have it is without intent.

April 13, 1681

I was awoken just after Seventh bell by an attendant to advised me to stay below deck, as another vessel sailing under a black flag had come upon us, assuming us to be an East India vessel. As our orders under the Commission are to protect the cargo at all costs, our forces were deployed against the ship and, I am told, took their vessel with very little conflict. The ship's captain, I am told, was a privateer of some repute, and having had some depth of negotiation with Haselhurst, was allowed to go free in return for a measure of supplies and the enlisting of several men to aid in the ship's operation—while similarly weakening them from continuing to follow us after our departure.

April 18, 1681

I was awoken late in the night by an odd sound coming from the decks below. Such sounds are common on vessels such as ours, and after a careful review of the Manifests for the Cargo she carried, I approached a deckmate to inquire. I was told that Haselhurst has taken the captured men below deck, and by his reckoning had been torturing them. No Commission regulations, he reminded me, prohibited such a decision.

Disturbed as I was, I made my way in secret to the lower deck and then to the lazarette, listening at the door. There within I heard the muttering of Hazelhurt between the delirious and pained groans of the men as the doctor worked on them. I did not see what operations he performed on their bodies, but I will not forget the smell. The Doctor had filled the outside of the lazarette with patchouli bags made of lavender, to cover the stench of death that crept under the door of his surgery.

April 23, 1681

I have not seen the Captain in half a week now. I am told he only leaves his surgery-room to make late-night walks on the deck for short minutes. The crew tell me that his work continues long into the hours, and that by their reckoning Haselhurst has not slept in nearly ten days.

April 25, 1681

I met with the First and Second Mate in the Captain's quarters to discuss our current predicament. Haselhurst' obsessions had caused him to spurn his duties as steward of the Cargo carried by the Renley, and after some consideration we agreed that it was in the best interest of the Commission to secure command of the ship. We made our way to the Lazarette below and knocked on the door. Within, Haselhurst could be heard sawing, perhaps on bone. The cries of the doomed men had ended days earlier.

The sawing stopped. "I am busy," He said.

we expressed our concerns for his state, and informed him that the First Mate was to invoke Nolo Mi Tangere2 and civilly take command of the ship and Cargo. Haselhurst, to our surprise, agreed, on the request that we make haste for the Port La Rochelle3. These conditions having been agreed to, we took our leave.

May 3, 1681

First, allow me to state the good news—as of today I am the Curator of several pieces of Commission Cargo. This is, I am afraid, the end of the good news of the day. For a terrible destruction has been wrought at the Port La Rochelle, and while our ship sails far from it, it is not far from my mind.

Upon our arrival at the Port La Rochelle, Haselhurst emerged from the lower decks, and amazingly the men secured weeks earlier accompanied him, though their gait was slow and their emotions blank. Haselhurst has elected to hide his face during his departure, and though I had only taken but a glimpse of him, I felt a distinct unease at his departure.

Not hours later, as we prepared the ship for its return to sea, the bells of La Rochelle began to ring in alarm. The town guard, we were told, had been dispatched to a local manor which, I am told, is the local residence of a local nobleman. From the tale I was told in the aftermath, the men—if they could scarcely be called that now—attacked the nobleman and his guard, and that in the following hour Dr. Haselhurst had killed the man and there began to perform a vile procedure upon him there on the man's sitting-room floor.

Commission agents dispatched thus apprehended the doctor before the completion of his task, and returned with him to the Renly. Haselhurst has been spouting nonsense for several hours now, and I have dispatched a letter to the Board of Regents to advise on this matter.


Exhibit 7: Letter from the Commissioner, 1681

From the Right Honourable Regents of the Commission


Doctor Haylen, our loves in all dutiful affections remembered, etc.,

We have received the report of this matter. We agree with your conclusions—what creature lies below the deck, it is far less man than monster. These terrible burdens which we bear in the discharge of our duties to God and Mankind lead us down these uncertain paths, and as our Commission builds its knowledge of these awesome and terrible mysteries of our world, it is our charge to carry on, and have faith that our task is a righteous one.

We await a copy of your new Manifest for the designation of the new Cargo under your care.

Othaniel Trower
Commissioner


Exhibit 9: An excerpt from the notes of Dr. Haselhurst, date unknown

What solemn sworn, this fright'ning morn
that wakes the wispy willow tree
and hallows here, the heavens dear
the journeys of the mind,

The earthly loam, is not the home
of soul or knowledge, sanctity
no fleshy scar betrays the mar
afflicting of mankind.

Of gold and tin, of medicine,
that stirs the shadows in my head
and rots beneath the surface there
and petrifies the pure,

For now I see, revealed to me,
the leper's spirit in the dead
of pestilence begotten
and my truth, the only cure.


Exhibit 11: Sketch of Dr. Haselhurst, date unknown
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