The investigation of the MacAllister building continues. Many of the paranormal occurrences seem to be tied to The King in Yellow, but the play itself is impossible to find. Even information about it is in short supply.
The investigators have some good ideas, such as going out into the artistic community. Only one person, a theater director at small Bohemian theater, has ever head of it -- and only due to a former friend ranting and raving about it shortly before he was committed.
They return to the building that night and continue to explore the mysterious floors that appear only at night. A few experiments are conducted that seem to establish that continuity and persistence of reality is hazy at best -- items left at certain places are sometimes there upon return, and sometimes not. The same door, opened in quick succession, sometimes opens onto two completely different rooms.
They retreat to the local eatery and discuss. Although not directly related to the plot, they learn the tragic backstory of how the father of the neighborhood deli owner was banished from England and brought his family to America in shame. (Backstory listed in the first comment, below.)
Going back into the building the following night, strange things continue to beset the investigators and slowly drain away their sanity. They focus on two things: Finding the missing girl, and trying to discover who or what is behind the play. Many of the strange events in the building have some kind of puppet imagery -- is there a puppet master? If so, who? There is some concern, entirely justified, that finding out might be physically or mentally fatal.
Some specific events:
- A dog, a large mastiff, is found running down a hallway on one of the night floors. It appears friendly. Sir Richard puts an improvised rope collar and leash on it, and takes it out of the building. He lodges it in a kennel. So apparently things can be brought out of the night floors. Are there any consequences to taking things out of the night floors into the real world? They certainly didn't feel any barriers being broken.
- A locked and shuttered window is found in a living room that opens upon a dining room with a similar locked and shuttered window at the other end. That window opens upon a conservatory with a locked and shuttered window at the other end. That window opens upon a tea room, and so on. The rooms appear to go on endlessly and clearly cannot be contained within the building's external walls in any way.
- A hole is found in a wall that leads into a large series of caves. George Platt wanders them, marking his path with chalk. Unfortunately his chalk marks appear to be getting altered by someone or something and now he is truly lost. He comes upon a room with a series of alcoves, all containing ornate and unique bottles. A strange sommelier hails him and hands him a bottle with Platt's name on it, and a corkscrew. When Platt takes them, the sommelier collapses into his robes -- his hands, feet, and face were nothing more than crude mannequin constructions, but there was no substance to him. Platt opens the bottle and hears a whisper: "You are the cause of your friends' death." Or maybe it was "friend's death;" it's impossible to know which one for sure. Platt's electric torch starts flickering and he is barely able to find his way out back into the night floors.
- They find an elderly man claiming to be the manager. His name is Henri de Cavaldo Castaigne, and he has never heard of ARTLIFE, Cynthia LeChance, or any of the actual managers. Castaigne has a slight accent and claims to be from a country called "Carcosa."
- Professor Hawkins finds a large mirror. In the mirror, he is wearing archaic party clothes. Behind him, visible only in the mirror, is a large crowd of similarly-dressed people. At the back of the crowd but standing apart from it, is a huge and tattered figure, draped in yellow robes, whose face is completely obscured by a ragged hood. Is this the mysterious King? What is underneath the hood?
Again a retreat to the outside before dawn. More questions than answers. Luckily they have all the time in the world, right?