9780380722297

6 Messiahs

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780380722297

  • ISBN10:

    0380722291

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-06-26
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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Summary

The ancient holy texts are missing. The death of the world approaches. Six extraordinary men have shared one vision of a black tower and a river of blood. Somewhere in the desert wastelands of America, the ultimate battle will be waged. The greatest experiment in evil since the beginning of time is under way, with all humanity its designated sacrifice. The future is in the hands of the Six.

Excerpts

The Six Messiahs

Chapter One

September 19, 1894, 11:00 P.M.

What a damnable nuisance all this Holmes Poppycockhas turned out to be. That such a cipher of a man, a walkingtalking calculating machine who displays no more humanitythan a hobbyhorse, should inspire such passion in the bosomof the reading public is a greater mystery to me than any Iever dreamt up for him to solve.

Even as I write this entry, again, this evening at the GarrickClub -- my farewell dinner -- the subject of Sherlock'suntimely death dominated conversation with the boorish,opinionated insistence of an American running for politicaloffice. Conceived at a moment when my only concern wasputting food on my family's table, this Holm-unculus, thiscerebral marionette has assumed a place in their lives morereal to some of my readers than their own friends and relations.Shocking: but then if predictability in all God's creationswas what the Man Upstairs was after He would havecalled it quits after putting up the Himalayas.

How naive of me to imagine that giving old Holmesy theheave-ho off Reichenbach Falls would put an end to the ballyhooand let me get on with my serious work. Nearly a yearnow since Sheer-luck took the plunge, and the public outrageat his demise shows no signs of slacking off. Indeed, there'vebeen a few occasions where I've felt legitimate concern for myphysical wellbeing. That sturdy red-faced woman brandishingan umbrella on a country road near Leeds. A scarecrow of aman with genuine derangement in his eye trailing my carriagearound town. The trembling, hollow-eyed boy who approachedme in Grosvenor Square with such a stammeringsurplus of contained violence it seemed likely his head woulddetonate before spitting out a sentence. Madness!

What drives me to wit's end is the possibility that, as a resultof the fanatical devotion engendered by my Baker StreetFrankenstein, the rest of my books, the work into which I'vepoured heart and soul, may never receive the fair hearingevery author hopes for in the court of public opinion. Still, Iconsole myself with the thought that if it weren't for Mr. H.the only shelves my so-called personal writing might be liningare at the bottom of my steamer trunk.

But as to the Burning Question put to me so energeticallylast night, and likewise at every instance where I see fit topresent myself publicly (including, appallingcircumstance -- mouth wedged open, throat exposed, sharpinstruments in the hand of my inquisitor -- my recent trip tothe dentist!), the answer remains, steadfastly:

No, no, and no.

There will be no Resurrection. The man fell two thousandfeet straight down into a crevasse. Dashed beyond repair, noreasonable hope for recovery. He is deader than Julius Caesar.Respect to the gods of logic must be paid.

I wonder how long I'll need to remind these people that,not only is he deceased, the man is a fictional character: Hecan't reply to their letters, he doesn't actually reside at 221BBaker Street, and he can finally be of no help to them whatsoeverin solving that lingering mystery which haunts theirevery waking moment -- although my earnest advice to themremains that if Pussywillow has indeed gone missing theyshould look up a tree. If I had half a shilling for every timeI've been asked if he ... well, come to think of it, I supposeI do.

What awaits me with regard to the death of SH in America?I'm given to understand the passion for Holmes burnseven hotter there, although my excitement at the prospect ofsetting foot on their shore should balance any inconveniencestirred up by Sherlock's leap into the void. The United Statesand the Americans have captivated my imagination since Iwas a child; their rambunctious precocity, the driving willthat serves as whip hand to the blinding progress of that newrepublic should act as a strong and revivifying tonic to me.

Five months abroad: My dear wife not nearly as strong as she would like me to believe, but so determined to see memake the career advancement this journey represents. So beit: The frustration of my inability to ease her discomfort isbringing peace to neither of us. This damned disease willrun its inevitable course regardless of my efforts, and thedistance between us grows regardless of my whereabouts:The more I move out into the world the further she withdrawsfrom it. For now the energy she spends trying to reassureme will be better spent marshaling her own resources.It is her battle to fight, finally, alone.

No regrets, then. The coming days will pass quickly in thatway they always do; I shall conduct my tour of America andbe home among my loved ones soon enough. Young brotherInnes will make a splendid traveling companion: Two yearsin the Royal Fusiliers have done wonders for the boy. It occurredto me tonight, watching him leap to my defense at theGarrick, that Innes puts me very much in mind of the hotheadedyoung snapper I was myself ten years ago, when Ibriefly traveled in the company of a man the memory ofwhom remains to this day more vivid and beyond comparethan any other I have known in this life.

Our train leaves for Southampton at first light; settingsail at noon tomorrow. Looking forward to a peaceful anduninterrupted week of luxurious relaxation.

Until then, Diary ...

The Six Messiahs. Copyright © by Mark Frost. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from The Six Messiahs by Mark Frost
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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