Roderick remembers: the book! the book made them do it! Where is the book now? Of the Elder Historians, Joe is in jail (having been discharged from the hospital after being shot by police), and George is in jail as well (having been picked up by the police when he was raving in the street about Hounds, and identified as part of the hostage-taking group).
The book is presumably either in Joe's apartment, or the basement, or was picked up by the police as evidence. The group surveills Joe's apartment building, which appears to have an officer on detail guarding it; the shift changes once, in which a new officer arrives and the old one leaves a little while later (though there is some brief panic that the building is going to just keep sucking in police officers and converting them to the cause of Cthaugua-summoning).
Roderick talks to George, who is not really stable (though Roderick thinks he'll recover eventually) - he says the book was in the basement. Okay, so it's probably in the evidence locker, but may be still in the basement.
Tommy and Eddie disguise themselves as a writer (Eddie) and his photographer/note-taker (Tommy), and go back to Joe's apartment building to talk to the policeman on duty. Some judicious flattery and active listening later, the officer is happily showing the pair the basement, pointing out where people were. Sadly, none of the books are there.
The group next talks to Tommy's cop friend George. He says he'll look into it - he calls back shortly to say that the evidence hasn't been checked into the locker at all. Christopher Johnson, who was bringing it back to the station, hasn't come to work. Uh oh.
The party, plus George, dashes off to Sgt. Johnson's apartment. No one answers knocking at the door; George kicks it in. The floor in the living room has had the rug rolled up and furniture pushed to the side, and some sort of magical circle has been drawn in the center. However, it's not a very competent magical circle - there are X's and crosses where there should be more esoteric symbols. Roderick's psychometry principally turns up frustration.
The group ponders where Sgt. Johnson could have gone now. Inspiration strikes, and the party charges off next to the Boston Public Library - there's a light on in one of the upstairs reference rooms, though the library is closed. George has a passkey to Boston's public buildings, and lets everyone in. Sneaking up to the reference room, and then peeking through the door, people see Sgt. Johnson whirling on them with a gun. He tells them to get in - Tommy and Eddie, as the most obvious, do. There are two librarians who are being directed to look up various things, who look unhappy and scared. Eddie and Tommy get directed to help look up more things. Roderick pokes his head around the corner, and GRABS him.
Sgt. Johnson gets taken to jail (having been threatening librarians) but then gets moved to a hospital ward, because he's pretty much raving. George and the party go to an all-night coffee and donut shop, guarding the book, and then in the morning they rent a boat and drop it into the Massachusetts Bay in a leaky metal box. Roderick says "Ha! I hope you're happy!" There is a clap of thunder overhead - It is.
Sgt. O'Malley and Officer Friedman are also told that the people-catching-on-fire will stop. Sadly, there is no proof of another villain, but the case against Friedman is pretty shaky. Does the group want to try to convince the DA to not go after Friedman, because it was really an invisible demon of insanity? Well, no, probably not. Oh well. Dr. Anderson is also reported to, and apperas to believe the story; he's also a little disappointed that there's no concrete proof of someone other than the policeman or the hospital setting people on fire, but he is relieved that it won't continue. Mrs. Fortinbridge is given a much shorter version of the story, that mostly says "The Angel of Death won't be coming back to bother you."
Some Time Passes
"[The Hound] wasn't going to eat Sheila, because she's indigestible, like the world's largest pufferfish. Psychically speaking." -RoderickLate at night, Dr. Schreber has a dream - there's a red bird on the window, tapping, tapping. It sees him, and smiles. Then there's a sudden movement, and it falls away. Dr. Schreber wakes, hand on the window. There are little claw marks on the outside sill, and when he ventures downstairs and peeks out a window, there appears to be a dead (non-red) raven, neck wrung, on the ground.
Eddie wakes up in the morning in a bit of a daze, and finds himself driving to the Walker house, where he receives a phone call from Papa Gran (the old man from the jazz club). The gist of the call is that Papa Gran wants "the houngan", which appears to be Dr. Schreber, and that he is willing to trade Gerti's life for hair and blood from Dr. Schreber. He has Eddie call the hospital, to learn that Gerti has suddenly started bleeding and gone into intensive care, as proof that he is serious. Eddie then calls Tommy, and says that he's been compelled to come to the Walker's and got called by Papa Gran, but he needs to go so Papa Gran can call back. Papa Gran duly calls back, and Eddie is given a two-day deadline to procure hair and blood, and return with them to the Walker house.
Many phone calls later, everyone converges at the Walker house. Snake scales are discovered in Eddie's shoes, which may have something to do with the compulsion. The group then tramps back to Lowell, and searches it for more snake paraphernalia - the scales that were in Gerti's purse are missing. Junior says that the snake told him to put them in Eddie's shoes, to help get Mommy back.
Dr. Schreber has an opium dream, which leads him on a somewhat rememberable trail-by-air to the house where they are. Once in the house, he is actually seen by Juliana / Papa Gran.
"Join me and live forever!" - Papa GranRoderick attempts to dowse for the vodoun mage using the dead bird, and using a magnet, and using a magnet and a snake scale, and using a magnet in the bird's beak... no luck. Everyone proceeds out to Lowell, where Tommy and Dr. Schreber get into Tommy's plane to start some air reconnaissance, but shortly after taking off, the engine conks out and they have to make an emergency landing on a road. Later in the afternoon, Tommy is able to borrow a plane, and after a lot of flying around, Dr. Schreber identifies the right-looking suburb as Wellesley, though he doesn't spot the house. However, the twenty-four hour deadline is about up.
"You have twenty-four hours to release them, or you will not live past that." - Dr. Schreber
"If I die, do not expect the woman to survive me." - Papa Gran