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Subject: "No One Wants To Know" by Leo Anderson rss

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C. B. Green
United States
Culver City
California
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NO ONE WANTS TO KNOW
By Leo Anderson
Published in The Journal of Intercontinental Adventurism, Vol. XXXI, No. 3; Winter, 1926

No one wants to know about the events of last July. No one wants to know what really happened. No, what the people -- the simple, deluded people of this nation -- want is heroes. They want Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey. They want Lindbergh. They want that simpering fop Valentino back, though God only knows why. They want Leo Anderson.

They want the man who stood on the steps of the town hall of Arkham and accepted the thanks of the town -- of all New England -- for saving them from incalculable terror. They want the Leo Anderson who was carried through the streets on the shoulders of the crowds. They want the hero on whom they have lavished all of these favors and more... these many, many favors which I asked not for, but which it would be disgraceful to refuse. If I must continue to receive a lifetime of civic acclamations, luxury transport, international feature stories, honoraria, speaker’s fees, conversations with DeMille about a potential motion picture adaptation of my exploits, even dubiously proffered illegal spirits and the attentions of a variety of attractive socialites, then so be it. I accept them not for myself, but only because the public demands as much of its heroes.

For those who have escaped such public responsibilities, I have only envy. Though Dr. Katherine Winthrop remains shuttered in her lab, ghostly pale, disfigured by the massive wounds she received during the recent events, quivering with neurasthenia, unable even to eat a simple cooked beefsteak because it "tastes like death," her fate would be preferable to mine. To be the anonymous hobo Pete, no doubt today riding the rails in carefree, squalid liberty, would be a true blessing. Above all, the peace found by the late, lamented Marie Lambeau, ripped asunder as she was by the demon serpent creature from beyond time, is to be envied. Oh, if only it had been I whom the creature had pulled limb from limb and devoured in a foul, gluttonous orgy of blood and bone! But such is not to be my fate, consigned as I am to the hell of deluxe hotel suites, portrait sittings and museum wing dedications.

These are truer heroes than I. These and others unsung, such as Bill Washington, the humble luggage porter at Arkham Station, whose generous offer of a ride upon my return from Dunwich brought me to Velma’s Diner, where I enjoyed a restorative trio of pork chops so delicious that I credit them with giving me the strength and sanity to face the ultimate terror, which arose from the nearby roadhouse just as I finished paying my bill. I credit old Zebulon Whately, the sole survivor, beyond myself, of my recent expedition to Chichen Itza, and the man whose seemingly deranged mumblings convinced me that New England would be the beachhead for the invasion from beyond. I even credit the nameless clerk at the Bank of Arkham who set aside all fiscal logic in providing a loan to "Ashcan" Pete, despite that gentleman’s possessing no collateral or identification whatsoever (including even a last name), smelling strongly of garbage, and demonstrated -- even willful -- ignorance of the principles of sound lending. (The Bank has lately pursued me in a creative attempt to suggest that I cover Pete’s immediately reneged-upon loan, but I have been unable to respond, given the demands of my schedule of late.)

These are the true heroes, but the public wants to know nothing of them. They want to know nothing of poor, dear Dr. Winthrop, whose quiet theft of a shotgun from a sleeping outlaw in the woods provided us with our most essential weapon against the accursed beast Yig. (This was, of course, the same shotgun with which I dealt the much-recounted final blow that banished the creature to its own dimension. The weapon currently resides at the Smithsonian.) The same Dr. Winthrop who combined her own knowledge of the dark arts with the potent punch of a Molotov cocktail to dispense with a massive, earthquake-inciting creature (which Zebulon Whately calls a "cthonian") out at the old Gardner residence on the outskirts of Dunwich. So strange that a young lady could show such presence of mind in the gravest danger, yet suffer a complete psychic dissolution when she was attacked, mere moments later, by a mutant rabbit. They don’t want to hear of the sly knowledge of the itinerant Pete, who after defrauding the bank, borrowed considerable funds from Dr. Winthrop and Miss Lambeau so as to purchase a powerful sword I mentioned to him that I had seen at one of Arkham’s shops... a weapon which also proved decisive, but that I did not have the funds to purchase myself.

No, the public demands sensationalism. They yearn for tales of high drama, as when Whately and I found ourselves startled by a warlock on Wizard’s Hill, and I swiftly decapitated him with my cavalry saber. They want to hear of the horrifying speed with which the ancient evil awakened in our universe, the otherworldly gates opening almost simultaneously throughout Arkham and Dunwich before we had a chance to react. They want to hear of the horrified, yet characteristically sultry and melodic screams -- the woman was a talent to the end -- of Marie Lambeau as the wounded demon seized her and ripped away her spinal column with its razor-sharp fangs before unhinging its jaws and swallowing whole the upper half of her lifeless, broken body. Most of all, they want to hear -- yet again -- how I took the shotgun from Pete and aiming -- as I gathered from the dispatched warlock’s notes -- into the fiend’s open mouth, blasted the creature to the hell from which it came, as its entire body exploded in a riot of wriggling, otherworldly serpents.

For these deeds, I am accounted a hero, while the others descend into blissful anonymity or self-imposed exile. It is not the path I would have chosen for myself, but I bear it as best I can. I wish nothing more to be left alone, to plan my next expedition into the wilds of the Amazon, but can scarcely find the time, besieged as I am by competing dinner invitations, society luncheons, and endorsement arrangements. I should rather flesh out this account, and give further credit to the true heroes of this tale, but my time is short, as my train is only now pulling in to Union Station in Los Angeles for another discussion. It is all most disagreeable. Mr. DeMille wants Fairbanks, but I am quite firm in my suggestion of the younger Barrymore. Should he press the matter, he’ll find that my cavalry saber agrees with me.
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Vernon Evenhuis
United States
Illinois
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Awesome. Nicely done!
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johan rosenblad
Sweden
malmoe
Unspecified
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Nice! A+. Thanks.
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Kevin Sulonen
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Awesome report -- true to the Mythos. Thanks very much!
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Joel Carlson
United States
Westford
Massachusetts
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Awesome report! I loved the writing style; brilliant. The part about the bank loan to Pete almost killed me, hahah. Great stuff.
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