NOVEMBER 3-4, 1934: While the other Investigators taking in the scene at the Cocoanut Grove Lounge, Tick Tock headed to a backroom for a game of poker. A small, serious group of players dealt him in and watched him closely as they played. One of them introduced himself as CAPTAIN WALKER. He questioned Tick Tock about what he was doing in L.A. He said he might send someone around to Tick Tock’s hotel room to offer him some employment opportunities. Tick Tock won big on a hand, and the game shut down.
Back in the Cocoanut Grove, John Barrymore bid Dorothy and Chantelle a good night. Arthur struck up a conversation with an ostentatious, fork-bearded man named CALVINO, who seemed familiar with the local occult scene. Calvino wasn’t especially friendly or open, but when asked about Hamsas, he did give Arthur a business card for the a shop he runs in L.A. Among other items, it carries Hamsa amulets.
The Investigators cashed out and headed back to the Hotel Cecil to compare notes. They made plans to head to the First Bank of Long Beach, but when they called to get information about it, they found that the bank had fallen victim to recent financial upheavals. Its holdings were now in the care of the newly formed FDIC. Nevertheless, they decided to head to the former site of the bank to see if they could find anything.
NOVEMBER 5, 1934: On the way to the bank, they were again followed. This time, only a single driver seemed to be in the car that was tailing them. He seemed to be taking pains to conceal himself, unlike the men the Investigators had clashed with in Savannah. The party seemed to escape his notice and soon arrived at the bank.
The building was largely gutted and had been occupied by transients. The Investigators searched the old area, coming up empty. They also questioned some of the people who were sheltering there. The Investigators donated some money to the people they met, with most of Tick Tock’s poker winning going to a young woman with a badly injured leg.
The Investigators called JANET WINSTON-ROGERS to update her on their progress. She agreed to put a call through to the FDIC to see that Henslowe’s safe deposit box would be waiting for them. They drove across town to the FDIC offices and were given the box, which contained coded books of account, a post card that identified RAMON ECHAVARRIA and someone named ABRAHAM BUCHWALD as being key figures in what appeared to be some sort of large scale—possibly criminal— financial operation. The box also contained photos of a group of people engaged in disturbing sex acts. The location was difficult to ascertain, but the Investigators identified two of the participants as Edgar job and fallen movie star RICHARD SPEND. Spend is probably deceased.
The Investigators stopped at Calvino’s Occult Curiosities shop. The proprietor was no more friendly or helpful than he had been at the Cocoanut Grove, though he did offer a few hints about the parties Ramon Echavarria threw in the early twenties. The group traded some barbs with Calvino and then departed.
The Investigators returned to the Hotel Cecil to find that someone had tossed their rooms. It appeared that the culprits had searched their personal effects with precision. Some items were missing, including all of Dorothy’s travel funds. She called her grandfather to ask for more. He agreed to send the money, but lectured her on fiscal responsibility. Dorothy stopped at the front desk to lodge a complaint with the clerk there. Initially, he was dismissive, but a threat to sue the owners seemed to intimidate him. He promised to take steps to find out what may have happened.