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Cromwell the Magician (II)
Of a Darker Persuasion
Let us return now for a moment to the famous spielmaster whom we had come to loathe and admire at the same time. His colleagues all knew about him but did not know all about him. It could be said that they knew only as much as he had let them know, such as his public performances in relatively small settings, not all of which had been equally successful, and some of which had turned out disastrously. One could speculate, and not entirely without cause, that his failed performances had been arranged to give him a reputation within the profession, but a misleading one because it gave the appearance of someone erratic, incompetent, and somewhat unpredictable. Well, he was unpredictable of course, but not in the way that he had let show. What made him unpredictable to the average observer was the sides of himself that he had never revealed to them.
Here came a funny paradox. Whatever dark passions drew him and the select invitees to the séances would presumably have the interest of his colleagues, and he might have a natural urge to share such experiences with some of them, but he had decided to look instead for entirely different friends in that regard. No professional magician was ever invited, instead he had looked far and wide for ”amateurs” – for lack of a better word – who had sufficient command of the subject. These were not easy to find, believe me, lest one dwell deep into the underground of the occult, and here we struck against yet another of his rules and limitations: He did not want to belong to any group, association, cult, fraternity, or such similar gathering of which he was not the undisputed leader. Therefore, he had mainly recruited candidates for his private circles among the audience and volunteers for his public performances.
But there was yet another element to be explored, his spending time with evil men of a different persuasion. Was that then yet another need? Was there something he needed them for that his other friends could not give him? Or was it so that the narrow circle of men were there to pacify friends that had gone astray or become a nuisance?
Oh no, oh no. Yah, yah.
One thing that set them apart from the others, for sure, was that they were not local people, they came to meet him where he was. “You come to meet me where I am.” That they would do and without exception. But it was less than clear whether he was in command of them, he was the ringleader, the center figure, but was he indispensable? These were not the types to take orders from anyone, they operated solely for the most part, but they must have seen something in him – and perhaps also in one another – that was not available elsewhere. Was it the darkness he harbored? Could they extract from their mutual admiration of him something… some essence… like a scent…
Or was it that he was one of them, each of them having certain attributes of which his black magic was one? Or did he have something they each and all needed?
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