After so many years, it seemed as though Checkley hadn't changed a bit - there was a well preserved quality about him that Necromancy could provide. Horace smiled and chuckled, holding the map up momentarily to show he wasn't going to pocket it, and then set it back down where he'd found it, all in good humour, of course. Their conversation was as comfortable as if Horace had never left.
"You seem to have forgotten I've spent quite some time in Egypt, a decade ago. I might have a book or two in my library that would interest you, or at least point you in a clearer direction." Horace settled in a seat opposite Checkley, and continued. "Should you ever want a partner to go on an expedition, I certainly wouldn't say 'no' to the offer. And coffee, thank you."
There was a moment's pause before Horace spoke again, where his eyes drifted thoughtfully away, and his smile took on a more sly nature. "I fear what you call speculation is, in fact, truth. Tales of my madness have preceded me." His smile grew wider, undisturbed by any stigma that might brand him as insane. "India is a wild and exotic country, and the tropical sun has a way of distorting your perception. Nine months into my stay, I contracted malaria. It was almost the death of me." Despite the seriousness of the topic, Horace treated it lightly, with fondness of memory. "I'd taken fever and gone into fits - had it not been for the treatment of their native medicine, I would've been a goner. In my fevered state, I had the most... enlightening of visions. I have no other words to describe them."
Leaning forward slightly, he lowered his voice and told Checkley, "I reveal this in confidence. I doubt many would understand." As a friend, Horace assumed that Checkley would be one of the few who would. Sitting back comfortably in his chair again, Horace resumed. "I spent most of my remaining time in India attempting to capture these visions, and understand what they mean."