The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne/The Wild, Wild West
Title: The Mirror of Ashteroth
Summary: Artemus Gordon buys a mysterious mirror and meets a runaway woman.
With the help of Phileas Fogg and his friends, Artemus Gordon and Jim West
encounter The Mirror of Ashteroth.
The fire burned brightly in the middle of the open
field. It was midnight. The air was crisp and cool and the moon was
full. The shadows of several bodies were writhing around the bonfire.
The sound of their voices chanting with the wind, mixed with the hooting
of the owls, frightened the young girl tied to the altar.
There was to be a sacrifice that night in order to
summon the Lord Ashteroth. The Priest was working himself into a frenzy as
he thought of what was to come. He raised his hands which silently halted
"My fellow brothers and sisters. We are
here tonight for one united purpose. We are here to summon the Lord
Ashteroth." The chanting started again as the Priest raised the
mirror high above his head.
"With this mirror, we summon you, O Lord
Ashteroth." He showed the mirror to the young girl so that her
reflection could be seen in it. The fear was evident upon her face. It
was obvious that she had no clue what was going on, but she had a good
idea what was to become of her.
At just that moment, there was a thunderous
commotion in the bushes surrounding the open area. The men came running
into the group of people with raised sticks. There was screaming from the
participants. After they were carted off, Constable Kersch's eyes
fell on the mirror.
"What a pretty thing. I wonder what it's
doing here." He picked up the mirror, wiped it off, and
took it with him.
The mirror was passed down in the Kersch family until it
finally fell into the possession of William Kersch. William Kersch was a
bit of an eccentric. He reveled in the collection odd objects. There
were also rumors that Mr. Kersch was involved in a cult. When he died at a
ripe old age of seventy-three, all kinds of people turned out for
his estate sale including Artemus Gordon and Phileas Fogg.
The night before, James West and Artemus Gordon were the
guests of Thomas Mabery who already had guests staying with him. His old
friend, Phileas Fogg and his companions were visiting from England.
"So, Jim, Arte, what are you doing in my neck of
the woods?" Arte, who was more prone to talking than Jim was
picked up the story with much bravado.
"We are here for the estate sale of Wlliam Kersch.
He was known for being extremely eccentric. There's no telling what
kind of interesting things he has for sale. We are going tomorrow to be
enlightened." Jim rolled his eyes.
"In other words, Arte's dragging me to a
boring auction." They all laughed at this, all but Phileas Fogg spoke
"On the contrary. I think that it would be
rather interesting." It did seem to be something right up Phileas'
"I'd like to go too, if I may?" young
Jules Verne asked. So, it was decided. Artemus, Phileas,
Passepartout, and Jules would go to the auction, while Jim stayed
behind to entertain Miss Fogg.
"You' d almost think that he'd arranged it that
way." Phileas pouted.
As they sat in the crowd waiting for the auction to
begin, they didn't know that they were being watched.
"And what am I bid for this Queen Anne desk. It
is in good condition."
Passepartout who sat in the back of the hall, was
enjoying himself immensely. He loved to watch people and make up stories
of their backgrounds. Just then, a fly started buzzing around his
"Oh, he is being annoying." Passepartout
began to swat at the fly.
"Thank you to the gentleman in the rear."
He tried to tell the auctioneer that it was a mistake, but every
time he gestured, he made another bid.
Verne and Fogg turned around, to see who was bidding. They
both had a good idea who it was. Phileas gave Passepartout an imploring
look. Passepartout gripped the sides of the chair with his hands so that
he wouldn't raise them.
"Next, lot 204. This mirror is said to bring
people back from the dead. William Kersch was said to be part of the cult
"Arte perked up when he heard this. Up until
now he hadn't seen anything to catch his eye.
"Let's start the bidding at fifty dollars."
Hands started going up all over the room. When the bidding reached
two hundred dollars, there were only two bidders left : Artemus Gordon and
another man. They went back and forth until the bidding reached five
hundred dollars. At this point, the other man had to drop out.
Artemus Gordon got the mirror. The didn't see the look of disdain on
the face of the man when he lost the mirror.
Meanwhile back at Thomas Mabery's estate, Jim was
'entertaining' Miss Fogg.
"Would you like to go for a ride, Miss Fogg?"
He had hoped that she would allow him to call her Rebecca, but that
did not happen.
"That would be lovely." Rebecca put on her
best act. she had met these types before.
They rode out onto the estate which was beautiful.
Rebecca was glad that she had come on the ride although she wished that it
had been with someone else. I mean, he is so arrogant, she
kept telling herself.
They had stopped under a tree and had a picnic
that the cook had prepared.
"So, Miss Fogg, I am told that
you are my British counterpart in the Secret Service, as a female, of
course." He passed her a glass of wine.
"Of course." Rebecca
On the way back, Jules asked, "Why did you
spend that much money for a mirror?"
They could tell that Artemus was excited about owning
the mirror. Phileas had the mirror now and was looking at his own
reflection in it.
"Because of it's history, dear boy. All
of those rumors about it being part of the cult. Makes for a great
conversation piece, don't you think? Hey, there's something I want
to show you."
Arte turned away from the road that led back to Mabery's.
After a while, they came to a large house. Phileas found
himself looking forward to seeing this house.
"This house is called Castle Nemoth." They
looked at him strangely because everyone knew that there were no castles in
"This is where everyone says that the cult of
Ashteroth operates. It's just a rumor, though."
Just then, a young woman came tearing through the
"Please, help me." She yelled.
The men looked and saw the woman was being chased by several men.
The four men immediately dismounted. The woman
ran to Artemus while the other three men made ready to hold off the
The four men were able to dispatch the attackers
quickly. Fearing that the men would run and tell others, the men and
their companion left quickly with the woman riding behind Artemus.
As they returned to the Mabery estate, Arte could
feel the weight of the woman leaning on him. It felt natural to have her
When they arrived at Mabery's estate, there were many
questions about the mysterious young woman that Artemus had with them.
"I think that questions for the young lady
can wait until the morning. Right now, she needs to rest."
Mabery had his housekeeper show the young woman to a room where she could
"So, Arte where did you pick her up
from?" Jim smiled as he anticipated Arte's answer.
"She ran out of Nemoth Castle." Seeing
Jim's look of disbelief, Arte continued.
"I'm serious. She was followed by some thugs
who were intent upon getting he back." Jules and Phileas assured the
others that this was true.
"So, tell us about this Castle Nemoth and the
cult." Phileas desperately wanted to know.
"Well, it is said that it has it's roots from
the Druids. What is commonly referred to as White Magic. Somewhere
along the line they became a cult. A sacrificing cult."
"Druids don't do sacrifices." Rebecca
"No, but somewhere along the line they were
corrupted by a madman - Nemoth. They were known for doing sacrifices.
They were caught by Constable Kersch in 1789 in Philadelphia. Since
then, it has been passed down in the Kersch family until it came to
Those listening said nothing as Arte's words sunk in.
"Well, I suggest that we all get some sleep
and question the young lady in the morning."
They all agreed to this, and retired to their
During the night, the dreadful dreams
started. The dreams of Nemoth. The sacrifices of hundreds of people
was seen clearly. Nemoth reveled in the murder and the blood. Suddenly
the dreamer was Nemoth. It was the dreamer that reveled in the murder and
the blood. The dreamer awoke suddenly and was disoriented. It was
" My name is Sophie Banks. I'm a
teacher in Silver Springs. I don't have any family near by; not many
friends. It was summer holiday, so the parents at the school just
thought that I secured a position elsewhere. I was kidnaped. They
wanted me because I was born on a cusp. They were going to use a mirror to
summon a demon. Then, they were going to sacrifice me as part of the
ritual." She was frightened talking about it now even though she was
safe. Artemus saw that she shivered when she spoke, so he put a hand
on her shoulder to steady her. She looked up at him and smiled.
At just that moment, a servant came running into
tell them that they were being attacked. He didn't get far before robed
men came bursting through the door and started to attack. Sophie screamed
and hid behind Artemus. Suddenly the door burst open and a very small man came
toddling in. On his arm was a very beautiful girl. The fighting
"Miguelito Loveless." Arte exclaimed. It was
indeed Miguelito Loveless and Angelique.
"Mr. West and Mr. Gordon. How wonderful it is
to see you again. I was so delighted when my men reported to me that it
was you that was involved in this endeavor." The little man sounded
as if he were happy to see them. Sophie was confused.
"Who are these barbarians?" Phileas
"That is Miguelito Loveless. A psychotic
megalomaniac." Jim explained. Miguelito's demeanor soured.
"Now I can have my revenge. You have
interfered with me for the last time. As you see, I have the mirror
and I will soon have the girl." Sophie hid further behind Artemus as
she realized that the little man was not on their side.
At just the right moment, Passepartout and Jules
appeared at the back of the room and overpowered the man who was holding a gun
on them. The appearance of Passepartout and Jules made the odds a little
more even. There was more fighting as each side tried to gain the upper
hand. Miguelito took this opportunity to take his leave.
Once they were gone, everyone made the startling
discovery that Miguelito had, indeed, taken the mirror.
"He has been taking the mirror, but he did not get
the girl." Passepartout was thinking that everything was fine because
Loveless didn't have the girl.
"Well, Passepartout there
are several people that are born on a cusp. They would just find another
victim. But, even if that were not the case, he'll have a little trouble using
that mirror." Jules and Artemus smiled at each other as Jules held up
"We figured that someone would try to steal the
mirror and Miss Banks, so young Verne and I came up with a clever duplicate
which will, at least, buy us some time." Artemus was pretty proud of
"I wonder what Loveless is up to. I can't be
just this demon thing." West said. Jim was not surprised that Arte
had made a duplicate.
"He is crazy, you know. He might actually
believe that this mirror will call up a demon. It would give him
power." They continued discussing this when Passepartout spoke again.
"What is this being borned on a cuspid?" Everyone
stopped and stared. It was as if Passepartout was two beats behind
"Being born on a cusp means that the date of her
birth was between two Astrological signs." Rebecca informed him.
Passepartout just said, "Oh." and settled back to listen to everyone
"We'll have to find out what this Miguelito fellow
is up to. We have to find a way to get someone into Castle Nemoth."
Phileas, who believed in taking the bull by the horns made this
suggestion. They all thought about this when Passepartout spoke up again.
"Passepartout was borned on a cuspid." Everyone
stopped and looked at him again.
"Passepartout wants to go in to Castle Nemoth."
They were still looking at him.
"Passepartout, I don't think that you're
exactly what they are looking for." Jim was trying to break the news to
Passepartout as gently as possible.
"Although, I think that the lovely Miss Fogg
would be more in the line of what they are looking for. And, after
what she has told me about her job with the British Secret Service, I think that
she could handle it nicely." Jim had sort of a twinkle in his eye as
he recalled their earlier encounter.
"Yes, I think that she would be the best
choice for the job." Mabery agreed. Rebecca caught the look on Jim's
face and returned a smile. Phileas was clearly annoyed.
"Sophie, where exactly did they kidnap
you?" Arte asked. He had been focused totally on Sophie at this
"I had gone to the General Store in Silver Springs
to pick up my mail. I had received a letter from my sister in Boston.
She was wishing me a Happy Birthday. I remember sharing this news
with the clerk. He was curious about why I was so happy. So, I told
him about my birthday. When I left the store and headed back to the
school, my house is attached, they got me once I got inside." She was
shivering again as she remembered what happened to her. Arte decided that
Sophie had heard enough of their plans, so he took her into the kitchen
for a cup of tea. While they were gone, James and the rest worked on
finalizing their plans.
"Thank you." Sophie accepted the cup of
tea and smiled. She sipped it; she was still a little shaky. Arte
watched the woman in front of him. She was petite, barely 5' 2".
She had beautiful blond hair which she wore in a demure bun at the nape of
She looked up and caught him looking at her. She
blushed sweetly which only added to her beauty.
"Uh, Miss banks, may I ask, do you have a
beaux?" Sophie was caught off-guard by this question.
"Oh, a beaux. No, I do not have a
beaux." She blushed again.
"I know that this is, perhaps, not the time for
such things, but, when this mess is over, would you allow me to call on
you?" Sophie had never had such an invitation before.
"Yes, I suppose so." Arte took her hand
and kissed it. Oh, to kiss those sweet lips, he thought. Not yet,
though, not yet.
When they retired that evening, they didn't see
the lone figure holding the mirror lovingly.
She could feel the heat from the bonfire and could
barely make out the dark figures dancing around the fire. the heat was
unbearable. The chanting grew louder serving to heighten her fear. She
saw the little man standing over her with the curved knife in his hands. He
sported a devilish look on his face as he brought down the blade in one swift
motion. Sophie awoke screaming. The dream was so realistic that she
felt for sure that the events were actually taking place.
Arte was there in a flash and holding her in his
arms. she was crying and shanking uncontrollably.
"Oh, Artemus, it was so real. Please, hold me
I am still frightened." Arte was glad to oblige her. She
was wearing her nightgown and her lovely hair was down about her shoulders.
he didn't have time to think about these things now as he held her close.
It took only seconds for the others to arrive.
"It's alright, she just had a nightmare.
" The others, seeing that Arte had things well under
control, started leaving.
"Stay with me, Artemus." Arte smiled
sympathetically and held her closer.
He was looking into the mirror again, and again he saw
his reflection. As he continued to stare at the reflection it began to
change. He was now staring at the face of Nemoth.
The woman walked into the General Store. She
looked just like any other woman in the town, but this woman was
different. She was looking at some fabric in the store. The clerk,
noticing a possible sale, came over to assist.
"May I help you, ma'am?" He smiled and
Rebecca turned on the charm.
"Oh, I'm just so excited. My husband
gave me some money for my birthday to buy material to make a new dress."
The clerk suddenly looked interested.
"Oh, when was your birthday, ma'am?"
When Rebecca left the store, she began
looking around to see if anyone looked as if they might kidnap her. She
was aware that it could happen at any moment. Somehow the clerk inside the
store was in direct contact with the kidnappers. She was being watched, at
the moment, by Phileas and the others, but not because they needed to
follow her. They knew exactly where they would take her.
Even though Jim had recommended Rebecca for this
assignment, Jim was still worried. He liked her, but it was apparent
that she had a problem with him. He would wear her down.
They watched, now, as Rebecca was grabbed and put
into a coach. They let the coach get out of sight before they followed to
When Rebecca arrived at Nemoth Castle, she
acted as if she were frightened.
"Where am I? Why did you bring me here?"
She was standing there before Miguelito and Angelique. Fortunately,
she was not in the room when Miguelito had confronted James West and
"Miss - uh - I'm sorry, I didn't get
"Rebecca - Rebecca Fogg." Miguelito
offered her a cup of tea.
"Miss Fogg you are very special. You
were born on a cusp. I need you for something very special. Angelique,
would you please show our guest to her room." Angelique smiled
and complied with the orders. Rebecca obediently rose and followed the
Jim and Artemus were waiting outside of Nemoth
Castle. They were giving Rebecca until the next day at noon to find out
what they needed to know, but they were here just in case they could see
"Jim, can I talk to you?" Jim
wondered what was up; Arte seemed serious.
"Have you ever been in love; I mean really in
love?" Arte had to add that last part because Jim had a bit of a
reputation where it came to women.
"Oh, I think I've been in love once or twice,
why?" Arte regretted it once he brought it up. Jim was enjoying
this way too much.
"Sophie Banks. I think that I'm in love with
her." Jim laughed.
"Arte, you just met her how do you know
you're in love with her?" What Jim was saying was absolutely true.
He didn't know how he could be in love with her, but he was.
"I don't know, I just know how I feel." He
felt stupid now for having said anything.
"Have you talked to her about this?" Arte
lowered his head. Of course he hadn't talked to her; he couldn't.
"Look, our shift is almost up. Phileas
and Jules are going to be relieving us soon. Why don't you talk to
her." Jim slapped Arte on the back and they went back to watching the
Jim and Arte watched as Passepartout and Jules
came instead of Phileas.
"Where's Fogg?" Jim asked. He was
"My master, he needed to sleep. He
had fitful night. Passepartout come instead." Jim looked suspiciously
at young Jules and this strange man, Passepartout.
"Look, Arte you go back and take care of that
business that you need to take care of. I'm going to stay here with
them." Arte did a fake salute and headed out.
When Arte arrived back at the Mabery estate,
it was early morning.
"Hi, Sophie." Sophie turned
around and saw Arte standing there. She was sitting on a bench in the
garden. There with her among the flowers, Arte lost his nerve.
"Did you want to see me about something?" She
was looking at him now waiting for him to answer.
"I wanted to talk to you about something. .
." His voice was barely above a whisper and he was inches from her
face. Sophie had been staring into Arte's eyes. She had a good idea
of what Arte was planning on saying, but, with Arte inches from her,
her face suddenly changed. Arte saw the look on her face change and
was stunned when he was hit on the head from behind.
The three men watched the Castle Nemoth as a huge
bonfire was lit on the estate grounds. The men looked at one another as
they each realized that because Loveless thought that he had the mirror and that
he had a possible person to sacrifice, that they were now ready to do the
ceremony. They also came to the realization that because the mirror was a
fake, that this would buy some time. They also hoped that Loveless did not
discover that Rebecca was also a phony. they waited for signs of Rebecca.
They didn't have to wait
long; a few minutes later they saw some of the minions dragging Rebecca toward
the bonfire. Standing on a platform in front of the fire was Miguelito
They didn't know what they were going to do.
There were dozens of worshiper dancing around that bonfire. Help, in
a way, was coming from Rebecca herself.
"Wait, I lied to you. I was not
born on a cusp." Miguelito was now holding the mirror up with the
reflection of Rebecca in it. something was wrong. Whatever it was
that was supposed to happen wasn't happening. Miguelito was upset.
"Who are you?" He yelled at Rebecca.
She had broken away from her captures.
"I told you my name is Rebecca Fogg. I wasn't
born on a cusp. Passepartout was the one born on the cusp, but no,
James West wanted to send me." She was just ranting now
and didn't realize what she was saying. Miguelito was hopping mad.
"Take her back to her room and lock her
They were watching from the shadows and were
surprised when some of Miguelito's men grabbed them from behind and brought them
"Ah, Mr. West and friends. Now which
one of you is Passepartout?" Passepartout made a small gasp when he
realized that Miguelito was talking about him.
"Oh, you must be Passepartout. Excellent."
Miguelito motioned for his men to take Passepartout over and placed him on
"Master, help me." He
Everyone's attention was now drawn to Phileas Fogg
who was approaching them along with Sophie Banks. When they looked a
little closer, they could see that Phileas had a gun up to Sophie's head
and the real mirror in his other hand. Miguelito grinned evilly as he
realized what was taking place.
"Ah ha, it is the spirit of Nemoth. He
has reached beyond the grave to take a hold of Mr. Fogg. How delicious.
Are you bringing the mirror and the girl to us the true worshiper of
Ashteroth?" They could tell clearly that Phileas was trying to fight
whatever force was holding him. He moved slowly toward the platform and
"Master, please fight the damned Demon. Fight
it!" they could tell that he was trying. Jules added his voice
to that of Passepartout's.
"Fogg, you can beat this. You've beaten the
demons inside you before. You are strong!" Again Phileas
stopped and his face contorted as he struggled.
Out of the bushes came another familiar figure - it was
"Fogg, let the girl go or I will shoot."
Arte had a gun pointed at Phileas and was ready to pull the trigger.
Immediately, Jules, Passepartout and Rebecca were shouting at Arte. Even
Jim joined in the shouting.
The next few moments seemed to go by in slow motion.
Arte fired the gun as every one was shouting. Jim lunged toward Loveless
and Rebecca broke into a run.
Everyone went silent as the mirror that Phileas was
holding shattered into a million pieces. Loveless shouted, "No!"
and Jim grabbed Loveless. When the other worshiper saw the mirror break,
they took off running in all directions. Rebecca grabbed Angelique.
When everything came back to normal speed, Arte
was holding Sophie who had fainted because of the shot fired. Phileas was
just standing there trying to figure out what was going on. Jim was
holding Loveless and Rebecca was holding Angelique.
Jules and Passepartout went to Phileas who was clearly
disoriented. It was as if he had been sleep walking the whole time and now
he was awake. As Jim and Rebecca proceeded to take Loveless and Angelique
off of the platform, neither of them noticed Loveless reach into his
pocket and throw something tot he ground. Suddenly there was a flash and a
puff of smoke. When the smoke cleared, it was just as Jim had
suspected, Loveless and Angelique were gone.
Phileas now seemed to be back to himself again.
"You almost killed me!" He said to Arte.
"I wasn't aiming at you, I was aiming at the
mirror." Jules went over and picked up the mirror less mirror.
"It seems a shame that the mirror was broken."
They all looked at him as if her were crazy.
"Well, I wouldn't be to sure of that."
said Arte with much bravado. he went up to the altar and took the
discarded mirror that was laying there.
"I believe that this belongs to me." They
all looked at him in amazement.
"I believe Arte has something he wants to tell
us." Jim was smiling because he was used o Arte's tricks.
"Wait a minute, I thought you said that you
and Jules made a duplicate." Rebecca protested.
"Yes, we did make a duplicate."
He looked at Jules to confirm this information.
"We made the duplicate, but I
didn't put the duplicate out to be stolen. I noticed that someone was
falling under the spell of the mirror. They kept coming in and looking
into it. I kept noticing that it was slightly out of place. So. .
." It was now Rebecca's turn to comment.
"You almost had me killed." Rebecca had
figured that because the mirror was fake, it wouldn't work.
"You were in no danger. You wouldn't have
'registered' on the mirror because you weren't born on a cusp. Then,
he would have just killed you." Arte seemed to happy about
that. Rebecca scowled.
"So, your going to keep that thing.
Don't you think it's dangerous?" Phileas insisted.
"Well, it seems that the mirror didn't
affect any of the rest of us, but I'll keep it put away." They
didn't understand why Artemus wanted the thing. It was creepy.
"Well Artemus, now that this whole thing is
over, are you going to come calling?" She was smiling at him coyly.
Artemus took her into his arms and kissed her passionately.
(Written by Mark
Heimermann, Wayne Kirkpatrick &George Cocchin)
To the sounds
Comin' after me
What is that? It's a mystery
Is it somethin'
Still I find a way to scare myself
'Til I remember
This all fells familiar
And I know better
They are only paper tigers following me
In the wild imagination of the make believe
And there's a fighter, a survivor arising in me
I'm not afraid of paper tigers
And I hide away
In the light of day
The sun is rising
The only thing to fear is fear itself
Now I am certain
That my beast of burden
Isn't worth the worry
Chorus: They are only paper tigers following me
In the wild imagination of the make believe
And there's a fighter, a survivor arising in me
I'm not afraid
And I won't run away from paper tigers