From the personal journal of Jack Evarman:
December 31, the year of our Lord 1871. New Year’s Eve and happy to be done with this year indeed. The campaign to Thuringia was stressful to say the least, and I have finally fully recovered from my injuries suffered there. Returning from that strange land, London seems changed somehow. Nothing overt, but there are subtle changes. More and more stores have installed their card registers connected to the central Engine. Even on the dirigible home, the ticket agents have strange pocket-sized Engines stamped “Regent” with them to register my carte-de-visite. Perhaps I have simply been away from the city for too long.
My dreams have been … upsetting… as of late. Dark things half-seen and things that crawl… Not pleasant. And it certainly won’t do for any kind of gentleman to dwell on them.
Tonight should be a nice change of pace. Perhaps I have been cooped up in the hotel too much. The Standard is a fine establishment, but no doorman can substitute for one’s own servants. Hallward has invited me to his estate for his annual New Year’s party, and I have been in New York for more than a week now. The bother of getting the old uniform cleaned and pressed is tiresome, but I find that a night of revels with Basil never fails to lift my spirits, hopefully, so will it be tonight. Besides, he’s always got some new bird that he’s infatuated with and that always makes for good times.
I am not a heavy drinker nor do I wish to develop a reputation as a playboy, but it will be good to see Basil again. The years have been exceptionally good to him and he tells me that there are a few people he’d like me to meet. I hope they’re not more people looking for donations. I’ve had my fill of those “Latter Day Saint” chaps and couldn’t be more pleased about Mr. Smith’s recent troubles.