Tall, rugged, and handsome, Lex Lashley is the kind of man women long for and men want to be.
Lex is relatively young, 29 years old, but a remarkably talented airplane pilot and a sturdy sort of fellow. He definitely knows his way around a map, compass, sextant and all the mandatory navigation equipment, as well as how to spot a good trail and follow a path. More than once he’s found himself needful of the intimidating Tommy gun he’s incredibly versed in, and – once finding himself with a misfired round – he even has backup of a slightly lighter though older automatic submachine gun.
So far he’s been relatively lucky, having at age 22 made a fantastic find of several casks of gold and plate from a what could only be a Spanish treasure ship – the treasure was located on a small, barely-charted Caribbean Island. The venture was funded by a small group of investors who had faith, cash and some clues to the location. With the profits of that voyage, he funded other treasure hunts, most of which resulted in little but experience, clues toward new treasures and wide travels.
One ensuing trip did result in the finding of a massive Mayan Codex Stone, which he brought to New York. He received a remarkable sum for this find, but lost the majority of it in a failed venture to find the actual sunken treasure ship from which his initial treasure find came.
Late in 1924, he found the remains of an aged Nordic or Viking ship when he was in the frozen wastes near northern Buffin Bay following on one (seemingly unlikely) investigation. While the ship fetched a fair price from Columbia University (who now have plans to sell it at auction for a hundred times what he was paid!), it was not the find he was after.
What he was really after was the find of a lifetime! He just didn’t quite know what it was yet…Would it be in the Carribean, or the North – where many explorers sought the pole – or even in AntArctica, where they sought the southern pole? Perhaps the jungles of Dark Africa where cities of gold were said to lie, or South America where ancient civilizations with cities of gold were though to be hidden in the rain forests?
Lex recently touched down at Teterboro Airfield just outside New York city, with the intent to find a benefactor to fund his next expedition. He found out through some reliable sources that several notable dilettantes spend time with a charismatic young woman at a Sugar-Hill spot called the Church of Cana. Lex liked the idea of hobnobbing with New York’s cultural elite, so he followed the lead.
Lex visited the church and met the leader – a charming, tall drink of water named Ivy Morgan. The two hit it off. She kept feeding him a lot of bootleg scotch, and then propositioned him. She ended up taking him to a hotel (the Waldorf?). After that, everything went foggy. Next thing Lex knows, he comes to in an alley in Black Harlem with scratches all over his back and a nasty case of the sniffles…
He tried to track her down over the next few days, but she didn’t reappear at the church. A week or so later, he read that she had been murdered.