In Chapter 13, Dora performed psychometry on the violin while showing it to Bates, who longed for some distraction. She slipped into a trance and sideways into the river of time. With each pluck of the string, flashes of images stopped for a moment and then continued on, until she hit one string and everything froze.
She saw a human man, wearing a strange, unrecognizable gray flannel uniform, holding the violin. His hair was long and white.
He stood in the middle of a street in a city with unfamiliar architecture—it looked like a real place occupied by real human beings, but built in a fashion Dora had never seen before. There were cobblestone streets and buildings uniformly only three or four stories tall, but the skyline was dominated by a massive, skeletal black tower, iron and pointy, soaring a thousand feet over the city.
Something terrible was happening in the neighborhood. She could hear distant explosions and she saw strange constructs flying overhead making terrible sounds. The man stood in the middle of the street as troops of soldiers ran by him wearing weird fabric uniforms and carrying long clockwork scepters. The man ignored everything in this occupied city and stared intently at a meeting house of some sort, his eyes wide and his face shaking with fear. When he heard screaming inside, he raised the violin, closed his eyes, turned away, and began to play.
Dora saw sound pouring out of the violin as visible light that started to form a slowly spreading, silvery-white bubble of protection around and in front of him. Behind him, the doors of the meeting house burst open and people roared out. Sound everywhere began to mute under the bubble of silence and safety generated by the violin… but the people behind him tore each other apart, eating each other in the streets and devolving into mad creatures of insanity. Huge tentacles burst out of their mouths. Limbs broke off, they tore each others hearts out, ripped off their their own fingers and ate them, while the music grew louder and louder. And then the vision faded.
Though Dora knows that the man in her vision was “Erich,” she will never quite understand what she was seeing. However, those native to Earth would recognize the city as Nazi-occupied Paris in the early 1940’s.
In Chapter 61, the party came to understand that the supernatural event that took place inside the meeting hall was likely a performance of the play, The King in Yellow (Play).
First Reference: Chapter 13
Other Notable References: Chapter 61