Wherein We Have an Encounter with a Drag Queen and the Most Famous Jazzman Alive or Dead
Their quest to find the jazz club takes the boys into a very bad neighborhood.
They are running from some hoodlums (who may or may not be after them), when a gorgeous, tall drag queen steps out for a smoke and asks them for a light. She asks the boys what they're doing in such a bad place; when she finds out they're headed for the Horn and Ivory to see Junior, she's intrigued.
Miss Demeanor decides she's going to help them see Junior. (Wait… Didn't Eubie say he's dead?)
She leads them down a small alley to a gate that looks exactly like the float that caught Cam's attention at the parade.
There's a bouncer at the door who gives them trouble until Miss D shows him the matchbook. Then they're in.
This club is really well hidden, and they have to go down hallways, through kitchens, and even a small tunnel before they're actually there.
Cam is shocked to realize that the jazz they're playing really speaks to him—that's the magic of Junior Webster.
Cam is admitted to see Junior alone, and finds himself in a room that looks exactly like the cover of "Cypress Grove Blues" that Eubie kept trying to lend him.
Junior is ancient and seemingly omniscient. He's seen the fire giants, too, and he tells Cam that the guy in the black armor that scared the poo out of him that night on his bike is the Wizard of Reckoning.
The Wizard and the fire giants have been trying to get Junior's horn for years because he's been blowing his soul through his trumpet. One day the Wizard will come for him and test him, and he'll have to blow like he's never blown before and hope it's enough.
He knows that Cam is looking for Dr. X, and he wants to help him.
Junior takes Cam over to the wall. The same gates are painted here, and Cam has to open one of them and push a red button.
Cam choses the white gate, and when he pushes the button, the ceiling opens up to show tons of stars.
Junior tells Cam about black holes and how you can't really study what happens inside them because they suck up matter and destroy it. Only one thing can come out of a black hole, and it's music, though black holes sing in an octave no human being could ever hear. Whatever you say, dude.
Then Junior begins to play and it makes Cam feel strange. The black hole in the ceiling is getting bigger and bigger, and Cam is pretty nervous. Junior tells the hole to sing (umm…) and claims it's singing a B-flat. He plays again in a sound Cam can't hear, and all of a sudden the sky-ceiling reverts to just being a ceiling.
Junior is summoned to play for the club and asks Cam to join him. He says he'll help him find Dr. X, if he can just play his set first. Priorities, man.
They walk out on stage, only to discover that the Wizard of Reckoning is there for Cam. Drat. Junior makes him a deal: If the Wizard wins, he can have Junior's trumpet, but if Junior wins, the Wizard leaves and doesn't come back…. And just like that, we have ourselves a trumpet-off.
Junior tells Cam that if anything happens to him, Cam needs to take his horn; it just might come in handy someday. He also gives him his glasses and tells him to "bury 'em under the angel and wait for a message." Wouldn't a cell phone be easier?
The set starts with Junior on trumpet, a clueless Cam on bass hoping he's not totally screwing it up, and Gonzo on the drums—he's played a million hours of a videogame called Rock 'N' Roll Simulator.
The Wizard and Junior are battling it out when the Wizard suddenly plays a note that Cam can't hear. This is it for Junior, who tosses the horn to Cam.
Then the Wizard plays a note that makes the club explode.
Just as Cam feels searing pain, he hears Glory's voice telling him he'll be okay. Huh. That's… odd.
Miss D helps Gonzo and Cam escape the burning club and then the boys discuss their next move over beignets and coffee.
A homeless man asks for a dollar and gives them the helpful information that they need: The angels live in the cemeteries, and this is where you go to bury things. Bam. Cryptic but effective.