|“|| After all the things I have seen|
After all the things I have done
I cannot escape the course my life has taken
Now I am beyond redemption
I just hope you can forgive me someday
Yours sincerely, Anthony Beechworth
Anthony is an old childhood friend of Jeremiah Devitt. He lives in his family Mansion in Sussex and is married to Anna Beechworth. Both Devitt and Anthony went to a Boarding School in Scotland and were active in the same Philosophy Club as Jeremiah Devitt. Unfortunately Anthony and Jeremiah went their separate ways after graduation. After a long period of silence Devitt receives a Letter from Anthony. Devitt perceives this letter as a cry for help and sets out to help his childhood friend. When he enters Anthony's home he does not seem to remember much about his friend. From pictures hanging at the walls he concludes Anthony aged rather quick.
At St. Gall boarding school, Anthony started a secret group that was interested in science and philosophy. Its members were Anthony, Jeremiah Devitt, Alexandre Du Pré, and Hugo Ashdown. Anthony later invited Father Ernest Glynn to join. Using a serum that Anthony made, they entered the Veil and saw the Simurg. In 1876, the school suddenly closed, possibly because of the group’s activities (Chapters 2 and 3). [They may have finished out the term, since Devitt appears in a graduation photo. On the other hand, according to Baldwin, the nearby villagers claim that the school closed over night.]
The Four Witnesses seem to be strongly associated with this group. Some people have theorized that the Four Witnesses are Devitt, Alexandre, Hugo, and Ernest. There is some evidence for this, since Ernest said to Devitt, "Not one of them has returned. Only us, the four witnesses" (Chapter 2). However, I don't think that Ernest's statement should be taken to mean that Anthony did not enter the Veil. In a flashback, Devitt remembers Anthony saying, "Soon shall the door be open and then may we finally see what lies beyond" (Chapter 2). The fact that he said "we" could be taken to mean that all five people entered the Veil. It's
possible that Anthony entered the Veil with the others, but he somehow did not "witness" the Simurg. But that seems uncharacteristic of Anthony.
After the school closed, Anthony married Anna.
He is next mentioned in 1887, when he located a copy of the “Hoopoe” formula that Lully Raymundus made in the 12th century. He and Alexandre used the formula to design a new serum for reaching the Last Door. Soon after, Alexandre entered a permanent trance.
At some point, Anthony wrote Alexandre a letter saying, “Please, you must reflect on this. We do not yet know what we are dealing with. If you were to open the door it may stay that way. An open way for whatever lives in the other side!” The letter has no date and was never sent. I’m guessing that Anthony wrote it after August 23, 1887, but before October 12, 1887. On August 23, Anthony said that he wanted the research to continue. By October 12, Alexandre was in a trance and could no longer receive letters (Chapter 4). Perhaps Anthony wrote the letter, but then he received word of Alexandre’s condition and he decided not to send it. If he wrote the letter in 1887, maybe he spent the last years of his life opposing the Playwright and defying the Simurg. At least, until he went mad.
In 1887, Anthony started collecting newspaper clippings that described mysterious deaths: a judge in 1887, an earl in 1888, and a famous actor in 1889 (Chapter 1). Cpt. Skidd said that the Playwright consisted of powerful people (Chapter 5). Maybe Anthony was keeping track of the members of the Playwright who died in the Veil.
In 1891, Anthony went mad and took his own life. His madness seems to have been sudden and unexpected. In March 1891, Anthony’s servants first became worried about him. In May, a servant said that Anthony was “growing more and more unlike himself every day.” By October, his servants had quit, his doctor wouldn’t see him, his wife was terrified of him, and he eventually hanged himself. Just before he died, he wrote two letters to Devitt. In the first letter, he wrote “Videte ne quis sciat,” which Devitt interpreted as a request for help. In the second letter, he begged Devitt to secretly travel to St. Gall Hospital. He warned Devitt of danger, and said that “they” were already waiting for him (Chapter 1).
When Devitt explored Anthony's basement, he found "a dark cloak, a mask and a knife" hidden behind cement (Chapter 1). Since the cement was still wet, I'm guessing that Anthony concealed these items just before killing himself. Perhaps he was a member of the Playwright, but he wanted to keep it a secret.