Bill Graham wheeled his powder blue Ford Comet onto Ashbury, and spotted the Pranksters' bus Further, pulled to the curb.

He slowed, pulled in behind, and looking through the passenger window at the house, noted lights inside.  He checked his watch. It read 3:30 AM, but he was a 24-hour-a-day wheeler-dealer on business. He knew that The Dead's communal digs never really slept anyway, and took the lights to mean he could likely carry out his errand.

"The odd cop or night watchman aside, I'm probably the only straight, sober person left awake in this time zone," he thought.

Grabbing a leather satchel under one arm, he stepped out of the car. Slamming the heavy door, he was immediately struck by the sweetness of the air. He strode up to the front of the bus through the crisp early morning and noticed someone. Neal Cassady huddled in the driver's seat, knees up to his chin, eyes fixed. Cassady always projected concrete mass, but right now, he looked somehow shrivelled or wrung out. He had not a single fucking chick-a-doo left.

Bill blinked.

“Neal.  What's up, man?”

Cassady stared catatonically ahead for many seconds.

“I'm not going back in there,” he finally rasped, almost inaudibly.

“Neither are we.” whinged a faint voice from the back of the bus.

Bill peered into Further's interior. Kesey and several Merry Pranksters and Hog Farmers were inert on the bus floor.Only their pale faces showed against their dark fetal cocoons of blankets and pillows.  

“We just want to go home, Bill,” Kesey managed in a toneless whine. His eyes were glassy, wide as full moons.

Graham had been to plenty of acid tests. He had never seen the irrepressible Kesey so deflated. But he figured it was probably just a group bummer, and  his business wasn't with Kesey anyway, so he murmured something soothingly apologetic and backed down out of the bus.

As he hit the first step up to the old two-storey house, the door opened. Two figures, just inside, were  lit intermittently by an eerie glow. Strange, tempo-less flutelike, harplike pure-sinewave musical notes drifted past the figures on the lintel. They drew him in like a child of Hamlin, oblivious to what lay ahead.

As Graham topped the stairs and crossed the tired wooden porch to the door, the pair in the shadow of its frame took half-steps toward him. At the same time he inhaled a sweet overpowering scent of a yardful of tea roses in full bloom. "Odd, that, in the middle of the night," he thought fleetingly.

Then a statuesque woman in a French maid uniform loomed; in the dim streetlights, her skin seemed almost blue. The gentleman with her was quite a bit shorter and older. His face reminded Bill of an emaciated death mask, but  he looked impeccable otherwise. Decidedly, elegantly European, even, in gray evening tails and a top hat. Although after a moment, it became obvious that the hat was less black than verdigris, and so large for his head that it slid jauntily over one ear. The other ear, in danger of becoming engulfed itself, was all that kept the brim above the old gent's eyes.

Vot's der passvordt, Volfgang?” he snapped officiously.

The blue maid seemed to sense Bill's sudden confusion and dismay, and smoothed it over.

"He's not making fun of you Bill... Wolfgang is your nickname, isn't it?”

“Yes, but how... who?” Graham stuttered, taken aback.

“Yes! "Who"!  Dot's it!” barked Furlonger, stepping to one side. “Velcome to der party.  If dat's vot you vant to call it...”

Bill hesitated, cast a wary sidelong glance at each of them, then eased past. The old butler winked at the blue-tinged maid behind Graham's retreating back. She stuck out her tongue and elbowed him in the ribs. There was a noisy cracking sound, and he belched out a small puff of dust.