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Default 10-22-2008, 07:55 PM

The Sad Tale of the Lady Lovibond

In the British Isles, the thought of Friday the 13th brings more to mind than just the occasional superstition. It is at this time that the shipwreck of the Lady Lovibond is forever mentioned in historic terms. On that fateful day in 1748, all of the passengers of the ship went down all in the name of love. The cause of this unfortunate event was actually caused by a fit of jealousy, as well as rash decisions. Below the decks, there were celebrations amidst the journey. For example, the joyous occasion of the union of two people was going on through the cheers and laughter of Simon Peel's marriage.

Above the deck, an angry man stewed. A man by the name of Rivers refused to join the party because he too was in love with Peel's new bride. Consumed with jealousy, he truly took on the attitude of "if I can't have her, then no one will." Fueled by the love he had for the young bride, he actually drove the Lady Lovibond off course and into the sands. This act, sadly, killed all on board. To this day, it is believed that the reenactment of the shipwreck can be witnessed every 50 years. The ghostly ship, as well as the crew may also be sighted.

The China Doll

Fanchon Moncare and Ada Danforth regularly cruised between France and New York. Ada would tell inquiring passengers that her little ward, Fanchon, was an orphan who's wealthy parents had died in a fire. On her 21st birthday she would inherit a fortune, but til then, Ada was her legal guardian. Fanchon would then curtsy adorably to the passengers before skipping away clutching her china doll.

However, all was not as it seemed. Fanchon Moncare was really an ex circus midget named Estelle Ridley, and the china doll was full of stolen jewels. Ada was Estelle's partner in crime and they had been running this farce for some time. While Ada attended to the luggage after the ship docked, Estelle would skip thru customs cradling her cherished doll. And no-one ever dreamed of stopping her.

In New York's China Town, an elderly fence named Wing To would await the pair, his eyes gleaming with greed as Estelle unscr'ewed the head of the doll and the stolen gems spilled out. He would buy them for an agreed price and the villainous pair would head back to France to begin yet another series of crimes.

Unfortunately for the pair, their number was up. Estelle was in love with a local gambler; sadly for her, Magda Hamilton was also in love with him, and unwilling to allow Estelle to beat her to the punch. She violated all underworld rules by going to the police as an informer, and for the first time, little Fanchon's doll was inspected. The pair were soon on their way to prison.

Several years passed. Estelle and Ada were almost forgotten when Magda burst hysterically into a local police station. She had awoken from a heavy sleep, she said, to find Estelle Ridley standing by her bed. She still wore her childish finery and clutched a china doll, but her face was now that of a withered hag. Magda had screamed and locked herself in the bathroom all night out of fear. She now insisted on police protection til Estelle was recaptured. A bemused police officer showed Magda a newspaper article. It detailed how Estelle had hanged herself in her cell two days ago.

Magda was frightened now, and decided on the spur of the moment to leave the country. She booked her voyage, had a farewell dinner with a friend and went home. The next day, the friend called at Magda's house. Puzzled by how the doorbell went unanswered, the friend forced the lock and went upstairs. There was to be no voyage for Magda. She was sprawled accross the bed, a look of terror in her eyes. Her mouth was ruptured, and she had drowned in her own blood.

The mouth injuries indicated that a large heavy object had been rammed into it with savage force. The murder weapon was never found, despite extensive searches by the police, but they did find a clue of sorts. Lodged in Magda's bloody mouth were several hairs; hairs that had come from a child's china doll.

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