Ida Tinkle the Cameleon
It was a few days later in the men’s smoking lounge at the local brothel that both Joseph and Melville were smoking piped tobacco. Young women paraded before them, showing them their wares.
Joseph said, “Melville you know it’s impossible for us to stay away from women. What is your wife, thinking? I say we stop during the engagement and wedding, then proceed with caution after. I have to be careful now, for Ida Tinkle has the power to change herself into another creature. She is out to get me for that inspid creature. You know it is not even worth it. The young thing was a terrible lay.”
Melville pondered Joseph’s words for a moment then asked, “Why haven’t you done anything to make her fear you? Why don’t you hunt her down for a change and get her to fall in love?”
Joseph’s eye lit up as he said, “Melville your brilliant. I will not get her to fall in love with me. But she could fall in love with another and that might make her behave.”
Melville said, “Who do you mean?”
Joseph looked at him, “I cannot tell you because Ida would torture you for this type of information.”
Melville gulped and shakily said, “It is best if we drop it and never speak of it again.”
Alchetta Bailey and the Letters
Alchetta Bailey carefully straightened her hat as she walked into the University of London. She was worried about Themus for she had not heard from him for a few months. She knew that Themus Munroe would be in the library studying. Alchetta went into the library and spotted Themus with his friends, Brandon Deere and Goderich Lafleur. Goderich always looked so handsome and debonair. Alchetta sighed as her heart fluttered.
She walked over and stood still by the end of the table. Goderich was the first to notice her. He gave her a sweet smile and nudged Themus. Who looked up and grinned. Themus excused himself. He grabbed Alchetta’s hand, and led her out into the garden.
Alchetta grinned, “I see school is keeping you occupied. I came to see if you were still breathing. I was wondering why you haven’t answered any of my letters.”
Themus looked puzzled, “My dear I’ve answered every one of them? Did you not receive any of my postings?”
Alchetta shook her head no.
Themus said, “That’s odd. Goderich will vouch for me. He is good at poetry as the two of us had some fun writing letters to you. I wonder why you have never received them. Let’s go to the school post and find out.”
They walked over to the school post office and Themus asked to speak to the woman in charge.
The young girl says, “I’m sorry but Miss. Tinkle isn’t in today. She’s working at the nurse’s station, you can come back tomorrow?”
Themus asked, “Where does the mail get sorted?”
The young girl said, “Here in our mailroom.”
Themus asked, “Have you noticed if Miss Tinkle has ever removed any letters?”
The Young girl looked around, giggled, and said, “Yes she gets letters from a secret admirer here on campus.”
Themus smiled, “You are a very beautiful girl. Has anyone taken you on a date lately?”
The young girl giggled and blushed, “I am very shy. I have never been on a date before. ”
Themus smiled, “If you show me those letters, I’ll arrange for you to have a date with Goderich Lafleur.”
The young girls eyes became huge as she breathlessly said, “Really! Oh, that would be divine! My Mama would be so thrilled with me to have a date with England’s most eligible bachelor! Just a minute I believe Miss Tinkle puts than in a cupboard over here.”
The young girl pulled out the envelopes and wrinkled her nose as she said, “That’s strange they are addressed to two different people a Themus Munroe and Alchetta Bailey.”
Themus grinned at Alchetta winked and said, “Who is in charge of Miss Tinkle?”
The girl looked scared, “Please don’t tell! She is an evil woman. I fear for my life if she were to find out what I’ve done!”
Themus said, “Not to worry. I will set up that date for you. Just put the letters back and do not breathe a word of this to anyone not even your friends. Ida Tinkle is a very dangerous woman.”
The girl looked terrified after they left.
Alchetta was apologetic, and said, “I’m sorry Themus. I never should have doubted you.”
Themus said, “I’m glad you came. I thought you had tired of me and gone off on a tour of Europe without me.”
Alchetta laughed, and then said, “I would be too bored without you my dear! What are your plans for Miss Tinkle?”
Themus smiled, “My father will handle it. How have your investments been doing?”
Alchetta smiled, “I’m venturing into automobiles now. I’ve bought some shares in the Ford Motor Company.”
Themus nodded, “Good for you. Father is planning to do some investing in hotels. I overheard him talking to Mr. Stalin about it. It’s strange usually he will tell me about it.”
Alchetta thought for a moment, and then said, “You know your right. I am wondering if my father could benefit from such a venture. I would even be willing to buy shares into a chain of hotels. Father often spoke of expanding his investments into Canada.”
Themus grinned, “You know my friend Brandon Deere is planning on building a new sawmill near Quebec. Maybe he can offer your father a deal on building supplies. Anthony Atkins will be working on the designs. I hope to get contracts for Anthony and Brandon to benefit from.”
Alchetta smiled, “So you are investing in this new sawmill?”
Themus laughed, “Yes, I am. I believe my father will also invest in it if Anthony agrees to do business with Brandon. Anthony is currently building luxury homes in Quebec and he is talking about building a large community for millionaires in and around Montreal. He could plan a new city hall and library with fashion shops.”
Alchetta smiled, “Mother has promised to take me to a fashion show in Montreal and in Paris someday, after my schooling is done. Themus we should plan a tour of Europe for the summer months, next year when you graduate.”
Themus groaned, “I’ll have to ask Goderich and Brandon to hold off going to Canada for a bit.”
Alchetta smiled, “It would be grand for them to sail on the SS America’s first voyage. Father says William White is excited about it being ready sometime in the summer of 1939. By then you will have graduated and toured Europe.”
Themus sighed, “Yes I can just see the day of my graduation. My father will be prodding me to marry and have an heir. He’s promised to give me Munroe Mansion and a part of his fortune should I marry.”
Alchetta looked thoughtful, “With your fortune you could invest with your father into rebuilding Canada. I hope that this economic depression will not last too much longer. I am glad I pulled out most of my investments in the stock market. Instead, I am buying up businesses for next to nothing. Once the economy picks up I’ll sell them all for a profit.”
Themus was surprised, “You’re investing in real estate?”
Alchetta nodded and said, “Yes in pharmacies, grocers and beauty salons. Three things we will always need. I almost bought a bank but father warned me that they could fail. I am actually working at a loss now, but I am only investing ten percent of my income. I lowered the rents so that people can still do business. I own the buildings. In a few years they will want to buy back their properties and I will have doubled my investments.”
Themus was thoughtful, “You should tell Goderich what you are doing. He admires how intelligent you are. It annoys Brandon, because he is simple minded.”
Alchetta gave a sour look and said, “Brandon is so jealous of my wealth. I know he hates me.”
Themus said, “Not to worry, once you invest in his company he will adore you, honest.”
Alchetta smiled, “Let’s go tell them the good news then.”
Themus and Alchetta headed back to the library. The four of them went out into the garden and sat down with cups of tea, scones and butter, and jam.
Goderich looked at Themus and Alchetta and asked, “So did you solve the letter writing mystery?”
Themus grinned, “Yes we found that they were misplaced. Alchetta has some good news for both of you.”
Brandon and Goderich sat and waited as Alchetta paused for a moment then she said, “There are a few things – first we are all going on a tour of Europe to celebrate your graduation in the summer of 1939. When you get back, I understand that you plan to go to Canada. The SS America is a new luxury ship built by White Star Shipping lines. It should be sailing near the end of the summer, say in August. We can tour for the month of July and the first part of August, then return and take that voyage to Canada.
Themus and I will not be going until a later date. I am going to be investing in your new sawmill and my father plans to build a chain of hotels. As part of the deal my father, Mr Munroe and Mr Atkins plan to form a partnership with you. I propose that you make me your business consultant and I will help find the funds and contracts required to make your sawmill a success in Canada. I am sure that we could strike up a deal with the Moisans in Place Royale. The two younger brothers are looking to start a company as well in Quebec. Brandon instead of competing with them, the two of you could work together to help rebuild Canada.
I am also investing in the Ford Motor Company. They will be expanding throughout Canada in the future. I can try to procure building projects for their car sales lots and buildings. We will have to invest in a construction company. I’m going to request that Anthony Atkins develop one, to work with his architectural business.”
Alchetta stopped and smiled. Brandon, Goderich and Themus’ jaws dropped.
Alchetta looked at Themus, “The idea just came to me. As for Munroe Mansion, I’d like to open a section of it as an Art Gallery after we are married.”
Themus’ eyes went round in shock as he hoarsely said, “Married?”
Alchetta smiled, “I can use your fortune and you can use mine. Together we will develop cultural buildings, museums, city halls, libraries all in our name, we can build an architectural monument to someone great. The possibilities are endless. Your father wants you to marry and have an heir. My parents would be delighted if I was to settle down so people would stop referring to me as an old maid. Themus I know I am a few years older than you are. I would be an understanding wife in all matters. Think of the financial benefits.”
Goderich cleared his throat and fidgeted. Brandon looked darkly at Themus and stared at him.
Themus nervously let out the breath he was holding and said, “Alchetta is right. If I do not pick a wife, my father will. Do you know he had an arranged marriage for my Brother Jake? Look at that disaster! Now all three are dead along with Ronel Thirkill that bastard constantly black mailed my father. He deserved to die!”
Themus looked at Alchetta, “I can’t control what my father does so your mother will have to understand that the Munroe’s will always have the odd scandal here and there. But it’s usually for a good reason.”
Brandon mumbled, “Not always, sometimes it’s your father’s sex drive that gets him into trouble. Look at Barney Rosewood. He married some native girl, he was in the brothel with another woman, and he had a heart attack. The women say that his mistress found out about his rendeavous and they say she poisoned him.”
Goderich was surprised, “Barney is dead? He was so young?”
Brandon nodded, “I just overheard it form the two girls whispering at the library. They say Miss Ida Tinkle was his secret mistress. People refer to her as the black widow or Madame X. Do you know what else they said? Some French person named Zach Conglier was her lover and he ended up dead in the river! Which is puzzling since Zach didn’t know how to swim.”
Themus sat up, “Zach Conglier was Jesseline’s lover and Ida Tinkle is the one after my father!”
Themus shook his head in despair and said, “Sometimes I fear she will come after me too. Ida Tinkle seems to be involved in lots of murder cases, but no one will charge her. They fear her supposed “dark arts.”
Alchetta was serious when she said, “I’ve heard talk of the Dr. Tibideau, Miss Tinkle is his nurse, he is said to be immortal.”
Goderich smirked, “Immortal? What is he a vampire or something?”
Alchetta whispered, “He has powers from the devil. He is evil and practices the dark arts on his patients.”
Brandon leaned forward and whispered, “They say that Dr. Tibideau created a potion that gives youth and vitality then turns one’s face into a monster upon his command.”
Themus was sweating and he wiped his brow then whispered, “Father told me that Jesseline looked like a hideous monster when she came to his Estate in England. Anthony Atkins lifted the curse off of her, but then Ida Tinkle posed as a maid and took over Jesseline’s mind and made her murder Jake and then she shot herself.”
Themus pulled out a golden amulet with an orange liquid in it and said, “Anthony Atkins made this medallion for me to wear. He says it will protect me from Ida’s spells. I will have to get him to make one for my wife, once we are married.”
Alchetta mockingly said, “You don’t honestly believe all this superstitious hogwash you hear? I do not believe a word of it! Moreover, I certainly would not trust a piece of jewellery to protect me from an evil woman! I say we have someone run Miss Ida Tinkle out of town for good. Make her go into hiding. We need as you say a powerful white witch.”
Themus mockingly says, “I thought you didn’t believe in all this hogwash!”
Alchetta pouted then sighed, “I don’t. Nevertheless, I once met a woman named Patricia Rosewood. She was visiting Luvena Carrington while I was there for my school admission interview. She was talking about her Sister Sasha Totenmyer, having great powers as a white witch. Her Mother Heta Totenmyer is an ancient native who has lived a long life. It took her many years to have the two girls. Patricia is native; her name was Nuna Totenmyer before she married.”
Goderich gasped then said, “Brandon is Patricia Rosewood, Barney’s wife? Or should I say widow now?”
Brandon shrugged his shoulders and said, “I have no idea who he was married too. I just passed on a bit of gossip.”
Goderich looked at Alchetta, “You mentioned William White? He is one of the biggest investors in White Star Shipping and I believe he does some business with your Father Themus. I heard that William has just come into a fortune, due to a death in the family. He’s inherited a large estate here in London, England.”
Alchetta nodded, “Yes, I believe my mother was talking about that. Her friend Francesca used to be married to Mr. White. She died mysteriously a while ago and you’ll never guess who her nurse was?”
All four of them simultaneously say, “Ida Tinkle!”
Alchetta nodded, “so you can see that I want Ida out of my family and friends hair. Themus can you have your father write to Anthony seeking his advice in these matters?”
Themus says, “I’m pretty sure it won’t take much for Anthony to deal with Ida Tinkle, someone needs to teach that woman a lesson.”
Goderich smiled, “Well Brandon, thanks to you beating Themus up, we now have a good friend, a new business venture and were well on our way to a road of success.”
Alchetta looked puzzled.
Goderich said, “Brandon here upon meeting Themus proceeded to joke about his father being the Virgin Slayer and Themus let him have it. We know Themus will never become a Virgin Slayer. He prefers older, more experienced women in his bed. Sorry Alchetta, I’m not referring to you.”
Alchetta smiled and blushed she had no idea what they meant by the Virgin Slayer so she ignored the comment.
She said, “Goderich you never offend me. I can see that you have had a good influence on Themus; He dresses like a dandy now. His impeccable sense of fashion is hard not to notice. You should have seen his wardrobe before! His Father Joseph doesn’t care much for fashion.”
Themus was looking desperately at Alchetta and motioning for her to shut up with his hands.
Alchetta looked at Themus and grinned, “Your father told my father about the way you looked when you first appeared on his doorstep.”
Goderich frowned, “Themus you told us that you were born in Munroe Mansion? What’s this about appearing on a doorstep?”
Brandon was grinning from ear to ear.
The high and mighty Themus Munroe was red with embarrassment, as he sputtered, “I don’t want to talk about it. Alchetta how could you?”
Alchetta angrily said, “I was funning. I thought it was a joke! Do you mean to tell me it is true? You told me you were born at Munroe Mansion. Where exactly were you born?”
Themus mumbled, “I plead the fifth amendment. Just forget about it. Alchetta I need to get back to my studies. It’s time for you to leave.”
Themus grabbed his things and walked away from the three of them.
Brandon snapped, “Alchetta you always put Themus into a sour mood. Keep your stupid jokes to yourself.”
Brandon turned and walked away towards the dining hall. Alchetta had a tear in her eye.
Goderich gave her his handkerchief and sighed, “It’s best for us not to ask Themus about this ever again. It is a sore point with him. I am sure he will tell you the truth someday. It is best to let it rest. It is an embarrassment to the Munroe family. Please do not ever bring it up again for your own good. I will see you later. Bye.”
Goderich turned and walked away. Alchetta blotted her face and smelled the handkerchief. Goderich’s cologne was on it. She would cherish it forever…
Themus Munroe, Brandon Deere, and Goderich Lafleur
Goderich sighed to himself, Brandon and Themus were always quarrelling. Now Themus and Alchetta were quarrelling. Goderich hated being the mediator every time. He was a peaceful chap, smart witty and intelligent. Alchetta was okay sometimes but other times her snobbery got to him. It was apparent that Alchetta thought that Brandon and Goderich were beneath her and Themus, Goderich grinned to himself, and someday his little secret would take Alchetta off her high horse.
Goderich Lafleur made a point to avoid the frat parties over the next few years whereas Brandon and Themus embraced them. Their constant drinking and partying almost cost them from graduating two and half years later. The Rugby and Lacrosse teams would miss Themus and Brandon. Both were very good players and champions.
Goderich the school mascot would be happy to leave his post. For two years he stood by watching his two friends lap up all the popular girls, while Goderich who was shy, stood by, unnoticed, unwanted. His date with the girl from the library turned out to be a disaster, she referred to him as a prude and his reputation at school suffered.
Nevertheless, in Goderich’s senior year this all changed. He grew taller, more handsome and the women now called him “England’s most eligible bachelor” at every function he attended, he would be flocked by hundreds of girls and their mama’s each hoping that he would fancy them. Goderich attended many balls, along with Themus and Alchetta. Brandon, who was never invited to any of the functions, did not care. The three men stood proudly in their graduation gowns and hats in June 1939 posing for the cameras. Joseph Munroe almost had a tear in his eye. He would soon have to tell Themus it was time to marry.
Alchetta came up to Joseph that day and said, “We are so proud of Themus. I just wanted to let you know that the four of us are planning a trip to Europe for the next few weeks, and then Themus and I will make wedding plans after that. I told Themus he is going to marry me, so we can provide you with an heir. However, I will require funds to renovate Munroe Mansion. I plan to build an art gallery there. We will dedicate it in memory of your late wife Ophirah.”
Joseph’s eyes were watery as he kissed Alchetta on the cheek, “My dear you read my mind you have made me very happy.”
Alchetta smiled, “I told my parents this morning, both are overjoyed that your son is taking their “old maid” off their hands. I decided to become Brandon, Goderich and Themus’ business consultant and together we will increase our fortunes. Did Themus tell you of my plans?”
Joseph chortled, “Themus has been too busy partying to tell me anything. He needs a woman like you to steer him in the right direction. However, never try to rule a Munroe; you will lose them if you do.”
Alchetta winked at him and said, “I never rule a man. I just make him think it’s his idea.”
She walked away with a big grin on her face. Joseph realized that Alchetta just told him what he would be doing in the future. Indeed, she was a smart woman. Joseph could see that Alchetta Bailey would be the first woman to rule not one… but two Munroe men…
Welcome to Italy
Alchetta was excited as the train headed towards Rome, Italy. Alchetta smiled to herself as she looked at Themus and Brandon dozing in the corner. Goderich was awake. He was reading The New York Times Newspaper.
He looked up at Alchetta and said, “I’ll bet your looking forward to seeing the sculptures and art galleries. To walk where the master’s works are gathered is an honour.”
Alchetta smiled, “I plan to purchase a few sculptures and pieces of art for the Munroe Art Gallery.”
Goderich was surprised, “Joseph agreed to you building an art gallery in the mansion?”
Alchetta pursed her lips, “Themus owns it now. Joseph has no say in the matter. I am the one who decided to bring some more culture to the home. I plan to renovate the mansion and add a grand ballroom. We plan to have lots of parties there.”
Goderich grinned, “You are aware that Munroe mansion is out in the middle of nowhere?”
Alchetta’s grin disappeared, “What do you mean? Themus said it is near Quebec. Surely many Hollywood Stars and dignitaries stay at Chateau Frontenac? They will come to my parties. Besides Lorraine Atkins is quite high in the social circles, she doesn’t have enough room to do some major entertaining at the Atkins Mansion, so she will probably be delighted to host a ball or two at Munroe Mansion.”
Goderich laughed, “Lorraine Atkins is very particular about who her friends are. Although you are rich Alchetta, you lack social connections. If you want to join forces with Lorraine, you will have to offer her something she does not have. You will have met your match!”
Alchetta smiled sweetly, yet bristled inside with anger. Themus made Munroe Mansion sound like a palace. She wondered if he ever stepped foot in the place? Best not to ask, it would probably be another lie anyway. Alchetta sighed to herself, Themus lied about so many things, and it was troubling at times. They finally arrived in Italy and a car was waiting for them. Alchetta rented one of the local villas.
She hoped their journey would stay a pleasant one. Alchetta was beginning to feel left out as the three men always talked about their experiences while in University. Alchetta sat and listened, bored to tears, and wishing she were elsewhere. Now she wished she had a catalogue for interior designs so she could start working on her renovation plans for the mansion. The three men went horseback riding and Alchetta went shopping. She would purchase some lovely souvenirs.
Later that day, after lunch they all planned a trip to The National Museum of Rome (Museo Nazionale Romano – Italian) founded in 1889. It housed a collection of antiquities from the 5th Century BC to the 3rd Century AD. Alchetta particularity wanted to see the Cloister of Michelangelo and the Baths of Diocletian. Alchetta wanted several pieces of art and sculpture copies made from Michelangelo’s collection of works. She would ship them to Bailey’s Hotel in London, England then have them shipped to Canada after she arrived there. Alchetta would later find out that The National Museum of Rome would become a military hospital during World War II later that year after September 1st, 1939.
The next day the four of them rented a car and took a tour of the countryside. They went from one winery to another getting each of them quite drunk along the way. They pulled out some blankets and sat outdoors in the countryside enjoying the moonlight and stars later that evening. They all passed out in the meadow and woke up the next day, surrounded by cows that were munching on grass. Alchetta felt terrible and had a slight headache.
Smiling she said, “I guess we could call this our first camping trip.”
Goderich laughed and said, “Now you know how Brandon and I will be living once we reach Canada.”
Alchetta looked at them, “You know how to hunt. Can you defend yourself against the natives?”
Brandon laughed, “The Natives are peaceful now. They will probably help us build the sawmill.”
Goderich added, “Brandon wants to build an Inn there now too. He got the “hotel” idea from you. A type of country bed and breakfast resort with horse back riding.”
Alchetta nodded, surprised she gave Brandon a big smile, “I’ll bet Hollywood Stars will flock to your Inn. They will be tired of the city and crave the fresh country air.”
Themus got up and stretched and looked at his watch, “It’s getting late folks, we need to get back, and I’m hungry.”
Brandon was looking rather peaked as they all got into the car. They drove back to the villa in silence. Alchetta was surprised to see her Mother Retta and Father Melville Bailey there.
Alchetta called out worried, “Is everything alright?”
Retta Bailey said tearfully, “We couldn’t get a hold of you dearest! Raine Carrington has died! The funeral is in three days time.”
Alchetta began to cry. Goderich and Brandon looked at Themus for an explanation.
Themus explained quietly, “Raine Carrington was Alchetta’s teacher at the Women’s Finishing School in Paris, France.”
Retta turned to Themus, “I’m sorry but Alchetta will have to cut her tour short with you. You do not have to come; you can stay here and enjoy your time in Italy. You may want to come home soon though. It looks like a war is brewing. They are advising all travelers to return home. ”
Goderich looked at Brandon and Themus and said, “I’ve had enough of Italy if you don’t mind. I have things to take care of before we travel to Canada. I miss my luxuries in England.”
Themus agreed, “Brandon we can go to a party now. Italy is lovely but I’m bored too.”
They packed up their belongings, called the owner of the villa and explained that a friend died and that they were leaving earlier then planned. They dropped the keys off in the mailbox and took the next train back to England…
Raine Carrington looked beautiful and serene in her pink silk gown lying there in the coffin. Luvena was red eyed and considerably shaken.
Retta hugged her close and said, “I know that your Mother Raine was your best friend. Should you need someone to talk to, call me anytime?”
‘Luvena was thankful and relieved at Retta’s words. It would be hard living without her mother but she knew that the girls at the school would be depending on her to do so. There was so much tragedy these past few months, Luvena felt exhausted from it all. Perhaps it would be best to take some time off. People would understand.
Luvena needed a holiday and she knew what she wanted to do. When the SS America sailed she would enjoy a trip to Canada and go stay at the Chateau Frontenac. Surely, some of her students would want to come along. She could continue their lessons and do a class a couple times a week. The fresh air would do her some good. She would close down the school in Paris for now, advising her students of what she planned to do…’
The service was simple and beautiful. The room was full of exotic flowers the kinds that Raine would normally have throughout her house in Paris. It was hard to believe that Raine, who was quite young, could die so quickly and without warning. Luvena would have to face adulthood without a mother. Alchetta wondered where Luvena’s father was. She had never asked, thinking it improper. No one ever mentioned the man’s existence.
Was Raine Carrington an unwed mother? No that could not be, or else no one would be allowed to attend her school. Maybe Mr. Carrington died and Raine became a widow after getting pregnant with Luvena. Alchetta did not even know whom to ask. Then again, she did not want anyone to accuse her of being too nosy. Who would care about it at this point?
Alchetta adored Luvena; she was a young, bright woman full of sunshine, wit and charm. She could see that Luvena’s heart and soul was in the school and she never gave any indication of desiring to marry. Alchetta wished she could be like that, but her parents would not allow it. She had put off the “marriage” thing for quite some time now. Nevertheless, she knew her Mother was getting impatient with her.
Themus Munroe was the answer to her problem. He was a busy man, very handsome and charming and a few years younger than she was. Mind you, he was a bit of a flirt but Alchetta did not mind. She was not desperately in love with Themus; she just did not get those kinds of feelings around a man. It would be a marriage of convenience. Her parents would be happy and society would no longer frown at her. Goderich was right. She would have to do something spectacular to get Lorraine Atkins attention.
Alchetta was hoping that the Munroe Art Gallery would be a feather in her cap. As for having children, that was the last thing Alchetta wanted. Of course, Joseph would expect an heir. Alchetta would do her wifely duty until pregnant then she would make whatever excuse possible not to have sex with Themus. Her mother had told her how awful sex was with her father and Alchetta was brainwashed to think that all men suffered the same maladies as her father did. Alchetta sat there wondering what her funeral would be like. Would people mourn her death? She realized at that moment that she was a very selfish girl. She needed to do something nice. Then she looked at the young girl sitting close by. Yes, that would be a nice thing to do.
Alchetta thought about Elsa Picard who was such a lovely creature with unfortunate circumstances a girl who never spoke about her past, or of family. The Bailey’s have assumed all these years that she was an orphan, raped by some man, impregnating her. Elsa delivered a healthy little girl soon after arriving at the hotel. Years later, Elsa’s daughter Louise would also attend Raine Carrington’s Finishing School.
The father’s name was on the birth certificate but that was a secret to the Bailey’s as well. For Elsa would never breathe a word about the fact that to her delight, Joseph Munroe was the father of her child…
Melville Bailey and Elsa Picard
Alchetta Bailey was quite young when Elsa Picard came to work for the Baileys. In fact, she was only a few years older then Louise Picard. Elsa Picard came highly recommended but her life was quite secretive. Elsa met a young charming Spanish man one evening at a local bar. Elsa already knew that she was pregnant so in order to hide the true father’s identity she made a point of sleeping with her new lover that evening. Elsa never told a soul not even Lorraine. Elsa knew that her sister would find someway to extort money out of Joseph Munroe if she knew.
Elsa did not want any part of it. Elsa was a kind, gentle, innocent, loving woman – the complete opposite of her cold, calculating, social climbing sister. Elsa was thankful when Anthony Atkins put her on the ship several years ago and sent her packing to Bailey’s Hotel in London. She gave a letter to Melville Bailey from Anthony Atkins. He blanched then quickly escorting Elsa to a nice comfortable room, Melville asked Elsa if she preferred to work in the kitchen or clean rooms.
Elsa happily took the latter job, wondering what was in that letter. Melville took care of everything by providing her with a secret doctor and large gowns to hide her pregnancy. No one knew that she gave birth until much later. Elsa was such a tiny thing; people assumed she was gaining weight. Elsa gave birth to Louise at the local hospital in a private room. Melville provided a nanny for Elsa while she was at work. Melville also provided her with a small apartment to live in.
Elsa’s Spanish lover stayed with her off and on for two years and then he left for good. Little Louise thought that he was her father. Sometimes Alchetta and Louise would play together when Melville came for a visit. Elsa could never figure out why Melville thought it necessary to do so. As the years went by, Melville suggested that Elsa enrol Louise in Raine Carringtons Finishing School when she was sixteen years old, he said he would pay for her education. Elsa was very troubled by this but in order to accommodate her employer she gave into his wishes.
One day when Louise was eighteen, Elsa suddenly became ill and had a heart attack.
Melville was there and Elsa asked, “Melville before I die, I need to know why you’ve taken such good care of me.”
Melville looked around then whispered, “Your letter said that I was the father of your child…”
Elsa shocked gargled out the word, “NO,” then died.
Poor Melville was upset. He thought that Elsa hated him for doing such a thing to her. He could never figure out when he impregnated her but then again he was always drunk by the time he arrived at the brothel. All these years, Melville thought that Louise Picard was his child…
Retta Bailey’s Invitation to Patricia Rosewood
It was shortly after Elsa Picard’s death that Raine Carrington died. Alchetta felt sorry for Louise. To lose two people, who were near and dear to her? Raine Carrington treated Louise like a second child. Luvena Carrington was a bit jealous at first but then she learned to love the little girl. Louise grabbed Luvena’s hand at Raine’s funeral and squeezed it. Luvena knew that Louise was wise beyond her years. Luvena planned to continue Louise’s dancing lessons on the SS America. She had written to Lorraine Atkins informing her of Elsa’s sudden death and that Louise would need to live with her godmother. Luvena asked Lorraine to sponsor Louise for the debutante ball at Chateau Frontenac. She would find a Chaperone for Louise. Retta Bailey knew Patricia Rosewood, quite well. After hearing of Barney’s unexpected death, she invited Patricia to come stay at the Bailey’s London Hotel. She wanted to see if Louise and Patricia were compatible. Then she would suggest the position of chaperone. Patricia Rosewood, a young, solemn, sensible woman in her late twenties arrived dressed in a black gown. Patricia entered the parlour and Retta sat there looking prim and proper.
Retta stood up and shook Patricia’s outstretched hand, “I was so delighted when you said yes to my invitation. I was afraid that it would be too early. I’m sorry for your loss.”
Patricia smiled gratefully, “It’s been strange not having to deal with Barney’s constant prattle. That man could talk the ears of an elephant if he wanted to.”
Retta attempted to smile, surprised at the lighthearted remark she cautiously asked, “And who will be managing Mr Rosewood’s business contracts?”
Patricia looked squarely at Retta, “Not to worry. I can manage it on my own. I know my husband was planning to invest in your chain of hotels. I am quite pleased to see how well you run this one. I sent a few mystery guests to try out your accommodations the day Barney told me about it. All three came back with glowing reports. I am planning to invest whole-heartedly in your enterprise. Was that the only reason for my invitation?”
Retta turned red with embarrassment and stuttered, “Well no, I actually wanted you to meet a young girl. Her Mother has been in our employ for many years. She has passed on and we have a bit of a situation with her daughter. Louise is going to see her godmother Lorraine Atkins in Canada. Luvena Carrington is travelling on the SS America but she cannot chaperone Louise. I thought of you, because you have family in Canada. I figured you might be travelling that way and I wanted to ask you to care for Louise during your trip. Lorraine Atkins will pay you handsomely for it. She insisted on a woman with social grace to teach her goddaughter some manners and social etiquette.
As you know, Luvena has closed the school in Paris, France due to her Mother Raine’s death. My dilemma is finding someone to take the time to “teach” Louise. I am busy with my charity functions and Alchetta is busy planning a wedding…
Patricia looked surprised and jokingly said, “Who has snared the heart of your daughter. We all thought that was an impossible task.”
Retta grinned, “You’ll never believe who it is! It’s Themus Munroe!”
Patricia’s jaw dropped. Puzzled she asked, “You want your daughter to marry a Munroe? But aren’t they scandal happy?”
Retta pointed her nose high in the air and snootily said, “Themus Munroe is a fine, wealthy gentleman with the right business connections. Melville and I plan to expand our hotel empire and the Munroes, along with the Atkins, your late husband’s investment and William White is all working together to create a chain of hotels in Canada and all across Europe.”
Patricia knowingly smiled, “Ah so it’s the money. So many families have wanted to tap into the Munroe’s vast fortune. How lucky for you to have such a daughter to accommodate you. Is Alchetta truly happy with your decision?”
Retta bristled at Patricia’s innuendo, “It was Alchetta’s idea! We of course discussed this with Joseph Munroe, but Alchetta approached the subject before we did. My daughter is wise in finance and investments. She has been making a tidy fortune for herself for the past five years.”
Patricia smiled, “a girl after my own heart. I admire your daughter’s ambition, Not too many women desire to step into male territory. Lord knows it’s been a battle for me as well.”
Retta looked like she had a wonderful idea, “Perhaps you two could join forces in the future. Between the two families, a tie with the Totenmyers would be a feather in Joseph Munroe’s cap. As for William White, he is planning to launch the SS America in the late summer. That is when several people plan to go on its first voyage to Canada.”
Patricia was thoughtful “My Sister Sasha has been trying to see me for years and we’ve always missed each other. She would probably love to see me again. My Father Lenno would not mind either. My Mother Heta disowned me when I married Barney. Perhaps now that he is gone she will find it in her heart to forgive me.”
Retta looked worried and said, “Why didn’t your Mother approve of Barney?”
Patricia sighed, “Well when I was young, my mother sort of promised the Littlewolfs that I would marry their eldest son Andy. The problem was that Andy grew up to be a very evil, violent man. I refused to be subjected to such a beast.”
Retta was sympathetic, “Why would your Mother want you to marry such a man?”
Patricia said, “To create ties – allies between the native tribes. The Littlewolfs control the Iroquois, Hudson Bay Trading Posts and the Northern Regions of Canada. Our tribe controls the east. It would be a powerful ally.”
Retta said thoughtfully, “Like us and the Munroes.”
Patricia nodded yes, “Joseph Munroe is dangerous. There have been several mysterious deaths in that family – all linked to the Virgin Slayer. Don’t you worry about losing your daughter to the Munroe Curse?”
Retta laughed, “We do not believe in such superstitious tales! Viktor Stalin put so many crazy ideas into people’s minds. You know that Native people are superstitious… And they probably made up half of those stories!”
Patricia could not agree more. She never believed any of Viktor’s tales or that of her parents. Everything had to have a scientific reason. As for Barney’s death, Patricia did not know the truth. Patricia knew he had a heart attack. She knew Barney worked long hard hours and his health obviously suffered because of the stress from running a successful company. His Father Bartholomew had a few heart attacks but he recovered from his. Patricia was thankful that Barney’s friend William White was willing to step in and help her organize everything. Patricia was in charge of the creative ideas. William White would handle the office. They would also enlist some help from Chago Sima who before Barney’s death was talking about expanding the North American Import – Export Markets. He was planning to go to Canada and go out West to start an office out there.
Patricia said, “It’s strange to think about seeing my sister again. So when will I meet my protégé?”
Retta smiled, “I invited you here to meet her. She should be here soon. I wanted to make sure the two of you are compatible before going on a long journey together.”
Patricia smiled, “Very wise my friend. I was sorry to hear of Francesca White’s death. Did you know her?”
Retta nodded, “We attended school together. Francesca was a brilliant woman and quite rich. I guess that’s what attracted William to her.”
Patricia became haughty and curtly said, “William White is from good stock. He would have been rich if his father had not of gambled all his fortunes away. His fortunes are his own now. One of his relatives passed on and surprisingly he received the full estate. Most people figured that Stacey White would inherit it since he was the eldest of the two.”
Retta sighed, “Poor Stacey, he’s quite ill these days. The shock of losing his home to William will not help to improve his health either. Imagine caring for an invalid for several years and not receiving a thank you. On the other hand, any part of the old man’s fortune. His father never forgave him for marrying Demora. She is a delightful creature and loads of fun to share gossip with, although since her husband became ill, no one has seen her for ages! She used to attend the garden parties that Raine had from time to time.”
Patricia nodded, “I missed Raine’s garden parties because I was too busy travelling all over Europe with Barney. No wonder the poor man’s heart gave out. You know dear Barney never learned how to relax not even for a minute. I was constantly nagging at him to slow down and now he’s gone.”
Patricia let out a little sob and Retta patted her hand trying to comfort her.
Retta said, “A little shopping always cures a troubled soul. You probably will need a few things for your journey?”
Patricia dabbed at her eyes, nodded in agreement, and said, “Yes I do need a few things, after all I’ll be taking a cruise to Canada and I hear it’s quite cold there at times. I should get a new coat, sweater and some warmer shoes…”
Patricia Rosewood and Retta Bailey
Patricia was thankful for Retta’s positive attitude towards things. Patricia realized how negative Barney had been for the last few years that they were married. He constantly complained about not making enough money. Even though they had plenty to work with, Barney was never satisfied. He always needed money and was constantly shopping. A bit of a dandy, Barney prided himself on being as “fashionable” as Mr Anthony Atkins was, from Canada.
To be in the Montreal Gazette Fashion News for England was every man’s dream. To be the best-dressed trendsetter was an honour! Sometimes Patricia wondered if Barney really wanted to be married to her. He was always going away on business trips for two to three days at a time. He used to invite her along when they were first married, and then six months into the marriage it all stopped. Barney always said that he had an “important” client meeting to attend at all hours of the night.
His excuse was some clients were from different parts of the world and had no idea of what time it was. Patricia quickly learned to find something to do on her own. She loved reading the New York Times newspaper and stayed knowledgeable about the stock market and rising investments. Many times, she heard Barney complain about young Alchetta Bailey dabbling where she did not belong. The girl was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
Barney made it loud and clear that he did not like Retta Bailey at all. He said she was a cold fish and he could not understand why Melville Bailey would marry such a creature. Retta was very conservative from what Patricia could see, a woman who avoided any type of scandal. Heaven forbid if anyone in your family created one, Retta would cut off her friendship with you immediately. Now Patricia saw Retta as a hypocrite. How could she allow her daughter Alchetta to run around with the likes of Themus Munroe? A shocking lad, who suddenly appeared on the social circuit at the age of sixteen, he was Joseph Munroe’s bastard! No one would ever dream of telling Retta Bailey the truth. Let her become embroiled with that scandalous family. It would bring her nose down a few notches once the truth was revealed.
Patricia knew that Retta just wanted to distance herself from Louise Picard. Everyone knew that the Picard’s were a scandalous bunch. When Lorraine married Anthony Atkins, it had been a war of words all throughout Paris. Surprisingly it was not by the women, but by the men. Barney confided this tidbit of information to Patricia. Miss Lorraine Picard had a dreadful reputation amongst the married men of Paris.
Patricia smiled feeling justified. It was obvious that Retta had no idea what was going on around her. Melville often told Retta some things and fibbed about “other” things. Poor Retta, Patricia wondered if Retta would suffer a heart attack after the shocking revelations of her future son in law and the truth about her husband became known. More than likely, people would talk after Melville was dead, or for that matter after Joseph Munroe died. It was common knowledge that Melville Bailey and Joseph Munroe were close friends.
So close that they shared their mistresses. No one dared to say a word. Patricia did not fear anyone, for she refused to believe in that hocus pocus stuff or anything to do with the supernatural. Everything had to be fact before she would pay any heed to anything relayed to her. Sasha’s Supernatural gifts made Patricia feel uncomfortable. Many people called Heta and Sasha Totenmyer crazy. Many had respect for her Father Lenno and her Uncle Tate and Aunt Helen.
Patricia asked, “Retta, have you ever had tea with Helen Totenmyer? She is a delightful woman and quite smart in business matters. Sometimes I wish that women were allowed to run a corporation alone without any men.”
Retta smiled, “I doubt that will ever happen. Look how long it took before we could vote for a political election! In Canada, it was 1918 in Britain 1928.”
Patricia laughed, “Imagine a woman running for President. I bet that will never happen. I cannot see any man listening to a woman’s ideas. Although truthfully Retta, I hear that the men in parliament never give credit where it’s due. Half of their “political” inspirations are because of their wives ideas but heaven forbid any of them will ever mention it. Only a man with guts will do so, and hopefully someday someone will open those closed doors to us in the future.”
Retta grinned, “Well if Nostradamus is right, I read that in Century IX Quatrain 62, his dreams of the future saw a woman ruling a country.”
Patricia was delighted and laughed, “I like Nostradamus’s dreams, and too bad he’s not in our era!”
Retta looked at Patricia, “I’ll bet if you could, you would become a President or Prime Minister. Patricia you are an amazing and wise woman. It is too bad that your husband Barney never gave you any credit for all your business ideas! You should become a business consultant like my Daughter Alchetta.”
Patricia’s eyes grew wide, “You don’t say! Who has hired her?”
Retta smiled, “No one, she’s done so well with her investments that she is working on a project with Themus Munroe, Goderich Lafleur and Brandon Deere.”
Patricia was impressed, “I’ve not met any of these young pups yet. Barney did mention something about investing in the Bailey – Munroe – Lafleur idea, now I know what he meant!”
Retta was proud of her daughter’s accomplishments. Sometimes Patricia regretted not having a child. Other times she did not care. A young dark haired girl entering the room interrupted them. She curtsied then sat down. Retta looked at the young girl from head to toe making sure that she was presentable then she introduced her to Patricia.
Retta said, “Patricia I’d like you to meet Louise Picard.”
Louise smiled and said, “Pleased to meet you Ms Rosewood.”
Patricia could tell that Louise was a delightful child, well mannered and smart.
Patricia asked, “Are you Lisette Picard’s daughter? You resemble her.”
Louise gulped back the tears, “She was my grandmother. I am Elsa Picard’s daughter.”
Patricia was staring at Louise with an odd look on her face.
Patricia asked, “How old are you?”
Louise smiled, “I’m eighteen even though I look about fifteen.”
Patricia grinned at Retta while looking at Louise and said, “She’ll appreciate it when she’s in her forties.”
Louise smiled back at Patricia and asked, “How old are you?”
Retta was horrified, “Louise! It’s improper to ask an adult their age.”
Louise retorted hotly, “Well if she can ask me how old I am why I can’t ask back! I don’t understand your high and mighty rules!”
Louise stomped out of the room and disappeared. There was an uncomfortable silence then Patricia began to chuckle at Retta’s embarrassment.
Patricia said, “So my charge has a bit of a temper. She reminds me of myself and another…”
Retta wondered what Patricia meant.
Patricia turned to Retta and asked, “Who is Louise’s father?”
Retta said, “We were told that Elsa was raped by someone. She kept it a secret for many years. I was shocked to find out she even had a child!”
Patricia was thoughtful as she said, “Her skin is quite dark and tanned. You would almost think she was more native than me.”
Retta looked at Patricia in surprise.
Retta said, “I thought you were English?”
Patricia stopped for a moment remembering where she was, “I thought everyone knew that my maiden name is Totenmyer?”
Retta felt foolish, “I thought you were the English woman’s niece – your Aunt Helen’s? I mean from her side of the family… Oh never mind.”
That is when Patricia decided she did not like Retta Bailey for she could see that Retta did not like native people. Patricia could kick herself. It was a slip of the tongue. Patricia hid her identity from most people. It was one of the reasons that she changed her name from Nuna to Patricia. She wanted acceptance from society in England. To be seen as one of them, and not judged because of her heritage.
Her Father Lenno and Uncle Tate Totenmyer, both respected because they were rich and powerful, were proud of their Native heritage.
Patricia was ashamed of it. Patricia cut herself off from her family when she eloped and married Barney. Now that she was a widow, she started to miss her family. They never had a chance to meet Barney for each time her Father wrote of his intentions to visit Patricia in England she would make up some sort of excuse and leave town. Now she regretted her actions. To cut off one’s family is stupid. It makes a part of your heart die inside. There were happy memories of her childhood but Patricia hated her teenage years. All the arguments with her Mother Heta had been quite painful. Her Father Lenno was an understanding man and thankfully he stuck up for her when she turned fifteen and her Mother wanted her to marry Andy Littlewolf, her father stopped it because he knew she did not love him. At the time, it caused a bit of a rift between Heta and Lenno that would never heal. Patricia felt the burden of her parent’s constant arguments and ran away to England to start a new life for herself. Thankfully, her Aunt Helen Totenmyer was there to help. Then she thought of Sasha, who was a fine sister, loving, and kind, gifted and wise. Patricia smiled as she remembered the little plays she used to put on with Sasha and Jesseline Munroe. She felt sorry for the Munroe family, so many of them died in the past few years. Seeing Louise’s expressions for a fleeting moment, she looked a little like Joseph Munroe. Patricia shook off her thoughts, better for no one to suggest such a thing. That child was better off not being related to the Munroes in any way. As for Alchetta Bailey, she had a good head on her shoulders for business, but absolutely no common sense! To want to marry Themus Munroe was ridiculous! The boy was a hell raiser, gambler and out of control social nightmare, just like Joseph had been at that age. Somehow, though, Patricia could never see Themus harming anyone unless something evil came his way. She had heard stories from some of the servants about the Stalin’s saying that the Munroe family was under a curse. Something to do with an ancient spell cast by their great grandparents a sort of war between the Munroes and another family. No one seemed to have a clue that the Munroe’s were feuding with and people were terrified to talk about it, especially after what happened to Jesseline Thirkill. Patricia did not know what to think anymore. England was becoming dark and sinister these days. Perhaps Canada would be a welcome change. She could stay in a cottage there. It was directly across form her parents and sister’s place. After being independent for so long Patricia would not be able to live under the same roof as her mother. She did not get along with her as a child and it would probably be twice as bad as an adult would. Poor little Louise, would find life unbearable under Lorraine Atkin’s roof. Retta was wise to pick Patricia to help teach Louise some manners. If Louise acted like that there, Lorraine would not think twice to throw the girl out the door and without a penny. Lorraine valued her independence and reputation now. Patricia wondered if she would be jealous of Louise’s beauty. Louise was better looking then most women, her tanned complexion made her look like a Mediterranean Goddess. If she could teach her some manners, how to hold her tongue, then someone might offer a lucrative marriage.
Patricia Rosewood and Louise Picard
Patricia looked at Retta who was busy working on a quilt.
Patricia asked, “Is Lorraine taking Louise to the debutante ball at Chateau Frontenac?”
Retta looked surprised, “I was going to ask you to take her. I am not sure how welcome Louise will be. Lorraine Atkins is in most social circles now. Lorraine may resent having her sister’s daughter around.”
Patricia chuckled, “Lorraine will have one shock – Louise is quite intelligent from what I’ve heard.”
Retta was surprised at this, “How do you know about Louise?”
Patricia smiled and said, “I am always aware of what is going on. I know so many people, and hear so much gossip…”
It was then that Patricia turned red… For the tale of Melville, being Louise’s father crossed her mind. Looking at Retta, she knew that the story was a secret. Barney must have told her. Dear Barney always enjoyed a drink every now and then — he would prattle on about the most ridiculous things.
Patricia looked closely at Retta, “Have you heard any stories about Ida Tinkle?”
Retta looked uncomfortable for a minute, and then said, “That is one subject I refuse to gossip about. I have heard so many people have died because of gossip shared… I’d like to stay alive.”
Patricia snickered, “And rightly so! I’ve heard every story there is to know, about everyone…”
Retta looked uncomfortable for Melville walked into the room and so did Alchetta.
Melville smiled, “Retta darling who is our guest?”
Patricia did not like the lustful look in his eyes.
Retta said, “This is Barney Rosewood’s widow – Patricia.”
The smile was wiped off Melville’s face, much to Patricia’s surprise; he actually looked guilty about something…
Alchetta choked on what she was eating as she looked at Patricia trying to compose herself.
Alchetta said, “I’m sorry for your loss. I trust that Mr Rosewood’s business affairs are still in order?”
Patricia stopped for a moment. She could not believe it. A family that condemns others for their manners and their own daughter could use some!
Patricia decided to put her in her place.
She said, “Well Alchetta if you do not mind. I just buried my husband this week, I am selling our home and I have to sort out his Estate first. Then we can have a meeting about your little “hotel” idea.”
Patricia got up, excused herself, and walked out of the room. She felt like she wanted to scream. How could she stand these people for a few days? All they cared about was her money no sympathy, no compassion just greed. Patricia felt a stinging bitterness well up inside of her. Who was she trying to kid? This “English” high and mighty life had only torn her apart. She felt so hollow and unloved inside.
Barney was a good provider, but he was a lousy husband. In bed, he was quick and impatient; there had been no passion on their wedding night. Patricia soon learned that the only reason Barney married her was because of her social connections. It was easy for Patricia to become “friendly” with the right kind of people. It made Barney a very rich man. Of course, Patricia could enjoy all this wealth on her own now, but still, that element of family was missing from her life.
Patricia was lost in thought as she walked along the hallway bumped into Louise who said, “Alchetta is such a cow! Imagine your husbands only been buried for 48 hours and all she can think about is his wallet. I am sorry for snapping on you earlier, these people drive me insane! I can see they have gotten under your skin too. I believe we will get along famously. I do have better manners, but… I just had to get Retta back. She has been impossible. I can’t even mourn my mother’s death with both of them hounding me about my “financial” situation!”
Patricia, said, “Well this is not the time or the place to discuss our host’s behaviour. Even if we do not appreciate their lack of manners, we have something in common, both of us have lost someone special and we can sympathize with each other.”
Louise wiped away her tears and said, “I’m glad I met you. I believe I can tell you anything and trust that you will keep it to yourself. I’ll bet you know hundreds of secrets.”
Patricia smiled, “You are correct! All those secrets are going to stay secrets… My lips are sealed.
Louise said, is it true that you are native? I overheard you talking…”
Patricia sighed, “Yes my parents are native and so is my Sister Sasha, I am more “English” then they are. My grandmother and Aunt Helen were English women and they made an impression on me at a very young age. I wanted to be accepted by society, be rich and travel the world I had everything a girl could want. However, I did not have happiness. I’ve been miserable and hiding it.”
Louise was sympathetic, “Are you trying to tell me something?”
Patricia smile, and said, “Make sure whatever you do you wont regret it down the road. Seeing you lose your temper tells me that you are an impulsive girl. Be careful what kind of decisions you make, you could regret them and pay a serious consequence if you’re not careful.”
Louise Picard’s Childhood
That night Louise Picard dreamed about her Mother Elsa Picard. Memories would play repeatedly in her mind. As a baby, Louise was quite bright. There were times when Elsa would grab a pen, sit down and start to write Joseph Munroe a letter. Frustrated, and thinking about Lorraine, Elsa felt hopeless. She knew how much it meant to Joseph to have an heir. Little Louise looked a little bit like her father. Her quirky smile when she did something wrong Elsa never yelled at Louise. She was too timid and shy to do that. Her nanny, on the other hand, did not find it difficult at all. Louise grew up hating her nanny. A German woman named Hilda.
She was on the homely side with a wart on the end of her nose and two hairs sticking out of it. As a baby, Louise would try to pick off the nanny’s wart, and her hands slapped away many times. Louise was a persistent child, determined to get her own way. Elsa was troubled about it, for she had seen the same personality traits in her Sister Lorraine. Growing up with Lorraine was a little bit of heaven and a lot of hell for some people’s descriptions. Lorraine’s reputation as a child was “a hell raiser, full of spite, demon possessed by religious folk,”
Lorraine has a mean streak in her. Often fighting with other girls at school, none of the girls liked Lorraine. Elsa could see why, in Lorraine’s teenage years, fitting in became the most important thing to her. The girls at school would not think twice about teasing poor, shy, little, Elsa with Lorraine joining in. Her goal was to fit in with the other girls any way possible. Even if it meant making her little sister cry all the time. Elsa grew up feeling unloved. Her father Byron Picard hardly paid any attention to her
His constant reference to her as a “bastard child” pretty much ruined her having ay sort of relationship with him. Lorraine did not like it when her father called her mother Lisette “a whore” He would only do it when they were drunk – after having too much wine. Lisette would disappear for the night and stay at one of her lovers places. Sometime Byron wondered if Lorraine was his. She did bear some resemblance to him and the fact that she was as intelligent as a bay, he assumed only “he” could sire such a child.
Lisette was not always a wild child. Unknown to the girls, Byron had an affair with his sister Fifi’s husband – Gaylord Cartier. Who happened to be Lisette’s brother? Lisette felt betrayed and when Fifi tired to come after her, Lisette wanted her to know that she was not that kind of girl.
At first, Lisette and Byron were having an affair. When she found out the truth it ruined her sensibility and she gave into her carnal desires with a young Spanish bachelor named Chago Sima. A desirable lover to all women married. Chago avoided single women of any kind. He refuses to suffer heartbreak again. When Byron went away one weekend Lisette brought Chao home. He struck up a friendship with Lorraine Picard at a very early age, not knowing that someday, they would be lovers…