Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Day 3) C is for Childhood: Choose a book you used to check out repeatedly when you were a Child.

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So there are lots of books I used to read over and over again as a child.

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The ones I remember reading the most were The Chronicles of Narnia and the children’s version of The Phantom of the Opera.

But there is another book(s) that I used to read over and over, Sherlock Holmes short stories.

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As I have mentioned before, I grew up reading the Great Illustrated Classics series and that introduced me to the character Sherlock Holmes. After I read one children’s’ collection, I read every short story there was about him written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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I even read stories based on him, like the Sherlock Holmes Solo Mysteries, (which was like Choose Your Own Adventure), and I was a giant fan of Basil of Baker Street.

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So yeah, I was obsessed.

NotaPsychopathFangirl

I thought Sherlock Holmes was so cool and wanted to be like him.

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The only thing I didn’t read were the Sherlock Holmes novels, I guess because my library didn’t have those available in children’s form. I actually didn’t read those until I was an adult.

Oh well.

Oh well.

I remember one day we were traveling somewhere and were listening to Sherlock Holmes on tape; and I was the only one in the car who had read the ones being read before hearing them on cassette. It was weird as a child to think I knew something my parents didn’t.

Thinking Hmm

So there are a lot of stories to choose from and of course I don’t have the time to talk bout them all. In fact out of all the stories I remember the most, they are from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, so I choose that collection over any other.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

So I will only pick three stories: A Scandal in Bohemia, The Man With the Twisted Lip, and The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.

***Spoilers***

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A Scandal in Bohemia

So many have probably read this story, seen the Sherlock version (which I hated), or heard of it.

I know this

I know this

A Bohemian Prince comes to Sherlock, first in disguise but of course Sherlock sees through that, to ask for his help. He is to be married, but before the engagement had sent letters and a photograph with the beautiful Irene Adler. He has tried to get it back through begging, payment, bribery, theft, etc; but nothing has netted it.

NO ONE

Sherlock does some reconnaissance on her and ends up being the witness at her wedding!

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Whattheheck

This strange turn of events doesn’t prepare Sherlock for how things will turn out for him.

uh-no-gifuhno

Sherlock continues on his plan, dressing up as a minister and having Watson create a fuss about fire in order to determine the secret hiding place of the photo. He sees it as she goes to protect it; and thinks the case is finished, preparing to return the next morning before she leaves.

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On the way home he is greeted by a young boy, one he does not know but that isn’t very odd, after all he is a known figure. People are always addressing him.

The next day the three men set out to retrieve the painting, and find Irene gone.

Say What

She left a note explaining that she thought there was something suspicious about the “minister”, dressed up as a boy to research him, and figured out the plan of Sherlock Holmes. Instead of allowing him to do his plan, she bests him by leaving that night instead of the next day.

Not good

Not good

She leaves the picture behind, as married she no longer needs it; forever going down in history as the one who bested the greatest detective, and becoming the woman. The only one that ever beat him.

sherlockholmesthewomanwhobeatyou

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The Man With the Twisted Lip

A wife is worried about her missing husband and calls upon Sherlock Holmes to help her. One day her husband was at work and she was walking down the street running an errand when she just happened to look up at a building and sees her husband!

What's going on?

What’s going on?

He’s in a room above an opium den! And he is so scared!

OMG gasp

She rushes up there as quick as she can but no husband, only a disgusting, deformed, dirty man.

What

What

She calls the police and as they investigate they discover his clothes in the river, blood in the room, but no body. They believe him to have killed her husband but they can’t figure out what happened to the body. For now he sits in a jail cell, with nothing being able to get him to talk or bath.

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Sherlock is puzzled and looks into the history of the man, but there is little to be found. All he can find out is that he moved there and makes good money to care for his family.

Hmmm....

Hmmm….

Sherlock believes the husband has been killed, but then a letter turns up in his handwriting with his signet ring. Sherlock is stuck…

idon'tgotthis

Until he goes to the bathroom and solves the case by looking at a bar of soap.

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He goes to the jail where they are holding the man and force him to clean up, revealing that he is the husband.

OMG gasp

It turned out that he used to be a reporter and went undercover to write a story about beggars. He was a great actor and did so well at doing nothing, he ended up making more money that way than being the reporter.

Whattheheck

He continued this lifestyle, hoping to never be found out and was surprised to find his wife; reacting quickly and not thinking of his actions. Sherlock makes him stop the begging as it is against the law, and another case solved.

I'm on FIRE!

I’m on FIRE!

Ever since I read that story every time I see people beg, this story comes back to me. He made more money begging than working? It just shocked me and makes me wonder if people today are like that guy in the story.

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The Adventures of the Copper Beeches

Violet Hunter goes to Sherlock Holmes for advice about whether or not she should take a position as a governess They are willing to pay her £120, but she has to get her hair cut short. It seems odd as her previous position only paid £48.

weirdtwilightzone

Nothing else seems amiss so Violet takes the job, Sherlock telling her to telegram him if they need anything.

After a fortnight (14 days), Sherlock gets a telegram. Things have gotten weirder since she started working at the house. They have her sit in the window wearing an electric blue dress and have her back to the window. After doing this for a while she hides a mirror in her handkerchief and sees a man staring up at her through the window.

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The child she is supposed to care for is a psychopath

Gilmore girls creep

There is a mastiff that is always hungry and let out at night, keeping Violet from being able to leave in the evening.

She also comes upon a drawer with her her hair in it!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But it turns out to not be her hair but someone elses.

What?

What?

And then there is the mysterious wing that they can’t go in.

Never a good sign.

Never a good sign.

One day she sneaks in and she a shadow…

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It freaks her out so she hurriedly leaves and gets away as soon as she can to post the telegram.

Sherlock arrives with Watson in tow and the two investigate. It appears that the family has been hiding someone away. As Sherlock studies everything, he comes to the conclusion that the family’s daughter is the one they are hiding. They chose Violet because she could pass for the daughter and used her to get rid of the daughter’s fiancé.

They look in the room, but the daughter is missing. The father, Mr. Rucastle, gets angry at them and sets the dog out after him. The dog has been starved more than usual and kills Mr. Rucastle.

Afterwards, they find the daughter, Alice, and her fiancé. It turns out that when Alice came of age she came into money from her mother’s will. The father was trying to get the money, but when the daughter wouldn’t give it she became sick with brain fever.

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As thought earlier, he hired Violet to pretend to be Alice and get rid of him. After this experience all go their separate ways, with Violet later becoming a principal of a girls’ school.

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I liked this one because it was really creepy. The child is horrid, and the rest so mysterious.

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So those are just three out of the many wonderful Sherlock Holmes stories. If you haven’t read them, you should get started immediately. They are sure to wow you at every turn. And if you have read them already, they are always worth another read; no matter how many times you do it!

Overandoverreadabookoscarwilde

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

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For more Sherlock Holmes, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

For more mysteries, go to That’s What We’re Trying to Find out! We’re Trying to Find Out Who Killed Him, and Where, and With What!: Clue (1985)

For more Oscar Wilde quotes, go to When You Least Expect It

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Today’s Christmas Carol is Away in a Manger. 

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It was first published in 1883, and has stayed a popular carol since. Many attributed it to Martin Luther as being the writer, but that was discredited a long time ago. We don’t know who read it, but I’m sure Arthur Coan Doyle heard it so I thought it would be the perfect pairing with this book.

I love this song, as like the book reviewed, it was a big part of my childhood. It was probably the first Christmas Carol I ever learned and is one I sing every year.

The artist I choose was Bing Crosby, I just can’t get enough of him.

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For more Bing Crosby, go to The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)

For more Christmas Carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

Pride&Prescience

Pride & Prescience: Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged by Carrie Bebris

So as I’m sure you are aware, whether from reading my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice; or perusing your local bookstore/library; there are a lot of sequels to Pride & Prejudice. But unlike those that write about the Darcy children, or married life of Lizzie & Darcy, this one is a mystery.

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Yeah, at first I wasn’t sure about it, but when I started reading it, I actually enjoyed it. I solved the mystery quickly, but it was very well written and worth reading. There were a few things I didn’t like, but I’ll save that until the end.

So are you ready to take on this mystery?

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So the book begins at the after-the-wedding-next-day-breakfast. Jane was just married to Bingley, and Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth is happy about how everything went, and even more happy to be married to Darcy.

Double double yay

There is only one thing putting a damper on the event. Caroline Bingley.

hate her

Yep, Caroline has struck again. This time she has announced her engagement to an extremely wealthy,  American Southerner, Mr. Parrish.

How rude

Elizabeth is incredibly put out and part of her wants to say something, but instead she chooses to ignore it share her day, and just enjoy the fact that she is now Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

bekindBeright

However, Caroline’s sister’s do not adhere to this and even though it is Elizabeth’s wedding day, they delight in being cruel. Some people.

namesacceptselfShrek

The Darcy’s are planning on staying in Netherfield with the Bingley’s and then heading on to Pemberly as Elizabeth and Darcy are both eager to be home for the Christmas holidays.

heartPemberly

Unfortunately, Caroline Bingley once again throws a wrench in their plans. She is having the wedding this upcoming weekend in London.

you're evil

Yes it seems that Pemberly will have to wait. The Darcy’s have a duty to their friends and now relations, returning to the London house instead.

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Oh well.

The house had been closed for the winter, and while the servants are hurriedly putting everything in its place, Elizabeth and Darcy head out for a hotel for dinner. There they meet some of Darcy’s friends, a part I really enjoyed as we don’t get to see that side in the Austen novel. More character depth is always welcome.

That is as long as it stays true to the original character. No secret adoptions, or having a child from a first marriage, or any of that nonsense.

Get it right

Get it right

There the Darcy’s find out from Lord Chatfield, Darcy’s friend, that Mr. Hurst, Caroline & Charles Bingley’s brother-in-law, has been making numerous bets and losing them. He did bet that Caroline would be engaged soon and must have been ecstatic when he heard the news of her and Mr. Parrish.

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The next day the two are off looking about London. One place they visit is the British Museum, which just opened with an exhibit on the supernatural.

TheDead

There are all sorts of items from the “New World”. Darcy is all practicality that it is nothing but silly superstitions, while Elizabeth wonders at the possibility of maybe there is more to it.

That Saturday, the Darcys find themselves at a dinner party being given by the Chatfields. Elizabeth finds herself seated next to Professor Julian Randolph; American, his field the supernatural, the one who donated the exhibit to the British Museum, and a close friend of Mr. Parrish.

coincidencegi

Professor Randolph has found himself forced to move from place to place, as universities find his work interesting, but not so to hire him full time. Elizabeth also notices his watch is no ordinary timepiece but covered in symbols, or “runes.”

suspicious  Hmm

After dinner the men and women are separated. In the smoking, brandy, and billiard room; Darcy finds himself accosted by Mr. Kendall. Mr. Kendall was an old partner of the late Mr. Bingley, Charles’ father, and embezzled from him. When the late Mr. Bingley discovered the subterfuge, he disbanded the partner ship, leaving Kendall with much more than he deserved. Even so, Kendall feels he has been cheated an has a lot of animosity for the Bingley’s, animosity that grows stronger as everyone believes Mr. Parrish thew over Miss Kendall for Miss Bingley.

ouch Hermione

Miss Kendall speaks to Elizabeth over a cup of tea, and tries to assure her that she is fine. But she isn’t. She spills tea everywhere and threatens that if Caroline and Mr. Parrish wed, Caroline will be very sorry.

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Caroline’s wedding comes and is quite the shebang. Tons of people, mountains of food, opulent dresses, enormous rings. Everything she could ever want. The Darcys are happy that their London trip has reached a completion and go out to the theater that night as they plan to be leaving soon to the country and beloved Pemberley.

heartPemberly

After the play when they are heading home, they pass through a poor section of town, and who should they see? Caroline Parrish!

SayWhat?

Why would Caroline be there? And in her nightgown in the middle of the night? Darcy saves her from being mugged, and the two take her home. The whole trip there Caroline seems nothing like herself. Almost as if she was in a trance…or a zombie!

night of the living dead

After Darcy and Elizabeth return Caroline home, they can’t stop thinking how odd the whole thing was. Why would Caroline act in such a way? Mr. Parrish tried to reassure them that she must be sleepwalking, but the whole thing seems very odd.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

The next day, the Darcys head out to call on the Parrishes and see how Caroline is doing. There they discover that she has gone out riding. Riding! After a night like that you think she would be resting or something.

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And with Miss Kendall who practically confessed to hating Caroline’s guts.

Say What

As the Darcy’s are contemplating this, Caroline has fallen from her horse as it “mysteriously” bolted. Something is definitely not right here at all.

That's weird.

That’s weird.

Elizabeth goes to question Miss Kendall

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But ends up getting nowhere.

Darcy and Elizabeth are finally ready to head off to Pemberley. They barely begin to make arrangements when…bum ba bum. You guessed it, they are stalled once again.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Caroline Bingley, oops Caroline Parrish (forgot she was married) was found with her wrists slashed in the kitchen. The doctor was able to save her, but he believes them to be self-inflicted.

That's weird.

That’s weird.

Caroline would never do such things, never. The Bingleys, Hursts, & Darcys find it extremely odd. Professor Randolph thinks it is just over-exhaustion from planning the Wedding of the Millennium in a week. Mr. Parrish decides to take her to his plantation in America for her to recover, but everyone nixes that idea. They know Caroline would just hate being sent there. Instead they are heading to Netherfield, the invitation extended to the Darcys, the Hursts, and Professor Randall, the hope being that all together could keep an eye on her and bring her former self back.

Let me just say that in this moment I thought the husband was behind it all. I wasn’t sure how just yet, but I was thinking drugs. To me, the fact that he married so quickly, and right after all this behavior starts up, and then he wants to remove her from her family to where he can either dispose her quickly in quite a few ways on the boat or in the U.S. He’s the one.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

I mean she is extremely wealthy and is easy prey for a handsome man with charming qualities. I think he’s behind everything, because he wants her out of the way for her money.

Everyone thinks this is the perfect solution and set off for Nethefield. Upon arriving, Elizabeth can’t help to think this whole thing just seems off. Caroline with fragile nerves? She has the tenacity of a bear. Something is just not right.

wolfman 2010 inspector abberline hmm i've almost got it hugo weaving

But such thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of her mother. After she has invited all to dinner and left, Louisa Hurst tries to make fun of her with Caroline. But to Elizabeth and Jane’s shock, Caroline doesn’t make fun of her. Instead she just thanks the thoughtful gesture.

OMG

WHAT? CAROLINE IS ACTUALLY NICE!!!??? Now Elizabeth is certain something is definitely not right. Caroline would never miss out on an opportunity to make fun of the Bennets.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

On a side note, the whole Netherfield estate is run by people in need rather than trained servants. It’s pretty funny as I know that is exactly what Jane and Bingley would do. Too tenderhearted for their own good.

Anyways, back to the mystery. So Elizabeth heads over to the hothouse and sees Professor Randolph heavily concentrating on cutting leaves. He says they are spearmint and that he is using them to cure Caroline. He also keeps talking about the upcoming Winter Solstice.

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Later that evening they all get into a discussion of reason vs. the supernatural. Professor Randolph is all for the unexplained, while Darcy is heavily a nay.

That night Elizabeth cannot sleep and hears something. She goes out and finds Caroline running around the hall. She tries to talk to her, but Caroline is just not responsive. Instead, Elizabeth deposits her with Mr. Parrish and goes back to her room. Is Caroline really sleepwalking? Why is all this happening so suddenly? (Well you all know what I think. It’s the husband.)

The next day the group set out for Longbourn, when the Bingley’s carriage overturns.

OMG

Jane and Bingley are okay, but they could have been killed. In fact, there coachman died. They all return to Netherfield and the local doctor is called in.

Now they believe the wheel probably came off for normal reasons, and that the Bingley’s nice but inexperienced help just didn’t realize it was in need of repairs. However, I am a devout mystery reader and was trained by the best, Agatha Christie, so I know that this is no mere coincidence, but someone was attempting to murder the Bingleys. I’m still gunning for Mr. Parrish, money as the motive.

Anyways, at the house it turns out that Mr. Kendall has been waiting quite some time to speak to Mr. Bingley. He arrived just after the group set off (meaning he could have tampered with the wheel, and then “arrived” after they all left to give himself an alibi.) Hmm…

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Mr. Kendall doesn’t care that Mr. Bingley has just been in an accident but demands to see him. And of course, sweet Bingley agrees. Darcy also accompanies them, as he knows without him, Bingley would sign himself over.

Mr. Kendall once again starts charging the family with holding money that is rightfully his. He threatens to take them to court, when Darcy presents his trump card. The Bingleys have proof of his embezzlement and if they do go to court all of England will find out about that and the Kendalls will most likely have to either head to the continent (Europe) or the New World.

Gotcha!

Gotcha!

Mr Kendall is enraged and threatens that he will have his revenge on the Bingley family, no one can stop him. He then storms out, only to storm back in as extreme snow is forcing him to be unable to travel.

the irony iron

Elizabeth keeps dreaming of the carriage wheel falling off, seeing it vividly even though she never witnessed it. She wakes up, and feels that something is not quite right. It is the middle of the night, and all appears to be well, but Elizabeth decides to take a stroll through the house in hopes to calm her mind. She sees a light coming from the library and assumes it must be Bingley, but when she gets closer it is Mr. Kendall and he is rifling through Bingley’s desk. He must be looking for the embezzlement papers! She hides into the next room, until Kendall returns upstairs, and just as she is to go back to her room she spots Caroline. Once again Caroline is pulling a Mrs. Rochester and roaming the house at night. Elizabeth heads toward her to take her back to her room, but after Caroline spots her she returns on her own. Elizabeth goes back to her own room where she tells Darcy about Kendall.

Darcy decides to move the papers and the two go back to sleep. Just as Elizabeth has slipped off to dreamland, she is awakened once more by the calling if her name. She wakes up and realizes that it must have been a dream, but then sees that there is smoke in the room, and FIRE!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She wakes Darcy, and they quickly wake everyone else up, moving them out of the house. Mr. Bingley and Jane are alright, but they have the worst of the smoke damage as the fire was started outside their room. The Hursts are quite okay, as they were wakened before it was too bad in their wing. Mr. Kendall is also, unfortunately, well as is Mr. Parrish and Professor Randolph. But no one can find Caroline.

Mrs. Hurst is complaining about clothes and being put out, etc, etc. But Elizabeth stops listening as she realizes something very odd. When she was calling there was a fire, Mr. Kendall came running down the stairs, fully dressed. While everyone else is in their night clothes, he is the only one who is dressed right. Pretty strange for a man who had “gone to bed.” Hmmm….almost as if he had known…

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

The search for Caroline turns out to be a futile one. Yep, they had her with them the whole time. Caroline is strangely dressed in maid’s clothing, so in the confusion everyone assumed she was a maid. She is badly burned, especially her left hand. They try to question her, but once again Caroline can’t remember. Ever since this whole “thing” started Caroline has been suffering from blackouts. The worst part of the burn is her left fingers, and they try to remove her wedding ring, but Caroline won’t let them.

Mr. Parrish talks to Elizabeth aside from the group and tells her he fears he may have married Mrs. Rochester (not really that’s what I’m calling her). For those of you who have never read any books from the Bronte sisters, Mr. Parrish believes that Caroline may have set the fire and tried to murder her brother and sister-in-law. He now is considering the possibility that an insane asylum is the best way to go.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! Insane asylums were horrible back in the day. Just horrible. And once you are committed, you would never come out. Men who wanted their wives only for their money, if they didn’t have family members willing to protect them, they would have them committed. Their word was stronger than the “insane” one. Horrible, horrible places. You can say there all kinds of things wrong with mental health facilities today, but none will ever be as bad as back then.

Darcy returns from leading the fire brigade. It turns out that the house wasn’t too damaged, the worst occuring at the master suite while the rest just need airing out from the smoke. The Hursts, Parrishs, Professor Randolph, and Jane go to Longbourn while the clean up is overseen by Darcy and Bingley. Elizabeth remains to be with Darcy, while Mr. Kendall stays as the sky looks bad, (in reality he wants to snoop more).

When Darcy investigates the fire, he finds pieces of Jane’s silver dress in the location of where it started. Weird how they got there as the dress was last seen hanging in the closet. Elizabeth also tells Darcy about her suspicions surrounding Mr. Kendall, and his explanation that he had “fallen asleep in his clothes.” She also tells him about Mr. Parrish’s suspicions of Caroline.

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After everyone has returned, Elizabeth overhears Caroline talking to someone and making fun of her family. While in the past this has angered Elizabeth, she readily welcomes it as it is a sign of the old Caroline. However, when she peeks into the room she sees that Caroline is actually talking to herself.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Later Elizabeth is asked to sit in during one of Professor Randolph and Caroline’s sessions, as Professor Randolph can’t locate Mr. Parrish. He questions Caroline and she is her normal irritable self and in pain over her ring. Professor Randolph has spearmint around and speaks some phrases in a low voice.

That night is not fun at all. Mr. Kendall is completely rude and insulting. He makes digs at Caroline, insinuates that Mr. Parrish is not all that he seems but a rotter, and that Mr. Hurst is a river rat gambler.

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Darcy and Elizabeth discuss Mr. Kendall’s comments. Could Mr. Hurst be gambling all his money away? Is Mr. Parrish a snake? Is Caroline too far gone for help?

Elizabeth starts thinking about why all this is happening. Could Mr. Hurst have gambled all his money away and is trying to kill Bingley, Jane, and Caroline so that he inherits? Could Mr. Kendall be trying to kill them all? Mr. Darcy is not wholly convinced, but decides to write to friends for some info on Hurst, and keep a close eye on Kendall.

Later, Elizabeth is working on needlework when she is approached by Mr. Parrish. He is attempting a custom he heard about in New Orleans about taking the hair of friends and family to create a good luck charm. He asks for her hair, but Elizabeth refuses, partly because she is not really a friend of Caroline, and because Darcy would be furious that she gave her hair to any man but him. You have to remember that giving of your hair symbolized a very close relationship. Usually the two were engaged, close friends, or related.

uh-no-gif

Darcy and Bingley are discussing the repairs of the house and the landlord, when they set off to the billiard room to play pool. There they discover Hurst and Kendall playing, with Hurst not looking as if he is really enjoying himself. Hurst takes off, and Bingley is called away; leaving Darcy with Mr. Kendall.

Karen stop talking

Without any excuse, Darcy plays a game with Kendall. Mr. Kendall talks to Darcy about his dislike for Mr. Parrish. Apparently he was the one who stopped the engagement, contrary to what has been said around town. He thought that Mr. Parrish was too forward, asking his daughter for a lock of hair before he even declared himself. Luckily for Darcy, Mr. Parrish comes in and tells Darcy that Bingley needs him.

Elizabeth and Jane are looking at the poorly hung Christmas decorations. Elizabeth leaves her to grab her bonnet for a walk when she sees Mr. Randolph and Caroline having a session, alone, and no ordinary one. Leaves have been scattered all around her and Professor Randolph is speaking some strange words over her and pressing an object into her left hand. Caroline looked deathly pale. Elizabeth also starts feeling strange, as if the words are coming over her as well.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Elizabeth interrupts them and Professor Randolph acts very suspicious. Not answering any of Elizabeth’s questions at all. Elizabeth finds herself questioning, what this man is really about. Especially when he asks her to keep all that she has seen a secret from everyone.

So now they are up to three suspects.

  1. Mr. Kendall– He could be trying to kill the Bingleys because of the money he feels that he has been cheated out of. He also could be trying to get rid of Caroline because of his daughter being thrown over. Remember, his daughter was with Caroline when her horse bolted.
  2. Mr. Hurst– If his debts are as extremely high as Elizabeth suspects, he might be trying to kill his relations off for money.
  3. 3) Professor Randolph– Professor Randolph has been drifting from place to place as most don’t feel his studies are legitimate. Now that Caroline is crazy, he has room and board as the prime caretaker for Caroline. Maybe he is making her seem crazy, and could even be trying to make it look as if she set the fire, to only further cement Mr. Parrish’s need of him.

And of course my pick, 4) Mr. Parrish- He only married Caroline for her money and is trying to remove her from the picture. He is supposed to be extremely wealthy, but for some people what they have is never enough. Besides, he could be lying about how wealthy he is, or have hidden debt that they don’t know about.

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Elizabeth tells Mr. Parrish about the session she saw, and he becomes incensed. He yells at Professor Randolph, nearly knocking him down the stairs.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Mr. Parrish once again brings up the idea of placing Caroline in an insane asylum. To Elizabeth and Darcy’s shock, her family actually is considering doing it. They suggest getting her a nurse, but that idea is shot down. Professor Randolph doesn’t agree as he thinks that Carolin is improving. In fact, he believes a few more sessions with him will help her. But Parrish cuts him off, letting him know that his help is no longer necessary. In fact, as soon as the storm ends Professor Randolph is whole-heartedly invited to leave.

ouch Hermione

 Mr. Darcy receives a letter from his friend, regarding Mr. Hurst. Mr. Hurst had been gambling a lot and owes a whole ton of money. To makes things worse, Mr. Kendall bought up all his IOUs. Buying IOUs was very popular then. Let’s say Steve owes Tom, Dick, and Harry $5 each. George buys the IOUs from the three, paying what is owed. Now Steve owes George $15.  Not only was it beneficial to the person who was owed money, but the person who bought up the IOUs, espechially the big ones, was now in a position of power over the others.

Seeing as Hurst has huge debts, and now is indebted to Kendall, it makes him a much stronger suspect. He might be trying to kill the Bingleys to inherit or doing the dirty work of Mr. Kendall.

The plot thickens

The plot thickens

While the Darcys are going to ask Kendall more questions, they discover his body. Now the question who is trying to kill the Bingleys and who killed Kendall?

*******Attention*******

If you wish to not have the ending spoiled then stop reading. Know that I enjoyed this book immensely, except for a later “supernatural” part. I think that this is something all Austen fans should check out. For those who are okay with me telling them the end, continue.

So now things have changed. Either there are two murderers, one after the Bingleys and the other after Mr. Kendall, or this is one. But why and who?

  1. Mr. Hurst- As stated before, he could have been trying to kill the Bingleys either for the money or because Mr. Kendall is using his debts to force him too. He could have killed Kendall because of his debts to him or to stop him from trying to murder his extended family.
  2. Professor Randolph– Trying to kill the Bingleys, but making it look like Caroline in order to keep a position in the house. Maybe Mr. Kendall knew somthing about him? It’s a weak reason, I know.
  3. Mr. Parrish– Killing the Bingleys for money, killed Mr. Hurst because he knew more about him than Mr. Parrish wanted to be public.

Mrs. Hurst is excused from being a suspect as she is too stupid, and of course Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane, and Bingley aren’t suspects.

As they further search the crime scene, they discover signs written out in the dust on the floor, the same signs Elizabeth saw on Professor Randolph’s watch. The same watch in the dead man’s clutches

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

When Professor Randolph is questioned, he says that he misplaced his watch. But did he really? But if it was him, why would he leave signs on the ground that would clearly trace everything back to him?

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Professor Randolph tries to get Elizabeth to give him his watch back as Darcy has it. Or forgive me, I forgot to mention that the constable is a bumbling fool and Mr. Darcy is the one who really takes charge of the situation.

Anyways, the rest of the group is questioned, but no one really has anything to help. Elizabeth speaks to Darcy about her suspicions of Professor Randolph. The pentagram symbol on the floor, the way he acted about the watch, the death on the winter solstice, etc. Elizabeth also believes that something unnatural is going on, she can feel it.

supernatural supernatural

Darcy doesn’t agree with her feelings, although he agrees the evidence is pointing toward Professor Randolph.

To only make things better, Miss Kendall descends on the house angry and demanding to know who murdered her father. And Professor Randolph has disappeared.

Of course

None of the maids want to be around Caroline as they are afraid that she is going to hurt them as she is “crazy.” Elizabeth goes in to talk to her and helps take the ring off that has been hurting her finger. As soon as the ring is off, it is as if Caroline has awaken from her haze, she tries to tell Elizabeth something, but is interrupted by Mr. Parrish, who promptly puts the ring back on.

Afterwards, Elizabeth finds herself questioning her suspicions of Professor Randolph. The watch seems to call to her, and she remembers that Professor Randolph had the watch on Caroline’s left hand. And that even though Caroline is right handed her left was injured. And that Caroline has been trying to get rid of the ring on her left hand. Hmm…

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

The ring! There is something in that ring. The last time Caroline was normal, she had removed her ring briefly. Professor Randolph must have enchanted it and is controlling her. Darcy doesn’t believe her, so Elizabeth sets off on her own to get that ring off Caroline’s finger on her own.

Darcy goes to look through Mr. Kendall’s things to see if there is something that might lead to the answers of his death. He comes upon Miss Kendall already looking through Mr. Kendall’s papers, and she hands Darcy a letter. The letter says that Mr. Parrish is not who he says he is but a conman known as Jack Diamond. He is a pickpocket, swindler, and murderer. Professor Randolph is a professor, like he said, and frequents pawn shops (unknown as why). Darcy puts all the pieces together, and sets off to find him.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Meanwhile, Elizabeth goes to see Caroline, intent on removing the ring. She is interrupted by Mr. Parrish and shares her thoughts. Mr. Parrish is not happy as he was the one who cursed the ring. He has bewitched the wedding bands so that he controls Caroline. He killed Kendall too.

He has Caroline tie up Elizabeth, as he contemplates what to do with her. Elizabeth’s maid comes by looking for her, but Mr. Parrish gets rid if her.  Mr. Darcy forces himself in with Mr. Bingley’s pistol, but is forced to concede when he sees Elizabeth held up by knifepoint. Mr. Parrish tosses the gun to Caroline, having her watch over the two. Mr. Parrish decides he is going to take Elizabeth with him, and will ransom her for all of Darcy’s money.

you're evil

Footsteps come down the hallway and Mr. Parrish runs to the door, with the dagger to keep any from coming in. Darcy grabs the fireplace poker to use against him. As Caroline points the gun at Darcy, Elizabeth uses her weight to knock Caroline down. As everyone is struggling and fighting, Bingley and Professor Randolph come in. Mr. Parrish uses the “good luck amulet” to control Bingley and stop Professor Randolph. Professor Randolph yells at Elizabeth to use his amulet, the watch on Caroline. She does and reduces the power. Eventually all overpower Parrish and remove his objects of control.

Professor Randolph uses an oak rod from the museum exhibit, taps it on the objects and says a few words. He “removes” all the power from the objects. He explains that the rings were from the 16th century and that they had been commissioned by a marquis who was jealous of his wife. Professor Randolph wanted to purchase them, but had no money to do so. He met Mr. Parrish, who purchased the rings, paid for Professor Randolph to come with him to America, would possibly fund his next expedition, and could introduce him to other wealthy patrons. Parrish was also very interested in all his work and asked him a gazillion questions. Professor Randolph taught him a charm to make him not in complete control of those he has a lock of hair from, but able to make strong suggestions.

In the end the Darcys finally make it to Pemberley for Christmas

victorian_christmas room decorated for christmas

Mr. Parrish was imprisoned and Caroline began the process of a divorce. The Hursts debts forced them to depart for the continent. Jane and Bingley resumed life as normal, and began searching for a house to buy. Miss Kendall inherited everything from her father, and married. Professor Randolph was able to make it out of the whole drama okay. He believes that Elizabeth has “the power” and offers to help her any time be able to understand and control her gift.

TheEnd_Title_2

So I liked the book as I felt it stayed true to the characters, while at the same time Carrie Bebris was able to put her own spin on them. The mystery was good, even though I figured it out very fast. The only think I didn’t like was Elizabeth’s “supernatural” powers. I don’t like supernatural mysteries, so I would have kept that out, but otherwise it was very good novel and I’m looking forward to reading its sequel.

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For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

For more retellings of Pride & Prejudice, go to The Accidental Bride

For more on works inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

For more mysteries, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

What is This Thing?: Phantoms (1998)

Just what is this thing? Chaos, chaos in the flesh.

Phantoms is a 1998 film that is based on the book by Dean Koontz. The story is very creepy, and I was surprised at how well the film was done. I thought it was going to be done in a very stupid, silly way; but it was the essence of creepiness. The only thing I didn’t care for was Liev Schreiber, I felt that he didn’t portray the character very well in the beginning. I wouldn’t have chosen Rose McGowan either, but she did surprisingly well. I loved Ben Affleck as the sexy Sheriff and love interest. I love Ben Affleck though, I mean who doesn’t? They changed the film from the book, as expected, but the changes do not destroy the film, thank goodness. If you’d like to watch the film go here. So the film starts out with Dr. Jennifer Pailey bringing her trouble-making sister Lisa to live with her. They are hoping the change of scenery will help straighten her out as she was involved with gang members in Los Angelas.

I want to go back to LA

When they reach the town, it is empty. Like really empty. There is no one out and about even though they are in a ski town, in the middle of winter with great snow.

Gilmore girls creep

They continue on home. When Jennifer gets there she finds her housekeeper dead. All the life had been sucked out of her and she looks burned.

[Note: Pic from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms not Phantoms

[Note: Pic from The Giant Behemoth not Phantoms]

OMG

The girls are widely freaked and decided to head to the sheriff’s. But there is one problem, their car won’t work.

Oh no!

Oh no!

The girls hurry on to the sheriff’s office where they find a deputy, burned and blackened. He appears to have shot his gun at something, but they don’t find any traces of it, except shells. Dr. Jennifer grabs a gun and the two run off to the bakery, as it is getting dark and they are really freaked out. They head to the baker’s, running quickly as they hear sounds as if someone is following them. When they get there the oven goes off revealing severed heads!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

The girls are completely grossed out and confused when the Sheriff (who ex-FBI) finds them.

Hello Sexy!

Hello Sexy!

With him are his two deputies Steve Shanning (Nicky Katt) and Stuart Wargle (Liev Shreiber) have come to investigate. They decide the best thing to do is go to the sheriff’s department, and just when they do every single horn, siren, whistle, bell, etc. goes off and then suddenly stops. The only lights left on are down on the Candleglow Inn up the street.

What the

They check it out and see that only four guests are registered. The Sheriff and Stu go upstairs, while the girls stay behind with deputy Steve.

While the sheriff is upstairs he goes into a room and starts looking through an opening in a closet. When he does he sees a vision of a young boy with a gun, which disappers. You see when the Sheriff was FBI he accidentally shot a boy, which made him quit and turn to small town life.

Aw! Look at his face. :(

Aw! Look at his face. 😦

Stu goes in the other room and finds a beautiful, dead woman. He sits next to her and puts his hand up her leg…

ew! Gross Yuck

What a perv!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Then the Sheriff walks in. He lets it go, even though he is severely grossed out as he knows what Stu was doing, but he needs every man he can get as he has no idea what the situation is.

The Sheriff has Stu watch the hall as he continues checking things out. Stu comes on to Lisa who tells him flat out no, she is not digging that.

I don't think so

Dr. Jennifer joins the Sheriff and they discover that a bathroom locked from the inside (that has no other windows or doors) is empty, with something written on the mirror in lipstick. The writing says “Dr. Timothy Flyte–The Ancient Enemy“.

Phantoms Timothy Flyte Ancient Enemy mirror Note

 

The two have no idea who Dr. Flyte is but intend on finding out.  In another empty room they find a bunch of metal objects like jewelry, buttons, watches, gold teeth, a pacemaker, etc.; concluding that this thing, whatever it is strips a person completely of everything, if it chooses.

EW!

EW!

They go back into the lobby to regroup and figure out their next step. But then they suddenly hear a woman crying out “Help me!” and Deputy Steve rushes out to save her. The Sheriff follows him, but when he gets outside all that is left of Steve is his shoes and a gun.

What the

They head back to the Sheriff’s office and put the dead deputy in a body bag. They then call for help–military, Dr. Flyte, anybody, but the line was so bad they don’t know whether or not it went through.

AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! [Note: from When a Stranger Calls not Phantoms]

Bryce and Stu go through the dept. and pull out all their ammunition getting ready for–whatever the thing is that is trying to attack them. The lights go out and the creature takes on a Alien/The Thing (1982) feel. The next thing you know, Stu is dead.

victim

Too be honest, good riddance. He was a creep and I didn’t like him.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

They also put Stu in a body bag and wait out the night.

We then switch to another part of the country- Dr. Flyte. Dr. Flyte (Peter O’Toole) is a tabloid worker in New York City. He used to a professor at Oxford, but they let him go as they felt his writings were “too silly”.

Phantoms Swine Peter O' Toole

 

Two FBI agents ask him to go to the small, winter, town of Snowfield to help solve what the “thing” is.

Back in Snowfield the three survivors are trying to figure out what to do next. Lisa tries to take a nap while the Sheriff tells Dr. Jen about how the monster called up the incident with the young boy. The two are interrupted when Lisa asks the Sherif to walk with her to the bathroom. He checks it and finds it clear. Lisa begins to smoke when she hears a squealing noise coming out of the drain.

Psycho-Shower

She checks out the bathroom stalls (much like Scream) and finds the Deputy Stu there!

im-back

 

Scream-Casey-Becker-drew-barrymore-31896958-2560-1088

In the book the “Phantom thing” was more like the Blob from The Blob (1958); although it could take on the shape of other things, or create small phantom pieces of itself. In the film, however, the “Phantom” embodies the form of Stu, which is understandable from a filmmaker point of view. It doesn’t copying The Blob at all, as I mentioned earlier copying The Thing. Just like The Thing, the “phantom” takes on the appearance of something. This wasn’t a horrible decision as I bet it was easier to film. They also did a lot of blackout or limited lighting when the creature was in its true form, which allowed it to remain creepy as your imagination creates it. The director of It (1990)  should have used the same technique, it would have been a better film.

I didn’t really care for Liev Schreiber, and thought he could have been much creepier. Instead he just comes off as a pervert. This film has actually ruined him for me in all other films. When I watch Kate & LeopoldScream, Scream 2, Scream 3, Lee Daniel’s the Butler, or X-Men Origins: Wolverine; I keep expecting him to do something perverted to all the women.

Yes I am

Yes I am

Anyways, back to the story. So the Sheriff goes into the bathroom and can’t find anything. They go down to check the body bags, but both are empty.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile Dr. Flyte is on route to Snowfield with military General Leland Copperfield, some mobile labs, an armored strike van, etc–all ready to take on whatever the “thing” is. They ask Dr. Flyte about “the Ancient Enemy”. Dr. Flyte explains that there were creatures, he calls “Ancient Enemy” who are amoeboid shapeshifters. This Ancient Enemy rarely feeds, but when it does, the effects are devastating and it was theorized that the Enemy either caused or aided in the extinction of the dinosaurs, the destruction of the Mayan civilizationRoanoke disappearance, the missing army of Nanking, China in 1939, etc. And the town appears to have been built on the home of one of these “Ancient Enemies”.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

The group arrives to Snowfield and the three survivors come to meet the army. The next thing you know, “the thing” has taken out almost the whole team using its shape-shifting qualities and the pipes/sewers. Now these scenes are pretty intense. I was watching them and screaming and my roommates were all, are you ok? I highly recommend watching this film.

General Copperfield is last of the military to be killed; as a pair of oily black tentacles seeps up through the pavement, penetrates his hazmat suit, and smothers him.

[Note: From The Mist]

[Note: From The Mist]

This leaves Dr. Flyte, Sheriff Bryce, Jenny, and Lisa as the remaining survivors..

He’s dead but the “Phantom” uses his body as a mouthpiece and begins speaking to the crowd.

 “My Flesh. Study it. Write the gospel. But do not try to leave. Witnesses to the Miracle.”

Phantoms

The body then falls to the ground and an oily black substance comes out along with a gecko, of which the group is supposed to get a sample of. Dr. Flyte begins to analyze the sample, coming to the conclusion it has lived in the depths of the earth for eons, growing to immense size, and absorbing knowledge from its prey. It can separate off parts of Itself to send as drones, warriors, phantoms, etc.–having them assume the shapes of anything or anyone It has absorbed; even of people or monsters from memories and dreams.With these, It has manipulated Bryce, Jenny, and Lisa into bringing Dr. Flyte here, to be Its prophet, and to write Its gospel. For It has begun to think of Itself as God–or the Devil. Indestructible. All-Powerful. Immortal. Unstoppable.

This is bad. Very bad.

This is bad. Very bad.

Dr. Flyte’s analysis reveals that It is similar to oil and if they are able to make the same kind of bacteria that eats away at oil spills, they may just have a chance at stopping it. They create cultures and prepare for the final battle.

Dr. Flyte goes out and calls to the creature.

Fantomy_Phantoms_1998_1266246010-25163.jpg

He tells It that he needs to see all of it in order to write Its “gospel”. He says that the others are creating a weapon against It, that they don’t believe in It like he does. It appears first as a single person, but then becomes all 400 residents of the town, merging and melding into one swirling mass, which resolves Itself into an immense, hideous, upright millipede.

The Sheriff, Jenny and Lisa run and fire the guns loaded with the bacteria culture  into It. This causes It to scream.  Jenny and Lisa run for shelter into the nearby deputy’s office, to reload their guns but are pursued by a drone of Deputy Stu.

Deputy Wargle: Oh, you've got some guns, ladies, you wouldn't shoot an unarmed man, would you? [both women cock shotguns and point them at him] Deputy Wargle: That's a dumb question.

Deputy Wargle: Oh, you’ve got some guns, ladies, you wouldn’t shoot an unarmed man, would you? [both women cock shotguns and point them at him] That’s a dumb question.

They empty their shotguns into him, knocking him down, and blowing away huge chunks of his legs and arms. Tentacles shoot out of his arm and leg stumps. The girls run away and and he follows, but is killed by Dr. Jen as she shoots him with the last of the culture.

The bigger entity is falling apart and the Sheriff follows the last of It down into the sewer, finding him face to face with the boy that he killed. He hesitates, and while he does so, a tentacle shoots out of the boy’s mouth, and knocks him down. His gun with the culture is stolen by It. It pulls the vials out and starts taunting the Sheriff. In response to It’s mockings the Sheriff pulls out his gun and shoots the vials, causing the bacteria to spread all over.

Hello Sexy!

With one final ear-shattering scream It is gone, and Bryce makes his way back to the others. As a helicopter arrives to rescue them, Dr. Flyte announces to the others that the Entity has won after all: It wanted him to tell the world, and that’s just what he’s going to do. Everything seems to end well, or well enough. Dr. Flyte has his story and will win back his prestige; Sheriff Bryce  is no longer traumatized about killing the boy; Dr. Jen and Sheriff Bryce have found each other; and Lisa and Dr. Jen have bonded. Sounds as perfect an ending you can get for a horror film.

TheEnd_Title_2

Uh, uh uh. Not quite yet!

We switch to a scene in a bar where Dr. Flyte is in TV talking about It and how it may still be out there waiting. One of the guys in the bar turns to his companion and says its a lot of hooey. A strange laugh is heard and at the end of the bar is Deputy Stu Wrangle, showing that It is still alive.

dun-dun-duuuun

So it really was a good film, and I’m telling you the scenes with the creature are super creepy!!! You’ll love them if you love scary movies!

phantoms-

So unlike the other facebook cover pages I have made (and you should have guessed by now that practically every post has one) I made two for this one as the first one wasn’t working out right. Here’s the second one for those of you interested.

1998_phantoms-

Comment below which you think is better!

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts That Lie Hidden Within

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For more monster movies, go to Let Them Fight

For more films based on books, go tA Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more on Rose McGowan, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For more on Ben Affleck, go to Pot o’ Gold