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Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

Part 37

This ring had been created personally for the late Maharajah of Crishnapore.  The central ruby had cost the lives of many men until it came into the possession of the father of the late Maharajah. He had worn it as part of a fabulous neck ornament, but stories were told that every time it hung around his neck, he would fly into uncontrollable fits of rage. It was during one of these rages that he murdered his wife and his eldest son and then threw himself from a high window. The necklace was stolen from the dead man’s body and broken up for its jewels. The thief had eventually been caught and the ruby retrieved, but the thief and his whole family were executed by order of the Maharajah’s youngest son, Manmohan. When Manmohan became Maharajah, he had the ruby fashioned into the ring that Donald was now holding in his hand.

In the year 1818, Manmohan’s forces rose against those of the hated East India Company, the largest private army in India. Manmohan’s men fought bravely, and hundreds died defending the Maharajah’s palace. The gates and surrounding walls to the palace were breached by cannon fire allowing the East India Company men to overwhelm the forces inside.  Manmohan and his bodyguards calmly walked out of the palace and stood defiantly at the top of the marble stairs that led to the palace doors. The fighting in the courtyard stopped. The attackers stood looking up at the Maharajah and his men. Manmohan was dressed in his finest array. His sword shone in the sunlight, and as he raised it above his head, the ruby ring on Manmohan’s finger glowed like the very Sun itself. Each of the men in the courtyard below raised a hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the sword and the ring. Manmohan seemed to physically grow in front of them, his eyes widened and at that moment, he let out an unearthly and unsettling scream. As one, Manmohan and his men bravely charged down the stairs towards their opposers, and as one, they all fell in a hail of musket fire.    

Major Cedric Lowther stood over the body of Manmohan as his men charged past him to ransack the palace. Major Lowther bent down and relieved Manmohan of the sword and the ring from his finger. Lowther wrapped the ring in his kerchief and tucked it into his jacket pocket. The sword would look fine hanging on the wall in the officers’ mess, and the ring would make a pleasing gift for his father, retired Colonel James Lowther. Cedric Lowther drew himself up to his full height and took in a deep breath. This battle would be a fitting end to his military career. Very soon he would be returning to his family’s estate in Hampshire, to his wife and two sons. The Major was suddenly jolted from his reverie by a hand grasping at his ankle. The Major looked down and saw that Manmohan’s eyes were fully open and he was trying to speak. Cedric tried to pull away from Manmohan’s grip.   Although mortally wounded, Manmohan still had the strength within him to hold on to the Major’s leg. Cedric kicked out with his free leg, but Manmohan held on. Cedric thrust the Maharajah’s own sword deep into Manmohan’s chest. With his dying breath, Manmohan uttered one last word, “Cursed”.  


Published by crispinunderfelt

All round good egg. Humanist and red wine drinker.

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