Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blood is Thicker than Water: Prologue


When Mr. A. Conan Doyle tells his stories about my friend Ulysses Grant Simpson, he gives his characters and himself false names and descriptions. Mr. Simpson becomes an eccentric character with a hawk-like nose who plays the violin, and Doyle falls back on his guise as a doctor. As an attempt to recreate the facts of this particular tale as accurately as I can, I will use Mr. Simpson’s and Mr. Doyle’s real names. I prefer to think of this literary endeavor as an accurate history, so none of the characters will be given pseudonyms. I must confess that my own poor skill at writing dramatizations of certain events that occurred without my presence demands so much of my creative energies that I shall conserve all I can when I name my characters. Regardless of this, and of the incredible tale that will unfold in these pages, you must believe that every word of what I tell you is true, and I hope to increase my credibility by using truthful names.

My story deals with those affairs recently bought to light in the pages of the New Orleans Picayune regarding the affairs of the supernatural in their city. Not only do Simpson and Doyle figure heavily in my tale, but also Marie LaVeau, the reputed voodoo queen, and Professor Samuel Forte, well-known scientific spiritualist, according, mostly, to himself. I here reproduce the actual events that led to the press’s inquiries, and provide you, gentle reader, with as accurate a depiction of the facts as possible.

--Pauline Raintree

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