Showing posts with label clues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clues. Show all posts

Friday, April 09, 2021

12 Masterworks


Remember these twelve paintings, all by French masters, all from a certain period. Most were hanging in the Louvre in 1890. Remember what happened to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in 1911?



 

--The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter



Thursday, March 25, 2021

Blue Jean Blues

 Did you know that those Levis you're wearing were responsible for a deadly revolt in India? Well, partly, anyway. You see, back in 1777, the British started planting indigo in India,

Born in the USA
especially Bengal. As a matter of fact, that what indigo means--India. Indigo? That's the dye that makes your blue jeans blue. And the British didn't really grow indigo --they tricked the Indian farmers into growing indigo. Even gave them loans.

But when they came to sell their crops, the farmers didn't make enough to pay back the loans and the exorbitant interest, because the buyers set the price. But it was okay, the buyers just loaned them more money. So the debt mounted. And the growers became, in effect, slaves. Growers were still trying to pay off the debt of their fathers and grandfathers. Men committed suicide rather than endure the torture.

It wasn't a unique situation. Former black slaves in America were effectively still in bondage due to the system of share-cropping. And coal miners were in a similar jam. Remember that that line from Sixteen Tons?

"Saint Peter, don't you call me, 'cuz I can't go. I owe my soul to the company store."

 Same strategy. And demand for blue indigo dye just kept growing, especially in America, where a young man named Levi Strauss was selling copper-riveted indigo-dyed denim pants--blue jeans--as the inexpensive uniform of the working man. So when Indian farmers protested their situation, they were put down--violently.

"The Peasants Are Revolting"

In 1859, the peasants did indeed revolt. And so was bred the Indigo Rebellion, which involved the whole of Bengal. Indigo depots were burned to the ground. Some plantation owners were captured, tried, and hung, The rest fled for their lives.British response was swift and merciless.  The peasants were slaughtered or hung. And then, in true British fashion, they appointed a commission to investigate the matter, and the truth of the British planters' oppression was laid bare. And then, in true British fashion, they recommended no action be taken.

Germans to the Rescue

There's a line you won't see every day. You see, the Germans were completely boxed out of India and the extremely lucrative indigo trade. So German chemists sought the Holy Grail--synthetic indigo. Time and again, it eluded them. Then, in 1890,  Karl Heumann and Eugene Sapper hit on a method that was both practical and economical. By 1897, they brought it to market. And in a very few years, the bottom dropped out of the natural indigo market.

There is still indigo grown in India, but in a very small way. And the farmers got their land back--once the British left. And in 1955 James Dean put on a pair of jeans, and they became cool forever.


Sixteen Tons



Thursday, March 18, 2021

Clues

 I forgot to mention: some of these posts are clues. Some are clues to The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle, which, unless you just stumbled on this blog, you've probably already read, but some are clues to the Dutch Painter, or the Pharaoh's Heart. Some may even be clues to my fourth book, The Murder Downstairs, or even my fifth book--well, I'm getting ahead of myself. But the point is, you can get ahead of the casual reader by putting these clues together--you may even get ahead of me.  I've labeled clue posts as such, and even included the symbol to the right in each one. Let the games begin.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Not Spirits in the Ordinary Sense

 "It is neither decent nor safe to take from their resting places the bodies of old kings. The Egyptians knew much more about the occult than we do today. This must have been a peculiar element of an Egyptian curse.

The ancient Egyptians were very anxious to guard the tombs of their Kings, there is reason to believe that they placed elementals on guard, and such may have caused Lord Carnarvon’s death.

An evil elemental may have caused Lord Carnarvon’s fatal illness. One does not know what elementals existed in those days, nor what the form might be. 

These elementals are not spirits in the ordinary sense, in that they have no souls. 

An elemental is a built-up, artificial thing, an imbued force which may be brought into being by spirit means or by nature."


                     –Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the strange death of Lord Carnarvon



Brunswick Wharf

 


                                                                       --The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle



Monday, March 15, 2021

M. Vernet/Mr. Holmes

 

“My ancestors were country squires, who appear to have led much the same life as is natural to their class. But, none the less, my turn that way is in my veins, and may have come with my grandmother, who was the sister of Vernet, the French artist. Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms.”
                         
--Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter



Sunday, January 17, 2021

THE STRANGE CASE OF THE DUTCH PAINTER News

 And BY THE WAY, Seventh Street will also be publishing my second strange case of Sherlock Holmes, THE STRANGE CASE OF THE DUTCH PAINTER. Look for news of it here.





Sunday, June 28, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Who Gets Offed? (Part 2)

Now where was I? Oh, yeah could it be one of these stalwarts who loses his life?



                 Or is that really their names?