Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Vengeance Villa

The blackened ruins of what was once a pleasing country house, now an eyesore in its overgrown park. This house's last owner, Mr. Stephen Thanet, was an art collector, who possessed a notable collection of antiques and Old Masters.

But Thanet, who was renowned in the local community as a philanthropist, had a secret. He had been a notorious drug-smuggler and blackmailer, under his real name, Joe Spengler. Living on his ill-gotten gains, he hoped to pass a quiet life, to forget about the people he had driven to self-destruction. Now he was famous throughout the neighbourhood for his parties.

The night of the 29th November, 1998 will live for ever in the memory of the locality. Stephen Thanet threw a party in honour of his daughter, who had become engaged to the son of a local land-owner. It was to be a night to remember. At the request of the girl, the party was a fancy-dress affair. There was no theme, so people came dressed in any sort of costume. Thanet was on top of the world. This was his finest hour.

As he withdrew into his study, the evil man found a figure in green waiting for him, a gun in his hand. The Green Man offered him a choice. He could either write a confession or a suicide note, the latter saying he was killing himself because he was ruined. His money would go to the families of those Thanet had ruined, either way.

His daughter found the body, and the suicide note. She insisted that the house be sold and, when it couldn't, left it to rot. His art collection was sold. And here's the rub. The proceeds of the sale went to charity.

You see, it was Miss Thanet who had informed the Green Man of the true identity of her father.

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