Category: Stories

The Massacre’s Surviving Cross

One July night in 1918, Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, their five children and a few servants and loyal companions were murdered, as everyone knows, in the cellar of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. A few days later, the White Army liberated the city from the Bolsheviks. Then began the investigation into the imperial family’s…

A Great-Uncle’s Treasure

The other day, I went to the American hospital for a check-up. I came across Dr Ribadeau-Dumas. I remembered his surname because it was the same as one of my schoolmates as a child. He remembered me because he examined my arteries ten years ago. “You gave me the book about your great-uncle that you…

GLEICHENBERG

“We are witches; we want to suffer punishment and be executed,” howled the chained women. There were about forty of them, excessively made-up and dressed in brightly coloured rags. Count Trautmansdorff, the illustrious lord in charge of life and death in Styria, watched them doubtfully. He knew these peasants, these farmers. He had vaguely heard…

THE CASTLE OF TREASURE

Alexander was a lawyer at a Swiss bank in Geneva. He was immensely bored of it, as we well understand. One day, he dropped everything and took his family away to a new life. With his initiation, they purchased a large castle in the south of France, in Ariège, in the middle of a little-known…

A GHOST AT SANDRINGHAM

My father, Christopher, had the most profound affection for his aunt, Queen Alexandra of England, wife of King Eduard VII, and frequently stayed at the various English palaces. In the early years of the twentieth century, he found himself at Sandringham for the weekend, where he had a strange experience that I was reminded of…

TELČ

Unlike the facetious Countess Caroline Goess, the White Lady of Telč thought only of doing good. She had the unusual name Perchta. She had married a count of Liechtenstein, a namesake but entirely unrelated to the principality. He was a wicked, brutal man whose odious methods often forced her to seek refuge at her brother’s…

THE DWARF OF GRAZZANO PART 2

One winter morning, it was freezing in the Grazzano library where the infamous séance took place. The seance that had, in a sense, resurrected Aloysa. The ghost took some time to show itself. Amazingly, there was nothing dwarf-like about it. On the contrary, the precisely contoured silhouette in the door was that of a tall…

THE DWARF OF GRAZZANO PART 1

“Spirit, are you there?” asked Count Giuseppe. They were six or seven seated at the round table in the library at Grazzano, the enormous castle next to Piacenza.  The room where time seemed to have stopped had been left in darkness, and nothing disturbed the thick silence They were anxious, tense, and fixated on the…

THE TZAR’S TREASURE

At the beginning of 1917, Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and their five children found themselves left with a handful of loyal servants who refused to abandon them when they were imprisoned in their home at Alexander Palace. Then, in July of that year, the interim government decided to send the Russian Imperial Family…

THE DEAD PRINCESS ON THE BALCONY

While he was heir apparent, holding the title of Prince of Naples, the future King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy was sent off to attend military studies in Naples. It was there, upon going out into the world, that he met a beautiful young woman, the princess M. It is he who tells this story….