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Greece

EVRIKLES II

When we last left Evrikles, Emperor Augustus, whom he served well, had rewarded him the island of Kythira as recompense for his efforts, making him the prince of the island. At that time, the territory of Kythira seemed constricting to Evrikles in every sense of the word. There wasn’t much of a future in Kythira…

EVRIKLES

I was searching with Fivos for an illustrious character that lived in Palaipolis during the Roman Era. “No one known,” he tells me. In fact, barely anything is known of the city’s history. The only character tied to the Roman Kythira was called Evrikles. It was at a time in Egypt when Cleopatra and Mark Anthony…

PATMOS – THE CORPSE IN A BASKET

I did not stay long at that Patmonian cocktail party. I was bored, but mostly I didn’t like the house. It was beautiful; old and tastefully decorated, adorned with charming objects, and surrounded by an enchanting garden. And yet, I felt uneasy there. I returned home to find Maria still in the kitchen. I told…

THE DISFIGURED THIEF

It was 19th century Greece during King Otto of Bavaria’s reign. An elusive thief named Christos Davelis was ravaging the area of Mount Pentecliicus around north Athens. Word also had it that he was very handsome: so much so that he may well have seduced the Duchess of Plaisance. Sophie de Marbois was Lebrun’s widow,…

THE SHAH’S TREASURE

Back in the days of the Shah, every time went to Iran, I rushed over to the Melli Bank because I loved looking at the crown jewels on display there in a basement room. I would begin with the Throne of the Peacocks, which was not in fact the dismantled original, but instead a facsimile:…

THE MURDEROUS GARDENER

My aunt Bébelle, the Countess of Paris Isabelle d’Orléans Bragance, told me that when she was young she often visited one of her maternal aunts who owned a very beautiful villa on the banks of Lake Geneva. The aunt was especially proud of her garden, and of her roses in particular. One day, the aunt…

THE JOKESTER GHOST OF TAOS

  About twenty years ago, we visited the very beautiful city of Taos in New Mexico. We stayed at Luan House, which had been turned into a hotel. It was a magnificent villa built in the regional style popular during the 1920s and 1930s by an American art patron millionaire, Mabel Dodge. Everyone of any…

“THERE IS ROOM FOR ONE MORE”

I saw this story in a very old black and white film. I read it in a collection of stories published by Benson, and had read before that it in a collection of true tales, of which I cannot recall the author. It took place in England in between 1905 and 1910. A man is…


EXILED IN SAINT BERTRAND

Saint Bertrand de Comminges is a beautiful, old small city poised amongst the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is nestled amidst forests beyond lowlands full of History. A cathedral full of marvellous items dominates the city. Very old houses and private mansions line the twisty-turny streets. Bertrand de Got had been one of its bishops…

THE MAGICIAN’S CHAMBERMAID

  Over twenty years ago, Marshal Alan Brooke’s descendants invited me to their castle in Northern Ireland. Theirs was a courageous and enterprising household; they had decided to restore the family domain and open it to the public. They were endearing, welcoming, intelligent and warm. The surprising thing is that I cannot remember the name…