January 1, 1870


     Scarlet Templesmith was, by all accounts, one of the finest young women to ever grace the streets of Cross. Born in August of 1849, she was a young woman of regal posture and manners by the age of 16. She commanded respect and gave the same, and when she was 20, her marriage prospects were excellent.

     Scarlet was not an individual given to airs, nor was she especially fond of those who were. And while some of the other young ladies in Cross might have their heads turned by a young man in uniform, Scarlet required a bit more substance in any man who might wish to gain her permission to marry.

     Joseph Dower believed he was such a man. Invalided out of the Federal service to a due to a wound received in battle, Joseph felt as though Scarlet should marry him, and he made no effort to hide his belief.

     Scarlet rejected his advances, and Joseph assured all he met that she would change her mind.

     She did not, and her parents found her dead in their garden the next day. Scarlett had been strangled, and the main suspect was Joseph Dower, yet the Templesmiths did not have him questioned.

     Instead, the Templesmiths built a small mausoleum for their daughter, and when it was finished, Mr. Templesmith and several other gentlemen kidnapped Joseph.

     On January 1, 1870, they brought him to the mausoleum, where he was chained and wed to Scarlet’s corpse. Despite his begging, screaming, and pleading, Joseph was locked inside with his bride.

     His new in-laws brought him food three times a day, for 292 days, when he finally managed to kill himself.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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