Another Hypertrichosis victim was a Mexican woman named Julia Pastrana. A very creepy man named Theodore Lent purchased her from a Mexican woman, who might have been her mother. Lent taught her to sing and dance, then took her on a tour as the ‘bearded and hairy woman’ through North America and Europe. She learned to read and write in three languages during her tour.
She married Lent and became pregnant. The child also had Hypertrichosis, but died three days after birth. Julia died five days later due to complications. She was only 26 at her death. And here is why I declare Lent creepy. Instead of canceling the tour, Lent had a Russian doctor mummify her and his son, and continued to carry them about as a stuffed display.
Lent then found another woman with Hypertrichosis and married her. (This was evidently his way of keeping other tours from stealing his main attraction.) His tour made him wealthy, but in 1884 he was committed to a Russian mental institution and died there. Seems a fair ending for the man…
It took over a hundred years for Julia’s body to be properly buried. Finally, in 2012, Julia’s mummified body was returned to Mexico and buried in her home town.
In my story:
Richard Craft, the wolfman lived a quiet life with his mom, who did not have Hypertrichosis. Nor did his father. Naturally the father declared the furry boy was not his and abandoned his wife and child.
He had reason to think that true:
An affected female had a 50% chance of passing it to her offspring, but Richard’s mother showed no evidence of hypertrichosis.
An affected male could only pass this form of hypertrichosis to his daughters, but never the sons.
However, Hypertrichosis does not present itself in a single form.
Almost every case has slight differences. It is caused by mutations of the genes. Some of these mutations are strongly hereditary, but others are considered spontaneous mutations, which may indicate there is something in the environment causing the breakdown and mutation of the genes. For example, both women Theodore Lent found were from Mexico. Could the river water or the dangerous jobs both fathers have caused the mutated genes?
Even today, the common solution to making those afflicted with this rare disease appear ‘normal’ is to constantly shave. Fortunately, shavers have improved over time.
In Vic’s time, the straight blade was used for shaving and that would have taken forever. Fortunately, Vic’s brother-in-law David is an inventive fellow.
Worse yet, a treasured member of the staff is shot in the heart while attempting to save Vic and the Queen’s cousin.
Richard stumbled to her and touched her pale face, then pressed his ear to her chest, desperately hoping for the thumping of her heart.
Why would anyone kill such a beautiful girl, so young and sweet?
He sat back on his heels and howled in pain and anger.
The fur around his neck rose.
He would gladly stay and die for this beauty if doing so would return her life, but she was gone. He needed to fend for himself. Certain leaving through the door would be his death, he searched for another way out. Spotting an opening in the hayloft, he rushed up the ladder and reached the load door, grasping onto a rope that hung from a pulley, just as a man cried below. “Daisy, no! No!”
As Richard slid down, the rope tore chunks of hair from his hands. When he hit the ground, he ran across the field, dropping to his hands and knees upon the first fire of a rifle. When he reached the edge of the forest, he did not stop and watch. More people were sure to arrive with guns.
He had to find someplace to hide. The villagers would blame him, the ‘wolfman’, for this senseless murder and they would hunt him down and tear him apart.
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Need to catch up?
The Troublesome Apprentice
The Missing Partner
A Right to Love
Well Kept Secrets
Pack of Trouble
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You have been warned.
Mostly humorous books by Liza:
Ghost Lover--Two British brothers fall in love with the same young woman. Ancestral ghost is called in to fix the situation. And there’s a ghost cat that roams about the book as well. (Humorous Contemporary Romance)
Saving Casey— Cass wakes up in the body of a troubled teen who has burned every bridge imaginable. Her only choice is to turn this life around, but that’s much harder than she ever imagined.
Untamed & Unabashed--The youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, tells her story. A faithful spinoff from Pride & Prejudice.
A Long Road to Love Series: (Humorous Contemporary odd Romance)
Worst Week Ever — Laugh out loud week of disasters of Epic proportions.
Oh Stupid Heart — The heart wants what it wants, even if it’s impossible.
Coming to Reason — There is a breaking point when even a saint comes to reason.
Climbing out of Hell — The reconstruction of a terrible man into a great one.
The Hardest Love — Is to love oneself. Sam’s story.
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?
The Mesmerist — The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.
Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.
Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.
The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.
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The Darkest Days doesn't refer to a lack of light, but to some dangerous situations which could end someone's life. There are so many people in danger in this book, you might want to take some extra insurance out on yourself...just in case. And I'm not going to risk myself by giving away spoilers.
Liza's characters are witty and brave during investigations where not only danger presents a life and death matter but also relationships are on the line. Vic has a very different way of dealing with investigations than Xavier but when they come together, they are able to find the perps. but not without risking their friends who have come to their aid. It is the characters that will keep your attention as you try to solve the mysteries which appear to be easy fixes but turn out to be much bigger than you think.
While the characters are important, the storyline is meaningful. I learn facts reading these stories and am able to look at life in a new way. I see through the stories, a new world where things aren't always what they seem (and isn't that how life really is?)
These are certainly books which will keep your interest, engage your mind and pull at your heart....maybe the life insurance isn't such an unusual need, after all.