Monday, October 12, 2015

Tales from the Bergamot: The Curse of The Black Orlov

In honor of Halloween, we've decided to tell spooky tales about dark and mysterious gems. So keep reading...if you dare!

A haggard and visibly anxious man, walks warily into the night wearing nothing but the remnants of his torn and burnt evening garment. He removes the tattered clerical collar hanging off to the side of his shirt and stuffs it carelessly into what remains of his pocket. His eyes grow increasingly frightened as he looks down at a mass of rupees, his last and only possession, as he realizes the distance between himself and the port of Pondicherry.

''I should never have come to this place'', he says. ''Up until now, things have be going well here in British India despite the locals' continued reluctance to convert. While visiting the shrines of their strange gods, I heard a whisper that drew me to a most peculiar sculpture: Four heads looking down serenely at the people below with jeweled eyes that shined so brightly that I was mesmerized by its hypnotic gaze. This whisper continued to follow me, imploring me to take one of the diamond eyes of the sculpture. It said that it longed to be held in my hands. I confess I could not resist it. But ever since that day nothing but horrible misgivings have occurred. The monastery was burnt down in which all of my fellow brothers have perished; since then, I have been walking these streets at the mercy of beggars and vagrants, desperately trying to get home. The only good that has come from that diamond as black as this night, is the fare I have received in exchange for it to return to France. I hope that this ill fortune will not follow me across the waters...".

But much to the priest's anguish, his fortunes did not turn. Shortly after his return home and still plagued by continued tragedy, he sought release from this torture by climbing to the top of the town's bell tower, and plunging to his death.

"Serves you well,  for taking that which does not belong to you, foolish impertinent creature'', says the god Brahma, who's eye the priest had so unceremoniously taken out. ''Your greed is all the more repulsive as you are meant to be a man of the cloth; one that sheds these worldly desires. I will punish your greed and that of your successors by cursing all those who claim it as their own to the same fate.

New York City, 1932. Mr. J.W. Paris, a well-known diamond dealer is expected at a meeting with fellow dealers to view the latest yield from the mines. Only, Mr. Paris has been quite unwell lately. He too had in his possession a large black diamond, as dark as that Indian night so long ago. But soon after selling it,  his business had taken a turn for the worst. With increasing pressures mounting and the fear of the depression's horrible reach taking hold of him, he took himself to the top floor of that 5th Avenue skyscraper and dove towards the busy streets below.

Rome, December 1947. Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov was one of the few fortunate members of the royal family to escape the violence of the Russian Revolution. Rome had since become her home and she founded a life there with her husband, a well-known jeweler.  But on this particular night, she walked frantically through the weaving streets she thought she knew so well. Ever since she received "that" black diamond as a gift, a whisper would not leave her side. She thought that taking to the streets would quell this taunting voice. Much to her dismay, it did not. In an attempt to get away, she quickly turned the nearest corner and was stopped dead in her tracks; the usually angelic face of a familiar statue, had become distorted and terrifying. Growing evermore paranoid, she dashed away only to be met by more twisted, tortured faces on every column, steeple and street corner. Having lost her grasp on reality, she ran into the nearby theater, up the staircase towards the roof. And as Richard III yelled "If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell!" she extinguished the whisper by jumping to her death.

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