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Sarah Truman: Haunted by Past Lives

*** Click on the ISBN number to order this book. ***

 

When Tom first told me that I had murdered him, I took no notice. We all know that dreams don’t mean anything after all. It was 1994, the month of April had just begun and we were to find these dreams recurring for most of this month. Despite them being pretty vivid, I still dismissed them - after all, there was no way I was going to murder my closest friend! But he didn’t dismiss them and at length neither could I, since I was prompted by a memorable dream myself in January of the following year. I’ll write about this later. So in the February of 1995 I decided to play along with him and ‘open up the case’. As it turned out, we discussed it often and quite unexpectedly the story unfolded in elaborate detail. What’s more, I found that I could actually relate to some of it. Not wanting to miss anything, I began to take notes and soon became something of a sleuth in the process… Indeed, the itch to delve into this intriguing story grew even more.

    I started by asking Tom if he knew when the murder happened. After giving it some thought he said it was roughly between 1740 and 1760, quickly adding with aplomb that it was during a visit to Tamworth Castle in Staffordshire. Confident of his convictions he went on to say that the murderer held a high position in society and that he was a young man, possibly in his early thirties. The victim was possibly around his late twenties and of smaller stature. Both were influential, although one was higher ranking; after some thought he said the latter was likely to have been the murderer.

In the same familiar manner, he continued that the pair were close friends from childhood and had much in common. The victim was a wayward sort, a Jack-the-lad, and this had appealed greatly to the murderer in their early days. Not wanting to sound clichéd, to hear him speak it was almost as if it had all happened yesterday. He was aware that the pair had originated from one of the southern counties, possibly around London, and that they had travelled widely around Britain together.

Strangely, at this point I had an inkling that they could have been related, although Tom refuted this. Out of curiosity, I found myself asking him if the murderer was married when he committed the crime - for some inexplicable reason I thought it might have some significance. It came as a surprise when Tom could tell me that he was and also that the victim was not. Strangely, even though I knew nothing about this story, I was vaguely aware that this point had relevance somehow and that a lot hinged upon it.  

Did he know what the murderer looked like at all? It was a difficult question to answer under the alleged circumstances, but I felt I should ask since it was ‘me’. Tom agreed awkwardly that he supposed he could be described as good-looking, although it's not really the sort of thing you notice when someone is about to kill you, is it? He had no recollection of his own appearance.

He then outlined the cause of the murder. Unfortunately, the culprit had believed a scandalous rumour that had in fact been a lie. It had been started by a young woman who was known to both men, and it appeared she’d had it in for them for quite some time. Tom described her as being of peasant stock, “an uneducated country wench”. Nevertheless she was plainly the malevolent influence behind the deed, an evil character. (However, she met her nemesis later in life when she contracted a disease that caused her to die slowly and painfully.)

Following this, he revealed a slant to the story that I found quite insidious, saying that a good many people were jealous of the men’s friendship. He didn’t know why, but it was the key to what caused a lot of ill will towards the victim. This had festered for many years, starting from his childhood. Apparently all of this contributed to events leading up to the tragedy and also had a considerable effect thereafter. Jealousy is indeed a deadly poison and I could see that it could have been the root of the trouble. I really needed to know more, though. I held on, and there was more...