Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mystery Ring


I had two spinster aunts. They lived together most of their lives in their peaceful and single existence, a little like two lesbians without the sex. One definitely the masculine, Daphne, the other more feminine, Marian.

One year, after a visit home, my mum and dad were packing and Marian in her generosity presented my Dad with a tiny ring. A little gold, delicate ring with a cluster of tiny diamond chips. It wasn't worth much but to her had some sentimental value as it belonged to their mother. The ring was given as a gift for me upon their return.

As was often the case, mum and dad came back from their trip, homesickness for my mother sated and Dad happy to be back in the warmth of Australia. They'd bring little treats such as duty free perfume and Walnut Whips from Marks and Spencers, Lemon Bon Bons and trinkets from their travels.

This particular trip, my father was especially proud because he had a special gift for me, given as an heirloom. A tiny diamond ring. Inconsequential to me as I'm not really a 'jewellery' person but a nice thought to have a family heirloom to keep and perhaps pass on to my daughter at the appropriate time so I was very pleased indeed.

Well, they turned their bags inside out and upside down and I guess a combination of jet lag and fury, my father couldn't work out what the hell had happened to the ring. He remembered Marion giving it to him as they were packing. He remembered the box it was in and he remembered carefully wrapping it in a sock and securing it into one of his shoes for safe keeping.

First the customs and baggage handlers were blamed but the locks on his valise were intact. No customs 'search' notification on the bag and he hadn't been asked to open bags upon arrival in Australia and nothing looked as if it had been disturbed when he first opened his suitcase, so that was ruled out.

Then he began to doubt himself. Perhaps he hadn't packed it. Perhaps it was left on the bed where they'd lain their cases but my mum assured him that she saw him wrap the box and put it into his shoe. So absent-mindedness was also ruled out.

"Daphne!" he said quite emphatically, "That bitch has taken it out". I've never heard my father speak that way about any woman, let alone his sister but the bitterness went back further than I realised. She had long been jealous of his relationship with my mother it seemed. Even to the point of splashing his coat with perfume once in the hope that my mother would think him unfaithful, soon after they'd first met. She didn't attend their wedding and for over 30 years I was oblivious to any tension between them but clearly it had been there.

He was on the 'phone in a heartbeat and talking to both sisters about the ring. Where was it? What's the point of giving something only to take it back? Had Daphne repossessed it and opened his luggage? Accusations flew far and wide and neither side was giving quarter. They swore they hadn't touched it, he swore someone had removed it from its secure and snug home in his valise.

Years went by, I mean many years. Daphne died. Marion came to Australia and lived here for a few years until she too passed and many a gin and whisky driven argument between her and my Dad raised the sore point of the ring. She denied any knowledge of its removal and even said that she'd quizzed Daphne about it many times. Daphne had always stood her ground. Marian did admit that Daphne hadn't been happy about it being 'given away' even to her niece! Families are funny things.

It never surfaced, no reason for its disappearance. I hoped it might be discovered when we finally cleared out my Dad's stuff after he too died, perhaps buried deep in one of his old shoes, wrapped neatly in one of his old socks. But no. There was no sign of the little gold diamond cluster. It's just one of those mysteries that we'll never unravel. Or one with an answer that was clearly taken to the grave!

Unravel more mysterious moments with Theme Thursday!

33 comments:

i beati said...

darn I was hoping you or your daughter was wearing it . Happy weekend

This theme Thgursday looks like fun..where do I sign on>>Sandyu

Grannymar said...

I had a aunt just like Daphne! She too was jealous of my mother and made her life hell!

Great story about the ring!

Tom said...

aliens. the space kind.

laughingwolf said...

well hell, that IS a mystery! :(

Mrsupole said...

You know darn well that the gnomes did it. They do like their gold and do not want it taken out of their country.

Actually my bet is on the baggage handlers, they are just so good at their job of picking the locks and keeping things in place so as no one suspects that they have gone through the baggage. I have heard that some of them are better then the best thieves out there. So sad that things of such meaning to a family are stolen by those who just see a thing.

But stil a great mystery. One that will probably never be solved.

God bless.

nick said...

Probably some innocent explanation, but something like that can cause the most amazing suspicions and recriminations!

I agree with Mrsupole's theory. Baggage handlers are very skilled at going through suitcases. They also have special keys for opening baggage locks for security reasons.

Leah said...

Lost treasure is the most magical mystery of all!

Brian Miller said...

perhaps one day that mystery will resurface...when you least expect it...

Carolina said...

One should never put something precious (apart from a feet, preferably attached to a body) in a sock! Socks have a habit of disappearing without a trace. We all know that!

Roy said...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy says that missing ballpoint pens actually slip through a wormhole and end up on a planet where they are the dominant life form. I have a feeling odd socks that go missing also have such a home planet. So... Why not small diamond rings? Wear your sunglasses if you go to visit, though!

Janice said...

Darn...I was hoping this mystery would be solved, perhaps with a happy ending.

tori said...

yep. I'm sure it was the luggage handlers....
great story and well told!

AngelMay said...

I, too, was hoping it had been found. O well. Such is the stuff of life.

unstranger said...

Back-beat to the generations; diamond on a gold ring!

Gledwood said...

Yeah I was hoping you were gonna say that 25 years later someone opened an old suitcase and it tumbled out on the floor... ho-humm.

That sapphire/diamond/whatever it is jobbie you illustrated the post with ~ it isn't Princess Diana's engagement ring by any chance, is it?

California Girl said...

I always think a bag handler will steal something (sorry if you're a bag handler reading this) so I carry anything worth a shit on my person. That means, all my jewelry, cell phone, computer, etc. Never pack anything you don't want to "mysteriously" lose.

Yes, raised in a big city & taught to be suspicious. Ah well, it's probably saved me some heart ache.

Ronda Laveen said...

Maybe it was one of those rings like in the Lord of the Rings that keeps disappearing.

steph said...

Yep, you're right, Baino

Families are very funny things.

You know what... even if had transpired that Daphne repossessed the ring, I wonder if you'd have wanted it as an heirloom after all the bitterness it had caused?

kj said...

jeez, can you write a story, hells. every word was just right.

i know you've been through this before, but ms. emily rabbit has a surprise for you on her post today. she says to hop on over.

i'm just sayin....

love
kj


ps they may have been ALOT like lesbians without the sex.... :)

CatLadyLarew said...

Wow... so many possibilities here. Isn't it amazing how one object comes to epitomize family relationships? That ring's probably still out there somewhere!

Kath Lockett said...

Oh, I was hoping you'd find it!

Sad (but realistic, unfortunately) how very small things ignite old and festering tensions.

Jill said...

Hmmmm, now wouldn't you like to know who nicked that ring? I would!
Good and TRUE mystery! Cool.

Kris said...

"Lesbians without the sex"?

Did they have crew cuts and hairy legs?

;)

River said...

I thought baggage handlers only oened stuff if they were suspicious of contents, i.e. drugs for instance. With no prior knowledge of anything like this, why would they randomly open a bag and search? If they did this for every single piece of luggage one would wait forever at airports all over the world. so I can't believe they did it. It certainly is a mystery though.

Leeuna said...

What a great story and perfect for this Theme Thursday. Too bad you never found the ring though. This was a mystery indeed.

Alan Burnett said...

All the best families have mysteries like this - normally they centre on money or legacies or some such thing. In the long run, the story is better than the ring.

blackwatertown said...

Good mystery. All the better for the realistic inconclusive ending. In terms of a story that is. Sorry you never got your ring though.

The story also brings to mind the sort of bitterness that can arise and endure amongst families over the execution of wills.

Darlene said...

I have had things missing or broken in luggage that didn't have the inspection slip. I know a baggage handler had opened it.

It's sad that it's loss caused such animosity in a family.

Leslie said...

Sometimes the greatest mysteries are why families can't resolve issues.
Nice story



mine is here

Cheryl said...

Great story you've told. Of course I wanted a resolution but life just isn't as tidy as fiction.

Nicely done TT.

Gladys said...

Great story about the ring. I had a pearl and diamond brooch that was in my suitcase upon my return from a funeral. I drove. When i returned home the brooch was gone, the box was not. I never found my brooch. Perhaps it is with your ring.

Robyn said...

great mystery Baino... well writtten and a real mystery

x robyn

Bimbimbie said...

Tsuping eck*!* I felt sure you were going to say it had turned up after all these years ... well I'd probably say it had to be Marian because she was blaming Daphne ;)