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Forbidden Fruit: The Worthington Emerald

Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!


A History Shrouded In Misfortunes ...

It all started with the Worthington Emerald—beautiful yet deadly. This heart-shaped emerald is decorated with white diamonds and nestled in a band of pure titanium, making it indestructible. The ring has been handed down from generation to generation since its conception in the late-1600s when commissioned by Hugo Manchester.

There is a legend that Everett Worthington coveted the ring so much—that he tried to bargain for it. When Hugo refused—Everett hired professional thieves to steal the jewel and to exterminate the entire Manchester Family. However, one small child did escape—hidden away by his nanny.

Everett, overjoyed to finally possess the magnificent ring, then gives it to his wife Lucy. At first, Lucy questions how Everett ever persuaded Hugo to part with such a family heirloom.

“Everett darling, its magnificent! How on earth were you able to convince Hugo to sell you this treasure?” Lucy questions.

“Never mind that my pet, do you really like?” Everett retorts.

“Like it—its enchanting. But you must tell me how you got it? I had heard that there was a break-in at Manchester Manor and everyone was murdered—” Lucy stops in midsentence and gasps in shock.

“Wear it in good health my dear. The Worthington Emerald is a jewel of unimagined riches.” Everett boasts as he admires the ring on his wife’s finger.

Much against her better judgment, Lucy does indeed where the ring. One day on a riding jaunt near Dover, Lucy strikes her head on a rock in a mysteriously tragic accident. She never regains consciousness and no one knows what actually happened to her. Other than she is found alone, clutching that ring.

Although Everett is grieved beyond words—he still adores the Manchester Emerald which is now referred to as Worthington. When his son Charles becomes of age and decides to marry, Everett decides to bestow the ring to him. Charles in turn gives it to his beautiful wife Geneva.

Geneva proudly displays the ring at every function her husband Charles takes her ignoring the murmurings of both servants and locals. However, once again the ring will not be denied its bounty. Geneva dies in childbirth, also clutching the ring in her hand. Soon after that, it is pronounced by the servants to be cursed.

“No good can ever come to the bearer of the Manchester Emerald.” States Maggie Obrien.

“Are you daff girl, it’s the Worthington Emerald.” Another servant Charlotte Cunningham corrects.

“I’m perfectly sane—that ring was wrongfully taken from the Manchesters and their spirits won’t rest until its returned.” Maggie warns.

“Fiddlesticks—get on with your work now girl.” Charlotte admonishes.

“Mind What I tell you. My mamma told me all about what happened with them Manchesters. I tell you, that thing is cursed!” Maggie insists, her voice barely rising above a whisper.

“Told you what, girl?” Now Charlotte has put aside her stirring spoon and moves much closer to Charlotte as she relays to her what has been handed down.

“It seems that Everett Worthington paid the Randolph Brothers—”

Although aware of his servants’ rumors and the tragic circumstances surrounding his wife’s demise, Charles I nevertheless refuses to believe that something so beautiful could be so deadly. Again, when the time comes, he bequeaths it to his only son, Charles II (Chester.) Then Chester surrenders it to his wife Abigail in the early 1800s.

History almost repeats itself. However, instead of Abigail dying, she suffers a massive stroke, depriving her the use of her legs. Confined to a wheelchair, she cautions her husband against giving the ring to their oldest son.

“Chester, I implore you not to give that ring to our eldest son. It can only bring misfortune—even death to his fiancée Daphne!”

“Perhaps you are right—I will speak to my father.”

Corky is determined to make it big in America.

Corky is determined to make it big in America.

A Secret Revealed ...

After a lot of consideration, Charles I reluctantly relays to his son Chester the previous mishaps in regards to the Worthington Emerald. Telling him how his grandmother died—he also advises his son not to give it to his future male heirs.

Chester, believing the curse, refuses to give it to his son Charles (Corky) III explaining the circumstances surrounding the Worthington Emerald. Corky, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, dismisses the legend as utter nonsense— marking it down as pure coincidence and superstition. An argument erupts.

“Father, you just don’t understand. You want me to be like you! I have plans, ambitions of my own.” Corky argues.

“Don’t be a fool, son. Forget about that cursed emerald!” Chester barks.

“It’s you that’s the fool if you think I’m giving up the most important possession of the Worthington family over a stupid superstition.” Corky hurdles at his father.

“You will never respond to me in that manner again. Do you hear me? Now get ready for the party and not another word!” Chester demands. Corky hurries from the room, slamming the double doors shut behind him.

“I’m show him!” Corky whispers to himself.

During the family’s annual cotillion, Abigail takes the ring off, putting it on the mantle for just a brief moment. Corky—seizing the opportunity, steals it. Abigail orders an extensive search. After every part of the castle has been thoroughly covered, it is concluded that the emerald will never be found.

“Good ridden, that’s what I say. Wherever that cursed ring is—may it never give the owner one bit of luck.” Pronounces a descendent of Maggie Obrien.

It takes a lot of convincing, but Chester finally consents to Corky’s request of leaving the English countryside to pursue his dream of being the owner of a grand hotel and theatre. Corky has always fantasized about having a combination of the two so that guests would not only benefit from being entertained but have a wonderful place to stay as well.

“Father, haven’t you ever had a dream that you felt strongly about?” Corky questions.

“Yes but you are needed here at the estate.” Chester counters.

“I’m not like you father—I want to make it in America. I have always envisioned myself owning a fashionable hotel and putting on grand theatrical productions.” Corky whines.

“But what about Worthington Manor. You are the eldest son and rightful inheritor.” Chester reminds him.

“But father, Matthew is here and he’s the perfect English gentlemen. Besides—he’s so much like you!” Corky speaks of his younger sibling—born six months before his mother’s crippling stroke.

“Very well son, you may go but if it doesn’t work out, please return home.” Chester pleads.

“But it will work out, you will see!” Corky insists.

To Be Continued ...

Forbidden Fruit 2: The Worthington Emerald

© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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