Sunday, May 24, 2015

Crossover of the Week

            Faustine gives a young woman a letter from her deceased grandmother, Joséphine Balsamo, the Countess Cagliostro, which explains how she had an illegitimate child, Joseph, the girl’s father, by a circus contortionist, Alexandre “Sandre” Cascabel. The Countess says that if he had gone after the Moonstone, or the Hollow Needle, she could have saved Joseph from his fate, but he instead stole The Brigand’s Painting. The Countess was visited by the Master of the Black Coats (aka the Colonel-Who-Never-Died) and his executioner, the Marchef, who instructed her to kill Joseph. The Colonel says that Joseph is presently being kept in the caves of Palazzio Monteleone. If the Countess kills Joseph, the Colonel will have her taken to Sartene, near the Convent of La Merci, and she will live the rest of her life in peace. The Countess was later visited by her former second-in-command Marga.
            Short story by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier published as an epilogue in Arsène Lupin vs. Countess Cagliostro by Maurice Leblanc, adapted and translated by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, Black Coat Press, 2010. Joséphine Balsamo is from Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin novels The Countess of Cagliostro and Countess Cagliostro’s Revenge, both of which are collected in Arsène Lupin vs. Countess Cagliostro. Faustine is also from Countess Cagliostro’s Revenge. The Hollow Needle is from Leblanc’s Lupin novel of the same name. Alexandre “Sandre” Cascabel is from Jules Verne’s novel César Cascabel. Marga Sandorf, the niece of the title character of Verne’s novel Mathias Sandorf, was created by Rick Lai, and appears in his collection Sisters of the Shadows: The Cagliostro Curse. The Moonstone is from Wilkie Collins’ novel of the same name. The Brigand’s Painting, the Colonel-Who-Never-Died (Colonel Bozzo-Corona), the Marchef, the Palazzio Monteleone, and the Convent of La Merci are from the Black Coats novels by Paul Féval. The year is conjecture.

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