Early Spring 1898
KINGDOM OF THE BLIND
Appearing or mentioned are: Sylvia Pence; Count Salvatore Corbucci; Catarina Corbucci (aka the Blind Spinner); Noel Moriarty; the Gentlemen of the Night; the Black Coats; the Agnes de la Fere Athletic Club; Rochelle Moreau; Orianne Coyatier; Ecstasy Parker; Norman Head; Koutatsu of Shimosa Province; Sumeru Yuki; the Iga clan; Senzo; Marga Sandorf; the Order of the Serpent Heart; Baron Von Schulenberg; Colonel Skimmel; Aristide Sandorf; Dr. Eric Malbodius; Madame Sara’s Perfumery; Senora Pilar Reloj; the Pallid Mask; the Chupin Detective Agency; Chief Inspector Jacques Lefevre; Irina Putine; Vathelos; Anna Beringer; Leonard Wolfe; Superintendent Ford; the Koga clan; the White Priest; the Countess Yalta Memorial Hospital; the Royal Palace Hotel; the Regenerator of Fashion; Joséphine Balsamo; Ace Sartana; Maude North; the hero of the dime novel The Man from Minnesota; Mary Holder; Sir George Burnwell; the Old Fellow; La Frenaie wine; Dr. Antonio Nikola; Tarao Hanzo; Inspector Justin Ganimard; Helen Lipsius; Cesarine Caoutchouc; Colonel Clay; Alexander Holder; a blade used by the legendary Yagyu family to slay demons; and Julius Von Herder.
Short story by Rick Lai in Sisters of the Shadows: The Cagliostro Curse, Black Coat Press, 2013. Sylvia Pence is meant to be Madame Sylvia from L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace’s story “Finger Tips,” included in the collection The Oracle of Maddox Street. Catarina Corbucci is better known as Madame Koluchy, from Meade and Eustace’s The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings; here, she is conflated with the Blind Spinner from John Buchan’s The Three Hostages. Norman Head, Anna Beringer, and Superintendent Ford are also from The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings. Madame Sara’s Perfumery is from another book by Meade and Eustace, The Sorceress of the Strand. Count Salvatore Corbucci dueled with A. J. Raffles in E. W. Hornung’s “The Fate of Faustina” and “The Last Laugh.” Noel Moriarty is Professor Moriarty’s younger brother, who was mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes novel The Valley of Fear. Ecstasy Parker is the sister of Larry Parker from Doyle and Watson’s “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Julius Von Herder is also from that story, although his first name is Lai’s invention, and is meant to imply he is the father of the titular villain of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel Dr. No. Mary Holder, Sir George Burnwell, and Alexander Holder are from another Holmes tale, “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet.” The Gentlemen of the Night are from Paul Féval’s The Mysteries of London. The Black Coats are a criminal conspiracy featured in a series of novels by Féval. Orianne Coyatier’s grandfather Jean-François Coaytier, also known as the Marchef, was the Black Coats’ executioner. The Agnes de la Fere Athletic Club is named after the main character (also known as Dark Agnes de Chastillon) of Robert E. Howard’s stories “Sword Woman,” “Blades for France,” and “Mistress of Death.” Vathelos is from Howard’s Conan story “Black Colossus.” The experiments of Rochelle Moreau’s father were chronicled in H. G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, while her uncle Bernard is mentioned in the film La Residencia. Koutatsu of Shimosa Province and Senzo are from the movie Zatoichi’s Cane-Sword. Sumeru Yuki is related to the Marquis Sumuru from Sax Rohmer’s novels dealing with the Marquis’ villainous widow. The Iga and Koga ninja clans are historical, but their feud formed the basis for the Japanese television series Shadow Warriors. Tarao Hanzo is also from that series. Marga Sandorf’s uncle is the title character of Jules Verne’s novel Mathias Sandorf. The Order of the Serpent Heart is meant to be the secret society from H. Rider Haggard’s Heart of the World. Baron Von Schulenberg is from the film The Big Gundown, while Colonel Skimmel is from the movie Adios Sabata. Here, the Baron and the Colonel are identified as cousins; both were played by Gérard Herter. Aristide Sandorf is meant to be the villain Orlowsky from the movie Django Strikes Again. Dr. Eric Malbodius is meant to be Norbert Jacques’ criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse. Senora Pilar Reloj is Pilar from the film A Stranger in Town; Lai’s story “Cut the Branch” revealed she married her fellow outlaw Gordo Reloj, who is meant to be Gordo Watch from the movie Arizona Colt. The Pallid Mask will later be known as Fantômas; his alias in this story is derived from Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow. The Royal Palace Hotel is from the first Fantômas book, while the Old Fellow is from the seventh novel in the series, Le Pendu de Londres. Maude North is the villain’s late Boer wife mentioned in The Daughter of Fantômas. The Chupin Detective Agency, headed by Victor “Toto” Chupin, is from the works of Emile Gaboriau, as is the Regenerator of Fashion. Chief Inspector Jacques Lefevre is from the movie Bluebeard. Irina Putine is meant to be Irene Tupin from La Residencia. Leonard Wolfe is from R. Austin Freeman’s Dr. Thorndyke tale “The Aluminium Dagger.” The White Priest is Pai Mei of Chinese legend and film; his tendency to pluck out women’s eyes is an allusion to the movie Kill Bill: Vol. 2, which features a flashback in which Pai Mei rips out Elle Driver’s right eye. The Countess Yalta Memorial Hospital is named after a character from Fortuné du Boisgobey’s The Lost Casket (aka The Severed Hand); at the end of the novel, there are plans to construct a hospital in the Countess’ memory somewhere in France. Joséphine Balsamo is from Maurice Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin books The Countess of Cagliostro and Countess Cagliostro’s Revenge. Inspector Justin Ganimard is also from the Lupin tales. Ace Sartana is the Spaghetti Western hero Sartana combined with the Ace of Hearts from the movie They Called Him Cemetery; both were played by Gianni Garko. The hero of The Man from Minnesota is the title character of the film Minnesota Clay. La Frenaie wine is from the Averoigne tales by Clark Ashton Smith. Dr. Antonio Nikola was the subject of novels by Guy Boothby. Helen Lipsius is meant to be the Helen who worked for Dr. Lipsius in Arthur Machen’s The Three Hostages; her usage of the doctor’s surname is meant to suggest she is his mistress, just as Carl Peterson’s mistress Irma is often referred to as Irma Peterson. Cesarine Caoutchouc and Colonel Clay are from Grant Allen’s An African Millionaire. The Yagyu blade is from the film Samurai Reincarnation.
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