The City of Shadows

The Girlfriend: Part I - Falling in Love

Love tainted by shadow

Cambridge, England, October 15th, 1861

James Woodbridge, 16 years old, is studying his Masters degrees, having already attained a BA in Business Law and Anthropology. He took his free period enjoying the sunny autumnal day in Jesus Fields. There he observed a beuatiful woman and noticed she was looking at him too. He introduced himself, she was called Andrea Leyes. James accompanied Andrea on her stroll. They discussed his University courses and he learned that Andrea shared his passion for archaeology, her father was Professor Reginald Leyes an expert on Central American archaeology. Professor Leyes had often taken his daughter on dig sites with him hence why she knew so much technically about the subject. They stop at Alfred’s Tea Room and sup tea and eat scones whilst discussing family. They arrange a second date.

Two Months pass.

December 11th, 1861

James Woodbridge celebrates his 17th Birthday. James met Andrea Leyes once more in Jesus Fields, though now it was covered in snow. They picked up where they left off, she told him her mother had become ill and her father needed her, she had left a note explaining this, but James said he had never received it. They began the courtship period.

Lefkada, Mainland Greece, May 15th, 1862

James is gaining credit working with his father in Greece at the Woodbridge Dig. He brought Andrea with him to spend three weeks at the site and visiting the island’s city. Andrea spends a lot of time on site and towards the end of the three weeks James spots her having an argument with a greek man. He does not broach the subject with her and nor does she bring it up later in conversation.

London, England, August 22nd, 1862

James and Andrea attend a soiree at the British Museum which is being organised by Carnelian Fairfax, an older friend of James’s from Cambridge University. The soiree is being hel in honour of Andrea’s father, Professor Reginald Leyes and is also the first time James meets Andrea’s father, who gives his blessings to the couple. Carnelian also introduces James to Paul Galley, the curator of the British Museum. Paul knows James’s dad as he buys a lot of artefacts from George Woodbridge Sr and Paul hoped to continue in this fashion when James takes over the family business, especially if things went well between him and Andrea Leyes!

London, England, September 11th, 1862

James and Andrea are at the Leyes Warehouse in the Wapping district. They were discussing James eventually taking over the Leyes Shipping business when James noticed the Greek Man that Andrea had been arguing with in Lefkada, Andrea pulled out a derringer from somewhere on her person and the pair headed after the Greek Man into the Warehouse. When they got to the cellar there was a brief struggle and the Greek Man escaped. James noticed a packing crate from Rome, Italy, which was odd as Reginald woked in Central America, but this was put out of his mind as he and Andrea checked the shipping manifesto to see if anything was missing.

They took a break to eat lunch at The Trevellian, a restaurant owned by Carnelian Fairfax, the maitre d’ recognised James and Andrea from the soiree last month and gave them a discount on the meal.

Back at the Leyes Warehouse the pair uncovered a sercret basement underneath the cellar, going down they discovered a vault and at the back was an empty plinth, it looked like a book had once rested upon it.

Going to the police Andrea described the Greek Man who she only knew as Stavros. That evening James took Andrea to see a magic show, they watched ‘The Enigmatic Dao-Khan’ who amazed them with his performance, then he took her to Clarridges and after a 5 course meal he proposed to her. She said yes!

To be continued…

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Kristofus

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