Elizabeth [Ghost-Story, A]

Elizabeth, twin-brother Noah & best-friend Jennifer walk-home barefoot having-attended 1843 Christmas-Eve celebrations at the Henry J Fate Flour-Mill. Twins are tragically-killed in a 'road-traffic-accident'.

Opening-scene; standing on the dirt-road [NO-pavement/sidewalk] a few steps away from the stone-wall entrance of the Henry J Fate Flour-Mill, camera moves-past gate-keepers [night-watchman’s] wooden-hut [on the right-hand-side] across the cobble-stones toward & through the school-room window.

Moving forward to the table nearest-lectern camera focuses-upon Jennifer & her best-friends Elizabeth & Noah listening-intently to their-employer reading closing Christmas Carol paragraphs... ‘God bless-us everyone’.
Closing the book Henry thanked the children for attending the modest flour-mill seasonal-celebrations; standing quietly, the children dutifully lined-up, thanked Henry & wife Zoë as they collected a token-bonus of nuts, flour...

Walking-home barefoot Jennifer fell-behind a few paces, holding the Royal Oak wall for-balance as she brushed the soles of-her-feet to remove stones that had been hidden under the light-dusting of-snow.

Standing upright she caught-sight of a pair-of-horses impact Elizabeth & Noah, their bodies falling-lifeless on-the-road.

Tolling of single church-bell; screen fades-to-black.

We move to 21st-century with Valerie standing by the Royal Oak wall, husband Allan walking-up behind wife of 30yrs.

Elizabeth is hidden-from-view...

Alive-&-mortal Elizabeth & Noah get to live in the 21st-century.


36. Titanic

At 79 Elizabeth wrote to the White Star Line millionaire-owner John Pierpont Morgan [who disembarked before sailing with 53 other-millionaires] describing a horrible-dream before-the-fact detailing Titanic maiden-voyage sinking, best ‘Number 3’ [not the recommended best-best ‘Number 4’] quality iron-rivets, thin-steel panels, reduced bulk-head height to a mere 10’ above the water-line, iceberg-collision, lifeboat-shortage, 1500+ lives lost, 700+ survivors, splitting in-two, Olympic-damage, coal-bunker fire, Belfast-crew deserting to face unemployment in a coal-strike.

Only the-previous-day an unmarried 20-something stunning-stranger calling-herself Jennifer stood in-his-office reciting the very-same-story.  This ‘girl’ was too-young to-know anything-about engineering, the shipping-business &-was of-course, female; her-time would-be better-spent ‘finding-a-husband’.  Graciously thanking-for her-assistance John Pierpont Morgan walked Jennifer to the office-reception & carried-on with his work-day.

JP Morgan was shaken when told of Elizabeth’s letter & contacted other millionaires, friends & associates in-person with this disturbing information leading to 55 no-shows. Having publically-declared he would sail on Titanic’s maiden-voyage JP Morgan went through the charade of ‘taking’ his suite; he was aware of company-confidential reports to which Elizabeth had no access & following discussions with designer Thomas Andrews & Captain Edward John Smith ordered his valet remove luggage immediately. 

From the date & time, roughly 11:30pm [collision] 2:30am [sinking] within Elizabeth’s letter, he ordered the Californian [which he also owned], without a cargo, to rendezvous at Latitude 41 43 North Longitude 49 56 West with 3,000 woollen-sweaters & blankets, just-in-case she was right.

Dismissed as a ‘crank’ by office-junior, John Morgan, replied with a standard typed ‘thank you’ letter insisting Titanic was unsinkable & her RADAR-invention would never-work; Elizabeth’s ‘ping’-&-echo’s would interfere with important Morse-code transmissions. Elizabeth kept reply inside her framed 1844 graduation photograph. 

Awoken by his valet on the morning of 04.15.1912 with distress-call telegraph-reports JP Morgan knew the futures of the White Star Line & Harland & Wolff were in peril.  ONLY JP Morgan 'knew' the 'Olmpic' would remain-in-service until 1935 & the Federal-Reserve was assured with-the 'tragic-loss' of 'objectors' following 'the-sinking'.

Distanced from Bruce Ismay’s unilateral decisions to remove 32-lifeboats, leaving just 16 on davits built to hold 48, the company had acted within the law, fully-complying with the British Board of Trade regulations. Reducing bulkhead-height to a mere 10’ above the waterline to accommodate first-class passenger staircase [against the advice of chief designer Alexandra Carlisle] too was ‘legal’, JP Morgan moved to protect his investment; White Star was facing bankruptcy, taking Harland & Wolff with it. 

Complicit with Harland & Wolff switching & redrawing plans [blueprints] removed all traces of wrong-doing; there was no reason to examine the older & ‘repaired’ Olympic. The wrecked Titanic was 2-miles deep with no prospect of recovery & or investigation. With luck, the compromised Olympic would not be examined too closely in the light of Belfast-crew opting for unemployment, rather-than sail on the maiden-voyage on the worlds number-one passenger-ship. The British Board of Trade had a vested-interest in finding nothing-wrong, despite British & American public-&-media pressure & leverage from US President William Howard Taft. 

Arresting the surviving Titanic crew-members on their return to the United Kingdom, taking their photographs & forcing ALL to sign the Official Secrets Act, was close to a cover-up. Deferential to bosses the surviving crew-members were justifiably-scared of causing trouble; they needed work as soon as possible. There was nothing they could do for their dead ship-mates & little for their widows & children.

During cross-examination by celebrated barrister Sir Rupert Isaacs, [Titanic] Second Officer Charles Lightoller never reconciled taking sea-water temperatures with iceberg-warnings, reduced visibility on a moonless-night & maintaining 21-knots. Bruce Ismay too all-but refused to give a satisfactory-explanation. Re-assigned Chief Officer Henry Wilde inadvertently left before sailing with the only-key to the binoculars-locker; unclear why Captain Smith & other senior officers did not have a spare. Wireless-operator Harold Bride revealed associate Jack Philips was interrupted whilst sending passenger telegraph-messages by the Californian, also owned by JP Morgan & carrying ‘rescue provisions’, with iceberg-warnings Philips had ignored. Bride & Philips, employed by Marconi, relied on telegraph-income to make-up their UK£2 per-month wages. 

Elizabeth’s RADAR-invention was not-introduced into-proceedings; the ramblings of a poorly-educated child-labourer woman-pensioner dismissed by Mr Marconi had no-place in such-a-tragedy.

Rebuking the Californian [20-miles & 2–hours away] Marconi-operator led-to tragic turning-off of the [Californians] radio-equipment, the Titanic passengers & crew one-&-only hope of survival was lost. 

Following the criminal-trial, JP Morgan was a founder-contributor to the International Ice Patrol based off Newfoundland; still operational in the 21st-century.

Having faced bankruptcy, this was a small price to pay. It followed reduced marine-losses were good for business too; Lloyds Insurers accepted lower-premiums.

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