Barnabas

Enter the haunted world of the classic television series. Become one of the residents of the Collinswood estate, and confront the endless mysteries that surround the Collins family.

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Barnabas

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Dec 25, 2020 12:31 pm

Things go back more or less to normal in Collinsport. David is his own, unpredictable self. He expresses, more than once, an interest in somehow breaking into the locked room in the basement. As of now, however, his aunt Elizabeth has the only key.

Sam Evans is drinking less and painting more, including a portrait of his daughter that, to use his words, "ain't half bad, if I say so myself."

Burke Devlin arranges for a series of private meetings with Roger Collins, which, in time, results in an uneasy reconciliation between two proud men. What exactly has been resolved is not known to anyone else.

One day a letter addressed to Elizabeth Stoddard arrives at Collinwood. It is somewhat lengthy, it seems, as Elizabeth studies it for some time. After a while, she asks both her brother and her daughter what they think of the letter, after they have had a chance to examine it.

"Sounds like fun," Carolyn says. "We could use some new blood around this dreary old tomb."

Roger shrugs. "Could be a con artist, for all I know."

Having come to think of Victoria as a member of the family, she shows the letter to her as well. It is written in ink, in a fine hand. The writer introduces himself as Barnabas Collins, a distant cousin, newly arrived from England. He expresses an interest in purchasing the Old House, naming a substantial sum for a structure so dilapidated. He is currently staying at the Collinsport Inn, and asks permission to pay a visit to Collinwood some evening, and if he might be allowed to bring a guest. In a postscript, he notes that, during his brief stay in Collinsport, he purchased a portrait at the local art gallery, entitled Maggie and signed S. Evans, for a handsome sum. Being informed that the model was a local resident, he inquires if they are acquainted with her, as he would be very pleased to meet her.

"What do you think, Miss Winters?"
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Re: Barnabas

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:17 pm

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"He sounds intriguing," says Victoria. "I think Maggie would be interested to meet him too. I'm curious how he's related to the Collins family. I saw a book once about the family history. Maybe there's something in there about the English branch of the family."
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Re: Barnabas

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Dec 26, 2020 11:49 am

"Yes, that's true," Elizabeth says. "The first Barnabas Collins sailed to England nearly two hundred years ago, according to the family history. I'm afraid we've lost track of that branch of the family. Let me see, there's a portrait of the original Barnabas in the hall." She points out the painting.

A message is sent to the Collinsport Inn inviting Barnabas Collins to pay a visit one evening. If there is any doubt as to his being a true member of the family, that is removed by the fact that he so strongly resembles his ancestor, even wearing the same opal ring and carrying the same wolf's head cane shown in the painting.

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"Inherited from my ancestor, " he explains. His accent does not seem particularly British, but rather something like that of an Atlantic Canadian; perhaps he has been in that country at some time.

He is accompanied by a woman he introduces as Doctor Julia Hoffman, his personal physician, who will be in residence with him in the Old House, if he is allowed to purchase it, and once renovations are completed. This suggests not only abundant wealth, to afford a private doctor, but that he may be afflicted with an illness that requires constant attention, although what this might be is not evident; he seems reasonable healthy, if a bit gaunt and pale.

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Doctor Hoffman appears to be a rather sober, if polite, woman, while Barnabas is courtly and old-fashioned in his manner. He appears to know quite a lot about the Collins family history.

At some point in the conversation, he asks, "Is Miss Evans about? I am quite eager to make her acquaintance."
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Re: Barnabas

Postby SunlessNick » Sat Dec 26, 2020 6:11 pm

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Maggie is delighted at her father's painting, and at his cutting down on the drinking (she doesn't mention the latter, though, not wanting to jinx it). She lets Victoria know about the painting of laura having burned up.

When Victoria mentions Barnabas, Maggie's initial reaction is "More of them? Sorry that was mean. Thanks, I'd love to.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Dec 26, 2020 6:35 pm

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"She's a friend of mine," says Victoria. "She lives in town with her father, the artist. I told her you'd be coming, and I think she'll come by."
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Re: Barnabas

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:29 am

"Excellent," Barnabas replies. "By the way, Miss Winters, have we met before? It seems that I have seen you somewhere, very long ago, years and year gone by."

Before Victoria can answer, Doctor Hoffman says "Don't be silly, Barnabas. Miss Winters is very young. She could not possibly have known you 'years and years' ago."

"Of course. Please excuse my presumption. There are times when I dwell over much in the past."
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Re: Barnabas

Postby SunlessNick » Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:27 pm

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On the evening she is to go the manor, Maggie cooks a stew for her father - something he can reheat easily. Then pretties herself up for the trip out (some old old world nobility sounds pretty fun).
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Re: Barnabas

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:14 am

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"Perhaps you've met my mother," says Victoria, "or some other relative of mine?"
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Re: Barnabas

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:54 am

"I suppose that is possible," Barnabas remarks. "Might I inquire as to your mother's full name? I seem to have known a Winters in my time." Upon learning that Victoria is an orphan, named by the facility that took her in, with no knowledge of her parents, he apologizes for stirring up any unpleasant memories.

This possibly awkward moment is interrupted by the arrival of Maggie, whom Barnabas greets most warmly.

"Your portrait does not capture the charm of its original," he says, "although it will win an honored place in my new home. You must all come to pay me a visit once it has been restored." It is evident that he presumes he will be allowed to purchase the place. Judging by the effusive welcome he receives from Elizabeth and Roger, he is correct in this assumption; it's clear that the payment will come in handy, given Burke Devlin's actions to reduce the income of their corporation.

"Perhaps we should go," Doctor Hoffman says. "There is much planning to be done. Willie is waiting for your instructions."

"Indeed," Barnabas replies. "I do not mean to disturb your evening, but business keeps me away from Collinsport most days. Good night, all." He makes a few more remarks of no great importance to everyone present, particularly extending his farewells to Maggie, so that Doctor Hoffman has to take his arm to remind him that it's time to leave.

Over the next few days, a great deal of noises suggesting hammering and sawing come from the Old House.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby SunlessNick » Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:56 pm

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Maggie is rather touched by Barnabas's greeting - a lot of guys compliment her, but not so many are so romantic about it, even when dating her. She's definitely intereted in seeing him again. "Wow," she says after he's gone. "He could have posed for that painting himself!" After that, she reverts to form, exchanging gossip with Vix.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:59 am

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"It's strange that Barnabas seems to know me," Victoria tells Maggie. "So did Sarah, the ghost of the little girl I met. But she died in 1796."
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Re: Barnabas

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:42 am

Construction continues on the Old House, most of the work being done by one young man, although various day laborers come by now and then to perform specific tasks. One afternoon, a series of loud knocks is heard on the front door of the main house. When opened, the young man, heretofore only glimpsed from a distance, stands there, with his hand gripping the collar of David's jacket.

"You better tell the kid not to go sneakin' into the old place no more. It ain't safe, what with sawin' and hammerin' and what not. Barnabas don't want nobody snoopin' around the joint."

"Lemme go," David protests. "I was just looking for Josette. I haven't seen her in a long time."

"None of your fairy tales, young man," Roger says. "I'll deal with my son myself, if you don't mind," he continues, dismissing the young man and sending David up to his room.

"That was Willie Loomis," Carolyn says. "Never had an honest job in his life, as far as I know. Used to bother all the girls at the Blue Whale, come up and touch their hair and stuff. A real creep."

"He seems to be working like a Trojan now," Elizabeth says. "It seems that Cousin Barnabas has been a good influence on the fellow."

"Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it," Carolyn answers.

Several days later, Willie, his manner somewhat subdued, delivers a large, old-fashioned trunk, along with a handwritten invitation to a costume party at the newly completed Old House a few nights from now. The trunk contains all sorts of clothing of the style of two centuries ago.

I discovered this trunk in a neglected part of the Old House, the note explains. The garments are in remarkably fine condition. I trust that each of you will find something appropriate to wear within it. My very best regards, Barnabas.

During one of their frequent conversations, Victoria discovers that Maggie received a similar invitation and a smaller parcel, containing a white lace gown and the appropriate accessories to go along with it.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:32 pm

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Mr. Handy wrote:"It's strange that Barnabas seems to know me," Victoria tells Maggie. "So did Sarah, the ghost of the little girl I met. But she died in 1796."
"Maybe you'll meet Dr Who," Maggie jokes.

Maggie confirms Carolyn's assessment of Willie Loomis. "He's been thrown out of Collinsport Inn a few times for getting handsy with the waitresses."

VictoriaSilverwolf wrote:During one of their frequent conversations, Victoria discovers that Maggie received a similar invitation and a smaller parcel, containing a white lace gown and the appropriate accessories to go along with it.
"It looks like a wedding dress! Maybe he plans to sweep me off my feet." (She does find herself liking the look of it, though, even if she can't take it 100% seriously). It's going to be a bit awkward if Burke's there too, though...
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Re: Barnabas

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:13 am

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"Oh, I love that show," says Victoria. "The Doctor even has a new companion named Victoria. I quite like Jamie too. He's dreamy!" She looks through the old-fashioned clothing for something that would fit and suit her.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:02 am

As luck would have it, there is clothing of appropriate size for everyone at Collinwood; even a boy's outfit for David, although he is less than enthusiastic about wearing it. The outfit that fits Victoria best happens to be the simple and practical dress as might be worn by one of the more respectable servants of a wealthy household. Maggie's costume is a perfect fit, as if it were tailored for her.

Upon arrival on the night of the party, the guests discover that the Old House has been restored, as best as possible, to its original state. There is no electricity, although it would be a simple matter to extend the power lines that serve the main mansion to it.

Burke Devlin is present, having had some recent business dealings with Barnabas, dressed rather simply, but in the correct manner of a gentleman of the late 18th century. Getting into character, he is gallant to all the young ladies, but pays particular attention to Carolyn, who lights up the room in a gown of fine quality which must have belonged to someone of great wealth. His interaction with Elizabeth and Roger is cool, but polite. David is obviously bored, and has to be distracted from playing with the candles by Burke's tales of travels throughout the world.

Willie, acting as unobtrusively as possible, is dressed as an ordinary servant of the time, and performs that function as guests are introduced and food and drinks are served. Barnabas is dressed in the exact manner as his ancestor, as shown in the portrait. Doctor Hoffman, perhaps to the slight surprise of the guests, is colorfully arrayed as a romantic version of a Gypsy of the period.

Barnabas welcomes all the guests warmly, taking particular care to direct Maggie to the sitting room, where two portraits hang next to each other above the fireplace.

"You can see why I was so eager to make your acquaintance, Miss Evans," Barnabas says.

One of the paintings is the one newly created by her father; the other is of a woman dressed in the white lace gown she is currently wearing. There is a strong resemblance between the two.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby SunlessNick » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:58 pm

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"Who was she?" Maggie asks, instinctively assuming the woman is no longer among the living. Her heart is beating quickly, as if trying to mark out the rhythms of nervousness, excitement and curiosity all at once.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:39 am

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"That must be Josette," says Victoria. "David told me about her. She lived here back then. She threw herself off Widow's Walk. The resemblance is uncanny, isn't it?"
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Re: Barnabas

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:34 am

"You are quite correct, Miss Winters," Barnabas replies. "She was exquisitely lovely, as evidenced by Miss Evans' close resemblance to her. Such a tragedy! To lose such a kind, wise, elegant, and loving young woman, just before she was to become a bride! Such, at least," he explains, "was her nature, according to all accounts I have been able to discover. Her death broke my ancestor's heart, and he never stopped mourning for her. That is to say, my impression is that he did not. That was so very long ago, after all."

He pauses, contemplating the portrait for a while.

"But let us think of the present, as tempting as it might be to dwell upon the past. Willie," he cries to his employee, "fetch the box I told you about."

Willie is heard descending the stairs to the basement, unlocking a heavy door, then returning, after locking again. He gives a small box wrapped in white paper to his employer.

"I should like you to have this, Miss Evans." He unwraps the box and opens it, revealing a music box of antique design.

Doctor Hoffman has been observing all this for a while. "Barnabas, do you think--" she begins.

"I am aware of your opinion, Doctor," Barnabas replies. "Please allow me to indulge my whim." While handing the music box to Maggie, he addresses Victoria. "By the way, how does it happen that young David is so familiar with Josette? I am most curious to know."
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Re: Barnabas

Postby SunlessNick » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:39 pm

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"Oh, that's... er, sad," Maggie says of Josette's suicide, visibly aborting a more sarcastic turn of phrase. "I hope she wasn't wearing this."

"Thankyou Mr Collins, it's lovely," she says of the box. She doesn't set it going, so's not to interrupt Victoria's answer.
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Re: Barnabas

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:54 am

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"He likes to explore a lot," says Victoria. "He used to spend time in the Old House before you moved in. He showed me her portrait once and told me about her, but I'm not sure how he knows. Maybe he read up on his family's history. Or maybe he met her ghost."
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