Interview Guest: Victoria Lee Anglo, female support character. She created a fake life for herself, and is most likely a murderess.
AUTHOR: Welcome, Mrs. Anglo. We’re glad you could join us today.
VLA: (Smiles and looks around the room while making a sniffling noise) Thank you. Please call me Vicky. The 21st century is so much more relaxed about such things.
AUTHOR: Yes that’s true. So, Vicky, tell me about yourself. How did you first enter into the CounterClockwise story?
VLA: It’s a good enough series I suppose. You writing it is how I came into being. (smiles broadly here) But the way book three was heading it really needed a beautiful woman added to the mix. You know. A man-killer I believe you call them nowadays.
AUTHOR: (I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at her choice of words) Yes. We do call them man-killers. And that of course raises the question lots of readers will surely have about you. You’re a widow, correct? (VLA nods) Tell us please how your husband died.
VLA: (Looking a bit annoyed but without a drop of sadness) Thomas had a history of a heart complaint. Sometimes he’d breathe with a sort of raspy sound after walking up a flight of stairs. I told him he needed to find another doctor. The one he had was not doing much good for him. But, he was older and set in his ways. And seeing that I was so much younger I don’t think he took me seriously. Well, finally it caught up with him.
AUTHOR: How much older was he?
VLA: He’d never really admit it. Back then a person could lie about their age and get away with it unless a relative or old school chum came to call. (She looked at me sharply when I giggled at that) So, according to him he was but 10 years older. But I learned from some of the house staff that he was at least 25 years older than me.
AUTHOR: So he was close to 70?
VLA: (Narrowing her eyes and making an especially unattractive face) No. He was 58!
AUTHOR: So — that makes you 33? You’re 33 years old?
VLA: I know I don’t appear it, so I can see your surprise. Most men assume I’m closer to 25 years old. It’s my good looks you know. Most women in my time wear out long before they turn 30. I suppose I’m a bit of a rarity.
AUTHOR: No doubt you are! Tell us, Vicky, what happens to you after your husband’s death? You were not married very long were you?
VLA: (Shaking her head of rather brassy blond curls) No. We had met and fell in love in a fortnight. Can you imagine that? And Thomas insisted on marrying me right away. He had quite a fever for me. That was plain to see!
AUTHOR: Go on. We’re all very interested.
VLA: (Clearly enjoying her moment in the limelight) Well, Thomas Cranfield Anglo could barely take his eyes off of me. Let alone his hands! But, I wanted none of that until the wedding. I have high standards, you see. It comes from being brought up in higher society. My parents were of the carriage trade. And they raised me accordingly.
AUTHOR: How advantageous that must have been for you!
VLA: (Smiling from ear to ear now, and completely missing the sarcasm in that statement) Oh yes! I had a life that was to be envied to be sure! And Thomas saw the quality in me from the start. And, he wanted to marry a beautiful woman. But had never found the right one. Or, one with my particular good looks.
AUTHOR: (Keeping a straight face although Mrs. Victoria Lee Anglo was not exactly a beauty by anyone’s standards – in any century) He found a gem, Vicky. Please continue.
VLA: Thank you! There are still people of good taste in this century! Well, Thomas paid a call on a judge he knew from college, and we had the license and were married the day after he proposed. It was a quiet ceremony, with the judge’s wife and his secretary as witnesses. After the wedding, Thomas and I travelled to Europe for the next two months. I tell you, it was like a fairy tale story. So romantic! Unfortunately, God stepped in and took my husband’s life only a three weeks after we arrived home, at Thomas’ estate in Saratoga, NY.
AUTHOR: You were very much in love with your husband then?
VLA: Of course I was devoted to him! His continual doting on me turned my head!
AUTHOR: Then what happened after his death? Did you inherit his estate? And where did you decide to live?
VLA: After the funeral, several of Thomas’ relatives showed up for a reading of his will. I had never met any of them before. Since we had only been married a few short months.
AUTHOR: What happened at that reading?
VLA: (Shifting nervously in her seat) They descended on me like en masse. I was terrified! Arthur, Thomas’ younger brother, and his mousey wife, Ruth, made it very plain that they hated the very sight of me. And they tried to prevent me from inheriting my husband’s estate! Why, if I had not my own attorney there to represent me I believe that they would have succeeded!
AUTHOR: So, you came prepared, then?
VLA: (Looking smug) Yes, I did!
AUTHOR: And did you then inherit? And what happened from there?
VLA: I did inherit, yes. (She looked down at her lap) Only my attorney took a much larger portion of the inheritance than I expected. Never having been through an ordeal such as this before, I was a babe in the woods.
AUTHOR: How much did he take from you?
VLA: 50 cents from every dollar. Plus a court fee. Which was enormously high.
AUTHOR: He took half of your inheritance? You allowed that?
VLA: There was nothing I could do at that point. It all happened so quickly! I signed a contract to hire him as my legal counsel and the next thing I knew most of my money was gone. I was a young widow with little to live on,
AUTHOR: You’re from Canada originally. Do you have family there still? And after your husband’s death did you consider moving back to your home country?
VLA: My parents passed away tragically years ago. A carriage accident. I was an only child and have no other living relatives. I decided to stay in the United States, and moved to New York City.
AUTHOR: Your story shifts quite a bit once you get there. You meet a man. Tell us about him.
VLA: (Blushing. Actually blushing!) He’s extraordinarily handsome!Aand so tall he towers over other men! He’s from Kentucky and sings on stage. Very well, I might add. I saw him perform at a theatre on 5th Avenue and he sent a messenger to ask me to come to a dinner party after the show. Of couse I declined! But, the very next morning. a note arrived from him asking if he could pay a call on me that afternoon. I agreed.
AUTHOR: Might I ask the name of this man? And what is your relationship with him now?
VLA: His name is Mr. Allen. When he came to call that first time he invited me to a dinner party he was having at his home that evening. This time I accepted. I attended two more of his concerts that same week, and he escorted me to a ball at the Palmer residence the following week. It was while we were dancing a waltz that he declared his love for me. He wants to become engaged as soon as divorce is final. I have to admit he has made my head spin!
AUTHOR: (Losing patience at this point in the interview) Vicky, this is a much sweeter version of how you met Tracy Douglas Allen than what really took place. I must say you rank high as a storyteller as far as I’m concerned.
VLA: (Blinking fast) Version? I’m afraid I don’t understand….
AUTHOR: Let me enlighten you, then. I know you did not meet Mr. Allen at a theatre. You met him in an alley behind a brothel – where you used to work. I have a photo of you sitting in the entrance foyer of that brothel wearing almost nothing.
(Author paused for a moment, then looked at Victoria Lee Anglo squarely before continuing) You’ve been seen by other CounterClockwise characters lurking in the standing-room-only section at Tracy’s shows and, his manager has warned you many times to stop bribing the maids at The Williams Bath Club to allow you in when Tracy’s there in a bathtub. In fact, you were caught red-handed, so to speak, with a sponge in your hand, insisting that Mr. Allen needed your help with his bathing. That sponge, I’ve been told, was the only thing you were wearing at the time. Unfortunately, (I stopped long enough to allow my guest time to close her mouth), the intelligence I’ve received does not stop there. Your husband’s death, I’m told, was due to poisoning. And a bottle of said poison was found in your dressing table. So, dear Vicky, is there any part of your answers you’d like to change?
VLA: (Now shaking with rage and looking downright ugly) You are a sly, nasty one! You led me here knowing all of these things and did not mention it to me first! You let me go on! You’re not a lady at all!
AUTHOR: Perhaps not. But then again, neither are you. I’ve further learned that your “high-society” upbringing is also a lie. Your parents were both jailed for theft in Montreal when you were 10 years old. You were sent to an orphange and they both died in prison. As an adult you lied, cheated and stole your way to the United States and possibly even murdered your way to the sham of a lifestyle you now enjoy. And you’ve set your sights on Mr. Tracy Douglas Allen. He is your next target. It will take a lot of lying, and no doubt dirty sex, to win that man. You’re 45 years old – maybe even 50 – and if you were ever pretty, Vicky, that vanished years ago. Besides, Mr. Allen may have eyes for another woman. So, after his divorce you’ll have to get really filthy to land him.
VLA: (Her dark, beady eyes were glaring at me now) I am not 50! And, men find me beautiful! That old whore, Nora Wells, Mr. Allen makes such a fuss over is is nothing. Nothing at all compared to me! He’s mine and no one can change that! You’ll see!!!
AUTHOR: Thank you, Victoria Lee Anglo. You’ve been an interesting guest. I’m sure my readers will enjoy your rather amusing comments!
VLA: (Now shrieking) Amusing!! You’ll see! We’ll see who wins this match!
AUTHOR: That is all for now. Back to the 19th century you go!
This interview is with one of the fictional characters I created in the series “CounterClockwise: A Blast From The Past Love Story”. Look for more interviews with other characters to come!