Halifax waterfront post Hurricane Juan, September 2003
I am compelled to share a true tale whose parts are threefold: it's part mystery, part horror, and part love story. Each takes place in an old Halifax apartment building on the dusty corner of Barrington and Morris, which, incidently, was also once the residence of two japanese fighting fish bearing the same names.
I lived on the third floor of this building from 2003-2005 while I attended Dalhousie University. My first roomate was Melitto, followed by the brilliant and lovely D'Alvey. Deana took my room when I left Halifax for Vancouver.
Just the other day, D'Alvey emailed Deana and I from her London locale where she is currently working for Foster & Partners Architects. Apparently, she had received a peculiar email from Steve, the tenant who had moved in post D'Alvey and Deana. The gist of his query was as such:
"You'll probably recall that shortly after I moved into your old place on Barrington I spoke to you about having found some things that appeared to belong to a fellow named Chris Duffet. Not being able to find him, I set the few things aside and forgot about them....One of the items I found (the only one of value) was a diamond engagement ring complete with appraisal info. I've tried contacting the appraiser and, since Mr. Duffet's Aeroplan card was included in the little bundle I found, I put in a call to them hoping they'd offer some help. I tried an address in East York from the woman I spoke to on the phone, but she said the email address they had for him was shown as inactive since 2005. The address was a dead end. So, there you have it."
Unfortunately I don't know anyone by the name of Chris Duffet, but more unfortunately I never found a diamond ring hidden in an apparent cranny of the house! My mind boggles as to where he came across it. The back corners of the upper kitchen cupboards? In the base of the pedastal bathroom sink? How could I have lived there for two years and not sniffed out the precious gem? It is not often I overlook a diamond. I wonder in what spot of the apartment I was ever in closest proximity to the hidden treasure? And of course I wonder of the stone itself. Princess cut? Cushion cut? One carat? Two??
And then I wonder of the owner's fate. I am interested by Steve's use of the word "bundle" in reference to his findings. Perhaps Mr. Duffet was en route to the airport to fly to Paris (and collect points) to meet his lover in Montmarte and propose (very Amelie, methinks), when on the eve of his departure he discovered evidence of an illicit affair she was having with a frenchman, so, never wanting to be reminded of his heartbreak again, he abandoned the objects in a secret place and fled Halifax for.....Yarmouth?
Or a more sinister theory is the possibility that the ring, etc. was stolen off Mr. Duffet's person in a violent encounter, and....what of him? No one can say....
I was telling my husband about the lucrative discovery on Barrington and Morris and he was at first skeptical: "Where could he have found it? What, did the guy take an axe to the wall or something?" I quickly reminded him that stranger things had happened in that place. Like, for instance, when a guy took an axe to the wall (the horror)......
*to be continued tomorrow.....