Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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July 29th, 1970

It is exactly one year since Hannah Marnowijk’s tragic passing.

Marta Marnowijk was released shortly after the enquiry into Tallis’ unsavory methods of extracting information.

It seems, that in her particular case, he had decided to go outside the book in a number of areas in order to extract the confession that he had so strongly believed to be the, only possible and, undeniable truth.

He was lucky the incident had not cost him his job. What it did get him was a three month suspension without any pay.

I guess it couldn’t have been all that bad though, considering that he had only recently received a substantial bonus for his excellent detective work – although also outside of the book!

Marta sold the bakery to a Hollander with a thick Dutch accent. It was either out of respect for the old owner, but probably because it was just too much damn trouble to change, that he kept the old name – Marnie’s Bakery & Dry Goods. Although he continues to bake a lot of the stuff that the Marnowijk’s did, I am sorry to say that his custard slices aren’t quite up to spec; I think the previous owner added a drop of almond essence to create the unique flavor.

The new guy does happen to make a damn good apple-crumble. And my mother thinks his cheese cake is to die for.

Under the circumstances, I thought it was an inappropriate term to use; by the expression on her face, I think she realized it as well!

The last I heard about Marta was that she had moved out to Philly to stay either with, or nearby to, her now only child, Ruth.

I honestly don’t remember her eldest daughter at all. I often wonder if she possesses any of Hannah’s attractive…qualities?

In retrospect, I realize that I had made a mistake in thinking I could improve Hannah’s life by removing, what I considered to be, her greatest obstacle to happiness – when in fact, it was that very same obstacle that was the focus of her goal to happiness; her dream; her joy; her hope!

Of all the things that she had longed for in life, the most important prize to her was, not a $50 music box, but her father’s unconditional love.

And although he may never have given it to her, she never once stopped believing or gave up her fight in the hope of eventually gaining his appreciation and acceptance. No, not even when he had accused her of selling herself had she ever once considered to give up her constant struggle.

I had foolishly and thoughtlessly allowed my hatred, a quality she could never possess, to dominate my judgment.

In so doing, I wiped off the face of the earth her one true hope for happiness. And without hope, all is lost!

Through my selfish actions I have destroyed one of the most beautiful creatures that ever walked upon this earth.

It seems as if I am destined…cursed to ultimately cause more harm and grief everytime I attempt to do what I consider to be the right thing. It’s as if some dark entity has followed me back through time to taunt me for my victory over death. It knows I have the power to change both past and future. It knows I have touched the face of immortality. And knowing that, it now seeks to torment me.

But hurt and sorrow have taught me one important lesson in life, and that is – Pain is Life!

And if clinging to Life means Pain – then so be it!!!

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