The Mysterious Brideby Frank Hogg
Genre: Romance, Suspense
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: Two Hours
Candidate for Adaptation? Promising
“There, on the other side of the angle; but you are shortsighted. See, there she is ascending the other eminence in her white frock and green veil, as I told you. What a lovely creature!”
“Well, well, we have her fairly before us now, and shall see what she is like at all events,” said McMurdie.
Between the Birky Brow and this other slight eminence there is an obtuse angle of the road at the part where it is lowest, and, in passing this, the two friends necessarily lost sight of the object of their curiosity. They pushed on at a quick pace, cleared the low angle–the maiden was not there! They rode full speed to the top of the eminence from whence a long extent of road was visible before them–there was no human creature in view. McMurdie laughed aloud, but the Laird turned pale as death and bit his lip. His friend asked him good-humoredly why he was so much affected. He said, because he could not comprehend the meaning of this singular apparition or illusion, and it troubled him the more as he now remembered a dream of the same nature which he had, and which terminated in a dreadful manner.
“Why, man, you are dreaming still,” said McMurdie. “But never mind; it is quite common for men of your complexion to dream of beautiful maidens with white frocks, and green veils, bonnets, feathers, and slender waists. It is a lovely image, the creation of your own sanguine imagination, and you may worship it without any blame. Were her shoes black or green? And her stockings–did you note them? The symmetry of the limbs, I am sure you did! Good-bye; I see you are not disposed to leave the spot. Perhaps she will appear to you again.”
So saying, McMurdie rode on toward the mill, and Birkendelly, after musing for some time, turned his beast’s head slowly round, and began to move toward the great muckle village.
The Laird of Birkendelly becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman whom he sees walking alone on a country road. Although no one else can see her, she becomes the ideal woman for him. He sees her in his dreams, and makes a promise to marry her. Although he is warned that he is in danger, he goes to the mysterious woman and meets a terrible fate, the same fate which was met by both his father and grandfather.
This creepy story has echoes of “Vertigo”, because the Laird tries to recreate the mysterious woman by having his girlfriend dress up like her, only to be disappointed with the result. The obsession aspect of the story is interesting, though you’ll probably find the revelation of the “family curse” at the end is overdone.
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