The Angel of Mons is packed full of fascinating, real events. I am sure you will enjoy how I have woven into a miraculous novel. Seeing bits and pieces of it is a good way to introduce the stories it tells.
Some of the story takes place away from the battlefield in England. To my amazement, I discovered that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brother in-law, Malcolm Leckie, was the chief medical officer for the very company of soldiers (Royal Fusiliers, Company C) I had to write about. Captain Leckie was wounded at the battle of Mons, dying six days later in a German prisoner of war camp. Here is what happened at the Doyle home the night of his death. A friend of the family was practicing “automatic writing”. Conan Doyle is the speaker.
Lily entered into trance more deeply than she ever had before. The whites of her half-closed eyes stared vacantly. The four of us stayed where we were so as not to interfere with what was happening (. . . .) Before my eyes, the message. The slant of the letter, the bold stroke. A pen in the hands of a military medical man. The horrid punctuation for which he was infamous. I hastily read the first words to myself—“I am dead in body. Nevermore shall we meet in the flesh”—my heart came near to bursting, tears rose, blurring my vision. “One moment, please.” I wiped the tears, wiped my fogged reading glasses.
I skimmed the document. I said to myself, then aloud, “Malcolm tells us that he is dead in body, but he lives on. His writing this message confirms that his soul lives on.”
The chapter then describes the message and how the event affected Conan Doyle’s life. This is the beginning of exciting events in England. It is worth mentioning that many Conan Doyle biographies describe this event. I did not make it up, though I elaborated on it. Read to find out what happened. Let me know what you think.