List of Characters
(in order of appearance)
The infamous 30 pieces of silver - the amount given by the High Priest Caiaphas to Judas for his betrayal. They are the central character in Ill Gotten Gain. They were, most probably, Tyrian Shekels since they were required for the payment of the "Temple Tax." It is said that Judas threw the coins into the synagogue because he was filled with regret at the betrayal as in Matthew 27:3-5, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood" a statement that he was recanting the betrayal as in Jewish law, or as Zachariah propheised, he threw the coins into the Temple. These are the very coins in Ill Gotten Gain, but ... they were cursed.
Historical Character - Hanged
According to the New Testament, one of the twelve original disciples of Jesus Christ. He is known for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus to the Sanhedrin for thirty silver coins.
Fictional Character - Died in a House Fire
The protagonist, age 43, antique dealer, the only child of Thomas Edward Garrett, II, a surgeon from Boston who moved to Charleston with his new wife 10 years before Garrett's birth. Although Dr. Garrett was a prominent surgeon, his son grew up an outsider to the children his age since, in Charleston, it takes three generations to be accepted as a Charlestonian, something he desperately wanted.
Charleston appears as a character because of many of its idiosyncrasies. The city itself made the plot of the story possible. It is as unique as it is beautiful.
The maid, housekeeper, and nanny to Edward Garrett. A religious black woman who could trace her family back to slave times in Charleston. The name Legare is common in Charleston aristocracy. Since slaves, when freed, usually took the sir name of their masters, her family probably belonged to one of the Legare plantation owners. She taught Edward Garrett all things good.
The 65+ year old gardener, handy man, helper in the store. Storey had lived in the carriage house at #13 Church Street for as long as the Garrett family had owned the house.
The love interest. Preferred to be called Lee, she was a newspaper woman and the only child of Senator Bradley Cooper Barrineau. She was named as somewhat of a joke because the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers create the peninsula that is Charleston.
Owner of Poogan's Porch and manager of Perditas Restaurants. A convivial person with a great sense of humor and a marvelous ability to make a customer feel at home.
Patterned after many of the great wait people in Charleston restaurants.
Patterned after many influential southern politicians. Preferred to be called the Senator. Probably the most powerful person in the South Carolina government at the time. A partner in the famed Charleston law firm that bore his name. Father of Ashley Cooper Barrineau.
A house with a history and a secret. The house, its history and its secret are all instrumental to the story, hence the listing as a character.
Fictional Character - Strangled
Patterned after the individual in the New Testament from whom the Jewish leaders bought the property used to bury strangers and paupers. Necessary to begin the journey of the coins from Jerusalem to Charleston.
Friend of Ashley's at the newspaper. She broke the story of the find and helped with promotion and public relations.
Patterned after many such dancers and con-artists. Dancer and "B" girl at The Truck Stop, a bar that used to be in North Charleston.
Fictional Character - Drowned
Patterned after classical knights that fought in the Crusades. His story was drawn from a quote I remember from school which recorded that: "the streets of the city were ankle deep in the blood of the infidels for the Glory of God." Source unknown.
Patterned after the owner of every man's first encounter with a set of real breasts. Francie was a classmate of Garrett's who had a reputation. It was said that she was easy.
The owner of Woodfield's Inn, the oldest continually operating inn in North Carolina. Mrs. Moore existed, though maybe not in Garrett's life as indicated. She operated Woodfield's Inn in Flat Rock, North Carolina. She was a marvelous woman, who I suspect has passed on.
Historical Character - Choked to Death on Food
AKA Rodrigo de Borja, gave the Papacy an utterly depraved reputation. Rodrigo was also known as the father of Cesare and Lucrezia Borgio, who were worse that he was. His demise helped complete the journey of the coins.
Patterned after the young courtesans favored by Popes during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Prostitutes were regularly entertained by the Popes in Church headquarters.
A psychiatrist recommended to Garrett by Lee. He was added to keep Garrett's psychological side occupied until we could make room for Doctor Bug.
Patterned after a good friend, the guy with two first names was an audio-visual expert.
A Trappist initiate at Mepkin Abby Monastery (an actual place in, where else, Moncks Corner, South Carolina).
The Church's contact person for Garrett. He is Opus Dei, a Prelature of the Pope himself, and therefore he took direction directly from the Holy See. His visit was as strange as he was.
A clock. For the benefit of this story, he is provided anthropomorphic ability to observe, think, and reason, but not talk.
Representatives of the two major auction companies, each trying to impress Garrett. Each thought Garrett to be as small-minded as his small town antique store. Each tries to use their position to gain the upper hand.
Fictional Character - Drowned While Being Eaten by Sharks
On his way to open a new Parish in the New World, this young priest was given the box filled with gold coins to establish a Parish in the New World. As they are approaching the Island of Hispanoila, the ship was attacked by pirates. Everything of value is taken, including the box. The main pirate is Stede Bonnet, The Gentleman Pirate. The Priest and Bonnet carry on an intellectual conversation leaving the Priest the idea he will be spared. He is made to walk to the plank and dies.
Patterned after a real, live, witch doctor that I met in Beaufort, South Carolina, Doctor Bug introduces Garrett to the world of the black arts. We never know if the good Doctor is part of the solution or part of the problem.
Historical Character - Hanged
AKA The Gentleman Pirate, Stede Bonnet retired from the King's Guard, was an owner of a large estate in the Barbados where he lived with his wife. He was cultured, well-groomed, wore fancy clothing and a peniwig. He was known to frequent Charleston alone and with Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard). In mid-1718, he was captured by Colonel William Rhett. He was put on trial, found guilty, put in prison, and sentenced to death. On November 12, 1718, Bonnet was hung at low waters mark at White Point Gardens, now called the Battery.
Chief curator of Vatican Musea, representative of the Pope at the auction.
A former military special forces officer, he was well-suited to design a security team to protect Garrett. His business was special event planning, logistics, and security.
Garrett's personal secretary during the auction. She was added as a distraction for Garrett and for the reader.
"For all who draw the sword will die by the sword."