Dukaine was a quiet man; a thinker and dreamer. His talent lay in his mind to visualize the stories. What he did't visualize was the trial, the lies told against him and the verdict:Guilty! the hangman's noose haunted him to a near-death situation.
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He felt the noose about his neck and was so devastated at the way the trial
was blasted through the court that he felt nothing. The dastardly murder
his estranged wife was never investigated and the trial was based on the
lies of the townspeople and his mother-in-law. He ran, that was true.
changed his name several times but as an author he used pseudonyms.
He had to leave with his typewriter and his overdue assignments and sought
a town far away, changed his name, his car and his face with surgery. She
harassed him through private investigators, the church and numerous letters
and public statements. It didn't help at all that two women told the court
that he had been with one or the other every time he was supposed to have
purchased the murder weapon and then perpetrated the crime against her.
They were denounced as scheming whores; their property destroyed and forced
from their employment..
The disastrous dream was to threaten him even in England. Would he be able
to recover from its cloud of infamy?
(I had just married Dorothy:)
Dorothy had to go back on the set and I had to prepare the new play I was to have ready this Friday. Six days to accomplish it. Oh I could do it. I had it mostly finished in my head and I thought of Rita. How could I break the news to her? After what had happened to Charlotte I was panicky ... how would she take it? Could I in all fairness go to her and ask for her help? Bloody rotten old boy! I had to do it. Go ahead, call her. I did, "Rita, I ... I have a play. Can you help me?"
"I didn?t expect you to call. Aren?t you on your honeymoon? By the way congrats. She's beautiful. Come on out. I'll fix breakfast then we canget to work." I was so surprised I failed to say anything, "Duke? You there?"
"Yes, I was wondering how you found out."
"I realize you must be high. You haven't read any papers or listened to the radio? It was quite an international shock. Germany sent you a big
package but I thought you should open it. They have been delivering things from all over. Hurry. Wear a disguise!" She clicked off. I sat there with the phone still up to my ear for a good five minutes.
International broadcasting? That means it was also all over America. That means that Lily and her ma would know it happened. What kind of riot would
it cause from that sector? It certainly wouldn't be presents other than explosives.