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The Cistern Rose


Writing this story began slowly. I had remembered a cistern which my parents drained. At some point in the past it was the water supply for the summer kitchen of the house they purchased. I am unsure why the memory surfaced, however, my imagination began working on what mysteries or secrets a drained cistern might reveal. Another seemingly random thought arrived when I considered what had happened, if anything, to the treasury the Confederate States of America had for financing their part of the American Civil War. Without a specific plot in mind, I researched the Confederacy and its money. It was during this search that I tripped over the connection between Canada and the Confederacy including the specific implication of Guelph as a place that had favourable leanings.

I have read many mysteries, spy stories and intrigue novels. The process began, the search became serious and I started to write. The largest surprise arrived with the characters. I didn’t have clarity about who was the person to find the treasure. The women came to me; they appeared as I researched and wrote. When I began to develop Hermione; Euphemia, Margeurite and Maybelle followed in due course. If I had a woman in this role, then it made sense to have one in another role. Eventually, I paused when the women seemed to demand something. I wrote a letter to each of them promising to tell their story to the best of my skill. After that, their characters developed as if I wasn’t involved except to write.

This took more time than I thought; I had hurdles to jump at unexpected moments, however, I have kept my word to the ladies.