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""The Mystery of the Missing Bride"": Chapter 1: Killer on the Loose

Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 is an issue of the series Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1971. It was published on July 13, 1971.

Synopsis for "The Mystery of the Missing Bride"

Chapter 1: Killer on the Loose

A young woman named Laura Chandler attends the burial of her friend Bettina Langfrey. Meanwhile, at the edge of the cemetery, a mysterious man watches the mourners. Suddenly, Laura becomes dizzy and faints. Bettina's widower, Michael Langfrey, puts Laura in his car and brings her back to his family's mansion. Laura regains consciousness as the car approaches the house, and she tries to run away. However, Michael follows her and convinces Laura to stay.

Inside the mansion, Michael's aunt Emily drugs Laura. When Laura awakens, Emily offers her a job as her secretary. Emily is also interested to learn what Bettina said about the Langfrey family in her letters to Laura. Laura is suspicious of Emily but accepts the job offer so she can learn more about Bettina's mysterious death. As Laura goes to bed that night, a shadowy figure lurks outside the mansion.

Chapter 2: Death at Langfrey Leap

The next morning, Laura goes for a walk and sees Michael. He kisses her, and she is simultaneously afraid of him and attracted to him. Later, as Laura eats breakfast alone, a chandelier falls from the ceiling and nearly crushes her. That afternoon, Michael warns Laura not to wander around the mansion. He also kisses her again but then pushes her away. Laura demands to know more about Bettina. Michael explains that Emily takes care of everything in the house, as she has done since Michael's parents died ten years ago. He mentions that Emily gave them eggnog before they left during a snowstorm and crashed their car. Finally, Michael tells Laura not to go upstairs to the third floor, where Emily's husband, Sebastian Langfrey, lives. A few years ago, Sebastian became ill, and Bettina came to the mansion to nurse him. That was how Michael and Bettina met, and they soon fell in love.

Laura disregards Michael's warning and goes up to the third floor, looking for Bettina's diary. She steps into a dark room and finds Sebastian sitting in his wheelchair. Sebastian mistakes her for someone named Francesca. Frightened and confused, Laura runs away and slips into another room. She hears the sound of someone crying.

Chapter 3: The Locked Room

Laura has found Francesca, who explains that she is Emily's daughter from a previous relationship. Emily rarely allows Francesca to go downstairs.

Downstairs, Emily is speaking to her lawyer, Lawrence West. Lawrence reminds Emily that he tipped her off ten years ago before Michael's parents found out about her misdeeds. Emily then reminds Lawrence that he was just as guilty, and she saved them both by changing a road sign, which resulted in the car accident. Suddenly, Emily realizes that one of her servants, Taffy, has heard the entire conversation.

Upstairs, as Laura looks for Bettina's room, a shadowy figure knocks her unconscious. Michael takes Laura into his father's study, which is where the culprit is hiding. The mysterious man covers himself with a sheet and hides in the corner. After Michael leaves, Laura investigates the old desk in the room. The shadowy figure sneaks up behind Laura and is just about to grab her, when suddenly a scream comes from somewhere else in the house. The man flees just as Laura finds Bettina's diary in the desk. Michael soon comes back into the room and tells Laura that Francesca has run outside to chase her cat, and she needs to be found.

Outside, Emily shoves Taffy into a pool of quicksand, where she dies. Meanwhile, Francesca wades into the ocean, where she says Bettina was drowned. Michael rescues her, and Laura realizes Francesca witnessed Bettina's murder. Emily scolds Laura and blames her for allowing Francesca to leave. Laura returns to the study and begins reading Bettina's diary. It says Emily caused the accident that killed Michael's parents. Laura finally understands that Emily killed Bettina because she knew too much. Suddenly, Sebastian enters the room and demands that Laura hand over the diary. When she refuses, Sebastian gets out of his wheelchair and chases Laura out of the room. At the top of the stairs, the mysterious figure pushes Sebastian down the stairs. He then reveals himself as John Langfrey, Michael's father. John says Emily had him locked away in a madhouse and stole his fortune. Laura runs downstairs while John sets fire to the house. As Laura tells her story to Michael, Emily denies any wrongdoing. Michael doesn't believe her and calls the police. John then goes downstairs and confronts Emily and Lawrence. However, as the house begins to burn, John runs back upstairs because he forgot the evidence. Everyone else runs outside, but John is stuck upstairs as the mansion goes up in flames. The police arrive, and they take away Emily and Lawrence. Laura and Michael embrace, and Michael proposes to her.

Appearing in "The Mystery of the Missing Bride"

Featured Characters:

  • Laura Chandler (Single appearance)

Supporting Characters:

  • Michael Langfrey (Single appearance)
  • Taffy (Single appearance)
  • Francesca (Single appearance)
  • John Langfrey (Single appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Emily Langfrey (Single appearance)
  • Sebastian Langfrey (Single appearance)
  • Lawrence West (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Bettina Langfrey (Single appearance)

Locations:


Items:


Vehicles:



Notes

  • This issue also includes a one-page text story titled "The Love That Was Stronger Than Death" written by Wes Craven.
  • This series is published on a bi-monthly schedule.
  • Each issue is fifty-two pages long.
  • Following issue #4 of this series, the title of the series changes to Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion.



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