Tag Archives: scheming relatives

“I’ll Look after Davey!”

Plot:

Mary Armstrong and her brother Davey are taken to the workhouse. Davey is adopted, and Mary does not trace him until three years later. She gets work as a servant at Burwell Grange, Davey’s adoptive home. She is not revealing herself as she realises the Burwells do not love Davey; they just want him so they can inherit a fortune. Worse, other relatives are out to kill Davey so they can inherit the fortune, and they realise Mary is a threat when she saves Davey from a murder attempt.

Davey

Notes:

Appeared:

  • “I’ll Look after Davey!”–  Debbie: #433 (30 May 1981) – #442 (1 August 1981)

The Forbidden Friend

Plot:

Tracy Baker lives at the Grotto, where her widowed mother is housekeeper. Mrs Baker’s employers, the Howes, keep their invalid niece Sara a prisoner, but she and Tracy secretly become friends. Then Tracy and her mother overhear the Howes plotting to murder Sara.

Friend

Notes:

  • Artist: Ana Rodriguez

Appeared:

  • The Forbidden Friend –  Debbie: #324 (28 April 1979) –  #335 (14 July 1979)

Dance for Me, Danny

Plot:

Unscrupulous guardians Clive and Adelaide Stephenson think they have their charge, Danny Sinclair, confined to a wheelchair by hypnosis. However, Danny is secretly entering the Ballroom Queen Dancing Contest with Polly Prentice, the housekeeper’s daughter.

Danny 1

Notes:

Appeared:

  • Dance for Me, Danny –  Debbie:  #131 (16 August 1975) – #142 (1 November 1975)

Haunted Harriet

Plot

Harriet Jones is treated like a servant at Greygables Grange, the home of her wealthy relatives, the Manston family. Then Harriet finds a mysterious portrait of Vicky, who begins to exert an evil influence over Harriet.

Harriet

Notes

  • Artist: Oliver Passingham

Appeared

  • Haunted Harriet – Judy: published in 1981
  • Reprinted (as Judy Classic) – M&J #144 (12 February 1994) – #154 (23 April 1994)

The House of a Hundred Eyes

Plot:

Melody King has been left a house by her Great  Aunt Ethelreda on condition that she also looks after the fifty stray cats that live there. Unfortunately, Mrs King is allergic to cats, so she and Melody are living in the summerhouse in the grounds, but a mysterious woman helps to care for the cats. Cousin Lawrence, who wants to turn the house into a club, is determined to turn out Melody and her mother. Melody is convinced that he is the cause of Mrs King losing her job in Mrs Baines’ shop.

house of hundred eyes

Notes:

Artist: John Woods

Appeared:

  • The House of a Hundred Eyes – Judy: circa 489 (24 May 1969) –  (?)

 

The Red House

Plot

In the 19th Century, Alice Evans is personal maid to Dorothea Maris, wealthy young owner of the sombre Red House. Alice discovers that Dorothea’s relatives, Henry and Selina Scotter, are trying to keep Dorothea a helpless invalid for some secret purpose of their own, but Alice encourages Dorothea to walk. Knowing this, the Scotters stage an incident in which she girls are almost drowned, but luckily a passing boat rescues them. The Scatters convince Dorothea that Alice is to blame for the accident and she is dismissed. While Alice is packing her belongings, she sees a man prowling about in the grounds. To her amazement, it is the stranger who rescued Dorothea and herself when they had been left to drown by the Scotters.

the red house

Notes

Appeared

  • The Red House  – Judy:   #337 (25 June 1966) –  #344 (13 August 1966)

Kitty Must Walk!

Plot

When Kitty Green, an orphan, is hurt in a car accident, she is told she  will never walk again. But her sister, Carol, believes that with treatment from on old retired physician, Dr Weston, Kitty will eventually be cured. The girls’ wicked Aunt Hester plans to receive the large sum of money to be paid in compensation for Kitty’s dreadful injury and tries to stop the treatment. The sum involved depends on how badly Kitty is injured. The two sisters stay with Dr Weston in his country cottage, but Carol is caught by Aunt Hester as she comes from school. She manages to escape, but, as she prepares to leave the house, the telephone rings.

kitty must walk(Kitty Must Walk! – 1960s)

kitty must walk 1980s(Kitty Must Walk! – 1980s)

Notes

  • Reprinted with new art in the 1980s

Appeared

  • Kitty Must Walk! – Judy:  #107 (27 January 1962) – #121 (05 May 1962)
  • Reprinted (with new art) – Judy: #1050 (23 February 1980) – #1064 (31 May 1980)

The Jealousy of Jemma

  • The Jealousy of Jemma–  Mandy:  #601(22 Jul. 1978) – #611 (30 Sep. 1978)
  • Reprinted – Mandy: circa 1989
  • Reprinted (as Mandy Classic) – M&J: #286 (02 Nov. 1996) – #296 (11 Jan. 1997)

Plot

Julie and Jemma Granger are twins, who are extremely close, their parents even remark that sometimes it is like they can read each other’s thoughts. For their 13th birthday they recieve gold lockets, later they exchange lockets and make a vow to each other that they shall never be parted and nobody will come between them. A week later while Julie is in school while the Grangers take Jemma to the dentist, but the car veers off a cliff. Julie instantly senses something wrong. When she hears her parents and Jemma are dead she collapses and lies in a coma for weeks.  When she wakes up she finds her Aunt Mavis and Uncle Roger with their daughter Ruby. Julie has never met them before but they say they will take care of her now and they take her back to her own home which they have moved into.

jealousy of jemma 1

The Daces seem kind and friendly, but are secretly just there so they can live in a grand house and use Julie’s inheritance. Weeks later, Mavis pretends to be pleased for Julie when she says she can manage by herself but tells Roger and Ruby they’ll stick around in case she relapses. That night Julie hears Jemma’s voice calling to her reminding her they promised never to be parted. While her relatives try to comfort her, telling her it was just a bad dream, Julie doesn’t believe this. Jemma’s voice returns but Julie is scared she is so possesive now. When an old family friend Mrs Preston visits and when Julie tries to make a friend with Sara a girl she knows from school, Jemma tells her she doesn’t need friends. She even tells Julie her new friend will get hurt if she visits.

jealousy of jemma_3

The Dace’s call the doctor and he tells Julie she is over strained and needs rest. Ruby is impatient as she wants the doctor to take Julie away, but Mavis tells her to be patient. At Julie’s insistence they contact a psychic Madame Zenith. She senses two departed people who rest peacefully but she cannot sense any ghost, though she does warn her of evil. Mavis tells Julie the evil she senses must be her illness and Julie begins to believe it’s all in her mind.  Julie goes to hospital and feels safer and secure, while she’s there the Daces are enjoying parties in her home. When Julie begins to wonder why she doesn’t hear voices at the hospital. In order to stop her suspicions,  Ruby sneaks to the hospital and using information from a secret book the twins wrote in convinces Julie it really is Jemma she is hearing.  The Daces bring her home to keep a better eye on her, but soon Julie does some investigating and she finds microphones in the attic. She escapes and visits Mrs. Preston, telling her the story. Together with her lawyer the Daces are plots are revealed and they are arrested. Mrs Preston moves in with Julie and a few weeks later, Julie gets a better surprise when she hears Jemma’s voice again and it turns out she had survived the crash and had been taken by boat to France. So the twins are happily reunited.

jealousy of jemma_5

Thoughts

The twins seem overdependent on each other from the start. On their thirteenth birthday they don’t invite anyone else as they don’t really have any other friends. Their parents thinks its great that they are so close and don’t need anyone else, but actually its quite unhealthy! Even when Jemma first gets into the car Jemma already feels lost and alone at school. It’s never good to cut yourself off and depend on only one person. Even without the evil relatives it’s understandably difficult for Julie to cope without any network of friends to help and support her.

jealousy of jemma_2

It is surprising to find Jemma alive at the end, although there was a hint when Madame Zenith didn’t sense Jemma’s spirit in the house (either restful or vengeful). There is very little explanation of how she survived or why she hadn’t been in contact before or how the lawyer tracked her down. Perhaps she had been in a coma or had amnesia (a common reason for prolonged absence in these stories) but it is never addressed here. There is a tie in with the real Jemma’s voice sounding kind rather than spiteful, so it works fine. Although I think it could have worked out as a happy ending with Julie just moving on with her life, maybe meeting up with Sara.

After the set up in the first issue of the twins vowing to be together for ever, it wouldn’t have surprised me if the story turned out to be Jemma’s ghost haunting Julie. It might have been better if the writer held off on showing the true colours of her relatives initially. He/she could have build up the creepiness and the mystery of Jemma’s voice. It still works as an interesting story as the relatives drive Julie insane. There has been many stories of devious relatives cooking up schemes to gain inheritances, inflicting psychological damage on their niece is particularly devious. While Roger shows some discomfort over what they are doing, it’s more that he doesn’t like watching Julie’s decline but is happy to reap the benefits. Mavis and Ruby are clearly the brains behind the scheme. The dark tones of the art and the expressions of fear on Julie really help sell the story, it does make it very creepy.

jealousy of jemma_4

Dark Days for Dolly

Plot:

Orphan Dolly Leonard was happy to be taken in by the wealthy Mrs. Carstairs to live in Taltree Manor, but then Mrs. Carstairs had a stroke leaving her paralysed. When her relatives arrived, they discovered their aunt was leaving her estate to Dolly , on the condition that Dolly was still living there at the time of Mrs. Carstair’s death. They were determined to get rid of Dolly before this happened.

Dark Days for Dolly

Notes:

Appeared:

  • Dark Days for Dolly –  Bunty:   #1480 (24 May 1986) – #1492 (16 August 1986)