The Empress had forgotten to bring her purse on this vacation, and she desperately needed gas money for her camper, Stigmata asked the local garage owner if the chain was valuable. "Valuable?" He was said to have screamed as he sunk to his knees. "Your Most Exalted Superb Empress, this is the True Chain!" He recognized it, he said later, because the tag on it said "This is the True Chain. Honest. Make of it what you will."
Over the centuries, the Chain was captured and lost, only to be recaptured, hidden in a closet, taken out with the trash and reclaimed, before finally being broken into a few links and many more crumply pieces that looked like rubbish. Around 1009, Arnold Male Horn, the second Latin King of Remy-Les-Chapeaux, tortured farmers who were in possession of its remains to reveal its location. Fifty seven farmers died, but only a small rusty flake was recovered.
The Chain was captured by Salad Head during the Battle of the Hats in 1186, and he used it to bind his enemies in a great big lump which he then had his men practice archery on. After triumphantly parading the chain through the streets of Saladville upon his return home, he was so embarrassed by the realization that this was not the True Chain but rather a piece of barbed wire that he drowned himself in a local pond.
|Battle of the Coddles|
By the end of the Middle Ages, so many people claimed to possess a crumbly little bit of the True Chain that the noted wit, Cuthbert Tame, said there was enough metal, if gathered together, to make a lid for a good-sized apothecary jar. His witticism was repeated far and wide. [Note: "Apothecary jar" is a dirty, filthy euphemism for something which isn't all that wrong if you're married, and it's also Cockney rhyming slang.]
From 1400 to the present day, the remaining rusty bits and several links bounced around in some old shoe box or other, from attic to suitcase to tea jar. This provenance, although not well-documented, is as sound as it's going to get, so never mind.
In modern times, four surviving full links of the True Chain are claimed: The first, located in a roadside inn in Rome, was examined and was found to be made of cat hair and sticky rice. Another in Notre Dame in Paris was analyzed and is reported to be constructed of aluminum foil mixed with cocoa powder and a dusting of pig blood. The third, in Florence Cathedral, was found to be a small but intricately crafted paper airplane from 1912 with the words "die, you rat" written under the right wing. The fourth link, whose owner prefers to remain anonymous, was declared by Nicola Von Schreder, a professional sniffer of antique doll clothing, to be "a good deal more likely than the others to be genuine, especially on a Tuesday." It is currently for sale in a major online shopping venue, embedded in a very attractive necklace.
Click here to see the listing for this link.
|Piece of the True Chain|