Art and written research by Steelgohst

L'Hotel D'Arnais, 1928, 3rd of April

During refurbishment, a small item is spotted glinting dully under a darkly stained section of rotting floorboards.  It is recovered by the foreman in charge, Jacques Dumonte, who handed in his notice the next day having apparently come into a considerable amount of money.

The item he found was a white and yellow gold Masonic signet ring, decorated with rich enamels and embellished with the Masonic symbol on one side and a LeMarchand 'gateway' motif on the other.  The room being refurbished was the very same that had seen the mysterious disappearance of LeMarchand all those years before in 1811.

M. Dumonte, it would appear, not only knew of this fact, but appeared exited and expectant when at work.   He hurried along a disgruntled workforce as room by room the refurbishment went ahead until reaching 101**, where he slowed work down and insisted on the utmost care in all things.  It would also appear that others knew of this room and its meaning, as the ring was sold on the night of its discovery at an auction held at a secret location in the heart of Paris.

Since that night it has passed though many hands, most notably those of Philippe Pétain, war hero from the 1st World War and Nazi collaborateur from the 2nd.  It is believed that his rise to head of state after the successful invasion of France in 1940, and the subsequent granting of extraordinary powers by the new Nazi overlords, was due in no small measure to his gift of LeMarchand's Ring to Adolf Hitler.

The ring stayed in Hitler's hands until his suicide on April 30, 1945, when it was presumably picked up by a Russian soldier upon discovery of the body in his bunker.

The last known owner of the ring was a LeMarchand collector of some repute known as N.G.  This individual also has in his possession, amongst other items, the 'Box of Grief,' sister box to the infamous 'Box of Sorrows.'

N.G. went into hiding rather hurriedly after receiving death threats from a fellow scholar, taking his entire collection with him, leaving only a few scattered and relatively unimportant items, one of which was a photographic record of his acquisitions, including the Ring***.


** The 'Room 101' myth is thought to originate from L'Hotel D'Arnais.  This was popularized by George Orwell,
a respected LeMarchand scholar, in his book 1984 where Room 101 is described :

"You asked me once," said O'Brien, "what was in Room 101.  I told you that you know the answer already.
Everybody knows.  The thing in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world."


*** The ring is thought by some to have inspired stories of The Ring of Power or The One Ring written by Tolkien..

Back to Gallery
Back to Gallery