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Dazed Girl Mourns Wandering in Dark

10 Feb

Flynn's Companion Rescued From Harm by Sun Writer

from THE VANCOUVER SUN – Friday, October 16, 1959By PAUL KING, Sun Staff Writer

Hours after she had thrown herself on the body of her friend, Errol Flynn, in an attempt to breathe life back into his lips, Beverley Aadland refused to believe he was dead.

“He's alive,” she insisted. “They've taken him to the hospital, but he's all right. He'll be home again in the morning.”

I found Flynn's 17-year-old blonde travelling companion wandering down a road in British Properties, dressed in undergarments and housecoat. It was 10:15—three hours after the actor's death. She was almost invisible in the fog.

GHOST-LIKE FIGURE
As I pulled up at the George Caldough residence where Flynn and “Woodsey” Aadland had been guests, I noticed the ghost-like figure.

I parked and walked back to where I had seen her.

She had wandered farther down the road.

As I looked, another car came up the road. I saw her framed in the headlights. She was walking into its path.

“Woodsey,” I hollered. She didn't turn.

SAVED FROM AUTO
I ran to where she was and jerked her to the roadside.

The car rolled past. The driver hadn't seen her.

She looked up at me; her eyes were glazed but untroubled.

She was smiling. “What did you do that for?” she asked.

I realized she was hysterical. “What are you doing out here, like this?”

“I just wanted some air—it was so stuffy in the house.”

Then I told her I was sorry about Errol. He had been kind to me when I talked to him two nights before.

Her reply was casual.

JUST IN HOSPITAL
“I don't know why everybody is being so sorry. He's just gone to the hospital.”

I was walking her back toward the house. She was shivering. Then she started to laugh.

“Oh lookit the little puppy.”

A small dog had trotted out of the darkness and was whining at our feet.

“What's the matter little fellow,” she said, bending to pat it. “You're lonely aren't you baby?”

Gone was the harshness in her voice, the cocksure attitude of a vibrant young woman. She sounded like a lost, lonely child.

She refused to believe that Errol was dead. Her body was filled with the sedatives she had received at the hospital.

She had blotted the tragedy of the previous three hours from her mind.

We were nearing the house. The little dog padded alongside.

I said, “Just get some sleep now.”

BACK IN MORNING
The smile broke out again. “That's right. I just need some sleep. Errol's coming back in the morning you know.”

I nodded, but I couldn't speak.

We came into the light from the door.

And then she started to hum. A tiny sound in the night.

Ten minutes later she was asleep.

Newspaper company logos and mastheads are under copyright. Article text published without a copyright symbol is within the Public Domain.

— David DeWitt

 

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