Perhaps the only thing interesting about Cozen Hellebore is how terribly uninteresting she appears. She's slightly taller than what might be considered average, and has a young, coltish quality about her, which makes her appear several years younger than she actually is. She has a mess of brown hair that refuses to be tamed in the island's jungle humidity, and perched on this total disarray, is her hat.
The hat itself, might provoke some interest, if for no other reason than for the viewer to say, "What an ugly hat." It is a small, demure-looking top hat which has been loaded with a variety of feathers, flowers, baubles, geegaws and even a cluster of poorly-chosen glass grapes, which shiver and wobble when she moves. Her eyes, behind a pair of thin-rimmed glasses that perch at the end of a long, pointed nose, are an indiscriminate shade, perhaps a green, or muddy brown, or gray.
Orphaned at a very young age, Cozen was raised in a convent and orphan asylum named Our Lady of Merciful Expiation in Pembrokeshire, where she lived until the tender age of ten years old. At ten, she was turned over to Missus Buttonmarch's Finishing School for Unfortunate Young Girls, where she learned such useful skills as penmanship, flower arranging, etiquette and table setting.
Upon her graduation, eight years later, she became the only employee at Madame Tilliwig's Museum of Oddities, Flim Flam, Really Interesting Things and Generally What Have You (other than Madame Tilliwig herself). She learned cryptozoology, arcane anthropology and questionable taxidermy. During this time, she lived alone in a cramped apartment above the museum with her fish, Counselor Bubbles.
It was from Madame Tilliwig's museum that she was "recruited" to the island, when she fell quite suddenly and unexplainably unconscious while eating a scone. (She's not touched the things since.)
It is important to note that, not once in any of these locations, did she learn a single useful or reasonable skill.
Miss Hellebore has begun renovations on a shambling, old Queen Anne on the outskirts of Improbable Central. It houses several interesting, entertaining, or downright horrifying exhibits. As well as a wealth of secrets that the House has yet to give up, even to her.
Kraus A fire-breathing, man-eating chicken.
Beulah A tumorous bovine with reputed hypnotic powers.
Pavlov A chitinous, centipedal dog that makes dire prophecies of the future.
Miss Dierdre The world's last mermaid.
Whilst she is stuck on the Island, Cozen has decided that she needs a proper profession, not all this running willy-nilly around the Jungle battling improperly improbable monsters. Therefore, she has decided that she will become a docent at Havelock Stern's NewHome Museum, with or without Mr Stern's indulgence.
Dear Madame Tilliwig,
If you have watched television, or read the gossip rags, or had Miss Crumpleslick over for tea, you must already know that I've been conscripted, somehow, into a war. And not in the war against common sense, as you always said I would be, but instead into something entirely different: the war against improbability.
(I was as surprised as you, no doubt, currently are.)
So, now I'm on this island and there are all manner of strange, terrifying, and exciting things. It is really all I can do to keep my propriety whilst being chased hell and hither through thick jungles by mutant kittens who are, through no fault of my own, exceedingly cross with me.
And the people (also strange, terrifying, and exciting) are, on the whole, very nice. I've had tea in the park several times already and never seem to be short on company. The Watcher seems to be a little [MESSAGE REDACTED] however.
You might wonder, as I have several times, how I've ended up on an island battling against improbability. The last thing I remember was our afternoon tea. I brought the clotted cream and you brought the scones, if you'll recall. You went on and on about how I simply must try the ginger lime scone, as it was (and I'm quoting you here, madame) "to die for". And, yes, I can tell you on recollection that it really was quite delicious. And then. . .
Well, that's it. And then, I woke up in an unexpected state of undress with a woman staring crossly down at me. Isn't it the very height of strange that I don't remember anything after eating that scone? If I may be so bold to offer advice, Madame Tilliwig, do not eat those scones.
Since I have no parents, siblings, close friends, great uncles, or a cat, I felt I should go ahead and write to you, my employer. And ultimately, this is a letter explaining why I'll not be in to work on Monday, or mayhap ever again. I know you often said you would throw a party, should I ever leave the museum, and I was always cheered by that, knowing you cared for me enough to want to send me away in style, but I am afraid I'll have to regretfully miss any festivities in my honor.
Hoping the best for you and the museum both,
Miss C. Hellebore.
P.S. Did you ever finish the paperwork on that life insurance for me? Who was my beneficiary?