Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' How Jane Conquest rang the Bell.  (A Christmas Story)
On this page some other sets of magic lantern slides that depicts the sad story of our heroine Jane Conquest. The first set is made by the English lantern slide maker and supplier Frederick York and the images are released in a coloured as well as a black and white version around 1891. It was a reissue of a previous version. Slides from 'York and Son' from 1890 are identifiable by their trade mark, a Y with a snake entwined, set in a triangle. Their catalogues covered every subject, like Travel, Comic, Science, Education and...... Life Model series.

The 17 glass magic lantern slides measure 3.25 inches (8.2 cm) square. It is exceptional in having alternative endings, the baby can live or die and the audience can decide.

Jane Conquest.

T'was about the time of Christmas,
many years ago,
when the sky was black with storm clouds
and the earth was white with snow.

Our story's set in a humble home
Jane, our heroine, so sad is she,
baby Tom is at death's door
and husband Harry is away at sea.
Jane's not seen Harry for many a month
and her last meal was two days ago,
Baby Tom is weak and thin,
will live forsake him? only God can know.
Outside a fierce storm rages,
no fuel is there to warm Jane's child,
then she spies a gallant ship
in peril.... yonder.... on sea so wild!
If she could only warn the village
those sailors might yet reach the land,
but what of baby Tom, her child?
Oh please, oh please, a helping hand.
Those sailors all have families too.
She must save them if she can.
The angels will watch over Tom,
she must warn the lifeboatmen.
If Jane could only read the church
and sound the bell, then help would come,
but the snow was deep and the hillside steep,
keep going Jane, don't succumb!
When the church came into view
her strength had almost gone,
but the thought of those poor souls at sea
gave Jane the will to carry on.
The heavy door finally yielded.
Jane now knew her goal was near.
With all her strength she pulled the rope
The bell rang out.... but would they hear?
Her task complete, her duty done,
her wretched frame could pull no more,
all alone.... cold..... exhausted
she fell in silence to the floor.
The village folk heard the signal
and rallied to the 'Shipwreck!' call.
The lifeboat reached the stricken vessel
and saved every sailor from the squall.
Fate played it's hand that dreadful day
for one young man saved from the sea
was Harry Conquest, Jane's true love
and now he sought her.... joyously!
But this joy turned to sadness
when he saw his dear son Tom,
and saw the room was dark and dank,
and his lovely wife was gone.
And as he fainted to the floor
he cried out for 'Jane', his wife.
He could not know, that is was she
who had saved his own dear life.
The village folk had wondered
who had tolled the timely warning
and Old Ned trudged through snow drifts deep
to get to the Church that morning.
Old Ned revived our heroine,
now her child was her only care,
but the sight that they beheld at home
was more than Jane could bear.

Harry looked up and saw his wife
and knew his prayers were not in vain,
but what of Tom, their beloved son,
would he smile at them again?
Now it's  time to let the audience decide whether Tom lives or dies......
(Public shouting now: Live...... die.......live......die!!!!!) If Tom lives:

Tom soon was well, I'm pleased to tell
and their home was filled with laughter.
Jane Conquest's love had conquered all
and the lived happily ever after.

Jane Conquest risked her most precious gift
to save a ship's doomed crew.
A sacrifice that few would make,
Would I? ..... Would you?
If Tom died:

Alas, Tom's soul had left this world,
and they both were lost in grief.
Tom's time on earth with Harry and Jane
had been so very, very brief.

Jane Conquest gave her most precious gift
to save a ship's doomed crew.
A sacrifice that few would make,
Would I? ..... Would you? 
A sacrifice that few would make. Would I? ..... Would you ?
Below the effect of the angel that appears when Jane falls on her knees to pray for her child. The angel is painted on slide #5 and is superimposed on slide #4 and may be later on slide #16. This was best done by using a second magic lantern or a double lantern, a biunial.
There exist slides about Jane Conquest that are also made by York and Son but differ from the above. These are probably from an earlier version of this series.

Above a set of ten magic lantern slide plus a title slide from an unknown manufacturer.
Slide # 2 was used to fake the fluttering light from the burning ship coming through her window.

Below a set of twelve slides of 'How Jane Conquest rang the bell' made by Theobald & Co., c.1900.
She is sitting there with her dying child Gazes out of the window across the sea She is torn with doubt as to what she can to to help the mariners
She sinks down on her knees, offers up prayer Bravely through the tempest she forced her way She seizes hold of the bell rope
The Lifeboat forces its way slowly, but steadily Harry Conquest drags his weary steps across the beach and along the road Seized with a terrible dread he sinks fainting to the ground
His eyes gaze upon a woman lying full length The woman bent forward and gazed upon the upturned face There lies the child she had left racked with fever

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Last update: 16-05-2021.
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