A Poison Needle Ring
Vessel rings like this probably originated in the ancient days of the Far East and India and have been used throughout history to carry perfume, locks of hair, devotional relics, messages, and other keepsakes. Accordingly, they replaced the practice of wearing such items in pouches around the neck. And so, their wearing spread to other parts of Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.
Roman soldiers wore these rings to carry poison so they could commit suicide if captured. But some people had other reasons to wear these rings. In one of the stories in The Deadliest Deceptions, a single needle ring was used by more than one wretch for both murder and suicide and tells Miriam all about it:
"I called to him. That’s when I noticed the green bottle flies."
“Oh, no! For the love of Isis, what did you do?”
“Of course, I could do nothing for him. So, since I was there to learn how he died, I went ahead and searched his nook. Nothing. Not on the bench or stuck to its underside. Nothing on, under, or around the chair. The walls. That left his pallet, his clothing, his bedlinen, his chamber pot. But then I took a good look at him. His head had rolled back. His limbs were swollen. His lips were pulled back. And his face wore a mask of cold, savage fury. When I slapped away the flies, I saw the puncture in his neck."
Someday you might even be able to carry a Miriam bat Isaac Mystery in one of these rings. Then, like a Roman soldier, you’d always have an escape handy. For one of the many stories just click here.