old cursed painting of hanging; found rolled up; cut by mistake; it bleeds
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seaside town 1980's(?) two pirate-types sail in, one hangs out with merchants, courts wealthy menchant's daughter, jilts her, he is hanged, she paints picture of hanging using cursed ink, years later man found it, cuts it & her lover writhes in anguish & painting drips blood.
#1: I think there's a thread somewhere on LT that helps people find books/authors just by the plot. Have you tried that yet, juddygal? They might be quicker at finding it for you. :)
#1 The link below will take you to the "name that book" group. I think this is the thread saraslibrary was thinking of. I hope you find what you're looking for. :-)
Yep, that's it. Thanks, pgmcc! I guess it would help if I could've remembered the name of the group. ;)
judygal2323, I passed your description along to some friends who I thought could help, and I got the response that this story is by Henry S. Whitehead, and it's called "Seven Turns in a Hangman's Rope". He also used the idea in two earlier stories, sort of dry runs for "Seven Turns". Those are called "The Intarsia Box" and "West India Lights". Hope one of the three is the one you were thinking of.
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