The Tomahawk Story,_1956.jpg

When Alec Guinness was filming The Swan in North Carolina in 1955, someone gave him a tomahawk purchased at a local fairground. Guinness thought it too heavy to take with him, so as he was departing he paid a porter to slip it into Grace Kelly’s bed.

Years later, while performing in London, he found the tomahawk in his own bed.

This meant war. Guinness bided his time until the princess visited America on a poetry tour, then he contacted the English actor with whom she was traveling and persuaded him to leave the tomahawk in her bed. (“Do you know Alec Guinness?” she asked him the next day. “No, I’ve never met him,” he said.)

Guinness thought no more about it until 1980, when he visited Hollywood to accept an honorary Oscar and found the tomahawk in his hotel bed. He waited until Kelly’s next tour of England and arranged to have it left in her suitcase.

She died in 1982, so that was the last laugh. There was no one to share it with — in 25 years, neither of them had ever acknowledged that this was happening.