I know wat you mean by "clutching at straws" and I understand that you do. But you did not used the handle anywere else in the game. So if you did take the handle back in the cave room but it isn't in your inventory dan I'm at my "ends witts" so to speak. Maybe it fel on the floor of the cave room? If this is indeed a glich in your game, you could reinstall it and start all over and see if this glich happens again.
As I stated before, I do not have the game installed anymore. I'm currently busy with a new walkthrough for the game Schizm 1 and this one isn't very coöperative, so to speak, because of my problem to make screenshots in the game. I have to do the screenshots in Schizm one by one and it is getting very frustating. When I finished with Schizm, or when I kick it of my harddrive out of sheer frustation(But that is not the case yet), I could play Alicia again to see if there is a possibility to save the save file from after the weigh puzzle. But you'll have to wait until early 2018 because Cristmas is coming tomorow and my family don't like it if I spent time with the computer during the Cristmas holidays, rather then spent time with them.
Marinus_Louis (Louis Koot)