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The Mysteries of Montreal by Charlotte Fuhrer

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Truth is Stranger than Fiction



During a long practice of over thirty years I have seen many things
enacted here in this city of Montreal which, if told with the skill
of a Dumas or a Collins, might not only astonish but startle the
sedate residents of this Church-going community. I have often, while
waiting for the advent of a little midnight visitor, beguiled the
weary hours with a narrative of some of my experiences, and have
been amused at the expression on the faces of my fair patients when
told that my memory, and not my imagination, had been drawn upon for
materials. Enquiry having frequently been made as to whether my
recollections were published, I have been induced to print this
volume, changing only names of persons and localities, so as to
avoid identification. Many persons will find it hard to believe some
of the occurrences which are herein mentioned, but those who have
been concerned (directly or indirectly) with any of the parties to
my narratives, will recognize, under the disguise of a false name,
some person with whose history they are familiar. Should any
discover his own actions here narrated, let him not think that I have
wantonly endeavored to open old sores, but rather to warn others
from taking that first false step which so often leads to future
misery and bitter remorse.

MONTREAL, May, 1881


Early Life and Professional Struggles.

My father, an officer in the Hanoverian Army, having died while I
was almost a child, I found myself, at the age of 17, governess in
the family of the Baron Grovestein in Hamburg, Germany, where I met
my present husband, Gustav Schroeder, at that time one of the most
"eligible" young gentlemen in that city.

Though not particularly handsome, Gustav was all that could be
desired in other respects. He was young, well educated, and the son
of wealthy parents, and of an amiable disposition. Soon after my
engagement at the Baron's, young Schroeder's visits (ostensibly to
the family) became so frequent, that his friends, who had divined
the cause, forbade his having anything to say to me, more than cold
civility demanded; and insisted that his visits to the Grovestein
mansion should be discontinued. This, it may well be supposed, had
quite the opposite effect, and in a short time we were engaged to be
married, with the formal, if not the hearty approval of Gustav's
relations, and in course of time the marriage ceremony took place,
with all the paraphernalia of an _Alt-Deutsch Hochzeitsfest_.

Now, however, came the question: How are we to live! for my husband
had no settled profession, and his parents, though wealthy, could
not deprive their more obedient children of their rights to benefit
the perverse Gustav. They gave him sufficient to start him in
business, with the understanding that he would emigrate to America,
their idea being that a German gentleman with a little capital could
not fail to make a fortune among the comparatively illiterate
Columbians. To New York accordingly we came, and Gustav labored
assiduously to establish a business as importer of German
manufactures; he soon found, however, that men who did not know
Horace from Euripides could drive closer bargains, and make quicker
sales than he could, and, as he was too proud to compound with his
correspondents in the old country, and insisted on conscientiously
paying a hundred cents for a dollar, we found ourselves in less than
three years, with diminished capital in specie, and an increased one
as regards future candidates for the Presidency, on our way back to
our common Fatherland. Through the influence of his friends, Gustav
procured a good situation in a merchant's office, but he was
altogether unsuited both by temperament and education for such a
position, and I soon made up my mind that I must either prepare to
enter the world's great battlefield in person, or live in helpless
dependence on my husband's relations.

I had often while in America wondered why the ladies of that
Republic (so advanced and enlightened in everything else) should
submit to a practice so revolting, so contrary to all ideas of
morality and refinement as is the system of man-midwifery so widely
practiced in the United States. No German lady would think of
permitting the attendance of a man at her bedside on such an occasion,
and though custom in England seems generally to sanction the absurd
practice, yet Her Majesty Queen Victoria never allows her medical
advisers to be in attendance in any other capacity than that of
_consulting_ physicians. I had discussed the matter frequently
with married ladies in New York, and they were generally agreed, that,
could only competent ladies be found in the United States,
man-midwifery would soon cease to be practiced in that Republic. I
accordingly resolved to devote all my energies to the study of that
particular branch of the medical profession, and my efforts were
crowned with success. In two years I obtained a diploma from the
Hamburg University, and soon after prepared to return to America.

[Footnote: Dr. Playfair, President of the Obstetrical Society of
London, in his address delivered in February, 1879, said:--"I
confess that it is with a feeling of regret, something akin to shame,
when I reflect that I am supposed to teach a class of young men the
entire subject of midwifery, and the diseases of women and children,
in a short summer course of something under forty lectures. The
thing is a manifest and ridiculous absurdity, hence we have, of
necessity, to omit, year by year, _at least half of midwifery proper_."

The Principal of Calcutta Medical College writes Dr. Playfair thus:--
"To what a hideous extent is the practice of midwifery carried on in
England, by utterly unqualified men, whom the unhappy women and
their friends believe to be qualified, and the system in your
hospitals sadly favors this."

"Yet there are some women who will smother every feeling of modesty
and morality, and trust their lives to one of these licentiates
rather than commit themselves to the care of a thoroughly trained
midwife of their own sex. Surely nothing can be more absurd and

About this time a friend of my husbands' informed us that the
climate of Canada was very much superior to that of the Eastern
States, and much more like that of Germany, and that in Montreal I
would be likely to find, not only a pleasant city, but a people more
European in style and custom, also a capital field for the exercise
of my profession. For Montreal then we sailed with hearts full of
hope, and, being fifty-four days at sea, I was summoned by the
Captain to attend a lady on board (which I did with the success
which has since invariably attended my efforts), and this was my
debut as a professional accoucheur.

On our arrival at Montreal we presented letters of introduction to
the German Consul, and the leading members of the German Society,
and I soon became fully occupied in the exercise of my profession.
Dr. X---- (now one of our most distinguished physicians) not only
tolerated my vocation, but, with a magnanimity worthy of his genius
and ability, gave me counsel and advice, and recommended me as
highly as possible to his confreres and the public. Some few
resident doctors threw cold water on my enterprise, but, to their
credit be it spoken, the profession at large treated me invariably
with the greatest kindness and courtesy, shewing thereby a
liberality and largeness of heart which is ever the outcome of real

I was not long installed in my new home when, as we were sitting
cosily round the fire, the door bell was rung furiously, and on my
going down to receive my visitor, I was astonished to find a
gentleman with a newborn baby wrapped in the tail of his broadcloth
coat. He said he was its father, and that the mother had taken
suddenly ill before any provision could be made for its reception,
and he implored me to take it, as he would otherwise feel impelled
to throw it in the river. I thought my heart would break to see the
poor infant so ruthlessly treated, so I took it from him, promising
to see it safely to some charitable institution. He told me his name
was Ferguson, that he was in business in Montreal, and that if I
would deposit the child in some charitable institution and call and
see its mother during her recovery, he would pay all necessary
expenses. It was too late that night to go out with the child, so I
prepared some food for its nourishment and kept it till the next day,
resolved to go after dusk and see the Lady Superior at one of the
nunneries, but to my chagrin I discovered that the nunnery was closed,
and I was obliged to return home with the babe, which, by-the-by,
continued to roar lustily all the way, and so attracted public
attention to me (its presumptive mother) that I wept as bitterly as
the child itself, and was heartily sorry that I had undertaken any
such mission.

Next day I set out again in good time, but now a new difficulty
awaited me. The good Sister who received me informed me that only
those who were baptized and received into the Catholic Faith were
eligible for admission. On hearing this I burst into tears; I told
her my story, that the child was not mine, but that I was
commissioned by its father to deliver it to her, and I besought her
so earnestly to take it from me that she very considerately did so,
and on my handing her the necessary fee, she undertook to have it
regularly baptized and admitted.

In the evening I called to see the mother; she was lying on a
miserable couch in a low lodging-house in the Quebec suburbs, yet
she had about her the air of a lady, and on her finger glittered a
ring set with brilliants. She wept when I told her how her child was
disposed of, but said that she had no other alternative, as if her
father, who was a lawyer of eminence, had any idea of her predicament,
he would cast her off in shame; that when she first discovered her
condition she persuaded her paramour to make a formal proposal for
her hand, but her father was enraged beyond measure, and threatened
her so terribly that she, for a time at least, put away all thoughts
of Ferguson from her mind, and had not quite decided how to act,
when the occurrence took place which led to the visit aforementioned,
and caused the necessity for my attendance. Miss L---- had barely
time to call in a carriage at Ferguson's office, and apprise him of
her condition, when she was taken ill, and obliged to procure a
lodging with all speed. Ferguson selected the wretched hovel alluded
to, as being away from all chance of discovery by his or her friends,
and after my visit, empowered me to engage a nurse, and make what
other arrangements I could for Miss L----'s comfort. She managed to
get a confidential friend to telegraph her father from Quebec that
she had arrived in that city, and then sent on a letter and had it
mailed there, stating that she had gone on the steamboat the
previous evening to see some friends off, and, remaining too long on
board, was taken away eastward, but would return on receiving the
passage money from Montreal.

With this story she managed to deceive her otherwise astute father,
and in four days she actually got up and went to her own home in a
carriage; insisting on retiring immediately to her room in
consequence of the nervous excitement and fatigue she had undergone.
The nurse I had engaged to attend her, she on some pretence or
another smuggled into the house as a domestic servant, and so not
only managed to have an attendant, but to keep up a clandestine
communication with Ferguson and the outer world.

In the frantic hope of acquiring a rapid fortune, Ferguson migrated
to New Orleans, but just then the American war broke out, and he was
pressed into the service. Whether he was killed or not Miss L----
never found out; his letters became gradually less frequent, till
finally she lost all trace of him whatever, and she eventually
married a wholesale merchant of this city, who is to this day
probably unaware of this little episode in his wife's former career.
Sometimes I see her in her carriage driving with liveried servants
along St. James street, and I cannot refrain from thinking of the
innocent babe as it lay in poor Ferguson's coat-tail.


A Just Retribution.

One evening, about the middle of June, 18--, a gentleman called to
see me, accompanied by a lady closely veiled. He said he wished me
to procure suitable lodging for her, and to attend her on her
accouchement, which was now close at hand, stating that no money
would be spared to furnish everything necessary either to her
comfort or convenience. As I did not know of any lodging suitable to
a person of her station, I was puzzled how to act; I did not want to
lose a patient, and yet could not, even if so disposed, make room
for her in my own house. I knew that my next door neighbor (an
elderly French-Canadian lady) was accustomed to take in lodgers; so,
leaving the lady and gentleman for a while in my parlor, I went to
see if I could make arrangements for the reception of the former.
Madame Charbonneau, my neighbor, had all her rooms occupied, but
said she was willing for a consideration to give up her
drawing-rooms for a time to the fair patient. This was eminently
satisfactory to me, as, in the event of an emergency, I would be
close at hand; I accordingly arranged for Mrs. Trotter's
accommodation, and on reporting to Mr. Dombey, the gentleman
aforementioned, he seemed to be perfectly satisfied. From, what I
afterwards learned, I am able to inform the reader that Mr. Dombey
was junior partner in the house of Dombey & Son, dry goods merchants,
in this city, his father, Jacob Dombey, sen., being considered one of
the wealthiest importers in Canada. In his youth Jacob Dombey, jun.,
had been pampered and petted beyond measure, his every whim being
carried out even at great expense; arrived at the age of twenty-one
he became enamored of a young lady whose father kept a small
toy-shop on Notre Dame street, and nothing would content him but a
marriage with the "Goddess," as his innamorata was called. At first
he was quite proud of his pretty wife, and was to be seen daily in
Sherbrooke street, driving her behind a splendid span of spirited
bay horses, but after a few months he grew tired of this routine,
and with his bosom friend, Richard Fairfax, might be seen, nightly
at the theatres and other places of amusement, while his poor wife
sat in patient loneliness awaiting his return.

Mrs. Trotter was the daughter of a Civic Official of high standing,
and had married at a very early age a retired English Officer, who,
being well advanced in years, left her at the age of twenty-four a
widow with four children. Trotter was possessed of little besides
his pension, which died with him; so Mrs. T. was obliged to eke out
a miserable subsistence on the receipts from a little city property
left her by her father. Soon after her husband's demise Mrs. Trotter
removed to Lachine (a small village on the river side about nine
miles above Montreal), in order to live more economically, and soon
became acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Dombey, who had taken up their
abode there for the summer season. Mrs. Dombey took quite a fancy to
the fascinating widow, and they soon became inseparable.

Every evening on the promenade might be seen Mrs. Trotter leaning
on the arm of Mr. Dombey, his wife following accompanied by his
friend Fairfax; or they were together on the river boating, or
enjoying a picnic on "Dixie" Island. Occasionally, when the weather
was unfavorable to out-door amusements, they would engage in a
rubber of whist, generally ending the evening with a little music.
Dombey did not know one tune from another, but his wife praised
Mrs. Trotter's singing so highly that he soon imagined that in that
art, as in others, she was nearly, if not altogether, perfect. When
it became time for Mrs. Trotter to go home, Jacob used to escort her
to her cottage on the river bank, about a mile distant from his own
residence, and after a few weeks there sprang up an intimacy between
them which culminated in the incidents which gave rise to my

On the day following that on which I had engaged her apartments
Mrs. Trotter took up her abode at Madame Charbonneau's, and about
six weeks afterwards her baby, a beautiful girl, was born; she sent
a message to Mr. Dombey's office, and in the afternoon he called to
see her. He was greatly pleased with the baby, and took it up fondly
in his arms, and on leaving placed a roll of bank bills in my hand,
telling me to get everything necessary for either the mother or her
child, also to get the latter whatever clothing it might require.
After that he called almost daily, and when Mrs. Trotter was
sufficiently recovered to return to her home, he pressed me so
strongly to keep the baby till it was a little older, and not to
leave it to the tender mercies of an ignorant nurse, that I
consented to keep it till it was two years old, and then to obtain
for it, if possible, adoption by some respectable married persons.

Margery, the baby aforementioned, turned out one of the most
beautiful children I had ever seen. Her father and mother visited
her frequently during the time she was at my house, and on my giving
her for adoption to Mr. Walker (a respectable Vermont farmer
without any children of his own) they were both deeply affected.
Dombey was anxious that Mrs. Trotter should take it to her own home,
but, as "Mrs. Grundy" had already been discussing her movements, she
dare not, without fear of ruining her children, take the baby under
the roof. As there was no help for it the baby was allowed to go to
Vermont, and grew up a beautiful girl, passionately devoted to the
only parents she had ever known; Mrs. Walker dying during the
child's infancy, Mr. Walker had her educated as well as his means
would permit, and they passed their time in the most perfect harmony
and sweet content. After the war, however, Walker found himself
almost without a penny in the world, and, thinking to better his
fortunes removed to New York, where he managed to make a poor living
as a subordinate in the Custom House. Margery regretted this change
of circumstances very much, but, being thoroughly devoted to her
father, she did not repine, but did all in her power to make his
home as happy as could be under such conditions. She missed her
accustomed amusements very much, and although in New York she saw
many things and found many opportunities which would have been
altogether unknown to her in the country, yet she was a long time in
becoming reconciled to the close and stifling atmosphere of a great
metropolitan city.

One night her father promised her a great treat, they were to go to
X----'s theatre to see Mademoiselle B---- in Romeo and Juliet. Margery
sat with strained eyes gazing wistfully at the play, laughing and
weeping by turns as the great master's power was exerted on the
audience by the artists engaged, and at the close she heaved a deep
sigh, consequent upon having held her breath so long, and without
thought exclaimed aloud:--"Oh, what would I not give to be able to
act like that." The manager who was close by, and who had been
watching the attentive beauty for some time, overheard the remark,
and intercepting the pair on their way out of the theatre said:--
"I noticed that you were favorably impressed with the piece; would
you like an introduction to Miss B----, the principal actress?"
Margery was overcome with delight, and besought her father so
earnestly to allow her to go into the green room that he accompanied
her thither, and they obtained an introduction to the famous artiste.
Miss B---- was quite taken with the innocent enthusiasm of the girl,
and invited her to come to her benefit on the following evening,
when she was to appear as Parthenia in "Ingomar;" Margery, having
obtained her father's permission, readily consented, and all the way
home was full of praises for Juliet, Romeo, the manager, and all
concerned. On the following evening the manager drew her father
aside and whispered in his ear:--"You have a fortune in that girl of
yours." Walker, misunderstanding the purport of his words, replied:--
"Yes, she is a good and affectionate child, as much so as if I were
her natural parent." "You do not understand me," said the other;
"I mean she has immense emotional power, which, if artistically
cultivated, would, coupled with her personal appearance, make both
her fortune and yours."

"Do you think so?" replied Walker; "well, if we had only the means
I would certainly have her trained, for, since she has seen
Mademoiselle B---- act, her great ambition seems to be to occupy a
similar position." After further conversation it was agreed to place
Margery under the care of Mrs. L----, with a view of becoming a
professional actress; for, although Walker did not at all care for
the stage or its concomitants, still he did not wish to throw any
obstacles in the way of his adopted child's prosperity. Margery,
therefore, was allowed to pursue the bent of her inclinations, and
such an apt pupil was she that in a little over eighteen months her
debut was announced in the papers, and a crowded house showered
floral and other trophies on the beautiful debutante. Offers of
engagements from different cities came flowing in, and before long
Miss Margery Montague was announced to appear in Montreal. Her fame
had preceded her thither, and Fairfax was instructed to secure a box
for the Dombey family. Dombey himself (who had followed the career
of his child) tried hard to excuse himself from going, but his wife
was not satisfied to leave him at home; he sat in the back of the box,
and as the applause grew louder and louder, he showered costly
bouquets, and other offerings on the stage, his breast meanwhile
being torn by conflicting passions. How proud he would have been to
clasp her to his heart and call her his own; but he had willfully
put her away from him, and now, even could he receive her into his
family, would her adopted father be willing to give her up again.
With flushed face and beating heart he sought the manager, and
begged to be allowed to see the fair artiste, a favor which was
granted; and, as he stood before his child, and poured forth the
usual stereotyped compliments and congratulations, he bit his lips
as he thought that he dared not press her to his heart, but was
forced to speak to her in terms of cold politeness.

On their return from the Theatre Mrs. Dombey announced her intention
of calling on the talented actress, and the following day she went,
accompanied by her daughters, to the St. Lawrence Hall, at that time
the most fashionable hotel in the city, where she was cordially
received; and the young actress made such a favorable impression on
the ladies that they invited her to dine at their house on the
following day, an invitation which was readily accepted.

Dombey was greatly moved when he heard that Miss Montague had
accepted an invitation to dinner, but there was no help for it, and,
as though to make matters worse invitations were sent to a few
intimate friends, including Mrs. Trotter. Here, then, was a painful
position for the two guilty ones: they were forced to sit and see
the child whom they had cast off feted and honored by the woman both
of them had injured. It seemed as if a wet blanket were placed over
the whole assembly: Dombey sat moodily biting his finger-nails, and
as Mrs. Trotter would not sing and Mrs. Dombey _could_ not, matters
went very slowly indeed.

When the time came for separating, Mrs. Dombey motioned to Jacob to
see Miss Montague to her hotel, but he being deep in a fit of
abstraction, his eldest son Charles stepped forward, and before his
father could prevent him, was equipped in greatcoat and overshoes,
ready for a moonlight stroll. During the evening he had noticed that
Charles was rather attentive to the fair actress, and the thought
that an intimacy between them was possible drove him to the verge of
distraction, Mrs. Dombey noticed his strange behavior, and asked him
the cause, on which he muttered something about "Auction lunch--
infernal champagne," and some other incoherent exclamations,
altogether unintelligible to his unsuspicious wife. When he and his
paramour got outside they walked along in gloomy silence for several
minutes--at last he addressed her: "Is it not strange that this child,
whom I had thought far removed from me and mine, should be brought
even into my own house, and eat at my table?"

"Oh, it is fearful; only think what would be the consequence if an
intimacy should spring up between her and Charles!"

"Yes, I must send him away at once."

Mrs. Trotter reminded him that this step was unnecessary, as
Miss Montague left the next day for Chicago to fulfil a professional
engagement. He heaved a sigh of relief, and then, with a passionate
tug at Mrs. Trotter's door bell, turned to go away.

"Will you not come in a while, Jack?" she said.

"No, he replied, Clara (Mrs. Dombey) would suspect something. She
looked at me very strangely this evening."

"But you will come to-morrow," rejoined the temptress.

"Yes, I will look in on my way up from the office," he said.
"Good night."

"Good night, Jack," said she.

As he got to his own door he found Charles leaning pensively against
the balustrade, gazing wistfully at the heavens.

"Well, Charlie, have you forgotten your latch-key?"

"N--no Sir," stammered Charles, "but it is so confoundedly hot
inside that I did not care to go in."

Dombey reflected that as the thermometer registered only about ten
degrees Fahrenheit he had but to open his window to attain as low a
temperature as was consistent with comfort; however, he said nothing,
and they both walked upstairs.

"Good night, Charlie."

"Good night, Father."

And they entered their respective chambers.

I have heard it said that if two men are placed in one bed, one in
love and the other with a toothache, that the man with the toothache
will fall asleep first. Here, however, were two men; one, past the
prime of life, afflicted with the most bitter remorse; the other,
young and susceptible, with all the fever of a youthful passion
springing up within his breast. Dombey could not sleep, the thought
that what at first was barely possible was now become highly
probable goaded him almost to madness. He rose and dressed himself,
going quietly out of the front door into Sherbrooke street. Along
the street he went at a fearful pace, till, almost faint from want
of breath, he turned down the hill towards the city, habit bringing
him along the route he was accustomed to take to his office. As he
turned the corner of St. James street, he saw (for there were few
persons abroad) a young man walking moodily up and down on the side
opposite the St. Lawrence Hall; he turned as if he had seen an
apparition, and ran rather than walked in the direction of his own

Next day Miss Montague departed for the West, Mrs. and Miss Dombey
accompanied by Charles went to see her off at the Depot, and with
many assurances of a future meeting, should she ever return to
Montreal, they separated as the train moved slowly past the platform.
As the drawing-room car was just clearing the station, Miss Montague
held a piece of paper out of the window, which Charles caught
eagerly and placed in his pocket-book. His mother and sister
chaffing him on receiving tender messages from the fair artiste, he
laughingly produced it.

It was nothing more nor less than a page of an old timetable, and both
Mrs. and Miss Dombey laughed at the strange souvenir Miss Montague had
left behind her. When they got home, however, Charles carefully opened
the paper and observed that opposite each of the cities on her route
Miss Montague had placed a figure in pencil thus:--Chicago, 4;
Detroit, 2; Toledo, 2; Toronto, 3; New York; 6, Boston, 6. This,
though unintelligible to his mother and sister, informed Charles that
Miss Montague would go first to Chicago and remain four days, and
afterwards to the other cities mentioned, and that he might write or
meet her there as opportunity afforded.

That day matters resumed their normal condition in the Dombey family;
Jacob breathed freely now that his child had returned to the country
of her adoption, and his wife and family were happy because of his
improved spirits and appearance. Charles had apparently settled down
to business as usual, and Mesdames Trotter and Dombey drove out
together as of old. In a few weeks, however, Charles asked his
father permission to go for his holidays; a friend having invited
him to spend a few weeks at Nahant an island near Boston. There
being nothing to keep him in Montreal he had no difficulty in
procuring consent, and he departed, taking fishing tackle enough to
have supplied the whole Atlantic coast for a season. When his father
learned the real object of his visit to Boston, he raved like a
madman; he came to see me, and told me the whole story, most of
which I had learnt before from other sources and he persuaded me to
go to Boston and to take on my self the painful duty of informing
Miss Montague who and what she really was, and why it was impossible
that she could ever marry Charles Dombey. The poor girl was almost
heart-broken, for she had learnt to love her stepbrother dearly, and
now she would have to be separated from him entirely. It was not for
herself, however, that she mourned the most, it was for him, when he
should learn of the wide gulf which separated them from each other.
He never did learn it, however; Miss Montague consented (for his sake)
to accept an engagement in England, and to trust in years to soften
the blow which had smitten her so severely. She wrote to Charles,
telling him that, for reasons unexplained, she never could be his
wife, although she loved him dearly, and that as there was no use
striving against fate, she had bowed to the inevitable, and taken a
foreign engagement. At first Charles was desperately cut up, but time,
that physician _par excellence_, healed his wounds, and he is now
married to a respectable lady of this city; deservedly successful in
his business, and with a stainless reputation. Jacob Dombey
staggered along under his load for years, but, unable to contain
himself, he one day confessed the affair to his wife, who, instead
of denouncing him as the wretch he was, pitied and sympathized with;
aye, and not only that, she received his mistress into her house as
before, rather than make public his heartless conduct. Truly such an
angel never received such heartless treatment, or was so little
appreciated. It broke her heart however, and over her grave Dombey
resolved to cast Mrs. Trotter off forever, and send her away from
the city. He accordingly arranged with her to take an annual
allowance and go to New York with her family, vowing that he could
no longer endure her presence, which was grown distasteful to him.

This did not at all suit Mrs. Trotter, who had now hoped to become
the legal mistress of the Dombey mansion. But all her tears were of
no avail, the bitter pangs of remorse were tearing Dombey's bosom,
and he would hear of nothing but, her immediate departure for the
United States. He determined that however he might have blighted the
life of the wife whose excellent qualities he had only now begun to
appreciate, nothing should stand in the way of her children's
advancement; and the voice of a scandal having already been heard
concerning Mrs. Trotter, he felt that her immediate departure was a
necessity. She argued and entreated, but it was of no avail, and she
accordingly made the best of her case and got from him a liberal
allowance. Hers was not of a nature to reform, however; she went
from bad to worse, and finally took to smoking opium as a means to
relieve her gnawing conscience, ending her days prematurely.

Dombey survived her but a short time. He tried hard to make amends
for the past by increased attention to the children of his late wife,
but he never fully recovered himself, and finally succumbed to a
wasting fever, superinduced by late hours and immoderate drinking.
To his last hour his conscience smote him at the triple wrong he had
inflicted on his children, his natural daughter, and his confiding


The Bag Baby.

Madame Charbonneau gave such entire satisfaction as _Maitresse
d'Hopital_ that I purchased her interest in the lease of the house, and
employed her permanently as my aide-de-camp. In a short time we
established quite a reputation, and applications for accommodation
poured in from all quarters.

One bitter cold day towards the end of March a lady and gentleman
arrived by the morning train from the United States. The lady was
apparently about thirty-five years of age, while the gentleman might
have been from five to ten years her senior, and, although plainly
attired, they had the appearance of belonging to the better class of
society. The gentleman informed me that they had just arrived from
New York, and had put up at the St. Lawrence Hall; but that his wife
had taken ill unexpectedly, and, hearing that she would be better
cared for in my house than at the Hall, he wished, if possible, to
secure rooms and professional attendance. The house being rather
full at the time, Madame Charbonneau was obliged to give her the
nurse's room (which contained two beds) till some of the other rooms
should become vacant; this her husband readily assented to, and
arranged to call in the afternoon and bring the necessary funds,
which I always made it a point to collect in advance. The lady
seeming tired and exhausted, I recommended her to divest herself of
her clothing and retire to bed, which she accordingly did, and soon
fell into a deep sleep. In the afternoon the gentleman returned, and,
having settled the bills, went upstairs to see his wife who was just
then partaking of some light refreshment. He expressed himself well
pleased with our arrangements, and said he would call regularly to
see how his wife progressed.

That night as the nurse was about to retire, she was surprised to
find, under the coverlet of her bed, an enormous rag baby, as large
as a child of two years old, dressed completely, with shoes, bonnet
and veil. Her astonishment can easily be imagined as she held it up
to the light and carefully examined it; then, laughing heartily, she
turned to Mrs. Roberts (my patient) and said:

"My! who could have put this baby in my bed?" On which that lady
replied with evident embarrassment that the baby was a doll
belonging to her niece, and that, imagining the bed to be unoccupied,
she had, in unpacking her trunk, placed it there for the sake of
convenience, and apologized for being so careless. The nurse made no
reply, but, being of a jovial disposition, danced with it into the
other rooms, exclaiming, much to the chagrin of the lady, that she
had found a beautiful baby in her bed. The other patients wondered
what it was, and whence it came, and appealed to me for information,
but, as I knew nothing about it myself, their curiosity was not
gratified in the least. On my questioning the lady she told me a
story similar to that which she told the nurse, but her countenance
contradicted her assertions, and the idea of any child carrying a
doll of the dimensions of the rag baby was too absurd for credence.
No more was said about it, however, and the matter passed almost
completely from our memory.

For three or four days things went on as usual, Mrs. Roberts
getting to all appearances better every day, and her husband's
visits being paid with due regularity; one day, however, he failed
to appear, and Mrs. Roberts seemed very uneasy. After tea she asked
for the evening paper, and hastily scanned its columns, when her eye
fell on some item of interest, and she became deadly pale. The
American war being then in progress I thought she might have learned
of the death of a friend or relation, so I inquired if anything were
amiss, and was astonished when she pointed out a paragraph
containing an account of her husband's arrest for enlisting British
subjects for the American army, and smuggling them across the line,
She now took me into her confidence, and explained that she was an
accomplice of her husband, and that they had made a practice of
enlisting men in Montreal. Her husband usually remained here, as it
was dangerous for him to travel to and fro, but she was sent as an
escort for each recruit, and the baby was used to avert suspicion,
as no sentinel would think of scrutinizing a man closely who went
across accompanied with his wife and child. The excess of travel had
weakened her frame, and now this shock came to still further shake
her system; the result was a premature confinement, and a long and
weary illness.

Ere she recovered she got a letter from her husband, bearing the New
York postmark. It seems he had been liberated on bail, (having
influential friends) and had at once made the best of his way to the
United States. His wife soon joined him, taking with her the
redoubtable rag-baby, which had afforded us so much food for gossip
and conjecture.


A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.

Alfred Grandison was born in the ancient city of Bristol in the year
1831. His father had been bandmaster in a British Cavalry regiment,
but had retired some years previous to the birth of little Alfred,
and made a comfortable livelihood by teaching the children of the
wealthy residents of Clifton, the fashionable suburb of Bristol.
Young Alfred soon gave evidence of great musical talent, and used to
amuse himself blowing trumpet calls on his father's French horn,
although the instrument was almost as big as himself; he also
achieved considerable mastery over the piano, the flute and the
violin, but, though bright and intelligent enough, and always
maintaining a creditable position at school, it was evident that
nature had intended him for a musician, and that he could never
succeed in anything prosaic or mechanical. Accordingly his father
taught him not only to play, but also instructed him in the theory
and literature of music, and, when he was old enough, had him
entered as a chorister in Bristol Cathedral, where, in addition to
vocal music, he was carefully taught the art of organ-playing by the
Cathedral organist.

The boy soon became able to play quite skilfully, and when his voice
began to give way he obtained a position as organist in the church
at Shirehampton, performing on a small instrument with one row of
keys. From Shirehampton he shortly removed to a more remunerative
position in Bristol, and he was not long there before he fell in
love with the daughter of a hotel-keeper in one of the suburbs, whom,
in spite of the remonstrance of both relatives and friends, he
eventually married, although she was both poor and plain-looking,
and at least ten years his senior. "A young man married is a man
that's marred" says Shakespeare, and, without venturing an opinion
as to the correctness of this theory, we may say that young
Grandison had made a great mistake. In a short time his affection,
or fancied affection, for his wife became less ardent, and he found
himself at the age of twenty-four, married to a woman who had
neither taste nor sympathy in common with him, the father of three
helpless children, and the recipient of the stupendous emolument of
sixty pounds a year. Added to all this his friends, being unwilling
to associate with his wife and relations, had, one by one, deserted
him, and left him almost alone to brood over his ill-advised alliance.

Whilst moodily glancing at an evening paper he saw an advertisement
for an organist who would be willing to go to Canada, and at once
seizing at the idea he applied for the post, which he eventually
obtained without great difficulty, sailing for Montreal in the
spring of 1855, to play the organ and direct the music of one of the
leading Episcopal churches in this city. At that time there were,
very few musicians of ability in Montreal, and Mr. Grandison soon
became quite popular, both professionally and socially. His wife was
at first invited out, but, finding that she seldom accompanied her
husband on these occasions, her name was, in time, dropped from the
invitations, and Mr. Grandison was treated as if he were a bachelor,
many indeed being altogether unaware of the fact that he had a wife
and family.

Among those who took Grandison by the hand was a certain Mr. Sedley,
a professional man of high standing. Mary Sedley, the daughter of
the latter was possessed of a remarkably fine voice, and was one of
the ornaments of the church choir, so that the family were naturally
interested in the advent of a new organist from England, under whose
careful training the music of the church was to be developed and
improved. It was decided to place Mary Sedley under the special
charge of Mr. Grandison, and he accordingly went twice a week to the
house to give her lessons in singing, and when there was a special
Anthem to be sung his visits were much more frequent. Then the
Sedleys gave grand musical parties to which Mr. Grandison was of
course, invited, playing Miss Sedley's accompaniment on the
pianoforte, while she entranced the assembled company with her
singing; in fact, no gathering of the Sedley family was complete
without the presence of the handsome and accomplished Mr. Grandison.

All this, in its way, was harmless enough, but Mary Sedley was a
blooming girl of seventeen, and Grandison, as I have said was quite
a young man, and from the frequent walking home with her alone from
services and rehearsals, and other meetings in society, there arose
an intimacy which, though unnoticed by Mary's parents, and possibly
not by the young people themselves, could not be productive of
anything in the long run but sorrow and remorse.

One Saturday night when Mary came home rather later than usual, her
father (who, though fond of her, was an austere man) questioned her
gruffly as to the cause of her delay, when she replied:--"Oh! papa,
I am to sing 'As Pants the Hart' to-morrow, and Mr. Grandison
insisted on my trying it with the organ after practice. It is
exceedingly difficult, you know."

Her father _did not know_, and was inclined to be very angry. The
next day, however, he forgot it all in the delight of hearing his
daughter's voice resounding through the sacred edifice; Grandison
was invited to dinner, and everything was once more _couleur de rose_.

The first winter after Grandison's arrival in Canada he gave a grand
concert in Nordheimer's Hall, then the principal concert hall in the
city. Mary Sedley was the Prima Donna, and bouquet after bouquet was
thrown at her feet, as she retired amid the plaudits of the multitude.
After the concert Grandison accompanied them home to supper, and
about twelve o'clock took his leave of the family.

About an hour afterwards Mr. Sedley, thinking he heard a noise, got
up and searched the house, when, to his surprise, he found the door
unfastened. He thought he remembered having secured it as he retired
to rest, but was not certain; however, he proceeded, in his search,
and on coming to Mary's room, found the door locked, and heard his
daughter breathing heavily, as if asleep. Being unwilling to disturb
her, he returned to his bed, and, ere morning, the affair had passed
from his memory. Had he remained awake, however, he might have seen
a man emerge from his daughter's room, and, creeping stealthily
along the passage, go out at the hall-door, his daughter, the pure,
spotless Mary, _leader of Psalmody and sacred lays_, following close
at his heels, to fasten the door and make good his retreat.

This sort of thing went on for a long time, unsuspected by either
Miss Sedley's parents or friends, when Mary became suddenly placed
in a very awkward position. A certain Mr. Hazelton, junior partner
in a large hardware firm, had long been a suitor of hers, and had
asked repeatedly for her hand; her father had hitherto refused to
give his consent, owing to her tender age, but he had now withdrawn
every obstacle, and left her free to get married if she chose; more
than that, he urged Hazelton's suit, and, though unwilling to coerce
his daughter in any way, gave her to understand that he was
particularly desirous that she should give Hazelton a favorable reply.

Under ordinary circumstances Mary would have had no hesitation in
refusing to have anything to say to Hazelton, but for some time
rumor had been busy circulating scandal concerning herself and
Grandison, and, as she was at that moment not in a condition to bear
scrutiny, she was afraid to awaken suspicion by refusing Hazelton's
offer, and so he was made the "happiest of men" (?)

A short time after Miss Sedley had become engaged to Mr. Hazelton
she went with her father and mother to Cacouna, where they had a
summer residence. By a strange coincidence, Grandison also chose
Cacouna at which to spend his holidays, and combined business with
pleasure by giving occasional concerts at the St. Lawrence Hall,
which hotel had just been erected, and was the fashionable resort of
those people from Montreal and Quebec who could manage to exchange
the heated atmosphere of these cities for the more bracing air of
Canada's popular watering place. Mr. Hazelton was unable to leave
Montreal, and Mrs. Grandison was not disposed to accompany her
husband, even if he could have afforded to take her, in fact, the
poor woman, feeling that she was a burden and drag on her husband,
had taken to drinking, and had gradually removed herself still
further from the pale of fashionable society. Her house (which was
situated in a back street in Montreal) was not only untidy, but
positively dirty, and her children ran about the streets unclad
uneducated, and uncared for.

The Sedleys had not been long at Cacouna when one morning the old
gentleman walking out, as was his wont, before breakfast, saw
through the fog (which in this district usually hangs about for some
time after sunrise) a man descend from his daughter's bedroom window
and walk hastily in the direction of the hotel. Both the distance
and the fog prevented him from positively recognizing the man's
features, but the form and carriage were unmistakably those of
Alfred Grandison. Mr. Sedley was, so to speak, "struck all of a heap,"
he could not believe the evidence of his own senses, and for a few
moments he stood rooted to the spot as if thunderstruck; then he
rushed into the house, and going straight to his daughter's room
upbraided her with her shameful conduct, but was met by a bold and
unqualified denial, the young lady stating that she had been till
that moment asleep, and that possibly some burglar had been in the
premises, whom her father had mistaken for a gay Lothario. She burst
into tears and wondered that her father could have such an opinion of
her, and suggested that immediate search should be made, to see if
any articles of value were missing. Her father was by no means
convinced of his mistake, however; he thought it possible that his
daughter might not have been aware of Grandison's presence, or that
he might only have been _about to enter_ the house when he was
frightened away; but that Grandison was there he felt certain, so,
going immediately over to the hotel, he charged him directly with
his crime, at the same time, presenting a loaded revolver at his head,
he threatened to blow his brains out. This, as may be supposed, did
not prove a ready means of eliciting a confession from the cowardly
Grandison. The poor wretch cowered before the righteous indignation
of the broken-hearted father, and swore by every saint in the
Calendar that the latter must have been mistaken, and that nothing
criminal had ever taken place between the young lady and himself.

Mr. Sedley only half believed these asseverations, but, as may be
seen, he was a poor diplomatist, and took the very worst way to
arrive at anything like the truth. So saying "Not guilty, but
_don't do it again_," or words to that effect, he left the hotel
and returned to his own house. Here he disclosed his fears to his
wife, but she scouted the idea as preposterous, and urged him to
have Mary's marriage with Hazelton celebrated as soon as convenient,
and so put an end to all possible contingencies.

Shortly after the return of the family to Montreal Mr. Hazelton led
to the altar with pride the "blushing" Mary Sedley. Good cause,
indeed, had she to blush, for never was man more egregiously
"sold" than was "Mr. Samuel Hazelton, of the city of Montreal,
merchant." The _happy couple_ left by the evening train for Boston,
the "Wedding March," which was admirably performed by Mr. Grandison,
still ringing in their ears.

About five months after this unholy marriage Mrs. Hazelton called on
me, and disclosed to me the whole state of the case, informing me
(of which there was little necessity) that her confinement was close
at hand, and soliciting my aid to get her out of the difficulty. My
first impulse was to call on her husband and acquaint him with the
facts: but, remembering that he occupied a prominent position, not
only in the mercantile, but also in the religious community; moreover,
that a disclosure would in no way mend the matter, and would be a
lasting disgrace not only, to the two culprits, but also to Messrs.
Sedley and Hazelton I listened calmly to her plans for getting out
of the difficulty. She suggested pretending a miscarriage, wished me
to invite her to my house, where she would become ill, and unable to
leave till after her child was born. The child was then to be
conveyed to the nunnery, her husband being deluded into the belief
that she had miscarried.

Now, in the ordinary course of business, I would have been perfectly
justified in attending her without troubling my head about her
antecedents; indeed, had she been unmarried I would possibly have
given my services, but in this case the lady was married, and the
child lawfully belonged to her husband, _whose heir it was_, although
actually belonging to another man.

I accordingly declined having anything to do with her case, although
I promised that, as her confession was made to me in confidence and
as a professional secret, I would not disclose it to anyone. Having
friends in Boston, she made some excuse to visit them, and she was
not long there when her husband received a telegram, stating that his
wife had had a premature confinement and lay in a precarious state
in Boston, whither her loving husband instantly repaired. The child
(a beautiful girl) was sent to Mrs. Sedley in Montreal, and given
out to nurse. She was eventually adopted by a childless dry goods
merchant in this city who had her educated as his daughter, employing,
by-the-by, _her own father_ to give her lessons in music.

One would think that now Mrs. Hazelton had got over this great
difficulty, and started in life as a respectable married lady, she
would have eschewed her former errors and turned over a new leaf.
Unfortunately for all parties, her husband was proud of her musical
ability, and insisted that she should continue to take lessons from
Grandison, for whom strange to say, he had conceived a great regard.
The frequent meetings consequent upon this proved too much for both
of the culprits, and in a short time they became as intimate as ever.
Since Mary's marriage, Mr. Sedley had quite forgotten his former
suspicions of Grandison, and he was cordially received into both
houses, being, in fact, almost a member of the family.

Mr. Hazelton was a prominent member of the church and, being a
capital speaker, had undertaken to give a lecture in the basement of
that edifice addressed to young men; Mrs. Hazelton and some other
ladies were to enliven the evening with music, accompanied on the
piano by Mr. Grandison. The lecture animadverted at some length
concerning the temptations which beset young men, and warned them to
avoid vice of all kinds, drinking, gambling, and the rest. Among
other things he mentioned the social evil, and contrasted the happy
home of the chaste man and his virtuous wife with that of the drunken,
vicious libertine. The seducer was anathematized, and a graphic
description given of the poor degraded women who had lost the one
jewel in their crown. It is needless to say that both Mrs. Hazelton
and her paramour felt exceedingly uncomfortable during this discourse;
the former who was to have sung a brilliant aria at its close, grew
deadly pale, and had to leave the room. The lecturer requested
Mr. Grandison to substitute a piano solo, but strange to say, he was
unable to perform anything without notes, so the announcement was
made to the audience that, owing to the excessive heat (the
temperature was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit), Mrs. Hazelton, was
unable to perform that evening, and begged to be excused. Grandison
was to have gone home with the lecturer to supper, but he said he
considered Mrs. Hazelton would be the better of a little quiet, and,
stammering out some excuse, slunk away in the direction of his own

Mr. Hazelton found his wife reclining on a sofa in the drawing-room,
and he at once exerted himself to alleviate her suffering, and
gratify her every whim. He propped her up with pillows, and ordered
the maid to prepare whatever delicacies the larder afforded, blaming
himself as being the cause of all her sufferings. His solicitude in
her behalf made her only the more miserable; she had never loved,
and never could love, him, but his uniform kindness and attention
had excited within her a feeling of gratitude which made her remorse
all the more bitter as she thought how he had been duped by the
woman who had sworn to love and honor him. The next day was one of
those appointed for receiving her singing lessons, but she sent a
messenger to Mr. Grandison, telling him not to call for a few days,
as she was unequal to even that slight exertion. Mr. Hazelton called
to see me in great alarm, informing me that his wife's first child
was prematurely born, and that he dreaded a recurrence of that
terrible calamity. I, of course, had my own ideas concerning what
was the matter, but I promised to call and see her, and do what I
could to alleviate her sufferings. I found her well enough physically,
but in very low spirits and in tears. She told me what I have
informed the reader, adding that she was at the moment _enceinte_,
the father of this child being also Alfred Grandison. I was very
much shocked at this disclosure, but contented myself with
remonstrating with Mrs. Hazelton concerning the course she was
pursuing, urging her to drop all connection with Grandison. This she
promised to do, but I subsequently discovered that, far from keeping
her promise, she had even gone so far as to plan an elopement with
him to the United States.

About two years after Mrs. Hazleton's marriage, Grandison received
the appointment of organist to ---- Church, Chicago, and, together
with his wife and family, left Montreal for the Western city,
leaving Mr. Hazelton in undisturbed possession of his wife; the
latter, instead of rejoicing at this providential release from
temptation, fretted at the loss of her paramour, attributing, however,
her fitful humor to her delicate condition.

Shortly after Grandison's departure for Chicago I was summoned to
attend Mrs. Hazelton, who gave birth to a fine boy. Mr. Hazelton was
in ecstasy at the thought of becoming a father; he gave a grand
entertainment on the occasion of the child's christening, and when
the guests all agreed that the child had "its father's nose" (which
was doubtless the truth) the poor man's delight knew no bounds.
Mrs. Hazelton gradually began to be more cheerful, and to try in
some measure to make amends to her husband for the wrong which could
never be repaired. When, however, he carried her baby up and down,
or fondled it upon his knee, the bitter pangs of remorse gnawed at
her heart, and made her captious and bad tempered. With all this
there was no deep repentance, and when Grandison came to Montreal
for his holidays, her husband was completely forgotten once more.
Grandison was invited to stay at the Hazeltons' residence, an
invitation which to do him justice he endeavored to decline, but
Mr. Hazelton pressed him so strongly that he was afraid to awaken
suspicion by refusing, and so the wolf became ensconced snugly in
the sheepfold, not only without difficulty, but on the pressing
invitation of its occupants. Mrs. Hazelton during this visit urged
Grandison so strongly that he promised to elope with her so soon as
he could conveniently leave Chicago.

He had not been long back at his new residence when his wife died,
and letters of condolence were sent to him from all quarters. His
wife, who had never been received into society, was suddenly
discovered to have been one of its brightest ornaments, and her loss
was deeply felt and proportionately deplored. Mrs. Hazelton now
thought her opportunity had come, and accordingly wrote to Grandison
that she was ready to go to the end of the world with him. He,
however, was not particularly anxious to go to such a remote locality;
in fact he had made up his mind to remain in Chicago, and (now that
his wife was no longer a burden upon him) to turn over a new leaf
and become a respectable member of society. Whatever charms Mary
Sedley may have had had long since disappeared, and Mr. Grandison's
affection was not so deep-seated that he was prepared to tie himself
to a comparatively plain old woman for whom he had long since lost
every particle of respect. He accordingly took no notice of her
letter, and received a second and a third couched in the strongest
language of affection. But the more importunate she became, the more
did Grandison lose his respect for her; he therefore took no notice
of her letters, and determined to keep aloof from her in the future.

When Mrs. Hazelton began to realize that he had deserted her, she
grew frantic indeed. She would not believe it; the letters had
miscarried, or something else had interfered to prevent his writing.
She resolved that, come what would, she would go to him, and,
throwing herself at his feet, demand his protection. In the dead of
the night she collected her most valuable clothing and jewellery, and,
with a little money in her purse, stealthily left her husband's house,
carrying her bundle in her hand. She wandered about the streets till
daylight, and in the morning entered the Grand Trunk Depot in St.
Bonaventure street, and procured a ticket for Chicago. Her husband
at first thought she had merely gone to Bonsecours market to purchase
provisions for the ensuing week, and that she would shortly return.
Breakfast time came, however, and she did not return, and he began
to get uneasy; enquiries were made of neighbors and friends at whose
houses she might possibly have stayed, but no one had seen her, or
knew anything of her whereabouts. The police were next communicated
with, and a regular hue and cry was raised in the city concerning
her mysterious disappearance. In the meantime the object of their
search arrived in Chicago, and at once proceeded towards Grandison's
residence. She had not gone far when he approached her with a
fashionably dressed young lady on his arm. Mrs. Hazelton ran towards
him with a cry of recognition, but, whatever he may have felt
towards her before, the sight of her as she now appeared drove every
trace of affection from his heart, he looked at her coldly, and
without the faintest sign of recognition The effect of this
treatment under the circumstances can well be imagined; the wretched
woman fell fainting at his feet, raving wildly and uttering the most
awful imprecations. By this time a crowd had collected, and the
police, thinking she was some madwoman who had escaped, had her
removed to an asylum, and placed under medical treatment.

During all this period Hazelton was like a man demented; he caused
advertisements to be inserted in the principal papers, describing
his wife, and offering a reward for her recovery. The canal locks
were dragged from end to end, and every place likely to have been
visited by her was thoroughly searched and examined. At the end of
about a week Mr. Hazelton received the following telegram:--

Chicago, Oct. 14, 18--.
To S. Hazelton, Esq.,


Person answering description in advertisement in _Tribune_
found here to-day, and placed under medical treatment.
What shall we do?


--for Chief of Police.

Mr. Hazelton immediately telegraphed a reply, and, taking the next
train, was soon able to identify his lost wife. The sight of him
made the poor creature worse, and he was forbidden to call till she
was in a less excitable condition. In about a week, though still
suffering, she was removed to Montreal, and placed under the care of
Dr. X----, to whom I communicated what I knew concerning her
antecedents. In a comparatively short time she grew much better, and
was able to converse intelligently, the subject of her departure and
her illness being carefully avoided. Her husband attributed her
mental aberration to the old cause, although why she should have
gone to Chicago, he never could exactly understand.

Many years have now passed since these occurrences, and all the
parties to this narrative are still alive. Mrs. Hazelton has never
recovered from the effects of the shock received in Chicago, and
sits brooding mournfully and in secret over her past transgressions,
while her husband with unceasing devotion heaps coals of fire on her
head. Grandison has since moved to New York, where he married again,
and became an altered man. I met him in Montreal a short time since,
but he carefully avoided all mention of either Mr. or Mrs. Hazelton,
and did not dare to call either on them or the Sedleys. Once or
twice his name was mentioned at the house of the latter, but it
seemed to awaken sad recollections in the breast of Mrs. Hazelton,
and was consequently avoided by the family. The latter have lived so
far in ignorance of these occurrences, and it is to be hoped they
will never be undeceived.


Among the Fenians.

While still young, and unused to the many strange phases of life I
had an adventure which, at that period of my career, made a deep
impression on my mind. A rough-looking man called on me, and
requested my immediate attendance on a sick woman at Point St.
Charles, at that time a remote suburb of Montreal. As I hesitated to
go with him, having a strange dread of accompanying him to such a
lonely place, he seemed to think I was afraid of not receiving my fee,
and, pulling a long purse out of his pocket he took out a handful of
gold pieces, one of which he tendered me an advance. This made me
all the more reluctant to accompany him, as I feared he might be a
robber or freebooter of some kind, but, quickly controlling my
emotions, I set my reason to work, and argued that, whatever he
might be, he could have no motive other than that assigned for
taking me with him, that he could gain nothing by way-laying or even
murdering me, and so I put on my outer garments and got into the
carriage beside him. The night was wet and stormy, and, just as we
started, forked lightning flashed across the heavens in all
directions, causing the horse to dash madly along as if to overturn
the vehicle. This of course was a mere coincidence, but, with all my
firmness of will and sound logical reasons for not being afraid, I
could not altogether control my emotions as we drove through the
lowest and dirtiest parts of Griffintown, which had at that time the
reputation of harboring all sorts of Fenians, thieves and marauders.
We crossed the canal and got out into the country, the rain
descending in torrents, while the thunder crashed louder than ever.
I believe that, had I been able to get out, I would have even then
retreated, but I had no alternative but to remain and make the most
of my position. Beyond a few words at starting, my companion said
little; indeed conversation was impossible, as were jolted from side
to side of the street, and the crashing of the thunder overhead
would have drowned our most powerful efforts.

After about half an hour's ride, the carriage stopped at a lonely
house some distance on the Lower Lachine road, and, alighting, we
entered, when I was piloted into an upper chamber, where a woman lay
on a couch in need of my attendance. I felt altogether re-assured
now, and at once opened my satchel to make the necessary preparations
for my stay; still the room had not the air of an ordinary bedroom,
and the presence of three men, all as rough-looking as my guide,
made me suspicious as to their calling, more particularly as there
was not a woman to be seen save my patient.

As soon as I had divested myself of my wet garments and hung them at
the fire to dry, the men left the room, and I ordered the woman to
undress and go to bed, which she did. I then tried to get some
information from her as to who her husband was, and what was the
occupation of the men I had seen, but she either was or pretended to
be too sick to enter into conversation, and I was obliged to restrain
my curiosity for the time at least. In about two hours the woman
gave birth to a boy, and as soon as I could leave with safety, I
donned my clothes and left for home, the man who had engaged me
putting me into a cab with great politeness, and paying the driver,
he ordered him to deposit me in safety at my residence.

The next morning I was surprised to read in the paper that a
quantity of arms and ammunition had been sent here from the Fenian
headquarters in New York, and that although it was known that they
were secreted somewhere about Griffintown, the police had been
altogether baffled in their search for them. A new light now dawned
upon me, particularly as I recollected that the room in which my
patient lay was filled with long, coffin-shaped boxes, the uses of
which I had been unable to guess. I accordingly consulted with my
husband as to what course I should pursue. Was I, having come by
this information in my professional capacity, to shut my eyes to
these doings, or, taking advantage of my position, to inform the
police? My husband argued in this way:--If these people had been
guilty of a crime, which could not now be ameliorated or averted, it
would be a straining point for me to take advantage of what I had
learnt by accident and to bring them to justice; but that as in this
case a great national trouble _might be averted_, and many lives
saved, by timely information, it was my duty to exert myself in the
interests of the community by putting a check on their movements.
With this end in view I communicated with Mr. P----, then Chief of
Police, and from my description he said he had no doubt but these
were the very persons of whom they were in search, and that if I
could only manage to frame an excuse for the introduction of a
detective, he would make sure of their identity before making any

My second visit to the house was made in the morning. I found my
patient very weak and feverish, and, although it was only what I had
expected, took advantage of the fact to express my fears that the
case was one requiring the most skillful treatment, and that unless
I were permitted to call in a medical man of eminence, I would not
be responsible for the consequence. The woman's husband was very
much averse to this; but, as I urged it strongly, and his wife
(of whom he was apparently fond) seconded my request, he finally
consented, and the same afternoon called, accompanied by Detective F----,
whom I introduced as my consulting physician. Whilst I mixed some
simple remedies for my patient, the detective carefully examined the
boxes, which he was unable to move, and which we were both convinced
contained arms and ammunition for the destruction of the peaceful
inhabitants of Montreal. Mr. F---- carefully noted the position of
everything in and about the house, he also took a good look at the
surroundings, and then we departed for the police station. The Chief
was for making an immediate arrest of the whole party, but I
dissuaded him, urging him, in the interests of humanity, to wait
till the woman was out of danger; he then agreed to wait for a few
days, keeping the house and its inmates under constant surveillance.

The woman got better day by day, and at the end of a week, the Chief,
fearful lest something might occur to mar his plans, sent a
detachment of armed policemen to arrest the Fenian emissaries and
capture the stores. In some way or another the men got wind of the
affair, and made their escape across the lines, leaving the poor
woman and her helpless babe alone and unprotected. The police
entered the house unopposed; they found there several dozen, muskets
and rifles, also about a hundred bayonets and five thousand rounds
of ball cartridge. The woman refused to give the slightest
information as to the names or identity of her companions; she said
she knew nothing about the arms contained in the boxes, that the
latter had been brought there by a strange man, and left in charge of
her husband, and that she had never seen them opened. As the men
were evidently by this time safe in Uncle Sam's dominions, the
police contented themselves with securing the ammunition, leaving
the woman to shift for herself. As I did not like the idea of
leaving her in the room alone and uncared for, I explained the
matter to the neighbors, who good-naturedly undertook to look after
her till she received money from her husband to pay her passage to
New York. As, although I had no compunction in assisting to break up
this den of ruffians, I pitied the poor woman, who was probably
innocent of any crime, I handed her the gold piece which her husband
had given me, and did not leave her till assured that the neighbors
would look after her till her departure. In later years I have often
passed the scene of these transactions, and a shudder passed through
my frame as I remembered my experiences among the Fenians.


A Disciple of Satan.

About the year 1866 I was summoned to attend a lady in Berri street,
the wife of an officer in the ----th Rifles. Her husband, Captain
O'Grady, had taken a furnished house for the winter, the quarters in
the Quebec Barracks being unsuited for the accommodation of a lady
of her station, and round the house on every hand evidences might be
seen of both wealth, taste and refinement. Mrs. O'Grady was a
beautiful woman of about twenty-two, and had only been married about
a year; her husband, who was an Irishman, loved her passionately,
and gave me particular charges concerning her, bidding me spare
neither trouble nor expense to render her illness as little irksome
as possible. After her baby (a fine boy) was born I attended her
regularly every day, and, as she had travelled in her youth and
lived for some time in Germany, she invited me to come and see her
in the evenings whenever I was at leisure, so that we might converse
in the beautiful language of Schiller and Goethe, and chat about
that beautiful far-off land. Captain O'Grady quite approved of this
arrangement, and often used to join in the conversation; it was in
Germany he had met his wife, and he had a great fancy for the soft
German language, although speaking it but imperfectly himself.

Shortly after the birth of his child, Captain O'Grady's regiment was
ordered to Chambly, and he was obliged to separate from his wife for
a time. He used to drive in occasionally to Montreal to visit her,
but at this season of the year the roads were very bad, and, as the
thermometer sometimes fell 20 or even 30 degrees below zero, the
journey was usually attended with much discomfort and even some
danger. On Christmas Day, Mrs. O'Grady wished her husband to remain
at Chambly and dine at the mess, but he insisted on coming into
Montreal and dining with his family. He accordingly set out about
eleven o'clock in the morning, accompanied by a brother officer named
Churchill, a lieutenant in the same regiment.

It was a bitterly cold day, and the snow, which had been falling
heavily for some days, was blown in immense drifts across the roads,
rendering them almost impassable. The groom, being accustomed to obey,
brought the horses round with alacrity when ordered to do so, but he
shook his head ominously as he handed the reins to Captain O'Grady,
and jumped into the dickey.

Off they flew through the blinding snowdrifts, the fine horses going
at a tremendous speed, and threatening to overthrow the sleigh every
instant. The hot breath of the horses froze to the head-gear and
harness, rendering it perfectly white, and the three men were
obliged to pull their fur caps over their ears to avoid their being
frozen. They had not proceeded far on their journey when the road,
which in summer was clearly defined by fences on either side,
diverged somewhat from the ordinary course, and was made, for
convenience, through an adjoining farm, being marked with pine
branches, stuck at intervals in the snow. As our party proceeded,
even these slight indications were invisible, the drifts rising in
some places to a height of twelve or fourteen feet. In one of the
latter the sleigh stuck fast, and the occupants were obliged to get
out, and wading up to their knees in snow to assist the horses to
regain _terra firma_, or at least a more compact body of snow.
Whilst engaged in this operation, Mr. Churchill noticed that the
groom's nose was perfectly white, and on examination it was found to
be frozen; they accordingly set to work to rub it with snow, and at
Captain O'Grady's suggestion he held a large body of snow to it for
the remainder of the journey, which had the effect of thawing it out.

In a short time they regained the high road, and went along at a
tremendous pace for three or four miles, when they entered the
village of Longueuil, which is situated on the south bank of the St.
Lawrence, a little below Montreal. They found the river completely
frozen over, the cold being intense, but the ice-bridge had only
just been formed, and the surface was rough and uneven, causing the
sleigh to oscillate fearfully, threatening every moment to overturn.
The storm had by this time increased to a perfect hurricane, and the
drifting snow was driven with intense force into the faces of both
men and horses, causing the latter to bound and gallop fearfully, to
the extreme peril of those behind them. O'Grady, however, was a
skillful driver, and kept the horses well in hand, calling to them
from time to time in a reassuring manner; as for Churchill, he rather
enjoyed the little spice of danger, and, as conversation was out of
the question, he lit a cigar, and, drawing the buffalo-robes tightly
round him, made himself as comfortable as possible. In a short time
they arrived at their destination, and throwing the reins to the
groom, O'Grady dashed up stairs and in an instant had his wife in
his arms. She remonstrated with him about coming in on such a
terrible day, but descended to the drawing-room, and, having welcome
Mr. Churchill to her house, ordered the servant to set the table for
dinner. Just then the groom entered the house to enquire when the
carriage would be required in the evening, and the appearance of his
nose set the whole party laughing heartily; his proboscis had
assumed a deep red hue, and was swollen to an enormous size, giving
him a most comical appearance. O'Grady ordered him to bring the
carriage round at ten o'clock, and, dinner just then being announced,
they prepared, in true English fashion, to celebrate the Nativity.

After dinner, Mrs. O'Grady entertained the gentlemen with music, and,
having chatted on various topics very pleasantly they were aroused
to the fact that the evening social intercourse must draw to an end
by the clanging of the door-bell announcing the arrival of the groom
from the neighboring livery-stable with the horses. Taking an
affectionate leave of his wife, and promising to come into Montreal
to dinner on the following Sunday, O'Grady mounted the box, followed
by the light-hearted Churchill, and cracking his whip was soon
speeding rapidly along into the howling storm. Churchill lit another
cigar, and shut his eyes to avoid the blinding snowdrifts, while the
driver was with difficulty enabled to see his way. Arrived at the
suburb known as Hochelaga, O'Grady turned his horses' heads towards
the river, and they dashed across the ice-bridge at the rate of
about twelve miles an hour. On they went at a terrible pace, the
sleigh bumping and jolting over the rough road, till bang they came
upon a piece of ice, on to which the snow had drifted, and over went
the sleigh, turning its occupants head first on the hard, icy road.
Churchill was first on his feet, and, though bruised and bleeding,
succeeded in arresting the horses, who, now thoroughly frightened,
were about to run away; the groom also soon recovered himself and
ran to the assistance of his master, but the latter was past all
human aid, having fallen from the upper side of the sleigh bead
foremost on a piece of ice, and broken his neck. His companions were
struck dumb with grief and astonishment; however, they could not
stand freezing in the middle of the river, so, righting the sleigh,
they placed the dead man gently inside it, and drove slowly to
Longueuil, where a friendly _habitant_ placed the best room in his
house at their disposal.

Mrs. O'Grady, as may well be supposed, was very much shocked at the
news of her husband's death. The body was brought to her house in
Montreal, and from thence to Mount Royal Cemetery, where it was
interred, a company of rifles firing a volley over the grave. For a
time the young widow was undecided whether to go back to her friends
in England or to remain in Canada, but, being unwilling to become
dependent on her relations, she accepted a situation as governess in
a wealthy family residing in the west end of Montreal, placing her
infant son under the charge of a nurse.

Mrs. Thomson, in whose service Mrs. O'Grady was employed, was the
wife of a wealthy English gentleman who had invested largely in
Canadian real estate and national enterprises. She had two daughters,
aged 18 and 16, respectively (whom Mrs. O'Grady was expected to train
and prepare for entrance into society), also a son about 22, who,
although educated as a lawyer, pursued no avocation other than the
collection of rents on his father's estate, and minor offices in
connection with the investment of his money. Randolph Thomson, the
young gentleman in question, suddenly became very attentive to his
sisters. There was not a single concert or ball of importance to
which he did not take them, whereas before he could rarely be
induced to accompany them anywhere. The girls never tried to account
for this sudden change in their brother's behavior, being too much
engrossed in the enjoyment of the entertainments aforesaid to
trouble their heads about the matter; Mrs. Grundy, however, had an
idea that the handsome widow who officiated as governess had
something to do with the affair, and, a rumor of the kind reaching
the ears of Mrs. Thomson, the unfortunate widow was eventually
obliged to leave the house, much to the regret of the whole family,
but especially that of Randolph, whose brotherly attentions suddenly
became less marked, and in time ceased altogether.

Mrs. O'Grady, being once more thrown on her own resources, departed
for Sherbrooke, one of the most thriving towns in the Eastern
Townships, where she endeavored to make a respectable livelihood by
teaching music. She chose Sherbrooke rather than Montreal, because
in the latter place every lady who wished to earn her own living
started out as a music teacher, and the teachers were rapidly
threatening to outnumber the pupils, and to equal many of them as
regards want of knowledge.

Close to Mrs. O'Grady's new residence, and removed a short distance
from the town, there dwelt a wealthy old farmer named Clarkson.
Mr. Clarkson was a bachelor about 65 years old, who, by steady
attention to his farm and shrewd speculations, had amassed a
considerable fortune, being considered one of the "solid men" of
Sherbrooke. Clarkson happening to meet Mrs. O'Grady at the house of
one of the principal clergymen, became enamored of her at first sight,
and at the first opportunity proposed for her hand. This she was at
first both to give, her heart at the time being elsewhere; but, as
Clarkson offered to settle all his property on her and her children,
and he himself, though neither young nor handsome, was very agreeable,
and held a high position in the community, she finally consented,
and was led a second time to the hymeneal altar.

Mr. Clarkson was very proud of his handsome wife, he ordered a
handsome phaeton and pair of bay ponies from Montreal for her
private use, and gave her an unlimited allowance of pin money, and
she might be seen any afternoon, fashionably attired, driving from
one shop to another, followed by the admiring eyes of the bank
clerks and beaux, and the envious glances of the single young ladies
of Sherbrooke.

After three or four months Mrs. Clarkson told her husband that she
had been invited to go on a visit to Montreal, and urged him to
allow her to accept it, particularly as her little boy was afflicted
with sore eyes, and there was no oculist of ability in the town. Her
husband readily consented, and, with the promise that she would
return in a few weeks, Mrs. Clarkson came to Montreal, and calling
at my house informed Madame Charbonneau (in my absence) that she
wished to remain there if possible, as she was about to be confined.
When I got home she confessed to me that she had been on terms of
intimacy with Randolph Thomson, and begged me not to inform her
husband, as he was exceedingly jealous, and would kill her if he
suspected the true state of affairs.

Promising to do the best I could under the circumstances I had rooms
prepared for both her and her boy, and secured the best medical
attendance for the latter, whose eyes were in a very bad state from
long neglect. It was two weeks before Mrs. Clarkson's baby (a boy)
was born, and very unpleasant rumors were circulated round the town,
which, coming to the ears of the old gentleman caused him to write a
very stiff letter, ordering his wife to return immediately. This, of
course, she could not do, and as she was unable to frame an excuse
for refusing to I do so, she determined to take no notice of his
letter, and, if brought to task concerning it, _to deny having
received it_, the letter being unregistered. Fortunately for her, if
not for himself, her boy's eyes continued to defy the skill of
Dr. Fulford, the oculist to whose care she had committed him, and it
was imperative that they should remain in Montreal a week or two
longer. This fact was communicated to Mr. Clarkson, but his sister
(who had continued to reside with him after his marriage) persuaded
him to have nothing more to do with his wife, and related to him the
rumors she had heard, allowing them (as may well be supposed) to
lose nothing in the narration.

Mrs. Clarkson was naturally very much put out when she learnt how
her sister-in-law had acted; but, being both a strong-minded and
crafty woman, she determined to put a bold face on the matter, and
if possible to pay off old scores with her sister-in-law. She
accordingly placed her baby out to nurse, and, as soon as she felt
strong enough, set out for Sherbrooke. She found her husband's house
locked against her, but, nothing daunted, she went straight to the
mayor's residence, and explained that, having gone to Montreal with
her husband's permission, she had (as soon as _her boy_ was
sufficiently recovered) returned to her home, and found the door
locked against her. The mayor (a particular friend of Clarkson's)
told her to come with him and he would see her righted, but she
refused, saying that she had already gone to her husband's house and
been refused admission, and that she would not go again until he
came to fetch her; she then departed and engaged rooms at the hotel.

The mayor, wishing to save his friend any public scandal, went to him,
and remonstrated with him on his conduct, explaining that, as his
wife had gone to Montreal with his permission, he was legally
responsible for all her expenses, and that in refusing to admit her
into his house he had rendered himself liable for an expensive
lawsuit. On this poor Clarkson got so frightened that he ordered his
team to be brought round, and, driving to the hotel, implored his
wife to accompany him to his house, begging her forgiveness for his
conduct, and promising that he would do anything to make amends.

Mrs. Clarkson now felt that she had obtained a grand advantage, and,
assuming an air of injured innocence, enquired who had set him
against her. Poor Clarkson was reluctantly compelled to admit that
his sister had had something to do with it, on which his wife
refused to live under the same roof with such a vile slanderer
('), and insisted that, before she returned, the lady _who had taken
away her character_ should leave the house. In fact, she managed the
affair so well, and exhibited such an amount of "cheek," that the
poor man actually sent his sister away, and drove with a magnificent
team of horses to bring home the woman whom he had refused to admit
into his house.

For several months they lived happily together, Mrs. Clarkson
_going on a visit to Montreal_ whenever it stated her. In process
of time she gave evidence of being _enceinte_, and old Clarkson's
joy knew no bounds, as he evidently rejoiced at the prospect of
having an heir. Had he known, however, that his wife, in visiting
Montreal, was invariably met by Randolph Thomson, it is questionable
whether his joy would not have been considerably moderated. Before
the child was born the old man died, leaving all his property to his
wife and his expected heir. His sister, who really was devoted to him,
was left without a penny, and entirely dependent on the charity of
Mrs. Clarkson. The widow, however, had not forgotten the part played
by Mrs. Clarkson during her brother's lifetime, and being now
steeped in wickedness, her better nature was almost entirely lost.
She turned the faithful sister from her door, and she, the false wife,
was with her illegitimate child (born almost immediately after the
old man's death) snugly installed in the home that in all equity and
justice should have belonged to the woman she ejected.

"_Facilis descensus Averni_."--It is wonderful how easy the descent
really is, when once the first false step is taken. As the avalanche,
which at first becomes slowly loosened from its lofty position,
gradually descends with greater and greater rapidity till it is
dashed into the abyss, so does the frail mortal, who at first
shudders at the bare thought of an immoral act, rush headlong into
sin till her desperate career is suddenly checked, often in a manner
fearful to contemplate. Mrs. Clarkson had now all that any woman
could reasonably be expected to desire. She had triumphed over her
sister-in-law and those of her husband's relatives who had
circulated rumors detrimental to her character, and had become the
possessor of a comfortable home, without the incubus of an impotent
husband. But she was not content; Randolph Thomson, turning his back
on her and his boy, had married a young lady of fortune; so vowing
vengeance against men in general for their _falseness and inconstancy_.
Mrs. Clarkson laid herself out to entrap and ensnare every man who
came in her way, and in this manner to revenge herself (as she by
some strange mental process led herself to imagine) on her false

The deceased Mr. Clarkson had a brother named William, a bachelor,
whose farm was adjacent to that now possessed by the widow. William
was nearly twenty years younger than his brother, and was considered
rather a good-looking man by his acquaintances. It is possible that,
but for her _liaison_ with Thomson, Mrs. Clarkson would, long ere
this, have fascinated him with her beauty and blandishments; but, he
had hitherto escaped unscathed, though openly admiring his brother's
wife, and taking her part against the scandal-mongers when
speculation was rife as to the cause which detained her in Montreal.
In looking round for some one to entrap and ensnare, Mrs. Clarkson's
eye naturally fell upon William, as the most eligible party in her
immediate vicinity; and she was the more anxious to secure him,
because, with a woman's far-seeing eye and long-reaching vengeance,
she wished to circumvent her sister-in-law, who, being unmarried
(and likely to remain so), had undertaken to keep house for her
younger brother, and would, as matters at that moment stood, have
likely outlived him and inherited his property. Opportunity was not
long wanting for her to effect her object; William was the sole
executor to his brother's estate, and, as business often brought
them together at the late Mr. Clarkson's lawyer's office in Montreal,
it was not strange that the widow should almost immediately have
opened the campaign, which she did on the first occasion of their
meeting in the city, beginning, as most great generals do, with a
little skirmishing, in order to draw out her opponent. It was a
beautiful spring morning, and, as they had appointed to meet in
Montreal at eleven o'clock, Mr. Clarkson called to drive his
sister-in-law to the depot to meet the train. To his surprise, that
lady declined to accompany him, reminding him that she was now alone
in the world, and that if during her husband's life-time the tongue
of scandal was directed against her reputation, how much the more
would it be so now that her natural protector was no more. William,
being little of a gossip himself, urged her to be above such petty
pandering to public opinion, and to follow her inclinations, but she
replied naively.--"A woman has nothing to depend on but her
reputation, and she cannot be too careful, you know." "Perhaps
you are right," William replied, laughing, and so he permitted the
widow to order her own buggy round, and follow him a few minutes
later to the depot. But even this precaution did not satisfy the wily
Mrs. Clarkson. She knew that many Sherbrooke people would be on the
trains both going and coming, and that inquisitive eyes would watch,
and gossiping tongues would relate all that passed during the journey,
so she induced Miss Cuthbert, a neighbor of hers, to accompany her,
promising her a pleasant day in Montreal.

The train had not arrived when the ladies alighted at the depot, but
the ever-acute widow instructed her servant man not to drive away,
but to wait and see if any parcels had been sent from Portland. She
did not expect any parcels from Portland, but she wished all the
neighbors who might be going on the train to see her man with the
buggy, in case they might imagine she had come in the carriage with
William. When they got on board the train, of course, her
brother-in-law took a seat with her and Miss Cuthbert, but the
widow pretended to be engrossed in a novel, leaving the younger
lady to carry on the conversation. A boy approached with "prize
packages" of candies, and William, buying two, handed them to the
ladies, requesting them to see what fortune had in store for them.
Miss Cuthbert opened hers eagerly, and, amidst the almonds and
lozenges, discovered a gilt brooch, which she laughingly fastened
on her breast. William offered to open the widow's for her, but she
interrupted him, saying:

"My fortune has been told already, give it to Miss Cuthbert."

"Oh, yes! give it to me," said the sprightly girl, and hastily
opening it, she poked amongst the candies and pulled out a small
article rolled in tissue paper; unrolling the paper eagerly she
disclosed _a plain gilt ring_.

"Put that on, also," said Mrs. Clarkson.

"Oh, no!" answered Miss Cuthbert, "I will try to get some one to put
it on for me."

With this careless banter the time passed away till they reached
Montreal, Mrs. Clarkson playing the shy widow to perfection, and, as
may naturally be supposed, not only raising herself in the
estimation of her brother-in-law, but drawing him in a strange
manner within the radius of her fascinating influences.

On arriving in the city they entered a carriage, and were driven to
St. James street, where Mr. St. Jerome, the lawyer, had his office.
In about an hour their business was transacted, and William invited
the ladies to Alexander's to partake of luncheon, but this the widow
discreetly declined, being aware that the pastry-cook's in question
was a celebrated rendezvous for all country-folk. Pleading as an
excuse that she wanted, to do some shopping, she advised William not
to trouble about them, as they would prefer shopping alone, and that,
if fatigued, they could easily drop in for an ice at some
respectable confectioner's. "Besides," added Mrs. Clarkson,
"I have promised to take Miss Cuthbert up the mountain this
afternoon, as she has never been to the summit of Mount Royal,
though living so near the city bearing its name."

"If you are going up the mountain, I pray you will allow me to
accompany you. I never visit Montreal without ascending it at least
once," said Mr. Clarkson. "If you do not wish me to go shopping, I
will not intrude, but I will feel myself slighted if you compel me
to ascend the mountain alone."

The widow feigned to give a reluctant consent, and accordingly they
arranged to meet on Place d'Armes at two o'clock, and to drive to
the base of the mountain together. At that time the beautiful
mountain from which Montreal derives its name, and most of its beauty,
had not been acquired by the city. It was private property, and there
were no elegant roads by which to drive to its summit; indeed, it
was only by the courtesy of the proprietors that persons were
allowed to ascend the famous hill, and enjoy the beautiful scenery
and bracing air: even then the task of ascending was no easy one,
and ladies were generally glad of the company of one or more of the
hardier sex, if only to assist them in clambering up the steep ascent.

Mr. Clarkson went to lunch, and then to the Corn Exchange to
transact some business, arriving in Place d'Armes precisely at two
o'clock. Shortly afterward she saw the ladies emerge from the French
Church of Notre Dame, and cross the square to meet him. Miss Cuthbert
was delighted with the church. Although a Protestant, she admired
it as an architectural art-work, the elaborate adornment, too, of
the interior pleased her, and accorded with her womanly tastes.
Mrs. Clarkson had seen both inside and outside so often that neither
had now any more effect on her; indeed, not only was her heart
steeled to the refining influences of the building, but also to
the doctrines inculcated within it; she had started on the downward
path, and never once dared to look up again, even for a moment.

"Well, you are sharp on time," said Miss Cuthbert, addressing
Mr. Clarkson.

"Yes, indeed, I have been walking the streets for nearly an hour,
wondering if the hands on the Seminary clock would ever indicate the
hour of two. I had almost persuaded myself that the public clocks
had all stopped, but my watch, which was ticking, told me that they
were going on with methodical regularity." He addressed himself to
Miss Cuthbert, but his eyes were turned slightly towards Mrs. Clarkson,
who, blushing slightly (she could blush at pleasure), turned away her
head, and appeared to be quite confused.

William hailed a cab, and they drove up University street, as far as
the carriage road permitted them. Dismissing the "carter," they
entered the adjacent field, and ascended by a winding path which at
that time ran through the property of Mr. (now Sir Hugh) Allan.
Miss Cuthbert, although she lived faraway from all mountains or
hills of any kind, was remarkably active, and bounded up the steep
ascent like a deer. Mrs. Clarkson was a _dear_ of another kind, and
she was obliged to cling to her brother-in-law for support, which
latter he was by no means adverse to giving, after about twenty
minutes climbing they arrived at the "view point" immediately over
Sir Hugh Allan's residence, when everything was immediately
forgotten in the inspeakable emotion excited by the magnificent
panorama before them. At their feet lay the beautiful city, the rows
of shade trees, clothed with verdure, lending a gorgeous setting to
the elegant limestone buildings. In front rolled the mighty St.
Lawrence, nearly two miles wide, the vast expanse being relieved by
St. Helen's Island, with its luxuriant foliage. On the right the
Victoria Bridge, that monument of engineering skill, stretched
across the mighty river towards the picturesque village of St.
Lambert; while further to the westward might be seen Nun's Island
with its shady groves, at the head of which rushed the boiling
waters of the famous rapids of Lachine. I have in my youth travelled
through both Germany and Switzerland and, later, through the
beautiful scenery of New Hampshire and Vermont, but nowhere do I
remember having seen a view so grand, or a panorama so picturesque,
as that to be seen from the brow of Mount Royal.

For a while the entire party gazed in speechless admiration at the
scene before them, when Miss Cuthbert exclaimed:

"I can say, with the apostle of old, 'It is good for us to be here.'"

"And build _three tabernacles_? queried Mrs. Clarkson.

"Oh, no, two would do. One for me, and another for you and
Mr. Clarkson."

At this rejoinder Mrs. Clarkson bit her lips, and changed the
conversation immediately.

When they had surveyed the city, the river, and the country on the
opposite shore, they prepared to ascend to the highest part of the
mountain, where the observatory stands, imbedded in trees. Here they
sat down for a time to rest, and partake of some light refreshment
which they had brought with them; they then proceeded to descend on
the other side, passing through the Protestant and Catholic
cemeteries, both elaborately laid out, and looking like beautiful
flower gardens, rather than burial grounds. As they neared Cote des
Neiges Miss Cuthbert commenced to scamper along like a child, and at
one short declivity, she started off at a run, calling on the others
to follow. Clarkson took his companion's hand and invited her to
descend in like manner, but, almost at the first step, his
sister-in-law uttered a sharp scream and fell forward on the grass,
informing them that her foot had turned under her, and that she had
sprained her ankle.

William was almost beside himself. He felt that he had foolishly
induced her to forget herself so far as to indulge in a wild romp
and thus injure her ankle. He wished Miss Cuthbert at the bottom of
the sea, and wondered how they were to get the beautiful cripple home,
as they were removed from residences or conveyances of any kind, and
Mrs. Clarkson was no small weight. There being nothing else for it,
however, the sturdy farmer lifted her in his arms and carried her to
the house of the caretaker of the cemetery; then, leaving her gently
on a sofa, he started for the inn at Cote des Neiges, thinking he
might obtain the means of conveyance to Montreal.

On his arrival at the inn he was informed that there was no livery
stable of any kind for miles around, and that the private buggy of
the proprietor was at the moment in Montreal, whither the landlady
had driven for provisions. Just then a team was driven at a rapid
speed from the direction of St. Laurent; it contained two young
gentlemen from Montreal, who had driven round the mountain attended
by a groom. On hearing the particulars of the accident they at once,
with great gallantry, gave up their vehicle, a mail phaeton, for the
use of the disabled lady, cheerfully undertaking to walk the
remainder of the way (about four miles), and enjoining Mr. Clarkson
to bring the carriage to their stable so soon as he had deposited
his fair companions in a place of safety.

On reaching the cemetery, William found the widow looking wretched,
indeed, and apparently suffering great pain. Her face brightened,
however, as she saw the carriage and was convinced that they
would be able to get to Montreal in time for the night train for
Sherbrooke. William assisted Miss Cuthbert into the trap, and
placed Mrs. Clarkson carefully beside her; then, mounting the
box, he thanked the caretaker for his kind offices and drove, via
Cote des Neiges hill, to Montreal. He suggested to Mrs. Clarkson
that it would be better for her to take a room at the St. Lawrence
Hall for a few days, and enjoy perfect rest till her ankle got better,
but she, remembering her past experiences, preferred to travel at
once to her home, and so avoid all scandal.

William drove straight to the Grand Trunk terminus in St.
Bonaventure street; and, placing the ladies in a Pullman car, drove
up to Sherbrooke street with the team, which he left, as directed,
at the young gentleman's residence. He proceeded along to St.
Lawrence Main street, where he hailed a cab, and drove back to the
terminus. Shortly after his return to the depot the train started,
and in a few hours they reached Sherbrooke.

It was considerably past midnight when they got to Mrs. Clarkson's
residence, so Miss Cuthbert remained with her till morning, doing
all she could to alleviate her pain. Shortly after breakfast William
called; and as his sister-in-law was confined to her room, he
considerately kept her company till Miss Cuthbert had gone home and
obtained permission to remain a while longer with the disabled lady.
There is nothing that tries a man's heart so much as to see a woman
(particularly a beautiful woman) in pain. The widow was aware of this,
and so, although the sprain was purely accidental, and was not
included in her programme, turned it to such good account that the
poor bachelor was fairly hooked, and began to think seriously that he
had got into an awkward fix.

Marriage with a deceased brother's wife was illegal, and no
clergyman could perform the marriage ceremony without violating the
laws of both Church and State; even if one could be prevailed on to
follow the dictates of his conscience, and to stretch a point in
their favor (as was sometimes done) society would not recognize
their union, and would shun them as open adulterers. In vain did his
sister-in-law urge on him that the law was absurd, and that, as
there was no blood-relationship between them, there could be nothing
criminal in their living together; he had not the moral courage to
face the cold criticism of a narrow-minded and bigoted community, and,
though mad with passionate love, he hesitated to take the fatal

Mrs. Clarkson, however, having carried the outposts and principal
barriers successfully, was not to be thwarted by a mere matter of
sentiment. She expressed her intention of departing forthwith for
Detroit, assuring him that she would no longer remain in a country
where such intolerant bigotry existed, and instructed him, if he
loved her as he pretended, to sell his property in Canada and follow
her thither.

Clarkson was both to leave his relations and the home of his
childhood, but the temptress lured him gradually on, refusing at
times even to see a man who valued his narrow-minded friends'
opinion rather than her love, and at length he consented to sell his
farm for whatever it would bring, and to rejoin her in Detroit. This
was another piece of generalship on the part of the widow, as, did
they remain in Canada, she could not, in the event of her husband's
death hold the property which would revert to her hated sister-in-law;
but that being now converted into cash she was at liberty to
squander it during her husband's life-time, retaining the fortune
left by her first husband for the future use of herself and children.

For a time Mr. Clarkson lived with his sister-in-law in a princely
style in Detroit. They entertained largely and handsomely, and
most of their guests neither cared nor enquired who they were, or
whence they came. They had not been there more than six weeks when
Mrs. Clarkson made the acquaintance of Count Von Alba, who for some
time had been the lion of fashionable circles in Detroit. Von Alba was
a Russian, who (for political reasons said his friends, for criminal
reasons said his enemies) had emigrated to America and lived on his
fortune (his friends insisted)--his wits, said his enemies again.

Whichever surmise was correct, Von Alba was undoubtedly good-looking.
He stood five feet eleven inches in his stockings, and was
powerfully built; his complexion, like most Russians was dark, and
his lofty forehead was surmounted with curls of the darkest brown.
At the time of the Clarksons residence, the Count was about
five-and-thirty years old; he had naturally a genial manner and a
good-humored expression of countenance, and a scar on his forehead
(obtained, he said, when a lad, at Inkerman) made him an object of
feminine admiration, while he was at the same time greatly envied by
the opposite sex.

Von Alba was a sort of Admirable Crichton. He rode like Nimrod,
danced like Terpsichore, drove like Jehu, shot like William Tell,
and sang like Sims Reeves. It was in the _latter_ accomplishment,
however, that he chiefly excelled; he would stand up at the end of a
crowded drawing-room, and, playing a delicate accompaniment on his
guitar, would vocalize one of the passionate love-songs of his
native land. Sometimes he sang in English, then his defective
pronunciation lent a strange charm to his singing, which, although
it could scarcely be accounted for, made itself felt even in the
bosoms of the dilettanti.

Strange to say, although courted and run after by nearly all the
eligible young ladies, the Count became so fond of Mrs. Clarkson's
society that scarcely a day passed but he was found at her house. At
the fair lady's "Thursday Evenings," of course, he was one of the
principal attractions, added to which he dined and lunched
frequently at her house, and escorted her to balls and parties: her
husband not caring for the everlasting round of excitement, and, far
from feeling jealous of the Count, he was proud to think that his
choice of a companion should be endorsed by one who presumably was a
competent judge.

It was not long till the lady was at her old tricks again, and what
Randolph Thompson had been to her before, Von Alba soon became, the
simple husband encouraging these visits, and allowing his wife to
squander his money lavishly on her paramour. Mrs. Grundy in the
meanwhile began to be suspicious, and rumors, at first vague and
indefinite, became almost pointed accusations against Mrs. Clarkson.
The poor husband, although not altogether crediting the fact that
there was a foundation for these reports, saw the necessity, in the
equivocal position in which both he and his wife stood, of putting a
stop to all suspicious intercourse with the Count; and, being
resolute enough when so disposed, he forbade his wife to meet Von
Alba any more in private, or to invite him to her house.

This, as may be supposed, brought matters to a crisis and brought on
a terrible quarrel between the abandoned woman and her husband. She
saw that the game was up as far as Detroit was concerned, and so,
managing to forge her husband's name to a cheque for several
thousand dollars, she went the next day with great boldness to the
bank where he kept his money and presented it; it was cashed by the
clerk without hesitation, and that evening, abandoning both Clarkson
and her children, she went, accompanied by her paramour, to the
depot and took the train for Montreal, where they went to an hotel,
registering their names as Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer, of New York.
Notwithstanding their false names and altered attire they were traced
to the St. Lawrence Hall, Mrs. Clarkson being surprised, on coming
from breakfast one morning, to observe her husband busily scanning
the register at the office counter. The Count had not seen him, but
Mrs. Clarkson hurried him upstairs and told him that their
whereabouts was discovered, and that they must take refuge in flight
before Clarkson had time to take steps for their apprehension.

Ringing the bell, Von Alba bade the boy to have their bill made out
and receipted, and to have their luggage sent to the station in time
for the next train for New York.

"There is no New York train till 3.15," said the boy.

"When is there one for Toronto?" asked the Count.

"Not till eight this evening, but the Lachine train, which meets the
mail boat, leaves at 11.30."

"That is what I mean," said Von Alba; "we will go by that;" then,
packing hastily, the two culprits descended by the ladies staircase,
and, entering a carriage, drove off to procure tickets for Toronto.

All this time Mr. Clarkson was quietly seated in the breakfast-room,
taking light repast after his long journey. That the persons he
sought were in the hotel he felt confident; but there were so many
gentlemen with their wives real or pretended, from all parts, that
he was puzzled to conjecture which of the names in the register was
that assumed by the Count. At length he resolved to take the boy into
his confidence; and, handing him a gold piece, he began to question
him concerning the guests now quartered in the hotel. When he had
described the pair he wanted, the boy said: "W'y these ere must be
the pair wat's just gone to the Toronto boat!" Clarkson said not a
word; but, handing a card to the cashier, rushed out of the hotel,
and, jumping into a cab, bade the driver to go with all speed to the
Upper Canada boat. Had he thought for a moment he would have
recollected that the boat leaves the wharf early in the morning, and
proceeding slowly through the canal, stops to take on passengers at
the head of the Lachine Rapids. In his blind haste, however, he had
forgotten this; and lost so much time in going to the wharf that,
when he eventually learnt the truth and got to the depot, the train
was just leaving the platform.

There was nothing for it now but to wait for the train for the west,
and to get on board the steamer at Kingston. He had at least the
satisfaction of knowing that they were on the boat like rats in a
trap, and that, except the delay in confronting the villain Von Alba
and his wretched companion, he was as successful as possible in his
pursuit of the fugitives. Returning to the city, he procured the
assistance of a detective, who undertook to accompany him to Kingston,
and assist him in apprehending and arresting the fugitives.

By this time the steamship "Hungarian," on which the wretched pair
had embarked, was ploughing the waters of Lake St. Louis. After a
time they passed through the Beauharnois and Cornwall canals, and
entered the labyrinth of beautiful patches known as the "Thousands
Islands." As they emerged from this lovely spot the saloon became
suddenly filled with smoke, and in a few minutes cries of "Fire! Fire!"
were heard on every hand. A rush was made for life preservers, while
the crew of five or six men vainly endeavored to extinguish the
flames. The captain ordered boats to be lowered, but, the men being
excited, and badly drilled at best, the boats were successively
swamped, leaving the poor terrified creatures only a choice of two
fearful deaths.

One of the sailors handed Mrs. Clarkson a life preserver, which she
requested Von Alba to fasten round her waist, but the cowardly
fellow _snatched it from her_, and, hastily securing it round his
own waist, swung himself overboard, leaving her to perish in the
flames! He was not to escape so easily, however; with a bitter yell
of mingled rage and despair the wretched woman mounted the taffrail,
and plunging straight for the spot where he rose to the surface
dragged him under again and again with fearful maledictions. The
passengers who still remained on deck could do nothing to separate
them, and although the life preserver would have sustained both of
them easily in the water, so great was the woman's bate on the
discovery of Von Alba's cowardly treachery, that she did not even
give a thought to her own escape, so intent was she on dragging him
to the bottom. The expression of her face, lit up as it was by the
blaze of the burning; steamer, was terrible to behold: the veins in
her head and neck were swollen almost to bursting, and she died
cursing with bitter malediction the man for whom she had sacrificed
not only herself, but her husband and her children.

The steamer burned to the water's edge, only a few of those who had
jumped overboard escaping. The bodies of the guilty pair were
discovered at some distance from the wreck, Mrs. Clarkson's hand
being tightly clutched round her companion's throat, while his
tongue and eyes protruded fearfully.

With sad and heavy heart Clarkson returned to Detroit, and, having
gathered together what remained of his former property, prepared to
return to Canada. He took with him the children of his late wife,
placing them both as boarders at the College at Lennoiville till

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