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The Mysteries of Montreal by Charlotte Fuhrer

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they were old enough to be apprenticed to some trade or profession.
He never quite recovered from the shock received on hearing of the
manner of Mrs. Clarkson's death and that of her paramour, but became
prematurely aged when he realized that, instead of the sweet angelic
creature whom he thought he had married, he found that he had wedded
a regular disciple of Satan.


The Frail Shop Girl.

The many fine ladies who patronize the fashionable emporiums of
Montreal little think (as they sit comfortably at the counter,
leisurely examining dozens of articles they never intend to purchase)
of the sufferings undergone by those who minister to their wants, and,
it may be, their caprices. Dozens of these poor creatures stand day
after day, from morn till night, without a moment's rest except at
meal-times; even then the short period allowed them barely suffices
to permit of a hasty meal, when they have to hurry back again to
undergo another term of misery.

It is strange that we should be so careful of brute beasts that we
form ourselves into societies for their protection, prosecuting
rigorously any one who shall have the temerity to ill-treat or abuse
them, and yet allow our fellow-creatures (and those, too, of the
weaker sex) to be treated with the most barbarous cruelty. A bruise
or a blow may be brutal and severe, yet neither is so hurtful, so
systematically cruel, as the forcing young girls to stand erect for
lengthened periods, without change of posture. I am sure if the
members of the House of Commons were deprived of their seats even
for one session, we would, without further ado have a Bill enacted
making it criminal for shopkeepers to make slaves of their employees,
or individuals to patronize such establishments.

Were shop-girls provided with even the commonest of seats, untold
numbers of crimes and diseases would be heard of no more. I am
confident that but for this most refined cruelty the circumstances
which gave rise to this story would never have occurred, and that I
would have been spared the narration of a history which, though
painfully true, is none the less shocking.

M----'s dry goods store has long been known in Montreal as a
well-started and well-appointed establishment. Carriages daily
blocked the thoroughfare while waiting for their fashionable owners
outside its door; and inside busy walkers and clerks could be seen
running hither and thither, serving customers. Young women, also,
some of them still bright and cheerful, many, alas, pale and heavy
with sadness, might be seen grouped behind the counter, engaged in
handing goods down from the shelves, and displaying them to the
fashionable loungers behind the counter.

One of these girls, by name Esther Ryland, was noticed by many who
frequented M----'s store on account of her unusually attractive
person and elegance of manners; she was a little above the average
height, yet graceful and well-formed, with remarkably handsome
features, and eyes that sparkled like a pair of diamonds. Esther had
not been long in Messrs. M----'s service, yet she had become so
popular as a saleswoman that crowds frequented the particular
counter at which she assisted, and she was known to many who were
unacquainted with her name as the Pretty Shop-girl at M----'s.

Esther was very proud of her attractions, both professionally and
otherwise; she did not calculate, however, that the more popular she
became the more work she would have to do, and that she would, in
time, pay for her popularity with her health, if not her life. She
had, in and out of the store, a great many admirers amongst those of
the opposite sex, but there was one she prized above all others, a
certain Mr. Quintin, a merchant tailor, who had just started
business for himself, and had persuaded Esther to promise that,
after another year's service, she would give up business and become
his wife.

It had been their custom to go for a stroll together on the long
summer evenings, and together they might have been seen, fondly
looking into each other's faces, as, arm-in-arm, they perambulated
the more remote portions of Sherbrooke and St. Denis streets, which
at that time were scarcely built upon.

One evening when Quintin called, as usual, to take his enamorata for
a walk, she said she would prefer to stay at home, as she was quite
fatigued with the day's work. Nothing disconcerted, her lover
remained with her in the house, and they amused themselves with a
pack of cards and a chessboard. The following evening, however,
Miss Ryland was again indisposed, and, on questioning her closely,
Quintin drew forth the avowal that she _had not sat down for a
quarter of an hour_ during the whole day! It seems it was the busy
season at M----'s, and, besides being engaged incessantly in
serving customers, Miss Ryland was obliged to shorten her dinner hour,
and to hurry back to meet the increased demand.

Quintin was quite shocked at this discovery. Although well aware of
the brutal treatment of shopkeepers' assistants, he had never been
an interested party, and so had the matter placed before him _in all
its horrors_ for the first time. He resolved that, come what might,
he would emancipate his intended wife from a life of such slavery,
and so, having carefully arranged his business and purchased a neat
little cottage in Cadieux street, he urged Miss Ryland to consent to
marry him without delay, and so avoid her life of thraldom. She
agreed to marry him during the ensuing month, pleading with feminine
weakness that it would take at least that time to get her trousseau
ready, and the day was finally arranged to their mutual satisfaction.

The excitement of preparation before marriage, and the change of
scene during her wedding-tour, wrought such an effect on the woman
that Mr. Quintin became convinced that his wife's health was
thoroughly restored, and be labored assiduously at his business,
looking forward cheerfully to the time when she should become a
mother, and the merry laughter of his children should, in his hours
of rest from worldly cares, gladden and enliven their home.

A year rolled by, and both Mr. and Mrs. Quintin looked hopefully
towards the future; two years passed and still they were childless.
Mrs. Quintin would have given all the world, had she possessed it,
for one of God's blessings; she loved children, even those of other
children, and _one of her own_ would have been a priceless treasure.
But she lamented more on her husband's account. She knew that he
doted on children; and when she saw him take the neighbours'
children on his knee, and, after looking wistfully in their faces,
rise and dash his hand across his eyes, she knew what it meant.
"Oh," she would cry, "if only these abandoned wretches who desert
their offspring could realize what it is to desire them and yet live
unblest! If they but knew the priceless treasures they were casting
from them, they would turn and repent in sackcloth and ashes."

Mr. and Mrs. Quintin had been married about three years when one day
the former called on me, his face beaming with joy, and informed me
that his fondest hopes were about to be realized, and that he would
like me to call and consult with his wife. I was a little surprised
at this intimation, as, from what I knew of Mrs. Quintin, I had
fully made up my mind that she would never become a patient of nine;
however, I was glad to hear that I had been mistaken, and so, when
next in the neighborhood I waited on that lady and congratulated her
on her improved prospects. To my great surprise she burst into tears,
and confessed that she was not _enceinte_, or likely ever to become
so; that her career in M----'s store, and continued standing for
hours together, had rendered her physically unable ever to become a
mother. She added that her husband had so set his heart upon the one
object (viz., the desire to have children), and had spent so much
money for medicine and medical advice with a view to that end, that
she could not bear him to think that all his efforts were unavailing,
and her complaint having assumed a form to all outward appearances
similar to pregnancy, she had permitted him to delude himself with
the belief that the latter was the cause of her altered appearance,
and that scientific skill had counteracted the effects of years of

I was greatly taken aback at this disclosure, but my surprise was as
nothing compared to that in hearing the plot which the woman's now
diseased mind had concocted. She said she was going to bear reproach
no longer (for, though her husband never murmured, at least in words,
his friends and her neighbors were ever ready to deepen her sorrow
and humiliation by taunting her with her impotency), and her eyes
rolled in frenzy as she almost shouted: I MUST AND SHALL HAVE A
CHILD'! Why am I prohibited from having what many do not know how to
value? Many of them cast their treasures from them; shall I, frantic
with despair, _refuse to pick one up_!

As she walked up and down the room in her fury, she looked like one
demented. Her hands were clenched till the nails entered her flesh,
her eyes rolled wildly, and, were I more easily frightened, I would
have felt impelled to call for help. Gradually becoming cooler,
Mrs. Quintin unfolded to me her plan for deceiving her husband, and,
with a coolness that I would not have pardoned but for her evidently
unhinged condition, actually _requested me to assist her?_ She said
she had been offered a child for adoption by a lady who was more
guilty and unfeeling than herself, and that the person in question
had promised to send her word when she was taken ill, so that she
might send for me, and make her arrangements for the reception of
the child, which was to be transported secretly into her bedroom.

I was so astonished that I was for a time unable to a speak. The
deep plot itself, the proposition made to me to assist her, and the
cool manner of the lady herself, fairly staggered me. At length,
speaking as calmly as I could, I tried to convince Mrs. Quintin of
the enormity of the crime she intended to commit, telling her that,
if she wished to adopt a child, she would find it quite an easy
matter to do so without taking any such course as she evidently
intended; and, after arguing for some time, she seemed to yield a
little to reason, and promised to do nothing rashly. She had already,
however, committed herself to the first part of her programme, and
told her husband a falsehood; how was she to undeceive him? I
suggested that she should tell him on his return that she had been
mistaken, and that on examination I had found nothing unusual the
matter with her. This she positively refused to do, saying that her
husband had so set his heart on this one object that, were his hopes
suddenly dashed to the ground, he might do something desperate. She
said she would break it to him gently, and, imploring me to say
nothing to him of what had passed, she escorted me to the door, and,
with tearful eyes, bade me farewell.

Several months elapsed, and I had, for the time, thought little of
either Mr. and Mrs. Quintin, when one evening in glancing over the
papers, my eye fell on the following announcement: "On the ----th inst.,
at ---- Cadieux street the wife of R. Quintin of a daughter." I let
the paper drop as I gazed vacantly at the ceiling and tried to
realize the whole affair. Undecided how to act, I mechanically put
on my bonnet and cloak, and walked up Cadieux street, when, coming
out of the house, I spied my friend, Dr. P----.

"Good evening, Doctor," said I.

"Oh, good evening, Mrs. Schroeder. I have just been attending a
patient of yours; it seems they were not at all prepared, and had
not time to notify you. Indeed, I was late myself, as I did not
arrive till some minutes after the child was born."

Without saying a word I beckoned the Doctor aside, and made a sign
that I wished to speak with him privately. He invited me to step
into his carriage, and we drove in perfect silence to his residence
in Beaver Hall Terrace. Alighting, he preceded me to his surgery,
and closed the door; then, with a look full of meaning, he said:

"Well, what is there wrong here?"

"I said, Before I reply, will you permit me to ask you one or two

"Who called you to attend Mrs. Quintin?"

"A carter came and requested me to come with all speed to attend a
lady in Cadieux street. I went as quickly as possible, but the child
was born before my arrival."

"Who, then, attended the lady?"

"The nurse did, and apparently very satisfactorily indeed. I found
the bandages so well arranged, and the patient's pulse so strong and
regular, that I left, perfectly satisfied that all was properly
attended to till your arrival. They explained to me that the lady
was your patient, but that being unexpectedly taken ill, she had
ordered the carter to bring the first doctor he found at home."

"Was Mr. Quintin at home?"

"No; he is gone to England to purchase some goods."

"Ah! That accounts for it then."

"Accounts for what? Really you must not catechize me any further.
What is there underneath all these questions?"

I drew my chair closer to him, as I said tragically:

"Mrs. Quintin _never had a child_."

"This rather staggered the good old doctor, who had just come from
the house, where he had examined and weighed the infant. He started
up from his chair, and, drawing back, exclaimed:

"What do you mean? Explain yourself."

I then at length narrated all I knew concerning the Quintin family,
and, as I proceeded with my story, the old man's eyes opened wider
and wider as he exclaimed:

"My God what a diabolical plot"!

"Yes, indeed, and I was invited to join in it."

"Well, well. _I_ certainly would never have suspected anything of
the kind."

"Nor would anyone. The thing was well arranged, and artfully carried

"I suppose they will send for _you_ now."

"Not at all. That is only a sham to get rid of your attendance. The
husband will be given to understand that you were hurriedly called in,
and that, my assistance being unneeded, they did not think it
worth-while troubling me."

After consulting with Dr. P. for a considerable time and putting the
case in different lights, we came to the conclusion that it would be
as well now to let matters take their course. Any interference on
our part would only have raised a great public scandal, and rendered
both Mr. and Mrs. Quintin miserable, without benefiting anyone, so we
allowed the poor man to believe that his prayers were answered, and
that the beautiful girl he fondled was really his own.

Time rolled on, the baby being baptized in due course and known by the
name of Edith Quintin. As she grew older, both Mr. and Mrs. Quintin
became passionately fond of her, the latter being as much attached
to the little girl as if she were her own daughter. When the child
was about twelve years old, Mrs. Quintin, who had gradually grown
more and more delicate, began to feel that she must, ere many months
had passed, finally succumb to the disease which was gradually
gnawing at her vitals, and the deception she had practised on her
husband was a source of great discomfort and annoyance to her. She
called on me in great grief, and, having informed me concerning that
of which (as the reader knows) I was well aware, implored me to give
her counsel and advice. She was surprised to hear that I had already
learnt all from Dr. P----; for, although she, of course, knew that
_I_ was not blinded by her subterfuge, she was not aware that
I knew all concerning the method adopted by her, and when she learned
that both the doctor and myself had forborne to inform on her, she
was visibly affected, and thanked me on her knees.

I advised her to break the matter to her husband, and not to die
with such a load on her conscience, but she avowed that she had
neither the strength nor the courage to do so, and importunately
besought me to undertake the painful task. When Mr. Quintin learnt
the truth he was of course greatly shocked, and at first was bitter
in his denunciations at his deceitful wife. His better judgment,
however, was soon brought to bear in the matter, and he was moved
rather to pity her misfortune than to punish her for her fault. He
knew that her judgment erred solely in order to retain his affection,
and when he looked at her pale face and emaciated form, and thought
of the agony and suffering, both mental and bodily, which the poor
creature had endured, he willingly forgave her, and, though sadly
disappointed and sorely smitten, did what he could to reassure her.

Edith meanwhile had developed into a beautiful girl, and had she
really been, as she believed herself, the daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Quintin, she could not have been more beloved by them. The
former enjoined me never to reveal the secret of her birth to his
daughter as he called her, and so her life, at least, was not
darkened in the least by the knowledge of the truth.

When Edith was about seventeen years old Mrs. Quintin finally
yielded to the ravages of that dread destroyer, consumption. The
poor girl wept sadly and bitterly at the loss of her mother, the
only one indeed the poor child had ever known, and poor Quintin wept
sadly as he thought of his wife's brief and unhappy career. He
removed with his daughter into furnished lodgings, not wishing the
child to be burdened too soon with the cares of house-keeping. What
he would not allow her to do for him, however, she soon became very
anxious to do for another, and the days of her mourning were not
long passed when she became the happy wife of a young man named
Wentworth, bookkeeper in one of the leading hardware firms in
Montreal. She has now children of her own, and the youngsters'
greatest delight is to gather round their grandfather's knee while
he astonishes them with stories. To them nor to no one else, however,
has he told, even as I have done, the story of the frail shop-girl,
who from being young and handsome, and the belle of her circle of
acquaintances, became a wretched and deceitful woman, diseased both
in body and mind, and finally sank into a premature grave.

Out on this heartless, brutal system, and the thoughtlessness and
ignorance which permit it! I hope the narrative given above may
cause some of those at least who engage in this barbarous system to
pause and give the great problem of life, capital and labor, a few
moments thought that they may see the error of their way, and that
poor Esther Quintin may not have died in vain.


The two Orphans

One evening, about a dozen years before the introduction of the
present system of fire alarms into Montreal, crowds might be seen
hurrying along that part of the city known as Little St. James street,
towards the scene of an immense conflagration. Several fire engines
were throwing strong streams of water on the burning mass, but, the
evening being windy, the fire swept all before it, and soon reduced
several buildings to ashes.

In one of these resided Mr. Wilson, Notary Public, and his two
daughters, the eldest a beautiful girl about 9 years old, the other
aged nearly 8. When the fire commenced they were seated calmly at
the tea-table, partaking of their evening meal, but, so sudden was
the holocaust which burst with tremendous fury around them that they
had not the slightest warning till they were surrounded with dense
volumes of smoke The two girls rushed forward to the window, and
screamed for assistance, while the old man endeavored to gather some
of his most valuable papers together and throw them into the street.

Amongst the crowd who assembled were two young men, clerks, named
Wilgress and D'Alton respectively. Taking in the situation at a
glance, they sought hastily for ladders, and placing them against
the burning windows, mounted bravely through the flames, each
seizing a girl round the waist, and carrying her in safety to the
ground. Their clothes were almost completely destroyed, while their
faces were grimed and scorched, still, nothing daunted, they looked
up to see if anything more could be done; they espied the old man at
one of the windows with a parcel in his arms. Quick as thought
Dalton mounted the ladder once more, going through the flames like a
salamander, and, taking the parcel from the old gentleman, tried to
induce him to descend the ladder. Poor old Wilson, however, could
not bear to leave so much that was valuable while a chance of saving
it remained, and so, rushing wildly back into the burning building,
he was soon lost to sight. A cry arose from the crowd as they saw
him disappear once more, and several hardy youths sprang up the
ladders, determined to bring him out by force, but, ere they could
enter the naming pile, a loud shriek met their ears as the floor
gave way, hurling the poor old notary into the dreadful pit of fire.
All efforts to do anything further were now unavailing, and the
firemen directed their energies to protecting the neighboring
buildings, and preventing the fire from spreading.

The young men were at first puzzled what to do with the two girls
whom they had rescued, and who were now orphans, without parents,
money, or even clothes, but some Sisters of Charity, who had
witnessed the heroic action, came forward and offered to take them
in charge. The good sisters took the children to the convent, and
provided them with both food and clothes, intending to educate them
and bring them up in the Catholic faith, but some Protestant ladies,
members of the congregation to which Mr. Wilson had belonged, having
heard of the affair, induced the clergyman to call and obtain
possession of the orphans, they undertaking to provide the cost of
their maintenance, or to find them homes in Protestant families.

By the time the Rev. Mr. Flood called at the nunnery the children
had dried their tears, and were beginning to feel quite at home. The
Sister in charge, however, saw at once the correctness of the
Clergyman's action, and agreed to give the girls up as soon as he
had made arrangements for their reception elsewhere. In a few days
they were sent for, and each was adopted by a different family;
Cissie, the elder, was taken in charge by a childless minister,
residing in St. Albans, in the State of Vermont, while Lillie, the
younger sister was adopted by a farmer from the neighborhood of

Many years passed away and the two girls were grown up, and were
both uncommonly good looking, Lillie being then just seventeen, and
as handsome a girl as one could wish to see. Then circumstances,
however, were not the same, for while Cissie had received a good
education, and had in every way the manners of a lady, Lillie could
not even read with facility, and writing was with her and utter
impossibility. The people who had adopted her were Irish settlers,
who, though comfortably off, knew little beyond the cultivation of
potatoes and the care of pigs.

About this tame Cissie Wilson, tired of the monotony of life at St.
Albans, determined to make an effort to "see the world," as she
called it, and earn her own living; and, as her adopted father
remonstrated with her in rather a hasty manner, she collected her
effects together, and, one day while the old man was out, started
for Montreal. She left a note for him, informing him of her
destination, and warning him not to attempt to stop her, as she had
determined, at all hazards, to carry out her intention. Miss Wilson
had been several times in Montreal, and had several acquaintances
there, among them a Miss Wood, whose father had a position in the
Telegraph Office. To Miss Wood's, therefore, she repaired, and,
being welcomed with the usual number of kisses, she requested the
young lady to persuade her father to procure a situation as
telegraph operator or something of the kind, as she was determined
to earn her own living. This the young lady promised to do and
succeeded so well that Miss Wilson was soon installed in a tolerably
good position, earning enough money to maintain and clothe herself

Things went on smoothly enough for a time, Miss Wilson spending most
of her leisure time with her friend, Miss Wood, or sitting quietly
at home arranging such dresses and finery as her scanty income
permitted her to indulge in. After some months, however, she began
to make more friends, and being invited frequently out, and made much
of because of her beauty and accomplishments, she soon became madly
eager for the means of dressing herself like the rest, and making
the conquests she knew she could make, were she only to have equal
terms with her rivals.

This passion for dress and jewellery soon became deep-seated; were
she only well dressed, what could she not achieve. She had, in her
anxious endeavors to make a good impression in society, deprived
herself even of necessaries sin order to procure a fashionable
ball-dress and outfit, and these were now no longer fit for active
service. While musing over this circumstance one evening, as she
walked home to supper, she chanced to meet Anna Smith, who had been
the belle at the last ball, her fine dress and showy jewellery
having completely eclipsed the more solid and modest beauty of the
poor telegraph girl. Miss Smith inquired casually if Cissie were
going to the Oddfellows' ball, an affair which was then on the
_tapis_, and when the latter answered in the negative, explaining
that her small salary would not allow her to purchase the necessary
finery, Miss Smith laughed and called her a silly little goose.
Taking her by the arm, Anna then let her into a secret, and
explained how she obtained all she required, and indeed could, out
of the abundance of her stores, fit out Miss Cissie, whom she chose
to consider her protegee. She urged Cissie not to miss the ball on
any account, and reminded her that she had already obtained a decided
advantage over Miss Williams, Miss Hunt and Miss Jones, and that
with such an outfit as she would lend her the victory would be

Cissie was for a moment shocked. She had been several times offered
presents by gentlemen of her acquaintance, but had always resolutely
declined to take them, having an instinctive feeling which warned
her against their acceptance. She could not bear now to wear the
dresses proffered by Miss Smith, and momentarily made up her mind
not to go to the ball at all. Then again her heart failed her as her
companion glibly ran over the names of those who were to attend, and
Cissie thought how she would like to enter the room on Horace Gibson's
arm in the presence of Miss Williams and the rest. Horace Gibson was a
clerk in the Bank of Montreal who had invited Miss Wilson to the ball,
and was to receive her answer that evening. As luck would have it,
that young gentleman approached just as the girls were rounding the
corner of the street, and, raising his hat in salute, inquired if
he was to have the pleasure of taking Miss Wilson to the ball.
Cissie hung her head, and was just about to offer some excuse, when
Miss Smith answered for her:

"Oh, yes, _of course_ she'll go, and be the best dressed and best
looking lady in the room too."

"If you have taken her up, I am sure she will be at least the
_second_ best as regards get up," responded Mr. Gibson, conveying
an indirect compliment to Miss Smith herself, who was celebrated for
the elegance of her attire. Cissie could not utter a word. After all,
she thought, there can be no harm in borrowing a dress from a young
lady! It was not for her to inquire how that lady was able to
purchase so many dresses; and then, as she looked at the handsome
young man before her, and thought how her rivals would bite their
lips with envy to see her in her elegant out-fit, the blood rushed
into her temples, and with an impetuous bound she burst away from
both her companions and entered the house, saying to Mr. Gibson:
"Yes, I'll go; call for me at nine to-morrow."

Till late night Cissie sat in her rocking-chair, her hands pressed
over her throbbing temples; at length wearied nature came to her
relief, and compelled her to retire to bed. Being fatigued, she soon
fell fast asleep, and on the morrow when she awoke, although she
remembered clearly all that had passed on the previous evening, she
had not the same sensitive feelings, or the same sharp prickings of
conscience, and, as she walked towards the office, she began to
anticipate the ball with the greatest pleasure.

As Miss Smith had said, Cissie, beautiful before, was ten times as
beautiful now that she was adorned with all that art could do in the
matters of dress and jewellery. Miss Williams fairly gnashed her
teeth with envy, and left the hall shortly after ten o'clock,
disgusted with _that thing_ from the telegraph office, while the
gentlemen eagerly sought for an introduction to the acknowledged
belle of the ball-room. Miss Smith was as proud of Cissie's success
as if it had been her own. With all her faults the girl possessed a
good heart, and in doing as she did fancied she was doing the
innocent country girl a kindness in opening to her the highway to
fame and fortune, even though it were reached by the gate of dishonor.

It is needless to give in detail the particulars of Cissie Wilson's
career; suffice it to say, that the brilliant triumph at the
Oddfellows' ball was too much for her weak nature. She plunged
headlong into the vortex of worldly pleasure and excitement, and,
having little time or inclination for reflection, became in time
quite habituated to this peculiar mode of life, always maintaining
outwardly, however, a moral and respected appearance.

All this time, the reader may well ask, what had become of Lillie,
the younger sister? She had been remarkably successful in her
country home, having at her feet the hands and hearts of all the
most eligible young men for miles round. This at one time would have
gratified her utmost ambition; but her sister's letters from Montreal
made her dreadfully anxious to join her in her whirl of exciting
pleasures, and, with the understanding that her sister would obtain
her employment in Montreal, Lillie, at the age of eighteen, came to
the city.

She was not long in her new home till her sister unbosomed to her
many things of which she had previously been in ignorance, and
promised to introduce her to the _creme de la creme_ of her worldly
companions, urging her to endeavor to acquire these graces and
accomplishments which she had failed to learn in her country home.
Lillie soon became more popular even than her sister; for, although
she was not so well educated, she was naturally clever and witty,
and there was a vivacity and freshness about her conversation, which,
added to her beautiful face and perfect figure, made her a charming
and desirable companion.

One day Mr. D'Alton, one of the gentlemen who had rescued the two
girls from the fire, was walking along Notre Dame street, when he
observed a beautiful girl, rather showily dressed, promenading just
in front of him. Something in the girl's manner attracted his
attention, and, as he passed her, he turned round, and carefully
scanned her face. As he did so the girl looked up and their eyes met;
he, raising his hat, blurted out an apology, saying he had mistaken
her for another lady of his acquaintance named Brown. "Oh," said she,
laughing, "my name is Lillie Wilson."

On hearing this name D'Alton started, and, having questioned her
closely concerning her antecedents, asked her if she remembered the
fire, and the two gentlemen who rescued herself and her sister; and,
although she had altogether forgotten his appearance, she remembered
the circumstance perfectly. They walked together for a little while,
and then he asked her permission to visit her at her address, and was
astonished to find that she objected, for some strange reason, to do
so. At length, bursting into tears, she confided to him her whole
history, informing him that she had been seduced and betrayed, and
was at that moment _enceinte_. This disclosure, as may well be
supposed, staggered D'Alton not a little, but at the same time he
became more and more interested in the girl, and offered, if she
would promise to give up her corrupt mode of life that he would do
his best to see her through her present difficulty. Calling on me, he
consulted with me as to what was best to be done under the
circumstances, explaining that, although he was willing to do all in
his power for the girl for the sake of old associations, yet that he
did not wish to peril his own reputation. I promised to do what I
could for the girl, and calling on her was informed that her
paramour was an officer in the Rifle Brigade, who had returned to
England, leaving her to bear the burden of their crime. Having
procured suitable lodgings, I saw the girl comfortably housed, and
in due time she gave birth to a fine little boy, which, as usual in
these cases, was sent to the nunnery to be taken care of by the good
Sisters of Charity.

Mr. D'Alton did not come to visit Miss Wilson during her
convalescence but, after she was completely recovered he called
frequently, taking her to theatres and concerts, and sometimes in
the winter to sleigh-rides. What his intentions at first may have
been I do not know; I certainly think that but for his friends he
would openly have married her; be that as it may, in a short time it
became apparent that they had both overstepped the bounds of
ordinary friendly intercourse, and that Mrs. Rushton (as she now
called herself) would soon require my services a second time. This
time she gave birth to a beautiful girl, and, before many years were
past, there followed another girl and boy. These children were not,
as in the former case, sent to the nunnery, but were retained and
brought up by their mother, she being smart enough to perceive that
by doing so she would maintain a hold on their father, and secure
for herself, if not a respectable, at least a comfortable position,
Mr. D'Alton having been successful in business, and being at that
time one of the leading brokers in Montreal.

For a time things went on this way, D'Alton visiting his mistress
frequently, and becoming passionately fond of the children, whom
Mrs. Rushton artfully used to influence him on all occasions. To do
her justice, it must be said that she never, either in thought or
action, was untrue to D'Alton, and that, whatever her past career
might have been, she lived at this time a quiet life, indeed, caring
only for her husband (as she called him) and her children. By the
time the little boy was two years old, both mother and children had
so ingratiated themselves in Mr. D'Alton's affections, that he
determined, come what might, to marry his mistress, and so make
their future offspring at least legitimate.

He was weary of his irregular mode of life, and, being comparatively
wealthy, longed for some place which he could call his home. His
wife could hardly mix in society, even could she obtain an _entree_
to that realm of prudery and hypocrisy, but he cared for no society
better than that of herself and his children, and his bachelor
friends, of whom he had not a few, would, even if they did know or
surmise the truth, exercise a more liberal spirit, particularly while
the wine in his cellar maintained its reputation. Accordingly, he
one day astonished and delighted Mrs. Rushton with the proposal that
he should marry her; and that they should live together openly. As
may be supposed, the lady unhesitatingly accepted the proposal, and
accordingly they were married, formally and legally in St. George's
Church, which, at that time was situated in St. Joseph street, on
the site now occupied by Messrs. Ligget & Hamilton's large dry goods
store. Mr. D'Alton took a house in a new portion of the city, and as
they lived very quietly, receiving no calls, except from business
friends of Mr. D'Alton, the neighbors did not trouble themselves
much about them, or inquire concerning their antecedents.

Although her husband did not trouble himself whether his wife was or
was not received into society, Mrs. D'Alton felt it very keenly. She
had not, like him, drank the cup of life's pleasures till it tasted
insipid or even nauseous; on the contrary, she looked on the pomps
and vanities of society as only a woman can look on them, and now
that she was legally respectable, and rich enough to keep pace with
even the most fashionable of her neighbors, it made her very heart
ache to think that these scenes of brightness were closed to her as
much as ever. She thought of what she might have been had she not in
her ambitious haste gone off the right track; and, pained with
bitter reflections, and with no one to speak to or converse with
(for her husband spent most of his time at the club) she solaced
herself, as others in her predicament have done, with the cup of
forgetfulness, sinking deeper and deeper at every step, till the
habit became confirmed.

Although Mrs. D'Alton had taken her husband into her confidence, and
told him truthfully her history, she had not sufficient strength of
mind to tell him how ignorant she really was, and that she could not
even read and write with accuracy. Her letters to her husband had
been written by her nursery-governess, engaged ostensibly to
instruct the children; but in reality to act as amanuensis for the
lady of the house. The young lady thus engaged was at first rather
averse to signing her mistress' name to her letters without adding
her own initials, but the present of a handsome broach and earrings
soon quieted her sensitive conscience and she soon fell into the plan,
not being unwilling to make use of such a powerful lever for
obtaining largesses from Mrs. D'Alton. In time this young lady
became so overbearing that her mistress fully made up her mind to
discharge her, but a summer trip to Portland being then on the tapis,
she allowed her to have her own way, as Mr. D'Alton remained in
Montreal, and would naturally expect letters from his wife during
her absence. She would have dismissed the governess and engaged
another, trusting to her own pleadings and the powerful appeals of
her purse to win her over, but the handwriting would not be the same,
and she would not for worlds have allowed her husband to think she
had deceived him.

The day came for their departure for Orchard Beach, where Mr. D'Alton
had taken a cottage for their use. The children were in great glee
as they anticipated surf bathing and digging in the sand, but
Mrs. D'Alton was moody and down-hearted, the exhilarating
effects of a large potion of brandy having worn off and a reaction
set in; her husband, however, attributed it to sorrow at her
separation from him, and was rather gratified to think she was so
deeply affected.

They arrived at her destination in due course, and were comfortably
ensconced in the cosy little cottage. Miss Watson, the governess,
dressed herself up, and with the children departed for the promenade,
and Mrs. D'Alton was left to her own reflections. The thought of her
past career, of the opportunities gone for ever, and lastly of the
predicament she was now in, shunned by all respectable people, and
despised by her own paid servant, who felt her power, and was
disposed to wield it unmercifully. The brandy-bottle, her
never-failing companion, was by her side, and as she mused mopingly
over her sins, she took from time to time copious draughts of the
potent spirits, regardless of its power to do otherwise than to rob
her of these racking memories of the past. In about two hours the
promenaders returned and found her lying back speechless in her chair,
the bottle and glass by her side; her eyes rolled wildly as she gazed
vacantly on her children, but she was unable to utter a word.

Miss Watson became alarmed and summoned a doctor immediately, who,
on entering the room, perceived at once the cause of Mrs. D'Alton's
malady, and ordered her to be conveyed to bed. In the morning she
was a little better, being able to speak; but she was still very
much shaken, and raved incoherently. Mr. D'Alton was telegraphed for,
and came immediately; but, being merely informed that his wife had
had a fit, he imagined her to be afflicted with hysteria; indeed,
although he knew she was fond of a glass of wine, and often joined
him in partaking of brandy and water, he had no idea that she
imbibed to such an extent.

In a few days Mrs. D'Alton was able to go out again, and, as during
her husband's stay at Orchard Beach she was particularly abstemious,
she was able to associate with the ladies in the hotel, and made
several acquaintances, who, seeing that she had the dress and
manners of a lady, interchanged calls with her and invited her to
visit them in Montreal. On her return to her home, however, these
ladies received her but coldly, and when she gave a large party,
inviting all those whom she had met at the seaside, "they all, with
one accord, began to make excuse," and at entertainment there was
present, besides herself and the family, only a sister of the
governess, and one or two bachelor friends of Mr. D'Alton. Dancing
was of course out of the question, so they organized two whist
parties, and, with a little music, managed to drag along till supper,
which was served in Joyce's best style, and looked unnecessarily
elaborate for the small number who were to partake of it.

Mrs. D'Alton was mortified; she had imagined that those people whom
she met at the seaside would have judged her on her merits, and
would not have taken the trouble to inquire concerning her
antecedents. She did not calculate that, what may be allowable at a
summer resort, would not be tolerated in Montreal society; moreover,
that the tongue of slander had been busily engaged in painting her
even blacker than she really was, so that these people, even if
personally disposed to associate with her, _dared_ not do so lest
they might lose their own insecure foothold on the ladder of social
position. In moody silence she presided throughout the entire evening;
she was enraged at herself and at the poor enslaved creatures who,
though anxious to go and enjoy themselves yet dared not infringe the
rules laid down by society; and, as she drank glass after glass of
her husband's famous Moselle, she became more and more despondent.

About midnight Amy Watson, the sister of the nursery-governess, took
her departure, and Mr. D'Alton with his friends, went up to the
billiard room to enjoy themselves at their favorite game. It was
near daylight ere they grew tired of pocketing the ivory spheres,
and left their host to close the doors, and retire to his room. When
he did so what a sight met his gaze! There lay his wife in all the
finery she had arrayed herself to dazzle her fashionable
acquaintances, _a speechless corpse_! a brandy-bottle, nearly emptied,
lay at her side, telling too plainly what had been the cause of her
untimely death. Her husband's first impulse was to ring the bell and
send for a doctor, but, knowing the scandal that would surely ensue,
he quietly let himself out, and went for Dr. Hickson, being
determined not to give up hope till he had done all that could
possibly be done. The doctor on examining the body shook his head
ominously, confirming Mr. D'Alton in the belief that his wife was no
more; he considerately agreed to remain in the house, and not to
inform the servants for some time of the occurrence. The doctor's
presence, of course, excited some alarm, and in a short time it was
known that Mrs. D'Alton was dangerously ill, the announcement of her
death being reserved for a time till all the traces of the recent
festivities were removed, and the house had resumed its normal

When the children heard of their mother's death they rent the air
with their cries of anguish; even Miss Watson shed real tears, her
occupation, like that of Othello, being gone. Poor Mr. D'Alton was
almost beside himself. He had never loved another woman; and, though
he was not blind to his wife's failings and shortcomings, he
nevertheless lamented the loss of one, who, whatever her faults, was
true to him and a good mother to his children.

In the meantime what had become of Cissie Wilson, Mrs. D'Alton's
elder sister? She had endeavored to persuade Mrs. D'Alton to engage
her as governess to her children, but the latter, once married,
refused to hold any communication with her whatever. Miss Wilson then
despairing of finding a road to reform in Montreal, took her
departure for Toronto, taking a position as governess in one of the
leading families there. On hearing of her sister's death she wrote
to Mr. D'Alton, offering to take charge of the children till he had
time to make permanent arrangements for their education. To this
letter she received no reply, which nettled her so much that she
determined on a plot for wounding the pride of her haughty
brother-in-law. "Who is he," she would exclaim, "that he should dare
to snub me?" "If I _have_ sinned, was _she_ not equally bad, and is
he not guilty _himself_?" "Never mind, Mr. D'Alton, I will have my
revenge some day." She racked her brain to think of some means of
repaying him for his severity to her, but could think of nothing at
the time, and so resolved to wait and watch her opportunity.

It was some years before Miss Wilson had that opportunity for which
her heart so yearned, but come it did, surely enough, and she dealt
to Mr. D'Alton a blow so bitter that he never got over its effects.

Lillian, Mr. D'Alton's eldest daughter had, after her mother's death,
been sent to a fashionable school in Mansfield street, presided over
by the wife of one of our leading brokers. Here she made many friends,
and being known only as the beautiful and accomplished daughter of a
rich widower doing business in Montreal, and well known on the
Exchange, she was in time introduced into society, and became at one
bound the belle of the season.

At that time several British regiments occupied the Quebec Gate
barracks, and the officers were eagerly sought after by the
party-giving community, no ball being complete without at least two
or three officers in _full uniform_. Among the latter was a certain
Captain Trevelyan, the heir-apparent of an English nobleman, who was,
of course _the_ eligible young gentleman of the season. Most of the
ladies openly courted Captain Trevelyan and, figuratively speaking,
laid themselves at his feet; but Lillian D'Alton was too little
versed in such matters to know the triumph she had achieved in being
sought after as a partner by the much-admired Captain, and, when he
asked her to dance although she complied readily with his request,
yet she carried herself with an air so natural, and altogether so
different from the time-worn belles he was so accustomed to meet,
that he engaged her for dance after dance, then for supper, and,
before the ball was concluded, he was deeply in love with her, none
the less because she was the only young lady in the room who did not
covet that distinction.

Although Lillian was but eighteen years of age, she could not but
perceive the marked attention paid to her by Captain Trevelyan, nor
was she blind to the glances of envious hatred darted at her from
all quarters. Her heart responded to the unspoken avowal of her
partner, and ere they parted that night they were one in heart and in
thought, each living only for and in the presence of the other.

Youthful love makes rapid progress. Ere many months had passed
Lillian D'Alton was the affianced bride of Captain Trevelyan, and
their approaching wedding was the one theme of conversation at balls,
routes or parties.

Here then was the opportunity longed for by Miss Wilson. She would
inform Captain Trevelyan and his friends concerning the D'Alton
family, and warn him to break off his engagement. With a refinement
of cruelty peculiar to women blinded with rage, she allowed the
wedding day to be fixed before she communicated with the bridegroom,
and then sent him a complete history of the family he was about to
enter, informing him that the lady he was about to marry was the
illegitimate child of Mr. D'Alton, and that in marrying her he would
not only injure his own prospects, but alienate himself completely
from his family, bringing on them both shame and discredit.

Captain Trevelyan read the letter with astonishment, but did not
believe one word it contained. His Lillian a bastard! why the thing
was preposterous. Her father was as well known on 'Change as
Rothschild was in London. Her mother's funeral had been attended by
the wealth and fashion of Montreal, and since that time Lillian had
been the acknowledged belle of the set commonly known as "the upper
ten." The letter being written in rather extravagant terms, he
imagined it to contain the incoherent ravings of a maniac, and his
first impulse was to toss it aside. On the arrival of the English
mail, however, he received letters from his friends, couched in terms
of the deepest anxiety, urging him to sever all connection with the
D'Alton family if he did not wish to alienate himself completely
from all his family and friends. These letters led him to think more
seriously concerning the communication from Toronto, and being
determined, come what might, to know the worst at once, he started
immediately for Mr. D'Alton's residence, only to find that the
gentleman in question had just that moment departed for his office.

Lillian was at home, however, and she rushed downstairs impetuously
to meet her affianced husband. He received her as usual, but there
was a cloud on his brow as he followed her into her boudoir, where
they frequently spent hours together. He questioned her concerning
her aunt and her relations generally, but Lillian knew little more
than that her aunt resided in Toronto, and was generally considered
to be what is called "flighty."

This somewhat reassured Trevelyan, and he dismissed the subject for
a time from his mind. He determined, however, to clear the matter up,
and so in the evening he called to see Mr. D'Alton, requesting a few
words with him in private. The two men entered the study, and
Trevelyan led off by saying:--"I have received a strange
communication from your sister-in-law, Miss Wilson; from what
Lillian has told me, I am aware that she is a person of weak
intellect, and her stories are not worthy of credence, but I thought
it due to you, nevertheless, to bring the matter to your notice."

At the mention of Miss Wilson's name D'Alton turned deadly pale. He
was a bold man, and capable of carrying out a deep scheme, had he
felt so disposed; but this intimacy of Trevelyan with his daughter
was the result of no scheme, and he had for some years lived, with
the rest of his family, a blameless life, rejoicing in the fact that
his neighbors either did not know, or had forgotten, or overlooked
his past career, and were prepared to receive his children with open
arms into society. With bated breath he ran his eyes hastily over
the letter held out to him by Trevelyan, and in an instant he saw
the whole situation. If he could only have had time to consider the
matter, he would probably have taken the right course, come what
might; but he had little time for decision, as Trevelyan stood
before him, eagerly expecting a reply. Mr. D'Alton pictured to
himself the state of affairs did he acknowledge the truth of the
accusation, and though loath to deceive the young man (whom he
already loved almost as dearly as his own son), he dared not ruin
his daughter's prospects by an avowal. Pretending to read the letter
once more he gained a little time, and then, with consummate
diplomacy, endeavored to find out what Trevelyan thought. Looking up
coolly, he said--

"And do you believe all this, Trevelyan?"

Of course, Trevelyan _did not_ believe it, and was profuse in his
apologies, for having permitted himself to doubt for a moment that
the writer was bereft of reason. This confirmed Mr. D'Alton in his
course and he at once denounced his sister-in-law in no measured
terms, vowing to punish her for her irresponsible utterances. The
news that Miss Wilson had written to Captain Trevelyan's friends in
England made D'Alton furious, and he swore a fearful oath that he
would place her where her ravings would harm no one but herself. All
night long he thought over schemes for getting rid of her, and at
length he concocted a plan which he speedily put into execution.

As was said before, Mrs. D'Alton and her sister were orphans and
they both left their adopted parents early in life, having lived
under assumed names for years, and severed all connection with their
former associates. During Mrs. D'Alton's lifetime her sister was
forbidden to approach the house, and on the death of the former
Miss Wilson was not recognized by her brother-in-law. The children
had never seen or known their aunt, and the people with whom she had
last resided in Montreal (in the capacity of nursery-governess) had
known her as Miss Rogers, and had lately lost all trace of her

Taking the early train for Toronto, Mr. D'Alton took counsel of
an astute lawyer, and learned that, as events had been shapen,
Miss Wilson would have now great difficulty in proving her connection
with the D'Alton family, did he choose to deny it, and that the fact
of her having written such letters as those received by Trevelyan
and his family would be fair presumptive evidence that the woman was

Carefully considering his position, D'Alton determined on his course
of proceeding. He was averse to a public prosecution, as many things,
now unknown or forgotten, might be brought to light, and yet he felt
that the woman must be effectually silenced by some means or other.
Going to her residence he boldly demanded an interview with her, and,
producing the letter to Trevelyan, asked if she had written it.
Miss Wilson laughed as she saw the effect of her shot, and
exultantly exclaimed:--"Of course I wrote it; who else _could_ have
done it?"

"And are you aware that you are liable to be prosecuted for libel?"
pursued D'Alton.

"It is no libel," retorted she, fiercely; "you know it is true, or
you would not be here now."

"Indeed! _can you prove it, then_?"

"I have no need to prove it to you. Your very facial expression
acknowledges it to be true."

"Will that satisfy the jury?"

"What jury?"

"The jury who are to try you for a malicious libel!"

At this Cissie started, but recovering herself exclaimed: "_You_
dare not sue me for libel. Your history would not stand repetition
in court."

"Who knows my history?"

"I do!"

"Indeed! WHO ARE YOU?"

The fierceness with which he said this made his sister-in-law quail.
She perceived that he was terribly in earnest as he repeated his
question in a tone very unusual with him, and she meekly replied:

"You know well enough who I am, your late wife's sister."

"My wife _had no sister_!"

The look he gave as he said this fairly frightened her. She had seen
a good deal of life, and had in her time met with all kinds of men
and women, but never till now did she fear either. She began to see
that she had roused a desperate man, and that, legally, she had no
hold on him, neither status in society; moreover that she had got
entangled in the meshes of her own net, and that only the dread of
exposure would prevent D'Alton from prosecuting her for libel. Not
knowing what to do, she remained mute, her eyes fixed firmly on the
ground. At length Mr. D'Alton broke the silence: "You have
evidently had an object," he said, "in circulating these reports. If
your object be to extort money out of me, you will find it more to
your interest to remain silent." With these words he drew from his
pocket a roll of bank bills, and laid them on the table near his
companion; but she, growing livid with rage, refused to touch them,
promising to expose him and his family before all the world.

D'Alton had not calculated on this, and was for a time taken a
little aback. His last card, however, was not yet played; and,
summoning all his energies together, he braced himself for the
enactment of that, which under other circumstances, he would have
suffered much rather than become in any sense a party thereto.
Addressing the lady once more he said:--"What, then, was your object
in writing these letters?"

"My object was _to disclose the truth_," she cried, vehemently,
"to denounce you as a blackhearted villain, and to save an
unsuspecting youth from becoming the victim of your deep-laid schemes."

D'Alton bit his lip with passion, but restrained himself. "And you
do all this solely from conscientious motives," he said with a sneer.

"My conscience, like your own, Mr. D'Alton, is pretty well hardened.
No; I have no conscientious motives to impel me to show your true
character to the world; but revenge is sweet, and I have not
forgotten the scorn and contempt with which both you and your
fashionable wife treated me while I was in Montreal. _I_ was not good
enough to touch the hem of your garments, but _she_ was dressed up
and paraded in the drawing-rooms of those who did not know better
than to admit her, and now her b---- daughter is to wed a scion of a
noble house, while _I_ am not even recognized. No, Robert D'Alton,
you will not become respectable and leave _me_ out in the cold,
insulting and spurning me at every turn with your petty offers of
money. I have sworn to have my revenge, and by ---- now that the
opportunity offers, I _will have it_, too!"

She had worked herself up to state of uncontrollable fury. Her eyes
rolled wildly, and she looked like one demented. This gave the devil
his opportunity, for D'Alton, who had been halting between two
opinions, came to a hasty conclusion, and bringing the interview to
a close, hurriedly left the house, his teeth firmly set, and a horrid
glare in his eyes. He walked rapidly down Yonge street and along the
east end of King street, then, hailing a cab, he directed the driver
to travel towards the west end, coming to a halt opposite the
Lunatic Asylum. Entering he enquired for Dr. Tuffnell, and was
informed that he would likely find that gentleman at his residence
on Jarvis street. On repairing thither he found the doctor at home,
and, requesting a few minutes' private conversation, was soon
closeted in the consultation room. "I have long intended to see you,"
Mr. D'Alton began, "about a young lady who lived in our family some
years ago in the capacity of nursery-governess. She was always of a
somewhat flighty disposition, which we used to humour as best we
could, and when she left us (at my wife's death) for Toronto, we
fancied she had quite recovered, but it seems she has been gradually
growing worse, and she now continually torments our friends and us
with letters full of ridiculous flights of fancy, which, though
meaningless to those who understand how she has been afflicted,
might possibly cause serious trouble."

"Has the young lady, then, no friends or relatives?"

"None, whatever. She was taken out of an orphan asylum by an aged
clergyman, now deceased, who adopted her, and since his death she
has supported herself by teaching. We consulted our physician about
her some time ago, when she imagined herself to be my wife, and
ordered her mistress down to the kitchen. He thought it would be
advisable for her to take another situation away from us till her
health improved, as she was continually fancying herself trampled
upon by some member of the family; we accordingly procured for her a
situation in a friend's house in Montreal, but they in turn became
frightened of her, and dismissed her, which dismissal, strange to say,
she attributed _to me_. She now imagines herself to be my wife's
sister, and demands an entrance into my house, denouncing me in the
vilest terms, and writing scandalous letters to all my acquaintances."

"Are you sure she is insane?"

"Well, I have long tried to persuade myself that she is not, but
latterly she has grown so violent that I am afraid that what I said
years ago to my late wife in fun about her being demented was only
painfully true. If you would kindly visit her and give me your
opinion concerning her case, you would oblige me very much."

"What does her present mistress say about her?"

"Oh she has only been there a short time and has not yet given an
exhibition of her oratorical powers. Still the lady who is a
clergyman's widow, told me that she walks about her room in the
middle of the night, talking wildly to herself."

Dr. Tuffnell had not time to visit Miss Wilson that morning, but he
made an appointment with Mr. D'Alton for the following day, and
together they went to the unfortunate girl's residence. Arrived at
the house they rang the bell, and inquired for Mrs. Brookes, the

Mrs. Brookes was a middle-aged lady of a retiring disposition. Her
husband had died at an early age, leaving her to take care of three
young children. Her temporal wants however, were provided for, her
husband having been possessed of a handsome income independently of
his small salary. Dr. Tuffnell made inquiries concerning Miss Wilson's
habits, and was informed that her actions were at times very peculiar,
that she had not gone to bed all the past night, but had stamped up
and down her room, talking as if to a second party. Mrs. Brookes was
shocked to hear that she had unwittingly engaged a mad woman to take
charge of her children, and suddenly recollected several extraordinary
episodes which, until that time, had never struck her forcibly.

It was arranged that the Doctor should see Miss Wilson and satisfy
himself concerning her affliction before any further steps were taken.
Accordingly Mrs. Brookes rang the bell and told the servant to
summon the governess.

Miss Wilson had not slept all night, and her eyes had a wild
expression, which heightened when she beheld Mr. D'Alton. The doctor,
having previously taken all that was told him for granted, made up
his mind at once that she was insane, and never reflected for a
moment on the possibility of some scheme being on foot to injure her.
On entering the room she laughed wildly and said--"So you have come
back with your bag of gold. I tell you it's _trash_, sordid trash,
not half so sweet as REVENGE!"

Now as the doctor had heard nothing from either D'Alton or Mrs. Brookes
which he could in any way connect with this wild utterance; moreover,
as the young lady looked like a tigress, and walked fiercely up and
down the room, he became more than ever convinced that he had got a
bad case in hand and acted accordingly. Looking at D'Alton he shook
his head, which Mrs. Brookes perceiving, she shook her head in turn,
and, taking out her handkerchief, wept copiously. Dr. Tuffnell tried
to soothe the patient with gentle words, but she (mistaking him for
a pettifogging lawyer, whom D'Alton had engaged to bind her over to
keep the peace) cried out:

"Ah, yes! you want to quiet me, but _you can't_ quiet me. I am like
the surging cataract, which, suppressed in one place bursts out
again with more fury in another. I have suffered too much to be
tamed down by soft and gilded promises. No, Robert D'Alton, you have
started the mighty avalanche and it is too late now to stop its

The doctor began to feel he had a desperate case in hand and tried
to quiet her, but the more he did so the worse she got till at last
all persons began to talk to her, receiving from the poor girl
replies altogether removed from the point at issue coupled with
threats and oaths and furious gesticulations. At length the doctor
suggested, in a whisper, the propriety of their departure, when they
might consider what was best to be done, but, on Mrs. Brookes
protesting that she was afraid to stay alone in the house with the
maniac, Dr. Tuffnell dispatched a note to the asylum, and in a short
time two keepers arrived, and proceeded to take Miss Wilson into
their care till she should become possessed of a sound mind.

There is no time at which a sane person looks so much like a maniac
as when trying to convince people of his sanity. The real lunatic
will cunningly hide his affliction from the most watchful, and is
frequently able to deceive those unaccustomed to deal with persons
of unsound mind, but the victim of persecution becomes wild with
honest indignation, and generally manages to convince even those who
might be inclined to believe him to be sane.

When the truth of her position began to dawn on Miss Wilson, she
became more frantic than ever. She raved at D'Alton and the doctor,
tore with her hands at the keepers, and abused Mrs. Brookes for
standing tamely by to see one of her own sex so ill-used. She roared
so that two policemen came rushing up to the steps to inquire what
was the matter, but, seeing Dr. Tuffnell, with whom they were well
acquainted, they saluted him respectfully and withdrew.

Miss Wilson was accordingly driven to the asylum and incarcerated
till she should come to her senses, and Mr. D'Alton, having made
arrangements for her safe-keeping returned to Montreal.

Shortly after her father's return Lillian D'Alton was married to
Captain Trevelyan in Christ Church Cathedral. The wealth, beauty and
fashion of Montreal attended the wedding, and the costliest presents
were displayed on her father's sideboard. The young couple departed
for England immediately, Trevelyan's regiment having been ordered
home, and the bride was received into the first London circles.

Mr. D'Alton remained in Montreal where he still lives and moves in
the best society. What his private feelings are I cannot tell, but
outwardly all is serene, the only one besides myself who knows his
family history having long since passed away in solitary confinement.


A Tale of Two Cities

Among the many friends we made during our stay in Montreal, none
were so thoroughly beloved by myself and family as the Sinclairs.
Mr. Sinclair was an English artist who had settled in Canada some
time previous to our arrival, and, being generally well informed, as
well as a shining light in his own profession, he was made much of
by the English residents here, and had as pupils many of the wives
and daughters of the officers of the garrison, besides some of the
more cultivated Canadians. Mrs. Sinclair was a refined English lady
of good family, and had several children, mostly girls, who were
greatly admired not only for their beauty, but also for their many
and various accomplishments. The Sinclair girls were frequently at
our house, being, in fact, looked upon as members of our family, and
no social gathering of ours was considered complete without them.

In time Mr. Sinclair became tired of Montreal. Many of his patrons
left with their regiments for England, and he became weary of the
dull routine and scanty income which he saw was all he could ever
look forward to in Canada, so, breaking up his household, he
departed for the United States, and, having lived for a time in
various cities, finally settled in Boston, where he became quite
successful, and soon obtained an enviable reputation as a portrait

Lulu Sinclair, the eldest of the girls, was a sprightly blonde of
about sixteen when her father left Montreal, and the family had not
been long in Boston before she became engaged as a teacher at one of
the conservatories, and a mutual attachment sprang up between the
pair. Miss Sinclair had already made her _debut_ in Boston Music
Hall as a vocalist, and the pair were frequently engaged at the same
concerts and entertainments, so that the natural sequence was that
they in time became engaged, and afterwards--_married_!

"Nothing very mysterious in that," I think I hear my fair reader say,
a little disappointed that I have not prepared a spicy bit of
scandal for her delectation; but as Balaam the Prophet could only
speak as he was impelled by the spirit, so likewise must I confine
myself to _the realities_ of the case, and I therefore make no
apology for this commonplace bit of history, but proceed with my

One evening Lulu made her appearance at our house, in Montreal,
accompanied by Mr. Hill, her husband. It seems that they were on a
concert tour, and were to give two concerts in Saint Patrick's Hall,
which at that time stood on the corner of Craig street and Victoria
square, and, as we had often invited them to do so, they promised to
avail themselves of our hospitality during their stay, as their
engagement terminated with these concerts and they were anxious to
take a little rest before returning to Boston.

The children were delighted to have Mr. and Mrs. Hill in the house
with them; they had never met a _real live prima donna_ in private
life before, and they flaunted "Professor Hill" and "Mademoiselle
Lulu Sinclair" in the faces of their juvenile acquaintances, as if
they had been entertaining the Emperor of all the Russias and Her
Imperial Majesty the Empress.

Since the Sinclairs had left Montreal, the principal playmates of
our children had been the Bennetts, who lived in the adjoining street.
Mr. Bennett was a French-Canadian, with (as usual) a large family,
and was in comfortable circumstances, having a large retail grocery
on Notre Dame street. One evening, shortly after the arrival of
Mr. Hill and his wife, the former drew me aside and asked me if I
knew a family in Montreal named Bennett. I told him that I knew them
intimately, that they lived close at hand, and taking him to the
window (it was late in the spring) I showed him the children walking
opposite hand in hand with our own. He then intimated that he had
something to tell me, and, taking me aside into the adjoining room,
he told me something which astonished me as much as it will doubtless
astonish the reader of these pages.

It seems that Mr. Bennett's father was an American, who, in early
life, being settled in Montreal, became enamoured of a Canadian girl
named Beauchamp. Miss Beauchamp was young, pretty, and a Catholic.
The first two of these qualifications rather suited Mr. Bennett, and
the third did not in any way annoy him, he being (although a
Protestant) a liberal-minded man, and having the idea that thoughts
and opinions could not be forced, like sheep, to go in a particular
track, but that every one should be free to hold what convictions
his reason dictated, untrammelled by conventionality or creed of any
kind. Miss Beauchamp professed to be of a like mind, and agreed to
allow him to educate the boys (if any), while she would look after
the female issue of their marriage. With this ridiculous
understanding they got married, and for a time things went
pleasantly along, Mrs. Bennett attending L'Eglise St. Jacques
regularly, not only without opposition from her husband but
sometimes even accompanied by him. He did not believe in the
efficacy of the service to save his soul, but he had sufficient
common sense to know that it could not harm him, or turn him one
whit aside from what his reason dictated; and neither did it, for at
the end of two years he was as greatly opposed to what he considered
the errors of the Church of Rome as ever he was, and though he
attended L'Eglise St. Jacques almost as regularly as St. George's
Church, of which he was a member, he went there simply because he
liked the society of his wife, and she believed it to be necessary
for her salvation.

In the course of time Mrs. Bennett gave birth to a boy, then two
girls, and afterwards another boy, all of whom, as children will,
made enquiries concerning whence they were and whither they were
going, etc. Mr. Bennett now began to see the folly he had been
guilty of in making the agreement mentioned above. If the Catholic
religion were the true and only faith, all his sons were on the high
road to perdition; if, as he was inclined to think, the Protestant
religion were nearer the mark, then what was to become of the girls?
What a pleasant prospect was there before him! His family torn and
divided by the most bitter of all dissentions, religious disputes
(or rather _irreligious_ disputes about matters of doctrine), and
his life and those of all his family rendered miserable. This was
certainly bad enough in its way, but something more annoying was in
store for him. He one day discovered that not only were the girls
baptized in the Romish faith, but that the _boys also_ were
surreptitiously baptized by the parish priest, so that he alone of
all the family remained a Protestant, and a poor one at that. Every
day things got more and more complicated, and his wife at last
openly avowed that _all_ the children were to be Roman Catholics,
and advised him also to flee from the wrath to come and take refuge
in the arms of the true church.

Bennett was not exactly a bigot, but, if not a Protestant, he was
certainly not going to become a Roman Catholic. Cursing himself
bitterly for his folly, he sought to make matters better; but that,
so far as changing the religion or creed of his family went, was
altogether beyond his power. He had his choice between living an
alien and a heretic, despised by his own family; and joining a church
whose teachings he considered puerile and inefficacious, and the
atmosphere of which was now exceedingly disagreeable to him. His
wife showed herself so much more devoted to the church than to her
husband, that his love for her soon faded away, and he made a
fearful resolve to leave Montreal, and never see his wife or
children more. Accordingly one evening, instead of returning as usual
from his store, he left for parts unknown, leaving his wife and
children almost penniless behind.

Mrs. Bennett, though acting as she did, loved her husband dearly. It
was this very love for him which made her so anxious for him to
leave what she considered the false religion of the Church of
England for the pure and unadulterated system of the Church of Rome.
She cried after him as if her heart would break, and sent after him
in all directions. All her efforts, however, were in vain, no trace
of her husband being found. The children were left at school till
they were in time old enough to be apprenticed to a trade or business,
Mrs. Bennett struggling bravely, as only a woman can do, to keep
their heads above water. When William, the eldest boy, was about
fourteen, he was placed in the well-known house of Messrs. Mockridge &
Co., dry goods merchants, and in course of time became thoroughly
conversant with the business. He had not only been able to help his
mother to maintain the family, but had put by sufficient to start a
small business for himself. Before deciding on the latter, however,
he determined to visit Boston, to get a few ideas connected with the
business, and, while there, came across his father, who had married
again under the name of Hill, his wife being a young American of
good family, and the mother of the gentleman from whom I learnt this

William Bennett reproached his father with his misconduct, and
insisted on his leaving his American wife. Bennett the elder was
very much averse to doing so, but his son would leave him no
alternative, threatening him with exposure and criminal action
should he decline. The old man tried to temporize, and persuaded
William to visit and dine with his family, introducing him as a
business friend from Montreal.

Whatever Anti-Spiritualists may say to the contrary, there are
undoubtedly influences other than material which affect us at times,
and give us mysterious intimations of events happening or about to
happen. Both Mrs. Hill and her children had a presentiment of some
impending calamity, and, although they had not the faintest suspicion
of the real state of affairs, they did not look on William Bennett
as they would have done on any other person casually introduced into
their household. A damper seemed to have been placed on all their
spirits, and the flow of conversation was sluggish and dull.

After dinner they endeavored to organize an impromptu card-party,
but that, also, was a failure; and, although, as a rule, they had a
little music after dinner, on this particular evening each one
seemed indisposed to break the monotony.

About ten o'clock William left for his hotel, having first made an
appointment with his father for the following morning. When they met
William returned to the subject of their previous discourse, and
insisted on his father returning with him to Montreal. The old
man vowed that, come what might, he would never go back to his
"priest-ridden family" as he chose to designate his wife and children.
The battle waxed fast and furious, till at last William exclaimed
with an oath: "By ---- you shall leave your Yankee mistress, then;
_she_ shall suffer what _my mother_ suffered;" and with oaths and
threatenings he hounded his father out of Boston, determined that
Mrs. Hill should not (innocent though she was) enjoy the happy home
which was denied to his mother.

When Mrs. Hill learned the truth (which she did from a letter sent
her from Montreal) she nearly lost her reason. Her case was even
worse than that of Bennett's first wife; because, whereas the latter
could at least seek her husband, and live in the hope of one day
finding him again, the former could not, even did she discover him,
claim him as her own.

Mr. Hill's visit to Montreal, then, though ostensibly made for
professional pursuits was, in reality to find out something
concerning his father's whereabouts, and other matters connected
with his quasi-relations. It was strange that he should have come to
me for information without being at all aware of our intimacy with
the Bennett family, indeed, while he was relating his story Amelia
Bennett, his brother's eldest child, came running in for something
or another, and I at once saw a resemblance between the two, not
only in personal appearance, but also in manners and actions.

The next day Mr. Hill, leaving his wife to the care of our family
(who had undertaken to show her "the lions") went forth on his
expedition in search of his father. He had obtained from me his
brother's business address, and going to the office unannounced was
immediately recognized by him, although they had only met once before,
and that a considerable time previously. On explaining the object of
his visit, Hall was very coldly received and informed that Bennett
the elder had left Montreal for New York some years previously and
had not since been heard of. Mr. Hill pretended to believe the story,
but secretly determined to keep a watch on his half-brother as he
felt certain that the latter was still in communication with his
father. He accordingly made arrangements to stay at my house, and as
the Bennetts were constantly coming and going he was sure that in a
short time he would learn more concerning him of whom he was in

One afternoon we were seated round the parlor fire, discussing the
usual after-dinner topics, when Mrs. William Bennett dropped in to
have a friendly chat. She disclosed the fact that her husband was
going to visit a superannuated employee in the nunnery, which he
usually did on the first of each month, and that she did not see what
reason her husband had to support forever all his broken-down
employees. At the first word, Hill listened breathlessly, and when
Mrs. Bennett said that she had just left her husband dressing, he
quickly, but quietly, left the room. In an instant he was opposite
Bennett's house, and as soon as he noticed the bedroom light
extinguished (for it was already dark), he drew back into a shadowed
corner till he saw Bennett emerge from the doorway and walk rapidly
down the street. Hill followed at a safe distance, but soon he saw
his brother hail a passing sleigh, and, entering it, order the
driver to take him somewhere; the name of the street, however, he
failed to hear, and he felt chagrined to see the neighboring
cab-stand completely deserted. "Now or never," he thought, "am I to
attain the object of my visit," and he dashed madly along the street
after the vehicle which was travelling at the rate of ten miles an
hour; several times he passed a cab-stand and would fain have taken
a fresh horse in pursuit, but he was afraid that while doing so he
might lose sight of the sleigh he had followed so far; or confound
it with another vehicle, for they were now passing through the
centre of the city towards the west end of St. Antoine street.

Past terrace after terrace they flew, till Mr. Hill was nearly faint
and breathless, when a sudden turn to the right brought them to the
foot of a hill, now Guy street, up which the carter walked his horse,
and gave the half dead pedestrian time to recover his breath. When
they had proceeded about a quarter of a mile up the hill, the carter
drew up at the Nunnery on the left side of the road, and Mr. Bennett,
alighting, rang the bell. A sliding panel was immediately pushed
aside, and a hooded sister held a few moments conversation with the
visitor, on which the door was opened, and he was admitted. Hill,
who had been standing in the shadow of the porch, entered unnoticed
at his brother's heels, the janitor being under the impression that
they had come in the sleigh together. Walking along a dark corridor
they came to a stairway, down which their guide preceded them into
the basement; here Hill took a favorable opportunity to turn aside,
still keeping his eye on the others till they arrived at the end of
the passage and entered a large room where several old men were
congregated, some chatting in groups, others smoking or reading
lazily. In one of these, with emotions which cannot be described,
Hill recognized his father from whom he had so long been separated.
His first impulse was to rush boldly in and make himself known, but,
the first transport over, his American caution prevailed, and he
slipped down another passage which commanded a view of the staircase,
and watched from his point of vantage the many persons returning from
visiting their friends. He felt relieved when he saw Bennett take
his departure, and with one bound he rushed into the middle of the
room where the old man was, and, throwing himself round his father's
neck, wept like a child. The old man did not recognize him at first,
but when he did he went into hysterics, so great was the shock to
his nervous system. Never was there such a commotion in the quiet
Nunnery, and the inmates gathered round in excited groups to listen
to Hill's story. He told them that his father had left Boston some
years before, and, becoming unable to support himself, had been
placed by a heartless elder brother in the cold confines of the
Nunnery, although the younger members of the family were both
willing and anxious to support their aged parent. There being no
reason why the old man should not leave the institution if so
inclined, the Superior allowed him, after some hesitation, to take
his departure, first receiving the grateful thanks both of himself
and of his son for her kind and fostering care. Hill left a letter
for his brother, informing him that, his father being willing, he
had taken him away from the Nunnery, and that as they evidently did
not want to keep him with their families, he was about to take him
to live with _his_.

Bennett was furious when he received the letter, but, as Mrs. Hill
was now no more, and no threats or exposures of any kind could
induce young Hill and his father to separate, he allowed them to go
their way in peace.

A few years after these occurrences Mr. Hill received an appointment
in Montreal.

Bennett and he sometimes meet in the street, but give no signs of
recognition. The old man is still living, seldom going beyond the
portals of his son's house and passing most of his time in moody
meditation on the past. Let us hope that a heartfelt repentance may
in some measure atone for his past weaknesses.


A Blighted Life.

Amongst the many orthodox business men of Montreal, none were more
highly esteemed than Mr. Rogers, Manager of the ---- Bank. He was
what is generally considered a shrewd business man, methodical and
precise in all his relations, whether commercial, domestic or
ecclesiastical. I say ecclesiastical, because the worthy gentleman
was one of the pillars of the church, having held the office of Elder
for several years. Mr. Rogers had several children, most of whom he
trained in the way in which they should go, but Jack, his eldest son,
was incorrigible, and resisted all attempts to keep him under control.
On Sunday mornings the family were usually marshalled in the
dining-room, and marched off to church, but Master Jack frequently
put in an excuse,--he had a bad cold, or a sprained ankle, or some
other ailment which precluded the possibility of his attending. No
sooner were the family outside the garden gate, however, than the
poor boy with the sprained ankle would perform a _pas seul_ on the
hearthrug, or, in spite of a cold which prevented his going out of
doors, would shout "The old log cabin" with an excellent tone and
remarkable vigor of lung; then, returning to his room, he would take
a French novel from its hiding place under his pillow, and, lighting
a fragrant Havana, would devote the morning to "the improvement of
his mind," as he called it.

Mrs. Rogers employed three servants besides a coachman: a
cook, a housemaid, and a tablemaid. The latter was a young and
attractive-looking girl from Glengarry, Ontario, named Ellen MacNee,
who was about seventeen years old, and had never before been in
service. For this damsel Jack Rogers conceived an attachment, and
although at first the girl withstood his attentions, ere long she
gave way to his importunities, and for months they lived on terms of
the closest intimacy. Jack of course promised (as all men do) to
marry her, and to do him justice I must say that he fully intended
to do so, but his income as a bank clerk was only twenty dollars a
month, and he knew he had no hope of receiving any assistance from
his father. So things went on till Ellen felt she could keep her
secret no longer from those around her, and she told her mistress
she was going home to visit a sick aunt, and did not know whether
she would return or not. Mrs. Rogers was very sorry indeed to part
with her (for she had ingratiated herself with all the family,
although not to the same extent), and told her if she would
undertake to return she would only fill her place temporarily with
another girl. With this understanding Ellen left her place and
entered the Female Home, where shortly afterwards her baby (a girl)
was born; she had the child baptized almost immediately, calling it
Beatrice, after her young mistress, to whom she had been much
attached, although it is doubtful if the young lady in question would,
had she known it have appreciated the honor conferred upon her.

Ellen was scarcely recovered from her illness when her brother, a
country farmer, who had by some means got wind of the state of
affairs, came to Montreal, and had his misgivings confirmed. When he
learnt the truth he was furious, and would, he vowed, shoot both her
and her betrayer; but fraternal affection was so strong within him
that he gradually became more calm, and exerted himself to make the
best he could of a bad business. He requested me to take the child
and place it in a nunnery in spite of the earnest protestations of
its mother, and persuaded the latter to return to her home in
Glengarry, promising to hide her shame from her mother and friends
if she would bid farewell forever to the child and her betrayer. He
persistently refused even to look at the baby, but, rough and
uncultivated as he was, I could see a tear glisten in his eye as his
manly heart quivered with emotion.

Home the poor broken-hearted girl went, and the baby was left in my
keeping till the morrow, when, according to agreement, I was to hand
it over to the good sisters. It was destined to be otherwise, however.
That evening a gentleman called at my house; he was a bachelor, well
to do in the world, and hearing the story, which it was necessary to
tell him, in order to explain the child's presence, he asked me with
pardonable curiosity to let him see the baby. When he took her in
his arms she smiled so sweetly upon him, and crowed so joyously,
that his heart was touched, and he could not bear to think that the
poor helpless babe should be made to suffer for the sins of its
parents; he asked me to let _him_ have the child, promising that he
would adopt her, and do for her as if she were his own.

I suggested to him the scandal such a measure would give rise to,
and urged him not to place himself in such an unenviable position,
but he insisted that he was willing to let society have its fling,
and that if I would consent to the child's adoption, he would take
the responsibility attached to it.

What was I to do? The man was well off, and had conceived a fancy
for the child. As for the world's sneers, if he could afford to
laugh at them why should I refuse him the gratification of
performing a noble action? I handed the child over to his care,
having first procured from him written papers of adoption, and
little Beatrice was installed in her new home. A nurse was procured
for her, and everything that money could procure was provided for her
comfort. The gossips sneered and wagged their heads as they spoke of
the "adopted" child, insinuating that there were stronger ties than
those of mere philanthropy to bind Mr. Richards and the child
together, but he, quite unconcerned, paid no attention to their
hints and innuendoes, and tried so far as lay in his power to make
the child comfortable and happy. When she attained the age of five
years he procured a governess for her, and had her instructed
thoroughly in all that go to make up a modern education as she grew

But a cloud soon appeared on the horizon of the child's career.
Mr. Richards became ill, and was ordered by his medical adviser to a
Southerly climate. He was obliged to sell his estate and place
little Beatrice in Mrs. Thompson's boarding school, where she
continued for a few years till the return of her adopted father. He
came, it is true, but the seeds of a fatal disease had been
implanted in his system, and had taken a deadly hold; in a few
months he was no more, and as nearly all his money had been eaten up
in paying travelling and medical expenses, poor Beatrice was left
once more not only without a friend but without a penny in the world.
Mr. Richards had paid her school fees annually in advance, and as at
the time of his demise several months of the term paid for were
unexpired, Beatrice had a comfortable home secured for her at least
during that period; for the future she would either have to perform
menial services at the school, or go out in the cold world without a
friend or protector. The former was considered by the poor girl
preferable to going she knew not where, and so she accepted the
offer of a situation as housemaid, kindly proffered to her by
Mrs. Thompson _out of pure charity_ at two dollars per month less
than the previous occupant of the situation.

Poor Beatrice had a hard time of it as housemaid. Her former
companions took a fiendish delight in ordering her about till her
life became perfectly unbearable. She had but one friend to whom she
could unreservedly pour forth her troubles, her Sunday-School teacher,
Miss Flint. To this lady she gave an account of her history, so far
as she was able, and asked her for advice and assistance. Miss Flint,
being both sensible and charitably disposed, advised her to leave
her present position, having first procured a suitable one elsewhere,
and she promised to exert herself to this end.

Among the numerous acquaintances of Miss Flint was Mrs. De Beaumont,
a Southern lady of means, whose husband held a high official
position in New Orleans. Mrs. De Beaumont had, in order to avoid
the yellow fever epidemic, taken up her residence temporarily in
Montreal, and was now with her two daughters about to return to her
Southern home. The education of the latter young ladies had been
somewhat neglected, and Mrs. De Beaumont was anxious to procure as
governess and travelling companion a young lady of moderate means
and unlimited ability.

Here, then, was an opening for Beatrice. On the recommendation of
Miss Flint, coupled with certificates from the various professors at
Mrs. Thompson's school, the poor girl was duly installed in an easy
and, to her, lucrative position. She was not long settled in her new
home when Mr. Hartley, brother of Mrs. De Beaumont, fell violently
in love with her, and, contrary to the wishes of his relations,
insisted on paying her open attention. The poor girl had been so
long accustomed to being buffeted and slighted in every way that her
heart fairly gave way before his passionate wooing, and, although
Mrs. De Beaumont frowned on her angrily, and the rest of the family
snubbed her grievously, yet Beatrice felt so happy in having some
one in whom she could confide that she bore all their petty
annoyances with the utmost forbearance, and refused steadily to take
the slightest notice of them.

Mr. Hartley was a planter of considerable wealth. He had long lived
a bachelor's life; so long, indeed, that his friends never thought
he would marry, and each one often unconsciously counted how much of
the property would eventually become his. Mrs. De Beaumont was
particularly displeased when she heard his open avowal of his
attachment for her governess, for, though Hartley was not an old man,
he being at that time only about forty-six years old, yet she had
hoped that her daughter would have inherited a portion of his vast
wealth, which was now about to be transferred to a stranger, without
friends, fortune or name. In spite of this secret antipathy to the
match, Mrs. De Beaumont openly pretended the greatest friendship for
Beatrice, for, being a woman of the world, she saw clearly how
matters would stand in a few years, and she could not afford to
break either with her brother or his intended wife.

The wedding came off with all the aristocratic splendor of an F. F. V.
ceremonial. The dusky coachmen and footmen were resplendent with
gorgeous liveries and wedding favors, their white teeth glistening
in the sun as they grinned from ear to ear, perfectly happy and
contented. After the ceremony the newly-married pair went for a
brief tour through the Eastern States and Canada, returning to
Mr. Hartley's plantation, where Mrs. Hartley was called upon by all
the leading families in the vicinity, and took her place with as
much grace as though she had been "to the manner born." Mrs. De
Beaumont greeted her sister-in-law affectionately (at least to all
outward appearances), and invited her to visit her old home
frequently; in fact all those who were aware (and who was not) that
Mr. Hartley had settled every penny of his fortune on his wife and
her prospective offspring were lavish of their attentions to their
beautiful, and now immensely wealthy, neighbor.

When her first baby, a little girl, was born, Mrs. Hartley wept
bitterly and refused (like Rachel) to be comforted. Her husband
could not understand it at all, and was greatly grieved that she
should be so down-hearted when they had both every reason, to be
happy. Beatrice besought him to forgive her weakness, and explained
that it was only now that she was a mother that she fully realized
the anguish her own mother must have suffered at parting with her,
and she implored him as he loved her to exert himself to find her
mother and make her happy. Had his wife told him to lie down whilst
she drove a carriage-wheel across his neck, Mr. Hartley would have
unhesitatingly obeyed her; how readily, then, he set about finding
what most men are so glad to be without, viz., a mother-in-law, can
easily be imagined. He promised his wife that so soon as business
permitted him he would take steps to discover her mother's
whereabouts, but that night he was awakened out of a deep sleep by
cries of terror from his wife; she had had a dream, she said, that
her mother hung over a precipice, looking up to her for help, which,
while she hastened to give, she saw her mother sink into the yawning
abyss, uttering shrieks of agony. Hartley was beside himself with
fright; he thought his wife would lose her reason, and so he quieted
her by assuring her that he would write the next day to get
information, acting on which he would set out immediately on his
search. In the morning he despatched a letter to Mr. F---- in
Montreal, instructing him to obtain what information he could
respecting a girl called Ellen MacNee who had lived in former years
with Mrs. Rogers; in reply he was informed that the girl left the
city, no trace being procurable. He then inserted advertisements in
several Canadian newspapers, informing the public that if Ellen
MacNee would correspond with X. Y. Z. she would hear of something to
her advantage. But in vain did the fond husband seek the mother of
his blue-eyed darling, now grown pale with deferred hope and anxious
care, and when the latter proposed that they should personally go to
Montreal in search of their missing relative he readily acquiesced,
feeling assured that, even if they were unsuccessful, the excitement
of travel and occupation would restore the bloom to his wife's
cheeks and preserve that health which, was now apparently on the wane.

In a few days they had made preparations for an extended tour, and
ere a week had passed they were snugly quartered in the St. Lawrence
Hall, Montreal. The day after their arrival they called on me to
know if I could assist them in their search, bidding me spare no
expense in order to effect the desired object. I promised them every
assistance in my power, and at once placed myself in communication
with all those whom I had known to have any dealings with Beatrice's
unfortunate mother. It was truly painful to see the anxious face of
the young woman as she came daily to me to enquire if I had heard
any news, and when I showed her a letter from Mr. MacNee, her
mother's eldest brother, stating that his sister had gone to New
York as nurse, she immediately persuaded her husband to give chase.
Their efforts were in vain, however. The girl, it was true, had
taken service in New York, but had subsequently left there for her
home in Glengarry, and had never been seen since either there or in
New York. Detectives having again been employed to assist in tracing
her movements, it was discovered that she had returned by rail to
Montreal _en route_ to Glengarry, but here all traces vanished, and
the supposition was either that she had committed suicide, or met
with some accidental death. Beatrice would have it, however, that
she was still alive, and would leave no stone unturned to find her.
It was suggested that New York should again be visited, as the
probability was that she returned there after her trip to Montreal;
various other plans were thought of, and some of them, doubtless,
would have been acted upon, had not a new light shone in upon the

At the outset of the proceedings I had communicated with the
principals of the various Houses of Refuge in this city, and,
although the authorities had done their utmost to facilitate our
search, so far we had failed to advance in any way. At this time,
however, I received a communication from the Bishop, informing me
that he thought he could help us, and when I called on him,
accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Hartley, he told us that he had been
visited by a hardened creature, whose name did not concern us, and
who, in anticipation of a reward which she had heard was offered for
the recovery of the recluse, disclosed the fact that she had, under
an assumed name, become a sister of charity, and was at present an
inmate in a convent in ---- street, where we would, doubtless, be
able to recognize her.

Beatrice became quite excited at the news, and insisted on rushing
off at once, but her strength failed her, and she fell fainting on a
sofa. By great persuasion she allowed us to drive her home on the
promise that she would be allowed to accompany us on the morrow. The
next day we entered a carriage and drove to the Convent; we agreed
that Beatrice should go alone to meet her mother while we remained
downstairs. Running into the room where her mother was, the poor
girl fell on her neck and covered her with kisses. But no responsive
greeting met the impetuous child, the woman stared at her with a
wild hazy stare as if to inquire, Who are you? What do you mean by
these extravagant caresses?

But if she failed to recognize her child she did not fail to
recognize me, and by some strange association of ideas she seemed to
wander in thought back to her past life, and the hot blood mounted
to her temples. When she became calmer I explained to her how we had
come there, and the object of our visit. She was touched at the
proofs of her daughter's affection, and the hot tears rolled rapidly
down her furrowed cheek, but she steadily refused to leave the
institution. In vain the poor girl pleaded, and Mr. Hartley and
myself joined in our entreaties that she would accompany her
daughter and her husband. Finding all our arguments of no avail I
advised Mr. Hartley to let the poor creature have her way till the
reality of the situation had come home to her, recommending him to
allow his wife to call frequently at the Convent to see her mother.
This advice the indulgent husband acted upon, and day after day
Beatrice would go and sit for hours conversing with her parent,
sometimes obtaining permission to take her for a walk or a drive,
and secretly longing, though never expressing it in words, that her
mother would accompany her back to her home in the South.

So far the excitement had kept Mrs. Hartley up, but after a time a
reaction set in which culminated in a wasting fever, and prostrated
the poor creature on a bed of sickness. This, though apparently
disastrous, ended happily for all. Beatrice's mother, so long as
_she_ was the object of pity, shrank from all communication with
her rich relatives, but now that her child was in need of assistance,
she flew to her with a mother's impetuosity, and anxiously watched
by her couch day and night, while the poor thing tossed and raved in
delirious paroxysms. Mr. Hartley summoned Dr. Hickson to his wife's
bedside, but that astute practitioner wisely foretold that the
magnetic influence of her mother's presence would do more for his
patient than any drugs or medicines, and, accordingly, he contented
himself by prescribing a sleeping-draught, leaving other agencies to
do their work.

In a couple of weeks Mrs. Hartley rallied, and ere long she became
convalescent, and even cheerful. She used to chat with her mother
for hours together, and the fourth week after the latter's arrival
she was able to go out for a drive accompanied by her and the baby,
who had accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Hartley in all their travels. The
little girl and her grandmother soon became great friends, and when,
Beatrice being strong enough, her mother would have returned to her
convent life, the baby's smiling face did what all persuasion had
failed to do, and bursting into tears, the aged penitent folded the
darling to her breast and declared that she would never part from it
again. Beatrice's joy knew no bounds; and as for Mr. Hartley, he was
perfectly satisfied to know that his wife was happy. In a few days
they made preparations for a journey to the South, and ere long
Mrs. Hartley had the satisfaction of seeing her mother snugly
ensconced at her own fireside, living as it were over again, and
enjoying in the care of her daughter's child, the maternal pleasure
which had hitherto been denied her. Ere leaving Montreal Mr. Hartley,
at his wife's request, erected a handsome monument in Mount Royal
Cemetery to the memory of the humane man, who, regardless of the
jeers and scoffing of gossiping scandal mongers, had braved public
opinion, and saved to the world a good wife, an affectionate
daughter and a loving and tenderhearted mother.

During all this time, it may be asked, what had become of Jack Rogers,
one of the principals in my narrative?

Jack was fairly wild at the thought of his sweetheart going into an
institution. He would have married her on the spot and braved all
his father's anger. But the girl showed equal self-denial, and was
much more sensible; she saw that, by consenting to marry a penniless
gentleman, she would certainly injure him, without in any way
benefiting herself. She knew his father sufficiently well to feel
sure that, were he aware of his son's relations with her, not one
but _both of them_, would be ignominiously turned out of doors. So,
consoling her paramour with this questionable bit of comfort, she
tore herself away, saying coolly that he would soon forget and marry
some one in his own station in life. But, though she nerved herself
to speak in this strain before him, when alone she broke down
entirely, and sobbed till her heart nearly broke, for the poor girl
loved him dearly, and, poor though he was, would have married him
and worked for him, if necessary. She saw, however, that his
prospects would be utterly blasted were he to disclose his position
to his father; and she unselfishly took on herself _the whole_ of
the punishment for a sin of which she was scarcely guilty, or, at
any rate, less highly culpable than he.

Jack would fain have put a pistol ball through his head, and
doubtless would have done so had the pistol been handy; but his
pistols, like everything else he possessed, were out of order, and
were at the moment in Mr. Costen's hands, where they lay in a
disintegrated condition till the young gentleman's blood had got
some degrees cooler. Still, he could not help thinking how his folly
and thoughtlessness had ruined the hopes of a poor innocent girl,
and he longed for some opportunity for going abroad, or
participating in some excitement to enable him to muse less moodily
on the past.

The American civil war was at this time in full blast, and large
bounties were offered for volunteers. An American agent, meeting
Jack Rogers in a saloon, which the latter frequented, offered him
two hundred dollars and an outfit if he would go as a substitute for
a young gentleman in New York. This offer Jack readily accepted, and
within a short time found himself _en route_ to Richmond to join the
Federal Army. He was not long in the service when his superior
intelligence and daring exploits made him conspicuous among his
fellows, and he was promoted from one grade to another till he was
placed in command of his company. This was a position Jack was
eminently fitted for, and his reckless bravery was talked of far and
wide throughout the army.

For a long time, in spite of his foolhardiness, Jack remained
without a scratch, save a slight wound from a rifle ball at
Gettysburg, where he made himself particularly conspicuous. Just
before the close of the great struggle, however, he was sent in
command of a foraging party consisting of about forty-five rank and
file and the usual complement of officers. Their path lay through a
deed ravine in which high wooded cliffs looked down on each side.
These cliffs were in possession of a Louisiana regiment, who were
stationed there in the hope of cutting off supplies from the
Northerners, and, just as Captain Rogers with his handful of men,
entered the ravine a murderous fire was opened on them from both
sides. Rogers ordered his men to reply, but, as the ravine afforded
little or no cover, they were finally obliged to make their way as
quickly as possible to the end of the pass and fight their way
through. They found their way completely blocked by a force of two
or three hundred rebels, but, as to return would have proved equally
disastrous, there was nothing for it but to surrender, or cut a path
for themselves through, the enemy. Bracing themselves for a terrible
struggle, Rogers and his little band advanced to within a few yards
of the open, where their foes, with rifles loaded and bayonets fixed,
stood demanding their surrender. Captain Jack ordered his men to
fire at a given signal, and then to advance; and, firing his own
pistols by way of signal, he dashed through the smoke, followed by
his daring band, cutting and slashing right and left.

But courage will not enable men to do impossibilities. Out of the
handful who entered the ravine but three managed to cut their way
through the opposing forces, and these were all more or less injured
by rifle balls or sabre cuts. Poor Rogers fought like a lion; but,
being the centre of attraction on account of his uniform, he had his
hands more than full, and though he pistoled two men and knocked an
officer who would have seized him senseless with the butt-end of his
empty revolver, he was finally brought off his horse with a pistol
shot, and captured, more dead than alive, by the enemy.

The officer in charge was so struck with the bravery of the poor
fellow that he had endeavored to take him prisoner, and had stayed
some of his men who had essayed to run the fiery captain through
with their bayonets; his impetuous charge, however, led them in self
defence to disable him, and the young lieutenant who shot him had no
alternative except to be brained by a blow from Jack's pistol. The
excitement over, however, the colonel of the victorious corps sent a
detachment in search of the wounded of both sides, and ordered a
litter to be prepared for Captain Rogers' removal to his own quarters.
Poor Jack was severely injured. The ball had entered his left arm
close to the shoulder, and was not necessarily fatal; but his horse
had fallen on him and bruised him so that he could scarcely breathe.
The march to the camp was about two miles, and, although the men
moved as gently as possible, yet Captain Rogers suffered agony as he
felt every motion. Arrived at Colonel De Beaumont's quarters (for
the brave commander was the husband of Mrs. De Beaumont) a surgeon
was sent for and the invalid's wounds were attended to. Although a
prisoner of war Captain Rogers' received every attention from
Colonel De Beaumont and the officers under his command, and when,
the regiment being ordered to head-quarters, the Colonel was obliged
to send Rogers to prison with the rest of his captured force, the
parting was more like that of two brothers than that of a victor and
his fallen foe.

After the close of the war, which, event took place shortly after
these occurrences, Colonel De Beaumont, disgusted and sick at heart,
returned to New Orleans. He was obliged to bow to fortune, and to
swear allegiance once more to what he considered the oppressor.
Almost his first thought after his return was to enquire concerning
the Federal troops who had been captured by his men, especially the
gallant Rogers, for whom he had formed a more than passing attachment.
He learned that of those who had been placed in confinement, some
had died of their wounds, others, as soon as the proclamation of
Northern supremacy gave them their liberty, had returned to their
homes, but that the Captain, having contracted a dangerous fever,
had been unable to accompany them. De Beaumont lost no time in
seeking out the poor soldier's quarters, and was grieved to find him
barely alive, be having scarcely recovered from the fever, besides
suffering from partially healed and badly-dressed wounds. The
Colonel persuaded him, so soon as he could move, to accompany him to
his own house, where he would receive proper attention, and, in a
short time, the sufferer was installed in De Beaumont's comfortable
house, the kind hostess doing all in her power to alleviate his

It was about this time that Mrs. Hartley, accompanied by her mother,
had returned to her husband's residence, and one day as she was
visiting Mrs. De Beaumont she learnt the story concerning the
wounded officer, who, though in the service of the North, was
compassionately treated by the whole household, having made friends
of them all by his cheerful uncomplaining disposition, and his
grateful acknowledgment of even the slightest service. While
recounting the story to her husband and mother at dinner, the latter
grasped the table convulsively with both her hands, and breathlessly
demanded of her daughter all the particulars; with a wild
exclamation of terror, she rushed up to her room, hastily followed
by her bewildered daughter. The latter found her mother in the act of
dressing hurriedly, and on enquiring for an explanation the poor
woman fell on her child's neck, and with bitter tears explained that
it was _her own father_ who lay so near them at death's door, and
that, whatever it might cost, she would rush to his side.

Poor Mrs. Hartley was sadly shaken at these tidings. She explained
all the circumstances to her devoted husband, and took his advice.
Hartley recommended his wife to let her mother have her own way, and
promised that presently he would accompany his wife to De Beaumont's
house to visit the invalid.

The rest of the story is soon told. The sad meeting of poor Rogers
with the mother of his child, who stayed by his side night and day,
the bitter tears of Mrs. Hartley as she beheld her father for the
first and last time; the mutual expression of love and forgiveness
ere the poor invalid breathed his last, beloved and forgiven by those
on whom he had thoughtlessly entailed much sorrow and suffering.


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