Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

The Mysteries of Montreal by Charlotte Fuhrer

Part 3 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

The Mother-in-Law.

John Wilkie was the son of Scotch parents residing in Toronto,
Ontario. He was possessed of considerable literary ability, and when
a lad had entered Toronto University with the intention of pursuing
a professional career; but his father shrewdly reasoned that,
although fame might be acquired more readily by clergymen and lawyers,
money was an important consideration, and might be acquired with,
comparative ease in a well managed business. He accordingly placed
his son in the wholesale house of Messrs. Campbell & Castle, and in
due course of time the lad secured an interest in the business.

The young man was not long a member of the firm when he became
enamoured of a young lady named Collins, whom he had met at the
house of a mutual friend. For a longtime he paid attention to this
young lady, taking her to balls, concerts and operas, and finally he
proposed for her hand and was accepted.

Miss Collins was scarcely what one would call a beautiful girl, yet
there was an attractiveness of manner peculiar to her which caused
her to be much, sought after and admired in social circles, and many
were the sad and heavy when it became known that she was about to
marry John Wilkie.

At this juncture Wilkie the elder was carried off with an attack of
pneumonia, leaving John, his only son, heir to his house and property.
This occurrence of course caused the wedding to be deferred for a
time, and the bridegroom elect went into deep mourning; in a few
months, however, he doffed his sable garments, and, having caused
the family mansion to be refurnished and renovated, began to make
preparations for his wedding.

The affair came off with great _eclat_, the bride being driven home
from church behind four dapple-grey horses, several carriages
following with bridesmaids, groomsmen, and invited guests, among the
latter being many rejected suitors, who took a kind of melancholy
pleasure in seeing the matter through. Mrs. Wilkie was in excellent
spirits, as was also the dowager, her mother-in-law, and after the
_dejeuner_ they wept together and kissed each other at parting as
if they were blood relations. Mrs. Collins was not so much affected;
she was so much entranced at the rich prize she had secured for her
daughter that grief was altogether out of the question.

What a sweet time is that when two loving hearts, throwing
commercial and domestic cares to the winds, devote themselves to the
agreeable pursuit of entertaining each other. Shutting their eyes
and ears to the outer world they fancy that the sun, moon and stars
shine for them, alone; that nature's smiles are specially prepared
for them; that the birds carol bridal chansonettes only for their
benefit; and that the whole world is contained in the small area
which immediately surrounds them.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilkie had a long, pleasant honeymoon. They spent a
couple of weeks at Niagara Falls; then, having visited Boston and
New York, they spent a few weeks at Saratoga, returning to Toronto
about six weeks from their wedding-day. Everything had been prepared
for their reception, and Mrs. Wilkie, senior, sat in state to welcome
them to a cosy meal which had been prepared in the dining-room.
Having eaten sparingly, Mrs. Wilkie retired to her room, for she was
fatigued by travel, and John with his mother went on a tour of
inspection over the house.

It must be hard for a mother to give up the care of her son to a
stranger; to think that he whom she has nursed so tenderly, and
whose every want was so long supplied by her gentle hand should be
left to the care of another must be fraught with pain and bitter
recollections. Mrs. Wilkie sighed deeply as she showed her son the
many improvements which had been made in the old house, and thought
that her reign was at an end and that a new Caesar had taken the
reins of government. The Lord of the Manor failed to observe the
trepidation with which his mother handed him the keys, and showed
him the various details connected with the management of the house,
and with a cool "good night, mother," he retired to rest, at peace
with his mother, himself, and the world.

For several months things went smoothly enough with the parties to
my narrative. The dowager accepted her position, though, it must be
confessed, with a bad grace, and the new mistress gave a life to the
place to which it was unaccustomed. At length Mrs. Wilkie gave birth
to a son, and great were the rejoicing and festivities. The dowager
was promoted to the title of grandmamma, John boasted the proud
title of father, and the mother's joy knew no bounds. The child was
in due time christened with appropriate solemnity, and in a few
months after his birth he became a very important member of the
Wilkie family.

Mr. Wilkie wanted the boy called William after his late father, but
Mrs. Wilkie would not have what she was pleased to term a plebeian
designation, and insisted on calling him Alexander. The dowager
opposed this with all her might, but "her usefulness was gone," and
her feeble remonstrances were of little or no avail. This slight sank
deep into her heart, and she waited, calmly and patiently, for an
opportunity of retaliating on her daughter-in-law.

In due time the opportunity presented itself. Mrs. Wilkie was in the
habit of going to the skating-rink accompanied by some of her
fashionable acquaintances; her husband did not care for skating, but
was proud to hear his wife's graceful performances eulogized. The
dowager, however, had no heart for "the grape-vine" and other foolish
devices; she thought it high time for her daughter-in-law to take on
herself the serious duties of matrimonial life, and deprecated the
fondness of the lady in question for rinks, balls, and festivities.

One night Mrs. Wilkie was invited to a skating-party. Her husband,
having some letters to write, declined to go, and she went in
company with a Mr. Smithers, an old acquaintance of hers, and one of
the finest fancy skaters in Toronto. During her daughter-in-law's
absence at the rink, Mrs. Wilkie the elder took upon herself to
lecture her son on his wife's giddy behaviour, and so worked upon his
feelings that he regularly gave way, and allowed his mother to
remain mistress of the position.

When the fashionable Mrs. Wilkie returned to her abode late in the
evening she found the door closed on her, repeated pulls at the
door-bell eliciting no response. With her skates the lady then
hammered violently on the door, waking the echoes of the quiet street,
and finally, in her frenzy, she smashed every window within reach,
and departed to her mother's residence.

Mrs. Collins was very much surprised to receive a visit from her
daughter at such an unseasonable hour, and when she was made aware
of the cause she became proportionately indignant. She suggested the
propriety of taking legal proceedings for the restitution of her
daughter's rights, but the latter would not listen to any such
suggestion, and vowed she would never live with Wilkie or his wretch
of a mother again.

Mrs. Collins expected daily to receive a message from Mr. Wilkie,
requesting his wife to return to him, but he, being completely under
the influence of his mother, failed to do anything of the kind,
imagining that his wife would come as a suppliant to him. In this he
reckoned without his host, for Mrs. Wilkie was as proud as Lucifer,
and would not bend her haughty head to be made Empress of Canada.
One thing, however, caused her great uneasiness: her child, Alexander,
was all the world to her, and she set her wits to work to devise
some means of obtaining him.

Without recourse to unpleasant legal proceedings or equally
unpleasant negotiations with her mother-in-law, Mrs. Wilkie could
not hit on any plan by which she could obtain the control of her
child's nurture and education. At length she resolved on the simple
and practical plan of taking forcible possession of the boy. Once
resolved, she speedily put her plans in execution.

The child's nurse was in the habit of driving him in a baby carriage
to the Queen's Park for an airing, and one afternoon the mother lay
in wait for the appearance of the infantile equipage. She was afraid
to approach the servant with a bribe, as, in the event of her refusal,
the Wilkies would be placed on their guard, and would set a strict
watch over all the child's movements. She accordingly sat down at a
distance, closely veiled, and waited till an opportunity presented

She did not have long to wait. The nurse on entering the park fell
in with a tribe of professional acquaintances, one of whom, drawing
a love-letter which she had received from her pocket, commenced to
read it for the edification of her companions. Not content with
listening to the gushing effusion, the auditors crowded around the
proud recipient of the epistle, reading with eager eyes such
portions as they could see over the shoulder of their friend. While
the representative of the dowager was busily engaged in scanning the
amorous lines penned by the lovesick swain (the child left to her
care being at some distance in his carriage, sleeping under the
shade of some trees), Mrs. Wilkie cautiously approached, and,
lifting the unconscious child with the tenderness peculiar to mothers,
walked quietly and swiftly away towards the gate, when, coolly
hailing a passing cab, she drove to her mother's house, proudly
depositing her baby in a richly adorned cradle which had been
purposely prepared for his reception.

It was a long time before the nurse missed the boy; in fact, not
till she prepared to start for home did she give him a thought,
except to congratulate herself that he slept so long and gave her so
little trouble. When she at length turned towards the place where
she had left the carriage and learned the true state of affairs her
face grew deadly-pale, and, beckoning her companions towards her, she
pointed to the carriage and uttered several piercing shrieks. Many
were the suggestions as to what had become of the boy. Some thought
he might have got out of the carriage alone and fallen into the pond,
but, as he could not yet walk, this was highly improbable, another
suggested that he had been stolen by gypsies, but could not say that
she had ever heard of gypsies in connection with the Queen's Park.
Many other theories, some wild, a few reasonable, were advanced, but
yet no clue to the whereabouts of the child could be discovered, nor
could any light be thrown upon the mystery.

The poor nurse was in a terrible state of mind. She had in her fancy
a picture of the baby's grandmother threatening to tear her limb
from limb, while the frantic father went for the police; but return
she must, and so, with a different step from that with which she
entered the park, she set out for home, arriving there just as the
bell rang for dinner.

The old lady was just commencing to lecture her for keeping the
child out in the evening air, when she saw, from the expression of
the girl's face, that something unusual had occurred, and rushing out,
she threw up her hands in astonishment at the empty perambulator,
giving a mute look of inquiry which spoke volumes. In a moment
Mr. Wilkie joined the throng, just as the frightened domestic
sobbed out, as well as she could, an account of the child's
disappearance. He was about to rush at once to the police office,
but the old lady, shoving him aside, hastily put on her bonnet and
shawl, and, ordering the girl to summon a cab, peremptorily forbade
Mr. Wilkie to leave the house till she had made a reconnaissance of
the quarters of her daughter-in-law.

Mrs. Collins lived at the extreme west end of King street, and, as
Mr. Wilkie's residence was in the North-East, in the neighborhood of
the Horticultural Garden, it was some time before the wily
mother-in-law approached her base of operations; she accordingly
leaned back in the carriage, and, closing her eyes, meditated on her
plan of action. Bidding the coachman pull up at the corner of Brock
street, she alighted, and proceeded on foot towards the house: it
was a semi-detached cottage, with a small garden in front, the
dwelling being only a few feet from the street. Inside all was,
apparently, quiet as usual, but Mrs. Wilkie thought she heard a soft,
measured song, as if some one were singing a child to sleep.
Approaching the window she caught a glimpse of her daughter-in-law
pacing the room to and fro with the child pillowed in her arms; so,
quickly receding into the darkness, she made her way back to the
carriage, satisfied that her calculations, in one particular at least,
had been correct.

Entering the cab, she bade the driver return with all speed to
Mr. Wilkie's house, setting her mind, during her transit on the
frustration of the hopes of her daughter-in-law, against whom she in
her heart registered a vow of vengeance. She found her son pacing
the dining-room like a madman, and she at once gave him all the
particulars concerning her reconnaissance, adding, at the same time,
that he must take legal measures to obtain possession of his child,
no matter what the cost. In spite, however, of his mother's
importunity, Wilkie steadily refused to give the matter publicity by
taking legal proceedings, so the old lady was obliged to content
herself with concocting plans for retaking the child from the hands
of the enemy.

Mrs. Wilkie watched long for an opportunity, and at last she was
successful. She found out where her daughter-in-law went to church,
and one Sunday having learnt from one of her emissaries that both of
the ladies had gone to church together, leaving the child in charge
of the maid-of-all-work, she hurriedly set out for the house, and
boldly ringing the door-bell inquired for Mrs. Wilkie. On being told
that the lady was at church and would not return for some time she
requested permission to sit down and wait, as she was fatigued with
her long journey. Entering the drawing-room, she sank on one of the
lounges and appeared to faint. The poor domestic did not know what
to do, but ran wildly to and fro exclaiming, "Och, wirrasthru,
what'll I do at all at all'" The invalid gradually came round, and
gasped out, "Dr. Metcalfe, go for Dr. Metcalfe!" This gentleman
lived a few blocks distant, and the girl at once rushed off, without
waiting even to put her bonnet on.

Quick as thought Mrs. Wilkie ascended the staircase to where her
infant grand-child lay wrapped in slumber: hastily wrapping him in a
shawl she descended to the door, and coolly hailing a passing cab
was soon far from the scene which had so wrought upon the feelings
of poor Bridget Moriarty.

When Bridget arrived with the doctor she found that the old lady had
disappeared leaving, however, a card for Mrs. Wilkie. On the
latter's return Bridget told her the whole story, adding that she
supposed the old lady had come to herself and got tired waiting; in
time, however, the baby was missed, and that threw a new light on
affairs. Mrs. Wilkie was frantic; she denounced Bridget as a
good-for-nothing, refused to sit down to dinner, and set off with her
mother in the direction of Mrs. Wilkie's house.

This time, however, the dowager was on her guard. The child was
carefully looked after, being under the care of a faithful ally of
the old lady, whose instructions were never to leave him for a
moment out of her sight. Mrs. Wilkie and her mother might walk up
and down and look at the lighted windows; they might also watch at a
distance the youthful hope of the house of Wilkie as he took his
daily airing in the park, but the trick once tried could not be
repeated, and the fond mother (for whatever her faults were she
loved her child) was obliged to pine in weary loneliness.

During all these sieges and reprisals the little fellow waxed strong
and healthy, in sublime unconsciousness of the importance attached
to the possession of his person: he was by no means neglected, the
only risk he ran was that of being hugged to death, as each party,
more through joy at the success of its schemes than from love of the
youth in question, caressed him lavishly if not fondly.

Some months after these occurrences Mr. Wilkie removed to Montreal,
where he soon became permanently established, and, as he was always
fond of politics, he was in a short time recognised as one of the
leaders of the liberal party. When the reaction consequent on the
famous "Pacific Scandal" set in, Mr. Wilkie, M. P., took his seat
for K----, a small town below Montreal, rising in Parliament, as he
did everywhere else by his ability, far above the common level. His
son was placed at the Montreal High school, and gave promise of
becoming in time even more distinguished than his father.

They had not been long resident in Montreal before the poor old
dowager was seized with acute rheumatism, to which she finally
succumbed, and Mr. Wilkie was obliged to engage a housekeeper to
look after his household affairs and his son's education. It was a
sad time for poor little Aleck; his grandmother fairly doted on him,
and indulged his every whim, but Mrs. Riddell, the new housekeeper,
cared not whether he was happy or miserable so long as she drew her
monthly pay.

All this time Mrs. Wilkie had been living with her mother in Toronto,
and, as soon as she heard of her mother-in-law's death, she
persuaded her mother to remove to Montreal, so that she might
secretly keep watch over her boy, whom she now loved, if possible,
more than ever. Assuming the name of Mrs. Johnson, she took lodgings
in a house nearly opposite the residence of Mr. Wilkie, and thus was
enabled to observe closely all the proceedings of his household; she
longed to throw herself at her husband's feet and implore his
forgiveness, but her proud spirit rebelled against such an act, and
she sat at her window day after day in moody silence watching her
darling boy going and returning from school.

Shortly after his wife's arrival in Montreal, Mr. Wilkie was
summoned to England on business of importance, a fact with which
Mrs. Wilkie became easily acquainted through the _Gazette_, which
heralded all his movements, the fond mother now became more anxious
than ever about her boy, and indeed not without reason, for, being
monarch of all she surveyed, the easy-going housekeeper laid herself
out for "a good time," and, although in her way she was kind enough
to the child, she left him to take care of himself as well as he
could, being content if she prepared a bed for him to sleep in, and
ordered his three meals a day with unfailing regularity. The house
Mr. Wilkie lived in was situated in one of the newest and most
fashionable localities, having what are generally designated
"modern improvements," and one of these latter so improved the
internal arrangements of Master Aleck, that he was soon confined to
bed with enteric fever. Mrs. Johnson, missing the boy from the street,
called to enquire after him, and had her fears confirmed by the
housekeeper, who said she did not know what to do for his father was
away, and she had never in her life nursed a fevered patient. The
wily mother seized the opportunity with avidity, and with unblushing
effrontery perpetrated the atrocious falsehood that she was a
professional nurse of large experience, and that such an interest
did she feel in the little fellow that she would if permitted
undertake to nurse him free of charge. Mrs. Riddell was delighted,
and at her neighbor's suggestion sent for Dr. Brownie, who had, she
said great experience in such cases. A cablegram was despatched to
Mr. Wilkie, and everything that science could devise was done for the
poor little sufferer. For many days he seemed to get worse and worse
and his devoted mother was nearly worn out as she sat up night after
night wiping his fevered brow, or moistening his parched lips, at
length the crisis came, and the doctor pronounced him on the way to
recovery, adding that the slightest neglect on the part of those who
tended him would permit a relapse, which would in all probability
prove fatal. In this case, however, the latter caution was
altogether unnecessary, what Mrs. Johnson lacked in experience
she more than made up for in care and solicitude, and, as every
direction of the physician was carried out to the letter, the
little fellow began perceptibly to mend before the telegram came
announcing Mr. Wilkie's arrival in Quebec. On the receipt of the
missive Mrs. Johnson made preparations for her departure, saying
that her services were now scarcely needed, and that she needed rest;
Mrs. Riddell at first tried hard to induce her to remain, but when
she looked at the pale thin face, and thought how many weary nights
the lady had voluntarily sat up with the raving child, she ceased to
urge the request, and at once set out for a mercenary to replace her.

What a difference there is between him who enters on a labor of love
and the hireling who works for pay! In this case, then, it may
easily be supposed with a mother's ardent affection on the one hand,
how different was the cold professional service rendered by the
nurse who replaced Mrs. Johnson: although kind and attentive, she
had not the same soothing power, nor could she sing the sweet
lullaby which so often in his fevered moments had calmed poor little
Aleck's soul, and the little fellow became at once very low indeed.
At this juncture his father arrived, and when he saw his boy he was
completely overcome; he learned from the housekeeper all the
particulars of the kind neighbor's attention, and resolved to go
personally to her residence and implore her not to desert his boy
till he was out of all danger. Waiting only to partake of a morsel
of food, he set out for the house indicated by his housekeeper, and
inquired for Mrs. Johnson. The girl who opened the door told him
that Mrs. Johnson had been out nursing a sick child for several
nights, and had just fallen into a deep sleep, the first she had had
for days, and urged him to call round again in the afternoon, when
her mistress would probably be able to see him. In the afternoon he
returned in great haste, saying that he must see Mrs. Johnson at all
hazards, that his boy was worse, and raved incessantly for her.
While he was speaking the lady he inquired for suddenly came down
stairs, and as their eyes met both uttered an exclamation of surprise.
Forgetting everything in her anxiety for her boy's safety the poor
mother's face became suffused with tears as she anxiously cried with
bated breath, "Is he dead?" "No; thanks be to God and his mother's
care he still lives, but you must not let him die now."

The rest of the story is soon told; the pride of both husband and
wife was humbled by adversity, and in their heavy affliction each
was made to feel what a strength and comfort it was to have a
companion who could sympathize not only with the joys but with the
sorrows of the other. The boy was several weeks before he was able
to leave his room, during which time his mother told him the history
of her troubles, and recounted how miserable she felt without him
and his father, all of which was of course retailed to the latter
gentleman, and effectually healed the breach between the man and his
wife. The dowager's name was for obvious reasons never mentioned by
either Mr. or Mrs. Wilkie, and as for the youthful hope of the house,
his memory was so elastic that he never even thought about the old

Mrs. Riddell was astonished when she became acquainted with the true
relations of the nurse and her patient, but, having become quite
enamoured of the former (who by-the-by was now become both a
discreet and amiable matron), she readily fell into a subordinate
position in the household, taking her orders quite gladly, and
having a special care for little Aleck. Mrs. Wilkie has now an
assortment of boys and girls, Aleck being entered as a law student
at McGill University and the others being still at school; she
seldom thinks of the past, preferring to look forward to a bright
and happy future. Still at times her mind will revert to scenes of
yore, and she shudders as she thinks of the bitter experiences she
has had, attributing most if not all of them, rightly or wrongly, to
her mother-in-law.


A Deserted Wife, or Model Woman

One hot summer's day I received a visit from a young and beautiful
woman attired in fashionable costume. She told me she was desirous
of obtaining accommodation for a couple of months as her husband was
in England and the time of her accouchement was at hand. She was the
bearer of a letter which ran as follows--

LONDON, England, August 6 18--

_To whoever is with my
precious wife in her hour of trial_:

MY DEAR MADAM--I cannot refrain, as the husband of
the most lovable wife on earth from expressing my ardent
wish and prayer that all may be well and that you will
remind her that I am most tenderly loving and thinking
of her and shall pray hourly for her, but whatever be the
issue, let all be done for her happiness and comfort.

I will part with all I have rather than that she or her
infant shall want anything. Oh how I wish I were near
to love and comfort her. If her dear infant is spared all
well and boy or girl I shall be quite as pleased if my idol
be well. _Let all give way_ if need be for my precious
wife's sake, and on no account let her life be endangered,
even for the sake of the child, if such crisis should occur,
which Heaven forbid.

I can say no more, but I wish I could enclose my hand
and heart if I could comfort your patient. Of course I
shall be terribly anxious to know that all is well; will you
kindly have a postal card ready just to say "all is well" if
so it be; never mind more till my poor wife can put her
own name to a letter.

God reward you for an act that I know the angels envy
you, for your charge is a "friend of Jesus," and my only
friend on earth.

Yours in intensity of anxious interest,

My address is
Sunny Hill Avenue,
London, E.

Mrs. Merrick explained to me that her husband was a member of a
wealthy English firm doing business in Montreal, and that he was at
that time obliged to be in London on business, but would soon return,
when she purposed setting up an establishment of her own. Her father
and mother (both Scottish Canadians) had been dead many years, and
she had been educated in a boarding school in Ottawa where she had
first met Mr. Merrick.

Within a few days the lady became an inmate of my house, and in
course of time became the mother of a beautiful little boy, news of
which was at once despatched to London. For three weeks Mrs. Merrick
waited patiently for a reply, and after that time, receiving none,
she became uneasy, and wrote a long letter to her husband, beseeching
him to send her an answer immediately, but neither to this letter
did she obtain any response and days became weeks and the weeks
began to spread themselves into months and yet not a line or even a
word could be obtained to indicate the whereabouts of Mr. Merrick or
whether he was alive or dead. At last the terrible truth began to
dawn on the poor creature that she had been basely deserted by him
who was sworn to be her friend and protector and she became almost
demented, she tried to account for his silence in many ways but her
intellectual acumen as too great and her reasoning always brought
her to the one sad conclusion. However, as nothing better could be
done the spirited creature made up her mind to earn her own living
and that of her child, and setting her wits to work she soon
obtained a situation as governess at the house of Mr. Mullaly, a
retired merchant of considerable means whose wife and daughters were
desirous of obtaining an entree into polite society. Placing her boy
out to nurse, she set out for her new home, and soon began to feel
the blessedness of working for her own living.

But her happiness was not unmixed with pain. The Mullaly girls
somehow or another heard that Miss Caldwell (she had given her
maiden name) was the mother of a little child, and, although she
admitted the fact and recounted to them her whole history, they gave
no credence to her assertions, but began to treat her with the
greatest contempt making her life miserable. The poor woman would
fain have left her situation, but she recollected that it would be
difficult to obtain another without referring to Mrs. Mullaly who
would be sure to tell the whole story with several embellishments.
On the whole she thought she had better remain where she was for a
time, hoping that, as years went by, and the girls acquired more
judgment and common sense, they would treat her with greater fairness.
Accordingly she bore all the taunts of the young ladies with great
meekness and patience, and made herself so agreeable and useful that,
although they never could make up their minds to believe her story
or to treat her as one of the family--the Mullalys came to regard
Miss Caldwell as indispensable to their existence, and when
Miss Mullaly the elder got married she took Miss Caldwell with
her in the capacity of housekeeper the young sisters no longer
requiring her in her capacity as governess, which situation she,
however, did not long keep as the remuneration would not enable her
to educate her boy as she desired. He was a fair-haired, bright
little fellow, and the most loving little creature on earth. She
consulted with me what best could be done to earn a larger salary.
I advised her to become a professional nurse though hard she would
think it at first, when once accustomed to its little drudgeries she
would find it a noble calling, with God's blessing attached to it.
She consented, and I trained her in my hospital, she became in a very
short time one of my most proficient nurses. From that time she had
gained the battle, for, as soon as some of our medical men got
acquainted with her, they gave her employment at the most serious of
their cases, till at last it became very hard for me to procure her
for some of my own patients, and through her abilities, patience, and
refined feelings she gained a great many sincere friends. One of her
patients, an old lady, left at her death $200 to her kind nurse, and
this enabled poor Mrs. Merrick to give her boy that education which
she had so long craved for him.

In the meanwhile Willie Merrick was placed at school at Lennoxville,
where he evinced great talent. At twelve years of age he was noted
as the finest classical scholar in the school, and his mother was
induced to place him in training, with a view to his matriculating
at the University of Bishop's College. The fond mother lived only for
her son, so she placed him under the care of a private tutor, at
whose hands he made such progress that at the early age of fifteen
he entered the University. Here he showed himself at once to be made
of no ordinary metal, and he became quite a favorite with the
Principal and professors, all of whom were ever ready to lend him a
helping hand. His mother had intended him for the church but Willie
did not (so he said) feel "good enough" for that high and holy
calling, so he entered the Faculty of Law, determined, if possible,
to distinguish himself in that profession so soon as he obtained the
necessary qualifications for commencing practice. In process of time
he obtained his degree, graduating with high honors, and he was not
long in establishing a practice equal to that of many older advocates.

Although without any hope of ever taking her place again as
Merrick's wife, the poor woman whom he had so basely deserted
instituted a thorough search for him in England, and was enabled to
discover all his history, and also so gain an insight into his
proceedings whilst away from her. It seems that he had married her
under an assumed name, his real patronymic being Stephens, and that
his people were purse-proud and overbearing. On his arrival in
England his father, who had heard of the young man's escapades in
Canada peremptorily ordered him to have no more correspondence with
his Canadian wife, but to marry a noble lady whom he had purchased
(through money lent; to her father) for the ennobling of the Stephens

When the deserted woman became assured of the truth of these
disclosures she made up her mind to give no more thought to the
wretch who had left her in such a predicament, and determined to
centre her hopes and her affections in her son, who had by this time
become a distinguished lawyer, and was quite as proud of his mother
as his mother was of him. He took a house for himself and only
parent in the Western suburbs, and they lived in quiet comfort
together, the young man going little into society, except on public
occasions, on all of which he was invariably asked to take a
prominent part in the proceedings.

When William Merrick had been in practice about two or three years
he was entrusted with an important case connected with the endowment
of some church in Lower Canada, which was appealed from one court to
another, until, finally, it was decided to carry it to the House of
Lords. Accordingly the young advocate made preparations for a trip
to England, and, being unwilling to leave his mother alone for such
a lengthened period, he decided to take her along with him. They
sailed from Quebec one fine Saturday in June, arriving at Liverpool
late on the following Saturday night, a strong westerly wind blowing
them rapidly across the Atlantic! They stayed but a few days in
Liverpool, and then went on to London, putting up temporarily at the
Langham, at that time the most fashionable hotel in London. The
morning after their arrival the young lawyer, having occasion to go
to the Courts on business, Mrs. Merrick was left for a time to her
own devices, she occupied a half-hour or so in reading the newspapers,
and then made up her mind to go for a stroll before luncheon.
Attiring herself rather gaily (she was still remarkably good-looking,
only a little over 40 years then) she set out with a sprightly step
down the main staircase, humming to herself a lively air which she
used to sing in happier days. Just as she was descending the last
flight of stairs, a gentleman having a delicate-looking lady on his
arm began to ascend, and on hearing the melody, faint though it was,
which the approaching lady, was unconsciously humming, glanced
suddenly and swiftly upwards; then, as if a thunderbolt had struck
him, he came to a sudden halt, having a dazed expression on his
features and littering a half suppressed oath or imprecation.
Mrs. Merrick had not noticed the approaching couple, her thoughts
being far away, but the suddenness of the gentleman's movement
arrested her attention, and she looked him fully in the face for a
moment; then, uttering a wild shriek, she fell backward and would
have been probably severely injured, had not a gentleman, who
happened to be close behind her, caught her as she fell, and carried
her to the landing-place, where restoratives were applied, and the
unfortunate woman speedily came to her senses.

It is scarcely necessary to say that the lady and gentleman
whose advent so upset Mrs. Merrick were none other than Mr. and
Mrs. Stephens who had come up to London for the operatic season
and were staying at the Langham Hotel. Taking advantage of the
confusion, Stephens hurried his wife along to her room, giving no
further answer to her many and wondering enquiries than: "Oh, it's
only the heat; don't mix yourself up with all these people," and,
without allowing time for remonstrance or further enquiry, he put a
stop to all questioning by hurrying the delicate creature along till
he deposited her, breath less, in an easy chair. Going out into the
corridor he tried to discover how matters stood, but the woman he
dreaded to meet had been borne to her room and medical attendance
had been summoned. This Mr. Stephens learned from a waiter; so,
determined to deport himself as if he knew nothing of the cause of
the lady's illness, and was as much puzzled at the occurrence as the
rest of those who had either witnessed it or come on the scene soon
afterwards, he returned to his wife, and, throwing himself into a
chair, pretended to read. But his wife, obtuse though she possibly
was with regard to the fainting lady, something had struck her about
the manner her husband assumed. She could not get over it, and when
at the table d'hote with her husband listened attentively to the
conservation of two gentlemen who were sitting vis-a-vis. One
enquired after the health of the lady who had taken so suddenly ill
on the landing in the morning. The younger of the two gentlemen
expressed his gratitude to the other for assisting his mother so
kindly, who would have, but for his assistance, fallen down stairs,
but was somewhat better now. He said the Doctor had not been able to
ascertain the cause of her sudden illness, and, as his mother had
always been blessed with such good health, he himself could not
account for it. In the meantime Mr. and Mrs. Stephens had been
listeners to the conversation when all of a sudden a curious,
gurgling noise was heard, a chair was overturned, and Mr. Stephens
was stretched on the floor in a dying condition, blood streaming
from his mouth. There was a great commotion in the dining-room, and
it was thought at first he had swallowed a bone and was choking; but
the physicians who arrived, three in number, pronounced it a rupture
of a blood-vessel and applied at once the necessary remedies, but
gave little hope of his recovery. As soon as his condition permitted
a removal, he was carried, by the advice of the doctor, to a private
hospital near by, where his delicate wife also preferred to go, and
nothing more was heard of the dying stranger, for a while anyhow.

Our young lawyer, Willie Merrick, had been successful in his law
affairs, and had arranged a trip to the continent with his mother,
when a cablegram was sent to them from Canada, saying: "Don't leave
England; wait for letters; good news." This was rather annoying to
Mr. Merrick, as he had only a few weeks more at his disposal; and he
anticipated this trip as so necessary to restore his mother's
cheerfulness. Mrs. Merrick was also puzzled as to what could
possibly detain them any longer in London. At last the Canadian post
arrived, and with it large documents and letters which had been sent
from England to Canada and were now returned, informing Mrs. Merrick
that a certain W. Merrick Stephens had died, leaving a large fortune,
and that half of this estate was bequeathed to Mrs. Merrick in Canada,
whose maiden name had been Emma Caldwell, or, in case of her death,
to her heirs. Young Mr. Merrick being at this time a well-known
young lawyer in Montreal it was not hard to find him. Both he and
his mother could not imagine who had left them such a fortune. Well
did Mrs. Merrick think of the man whom she had loved so dearly and
truly and who had pretended to be so fond of her. But, she knew too
well that she had been deceived, that he had married her under a
false name, and had she not recognised him at the hotel with a lady
who was his wife!--She had never told her son the cause of her
sudden illness when first at the hotel; and her son had never
mentioned the affair of the dying stranger at the dinner-table,
thinking his mother still too weak to be disturbed by such shocking
calamities. His partner from Montreal wrote; "You had better stay
and see about this large fortune at once. Every one is not such a
lucky fellow as you." A Mr. Tidal was mentioned as executor of the
estate of W. M. Stephens, and our hero prepared at once to call on
that gentleman, who received him very friendly, but requested him to
call the next day with his mother at the family residence of the
deceased, which visit had been particularly desired by the deceased
gentleman's widow. Our young gentleman of coarse promised to comply
with the wish, and was very much surprised when, on returning to his
mother, he found her hesitating,--but for a moment only, a second
thought, as she promised to accompany him, feeling in her heart that,
whatever Mrs. Stephens might wish to see her for, she would
certainly not blame her for anything, as all the wrong that had been
committed had been committed towards her, but still her heart was
heavy when at two o'clock they started in one of those stage coaches
of which London has so many. After about two hours' drive they
alighted in front of an old-fashioned family mansion, surrounded by
well cultivated grounds. The gentleman, Mr. Vidal, on whom young
Mr. Merrick had called the day previous, came to the portal to
greet them, and begged Mrs. Merrick to have the kindness to see
Mrs. Stephens in her own apartments, as she was in delicate health
and very much crushed down through the sudden loss of her husband. A
maid who had appeared at the time was ordered to direct Mrs. Merrick
to the boudoir of her mistress and, announcing the visitor, withdrew.
Mrs. Stephens, attired in deep mourning, looked very pale. On
seeing Mrs. Merrick enter, she rose from her chair and holding both
hands out to greet the astonished lady, said: "Oh, you wronged,
wronged woman," but then tears smothered her words, and it was quite
a while before she could speak again. "How can I atone for the
wrongs committed on you, but I promised him. His last request was
that I would see you and beg your forgiveness for him. He had
recognised you at once at the hotel, and he felt his Conscience
troubling him very much. But the sight of your son--his son--was too
much for him. He felt he could not live to meet the son he had so
wronged and the woman he had so loved and so betrayed. He told me all
when the blood was streaming and smothered his words. He had married
me by the command of his father for my money, but had afterwards
learned to love me when he saw I was so devoted to him, but he had
not the courage to tell me of you and his child. I often noticed him
looking sad, and when I asked him to tell me what was troubling him
he would say: 'Don't be so kind to me, I don't deserve it, I am very,
very wicked.'"

"We have no children, our first-born, a boy, only lived one hour;
the second, a girl, only three days. Since then my health has never
been good, but he was so kind, so indulgent with all my weaknesses,
that I can hardly realize he was ever unkind to any one. But his
father was a stern old man of iron will who made him leave you and
marry me for my father's money. All this I could not tell to your
son nor to anybody else than to you. Will you tell me you forgive him?
I know your heart is pure and good or you would have troubled him
while alive. Don't sit so mute, you frighten me; shall I call your
son--the servants?"

"No, no, don't call anybody," was her response, "but speak of him,
of him you loved, the only one I have ever loved save my child." At
the thought of her son she broke out into sobs, and the blessed
tears brought balm to her heart. Silence prevailed for a long time,
save the sobs of both. At length a knock was heard, and a servant
inquired if the ladies wished to take refreshments with the gentlemen.
Both would have declined but for appearance sake, and, after bathing
their faces, descended to the room where the gentlemen had
transacted their business.

On entering Mrs. Stephens approached Willie saying: "I hope you have
consented to take, in addition to the name which you bear already,
the name of Stephens, which was the last desire of my dear husband
and also my sincere wish."

"If my mother consents to assume that name also I shall, but
otherwise I must decline, as I shall never bear any other name than
my mother whom I love and honor, and who can, if she prefer, refuse
this bequest and need never tell me why. I know she will do all for
the best if it combine with honor."

"She will not refuse," was Mr. Vidal's reply; "and now, ladies, I
have to beg you to sign those deeds that we are able to congratulate
the new lord of the estate."--(All signed).

The end of this story is very short now. Mr. W. Merrick Stephens and
mother never returned to Montreal, but are living with Mrs. Stephens
(the widow) on the same estate and never has there existed a more
perfect harmony and friendship--both trying to make each other happy
and those around them. The last I heard from them was the following

LONDON, December 18.


Don't be angry that I call you old. I know you are not
much older than myself, but it seems you are nearer to me
when I address you so. How my life has changed! You
used to tell me the evening will be better than the morning
How true! She is so good (his wife), both Willie
and I cannot help loving and admiring her. She thinks
Willie looks like him and has many of his ways. If her
health is good next spring we shall all three visit Canada,
I think the sea-voyage will do her good. I shall be so
proud to introduce her to you, and so glad to see you
again who helped and advised me always for the best.
You can write the history of my life it you like. Why
did you ask my permission? You well knew I would
do more for you if you let me I know you will not say
anything to harm us, and I shall forever consider myself
in your debt, but you must send us one of your books
when out. Willie joins with me in sending his best regards
to your husband and children and believe me for ever
your grateful friend.



A Tale of Bigamy.

Lillie Malcolm was the daughter of Scotch parents who had emigrated
to Montreal about the year 1835. Her father was a schoolmaster,
having a private school in the neighborhood of St. Antoine street,
and at the tune of their arrival in this city Lillie was about the
age of ten. The little girl was precocious and talented, and very
pretty, and was also, as regards both these characteristics, admired
and made much of. As the girl grew older she became a little vain
and conceited, her principal aim being to gain the plaudits of the
visitors at her father's house for her singing or other performances,
which were many and various, the versatility of the girl being
remarkable. By the time she was seventeen, Lillie Malcolm became
known as the prettiest and most accomplished young lady in the
neighborhood, and no church or Sunday-school gathering was complete
without a song or recitation by her.

But Lillie aspired somewhat higher than Sunday-school concerts and
such circumspect circles. She longed for an entree into the inner
and higher circles of Montreal society where she felt that she could
rise above the common level, and take a position in keeping with her
education and accomplishments. Unfortunately for the ambitious girl
her father, though highly respectable, was very poor, and so
altogether debarred from participating with his family in the round
of social pleasures in which the _bon ton_ of Montreal indulge;
added to this, he was a strict Presbyterian, and was averse to
consenting even when his daughter _did_ receive an invitation to
some of the houses of her limited number of acquaintances.

The poor girl fretted and repined at her lot. She could manage the
household affairs if required, but her mother or sister invariably
attended to that, and so her talents were not brought into
requisition; she could speak fluently and, as a clergyman or lawyer,
would certainly have distinguished herself, but women were not
required or even tolerated as clergymen or lawyers; she would
(so she imagined) have made an excellent wife for a fairly rich
young man, but the young men did not seem to want wives without
money or social rank, and so poor Lillie fretted and fumed,
occasionally attending the many brilliant weddings which were
celebrated in the fashionable churches, and wondering how it was
that so many plain and unattractive girls got husbands, while she
was without even a proposal. It is true she had no lack of admirers;
these flocked round her like bees in a flower-garden, but few of
them were eligible as suitors; and the few who were, although they
admired her openly, and paid her great attention, never approached
the subject of marriage.

Things went on in this way till Miss Malcolm was twenty-three, when
she made the acquaintance of Captain FitzMarshall, an officer of Her
Majesty's army, who was stationed in Montreal. FitzMarshall was very
highly connected, being the grandson of an English Duke, and was
greatly sought after by the belles of Montreal; but he, having met
Lillie Malcolm by chance at the house of a mutual acquaintance,
vowed that she was the only beauty in Montreal, and was even, marked
in his addresses to her. Lillie's heart fluttered with delight at
the thought of actually out-doing the acknowledged society belles,
and she would have been in ecstasy if she could only have appeared
on the arm of her admirer at one of the public assemblies to which
he had offered to bring her, but her father would not permit her to
enter a circle unfitted for his means and her station, particularly
as neither he nor her mother would be present to look after her.

Before the close of FitzMarshall's second year in Canada he had made
Lillie Malcolm's heart glad by offering his heart and hand; he also
communicated the matter to Mr. Malcolm, but the latter gentleman
shook his head dubiously, and asked him if he had consulted his
friends in England. When he replied that he had not, the old
gentleman gently but firmly informed him that, although he esteemed
him highly, yet he would not have his friends say that he had been
entrapped into a marriage with one who was socially his inferior,
and that, till he had written to his relatives and obtained their
consent to his marriage, it would be better for him to discontinue
his visits to the house. FitzMarshall pleaded strongly, but the old
man was firm, and so the poor love-sick Captain had to content
himself with the assurance that, if his friends consented to his
marriage (for although a Captain he was only twenty-four), he would
be only too happy to confide his daughter to his keeping.
Accordingly the young officer took his departure from the house,
with the understanding that when the return mail arrived from
England he was to call at once, and, if agreeable to his family at
home, to be formally betrothed to the fair Elizabeth.

The weeks rolled by as if they were years, and at the expiration of
that time FitzMarshall received letters from home, ordering him to
obtain leave of absence and to take the next steamer for England.
With a heavy heart he disclosed the contents to Mr. Malcolm, who of
course expected something of the kind, and told him that he must now
discontinue all communication with his daughter. The order came,
unfortunately, too late, as the young couple had already met
frequently clandestinely and forestalled their expected honey-moon.

However, to England FitzMarshall must go or be disinherited, so,
bidding his inamorata to cheer up, that he would soon be back to
claim her as his lawful wife, he set sail, and left the poor girl,
soon to become a mother alone with her austere father and
unsympathetic mother. Weeks went by without a word from him for whom
the girl would have laid down her life, and her letters, written we
may say with her tears, were returned to her unopened. The truth
flashed quickly on the young girl--she was deserted! The
aristocratic friends of the young man would never allow him to see
her more, and he was weak enough to be put in pupilage. Quickly
making up her mind how to act, with indomitable courage she gathered
up what little trinkets and jewellery she possessed, she converted
them into money which yielded her nearly two hundred dollars (for
she had received valuable presents from her lover and some money),
and, one evening slipping out quietly, she took the train for Toronto,
proceeding from thence to Detroit, where she established herself as
the widow of an English officer, prepared to receive pupils in
languages and music.

But she was prepared for more than this. Her heart had become
thoroughly steeled by the harsh treatment which she considered she
had received from her father and others, so she laid herself out to
make what capital she could, not only out of her accomplishments but
also of her beauty, and with such success that she obtained an
elegant establishment at the hands of a wealthy Michigan shipping
merchant, the public being led to believe that she had become
possessed of an estate in trust for her child (a boy) who was
just then born. For several years she lived in this way, always
moving along quietly and respectably, when the old gentleman
died, leaving her but a few hundred dollars capital, for he had
neglected to provide for this contingency, and she, with less
forethought than one would imagine, had never considered such a
possibility. Mrs. McClintock, as she now called herself, began to
think of returning to her old business as a teacher, but there was
little necessity, for an old gentleman who had made a fortune as a
distiller, an acquaintance of the deceased merchant, soon made
excuse for calling upon her, and made undoubted advances to her.
It may be that he knew something of his friend's arrangements, or
that he only suspected them; however, the widow managed matters so
adroitly that he imagined he must have been mistaken, and that the
reports he had heard were not true. The house was elegantly and
tastefully furnished, the lady was modestly, yet richly attired,
the little boy and his nurse lending an air of respectability to
the whole establishment only to be out-done by the conversation and
demeanor of the lady herself, who was not only the peer, but the
superior of any lady among the large circle of the old gentleman's
acquaintances. He called about some lessons for his eldest daughter,
but was informed that Mrs. McClintock no longer gave lessons; he
then suggested that she might recommend a teacher of French, and
endeavored to prolong the interview, but the lady sedately answered
all his queries with a sad and pensive expression far removed from
what he had expected, and rising politely, rang the bell for her
servant to show him out.

After a little time, however, the old man returned to the charge. He
had bought the terrace in which Mrs. McClintock lived, and called
to know what he could do, in the way of repairs, etc. He pressed his
suit in various ways, but the widow pretended not to see it at all
till she had the old man down on his knees; then she played with him
most adroitly, explaining that her lonely position left her open to
the tongue of rumor, and that she could not allow him to call so
frequently. She played her cards so well that the old man firmly
believed she was a modest and retiring widow, and did not the law
forbid him, he would have married her. As it was, she led him to
hand her the deed of the house she lived in, and to settle a large
amount on both herself and his child (a beautiful girl), who was
born about a year after his first visit to her house in his capacity
of landlord.

Notwithstanding all her precautions Mrs. McClintock was the subject
of much gossip in the neighborhood in which she resided, and many
were the guesses (many of them wide of the mark) which were made
about her past history. But they could only talk vaguely and shrug
their shoulders at the mention of the lady's name; for she lived
very circumspectly, had a pew in St. Paul's Church, and stood well
with the minister and leading church people; her children too were
models of neatness and propriety, and though as unlike as children
having _one_ common parent could well be (Jessie being dark and
petite with piercing brown eyes, while Charlie was tall and
exceedingly fair), yet they had both the enviable reputation of
being the best bred and best behaved children on Jefferson Avenue.

As the children grew up they were sent to school, and both, though
of different temperament, were distinguished for their superior
ability. Jessie was quick at anything requiring an amount of ready
talent and acute comprehension, such as Arithmetic, Geometry, and
Modern Languages, but Charlie excelled in Classics and what are
generally considered the heavier sciences, and was particularly
talented as regards music. He would sit for hours playing the
exquisite _Lieder Ohne worte_ of Mendelssohn, while Jessie would
shrug her shoulders if asked to play, and call on her brother,
saying she could not bear "that nasty practising." In spite, however,
of her neglect of this accomplishment (for which she had great
natural talent), Jessie McClintock was in great demand in society,
and notwithstanding the equivocal position held by her mother
(for although not openly expressed there was a general feeling that
all was not right with that lady), the young people were asked
everywhere, and their mother kept them carefully in the _very best_
circles, for which their natural talents and excellent education
eminently fitted them.

The children, who had seen a gentleman supposed to be their father
come at intervals and then disappear, naturally were inquisitive,
and from an early age were taught that their father was a captain on
an Atlantic Steamer, and of course was frequently away from home. As
the children grew up the story told by them concerning that gentleman
did not coincide with that of the mother, who had always pretended
that her husband was dead, so it was thought advisable for her to
remove to Montreal (her parents having long since died), and assume
the role of a grass widow whose husband seldom got off his ship, and
then but for a short time, coming generally at night and remaining
indoors during his brief stay. Mrs. McClintock bought a house in
University street, and rarely went out; her children, however, went
to the best schools, and, having made acquaintances, soon began to
go out in the best society as they had done in Detroit. Charlie soon
became entered as a Law Student in the McGill University, and Jessie
had a visiting governess engaged to finish her, a resident young lady,
for obvious reasons, being considered out of place. Jessie grew up a
beautiful young lady, and was the acknowledged belle in many a
drawing room; Charlie went little into society, being engaged in
prosecuting his studies in the University, applying himself so
assiduously that in a few years he graduated with honors, carrying
off a gold medal.

The people who lived opposite Mrs. McClintock on University street
were curious to know all about that lady's proceedings, and set a
watch on all her movements. They discovered that at times a carriage
was driven hastily up to the door, generally late at night, from
which an elderly gentleman alighted and entered the house; but,
although on the alert, they were never able to make out his features
or even his general appearance, so quickly was the door of the house
opened and closed behind him. Yet even this discovery was hailed
with delight by the gossips; and as after each visit Jessie appeared
with a new watch, locket, brooch, or other trinket (sent, she said,
from England by her father), the tongue of evil report wagged freely,
and was not at all times strictly confined to the truth.

Mrs. McClintock was much annoyed when she learnt (from a
sympathizing friend) of the reports which her neighbors were
circulating concerning her; and, as she knew their eyes were
constantly upon her house, she managed to invite the clergyman and
his wife, with a few others whom she had met in church circles, to
dinner, and manifested such an interest in the sewing society that
the principal ladies of the congregation called on her in succession;
and although they never got beyond an interchange of formal visits,
yet it served to puzzle the gossips in the streets, and one or two
who had "forgotten" to call on Mrs. McClintock when she first came
to the locality paid her a formal visit; their shaky position in
society being secured by the fact that all the best people called
there, including the Bishop and clergy, and so _of course_ there
could be nothing wrong. For all this plausible reasoning they
inwardly believed that there was "something wrong," and many of
those who called did so mainly under the apprehension that they
would discover something, or read in the countenance of their
notorious neighbor something that would give a clue to her past or
present career.

But those who called from curiosity were sadly disappointed. The
house was neat and well-ordered, yet not extravagantly furnished;
those who met the children were astonished at their appearance and
apparent good breeding, while the hostess received them with the
cool courtesy of an English gentlewoman. The callers went away
puzzled more completely than ever, and to add to their mortification
the lady _did not return one of their calls_, shewing thereby that
she did not care for their acquaintance. Thus their imaginary
condescension was the means of their being snubbed by one whom they
considered scarcely fit to be allowed to inhabit the same street.

When Jessie was nineteen her Mother gave a large party, inviting
most of the young lady's school friends, also a number of Charlie's
fellow-students, besides the Rector of the church and his wife and a
few of the neighbors who had always been friendly to Mrs. McClintock,
although having their own ideas regarding her pretensions. All went
merry as a marriage bell, and they beguiled the time with music,
whist, bezique, and like recreative amusements, after which supper
was announced, and the party sat down to a spread such as few of
them had ever been partakers before, and all served in the most
elegant style.

The viands having been thoroughly discussed, the Rector rose and
proposed the health of the young lady in whose honor they were then
assembled, and in a highly moral speech wished her many happy returns,
and all the joys this world (and also the next) can afford. The
toast was honored with acclamation, and then one of the guests stood
up and proposed "the health of Captain and Mrs. McClintock."

A damper was thrown suddenly on the whole company. Every one seemed
to feel embarrassed, and though no one dared to look at his neighbor,
and the toast was immediately drank by all, yet there came a
peculiar feeling over each person present, as if some spiritualistic
influence were at work restraining their speech and laughter, aye
and even forbidding them to breathe freely.

For a time the silence remained unbroken. At length Mrs. McClintock
motioned to Jessie to rise, thus giving the signal for a general
departure to the drawing-room. Here the music was again brought into
requisition, and a few of the young people enjoyed themselves with a
game of casino, but the hilarity of the early part of the evening
was conspicuously absent, those assembled taking an early leave and
departing homeward. The gentleman who had unwittingly worked on the
feelings of the remainder of the guests felt that there was
something oppressive in the atmosphere, and tried to elicit an
explanation from a neighbor; but he could get no reply excepting a
tongue thrust into that gentleman's cheek as much as to say--
"You've put your foot in it, old fellow," and a significant squeeze
of the left arm near the elbow. He had essayed a solo of the harp,
and, unfortunately had struck the one cord [not chord] which was out
of tune.

Mrs. McClintock preserved an even demeanor throughout the entire
evening; indeed, it is questionable if one of the whole party
(the young people excepted) there, was one so fully self-possessed;
and she had such command over her facial muscles that she bid her
guests adieu with a smile as gracious as that with which she had
received them. She gave no more parties, however, but, confined
herself to inviting a few of her most intimate acquaintances to tea
or an informal dinner, to which they were ever ready to accept an
invitation; as, whatever might be the antecedents of the McClintocks,
they were certainly refined and elegant people, and _kept the best
table in the city_. In time the old gentleman went the way of all
flesh, leaving Mrs. M. independent in every respect. She continued
to pass for some time as a grass widow, but after a few months she
coolly inserted in the Montreal fit papers the following:--"At
Calcutta, on the 18th ult., Captain Charles McClintock, in the 56th
year of his age." Then she went into deep mourning, the children
also dressing in mourning and refusing to go into society for a time.
In about eighteen months after they donned their ordinary attire, and,
as many of those now forming the circle known as the "upper ten" did
not know, and others did not care to remember, anything concerning
their past history, they were received with open arms, being young,
accomplished, and, best of all, tolerably wealthy.

Jessie is now married to a wealthy dry goods merchant, and one of
the leaders of fashionable society. Charlie is making headway as a
lawyer, but, having an independent allowance, does not exert himself
very much. The old lady lives pretty much to herself, and, it is said,
not unfrequently takes a glass of Curacoa or Moraschino to drown
unpleasant reflections. Let us, however, before sitting in judgment
upon her, put ourselves in her place, and consider if we would have
done half as well (morally) under the circumstances. Although a
disobedient daughter, she has proved herself a true wife till
shamefully deserted, and a self-denying and tender-hearted mother,
who, though giving herself up to shame for their sake, kept her
children from every breath of even scandalous report, and placed
them as well-educated and respectable members of society. At such a
one let only he who is without guilt among us cast a stone.


The Unfortunate Sailor.

Among the many thousand pretty girls that might be seen any fine
afternoon walking down the shady side of Buchanan Street, Glasgow,
few would be found possessing more attractive features and pleasing
expression than Agnes Malcolm. Not that she was the most beautiful
girl in Glasgow, for Agnes was hardly what one would call a beauty;
but there was a something in her face that made it particularly
attractive, and caused every passer-by involuntarily to turn and
look after her, although, were the pedestrian cross-questioned as to
what he found to admire in the young lady, he would have been
puzzled what to reply. Agnes had regular features, good hazel eyes,
but not unusually bright ones, a high intellectual forehead, and
tresses of a light auburn hue; her cheeks were soft as peaches and
as delicately tinted, and when she smiled, which was often, she
displayed a complete set of teeth for which no dentist had ever
received a fee. Her sister Alice was the acknowledged belle of the
circle in which the Malcolm family revolved, and was already of a
much more decided type, but Agnes had a frank, lovable expression of
countenance that brightened everywhere she went like a sunbeam, and
although she was not particularly witty (being indeed rather
reserved and shy in her manner), yet she had such a sweet voice, and
talked so naturally and with such a lack of affectation, that it was
a pleasure to hold converse with her.

Mr. Malcolm, the girl's father, had been Captain of an ocean steamer
running between Glasgow and Baltimore and adjacent ports, he had
gone down in the good ship Cyclops, or rather the _bad ship_ Cyclops,
for she proved herself to be utterly unseaworthy, and foundered on
her first trip out, Mrs. Malcolm, being near her confinement at the
time, was taken prematurely ill, and, although she rallied for a time,
she never got fairly well again, and finally followed her husband to
the grave, leaving the two girls to the care of a married sister of
their late father, who, having educated them as became their station,
was at the time of which my narrative treats debating whether she
would send them out to earn their living, or, keeping them a little
longer, bring them out in the hope of getting them married.

Alice saved her all further deliberation by announcing in her
careless, happy style that she had engaged to marry a young ship
chandler who had frequently came to the house, but had paid so much
attention to _both_ the young ladies that it was difficult to tell
which, if any, of them he was going to marry. Having made up his mind,
however, he did not wish to delay matters, so, as Alice was only too
happy to start an establishment of her own immediately, he gave
notice at the kirk for the following week, and the wedding was
celebrated amidst much rejoicing. Alice was glad to get a husband,
and to be independent of her aunt. Mr. Taylor, her husband, was
delighted to get such a beautiful and accomplished bride, and the
old lady, Alice's aunt, was heartily glad to get rid of them both,
so that never was rejoicing more universal.

But poor Agnes was not so elated. She did not mind her sister being
preferred by Mr. Taylor, for she did not want Mr. Taylor, and
besides Alice was two years her senior, and it was to be expected
that she would be married first. It was her position at home that
made her feel miserable. Whereas the work had been divided between
the two girls, it now was supposed to be done by one; moreover,
Mrs. Whitcher, Agnes's aunt, began to bully her more than ever,
wondering _aloud_ why she could not get a husband as her sister had
done, after so much money had been spent on her education, and so

Agnes could have had her choice not of one, but of _ten husbands_,
had she wished to do as her sister had done and taken the first
eligible man who offered. But the idea of marrying for an
establishment never entered her unsophisticated brain, and, as she
had not yet met her _beau ideal_ of a husband, she waited patiently,
bearing the scoffs and jeers of her unsympathetic aunt without a
murmur, and giving in return for her daily bread labor that in any
other establishment would have yielded her no small remuneration.
had any time in the past two years paid attention to Agnes Malcolm,
was a young man named George Fairfield, second mate of the ship
"Glenalpine," a good looking young fellow about twenty-three years
old, who was the son of respectable English parents residing at
Liverpool. Agnes, though rather partial to the young man, had paid a
deaf ear to his addresses, not caring to marry a man unless she
could give him her whole heart, but after her sister had gone, and
she was left in utter loneliness, the rude but honest sympathy and
love of the handsome sailor went to her heart, and she consented to
marry him on his return from his next trip.

George Fairfield went off as happy as if he had been suddenly
appointed Port Admiral. He felt not the ground he walked on, so
light was his heart and also his tread as he stepped home with his
eyes fixed on the stars, but his mind picturing that happy scene
which had been all too short. He whistled a bar or two of "Love's
Young Dream" as he stepped gaily along, hoping to receive orders to
sail on the morrow; not, as he tried to explain to his lady-love,
that he was anxious to get away from her, but because he wished to
be soon back again, when, receiving a berth as first mate, he would
be in a position to claim her as his bride. The ship did not sail
for a week, and when it did George would have pleaded for one day
more in spite of his previous hurry to be off, however, there was no
help for it, "For men must work and women must weep, though storms
be sudden and waters deep," and so Mr. George took his position at
the taffrail, and contented himself with flying a blue handkerchief
over the stern of the vessel till the forms on shore were no longer
visible. Agnes returned to her every day occupation as household
drudge, sad at losing her lover, yet not so sad as she would have
been had she really given, him her whole heart unconstrainedly; she
shed a few tears as the vessel left the quay, then turning homewards
she mentally counted the weeks which were to elapse ere she should
again see the tapering masts of the "Glenalpine." She made her
preparations for her wedding methodically and without excitement, and,
following her suitor's instructions, bought furniture according to
her taste for the little cottage he had rented in anticipation of his
exalted rank as first officer of a clipper.

At length the _Shipping Gazette_ announced the Glenalpine as
"homeward bound," and in due time she was entered at the Custom House.
George rushed with all speed to Mrs. Whitcher's, and was met with
open arms by his intended bride. She was not very demonstrative, it
is true, but she was glad to see him, and as her face lit up at his
approach, the poor weather-beaten tar forgot all about a fearful
gale he had just came through and its attendant perils, and wondered
whether Heaven could possibly be an improvement on Mrs. Whitcher's
front garden.

The wedding took place (as previously arranged) the next day, and
the young couple took up their quarters at their new abode, George
voting the cottage a decided improvement on the ship and Agnes
smiling with delight at the thought of leaving Mrs. Whitcher's for
ever. The ship remained in port about three weeks, and during that
time the young couple lived not only figuratively but literally
"in clover," as the cottage they had taken was on the margin of a
clover meadow, the sweet perfume of which pervaded the atmosphere
with its health-giving gases, gladdening the hearts and adding to
the vitality of all who came under its influence.

But no earthly joys can last forever. George received a telegram
ordering him to be in readiness to sail at any moment and finally an
order for embarkation.

With a heavy heart he parted from his young and beautiful wife, the
hope, however, of returning a richer man, better able to make her
comfortable, cheered his manly spirit, and, clasping her once more
in his fond embrace, he jumped into the boat and gave the men the
order to pull to his vessel. His wife stood on the shore wistfully
gazing at the ship till she was no longer visible, then, with a
heavy step, she turned slowly homewards. She thought of the long
weary hours she would have to count ere she would see him again, and,
although she had never loved him passionately, she felt his
departure so keenly that she wept long and bitterly. For days she
sat moodily looking out at the sea in the direction his vessel had
taken, and a sad foreboding filled her heart that she would never see
him more. Her comforter in her fitful hours was her maid, a
French-Canadian girl, who had some years previously come to England
in the capacity of stewardess on an ocean steamer, but, having taken
fever during the vessel's stay in port, and been conveyed to the
hospital, she was obliged to take service till she could again
procure a situation on board ship. This girl--she was named Arline
Bertrand--was a native of Montreal, and at this time about
twenty-four years of age and rather good-looking. Bending over her
mistress she would say: "Ah, Madame, Monsieur Fairfield he come back
_riche, riche_, with plentee nice thing for you!"

A few weeks after the vessel's departure Mrs. Fairfield received
news from the agents of the safe arrival of the vessel at Montreal,
and shortly afterwards she received a letter from her husband, full
of joy at the prospect of seeing her again, and of clasping her in
his arms. But, though "man proposes, God disposes," and the programme
which poor George Fairfield had so fondly laid out and hoped to
execute was destined to be sadly altered. Weighing anchor late on
Saturday night they proceeded slowly down the river, and on the
following Tuesday were out at sea. The wind was blowing a little
fresh, but that suited Captain Fairfield admirably, for as it was a
strong westerly wind, and blowing right astern it only sent his ship
on all the faster, so, crowding on nearly all the canvas his
experience had taught him was safe, he bent over the taffrail and
whistled for more wind to bear him joyously along.

All day long they scudded gaily onward, and although towards evening
the wind moderated a little still they went along at a pretty fair
pace, and Captain Fairfield and his ship's company drank their grog
heartily, anticipating a pleasant and speedy voyage. At bedtime the
Captain went on deck, and, ordering the mate to keep a good lookout,
went below and "turned in." He was not long in his berth when he
heard a great running and shouting over his head, and then the cry
of "Ice ahead!" from the look-out met his ears. With one bound he
rushed on deck, and gave the order, to "'Bout ship," which the mate
had already given; but there was no time to do more than port helm,
and so avoid the direct shock from the massive iceberg, into which
at that moment they rushed with terrible force, the water pouring in
torrents, and many of the men being killed by falling pieces of ice
which towered several feet above the mast-head. The boats were
lowered with all speed, and were hardly clear of the "Glenalpine"
when she went down with a plunge head first, and not a vestige of
hull, spars or masts was to be seen. A few of the men had jumped or
fallen into the water; these were all picked up, and on counting
heads it was found that none were missing except the mate and two
sailors, who had been killed by the falling ice.

So great had been the hurry of shoving off that they found
themselves without chart, compass, or provisions, save a little keg
of water and a small flask of brandy. However, judging by the
direction of the wind, which the Captain had noted carefully before
retiring, the boats' heads were put in the direction of the island
of Anticosti, and, keeping as nearly as possible together (there
were three boats' crews), they pulled hard all night for shore. When
the morning broke they fancied they observed the loom of the land in
the distance, and a shout of joy involuntarily burst from the whole
company; they were doomed, however, to disappointment, for, on the
mist clearing away, they could observe nothing but sky and sea for
miles on every hand. The Captain was completely puzzled how to act,
so, summoning a council of war in the gig, they came to the
conclusion that, as they might, instead of pulling toward the land,
pull farther away from it, there was no use wasting their strength
pulling at all, and that they had better keep a careful look out for
vessels either going to or coming from America, and trust in
Providence. The water was served carefully out, and the Captain took
the brandy into his own charge, the men encouraging each other with
tales of their past experience in situations equally trying and
still more dangerous.

All day they bobbed about on the dancing waves, the oarsmen pulling
just sufficiently to keep headway on their respective boats, but not
a sign of either land or passing vessel was visible. The last round
of water was served out, and the men tried hard to induce the
Captain to hand them over the brandy, some of them sullenly, and
intimating an inclination to take the bottle by force; but the
Captain cocking his revolver, which he had fortunately retained,
they subsided into silence, and lay moodily at the bottom of the boat.
They passed the night with heavy hearts, and when morning dawned
despair seized every man of them, for not a vestige of land was to
be seen, neither was there a boat of any kind in sight. Fortunately
the weather was remarkably calm and clear, so they had no difficulty
in keeping together, and in sharing equally their little supply of
water, but now that that was gone what were they to do?

Just as they were about to give up all hope a cry of joy from the
boat further to windward caused the occupants of the other two boats
to rest on their oars, and turn in that direction; they strained
their eyes in the endeavor to descry something beyond, but could see
nothing. However, those nearest the point in question evidently could,
and so they turned back and pulled against the wind with all their
might, and in a few minutes the boatswain sung out, "A sail ahead"!
causing their hearts to jump for joy. It was indeed a vessel which
was rapidly coming towards them. It proved to be an American brig
called "Frances Smith," which was bound for the Mediterranean, and
the Captain no sooner sighted the signals of distress which were
waved from the boats than he immediately hove to and picked the
exhausted party up. The brig was rather crowded, as she was of small
tonnage; however, the crew never murmured at the new-comers, but
consented to accept a reduction in their rations, so that the
half-famished men might receive a daily allowance.

The brig proceeded on her way, the rescued men insisting on doing
their share of the work, and greatly lightened the labors of the crew.
Within a few days, however, their powers were tried to the uttermost;
the wind freshened to a gale, and threatened to annihilate the poor
old brig, which was not in extra seaworthy condition. They were by
this time more than half-way across the Atlantic, where the seas run
sometimes as high as the yard-arm, and take several days to calm
down when they have once been lashed into fury. The ship's timbers
creaked and groaned, and the carpenter and his men had much ado to
stop the numerous leaks which sprung in her sides. The next day it
blew a hurricane, taking the fore mast and mainmast away, together
with most of the rigging, and leaving the vessel almost a total wreck.
As they were not far from the southern coast of Ireland, the Captain
ordered the boats to be got ready with sails, arms and provisions;
he also took with him a chart and compass, by which he was enabled
to steer for the Fastnat Rock. There was scarcely room for the large
party in the boats, but they all got safely in, a few minutes before
the waterlogged brig went down like a lump of lead. They had not
much to eat, but they had a good supply of water, and, as all the
boats were well fitted with sails, the Captain hoped to make the
Irish coast within a few days, the wind being much more moderate and
in their favor.

Poor George Fairfield was sick at heart. He was so anxious to get
home to his darling wife, and there he was for the second time at
sea in an open boat, without the means of communicating with his
loved Agnes, or of telling her why he was not at her side.
Nevertheless he accepted the state of affairs with calm resignation,
and he and the American Captain laid their heads together to find
out exactly where they were and what course they had best pursue.

As they had had time to take with them a sextant chromometer and
Palinurus, they had no difficulty next day in taking observations,
and found themselves about five hundred miles W.N.W. of Mizen Head.
As it was no use depending on being picked up they made all sail in
that direction, and so rapidly did the strong west wind propel them
that on taking observations the next day they found themselves
nearly one hundred and fifty miles nearer land. It was fortunate
that they made such headway, for they had only one day's provisions
left, and the water was getting pretty scarce; however, the wind
continued favorable, and in less than three days more, half famished
and thoroughly chilled from exposure, they found themselves at
midnight a few miles from the entrance of Queenstown Harbor.

Furling their sales, they took to the oars with a will and pulled
wildly towards the landing-place, where they were pleased to hear
voices in conversation. Just then a long whistle was heard from shore,
and a husky voice half whispered, "Boat ahoy!" "Aye, aye," was the
glad response as the shipwrecked men threw the painter to the owner
of the voice, and taking their arms and instruments, bounded on shore.
Imagine their surprise to find themselves surrounded, their muskets
knocked from their hands, and the latter speedily encircled with a
pair of manacles. The Captain of the Brig tried to remonstrate with
the commander of the party, but a navy revolver was pointed at his
head, and he was forbidden to utter a word. Finding resistance and
remonstrance altogether out of the question, the unfortunate men
marched on silently as directed, mentally endeavoring to explain
this sample of Irish hospitality, and confident that there must be a
mistake somewhere, but of the precise nature of that error they had
not the faintest idea.

Arrived at the gaol, they were severally incarcerated and their
handcuffs taken off. Then, as they signified that they were hungry,
they were liberally supplied with buttermilk and oatmeal porridge,
which many of them thought the best and most sensible part of the
whole proceeding. As it was past midnight, and they were all nearly
exhausted they allowed their curiosity to wait till the morrow, and,
without any questioning or speculation, fell fast asleep, most of
them remaining quiescent unfed late the following afternoon. When
they awoke they found a warm meal awaiting them, but no reply as to
the reason for their detention could be got out of the turnkey, who
seemed to think their question one of the greatest jokes ever
perpetrated within the precincts of that edifice. At last Fairfield
summoned the turnkey. There was something commanding in his tone
which bade the gaoler treat him with respect, and to his enquiry as
to whether he could see a lawyer the man replied that he could send
for one immediately, but would vouchsafe no information.

In a short time Councillor Quinn called in answer to Captain
Fairfield's summons, when the latter asked him to explain what
reason the authorities had for treating him in this fashion. The
eminent legal practitioner evidently thought this as great a joke as
did Mr. Fitzgerald, the turnkey, for he thrust his tongue in his
cheek, and remained silent. On Fairfield reiterating the question in
a stern tone he became more serious and said affably "My dear sir,
do you not know what you are arrested for?"

Fairfield then became angry and said "If I did, why would I send for
you to tell me? Is this your boasted Irish hospitality, in the
exercise of which you lock up every man who happens to be cast away
on your shores, and then laugh at him when he asks you a civil

On seeing that Fairfield had really lost his temper, the astonished
barrister said "Did you not command the party of armed men who were
captured last night in the harbor?"

"I commanded a crew of shipwrecked sailors, as also did my companion
in ill-treatment, Captain Westover."

"Ah! Well of course you can put in that plea if you wish at your
trial, but I am afraid it will avail you little. Your arms, too, are
of an American pattern, similar to that known to be used by the

"Good Heavens! do they take me for a Fenian?" said Fairfield,--"why,
I am an English officer, captain of a merchant vessel of the port of

"Have you any papers to prove this?" said the lawyer.

"No, they all went down with the vessel, but they can easily find
out whether my statements be correct by communicating with the agents."

"That will be for you to do, when you are brought to trial, which
may not be for some time, as there is a surplus of work on hand this

"But can I not demand a trial?"

"No, the _Habeas Corpus_ Act is suspended, and you must just make
yourself as comfortable as you can under the circumstances."

Poor Fairfield wrung his hands and stamped the floor with rage. He
cursed Ireland and her people and laws, or rather the want of them;
then, as reason took the place of passion, he sat down and wrote a
letter to his wife, informing her of his deplorable condition, and
urging her to communicate with the agents of his vessel immediately.
This letter never reached her, for, having heard of the wreck of
the Glenalpine (some portions of the bows being found by a
homeward-bound steamer imbedded in a large block of ice), she never
doubted for an instant but that her husband had gone down with the
vessel. The poor girl now felt almost broken down. But for the sake
of the child which she expected she would have likely died with grief.
The Canadian girl, Arline Bertrand, had told her so much of Canada,
especially of Montreal, that she decided to follow the girl to her
native land, and try to earn a living for herself and child, should
God spare it, there, particularly as her aunt, Mrs. Whitcher, seemed
to be afraid poor Agnes should return to her. Mrs. Fairfield
accordingly sold her little household goods, and soon after bid her
aunt and sister farewell, and took passage on a Montreal steamer,
Bertrand having secured for herself a place as stewardess. Arrived
in Montreal, she visited the girl's parents, hoping to find
reasonable lodgings during her approaching sickness, but the girl's
mother did not believe her daughter's story about her young mistress,
but thought her a young unfortunate girl who had come to Canada to
hide her shame. She offered kindly to bring and introduce her to the
nuns of St. Pelagie as the most proper place for her in her condition.
Mrs. Fairfield, thanking her, was glad to find so suitable a shelter.
Paying her board a week in advance, she retired to her room, but
found to her surprise that room had several more occupants all in
the same condition. The manner and language of those unfortunate
creatures did not suit Mrs. Fairfield at all, and as she mentioned
her disappointment at not having a room to herself to one of the nuns,
she was informed that a private room was three times the amount. The
sister also told her that the babe when born could not be cared for
there, but would have to be sent to the Grey Nunnery, and that she
had better part with it as soon as born. This frightened poor Agnes
so much that she resolved not to stay there, come what might. Asking
the next morning permission to take a walk, she had great trouble to
get it granted, the nun informing her that the people in Montreal
were so very bad, and that she would run great danger to go out alone.
But Agnes thought she would risk this danger. She accordingly went
up Campeau street, at which corner St. Pelagie is situated. She
walked and walked till she came to St. Mary street. There inquiring
for the residence of a physician, some kind person directed her to
Dr. P----'s drug store on Notre Dame street. To him she told her story
and her desire to find a more suitable place. He gave her the
address of my house, and advised her to come under my care. On
hearing her story I could not for a moment doubt her truthfulness,
and received her gladly at, my place, sending the servant with a note
for Mrs. F----'s things to St. Pelagie in the afternoon, which were,
after some little delay and trouble, handed out to her, no doubt the
sisters feeling sorry that the fair young English lady did not return.
Her former servant, Arline Bertrand, having returned as stewardess
to England again, Mrs. Fairfield did not care to let the girl's
mother know that she had left the convent, hoping to find means to
let Arline know her whereabouts later, as the old lady had certainly
meant well enough when bringing her to St. Pelagie. Mrs. Fairfield
was only three weeks at my house when a baby boy was born to her.
Then her sorrows seemed to be greater than ever. She thought of
having lost her husband, the father of the innocent baby, so early
seemed almost to kill her, and I frequently heard her implore God to
take them both. But it was not in his wise ordination to grant her
wish. She regained her strength gradually, and with it grew the love
for her child which in all unconsciousness grew quite a stout little
fellow who wanted to be fed, clothed and cared for, which
obligations fell alone on its mother, and as her means became always
smaller, she decided to take a situation with a wealthy family from
Savannah who were staying at this time at my house, the Southern
lady having taken a great interest from the beginning of their
meeting in Mrs. Fairfield, offered her a comfortable home and fair
compensation if she would accompany them, attend to the wants of the
lady and her baby during their travels, and act as companion and
housekeeper when at their Southern home. Mrs. Fairfield took it very
hard to part from her little boy, but leaving it with a reliable
nurse, and under my special observation, she was reconciled at last.
Hoping to return in one year, she left. Every thing went on well.
Her letters were full of gratitude. Her Southern friends never
allowed her to feel her subordinate position for a moment. She also
remitted regularly the wages for the nurse, and little George was,
when fifteen months old, a lovely fair boy, and as large as a child
two years old.

Some months passed during which I did not hear from Mrs. Fairfield,
nor did the nurse receive her payment. I wrote to Savannah, but
received no answer. The nurse, poor woman, naturally could not keep
the child without payment, and brought him one fine afternoon to my
house to leave him, and also demanding the back pay. My own children,
being delighted with the dear little fellow, we decided to keep and
bring him up as our own child should his mother never return. And
many of my fair patients will remember the lovely, little
curly-headed fellow who would run into the parlor uninvited, but
whose large blue eyes would appeal so sweetly to be allowed to stay.
Indeed we all became so attached to him that we hoped nobody would
ever claim him. And, as twelve months had passed, I gave up all hope
of ever hearing from Mrs. Fairfield again.

Fairfield had been confined in Pentenville, having been convicted on
a charge of felony-treason, and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
His wife and, friends not having heard of his trial, no one was
present to bear testimony in his favor, and both he and his men
(many of whom happened to be Irishmen) were imprisoned. The Americans
claimed the protection of their flag, a covering which proved
sufficiently substantial to protect them, but the only flag which
could have been claimed by poor unfortunate George was the very one
he was accused of attacking.

As the British Government did not wish to deal harshly with Fenian
prisoners, or, as its enemies said, was afraid to trample any longer
on the Irish people, George Fairfield and his companions, in common
with many real Fenians, were liberated some years before the
expiration of their term of servitude. Fairfield at once sought his
late home, hoping to find his wife and child still alive, and
cursing his fate, which had cast him twice on the pitiless ocean,
only to be arrested and imprisoned as soon as he got to land. But
the worst had yet to come. When he arrived at his old home and found
it occupied by strangers his heart sank within him; on enquiring for
Mrs. Fairfield he was informed that she had gone to America with her
servant Bertrand. Grasping the railings to keep himself from falling,
the poor stricken man gazed wildly at his informant, as though
stunned by a severe blow; then gasping out an apology of some kind
he rushed along the street like a madman, stopping not till he had
got far out into the open country. There, throwing himself headlong
on the grass, he shed tears of anguish, moaning as if in bodily pain.
"Why did I not go down with the ship?" he cried bitterly; "Was it
for this I toiled twice over on the open sea? Ah, why was I ever
born to be tossed about, imprisoned, and deserted?"

For hours he lay insensible on the grass, till the cool evening air,
bringing his mind once more into activity, he arose with a groan,
and slowly retraced his steps, not caring whither he went. Passing
along the quay he looked at the dark, sullen water, and for a moment
was impelled to cast himself in and so put an end to his misery, but
something in his better nature restrained him, and he walked moodily
along to where an ocean steamer lay preparing for sea. Anything was
better than inaction, so, as his money was all gone and he would
have some difficulty in obtaining a position as Captain or even as
mate, he shipped as a foremast hand, and took his place with the crew.
Right glad would he have been to have changed places with any one of
the jolly tars around him; their songs and jests, however, diverted
the current of his thoughts and kept him from his bitter reflections
for a time at least.

In a short time they were out at sea and, having plenty of work to
do handing sails, reefing and steering, he almost forgot his great
and deep heart-wound, and, although he could not be prevailed upon
to sing a song or even to join in a chorus, yet he listened
attentively to the yarns of the sailors, and always applauded their

The vessel was trading between Glasgow and Montreal, and within a
short time they were anchored at the latter port; the sailors all
went ashore as soon as the vessel was safely moored, and Fairfield
having nothing else to occupy his mind, went up the wharf in search
of Bertrand's parents house. He was directed to a house on St.
Bonaventure street, where he found the mother of Arline Bertrand all
right, but her daughter was not at home. She had gone as stewardess
abroad again and married there. She had promised to visit her
parents at some future time. When Captain Fairfield enquired about
the lady she had come out with three years previous, the old lady
broke out into sobs, and told him that the lady had died during her
confinement in St. Pelagie, but that the nuns would give him more
information about it if he would go there. If the babe had lived she
did not know, but the sisters had offered to give to her daughter
the lady's clothes and trunk if she came herself to demand it. This
last blow seemed to be the hardest in all his sorrow. Thinking
himself so near to find his beloved wife, and now all gone and
forever, it seemed to hard. But he would go and see the nuns and
hear how she had died, and if his child had lived or was alive now.
This thought gave him new hopes, and, Madame Bertrand offering to
accompany him, they proceeded to St. Pelagie to obtain an interview
with the Lady Superioress. He had never thought of the child before,
but now it was his whole thought and hope to find it alive.

Arriving at the convent he had not to wait very long to see the
desired lady, and on informing her of his wishes she most kindly
consented to search all records, but, as the number of patients
received every year is very large he had to content himself till the
following day when she would give him all the information he desired.
The next day seemed never coming. But at last poor George felt as if
his worst doom would be sealed now. The lady in waiting informed him
that she felt happy to be able to tell him that his child (a little
girl) was alive and at that present moment at a convent in Cemetery
street, where he could see it and take it out on payment of its
maintenance. The lady's clothes had been disposed of. As already
stated, a long time had elapsed since her death. Capt. Fairfield,
with a few lines from the sisters of St. Pelagie, proceeded to the St.
Joseph's Home, on Cemetery street, and, on handing the note, a
little girl about three years old was shown to him to be his child.
The poor little girl seemed afraid to look at him, and as the child
could only speak French he felt as if a board was between him and the
child; but her looks, he thought, were somewhat like his beloved
Agnes. The child's little curls had been cut a few days before, so a
nun told him. What was he to do with the child? He was not a Captain
now, and would have to make first a position for himself again, and
then he could claim his child. The child seemed happy, and the nuns
offering to keep it for a moderate price he decided to give what
money he had earned during his passage and come again and again till
the little girl could speak English to him, which the nuns promised
to teach her, and then, to take her horde to his native land. He had
no parents alive, but he thought when going back to England he would
call and see Mrs. Taylor, Agnes' sister Alice. He had never visited
her, and he felt so bad to think that she had not helped her sister
in distress. He well remembered his wife's spirit and independence,
and that made him think that his wife had never made her wants known
to them. However, the ship sailed again. He brought toys and
sweetmeats to his darling little girl, to whom he felt with every
visit more and more attached, and the parting was harder than he
could have imagined.

Returned to Glasgow. On a later voyage, he proceeded at once to
Mrs. Taylor's house, and was struck at the happy appearance of his
sister-in-law, who, when she recognized him, became quite alarmed
and was near fainting. When Mr. Taylor, who was struck for a moment
also, regained his self-possession, he allowed poor George to tell
his sad story, both listening with interest. But when he related how
his wife had died and he had at last found his child--Alice broke out,
"She is not dead! She is not dead, George! We had a letter only a
week ago. She is in Paris." George Fairfield was thunderstruck at
this revelation. Alice brought the letter, which he saw was from his
Agnes. But how could be this mistake with the deceased lady in the
convent and the child,--whose child was it!

Agnes wrote to her sister that she had intended travelling with the
Southern family to the Continent. When on the oceans the
Franco-Prussian war was declared. They had to stop at Southampton and,
instead of going to Germany, they went to the South of France, and,
as she had no letters from me for some time, she was almost beside
herself. The Southern lady being in such delicate state of health she
could not think of leaving her, but had to accompany her. All
letters sent from or sent to France were carefully inspected by the
Government, and thus it happened that I had not received any
communication for a long time. She had at last expected that
her letters had gone astray, then she had written to her sister,
Mrs. Taylor, asking her to write to me and try to obtain in this
way information about her boy.

Captain Fairfield would have liked to start at once in search of his
darling wife, but Mr. Taylor, who saw the danger for him in going to
France at this time, prevented him from acting rashly, also fearing
that the sudden shock to Agnes in seeing her husband whom she had
bemoaned so long would be of great injury to her health, so it was
decided that Alice should write first, saying in her letter that
there were some hopes of Captain Fairfield being alive. The next
mail should bring a letter from the Captain himself to his wife.
Both letters were duly posted, but when the steamer on which George
Fairfield was mate was ready to sail again no answer had been
received from, France, and George had to cross the ocean again.

Having received my address from Mrs. Taylor he intended to come and
see me on his arrival in this port, and this time he was more
fortunate: the ship made a quick voyage, and as Mrs. Taylor had
written to me by a previous steamer, informing me of all these
strange incidents, I looked out for him.

One afternoon in the month of August, 1871, when I was driving along
the wharf, I saw a steamer coming in, and on enquiring the name of
it I found it was the one with which I expected Mr. Fairfield. I
drove home with all speed, and as it was late in the afternoon
Master George had his little white frock pretty well soiled; but, on
telling him his papa would soon, be here to see him, he consented
readily to leave his play and undergo an extra bathing--his little
skin being so fair the least speck would show--and scarcely had we
finished the operation when the door-bell rang and a weather-beaten
gentlemen inquired for me. His surprise was great when he found I
had expected him, and on seeing his beautiful child his happiness
knew no bounds.

As soon as he had a little rested he related to us all his trials and
miseries, which seemed like a fairy tale. But when would Mrs. Fairfield
return and meet her husband, was the next question, and where? He
came every day and spent many an hour at our house playing with
his child and wishing for his wife to return. He often said it
would be almost too much happiness for him; that he was afraid
something might cross his plans again. I had written to Savannah
again to hear if the family would return from Europe soon. At last a
letter came informing me that the family, as also Mrs. Fairfield,
had embarked on a New York steamer, and would be expected home
within a short time. When Captain Fairfield heard the good news
he made arrangements not to return with his vessel to Glasgow but
await the arrival of his long lost wife. He telegraphed to the
agents in New York, desiring them to deliver a telegram at once
to Mrs. Fairfield on her arrival. The message read thus: "Mrs. Capt.
Fairfield is wanted in Montreal immediately. Important business.
Answer." In two days we had an answer which read: "Will start at once,
hope all well, Agnes Fairfield." Late in the evening the same day
the New York train arrived rather late, but with it Captain
Fairfield's wife. When the Captain saw his wife approaching he
dropped the boy and ran towards her, calling her by her name, but
she no sooner saw him than she fell senseless just inside the hall
door. I would have raised her; but shoving me aside he took her
tenderly in his arms and carried her upstairs. Then calling her by
all sorts of endearing terms he conjured here to open her eyes and
speak to him. After a time she revived. When she came to herself,
she gazed wildly around the room, enquiring eagerly, Where is he? I
had persuaded Captain Fairfield to retire to an adjoining room for
a while, and then brought little George to her pretending her
enquiries were meant for him; but her mind was perfectly clear, and
she demanded an explanation. I then told her in short what had
occurred, when she broke out in an hysterical cry. I called Captain
Fairfield to her, imploring him to try and dry her tears. But he let
his head sink into his hands and wept like a child himself. Little
George did not care for this proceeding at all, so he said he rather
would keep me for his mamma because I did not cry. I hope he never
will have the tenth part of the trial both his parents had.

For some time the now happy family stayed at Montreal, but at last
Captain Fairfield had to resume his duties, but as he would never
part from his wife and child again, he took both on the steamship
with him. The parting from the dear little child George nearly broke
my children's hearts, who had looked upon him as their baby brother,
and I promised to myself then never to take a strange child into my
house if I could not keep it for ever, for even my old heart fretted
after him.

The little girl in the asylum whom Captain Fairfield thought his
child he did not forget, but took with him to England on a later trip,
where Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, who had no family, adopted her. The nuns
at St. Pelagie were surprised when they heard of the mistake which
was made, but could never find out who was the young English girl
who died alone there. God has certainly taken care of her child, for
it is in a good home, well provided for, and much beloved. Captain,
Mrs., and little George Fairfield visited, before their final
departure, the parents of Arline Bertrand, on Bonaventure street,
and informed them of their existence. The old lady was so surprised
that it took a long time to explain, but she promised to let her
daughter know all about it.

Captain Fairfield is not crossing the ocean any more, having
received the appointment as harbor-master in an English port. He
does not want his son George, who is in College yet, to show any
liking for the sea. But I hope to see once more before I die the
young man whom we all loved so dearly when a baby-boy.

* * * * *

The Night Bell.

My night-bell was pulled very hastily, it was about two o'clock, the
night was bright, it was autumn, and, as I hastened to see who
wanted me in such a hurry, I saw two young girls sitting on my
house-door steps: both had been running very fast, the case was
urgent, and the little rest they took before the door was opened
would enable them to return all the faster. I had hardly opened the
door when both commenced to beg me in the most imploring manner to
go at once with them to see a young woman who, as they thought, must
be in great distress.

I put on my outer garments, took the street and number of the house,
as the party was entirely unknown to me, and then accompanied them
on their way, which led us through Craig street East, past a
beautiful field--the same where Viger Garden is now. A few more
crossings were passed, and we arrived at the scene where my help was
wanted. In front of the house was a policeman walking to and fro.
The house was medium size, built of wood, was gray, freshly painted,
and so were the green blinds. On the road going the two girls had
told me that the house where I was wanted was not a very good one,
but, if I had a heart and was a mother, for Gael's sake not to
refuse but to go with them. The presence of the guardian of the
peace encouraged me; and if I felt a little chilly at entering a den
of vice as this was it must be excusable as, till then, I only knew
of them by name and what little I had heard of them.

I was at once ushered into a little bed-room, from where the shrieks
of a female voice had come as if in great agony and in great pain. I
found a young girl not past her seventeenth year, yet in the last
state of labor,--it was a sight I shall never forget as long as I
live: years have past since then but it is as fresh in my memory as
if it were yesterday, and in my ears are the sound of her voice to
help and protect her from the inhuman abuse which another inmate of
the house showered down upon the poor victim.

I discovered that the poor young creature--we will call her Martha--
had only come to Montreal, the day previous, and, on, inquiring for
a boarding house, was driven by a carter to this den. The house
being full of occupants the landlady had made her occupy the same
room with another bad character, a great bony female about forty
years of age, with painted face, and attired in disgusting finery.
This great, big, hardened creature then gave the greatest trouble,
would have me remove my patient out of her room, even at the risk of
her life, and I was obliged to call the assistance of the policeman
to have her quieted.

After a while all was quiet except the feeble cry of a little girl
who had been born. Born in a house of vice, what will became of it
and its child-mother? I such were my thoughts then, and now, after
many years, I can tell the reader what has become of them, of some
of the inmates anyhow.

The woman who kept this house I must, in truth, confess was a
good-hearted person herself, being led astray when quite young, had
never thought of the wrong she was committing by keeping a place of
this sort. She had a widowed mother living in the States and a
family of smaller brothers and sisters who depended mostly on the
ill-gotten money this unfortunate eldest sister would send them for
their support. This _Madam Flora_, then, was very kind in her way to
Martha, and offered to take the baby and bring it up if I was
willing to place it out to nurse with a respectable woman until such
a time that she could take the child herself, as she intended to
give up this life of shame.

Martha was a girl well brought up, had been in school till shortly
before this episode of her life, but it was not her mother who had
been her companion during the last two years.

Her mother who was too much occupied with her smaller children and
other household affairs had thought it better to send her daughter
to a boarding-school to finish her education, and this was the end
of it. If all mothers would only take the care of their girls when
fourteen years old into their own hands a great deal of trouble
might be spared to them. The three years from the 14th to the 17th
is such a critical time for most girls, and should be passed under
the care of the mother and under her care alone, and every mother
ought to try to become the best friend of her daughter, not the
stern mother who has forgotten that she herself was young once, and
who finds it too much trouble to listen to her daughter's little
tales, by which she alone is able to guide her child, and save her
in many instances from eternal destruction. Thus poor Martha had no
mother who would listen to her girlish stories. She found plenty
companions in school and very bad advisers. When the truth of her
misfortune dawned upon her, she thought of nothing but to fly from
the place to where she did not know, till the destroyer of her
virtue advised her to go to Montreal, where he would in short join
and marry her. To confess to her mother she could never, and her
father she knew would never look at her again, so she followed his
advice, left her home under some pretence, and came to the place
where I found her. She was very glad to get somebody to take the
child from her, for she was fully resolved to lead a better life,
and how could she ever do it with a baby; she was hardly fit to earn
her own living. She told me that an aunt of hers was living in
Halifax, the wife of a sea captain who had no children, and who had
often written to her mother to send one of her children to her. So
she resolved to visit this aunt if some kind person would help her
to get there. I consulted with some of my wealthy and at the same
time charitable Christian friends, who have been, always ready to
help me when I had some needy patients, and with their assistance
she was sent for some weeks after her recovery, to a nice widow lady
in the country, and after receiving satisfactory information about
her aunt in Halifax she was sent there, and has, so far as we have
ascertained, never overstepped the bounds of morality again but was
married four years later to a friend of her uncle, also a sea captain.
She has a large family now, and whenever she writes to me she always
prays that God may forgive her and guide the little girl she parted
so easy from some years before.

The wife of a private soldier in the Canadian rifles, named Rice had
at the same time lost her own baby only six weeks old, and as her
quarters at the barracks were good and healthy I proposed to send
the child there, Madame Flora offering to pay all necessary expenses.
I made arrangements accordingly, and little Emma (the baby) was soon
an inmate of the barracks. But now a new trouble arose. Mrs. Rice
was a sobre, clean, industrious woman, who with the pay she received
for nursing the baby could make herself and place very comfortable.
This made the less fortunate soldiers' wives jealous, and their
thoughts were bent on nothing else for awhile but how to get the poor
little waif out of barracks. The baby thrived well under Mrs. Rice's
care, but cried at times, as all healthy babies will; but as the
babies of the other soldiers' wives never cried--so their mothers
said--they would not suffer a crybaby in the room, and such a
mysterious child where nobody knew where it came from, and could not
find it out either. The larger rooms in the barracks were in general
occupied by different families, and the one where Mrs. Rice had her
quarters was a very large one. It was called the ship, and was
occupied at this time by forty different families. Each had a
certain space, say about 12 by 14 feet, allotted to them, and it was
indeed a surprise to me how neat it was kept, and how one woman
would try to have her place in better order than the other. Their
packing boxes were converted into dressing tables, a little muslin
curtain pinned around it, a looking glass in the centre, and a few
ornaments, sea-shells or East Indian curiosities gave the whole a
nice appearance. The washing or cooking had to be done in out-houses,
and at night each family had a large curtain drawn around their
respective place, and it was really astonishing how little sickness
existed among so many men, women and children. Every morning at 10
o'clock the officers on guard accompanied by a sergeant on duty had
to visit each respective home, and report any irregularities; and so
it happened that my baby was reported as being a great disturber of
the peace. Poor Mrs. Rice was in great trouble. She had learned to
love the child, and was afraid she would have to part with it. What
was to be done? She was ordered to appear the next morning at 12
o'clock before the commanding officer to receive sentence for her
offence. I had attended a great many officers' ladies in this
regiment, also the Colonel's lady, and was well acquainted with that
gentleman and his kind heart, so I bid Mrs. Rice to keep quiet but
dress the baby (it was then three months old) in its little white fur
jacket and cap, and bring it with her before the officers, and

Book of the day: