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  • 1880
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Temptation,’ ‘The Flight,’ ‘The Pursuit,’ and so on, all invented, of course. Other papers give the most outrageous anecdotes. Old jokes are revived and ascribed to us. I am accused of tearing his hair out, and he of coming home late at nights drunk. Two portraits of ferocious old women supposed to be Ned’s mother-in-law have been published. The latest version appeared in a Sunday paper, and is quite popular in this hotel. According to it, Ned was in the habit of ‘devoting me to science’ by trying electrical experiments on me. ‘This,’ the account says, ‘was kind of rough on the poor woman.’ The day before I ‘scooted,’ a new machine appeared before the house, drawn by six horses. ‘What are them men foolin’ round with, Mr. C.?’ said I. ‘That’s hubby’s latest,’ replied Ned. ‘I guess it’s the boss electro-dynamic fixin’ in the universe. Full charge that battery with a pint of washing soda, an’ youll fetch up a current fit to ravage a cont’nent. You shall have a try t’morro’ mornin’, Sal. Youre better seasoned to it than most Britishers; but if it dont straighten your hair and lift the sparks outer your eyelashes–!’ ‘You bet it wont, Mr. C.,’ said I. That night (this is only what the paper says, mind) I stole out of bed; arranged the wires on each side of Ned so that if he stirred an inch he would make contact; charged the battery; and gently woke him, saying, ‘Mr. C, love, dont stir for your life. Them things that’s ticklin’ your whiskers is the conductors of that boss fixin’ o’ yourn. If I was you, I’d lie still until the battery runs down.’ ‘Darn it all,’ said Ned, afraid to lift his lips for a shout, and coming out in cold water all over the forehead, ‘it wont run down for a week clear.’ ‘That’ll answer me nicely,’ I replied. ‘Good-bye, Mr. C. Young Douglas from the corner grocery is waitin’ for me with a shay down the avenue.’ I cannot help laughing at these things, but they drive Sholto frantic. He is always described in them as a young man from some shop or other. He tries hard, out of delicacy, to keep the papers which contain them away from me; but I hear about them at breakfast, and buy them downstairs in the hall for myself. Another grievance of Sholto’s is that I will not have meals privately. But my dislike to being always alone with him is greater than my dread that my secret will leak out, and that some morning I shall see in the people’s faces that the Mrs. Forster who has so often been regaled with the latest account of the great scandal, is no other than the famous Mrs. Conolly. That evil day will come, sooner or later; but I had rather face it in one of these wonderful hotels than in a boarding-house, which I might be asked to leave. As to taking a house of our own, I shrink from any such permanent arrangement. We are noticed a good deal. Sholto is, of course, handsome and distinguished; and people take a fancy to me just as they used to long ago. I was once proud of this; but now it is a burden to me. For instance, there was a Mrs. Crawford staying here with her husband, a general, who has just built a house here. She was so determined to know me that I found it hard to keep her off without offending her. At last she got ill; and then I felt justified in nursing her. Sholto was very sulky because I did so, and wanted to know what business it was of mine. I did not trouble myself about his anger, and Mrs. Crawford was well in two days. In fact, I think Sholto was right in saying that she had only overeaten herself. After that I could avoid her no longer, and she was exceedingly kind to me. She wanted to introduce me to all her New York friends, and begged me to leave the hotel and go to her new mansion. There was plenty of room for us, she said. I did not know what to say. I could not repay her kindness by going to her house under false colors, and letting her introduce me to her circle; and yet I could make no reasonable excuse. At last, seeing that she attributed my refusals to pride, I told her plainly that if her friends were to learn my history by any accident they might not thank her for the introduction. She was quite confounded; but she did not abate her kindness in the least, although my reservation of confidence in only giving her a hint of the truth, checked her advances. You may think this an insane indiscretion on my part; but if you knew how often I have longed to stand up before everybody and proclaim who I am, and so get rid of the incubus of a perpetual falsehood, you would not be so much surprised. There is one unspeakable blessing in American law. It is quite easy to obtain a divorce. One can get free without sacrificing everything except bare existence. I do not care what anybody may argue to the contrary, our marriage laws are shameful.

“I shall expect to hear from you very soon. If you desert me, Nelly, there is no such thing as friendship in the world. I want particularly to know what Ned did–as far as you know–when he heard the news. Is papa very angry? And, above all, could you find out how Mrs. Douglas is? I thought that Sholto would be uneasy and remorseful about her; but he does not really care half so much as I do. How selfish I have been! I used to flatter myself that I was thoughtful for others because I made a habit–a detestably self-conscious habit–of being considerate in trifles. And in the end, after being so vain-gloriously attentive to the momentary comfort of all connected with me, I utterly forgot them and thought only of myself when their whole happiness was concerned. I never knew how high I stood in my own estimation until I found how far the discovery of my folly and selfishness made me fall. Tell me everything”. I cannot write any more now. My eyes are smarting: I feel as if I had been writing for a whole month instead of two days. Good-bye for three weeks.


“P.S. I have just learnt from a very severe criticism in one of the papers that Mdlle. Lalage Virtue has failed here completely. I fear from the wording that her unfortunate habit was apparent to the audience.”


On a cold afternoon in January, Sholto Douglas entered a hold in New York, and ascended to a room on the first floor. Marian was sitting there, thinking, with a letter in her lap, She only looked up for a moment when he entered; and he plucked off his sealskin gloves and threw aside his overcoat in silence.

“It is an infernal day,” he said presently.

Marian sighed, and roused herself. “The rooms look cheerless in winter without the open fireplaces we are accustomed to in England.”

“Damn the rooms!” he muttered.

Marian took up her letter again.

“Do you know that he has filed a petition for divorce?” he said, aggressively.


“You might have mentioned it to me. Probably you have known it for days past.”

“Yes. I thought it was a matter of course.”

“Or rather you did not think at nil. I suppose you would have left me in ignorance forever, if I had not heard from London myself.”

“Is it of importance, then?”

“Certainly it is–of vital importance.”

“Have you any other news? From whom have you heard?”

“I have received some private letters.”

“Oh! I beg your pardon.”

Five minutes passed in silence. He looked out of the window, frowning. She sat as before.

“How much longer do you intend to stay in this place?” he said, turning upon her suddenly.

“In New York?”

“This is New York, I believe.”

“I think we may as well stay here as anywhere else.”

“Indeed! On what grounds have you arrived at that cheering conclusion?”

Marian shrugged her shoulders. “I dont know,” she said.

“Nor do I. You do not seem happy here. At least, if you are, you fail to communicate your state of mind to those about you.”

“So it seems.”

“What does that mean?”

“That you do not seem to be happy either.”

“How in the devil’s name can you expect me to be happy in this city? Do you think it is pleasant to have no alternative to the society of American men except that of a sulky woman?”

“Sholto!” said Marian, rising quickly, and looking at him in surprise.

“Spare me these airs,” he said, coldly. “You will have to accustom yourself to hear the truth occasionally.”

She sat down again. “I am not giving myself airs,” she said, earnestly. “I am astonished. Have I really been sulky?”

“You have been in the sulks for days past: and you are in them at this moment.”

“There is some misunderstanding between us then; for you have seemed to me quite cross and out of sorts for the last week; and I thought you were out of temper when you came in just now.”

“That is rather an old-fashioned retort.”

“Sholto: I do not know whether you intend it or not; but you are speaking very slightingly to me.”

He muttered something, and walked across the room and back. “I am quite clear on one point at least,” he said. “It was not for this sort of thing that I crossed the Atlantic with you; and you had bettor make our relations more agreeable if you wish me to make them permanent.”

“You to make them permanent? I do not understand.”

“I shall not shrink from explaining myself. If your husband’s suit is undefended, he will obtain a decree which will leave you a single woman in six months. Now, whatever you may think to the contrary, there is not a club in London that would hold me in any way bound to marry you after the manner in which you have behaved. Let me remind you that your future position depends on your present conduct. You have apparently forgotten it.”

She looked at him; and he went back to the window.

“My husband’s suit cannot be defended,” she said. “Doubtless you will act according to the dictates of the London clubs.”

“I do not say so,” he said, turning angrily. “I shall act according to the dictates of my own common sense. And do not be too sure that the petition will be unopposed. The law recognizes the plea of connivance.”

“But it would be a false plea,” said Marian, raising her voice.

“I shall not discuss that with you. Whether your husband was blind, or merely kept his eyes shut will not be decided by us. You have been warned. We will drop the subject now, if you please.”

“Do you suppose,” said Marian, with a bright color in her cheeks, “that after what you have said, anything could induce me to marry you?”

He was startled, and remained for a moment motionless. Then he said, in his usual cold tone, “As you please. You may think better of it. I will leave you for the present. When we meet again, you will be calmer.”

“Yes,” she said. “Good-bye.”

Without answering, he changed his coat for a silk jacket, transferred his cigar-case to a pocket in it, and went out. When he had passed the threshold, he hesitated, and returned.

“Why do you say good-bye?” he said, after clearing his throat uneasily.

“I do not like to leave you without saying it.”

“I hope you have not misunderstood me, Marian. I did not mean that we should part.”

“I know that. Nevertheless, we shall part. I will never sleep beneath the same roof with you again.”

“Come!” he said, shutting the door: “this is nonsense. You are out of temper.”

“So you have already told me,” she said, becoming pale.

“Well, but–Marian: perhaps I may have spoken rather harshly just now; but I did not mean you to take it so. You must be reasonable.”

“Pray let us have no more words about it. I need no apologies, and desire no advances. Good-bye is enough.”

“But, Marian,” said he, coming nearer, “you must not fancy that I have ceased to love you.”

“Above all,” said Marian, “let us have no more of that. You say you hate this place and the life we lead here. I am heartily sick of it, and have been so for a long time.”

“Let us go elsewhere.”

“Yes, but not together. One word,” she added resolutely, seeing his expression become fierce. “I will not endure any violence, even of language, from you. I know of old what you are when you lose your temper; and if you insult me I will summon aid, and proclaim who I am.”

“Do you think I am going to strike you?”

“No, because you dare not. But I will not listen to oaths or abuse.”

“What have you to complain of? What is your grievance?”

“I make no complaint. I exercise the liberty I bought so dearly to go where I please and do what I please.”

“And to desert me when I have sacrificed everything for you. I have incurred enormous expenses; alienated my friends; risked my position in society; and broken my mother’s heart for your sake.”

“But for that I would have left you before. I am very sorry.”

“You have heard something in that letter which makes you hope that your husband will take you back. Not a woman in London will speak to you.”

“I tell you I am not going back. Oh, Sholto, dont be so mean. Can we not part with dignity? We have made a mistake. Let us acknowledge it quietly, and go our several ways.”

“I will not be got rid of so easily as you suppose,” he said, his face darkening menacingly. “Do you think I believe in your going out alone from this hotel and living by yourself in a strange city? Come! who is it?”

“Who is—-? What do you mean?”

“What new connexion have you formed? You were very anxious about our ship returning the other day–anxious about the mails, of course. Perhaps also about the surgeon.”

“I understand. You think I am leaving you to go to some other man. I will tell you now the true reason.”

“Do,” said he, sarcastically, biting his lip.

“I will. I am leaving you because, instead of loving you, as I foolishly thought I could, I neither respect nor even like you. You are utterly selfish and narrow-minded; and I deserve my disappointment for having deserted for your sake a far better man. I am sorry you have sacrificed so much for me; but if you had been worthy of a woman’s regard, you would not have lost me.”

Douglas stared at her. “_I_ selfish and narrow-minded!” he said, with the calm of stupefaction.


“I may have been narrow-minded in devoting myself so entirely to you,” said he slowly, after a pause. “But, though I do not ask for gratitude, I think I have been sufficiently a loser to disregard such a monstrous assertion as that I am selfish.”

“You show your selfishness by dwelling on what you have lost. You never think of what I have lost. I make no profession of unselfishness. I am suffering for my folly and egoism; and I deserve to suffer.”

“In what way, pray, are you suffering? You came here because you had a wretched home, and a husband who was glad to be rid of you. You do what you like, and have what you like. Name one solitary wish of yours that has not been silently gratified.”

“I do not find fault with you. You have been generous in supplying me with luxuries such as money can obtain. But it was not the want of money that made me fancy my home wretched. It is not true that I can do as I like. How many minutes is it since you threatened to cast me off if I did not make myself agreeable to you? Can you boast of your generosity after taunting me with my dependence on you?”

“You misunderstood me, Marian. I neither boasted, nor threatened, nor taunted. I have even apologized for that moment’s irritation. If you cannot forgive such a trifle, you yourself can have very little generosity.”

“Perhaps not. I do not violently resent things; but I cannot forget them, nor feel as I did before they happened.”

“You think so at present. Let us cease this bickering. Lovers’ quarrels should not be carried too far.”

“I am longing to cease it. It worries me; and it does not alter my determination in the least.”

“Do you mean—-“

“I do mean. Dont look at me like that: you make me angry instead of frightening me.”

“And do you think I will suffer this quietly?”

“You may suffer it as you please,” said Marian, stepping quietly to the wall, and pressing a button. “I will never see you again if I can help it. If you follow me, or persecute me in any way, I will appeal to the police for protection as Mrs. Conolly. I despise you more than I do any one on earth.”

He turned away, and snatched up his coat and hat. She stood apparently watching him quietly, but really listening with quickened heart to his loud and irregular breathing. As he opened the door to go out, he was confronted on the threshold by a foreign waiter.

“Vas you reeng?” said the waiter doubtfully, retreating a step.

“I will not be accountable for that woman’s expenses from this time forth,” said Douglas, pointing at her, “You can keep her at your own risk, or turn her into the streets to pursue her profession, as you please.”

The waiter, smiting vaguely, looked first at the retreating figure of Douglas, and then at Marian.

“I want another room, if you please,” she said. “One on any of the upper floors will do; but I must have my things moved there at once.”

Her instructions were carried out after some parley. In the meantime, Douglas’s man servant appeared, and said that he had been instructed to remove his master’s luggage.

“Is Mr. Forster leaving the hotel?” she asked.

“I dont know his arrangements, madam.”

“I guess I do, then,” said a sulky man, who was preparing to wheel away Marian’s trunk. “He’s about to shift his billet to the Gran’ Central.”

Marian, still in a towering rage, sat down in her new room to consider her situation. To fix her attention, which repeatedly wandered to what had passed between her and Douglas, she counted her money, and found that she had, besides a twenty pound note which she had brought with her from London, only a few loose dollars in her purse. Her practice in housekeeping at Westbourne Terrace and Holland Park had taught her the value of money too well to let her suppose that she could afford to remain at a first rate American hotel with so small a sum in her possession. At home Conolly had made her keep a separate banking account; and there was money to her credit there; but in her ignorance of the law, she was not sure that she had not forfeited all her property by eloping. She resolved to move at once into some cheap lodging, and to live economically until she could ascertain the true state of her affairs, or until she could obtain some employment, to support her. She faced poverty without fear, never having experienced it.

It was still early in the afternoon when she left the hotel and drove to the Crawfords’.

“So you have come at last,” cried Mrs. Crawford, who was fifty years of age and stout, but leaner in the face than fat Englishwomen of that age usually are.

“I just expected you’d soon git tired of being grand all by yourself in the hotel yonder.”

“I fear I shall have to be the reverse of grand all by myself in some very shabby lodging,” said Marian. “Dont be surprised Mrs. Crawford. Can one live in New York on ten dollars a week?”

“_You_ cant live on ten dollars a week in New York nor on a hundred. You rode here, didnt you?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Of course. If you have only ten dollars a week you should have walked. I know the sort you are, Mrs. Forster. You wont be long getting rid of your money, no matter where you live. But whats wrong? Hows your husband?”

“I dont know. I hope he is quite well,” said Marian, her voice trembling a little. “Mrs. Crawford: you are the only friend I have in America; and you have been so very kind to me that since I must trouble some one, I have ventured to come to you. The truth is that I have left my husband; and I have only about one hundred dollars in the world. I must live on that until I get some employment, or perhaps some money of my own from England.”

“Chut, child! Nawnsnse!” exclaimed Mrs. Crawford, with benevolent intolerance. “You go right back to your husband. I spose youve had a rumpus with him; but you mustnt mind that. All men are a bit selfish; and I should say from what I have seen of him that he is no exception to the rule. But you cant have perfection. He’s a fine handsome fellow; and he knows it. And, as for you, I dont know what they reckon you in England; but youre the best-looking woman in Noo York: thats surtn. It’s a pity for such a pair to fall out.”

“He is not selfish,” said Marian. “You never saw him. I am afraid I must shock you, Mrs. Crawford. Mr. Forster is not my husband.”

“No! Do! Did you ever tell the General that?”

“General Crawford! Oh, no.”

“Think of that man being cuter than me, a woman! He always said so. And the grit you must have, to tell it out as cool as that! Well! I’m sorry to hear it though, Mrs. Forster. It’s a bad account–a very bad one. But if I take what you said just now rightly, youre married.”

“I am. I have deserted a very good husband.”

“It’s a pity you didnt find that out a little sooner, isnt it?”

“I know, Mrs. Crawford. I thought I was acting for the best.”

“Thought you were acting for the best in running away from a good husband! Well, you British aristocrats are singular. You throw stones at us because our women are so free and our divorces so easy. Yet youre always scandlizing us; and now _you_ tell me youve done it on morl grounds! Who educated you, child? And what do you intend to do now?”

“For the present, only to get a lodging. Will you tell me where I should look for one? I dont know the east from the west end of this town; and I am so inexperienced that I might make a mistake easily as to the character of the places. Will you direct me to some street or quarter in which I should he likely to find suitable rooms? I can live very economically.”

“I dont know what to do,” said Mrs. Crawford, perplexedly, turning her rings on her fingers. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself. And you so pretty!”

“Perhaps you would rather not assist me. You may tell me so candidly. I shall not be offended.”

“You mustnt take me up like that. I must have a talk with the General about you. I dont feel like letting you go into some ordinary place by yourself. But I cant ask you to stay here without consulting—-“

“Oh, no, you must not think of any such thing: I must begin to face the world alone at once. I assure you, Mrs. Crawford, I could not come here. I should only keep your friends away.”

“But nobody knows you.”

“Sooner or later I should meet someone who does. There are hundreds of people who know me by sight, who travel every year. Besides, my case is a very public one, unfortunately. May I take you into my confidence?”

“If you wish, my dear. I dont ask you for it; but I will take it kindly.”

“I know you will. You must have heard all about me. Mr. Forster’s real name is Douglas.”

Mrs. Crawford stifled a whoop of surprise. “And you! Are you—-?”

“I am.”

“Only think! And that was Douglas! Why, I thought he was a straight-haired, sleeky, canting snake of a man. And you too are not a bit like what I thought. You are quite a person, Mrs.–Mrs. Conolly.”

“I have no right to bear that name any longer. Pray call me by my assumed name still, and keep my secret. I hope you do not believe all the newspapers said?”

“No, of course not,” said Mrs. Crawford. “But whose fault was it?”

“Mine. Altogether mine. I wish you would tell people that Mr. Conolly is blameless in the matter.”

“He will take care of his own credit, never fear. I am sure you got some provocation: I know what men are. The General is not my first husband.”

“No, I got no provocation. Mr. Conolly is not like other men. I got discontented because I had nothing to desire. And now, about the lodgings, Mrs. Crawford. Do not think I am changing the subject from reticence. It is the question of money that makes me anxious. All my resources would be swallowed up at the hotel in less than a week.”

“Lodgings? You mean rooms, I guess. People here mostly go to boarding-houses. And as to the cheapness, you dont know what cheapness is. Cant you make some arrangement with your great relations in England? Have you no property of your own?”

“I cannot tell whether my property remains my own or not. You must regard me as a poor woman. I am quite determined to have the lodgings; and I should like to arrange about them at once; for I am rather upset by something that happened this morning.”

“Well, if you must, you must, I know a place that might suit you: I lived in it myself when I was not so well off as I am at present. It is a little down-town; but you will have to put up with that for the sake of economy.”

Mrs. Crawford, who had read in the papers of her guest’s relationship to the Earl of Carbury, then sent for her carriage, and dressed herself handsomely. When they had gone some distance, they entered a wide street, crossed half way along by an avenue and an elevated railway.

“What do you think of this neighborhood?” said Mrs. Crawford.

“It is a fine, wide street,” replied Marian; “but it looks as if it needed to be swept and painted.”

“The other end is quieter. I’m afraid you wont like living here.”

Marian had hitherto thought of such streets as thoroughfares, not as places in which she could dwell. “Beggars cannot be choosers,” she said, with affected cheerfulness, looking anxiously ahead for the promised quiet part.

“Boarding-houses are so much the rule here, that it is not easy to get rooms. You will find Mrs. Myers a good soul, and though the house is not much to look at, it is comfortable enough inside.”

The appearance of the street improved as they went on; and the house they stopped at, though the windows were dingy and the paint old, was better than Marian had hoped for a minute before. She remained in the carriage whilst her companion conferred with the landlady within. Twenty minutes passed before Mrs. Crawford reappeared, looking much perplexed.

“Mrs. Myers has a couple of rooms that would do you very well; only you would be on the same floor with a woman who is always drunk. She has pawned a heap of clothes, and promises to leave every day; but Mrs. Myers hasnt got rid of her yet. It’s very provoking. She’s quiet, and doesnt trouble any one; but still, of course—-“

“She cannot interfere with me,” said Marian. “If that is the only objection, let it pass. I need have nothing to say to her. If she is not violent nor noisy, her habits are her own affair.”

“Oh, she wont trouble you. You can keep to yourself, English fashion.”

“Then let us agree at once. I cannot face any more searching and bargaining.”

“Youre looking pale. Are you sure you are not ill?”

“No. It is nothing. I am rather tired.”

They went in together; and Marian was introduced to Mrs. Myers, a nervous widow of fifty. The rooms were small, and the furniture and carpets old and worn; but all was clean; and there was an open fireplace in the sitting-room.

“They will do very nicely, thank you,” said Marian. “I will send for my luggage; and I think I will just telegraph my new address and a few words to a friend in London.”

“If you feel played out, I can see after your luggage,” said Mrs. Crawford. “But I advise you to come back with me; have a good lunch at Delmonico’s; and send your cablegram yourself.”

Marian roused herself from a lassitude which was coming upon her, and took Mrs. Crawford’s advice. When they returned to the richer quarter of the town, and especially after luncheon, her spirits revived. At the hotel she observed that the clerk was surprised when, arranging for the removal of her luggage and the forwarding of her letters, she mentioned her new address. Douglas, she found, had paid all expenses before leaving. She did not linger in the building; for the hotel staff stared at her curiously. She finished her business by telegraphing to Elinor: “_Separated. Write to new address. Have I forfeited my money?_” This cost her nearly five dollars.

“Only that you must find out about your money, I wouldnt have let you spend all that,” said Mrs. Crawford.

“I did not think it would have cost so much,” said Marian. “I was horrified when he named the price. However, it cannot be helped.”

“We may as well be getting back to Mrs. Myers’s now. It’s late.”

“Yes, I suppose so,” said Marian, sighing. “I am sorry I did not ask Nelly to telegraph me. I am afraid my funds will not last so long as I thought.”

“Well, we shall see. The General was greatly taken with you for the way you looked after me when I was ill yonder; so you have two friends in Noo York City, at any rate.”

“You have proved that to me to-day. I am afraid I shall have to trouble you further if I get bad news. You will have to help me to find some work.”

“Yes. Never mind that until the bad news comes. I hope you wont mope at Mrs. Myers’s. How does the American air agree with you?”

“Pretty well. I was sick for the first two days of our passage across, and somehow my digestion seems to have got out of order in consequence. Of late I have been a little unwell in the mornings.”

“Oh! Thats so, is it? Humph! I see I shall have to come and look after you occasionally.”


“Never you mind, my dear. But dont go moping, nor going without food to save money. Take care of yourself.”

“It is nothing serious,” said Marian, with a smile. “Only a passing indisposition. You need not be uneasy about me. This is the house, is it not? I shall lose myself whenever I go out for a walk here.”

“This is it. Now good-bye. I’ll see you soon. Meanwhile, you take care of yourself, as youre told.”

It was dark when Marian entered her new residence. Mrs. Myers was standing at the open door, remonstrating with a milkman. Marian hastily assured her that she knew the way, and went upstairs alone. She was chilled and weary; her spirits had fallen again during her journey from the telegraph office. As she approached her room, hoping to find a good fire, she heard a flapping noise, which was suddenly interrupted by the rattle of a falling poker, followed by the exclamation, in a woman’s voice, “Och, musha, I wouldnt doubt you.” Marian, entering, saw a robust young woman kneeling before the grate, trying to improve a dull fire that burnt there. She had taken up the poker and placed it standing against the bars so that it pointed up the chimney; and she was now using her apron fanwise as a bellows. The fire glowed in the draught; and Marian, by its light, noted with displeasure that the young woman’s calico dress was soiled, and her hair untidy.

“I think—-“

“God bless us!” ejaculated the servant, starting and turning a comely dirty face toward Marian.

“Did I frighten you?” said Marian, herself startled by the exclamation.

“You put the life acrass in me,” said the servant, panting, and pressing her hand on her bosom.

“I am sorry for that. I was going to say that I think you need not take any further trouble with the fire. It will light of itself now.”

“Very well, miss.”

“What is your name?”

“Liza Redmon’, miss.”

“I should like some light, Eliza, if you please.”

“Yis, miss. Would you wish to take your tay now, miss?”

“Yes, thank you.”

Eliza went away with alacrity. Marian put off her bonnet and furs, and sat down before the fire to despond over the prospect of living in that shabby room, waited on by that slipshod Irish girl, who roused in her something very like racial antipathy. Presently Eliza returned, carrying a small tray, upon which she had crowded a lighted kerosene lamp, a china tea service, a rolled-up table cloth, a supply of bread and butter, and a copper kettle. When she had placed the lamp on the mantelpiece, and the kettle by the fire, she put the tray on the sofa, and proceeded to lay the cloth, which she shook from its folds and spread like a sail in the air by seizing two of the corners in her hands, and pulling them apart whilst she held the middle fold in her teeth. Then she adroitly wafted it over the table, making a breeze in which the lamp flared and Marian blinked. Her movements were very rapid; and in a few moments she had arranged the tea service, and was ready to withdraw.

“My luggage will be sent here this evening or to-morrow, Eliza. Will you tell me when it comes?”

“Yis, miss.”

“You know that my name is _Mrs_. Forster, do you not?”

“Mrs. Forster. Yis, miss.”

Marian made no further attempt to get miss changed to maam; and Eliza left the room. As she crossed the landing, she was called by someone on the same floor. Marian started at the sound. It was a woman’s voice, disagreeably husky: a voice she felt sure she had heard before, and yet one that was not familiar to her.

“Eliza. Eli-za!” Marian shuddered.

“Yis, yis,” said Eliza, impatiently, opening a door.

“Come here, alanna,” said the voice, with mock fondness. The door was then closed, and Marian could hear the murmur of the conversation which followed. It was still proceeding when Mrs. Myers came in.

“I didnt ought to have left you to find your way up here alone, Mrs. Forster,” she said; “but I do have such worry sometimes that I’m bound to leave either one thing or another undone.”

“It does not matter at all, Mrs. Myers. Your servant has been very attentive to me.”

“The hired girl? She’s smart, she is–does everything right slick away. The only trouble is to keep her out of that room. She’s in there now. Unless I am always after her, she is slipping out on errands, pawning and buying drink for that unfortunate young creature.”

“For whom?”

“A person that Mrs. Crawford promised to tell you about.”

“So she did,” said Marian. “But I did not know she was young.”

“She’s older than you, a deal. I knew her when she was a little girl, and I often forget how old she is. She was the prettiest child! Even now she would talk you into anything. But I cant help her. It’s nothing but drink, drink, drink from morning til night. There’s Eliza coming out of her room. Eliza.”

“Yis, maam,” said Eliza, looking in.

“You stay in the house, Eliza, do you hear? I wont have you go out.”

“Could I spake a word to you, maam?” said Eliza, lowering her voice.

“No, Eliza. I’m engaged with Mrs. Forster.”

“She wants to see you,” whispered Eliza.

“Go downrs, Eliza, this minute. I wont see her.”

“Mrs. Myers,” cried the voice. Marian again shrank from the sound. “Mrs. My-ers. Aunt Sally. Come to your poor Soozy.” Mrs. Myers looked perplexedly at Marian. The voice resumed after a pause, with an affected Yankee accent, “I guess I’ll raise a shine if you dont come.”

“I must go,” said Mrs. Myers. “I promise you, Mrs. Forster, she shall not annoy you. She shall go this week. It aint right that you should be disturbed by her.”

Mrs. Myers went into the other room. Eliza ran downrs, and Marian heard her open the house door softly and go out. She also heard indistinctly the voices of the landlady and her lodger. After a time these ceased, and she drank her tea in peace. She was glad that Mrs. Myers did not return, although she made no more comfortable use of her solitude than to think of her lost home in Holland Park, comparing it with her dingy apartment, and pressing her handkerchief upon her eyes when they became too full of tears. She had passed more than an hour thus when Eliza roused her by announcing the arrival of the luggage. Thereupon she bestirred herself to superintend its removal to her bedroom, where she unpacked a trunk which contained her writing-case and some books. With these were stowed her dresses, much miscellaneous finery, and some handsomely worked underclothing. Eliza, standing by, could not contain her admiration; and Marian, though she did not permit her to handle the clothes, had not the heart to send her away until she had seen all that the trunk contained. Marian heard her voice afterward in the apartment of the drunken lodger, and suspected from its emphasis that the girl was describing the rare things she had seen.

Marian imparted some interest to her surroundings that evening by describing them in a letter to Elinor. When she had finished, she was weary; and the fire was nearly out. She looked at her watch, and, finding to her surprise that is was two hours after midnight, rose to go to bed. Before leaving the room, she stood for a minute before the old-fashioned pier-glass, with one foot on the fender, and looked at her image, pitying her own weariness, and enjoying the soft beauty of her face and the gentleness of her expression. Her appearance did not always please her; but on this occasion the mirror added so much to the solace she had found in writing to Elinor, that she felt almost happy as she took the lamp to light her to her bedroom.

She had gone no farther than the landing when a sound of unsteady footsteps on the stairs caused her to stop. As she lifted the lamp and looked up, she saw a strange woman descending toward her, holding the balustrade, and moving as though with pains in her limbs. This woman, whose black hair fell nearly to her waist, was dressed in a crimson satin dressing-gown, warmly padded, and much stained and splashed. She had fine dark eyes, and was young, bold-looking, and handsome; but when she came nearer, the moist pallor of her skin, the slackness of her lower lip and jaw, and an eager and worn expression in her fine eyes, gave her a thirsty, reckless leer that filled Marian with loathing. Her aspect conveyed the same painful suggestion as her voice had done before, but more definitely; for it struck Marian, with a shock, that Conolly, in the grotesque metamorphosis of a nightmare, might appear in some such likeness. The lamp did not seem to attract her attention at first; but when she came within a few steps, she saw some one before her, and, dazzled by the light, peered at Marian, who lost her presence of mind, and stood motionless. Gradually the woman’s expression changed to one of astonishment. She came down to the landing; stopped, grasping the handrail to steady herself; and said in her husky voice:

“Oh, Lord! It’s not a woman at all. It’s D. Ts.” Then, not quite convinced by this explanation, she suddenly stretched out her hand and attempted to grasp Marian’s arm. Missing her aim, she touched her on the breast, and immediately cried, “Mrs. Ned!”

Marian shrank from her touch, and recovered her courage.

“Do you know me?” she said.

“I should rather think I do. I have gone off a good deal in my appearance, or you would know me. Youve seen me on the stage, I suppose. I’m your sister-in-law. Perhaps you didnt know you had one.”

“Are you Miss Susanna Conolly?”

“Thats who I am. At least I am what is left of Miss Susanna. You dont look overjoyed to make my acquaintance; but I was as good-looking as you once. Take my advice, Mrs. Ned: dont drink champagne. The end of champagne is brandy; and the end of brandy is—-” Susanna made a grimace and indicated herself.

“I am afraid we shall disturb the house if we talk here. We had better say good-night.”

“No, no. Dont be in such a hurry to get rid of me. Come into my room with me for a while. I’ll talk quietly: I’m not drunk. Ive just slept it off; and I was coming down for some more. You may as well keep me from it for a few minutes. I suppose Ned hasnt forbidden you to speak to me.”

“Oh, no,” said Marian, yielding to a feeling of pity. “Come into my room. There is a scrap of fire there still.”

“We used to lodge in this room long ago, in my father’s time,” said Susanna, following Marian into the room, and reclining with a groan on the sofa. “I’m rather in a fog, you know: I cant make out how the deuce you come to be here. Did Ned send you to look after me? Is he in New York? Is he here?”

“No,” said Marian, foreseeing with a bitter pang and a terrible blush what must follow. “He is in England. I am alone here.”

“Well, why–? what–? I dont understand.”

“Have you not read the papers?” said Marian, in a low voice, turning her head away.

“Papers! No, not since I saw an account of my brilliant _debut_ here, of which I suppose you have heard. I never read: I do nothing but drink. What has happened?”

Marian hesitated.

“Is it any secret?” said Susanna.

“No, it is no secret,” said Marian, turning, and looking at her steadily. “All the world knows it. I have left your brother; and I do not know whether I am still his wife, or whether I am already divorced.”

“You dont mean to say youre on the loose!” cried Susanna.

Marian was silent.

“I always told Ned that no woman could stand him,” said Susanna, with sodden vivacity, after a pause, during which Marian had to endure her astonished stare. “He always thought you the very pink of propriety. Of course, there was another man in it. Whats become of him, if I may ask?”

“I have left him,” said Marian, sternly. “You need impute no fault to your brother in the matter, Miss Conolly. He is quite blameless.”

“Yes,” said Susanna, not in the least impressed, “he always is blameless. How is Bob? I mean Marmaduke, your cousin. I call him Bob, short for Cherry Bob.”

“He is very well, thank you.”

“Now, Bob was not a blameless man, but altogether the reverse; and he was a capital fellow to get on with. Ned was always right, always sure of himself; and there was an end. He has no variety. I wonder will Bob ever get married?”

“He is going to be married in the spring.”

“Who to?”

“To Lady Constance Car—-“

“Damn that woman!” exclaimed Susanna. “I hate her. She was always throwing herself at his head. Curse her! Damn her! I wish—-“

“Miss Conolly,” said Marian: “I hope you will not think me rude; but I am very tired, and it is very late. I must go to bed.”

“Well, will you come and see me to-morrow? It will be an act of charity. I am dying here all alone. You are a nice woman, and I know what you must feel about me; but you will get used to me. I wont annoy you. I wont swear. I wont say anything about your cousin. I’ll keep sober. Do come. You are a good sort: Bob always said so; and you might save me from destroying myself. Say youll come.”

“If you particularly wish it, I will,” said Marian, not disguising her reluctance.

“Youd rather not, of course,” said Susanna, despondently.

“I am afraid I cannot be of any use to you.”

“For that matter, no one is likely to be of much use to me. But it’s hard to be imprisoned in this den without anyone to speak to but Eliza. However, do as you please. I did as I pleased; and I must take the consequences. Just tell me one thing. Did you find me out by accident?”


“That was odd.” Susanna groaned again as she rose from the sofa. “Well, since you wont have anything to do with me, good-bye. Youre quite right.”

“I will come and see you. I do not wish to avoid you if you are in trouble.”

“Do,” said Susanna, eagerly, touching Marian’s hand with her moist palm. “We’ll get on better than you think. I like you, and I’ll make you like me. If I could only keep from it for two days, I shouldnt be a bit disgusting. Good-night.”

“Good-night,” said Marian, overcoming her repugnance to Susanna’s hand, and clasping it. “Remember that my name here is Mrs. Forster.”

“All right. Good-night. Thank you. You will never be sorry for having compassion on me.”

“Wont you take a light?”

“I dont require one. I can find what I want in the dark.”

She went into her apartment. Marian went quickly up to her own bedroom and locked herself in. Her first loathing for Susanna had partly given way to pity; but the humiliation of confessing herself to such a woman as an unfaithful wife was galling. When she went to sleep she dreamed that she was unmarried and at home with her father, and that the household was troubled by Susanna, who lodged in a room upstairs.


Sholto Douglas returned to England in the ship which carried Marian’s letter to Elinor. On reaching London he stayed a night in the hotel at Euston, and sent his man next day to take rooms for him at the West End. Early in the afternoon the man reported that he had secured apartments in Charles Street, St. James’s. It was a fine wintry day, and Douglas resolved to walk, not without a sense of being about to run the gauntlet.

It proved the most adventurous walk he had ever taken in his life. Everybody he knew seemed to be lying in wait for him. In Portland Place he met Miss McQuinch, who, with the letter fresh in her pocket, looked at him indignantly, and cut him. At the Laugham Hotel he passed a member of his club, who seemed surprised, but nodded coolly. In Regent Street he saw Lady Carbury’s carriage waiting before a shop. He hurried past the door, for he had lost courage at his encounter with Elinor. There were, however, two doors; and as he passed the second, the Countess, Lady Constance, and Marmaduke came out just before him.

“Where the devil is the carriage?” said Marmaduke, loudly.

“Hush! Everybody can hear you,” said Lady Constance.

“What do I care whether–Hal-lo! Douglas! How are you?”

Marmaduke proffered his hand. Lady Carbury plucked her daughter by the sleeve and hurried to her carriage, after returning Douglas’s stern look with the slightest possible bow. Constance imitated her mother. Douglas haughtily raised his hat.

“How obstinate Marmaduke is!” said the Countess, when she had bidden the coachman drive away at once. “He is going to walk down Regent Street with that man.”

“But you didnt cut him, mamma.”

“I never dreamed of his coming back so soon; and, of course, I cannot tell whether he will be cut or not. We must wait and see what other people will do. If we meet him again we had better not see him.”

“Look here, old fellow,” said Marmaduke, as he walked away with Douglas. “Youve come back too soon. It wont do. Take my advice and go away again until matters have blown over. Hang it, it’s too flagrant! You have not been away two months.”

“I believe you are going to be married,” said Douglas. “Allow me to congratulate you.”

“Thank you. Fine day, isnt it?”

“Very fine.”

Marmaduke walked on in silence. Douglas presently recommenced the conversation.

“I only arrived in London last night. I have come from New York.”

“Indeed. Pleasant voyage?”

“Very pleasant.”

Another pause.

“Has anything special happened during my absence?”

“Nothing special.”

“Was there much fuss made about my going?”

“Well, there was a great deal of fuss made about it. Excuse my alluding to the subject again. I shouldnt have done so if you hadnt asked me.”

“Oh, my dear fellow, you neednt stand on ceremony with me.”

“That’s all very well, Douglas; but when I alluded to it just now, you as good as told me to mind my own business.”

“I told you so!”

“Not in those words, perhaps. However, the matter is easily settled. You bolted with Marian. I know that, and you know it. If the topic is disagreeable, say so, and it is easily avoided. If you want to talk about it, better not change the subject when I mention it.”

“You have taken offence needlessly. I changed the subject inadvertently.”

“Hm! Well, has she come back with you?”


“Do you mean that youve thrown her over?”

“I have said nothing of the kind. As a matter of fact, she has thrown me over.”

“Thats very strange. You are not going to marry her then, I suppose?”

“How can I? I tell you she has deserted me. Let me remind you, Lind, that I should not be bound to marry her in any case, and I shall certainly not do so now. If I chose to justify myself, I could easily do so by her own conduct.”

“I expect you will not be troubled for any justification. People seem to have made up their minds that you were wrong in the first instance, and you ought to keep out of the way until they have forgotten—-Oh, confound it, here’s Conolly! Now, for God’s sake, dont let us have any row.”

Douglas whitened, and took a step back into the roadway before he recovered himself; for Conolly had come upon them suddenly as they turned into Charles Street. A group of gentlemen stood on the steps of the clubhouse which stands at that corner.

“Bless me!” said Conolly, with perfect good humor. “Douglas back again! Why on earth did you run away with my wife? and what have you done with her?”

The party on the steps ceased chatting and began to stare.

“This is not the place to call me to account, sir,” said Douglas, still on his guard, and very ill at ease. “If you have anything to say to me which cannot be communicated through a friend, it had better be said in private.”

“I shall trouble you for a short conversation,” said Conolly. “How do you do, Lind? Where can we go? I do not belong to any club.”

“My apartments are at hand,” said Douglas.

“I suppose I had better leave you,” said Marmaduke.

“Your presence will not embarrass me in the least,” said Conolly.

“I have not sought this interview,” said Douglas. “I therefore prefer Mr. Lind to witness what passes.”

Conolly nodded assent; and they went to a house on the doorstep of which Douglas’s man was waiting, and ascended to the front drawing-room.

“Now, sir,” said Douglas, without inviting his guests to sit down. Conolly alone took off his hat. Marmaduke went aside, and looked out of the window.

“I know the circumstances that have led to your return,” said Conolly; “so we need not go into that. I want you, however, to assist me on one point. Do you know what Marian’s pecuniary position is at present?’

“I decline to admit that it concerns me in any way.”

“Of course not. But it concerns me, as I do not wish that she should be without money in a foreign city. She has telegraphed a question about her property to Miss McQuinch. That by itself is nothing; but her new address, which I first saw on a letter this morning, happens to be known to me as that of a rather shabby lodging-house.”

“I know nothing of it.”

“I do: it means that she is poor. I can guess at the sum she carried with her to America. Now, if you will be good enough to tell me whether you have ever given her money; if so, how much; and what her expenditure has been, you will enable me to estimate her position at present.”

“I do not know that you have any right to ask such questions.”

“I do not assert any right to ask them. On the contrary, I have explained their object. I shall not press them, if you think that an answer will in any way compromise you.”

“I have no fear of being compromised. None whatever.”

Conolly nodded, and waited for an answer.

“I may say that my late trip has cost me a considerable sum. I paid all the expenses; and Miss–Mrs. Conolly did not, to my knowledge, disburse a single fraction. She did not ask me to give her money. Had she done so, I should have complied at once.”

“Thank you. Thats all right: she will be able to hold out until she hears from us. Good-afternoon.”

“Allow me to add, sir, before you go,” said Douglas, asserting himself desperately against Conolly’s absolutely sincere disregard of him and preoccupation with Marian, “that Mrs. Conolly has been placed in her present position entirely through her own conduct. I repudiate the insinuation that I have deserted her in a foreign city; and I challenge inquiry on the point.”

“Quite so, quite so,” assented Conolly, carelessly. “Good-bye, Lind.” And he took his hat and went out.

“By George!” said Marmaduke, admiringly, “he did that damned well–_damned_ well. Look here, old man: take my advice and clear out for another year or so. You cant stay here. As a looker-on, I see most of the game; and thats my advice to you as a friend.”

Douglas, whose face had reddened and reddened with successive rushes of blood until it was now purple, lost all self-control at Marmaduke’s commiserating tone. “I will see whether I cannot put him in the wrong,” he burst out, in the debased voice of an ignobly angry man. “Do you think I will let him tell the world that I have been thrown over and fooled?”

“Thats your own story, isnt it? At least, I understood you to say so as we came along.”

“Let him say so, and I’ll thrash him like, a dog in the street. I’ll—-“

“Whats the use of thrashing a man who will simply hand you over to the police? and quite right, too! What rot!”

“We shall see. We shall see.”

“Very well. Do as you like. You may twist one another’s heads off for what I care. He has had the satisfaction of putting you into a rage, at all events.”

“I am not in a rage.”

“Very well. Have it your own way.”

“Will you take a challenge to him from me?”

“No. I am not a born fool.”

“That is plain speaking.”

Marmaduke put his hands into his pockets, and whistled. “I think I will take myself off,” he said, presently.

“As you please,” replied Douglas, coldly.

“I will look in on you some day next week, when you have cooled down a bit. Good-bye.”

Douglas said nothing, and Marmaduke, with a nod, went out. Some minutes later the servant entered and said that Mr. Lind was below.

“What! Back again!” said Douglas, with an oath.

“No, sir. It’s old Mr. Lind–Mr. Reginald.”

“Did you say I was in?”

“The man belonging to the house did, sir.”

“Confound his officiousness! I suppose he must come up.”

Reginald Lind entered, and bowed. Douglas placed a chair for him, and waited, mute, and a little put out. Mr. Lind’s eyes and voice shewed that he also was not at his ease; but his manner was courtly and his expression grave, as Douglas had, in his boyhood, been accustomed to see them.

“I am sorry, Sholto,” said Mr. Lind, “that I cannot for the present meet you with the cordiality which formerly existed between us. However unbearable your disappointment at Marian’s marriage may have been, you should not have taken a reprehensible and desperate means of remedying it. I speak to you now as an old friend–as one who knew you when the disparity in our ages was more marked than it is at present.”

Douglas bowed.

“I have just heard from Mr. Conolly–whom I met accidentally in Pall Mall–that you have returned from America. He gave me no further account of you, except that he had met you and spoken to you here. I hope nothing unpleasant passed.”

“The meeting was not a pleasant one. I shall take steps to make Mr. Conolly understand that.”

“Nothing approaching to violence, I trust.”

“No. Mr. Conolly’s discretion averted it. I am not sure that a second interview between us will end so quietly.”

“The interview should not have taken place at all, Sholto. I need not point out to you that prudence and good taste forbid any repetition of it.”

“I did not seek it, Mr. Lind. He forced it upon me. I promise you that if a second meeting takes place, it will be forced upon him by me, and will take place in another country.”

“That is a young man’s idea, Sholto. The day for such crimes, thank Heaven, is past and gone. Let us say no more of it. I was speaking to your mother on Sunday. Have you seen her yet?”


“Sholto, you hit us all very hard that Monday before Christmas. I know what I felt about my daughter. But I can only imagine what your mother must have felt about her son.”

“I am not insensible to that. I has been rather my misfortune than my fault that I have caused you to suffer. If it will gratify you to know that I have suffered deeply myself, and am now, indeed, a broken man, I can assure you that such is the case.”

“It is fortunate for us all that matters are not absolutely irremediable. I will so far take you into my confidence as to tell you that I have never felt any satisfaction in Marian’s union with Mr. Conolly. Though he is unquestionably a remarkable man, yet there was a certain degree of incongruity in the match–you will understand me–which placed Marian apart from her family whilst she was with him. I have never entered my daughter’s house without a feeling that I was more or less a stranger there. Had she married you in the first instance, the case would have been different: I wish she had. However, that is past regretting now. What I wish to say is that I can still welcome you as Marian’s husband, even though she will have a serious error to live down; and I shall be no less liberal to her than if her previous marriage had never taken place.”

Douglas cleared his throat, but did not speak.

“Well?” said Mr. Lind after a pause, reddening.

“This is a very painful matter,” said Douglas at last. “As a man of the world, Mr. Lind, you must be aware that I am not bound to your daughter in any way.”

“I am not speaking to you as a man of the world. I am speaking as a father, and as a gentleman.”

“Doubtless your position as a father is an unfortunate one. I can sympathize with your feelings. But as a gentleman—-“

“Think of what you are going to say, Sholto. If you speak as a gentleman, you can have only one answer. If you have any other, you will speak as a scoundrel.” The last sentence came irrepressibly to Mr. Lind’s lips; but the moment he had uttered it, he felt that he had been too precipitate.


“I repeat, as a scoundrel–if you deny your duty in the matter.”

“I decline to continue this conversation with you, Mr. Lind. You know as well as I do that no gentleman is expected or even permitted by society to take as his wife a woman who has lived with him as his mistress.”

“No man who betrays a lady and refuses to make her all the reparation in his power can claim to be a gentleman.”

“You are dreaming, Mr. Lind. Your daughter was the guardian of her own honor. I made her no promises. It is absurd to speak of a woman of her age and experience being betrayed, as though she were a child.”

“I always understood that you prided yourself on acting up to a higher standard of honorable dealing than other men. If this is your boasted—-“

“Mr. Lind,” said Douglas, interrupting him with determination, “no more of this, if you please. Briefly, I will have nothing whatever to say to Mrs. Conolly in the future. If her reputation were as unstained as your own, I would still refuse to know her. I have suffered from her the utmost refinements of caprice and treachery, and the coarsest tirades of abuse. She left me of her own accord, in spite of my entreaties to her to stay–entreaties which I made her in response to an exhibition of temper which would have justified me in parting from her there and then. It is true that I have moulded my life according to a higher standard of honor than ordinary men; and it is also true that that standard is never higher, never more fastidiously acted up to, than where a woman is concerned. I have only to add that I am perfectly satisfied as to the propriety of my behavior in Marian’s case, and that I absolutely refuse to hear another accusation of unworthiness from you, much as I respect you and your sorrow.”

Mr. Lind, though he saw that he must change his tone, found it hard to subdue his temper; for though not a strong man, he was unaccustomed to be thwarted. “Sholto,” he said: “you are not serious. You are irritated by some lovers’ quarrel.”

“I am justly estranged from your daughter, and I am resolved never to give her a place in my thoughts again. I have madly wasted my youth on her. Let her be content with that and the other things I have sacrificed for her sake.”

“But this is dreadful. Think of the life she must lead if you do not marry her. She will be an outcast. She will not even have a name.”

“She would not be advised. She made her choice in defiance of an explicit warning of the inevitable results, and she must abide by it. I challenge the most searching inquiry into my conduct, Mr. Lind. It will be found, if the truth be told, that I spared her no luxury before she left me; and that, far from being the aggressor, it is I who have the right to complain of insult and desertion.”

“Still, even granting that her unhappy position may have rendered her a little sore and impatient at times, do you not owe her some forbearance since she gave up her home and her friends for you?”

“Sacrifice for sacrifice, mine was the greater of the two. Like her, I have lost my friends and my position here–to some extent, at least. Worse, I have let my youth slip by in fruitless pursuit of her. For the home which she hated, I offered her one ten times more splendid. I gave her the devotion of a gentleman to replace the indifference of a blacksmith. What have I not done for her? I freed her from her bondage; I carried her across the globe; I watched her, housed her, fed her, clothed her as a princess. I loved her with a love that taught her a meaning of the word she had never known before. And when I had served her turn–when I had rescued her from her husband and placed her beyond his reach–when she became surfeited with a wealth of chivalrous love which she could not comprehend, and when a new world opened before her a fresh field for intrigue, I was assailed with slanderous lies, and forsaken. Do you think, Mr. Lind, that in addition to this, I will endure the reproaches of any man–even were he my own father?”

“But she suffers more, being a woman. The world will be comparatively lenient toward you. If you and she were married and settled, with no consciousness of being in a false position, and no wearing fear of detection, you would get on together quite differently.”

“It may be so, but I shall never put it to the test.”

“Listen a moment, Sholto. Just consider the matter calmly and rationally. I am a rich man–at least, I can endow Marian better than you perhaps think. I see that you feel aggrieved, and that you fear being forced into a marriage which you have, as you say–I fully admit it, most fully–a perfect right to decline. But I am urging you to make Marian your legal wife solely because it is the best course for both of you. That, I assure you, is the feeling of society in the matter. Everybody speaks to me of your becoming my son-in-law. The Earl says no other course is possible. I will give you ten thousand pounds down on her wedding-day. You will lose nothing: Conolly will not claim damages. He has contradicted the report that he would. I will pay the costs of the divorce as well. Mind! I do not mean that I will settle the money on her. I will give it to her unconditionally. In other words, it will become your property the moment you become her husband.”

“I understand,” said Douglas contemptuously. “However, as it is merely a question of making your daughter an honest woman in consideration of so much cash, I have no doubt you will find plenty of poorer men who will be glad to close with you for half the money. You are much in the city now, I believe. Allow me to suggest that you will find a dealer there more easily than in St. James’s.”

Mr. Lind reddened again. “I do not think you see the matter in the proper light,” he said. “You are asked to repair the disgrace you have brought on a lady and upon her family. I offer you a guarantee that you will not lose pecuniarily by doing so. Whatever other loss you may incur, you are bound to bear it as the penalty of your own act. I appeal to you, sir, as one gentleman appeals to another, to remove the dishonor you have brought upon my name.”

“To transfer it to my own, you mean. Thank you, Mr. Lind. The public is more accustomed to associate conjugal levity with the name of Lind than with that of Douglas.”

“If you refuse me the justice you owe to my daughter, you need not couple that refusal with an insult.”

“I have already explained that I owe your daughter nothing. You come here and offer me ten thousand pounds to marry her. I decline the bargain. You then take your stand upon the injury to your name. I merely remind you that your name was somewhat tarnished even before Mrs. Conolly changed it for the less distinguished one which she has really dishonored.”

“Douglas,” said Mr. Lind, trembling, “I will make you repent this. I will have satisfaction.”

“As you remarked when I declared my readiness to give satisfaction in the proper quarter, the practice you allude to is obsolete. Fortunately so, I think, in our case.”

“You are a coward, sir.” Douglas rang the bell. “I will expose you in every club in London.”

“Shew this gentleman out,” said Douglas to his servant.

“You have received that order because I told your master that he is a rascal,” said Mr. Lind to the man. “I shall say the same thing to every man I meet between this house and the committee-room of his club.”

The servant looked grave as Mr. Lind left the room. Soon after, Douglas, whose self-respect, annihilated by Conolly, had at first been thoroughly restored by Mr. Lind, felt upset again by the conclusion of the interview. Finding solitude and idleness intolerable, he went into the streets, though he no longer felt any desire to meet his acquaintances, and twice crossed the Haymarket to avoid them. As he strolled about, thinking of all that had been said to him that afternoon, he grew morose. Twice he calculated his expenditure on the American trip, and the difference that an increment of ten thousand pounds would make in his property. Suddenly, in turning out of Air Street into Piccadilly, he found himself face to face with Lord Carbury.

“How do you do?” said the latter pleasantly, but without the unceremonious fellowship that had formerly existed between them.

“Thank you,” said Douglas, “I am quite well.”

A pause followed, Jasper not knowing exactly what to say next.

“I am considering where I shall dine,” said Douglas. “Have you dined yet?”

“No. I promised to dine at home this evening. My mother likes to have a family dinner occasionally.”

Douglas knew that before the elopement he would have been asked to join the party. “I suppose people have been pleased to talk a good deal about me of late,” he said.

“Yes, I fear so. However, I hope it will pass over.”

“It shews no sign of passing over as yet, then?”

“Well, it has become a little stale as a topic; but there is undeniably a good deal of feeling about it still. If you will excuse my saying so, I think that perhaps you would do well to keep out of the way a little longer.”

“Presuming, of course, that popular feeling is a matter about which I am likely to concern myself.”

“That is a question for you to decide. Excuse the hint.”

“The question is whether it is not better to be on the spot, so as to strangle calumny at its source, than to hide myself abroad whilst a host of malicious tongues are busy with me.”

“As to that, Douglas, I assure you you have been very fairly treated. The chief blame, as usual, has fallen on the weaker sex. Nothing could exceed the moderation of those from whom the loudest complaints might have been expected. Reginald Lind has hardly ever mentioned the subject. Even to me, he only shook his head and said that it was an old attachment. As to Conolly, we have actually reproached him for making excuses for you.”

“Aye. A very astute method of bringing me into contempt. Allow me to enlighten you a little, Jasper. Lind, whose daughter I have discovered to be one of the worst of women, has just offered me ten thousand pounds to marry her. That speaks for itself. Conolly, who drove her into my arms by playing the tyrant whilst I played the lover, is only too glad to get rid of her. At the same time, he is afraid to fight me, and ashamed to say so. Therefore, he impudently pretends to pity me for being his gull in the matter. But I will stop that.”

“Conolly is a particular friend of mine, Douglas, Let us drop the subject, if you dont mind.”

“If he is your friend, of course I have nothing more to say. I think I will turn in here and dine. Good-evening.”

They parted without any salutation: and Douglas entered the restaurant and dined alone, he came out an hour later in improved spirits, and began to consider whether he would go to the theatre or venture into his club. He was close to a lamp at a corner of Leicester Square when he stopped to debate the point with himself; and in his preoccupation he did not notice a four-wheeled cab going slowly past him, carrying a lady in an old white opera cloak. This was Mrs. Leith Fairfax, who, recognizing him, called to the cabman to drive a little past the lamp and stop.

“Good heavens!” she said in a half-whisper: “you here! What madness possessed you to come back?”

“I had no further occasion to stay away.”

“How coolly you say so! You have iron nerves, all you Douglases. I have heard all, and I know what you have suffered. How soon will you leave London?”

“I have no intention of leaving it at present.”

“But you cannot stay here.”

“Pray why not? Is not London large enough for any man who does not live by the breath of the world?”

“Out of the question, Mr. Douglas. Absolutely out of the question. You _must_ go away for a year at the very least. You must yield something to propriety.”

“I shall yield nothing. I can do without any section of society that may feel called upon to do without me.”

“Oh, you must subdue that imperious nature of yours for your mother’s sake if not for your own. Besides, you have been very wicked and reckless and daring, just like a Douglas. You ought to do penance with a good grace. I may conclude, since you are here, that Elinor McQuinch’s story is true as far as the facts go.”

“I have not heard her story.”

“It is only that you have parted from–you know.”

“That is true. Can I gratify your curiosity in any other particular?”

“Strive not to let yourself be soured, Mr. Douglas. I shudder when I think of what you have undergone at the hands of one woman. There! I will not allude to it again.”

“You will do wisely, Mrs. Leith Fairfax. What I have suffered, I have suffered. I desire no pity, and will endure none.”

“That is so like yourself. I must hurry on to Covent Garden, or I shall be late. Will you come and see me quietly some day before you go? I am never at home to any one on Tuesdays; but if you come at about five, Caroline will let you in. It will be dark: nobody will see you. We can have a chat then.”

“Thank you,” said Douglas, coldly, stepping back, and raising his hat, “I shall not intrude on you. Good-evening.”

She waved her hand at him; and the cab departed. He walked quickly back to Charles Street, and called his servant.

“I suppose no one has called?”

“Yes, sir. Mrs. Douglas came very shortly after you went out. She wishes you to go to the Square this evening, sir.”

“This evening? I am afraid–Buckstone.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Is she looking well?”

“A little tired, sir. But quite well, I have no doubt.”

“How much of the luggage have you unpacked?”

“Only your portmanteau, sir. I thought—-“

“So much the better. Pack it again. I am going to Brussels to-night. Find out about the trains. I shall want you to take a hansom and take a note to Chester Square; but come back at once without waiting to be spoken to.”

“Very good, sir.”

Douglas then sat down and wrote the note.

“My dear Mother:

“I am sorry I was out when you called. I did not expect you, as I am only passing through London on my way to Brussels. I am anxious to get clear of this vile city, and so shall start to-night. Buckstone tells me you are looking well; and this assurance must content me for the present, as I find it impossible to go to you. You were quite right in warning me against what has happened; but it is all past and broken off now, and I am still as ever,

“Your affectionate son, “SHOLTO DOUGLAS.”


One day Eliza, out of patience, came to Mrs. Myers, and said:

“A’ thin, maam, will you come up and spake to Miss Conolly. She’s rasin ructions above stairs.”

“Oh dear, oh dear!” said Mrs. Myers. “Cant you keep her quiet?”

“Arra, how can I kape her quiet, an she cryin an roarin, dyin an desarted?”

“Ask Mrs. Forster to go in and coax her to stop.”

“Mrs. Forsther’s at dhuddher ind o the town. Whisht! There she is, callin me. Youll have to gup to her, maam. Faith I wont go next or near her.”

“There’s no use in my going up, Eliza. What can I do?”

Eliza had nothing to suggest. “I’m sure, maam,” she pleaded, “if she wont mind you, she wont mind me–bad manners to her!”

Mrs. Myers hesitated. The lodger became noisier.

“I spose Ive got to go,” said Mrs. Myers, plaintively. She went upstairs and found Susanna lying on the sofa, groaning, with a dressing-gown and a pair of thick boots on.

“What _is_ the matter with you, Miss Susan? Youre goin on fit to raise the street.”

“For God’s sake go and get something for me. Make the doctor do something. I’m famishing. I must be poisoned.”

“Lord forbid!”

“Look at me. I cant eat anything. Oh! I cant even drink. I tell you I am dying of thirst.”

“Well, Miss Susan, thers plenty for you to eat and drink.”

“What is the good of that, when I can neither eat nor drink? Nothing will stay inside me. If I could only swallow brandy, I shouldnt care. I thought I could die drunk. Oh! Send Eliza out for some laudanum. I cant stand this: I’ll kill myself.”

“Be quiet, Miss Susan: youll be better presently. Whats the use of talking-about the doctor? He says youll not be able to drink for days, and that you will get your health back in consequence. You are doing yourself no good by screeching like that, and you are ruining me and my house.”

“Your house is all you care about. Curse you! I hope you may die deserted yourself. Dont go away. _Dear_ Aunt Sally, you wont leave me here alone, will you? If you do, I’ll scream like a hundred devils.”

“I dont know what to do with you,” said Mrs. Myers, crying. “Youll drive me as mad as yourself. Why did I ever let you into this house?”

“Oh, bother! Are _you_ beginning to howl now? Have you any sardines, or anything spicy? I think I could eat some salted duck. No, I couldnt, though. Go for the doctor. There must be something that will do me good. What use is he if he can’t set me right? All I want is something that will make me able to drink a tumbler of brandy.”

“The Lord help you! Praise goodness! here’s Mrs. Forster coming up. Whatll she think of you if you keep moaning like that? Mrs. Forster: will you step in here and try to quiet her a bit? She’s clean mad.”

“Come here,” cried Susanna, as Marian entered. “Come and sit beside me. You may get out, you old cat: I dont want you any longer.”

“Hush, pray,” said Marian, putting her bonnet aside and sitting down by the sofa. “What is the matter?”

“The same as last night, only a great deal worse,” said Susanna, shutting her eyes and turning her head aside. “It’s all up with me this time, Mrs. Ned. I’m dying, not of drink, but of the want of it. Is that fiend of a woman gone?”

“Yes. You ought not to wound her as you did just now. She has been very kind to you.”

“I dont care. Oh, dear me, I wonder how long this is going to last?”

“Shall I go for the doctor?”

“No; what can he do? Stay with me. I wish I could sleep or eat.”

“You will be better soon. The doctor says that Nature is making an effort to rescue you from your habit by making it impossible for you to drink. Try and be patient. Will you not take off those heavy boots?”

“No, I cant feel my feet without them. I shall never be better,” said Susanna, writhing impatiently. “I’m done for. How old are you? You neednt mind telling me. I shall soon be beyond repeating it.”

“I was twenty-five in June last”

“I am only twenty-nine. I started at eighteen, and got to the top of the tree in seven years. I came down quicker than I went up. I might have gone on easily for fifteen years more, only for drinking champagne. I wish I had my life to live over again: you wouldnt catch me playing burlesque. If I had got the chance, I know I could have played tragedy or real Italian opera. I had to work hard at first; and they wont fill my place, very readily: thats one comfort. My cleverness was my ruin. Ned was not half so quick. It used to take him months to learn things that I picked up offhand, and yet you see how much better he has done than I.”

“Do not disturb yourself with vain regrets. Think of something else. Shall we talk about Marmaduke?”

“No, I dont particularly care to. Somehow, at my pass, one thinks most about one’s self, and about things that happened long ago. People that I came to know later on, like Bob, seem to be slipping away from me. There was a baritone in my father’s company, a tremendous man, with shining black eyes, and a voice like a great bell–quite pretty at the top, though: he must have been sixty at least; and he was very fat; but he was the most dignified man I ever saw. You should have heard him do the Duke in Lucrezia Borgia, or sing Pro Peccatis from Rossini’s Stabat Mater! I was ten years old when he was with us, and my grand ambition was to sing with him when I grew up. He would shake his head if he saw Susanetta now. I would rather hear him sing three bars than have ten visits from Bob. Oh, dear! I thought this cursed pain was getting numbed, but it is worse than ever.”

“Try to keep from thinking of it. I have often wondered that you never speak of your child. I have heard from my friend in London that it is very well and happy.”

“Oh, you mean Lucy. She was a lively little imp.”

“Would you not like to see her again?”

“No, thank you. She is well taken care of, I suppose. I am glad she is out of my hands. She was a nuisance to me, and I am not a very edifying example for her. What on earth should I want to see her for?”

“I wish I had the good fortune to be a mother.”

Susanna laughed. “Never say die, Mrs. Ned. You dont know what may happen to you yet. There now! I know, without opening my eyes, that you are shocked, bless your delicacy! How do you think I should have got through life if I’d been thin-skinned? What good does it do you? You are pining away in this hole of a lodging. You squirm when Mrs. Myers tries to be friendly with you; and I sometimes laugh at your expression when Eliza treats you to a little blarney about your looks. Now _I_ would just as soon gossip and swear at her as go to tea with the Queen.”

“I am not shocked at all. You see as badly as other people when your eyes are shut.”

“They will soon shut up forever. I half wish they would do it at once, I wonder whether I will get any ease before there is an end of me.”

“Perhaps the end of you on earth will be a good beginning for you somewhere else, Susanna.”

“Thank you. Now the conversation has taken a nice, cheerful turn, hasnt it? Well, I cant be much worse off than I am at present. Anyhow, I must take my chance.”

“Would you like to see a clergyman? I dont want to alarm you: I am sure you will get better: the doctor told me so; but I will go for one if you like.”

“No: I dont want to be bothered–at least not yet. Besides, I hate clergymen, all except your brother, the doctor, who fell in love with me.”

“Very well. I only suggested it in case you should feel uneasy.”

“I dont feel quite easy; but I dont care sufficiently about it to make a fuss. It will be time enough when I am actually at death’s door. All I know is that if there is a place of punishment in the next world, it is very unfair, considering what we suffer in this. I didnt make myself or my circumstances. I think I will try to sleep. I am half dead as it is with pain and weariness. Dont go until I am asleep.”

“I will not. Let me get you another pillow.”

“No,” said Susanna, drowsily: “dont touch me.”

Marian sat listening to her moaning respiration for nearly half an hour. Then, having some letters to write, she went to her own room to fetch her desk. Whilst she was looking for her pen, which was mislaid, she heard Susanna stirring. The floor creaked, and there was a clink as of a bottle. A moment later, Marian, listening with awakened suspicion, was startled by the sound of a heavy fall mingled with a crash of breaking glass. She ran back into the next room just in time to see Susanna, on her hands and knees near the stove, lift her white face for a moment, displaying a bleeding wound on her temple, and then stumble forward and fall prone on the carpet. Marian saw this; saw the walls of the room revolve before her; and fainted upon the sofa, which she had reached without knowing how.

When she recovered the doctor was standing by her; and Eliza was picking up fragments of the broken bottle. The smell of the spilled brandy reminded her of what had happened.

“Where is Miss Conolly?” she said, trying to collect her wits. “I am afraid I fainted at the very moment when I was most wanted.”

“All right,” said the doctor. “Keep quiet; youll be well presently. Dont be in a hurry to talk.”

Marian obeyed; and the doctor, whose manner was kind, though different to that of the London physicians to whom she was accustomed, presently left the room and went upstairs. Eliza was howling like an animal. The sound irritated Marian even at that pass: she despised the whole Irish race on its account. She could hardly keep her temper as she said:

“Is Miss Conolly seriously hurt?”

“Oa, blessed hour! she’s kilt. Her head’s dhreepin wid blood.”

Marian shuddered and felt faint again.

“Lord Almighty save use, I doa knoa how she done it at all, at all. She must ha fell agin the stoave. It’s the dhrink, dhrink, dhrink, that brought her to it. It’s little I knew what that wairy bottle o brandy would do to her, or sorra bit o me would ha got it.”

“You did very wrong in getting it, Eliza.”

“What could I do, miss, when she axed me?”

“There is no use in crying over it now. It would have been kinder to have kept it from her.”

“Sure I know. Many’s the time I tould her so. But she could talk the birds off the bushes, and it wint to me heart to refuse her. God send her well out of her throuble!”

Here the doctor returned. “How are you now?” he said.

“I think I am better. Pray dont think of me. How is she?”

“It’s all over. Hallo! Come, Miss Biddy! you go and cry in the kitchen,” he added, pushing Eliza, who had set up an intolerable lamentation, out of the room.

“How awful!” said Marian, stunned. “Are you quite sure? She seemed better this morning.”

“Quite sure,” said the doctor, smiling grimly at the question. “She was practically dead when they carried her upstairs, poor girl. It’s easier to kill a person than you think, Mrs. Forster, although she tried so long and so hard without succeeding. But she’d have done it. She’d have been starved into health only to drink herself back into starvation, and the end would have been a very bad one. Better as it is, by far!”

“Doctor: I must go out and telegraph the news to London. I know one of her relatives there.”

The doctor shook his head. “I will telegraph if you like, but you must stay here. Youre not yet fit to go out.”

“I am afraid I have not been well lately,” said Marian. “I want to consult you about myself–not now, of course, after what has happened, but some day when you have leisure to call.”

“You can put off consulting me just as long as you please; but this accident is no reason why you shouldnt do it at once. If there is anything wrong, the sooner you have advice–you neednt have it from me if you prefer some other doctor–the better.”

Upon this encouragement Marian described to him her state of health. He seemed a little amused, asked her a few questions, and finally told her coolly that she might expect to become a mother next fall. She was so utterly dismayed that he began to look stern in anticipation of an appeal to him to avert this; an appeal which he had often had to refuse without ever having succeeded in persuading a woman that it was futile, or convincing her that it was immoral. But Marian spared him this: she was overwhelmed by the new certainty that a reconciliation with her husband was no longer possible. Her despair at the discovery shewed her for the first time how homesick she really was.

When the doctor left, Mrs. Myers came. She exclaimed; wept; and gossiped until two police officers arrived. Marian related to them what she had seen of the accident, and became indignant at the apparent incredulity with which they questioned her and examined the room. After their departure Eliza came to her, and invited her to go upstairs and see the body of Susanna. She refused with a shudder; but when she saw that the girl was hurt as well as astonished, it occurred to her that avoidance of the dead might, if it came to Conolly’s knowledge, be taken by him to indicate a lack of kind feeling toward his sister. So she overcame her repugnance, and went with Eliza. The window-shades were drawn down, and the dressing-table had been covered with a white cloth, on which stood a plaster statuet of the Virgin and Child, with two lighted candles before it. To please Eliza, who had evidently made these arrangements, Marian whispered a few words of approval, and turned curiously to the bed. The sight made her uncomfortable. The body was decently laid out, its wounded forehead covered with a bandage, and Eliza’s rosary and crucifix on its breast; but it did not, as Marian had hoped, suggest peace or sleep. It was not Susanna, but a vacant thing that had always underlain her, and which, apart from her, was ghastly.

“She died a good Catholic anyhow: the light o Heaven to her sowl!” said Eliza, whimpering, but speaking as though she expected and defied Marian to contradict her.

“Amen,” said Marian.

“It’s sure and sartin. There never was a Conolly a Prodestan yet.”

Marian left the room, resolving to avoid such sights in future. Mrs. Myers was below, anxious to resume the conversation which the visit of the police had interrupted. Marian could not bear this. To escape, she left the house, and went to her only friend in New York, Mrs. Crawford, whose frequent visits she had never before ventured to return. To her she narrated the events of the day.

“This business of the poor girl killing herself is real shocking,” said Mrs. Crawford. “Perhaps your husband will come over here now, and give you a chance of making up with him.”

“If he does, I must leave New York, Mrs. Crawford.”

“What are you frightened of? If he is as good a man as you say, you ought to be glad to see him. I’m sure he would have you back. Depend on it, he has been longing for you all this time; and when he sees you again as pretty as ever, he will open his arms to you. He wont like you any the worse for being a little bashful with him after such an escapade.”

“I would not meet him for any earthly consideration. After what the doctor told me to-day, I should throw myself out of the window, I think, if I heard him coming upstairs. I should like to see him, if I were placed where he could not see me; but face him I _could_ not.”

“Well, my dear, I think it’s right silly of you, though the little stranger–it will be a regular stranger–is a difficulty: there’s no two ways about that.”

“Besides, I have been thinking over things alone in my room; and I see that it is better for him to be free. I know he was disappointed in me. He is not the sort of man to be tied down to such an ignorant woman as I.”

“What does he expect from a woman? If youre not good enough for him, he must be very hard to please.”

Marian shook her head. “He is capable of pitying and being considerate with me,” she said: “I know that. But I am not sure that it is a good thing to be pitied and forborne with. There is something humiliating in it. I suppose I am proud, as you often tell me; but I should like to be amongst women what he is amongst men, supported by my own strength. Even within the last three weeks I have felt myself becoming more independent in my isolation. I was afraid to go about the streets by myself at first. Now I am getting quite brave. That unfortunate woman did me good. Taking care of her, and being relied on so much by her, has made me rely on myself more. Thanks to you, I have not much loneliness to complain of. And yet I have been utterly cast down sometimes. I cannot tell what is best. Sometimes I think that independence is worth all the solitary struggling it costs. Then again I remember how free from real care I was at home, and yearn to be back there. It is so hard to know what one ought to do.”

“You have been more lively since you got such a pleasant answer to your telegram. I wish the General would offer to let me keep my own money and as much more as I wanted. Not that he is close-fisted, poor man! That reminds me to tell you that you must stay the evening. He wants to see