Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
my own mind. I had kept the matter a profound secret, even from
my wife; and this, too, I resolved to state in my letter. I had no
apprehension whatever of my real danger; but I was conscious that
there might be danger for others, if others were compromised by
possessing the knowledge that I possessed.
“I was much engaged that day, and could not complete my letter
that night. I rose long before my usual time next morning to finish
it. It was the last day of the year. The letter was lying before me
just completed, when I was told that a lady waited, who wished to
see me. * * * * “I am growing more and more unequal to the task I
have set myself. It is so cold, so dark, my senses are so benumbed,
and the gloom upon me is so dreadful.
“The lady was young, engaging, and handsome, but not marked
for long life.
She was in great agitation. She presented herself to me as the wife
of the Marquis St. Evremonde. I connected the title by which the
boy had addressed the elder brother, with the initial letter
embroidered on the scarf, and had no difficulty in arriving at the
conclusion that I had seen that nobleman very lately.
“My memory is still accurate, but I cannot write the words of our
conversation. I suspect that I am watched more closely than I was,
and I know not at what times I may be watched. She had in part
suspected, and in part discovered, the main facts of the cruel story,
of her husband’s share in it, and my being resorted to. She did not
know that the girl was dead. Her hope had been, she said in great
distress, to show her, in secret, a woman’s sympathy. Her hope had
been to avert the wrath of Heaven from a House that had long been
hateful to the suffering many.
“She had reasons for believing that there was a young sister living,
and her greatest desire was, to help that sister. I could tell her
nothing but that there was such a sister; beyond that, I knew
nothing. Her inducement to come to me, relying on my confidence,
had been the hope that I could tell her the name and place of
abode. Whereas, to this wretched hour I am ignorant of both. * * * *
“These scraps of paper fail me. One was taken from me, with a
warning, yesterday. I must finish my record to-day.
“She was a good, compassionate lady, and not happy in her
marriage. How could she be! The brother distrusted and disliked
her, and his influence was all opposed to her; she stood in dread of
him, and in dread of her husband too. When I handed her down to
the door, there was a child, a pretty boy from two to three years
old, in her carriage.
“’For his sake, Doctor,’ she said, pointing to him in tears, ‘I would
do all I can to make what poor amends I can. He will never prosper