Virgie did not know that he had a relative by the same name, so, of course, taking everything else into consideration, she must have believed that he had been false to all honor, to his manhood, and to her.
He groaned aloud.
“Oh, what must she have thought of me!” he cried, in despair. Then, turning to the proprietor of the hotel, he asked, “Where did you get this paper?”
It was the Hampshire County Journal, and he wondered how it could have got to New York to accomplish so much mischief.
“I cannot say, sir. I found it in my office here among other papers, and—and you must confess that such a notice as that was sufficient to stagger me when I read it.”
“Yes,” Sir William admitted, white to his lips, “and yet it was heartless to send her away. It was my cousin—a gentleman bearing the same name—who was married; but some one made a mistake and added my title. Did she see that notice?”
“She appeared to know about it, sir.”
“It seems as if an enemy had done this to ruin our happiness; but who?” groaned the miserable husband.
Sir William Finds A Trace Of Virgie.
Sir William asked, a little later, when he had succeeded in somewhat recovering his composure:
“And have you no idea whither my wife went after leaving here?”
“No,” Mr. Eldridge said. “I offered to find some nice, quiet place for her, but she simply thanked me and declined my offer. She then ordered a carriage and drove away, without giving any definite directions regarding her destination—at least, in my hearing.”
The proprietor was careful not to state that he had been so relieved by the departure of his then questionable guest that he had taken no pains to ascertain her plans, being only too glad to be quit of her upon any terms, and to thus preserve the honor of his house and retain the patronage of its other occupants.
Sir William then repaired to the office of Dr. Knox, the physician in whose care he had left his wife, hoping to glean something from him. But that gentleman knew nothing whatever of what had occurred, and appeared greatly surprised by what the young husband told him.
He simply stated what we already knew—that Mrs. Heath had sent him a note saying that she was about leaving the city and wished to settle her bill, and requested him to call for the amount. He had done so, and she had paid him in full.
He said that his time was limited, and he had only remained a few moments. He thought she was looking rather pale and worn; but she said she was well, and, being calm and self-possessed, he did not imagine that she was in any trouble.
It was evident that from this source Sir William could gain nothing to aid him in his search for his wife.
He then tried to discover the nurse who had been with her, but she was not to be found at her usual address, and no one could tell him anything about her.