“I knew that I was handsome,” she said, “and I liked to test my power; but for that weakness I have been sorely punished. I had not at first any intention of making him believe that I was dead, and when I sent the paper containing the announcement of father’s death I was not aware that it also contained the death of my cousin, a beautiful girl just my age, who bore our grandmother’s name of Genevra, and about whom and a young English lord, who had hunted one season in her father’s neighborhood, there were some scandalous reports. Afterward it occurred to me that Wilford would see that notice and naturally think it referred to me, inasmuch as he knew nothing of my Cousin Genevra, she having spent much of her time in the northern part of Scotland, and he never inquired particularly about my relatives.
“It was just as well, I said, I was dead to him, and I took a strange satisfaction in wondering if he would care. Incidentally I heard that the postmaster at Alnwick had been written to by an American gentleman, who asked if such a person as Genevra Lambert was buried at St. Mary’s; and then I knew he believed me dead, even though the name appended to the letter was not Wilford Cameron, nor was the writing his, for, as the cousin of the dead Genevra. I asked to see the letter, and my request was granted. It was Mrs. Cameron who wrote it, I am sure, at the instigation, probably, of her son, signing a feigned name and bidding the postmaster answer to that address. He did so, assuring the inquirer that Genevra Lambert was buried there, and wondering to me if the young American who seemed interested in her could have been a lover of the unfortunate girl.
“I was now alone in the world, for the aunt with whom my childhood was passed died soon after my father, and so I went at last to learn a trade on the Isle of Wight, emigrating from thence to New York, with the determination in my rebellious heart that some time, when it would cut the deepest, I would show myself to the proud Camerons, whom I so cordially hated. This was before God had found me, or rather before I had listened to the still, small voice which took the hard, vindictive feelings away, and made me feel kindly toward the mother and sisters when I saw them, as I often used to do, driving gayly by. Wilford was sometimes with them, and the sight of him always sent the hot blood surging through my heart. But the greatest shock I ever had came to me when I heard from your sister of his approaching marriage with you. Those were terrible days that I passed at the farmhouse, working on your bridal trousseau; and sometimes I thought it more than I could bear. Had you been other than the little, loving, confiding, trustful girl you were, I must at some time have disclosed the whole, and told that you would not be the first who had stood at the altar with Wilford. But pity for you, whom I knew loved him so much, kept me silent, and you became his wife.