to you the cause of Willie’s absence. You
doubtless remember Clara Roscom who was a former pupil
of yours. After you left Philadelphia, she completed
her education at a distant boarding school, and soon
after her return home I engaged her as governess in
my family. We soon learned to love and respect
Miss Roscom, on account of her many excellent qualities,
and we treated her very kindly. She left us to
attend to her mother during the illness which terminated
in her death, and after that event she again returned
to us. But, to tell you all in a few words, Willie
fell in love with her, and asked her to become his
wife. When I first learned the fact I suppose
I made use of some rather strong language to Miss Roscom,
so much so that she left my house that very night.
She remained for a short time with a Mrs. Burnside,
who resides in the city and then left Philadelphia,
and we have never since been able to gain any knowledge
of her residence. If Mrs. Burnside knows anything
of her she gives no information upon the subject.
I have no doubt that she is governed by Miss Roscom’s
direction, for she possessed a proud spirit. I
regret some things I said to her, but the thought
of Willie, our pride, uniting himself by marriage
to our governess put me almost beside myself with
indignation. But Willie was so blinded by his
love for her that all considerations of family or
wealth were as nothing to him. When he learned
that Miss Roscom had left the city, and he found himself
unable to learn anything of her, he became embittered
towards us all. He soon after declared his intention
of returning to England; but what grieves me most
of all is, that he will hold no correspondence with
us since leaving home. He has now been ten months
absent. We have written to him again and again,
but have received no reply.’ As she concluded,
Mrs. Leighton burst into a flood of tears, which,
for some time, she was unable to check. You may
believe me, Clara, when I tell you that you are happier
today, while attending to the duties of your school,
than is Mrs. Leighton, in her luxurious home.”
Such was, in substance, the information which Mrs.
Harringford’s letter afforded me. I almost
regretted having sought the information, for it made
me very unhappy. It grieved me much to learn that
Willie was self-exiled from his home and friends.
MISS SIMMONDS’ STORY.
The fifteenth of September found me again installed
in my position as teacher in my school at Mill Town.
I still continued to board in the family of Parson
Northwood. I retained all my former pupils, with
the addition of several new ones.