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he, “I'll give you a proof of my honour. I'll take you to the bank, you shall receive the cash, and pay yourself that £50, which necessity compelled me to appropriate to my own use.” “No, Charles, if my Father has forgiven you, so will I ; 'and still indulge the hope that our union, which has been embittered with grief, may yet prove a source of mutual felicity. I request that na further allusion be made to the £50.” “Indeed I cannot be happy unless you allow me to redeem my honour, which stands pledged to you for it. You must consent to take it, and I'll accompany you to the bank. You will wound me, if you make another objection.” Having no doubt of the truth of his statement, she rode to town with bim in one of the morning stages; but just as they were going into the bank, he said, “ there's a friend whom I have been anxious to see some months ; you · will step in and get the cash, and after I have seen him, I will return and meet you." As she was well known by one of the Partners, who had often visited at the Elms, the check was honoured without much inspection; and having the money, she gave her husband £250, and then begged his acceptance of the £50, as an expression of her attachment. With this sum, he paid the debt for which he was arrested ; and prevented another arrest, which he had been daily expecting.
Things now wore a brighter aspect, and the unsuspecting Emma was induced to decline accepting her Father's offer; choosing to be confined at the Colonel's, where she could enjoy the society of her Husband, with. out giving any uneasiness to the members of her own family. Though often pressed to pay a visit to the Elms, she had not been able to do it; but she proposed going, to express the pleasure she felt in prospect of a recon. ciliation between the two families; but when she mentioned it to her husband, he urged her not to do it till after the birth of the child, saying, “the heir will be our advocate, and heal the breach. The eventful time drew near; and every thing necessary for the occasion had been sent, with a pressing invitation to spend a few weeks at home, as soon as she was capable of doing it.
“I am happy to inform you," said her husband, on his return after a few days absence, that I have had another
interview with your Father, who, after expressing his good wishes for your welfare, and requesting that I would accompany you to the Elms, after your convalescence, very generously said, as your expences just now must be very heavy, and I wish my daughter to have the best professional advice, and every comfort that money can procure, I beg, Sir, you will accept this check, which you will have presented as the last was. * Now, my dear Emma, we will go to town in the morning, and you shall get the cash, and do what you like with it.” After urging a variety of objections, she at length consented, and very naturally gave the money to her husband.
The family retired to rest as usual, but about midnight they were disturbed, and ere the dawn of the morning they congratulated each other on the birth of a fine boy. The news was instantaneously despatched to the Elms, with a particular request from Mrs. Charles Orme, that her sister Louisa would come to see her. The interview was interesting and affecting; for though the two sisters bore no resemblance to each other in taste or in disposition, yet their attachment was mutual; and rather increased by the influence of sorrow and of sympathy, than diminished. Miss Louisa Holmes staid nearly three weeks; and on her return, when detailing the incidents of her visit, she remarked, that her Father's generosity had exceeded her expectations. “Indeed, my dear,” said Mr. Holmes, “I have done nothing which has not been previously agreed upon by us.” “Why, Father, you mistake ! you never let us know of your generosity to Mr. Charles Orme, or even of your interviews with him !” “ I have never seen him, since the day of his marriage, and I am at a loss to conceive to what acts of generosity you refer.” “Not seen him, Papa! why have you not given him two checks on your banker, for a considerable amount ?” “No!” “Emma informed me that you had; and that she went at the urgent request of her husband and got cash for them.” “ Then he has forged my check; and again imposed on the credulity of our dear child."
He immediately rode off to his banker's and found the forged checks to the amount of £700. This discovery involved the family in great distress; but they re
solved not to take any steps in the business, till they had seen her, which they expected in the course of a few days. On the morning she left for the Elms, Mr. Orme requested, that she would make no allasion to her Father's generosity, as he wished it not to be known; which statement she thought confirmed by the surprize her sister expressed, when informed of it. As they were riding in the carriage, she mentioned this request to her sister, and hoped she had not spoken on the sub ject. “I was not aware that you wished it to be kept a secret; and therefore I alluded, to it one evening, as a proof of Papa’s generosity.” “Well,? replied Mrs. Orme, “it can do no harm ; and I wonder why Charles should wish me not to express my gratitude for such favours.”
She had been at home a month, and was preparing to return to the Colonel's, when her Father took an opportunity of asking her, who she saw at the bank, and how often she had been, and what sums of money she had received, and what circumstances induced her to go. To all these questions she replied in very direct terms, and when she had finished, expressed her gratitude to her father for his kindness, and hoped that now he would consent to be reconciled to her husband. “Your husband, my child," said Mr. Holmes, “has been pursuing one uniform plan of deception, from the time he first saw you to the present hour; and though this last instance of his duplicity, is not the most fatal to your happiness, it is certainly the most hazardous for his own. I gave bim no checks, nor have I ever seen him since he broke in upon the peace of my family and bore you away.” “Not seen him, Father !” “No” “Not given him any checks!” “No," "Then he must be a base man! What has he forged them ?” “Yes." "And made me the agent in this nefarious business ?” “Yes.” “And is it possible ! Am I the wife of such a man!” “Such a man is your husband; and if the law now take its course, you will soon be a widow, and that dear babe fatherless." Só Let his life be spared. Oh! spare his life. Let not the Father of my child die by the hand of the executioner!" "His life shall be spared, but it will be necessary to put a stop to such a system of fraud.”... “But what will become of me and my babe!” “You have
left your home once, my child, without my consent, but I hope you will not leave it again.” “Never, Father! if you will permit me to remain, though I fear my presence will be a source of perpetual anxiety."
Mr. Holmes, after consulting a few friends, sent the following letter to Mr. Charles Orme, unsealed, in an envelope addressed to the Colonel. “SIR,
“I have scen the forged checks which you got cashed at my bankers; and on inquiry find that you induced my daughter to present them, by telling her that I had given them to you, as a token of my reconciliation. I presume, Sir, you are aware that your life is now for- . feited; and though you may suppose that regard for my daughter's feelings, and the reputation of her child, will induce me to forego the prosecution, yet, this is to warn you against the repetition of such a base and hazardous course, for there are bounds which the tenderest humanity will not suffer the culprit to pass with impunity. I should hope, for the honour of your Father's character, that he was ignorant of this species of fraud which you have practised on me; but I fear, you are not the only. person that is involved in the guilt of this sin.” . . "To this letter he received the following reply the next day.
“SIB, .. “You say, you have detected my fraud, and express your fear that I am not the only person that is involved in the guilt of it. Very true, Sir. Your own daughter suggested to me this mode of getting at some portion of her fortune-procured the blank checks-and went herself and got them cashed ; and now, Sir, you are at liberty to let the law take its course if you please. She is unfortunately my wife; and as she is once more under your roof, I hope she will remain there, till I send for her, which will not be, till you are induced to give her a fortune equal to my rank, and she can give me a pledge of her fidelity. My father, who feels too indignant at your base insinuation to reply to it, begs me to say, that he does not choose to admit your daughter into his house again. You will, therefore, Sir, permit me to return your own compliment, by doing“ myself the
honour of saying, that all intimacy between our familjes has ceased," and you may be assured, that I regret that any intimacy was ever formed. I
This letter confirmed those suspicions which had been, for a long time, excited in the breast of Mrs. Orme, and though the open avowal of her husband's baseness, produced a painful impression, it decided the course which she was to adopt; yet she could not forbear sending him the subjoined letter..
“ MY HUSBAND,
“ I cannot, in justice to myself, remain silent, after reading your letter to my father- a letter which is a very natural sequel to the history of your perfidious conduct. That you should feel at liberty to charge upon me the baseness of suggesting the crime of which you have been guilty, is more than I could have imagined; but it has relieved me from that bitter regret which I should otherwise have felt, in being separated from you for life. You have betrayed meyou have reproached me you have insulted memand is not this enough? Must you now try to disgrace me? Have you lost all sense of honour? Does no feeling of generous sensibility move in your breast ? Are you become an alien from every virtuous principle ? and do you wish, if possible, to sink me into contempt, after having abandoned me, and your child. But I will not enlarge. I feel too indignant to throw back the reproaches which you have cast on me. I have a home, and a peaceful one, and you may rely upon it, that the syren of deception shall never again induce me to leave it. I envy not your feelings, nor do I wish to see your person. “ Your much injured :