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Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life

Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life: A Novel by Susanna Moodie

SUSANNA MOODIE
Edited & with an Introduction by MICHAEL A. PETERMAN
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 448
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vkbz5
  • Book Info
    Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life
    Book Description:

    Flora Lyndsayis Susanna Moodie's prequel toRoughing it in the BushandLife in the Clearings. Though Moodie fictionalizes herself in the context of this novel,Flora Lyndsayremains a close personalized record of her family's experiences in planning their emigration and crossing the Atlantic.Despite the limited critical attention it receives,Flora Lyndsayreveals Moodie's style, her sense of form, and her distinctive approach to writing female autobiography. This edition, complete with a wide corpus of endnotes, an extensive list of emendations, and a critical introduction, helps address this oversight and gives a closer look at the iconic phenomenon that is Susanna Moodie.

    eISBN: 978-0-7766-2123-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Critical Introduction
    (pp. xi-lx)
    SUSANNA MOODIE and FLORA LYNDSAY

    Flora Lyndsay;or,Passages in an Eventful Life(Richard Bentley, 1854) is Susanna Moodie’s prequel to her most famous book,Roughing It in the Bush(Bentley, 1852). It is a lively, though padded, two-volume “novel” in which Moodie (1803–1885) lightly fictionalized her experiences as a young Englishwoman forced by economic circumstances to immigrate to Canada with her husband, John Wedderburn Dunbar Moodie (1797–1869) and young daughter Katie. The Lyndsays, as she renamed the family, made their final preparations in the quiet North Sea town of Southwold in Suffolk during the month of May 1832; then, after several unanticipated...

  5. Volume I

    • CHAPTER I. A MATRIMONIAL DIALOGUE.
      (pp. 1-9)

      “Flora, have you forgotten the talk we had about emigration, the morning before our marriage?” was a question rather suddenly put to his young wife, by Lieutenant Lyndsay, as he paused in his walk to and fro the room. The fact is, that he had been pondering over that conversation for the last hour.

      It had long been forgotten by his wife; who, seated upon the sofa with a young infant of three months old in her lap, was calmly watching its sleeping face with inexpressible delight. She now left off her maternal studies; and looked up at her husband...

    • CHAPTER II. THE OLD CAPTAIN.
      (pp. 9-11)

      Flora’s reveries were abruptly dispelled by a gentle knock at the door; and her “Come in,” was answered by a tall, portly, handsome old lady, who sailed into the room in all the conscious dignity of black silk and white lawn.

      The handsome old lady was Mrs. Kitson, the wife of the navel officer, whose ready-furnished lodgings they had occupied for the last year. Flora rose to meet her visitor, with the baby still upon her arm.

      “Mrs. Kitson, I am happy to see you. Pray take the easy-chair by the fire. I hope your cough is better.”

      “No chance...

    • CHAPTER III. THE OLD CAPTAIN IN PERSON.
      (pp. 12-16)

      “Mrs. Lyndsay, my dear; that nurse of yours is going to hang out your clothes in front of the sea. Now, it’s hardlydecentof her, to expose female garments to every boat that may be passing.”

      The Captain’s delicacy threw poor Flora nearly into convulsions of laughter—while he continued, rather pettishly—

      “She knows no more how to handle a rope than a pig. If you will just tell her to wait a bit, until I have overhauled my vessel, I will put up the ropes for you myself.”

      “And hang out the clothes for you, Mrs. Lyndsay, if...

    • CHAPTER IV. A VISIT OF CONDOLENCE.
      (pp. 16-22)

      The news of Lieutenant Lyndsay’s intended emigration spread like wild-fire through the village, and for several days formed the theme of conversation. The timid shrugged their shoulders, and drew closer to their own cosy fire-sides, and preferred staying at home to tempting the dangers of a long sea-voyage. The prudent said, there was apossibilityof success; but it was better to take care of the little you had, than run the risk of losing it while seeking for more. The worldly sneered, and criticised, and turned the golden anticipations of the hopeful and the benevolent into ridicule, prophesying disappointment,...

    • CHAPTER V. THE TRUE FRIEND.
      (pp. 22-24)

      Flora Lyndsay was aroused from the passionate indulgence of grief by two arms being passed softly around her neck, and some one pulling her head gently back upon their shoulder, and kissing her forehead.

      “Flora,” whispered a sweet, gentle woman’s voice; “Dear Flora. I am come home at last. What, no word of welcome? No kiss for Mary? In tears, too. What is the matter? Are you ill? Is the baby ill? No—she at least is sleeping sweetly, and looks full of rosy health. Do speak, and tell me the meaning of all this!”

      Flora was in the arms...

    • CHAPTER VI. FLORA’S OUTFIT.
      (pp. 25-28)

      Having once matured his plans, Lyndsay hastened to take the necessary steps to carry them into execution. Leaving Flora and her friend Mary to prepare all the indispensables for the voyage, he hurried to London, to obtain permission from head-quarters to settle in Canada, to arrange pecuniary matters for the voyage, and take leave of a few old and tried friends. During his absence, Flora and her friend were not idle. The mornings were devoted to making purchases, and the evenings to convert them into articles for domestic use. There were so many towels to hem, sheets to make, and...

    • CHAPTER VII. HOW MISS WILHELMINA CARR AND FLORA BECAME ACQUAINTED.
      (pp. 28-35)

      Among the many persons who called upon Flora to talk over her projected emigration was a Miss Wilhelmina Carr—a being so odd, so wayward, so unlike the common run of mortals, that we must endeavour to give a slight sketch of her to our readers. We do not possess sufficient artistic skill to do Miss Wilhelmina justice; for if she had not actually lived and walked the earth, and if we had not seen her with our own eyes, and heard her with our own ears, we should have considered her a very improbable, if not an impossible, variety...

    • CHAPTER VIII. MISS WILHELMINA CALLS UPON FLORA.
      (pp. 35-41)

      The breakfast things were scarcely removed the following morning, when Miss Carr walked into the room, where Flora was employed at her worktable, in manufacturing some small articles of dress.

      “Your husband is afraid of me, Mrs. Lyndsay: he started off the moment he saw me coming up to the door. I don’t want to banish him from his own house.”

      “Oh, not at all. He has business in town, Miss Carr. You have favoured me with a very early visit.”

      “Too early? Just speak the truth plainly out. Why the deuce do people tell so many stories, when it...

    • CHAPTER IX. FLORA GOES TO TEA WITH MISS CARR.
      (pp. 42-51)

      The following evening, at the primitive hour of half-past five, Flora took her work, and went across the green to take tea with Miss Carr.

      She found that eccentric lady seated by the window, looking out for her, and Muff standing on her shoulder, catching flies off the panes of glass. The evening was cold and raw, though the month was August, and threatened rain. Such changes are common on the coast. The dreary aspect of things without was relieved by a small but very cheerful fire, which was burning away merrily in the grate. A large easy chair, covered...

    • CHAPTER X. OLD JARVIS AND HIS DOG NEPTUNE.
      (pp. 52-57)

      “Ma’am, old Jarvis is in the kitchen. He has brought some fish, and wants to see you,” said Flora’s maid one morning, as her mistress had just finished washing and dressing the baby.

      “The poor old man! I thought he was dead,” said Flora. “I have not seen him for such a long time!” and, with baby in her arms, she followed the girl into the kitchen.

      David Jarvis was a fisherman, well known upon that coast—an active, energetic son of the sea, though somewhat time-worn and weather-beaten. The person of the old man had been familiar to Flora...

    • CHAPTER XI. FLORA IN SEARCH OF A SERVANT HEARS A REAL GHOST STORY.
      (pp. 58-71)

      Lyndsay had charged Flora, during his absence, to inquire for a female servant, to accompany them to Canada, and take care of the baby during the voyage. Flora was very reluctant to obey this command, though she knew that it was entirely on her account that the request was made. Her health was still very bad, and her kind husband was anxious to spare her any additional fatigue and trouble. She much doubted, however, whether another added to their party would not rather increase than diminish her anxiety, and she begged hard to be allowed to do without. To this...

    • CHAPTER XII. THE LAST HOURS AT HOME.
      (pp. 71-76)

      To bid farewell to her mother and sisters, and the dear home of her childhood, Flora regarded as her greatest trial. As each succeeding day brought nearer the hour of separation, the prospect became more intensely painful, and fraught with a thousand melancholy anticipations, which haunted her even in sleep; and she often awoke sick and faint at heart with the tears she had shed in a dream.

      “Oh that this dreadful parting were over!” she said to her friend Mary Parnell. “I can contemplate, with fortitude, the trials of the future; but there is something so dreary, so utterly...

    • CHAPTER XIII. THE DEPARTURE.
      (pp. 76-81)

      It was the dawn of day when Flora started from a broken, feverish sleep, aroused to consciousness by the heavy roaring of the sea, as the huge billows thundered against the stony beach. To spring from her bed and draw back the curtains of the window which commanded a full view of the bay, was but the work of a moment. How quickly she let it fall in despair over the cheerless prospect it presented to her sight! Far as the eye could reach the sea was covered with foam. Not a sail was visible, and a dark leaden sky...

    • CHAPTER XIV. AN OPEN BOAT AT SEA.
      (pp. 81-86)

      Flora’s spirits rose in proportion to the novelty and danger of her situation. All useless regrets and repinings were banished from her breast the moment she embarked upon that stormy ocean. The parting, which, when far off, had weighed so heavily upon her heart, was over; the present was full of excitement and interest; the time for action had arrived; and the consciousness that they were actually on their way to a distant clime, braced her mind to bear with becoming fortitude this great epoch of her life.

      The gale lulled for a few minutes, and Flora looked up to...

    • CHAPTER XV. ONCE MORE AT HOME.
      (pp. 86-88)

      A cheerful fire was blazing in the grate; the fragrant tea was smoking on the well-covered table, and dear and familiar voices rang in her ears, as sisters and friends crowded about Flora to offer their services, and congratulate her on her safe return.

      “Ah, does not this repay us for all our past sufferings?” cried Flora, after the first hearty salutations of her friends were over. “And the baby! where is the baby?”

      Josey was laughing and crowing in the arms of her old nurse, looking as fresh and as rosy as if nothing had happened to disturb her...

    • CHAPTER XVI. THE FOG.
      (pp. 88-92)

      The human heart is made of elastic stuff; and can scarcely experience on the same subject an equal intensity of grief. Repetition had softened the anguish of this second parting; the bitterness of grief was already past; and the sun of hope was calmly rising above the clouds of sorrow, which had hung for the last weary days so loweringly above our emigrants. Mr. Hawke and his son alone accompanied them on this second expedition. Adam Mansel had had enough of the sea, during their late adventure, and thought it most prudent to make his adieus on shore.

      James Hawke...

    • CHAPTER XVII. THE STEAMBOAT.
      (pp. 93-96)

      In spite of the early hour and the disagreeable weather, a number of persons, glad to escape from the close confinement of the cabins, were pacing the deck of the steamer. Others were leaning over the bulwarks, regarding the aspect of the country they were rapidly passing; while some were talking in small groups, in a loud declamatory tone, evidently more intent on attracting the attention of the bystanders than of edifying their own immediate listeners. Though bright eyes might look heavy, and fair faces languid and sleepy, vanity was wide awake, and never more active than in the midst...

    • CHAPTER XVIII. A PEEP INTO THE LADIES’ CABIN.
      (pp. 96-102)

      In the ladies’ cabin all was helplessness and confusion: the larger portion of the berths were already occupied by invalids in every stage of sea-sickness; the floor and sofas were strewn with bonnets and shawls, and articles of dress were scattered about in all directions. Some of the ladies were stretched upon the carpet; others, in a sitting posture, were supporting their aching heads upon their knees, and appeared perfectly indifferent to all that was passing around them, and only alive to their own misery. Others there were who, beginning to recover from the odious malady, were employing their returning...

    • CHAPTER XIX. MRS. DALTON.
      (pp. 102-106)

      It was midnight when Mrs. Lyndsay awoke. A profound stillness reigned in the cabin; the invalids had forgotten their sufferings in sleep—all but one female figure, who was seated upon the carpeted floor, just in front of Flora’s berth, wrapped in a loose dressing-gown, and engaged in reading a letter. Flora instantly recognised in the watcher the tall, graceful figure of Mrs. Dalton.

      Her mind seemed agitated by some painful recollections; and she sighed frequently, and several tears stole slowly over her cheeks, as she replaced the paper carefully in her bosom, and for many minutes appeared lost in...

    • CHAPTER XX. EDINBURGH.
      (pp. 106-109)

      The storm had passed away during the night; and at day-break, Flora hurried upon deck to a catch the first glance of—

      “The glorious land of flood and fell,

      The noble north countrie!” The sun was still below the horizon, and a thick mist hung over the waters, and hid the city from her view. Oh, for the rising of that white curtain! how Flora tried to peer through its vapoury folds, to

      “Hail old Scotia’s darling seat,”

      the beautiful abode of brave, intelligent, true-hearted men, and fair good women. Glorious Edinburgh! who ever beheld you for the first time...

    • CHAPTER XXI. MRS. WADDEL.
      (pp. 110-114)

      Great was the surprise of Flora, when, instead of entering the house by a front door, they walked up an interminable flight of stone stairs, every landing comprising a distinct dwelling, or flat (as it is technically termed), with the names of the proprietors marked on the doors. At last they reached the flat occupied by good Mistress Waddel, situated at the very top of this stony region. Mrs. Waddel was at the door ready to receive them. She showed them into a comfortable sitting-room with windows fronting the street, where a bright fire was blazing in a very old-fashioned...

    • CHAPTER XXII. CLIMBING THE MOUNTAINS.
      (pp. 115-119)

      The Lyndsays, to their infinite mortification and disappointment, found upon their arrival at Leith, that theChieftain, in which vessel their places had been taken for Canada, had sailed only two days before. To make bad worse, Mrs. Waddel confidently affirmed that it was the very last vessel which would sail that season.

      Lyndsay, who never yielded to despondency, took these contrary events very philosophically, and lost no time in making inquiries among the ship-owners to ascertain whether Mrs. Waddel was right.

      After several days of anxious and almost hopeless search, he was at last informed that theFlora, Captain...

    • CHAPTER XXIII. THE BRIG ANNE.
      (pp. 119-124)

      Was a small, old-fashioned, black-hulled vessel, marvellously resembling a collier in her outward appearance. She was a one-masted ship, of 180 tons burthen, and promised everything but aristocratic accommodations for women and children.

      The cabin was a low, square room, meant to contain only the captain and his mate; whose berths, curtained with coarse red stuff, occupied the opposite walls. The table in the centre was a fixture, and the bench which ran round three sides of this crib, was a fixture also; and though backed by the wall, was quite near enough to the table to serve the double...

    • CHAPTER XXIV. A VISIT TO THE SHIP OWNERS’.
      (pp. 124-128)

      Early in the afternoon of the following day our family party set off to pay their promised visit. The weather was delightful, and Flora was in an ecstasy of high spirits, as they turned from the narrow streets of Leith into a beautiful lane, bounded on each side by hawthorn hedges, redolent with the perfume of the sweetbrier and honeysuckle. The breath of new-mown hay floated on the air, and the lilac and laburnum, in full blossom, waved their graceful boughs above the white palings which surrounded many a pleasant country retreat, in which the tired citizen, after the toils...

    • CHAPTER XXV. FLORA’S DINNER.
      (pp. 128-131)

      Lyndsay had some literary friends in Edinburgh, whose kindly intercourse greatly enhanced the pleasure of a month’s residence near the metropolis of Scotland. The foremost among these was M—, the poet, who, like Lyndsay, was a native of the Orkney Islands. Having been entertained at the house of this gentleman, he naturally wished to return his courtesy.

      “Flora,” said he, addressing his wife, the day after their visit to the Greggs, “do you think you could manage a dinner for a few friends?”

      Flora dropped her work, and opened her eyes in blank dismay at the very idea of...

    • CHAPTER XXVI. FEARS OF THE CHOLERA--DEPARTURE FROM SCOTLAND.
      (pp. 132-137)

      The cholera, which had hitherto only claimed a few victims in the city, now began to make fearful progress; and every day enlarged the catalogue of the dead, and those who were labouring under this awful disease. People seemed unwilling to name the ravages of the plague to each other; or spoke of it in low, mysterious tones, as a subject too dreadful for ordinary conversation.

      Just at this time Flora fell ill, and was forced to keep her bed for several days. During the time she was confined to her chamber, Mrs. Waddel kept up a constant lamentation, declaring...

    • CHAPTER XXVII. A NEW SCENE AND STRANGE FACES.
      (pp. 137-144)

      Four o’clock P.M. had been tolled from all the steeples in Edinburgh, when Flora stood upon the pier “o’ Leith,” watching the approach of the small boat which was to convey her on board the ugly black vessel which lay at anchor at the Berwick Law. It was a warm, close, hazy afternoon; distant thunder muttered among the hills, and dense clouds floated around the mountain from base to summit, shrouding its rugged outline in a mysterious robe of mist. Ever and anon, as the electrical breeze sprang up and stirred these grey masses of vapour, they rolled up in...

  6. Volume II

    • CHAPTER I. THE STATE CABIN.
      (pp. 145-149)

      Why the apartment into which Flora retreated on going on board was called a State-cabin, Flora could not imagine. It was really a very small closet, about seven feet in length, and a very little broader than it was long. It contained neither stool, bench, nor chair, and there was just room enough after closing the door to turn round. The top of a large chest of painted deal drawers, with a raised board in front, and screened by faded red stuff curtains, formed the bed; for which Lyndsay had purchased a hair-mattress and feather pillows, to render it more...

    • CHAPTER II. FLORA’S FELLOW-PASSENGERS.
      (pp. 149-157)

      They grey dawn glimmered faintly through the bull’s-eye of ground glass in the ceiling of Mrs. Lyndsay’s cabin, before she again unclosed her eyes. She sat up in her berth and steadied herself, glancing at first wonderingly around her, and marvelling where she was. The heaving of the vessel, and the quick rushing of the waves against her sides informed her that the ship had sailed during the night, and recalled to her mind the events of the past day. The voyage, whether for good or ill, had commenced; and the certainty of her present position relieved her mind of...

    • CHAPTER III. THE LAST GLANCE OF SCOTLAND.
      (pp. 157-161)

      The weather for the next three days continued as fine as summer weather could be. With wind and tide in her favour, theAnnemade a splendid run through the Moray Firth, passed the auld town of Aberdeen, and before sunset sailed close under the dreary Caithness coast.

      Flora examined John o’ Groat’s house with some interest, and for the first time in her life discovered that the fantastic red rock which bears that name, was not abôna fidedwelling, which up to that moment she had imagined it to be.

      A prospect more barren and desolate than that...

    • CHAPTER IV. STEPHEN CORRIE.
      (pp. 161-165)

      Now that the fear of detection was over, the little brown man fearlessly emerged from his hiding-place in the boat, and promenaded the deck from morning till night, sneering at the steerage-passengers, and abusing the sailors in the most arrogant and assured manner.

      He was the most contrary, malicious, waspish elf that could well be imagined. If he could not find an opportunity for stinging and teasing with his ill-natured sarcasms and remarks, he buzzed around his victims like an irritated musquito, whose shrill notes of defiance and antagonism are as bad as its bite. The more Flora saw of...

    • CHAPTER V. THE CAPTAIN’S PRENTICE.
      (pp. 166-169)

      For the first ten days theAnnemade a capital run, and the Captain predicted that if nothing went wrong with her, the port of Quebec would be made in a month, or five weeks at the farthest.

      James Hawke had recovered his health and spirits, and before many days had elapsed, had made friends with every one in the ship, but the little brown man, who repelled all the lad’s advances with the most dogged ill-humour. James had accomplished the feat of climbing to the top of the mast, greatly to his own satisfaction, and had won golden opinions...

    • CHAPTER VI. THE LOST JACKET, AND OTHER MATTERS.
      (pp. 169-177)

      The routine of life on board ship, especially on board such a small vessel as the brigAnne, was very dull and monotonous, when once out of sight of land. The weather, however, continued cloudless; and though, after the first week, the favourable wind which had wafted them so far over their watery path in safety deserted them, and never again filled their sails, or directed them in a straight course, they had no cause to complain. The captain grumbled at the prevalence of westerly winds; the mates grumbled, and the sailors grumbled at having to tack so often; yet...

    • CHAPTER VII. NOAH COTTON. THE WIDOW GRIMSHAWE AND HER NEIGHBOURS
      (pp. 177-182)

      On the road to [—], a small seaport town on the east coast of England, there stood in my young days an old-fashioned, high-gabled, red brick cottage. The house was divided into two tenements, the doors opening in the centre of the building. A rustic porch shaded the entrance to the left from the scorching rays of the sun, and the clouds of dust which during the summer months rose from the public road in front. Some person, whose love of nature had survived amidst the crushing cares of poverty, had twined around the rude trelliswork the deliciously fragrant...

    • CHAPTER VIII. THE SISTERS.
      (pp. 182-190)

      Mrs. Grimshawe’s eldest daughter, Mary, the poor hunchback before alluded to, was a great comfort to her afflicted parent. She seldom left her bed-side, and was ever at hand to administer to her wants. Mary was a neat and rapid plain sewer; and she contributed greatly to her mother’s support by the dexterity with which she plied her needle. Her deformity, which was rendered doubly conspicuous by her diminutive stature, was not the only disadvantage under which Mary Grimshawe laboured. She was afflicted with such an impediment in her speech that it was only the members of her own family...

    • CHAPTER IX. THE GHOST.
      (pp. 191-200)

      A short time after this conversation took place by the sick-bed of Dorothy Grimshawe, a report got abroad that the road between the town of [Southwold] and C[ovehithe] churchyard was haunted by the ghost of old Mason; the apparition of that worthy having been seen and spoken to by several of his old friends and associates, who had frequented the “Brig’s Foot” during his occupation of it, and to whom his person was well known. The progress of the stage-coach had been several times stopped by the said ghost, the horses frightened, the vehicle overturned, and several of the passengers...

    • CHAPTER X. THE PROPOSAL.
      (pp. 200-205)

      We will now step into the widow Grimshawe’s cottage, and see how Sophy disposed of her guest.

      The lower room was in profound darkness, and the little sempstress bade her companion stay at the door while she procured a light from the rush-candle, that always burnt in her mother’s chamber above.

      “Do not leave me in the dark!” he cried, in a voice of childish terror, and clutching at her garments. “I dare not be alone!”

      “Nonsense! There are no ghosts here. I will not be gone an instant.”

      “Let me go with you.”

      “What! to my sick mother’s bed-room?...

    • CHAPTER XI. THE DISCLOSURE.
      (pp. 205-212)

      Twenty months passed away, and the young bride had never once been home to visit her old friends. Her mother grew more infirm and feeble every day, and pined sadly after her absent child; and the tears were often upon Mary’s cheeks. Sophy’s act of wilful disobedience had been forgiven from the hour that the thoughtless rebel had become a wife; but her neglect rankled in the heart of both mother and sister.

      “She has forgotten us quite,” said the ailing old woman. “The distance is not great. She might come, especially as her husband keeps a horse and chaise;...

    • CHAPTER XII. THE NIGHT ALONE.
      (pp. 212-215)

      Sophy returned to her desolate home the moment she recovered her senses; for the sight of the Martins filled her mind with inexpressible anguish. On entering the little keeping-room, she shut the door, and covering her head with her apron, sat down in Noah’s chair by the old oak table, on which she buried her face in her hands, and remained silent and astonished during the rest of the day.

      “Shall I sleep with you to-night, Mrs. Cotton?” said Sarah Martin, in a kind, soft voice; as towards the close of that long, blank day, she opened the door, and...

    • CHAPTER XIII. THE MEETING.
      (pp. 215-217)

      “My husband! my dear husband! and it was my imprudence that brought you to this!” cried Sophy, as she fell weeping upon the neck of the felon, clasping him in her arms, and kissing with passionate grief the tears from his haggard unshaven face. “Hush! my precious lamb,” he replied, folding her in his embrace. “It was not you who betrayed me, it was the voice of God speaking through a guilty conscience. I am thankful!—oh, so thankful that it has taken place—that the dreadful secret is known at last! I enjoyed last night the first quiet sleep...

    • CHAPTER XIV. THE MURDERER’S MANUSCRIPT.
      (pp. 218-222)

      “Who am I, that I should write a book?—a nameless, miserable and guilty man. It is because these facts stare me in the face, and the recollection of my past deeds goads me to madness, that I would fain unburthen my conscience by writing this record of myself.

      I do not know what parish in England had the discredit of being my native place. I can just remember, in the far-off days of my early childhood, coming with my mother to live at F[ramlingham], a pretty rural village in the fine agricultural county of S[uffolk]. My mother was called...

    • CHAPTER XV. MY FIRST LOVE.
      (pp. 222-227)

      “Mere boy as I was, my heart had been deeply moved by the beauty of Miss Ella Carlos. I often waited upon her all day without feeling the least fatigue; and at night my dreams were full of her. I don’t think that she was wholly insensible to my devotion, but it seemed a matter of amusement and curiosity to her.

      I remember, one day—Oh, how should I forget it, for it formed a strong link of evil in my unhappy destiny—that I was sitting on the bank of the river, making a cross-bow for my pretty young...

    • CHAPTER XVI. TEMPTATION.
      (pp. 227-231)

      “That Bill Martin is a desperate ruffian,” said Mr. Carlos to me one morning, after we were returning to the Hall through the park. I had been watching in the preserves all night, but nothing had transpired, beyond the discovery of the bowie-knife, that could lead to the detection of the marauders. “I have no doubt that he and his gang are the party concerned in these nightly depredations; but we want sufficient proof for their apprehension.”

      “Give Martin rope enough, and he’ll hang himself,” I replied. “He is fierce and courageous, but boastful and foolhardy. In order to astonish...

    • CHAPTER XVII. THE PLOT.
      (pp. 232-236)

      “A fine day, Mister Game-keeper,” quoth Adam. “Prime weather for shooting. Have you much company at the Hall?”

      “No one at present. The Squire expects a large party the beginning of the week.”

      “Is there much game this season?” asked the poacher, veryinnocently.

      “Therewas,” I replied, rather fiercely. “But these rascally poachers are making it scarce. I only wish I had the ringleader of the gang within the range of this gun.”

      “How savage you are, Cotton! A soft, easy name that for a hard, cruel fellow. Why not live and let live? What is it to you...

    • CHAPTER XVIII. THE MURDER.
      (pp. 236-241)

      All day I was restless and unable to settle to the least thing. My mother attributed my irritation and ill-humour to the brandy I had drunk on the preceding evening. As the night drew on, I was in a perfect fever of excitement; yet not for one moment did I abandon the dreadful project. I had argued myself into the belief that it was my fate—that I was compelled by an inexorable destiny to murder Mr. Carlos. I was to meet him at ten o’clock—just one hour earlier than the time I had named to Adam Hows. At...

    • CHAPTER XIX. MY MOTHER.
      (pp. 241-245)

      I was relieved from my embarrassing situation by a message from my mother. She was ill, and wished to see me, begging me to return home without a moment’s delay.

      “Ah, poor woman! This is a sad judgment—a heavy blow to her. She must feel this bad enough,” said one of the old servants. “Yes, yes, Noah, lose no time in going home to comfort your mother.”

      I gazed from one to the other in blank astonishment. They shook their heads significantly. I hurried away without asking or comprehending what they meant.

      As I walked rapidly home, I pondered...

    • CHAPTER XX. A LAST LOOK AT OLD FRIENDS.
      (pp. 245-249)

      “I made my deposition minutely and circumstantially, from the time of my conversation with Adam Hows until the time when, accompanied by George Norton, we encountered him and Bill Martin in the plantations, and took the latter prisoner. My statement was so clear, so plausible, so perfectly matter-of-fact, that this hideous lie was received by wise and well-educated men as God’s truth. I heard myself spoken of as a sober, excellent young man, well worthy of the confidence and affection of the Squire, and extremely grateful for the many favours he had bestowed upon me; while the character that Martin...

    • CHAPTER XXI. MY MOTHER AND THE SQUIRE.
      (pp. 249-256)

      From that hour I became a prey to constant remorse. My health declined, and my mother at last remarked the change in my appearance; but at that time I am certain she had no idea of the cause.

      “Noah,” said she, one night, as we were crouching over the fire, for it was winter, and very cold—“you are much changed of late. You look ill, and out of spirits; you eat little, and speak less. My dear son, what in the world ails you?”

      “I am tired of this place, Mother. I should like to sell off, and go...

    • CHAPTER XXII. EVIL THOUGHTS—THE PANGS OF REMORSE.
      (pp. 256-262)

      All day I toiled hard on my farm to drown evil thoughts. If I relaxed the least from my labour, the tempter was ever at hand, urging me to commit fresh crimes; and night bought with it horrors that I dared not think of in the broad light of day. I no longer cared for wealth. The hope of distinguishing myself in the world had died out of my heart. But industry always brings a reward for toil, and in spite of my indifference, money accumulated, and I grew rich.

      My household expenses were so moderate, (for I shunned all...

    • CHAPTER XXIII. TRUST IN GOD.
      (pp. 262-263)

      A FEW words more, and my tale is ended.

      The death of Noah Cotton, fraught as it was with agony to his wife, was the means of rescuing the child of his first love, Ella Carlos, from ruin—the little girl, whose striking likeness to her mother had made such an impression on the mind of her unfortunate and guilty lover. After the death of Sir Walter Carlos, who was the last of his name, and, saving the young Ella Manners, his sister’s orphan child, the last of his race, the estate at F[ramlingham] was sold to pay his debts,...

    • CHAPTER XXIV. FISHING ON THE BANKS.
      (pp. 264-272)

      Flora finished her story, but she wanted courage to read it to her husband, who was very fastidious about his wife’s literary performances. And many long years passed away, and they had known great sorrows and trials in the Canadian wilderness, before she again brought the time-worn manuscript to light, and submitted it to his critical eye.

      And because it pleased him, she, with the vanity natural to [her] sex, to say nothing of the vanity so common to the author, thought it might find favour with the public.

      They had just reached the banks of Newfoundland when she commenced...

    • CHAPTER XXV. THE STORM.
      (pp. 272-281)

      For several days after the fishing adventure, Flora was confined to her berth with severe indisposition, and was, indeed, so alarmingly ill, that at one time she thought that she would be consigned to the deep, as food for the fishes, on the great banks of Newfoundland. She loathed the bad water and food, and became so much reduced by sickness, that poor little Josey had to be weaned.

      It was a great blessing that the young, tender creature suffered little from the privation. She ate her meals of biscuit softened in the putrid water, with an appetite that health...

    • CHAPTER XXVI. THE SHIP COMES TO AN ANCHOR, AND THE BOOK TO A CLOSE.
      (pp. 281-288)

      The next morning, Flora hastened upon deck; but while there, the wind was still so high, and the waves so rough, that she could not stand without holding to the ropes. The sea was covered with foam, the heavens with flying rack, which rolled in huge broken masses round and round the horizon. The land was no longer in sight, and old ocean roared and tossed in his unrest, as a strong man raves and tosses in the delirium of fever.

      “The white mice are out this morning, Mrs. Lyndsay,” said Bob Motion, who was at his old post at...

  7. Explanatory Notes
    (pp. 289-320)
  8. Textual Notes
    (pp. 321-386)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 387-387)