The Leavenworth Case
39. The Outcome Of A Great Crime
"Leave her to Heaven
And to those thorns that
In her bosom lodge
To prick and sting her."
"For she is wise, if I can judge of her;
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true;
And true she is, as she has proved herself;
And therefore like herself, wise, fair, and true,
Shall she be placed in my constant soul."
--Merchant of Venice.
"OH, ELEANORE!" I cried, as I made my way into her presence, "are you prepared for
very good news? News that will brighten these pale cheeks and give the light back to
these eyes, and make life hopeful and sweet to you once more? Tell me," I urged,
stooping over her where she sat, for she looked ready to faint.
"I don't know," she faltered; "I fear your idea of good news and mine may differ. No
news can be good but----"
"What?" I asked, taking her hands in mine with a smile that ought to have reassured her,
it was one of such profound happiness. "Tell me; do not be afraid."
But she was. Her dreadful burden had lain upon her so long it had become a part of her
being. How could she realize it was founded on a mistake; that she had no cause to fear
the past, present, or future?
But when the truth was made known to her; when, With all the fervor and gentle tact of
which I was capable, I showed her that her suspicions had been groundless, and that
Trueman Harwell, and not Mary, was accountable for the evidences of crime which had
led her into attributing to her cousin the guilt of her uncle's death, her first words were a
prayer to be taken to the one she had so wronged. "Take me to her! Oh, take me to her! I
cannot breathe or think till I have begged pardon of her on my knees. Oh, my unjust
accusation! My unjust accusation!"
Seeing the state she was in, I deemed it wise to humor her. So, procuring a carriage, I
drove with her to her cousin's home.
"Mary will spurn me; she will not even look at me; and she will be right!" she cried, as
we rolled away up the avenue. "An outrage like this can never be forgiven. But God
knows I thought myself justified in my suspicions. If you knew--"