The Two Destinies HTML version
THE WIFE WRITES, AND CLOSES THE STORY.
THERE was a little introductory narrative prefixed to "The Two Destinies," which you
may possibly have forgotten by this time.
The narrative was written by myself--a citizen of the United States, visiting England with
his wife. It described a dinner-party at which we were present, given by Mr. and Mrs.
Germaine, in celebration of their marriage; and it mentioned the circumstances under
which we were intrusted with the story which has just come to an end in these pages.
Having read the manuscript, Mr. and Mrs. Germaine left it to us to decide whether we
should continue our friendly intercourse with them or not.
At 3 o'clock P.M. we closed the last leaf of the story. Five minutes later I sealed it up in
its cover; my wife put her bonnet on, and there we were, bound straight for Mr.
Germaine's house, when the servant brought a letter into the room, addressed to my wife.
She opened it, looked at the signature, and discovered that it was "Mary Germaine."
Seeing this, we sat down side by side to read the letter before we did anything else.
On reflection, it strikes me that you may do well to read it, too. Mrs. Germaine is surely
by this time a person in whom you feel some interest. And she is on that account, as I
think, the fittest person to close the story. Here is her letter:
"DEAR MADAM (or may I say- 'dear friend'?)--Be prepared, if you please, for a little
surprise. When you read these lines we shall have left London for the Continent.
"After you went away last night, my husband decided on taking this journey. Seeing how
keenly he felt the insult offered to me by the ladies whom we had asked to our table, I
willingly prepared for our sudden departure. When Mr. Germaine is far away from his
false friends, my experience of him tells me that he will recover his tranquillity. That is
enough for me.
"My little daughter goes with us, of course. Early this morning I drove to the school in
the suburbs at which she is being educated, and took her away with me. It is needless to
say that she was delighted at the prospect of traveling. She shocked the schoolmistress by
waving her hat over her head and crying 'Hooray,' like a boy. The good lady was very
careful to inform me that my daughter could not possibly have learned to cry 'Hooray' in
"You have probably by this time read the narrative which I have committed to your care.
I hardly dare ask how I stand in your estimation now. Is it possible that I might have seen
you and your good husband if we had not left London so suddenly? As things are, I must