There is no sorrow for the earnest soul
That looketh up to God in perfect faith.
Chapter 1. The Strawberry Girl.
Chapter 2. The Old Couple.
Chapter 3. The Lone Mansion.
Chapter 4. The Astor House and the Attic Room.
Chapter 5. Mistress and Servant.
Chapter 6. The Tempter and the Tempted.
Chapter 7. The Old Homestead.
Chapter 8. The City Cottage.
Chapter 9. Mrs. Gray’s Thanksgiving Dinner.
Chapter 10. The Brother’s Return.
Chapter 11. The Mother’s Letter.
Chapter 12. Strife for an Earl.
Chapter 13. The Morning Lesson.
Chapter 14. A Wedding Foreshadowed.
Chapter 15. The Mother’s Appeal.
Chapter 16. The Bridal Wreath.
Chapter 17. An Hour before the Ball.
Chapter 18. The Forged Check.
Chapter 19. Night and Morning.
Chapter 20. The Last Interview.
Chapter 21. The City Prison.
Chapter 22. The Imprisoned Witness.
Chapter 23. The Three Old Women.
Chapter 24. The First Night in Prison.
Chapter 25. Little Georgie.
Chapter 26. Mrs. Gray and the Prison Woman.
Chapter 27. Struggles and Revels.
Chapter 28. Ada Leicester and Jacob Strong.
Chapter 29. Ada’s Solitary Breakfast.
Chapter 30. The Prison Woman in Ada’s Dressing-Room.
Chapter 31. The Tombs Lawyer.
Chapter 32. The Lawyer’s Visit to His Client.
Chapter 33. The Trial for Murder.
Chapter 34. The Two Witnesses.
Chapter 35. The Verdict.
Chapter 36. The Parents, the Child and Grandchild.
Chapter 37. The Dawning of Light.
Chapter 38. Gathering for the Execution.
Chapter 39. Hearts and Consciences at Rest.
What shall I say in this Preface to my book? Shall I make the usual half-sincere, half-affected apology of haste and inexperience, with hints of improvement in future efforts? Indeed I cannot, for though this volume really is the first novel ever printed in book form under my name, its imperfections, whatever they are, arise from no inexperience or undue haste, but from absolute lack of power to accomplish that which I have undertaken. Nor is it probable that the points in which I have failed here, would be very greatly improved were the same book to be written again.
I have endeavored to make this book a good one. If I have failed it is because the power has not been granted to me by the Source of all power, and for deficiency like this, the only admissible apology would be for having written at all. But excuses are out of place here. The book, with all its faults, is frankly surrendered to the public judgment, asking neither favoritism or forbearance, save that favoritism which deals gently with unintentional error, and that forbearance which no American ever withholds from a woman. Shall I say that this volume is launched on the world with fear and trembling? That would express an ungrateful want of faith in a class of readers who have generously sustained me through years of literary toil, and have nobly supported not only Peterson’s Ladies’ National Magazine now under my charge, but every periodical with which I have been connected. It would be ungrateful to the press that, without a single respectable exception, has always dealt generously by me, and would betray a weakness of character which I am not willing to acknowledge, for I have lived long enough to tremble at nothing which results from an honest intention, and to fear nothing but deserved disgrace--the death of beloved objects--or change in those affections that no literary fame or misfortune can ever reach.
But it is not without emotions that I present this book to the public, grateful and sweet emotions that liberal minds must respect more than a thousand insincere apologies. The thoughts of an author are the perfume of her own soul going forth on the winds of heaven to awaken other souls and renew itself in their kindred sympathies. I am more anxious for the effect which these thoughts, so long a portion of my own being, will have upon others, than for the return they may bring to myself. (Continued..)