He claimed to love her. Perhaps he did in a way that would have made her a perfect mistress. But she was too good for that! That woman of no substance, unworthy of our family name, conspired to ensnare his boyish heart.

We posted him to the European office, only for him to send for her. By the time we’d called him back they’d lived as man and wife for nine months.

We offered her a good sum to leave him. Her reply? The bastard child within her.

But she proved too weak for childbirth. To the boy we offered this; he could bring up her child in our house, she could have the privileges her mother craved. But he was never to look again at such a woman.

He chose to look at no one. Heaven knows good society girls would have given a little virtue for him. But he grew too old. Too proud.

And then he succumbed to infuenza and left us with his ungrateful girl. Now she wishes to take him from the family plot against our wishes and rebury him with her mother. She knows nothing of the trouble it took to keep him here where he belongs. Nor of how we will fight to thwart her selfish impudence.

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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