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On his return from the theatre, Mr. McArthur finds his daughter, Maria, waiting him in great anxiety. "Father, father!" she says, as he enters his little back parlor, "this is what that poor woman, Mag Munday, used to take on so about; here it is." She advances, her countenance wearing an air of great solicitude, holds the old dress in her left hand, and a stained letter in her right. "It fell from a pocket in the bosom," she pursues. The old man, with an expression of surprise, takes the letter and prepares to read it. He pauses. "Did it come from the dress I discovered in the old chest?" he inquires, adjusting his spectacles. Maria says it did. She has no doubt it might have relieved her suffering, if it had been found before she died. "But, father, was there not to you something strange, something mysterious about the manner she pursued her search for this old dress? You remember how she used to insist that it contained something that might be a fortune to her in her distress, and how there was a history connected with it that would not reflect much credit on a lady in high life!"

The old man interrupts by saying he well remembers it; remembers how he thought she was a maniac to set so much value on the old dress, and make so many sighs when it could not be found. "It always occurred to me there was something more than the dress that made her take on so," the old man concludes, returning the letter to Maria, with a request that she will read it. Maria resumes her seat, the old man draws a chair to the table, and with his face supported in his left hand listens attentively as she reads:

{{smallcaps|"Washington Square, New York}},

May 14, 18—

"I am glad to hear from Mr. Sildon that the child does well. Poor little thing, it gives me so many unhappy thoughts when I think of it; but I know you are a good woman, Mrs. Munday, and will watch her with the care of a mother. She was left at our door one night, and as people are always too ready to give currency to scandal, my brother and I thought that it would not be prudent to adopt it at once, more especially as I have been ill for the last few months, and have any quantity of enemies. I am going to close my house, now that my deceased husband's estate is settled, and spend a few years in Europe. Mr. Thomas Sildon is well provided with funds for the care of the child during my absence, and will pay you a hundred dollars every quarter. Let no one see this letter, not even your husband. And when I return I will give you an extra remuneration, and adopt the child as my own. Mr. Sildon will tell you where to find me when I return."

Your friend,


"There, father," says Maria, "there is something more than we know about, connected with this letter. One thing always discovers another—don't you think it may have something to do with that lady who has two or three times come in here, and always appeared so nervous when she inquired about Mag Munday? and you recollect how she would not be content until we had told her a thousand different things concerning her. She wanted, she said, a clue to her; but she never could get a clue to her. There is something more than we know of connected with this letter," and she lays the old damp stained and crumpled letter on the table, as the old servant enters bearing on a small tray their humble supper.

"Now, sit up, my daughter," says the old man, helping her to a sandwich while she pours out his dish of tea, "our enjoyment need be none the less because our fare is humble. As for satisfying this lady about Mag Munday, why, I have given that up. I told her all I knew, and that is, that when she first came to Charleston—one never knows what these New Yorkers are—she was a dashing sort of woman, had no end of admirers, and lived in fine style. Then it got out that she wasn't the wife of the man who came with her, but that she was the wife of a poor man of the name of Munday, and had quit her husband; as wives will when they take a notion in their heads. And as is always the way with these sort of people, she kept gradually getting down in the world, and as she kept getting more and more down so she took more and more to drink, and drink brought on grief, and grief soon wasted her into the grave. I took pity on her, for she seemed not a bad woman at heart, and always said she was forced by necessity into the house of Madame Flamingo—a house that hurries many a poor creature to her ruin. And she seemed possessed of a sense of honor not common to these people; and when Madame Flamingo turned her into the street,—as she does every one she has succeeded in making a wretch of,—and she could find no one to take her in, and had nowhere to lay her poor head, as she used to say, I used to lend her little amounts, which she always managed somehow to repay. As to there being anything valuable in the dress, I never gave it a thought; and when she would say if she could have restored to her the dress, and manage to get money enough to get to New York, I thought it was only the result of her sadness."

"You may remember, father," interrupts Maria, "she twice spoke of a child left in her charge; and that the child was got away from her. If she could only trace that poor child, she would say, or find out what had become of it, she could forget her own sufferings and die easy. But the thought of what had become of that child forever haunted her; she knew that unless she atoned in some way the devil would surely get her." The old man says, setting down his cup, it all comes fresh to his mind. Mr. Soloman (he has not a doubt) could let some light upon the subject; and, as he seems acquainted with the lady that takes so much interest in what became of the woman Munday, he may relieve her search. "I am sure she is dead, nevertheless; I say this, knowing that having no home she got upon the Neck, and then associated with the negroes; and the last I heard of her was that the fever carried her off. This must have been true, or else she had been back here pleading for the bundles we could not find." Thus saying, Mr. McArthur finishes his humble supper, kisses and fondles his daughter, whom he dotingly loves, and retires for the night.