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BRIGADIER-GENERAL QUINCY A. GILMORE.—[PHOTOGRAPHED
BY LIEUTENANT HAAS.]
GENERAL QUINCY A. GILMORE.
WE publish on this page a
portrait of GENERAL GILMORE, the hero of
Pulaski, from a photograph by Lieutenant Haas.
General Gilmore was born in Ohio,
about thirty-six years ago. He entered the Military Academy at West Point in
1845, and graduated in 1849, at the head of a class of 43 members. He was
appointed to the Engineers, and was promoted to a First Lieutenancy in 1856, and
to a Captaincy in 1861. From 1849 to 1852 he was engaged on the fortifications
at Hampton Roads; from 1852 to 1856 he was instructor of Practical Military
Engineering at West Point, and during this time he designed the new Riding
School on the crest of the Hill. He served from 1856 to 1861 as Purchasing Agent
for the department in New York, and made many friends here. In 1861 he was
assigned to the staff of General Sherman, and accompanied him to
Port Royal. General Sherman appointed him
Brigadier-General of Volunteers—a rank which it is hoped the President will
confirm. General Gilmore had entire charge of the siege operations against Fort
Pulaski, and it is to his skill that the success of the bombardment is due. The
Tribune correspondent well says:
The result of the efforts to
breach a fort of such strength and at such a distance confers high honor on the
engineering skill and self-reliant capacity of General Gilmore. Failure in an
attempt made in opposition to the opinion of the ablest engineers in the army
would have destroyed him. Success, which in this case is wholly attributable to
his talent, energy, and independence, deserves a corresponding reward.
[Entered according to Act of
Congress, in the Year 1862, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the
District Court for the Southern District of New York.]
BY WILKIE COLLINS.
AUTHOR OF "THE WOMAN IN WHITE," "DEAD SECRET,"
ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN M'LENAN.
Printed from the Manuscript and
early Proof-sheets purchased by the Proprietors of "Harper's Weekly."
Mess GARTH'S hand still
mechanically grasped the lawyer's arm. Her whole mind was absorbed in the effort
to realize the discovery which had now burst on her.
"Dependent on Michael Vanstone!"
she said to herself. "Dependent on their father's bitterest enemy! How can it
"Give me your attention for a few
minutes more," said Mr. Pendril, "and and you shall hear. The sooner we can
bring this painful interview to a close the sooner I can open communications
with Mr. Michael Vanstone, and the sooner you will know what he decides on doing
for his brother's orphan daughters. I repeat to you that they are absolutely
dependent on him. You will most readily understand how and why, if we take up
the chain of events where we last left it—at the period of Mr. and Mrs.
"One moment, Sir," said Miss
Garth. "Were you in the secret of that marriage at the time when it took place?"
"Unhappily I was not. I was away
from London—away from England at the time. If Mr. Vanstone had been able to
communicate with me when the letter from America announced the death of his
wife, the fortunes of his daughters would not have been now at stake."
He paused; and, before proceeding
further, looked once more at the letters which he had consulted at an earlier
period of the interview. He took one letter from the rest, and put it on the
table by his side.
"At the beginning of the present
year," he resumed, " a very serious business necessity, in connection with some
West Indian property possessed by an old client and friend of mine, required the
presence either of myself or of one of my two partners in Jamaica. One of the
two could not be spared; the other was not in health to undertake the voyage.
There was no choice left but for me to go. I wrote to Mr. Vanstone, telling him
that I should leave England at the end of February, and that the nature of the
business which took me away afforded little hope of my getting back from the
West Indies before June. My letter was not written with any special motive. I
merely thought it right—seeing that my partners were not admitted to my
knowledge of Mr. Vanstone's private affairs—to warn him of my absence, as a
measure of formal precaution which it was right to take. At the end of February
I left England, without having heard from him. I was on the sea when the news of
his wife's death reached him, on the 4th of March, and I did not return until
the middle of last June."
"You warned him of your
departure," interposed Miss Garth. "Did you not warn him of your return?"
"Not personally. My head-clerk
sent him one of the circulars which were dispatched from my office, in various
directions, to announce my return. It was the first substitute I thought of for
the personal letter which the pressure of innumerable occupations, all crowding
on me together after my long absence, did not allow me leisure to write. Barely
a month later the first information of his marriage reached me in a letter from
himself, written on the day of the fatal accident. The circumstances which
induced him to write arose out of an event in which you must have taken some
interest—I mean the attachment between Mr. Clare's son and Mr. Vanstone's
"I can not say that I was
favorably disposed toward that attachment at the time," replied Miss Garth. "I
was ignorant then of the family secret: I know better now."
"Exactly. The motive which you
can now appreciate is the motive that leads us to the point. The young lady
herself (as I have heard from the elder Mr. Clare, to whom I am indebted for my
knowledge of the circumstances in detail) confessed her attachment to her
father, and innocently touched him to the quick by a chance reference to his own
early life. He had a long conversation with Mrs. Vanstone, at which they both
agreed that Mr. Clare must be privately informed of the truth, before the
attachment between the two young people was allowed to proceed further. It was
painful in the last degree, both to husband and wife, to be reduced to this
alternative. But they were resolute, honorably resolute, in making the sacrifice
of their own feelings; and Mr. Vanstone betook himself on the spot to Mr.
Clare's cottage.—You no doubt observed a remarkable change in Mr. Vanstone's
manner on that day; and you can now account for it?"
Miss Garth bowed her head, and
Mr. Pendril went on.
"You are sufficiently acquainted
Clare's contempt for all social
prejudices," he continued, "to anticipate his reception of the confession which
his neighbor addressed to hire. Five minutes after the interview had begun the
two old friends were as easy and unrestrained together as usual. In the course
of conversation Mr. Vanstone mentioned the pecuniary arrangement which he had
made for the benefit of his daughter and of her future husband—and, in doing so,
he naturally referred to this will here on the table between us. Mr. Clare,
remembering that his friend had been married in the March of that year, at once
asked when the will had been executed; received the reply that it had been made
five years since, and thereupon astounded Mr. Vanstone by telling him bluntly
that the document was waste paper in the eye of the law. Up to that moment he,
like many other persons, had been absolutely ignorant that a man's marriage is
legally, as well as socially, considered to be the most important event in his
life; that it destroys the validity of any will which he may have made as a
single man; and that it renders absolutely necessary the entire reassertion of
his testamentary intentions in the character of a husband. The statement of this
plain fact appeared to overwhelm Mr. Vanstone. Declaring that his friend had
laid him under an obligation which he should remember to his dying day, he at
once left the cottage, at once returned home and wrote me this letter."
He handed the letter open to Miss
Garth. In tearless, speechless grief she read these words:
"MY DEAR PENDRIL.—Since we last
wrote to each other an extraordinary change has taken place in my life. About a
week after you went away I received news from America which told me that I was
free. Need I say what use I made of that freedom? Need I say that the mother of
my children is now my Wife?
"If you are surprised at not
having heard from me the moment you got back, attribute my silence in great
part— if not altogether—to my own total ignorance of the legal necessity for
making another will. Not half an hour since I was enlightened for the first time
(under circumstances which I will mention when we meet) by my old friend, Mr.
Clare. Family anxieties have had something to do with my silence as well. My
wife's confinement is close at hand; and besides this serious anxiety, my second
daughter is engaged to be married. Until I saw Mr. Clare today these matters so
filled my mind that I never thought of writing to you during the one short month
which is all that has passed since I got news of your return. Now I know that my
will must be made again I write instantly. For God's sake, come on the day when
you receive this—come and relieve me from the dreadful thought that my two
darling girls are at this moment unprovided for. If any thing happened to me,
and if my desire to do their mother justice ended (through my miserable
ignorance of the law) in leaving Norah and Magdalen disinherited, I should not
rest in my grave! Come, at any cost, to yours ever, A. V."
"On the Saturday morning," Mr.
Pendril resumed, "those lines reached me. I instantly set aside all other
business and drove to the railway. At the London terminus I heard the first news
of the Friday's accident; heard it, with conflicting accounts of the numbers and
names of the passengers killed. At Bristol they were better informed, and the
dreadful truth about Mr. Vanstone was confirmed. I had time to recover myself
before I reached your station here, and found Mr. Clare's son waiting for me. He
took me to his father's cottage; and there, without losing a moment, I drew out
Mrs. Vanstone's will. My object was to secure the only provision for her
daughters which it was now possible to make. Mr. Vanstone having died intestate,
a third of his fortune would go to his widow, and the rest would be divided
among his next of kin. It is the cruel peculiarity of the English law that the
marriage of the parents does not legitimatize children born out of wedlock. Mr.
Vanstone's daughters, under the circumstances of their father's death, had no
more claim to a share in his property than the daughters of one of his laborers
in the village. The one chance left was that their mother might sufficiently
recover to leave her third share to them, by will, in the event of her decease.
Now you know why I wrote to you to ask for that interview—why I waited day and
night, in the hope of receiving a summons to the house. I was sincerely sorry to
send back such an answer to your note of inquiry as I was compelled to write.
But while there was a chance of the preservation of Mrs. Vanstone's life the
secret of the marriage was hers, not mine, and every consideration of delicacy
forbade me to disclose it."
"You did right, Sir," said Miss
Garth; "I understand your motives, and respect them." "My last attempt to
provide for the daughters," continued Mr. Pendril, "was, as you know, rendered
unavailing by the dangerous nature of Mrs. Vanstone's illness. Her death left
the infant who survived her by to few hours (the infant born, you will remember,
in lawful wedlock) possessed, in due legal course, of the whole of Mr.
Vanstone's fortune. On the child's death—if it had only outlived the mother by a
few seconds, instead of a few hours, the result would have been the same—the
next of kin to the legitimate offspring took the money; and that next of kin is
the infant's paternal uncle,