Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 063 [06-29-1860]

              54
                Mutual Conjugal Deceit.
this and that, necessaries for housekeeping and
nourishment for the sick child, and a certain
article of dress for herself �the first I have had
for seven years.� �That� quoth Charley, paren-
thetically, �I don�t like!�    From thence she pro-
ceeded to speak of his next week�s remittance,
mentioned what sum she could �do�with, in a
clear, exact, chilling, passionless manner, suf-
ficiently marked and noticeable.       Then follow-
ed news of friends and acquaintances, and the
letter closed with as calm abruptness as it had
commenced.     There was additional reason for
this coldness beyond what Charley had previously
mentioned.    Within the peculiar twelvemonths of
conjugal abstinence, his wife had discovered him
�taking liberties� with the person of their servant-girl
� �an American girl, you know!� adds Charley,
suggestively.    His wife did not betray herself �
said never a word of it until her own time, but
she made the girl write Charley a letter from her
dictation, calculated to draw him into an admis-
sion of attempts upon the inditer�s chastity.   He
was too shrewd to fall into the trap, so he res-
ponded by inquiring what familiarities she complain-
ed of.       Straight comes the answer recapitulating
�all I had ever done to her.� (He asserts his in-
nocence of more than preliminary familiarities.)               
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