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The Woman Thou Gavest Me Being the Story of Mary O'Neill   By: (1853-1931)

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The Woman Thou Gavest Me

Being the Story of Mary O'Neill

By HALL CAINE

Author of "The Prodigal Son," Etc.

[Illustration]

Published August, 1913

THE AUTHOR TO THE READER

How much of the story of Mary O'Neill is a work of my own imagination, and how much comes from an authentic source I do not consider it necessary to say. But as I have in this instance drawn more largely and directly from fact than is usually the practice of the novelist, I have thought it my duty to defeat all possible attempts at personal identification by altering and disguising the more important scenes and characters. Therefore this novel is not to be understood as referring to any living person or persons, and the convent school described in it is not to be identified with any similar educational institution in Rome .

MARTIN CONRAD TO THE AUTHOR

Here are the Memoranda we have talked about. Do as you like with them. Alter, amend, add to or take away from them, exactly as you think best. They were written in the first instance for my own eye alone, and hence they take much for granted which may need explanation before they can be put to the more general uses you have designed for them. Make such explanation in any way you consider suitable. It is my wish that in this matter your judgment should be accepted as mine. The deep feeling you could not conceal when I told you the story of my dear one's life gives me confidence in your discretion.

Whatever the immediate effect may be, I feel that in the end I shall be justified fully justified in allowing the public to look for a little while into the sacred confessional of my darling's stainless heart.

I heard her voice again to day. She was right love is immortal. God bless her! My ever lovely and beloved one!

CONTENTS

THE NARRATIVE OF MARY O'NEILL

PAGE FIRST PART: MY GIRLHOOD 1 SECOND PART: MY MARRIAGE 97 THIRD PART: MY HONEYMOON 135 FOURTH PART: I FALL IN LOVE 210 FIFTH PART: I BECOME A MOTHER 308 SIXTH PART: I AM LOST 401 SEVENTH PART: I AM FOUND 505

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The name Raa (of Celtic origin with many variations among Celtic races) is pronounced Rah in Ellan.

THE NARRATIVE OF MARY O'NEILL

FIRST PART

MY GIRLHOOD

FIRST CHAPTER

"Out of the depths, O Lord, out of the depths," begins the most beautiful of the services of our church, and it is out of the depths of my life that I must bring the incidents of this story.

I was an unwanted child unwanted as a girl at all events. Father Dan Donovan, our parish priest, told me all about it. I was born in October. It had been raining heavily all day long. The rain was beating hard against the front of our house and running in rivers down the window panes. Towards four in the afternoon the wind rose and then the yellow leaves of the chestnuts in the long drive rustled noisily, and the sea, which is a mile away, moaned like a dog in pain.

In my father's room, on the ground floor, Father Dan sat by the fire, fingering his beads and listening to every sound that came from my mother's room, which was immediately overhead. My father himself, with his heavy step that made the house tremble, was tramping to and fro, from the window to the ingle, from the ingle to the opposite wall. Sometimes Aunt Bridget came down to say that everything was going on well, and at intervals of half an hour Doctor Conrad entered in his noiseless way and sat in silence by the fire, took a few puffs from a long clay pipe and then returned to his charge upstairs.

My father's impatience was consuming him.

"It's long," he said, searching the doctor's face.

"Don't worry above all don't worry," said Father Dan.

"There's no need," said Doctor Conrad.

"Then hustle back and get it over," said my father. "It will be five hundred dollars to you if this comes off all right... Continue reading book >>




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