'Hale and I were living in a cosy apartment at Ninety-ninth street and West End avenue. He loved his home and his wife. There was no cloud upon the sky of our happiness. One unfortunate night we went to the Sixty Club and met Miss La Rue. Both of us were introduced to her.
'But it was a slight and passing acquaintance. My husband doesn't dance, and he doesn't care for crowds. But the evil fates were plotting against my happiness. We were about to give a little party. We were indebted to a number of persons for invitations, and we wished to pay that indebtedness. While planning the party and how to entertain our friends we went to another of the Sixty Club's dances. There we again met Miss La Rue. We asked her to come to the party. She accepted. She sang for us. I will admit that she made my party a success by her songs. I did not dream that a discordant song she would make of my life.
'In the Winter I went to Chicago to pay a friend a little visit. When I came back several friends said: "Your hermit husband has been going about. We saw him at Reisenweber's with Grace La Rue." I thought little of this, so little that I did not even mention it to my husband. I said to my friends: "I do not expect my husband to sit at home and stare at a blank wall and think of me while I am away."
'Unfortunate speech! I am now inclined to believe that if a wife expects a husband to stay at home and do wall-staring he will.
'Everything was all right at home that Spring and early Summer. I went for a few weeks to Saranac Lake. When I came back my husband's attitude toward me was totally changed.
'He was cold, indifferent, preoccupied. I said: "Won't you tell me what is on your mind?" He would answer, "Nothing, my dear. Nothing at all." But I knew better.
'My husband said to me one day: "Do you think it is effeminate to wear a wrist watch?" I answered, "Not now, dear. Once it seemed so, but the war has changed that. Why?" He said: "A fellow at the club is broke. He offered to sell me a very decent watch for twelve dollars." I said: "If you can get a good watch for twelve dollars you'd better buy it." He answered: "Maybe you're right."
'That evening he came home wearing the wrist watch. "You seem to have made a bargain, dearest," I said. "The man couldn’t have worn it long. It looks brand new. Let me see it."
'But he wouldn't take it off. He would give no reason. He just wouldn't He even slept with that watch on his wrist.
'But one day, while he was taking a bath, I found it on the dresser. It was a fine watch, of solid gold setting with Elgin works. I knew it was worth a hundred and twelve dollars. No sane person would sell it for twelve dollars. As I examined it I found inscribed in the inner case his name. I knew there had not been time since he spoke of it that morning to have that inscription made. I am acquainted with the habits of jewelers. by one of those flashed that illuminate a situation, but render a woman very unhappy, I understood. I told him I had heard that he had been seen often with Grace La Rue while I was at Saranac and that I was sure she had given him the watch. He denied it. But very shortly afterward, when he met a friend of ours and walked down [the] street with her, he told her all about it.
'"I don't know what to do," he said, and showed her a new sapphire ring, a gift.
'This confession by proxy helped me in the slow, tormenting process of making up my mind what to do. I told my husband we would better separate, at least until this cloud had passes from our lives.
'He agreed with he. We signed separation papers and shook hands and wished each other well, But on his journey to California, where he was gong to fulfil an engagement, Hale seemed to have had a change of heart. He sent me a telegram: "Hold the thought that we will be reunited, dear one," he said. "I am sure we will be together this time next year. I feel as though I had been chasing rainbows and had not found the pot of gold."
'A little later a friend said to me: "I met your husband in Seattle. He was there spending Christmas with Miss La Rue."
'That determined by course. Learning that he was in St. Paul with Miss La Rue I went to that city and engaged a lawyer. Aided by persons in a local hotel, we made certain discoveries of a very conclusive nature.
'I only saw my husband once after that. We met at the corner of Sixth avenue and Forty-seventh street.
'He said: "How do you do, Myrtle?" I said: "Very well, thank you. How are you, Hale?" He answered: "May I walk with you? I would like to talk of things." I said: "Certainly." We walked across Forty-seventh street and turned up Fifth avenue. I reminded him that he was far in arrears. I noticed that he was looking very well. I had never seen him so well groomed. And he was wearing a magnificent fur-lined overcoat.
'Staring at the magnificent overcoat I reminded him that by the terms of our separations papers he was in arrears in his alimony. "Yes," he said, "but I want to talk to you about something. Please don't mention any names in your divorce suit. If you don't I will pay up."
'I and others dependent upon me needed the money. I answered impulsively, "Oh, very well!" When I did sue for my divorce, for which I have an interlocutory decree, I referred to "and unknown woman."
'But since the divorce has been granted I feel that I have a duty to perform in laying all the facts before the public through the courts.'
(The Sandusky Register, Sandusky, Ohio, Sunday, 28 March 1920, Magazine Section, p.1)
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