After a long, painful marriage Mrs Scudamore is widowed, and she and her children remain in their country house in Berkshire. Finally she can look forward to the future: her son will soon be coming of age; and her eldest daughter may soon be engaged.
But just when they are all looking ahead, a mysterious woman and her nephew arrive, who inform Mrs Scudamore privately of a terrible secret. This story follows her mental deterioration as she attempts to keep the secret, even at the cost of "sacrificing" one of the children.
British publishing information
Periodical: Blackwood's Magazine Dec 1871 - Jan 1872