Originally published as 'A Marriage Tragedy' in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, February 1858.
William, the narrator and faithful servant to rich widow, Mrs Norcross, tells the story of her unhappy second marriage to James Smith. A detective lawyer's clerk, Mr Dark, both confirms Smith's bigamous remarriage and, following his disappearance, proves Mrs Norcross and William innocent of murder. Dark also recovers jewellery stolen by the maidservant and establishes her guilt. William's amiable relationship with the experienced detective foreshadows that between Betteredge and Cuff in The Moonstone (1868).