Sunday, January 22, 2012
Mistaken Identity~Part 4 of 4
Meanwhile in St. Louis, Gertie finally had the courage to tell Sheriff Dingle about the incident on the train and how Bethany was thrown in a heap near a place called Camden Corners. Sheriff Dingle thought nothing could surprise him but this took the cake. He and the rest of the town had never cared for the girl they thought was Bethany. They knew she had been unkind to Miss Isabelle. It all made sense to him now. He had heard for many years that Bethany Howell was a lovely young girl who would win the hearts of anyone who knew her. He and Deputy Hal made a call to Miss Eloise Hanover and arrested her for the attempted murder and impersonation of Bethany Howell.
Eloise shouted at Gertie on her way out the door “Your little brother and sister are dead thanks to your big mouth.”
Gertie knew they were safe and the sheriff in Boston was aware of the threats. He told Gertie not to worry since her little brother had grown to be six foot four and he doubted any harm would come to either of them.
Aunt Isabelle was beside herself. How could she have believed for one minute that Eloise was the product of her dear nephew and his lovely wife. Everyone assured Isabelle that Eloise was a good actress and they all had been fooled by her.
The next morning, Gertie and Isabelle were on the train bound for Camden Corners. The sheriff sent Deputy Hal along with them to guide them on there way. Hal wasn't unhappy with his duty because he loved any excuse to be with Miss Gertie.
The Sheriff sent a wire to Sheriff Mendenhall in Camden Corners telling him what had transpired. Sheriff Mendenhall was telling the Burkes and Beth the story Gertie had finally reported. Beth's wish had come true just a couple of days after she had made it.
Rusty and Beth waited for the train's arrival. Beth was nervous about meeting someone from her past and hoped to find some answers. As Deputy Hal and a pretty young girl helped an older lady off the train, Bethany looked into her old friend Gertie's eyes and everything came back to her. She shouted Gertie's name and flew into the sobbing girls arms.
“Oh Gertie, Mama and Papa are dead” the memory of that awful night came back to her. Aunt Isabelle knew right away that this beautiful young girl was her niece from Boston. She could also see that the handsome young man standing next to her was head over heels in love with her darling Bethany.
The girls giggled and laughed all the way to the Burke home where Gertie and Aunt Isabelle were treated as royalty. Gertie was a little embarrassed by the attention and reminded them she was a servant.
“Not around here you aren't” said Rusty. “We will take care of you from now on. You brought our Beth's memories to life again and for that we will be forever grateful.”
Several weeks later on Bethany's real 18th birthday, her solicitor from Boston arrived in Camden Corners. Bethany was an extremely wealthy woman. Bethany didn't want any of the money. She found her happily ever after with Rusty Burke right here in Camden Corners and couldn't imagine her life any different than it had been for all these years. The solicitor set up a foundation in Clarence and Miranda's name. Gertie was the first recipient of a full scholarship to a nursing school in St. Louis. Her brother and sister were the second and third. All of the children of the household staffs in Aunt Isabelle's home and those they could locate from Bethany's Boston home were given scholarships to the schools of their choice.
Several years later when the nurses cap was being placed on Gertie's head, Bethany, Rusty and baby Miranda Burke were there cheering her on along with Hal Lawson who was bursting with pride for his wife.
Eloise was sitting in her jail cell thinking about all the money that nitwit Bethany just threw away on her servant friends.
“What a waste!”