DAME THE EIGHTH
THE LADY PENELOPE
by the Man of Family
“; and the fate of the fair woman seemed yet the harder in that it was her own stately mansion, left to her sole use by her first husband, which her second had entered into and was enjoying, his being but a mean and meagre erection.”
Lady Penelope, fair and pure, had a stillborn baby destined to have become a forebear of her namesake in an alternate world beyond this story’s “silent veil of the future” wherein it was born alive instead, but, in our real world, Lady Penelope became a fated puppet of her three husbands or, rather, of her own idle joke about marrying all of her then three suitors in turn! The first husband was a Drenkhard, the second a measly bloke who died, and the third, her favourite, fell foul of gossip about the way this fate had been planned or panned out by her! The fair and pure Lady thus got her undue dues. Whether they have been a Fortean chastisement or not for her idle joke.
My ongoing review of Thomas Hardy’s stories: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/collected-short-stories-thomas-hardy/