Paul Ferrol’s wife was a woman of violent temper, who parted him from Elinor, his first love. When she is murdered, suspicion rests upon Franks, a laborer on the estate; but Ferrol gets him off, and sends him to Canada with his wife. Soon after, Ferrol marries his first love. They have one daughter, Janet, and avoid their old friends, although Ferrol does much to help others, becoming a hero when cholera breaks out.
During trade riots he kills one of the mob, is tried for murder and found guilty; but is pardoned, goes abroad for his wife’s health, and meets with a serious accident, which leads him to return.
Janet has lovers—the French surgeon’s son, whom her father approves, and Hugh Bartlett, whom she loves, but who does not please Ferrol.
Martha Franks returns from Canada; ornaments belonging to the first Mrs. Ferrol are discovered in her possession, and the old charge of murder is renewed.
She is found guilty; upon which Paul Ferrol confesses that he is the murderer. He had deposited an account of the deed, with the instrument of it, in the coffin of his victim, where they are found.
He is sentenced to be hung; but is helped to escape to America, by Janet’s lover, Hugh.
Elinor, Ferrol’s second wife, dies upon hearing of his crime; and he does not long survive his exile.
CAROLINE CLIVE (1801–1872) was an English writer of poetry, short stories and novels. She often wrote under the unique pen name of “V.” Some of her best-known works were:
I Watched the Heavens
The Queen's Ball
The Valley of the Rea
Year after year
Why Paul Ferroll Killed his Wife.