A Besotted Man’s Terrible Confession

“My Sin” Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

From 1898, this page is dedicated nearly in its entirety to a man’s confession about the lengths to which jealousy drove him. It’s not called “My Sin” for nothing! The whole dramatic tale is worth a read, but here’s the cliffnotes version, (or should I say “clip” notes?)

First, the narrator falls in love.

He falls in loveHe falls in love Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

The situation is complicated by the arrival of a good-looking stranger.

Handsome Arnold enters the pictureHandsome Arnold enters the picture Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

Belle and Arnold’s marriage seems imminent, much to the displeasure of our still-besotted narrator. He begins to have jealous thoughts, and does petty things to annoy the couple. Soon he overhears a bit of information about Arnold’s past: his horse’s aversion to artists under white umbrellas.

Petty actions and dangerous knowledgePetty actions and dangerous knowledge Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

This is where the story takes an unexpected turn. One day he is wandering the fields and cursing “Handsome Arnold”—

He finds an artist under a white umbrellaHe finds an artist under a white umbrella Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

His words draw the artist to a spot where Arnold, passing on his horse, happens to see it. The horse reacts…but not as our narrator intended.

A tragic turn of eventsA tragic turn of events Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

Arnold lives, and becomes strong again in time. But “no one would ever call him handsome Arnold any more.” In the aftermath of the accident, Arnold felt that he was no longer worthy of Belle’s love. He asks our narrator to take a letter to Belle and prepares to leave town. The guilt-ridden narrator goes to Belle at once.

He goes to Belle, and tells herHe goes to Belle, and tells her Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

Love prevails! The couple are as much in love as ever, and our heart-broken narrator leaves them to their happiness.

A happy endA happy end Sat, Oct 1, 1898 – 2 · The Weekly Bennington Banner (Bennington, Vermont) · Newspapers.com

All’s well that ends well, as they say.

Find more like this with a search on Newspapers.com or by browsing the collection. You never know what stories you might find!

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