The Eva Hamilton Scandal — Part Nine

Hamilton Again a Victim!

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The New York World — Sunday 29 September 1889


He visits her cell and she makes good her word to “win him back in twenty minutes”– not even her confession of the fraud of the baby chills his infatuation — he will attempt to free her.

[Special to The World.]

May’s Landing, N.J., Sept. 28. — The hovel-born adventuress in prison has made good her boast: “Let me see Ray Hamilton for twenty minutes and I’ll win him back again.” She has captured what she has never lost, the heart of the man she has deceived so basely. She owns him body and soul and his enthralment (sic) is as complete to-day as it was when he first came under the magic of Eva Steele’s spell. Hamilton actually has promised to use all the influence that money could exert to have the sentence of the convicted woman lightened, and, if possible, have her pardoned. In addition to this, so completely is he in the toils, he has promised that his political power shall be used with as much freedom as his money. He has pledged himself, in the event that Leon Abbott is elected governor of New Jersey, and this seems probable, that he (Hamilton) will leave no stone unturned, will neglect no opportunity, to gain for the woman who has disgraced him her freedom. The utterance made by Mrs. Hamilton and published in the World Sunday as the text of the remarkable story of her life was founded on a knowledge of her power. Hamilton read it in New York City while in company with his friend Vallmer. It is said that his face flushed and he cast the story aside. He avoided Mr. Vallmer’s society after that, and Thursday he came down here without his friend’s knowledge. He was accompanied by Lawyer Clark, and his coming was a secret as possible.

Mr. Hamilton appeared to be half ashamed of himself at first and didn’t show a disposition to call immediately at the Sheriff’s house. Finally he swallowed half a tumbler of whiskey and with the lawyer crossed the road and entered the jail. The Sheriff’s wife was surprised at first at the visit, but she led the two men upstairs without a word, and, turning the key in the lock, threw open the door. Mrs. Hamilton had seen her husband crossing the road and she was prepared to meet him. No sooner was the door of her prison opened than she was in his arms, or rather he was in her arms, for she wound herself about him like a serpent. She smothered him with kisses. She cooed and cried and laughed by turns. Hamilton was completely overcome. He returned the caresses half shyly at first, but in a few moments with much fervor. Then the couple sat down. Mrs. Hamilton gave her victim one long, earnest look, then she got up and kissed him passionately. That settled. Only ten minutes had a elapsed, but the woman had made good her word.

Lawyer Clark waited until husband and wife had returned to earth, and then asked them to get down to business. Mrs. Hamilton was disposed to be capricious at first, but she was convinced that her husband’s counsel would stand no nonsense. His first inquiry was as to what the putative mother proposed to do with baby Beatrice.

“Why care for her, of course,” was the reply.

“Is that child the child of Mr. Hamilton?” asked the lawyer.

The prisoner did not like the blunt directness of the question and evaded it.

“Are you the mother of the child?” persisted the questioner.

To this Mrs. Hamilton offered another evasion, and this resulted in her being informed that unless she consented to talk business and tell the truth further consideration of her case must cease. Then came the admission that corroborated what has been told already of one of the strangest intrigues of the century. She admitted that baby Beatrice was neither hers nor Mr. Hamilton’s child. She went further than this, confiding to the lawyer the name of the woman from whom the child had been bought and the amount paid for it. She did not appear anxious to cast any blame on either “Josh” Mann or Mrs. Swinton, and as excuse for her deception she pleaded her passionate love for her husband and the fear that she might lose him. Turning to Robert Ray at this moment she cast herself on his neck and again burst out:

“Why did you leave me, Ray? Oh, why desert me?”

Hamilton, who had been sitting like a man stupefied while the shameful admissions were being made, did not reply, but wound his arms more closely around the woman’s waist. It was decided that the infant should be cared for temporarily by Mr. Hamilton until its final disposition should be decided upon. This discussion seemed to interest Mrs. Hamilton intensely, and she was solicitous lest the little one should not receive every care and attention. Robert Ray informed his wife that while the trial had been an expensive one, he was prepared to go still further to assist her. This remark lead to a partial clearing up of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the $3,000 worth of diamonds which were said to be missing a short time after the assault.

“Those diamonds,” said Mr. Hamilton, “are in safe keeping. They are in the hands of Capt. Perry, the lawyer, of Atlantic City. I have sent him $1,000 for his services, and he will now return the stones.” Following this Robert Ray is said to have made the declaration that in the event of Leon Abbott’s election he would apply for executive clemency. Both Hamilton and his lawyer left with the same secrecy that characterized their arrival. They went to Atlantic City and held a consultation with Capt. Perry. Neither of them would talk for publication, but it was intimated pretty plainly that even should Mrs. Hamilton be released before serving out her term of imprisonment her husband would not live with her again; that he was only acting from a sense of duty and not because of any infatuation. This hardly seems plausible, especially when the parting between the two was considered. It was even more passionate and clinging than the meeting. Mrs. Hamilton embraced her husband again and again and rained showers of hot kisses upon his face. He took these evidences of affection without a protest. His own manner was not particularly demonstrative, because he is not a demonstrative man, but he did not seem in the least displeased.

David Blixt is an author, actor, and fight director based in Chicago, where he’s allowed to co-exist with an awesome woman and a pair of really cool kids. His new book, WHAT GIRLS ARE GOOD FOR: A Novel of Nellie Bly, is available now on Amazon Kindle and print. Follow David on Twitter @David_Blixt, on Facebook here, and on his website at Sign up for David’s Mailing List here and get free books and more!

Actor. Author. Father. Husband. In reverse order. Latest novel: WHAT GIRLS ARE GOOD FOR.

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