AN ASTOUNDING BIOGRAPHY OF EVA!
The New York World — Sunday, 22 September 1889
FROM HOVEL TO WEALTH.
WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY THIS IS OF ROBERT RAY HAMILTON AND HIS WIFE.
THE WOMAN’S EVIL HISTORY.
It Has Not Before Been Told, and the Like of It Perhaps Never Was Before.
NOW TWO YEARS IN CONVICT GARB.
A Freckle-Faced Child in a Pennsylvania Lumber Camp — Practically Without Education, but with Remarkable Shrewdness of Intellect —What was it that Fascinated a Man of Robert Ray Hamilton’s Refinement, Cultivation and Social Connections? — Photographs of the Woman at Various Stages of Her Career — Her Father, Mother and Uncouth Country Brother — Four Actual Attempts at Murder and Perhaps Two More Contemplated — The Men She has Ruined and Homes She has Wrecked — See What Antecedents This Unusually Successful Adventuress Had!
[Special to The World]
WILKESBARRE, PA., Sept. 21. — While Eva Hamilton was in the little attic-room of the jail at May’s Landing, waiting for the trial which ended the other day in her sentence to the State Prison to Trenton, she said to the Sheriff’s wife:
“Let me see Ray Hamilton for twenty minutes and I’ll win him back, with the world against me!”
It was the belief of all the newspaper correspondents who reported this trial and the events that led to it that the woman’s boast was well-founded. There seems no doubt that Mr. Hamilton’s infatuation for the depraved creature remains almost as strong as when he married her. His better judgment fought with this infatuation and won, but he obviously did not dare to risk a personal interview with her alone. The friend who accompanied him acknowledged all this to be true.
As described to her intimates by the Sheriff’s wife there was a ring of defiance in the tone and a glitter in the eye of this wife of the representative of the most noted political district in the United States as she made this challenge. She knew her power and she asked for an opportunity to exercise it. In a moment of frenzy she had marred the success of one of the most remarkable plots ever revealed in actual life. The vicious thrust she made with that double-edged hunting-knife not only laid bare the vitals of her intended victim, but cut the bonds that bound up the history of the most infamously clever conspiracy — a conspiracy complete and its details and diabolical its intention.
The extraordinary attraction which so depraved a creature had and has for a man of Robert Ray Hamilton’s antecedents and social connections and personal refinement of mind and manner is a curious psychological study. It was worth while to trace the woman’s history to her infancy, and this the correspondent has done at her birthplace, some sixty miles from this town.
In one of the lumber camps of Northern Pennsylvania this woman was born in May, 1860. It was in a log house in Bradford County, about eight miles northwest of the village of Wyalusing, which is on the banks of the Susquehanna River and a station on the line of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Her father, who is still living, and, old as he is, the terror of the village when drunk, is named William W. Steele. Her mother’s name is Lydia A. Steele. At the time of the child’s birth the father was engaged as a wood-chopper and bark-peeler in the wilderness. The babe was named Eva Lydia Steele. There was no christening, because the Steele’s “didn’t believe in such tom-foolery.”
The family consisted of the father and mother and six children — Joseph L. Steele, who is married and resides in the lumber woods of Michigan; Thomas W. Steele, who resides at Lacyville, Wyoming County, Pa.; Samuel T. Steele, who is about twenty-three years of age, and Benjamin E. Steele, who both remain under the paternal roof; Alice, who married Eugene Foote, cousin of Supt. Foote, of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company’s coal mines near Wilkesbarre, and Eva Lydia.
Eva was just like the rest of the children in the camp — dirty, unkempt and spindle-shanked. When she came to the age of nine her parents removed to Bernice, a coal-mining hamlet in the forests of Sullivan County. The father obtained employment in a sawmill, and the children were sent to the little log school-house at the foot of Tyler Mountain. For three years the child appeared to be stupid enough. She had one half-witted brother, and the folks about the village thought that Eva “wan’t goin’ to be bright” Entering her thirteenth year, Eva seemed to brighten up with a great suddenness. She developed a knowledge of human vices and follies far beyond her years and astonished her teachers at times with her shrewd conclusions. The outside world was a vast fairyland to the girl. She had never been ten miles from home and her imaginings of what life in great cities was like, framed in words, kept her companions interested for hours.
At the age of fifteen the freckle-faced, lanky child had developed into an astonishingly graceful woman, symmetrical from her high instep to her well-poised head, and it did not take her long to discover that her charms were the envy of her less fortunate sisters and the admiration of the rough miners of the town. With the physical development grew a mental fungus — a violent, unreasoning temper, blind to consequences when once aroused. When in one of these frenzied moods Eva Steele was the terror of the town, young as she was.
One day there came a handsome commercial traveler from Williamsport. He saw the village belle, and, being the first man from that fairyland of which she had dreamed so often, captured Eva’s heart without half trying. Perhaps she had been a virtuous girl until then. With the salesman she fled to Oswego, N.Y., where she remained for four days, and was then deserted.
Her mother said to the correspondent: “I never knew a better behaved girl than Eva was while she was at home.” The old woman has a picture of the girl sent back to the Sullivan County cabin just after she had reached New York after two years of wild dissipation. She was seventeen when it was taken and here it is:
After her betrayal and desertion the usual result followed. She entered a house of ill-fame and, perhaps stung by the knowledge that she had been conquered and then scorned, gave her fiery temper full play. This ended in being driven into the street. With the few dollars she had in her pockets she made her way to Waverley, N.Y., and became an inmate of a notorious resort kept by Mrs. Washburn. Exhibitions of that temper which seemed to grow more murderous with its growth again set her adrift and she sought refuge with a Mme. Meade in South Waverley.
A married man and a prominent figure in that little town became infatuated with her. Refused a pecuniary favor by this lover, who had been drained dry, she shot at him. The bullet narrowly missed his brain. It sliced off a goodly portion of his left ear, however, and his cries of murder brought half a dozen inmates, who disarmed the infuriated creature before she could fire a second shot. Again she was driven forth and her trunk was held for an unpaid board bill. Eva had no notion of leaving her effects behind, and she returned, battered down the door and demanded her property. The landlady capitulated.
Was There a Marriage?
From Waverly, Eva returned to Bernice, the home of her parents. There she fell in with Walter Parsons, the twenty-year old son of C.A. Parsons, Superintendent of the Bernice Coal Company, of Boston. The conquest was an immediate one, and two days later she ran off with him to Elmira. The family of the young man heard of his escapade and every effort was made to bring him to a sense of shame, but without avail. Then came a report that the couple had been married. This set the boy’s mother to work, and the filial love, which had not been altogether smothered, brought him back to Bernice — and alone.
Meantime Eva had by some means or other managed to reach New York. Her stay in the metropolis on this, her first visit, was brief. She went to Tawanda, Pa., and was arrested there for stealing a pair of gold bracelets from a jeweler named Hindleman. Eva appealed to Walter Parsons, the young man mentioned above, who induced his father to compromise with the jeweler, and the scandal was hushed up. From that time until 1882 Eva went from one small town to another, living in bagnios, until a quarrel and an attempt to shoot or cut would result in her dismissal. Her wretched temper seemed to increase with her beauty.
The latter part of the year named found her in Elmira. She was accompanied by a pretty girl who called herself Katie May. Eva gave her surname as Parsons. The two girls were expensively attired. The adventuress had developed a strong liking for liquor. Many was the wild debauch in that house, with Eva the central figure, and the slaves around her men prominent in business and politics in Chemung County. The brother-in-law of the proprietor of the big dry-goods store in Elmira met her one day while she was shopping. Like scores of others, he was instantly smitten. Eva nearly ruined him. About this time the married lover who had had a piece of his ear shot off appeared on the scene, and became obtrusive. He was tolerated while his money lasted, and then Eva shot at him again.
Her aim this time was bad, and the ball went wide if its mark. She had aimed a second time and was about to fire when she was disarmed by the proprietress of the place, who approached her from behind.
It was then discovered that this female fury carried, as an ornament in her hair, a keen stiletto. She tried to use it one day on one of her frail sisters and she was given notice to leave.
With the young man who met her in the dry-goods store she came to the city and lived with him in apartments on East Thirty-first street until her demands compelled him to make an assignment for the benefit of his creditors. Then he was dismissed. Following this came a liaison with an elderly New Yorker, who lavished the most costly present upon the hovel-born adventuress, and remained completely under her power until his home was broken up and his wife died of a broken heart.
Was Her Hamilton Marriage Bigamy?
It was shortly after that she met Robert Ray Hamilton; but, before that, the fellow Joshua Mann, whom, true to her birth and unique characteristics, she preferred to the gentleman who loved her so well that he married her. Here is an episode that illustrates just what she was and what were her home surroundings, and it was the events that happened at this time which the grandson of Alexander Hamilton may use to break the bonds that bind him in marriage to this creature.
Shortly after her reported marriage to Parsons, thirteen years ago, her parents removed from Bernice to Michigan, where the son was working in the pine forests, and after a few years spent there returned to where they had formally lived in Bradford County. It was while her parents resided near Wyalusing in 1885 that Eva, accompanied by Joshua Mann, visited them. Mann quarrelled with her brother Thomas, committed an assault upon him, was arrested, and is now under indictment in Wyoming County.
Her sister, Mrs. Eugene Foote, resided at this time in the suburbs of Wilkesbarre, in a locality called the “Five Points,” and received a visit from her sister Eva and Joshua Mann. The sisters quarrelled and accused each other of various unmentionable offenses. Until August, 1888, little had been heard of her until she came to visit her parents who had removed from Bradford County to Dallas Township in Luzerne County about two and a half miles from that beautiful summer resort, Harvey’s Lake. The house in which her parents reside is built of boards with battens over the crack, of which a cut is given above, taken from a photograph.
Eva and Joshua Mann spent two weeks at the home of her parents, and passed as man and wife. On the Saturday they were to depart they went for a drive around Harvey’s Lake — Joshua, Eva, Mrs. Steele and Mr. Steele, whom Joshua called “Pap.” When the party arrived at the north corner of the lake, instead of returning home they continued their ride to a small village about four miles from the lake called Slabtown. Here they stopped at the Rock Hotel and drank freely of liquor, carried into the room by Josh Mann, and to pay for which Eva handed him the money from a large roll she carried. While they were drinking at the Rock Hotel a butcher’s wagon driven by the local butcher, Mr. Charles Johnson, drove up in front of the hotel. Rather as a tipsy joke, perhaps, than out of regard for her parents, she purchased a leg of lamb and a large beef roast for them. After paying the butcher Eva invited him to “take something,” which invitation the gallant butcher accepted. Josh and Eva subsequently, while at the hotel, hire Johnson to take them and the trunk, to Dallas; Johnson replied, when first asked to take them, that he had no vehicle other than the butcher wagon, but if they were satisfied to ride in it he would be pleased to accommodate them. Johnson was evidently taken aback when they wanted to ride in the meat-wagon, for he saw that the woman was richly clad. But he drove them home the whole four miles, the trunk was hastily packed and placed in the meat-wagon, the man and woman took their places on the seat, Johnson mounted to the wagon-tongue, resting his back against the dashboard, and away they started for Dallas. Eva and Joshua had intended to remain at the tavern in Dallas until Monday, but after they had had more liquor, which was paid for by him, Eva handing him the money, the landlord, Mr. Phillip Raub, concluded they were not fit for him, and told them the house was full. They had said to him that they were man and wife. Then they told Johnson he must take them and the trunk four miles further down the “pike” to the Forrest House, better known as the Ice Cave Hotel, kept by Joseph Harter. There they registered themselves as Joshua Mann and wife, and secured quarters until Monday.
Meanwhile old man Steele had also got drunk, and, pistol in hand, had started for the home of the Johnsons, half a mile distant. He had somehow persuaded himself that his daughter had been robbed. Reaching the Johnson house he stopped in the middle of the road, and, flourishing his weapon, declared that he had come to kill the butcher. The female portion of the household were much frightened, but Mr. Peter Johnson, father of Charles, went out to the front gate, and demanded to “know the meaning of such conduct and language which he was not accustomed to.” Steele said that Charles Johnson had stolen $180, and a trunk from his daughter, Eva.
“If Charles has stolen anything,” replied Mr. Johnson, “go and have him arrested. You needn’t talk about shooting, and get away from here.”
The old man started towards home, and then drove Mrs. Steele, his wife, out of the house in her nightclothes and closed and locked the door. The poor woman made her way to Neighbor Johnson’s and there was provided with clothing. Charles Johnson had meanwhile returned home and heard of Steele’s charges. He drove over at once to Dallas, went before C.H. Cook, a Justice of the Peace, swore out a warrant, found a Constable, told him to arrest Steele, bring him before Squire Cook on Monday morning, as the Squire wouldn’t wait up that night, and also to subpoena Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Mann, who were at the Ice Cave Hotel, as witnesses. At the hearing of the case the question of the relationship existing between Eva and Joshua Mann came up. Eva declared in court that they were man and wife. This declaration on the part of his daughter brought old man Steele to his feet, and he denied in the most positive language that they were married, where upon Eva said: “Joshua and I are as much man and wife as are my father and mother.” The case was finally disposed of on a payment of the cost by the defendant Steele, the money being furnished by his daughter. After the trial Mrs. Steele returned home with her husband, and Joshua Mann and Eva boarded the next train for New York.
Eva’s mother says that Eva was “a handsome woman and a good woman if she had a mind to be.” When asked if Eva had ever sent her any of the large sums of money received from Hamilton, she replied that Eva had not, though sums which Eva could very well have spared out of all the money she squandered would’ve done her parents a world of good. The mother adds that Eva kept up a running sort of correspondence with her since leaving home, having written from New York, while she was in Europe, and from California, but that no letter had been received since she left California. The first they knew of her return East was when the papers published an account of the assault in Atlantic City and her arrest. Mrs. Steele says she never knew that Eva had a baby, and did not hear of her being in Elmira last Winter. She says that when Eva and Joshua were at her home last August (1888) there was no evidence, as far as she knew, that Eva was in a delicate condition. The child was supposed to have been born to her in the following December.
A few months ago while drinking at the Rock Hotel, at Slabtown, the old man Steele became thoroughly drunk and fired several shots from the road into the bar-room. For this escapade he was arrested and placed under bail to appear at the Quarter Sessions Court of Wyoming County, to be held in Tunkhannock, on Nov. 14, when he will be tried.
That the attempt to take one life in Atlantic City saved two other lives admits of very little doubt now. The vulgar brawl between two women prevented the consummation of a double diabolism, the doing away with Hamilton first, and the puling babe that had been imposed upon him as bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh next. All the evidence points that way. All the circumstances surrounding the scandal substantiate it.
The fraudulent heir to the Hamilton estates given its quietus, the conspirators could enjoy the rich fruit of the cunningly contrived and almost successful plot. But the frenzy of a mad moment destroyed in a flash all the planning of three years, and gave to the world a tale so strange, so horrible, that it would be altogether incredible were it not supported by cold, incontrovertible facts.
It is true that it took Hamilton some time to realize that he had been in such imminent peril, but when the truth came to him in all its hideousness he was staggered. Nevertheless he feared to trust himself within the range of the charms of the woman who had so enslaved him. Hers was no idle threat.
“Let me see Ray Hamilton for twenty minutes, and I’ll win him back, with the world against me.”
The victim dared not trust himself. A caress, a kiss, a dozen soft words, and he would again be completely in the toils as ever the Chevalier de Greux was with the fair and fickle Lescaut. The revelation of the plot would have had no weight. His former danger would have been looked upon as a dream. Under the magnetic influence of those soft, velvety eyes he would have forgotten self, reputation, honor itself. Let the tigerish enchantress but once wind her arms around his neck, and the real past would have been forgotten in the contemplation of the false future. Robert Ray Hamilton knew this and by a strong effort kept aloof. To strengthen his determination he had a trusted friend constantly by his side, a man of more resolution than himself, who watched him like a hawk and had a wet blanket ready to throw whenever the slightest symptoms of yielding became apparent. He won the battle with self unwillingly and was saved.
Is It Not an Extraordinary Drama?
Take the story in its entirety, now that it has been dovetailed together and is complete, and see if Dumas, or Sue, or any of the weavers of the ingenious fabric of French fiction, have ever produced a stranger story. From prologue to dénouement it bristles with startling situations, dramatic coloring, and the essence of perverted human nature. It opens, as the French playwright would have opened it, in a gilded palace of sin. An adventuress, rich in those physical charms which attract men of certain temperament, lay in wait there for a victim. This woman, like all of her class, has a lover on whom she lavishes a wealth of genuine affection. He is a loutish, ignorant fellow, all animal, and with low intellectual development. Back of the lover stands the old woman of the play, the hag, “the cunning, cozzening queen.”
She is the master planner. It is her active, scheming brain and her accurate judgment that are appealed to when a bold stroke is to be made or a critical situation considered. Then enters the principal character, about which all the others revolve — the scion of a noble house, the representative in legislative halls of an aristocratic constituency — a man of wealth, refinement, culture. Directly in contrast he stands with the low-browed chap, who acts the part of the villain. This is the prologue.
Then the play begins. The adventuress, shyly coy, evinces a regard for the distinguished stranger, and he, poor dupe, feels a gratification that he should charm such a woman. He finds her bright and entertaining. She artfully conceals her ignorance, and her superficiality is palmed off as depth. A week’s acquaintance and the fair-faced schemer confesses with blushes and tears that she is in love, madly in love with her newly found friend. She bewails her fate and threatens self-destruction because her passion is a hopeless one. The pinnacle she seeks is too high, and she must go on living and loving without hope. Better the grave than this. Better death than loveless life.
For two days the victim basks in the smiles of the siren. For two days the spell is woven about him, and when the parting time comes his whole nature is changed. Infatuation has taken the place of sober judgment; enslavement the place of independence. From that time on the principal character plays a dual part — a Jekyll with the enchantress and her kind, a Hyde with the people in his own class and station.
The next scene shows the stately halls where the lawmakers for the people gather. The man with two characters is there, the champion of morality, the upholder of the good, the denouncer of the bad. He seeks to promote morality by statutory enactment. The social evil receives his condemnation and vice in every form his stern disapproval. Then the scene shifts, and the conspirators are discovered. The loutish lover is being fondled and caressed by and the master planner looks on with pleased satisfaction.
The second act brings the stars of the play together again. The enthrallment is then complete. Demands have been made and complied with. Wild whims have been gratified and the adventuress, finding her power limitless, makes preparations for her first coup.
With honeyed words and passionate kisses Robert Ray Hamilton is asked to make Eva Brill his wife. Thoroughly under the control of the stronger will he consents and bestows an honored name on a miserable creature all unworthy to bear it. Then another shift and the conspirators are together again. This time there is no caressing, no fondling. There is a whispered consultation lasting far into the night. When the human harpies part they laugh and rub their hands together gleefully.
The Purchased Infant.
A new character appears in the third act. It is a babe end — a whining, miserable thing — that is presented as the offspring of Ray Hamilton. Public duties call the man away, and during his absence the child gasps out its life. A second babe appears. It, too, goes the way of all flesh. And then comes a third substitute. It is at this point that the interest becomes intense. The deceived husband is almost at the door. The third child is so unlike the first that it cannot take the part, and so a fourth is procured and just in time. The doors swing open and the husband and father enters. The screeching infant is thrust into his arms, and he is made to believe that it is his own flesh and blood, and the identical child that he kissed good-by when he left his home. The deception is successful, and then preparations are begun for the master stroke. Another character is brought on — the nurse. Mistress and made intuitively recognize in each other the same characteristics. The one forgets her assumed dignity, the other her menial station. They rail at each other like very drabs. The servant discovers the secret of her mistress, and holds it as a weapon of offense and defense.
The time is almost ripe for the carrying out of the principal plot. The scene has changed from the metropolis to far-off California. The loutish lover has, through the influence and power of the siren, been permitted to form a part of the household. So has the beldame, and the husband who has become under complete control, permits the usurpation of his rights without a protest. Another shift to a city by the sea. All the characters are on the stage at once. It has been determined that the husband shall die, and the manner of his taking off is discussed and settled upon. Poison is to be the means, and with her own fair hands this modern Borgia is to administer it.
The Attempted Murder and Trial.
Then comes the overthrowing of vice and the elevation of virtue. Could anything in the mimic stage have been brought to a cleverer climax? Has the fictitious light behind the foot-lights ever shown a stronger situation? Mistress and servant quarrel. There comes the flash of the glittering blade, a shriek of agony, and the conspiracy is laid bare.
A court-house, a stern judge, a weeping woman, a deceived but still infatuated husband. Banishment for two years closes the set. The dénouement has not yet been presented. The scene will be in a divorce court, and then the characters will speak their last lines, make their bow and retire and the drama will be ended and the curtain rung down.
Are not all the elements of the play there?
Evangeline Hamilton’s remarkable deception in seeking to palm off four separate children as her own when she never gave birth to a baby in her life, is without parallel in any country. The nearest approach to it is the famous case of Lady Gooch in England some years ago, and that of Mme. Tischki in St. Petersburg in 1854. The English gentlewoman had prayed in vain for children. She had journeyed to Smyrna and eaten the seeds of the sacred pomegranate that are supposed to make women fruitful. The most famous physicians of the day were consulted without avail. The husband of the barren wife began to grow cold and indifferent.
He was anxious that his name should not die out, and that there should be an heir to his estates. One day, after he had given up all hope and a grown almost cruel in his indifference, he received the welcome intelligence that his desire would in all probability be gratified. A doctor — not particularly eminent and, as was afterwards discovered, not particularly truthful, corroborated the intelligence, and strongly urged the temporary separation of husband and wife. This advice was followed, Lord Gooch taking a trip to India.
On his return he was overjoyed to find a male heir awaiting his coming. It had been born to lady Gooch, he was told, three weeks before his arrival. The physician who was a party to the deception demanded an extra fee of £500 from the pretended mother, in addition to the £1,000 he had already received. He received it, and extorted large sums thereafter regularly for a year. One night in his cup he betrayed the secret. The deceived husband was informed and frightened his wife into confessing her crime. Disgrace and divorce followed, and in six months the nobleman died of a broken heart.
Mme. Tischki played a similar trick that was followed by the most deplorable consequences. When her husband discovered how he had been deceived he stabbed his wife to the heart and strangled the bogus heir in its cradle.
There is nothing, however, in any of these that approaches the strange romance of Robert Ray Hamilton‘s life. The descendent of the most notable figure in American history — a figure that stood on the same intellectual plane with William Pitt — it surpasses belief that he should have been duped as he was. Not one bogus baby, but four of them! Think of it. See the incredulous smile of every matron in the land as she reads these lines. Deceive a man as to approaching maternity, and that man constantly in the company of the woman who is fooling him?
“Impossible!” exclaims even the youngest mother. Preposterous bosh! says the mother of half a dozen. Nevertheless it was accomplished. Robert Ray Hamilton was made to believe that his wife had become a mother and he a father, and it was not until he had received the positive assurance of a physician, who was alleged to have attended Mrs. Hamilton during her confinement, that his services were required to overcome a fit of indigestion and not too superintend the birth of a child that the husband consented to recognize his own credulity.
What makes the whole story stand out in bas-relief, a study by itself without a counterpart, is the life history of the adventuress herself. Born in a hovel of parents so ignorant as to be almost barbarians, and reared in an atmosphere which gave no opportunity to gain even the most commonplace culture, it seems strange indeed that this freckle-faced, angular, flat-breasted child should have developed into a dangerously attractive woman, who, from a pallet of straw and a diet of black bread and molasses came to swan’s-down pillows and partridges stuffed with pearls.
The Woman’s Life in Prison.
Life in the May’s Landing jail has been prosaic enough for the convicted woman. Her time was spent principally in reading whatever newspapers the Sheriff’s wife permitted her to see. On the fourth day of her incarceration a Bible was sent to her from an unknown and passages were marked in Deuteronomy, chapter vi, and Matthew, chapter x, for her to read.
While she turned over the leaves of the sacred volume Mrs. Hamilton calmly rolled a cigarette, and, placing it between her lips, lighted it and began to smoke. She did not become interested in either the old or the new dispensations, for she soon put the book aside and read and reread the newspapers she had gone over so many times. From the day she entered her attic prison she dosed herself with morphia. Dr. Ingraham, of Atlantic City, who attended her immediately after her arrest, was the first to discover that she was addicted to the habit. Her distress because of the temporary deprivation was so great that he prescribed for her, and regularly thereafter she obtained it from his drugstore through Mrs. Elizabeth Rupp.
When Dr. Denman B. Ingersoll visited Mrs. Hamilton to examine the bruises alleged to have been inflicted upon her by Nurse Donnelly, he tried to induce her to reduce the dose. After a good deal of persuasion he convinced the prisoner that she could get along on two grains a day — enough to kill a strong man — and that had been her quantum ever since.
Husband and Wife.
For the anthropologist it was an interesting study — those two characters in the quaint old Court-House, as they sat within touching distance of each other and yet kept their eyes averted — these two who had been so close and once so loving. Mrs. Hamilton is not now a pretty woman as the word goes. Her features are sharp, lips thin and bloodless and her jaw is too square for feminine beauty. It is her habit to keep her eyes downcast, but when she lifts them they are wonderfully expressive. The pupil is large — extraordinarily large for an opium eater, and were it not for a shrewd squinting at the corners they might be called beautiful. Her figure is well-proportioned and slightly inclined to angularity. She has a long slender waist, and the bust below the throat is not as full as it was when she posed as Mrs. Eva Parsons.
Mr. Hamilton weighs about 130 pounds. His complexion is dark almost to sallowness. His hair and closely cropped mustache are jet black. A 6 7/8 hat will fit his head. His face is thin, chin week and eyes small and dark. He has about 5 feet 8 inches in height and is of a delicate physique.
There is little likelihood of a stay of sentence, and within eight days she will doubtless be dressed in the prison garb at Trenton.
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 www.davidblixt.com. Sign up for David’s Mailing List here and get free books and more!