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Newspaper Page Text
addressed Justice Benedict of the
Supreme Court of Brooklyn, to
whom Mrs. Hand had applied for an
annulment of her marriage on the
ground that her husband had become
a paralytic and knew and concealed
his disability from her when she be
came his wife.
In the court room the sick man's
invalid chair was placed next to that
of his wife who sought to repudiate
him, and during the proceedings he
held and patted her hand, encourag
ing her to go forward with the pro
ceedings which will divorce them for
ever! Mrs. Hand is a good-looking brun
ette of 29. Bhe lives now with her
mother and sisters at No. 1063 East
ern parkway, Brooklyn, but the ro
mance which was to end in this as
tounding tragedy began in Rou
mania, her native land.
"When my husband first told me
he was a doomed 'man and that I
could never again be anything more
than his sick nurse, I felt all the blood
go out of my body and as if the icy
hand of death had clutched and
squeezed my heart My breast be
gan to flutter as if there were a whole
flock of frightened little birds in it
beating their wings against the walls
of my chest, seeking their escape.
"I was stunned. 'Why didn't you
tell me? Why didn't you tell me?'
was all I could say. And he answer
ed, 'Because I loved you too much,
because I could not give you up!' You
don't know how I suffered. I realized
that my husband had deceived me,
but then I had deceived him, too, in
a way because I had married him
without loving him.
"I was a rich girl in Roumania.
Even now that Dr. Hand has per
suaded me to leave him I have settled
$16,000 on him, and I will see that
he does not want so long as he lives.
But I was 23 years old when I met
him irf Roumania. It is thought
dreadful if a girl does not get mar- j
ried at that age. j
"But after my marriage I learned i
to love him. I had nine months of
utter rapture. Then one day I saw''
that my husband was in great pain
and he told me that his left foot was
"But he did not tell me the truth
then that he was DOOMED!
"From that moment I ceased to be "j
a wife and became a nurse. The doc- J
tor grew worse, though there were
terrible pathetic moments when he
would struggle to be his old self.
"Then he would rise, throw out his
chest and exclaim joyfully, 'See;
Mary, I am getting better! I can
walk! My paralysis is all gone.'
"And then he would collapse in a
pitiful heap. We came to America,
thinking the change 'of climate and
scene might benefit him, and for a
time It did. During all this time my
husband never told me the truth
about his illness, but I learned it fin
ally by accident from the nurse in a
hospital where he had been taken.
Then I taxed him with it and he con
fessed and gave me my freedom."
What do you the reader think
of this remarkable tragedy of real
life? Should this woman have left
her husband? He deceived her, and
his deception was the most pitiless
one a man can practice upon a wo
man. According to the civil law, she
is entirely justified. But her action
takes no account of the pledge which
religious persons believe lifts mar
riage above the level of a civil con
tract. It ignores the vow taken before
the altar, "For better or worse till
death do us part."
But, setting aside the religious ob- -
jectipn to Mrs. Hand's action, let us
examine it on other grounds.
She admits she had nine months of
utter rapture. It is not impossible
that this in itself contributed to the
advance of her husband's disease. By.
so much, at least, she owes him pa
tience and kindness and faithful
comradeship. I don't say that a 'wo
man of 29 should continue to be the
wife of a living ghost; that she