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] SUNDAY CAPITAL NEWS MAGAZINE SECTION BOISE, IDAHO, SUNDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 28, 1919 tf Mrs. Atherton, Who Tasted All the Pleasures and Excesses of British Titled High Life, Finds Herself at Last with Nothing Worth While and Closes Her Spiritual Bankruptcy with Self-Murder By One Who Knew Her. W HY did the beautiful Mrs. Atherton, the most admired woman among the gilded youth of England, com mit suicide? Some startling revelations were made •t the Inquest concerning the noted char mer's latest vagaries in love, but those who are familiar with her amazing career will recognize her end as only the logical eequel of the life she had led. This voluptuous, red-lipped enchantress had exhausted every sensual Joy of life. She had enjoyed everything and there re mained nothing. With middle age ap proaching. the gray hairs growing more numerous in her wonderful hair, the lines deepening in her lovely face, the re mainder of her life loomed before her as a harren desert of misery. No escape for the broken; disheartened sorceress ap peared possible except the grave. To those who respect the ancient laws of religion and morality the whole, tragio story will appear perfectly summed up in the inspired words of Saint Paul: "The Wages of Sin Is Death." Mrs. Atherton's right name at the time of her death was Mrs. Arthur Eliot, al though most people persist in calling her by the name under which she was noted for some twenty years. For the last three months she had been the bride of Captain Arthur Eliot, a clever playwright, Joint author with Captain Bruce Bairnsfather of that remarkably amusing comedy, "The Better 'Ole." The inquest revealed that she had quar reled violently with her new husband and parted from him within a week while on tlheir honeymoon. Apparently she was tortured with insane jealousies, suspect ing her husband of affairs with one woman after another. She had lost her confidence in her own once irresistible attractions. The Earl of March, son and heir of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, an old time friend of Mrs. Atherton and familiar with her early history, testified as to the pitiable state of mind in which he found her. She had met him in Hyde Park and poured the story of her husband's su^ posed misdeeds into his ears. Especially was she jealous of her hun hand's relations with his stepdaughter. Miss Nellie Cornell, daughter of his de ceased second wife, a very young girl, in whom he naturally felt a paternal inter est But Mrs. Eliot was equally concerned about his alleged friendship with a circus t-ider named Katrine. She made her friends and servants mis erable with her outcries about her wrongs. Night after night she locked herBelf alone In her bedroom with a deadly weapon. She kept two revolvers and a shotgun in her house. Her husband's brother, who called on her. testified that her fears had changed her so that she was barely recognizable. The end came in her luxurious apart ment at 47 Curzon street. London. The heartbroken beauty placed the shotgun against her once lovely head and blew her brains out. For this supreme occasion she had dressed herself coquettishly in a diaphanous costume of chiffon edged with gold. Thus miserably perished a woman who for over twenty years had kept the highest social world of England in a state of turmoil, disrupting the homes of dukes and A-arls, and even, it is said, disturbing the serenity of the royal family She had helped to wreck the married life of the young Duke of Westminster. She had been a leading figure among those women who went to South Africa to nurse the wounded soldiers and stayed to flirt with the officers. She caused the distin guished war surgeou, Sir Frederick Treves, to speak of "the plague of women." She had been divorced by her husband. Colonel Atherton, for her relations with young Captain Yarde Buller. the heir to a peerage. She had been named in a divorce suit by the pretty American, Mrs. John Alex ander Stirling, for alienating her husband's affections. She had been offered a princely sum by a Cairo hotel, the world's most luxurious caravanserai, simply to stay there and use her fascinations in attracting guests. After all these and many other adven tures, she had found a young and talented husband, related to a famous, noble family, and then, the honeymoon scarcely over, ■he had taken her own life. What a drama of tangled human lives lies here! Mrs. Atherton belonged by birth to one of the most distinguished families of Shet land- She was originally Miss Mabel v w .. . ' - t« , ■'»vïjtîi ■ vv ™ i. The Former Gaiety beauty Denise Orme, Who Married Lord Churston 'Secretly while Mrs. Atherton Was Suing Him for Breach of Promise Made to Her While She Was Still Mar ried to Her First Husband. Louisa Dean-Paul, daughter of Sir Edward Dean-Paul, fourth baronet, a man of great wealth and high position at court. Her brother is now fifth baronet of his line— Sir Aubrey Dean-Paul. She grew to be a bewitchingly beautiful girl, and after several seasons of brilliant conquests in lamdon society she married Colonel Thomas Atherton, a dashing officer of the Twelfth Lancers. This nmtoh rather astonished society, where it was thought that the reigning beauty would at least marry an earl. When the Boer War broke out Colonel Atherton was ordered there, and bis wife, like many other society women, followed him. After a time there filtered past the censor reports of amazing gayeties at Cape town. in which Mrs. Atherton and certain favored officers participated. The Mount Nelson Hotel at Capetown was the scene of most of these revels but for a time they were transferred to headquarters near the Modder River battlefield. The young Duke of Westminster, the richest duke in England,- then barely twenty-one years old, fell captive to Mrs. Atherton's charms in South Africa. The duke was really engaged to a younger beauty. Miss sheila Cornwallis West, who threatened to break the engagement when eke beard the news from Capetown. > m. .v. * ; n Vf Ipp ' . The Beautiful Mrs. Atherton—Mrs. Arthur Eliot at the Time of Her Death—aa She Looked When She Fascinated the Very Young and Wealthy Duke of Westminster and Other Sprigs of Nobility. The Prince of Wales, then on the point of becoming King Edward VIL, summoned the Duke and ordered him to observe the proprieties. The duke came to his senses at last, and credible report says that it cost him $250, 000 to be free from his charmer. Appar ently the episode put a blight on the duke's married life, for, as everybody knows, bis duchess, the former Miss Cornwallis West, has Just obtained a divorce from him after years of disagreement. Soon after the Boer War, in 1907. Colonel Atherton obtained a divorce from his lovely wife, naming as co-respondent Captain the Hon. John Yarde-Buller, heir of Lord Churston. The colonel took occa sion to explain that this co-respondent was not the man he suspected at the time of the Boer War. The divorce over, the beautiful Mrs. Atherton confidently expected the honor able captain to marry her. and was shocked when he shunned her. This was strange conduct in a man who had written to her: "I could not love you more. I trust you from the bottom of my heart. After all we have gone through you must love me well enough to stick to me for ever." The captain made it Impossible to keep his promises to Mrs. Atherton by secretly marrying Miss Denise Orme, a Gaiety fa vorite of that day. He is now Lord Churston and his Gaiety bride is Lady Churston. Mrs. Atherton brought suit for breach of promise Bgainst her defaulting lover, and he had to pay $ 100,000 for the privilege of not marrying her. Then society was astonished to hear that Colonel Atherton Intended to remarry hie divorced wife for the sake of phildren, but Mi* obstinately re rosea to Conrrhrfct. Uil. by etsr Company. accept him. No man who bad once known her fascinations could ever entirely for get them. Every day brought some new affair, dis sipation or extravagance in the life of the lovely, lively Mrs. Atherton. In 1909 Major John Alexander Stilting, laird of Kippendavie, a wealthy offlser of the Scots Guards, brought a divorce suit against bis exquisitely pretty American wife, naming Ixird Northland as co-re spondent. Stirling's wife was an American actress, Clara Elizabeth Taylor. Mrs. Stirling replied with a counter-suit, accusing her husband of intimacy with the fascinating Mrs. Atherton. The trial brought an astonishing revelation of the habits of a class of society that included noblemen and chorus girls. Mrs. Stirling complained of finding her husband sitting in Mrs. Atherton's lap late at night, but the latter explained that she was merely helping him to bear the troubles his wife was causing him. The scenes In court were very dramatic. Mrs. Atherton, Mrs. Stirling and the many titled women and actresses concerned ri valled one another in the splendor of their costumes. A model was produced in court of the Stirlings' charming little cottage near Goodwood race course, at Amberley, in and out of which the characters in the story had pursued one another day and night. Lord Northland was the heir of the Earl of Ranfurly, head of the ancient Scottish family of Knox. A little historical Interest waB added to the case by the fact that the celebrated John Knox, founder of the Pres byterian Church, belonged to this family. The Judge granted Major Stirling his divorce on account of his wife's affair with Lord Northland, but denied her suit based firent -Britain Rights Bsesrvsd. "Whatsoever a man sotveth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth of the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians VI. 7, on her husband's relations with Mra Atherton. Mrs. Atherton, it is believed, expectee Major Stirling to marry her, but once agais she was doomed to disappointment. He married as his second wife a daughter et Sir John Leslie. Lord Northland married Miss Cooper, a great heiress, and was killed early in the late war. The divorced Mrs. Stirling accepted in 1911 as (her Y\\ second husband Lord George Cholmon > deley. Hard experiences were falling to the fascinating Mrs. Atherton. She accused her own sister-in-law, Lady Dean-Paul, of calling her a disreputable woman and a disgrace to the family. In 1911 Mrs. Ath erton brought a suit against her sister-in law for making these charges, and obtained the unsatisfying verdict of one farthing-— one-half a cent—damages! There were many strange stories of the methods employed by the society beauty to increase her income. After all these vicissitudes she still pos sessed extraordinary powers of fascina tion over men. Late in April of the pres ent year she was married to Captain Ar thur Eliot, grandson of the third Earl of St. Germans. Captain Eliot was a man of talents, a veteran of the Boer War, and a relative by marriage of several New Yortc families, a deep'v versed man of the world, who already ha.) twc wives, and yet he was utterly e-rtl_rslled by this modem Circe in the evening of -her career! But after a week of marriage her insane Jealousies and moi old moods had driven him from her. Her youthful charms past, her old power of fascination waning, the future seemed not only dreary, but terrible. And so to escape from it she sought ob livion! :>> r-fr The Stirling Cottage at Ambe /ley Near the Goodwood Races, In and Out of Which the Characters in the Stirling» Lord Northland-Mrs. Atherton Di vorce Cato Chasad Another : S' Americas, Lady The Mrs. Stirling Accused Ath e r ten of St -ley, Whe When Hot Hue head Cm* Han.