On the voyage out to Panama Emily Viner confided to a casual acquaintance, Ralph Forrest, that she had, as a young woman, engaged herself to Mr. Gorlach more as insurance against spinsterhood than for love. He had gone out to Central America to make his fortune, and for years only the most desultory communication had passed between them. Middle-aged and about to become a charge on unwilling relatives, she had staked her last funds on a ticket to Panama to marry him. Forrest tried to persuade her to return to England rather than risk the inevitable unhappiness of such a marriage, and, on her confession that she could not pay for her return passage, offered to pay it for her. She refused, but on arriving at Panama learned that Mr. Gorlach had died on his way to meet her, leaving her a small legacy, with which she returned to England.
"...which tale stands high among Trollope's short stories, being not only the most courageously 'unfinished' of them all, but also ... the most vital to an understanding of his full length work." - Sadleir