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Returning Home

In Tales of All Countries, Second Series, 1863. Originally published in Public Opinion, Literary Supplement, Nov. 30,1861.

After a ten-year exile in Costa Rica, Mr. and Mrs. Arkwright, with their small child, attempted to take a short cut through the country to catch a boat to England. The difficulties of this trip on donkey-back, through almost impassable forests and down steep mountain sides, were increased by incessant and torrential rains. Mrs. Arkwright, utterly exhausted when they reached the river, was reassured by the sight of the canoes in which they would make the remainder of the trip. She and the baby were made comfortable for their long ride, but before her husband could step into the canoe a sudden storm swept it from the shore, overturned it, and its occupants were drowned. Mr. Arkwright, brokenhearted, abandoned his voyage and returned to his post.


The story is based on an actual incident reported in Trollope's West Indies and the Spanish Main.