The Stolen Name

- A Serialized Novel -

A man learns that his name has been used by someone else and sets out to find the man who stole his name and help those whom the imposter betrayed.

Author’s Note: Violet is still conflicted. It’s not an easy decision for her to make. She has many things to consider, and she wants to do what is right. That’s never easy. Everyone has a different opinion on what is right and what is not.

Still Trying to Make the Right Decision


“If I were to marry Robbie, would it be a terrible sin? I don’t mean that I won’t discuss divorce or an annulment with the lawyer as soon as he arrives—why is he so late? He should have been here half an hour ago—but divorce is a sin, isn’t it? I know some people don’t think so, and most people would not blame me for choosing that after what Winston did, but that does not necessarily make it right.”

Her mother took her hand, covering it with both of hers. “I seem to recall something about it being allowed only because of the people, that God hated a divorce, but I don’t know that I’m the one to ask. We will have to ask the reverend. You… You’ve made a decision, then, have you?”

Violet lowered her head. “No. I haven’t. I want to say I have, that I know all that I should feel, that I am certain of all my options, my choices, and what they mean, but I am not. At times I am quite convinced that I love Robbie and only Robbie, other times that I did love Winston and have made Robbie some sort of substitute for him, and others that I don’t know what love is at all and therefore love neither of them.”

“That is possible, too.”

“I know.”

“It is not as though you need to make a decision this instant. You can speak to the lawyer and to the reverend and anyone else you might need to talk to. I am not certain you can get either of those things—a divorce or an annulment—without Winston being here, and we may have to face the fact that you will be married to him for some time despite the way that he abandoned you and the baby.”

Violet put a hand on her stomach. “Though I had some minor symptoms before his departure, I do believe he was as ignorant of my condition as I was. He did not know there was a child to leave. I… I suppose it is foolish to hope that, but a part of me does. I hope he did not go knowing that there was a baby. I don’t know what I’d do if he were here now, if we were about to have this child and Robbie came in to say that he had lied about his name.”

“That lie might have been more forgivable had not it been combined with him abandoning you.”

“Perhaps. I don’t think I can say that. I simply cannot know what I would do if things were different.”

Her mother nodded. “None of us can, sweetheart. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about what it would be like if your father had not died. Would we have dozens of other children? Would we be as happy now as we were when we first felt love? Would Beatrice still live with us? Would you? Would your father have refused to let this marriage happen? Would you have eloped and defied him? So many questions, and every time I answer them, I do so in a different way.”

“Do you miss him? Father?”

“Every day.”

“You do not speak of him much. That is… because it hurts?”

Her mother let out a breath. “I thought, when Winston left, that I might offer you some advice on what it was like to have someone vanish from your life like that. I didn’t manage it, not as I wanted, mostly because… I always took comfort in the fact that your father did not choose to leave me, that he would be with me if he could have been, and that was not something you had. Winston left you. There is no denying that.”

Violet closed her eyes. “I think that is a beautiful assurance to have, even if it makes my situation a bit harder. Knowing that he would be here…”

“I should not say it because it is… Well, no, I’ll just say it, and whatever comes of it, however inappropriate, will just have to come. You do have someone who was willing to stay. Who proved that he wanted to even to the point of disinheritance.”

“Mother, that was not about me. That was about the way his father was behaving. Anyone should want to distance himself from that man and his name, should want no part of that man’s legacy, especially knowing what we do about what he did to Aunt Beatrice.”

“Yes, that,” her mother said, her lips pursing into a thin line. “I think it will take some time for all of us to forgive her for her silence, always wondering about the way things could be if she had only said something.”

“She is not the one to blame. She could have been right about me. I might not have listened.”

“No, you still should have been told. I see that now. I know where the fault lies.” Beatrice kept herself stiff as she walked into the room, crossing over to them. “I cannot express the way I felt when I realized that RJ had betrayed me. I entered into our courtship with the expectation that we would work toward him asking me for my hand. He did, but what he did besides that was rather… humiliating. What he wrote in those letters… I believe they were all lies. He spoke of a woman he’d thought he’d loved who refused him, and I pitied him. I wanted to help him over that pain. It was not that woman who rejected him. He abandoned her as he did the other, as he did me and perhaps others. I doubt he was faithful to your Robbie’s mother. I am not sure he is capable of such a thing. When I think of that time, I am ashamed even though he was the one in the wrong. I see so many ways where I let myself be vulnerable to him and his lies. I let him use me. That is what I was ashamed to speak of, and so I let it hurt you instead because of that man that claimed to be his son. Oh, he is more like RJ than Robbie proved to be. Were I to pick the imposter, I would say it was Robbie because that man has more decency than any son of RJ Wilson would ever manage.”

Violet frowned. She rose, walking to the window. “Is it possible that the lawyer’s delay is not intentional?”

“What? I thought—I confess, I have been too focused on what your aunt was saying. Why are you asking about—”

“Robbie was attacked. Winston could be here. He could have hurt the lawyer this time. It is possible, isn’t it?”

“Lord, I hope not. We’d better call his office again and then the police if he does not answer.”

“And the inn,” Violet said, her hand going to her stomach. She knew her mother and aunt were watching her. “Robbie was supposed to come this afternoon, after I saw the lawyer. He could be in danger as well.”

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