A cautionary tale of going back to old love

A cautionary tale of going back to old love

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  • *Cough* *Cough*
  • Life hadn’t been kind to Jack McKenna. His wife ran off with his best friend and left for America.
  • His daughter was dying of influenza.
  • He, too, was struck down with the flu. Only a few shillings stood between him and starvation.
  • Even when fate finally smiled on him, it was more of a mischievous grin. In January 1892, a well-dressed woman breezed up to the workhouse in Deptford, London and asked for Jack by name.
  • When shown to his room, the Leeds Mercury reported, she fell to her knees and begged his forgiveness. It was his estranged wife, back from California, where his ex-best friend had made a fortune in the gold-fields. He was now dead, and his wife wanted to pick up where they’d left off.
  • But in a plot twist worthy of Thomas Hardy, she, herself, caught influenza while nursing her husband back to health. She died of pneumonia, leaving him £62,000 in her will.
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