Our Travels in Europe on the Orient Express
Evelyn Grace Pearce
Wheelchair bound, wealthy, old lady.
Wheelchair bound, wealthy, old lady. Always accompanied by her maid/nurse and only family is her grandson, who she dotes on
Her mother died when she was young. She was old enough to remember how violent her father was with her mother and some of that anger was because he wanted a son. He generally ignored Evelyn. She watched him drink and gamble away the family fortune while the servants tip toed around him, frightened of his erratic temper.
As Evelyn hits her sixteenth birthday her father agrees to her marriage to Henry Wheeldon.
Evelyn knows Henry of old. A man slightly younger than her father but a man whom she suspects has indulged her father’s drinking habit and helped relieve him of hi money.
Evelyn pleads with her father over the marriage only to be beaten back down and told she is lucky that Henry wants her as there is no money for a dowry and no inheritance. She is no better off than a pauper in the gutter of the slums. Anyway what better use is there of having a daughter if not to use to one’s own advantage.
Her marriage is no better than her mothers. She lives in fear of Henry. Henry is overjoyed to have a Son by her. After one night of drunkenness he breaks down and tells Evelyn of a family curse put on him years ago. The curse says that the family name will die out not long in the twentieth century. Archie was her only child as after one of her beatings she was left unable to walk. The servants came into the dining room after shouting was heard to find Henry dead and Evelyn unconscious. Evelyn has never told of that night.
Life was quite good for a time. Evelyn enjoyed the peace and quiet of the house, with Archie attending boarding school. He returned at 18 with a fiance and married as soon as arrangements could be made. Evelyn was quite friendly with Mary who unfortunately died during child birth of a boy, named Henry after Archie’s father. Life went on and at the start of the war both Archie and Henry go off to fight. Evelyn never settles during these years as the curse is in the back of her mind. Surprisingly both return from the Great War but have the misfortune to die in a car crash soon after.
Soon after the nurse maid tells her she is pregnant, but her husband has run off as he did not believe the baby was his. Evelyn agrees, in her grief, to keep the maid on and if it was a boy she would bring him up as her grandson.