Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
The Millionaire Baby
Anna Katharine Green (1846–1935)
Millionaire Baby, The, by Anna Katherine Green (1905). This is a detective story founded on the mysterious disappearance of Gwendolen Ocumpaugh, the only child of wealthy parents and heiress to a fortune which gives her the name of the “Millionaire Baby.” She disappears from a bungalow on the family estate while in the charge of her nursery governess, Miss Graham. Mrs. Ocumpaugh is giving a large reception at the time the loss of Gwendolen is discovered and frenzied with grief she leads the search for the child. The river is dragged, at her suggestion, and one small shoe belonging to Gwendolen is found in the bushes and another in the river. However, Mr. Trevitt, the private detective, who is at work on the case, discovers that the two shoes are for the same foot and immediately scents a conspiracy and is convinced that the child has been abducted. In the next house to the Ocumpaughs lives an attractive widow, named Mrs. Carew, who on the day of the disappearance has been to the city and brought back with her an orphan nephew with whom she is to sail immediately for Europe. Mr. Trevitt explores the bungalow with Mrs. Carew as she will not permit him to go there without her, and he discovers a trap door under a rug which leads to a room underground and finds proof of Gwendolen’s having been secreted there. He discovers a woman’s footprints which he suspects are Mrs. Carew’s but on interviewing Mrs. Ocumpaugh she breaks down and confesses that they are hers. She tells him that Gwendolen is not her own child but has been procured for her by a Dr. Pool who has aided her in deceiving her husband as to her real identity. Mr. Ocumpaugh being in Europe at the time of the abduction which was precipitated by the threats of Dr. Pool who would force her to give up the child, she had finally taken Mrs. Carew into her confidence and together they had planned for Gwendolen’s disappearance. Mrs. Ocumpaugh herself hid her in the bungalow and later carried her to Mrs. Carew’s where she was dressed as a boy, with her hair cut and darkened. The child Mrs. Carew had brought back from the city was surreptitiously carried away in a covered wagon and the servants were dismissed for the occasion.  1
  Mrs. Ocumpaugh, who loves her husband devotedly, is almost crazed at the thought of his learning her duplicity, when Dr. Pool suddenly dies, and later developments show that Gwendolen is Mrs. Carew’s own child whom poverty has forced her to part with at her birth.  2

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