How Faith Came and Went
Annie Trumbull Slosson
Mental Illness, Neurology, Medical Practitioners, Psychology, Christianity, Supernaturalism
When Max, a New England doctor, and his old-maid sister, the narrator of the tale, are approached by a mysterious young woman who tells them 'You are waiting for me. Oh, I am so glad to be at home!', they take pity on her and allow her to live in their home (800). The nameless girl seems to have no memory of her past life, and she is visited by a doctor 'who was skilled in nervous ailments, and who knew, oh, so much! of the workings of the brain'. He considers that the problem is 'all about the little girl's brain, and the part of it which had gone wrong, and the "gray matter" there, and [...] it would all come right with returning health, and she would have the past again which she had lost' (802). While staying with Max and his sister, the unknown girl assumes the name and identity of their dead younger sister Faith, and also becomes engaged to Max, although she also occasionally begins to remember details of her former life. The day before she is due to marry Max, she disappears completely and is never heard from again. While the 'learned doctor who had been always so interested in "the case" [...] talked wisely of it all', Max's sister thinks that 'what he said [...] was not true', and remains convinced that 'God sent her new and fresh to earth [...] from some land where she always dreamed of us' and that 'some day, through a misty glow, in a land where it is always summer, I shall see her [...] and she will say again, as at first she said it: "You are waiting for me. Oh, I am so glad to be at home!"' (806).
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