Lovely Lily Armson/Vining, the Raft Baby of the Peace River, now knew what had happened to her parents when she was just two months old. It was tragic, to be sure, but it was also long ago. Now she was 19 years of age, beautiful, accomplished, and about to be married.
Her fiancé was one Herbert Melvin, although it seems her decision was a difficult one between three suitors. The choice had been made, although Mrs. Vining had a sort of premonition that trouble lay ahead in connection with the match.
Mr. Melvin was fairly newly arrived from England, which he left after having inherited the estate of his elderly aunt. He wasn’t forthcoming about his past but then, neither was the bride. It was enough that there was money and good reputation, and the wedding was to be quiet and soon.
As a way of paying his last respects to the Armsons, whose mystery had haunted him for so long, Garrioch had followed Armson’s bidding and written to his London solicitors. The surviving son would be just as eager to know what had happened to his father as his half-sister was for all those years, and Garrioch requested his name in order to contact him. The reply came while Garrioch was waiting for the wedding.
The name of Mr. Armson’s eldest child was Herbert Melvin. For some reason he had had to change his surname in order to inherit the aunt’s estate. He had come to Canada and found a charming young wife without ever knowing what had happened to his father, and, it seems, without an inclination to find out, because surely he would have mentioned the strange story to his new friends had he come to Canada hoping to find his father or discover what happened to him.
Of course this news was a shock to both bride and groom, but all involved agreed that it was a blessing as well. Maybe, they thought, it was through ghostly aid that the identities of Lily and her half brother were known before the two were married.
After a year or so, Melvin married an Englishwoman. Lily, of course, had those two other men waiting in the wings and the runner up was happy enough to step into first place. One hopes the two couples eventually formed an amicable friendship, and that they encountered no further strange and mysterious circumstances in the rest of their lives.
Now you know the whole story of The Raft Baby of the Peace River. What do you think? Remember, if you would like more details, you can find Garrioch’s entire autobiographical account archived here. Don’t expect it to help you decide whether you fully believe the story though: Garrioch never could get straight which foot those duplicate hatchet marks were on…