Her father had been the only son of Parson Quayle, and chaplain to the bishop at Bishopscourt. It was there he had met her mother, who was lady's maid to the bishop's wife. The maid was a bright young Frenchwoman, daughter of a French actress, famous in her day, and of an officer under the Empire, who had never been told of her existence. Shortly after their marriage the chaplain was offered a big mission station in Africa, and, being a devotee, he clutched at it without fear of the fevers of the coast. But his young French wife was about to become a mother, and she shrank from the perils of his life abroad, so he took her to his father's house at Peel, and bade her farewell for five years.
He lived four, and during that time they exchanged some letters. His final instructions were sent from Southampton: "If it's a boy, call him John (after the Evangelist); and if it's a girl, call her Glory." At the end of the first year she wrote: "I have shortened our darling, and you never saw anything so lovely! Oh, the sweetness of her little bare arms, and her neck, and her little round shoulders! You know she's red -- I've really got a red one -- a curly red one! Such big beaming eyes, too! And then her mouth, and her chin, and her tiny red toes! I don't know how you can live without seeing her!" Near the end of the fourth year he sent his last answer: "Dear Wife -- This separation is bitter; but God has willed it, and we must not forget that the probabilities are that we may pass our lives apart."