Mary Jane Holmes was an American writer living in the last half of the 1800's. She began teaching school at age 13. Her vels centered on domestic life. Holmes comments on how various social issues affect women. Her approach to women's moral development was secular. The story begins, Collingwood was to have a tenant at last. For twelve long years its massive walls of dark grey stone had frowned in gloomy silence upon the passers-by, the terror of the superstitious ones, who had peopled its halls with ghosts and goblins, saying even that the swy-haired old man, its owner, had more than once been seen there, moving restlessly from room to room and muttering of the darkness which came upon him when he lost his fair young wife and her beautiful baby Charlie. The old man was t dead, but for years he had been a stranger to his former home.