Judith Paris, who has returned with her illegitimate son to live with her nephew’s widow. She continues to resist the persecution of another nephew’s son.
Jennifer Herries, the widow of Judith’s nephew Francis. A principal in an old quarrel, she is now its victim. The strain of her nephew’s persecution is too much for her, and she dies.
Walter Herries, the son of Judith’s nephew William. Determined to drive Jennifer and Judith out of their home, he offers first to buy it. When they refuse, he does his best to drive them away by persecution. To this end, he builds a great mansion, called the Fortress, on a hill overlooking their house.
Elizabeth Herries, Walter’s beautiful and kind daughter. She loves Jennifer’s son John but agrees not to see him because of family hatred. She goes to live with London relatives until her father’s command that she marry a detested suitor drives her to take employment as a governess. There her employer’s pursuit causes her to marry John. They are happy until John is killed by Elizabeth’s brother. Learning that her father, who has resisted all her overtures, is seriously ill, Elizabeth storms the Fortress, nurses him back to health, and even succeeds in effecting a semblance of reconciliation between him and Judith on Judith’s hundredth birthday.
(The entire section is 445 words.)