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Unintended Consequences - Wallis & Edward - an Excerpt

Kathleen Cochran is a writer & former newspaper reporter/editor who traveled the world as a soldier's better half. Her works are on Amazon.


From the last chapter: (No spoilers if you are familiar with this period of history.)

Luke stared out at the disappearing coastline of England. “People keep saying she was a threat to a thousand-year-old monarchy. In the end, history may record that Mrs. Wallis Simpson saved it.”

That thought silenced Elizabeth. The coastline grew smaller in the distance. “Do you remember the Bible story of Joseph and his brothers?” she asked.

“Joseph? The coat of many colors?”

“That’s the one. He was his father’s favorite, and his brothers’ jealousy drove them to sell him into slavery and end up in Egypt. He eventually came to the attention of the king there and rose to the highest position in the land. Years later, a famine in his homeland drove his brothers to come to Egypt and beg Joseph to give them food to take back to their families. Of course, they didn’t know it was the brother they sold into slavery.”

“Not sure I remembered all that, but what makes you think of that story now?”

“‘They meant it for evil. But God meant it for good.’”

“That’s a Bible verse?”

“At the end of the story.”

“Unintended consequences?”

“Depends on your point of view,” Elizabeth said.

The dinner hour ended, and several couples, walking arm-in-arm, strolled past them. Luke thought the sight of them had an effect on Elizabeth that he was hard-pressed to define. When they were alone again, she reached into her bag, pulled out a folded note, and handed it to him.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“A note Wallis shared with me when I went to tell her I was returning to the States. When I went to say goodbye.”

“It’s from her?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No. It’s to her. From Ernest.”

“Why’d she give it to you?”

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Elizabeth lowered her head studying the note Luke now held. “Because she trusts me. Or so she said. She didn’t want to keep it in case it was found.”

“What’s it say?”

“Just read it.”

Luke unfolded the note, which read:

December 1936


I didn’t have the heart to write to you before. I have felt

slightly sick over recent events. I want you to believe that I believe you did everything you could to prevent the final catastrophe.

Would your life be the same if you’d broken it off? Could you

possibly have returned to the old life and forgotten the fairyland through which you have passed? My child, I do not think so.


Luke folded the note and offered it back to Elizabeth.

“You keep it,” she said. “I don’t have the heart either.”


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 22, 2021:

It's now on my "to read" list. Best wishes with your book.

Kathleen Cochran (author) from Atlanta, Georgia on May 22, 2021:

Ms. Woods: I'd sure appreciate you insights if you read my book. I can always do edits! Thank you.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 21, 2021:

That was surely a shock to the British monarchy when Edward gave up being the king to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson. I wish you great success with your book!

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