Arabella - - NEWS - writ­ten by Mary Louise Kane

Mar­got Mau­rais de­cided to end her very or­di­nary life. All round it seemed like the only sen­si­ble thing to do. She sim­ply couldn't bear to con­tinue liv­ing in such a small com­mu­nity where ev­ery­one would re­gard her with pity and to move was too aw­ful to con­sider. Poor Mar­got, they'd say be­hind her back. Even worse would be next sea­son's Shaw Fes­ti­val

when Ni­a­gara-on-the-lake would be filled with her con­tem­po­raries from Toronto and Montreal and her sit­u­a­tion would be com­mon knowl­edge. Mar­got picked up the cast iron ket­tle and poured hot wa­ter over shiny gran­ules of Maxwell House in­stant cof­fee clus­tered like dead ants in the bot­tom of her mug. If Roland were still here she'd have to use the Ne­spresso ma­chine, but since he wasn't, this hit the spot more than ad­e­quately. Mar­got sighed as she sat down at the cherry wood farm­house ta­ble and looked out of the win­dow at the late sum­mer land­scape. Al­ready, leaves were start­ing to turn. She tried to re­mem­ber what it was that or­dered leaves to change colour. Some­thing to do with the weather, or was it hours of day­light? Nurs­ing her hot cof­fee, Mar­got's glance fell upon the fruit bowl in the cen­tre of the ta­ble. And there it was, ly­ing in­no­cently along­side a dry clean­ing ticket and a flyer from the lo­cal food bank; the ubiq­ui­tous raf­fle ticket that had prompted this par­tic­u­lar way out to re­volve through her mind. Now it no longer merely re­volved but bar­relled around every wak­ing sec­ond.

The Jour­ney Mar­got had been born on a large farm in Cale­don, On­tario. Her fa­ther was po­litely known as a "gentle­man farmer" when Mar­got was grow­ing up though by the time her par­ents died, ur­ban sprawl had made the land worth more as real es­tate than arable acreage. As an only child and a girl to boot, life had been gen­tly bu­colic for Mar­got. Upon ma­tu­rity, she was merely ex­pected to marry into a suitable On­tario fam­ily. But de­spite hot and heavy em­braces in the back of horse trail­ers or at the lo­cal drive-in, Mar­got had failed mis­er­ably in this re­spect. Her mother fi­nally packed her off to Toronto to work for her brother at his bro­ker­age firm in a last ditch ef­fort at find­ing a suitable hus­band. In­stead, Mar­got met Roland Mau­rais, a run of the mill bro­ker barely hang­ing in at her un­cle’s office with a less than mod­er­ate suc­cess rate. Not ex­actly the catch of the sea­son, but his fam­ily has been in Canada "sim­ply for­ever", her mother had said by way of con­so­la­tion. Mar­got was dan­ger­ously close to twenty-five, so Roland's lack of for­tune had been over­looked and their short engagement capped by a stylish wed­ding on the farm. The newly-weds lived in Toronto af­ter the hon­ey­moon, set­tling on For­est Hill where they pur­chased a de­tached house on Park­wood with a more than gen­er­ous de­posit from Mar­got's fa­ther. Too close to busy St Clair Av­enue, but close enough

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