Melanie finally elopes with James after she manages to talk her sister into giving her fifty dollars. She uses half-truths to convince her, telling her that she is eloping with Paul Clyde because his family doesn’t approve of her or her family. Olive buys the story hook, line and sinker, and excited for Melanie, she gives him a hundred dollars.
James is waiting for her where they arranged to meet, and he uses a carriage to travel to the nearest station and then to New York. I thought that James would try to con her out of the money and then abandon her, but so far he hasn’t taken a single cent. Yet, James is not an honest person. When they reach New York, they go to a hotel and James gives the receptionist a different name: Mr and Mrs Landon. He is also a bit cold towards Melanie, often calling her a hick, but he is also affectionate to her. He gives her everything and they enjoy the pleasures of the city. What Melanie doesn’t manage is for him to tell her about himself. Melanie knows nothing about James, and I think she should have thought about this before getting off with him and leaving her family this way. It is clear that he doesn’t have any intentions to marry her as he has bought a wedding ring, and for him that is enough. Melanie doesn’t even know where he gets the money, and I have the hunch that James is a swindler or something similar.
Then she convinces James to take her to see a play at the theatre. One of the actresses, Gladys Dumbrille, impresses her with her performance, and she loves every minute of it. The following day when she and James are returning to the hotel, she spots the actress and pulls James to come closer. When Gladys sees them, she rushes to James and hugs him. She calls him Lucky Simpson and it is clear that they know each other. James introduces Melanie as his wife, and Melanie is miffed because of the casual way Gladys talks and touches James. When they go back to the hotel, Melanie wants to know why he didn’t tell her that he knew the actress, and James is rough with her. She insists that she doesn’t know anything about him, but James becomes upset and leaves her alone in the room. Alone there she starts feeling miserable and regretting her decision to leave her small village.
I feel sorry for Melanie because she has been too naive. Yet, this is something that she has decided, and she shouldn’t have gone with a man whose real name she doesn’t even know. Who is James? Trockmorton, Landon, or Lucky Simpson? Where does the money come from? Who is his family? And his friends? Then I foresee this won’t be the only problem. They are living as husband and wife, and I won’t be surprised if she gets pregnant at some point.