Following his unexpected traumatic encounter with Yarmouth, Massachusetts’ legendary Amanda Sillow, Mr. Cople’s life changed entirely. His chance meeting with the mentally-troubled woman ended up inspiring him to take a deeper look at who he was as a person; and at the end of his self-evaluation, he was ashamed of the individual that he had developed into over the years. Reflecting upon his early life, Mr. Cople had vivid memories of growing up in a privileged household with a mother and a father who loved him unconditionally. Whatever he wanted, all he had to do was say the word and his parents made sure that he got it. He never once experienced a hungry day in his life; he had always had more than enough clothes to wear; his parents ensured that he received a top-notch education; and when he left home to be on his own at the age of 17, his mother and father had blessed him with a sizeable financial donation to carry him through until he was able to find himself a job so that he could provide for himself. Life had always treated him kindly.
On the other hand, Mr. Cople thought of how there were so many individuals in the world like Ms. Sillow; persons whose lives had been so unfairly different than his own. He did his best to try and imagine the kinds of thoughts that would run through the mind of an abducted teenager. He then tried to imagine what it would have been like to have been led on by a much older person as he was growing up only to later become the source of that man’s - or woman’s - twisted pleasures. The more he pondered on the despicable things that he presumed Ms. Sillow had gone through throughout the course of her life, the more he realized how he had so much to be thankful for in his own. Now equipped with a totally new perspective on things, Mr. Cople virtually became an entirely new man, a reinvention that could be likened to the dramatic transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Nobody noticed this change in him more than his wife did. Mrs. Cople was absolutely stunned when her husband informed her that he would no longer be moving forward with the development of the exclusive residential community that he had envisioned for Yarmouth’s wealthiest residents. Knowing how passionate the man she had married was about anything that he set his mind to, this was the first clue that her husband was going through something very serious in his life. On the heels of this announcement, he significantly reduced his working hours and began spending a tremendous amount of time at home with her, the second clue that he wasn’t his regular self, as he never put anything before making money. But the act that solidified that his transformation was authentic was when he got his wife pregnant. Mr. Cople had always been adamant about never having any children. He always felt that a having to rear a child would intervene with the professional goals that he were trying to achieve in his lifetime. But now that his focus had shifted to more important things and he was all about enjoying the simple pleasures of life, he decided to take the huge step of becoming a father.
Joshua Cople became the pride and joy of his father’s life ever since his birth in ’71; and as he grew out of his toddler stage, he began spending even less time working so that he could spend more precious time with his family. Pleased with the way that he was brought up, Mr. Cople decided to raise his son the exact same way that his parents had raised him. A private tutor was hired to educate little Joshua; clothes were provided for him in abundance; he had four meals per day; and his father quickly began to teach him the value of a dollar. But there was one thing that Mr. Cople wanted to instill in his son that his parents hadn’t instilled in him: He wanted to teach his boy how to give.
Ever since meeting Ms. Sillow, Mr. Cople oft wondered about how his isolated neighbor fed herself and paid her bills. He held an immense amount of sympathy in his heart for her and felt compelled to be her keeper. The first major way that he displayed his concern for her was by refraining from telling his wife exactly who was living next door to them because he knew that she would have blown the poor woman’s cover while gossiping with her friends. And between his wife and her friends, Mr. Cople was certain that they would have had word of Ms. Sillow’s whereabouts spread all over Yarmouth in little to no time. Hence, following his visit over to the cottage on the day that he and his wife had moved into their home, all Mr. Cople had told her was that their neighbor was an elderly woman by the name of Mrs. Sharlow who wanted to live out the last days of her life in the most secluded area of Yarmouth that she could have possibly found. He further went on to tell her that she wouldn’t be able to meet this Mrs. Sharlow because she had kindly asked that she not be bothered again. Once he had ensured that Ms. Sillow’s true identity was safe and secure, Mr. Cople began placing his focus on being a philanthropist. Every time that he would head into the town to shop for anything - whether it be for books or articles of clothes or groceries - he would pick up items for Ms. Sillow. Once back in the woods, he would rest the bag of items he had purchased for her on her doorstep and slide some money enclosed inside of a note beneath her front door. The note served to let her know that some goods were outside of her door for her and to remind her that she was still more than welcome to come and knock on their door for anything that she needed. Mr. Cople would always place his signature and forge his wife’s name at the bottom of the note so that Mrs. Cople wouldn’t notice that the note was being addressed to a Mrs .Sillow and not a Mrs. Sharlow.
Being able to give someone a helping hand gave Mr. Cople an indescribable feeling of gratification. He enjoyed the feeling of giving so much that he was raising his son to be a giver as well. Mr. Cople would encourage Joshua to pick up items for Ms. Sillow whenever they were out in town shopping and he would make him add some of his allowance money to the total amount of funds that was slid beneath their neighbor’s door whenever they returned back home. Joshua eventually grew to love giving so much that he personally began volunteering to drop off the funds and goods over to Ms. Sillow’s cottage. And when his handwriting had gotten decent enough to understand, his father began letting him scribble down his own signature at the bottom of the notes that would accompany the family’s donations to their neighbor. Every time that little Joshua would place the bag of goods on Ms. Sillow’s doorstep, he would always wonder about what was on the other side of the cottage’s door. Luckily for him, he wouldn’t have to wonder for too long. The day had arrived when Ms. Sillow happened to need him. No, there would be no more need for him to have to try and guess what was behind the cottage’s formidable wooden front door.