It would be best, now he was going home, to live in thought of the brief future allotted him; and his mind clutched at the revivifying memories. " "Nothing more nor less than a plain crooked mining deal." "As I suspected," returned Virginia, breathing quickly. The wind whipped down from the heights, bitter cold and mournful at night, keen across the bright steely desert at dawn, and lulling and tempering through the noon hours. I paid every claim I could find, and some that were surely questionable. There had been changes at home, his mother's recent letter had intimated—a strange letter coming many months after a long silence, full of thanksgiving and joy that the report of his being among the missing had been erroneous, and evidently stultified over ills she had not the courage to confide. "The gold was brought to the mine—planted there—and then blown up, so that it'd be scattered everywhere. But altogether I imagine several hundred thousand went into that mine." The engineer lifted his brows in surprise. The sheep route, over which the Mexicans had driven their herds for a hundred years and more, gradually drew down and away from the mountains, southward toward the vast open, with dim purple ranges in the distance. The mighty iron mass drove on masterfully, as if to fling defiance at nature. My husband deserted us, and now I have to—to travel around and write for newspapers to make a living." "You're purty young-lookin'. The lad was active, and with the dogs drove the pattering, baaing flock into the wide notch of a low gray broken cliff. I am at Guadaloupe and you are with me." "Will you take me there some day? " "Well, at least they told you I was poor, didn't they? Forward along the wide deck bright lights shone on women scantily and beautifully gowned, and men in conventional black, not one of whom, it seemed to Forrest, had a thought of the greedy, mystic sea, or the perilously rushing ship, or the precious life so prodigally theirs. A few scraggy cedars marked this camp site, old trees devoid of sheaths of gray bark and gnarled dead branches so characteristic of the species. " "Child, you could never walk that long, long trail." "But I could ride.
Sometimes these are humorous things in a character's past dredged up to embarrass them.
Note in this case that the "unintentionally" is an important part of this trope: if the excuse the villain makes is flimsy , it's likely not this trope.
Often a problem with The Scrappy and some varieties of Mary Sue. A badly done Jerkass Woobie can also be a target of this.
The huge black ship plowed on through the sullen sea, spreading the inky billows into white, seething, crashing foam, that raced by with spectral glow and phosphorescent gleam, to pale and fade in the darkness. The shepherd was a white man, and he had a Mexican lad as assistant, and four dogs.
The funnels roared and emitted bulging clouds of smoke that hid the stars. He moved with extreme weariness, this man, as he unpacked the two burros and turned them loose.
Forrest left his post and walked along the deck, hiding his limp, and the pangs in his wounded side, and the burn in his breast. These were Americans returning home, and many of them were young. What was a crippled soldier to these idle, luxurious travelers? This stripping attested to past camp fires, and yet to the regard with which the lonely shepherds held trees on the desert. Promise me." And she bent to his lips again, and would not desist until he promised.