Chapter 103245426

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103245426
Full Date1907-10-05
Page Number8
Corrections0
Word Count3164
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People
Trove TitleThe Moonstone
article text

The Moonstone.

(13v WILKIE COLLINS)

?JHAKIKK V iCoonnued)

'??\nd -uppO!-f, in spite 01 .in inir which horriiies me -H mys-i'i ^, be 'cclins lhat fasc .Kit«B me

it rhc same timer It*'?'', ,; ,„-? life. Godircy. and, u ». J ,oison that ki'-ls ?»L'T1)-Jl!!.'' f' mV Go a.vav! 1 '-u*i be out ul- m\ mh,d \o' talk a, la-'f;^;-; No! von mil.- tin l«-''™ »h —\ '' mustn't carry away a OT« » - nrcsssioii. I »-'*1 f'-v 'W ' Mi, 1 ic ,aid in my own «k-««Hce. » n. 1 Ihis! Me d-e »t11:''w-1nn'').;i will know, wiiai have I'.l'l -'??«; 1 will never see him— I don . l,ik what happ.M.s-1 will -Kver, .u-ver. never .-ce him ..j,'am! Don l a.sk me Ws name ! IWt a.-k me any more! Ufs rf.a..Ue |:V(lft'v' ?\rc you doctor enough. On lire j, io ten me why 1 feel a, ?.. I was stiflinu for want »| bre^pi.- -* there a fo'» 'f ''y^11^ -lh:i. bursts into wur.ls instead «?[«??'«? 1 dare say! Wltat doi-- it m.it cr? You will 'et over any tnni ,hle I have caused you easily enough now. 1 have ^''^ l0, '»-' T/ place in your estimation, haven t 1. Don't notice me! Don't ply me! For iGod's sake, k-- away! She turned round on a sudden, and beat her hands wildly nn fin back of the ottoman. Her head dropped on the cushions; and she

burst out crying ''''T »'' time to feel shocked at this I was horror-struck by an entirely unex pected proceed:iiK on the part o Mr. Godfrey. Will it be credited that he fell on his knees at her feet, -on both knees, I solemnly de clare! May modesty mention that he put his arms round her next? And may reluctant admiration ac knowlcd«c -that he eleclrnlied her with two words? 'Noble creature!11 .No more han that! lint he did it wil'h one of the bursts whicn i._ ? ,ij» wit f 'nut* :i*; :i liunlic

.speaker. She sal, either quite thunderstruck, r quife fasoMiated— I don't know which— without even making an effort to put his arms back where his arms ou-rht to have been. As for me. my sense of ?propriety was completed bewilder ed I was so painfully uncertain whether .it was my first duly u- dose my eyes, 'or to slop my ears, that I did neither. J attribute my beiiiE still able to hold the curtain in the rij?ht position for looking and listening entirely to suppressed hysterics. In -suppressed hyste rics, it is admitted, even by the doctors, that one must hold some tliincr.

'Yes,' he said, with all the fas cination of his evangelical .voice ;md manner, 'you are a noble crea ture! A woman wlvn( «\a/y speak t'he truth, for .he truth «.fp-vn sake —a woman who will ,-sacrilice her pride, rather than sacrifice an hon est man who loves her— is Hit 'lost .priceless of all treasures. When such a woman marries,- if her hus band only wins her esteem and re nard, he wins cnouu'h to, ennoble his whole life. You have spoken, dearest, of your place in my esti mation. Judge what that, place is

—when I implore vou on my n««3, ?to let the cure of your wounded Tieart be my care. Rachel! will you honour me, will( you bless me, by bCBy 'hYs Thne I should certainly .liave decided on stoppmff my ears if Rachel -had not encouraged me to keep them open by answering him in the first sensible words I had everifeard fall from her lips. '?Godfrey I''' she said, 'you must be mad I' ' -- , 'I never spoke more reasonably, dearest— in your interests, as wcil as in mine. Look for a moment to the future. Is your happiness to be sacrificed to a man who has never known how you feel towards him, and whom you are resolved never to sec again? Is *lnot your duty to yourself to forget t'ns ill fated attachment? And is forget fulness to be found in the life you arc leading now? You have tried that life, and you are wearying of it already. Surround yourself with nobler interests than the wretched 'ntcrcsts of the world. A heart Oiatoifllics and honours you; a home -f ' JhoVe peaceful claims and happy fflcs ,.win gently on vou .lay by Mav--try the consolation, Rachoi, «,hWis to be found there! I don* «k for your Iovc-1 will be con P°'l am wretched enough and Siije.1 .fbugh as it is. Don't

-- — ? ? ? tempt me to be more wretched and '''OiK^tion:1 Rachel. Have you any personal objection to mef ??I! ,1 always liked you. After what you havl- just said to me should be in.-'eiiMble indeed if I didn't re-pec: and admire you .i= %™-\\u you kn-w many wives, -»y dear Kaciic!, who respect and ail ,ir. their hu-ban.U:' And yet they :inJ their hu-ban^ «ct on ver- well Ho-.v many .miles ga to the 1 r wit;, lu-ar;. that would bear inflection bv t:ic men who take hem there?' Ami yet it does., en-l unhaiH.il-—*' ;:';«-'!'ow Vr otl^r ??,e m-ptial e-t:tbli?hment jogs on. ?p,e truth is that w..mcn try mar i 1 ;, Refuse, far more nume ?hlv than ihey ,r, wiP.mg to ad .' ' ? I ......... I_ nmrp IMf'V 111(1

mil' us I w.i.ii ?? -???'?--???-* . ? ? marriane li«* justified t'hc;r .^dece in it. l-o'-'k at your ,,wn ca?e once a--am. -V -'l!r ?,;V and with yur attractions. -s it' m.^ible for' y-\\ to sentence - ,r!;if to a -iiur^- life? Trust my i-.u,.i-U-l'e of tin- world— nothing U\J1. ,.0,-ibK-. P. is''erely a (|ues ,;,,„ ofiiiiu-. Y-.H may marry some ,,l!ier man. -omh: years Hience. Ur v«.-,i mav marry the man, dearest, Vn.i i- now :.: yuiir feet, and who urWx- voiir r'---,)i-i-! and admiration rtbo've t'he lovr ..{ any other woman on the face of the .-arih. ??rjenily.rjodirey! you are puttin something into my head which 1 never thought before. ^ ou arc tempting me with a new prospect, when all «'y other prospect.s are closed before me. I tell you again | am miserable i-nough, and despe rate enough, ii you say nnotnvr wor-l, to marry you on vour own terms. Take t'he warning, and go!'

'[ won t even rise irom my Mit' till you have said yes!' 'If I say yes you will repent the day, and .1 shall repent, when it is too late!' ? 'We shall both bless tHie dav, darling, when I Dressed, and when yon yielded!'' 'Do you feel as confidently as ylou .speak?' .. 'You shall judge for yourself. 1 speak from what I have seen in my own family. Tcli me what you think of our housciiold at Kri/.inghall. Do my father and mlother live unhappily togeUher? 'l''ar from it— so far as 1 can see.' . . 'When ''y mother was a girl, Rachel (it is no secret in the fam ilvi. she had loved as you love —

she had given her heart to a man who. was unworthy of flier. She married my father, respecting him, admiring him, but niothing more. Your own eyes have seen the re sult. Is there no encouragement in it for you and for me?'' 'You won't hurry me. Godfrey.' 'My time shall be yours.' 'You \\1on't ask me for more than 1 can give.?' * 'My angel! I only as!- you io give ''e yourself?'1 'Take me!' In t'hose. two words she acccpt'.d him! He had another burst— a burst of unholy rapture this time. lie drew her nearer and nearer to him till her face touched his; and th-j;i ? No! 1 really cannot prevail upon myself to carry this shocking disclosure any farther. Let me only say that 1 tried to close my eyes before it happened, and that I was just one moment too late. ?! had calculated, you see, on ihcr re sisting. She submitted. To every right-feeling rerson of mv own sex volumes .could say no more. Kvcn my inuiocencc in such ''al- ters began to see its way to the end .of the interview now. They understood each other so thorough ly by this time that 1 fully expect ed to see them walk off toget'her, arm in arm, to be married. There appeared, however, judging by Mr. Godfrey's next words, to be one more trilling formalitv which it was necessary to observe. He seated himself — un'fiorbiddcn this ?time — on the ottoman bv her .side. 'Shall I speak to your dear mother?'1 he asked. 'Or will you?' 'Let my mother hear nothing fro1' eit'lier of us until she is better. 1 wisih it to be kept a secret for the present, Godfrey. Go now, and come back this evening. -We have been here alone together .quite long enough.'1 She rose, and in rising, looked for the first time towards the little room in which my martyrdom was going on. , 'Who has drawn those curtains.1' f'lic exclaimed. 'The room is close enougih, as it is, without keeping the air out of it in that way.'' She advanced to the curtains. At the moment when she laid her hand on them — at the moment when the discovery of me appeared to be quite inevitable — Iflic voice of the fresh-coloured young fioof'an on the stairs suddenly suspended any further proceedings on her side or on mine. It was unmistakably the voice of a man in great alarm. 'Miss Rachel!' he called out, 'where are you, Miss Rachel?' She sprang back from the cur tains, and ran tio the door. The footman came just inside the room. His ruddy colour was all gone. He said, 'Please to come downstairs, Miss! My lady has fainted, and we can't bring her to again.'

In a moment more I was alone, and free to go downstairs in my turn quite unobserved. _ Mr Godfrey passed me in t'he hall, hurrying out, to retch the doc tor 'Go in, and help them!' he said, pointing to the room. I found Rachel on her knees by the sof-i with her mother's head on 'her bu-oin One look at my aunt s face (knowing what 1 knew) was enough to warn me of the dreadful trutii. I kept my thoughts to my self till the doctor came in. It was not long before he arrived. He began by sending Rachel out of the room— ami then 'he told the rest that Lady Verinder was no more. Serious persons, ill search of proofs of hardened scepticism, may be in terested in hearine that he showed iio signs of remorse when he look ed at .Me. . At a later hour J peeped into tne breakfast-room, and the library. My aunt had died without ripening one of t'he letters which I had ad dressed to her. I was so shock ed at this that it never occurred to t'e until -'ome days afterwards, that she had also died without giving me my little legacy. ai.VPTF.R VI. (i ) 'Miss Clack presents her compliments to Mr. Franklin Blake, and. in sending him the fifth chap ter of her humble narrative, begs ti, say That she feels quite unequal to enlarge as she could wish on an event .so awful, under the circum stances, as Lady Verinder's dealn. She has, therefore, aHached to her i,wn manuscripts, copious Extracts from precious publications in Ikt iiossession, all bearing on tins ter rible subject. And mav those Ks tracts (Miss Clack fervently hopes) sound as the .last of a trumpet in

the ears of her respected Kinsman, Mr. Franklin Make.1' (??) 'Mr Franklin Blake presents his compliments to Miss Clack, and begs to thank her for the fifth chapter of her narrative. _ In re turning the extracts sent with it, he will refrain from mentioning any personal objection which he may entertain to this species of litera ture, and will merely sav t'hat the proposed additions to the manu script are not necessary to the lul filment of the purpose that he 'has in view.' , (??.) 'Miss Clack begs to acknow ledge the return of Iier Extracts. She affectionately reminds Mr. Franklin Wake that sue is a Chris tian, and that it is, therefore, quite ? ? .. .:i.i .. f „.. U ! ti« tirt r*(T»*nri 111 Pi'.

Miss C. persists in feeling the deep est interest in Mr. Make, and pled ges herself on the first occasion when sickness may lay him low, to offer him the use of her h\ tracts for the second lime. In the meanwhile she would be g!ad- to know, before beginning the linal chapters of her narrative, whether slie miay be permitted Io make her humble contribution complete, by availing herself of the light which later discoveries have Thrown on the mystery of the .Moonstone. (.|.) 'Mr. Franklin Make i? sorry to disappoint Miss Clack Me can only repeat Che instructions which he had the honour of giving her when she began her narrative. She is requested to limit (herself to her own individual experience of per sons and events, as recorded in her diary. Lafer discoveries she will be good enough to leave tio the pens of those persons who can write in the capacity of actual wit nesses.' (5.) 'Miss Clack is extremely sorry to trouble Mr. Franklin Make with another letter. Her Extracts have been returned, and the expression or her matured views on the subject of the Moon stone has '.been forbidden. Miss Clack is painfully conscious that she ouirht (in the worldly phrase) to feel herself put down. Rut, no — Miss C. has learnt Perseverance in the School of Adversity. Her object in writing is to know whe ther Mr. Make (who prohibits everything else) prohibits the ap pearance of the present correspon dence .in Miss Clack's narrative? Some explanation of the position in which Mr. Make's interference ?has placed her as an authoress, seems due on the ground of com mon justice. And- Miss Clack, on her side, is mqst anxious that her letters should be nrodnced to speak for themselves.' (6.) 'Mr. .Franklin Blake agrees to Miss Clack's proposal, oil the understanding that she will kindly consider this intimation of his con sent as closing the correspondence between them.' (??.) 'Miss Clack feels it an act of Christian duty (before the corres pondence closes) to inform Mr. Franklin .Make that his last letter — evidently intended to offend her — has not succeeded in accomplish ing the object of the writer. She affectionately requests Mr. Make; to retire Io the nrivae' of his aw room, and to consider with himself whether the training which can thus elevate a poor weak woman above the reach of insult, be not worthy of greater admiration th:;' he is now disposed to feel for it. On being favoured with an intima tion to that effect, Miss C. solemn ly .pledges herself to send back the complete series of her Extracts to Mr. Franklin Make.' (To this letter no answer was received. 'Comment is needless. (Signed) Drusilla Clack.

CILVPTdiR VII. The foregoing correspondence will .-ullicienlly explain why no choice is left to -me but to pass over Lady Verinder's death with the simple announcement of the fact which ends my fifth chapter. Keeping myself for the future -trctly within the limits of my uwn personal experience, I have next t o relate that a month elap sed from the time of mv aunt s de cease before Rachel Verinder and I met again. That meeting was the occasion of my spending a few davs under the same roof with her, In* the course of my visit, soone-. thing happened, relating to her marriage engagement with Mr, Godfrey Ablewhite, which is im iiortant enough to require speci.il notice'in these pages. When this last of many painful family c.rcum staiu-e.s has been disclo-ed, my task will be completed; for 1 shall then have told all that 1 know, as an actual (and most unwilling) w» ne.-s of events. My aunt's remains were removed from London, and were buried in t'.ie little cemetery attached to tile church in her own park. I was m vitL-d to the funeral with the reft of the family. Hut it was impos sible (with my religious views) to rou^e 'myself in a rcw days only iro-n the shock which this death had cau-ed me. I was informed, moreover, that the rector of rnz inghall was to read the service. Having myself in past times seen this clerical castaway making one „, Uk. players at Lady Verinder s whisl-table. I doubt, even il had been lit to travel, whether I should have felt justified in attending the '\lLady Verinder's death left her daughter under the care of her 1 '''. ? i ? \i_ AM,,, ,.li il,. I lii-

hrotner-iu-i.i' , .*»?. .m.*-.» ????v ???- elder. He was appointed guardian by the will, until his niece married, or came of age. Under these cir cumstances, Mr, Godfrey informed his lather, I suppose, or the new relation ill which he stood towards Kachel. At any rate, in ten days from my aunt's death, the secret of the marriage engagement was no secret at all within the circle of the family, and the urand question for Mr. Ablewhite senior — another comlirmed castaway !— was how _U« make himself and his authority most agreeable to the wealthy young lady who was going to marry his son. Kachel gave him some trouble at the outset, about the choice of ;;. place in which she could be pro

vailed upon to reside. 1 He House in Montagu Sdnare was associated with the scandalous affair of the lost Moonstone. Her guardian .- own residence at Frmnghall v.$s open to neither of these objections. Hut Rachel's presence in it, after her recent bereavement, operated as a check on the gaieties of hor cousins, the Mi.-s Able whites— an (h she herself requested that her visit might be deferred to a more favor able opportunity. It ended in a proposal, emanating from old Mr. Ablewhite, to try a furnished hoii.^e at Hrigiiton. Hi- w''1-'- an invalid daughter, and Rachel were to in habit it together, and were to ex pect hinn to join them later in the season. They would -ec no so ciety but a few old friends, ami they would have his son Godfrey, travelling backwards and forwards by the London train, always at their disposal. . t describe this aimle-s tutting about from one place of residence to another— this insatiate restless ness of body and appalling stagna tion of soul— merely with the view to arriving at results. The event which (under Providence) proved to be the means of bringing Ra chel Verinder and mvself together again, was no other than the hiring of the house at Hrighlou. (To l-c continued.)