Chapter 107322994

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter TitleNet for your silver bright, But for your winsome daughter.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107322994
Full Date1888-09-26
Page Number7
Corrections0
Word Count2295
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)
Trove TitleMystery of the Red House: An American Story of Thrilling Interest
article text

Mystery of the M^d House '

I AN AMERICAN STORY OF THEIL ? ? LING INTEREST.

? - Br Mary E. Bryan.

I (Commenced in the Evening News of Sep I tember 20 J I CHAPTER VI,

I ' Net for your pil?er bright, I But for vour winEoms daughter.'

H Month? went by More than a year had H elapsed since the tragedy at Wallport. Still H the murder v ?inained a mystery. The police H bad been baffled : Laura iviontcalm had not ? been seen or heard of. H One day^ General Moutcalm despatched H a note to ;he office of the Daily 1{attler: H requesting: that young ^lall — a brilliant H attache of that paper — should conie and see H him in bis study. H Hazard Hall was cce of tlie general's H coterie of youthful pets. The old es-so!dier ? and politician wa.3 no fossil He loved

H dearly to gather young men --f talent about H him — keeu, enthusiastic fellows, who had I - their way in the world to carve hy their own H wits Their bold theories, their sanguine H views, revivified him. He was wont to say H that in their enthusiasm lay the seed of pro H gress. It was better than the cautious H jtd^nieni; of ajja. H Shortly, aiite.r he hnxl come io Wallport ? with the hope to better his fortunes, young H -Hall had rendered a service to General H Montcalm (saved him from hein^ injured H 5n a street-car accident), and thus had H ruad-3 his acquaintance and been invited to H bis house. The general hs ened with interest H to Hazard's comicaliy-told but pntheiic ac H count of his battle with poverty, drew out H the young fellow's ideas upon political and H social questions, 'laughed at some of his H extreme notions, and finally took him by the H hand and introduced him io the proprieiors H of the Hattleu — a new, lire paper which H was doing its best to supplant the two dull I diaaified dailies of the city.

I * Full oi: brains and vim — worth a dczen I of any man you have on your staff,' was the I general's recommendation of his favorite io ! I the managing editor of fcl;.e Sattlee And j I the latter fo;ind the eulogy was pretty well I deserved. I Tlie new attache at once braught himself I into notice by the skill and insrennity with I which he traced out some well-covered-up j I frauds in the late municipal administration, j I and the daring with which he erposcii them, j I The. general sat in. his study — a pleasant I room in his large old- fashioned town resi I denes — when Hazard Hall was announced. I He held out his hand to the young journal I ist, and smiled paternally into his dark, I eager face ; then drew up a sc-at for him in j I front of his own easy-chair, and with i I characteristic promptness entered npon the i I Bubject ti'at occupied his mind. I ' My Isoy,' he said, * the clever war you I ferreted out those frauds in our city govern- ! I inent proves lhal you. have the born instinct j I of the detective.' I ''And you have rent for me to declare I that it is ray desliny to be the American I I Lecoqe ?' interpret! Hazard, smiling into ' I the general's face in his half-impudent, half- i I con'iding way I ' I have sent you to ask that you will — i£ I bo please j cu — undertake a little in that line I for .me.' ? ' ]?or you, general ?' I ' Yes Tou were -not here at the time ; I bat you heard, you know, that my brother I ? — my dear and only brother — was found I I dead in his roiirn, murdered ' I ' Yes, genera!.' I * And you know that the murderer has I escaped ; that he— no, let ns speak out j I plainly, she — has never been traced. The j I police here are a stupid lot. Thev have uo I imagination. A man. cannot bs a. g od j I detective without- it 3 magination s ggests j I probabilities which research may verify I Now, I wawfc you to look into the matter ; I to examine tire inquest evidence and see if I some idea is not sug eitcd which may lead I to getting upon the track of the criminal,' I Hazard did not answer for a minnie He I had his hands till already Tee Rattler I bad determined to bring forward an inde I pendent candidate for governor against the I . regular nominees, one oil whom was Ira I Heathcliff, present mayor of Wallport The I fight would be a hard one. His pen would I be called upon. to t;o vigorous woi\s I Seeing His hesitation, the general said ? I , ' You 'know 'what reward bus been offered I I will add 10 it if you think it not enough/ and any favor beside I can do you — ' ' Ob, the reward is ample If I undertake it, it will beifor your sake, general, not for the reward.' But ti9 still hesitated. ' Why -3o the voses bloom ?' Bang a rich, feweet voice outside. It was the voice of Honor Montcalin, the general's only child — the image or her clear mother, whose I beauty bad shone supreme at a foreign court, j Honor . was walking, in the garden. } Hazard could s-?e her from tTiq window ; a I tall, stately igirl, dressed in white with ai cluster of red carnsti 3ns on her breast. The low snn glinted on her dark gold hair; her j | white neck and brow. Sue looked a j creature made to walk among lilies and roses. ?\ Well?'. said the general, breaking the silence. . * Well, sir, I will undertake it,' Hazard aBBweredj and he added to himself : ? . * Bat *6s iiet for yonr vitver bright, Bntforyour wiuecme dau^htsr.' After a few suggestions from General iSfontealin, OJSGafeard rattier hurriedly took feis learOiV TfeS i white vision in. the garden ba£ put; jm.aM^r;fj»pd- detection out of his mind; 'lie- ''^en»Voat of the room thinking to joia £^i|3SnlPi?n reaching the piazza he found. iiiinsfelfViiJcorj^mlled. Someone . else had jdined'lEBB;Mdhtealm in the garden— .some- one ^o^|^lk^d conlidently at her side, her l^nCr|stiiiig*on hiBarm. Hazard knew fcha£ tali, nnr^nifcj;'?qpare-sho«ldered iigare .AH look olElferb'ng dislike came into bis face. * -^A ' tedia-blobded, purse-proud /upstart ; deies lM|ff|nk io win her ?' he ss&&,- between ? his'set-lf«iw.;-.-/;. ? . ? .'?'.';? ; Heli'aa^Beii tbat Mayor HeathcKff— the rich miil i^^t»Pr — belore so indifferent to women^b&a 'Ssnddenly entered the list of HonbrMofit^alni'B lovers, Taiad he had beard :th^^fe!iaiTOiied bis suit But this be did not, wbiildjttpt believe. He shut his eyes to fej^ip^iBg tbat might crash his hopjes. ?Sf^iHivt!raiei»|inuetnous ardor and sanguine ^^^^^i'^As nature, he had determined 1pjjft^^^li|p|-^s5iozi of Honor Montcalni ehojiidvsijp ;^the;goal of his ambition. She likwi^im^lfehe showed this ^aukly^enough* . Mxs^p^M^^i&Vk. amused and aroused her.

She admired the ingenious daring of his in tellect, his dark and handsome face She permitted him sometimes to be her escort Surely this was encoura ing Yet there was a difference in her manner to him and to Mr. Heathcliffi Hazard noted this now— in the wa;. she leaned on his arm and looked up into his face. She, who for all her sweetness, was so proud, was little wont to lean upon or to look up to anyone. Hazard's face grew dark * Yet i will not give her up without a struggle,' he muttered, S3 he closed the gate and turned into the street. He had not been seen by the two lovers who walked in the garden in the fragrant twilight. CHAPTER VII. | Hazard walked rapidly back to the office of the Rattler, and mourned the two flights of stairs that led up to his ' den,' the eight by ten sanctuary in which he did bis share of the daily scribbling and scissoring for the paper. A glance around this small taiictura would have told an interested observer that there were mixed elements in the character of the occupant. The walls

were covered with engraving'3; here a pure browed Evanireline, there a bold-ejed dan seuse in fleshings ; here a St. John with seraph face, and opposite a burlr prize-fighter strippe'd to the waist. .A tiny glass on the de.sk held a white tea-rose, and in a pigeon hole just above it was a bottle of beer and a half-smoiied cigai*. The afternoon's mail bad been brought in, and the desk was piled with unopened newspaper exchanges Atop of these were two letters Hazard had few fnends and no kinspeople, so his personal correspondence was limited. He took up the letter on top carelessly, opened it and glanced over the half-dozen important lines it contained. His eye lighted on the superscription of the other letter, and with a quick change of countenance lie look it up and broke the teal. Out dropped a bank-note of a hundred dollars. This, inclosed in a sheet of pap-r on whicb was written, ' Please accept,' was all the envelope contained. He was not surprised. He suspected what the contents would be when he saw the handwriting on the address Twice before, since he had beeu in Wallport, had he received similar anonymous gif:s through the mail The ?envelopes were postmarked Wallport — dropped Jetiers therefore ; but who coald have sent them ? Not his friend, the general ; he would do nothing so inysterio s, even if he was inclined to play the benefactor in ihis way, which he was not Hazard conld net conjecture who the mysterious donor could ba He scrutinised the chiro jrraphy on the envelope. The letters were cramped, and backward — evidently a dis guised writing He looked at the bill with mingled feelimxs of pleasure and dissatisfac tion. The money was not out of season. His pav was small, and his tastes, in some things, inclined to the luxurious; but he wss pro^d and sensitive ; he could not bear that anyone should suppose Iiitn to. be in want ot money. Nevertheless, he had spent the sums that had come to bim. previously. He had put them aside at first and hesitated about making use of them for some time, till, urjed by necessity, his scruples had been set aside. But now he felt increased repugnance to usin- money that had come into his possession in this irregular way. Love and ambition had s'diziulaled his pride He connected it with tbe mystery of Mb parentage. The sender of this money must know who were his parents/and why ho had never been lold ot th in ; why he had been sent io the Catholic school of St. Mary's among the Maryland mountains when he was a little child, and there had been reared and educated without once seeing any being who claimed kinship with him or guardian ship over him His expenses had been paid up to bis sixteenth birthday by money transmitted through the mails, to ihe presi dent ol: the college — money accompanied fcy no name or address When he wks sixteen these remittances ceased — the boy fancied himself slighted because he was a dependent, ?and ran away from school. He made his way to Cincinnati, arid did odd jobs for a living, meanwhile picking1 up a knowledge of type-setiing. Accident showed his em ployer the boy's fine facility for writing, and he became a reporter on a daily paper. The pay wa-3 poor, but tbe training and discipline were invaluable. He was a rapid a.id forcible writer at twenty-two, when be drifted to Wallport. and through General Montcalm's influence was taken upon the staff of the E.attler. ? He had a strong belief in himself and his future. -Partly this came from natural self confidence and partly is was caused by tbe. prediction, of the noted spirit-medium, Mine. Sylyestre Ijike all imaginative persons, he had a vein of superstition in his nature, and when this gansty grey-eyed sorceress gave him a history of his past life, true in every detail, solar as he knew it nimseif— ^whicb fehe could i well do, being a mind-reader— and then informed him that lie would succeed beyond uis hopes; and hecome rich and inJiuential, heir Vtbrds took bold of Ms ima.rfiifa.iion -and fcoiored bis hojjei3. She told him also that his parents were dead j and that be bad. been left to the charge of a dishonest guardian who had swindled him onto? his patrimony' -This conjecture had been floating &bout in his own brain for a Ion;; time, and her subtle mind-reading instinct had probably perceived it. * I will ferret out ihe mystery oi those anonymous gifts !' Hazard said to himself. * II 1 can get a. clae to the donor, I suspect it will lead me straight to that rascally guardian, who has cheated me and kept out of my sight or knowledge, enjoying my fortune while I am earning my bread of the hardest sort of drn&gery.' As he spoke,' Hazard attacked the bifepilfc oi .newspapers, tearing off their wrappers

and scanning the columns with, his rapid, practised eye, clippng a paragraph here and there and putting it between the leaves of bis note-book for reference or comment. (to be continued.) .