|Newspaper Title||Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)|
|Trove Title||Mystery of the Red House: An American Story of Thrilling Interest|
Hyslfcery of the EedHouse
;^N^LMEEICAJS' STORT OF THEIL IilNG INTEREST.
By Mary E. Betas.
(Odmmenced in the Evening Neves of Sep~ ^ f ero&er 20 J CHAPTEB MI. (Continued.)
;Here lie presently entered a dingy bar room, before the door of wliicli a negro was playing ' Zip Coon ' on a cracked fiddle. He got his flask filled, and threw the coin on the counter. The bleak-eyed bar-keeper
picked' it up aad held ifc to the smoky lamp. ' Hain't you got a more convenient sort of money abont you, young man ?' he asked ' I don't like to take these gold scraps ; don't know whether they're passia' Dow, and they're mighty onhandy.' ' 1 have no other money,' he said shortly. ' Jack, you're takin' the kid's seed-corn,' Bung out a half-drunken sot, who lay smok j ing a foul pipe. * Ain't yer ashamed r ' ' 1 kin stand ifc, if he kin,' was the answer, followed by a burst of coarse laughter Hazard picked up hie change and escaped from the reeking den. He was sick with eelf-Ioathing. He felt degraded ; he was wounded in all the finer instincts that re mained to him, but he felt no spring of hope I that would help him to rise. He could not rise here, and he had neither money nor energy to get away. He had lost the belief in himself — all his proud, airy self-assurance. Hehad lost hope, friends, everything but life; and of what account was life ? How useless and cowardly to cling to life when it was a hateful burden He would cling to it no longer. He had still a half dollar left of Lottie's little coin. He had thought to buy bread with it Jo stay the craving for food, for he had bad no dinner. But dead people do not need to eafc He would buy chloro form instead — he had the penknife in his pocket. The red and gold globes in the window of a druggist's shop caught his eye He went in and asked for fifty cents' worth I of chloroform. While the clerk waited I upon him, a carriage stopped at the door a I little water-proofed figure alighted and I entered the shop. She walked to the I- opposite counter Hazard paid no attention i to Jier, but as he was hurrying out, she spoke f io the clerk only to say that he need .not , trouble himself to wrap up the French povtder she had just bought, as she would I ' drop the box into her reticule, bur the silvery I chord struck a chord of remembrance. It was Lottie's voice He involuntarily stopped andutieredanexclama.fcion. She turned and knew him in spite of his slouched hat Sue ?was about to apeak his name, but he mslied out of the shop Lottie turned io the clerk : * That is a former acquaintance cf mine,' ebe said. 'Do yoa know where he is stopp ing ?' 'I do not,' the clerk answered ' 1 thought he had left the city.' Ifc was not the iirsfc tima she had made inquiries about her old friend and boy eweetheart. Ten minutes after her arrival (at noon) in Wallporfc, she liad asked about him of a mutnal acquaintance. The answer gave her a pang. ' He is fait going to the dogs.' She had seen KilJee but a few minutes. The Montcalni carriages came to the hotel for her, and she drove to the mansion and went straight to the room or ths Governor's uew]y found daughter ' It is our sanse KiJdee,' she said jis she I tag-ed and kissed the little one. Then she I put her back a little as she had done before I o:i meeting her, and studied the girl's face I ' You are a queer little sprite. I'll never ! quite make yoa out,' she said when they I had ' talked together awhile. She knew i Kildes too we,i to fancv she would have her ' head turned by her unexpected good fortune, but she had thought to find her more elated. Kiluee sjoke with proud affection of her father and her beautiful stately sister and there was no jojous enthusiasm in her manner. * Young as she is, it would bo nataral for her to be in a ejlrw Gf white enthusiasm,* thought Lottie. ' And hep approaching marriage with Mas, sb.3 spoke of ifc so quietly, almost without a blush. But then Kildee was always an odd little ibinj-,' mused Lottie. * She is not a bii fluttered l-y the prospect of tLe bi . ball to-night — her first hall, and she the governor's new fcund daughter — the heroina of the night, and lovely as any stray Pferi .' 1 Kildee was on the point of dressing for ! tae ball. . Her siinpje, perfect dress of cioud toe white tulle lay on the bed and Honor tad been curling her pretty hair. She Biiotred Lottie her father's gift of pearls, because he knew toe little actress took delight in looking at such things. But Lottie did not forget what was upper most in her mind when she drove to the mansion. . - - ' ? ' Tell me about Hazard,? she said, Thes. for tae first time daring the interview, Kildee i showed deep feeling 'I cannot tell you how sorry I am for him,' she said. * We ara forbidden here to Mention his name Sly father loved him go much, he cannot bear to remember that he ? ? ' ' Was unfortunate in the matrer of foirtb,' spoke up spunky Lottie. ' A nice thing to desert a boy who has ruined himself trying to serve him ' ' Hush, dear. You don't kDow the strong, deep-rooted pr-ejndices of people who belong to eld proud families. And then poor Hazard's mother killed my father's brother, 'who -was brother and son in one to him ;. and she was — an outcast,' ' Could he help it?' cried Lottie.
' ITo, and it does not seem just that he should suffer for it, but one cannot mend such things. I could not help writing lairs. a little letter — just a few friendly words I dared not tell ™y father . He never answered it. He sent back the cheque my father in closed to him.' * Good for him ; I'm glad he did,' cried Lottie her eyes sparkling through the tears. ' But you eay he has left the city ?' * I heard so, but my sister's maid in sure she saw him on the streec one night this week.' 'If he's here I'll find him if it's possible/ cried Lottie ' I wouldn't turn on ray heel to ask about him if he were prosperous, but now that he's down and his pretended friends have dropped off from him, it's the rierhi time for a tree friend to come in and give him the -warm hand of sympathy, if no more.' This interview had taken place not two hours ago. Lottie had thought about Hazard persistently ever since. She was now on her way tj tbe theatre (she was not to appear in the first scene), and she had stopped at the drug store to get a particular kind of French powder she fancied she would need to make up to look ghastly in a death scene. Standing at the counter, she heard Hazard's exclamation, turned. quickly and had a glimpse of his haggard face She hurried to the side-walk and saw him cross ing the street. c Let the hack wait here a minute ; come with me,' she said to her brother, who was waiting to hand her into the carriage. He was accustomed to her little commands and caprices He only Baid : ' Didn't you find what you wanted here ?' and she replied by taking his arm and drawing him in the direction in which she saw Hazard going. Keeping him in sight, she flew on, making her boy brother grumbled at her rapid pace She had just stepped .upon the side- walk that ran along the Sharon House, when she saw Hazard stop before a flight of steps that led up from th9 street He paused an instant as though it were not a pleasant thing to go up into that dreary unhghted region, and then began to ascend the steps ' He lives somewhere up there ; 1 11 find him to-morrow before we go a«ay,' Lottie said to her brother * It's Hazard Hall I'm tal iing about. He was in the drug-store, and 1 wanted to find bub where he is stay ing ; nobody could tell me He's under the weather here, poor boy, and he's lost his position. I'll ask papa to give him. Jack Gilbert's place in tbe troupe. Hazard is Ions; way a better actor than Jack Papa trained him, you know, and I think 1 can get him to join us. I'll try to-morrow. Would there come a to-morrow for Hazard Hall ? He went up to his drep.ry room. The light from the gleaming windows oppo site streamed* into it, and lighted up its barrenness. The music was louder than before The rain had ceased,, the nisrht had grown warmer, and the windows of the ball room were open. Hazard could plainly see the fair 'faces and richly-dressed forms of women, with their escorts, pass by the lighted vietas. He went to the mantel-piece and took down an opera-glass (too much worn to find a purchaser) and seated himself at the window. With the lorgnette to his ere, he drew close to him the figures of the promenaders. Presently his fingers closed spasmodically on the glass Honor Mont calm had flashed upon his sight. How beautiful, how radiant ! Pearls and soft laces, and white jasmine flowers enhanced her fairness. She waUed beside Heathcliff He too, looked happy and handsome. They were soon to be married, rumour said. There v,onld be a double wedding at the mansion. The Governor's newly-found daughter, with the romantic history and the lovely face, would marry the artist 'who had saved her from starving in a rat-haunted garret He was no match for her now, but the Governor was grateful and indulgent, and the girl was promised to the artist before her father found her. Hazard's face darkened yet more as the broad-shouldered, military form o£ the Governor came in sight. He had his new daughter (Ruth, they called her) on his arm ; he was looking down with fondness into the sweet upturned face, with the dark curls clustering about the white, low brow. On the Governor's left avmleaned the woman whom Hazard had so nearly brought to the scaffold. She wore black velvet. Her arms, her throat, her brow, with, its crown of dark gold hair, were marble white. There was a shade of sadnes3 on her face. A white flower fell from her breasS- Some one from behind picked it up and gave it to her. She t jrned and smiled on him — an odd-looking man, with white hair and rugged face, magnetic from the earnest, almost weird power of a pair of wonderful, lustrous eyes. Evidently fihe gave him permission to keep the flower, for he bowed, and looked con fused, but happy. When she passed he came to-ihe wiiulow. and, standing there, pressed the flower to his lips. Hazard knew him It was the man whose sudden emergence from the death in life of idiocy, through the magic of science, had lost him (Hazard) the seven thousand dollars reward, and had saved Laura- Montcalm from the gallbws~br a life-long prison He had been her foster-brother, her friend arid guardian ; he had loved her long and silently; would he speak: now ? She had proved his loyal heart? she had learned through bitter suffering that a trae and loving heart is a better guarantee for married happiness than splendid gifts of mind and person. , (to sb ooKTtKirjro.? On the evening of November 1 Mozart's 12th Mass was performed bya picked and numerous choir, aad. a full orchestra, in Wesley Church, jLyttletoa (N.Z.).