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Chapter NumberXLVI.
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1888-11-10
Page Number7
Word Count2624
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

I J%stery of the.Bed House

l^-AiiEKICAN STORY OP THEIL-. I ll-:g interest.

By Mary E. Bryan*.

{C&nTiieiiced in Hie Evening j^ews of Sep iemhet 20 j CHAPTER XLVI. ( Continued.)

? She v-' ore a dressing-gown of creamy- white I jjusiin.- pst outlining her lovely shape, her I ^kia WR3 glowing from the bath, her bright I Lair lninj; in damp half-curls over her

I shoulders, and little* wet rings lay against I her pearly brow. Her little -white stock I in°'iess toet ve~e thrust into little velvet I slippers. In one hand she held the grey I wiif she had -worn. She pat it on the I dresGing-case beside the i'a]#e nose, the I speciaclse and tbe veil- Where was the red I mari ? It had probably been a sort oi I glsey, colored plaster easily washed oft. She I looked at the 'instruments of disguise, lying

I there in a little queer heap vnin that same I curious, pad sardonic, smile ; thenshs turned I ro tbe mirror, and once again fiazai-d saw a I form, and i'ace rejected m the tall g;lass, bat I ]\6w different from the other Me could hardly believe sneli a transformation pos I sibie, for all he had some knowledge oil the I grace dressing rooazs and the mysteries or I 'making tip.' I As tbe lady contemplated the fair image ja the mirror, a gleam, oi pleasure touched her mouth and eyes. It faded quickly. Her i'ace darkened. She lifted her srms and put her clasped hands on -the top of her head, as though to crush down some memory that maddened. ' What does it matter. Ob, what does it snaiter ?' ] I was almost a wail. Hazard understood it to mean : * What does it matter thai. I arc fair ? Love is no more for me ; nor hope, nor any pleasure or prospect in life.' .she walked to the cage of the canary and i-hirrapped to the bird. It had fluttered .?i.Tvcy from her when she first came in, and sr.t 5iow, a moody bunch of feathers, on its perch. It turned its head, saw her. and flew towards her uttering a joyous chirp. ' Ah ! you know me no.w ?' she murmured, ss she pressed her face to the gilded bars ?wl kissed the delighted bird. * To think that you arc i he only creature I can be my mie self before — yon and he.' She sighed heavily and turned from the cage, walking i lie ficor a moment, with, her hands again nwicp.l on her lirad as ihoucn. to crush

? dotrn some rainfui thought. As she parsed ? back and forth Hazard ii.irl glimpses of her I white i'iipe, her shining hair, her trailing I robe Once he eould have put out his hand I and touched the shell -ii lie foot in its sheli I 'like casing. B Presently he saw her take a boo1!: from ? the table p.nd tarn toward irxe hed He I could n...t rce lier but he knew she tiad lain ? down. Hl- heard the plight rustle accl the B faint ercft!-:, a= she sank on ihe-silken covor B lid and sotr pillows oi ihs bed.

^m jiiiiiti.y :.:n.*i * minute tteiju uy. jae cuma ^K hear her occasionally turn the leaves of her ^H book. Once he beard her sigh. He had V found a br.nipLed footstool in the closet, and B Le softly raised himself from his crouching ? position and seated himself ou the footstool, H leaning his head back, against a soft silken H mnss that had a faint odor of iasmine. The B softness and 'perfume affected hi3 impres B sionable senses. They were her clothes he B felt sure. Perhaps that graceful blue robe B he had seen her wear when her lover came B to see his bird in the gilded cage. Curss B Heathcliil ! How came that old grenadier B of a man to win the love of two beautiful B women ? 'Well, it should not do him any B coed He would never possess the one, nor B should he longer enjoy the other. B ' To-night his star shall set,' said the I passionate boy, to himself. ' I told him we I would have our Philippi.' B The leaves of the book had ceased to be I inrned. Hazard lifted his head from its ? silken-soft resting-place and. listened. He B could catch the sound of sof t, regular breath B ing The lady oi: the Enchanted Castle was B £s!eep-

I He opened the door oil ihe closet and I crept softly out. XoJEelessly he stole to I the side oi' the bed. Ke stood close to it, I cad looked at its sleeping occupant j I Was this the face of a murderess ? j I A sc.bly, delicately-moulded face, with an I unutterable pathos abojt the mouth and in I the closed veined lids and the pale blue I chadows under the long There was I sadness and the trace of repressed suffer I ing; there was a touch of pride and defiance I in that face, but oH crime there was not a

I And how fair she was ; with just that I mellowing, moulding touch of time and I ibought which give3 beauty its right charm I One curling loclz lay across the white I swell o£ her bosom Hazard lifted it lightly I and thought of the sharp journalist scissors j in his pocket, but refrained from thetempt f ation But .when he noted the rose-tinged snow of the round arm lying across the pillow, he impulsively bent down and pressed his smooth lips (the blonde moustache was in his pocket) to the cool soft skin. She jjave a little start; a tremor ran over her; but her eyes did not unclose. Hazard drew back and watched her 'A .judas kiss, my sweet,' he said to 'imselr. ' Did your inner sense warn you of it ? I shall betray you before IJbe cock crows, despite all this appealing beauty, if I were a knight of ye olden time I might champion your cause. I might .keep your secret and help yoa to escape. But chivalry is a played game. 1 am a* product of the nineteenth century. Love and chivalry j count for something in the 4ife oi to-day, I . perhaps, but not for much' Money, power, I luxury leave them limping behind. By I trying to save yon, iny beautiful Laura, I should get myself into a scraps. By betray ing you I shall get seven thousand dollars in cash and a strong hold upon tbefavpr of a prospective governor, to say nothing of + Vn-» — .1 ? ~_ ' J. _ _. ? 1_ ._. ? J ? i . . ? .1

me cuance 10 crusn an opponent ana anvai, The odds are against -yen, Laura, though. 1 own I hate to think of ihat white wrist wearing the iron bracelet One more kiss.' 0 qcc more he tent aad pressed Leb daring lips upon the sleeper's soft white acm. She stirred again, ind He drew back a sscond, a little frightened. Presently he began to fan her slowly and softly with a fan of white feathers he had picked up from the fioor. 2n a iittle while the frown passed from her forehead, and her features settled with the quiet restiiilnesB of sleep. As he plied the fan be had beeaithinkit»g ? ' How shall I get out of hora ? To slip into

the dressing-room, get the key out of the pocket of her black gown and unlock the door will be probably to waken her. Even if. I succeed in setting out without disturb ing her, she will kaow by the unfastened door that«lie has been spied upon and her secret discovered. She will make inquiries and find out from old Caleb, and I shall have alarmed my game before I am quite ready to bring it down, l'il see if some other plan is not feasible-* ~ He remembered the greatxtrees that prcw close to tbe house at the back. The door which opened into the secret boudoii* was slightly ajar. He stepped lightly across the chamber and entered this little sitting-room in which he bad first seen the Sphinx from his rost of observation at the upper window of t*he old house. Here was the window which had framed the picture of her in the blue dress. He looked through the turned slats of the Venetian blind. There were no Iimb3 or trees near enough io this window io be available as a means of descent. It was the otlier winch had been so hidden by foliage be could never see into it He went

up to tins wmaow ana inrsae zne Discovery that a liiiib-of the large sycamore stretch eii before it. almost within Rrm'n-length He might grasp this and swing himself down to another stonie* limb below it, and thence it would be easy to reach the ground. He softly opened the eh utters, got into the window, succeeded in grasping tlie limb, and in a few minutes had leaped to the soft

ttif»e:i ground as lightly as his prototype — the ja -uar Hir wide satchel contain Lug the folded ladder, was sale by its strap round his neck, and he was sale c the other side or. the Ited House wall before its mistress had ended her fateful siesta. He walked to the office of The Rattler as though he tied on air. Rosy visions danced beiore his eyes. Heathcliff un masked — a little fortune in his pocket -, tbe promise of a lucrative appointment, and in the dimmer perspective Honor M ontcalm as his bride. These were the mirages that i^adc 3i is cark cheeks srlow as he walked swiftly r.long the sunny pavement. To-night at the torch-light meeting he would make his gran J coi:p.

CHAPTER XLVII. The night was still and starlit. There was no moon. Had there been, its white radiance would have prded in the red glare of the torches tiiafi lit the Jarge central square of Wallpcrt. The square was surging v.iih people, white and black, men and bojs with a sprinkling of women - And near the tall monumental siifift that rose in the centre of the sqnare there were a number of carriages containing ladies and their escorls. Near to the monu ment the speaker's stand had been erected. Behind it floated a. Hag bearing the symbols of the state : on either side fiared immense

red torches on tall, naivow stands. A band of musician?, seated on the granite pedestal of the monument, pJayed lively airs on their glittering instruments, while the people gathered. When tbe city clock had struck eight the crowd began to shont and huzza for their

in grej mounted the stand and made a speech in eulogy of Norton. Th&t trained and wily politician was then called for, and made a witty littie speech oi: iive minutes. He seemed disposed to speak longer, but there were shouts in the crowd for Heath cliff. It was known that the occasion was his; the meeting had been gotten up chieny by his friends, and since his losses by the ii-re, the tide of sympathy had run strongly in his favor. ' Heathcliff ! Heathciifi; !' roared the crowd, and the Mayor of Wallport ascended the rostrum- He was very pale ; his arm was still in a sling, and a red sear branded his forehssd, showing where it had come in contact with a burning Deam. But his manner was as qniet arid self-controlled as ever, and his voice, as it went out over the throng, had that deep, weighty utterance that commands silence and inspires trust. He briefly explained his views .upon the question of labor and capital — views which had been so grossly misrepresented. His setting ibrth of the respective rights of employer and laborer was impartial and dispassionate, and so forcible and simple that the most obtuse couid not fail to under stand He said he had never before spoken in public of himself. There had seemed no need. Nearly half of his life — all it3 best years — had been spent among them as a mere vouth — uoor. unknown, with but one

friend in tbe city — his mother. There had been some years of struggle ; then he .had become able to buy a small interest in the machine shop v/hieh he afterward owned. He saved money and bought real estate, which lie sold when it increased in value. Gradually he had engaged in enterprises requiring him to employ a number of hands. Many of these men were present. If anyone of them could say that he or any one known to him had' not received: fair wages for fair work, let him speak, if any one could say that he had been wronged or mistreated, or discharged unless for persistent misconduct or neglect of work, Jet him speak. If any one that had ever been in his employ could Eajr that he had. been ill or in distress and had let his -wants be known without receiv ing assistance, let him speak. To the pause that followed there was silence. No voice was raised in contra asseition.

xLeatJiciitt resumed. J±e said that in dealing fairly, jnstly and humanely by his employes, a man did only what plain duty required cf lain. He deserved no credit for it, and it was foolish egotism to speak of it unless forced to do so by 'being, misrepre sented. At this point, Honor Mootcalm threw hack the lace veil she' had worn, and listened with an agitation she conld hnidly control. She sat with her friend Mrs, Blair in a close carriage drawn tip in the shadow of -a tres. Colonel Blair, -who had come with them had got out jof ih.Q carriage to speak to friends in the crowd. Honor had come expecting, yet dreading to near Heathcliff denounce the underhand methods -which cerfciaircm scrupulous spirits had used' in conducting the campaign oa her father's .side. She trembled lest ehe should heap -that father's high name publicly lowered by being con nected with thece dishonest methods. Since the burning of his factory there had been a , j * a .1 . ? n 1 1

strong reacuion amonz xne masses; in neasn cliff s favor. It was felt that he bad been wronged. The scales had. f alien from the eyes of many who bad been blinded by the specious representations of young Hall and his confreres. There was a suppressed feel ing that injustice had been dooe to a man whom the city and the state at large owed much, aad it needed bat a touch of inflam

matory eloquence from Hesthclifl; to make this burst ont in opsn indignation. Bet no such touch came from Heatbcliff, ani Honor drew a deep breatSi of relief as 'she listened, while her heart beat with admiration of the man who forbore to use the means of retaliation which were ready to his hand; Did he forbear for her Eake ? Honor thought not so. The motive which might have endeared him to pome women would have detracted from him in the eyes of this woman who put honor above love. It was the masnan:mi:y of the man, she said to herself, which made him forbear to espose one who, though now an opponent, Iiad once been a friend. (TO BE CONTrSTTED.)