|Newspaper Title||Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)|
|Trove Title||Mystery of the Red House: An American Story of Thrilling Interest|
Kjster j of the Eed House
Aft AMERICAN STORY OF THBIL LLN'G ]S'1BEEST.
Bt Makt E. Bbtas.
(Commenced in the Evening Ifeivs of Sep tember 20J CHAPTER XXTI1.
? While 'the train tbai; bore the beautiful, I ^:s:vu-. io wosiaa away from the sea-dda I cli'' wa» r:ishirg on in darkness over inarch I nn'' lrn'nn n.nd cfwks swamr). the bov who
had Zuhmye 5 rni.inisht eyes, and lovr brow fhndosrei by rinpjs of black hair, safc at his fsmilia:1 post — tha window of the dilapi dated building as hat! rented to forward his investigations into the Red House Mystery. He sat in the darkness — he r.e.ver li.hled a lam-.', or allowed any sign of qccapation to be seeu ab-jut the IioGse — and looked acros3 i);e iiiterrenin^ space over the tops of : he olive and magnolia trees, to the window of thai room he called the penetralia of the Srhms He co:;Id sea but one winrlow, the o;hcr wai hid.ien by foliage — and the blinds of this were most always closed — always in ill? day. Sometimes, however; they were enen, rind the wiiita curtain fall across tlie window in their btead. On this certain he ta-i hlov3 than once seen the shadow of that graceful shape. . One night he bad watched liar putting up her hair ; he had eeen the shapely bare a -ins lifting an! twisting the mass of long tresses which, he fancied were dark gold in culop. - Sometimes he had found the window open, but rho room tm!ig!ited, and had heard the nysteriouS. n:istrfiss of the sanctum talking; to her birds and -frilling little snatches cr Eouir to encjnra^e them to sing. 'Fancy that deformed, h&z posse-sing1 such ! a vcice,' he wald, as he l.steued to the celii.'3otH swee-tnfss of the notes. | The p;:rs.ilfc of this shadowy enigma j became intensely fascinating to the young j re;ort?r. Iso Borneo imticipaiinp: an inter- I rie^ vtiih his Juliet, no enthusiast in astronomy on ihe verge of solving a celestial problem overlooked forward to the coaling ox night more atmonsy than did this young a;t:iche of The .Rattler, He did his day's I work with feverish energy as oae uader the indi.eaceofastTOrigstiTnuIani; heswall iwed I the icsi tea and toast that constituted his I scant supper and hurried to ais post oi ob I fervafcioE — tvking every precaution not to I be seen. i I The mvsf.erio:js Sphinx began to exercise | j a strange inrlncncs upon his imagination. I He jjietu-ed her *o himself. His fancy filled I out the su!i-re;:io:i of the fign-e on the cur tain with round glowing ii-iibs, with warm J tinted, palpitating iies'a. Hs imagined the J Colo? o? her eyes to be soft rm-ple — the hue cf the mediterranean The throat whence I issued those exquisite notes he Knew must I be soft r.nci round He could fancy it I throbbiv.g li!:e a white birds when she sang. I Once he drea/xed of her, and he felt angry I with bimsslf because lie bad noi the artist's I power to p-:t that dream imaue into color'. I He ha;! ir in his mind when he safc with I GeuenI Z»Iontealm on the back porcii that I shaded rhat gentleman's study I Tney had sroo ;ej for some time in silence I EazarJ's thoughts were wih his Mystery I of the i:ei iious3, but he bad almost ceased I toassozbte.her with ihe Mor.tcalai murder I ani the reward, and he almost started when I lie General said : I 'Have you made any progress in that I detective Im-iness, Hazard ??' I ' 1 — I can hardly say, sir. I have ts'.;en I some steps that may or may not prove ini. I por.'ant.' I * Have you got hold of anything like a I clue to the whereabouts of that \v» mar' I 'I may have a s:rong, s^re clue, or it may I pes-ibi' turn out none at all. I have not I yet folioTred it up ' I ' Whut hsnde *s you ?'
' I am wait-in ; further develop em3nts There is a house I vrant Srarched, but 1 have hardiy grounds yet to demand a warrant for Suci. a procee 'ing.' ' 1'oTi think Laura Monicalm may be con cealej ia that house??' ' I do. 1 Eiispeet; thab sac has 'been in I tills city all the' -while — ill at she has been I barber: d 'by a man of wealth and high I Etr.n iing ' ? I ' Koi Garleon then ?' I ' 3. o, a! i.o ; ether a, tiifferent person — a man I known liud respected all oer the State.' I '^O!i amaze me. This mujt be a chimera I of jpur brain, my boy. Who is tho nj.m ?' I '1 would rather not tell you now I will I ya:t until I am sare of my game Bin ihis I is no fancy, believe me It is ^roane'ed on. I swgiihir and suspicions circumstances. I General, let me asc yon a few questions, I eijcI iu.n't infer anything from them, please I Ther may have a be *rin^ on1 the ms.tter in I hand, or they may not How long has old I iJiss irons £ t :e deformed ocejpact of the I ied Ho.pp, been living in Wallport '? I About sercn or eight yea s I believe. I ITeat.ichS bo ighfc the Eed iio se property I for her af.er old Gl.nn, who bjilfc it, I drowned himself in his rath-tab Ee had I stransrled £\3 yonng -wife in that same houss, I crerybody believes, though. '. he family doctor I r?po.t«j heart en seas 3 as ihe ca-tse of her j sudden de.ith' MissTaist flitted here' in I the nitjbt, li ;e a b.it (sha is as ugly as any I Empire) and 4ook -up her abode in the I plor-my old mansion. She has never left it I bJt o:^cea tliat.I know of — when she w^nt I to Europe for a short iime. Once I savr I ler r;d.n^ with Realhcliff, veiled aad I auffied up She wears a veil in the boas 3 I «s well as cut,.£o sensitive 1= ^he io her dis I %arement — an enormous noss and a purple I Mark covering one si-Je of her face. They I fiay she is noi only Ggly as a. fiend, buz has I the temper b£-ine;is:ioa.red against tbe I ^orid, tho jgii ; sne^ives fto charitable pur I ^ os^s generjuiljr i-spj»h— thro igh Heatli I ^'ff. lie -is her lawyer.-ard business agent I ifobody entei-i. heriioiis^bdt be, iipt even a I doctor She believes ;-. in. jVthe cold-water I cure and praciiies it on heiself ?* , I Ton say i hat shfe '. has been sii«vay once I since sHe setfcleii at ihe Red House— that I Ebe went to Eiirot:e on a short yisic i* I 'Yes; she has a brother Imagin Ger I ttariv uJ: their bid familv «astle od the I Shine Heathdiff, '-t A A \ me ' They ' had I 'eea esfc:an:eii, audvshe \ras very an ry I ^'itb biin, hut he wrojbewliiiejon his death I oej begging her; to come to iibm ; ani she I Went, fcihe did not expect to Wt.irn, a^d I ^e Hea:h_'Iiff direcfcioiis Ifco rsnt or eell I the lied Honse,1x tip iahd h^hbldj she vas I tack a ain in Jwd month's time— returned, I as she hoi npne-rrin thesni^ht-' . -'-' I * When^wus iV;t|h:e*e|bM^-?'':/: . '? ' . ;-.- - a'.-; I * Whj^^^^Pi^^^^^^-ifue6^
' Two years ago ? , The -murder of, vonr brother occurred about that time, did it not?' ' Ye3, but -what the mischief: has Mis3 Faust to do with tbe murder ?' * Pardon mo,* said HaearJ, sniilin:2f ani tos'inc; his liali-smokei cigar over the balustrade, ' and let me go on -with my questions. Was there no one else beside his wife, who might be suspected of killing Captain IvEonteaSm — no one -who might have j had a motive for tho murder ?' 1 ' I don't know ana it don't matter ; nobody but his wife did do the deed — that is clear as no /nday. The gold- mounted stiletto she wore that day, as an ornament,
was iound m his heart. There was no one in the house but thanisslves at the time he was killed. She bad disobeyed him that day — gone with a fast party over to Carleon's seragilo on Aphrodite Island, He was deeply incensed aa he ought to have been. Re denounced her, and she stabbed him Then she cooly packed up her jewels and other valuables and left the honse, stepping into the stream Oi blood that had run aero s the hall inra. tae body of her husband lying in tbe library, and leaving her foot prints in blood as she passed oufe. As she opened the door slio came face to face with her maid, and the girl's escort, who were returning from a wending, Sae started, then hurried by them In her haste she caiuht her veil on the girl's shoulder and both of the parties had a full view of her face in the bright moonlight. She has never, so far as koown, been seen since ' ' Yes,' returned Hazard ' She was seen that same ni^ht entering Heathcliff's vard.' ' Oh, that turned out :;11 a mistake ' ' Did it ? Well, perhaps so, but perhaps not. The fellow who testified to it, aid afterwards talked and acted in a way to bring discredit on his own testimony, is a peculiar character He is superstitions abojt testifying in a case of life and death, but — well no matter — I have talked with him ; he did not suspect me of being interested, and he told me a great deal more th n was eofc out of him at the inquest ; and —1 beileve he told me all Bnfc to iny questions. You are sure there was no one in ihe house at the time ihe murJer occurred bjt the -wife and husband ? Where was The man who bad bro ight Laura Mon^calm from the island — her husband's confidential clerk — her 'own triend and adopted brother, as well as guardian ?' ' Whom do you mean — David Holt ? Why he had been taken desperately ill ; was found in his room at my brother's warehouse nest mornnig oao of his head with fever. Ee never did recover his senses. It wa1? a month before he was able to leave his bei ; ihen his mind was gone His friends took him away, and, I believe, sent him to an asylum, where he died, as 1 heard ' ' II e didn't die . He got out o f the asylum and w.'indered off He was harmless, and as he had no money or rich kin, ther made no greafe exertion to find him. I have made prettv extensive enquiries after him but without success as yet.' ' What do you want with him ?' ' Why who knows but he may Lave been a 'witness to ths murder? Who knows how that sudden brain trouble W3S brought on ? It came the same night of the traced r ? He was the last psrson seen with Laura Mont calm ' ' A lady and her husband, living near my brother, testiSed to seeing liolt leave Mrs Mositealm. at tbe door, ana go away in the direction of the warehouse.' ' He may have returned He may have -witnessed the murder ; he may now, even [ in his- imbecile condition, re: ain some vapj e impression of it, and be led to say something that would throw light upon it.' ' What do yod want with more light ? Every fool knows who did the murder All we want is to find that fema^ fiend — Laura Moatca'm, That is the business I confided toycu Stick lo the nfatler in hand, my bov. Never mind the collateral circ.im
frtanees, If we find that woman .«he is sure j to han^, We neeJ no more evidence than ' v.e have already. There is enough to put a i rope around her uecls ' j Hazard shuddered ; the General saw it. i ' You think me vindictive,' he said. * I am in ihis matter. 1 loved my brother as i son and friend as well as brother. I v.as ; much older than he, aid had had charge of ! him in hi? boyhood. He was a s;;lendid j feLow when he first trrer.- up — handsome as i a prince, prenerous, brave, gified He got j into a scrape in Mexico with a woman, that came near making a cynic o£ him and an exile from, his counfcrf ; buc he was eomiag out from that shadow. 1 looked to him io sustain the family name ; to.retriere the mistakes o£ his, youth, and go down to the grave with honors, leaving an heir to our name There is none now. I have no son. Do you. wonder that I h;le the murderer otm: brother ? 1 can never rest content until she has received ihe punish ment she deserve s — woman thojt^h sha be.' ' And mos: fair, they teii me'. ' Ay, beautiful ns Clvtemnestra, and as fiendish. I can't talk o- her cooiiy. Ibilow up that'cl.:e if you have one ; unearth her and bring her to punishment, and 1 am your debtor for life.' SStern as Cato's loo'ied ihe General's Boman featnres as he sat, his head thrown back on the violet lining of the chair.* his deep- set eyes gazing out into the gathering ulooa!. liaiard thmghs of the old warriov's lurid look and his tierce Epeecu io-night, as he sat in the empty, cobwebbed upper room of she old rookery he had renled that he mi^ht keep watch on the Red House through, the window behind whieh.be sat 'Ihe -window op,u-site was uuli^hted.. Tbe moon -was suininu bijg$i in tho 'heavens, and its-ray.e filtered the leaves of the olive and magnolia trees One _pf the3e beamB touched.-' ihe Sphinx's boudoir. ?' If she should come to the 'window as she did once when the room wa?d»rk, and stand where the light falls, I coaid see her.' Hanard tiioughi, and he -waitedjibpera-j-lasslh hand - She did come. -She tame arid *tood4-y the -window ; the outlines of her lovely shape, were visible Presently she came and seated herself in the low, embrasure of tho ?window, and leaned her head against the side-frame She was dressed in si -clary ^ white 'stuff -i ?'?$&!. moon light jilimmered here and there over her figure-1— over 'her waist,' faeryiaiRiiis^'tier sb.oni.der3, her full-white ihroatjeven. Only; her face and;her;head;wer^;in ^e.shadow- 1 fitting there -she fbegan *o sing ;' ? jSei? .song wis in,' a _*^nWjfife£ - ;? glainij -jehe %??§'? afraid' lest 'a, ' fc^^'^l^y*lLOuiS:.^nayfe jti^; ^street ^But; aeroax;^^';^i^im\^0Mf^t' moonlit darknes 3 a^ndistaUn^i^^am «»uld^: hear eVeiyaoW and ^
Zan, the inoon lisa left the sky.; We want the shining of thine ' eye. Come, oh 3 come ; . Lst those eyea of thine ' . Poor light into mine, As the bright 'stars gleam on some dark stream. Come ; oh i come. £ara, there's Borrow in the sea; We want thy voiea's melody — Ccaae, oh I come. Lit it's mosio free iioat cut to rae Ai- the wild wind eingB to ihe Ions harp-strings. Come — The song ceased abruptly.
'Ah, you are here at last ; you are late,' said the voice that had san^, as the figure started up from the window. The next instant xiie enrtain dropped ; but Hazard saw a tall man's shape ontlined upon the curtain. * It is Eeaihcliff !' cried the boy. ' I would know that square shouldered. milit3,ry shadow anywhere. Curse Lim ! what does he want with two beautiful wome i ? And beautitul that Mystery is X could swear it by i hat shape, that voice, that lovely throat. That neck to have a rope knotted about it? Horrible ! Eat it 'must if my suspicions are true ; and 1 am almost ready to stake my life u:;on it that they are Ira HsathclifE, the Damocles sword bangs over you. A search warrant shall faring 3'our dark secret lo'li^ht- Then away goes your sundar Bchool reputation, away no your political prospects, away goes your marriage with Honor Montcaim. You will never lord it in the esecutive mansion ; more iiiely you will pre&u'e over a cell in yonder gaol, your hour will be over, mine will begin to strike. Let Moiiteaizn take his seat as governor, and I am sure of advancement — sure of the hand of that tiroud beauty who scorns me now ' (TO BE COXTIinjED.}