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Chapter NumberXI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1888-10-01
Page Number7
Word Count3580
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 Red House


By Mart E. Bryan.

(Commenced in the Evening News of Sep tember 20 J -. CHAPTER XI.— Continued.

I * Tumbling and sword-swallo wing! Man I alive ! O jts is a high-toned show. We I plav Shakspere and British comedy See I this play-bill : 'Grand Family Combina

tion — M. Dncciole and his . accomplished wife, Mme. Marin&nne Dncciole, his charm ing daughter, the celebrated emotional actress, Mile Carlotta Uucciole — the young Messeurs his sons — Ang^ste and Francois —whose fine appearance and rare talents nw.Ke them stars of the stage. Also the I ch.irming soubrette and unrivalled danseuse, Mile. Celeste Vivien. In the orchestra the company have secured, at great expense, two fine artists, Si^nor Petruchij — the masicai phenomenon, a more wonderful automaton player than Blind Tom. and Jlerr Mas imilian Rubenstein, the matchless violoncellist, meaning yours truly,' ' said the blonde young man, bowing to the carpenter, and touching his chest with his foreiin er. * The I performance this evening will consist or five of the most stirring scenes in ' Maebsth,' JSbakspere's master-piece, you know — and a delightfnl fantastic drama, full oE song and dance, called ' The Knight's Temptation,' I with the beautitul Celeste in the leading character The orchestra will give the overture of ? ' I ' Hold on, young man. Tou addle my I brains I'll see my wife about them tickets. I It's likelvr she'll want to go and take her I mam and all the young ones. You needn't I Settle now ; I'll see you a ;ain.' I 'Thanks; you had better take a couple I of tickets now, though' I ' I'll take a couple, Max,' called out I Hazard from hie perch on the work-bench I He sat there whittling a stick and observing, I unnoticed by him, the aew-comer from I under his slouched hat I ' Hazard Hall, by all the gods of 01 'rnpus,5 I cried tbe other, rushing up and embracing I ihe young journalist with fervour. ' Old I chum and room-mate, what are you doing here?' - I ' I am a political envoy, may it please I you. And you, Max, what in the mischiet I does this mean ? I left you an ambitious I painter covering a ponderous canvas with a I battle scene you were sure would make your I fame, and I find you with brush exchanged I for the buskin — following the fortunes of I strolling play people: HowcomeBit?' I * Ambi:jous dreams don't furnish bread I and butter I bad to live while I waited I for fame, and s arving ia a lonesome sort of I business. So when .Mr. Duck made up his I troupe arid offered— ^ — [ ' ' The eame, Hha same, I LetterB four do form his name.' r And Madame Marianne Ducciole is good I Mother Duck — Polly Ana the professor I called her and Mademoiselle Carlotta — dear I little Lottie roy first flirSee ; and &ns and

Irank^-those awful hobbledehoys — are Mes Beurs Angus e and Francois, and the musical artist, Herr Maximilian Itubesstein, secured at such great expense, is my jolly chum — Max. But tbe aliens of the company — Sig- nor Petruchio. the musical phenorni-non, and the entrancing Mademoiselle Celeste Virien — who are they -?' ' Ah, my prophetic heart !' interrupted Hazard * It struck me when you were expounding the play-bill that Monsieur Ducciole was no other than our old acquaint ance, Jere, of the St Louis tenement house— I beg his pardon— Professor Duyek ; Professor of Shakspeare and the Divine Histrionic Art — as his cards read — who taught me how to rant as Hamlet in tbe days whon I fancied myself the coming stage luminary. So Monsieur Ducciole is no other than our big-hearted, cranky pro fessor ?' * Signor Petrncaio is indescribable ; y m niust see him. ; but Mademoiselle Celeste — can't you guess, Hazard ? Don't you re member Kildee — my child ' ' Kiidee, Kildee ? What, not that b'ttle estray the Ducks adopted ? that big-eyed eif they picked up somewhere in tho street, I believe. Stav, what am I thinking of ? It was you who found the waif, Max — some- where before I knew you — and played the paternal to her until the Ducks took her under their wing.' ' I f und ter in a garret room of that same mouldy old tenement house some years before I had the honor of your acquaintance. She had been tied 1 1 u bed- leg by her scamp of s motheV and left to starve. She was half famished, but too frightened to cry out, and she clung to me like a scared kitten, 'when I took~her on my shoulder She was seven years old, but no bigger than a child of four. I was a lubberly boy of eleven working in a drug store and dabbling, at pictures every spare moment. How to keep her was a puzzle, but I left off meat and beer, and managed to find such a bird as she in -bread and milk and «hoes. Some good woman helped me about her frocks. For two years I was her onlv parent, then

the Ducks kindly took charge of her for me. Papa and Mamma Duck have been as good as could he to the waif, but Lottie— bless her! has been a little mother to the child.' --'f Lotrfe *«ras always & trump, I'll never forget how she played the stern nurse and made me swallow the doctor's prescriptions when I had that hard fever in the old rat haunted tenement house: I remember, too, how soft little Eoldee'a hand was upon my head How came you to call her Kildee, Max ? Was it her true name P ' ' 'b ; she was called Jasmina, she told \xib . It was too much name for such a mite. 1 so we called her' Kildee.1 I 'ltsuits her, or it suited her then. What IdoeB she look like now P She was .an erne /sprite then— ail eyes and hair.' I ?* She is stfli small, bat rounded _id well shaped/ . - , ??* Pretty?' ?-???..???? . .- ' ... ^ Pretty'* not the word,' said Max, glob ing * She is the IbTeliest thing in the

' Ah, ha ! I see how the land lies I perceive why Max Rubin, artist, has laid his dreams of artistic success on the shelf, and turned scene painter and musician in Mon sieur Ducciole's t.oupe Are you engaged to your protege, my noble Herr ?' * Nonsense ?' Max colored to the roots of his fair hair ' Kildee is still- a child She likes me as she does Lottie and Lottie's brothers.' ' And you— ?' * Why, I alwayB called her my child ' * Tes, I remember your paternal airs — how careFul you were that she should have thick soles, and how you tri-«d to scold her for buraing holes in her apron. And I mind me of a certain tableau, my gentle Herr. A blonde yonth, wilh a iurly-haired sprite on his knee, feeding her with cherr es, tneir stems held between his teeth, whence she cropped tise fruit with her pretty lips, a sly way to get unlimited kisse*. Does she kiss you us freelv, novr Max ?' * No/ said the other, shortly, flashing, and looking annoyed. ' She is not a child any more ' — forgetting his previous asser tion. ' But come alon.^ to the hotel You are surely going to see your old friends ?' 1 I surely am. but not jjst now. I have to attend a political meeting, and report the speeches for our journal. I am a shining newspaper li_ ht now in the city of Wallport. Plenty of work, precious little fun, and less money Give my love to Lottie, and a kiss to Kildee, and tell them — ' * See here, Hazard,' Max interrupted, 1 you mustn't tease Kildee in that reckless way when you meet her She is fearless and frank-hearted as when you knew her, a child ; but she has a sweet dignity with it. She was br mttht up by Bohemians, it's true, but Mrs. Duck is as honest a woman as breathes, -and Lottie is a good girl, for all her free ways ' ' I know it, mon camerade. Trust me, I'll say nothing to ruffle the plumage of a fowl or a bird of your fioea,' Hazard said, caressing his broad shoulder Then he went to the part of the shop where Bowen was at work, and had a few words more with the carpenter, while Max took his leave. CHAPTER XII. Bot Hazard was so occunied with the political meeting that ho failed to remember the promised visit to his old acquaintances until ratber late in the afternoon, when he met Max in the street, as he was on his way to the telegraph office. * 3*11 come jn half an hour,' he said to him, and he bought a bouquet from a fruit and flower stand close by and sent it by Max to Lottie That ' Prima's ' little heart had been in a flutter ever since she knew she was likely to see again the dark eyes whic£ had looked int » hers too often for her peace in the days when they both lived in the cheap tenement hoase in St. Louis, and when the young reporter — Irving his restless energies in various flights — had taken lessons in stage lore from her papa, the then retired actor, whose card in the newspaper read : Prof Duyck, instructor in ShaKspere and Histrionic Art ' The professor thoo ht it only a professional license to introduce the ' y ' into his name in eucK connection; Besides, it might ward off the malicious suggestion of * quack,' which had often wounded his spirit, the sngerestiveness of name being further ac centuated by his appearance — his short, plump body and duck-legs. Lottie, in her new blue dress, with her hair arranged as Hazard used to like it, had flitted nervously all day about the three rooms occupied by the company at the Rock Spring Hotel. She caught up her guitar, threw its blue ribbon over her white neck, and sang to it a snatch of the son-r that had been his favorite — the last she had sung tor him oh the evening he left her to seek his fortune, first in New Orleans, afterwards in Wnllport. Ah, that last evening ! Lottie's heart swelled under her blue bodice, as she recalled xhe tender nothings he had

murmured as they sat, touching each other, on the balcony. The surroundings were anything but romantic, yet transfigured by Lottie's semimental fancy, they seemed eo. There was moon — never mind that it shone on brick nails 'and dingy roofs instead of groves and honeysuckle bowers A cat squalled on an adjacent sberi and the pro fessor snored as he lay on the loange in the inner room, but the sounds had a nightingale melody to Lottie, so full of romance was her foolish little heart She recalled it ail as the sat with the guitar ribbon round her neck, looking at herself in the dressing-case I mirror to see if the throe years that had I passed since then had traced any lines on her peach-bloom sun. Kildee, sitting on a low chair and rocking softly as she sewed, looked at her and wondered what she was thin -ing of- But Kildee was practical. * Bring me your kid slippers, dear, and let me whiten them up a bit,' she said, presently. ' I hare finished sewing this gilt braid on Erank's jacket. Naughty boy, to be always ripping it off.' ' G-us did it with his clumsy sword -thrusts in that fencing scene,' complained the boy, who was lolling on a lounge near by, yawn in r over his jjart for the evening. * G-us will punch my eyes out some day, and then

father will be satis ^ed he can never play at swords.' ^Mother Duck — bog pardon, Madame Ducciole — with her ample proportions buried in an arm-chair, fanned her plump heated cheeks and read a novel. Presently she looked up : ' Dear, dear, 1 forgot that awful grease spot on my purple silk where I dropped the sausage when professor told' me it was my time to go on the stage. Professor is so impetuous. He rnsliei behind the scenes anJ grabbed my arm, just as 1 had the sausage between my teeth. I really wish he wasn't so nervous, but he says it's the way with genius ; and now 1 shall have to j near it, grease and all, in the banquet scene ! to-night.' . ' I look the grease out with a not iron last night, Aunt Polly,' said. Kildee, without: looking up from the spiled slipper she was renovating by rubbing it with an . enamel ] card.*. ' ' :. j: . ':-.':-: \/.. y ,.'... ,,-.-.. -. .-.?';.,;;??/.] ; * Tnanks- child j but, i^ee^y^'fci^t again. ' Xou called ine Aunt Polly, fjfb* *

fessor doesn't like it. Remember to say Aunt Marianne.' ' I'll try,' said the girl, smiling ; * but Poll v euits you best, auntie. It's sweet and jolly and motherly — like you ' ' Kildee, I wish you'd see ii I know my lines,' said Frank, rising from the lounge acd lazily approaching, book in hand ' Kiidee, honey,' said the professor, comma: in from the next room with las \.iga«ry, * it's six o'clock — soon time for me to be at tbe hall again ; ani I've got a splitting headache, what with worrying over fixing that stage and listening to the hammering and trying to drill those stupid supei 1 do wish, child, you'd make me a decent cap of tea. The slops they have here makes me sick.' ' PcUy, put the Irettle on, and let'e have tea.' sung Frank, pulling one of Kildee's curls She got up and put the renovated slippers into a big basket containing costumes, etc , that was presently to be carried down to the scene of the performance Then she opened a talL narro* box — originally Mother Duck's bonnet box — and took out of it a small oil stove, a package of good tea and a little metal pot Fran* lighted the stove-lamp, and in a little while the pot was in place over.the fire. While waiting for it to boil, Kildee took Frank into a c -rner and heard him recite his lines, prompting and suggest ing in a low tone, so as not to excite the professor's attention Frank declared it put him 'out of sorts ' to have his father correct him in bis loud, pompous fashion ' You are a good girl, and I love you better than Lottie,' said the tall handsume young fellow, giving her his favorite caress — a pull at one of tae short, nut-brown curls on her neck. Max saw it as he opened the door, and winced a Uttle ; then abused him self mentally, as he had done every day since he made the discovery that jealousy was beginning to be mixed with what he told himseif was the half-brotherly, half-paternal love he felt for Kiidee (to be continued.)

Aehfisld Fran Brigade. — A meeting of tbe members and the committee of the abore brigade was held in the orderly-room, Liverpool-road, Aefa Beld, oa Friday evening. Tbe meeting was called to consider the financial position of the brigade. Alderman J. W. Mortley presided. There were %\eo present the Major (Alderman Deam), Alder men Elliott, Dougan, Whitney, Messrs. G. Dow Ling, Mare ball, and Captain Sn^lson of the Peter sham brigade. From the report read by the treasurer it appears that the liabilities of the brigade amount to -£130 7s 6d sad tfae assets £25 19s lOd, leaving a debt balance of £104 7s 8d. Tbe outcome of the discussion that too* place was that a committee was formed to make an active canvass of the district;. It waS pointed oat that unless subscriptions were forthcoming it would be impossible for the brigade to keep afloat. The fire station is completed and the m*n are fully equipped and waifeungfor the arrival of the engine, which is expected in a wees or so. ?? EvEKTTHiif&s at You.' — Ayoung man from the south is at pr-sent spending a season with some friends near Botany. On Thursday night last he returned from the city by the tram, arriv ing at Botany about 12 p.m. It is quite half & mile from the tramline to his residence, and the track lies through a forest; of stunted trees. When about half way home, he suddenly came upon a couple of oight birds of the larrikin type, one of whom, springing surprisnlly to his teet, asked his companion, 'What's this?' which the newcomer replied to with ** Good night,' and pursued his way, but immediately found he was being followed, and such remarks as ' What sort ota ? affair is itP' 'We'd better see the gentleman home,' &c, becoming too much for him, turned and inquired what they wanted. 'Anything you ? ? well like/' said one, whereupon the country lad drew fortti what glittered in the starlight very suspiciously like the barrel of a pocket-pistol, bat was in reality notkin? more terrible than the nickel-plated end of aa 'eagle automatic' pencil, and levelling it at the other's head, said, 'All right. Everythi&gB at you', for a start.' The ruse was eminently successful, and in less than a twinklimg the fellows had dodged behind some neighboring shrubs, and scampered off, evidently no longer anxious to ' see the gentleman home,' or curious to discover what sort of an affair it was. Should they read this, let them be assured that the next time they accost the same individual he will receive them with a weapon charged with a kind of lead not usually carried by literary men. Viola Glee Club. — The members of this club met at Bainford's Cambridge Club Hotel, on Friday, and inaugurated their first smoke con cert. There was a good attendance present, and the greatest enthusiasm and harmony prevailed amongst the persons who comprised it. An ex cellent bill was provided, in which some well known amateurs figured. The glees given by the members of the club, were even and harmonious. The instrumental music, by Messrs. E. and N. J. Gehde, was of a high order. The popular young reciter, Hr. D G. Clyne, had plenty of scope for his fine declaaiatory powers in a couple of recitations, entitled ' The Dandy Fifths ' and 'The Women of Mumbles Head.' They were rendered with, taste and intelligence. Sentimental songs, comic sonic, and comic recitations, well performed, made up a programme that was highly satisfactory to everybody. BeDFX&N LrXBBABT AND DEBATING- SoCIETT. ? Tbe weekly general meeting of the above BOciety was '.eld on' Wednesday evening last, Mr. T. M. Williamson, president,- in the chair. It was notified that youths under 17 would be admitted to membership, as well as having me of the library for a fee of 2s 6d per annum. There was a good attendance, and the debate as to whether members of Parliament should be paid or not was resumed. An animated discussion ensued, and after the opener of the debate in the negative had replied, the negative proposition was carried on division »y a considerable majority. Mr. JEL ai'Laehlaa. the opener of the debate, then pro ceeded to form a ministry, selecting as bis col leagues Messrs. J. Beveridge and W. Allen. Ssouxab Mxttuaii Impbovejlent. — The weekly meeting »f the Secnlar Mutual Improvement Society was held on Wednesday, 26th instant, at Tattersall'e Hall, Castlereagh-Btreet. The busi ness of the evening was the monthly sitting of the mock parliament to continue the debate upon the bill, 'The Nationalisation of Posthumous Wealth,' introduced by the premier, J. G. Bose. Mr. Graham occupied the chair as speaker. The 10th clause was discussed, -being strongly opposed by Messrs. Eastan, Flowers, Tye, and Wood, and supported by Messrs. Black, Bose, Smith. Upon being put to the vote it was defeated. A vote of censure was passed upon the premier, and the ministry then resigned. Mr. Black was called upon to form anew ministry, and will at the next sitting bring forward tbe subject, ''That at the present time it is nnadvisable to extend the sufficage to woman.' ' : AiBCBT, FridftT-— The newly-formed syndicate naving expressed a desire to teat the stone from the Mayday reef at Black Bsa«8, on Monday Messrs. Pye :and Wealaoda, proprietors jof the mine, pco oeaded to Nardenfiriih one ton of quartz to be treated at the 0aniun«^w«rk8. They retunied this iaqra ingwitiiajie') of 802 12dwt4gr of free goidJrbin the ton^ The 4ailisffs lava -not yet been fsmtoa, Tho svndioate should now be «atlBfiedth»t the Black Eaffljexeeto ^* btm»fideprop«rty. The last load