Chapter 108111512

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Chapter NumberLIII.
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108111512
Full Date1888-11-23
Page Number7
Corrections0
Word Count2199
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 Bled House

US AMEBICA2T sioRY OP THEII* UNG INTEREST.

? Bt Mart E. Bbtau.

{OoWTnencetE «» tfie Evening Isews of Sep' tember 20 J C&Al?TE£ LIIL (Continued.)

I She Scarcely heard him She ?v^aswatch- ? ing the doctor's face, as he raised the uncon ? FcionB head from her shoulder, looked at the I ^rould-bfi suicide^ felt the pulse in his -wrist, I then put his hand over Hazard's heart.

? Now I will ralieve yon.,' he said to Jjottie. * Turn that rein orer to me and get up, my child. Yon are a brave little girl Ton did just -vrfcat 'was needed.' ? Bjit — was it done in time ?' Lottie faltered; ? Yes — oh, yes 1 He has lost a good deal of blood, he will be quite weak for a few days, but he trill soon come around ' Lottie wanted badly to err, but she choked hack the hysterical inclination acd gave her attention to attending Dr. Blye. The half severed vein was soon skilfully united and bandaged. While this was being done Hazard recovered consciousness. He recog nised the surgeon ; he saw the blood, the bandaged arm and comprehended that he had been saved from the consequences of his own desperate act. ' Why did you taKe this trouble, doctor ?' he asked. * It would have been much better

to let me die. j ' Humph !' growled the old surgeon. ^That's a grateful return for a man's get ting out of his bed to look after you such a night as this ; a Still poorer return for a nice young lady saving your life at the cost of a deuce oil a cold and a pretty frock spoiled for good/ * A young lady ! Bid Honor — Oh, no ; it could be none but Lottie Did 1 dream it ?— --r did I see her kneeling by me?' 'You didn't dream -it — luckily for you. | See was kneeling by you, sure enough, in a puddle of blood, bolJing back the life you had done. your foolish best to let out. As I eaid, ther pretty gown is spoiled, snd she is booked for a sore throat.' * Never mind ihe dress or the throat, Hazard,* said -Lottie coming to the side of the bed on which they had kelped the b jy ' I'm too glad to see yon alive to think of anything else.* She was laughing and blushing through her tears. She put her hand into the one that was feebly strer/ehed out to her and be carried it to Ins lips. 1 Doctor, he is quite cold ; ought he nGt to have a stimulanfe ?' she asked. * I was auo^t, to give him a little brandy. He's got too raaih oE this sort or stimulant in his systeT.a already however. A bottle of hoi- wale*?/ to his feet, a tew montMuls of some light, nourishment and a good sleep — that's what he needs ' Lp;ti'a turned about and took a hurried inventory of the room's possibilities in the way c»f wood and fool- Dame Kubbard's traditionary cupboard was hardly more bare of e&tables. A can of condense i milk more than half emnly on a shelf was all that she discovered. And it was past midnight and raining hard. She looked at the cold, rusty little warming stove in the corner and said to Fred -

I - £Lak.« a fire, quick V I He -ooked ail about him carefully, gaw I : neither/ coal nor wood, and said : I ' Show me how to make something out of I nothing, and I will.'' I * I-tm't make difficulties, dear.' returned I his sister. ' Here's an old cigar-box and a I .blackinfj-brush and a political pamphlet — I whefc better do yon want to start with ? — I and I stumbled over a broken chair in the I passage.' I . 'On, fertile brain of woman,' sighed I TBted, preparing to break up the cigar-box. I '1 suppose she is going to make soup out of j I a hair-pin.' I Lottie had fonnd a large-sized empty tin I can which she failed with water and set on I the stove to boil as soon as the fire was I kindled Out of her pretiy little satciiel I she took the half dozen Bosfc -n biscuits, I wrapped in a white napkin, which she had \ I meant to eat after the play with a glass of I sherc? contained m a lutle cut glas3 bottle I that had once held a heliotrope perfume I She would fill the can that held the remnant I . of condensed milk with hot water give it a I dash of sherry, pour it over the Boston I biscuit and serve hot. it wa3 the best she could do. Soon the vessel on the stove was bubbling She tilled sn empty bottle slie had found with .net water and gave it to 1'red to put to her patient's feet while she prepared the toast. When she brought it to his bed steaming, she saw his eres kindle, and she felt, With a pang, that he must have bsea suffering for lack of food. He ate with a relish it did her gcod to see ; then he la y back on the pillow ; she covered him as well as she could ; the hot bottle at his feet ?was comforting ; and in a few minutes he was asleep, ' ? Lottie' sat and watched by him. The doctor said good-niefht ; Fred fell asleep in his chair ; the music of the ball ceased ; the rattle of vehicles in tb.e muddy street and the dull monotone of t'ue rain were the only sounds from without. Lottie eat and looked, yearningly at the fate on the pillow. * P6or white haggard face/ thought the girl, ' How he must have suffered ! Sid that Montcalm. woman break his heart, i. wonder. Proud minx ! He is good enough for her or any other lady in the land — hand- some, bright fellow that lie is. 1 hate her for treating htm so. It's just as though Bhe had treated .Fred or Charlie badly. 1 care for Hazard alaios^ as I do for one of our toys.

She knew in her heart that she cared more for him tnan for her brothers, fond as' she was of them. She feew she loved the boy she /watehed eo tenderly .through this long i%ht with that half -passionate, hatf xnatemal tenderness and pity which a -wp'ma%i.) can fbel for a man she does not wholly: iespeiCft-^a strong yearning impulse which sc*me*imes; saves its dbject and sometimes ?wrecks the womfts. ?*-?/ The sun was shining into the uncurtained ?Window when Hazard opened bis eyA upon the face of his little ntrse They were alone . Lottie had awakened Fred and sent him on a Variety 'df errands Pirst. to let I Papa and Mamma Duck know' -^hat had I become *-£ .their missing duckling. Thfey I tfete, ndldoubt, uneasr ; bat then they had I ..confidence in Lottie and in her capability I : totakecareof iiereelfi Then Fred was to I ordei- a delicious breakfast— -icofiee, oysters, I eggs^ and broiled chickeny-to Se sent to

Hazard's room ; also, a good ntufte and ja I servant to clean lap ; lastly, n vatriago to ! take Lottie back to the MarsftalL House, where she would undress, drink a hot ssnger, cuddle up in bed and be svs fresh for the matinee as though she had not watched all ni^ht over a would-be suicide and had her little heart torn with pity for him. When he cpsned his eyes and saw her pale thoughtful little face (ready though, to 6mi!e on him the izvstant their looks met). he Said remorsefully ; 1 Oh, Lottie, yGu here still ! You have not slept at all. What a wretch I am to subject you to all this ! I am not worth it, Lottie. I don't deserve anything ' ' Very Hkely How many of us do deserve anything ? But now let me bathe your face ; your breakfast will be here soon ' ' What an angel of goodness and charity you are ! It's just charitable pity makes you come to .look after me,' Hazard said, with a twinge of his old proud repugnance to fity. * Of course it is. I am ench a famous Lady Samaritan. Now sir, you know it's not pity or charity that makes me come to look after yoa. It's just a motherly solici tude, It's a maternal weakness to care ior wayward children ' ' But you don't know how bad it is with me Lottie lam at the foot of the ladjer. 1 can never rise any more. I have lost everything — Erieads, and place and reputa tion, ho re and talent, if I ever had talent, which is doubtful.' * You. are an ungrateful boy to say so j You know you have talent — yes penius..

Don i siialre jour head, papa says so, and yorrll sot deny that hs is a good judge As for your fall to the bottom of the ladder; why, it will do you good. lou had mounted too fast ; your head was giddf . The fall Trill bring you back to your good senses. It will shake the self-conceit ont of you, and bring the manliness to the surface. Oh, it's all ri^ht. ' -7ever can rise ajain — hope all gone !' Don't- let mo hear such whining from you any more Go back to your early teachings sir. Don't shame the curly-headed boy that used to spout from Festus,

* ' Rouse thee, Heart; ! Bow of my life, thou yet axe full of spring, Thy quiver bath yet many purposes.' ' Lof.ie jumped up, threw out her pretty, bare, 'jewelled, arm frcm the Mother Hub bard-lookin^ wrap, and gave the Hues in j capital imitation of Hazard's boyish orator j. He was obliged to smile but the next moment he said, drearily : * j ' It's all well esougb in theory, bet I'd ! iust like t ? know how it is possible for me j to rise without any lever of lucre or energy, j I've gone now and drained myself of what j li:tle strength I had What am 1 to do ? I Xo, Lottie you ouiht to have let me com plete last night's business.' j ' I'll give you a trial. If you disappoint me, why then you can make another attempt at your last night's performance. 'What are' you to do ? Why in the first place, you are to lie right here and gtt bae'e your strength through good food and r^ood nursing. You shall have both, and you are not io worry yourself about the how of the matter.' ' Which means I am to content myself with letting a woman pay tor it out of her earnings. I'.l not do it; I'll be hanged ' Hush, i£ you please. Just wait;. I am not- going, to give you anvhthing out of mj

pocket. It's just an advance on your pay as second leading man in our troupe. That place ie vacant, and papa wants you to fill it. He always said you were a born actor — and could beat Booth if you would. So you are to join us in a week. You'll be all right by that time. . And now nor another word. Be quiet and rest until yoor breai fast comes ' He obeyed, thanking her with a look and a kis3 upon her little hand. He fceid the hand to hi3 iipa and lay slient. He was undergoing a transition. He saw, as in a dream, all his adventurous hopes go down in eternal shipwreck — his aspirations for literary fame, tor poli'.ical distinction, for wealth, Honor's proud f ace — all disappear ing — gone — all but one little faithful hand to which he clung, one love that had been his through all slights and coldness and change. Cci,ld he choose but love her ? He had swora once he would love her always. Had he ever reallf changed ? He opened his beautiful, sorrowful eyes, and fastened them on the little actress. ' Lottie, there's one chance for me. I can rise if I have one thin? to hold to — you. Lottie, will you love me and take me, un worthy as I am, and help me to make a man of myself ?' She leaned over and kissed his lips. ' I accept the trust,' she said. She remained an instant leaning over him, looking at him with her tender, yearn ing, tsar-filled eyes. Then her quick ear caught the sound of footsteps. She stood up and dashed the drops iron? her brown lashes. ' Here comes your breakfast/ she eried, cheerily. (TO BE CONnNUZD;)