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Chapter NumberXXIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1888-10-15
Page Number7
Word Count2288
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 Bed House


? Br Maet E. Brtait.

(Commenced in the Evening News of Sep tember 20.) OTTAPTRR XXIV Cnnii-nveA.

I *Well,' the mayor said after a pause, ' it I etall be as you saf. I will not serve the I warrant upon Sir. Carleon, though he has I by his ovrn confession been guilty of vio. I lence and. fraud. But the magistrate who I was your accomplice, Mr. Carleon — * I ' You will not find him. And there is I tiothincr f.n show that hp. lrnew the TOlinp

I ladj tvas not conscious when he attempted I -to perform the ceremony-' I ' It is a strange affair — a dark ^iCair, ' said I Beathcliff. 'I do not feel that it is right I to let it rest, but for this young girl's sake I it is perhaps better it should not be made I pnblic. My child,' he went on, looking I down at Kildee — ' forgive me for calling I you so ; but you seem so young — in your I appeal to me you signed only the queer little I name, ' Kildee.' * I * It is all the came I have a right' to— so I far as I know. I do not know who my I parents were Call me Kildee, please.' I ' Kildee, shall we go ?' I ' Yes, sir ; I am ready.' I She r.ut on the hat Sophie had brought ? dowu Trken Gofi: had carried her luggage to ? the boat. I The masfer o£ Aphrodite did not stir frcm ? his position beside the table on vrhich he ? Lad inid the revolver. He stood, resting ? lis hand lightly on the table, his attitude I easy and self -assured. He bent his head in I acknowledgment of the mayor's cold ' good I evening1,' the shadow of a disdainful smile I touching his handsome saoath I Heathclitt and his two officials passed I out; Kildee stayed behind an instant. She I looked hesitatingly afc Carleou ; her face I flushed and paled She spoke at length, a I thread of tremor running through her | voice : I ' Good-bye, Mr. Carleon- I — I shall prav I for yon.' I The haughty composure of his face broke I up at once I ' Spare your prayers,' Le said. ' They are I useliss. The two things I crave can never I be mine — peace and — your love, But — I Kildee — can you say that you forgive me ?* I ' I can, I do. May Heaven forgive you I and send you peave.' I Jlev lips trembled, but she did not touch I his hand that he had stretched toward her. I She waved her own little hand in token of I farewell, and quitted the room, j He dropped into a seat and buried his I face in his hands Presently he heard the I sound of oars. He raised hi 3 head, listened and wenttotbewndow. Throwing open the j blind, he saw in the red, slanting light of the low sun, the boat containing his late visitors standing out from the island beach. He saw Kildee's pretty figure seated in the stern ; the little grey hat he had two days ago thought sach a perfect shade to the delicate, merry, yet earnest soulful face. His mouth worked with strong emotion, * Lost ! lost to me for ever,' he groaned. ' I might have made her love me, if I had been a man. But the brute crept out. She pities iv.e, but she would not touch my hand. I arsi loathsome to her. No wonder; I am loathsome to myself ' He started up, and dashed his clenched fist against his forehead c Fool ! Dotard I' be ey claimed, c to lev myself be so unmanned . And for what ? Becansa an ignorant puritanic girl chooses to think me a creature to be despised ? What does her opinion matter ? What does any woman's, any man's opinion matter-? A contemptible herd ! The world is wide, and I have money in plenty While it lasts I can go on buying the siniles of beauty at all they are worth, buying flatteries and followers and excitements. I can take the steamer to-morrow for the Continent. I I can go to Paris, to Vienna ; there to do j what ? The old round of feverish pleasure | seeking, only with, a heart grown older, ?wearier, bitterer ? It sickens me to think of it. And I should see that girl's eyes everywhere, with that look of loathing in them, Great God ! is there no ease, no rest ?' His ha&d fell heavily on the table as he stopped beside it in his' walk. His fingers struck against the revolver ; he seized it and put its muzzle against his temple — then he lowered it and looked down its bore. 'That drop of coM lead would quench the brain-burning,' he said. No life lives for ever. Dead men rise up never. * I believe that yet 1 have not courage to test it. ' It is cowardly to take one's own life 'said that little thrilling voice But how to live on ! how to endure this fever of , living !' I He grasped the decanter of brandy and ; poured out a full draught. He raised the i glass to his Hps , but suddenly he flung it from him, it aaainst the grate. ' I will not deaden my brain by any such coarse anodyne,' he exclaimed ; * let the ! ? devils tug at it as they may.' ^He threw himself ia;oa chair and sank his head between his hands. Hot tears fell worn his eyes. His strong nature struggled lind suffered strongly. Tbe women lie had wronged in his life, frivolous beings though. I they may have been, -were avenged through | a woman. Love lie had mocxed at, mads | aim feel its power and truth. Thus fate I Vorks out her revenges. CMAPTEE XXV. 'When they were outside the door, Heath cliff turned to the officers who had accom panied him : .' Pardon me, eentiemen,' lie said, ' for taking the lead in this. I know Carleon J'ell ; I have some little influence over him, I saw his mood at once He is in a high &late of excitement His coolness is put on. That acknowledgement of his wrong-doing Would never have been made but in the Vbite heat of excitement. I did not want *o preB3 jjjg iu\o.v . , . ? '. '

* All the same he deserves to be called to account,' said Tatem, gruffly. * Even if that girl does not appear againEt him, we have his own confession that he brought her here by fraud, confined her by force, and was on the point of tricking her into marrying him. Such lawless proceedings ought not to go unpunished.' ' That is true ; action can still be taken in the matter. My wish just now was to avoid further irritating a desperate man. Por that child's sake it would be best not to make the affair pub!ic, but justice should take its course. I believe the girl to be innocent, and investigation will not hurt her with right-feeling people.' * What the devil,' said the blunt Tantem * did tha£ fellow Carleon mean by cutting up so about th9 matter of arrest? The arrest would amount to nothing. He would give bond for his appearance a!; court, and when the trial came on his money would get him off scot-free, It always has. 'What made him bluster in that stvla about being arrested ?' ' I don't know. It is not like Carleon to bully. He is brave to recklessness, but he is no bully. It occurs to me he wanted to invite violence, that he might do some desperate act — shoot one of us and get shot, or turn his bullet against himself. He was worked up to such a rash mood by diBap. pointment, perhaps by remorse. The girl said this, you remember.' ' Carieon remorseful !' said young Lynn with a scornful laugh. ' But it is true,' said a soft voice behind them. Kildee had come out on the porch and stood there unpereeived. ' He is in a fearful state of remorse ; he talked of killing himself, but I do not think he will 1 am so glad you did not arrest him. He had put a strain on himself, and it would have given way if he had been provoked. He might have done something terrible to you or ihimself.' ' We will leave him alone for the present,' Heathcliff Baid. ' I see yon are ready, Kildee; let us go.' On the way to the beach the sound of a violin caught Kildee's ear. She looked and saw the familiar figure seated in the boac — St. Peter in his grey blouse and funny skull cap, which soms foreign sailor had given him. His long, grey locks were blowing in the wind, his vacant melancholy ejea were turned in the direction, of the house. A gleam of delight leaped into them -shen he saw Kildee. He rose up and began to nod his head and play with such animation that Zach crept out of his usual hiding place and began to caper on bis master's shoulder in enjoyment of the music, and anticipa tion tbat ifc would call forth some tangible demonstration from the listeners, such as peanuts and gingerbread. He sprang into Kildee's arms ihe moment she came near. St. Peter, hugs ing his violin with one arir caught hold of her dress and looked with wistful j^y into her face, uttering broken words, void of sense, but full of happy significance. Kildee, laughing and half crying, hugged Zach and patted St Peter's shoulder, put the unkempt locks out of his eyes and buttoned the collar of his woollen Bhirt. ' So this queer pair are friends of yours,' the mayor said ' I wondered what made the old fiddler so persistent in coining with us. There was no keeping him out of the boat ' ' He had seen me at the window when I was a prisoner in the little upper room, and he has eense where his feelings are concerned, poor dear,' said Kildes. '-You know him well, then ?* c Oh. !. he belonged to us, He was our orchestra. We were all fond of him, and he of us, but he liked me best. He must have stoleii away from them and followed me when they took me away from my friends.' ' Who are these friends?' ' They are named Duck — such, a homely name that Papa Professor — he taught Shak spere and the ballet — changed it to Ducciole when we went to travel.' ' You went out, then, as a Dramatic Company?' * It was just our family Papa and Mamma Deck — I called them co — and Lottie, their daughter, and their two sons. Yes, and a young musician and scene painter, named Max Rubin ' Kildee uttered the name in a lower tone. * We picked St. Peter up wandering in the street ; rather 1 did him a little good turn, and he followed me home and has been attached to me ever since He plays wonierf nlly upon the vie-lin; don't you think so ? and he is very good and gentle, only sometimes he gets angry and then be is a perfect lion. But I can always tame him ; he always listens to me,' Kildee added, caressing the lion's shaggy mane. *. Were those theatrical people related to you ?' 4 No, I wish they were, they are all bo good. I have no kin that I know of. A woman, who said she was my mother, had charge of me when I can first remember. She left me in a lodging house wb.en I was seven years old, and I was fonnd by a young man — the artist, Hubin — who 1 told you belonged to our troupe. He took care of me for a time, and the Ducks adopted me as their child; I have iived with them ever since, until, a few creeks ago the woman who claimed to bs my another took me away and brought me Here,' t 'And this woman was not jour mother ?' * No : Mr. Carleoa told me she ims not, just a few moments befoie yon came.' ' Then this was the Jady 1 met going out of the room as X entered — Mrs. Gonzalis. It was she who claimed to be your mother?* * Yes, yon seemed to recognise ner. You have known her before ?* e I had known her before — years before/ answered HeathcliS, his eyes clouding with jthe shadow pi memory. ''She had no daughter then. I feel sure you are not her' child.' * Oh I I always felt she was not my mother, but. I was glad to Hear it ' 'Did Carleon tell you who were your parents ?' ' No ; he seemed about to tell me some thing Mrs Gonzalis bad iold him. but she interposed und said the sfcerf -was cot true, I tbat she had deceived him ' '.' (no bs coimvcsrl I