Chapter 108116238

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Chapter NumberXXIX.
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108116238
Full Date1888-10-20
Page Number7
Corrections0
Word Count3440
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

. - . 7. 5 ? J| Mystery of tb© R^cl Bots§

A2* 4MIB^AN ^R? ef ^EgUs

Br Mae? E. Bar^s.

(Commenced in the Evening News of 8ep? tember 2QJ ohafFeiTsxix.

A clo-e, cloudy night. Flashes of light; nins- in the eaat pprteiid rain, perhaps sorm. Kildee's patient had just dropped to sleep — refreshed, by the cool water in which the little nurse had just bathed her hands and face The grey head and sallow face rest

on the. cotton pillow, and the sickly liigas lainp shows that even iu sleep the worn n's i'eatu-es are reslless. The brows contract, the lips twitch ; sometimes a muttered w rd escapes them. There is a look of hardness Ion she mouth, bus. othrr lines, expressive of suffering, soften the bitter expression with their pathetie suggestion of poverty and struggle. The woman is known in the factory quartsi- as ' cross old Nell Barne? ' She i* cordially disliked br her ieliovv- workers, and the runio:-s of her ill-temper have deterred

for pay. During the ctays Kildea has been nursing her the men nnd women occupants of the Factory Tenement House would occasionally stop at the door and inquire how the 'old woman ' was doinr, and if ehe ' grt into her tantrums last night/ or, luokiug commiseratingly at .Kildee, say, 'rather :t.vas you lhan me that had to 'lend her,' or 'how do you manage to get on with that old cat ?' ? : A 2. i_?-_A _IJ T»T-'M 7 ? 3 .T— 17 ? 'IT ? J. ? -? - 3 1 ?

at. ut&x, oia. xsen nau. xuiiy musiraieu. uer repu aiion ior crossness, but as she lay during an easy interval, she began to loos. at the girl standing at the foot ot the bed cooling the soup for the sick woman. 'Put the soap d «wii to cool itself and you cjme here,' she said. Kisdee obeyed her, and she began to question her about her parentage, her early life, and her history generally. As Kildee replied, the fever-red on the woman's cheek began to deepen, and her eves ;o burn with

excitement. Her lips trembled ; she made KiUe? come close to her ; she peered at. her tmtil the girl telt a. tiarili of terror at the proximity of those deep-set burning eyes Teen she pushed her from her and lay Cluttering to heres f. ' Yes, 1 can make it right — if I will ; — I won't. Not now. Time enough But, poor little thing, she wasn't to blame,' Eil dee heard her say m broken sentences, and thought ehe was again out of her head.

Bet after this incident ' Old Nell ' was almost i-eutle io her nurse, and seemed really to try, to crb her ill teuper She had been very restless all day, and K'.ldee fancied her worse. The girl sat very stiii, glad lo have her patient sleep, and looked down into the black, gulf-like dark ness, ihrouyh which, shone mistily the gas Btars of the city. She heard steps in the hall, a soft knock upon the door. She knew bo:h step and knock, and vlie light of pleas

tire came in So her eyes as she rose quickly and softiy opened the door. Heatheiitf's tall iigure stood outside in the GeHii-darkness ' Will you not come in, sir ?' she asked ' Nomy child I only called by to biing some more nine for Mrs Barnes and to tell jo-i not to sic up late. Mis. Belts, whose room is just across the hall, promises to re lieve your watch to-night. You must go into her room ard sleep.' He put a basket in her band. She could see fruit and bottles of wine under the cover. On tiie lop lap a new magazine and a bunch

of sweei violets. ' For you/ he saicL seeing her eyes rest upon these. ? ' For me ? Oh I thank you. How did you know i was wishing so for some violets? I fancied when I opened the door, that you had brought the odours of Araby with you. But 1 caught a gleam of red ; 1 thought it; was roses.' , ' Little Keen Eyes ! Yes, the roses are here — a ptnecfc pyramid of them, but you are only to have a peep It is to reward soms of the singers at the concert to-night. They sin,* for the relief of the sick poor of our town, and it is my duty and pleasure to

6h jw tiiat i appreciaie tli9 yood de9d But I you must have one rose.' * 2so, no, it would spoil the arrangement of the iiowers How iovely the? are i I have leasted my eyes and nose there ! I am going away from temptation. I hear Mrs. Barnes stirring. Goou-night, sir, and thank you again ' ' Goo.' -night, child !' he said, softly. Ha stood a moment af ier she had left him, look ing at the little head witb its dark delicate tendrils cf hair, bending over the sallow, bony face en tue pillow. ' God b;ess her !' be said as he turned away, ' i wasn't asleep just now/ the woman 6aid to Kildee.' ' I knew Heathcliff's voice and 1 heard what he said about the charity concert and the Sowers, f knr»w whn ha -Jo

going to j;ive them to She's kin of mine, — - iliat proud, -high steppin' beau.y, though they'd never o-vn it; without biuehin', -and small good the knushiys ever done me Ye$ the fine rases are for Honor Montcalm They Bay he's ^oin^ to marry her ; she's not good enough lor him, but she's got the Montcalm beauty that men go crazy over, and she's got the Moatealm pride— her full share. Good mercy, how my throat burns .' Give me

some coot water, i ou call that cool water ? I'm a good mind to throw it in your fac/sl Ah ! that crushed ice is good. Don't mind me child. [jL'm across ola bag, theycaUme. I hope you're not going to leave me io-nijtitl l*m afraid 1 shall have one of my turps about mid-night,' When she was quiet again, Eildee wen£ bacfe tj her seat fey/the window ^d watchc^ the play of the lightning among |ke ^loddr crags revealed bV its fiashea— watching i]b mech nica;Iy af ier awhile for her ' faf' presently caught a strain of distant music, borne from the opera house where the con

cert -was going on Eiidee's eyes filled with tears, her thoughts went back to the happy nighig with her ' f nends-rHthe Dnccifjlp Tro.ipe, Max, Loi^ieT^ihe fasciaatipn pf the play, apd what thrilling pleasure ir was to do her part well and h%ve the audience clap, and ilax ca]tch her b$nds when the curtaiji dropped, and the papa profesBor embrace her in his fat. arms and teU her «he was a credit to her teacher ,, . .'*' . \ , ;: : . * Where are they sow-? ,3 2 only knew meant to desert m© ; They did aot know where I waa, i^ir ^tterfl^^iaev^r;;per

aU#j tg reach st, and miua Wenj nerep seat/ . ' ? ? A loader strain or music tamed her thoughts to th^ ceueepfc agaia, and she. pietured t« heps«if fhe brilh*ant aearve Th» light, ihe tiewsra, fehg crowded kaU,t,he tall fair singer — Miss Mostcaim lifting with her white arms the bouquet of roses, and bend iag her proud head ia acknowledgment of her lover's gift. Her lover. Ho w strange to fancy Mayor Heathclig *i loverl Sp calpi, so gravely ki::d, she had never imagined him paying lover-like attentions, whispering

tender flatteries. How could be give so much time to sick and poor people and forlorn girls like her, when there -vere beauti;ui women always ready to welcome him, and fill his leisure hours with music and accomplished talk ? Even Kildge's fancy did not shape Honor Montcalm a3 fair as she stood that night singing a duel iroin a popular opera, with a sliui young tenor who flushed and tbrilJed at the fervour of her tones as though the warmrh were meant for him, when in truth she forgot his presence in the passion of her theme, and suni; for one man iu the crowded audience, whose grand head rose above all others, and whose giey e.ea, ordinarily so

c sol, were luminous with tenderness when they rested upon her. It was an inspired hour for Honor. Her theme was heroic. It suited her — suited her nobis face, her majestic shape. She sang with all her s juI. Gone we.^e the suspicions which haJ haunted her since Hazard whispered his warning. In their place was perfect trust and pr^ud devotion for the man she had chosen as her King. What a look eha flashed upon him as she bent her

head and received in her bare beautiful arzns the pyramid of fragrant blooms of which Kildee had had a glimpse ! He reserved though Gne cluster of perfect roses and a beautiful Nile lily. He held these. still in his hand. They too were ior her, she felt sure He knew the mystic scroll lily was her favorite flower. He would put it and the roses in her hand when he placed her in the carriage and murmur his few words of praise, 'You did well, isy dear Honor.' Such was brief praise but it .was more to her than all the iiowery compliments of others, ju3t because it was true. He was truth itself This was ber last part in the concert. There was yet a comic scene the ' Barber of Seville ' to wind up with- She went to tl-e dressing-room and put her flowers in water, stood awhile in a reverie by the window, and then went in to one of the passes between ihe scenes and listened to the singing on the stage Someone behind her called her name in low, ea^er tone3 Sbe turned around and caw Hazard Hall, his dark face full of excitement ' You said you would believe if yoa saw with your own ev©3. You shall see to-night — now if you will go witb me.' 1 Do you mean about Mr. Heathcliff ? He is there among the audience.' * He Is not thera He went away the moment you left the stage. He has jrone to the Eed House. She i= waiting for him. Come and von shall be convinced.'

She loo-eu at him without speaking. Swift changes swept over her f&ce, pale with haughty, incredulous l'esentments, spasmed with jealous fear, 'eager with a desire to know all. This last motive conquered pride, and sbe said with low, guar ed utterance : ? I will go ; wait for me here/ She turned back into the dressing-room and found a dark, long wrap which she threw over her lovely dress and bare arm.3, and drew the hood of it over her head. Then she went back to Hazard. The others who were not now singing had gone up nearer the stage to see and hear she clever rendering of the bit from ' 11 Bar biere.' So those two passed out unnotice 1

through the greearoom door, and down the private staircase. A cab waited for the:n near the sidewalk. Hazard put Miss Mont calm in it and entered after her ; and the carriage moved swiftlr away The driver had received hia orders beforehand, Only oce did Hazard speak during the drive ; then it was to reassure Honor. He cosld hear the excited beating of her bearr, as ehe sat beside him She said nothing in return, but when the car.ia/e stopped from a signal from Hazard, and heassi-ted her to alight before a house which loomed up, a shadowy, rayiess mass, she turned to him and demanded to know where he was taking her

* We are going into this -house/ he answered. 'It is a vacant building which 1 was obliged to re at for the furtherance of the detective operations your father en trusted me with. A window in one o£ the upper back rooms gives a view of what is happening in an apartment in the Red House, which stands next to it with fence and trees between.' ' And you wish me to look into the window of that room V I will not. It is dishonour able/ * Then you can never have proof of Heatheliff's treachery, I see that you are afraid of the truth . You wish to hug the

falsehood to your heart — :to yo to the altar blinded and deceived. Very well.' With, a low4 laugh of contempt, he turned from' hen, but turned back again and laid a firm grasp on her arm : ' You shall go is/ he said. ' I have sent away the carriage not tj return for half an hour. I am going in the house and yon must go with me. You have promised and 1 will not be trifled with ' He spoke in undertones, but with the stern determination which carries a woman's will with it- She let him draw her hand

under nis arm ana ieaa £er tnrougn tnegate, which he noiselessly unlocked, up theshasj steps into the unli^fated hail _ ' it was as dark as , an underground vault, but Honor no logger hesi; ated or-^uesttoned. Her conductor^ struck » match and lighted a lantern which be took from the wall By iis dim Rumination, they njade their way upstair3 i*nd to the entrance of the last room on one side of the hall HereHaaard shnt the door of the lanfeni %nd bb| it -m t^e hall flo.br saying :'-- ?'V,1' ? * l^e must have no light. It would put them, on their guard I/efc me have your

.hand/ . ? ? - :.?.;?; c^/r-O,-] He felt her hand tremble an^ draw bacl?, but only 'for tin instant. 'SheaUow^him. ^a lead her into ; the ; dark, ^Su. i«om ;s ^pS;: gqvie Iher ^o ia -svindotv, '--''S.e ^fpjKly^^in^tt^^v the shutters and pushed them open S}ie i^okie4'':*Q'ittfii:::-aerosa ^':the' ^^ b'^lc-^p^e; ^w^h in^ryf'nji ? ^etifr^n the. ioug es —% '-^^Jl\^ vista with 4«skf treeT boughs below snd on either ?$ ide. ?? ^he bop^ i^as^ ? 'a-'-^aaaaSB^^o^ shadow^ JB^ve t^^ yealed inade?^ colourful picture ^pixn the.

of tinted wall on which huns a long mirror In front oi this was a small stand, holding a vase of ferns, and beside it a chair oi! red and pale-yellow wicker-work. Such was this picture comprised within tha lighted, square A still picture ; nothing moiejd, not even a irond of the traeeful ferns -Tne two at the window watched and waited, silent, almost breaihLss in the darkness, their eyes iised on the illuminated

space, as thongh it- were a magic mirror that should presently reve ;1 their destinies. Hazard s snspense was^alnnost as tortnrin* as that Gf the vromau at his side. He had risked his hopeB on this scheme o£ bringing her here to witness her lover's unfaitblul ness. If nothing came of it, he would have concurred her contemptuous anger and dis belief evermore, and he would have Io3t perhaps liis last opportnnity of identifying the mysterious young woman of the tied House with the fugitive Laura Montcalm. Half an hour ag - ts he watched in his old defceefciv« -nlaee ke had Been this Snhins of

the Red House come to tha window of the boudoir and throw open the blinds, as though tired cf her sultry prison The room was dimly IighteJ, apparently by a lamp in the a {joining (inner) room. He could see her fign re— dressed in some light rich fabric, but could not distinguish her featuers at all plainly. Th9 shadowy outline, however, confirmed him in the impression that ihe

was beauliinl. i-rom her dress ana restless movements, he conjectured she was esppct in -i some one. He hurried to the opera- house where he knew he should fiud Hea'hcliff. As he reaehed the theatre entrance he saw Heatlicliff come out with some flowers ia his hand, enter his carriage and drive off in the direction of the Eed Rouse. ' He has gone to visit his pet bird in her caie/ was the young man's swift conclusion. He made bis wa? behind toe scenes — Jiis connection with the press giving him the entree — and proceeded lo fin 1 Heiior and announce that she coald now satisfy herself

of her lover's infidelity. Bet he had done this at & venture If sbe shonld see no one, he would lose all. And ior a time no one wa3 to bs seen. Suddenly the lifeless, aspect of the picture across the way was broken. A woman moved into the dimly-lighted space and stopped bsside the vase of ferns- Her face was iurned from the window, but there wss a lithe, symme:ric chape robed in blue, a gleam of burnished hair io«r on a graceful necu, a hand with shapely arm, bare to the.

elbow, holcimg out (Honor knew them at once) the Nile lily and creamy roses that Heathcliif had taken from the bouquet he sent her after singing. The white hand parted the fern leaves in the vase and placed the tall Nile lily among them ; then the roses all but one. She kept this in her hand, holding np the foam-tinted mirror, her face still invisible eave for one check, sht) put the rose in her hair, and slightly turning, bowed as though in ac knowledgment of praise from some invisible

person. All at once her head drooped. Sho took ihe flower from her hair; she sd.uk inio the chair and buried her face in her arms crossed on the flower-stand before her. Miss Montcalm was surely somewhat pre pared for what followed ; yet a shock that was felt by Hazard, sitting so near her, went through her frame as a tall form — Ira Henthclift's — stepped into the lighted space. He caine and stood beside the blue-robed* figure He beat down and stroked the bowed gnlden head The light on his lace showed his grave features softened by

tenderness. Presently tae lady stood up, lifting her face to meet his look ; she pat one of her arms aroucd his neck and dropped her head on his bieast. He stood a moment with his arms around her, and his bead bent to hers, then he gently put her a little from him. and holding her hand moved away, out of the lighted space. Honor had not spoken or stirred while this drama went on before her eyes- She did not move now. She sat with her eyes still fixed on the spot which the two forms

had occupied. SSoon there carna a dash of the long threatened rain, and a man's arm and hand were sesn closing the blinds of the window over the way. Tiie building was now one unrelieved, riimbjwdefined .ma s The rain was spattering into, the faces of Hazard and Miss Montcalm ; still ehe did not mp vp lEe touched .her hand to draw her away; the hand was colder than the rain. He became suddenly anxious Had she fainted ? He could not see in the darkness. He leaned over her and grasped her shoulder

; Miss Montclam ! Honor— . She shook off his hand and rose to her feet at once. ' Let us go/ site said Her low con strained tones did not deceive him. He knew she was trembling ia every limb, and when they came out into the hall, and he opened the lantern, letting the light flash over her face, she was so pale that he said 0tekly ? '-.. ?'..';. J ? ,':.'? ?? - *Forg|yo/me Cpr making you. eugerso I thoa^ht it was best you should know/

J3he drew away the hand that he had «ei»ed.; ?.?'-.???';?????,?'? '?[-'?..' -. V ??.?'.??? '.''?:? ?.-.-.. .-- ? * 1| is b^s^' jb he said eoldly. * Say no mpje- rtaj^^ mie Jtome ^ jyau please* . ./ :: ?;. ~-'*fo&:wv$*.-JBLa. fiajd. 1J, had ^Aq^ble jgtir^Qse in bringing jf#u heie - That woman ^jlhej'-iwas '^to1|inple'8i;'w.l|a- ^She-waa. Laura ^M^^^^;!w^Ship',»oijt-i;'' .,'.?.-..'??. ,. . ?/.??-?;. :'_.?;?;,. ;: \, t'^*M^^^on0^m:h ^:V:'; ::? ?'?': ^' \.y- ';:?-? , -,:? [ :-^0^^^^^^^-^ip^'.i^e;'y^e»- drawing' iw^iid;;3biBjty^4! -^ ti^1i^'0te ; fioOT^'^ pie ^toodther^iaherwhiierobes^sear^whit^ vi;*:lf^;^»a!iy«sb^i''!fh4^*T-iS^ lifter feeata^^M*S|mNfl' ^ 1