|Newspaper Title||Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)|
|Trove Title||Mystery of the Red House: An American Story of Thrilling Interest|
Mystery of the Sed House
£B A&EEICAS' STORY OP THEIL ldNGr INTEREST.
Bt Mabt E. Bryan.
I (Commenced in the Evening News of Sep I tember 20 J I CHAPTER XLI.
? The rescue of Kildee and the subsequent I tragedy had been witnessed*by comparatively I few. The- had taken place in the alley at I tiie bade of the Roost, and the crowd were I . iu front of the building. They vrere there I absorbed in shouting, staring and making
? contused efforts to reach the third story I room in which it was known that a Iranian I being., a young girl — the prospective bride I of the mayor ~was being suffocated, roasted I alive. I The minutes that had elapsed since Eeath ? cliff bora Honor from the burning house I fcemcd hours to him— -so much suspense, ? Egouv, and i'utile action had been crowded ? jato them. I Scorched, blistered, and with sprained I instep — the result of his leap from the burn ? ing stairs — he had yet worked with des I perate ^energy But the confusion of the I crowd made them senseless Ha had dis I patched messenger after messenger to bring I the £re engines and their life-saving hook I and ladder accompaniment ; he had made ? repeated ^efforts ta reach, the already bnrn I ing windows o£ 2?To. 27, while he shouted I Kildee's name abova the noise of the fire I and the babel of voices
? When at length (after moments which H seemed an eternity) a fire-engine, followed H by ft hook and ladder truck, dashed, through H the shouting crowd, the windows of the H third story were all ablaze, i lames seemed H to fill that room to which all eyes were H directed. No face had appeared at the B -window ; a single stifled scream had been ? beard ; after that all was still. H At once the engines begati to play npon ? the windows of No. 27. Almost at tbeEame B instant tbe long-threatened rain, which the B wind had held in check — descended iu B torrents. The floods from the clouds and B the streams from the engine-pipes operated B to subdue iho fire, While it still raged, a B ladder had been adjusted to one of the B windows of the third story apartment, and B nimble firemen had ascended and made their B way into the room- They found the bed in fl a blaze ; on the floor beside it lay a woman's B form enveloped in Samea. A watersatur B ated blanket was thrown around the body, B and it was borne down to the street. There, B in the strong glare the blanket was partially B unfolded. A horrible sight was disclosed : B a blackened, hall-consumed body, the cloth B ing destroyed, the hair burned, the face raw, B literally roasted, features partly gone, nn B recognisable. But in one clinched hand B was ciasped a watch with a chain attached. B Heathclifl: knew the jewel-studded watch B which was also a case for his mother's
B picture. He had given it to Kildee only B the evening before. She had worn it for H the first time last night H He groaned and covered his face, He H tad not. needed this confirmation He knew BJ before that this ghastly object found by the BF bed of Nell Barnes could be no other than B the remains of the' beautiful, spiritueile girl Bj wLo v/as to have been his bride on the morn. H ing whose dawn was now at hand. None H but Kildee had known of the es-factory BJ girl's presence in Nell Barnes's ' dark room.' Bj She was nearly the size and shape of Kildee ; Bj no one doubted that this was the corpse oE B the little nurse who had been well loved in B Pactory.Ro-w. The watch held in the crisped B fingers was itself sufficient proof That B watch had remained in the grasp of the B convulsed, suffocating Madge, when Carleon B had torn Kildes from her. B News of the rescue of a woman from the B back part of the house had flashed through B the crowd, but little inquiry was made B concerning the woman. She was a factory B hand, her parents had taken her away. So B mncli was told, but further interest of the Bj rescue was lost in the horror at Carieon's B fate, and at the close-pressing horror of the B doom that had overtaken the favorite of Bj Factory Row on her bridal-day.
CHAPTER XLII. Immediately on receiving Kildee in his arms, Max bore her down the stairs from the roof of the old building, which, though, now a store-house, had been lonar ago an e^sant private mansion. From this roof in those days came, onmocniit or starry nights, the gilvery tinkle of 'guitars and the sweet laughter of the daughters of Pr. Castally, fitting there or promenading with their lovers. On reacting the street, Max was fortunate enough to find a hack, into which he at once put Kildee, who had partially revived in the fresher air, and placing himself by her side, directed the man to drive to the Marshall House Before the hotel was reached Kildee had recovered and was able to walk to Lottie's room. The little acWJpss had neither gone off with the companv nor yet retired to rest She was waiting in a little flutter of nervous suspense for 'something' to occur which she declared she felt ' in her blood ' would happen. The rest of ths troupe had left on the midnight train, but Lottie Tiad decided to stay and learn the issue of that interview which Max (as he tad told her) would hare with Kildee. If Kildee did decide to relinquish her prospect of a splendid marriage for the sake of Mas and the old stage life (Lottie was romantic and thought it possible), then she must be here to receive and welcome her darling. She made a plausible -excuse to' the manager and promised lo leive on the early morning express and join the company in timo for the evening performance at the town where tbey would play. She was np sitting at tne window of her room, tapping the floor impatiently with her. little 'foot The Hre in the city, the glare of the. burning buildings, the ringing of bells and shouting had J Helped to increase -her nervousness. She jumped Tip and came swiftly in response to Max's knock'. When she saw kildee she gave a little scream of delighted surprise, and embraced her raptur ously. Then sbe put her back a little that Bhe might scrutinize her face— might see if she looked, content after her renunciation. * Good Heavens, yon; are as pale as death !' ahe cried c Tonr nairj 'your eyes — why, what — ' ' Hush !' cried Mas. * She has just passed the gates of death. She was in the burning building. . She was rescued after she 'was insensible, nearly dead. Put her to bed at once. Postpone all questions ; ..don't, let her tap: to you. JSo. loon **g£s3&, not; a
word,' he said, as Kildee caasrlithis arm. j ' Yes ; one word, Mas, . Teli me, was it \ you who saved me ?' ' No ; it was not I. .. I wanted to go across the ladder, but he wouldn't permit it He ordered me back saying he was more prac tised than Iw' 1 Who ?.' * His name wa9 Carleon ; do you know him?' ? ' Yes. Oh, Max, I must see him. and thank him.' ' So you shall Gro to bpd now ; yoa are in a fever,' answered Max hastily. He did not want her to know tne fate that had befallen her rescuer. She was already too much agitated. ' Good night,' he said, and he pressed her hand to his lip 3. Lottie took her in hand She undressed her, bathed her burning face in cool rose water, combed oufc the tangled curls, put her to bed. ' Now, don't lie .there letting your- mind make wild pictures,' she said as she leaned over her charge, aud she kissed the quivering lips and eyelids. ' Be a blank, instanter ; I command it ; and so remain until morniag.' li; was a piece of self-denial on Lottie's part, for she was dying to know what had passed between Kildee and Mas, and if the gra:id-looking Mayor bad been given np, and if there had been a romantic scene. Her imagination was b jsv while she finished her own pacidnr, and laid out her travelling - dress ready to put on in the morning. She turned to Kildee's clothes. She shook out the folds of her pretty kilted skirt of dark green and hung it up. She took up the basque ; a folded paper fell at' her feet. She picked it up, loo'.ied at it, and said to herself ? ' Kildee must have had this in the bosom of her dress I will put it away foi' her ' She lifted the lid of her trunk and thrust the paper into the pceket of the top. She forgot all about it, and KiJdee, believing that the paper had dropped from the folds of her dress, and been burned, said nothms: to remind Lottie ot finding it. It was the paper that Heathcliff and Honor had signed — the testimony relating to Kiidee's birth. In the confusion, after the factor? wa3 known to be on fire, the paper had been swept from the table, and Kildee had picked sit up from the floor, and thrnst it into her bosom. The little actress was up belinies nest morning, but she rose noiselessly, and tripped about with bird-like movements, fearing to wake Kildee who was sleeping peacefully at last. Though she lay so quietly all ni^bt, Lottie knew by her breathing thai; she had net slept. She saw, too, as she looked at her pale face in. the morning light that there were traces of teais on her cheeks. 1 Perhaps she loved Heathcliff after all, but she felt .bound to Mas 1 wish I knew all about it,1 thought Lottie, as she stood before the mirror, gathering np her crinkly nut -brown hair. Aboybroughtherthe morn ing paper, which she had ordered to be sent to her early, that she might read what the
saucv dramatic reporter had 'said of the play last nighc, and her especial role. She hal read his pert comments, and dismissed them with a toss of her pretty nose, and she was reading, v/ith interest, the account of the fire, when a soft iap sent her to the door. Max stood there looking excited and feverish., outside the partly- opened dcor. * Is Kildee awake ?' be asked Lottie put her finger on her lip and shook her head. * I see you have the morning paper. I wanted to warn yoa against letting Kildee see ifc — the account of the tire, I raeau. It , contains a shocking accident for one thing, and a ghastly mistake ; it announces that Kildee was burned to death ' ' Why, how did that happen ? Didn't thev know she was saved ?' ' Nobody knew who ifc was that was res cued. The tenement house was ou iy half burned, and a body, partly consumed, was found in the room Kildee was known to have been in. The face could not be recog nised, but the body was near Kildee's size and shape. She was the only one knowa to have been in the room with the sick; woman ; and, besides — which is a strange circumstance — Kildee's watch wss founi on the. body of the burned girl. No one doubted it was she, it seems.. Heatheliff had the body carried to his home, aad it
will be interred to-day in the ramny burial plot ' ' This is shocking. What distress the poor man must be suffering* Of course. Max, you will go at once and tell him she is alive and well.' * Of course,' Max echoed thoughtfully ' Lottie,' caliei Kildee from, the bed. Lottie left Max standing outside the door, and bent over the little white face and dark head on the pillow- Kildee put her arms around her foster-sister's necij^and drew her close to her. ' Tell Max not to undeceive Mr. Heath clinV she said. Then in answer to the look of amazement in Lottie's wide blue eyes, she whispered : * I do not want him to know. I will go away with you this morning^ and he will think I am dead, and — ' Her voice faltered. * You will do this to escape marrying him, Kildee? Yon did not love him then?' The girl's pallid face became suffused with color. She drew Lottie closer that the blue eyes might search hers. * How could a girl like me love one so far above her in wisdom and age-and position ? 1 was no match for him. And then there ?was another— ' * ' Ah !' Lottie said, ' another woman ?' * Yes ; she loves him and he loves he'r. Through a strange chance — I can't tell you what itVas^ — 1 came between them. They will be reunited now ; they never would be if I should sta$T' He would marry me throngh sympathy and for his word's sake, and she would have him do it because of her pride. It is better that both should think me dead. I can be dead to them and tc the few who knew meJiere without its mattering any — thanks to my insignificance So tell Max, dear Lottie. _, Ask him to beg, Mr. Carleon no£ fco betray that it was I he saved — if indeed he recognized me. It seems he did not, or they would have known' Lottie went back to Max and told him Kildee's request. * It doesn't seem right/ she said gravely. (to bk continued.) The Bay. Dr. SiyBrifta, of Chicago, has taken upon him a gigantic task— noneloBB than the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He left New York recently, en rovtelox the scene of hie wort. He propoBea to render the holy city fashionable first of all by inducing wealthy American and English Christians to live there.*' The Sbt. Dr. Joseph Parker, of the City Temple, London, has denounced the apathetic attitude of the choroheB in reference to the great sooul queetdonB of the*»yv ' „ ?? ?_;.-?.;, ????; V :. :. ,,' .;.; .r- ...^ -._[;?