|Newspaper Title||Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)|
|Trove Title||Mystery of the Red House: An American Story of Thrilling Interest|
I IjstejToftlieKed House
! AN AMERICAN STORf OP THEIL ! LIJNTG 1 1ST 1 BREST.
By Mary E. Bryan.
(Commenced in tJie Evening Kews of Sep ? temher 20 .) CHAPTER XXIX.— Continued.
! 'Silence! J do not believe it !' she cried. j with anurr liuhtin cf her eyes. ' How do ! yju know that woman was Laura Mont calm ?' ' I did cot know. I asked you- It is true we had n k ood look at her face You
did not see her features, but you saw her shape, her carriage, her head, her hair ; surely you 'can tell mo if she was your uncle's wife ?' ' 1 cannot tell,' she said faintly * I have not seen her since I was quite young. I w.is ansy at the convent. 1 came home the same » cek of the murder, but 1 had aot seea her, onlf my imele ' 4 Is it. possible ?' A frown of annoyance darkened Hazard's brow He was deeply disappointed. ^ He had never though* but that Honor wou'd at once recognise Laura Montcalm if this mysterious woman was she '' She w-il identify her, and to-merrow I will procure a warrant to search =he Ued Ho jse,' he had said to himself as he watched th fair-baircd Sphinx opposite his post of observation Henad failed in one of his objecrs to-n;ght -. anJ n -w he might never have an ctiportunitf of identif .-in°; the secret inmaie of the Red Houes with the woman lie nas hunting down. ' But surely you remember something ef Mrs Montcalm's appearance he persisted 'She was a beautiful woman — a blonde — lue the one we have jast seen — was she not ?' Honor shivered as she gathered up her cloak. ' I have to'd you I have not seen her for years,' she answered in cold, husksr tones. I She could not fasten the clasp of her cloak, | her Singers trembled so He came to her I aid. not heeding the hand which motimed [ him away. He fastened the clasp under i her throbbing throat and drew the folds of the cloak closely around her. Thev came out on the verandah— and saw the carriage —a dim mass — just before the ate- A wild flash of rain made Hazard detain Miss Mont caim, and draw her back against the wall, out of the SDatterins drops.
4 It is but a gu6t ; it will soon be over/ I he baid. She did not speak for a minute. I He wished for a flash of lightning that he I might see her face but none came Presently I she said, speaking iu low, controlled tones : I ' What will you do about this — this I affair i' f ' I stall get a warrant to search the Red I House and dra i Irj, HeaihclifFs guilty secret 1 to light. 1; wiUTixttihiEa-bTit what matters, Ie deserves it — the hypocrite ! Let justice be done ' He could feel her flinch and shiver as she stood beside him. ? You will not warn, him,' he said ' You are your father's child ; and though you | love him — ' 4 Though I hare loved him,' she answered, ? 'We cease to love when we cease to honor ' Hazard's heart beat triumphantly. * Let us go,' she said. ' 'A'he violence of the rain is over ' It was rainine-stilL and the walk was wet.
Hazard remembered he? little satin slippered fest Ee asi. d no permu-si m ; he caught her up in his arms, and ran with her to the cab, des Jte her st'VgAes to free herself. I 'Dearest/ he whispered, 'forgive me. I could not let yoa walk I have been cruel enoiuh t » yon. to-night/ She did noi answer, nor did she speak as tbe carriage rolled away through ttie rain I and i.loom Two figures togo up oa the piazza of the old house they had just q sit ed — a girl and a man. A flash of lightning showed the girl's race pale and tronbled. ' I am ^lad we ran here out of the storss/ she said ' It was Providence-' Her companion looked in her face and smiled confidingly — vacantly Then hold ing the great blue umbrella over her he stepped down the rickety stairs by her side and they went out into ihe rainy street. I CHAPTER XXX. I The eity cloak was striking ten when a knock again broiight Ki'dee to the door. A faint, timid knock at first, then a londer ran
and a voice she Tecognised She was not surprised when she opened the door to behold St Peter, lie had escaped from Mme. Jean's charge and found his way to the Factory Bow. He had more than once followed Kildee to the tenement house. His appearance here to-night worried her. There was no place for him to Bleep. He would te restless, and want to play on his violin Mil it was necessary to have quiet in the fiick-room. She was afraid ta send him away. The chances were that he would not return £o Mme. Jean's,, bnt would hang about the tenement houses all night, sleep on the stairs, probably, or be taken to the lock-up by a policeman. ' . ' ? While she was thinking what she should do Mrs Betts came in and said she had got her 4 young ones ' to bed and was ready, to carry oi-t Jtier promise she had made Mr. Heathcliff of reiieringKildee's watch. She felt quite fresh because of an afternoon nap, and wouldn't miEd sitting up with the old lady tbe resfrof tbe night; There would be no need that anyone should sit iip altogether, she thought. The patient seemed .resting pretty well, and * a body wha was a light sleeper could lie. on the other side of the I nar) 'A*ii3 -3Tw»4»nli IvItMa -vinna liatnrAan ilia ttman
? — »*** WU«A DliaVWU MVIUV «J«*ft^^ *****?*» **w*» ---*w bs«^aw I vrhen there -wbb a necessity for being up'.. I ' Then I will so home and take St, Peter I viith. me,' Kildee said . \ ? I * And start right off/ advised the woman, ' for it will rain again soon, 3 'm pretty sure. That last shower wasn't the finisbin' one. ! The hevinge look too black/ Kildee Biarted at once. She took St. Peter's liand and hurried him along. But the rain began to fall before they were half *ay ft 31n» J»an'», They toos x^ug© in
the stately-columned porch of a churcli Services were going on, and the singing and the sermon co .Id be heard through i he long, large windows opening to the floor oi the portico Kildee leaned aj^unst the wall near one oi these windows and St. Peter sealed himself at her fe^t Two htilf-tipsy young men had followed thi'in down tbe street. These now- stoppei in front ot the church under their umbrellas, and seemed tindeeided about their further movemenrs. At length one of them laughed, shook his head and went on * tbe other mounted the steps of the church, shut his umbrella and approached Kildee 1 You're weather-bonnd, it sepms, Miss ; won't you walk on with me under my umbreila ?' ' Thank you no/ she answered with her air of gentle reserve. The tone and manner would have deterred any but the half-drunken fop from making fur;her advances Ho ed^ed near to her and said insinuatingly : 4 Well, you won't object to my standing here and looking at you * KiJdce turned from him and rested her hand on St. Peter's shoulder. Bur the fellow knew the white haired musician* to
* What's the sense of being so coquettish ?' he said, tryin to peep .-ndi'r her hat. * You are as pretty as a peach blossom ; you ou^ht not to be so — ' A hand laid heavily on his shoulder niaae him start and turn about. Someone else had seen Kildee and the old tiddler take shelter in the church porch It was Carleon who iaceJ her tipsy persecutor. The fellow was disconcerted. All the town knew Carli^on's strength of arm and fire of temper ' G-et away from here at once/ he said in suppressed tones. The mail had senss enoucli to see that Carleon wanted no altercation at a church door and oo's advantage of it. ' I ba?e as much right here as you/ he eaid, ' a ad here I'll stay.' Carleon said not a wo-d He seized the feilow by the coLar and waistband, lifte.i him to the sheps and threw him down into the street. He landed with a loud eplash into a puddle, rose muttering threats, and limped away. The proceedings gave much delight to St Peter Before Kildee knew 'wr.afc he was about, he had un- lung his fiddle and scraped j the first note3 of a lively fantasia — his manner of expressing t ratification. With some difficulty she persuaded him to desist. When she raised her head that had been beat ever the refractory saint, she s w Carieon standing on tbe other side cf the window, leaning againat Ihe wall, not look ing at her — seaming to listen to the sermon that was beins preached inside The preacher's resonant voice made itself heard above the dash of the rain. He was a revival preacher of some celebrity — Metho- dist, yet not conforming to ' Conference r rules in that he was not ' stationed ' at any one place, but travelled from town to town, ' firing the heart of the Church/ as he said Nbn-reliiious people called him a fanatic, a crank ; pious men and women held him as an inspired upholder of a standard that had its periods of drooping. Sam Brown was combative in his nature. He had the in sttGets of a sol Uer and the zeal of a * Eound head.' With hardiy an 'old field education/ he ?nnsRessed tlie elements of a nomi'.ar
speaker — enthusiasm, self-belief, imagina tion hunger. His quaint, forcible, often laughable illustrations impressed themselves upon his hearers- His enthusiasm was con tagio s. His energy, his fearlessness, his belief in himself as an ordained captain in the fis_lifc a ainst the devil were almost sublime He was always ready to tackle the arch fiend. la the street, in the shop, in the private r.arlour as in the church, he went with his sleeves rolled up and his fists clinched, so to speak. He was at his best to-night. He poured out a weal ih of epigram and ill istration— some of these more forcible than elegant, and some so quaint and comic that his listeners laughed out The next moment a touch of homely pathos drew their tears T'.e very plainness of his language — scorn of the rules of grammar and rhetoric — added a charm to his talic. It was as tho Jjrh be disdained any setting for the diamond
message he wae charged with. The rain poured The preacher's voice rose, and rang with a peculiar clash that set nerves to tingling witb its suggestion of 3 word-like i'orce Presently, vh;le the eon gregarion sanr he came down from the plat form and walked among the crowd, speaking to them, right and left, calling some oi them by name and exhorting them personally. As he made his way between the rear benches to speak to a sobbing woman, his quick eye caught sight of Carleon leaning near the window on the outside . A mbmeat a^ter he came to the window. ' Come in, my friend/ he said. ' There's plenty of room in ihe Lord's ark without hanging on the outside guards/ Ho suddenly recognised Carleon; his eyes kindled, and he laid a strong grasp on Carleon's shoulder. - * Ah ! mv brother/ he said, * I knew the hand of ths Lcrd was upon you. His spirit is at war with Apollyon in. your breast Yield to him. Come over and jion our army of recruits for the great light.' Carleon shook the preacher's hand from his shoulder. ?» ? ' Leave me alone/ he said ' J want none of your cant. Go back and humbug jour set in yonder. I stopped here for shelter, not for your ravings ' * Ton stopped because the angel of the Lord stayed vour steps as it' did Saul of Tarsus- I'll leave you now, but I shall ralk to you again Boon- I will come to see you.9 'You can spare yourself the trouble/ Carleon answered. *I will not see you/ * You assuredly will/ said Sam Brown, turning off and joining in the ringing chorus'
of the hymn the congregation was singing The rain ceased to pour, though the sky was still black and the lightning leaped out at intervals. 4 Come/ said Kildee to Si. Peter. ' Stay ; let me get you a cab,' Carleon interposed But Kildee stopped him. Sheeaid, decis ively that she preferred to -walk. A
' May I not bear you company ? It is hardly safe for you to be in the streets at rhis hour with only this irresponsible creature,' he said, wjadering at himself for the timidity with which he — Carieon— made the request: of this little iruit~-eel:er. 4 1 am not afraid/ she answered, I have not far to gc..' And eho added tearing he might think it strange she should be oat at this time of night, ' L have beaa nursing some of the sick at Factory Bow.' ' I know it,' he said And then with a slight sneer in his tones ? ' It se^ms to me your exemplary guardian, Heathcliff, is not over-eareful of you to let von do such a thing and to allow you to ej£pos3yoar--eif on such a night — * * It was by my own wish that I went to nurse some of the fever patients,' Kildee said, coldly. 4 And my beii;g out to-ni^ht is an accident. Grood night, sir.' He put his lar^e sil* umbrella into St. Peter's hands as the two descended the ch.irch steps It was still drizzling rain, and he forsaw that another shower would overfca e the girl and her charge. Another shower did come and it found Kildee and her companion on the street, farther from their destination than before. Somehow in the mist and gloom and the confusion of thojgit foF owing up n the interview with Carleon, she lost her way. Had «be trusted .to St. Peter, he would have taken her straight to Mme. Jean's, but she had hold of bis hand and he gave himself up t j her guidance A gu-^t ,f rain, the wildest vet;, dashed blindinjy into their faces The wind made the umbrella useless St. Peter had given it up to Kiidee. while he wra ped his coat about his beloved fiddle Kildee looked about her. She was near a house that
sercmea unoccupiea xusrs was no JJ^nt to be seen in it, and by tbe gleam of tiiat distant * tree c lamp she saw that it fcore the greea placard which meant ' for sale ' She hurriedly tried the gae, found it un latched, and went in, followed by St. Pe;er. They found shelter in the old, vine-hong piazza They sat on the floor lor they wore weary, and St Peter req lired to be soothed. Presently a curriaffa Mas driien to the door. They had seen the carria e standing a little further on under the shelter of a thick- leaved tree that grew* on the side walk. Was it waiting for someone who was in this dark, unoccupied house ? Kildee could hear tbe driver muttering and the horses stamping the wet street. Directly she heard luct steps coming along the hall inside ; the door was softly opened and two mufiled figures came out. They were Hazard Hall and Mi?s Montcalm.' They stoad waiting until the shower had passed, never suspecting the presence of the tiro who sat near them, con eeaied by the gloom and the shadows of the Vines. It was then that KilJee heard Hazard ex press his intention to search the Bed Mouse and bring; Heatheiiff's * guilty secret ' to ii ht She had no idea what this secret was ; she had no dis ; rust of Heathcliff. She never once s,ave credence to the thought that he could be ' guilty ' of anything evil or dishonorable ' It is an enemy plotting to injure him ; I detect revengful triumph in his tones/ thought the girl. * As early as possible to-morrow 'I will see him and warn him,' said the girl to herself. (to be contintted.)