|Newspaper Title||Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)|
|Trove Title||Mystery of the Red House: An American Story of Thrilling Interest|
3iy stery of the Eed House
&K AMERICAN STOEF OP THKIL IjI-A'G iJfiEREST.
Bt Mart E. Bryan.
(Commenced i\\ the Evening News of Sep ' temher 20 .)
CHAPTER XLIX. f Continued.)
.* Yes, yes, I know you/ * 1 know you.' He's been through tha furnace, but its David Holt. I'll swear to him criei several TO1CC3. ... Order was called and the witness was told to resume his statement, and tell what he
knew of the murder. Shortened of the details elicited by cross ques.ionin? an.l by the arbilrary requirements of legal i'orin a!if;yr*fae story he told Kas this : 'When he had brought Mrs. Montcalm back from' the island, had gi^en her her father's letter telling her that iraHeathcliii was bcr brother, acd had seen her enter her husband's house, he did not so away as she bane him Anxiety on her account kept him standing on the poriico. He knew of her husband s threats ; he knew of his violent temper ; he feared that In his mad fury hs might attempt to injure her, and there was no one io protect her not even a servant in the house Presently he heard excited voices 'j he could refrain' no longer from going in. He* could do this as Mrs. Monteiilin bad left the latch key in the door. He opened the door and went in. The voice he had heard vras Captian Mont calm's and proceeded from the' librarr at the further end of tha hall. Before the dcor of the library he saw Mrs Montcalm standing white and decant. Her husband stood ju=t within the door. £)avid could not see his form on] 7 the menacing arms as he con fronted his wife and denounced her in bitter, violent language. He was b?side hiaiBelii ?with ra^e He seemed to threaten her with personal violence, for she drew back and
tcos Out or ner belt & uttie jewelled dagger — an heir loom in her family — which she had worn that day. 'Touch -me at -your peril,' he heard her say. Her h-isband struck the blade from her. hand. Sho did not pielc it up ; she ' If eked at him for an instant — seem in? to BtrJi gie f.ir self-command, then she turned, darted past David Holt, as he stood against the w.il!, partly screened, by a stand that held pots of geraniums, and fled upstairs. Captain Montcalm had ttarted in pursuit, but he s'oppe.l (so near to David that he might h ;ve touched him), as ha heard her Bhut and lock her door. He turned back toward his s4udy, his :bot struck against 1 he little dag er, he picked it up, looked at it grimly, and lai.l it down on a shelf cf a little j cabinet that etodd in jho«hall As he was doing this a hand parted the curtain that turg before the door of the roam opposite the library, and a woman camgoufc — a dark, slender, handsome creatui-e, who David at once knew must be the Mesican woman
who had a claim upon Captain Itfonfcalm. David had heard tiie story before, and this sirening Laara had told him of the inlerview I the woman had h:id with Cap:ain Montcalm j in the old cemetery. It wa3 the revelation [ pbe bad then overheard tbat had st.ng the wife into defiance of her husband's com mand The dark lady approached Captain Mont calm from behind and put her hand on his arm. * Well,' she said, c you did not keep your promise. You did not tell that woman that you would discard her, as you swore tome you would if she disobeyed you ' Captain. Montcalin wheeled and glared at her with rage ' What the devil are you doing here Btill ? I thought yoj. had ieit this house an hour ago' * I did not leave it,' she said : ' I stayed to witness t tie interview wita that woman, and to hear you discard her as you swore you would, i did not .hear it. So you mean . to mase up with her, do you, false and tovr&rdly that yon are ' . ' What is that to you ? Leave me. It is enou_h io be driven, wild by one s own ' wife, let alone — ' ' Xojr own wife ! This iswiataright t have to be. I will not go away. I will Btay here. Tc-morrow if you do not leave ihat woman I will tell her everything. I Will p.'ocjfiim you throng a the ci y ' * Ourse yon, yoa Spanish Tend !' Captain Montcalm cried Ho picked up an oblung Blab of cnyx from the cabinet shelf and menaced her with it. The gleam of the dagger caught -her eye fche snasched it up ftna said something sneeringly in Spanish. It eeemed to mad., en him ; he raised the fclab with tensely drawn muscles, and the blow would have fallen on her head had not JJavid rushed between them, 'ihe slab Struck him on the temple and he reeled bacs Stunned against the wall. But he had an insttmt of vivid consciousness in which he 6aw the blade in the hand of the Spanish Woman* bury itself in Moutcalm s breast — saw him stag er back to Use library door, jjffld heard her cry : *?'.* Qh, my Gou ! what have I done ?' He knew nothing mere distinctly. Ee tad a vague recol.ection of quitting the nouse and making his way with difficulty id his rocm in the warehouse, and of failing tpou the bed. After that all was blank
CHAPTER L. . David Holt's testimony produced a decided tevulsion of opinion in those who heard him. jtt impressed nearly everyone with the feel ing that it was true His earnest tone, his Btraighforward delivery, the very fooi of bis eyes were convincing. Thentnere was Ms Character . as it was known to many in Wallport. A reserved, bnfc thoroughly re liable and honorable man — this was the reputation he had made for himself daring the time he was Captain Montcalm's book keeper But there was no denying that the tale he told was a atran.e one. 'General Montcalm who Bad leaned forward with bis' hands on his j;old-heaJed cane an eager listener, slowly' shoot his head. Hazard Ball was a creature of qtiick intuition'. He felt that the story was true, and a tumult of mixed emotions was stirred up in his ?hr«arjf. A-ntrptr. difiannoinfinenfc. chasrin —
these warred with a curio s feeiin? of relief iS the prospect that Laura Montcalm would not be convicted. - . , The sur eon's sworn depositions as to Holt's condition previous to and after the o eration ibf trepanning were produced. Max Rubin, being sworn, substantiated the circumstance (de osei to by the surgeon) .tHat'£f$r, waking fipin. the long sleep which fol'dKed the o, eratio^IIolt began to speak greedy o£ the killinjjoE Captain jtfoniealia
and to say thab it was done by the Spanish woman The State's attorney began-a searching cross -esamination of David Holt. ° His object was to throw- a doubt upon the veracity of the witness and insinuate an interested motive for his statement. ' You are, I believe, -an intimate friend of the prisoner. Mr. Holt. ,You anew her before her marriage ? ' ' I hare known her since she was a child. Her father partly raised me.' * Ah ! one may say you are her foster brother. It is na'urdl it should be painful to you to see her in her present position— ^ natural yon sho Id be wil icg to do any thing to release her from it ' ' I would do anything honorable, sir/ David said steadily. * Ahem !'yes, anything honorable. Toil say the blow, dealt yon by Captain Mont calm stunned you : how was it that, beins? smnned, yoa were able to sea the stab given by Madame Gonzalis ?' ' The stab was given, almost at the same instant that the blow descended upon my £ iull. I saw it as plainly as 1 see you. more plainly, it seems to me, for I had, as 1 told you before, a second of vivid sensation like that experienced by drowni lg men, and by soldiers who are struck by a shot or shell in battle. Tiie action of the senoes seems in tensified — there's a flash of exa'ted con sciousness. This is not an uncomomn ex perience ' ' Is it also a common phenomenon that a person, after having lost reason and memory from fracture of the brain rec .vers hiB Eenses as suddenly as he lost them ?' ' You have in that certificte the words of Doctor Knot, an experienced physician, as to this. He tells you he has seen in the Paris hospitals a number of cases where reason was suddenly restored on the cause of derangement being removed — the pressure of the fractured part upon the brain ' Then followed a strins1 of inereniouslv
?B-orJed questions concerning the homicide Holt accounted for the body being found inside the stud? by the reasonable supposi tion, that Captait Montcalm had staggered back in;o the room either mechanically or with the instinctire intent to ring fcr help or to get water, and had fallen when just inside 'the room, striking against the door and closing it aa he fclL Then . Mme. Gonzulis had extinguished the gas and made her escape, leaving the hall in darkness Laura lionfccalm, when she came down s' airs on her way to seek her newly dis covered brother, and had wal ed down the dariv passage and passed out, not dreaming that her husband was iyin^ in his study dear!, and that she bad stepped in a pool of his warm blood. SSuch was his belief as to what had happeced after his senses failed. * They will cot be able to convict Mrs. Montcalm, after this t?stiujony. bur. she will not be fully cleared in the minds of the people. la Scotland the verdict would be ' not proven,' ' whisi-ered one old lawyer to another. , At this moment Mrs. Montcalm's counsel arose, and quietly begged leave to introauce another witness. A moment befcre, Hesth cilff had entered and whispered something in his ear. A new vriiness ! Who could it be ? What would he testify ? There was a stir, a buzz ia tLe direction of- the door. An invalid's chair was seen being slowly pushed sloa-^ the ais!e It was stODued m front of the jud.e — at the witness stand. The chair contained the recumbent fLure of a woman — a was'ed ; gare ; the £n;er3, nervously interlocked, were thin and bloodless ; the face -was covered by a veil She removed it when the chair came to a stand. The spectators pressed forward to see her. A thrill passed through them,
so supernalural looked the iar^e biaca, burning eye3 and emaciated face, marb.e like, save for aT spot or fevered ciilor on either cheek The interest was intensified when she gave her name as Zulimes Goczalis. She asked to be sworn, and gave her testi mony. ' It was in few v.ords ; it was pia-.n she had strength to utter but a few words. Yet so clear and true was her voice, and eo breathlessly s:iit v.as the court-room, tha; her confession was distinctly heard. It was a confession brief but tiire:fc : ' I come hero, a d; ing woman, to do what 1 ou ..ht to have done long a-_ro, batl had not courage I come here to say that it was 1 who killed Captain Montcalm. I struck ihe blow partly tnrou-h self-dcf.nce, and partly because i was maddened by his refusal to discard ihe woman he had married, and re instate me in my rights. For, in the sight of God, I was Captain Monicalm's v.ife He had married me in mv native land of Mexico twenty two years before, when I was a mere child- The ceremony was not altogether legal It was what we Mexicans call a left-handed marriage, bat it was held to bind a man in honor, particularly if ; litre are children. I had a child — an infant when its father left me with a promise to return. He staysd av.ay so 'ong I thought, myself deserted. 1 followed him — sought him everywhere. He went abroad, and I failed to meet him face to face until the day before I stabbed him. I did not kill him deliberately.- He is the only man I e»er l6ved, and he cared for me more thian I deserved. 1 had wronged him, but ithou ht myself deserted and besrayed, asd I was
reekle=3. 1 have suffered — on ! 1 have Suffered remorseful agonj through days, throu.h sleepless nights I have been ill for weeks, i did not know uniil to-day that another bad been arrested and was being iried for my deed. 1 could not let the other be punished for any sin. Do \71th me as yon will It does not matter My days, my hours are numbered. 1 have suffered beyond what man can make me suffer.' ? The'confession had been made brokenly. Weakiie s a.nd coughing had interrupted it. At i;s close the woman was exhausted. She lay back on the piilow, her palliedface look ing spectral against its scarlet, the great-, burning eyes half -closed, tying so. she ?was slowly wheeled ont of the caurt-room, in tbe midst of profound stillness. The silence was presently broken by a_ murmur that grew, louder, and threatened' to break into an acclaim of joyful congratu lations of Mrs Montcalm nnd Heathcliff When Heathcliff .approached his sister and silently took hei* hand, while she looked up at tiiin, her face pale bfit glowing, ier eyes Swimming in tears, exclamations of uncon trollable sympathy burst from ihe crowd. (to be conhnthbd.)
— — — : ? — ? r^ — r-1 — — *? — ~ ? ~~~. ? : ? : — ~ ? ? ?? ?. t The Pope has, through the Pontifical Secretary i «f State, Bent a .diploinatic note to the great j ^European /pbwera.- in whicfc *1aa fce-asBetta the tsmponbL cuutosvt tho Pap*o/- '