|Newspaper Title||Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)|
|Trove Title||Mystery of the Red House: An American Story of Thrilling Interest|
Mystery of tlie Red House
i £& AIMEKXCAK' STORY OF TSEIL : hi-NGc 1KLBREST.
I By Mary E. Bsyak. ? ?
I (Ociiiincnced in the Evening News of Sep I ??'? -tender 20.) I CHAPTEH LII. (Continued.)
? ' They are ail happy,' tbous.Lt the boy, ? Tfbo watched the panorama of bright faces ? \fiih hollo\r, hungry eyes, feeling as though I he gazed upon Paradise from the depths of I Paivatory. ' Thero 5a love and happiness ? and hope for them all — for every being in I ihe vride world but me For me there is I nothing, Not one human being cares
I whether I live or die' ? OneeJnore :ie raised the opera-glass to his I eyes . 1 1 i ell from hi? s baking hand . Honor I Hontcalm stood at the win :ow alone, Icok I ing out on the- fclo-ded-nulii The proud, I gweet beauty he had wildly dreamed to win I . — ;he goddess shape he had encircled with ? his arms in. a- waits of Weber s — she very I same that was beginning now That loveiy I hand holding back the curtain, how often it I had been upon his arm . And now v/hat a I srnlf ysTrned between them ! She s:ood I there just across the street. They were all I there' to do honor to the man — her father — I whom he had worked with all his bright, I ingenious wit to pat in office. They were I all there, happy, and he was here penniless. I starving, miserable Curses on the life that I was the prey of such unjust Fate ! It was I not worfeh elmgine to. I He caag-ht up the tiask from the table and I drank half its contents He looked down I at the httie knife and ihe bottle of chloro I form, too* up .he knife, opened oneci: the I email delicate bl de?, and passed his fin»er I across its keen ed e He bared his arm and I held it down to the dull lamp, luornng hard I et the blue throbbing vein jjust beneath the I delicate skin. I ' It is but one little stroke,' lie said ; ' a I quick slash and no more ' He took the I linen -towel (he would iiave gone without I salt m his bread rather tuan \ise a towel of I cotton) and ro;led it tuanei-wise ; he opened I the bottle of chloroform, but instead of cour I ing the subtle fluid into the towel fuQEe], I he threw both on the table beside the knife, I and, turning away,. began io walk up and I down the carretless room He had fully I determined to end the ' fever called living ' I this very nig'ht Bat on the instant he I raised the vial containing the paindestroy I ing anffisthetic, the doubt had darted across I liis mind — wbat if death is surely not the I end of life ? The doubt had never seriously I presented it3elf until that moment. He was I a born unreligiomst. The organ of reverence I was wanting in his handsome head — it Avas I as flat on the top (save for the graceful I rings of dark hair) as the head of a panther I of the jungle, or a rattlesnake of the wilds I Then he was thoroughly imbued by reading I and association with the materialistic spirit I of the age — the spirit that looks with scorn I upon the idea of immortality as a super ? stitious dream for which Nature furnishes I not tbe slightest material — Natnre which B lias never sent a glimmer of light beyond H the black wail of death, which teaehe3 that ? after life there is but decay and disorgaaiza ? tion ; no immortality except in life trans I mitted through offspring. He had held I that religious systems were dekisive ropes ? of sand spun in the world's dim asjes by I scheming priests for the sake of lemporal I power, and clung to by the wishes, tears, I and vain conceit of weak mortais, who cannot I believe that they are born to die forever. I He had often written wild verses after I Swinburne, thansing I ' All gods that be I . That no life lives fos ever, I That dead men riBe up never, I That even the wearieet elver , I 'Winds Borne time safe to sea.' I He had quoted Byron — ' Men, miserable I es they are, clicg so 'o anything iiUe ex ? istence that they will hng the merest dream I to iheir heart?, and prefer eVen damnation I to external quiet. The insects !' I But as he walked along the echoing floor I of his room to-night, there came iatohis I almost raadjened brain a feeling that all this I was. false- An instinct, embedded in his I consciousness,' above reason, beyond nature, I made him feel that -when he should draw I the steel across the artery and see his life I ebb away, when lie should Tall 021 the floor I 'in i!s red pool — dead- — this would not be I the end. Pulse and- breaih would go, but I something would stay — something would I still be — sometiiih.' that was himself. Trie I ieelin^ came from no instilled impression — I he had a strong sense of this. No ; it lay I baci of all. teaching — it came from some I where beyond reason or induction or ednei I tion — it was woven in his being. I It troubled him. If this was not the end I — what was there to come ? If there wa3 I another life, what was it Hie ? He was I too wild to think coherently ; he -sras too I iienzied to fear the doubt that had riser, up I like a warning ghost on the edge of that I grave he was about to dig for himself. I 'This will lay the ghost.' he cried, and! I drained the last drop of fiery liquid from I the Sask. I They were still playing a Vraltz for the I merry dancers, bat its measures had changed. I it was nowr fast and furious. Though still I sweet — so maddeningly sweet ! How the I dancers. spun to its wiM measure — whirling I like brilliant blossoms in the mad maelstrom I of melcdy. He too would whirl It should ? be hi.3 dance of death. Eonnd and round he I spua till brain and strength gave way. and I he sank upon a chair. His eyes blazed I wildly. He.seizea the bottle of chloroform, I and dashedlts contents in to the linen funnel. I ?' Now to solve the mi«»ity problem— now I to dare the leap in 1 lie dark,' he cried. I . ' Whatever be beyond it, it cannot be worse I than what Heave' I He flung his bared arm across the table, I and drew the keen blade across the pulsing I artery. A red jet leaped hi jIi. He shudd I ered and buried his -ace in the drug-steeped I linen.. In an instant he was insensible I CHAPTER LI! h I Notwithstanding the grand Inauguration I Bull, .the tneatre was moderately full. I iottie i was late in makim her appearance. I The jsiariager frowned as she.tripped up the I greenroom stairs, but she smiled bacic at I him in tiertalt-sancy, half-deprecating way, I as she opened the enveloping waterproof I : and showed herself ready, dressed for the I second act, on. which the curtain was about I to rise. -She ,weut throu-ib. her part with I her usual vraee and cleverness, bat in i&e I last scene she had a strange experience. I She had one of those unaccountable im I * pressions, visions — warnings — call it wfaat
you may — that, thocgli out of nature, are yet not of uncommon occurrence, and from the best proof of the existence ot a soul, in dependent of the material organisation. In the play Jjottie had to recline on a sofa, in pretended death, while the villain of the piece enters sad -:oes shrocgb a scene of remorse The lights were low, the orenestra was playing soft, sad music ; Lottie lay listening to the actor's impassioned soliloquy. Sudden' j his voice seemed to die away — her sense of her present surronndings vanished ; Hazard's face rose before her, ghastly, with a desperate expression upon it, He seemed seated at a table in a dim, low room his hand clinched somethins, she could not tell what, but it impressed her as something with which to take his life. That look of desperate resolve, the haggard des pair in his eyes, the clinched hand ! — the conviction was ILhtning-lise — he is about to commit suicide. So vivid was the vision, so strong was the conviction, that she came near screaming aloud. It was gone in a breath, but the imprassion remained. She could not shake it off. The scene was over ; it was ihe last one to play ; she went at ones to her brother. ' Fred,' she said, * did you hear what it was Hazard asked for at the drugstore ?' ' Yes, I did ; it was chloroform.' She drew her breath sharply. * That settles it,' she said. * He's up to some mischief, and I am going to him — right now, and yon are going with me;' ' Lottie are you crazy ?' ' Not a bit I am as sound as a Mexican dollar. All the same I am going to hunt up Hazard — 1 had a most vivid warning about him jas5 cow — and you are going with me, or I'll never tie your neck-ribbon, or call you a darling Duck while I live. So come on.' ' You'll wait for the governor and the old lady r' * No ; 1 haven't time even to tell them/ She hurried him downstairs and inio a waiting hack. * This will all turn out a humbug., and won't I Iau.-h at you !' grumbled the boy. * I'll give you leave to laugh Slay be it will all turn out a humbug. I hope it will, but 1 never saw anything plainer in my life than that warning vision, and I sha'n't be able to. sleep io-niu;ht until 1 know it's all right with Hazard. My ! it's raining again — such a chilly mist ?' She shivered and drew her cloak about her bare arms. She had not taken time to change her stage dress. c Gather up my things, please, ma'am,' she had said to the good mother Duck as she flitted past her. ' I've got to go in an awful hurry. I'll tell you about it later.' . ' Drive fast/ she said to the hackman, slipping an extra hair dollar in his hand. In two minute3 she was set down at the foot of the stair3 that went up ever the shop The street was still filled with music from the Sharon House where' the ball was at its height. Loitie ran up the baci stairs ahead of her brother- Somsbody on the street had ;old Fred that the rooms on the second floor were all lawyer's offices, and the young man must be lodging on the floor above. The landing of the first stairs was lighted only by a street gas-I.?.uip, but Bhe made her way to the neit flight of steps When she reached the head of these, she found the narrow passage in darkness. A diai light, however, came from beneath one of the doors that opened on the passage. Lotlie knocked sharply on the door She put her head to the aperture, and a strong odonr of ehJoroform came to her. * Force it open/ she said to her brother. ' Don't you smell the chloroform ? Some thing is wrong- There is only a latch fastening the door, 1 fancy. Shove against i-: with all your might. I'll help/ The door yielded to their strength. The slender iron latch snapped, the door new suddenlj- open, and they found themselves confronted by a ghastly scene — a man seated at a table, his face buried in a blood-stained cloth— blood gashing from his arm, a pool oi' blood on the fioor Fred tittered an exclamation ofkorz'orand stood transSxed- Lottie made no outcry. She went to the man's side and raised his unconscious head from the drug-saturated to wei. i * it'e Hazard ; lie Eiill lives, I hope/ she said, as she snatched a silt handkerchief from Ler neck and bound it tigiitlf s round his arm just above the wound Then she knelt by him and pressed her finger upon the lacerated vein . * Throw open a window, and rua for a doctor/ she said to Pred. He obeyed her at once. He was gone fully fifteen minutes ; it seemed a3 many hoars? to the girl She knelt there in a pool of blood pressing her finger against the cut vein, her eyes feed on the death-like face that had dropped back on the table. It3 pallor contrasted sharply with the blood splotches upon it. Blood ! blood every where \ Lottie's heart Eank as she saw it.. Con Id he live after losing so much of the life fluid ? Oh ! why did not the surgeon come ? As she watched the white face she saw a quiver come over it. Suddenly the eyes opened and looked at her—wildly — then with dim recognition . He lifted iiis head, but it dropped again — dropped against her shoulder. She put* one arm around him softly. She was afraid io move lest it should jar the lacerated vein and set it Heeding anew. As she knelt supporting his sinking weight with her strong arm, she held her breath to ieel if the heart so close to hers stiil beat. When she distinguished its feeble pulsing, tears of joy sprung to her eyes. .And still the music played for the governor's ball, and. the sound Gf tbe dancers' feet came across to the dreary room. _ Twelve strokes clanged from the city clock As the echo oil the last one died, away, Lottie heard the hollow sound of footsteps in the passage below. They began to ascend toe stairs. * It i3 Fred with the doctor — thank Heaven V whispered Lottie. The next instant she heard Fred's voice, full of cheerful relief. * Sis, you are here all right are you ?^ I felt bad to be away so long, bnt I had a time oi: it to get a doctor/ ? (to be continued.? In 1853 Pius IX, restored the hierarchy in Holland. At that time there were ninety-eight Catholic charitable institutions in the kingdom. Since 'then 416 new Catholic ?churches lave been built, and 136 enlarged or restored, and 134 new charitable instatulaona established. The popula tion of Holland .is 4,400,000, of whom nearly 1,500,000 are Catholics » and there are 165,000 «hildre»1t-eing educfttedria CftthoUo -pchoola. -.?