Chapter 108500137

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108500137
Full Date1878-02-22
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count1773
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (Vic. : 1872 - 1881)
Trove TitleThe Law's Decree: An Original Story
article text

. THE LAWS'- DECREE. -

AN ORIGINAL" STORY,

JJy "Q.triz."

CHAPTER III. (ContinuedJ

'Ijealous? No, no, I am just though, and will be avenged j it is useless to protest. I have seen the damning evidence of their guilt

have witnessed tliem wwlkiiiir arm in avm', pacing to nud [to :Sy orelinrd nail: by moon ''g-it H'hOii 1 ,vos 1 bought to be miles nrnj

upon a lonely road ; have reliable information that frequent correspondence posses between them, and what more positive proof of her perfidy could man desire?''

"11 it be desired" caustically replied Don Severn, " why none; if not, then barren facts devoid of the smallest scintilla of ground for suspicion should not be so readily accepted as confirmation of their guilt."

"You too, torment mo with your leal hypocritical cant, as if it were not sufficient for me to submit to those annoyances iu lile which cannot be avoided, without haviiw ol hers thrust'upon. mo , tliafc ? «iu disagreeable

to bear.",

"ihypocritieal ?"'

'* Till recently it -was your inaniior-1 i> act according to tlie dictates of My inclination, not | your will ?'

. " 3 of< Dorset, and so will l as low* as rour inclination pursues a^uianjy course.;0but not for au instautfshall mf name continue aiiidii" Hio o of jour assooiatos deserving of the name or friend, after yon havo taken another step in this .ungenerous ^accusation vwhich^yoilMiavc laid at tho ieet of your unfortunate wife."

".Unfortunate !? lias- she ''not 'ievcrytliin-' that jjold'.cnii purchase; horsep, carriages, and jeHullery without stmt or stipulation '

, " Iho.cxtorniil adornments of woinehTarff a

chief soureo :of comfort to tiiosc only! who: Jeopardise their happiness in life fpr'"lh"e: venal qualities and possessions of oi'istencij which can be'commanded by the sordid iii lliiwieo; of gold, and gold only . ignorance alone, will estimate her lmppiuess by the ex tent and txUiivujjnnot) of hor eiMToiiHtliiiKS. 1. am but a poor lawyer, iueapable perha'n* .of giving ns -crcditabjo a re«dio» of the

fan as I mi^ht or 'a'"^/a-orbtlior in tric_"".s of n.y profession, but I claim the privilege of aii opinion, however ridiculous it may seem. Smco our boyhood wo bare fought tins subject out, but without comina t0 ,fny definite decision. Together, wo pursuod Grace with tho ono resolve, the one outspokcu determination, lind iity'our triumph I rejoiccd as though the success had been my own. Carried away by the warmth of your wooiim and influenced perhaps is no*small degroo by tho fact of your being the Mayor of Qawler/as well as it's representative in.-Parliament, Grace clioso Dorset Severn to his putative brother. I warned you then that two such dispositions could not harmoniously unite, but you attributed iny caution to interested motives and laughed at and,, uuheedod my warning. Now you relentaud seek refuse for your own unmauly forebodings, in;a.Bcparation oscparation based on thepietoxtofa dissembler and the pretence of a coward; which, were I to engage in. would at once and for over damn mo.in the estimation of all estimable and i ighlrtliinking people. No, uo, Dorset, you aio tho creature of; hallucinations :iud rwill be no party to destroying tbo happin&s* of Graco.acvern anymore. than., I-.imII h'arrass mid;-' annoy-'tho" generous ""Tribndship of

;J.'erciviu,Gr«y,V

.'.a'eicival.Grii^?'' exclaimed tho spy in the trco so audibly as to start Don Severn into surpriseat, tbo progress and rapidity tbo . echo of tho name he gave uttoriiiico to."' llorse t

\vas absorbod'in' a partial rcvene'iindfiio more heeded the «dinoiiitipn._Qf his.asiouiuto.tlmii, lie caught the sound of Wearing's astonish

ment. : ~ " ;

pome,"-said Dorset,["'Wohave llvedl'liko' brothers lot us continuo so to'the end." :j

r "Si,l,c<3, dl!pe»d_cnco placed liio .iujyour fathers; house, I have always struggled to; maintain such a desirable union, and success

has at tended my efforts; I vpJUutari!y destroy ' ;the;,alliance not* unless you 'forego Ithis j , resolution, aud bo reasoiiablo aud

rational in your demauds." j

"I'lien to please you I must continue the j plaything of a woman whoso perfidy alas, is

too plain, and whoso disobedience of my special commands is openly acknowledged."

r i ao' Provo nle that Grace is forget ful of her dufy as a wjfo aud I'll exonerate I you,; but, Wtil.sBeh proof, is? placed' in; my | P®*?0!!??".'* eontiiiuqjo believe iu; the^ | purity of her honor and dissu'ado you'' from I proceeding, rashly in this mutter." : | Then you will not aot as I desire ?" ?

j ^".X Tlmve; already .acquainted ybu-rof. my;

determination!! . ? f . ? i it'

« ^ia^e ^oli answered nie explicitly!"

. \\ hat more.explicit than a reason"?V > " A negative." .. 1

"ify reason was in the ncguliYc.", j '

llien to mo you s.hq^M b.s more respect f»j, anally ftusweved';Jtoraefc",7 I iiave pluced ^you at Vhe top of'ydur pr6/o33i6n} nay moro, 1 re givon you that profession, and now you -presume to take side^ against me, and step between me and iny wife."

"Do not add to your other offences that of perverlme, ' replied Don, who maintained his calmness throughout. "Xo tl^'cbueros ty ot your father I owe aduciition, 1 have vet to ie^vfl tliftt you inherit tho gratitude I owo him at well as inheriting his propeVty;' You cannot claim the honor of maintaining me m a position which my qualification alono has enabled roo to attain and-kcon, ?; i'-am indebted to you for i|;ucl), niore ijdocd tliau I shall over i^e anabled ^o repay',.but nono of these things you Lmyo mentioned ere eiuimer otod in the list. } have a ((ecp ssnao of gratitude and would upt jo? the world's wide treasure tvnusgress its simplest rulo."

"Ihcve is great consistency in your'con

duct and your assertion."

Sneer if you will, I do not caro for sneor», they are the impalpable attacks of cynics, nnd

injure none but those wh« tako slielter bohind

retort. «?

Cttoiign of this.' ...I have.'still a eonsiderablo distance to travel, aud the

night's fur advanced."

" Do you not go to Barossa Villa ?"

"Indeed no."

" Why not pray^ it is your hotoe }'?' {' ! |

" It was."

"And^.H . . 1 4' Peylmps,"

"JSo,' "was and -".perhaps,? muttered

Don, what can it all mean ?"

" I have already told you, will you aid mo

with your counsel."

Dsn considered, AQd enawered .k-Xcs, to lporro^." , f , ... t ..

Why to-morrow ?'*'. ' \ :

? V Why now? Lawyers do not usually treat clients as shopkeepers do their custom ers. I must have tiino to consider.

, "le friend' oiids' wliero tho client

begins r

? " As you pleaso !"

"Very well then, to-morrow."

Don had gradually considered tho aspect ofafra^aud (hiuimg that by promising to aid Dorset hp would bo enabled to pre vent tho matter resulting seriously, lie put an abrupt conclusion to the discussion by appointing 9 o'clock next evening for a conference at his office. In choosing this hour lie had also in view the compulsion he would place upon Dorset to remain at the

villa during the night. He was in a measure, I however, anticipated by l)ors&t.

-The fnend;. vrUo met wit]^ sucli jni earnest expression of pleasure n few minutes bofore, parted in a, nvmnpr moro formal than was agrpeablo tp pithcr, and u word timely spoken might havo closed tho threatening' breach, which a few thoughtless and recklessly chosen words promised to widen into a very chasm of antagonism newr agaiu perhaps to bo closed in friendship. Tho manner of- their parting foreboded evil consequences.

Whoti (hoy parted, Dorset rode oil" in an opposite direction to that v.!i;sh would have taken him direct to .BarosW Villa, muttering to himself ' . I never Expected to find so much firmness there," and Don stood under the tree lookiug after tho equestrian, and acknowledging to his soniowhat puzzled acuities tUst aomo pne was a *' villain from the top of his head to the ^ip of his toes, and ho never thought of it before." With these expressions Qf private surprise, Don eauntcred homo greatly distressed, and Wearing came down irom his post of observation quite 'stiff and about as much astonished as it was

possiblo for him to be.

",IJ°TW; ,if there's any ouo. thing in this world I detest more than auother, it's eaves dropping, soliliquised he, stretching his stiflened limbs, "yot I oan't sco in "what manner I an? to blamo for. having listened to fj"8 t'jWHgUt Umt they know thoy were brothers, and thinking 50, foolishly imagined tho subject of their conversation would bo tho Bank. iS'ow if they had talked about tho Bank, it would havo been all right, but as thoy did not do so it's all wrong. The conscquonco is that l'vo got into a.lo"of the most ^itperklivo fftsadfes imaginable.

all thipflgtioverhearing acouvn"-" , . ,J thQ50 two Sevai'»» ' , --lou bctwocn

. -. J^ash tliem, I wuli they were inlTongKong; they're a positive nui sance. What shall X do. Let mo see-let me see-yea that's it-I'll, do it at once. It is not fair play to eavesdrop ; but what matters, he did not scruple to ruin 1110 by tho use of every artiflco iu llio world, and I'll not spare him now. If my peccadillo merited tho

?punishment it-received .believe -me." 1'li rclurii!

the compliment,-Mr.. IJoi-set Severn, with nil Hie .additional enmity your injustice has provoked. I'll do it, ye?, I'll do it now," Ho bceumo much excited with these reflec tions, and ens compelled to rest against the trco for support. In changing his position an object in the grass attracted his attention, which turned out to be a pocket-book, con taming a quantity of papers.-It had evidently been of considerable value, but was greatly worn, and )iad the appearance of having been frequently, as ivell as recently used. It could not have been them lon^, and must have belonged to one of ti:e tiro men who hud so recently stood near the spot where it lay. Who could have owned it? Holding the book in his hand, hearing's reflections were abruptly terminated by the clatter of a horse's hoofs, no great distance off from where he stond. He guessed at oiice that it was Dorset Severn returning in search of tho book, and determined to foil him in recovering the lost treasure, ho. crcpt slenl.thily through the hedge before the horseman had arrived at the ohltree, and had tho gratification of seeing his victim-leave the scents once more, but this time" iii-the direction of the looming" town ship, and iu dismay. It was-undoubtedly

Dorset Severn's book.