|Newspaper Title||The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser (Vic. : 1872 - 1881)|
|Trove Title||The Law's Decree: An Original Story|
4< But as slio watchM
Kidit after night, ami quwtimel every hour,
How*biticrly those weeks ami yenvs were uoteli'd
Upon the broken tablet of the soul,
? :By that forsaken wife."-Jtus. SIGOUHXEY,
MRS. Severn satin tlio parlor, in a warm arm choir clrsuvii up the hearth, and tho waning embers flickered in fitful, furtive sportivoncss, in tho old-fashioned grate which added to the attractiveness of the almost grotesquely furnished room, shedding a twilight ray across her beautiful, though sorrow-lined melancholy face, 'l'ho children had retired to slumber and the house remained all peaco and quiot ness, not that their presence was ever over boisterous, but whon thoy were about a sun shine seemed to light up the place, which now seemed solemn and deserted.
Her bonnet and capo lay across tho back of the arm-chair in which she reclinod, as if re cently cast off; iu her hand she held a letter, tho reading of which sho .continued after occasional brief reveries.
l'he letter read as follows Chcrc Amie.
" You cannot imagine how anxious I liavo been to hear from you, neither can you guess the nature of tho reception that met llie tardy two lines and a half which I found lying under tho office door yesterday morning. My host acknowledgements for yourbrief expression of continued confidence; you might have been moro unreserved. It may be as you hint, but even so, it cannot affect either of us. I do not think thai D.S. is suspicious of mo, ho has always given me to understand that ho esteems and values my friendship. Jly services in the office bear thoir own reward. As my master ho is all I can desiro. If Dorset contemplates tailing tho stop you suggested D. S. must know of it, but I can not believe, weak though ho be, that ho will acquiesce. : See D. S. at once and try him, but do not say too much at first. If you find hiiu our friend, as I believo him to be, explain everything, and he will stand by us to tho
last. I am convinced that tliero is that between them which, if D. S. could be pre vailed upon to mako a determined stand,
Dorset must abandon his resolvo. It would bo a terrible scandal, but God knows how little wo deserve it. Believo mo it is not
jealousy that has induced him to desert you. Ho nover had a causo to doubt yon for a moment, and this ho well knows. I forget nothing that conoerns you and tlio children. The papers aro marked " private and con fidential " ; and I cannot touch them. I will, howevor, act as you desiro. Bolicvo mo to continue, affectionately yours,
It would bo difficult for a stranger to un derstand tho firmness of tho bond of friendship which bound theso two people together, yet it was not of an uncommon kind. Since early youth, when they walked arm in arm together ovor the green fields, plucking the wild sum mer flowers, and ropeating the poetry of their l'avorile bards, they wero indissoluble, iuseparabio companions, and long before her destined lord and mastor met her thoy had sworn ctornal friendship at tho shrine of fidelity. Sauntering ovor tho green sward among, tho .rustic scenory of their rural homo, thoir childish happiness was completo. In her innocenco sho would-wiiisper.as .she
plucked a daisy from its hilly home- I
'. Wee, modest crimson-tipped flower, Thon'st met me iu an evil hour,
Fori inauu crush auiaug the stoure
Tls.' slender stem;
-,; :.To spare tbci.uow is past my power,
My bouuie gem."
And he would auswor, but without half" thought of tho prophetio naturo of the linos, in admiration of their beauty
" Sncli is the fate oE artless maid, ' Sweet liow'ret of the rural shade!
By lovo's simplicity betrayed,
Ami guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soil'd is laid
Low i' tho dust."
But tlio stranger camo and changed all llie poetry of their young lives, still they never ceased to associate as formerly.
In the solitudo of her now dcsertoci home, hor mind revived tho happiest recollections of thoss days, and goutly upbraided lier. Sho was happy, however, iu retaining that early friendship, though she abhorred the selfish aud ungenerous disposition which necessitated that hor best nud purest friend should be banished from her home, through tho mean ness of a coward disposition, which sought ouly to annoy her by blackening his generous friendship with falsehood and misrepresenta tion. Sho changed tho chuir round to the tablo after awhile and inscribed this brief lotter to hor banished friend.
" Barosaa Yilla. Dear Mr. Gray. <
You wero right in your conjecture. D. S. is a man of honor though a lawyer, and I havo taken your advico and acquainted him with everything. Ho was a liltlo surprised to hoar about you, but if ho ever estcomed you before, ho does so doubly now. Dorset sought his acijniescauco no later than to-night, but ho would not say whoro. I feav 1110 there is mischief browing. I don't liko your proud Wearing, I think lie's a sneak; perhaps I may be mistaken. In leaving D. S.'s cottages-1 met Dorset in tlio walk, but ho -fortunatoly did not rocogniso me, I was so well inudied up. What could ho havo been about? Bo careful of yourself, for I have ouly you to guido me, and nover doubt my friendship, whila I remain alTectiouatoly
. GRACE SEYBKJ,"
P.S. ? Mary nndHnrry will send their l.oye with some flowers during the week.
G. S:. .
With the completion of this letter she
retired to vest, and though tlio night was - calm and bright and clear without, her sleep . was troiiblod aud restless throughout till tho - grey dawn pooped in at her chamber window aud warned her of tho coming day. 'JCUon, for the first time during the night, sho 6lept culm and peaceably, tho sleep of tho righteous.
She Suid not soon lier husband for sevoral
dajSj but was now moro reconciled to Ilia absence than formerly and gradually these feelings gavo way to tho influence of reason . and-she in time cams to see the folly of making hersolf and children unhappy because
her husband was unkind.
(To he Continued. 1 ? :