Chapter 115565050

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Chapter Number2. XXIV.
Chapter TitleA TRUE BILL.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115565050
Full Date1891-09-19
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count3462
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleFreeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text

? HAND- AM) B.1NG.

' ' * By A. K. Green.

it BOOK IT. ''?.^ ^..-iTHE WEAVING OF A WEB. - ,- Chapter XXIV. A TtiTJE BILL.

*' Come to me friend or foe, ' - And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick.' —Henry VI. The town of Sibloy wao in a state of excite ment. Aboofc tho court-house especially the oiojyd was gffoat, and the intoresfc manifested intense. The' Grand Jm'y was in session, and the caae of Widow Clemmeno wao before it. Aa oil tho proeoodingo oE thia body a?e vrivato. tho suspense of those interested in the

issue woo naturally vouy groat. Tho _narae of the man lootly Qtiopocfcod of the erimo had transpired, and both Hildi'eth and Manoell had their partisans, though the mystery surrounding the lottos made hia friends less forward ia asserting Mo inooconce than Shoos of the hbous thoroughly understood Hildreth. Indeed, the ignorance felt on oil sideQ as to the espreoo seasons for aoooeiating the name of Mrs. Clem mene'o nephew with Ms aunt's murder, added much to the QigaiSeooce of the hou'. Oon» jeeturea were plenty, and tho wonder groat ; but the cause why fchio man, or any other, obould lie under a GUGpieion equal to that seised against Hildreth a£ too inquest, woo a mystsi'y that none could oolvo. Bat what in tho curiosity of the babble to us P Our mtevoni ia ia o little room far removed from this ocene of excitement, where the joung daughter of Professor Darling kneels by the side of Imogene Dos-Oj striving, by caress ond entreaty, to win o word from her iips, os.1 a glance from hot heavy eyes. 'Imogens,' she pleaded, 'Imogene, what is this terrible, geieir P Why did you have to go to the cotirt-houoo this morning with papa ? and :. why h&ve ycra boos almost dead with terror and misery evoi? aiaoe you got bach P Tell me, ov I ? shall psrisb. o? aaose Sfigbt. Fob woelto now, ©re? oine© yot2 wqeq so good ao to help mo with my weddiag-elotheo, I bavo oeeti tliafc aomothing dreadful wqo woighiag ppon yoai1 mind ; bat this which yos bbs siafieEing now io owful. This I caaoot beap. Ooaaot yora DpoDk, door P Weeds will do yon good.' « Wopdo !' Ob, the deopaip, tao bit^Qpnose of that Dingle exotamofcioB ! Mies Dafliog drew bock ia ? dismay. Aa ix yolsaoed,' leaogeae sods to hes* feet, oad cuvveyod the sv/eefc Dnd mgennono ?ooantoDDBeo uplifted to hgb owh, with a loo!: of fainfc peeognition o£ the womanly oympatlay it oonveyod. * Helen,' oho sauueravod, ? you are hoppy. . Don't stay Isoso with mo, but go whose these gfq oheeFfolneFS and hope.' ' But I oanoot while yoci Qaffe^ so, I lo\7e yon, Imogeae. Would yora drive mo away hom youe side whea you or© do uohappy P Yoo don'fc cape los me ao I do fos? yoa, ov yots eonld aot do it.' ' Helen !' Tho deep tooe mado the aym pathetic little bride-sleet qraivop. 'MoleD, ; some grief a ai1© boofc borne oboe. Only a, few horaro now aad I ohall koow tho worofe. Leave me.' Bat the gontU litfcle erooture wao nofc to be ds?iven oway. She only cluag the cIoqqp, and piasded the mow earnestly : ?'??? Tell me, tell rae !' Tbs eeitepatioH o£ thia i'sqaeot was too much '. ' fo? the pallid woman before has?. Loying her two hoodo oa the shoulders of thia child, she dieew boofe, and looked hee earnestly in the

?'?'Holea,' oho onvil, c what do you fmow o^ earthly oegiioo ? A $oktQ& child, the fovousito : ' ; ' olE 'happy tiozbnne, yoa havo boon liopi £com evil . ' '--as from o blight. Foqg ok iko annoyancoo of life fecvG bocE allowed 60 ©atoi1 yoai1 path, much ? lees its gsiofo and oino. Tobeoe with 50a is bat ;.-. ADOtno — soBaoi?O0 qh unhaowa oeaoatioa. Even ??? youe lov@ kw no dopth.D in it ouoh oo onSesing gi^eo. Yofc, oiace you do love, and love well, pephopa you eata nndarstand something of what a hnman sool oan ondure who soea ita only hope and only lov© tottering above a gulf too horrible for wordo to deocribo — a gulf, too, which her own hcncl-T-3 But no ; I cannot tell you, I overeotecl -my otrongth. I ? ' She aonk baclr, but tho nest moment DtQs?tod again to hoe foot. A aosvont hod opened the doos1. 'Wbafc Sq it P' ooe osclaiaiQcL s Spenlr, toll meP 'Only o gontlemaa to see yoo, mha.' 'Onlyo—- =?' Bat oho ctopped in thofc voio repetition of fcho girl's simple words, ond looked , ' at hes? oq if oho woold £oreo from hoe lipo tho name she hod oofc the coaeago to demand ; but, failing to obtain it, toaed awa.v to the gloss, whess obo qoiotly omoothod hoe hail?, and ? adjuofcod tho laco at Iigl1 thi'oot, and then . ; ? catching Dif»hfe of the toar-stoined £cco of Holeo, .stooped, ond govo he? a biso, aftoe which she moved moehaaioallv to. the dow, and wont down tboie broad flights, one ol'tor one, till ohe a&mo ? to the. parlour, when dIio wont ia and onoountorod — Mr. Oscntt. A glance at hio faca told uqv all oho wuatou to k&OT/. ; ' Ah !' oho gogpod ; e it io thoa ™=~* ? Mcnaoll !' .It woa S.vo minniea iGfcei1. Imogono loaned against tho wiradow wlaei'o oha had v7ifchds.'Qwn . . ? hereelf at tko nttoroBQo of that ono word, Ms. ' - * -:Oreatfc otoo3 0 oouplo of poooo bohiud hoi1. [ . ' IraogoBb/ said he, ' thero io a queotioo I .' ? |t' ? wodd tibe to i&Qvo yoa anotfo?/

Tha fovorioh Dgitation ospBODOod in Ma 6oqo made her look around. ' Put it,' sbo mechanically iropliod. But he did not fiad it oaay to do this while h'eE ©yeo pouted mpoa hiaB ia saeh doopair. Ho felt, Eowov6Fs that tho doubt io hio mind sauot be safciafiad at all foazoi'do, so, choking down an emotion that uao almost qo boundloco oa hoi' own, he ventured to aiik : ' Io it amoBg the pooDibilitieo that you could eves ogoin contemplate giving yourself in mopeiog© to Ci'Gili Mcinooll, no mattsr what the lBGue of tho eoaring triol may be ?' A ohuddoi1 quiet and po^osfol ao that which follows the withdrawal' of a dapt horn nn agonising wound Qhook hoe whole frame fos 0 moment, bat she anocroDed, oteadily : 8 Ko ; how can yoa a sir, Mr, Ofcatt?' A gleam of relief ohot aorooa hia aoraowhat haggasd footures. . ' Theo,' oaid he, ? it will be no tpeaoon in ras to ossavo you that neves1 hag my love been greater for you than to-day, That to oave yon from the pain which you a?e ouffoxing, I would oacrifioe everything, even my pi'ido. Is0, therefore, there io any kindneag lean

ahoxy yon, any deed I can perform foi1 your 3abe, I am ready to attempt it, Imogens.' 4 Would yoa - — — ' ohe hesitated, bat gathered aourage. as ohe met his eye, ' would you be willing to go to him with a message from me?' Hio glance fell and his lips took a line that atautled Imogens, but his answer, though given with bifcte?neoQ, was encoupagiag. { Yes,' he returned : ' even that.' 'Then/ she cried, 'tell him that to save the incoeent I had to betray the guilty, but io doing this I did not spare myself : that whatever his doom may be, I shall share it, even though it be that of death.' 8 Imcgene !' 'Will you tell him ?' she asked. Bat he would mot have been a man, much less a love?, if he could answer that question bow. Seizing he? by the avm, he looked her wildly in the face. ' Do jou mean to kill yoaroolf,' he de manded. 1 1 'feel I shall nofc live,' she gasped, while hep hand went involuntarily to her hearto He gazed at he? in hoi'Fo?. s And if he is cleared ?' he hoa?sely ejacu lated. ' I— I shall try to endure my fate.' He gave hes? another long, long look. ' So this is the alternative jou give me?' he bitterly exclaimed. ' I mufit either save this taan or you perish. Weil, he declaredj after a few minutes' farther contemplation' o£ her face, 1 1 'will save this man — that ie5 if he will allow me to do so.' A flash of joy such as lie had not perceived oa hor countenance for weoko transformed its marble-libo severity into something of ito pris tine beau'y. ' And yoa will take him my message also ?' ohe cried. But to this he shook hie head. 'If I am to approach him as a lawyer willing 0 undertake his cause, don't you see I can give him no tuoh message as that?' ' Ah,- yes, yes. But you can tell him Imogen© Dare has risked hep own life and happineGD to save the innocent.' ' I will tell him whatever I con So show your pity and your misery,' And she had to content herself with this. In light of the new hope that was thus unes pectedlv held out to her, it did not seem so diffi cult. Giving Mr. Orcutt her hand, she endea voured to thank him, but the reaction from her long saspenoe was too much, and for the first time, in her brave young life, Imogene lost coq oeioraoness and fainted quite away. Chapter XXV. AMONG TELESCOPES AND CHAETS. ' Tarry a little — there is something else.'— Merchant of Venice. G-ouverneir Hildreth was discharged and Craib Mansell committed to prison io await bio trial. Horace Byrd, who no longer had any motive for remaining in Sibley, had completed all his preparations to return to Hew York. Hio volise was packed, bis adieus made, and nothing was loft for him to do but to step around to the station, when he bethought him of a certain question he hod not put to Hickory, Seeking him ont, he propounded it. 1 Hickory,' said he, ' have you ever discovered in the course of your inquiries where Mies Dare was on the morning of the murder F The stalwart detective, who waa in a very con= tented frame of mind, answered up with great cheorineBO : ' Haven't I, though ! It was one oE the very first things I made oare of. She was at Profes sor Darling's houoe on Summer Avenue.' 'At Professor Darling'o houQeP' Mr. Byrd icolt a sensation of diomoy. Professor Darling's house woo, aa you remember, in almost direct communication with Mrs. Clemmeno'o cottage by loaoaas of a path through the woods. Ao Mr. Byi'd recalled hio firsfc experience in threading tbos9 woodp, and remembered with what oud donnesa ho had emerged from them only fo find hisHQolf in full view of tho Webt Side and Pro feosor DavUng'o spacious villa, ho staved uneasily at his co'loDgae and said : £ It i-j tiain tim^, Hickory, but I cannot aolp that. Before I loave thiG town I muofc know jast what ohe was doing on that moi'nint?, and whom oho was with. Oun you fiad out ?' 1 Con I find oat?' Tho hardy dotoctivo waa out of the doov be fore tho last word of this ocornfol repetition had loft hio lipa. Ho woo (joao an H&ouv. WIigsj ho k'Q&Gi'aod kc looked very muoh ©soited.

5 Well !' hs ojaonlatod, k'eatolesgly, ' I have had an osporience.' Mr. Byrd gave him a look, sow ajmothiog he did not Lke in his faeo, and movod unoosily in hio chair. ' You Ijqvq P' ho i'otoBtod. e What io it P Speok.' ' Do you kaow,' the other resumed, ' tbafc tbe hardoot thing I evav had to do was to keep my head down in the hut the other clay, and deny myself a look nt the woman who could boar her oelf go bravely in the midotof a scono so terrible. Well,' ho wont on, ' I havs to-day been re warded £02 my solf-contsol. I have soon Miss Dare.' Horace Byrd could seareely ffeotrain his im patience. 'Where P1 he demanded. 6 How P Tell a - follow, can't yon P' 'I am going to/ protested Hickory. 'Onnnot 1 you wait a minute P I had to wait forty. Well,' i ho continued move pleaoantly as he sow the other frown, 'I went to Professor Darling's. There is 1 a girl there J have talked to before, and I bad '. no difficulty in aooing hor ov getting a five minutes' ebat with her at the back gate. Odd how such girls will talk ! She told mo in three minutes all I wnnted to know. Not that ifc was so much, only«——' ' Do get oe,' interrupted Mv. Byrd. ' When did Miss Dare come to the houao on the morning Mrs. OlemmeMS wan murdered, and what did she do while there?' ' Sbe came oariy ; by ton o'clock 0? so, I be lieve, and she sat, if sne did ait, in on observa tory they had at the top of the hou^e ; a place where she often used to go, I am told, to otmdy aotpoQOKay with ProfeGaor Dasling'a oldest daughter.' 'And was Mips Dave with he? that morning P Did they study together all the time she 7?os in tho houoe P' 'Ko ; th*t is, the girl gsid no one went up to the oboerva(o?y with Mi ho Dove ; thct Miss Darling did not happen to bo at home that day, and Mips Dare had to s^tsd? alone. Bearing this,' pursued Hickory, answering tha look o? impatience in the othet'a face, 'I had a cmiositv to interview the observatory, and being— well, not a clumsy fellow at softening 0 girl— I nt last succeeded in prevailing uron hey to taka me up. Byrd, will ?ou believQ me when I tell you that we did ifc without going into th© house P1 ' WhatP' ' I mean,' corrected the other, ' without enter ing the main part of the building. Tbo profeo sor's house has a tower, you know, at the upper angle toward tbe woodp, and it is in the top of that towes? he keeps hio telescopes and all that kind of thing- The tower haa a special staircase of its own. It is 0 spiral one, and opens oa a doos? below that connects directly with the gar den. We went up these stairs.' 5 You dased to P' 'Yes; the giel aeaurod me everyone wao out of the house but the aorvnnts, and I believed hep. We went up the Dtaira and entered the oboervotory — — ' 'It is not locked, bhen ?' 5 It was not locked to-day — saw the room, which is a curious one — glanced oat ove? the view, which is . well worth seeing, and then- ? ' 'Well what?' ' I believe I stood still and asked the girl 0 question or two moia. I inquired,' he went on, deprecating the other's impatience by a wave of his nervous hand, ' when Mies Dare come down from this place on tbe morning you remember. She answered that she couldn't quite tell ; that she wouldn't have remembered anything about it afc all, only that Mios Tremain came to the house that morning, and wanting to sse Mies Dare, ordered her to go up to the observatory and tell that lady to come down, and that she went, but to her surprise did not find Miss Dare there, though she was sure she had not gone home, or at least, hadn't taken any of the cars that start from the front o? the house, for she had looked at them everyone as they went by the basement window, whore she was at work. ' The girl said this P' ' Yes, standing in the door of this small room, and looking me straight in the eye.' 6 And did you aok her nothing more? Say nothing about the time, Hickory, or — or in quire where she suppooed Miss Dare to have gone ?' 6 Yes, I asked her all this. I am not with out curiosity any more than you are, Mr. Byrd.' 'And she replied?' ' Oh, aa to the time that it wao oomewhere be fore noon. Hop reason for being sure of this was that Misf Tremain declined to wait till an other effort had been made to find Miss Dare, saying she had an engagement at 12 which she did nofc wish to break.' ?And the girl's aotiono about whesje Mise j Dare had goneP' fi ' Such do yoa espeof, Byrd. She said she did J not know anything about it, but that Miss Dare often wenS strolling in the garden, or even in tho woods, when she came to Professor Darling's house, and that she supposed she had gone off on uome such walk at fchio time, for at one o'olock os.1 thereabouts, she saw her pass in the horoo-cas.1 on her way back to the town.' ' Hickory, I winh you bad not told mo this just as I am goinf? back to iho city.' ? Wick I had not told it, or wish I had not gone to Protosaor Darling's house gs you re quested P' 'Wish you bad not told it, I dare not wioh the otboi1. But you spoke of seeing Miss Dare ; how wao that P Where did you run aosoaa her?1 i s Do you want to heai1 P' 8 Of course, of coarse.' » 6 But I thought — ?' Q 1' Obi aovei.' mind, old boy 5 tell me the whole

dow, os long as you have told me any. Was she in the house?' ' I will tell you. I had aoked tho girl all these § que&t;ono, as I have said, and was about to 1 Leave the observatory, and go below, when I thought I would cast onother glance around the cunouo old place, and in doing bo caught a { glimpoQ of a huge portfolio of ohants, as I I ouppooed, standing upright in a rack that 1 stretched acroso the further portion of the room. ! Somehow, my heart misgave mo when I mv? \ this rack, and, scarcely conscious what ifc waa I : feared, I crossed the floor and looked behind j the portfolio. Byrd, thero was a woman I crouched there— a woman whose pallid cheeks ! and burning eyes lifted to meefc my owa, told i me only too plainly that it wao Mies Dare. I j have had many experiences,' Hickory allowed, i after a moment, ' and some 0? them anything j but pleasant fo myself, but I don't think I ever ! fait jasfc ao I did at that in?tant. I believe I j attempted a bow -I don't remember; or, at | least .tried to murmur some excuse5 but the look | that came into her face paraljzed me, and I stopped before I got very far, and waited to hear what she would say. Bat she did not Day j much. She merely ross, and, turning toward ! me, eselaimed, ' No apology ; you are a detec tive, I suppose P' And when I nodded or mad® some other token that sho guessed correctly, she merely 2?ema?ked, flashing upoo me, how' ever, in a way I do not yet understand, ' Well,, you have got what you desired, and now can go.' And I went, Byrd, went ; and I felt puzsled, I don't know why, and q little bit core about the heart, too, as if — — Well, I' can't even tall what I mean by that ' if.' The only thing I'm sure of io, that MaDsall's cause hasn't been helped by this day's job, and that if this lady is asked oq the witness stand where oho waodtsnog the hour everyone believed her to be aafely shut up with the telescopes and charts, ws ohall hear ? — -' 'What?' ' Well, that she waa shut up with them, most likely. Women like her are saoi; to bs easily dis« conceited even on the witneso stand/ (To be continued.) psiggssaij— 1 — I—.-j.i ? 1...; ? ' ??'.-?. .- . -- -.? ? ?? : ? ? ? ?? ? — ? ~-.'r~:.'~J . ^'.fi^flgl^HnW