Chapter 115565683

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Chapter Number2. XXVI.
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115565683
Full Date1891-09-26
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count2850
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleFreeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text

HAND ATO- 'RiHG.

Bt A. K. Gkeen.

BOOK IF. THE WEAVING OF A WEB. Chapeee XXVI.

' HE SHALL HEAR ME !' ' There's some ill planet reigns ; I must be patient till the heavens look With an aspect more favourable.' — Winter's Tale. The time ia midnight, the day the some as that which saw the irruption of Hickory into Pro feoQor Darling's oboervatory ; the scene that of Miau Dare's own room in the north-east tower. Sbs is standing before a table with a letter in hai? hand rmrS r\ Irofa nnon her fnea that* if seen.

would hove added m^ch to th® puzzlement of the detectives. The letter was hom Mr. Qtfcutt and ran thus : — 6 1 have osen Mr. Manaell, nod have engaged myself to undertake his defence. Whoa I tell yon that oat of: the hundred oases I have tried in my still short life, I hove lost but q small percentage, you will understand what thio Eaeane. 4 In pursuance to your wishes, I mentioned you? qdzqo to tho prioonej? with do intimation that I hod g, message f com you to deliver. But he otopped mo before 1 ooald nttoi' a word. ' I receive no communication from Miss Dare !' ho declared, and, anxious oa I really was fco do your bidding, I was compelled to refrain ; for bis tone was on© oi hatred oad his iook tho& of Ineffable ocorn.' This wao all, bet ifc woo onough. Imogono had read these words over th?ee times, asad noc7 was ready to- plunge the letter into the flame of a candle to destroy it, Ao it burned, her grief and indignation took words. 5 He is alienated, completely alienated/ she gasped ; ' and I do nofc wonder. Bat,' ond here the fell majesty oi her nature broke forth in one grand gesture, s he shall hear me yet ! Aq there is a God above, be shall hear me yet, even if ifc has to be in the open court and in the presence o£ judge and jury !' BOOK III. THE SCALES OF JUSTICE?. Chapter XVII. Othello. — What dost thou think ? Jaso.— Think, my lord ? Othello. — By heav'n, he echoes me, As if there was some monster in his though!; Too hideous to be shown. —Othello. Siblet woo m a stiff, Sifoley woo the control point o£ intereot for the whole country. The great trial was in progress nod the cariosity of the populace know no boando. In d room o£ the hotel see oar two detectives. They had just com© from the court-house. Both Qeemed inclined to talk, though both, showed oh indisposition to opoa tho conversation. A hesi tation lay between thera ; a certain thin veil of emborraosmont that either one would have found it hard to explain, ami yet which, sufficed to moke their intercourse a trifle uncertain in its oharootor, thoagh Hickory's look hod lost noae of its s?ude good humour, and Byrd'e manner was the Dams mixture of ocpy ncm efoaloQeo and quiefc sslf-posoesQion it had always beem. Ifc was Hioko^y wbo opolre at loot. 1 Well, Byrd,' was Ms suggeativo osolomafcion. d Well, Hickory,' was the quiet reply. ' What do you think of the cass go far P' ' I think' — the words came somewhat slowly — ? I think that ifc lookq bad. Bad for tbe prisoner, I mean,' as explained the next momeEt, with a quick nuoh. 1 5Tour sympathies are evidently wifch Mcnsell/ Hickory quietly remarked. 4 Yes,' r/aa the slow reply. ' Nofc that I think him innocent, or would turn a hai^'o breadth from the truth to serve him.' 'He ie a monly fellow.' Hickory bluntly admitteds after a moment's paff at the pipe he wao omoking, ' Do you remember the peculiar stroightforwflvdnegg of his look when he uttered his plea of 'Nob guilty, ' and the tone he used, too, so quiet, yet ao emphatic ? You could have heard a pin drop.' 1 Yeo,' ueturned Mr. By?-3, with a quick con traction of his usually small brow, 'Have you noticed,' the other broke forth, after another puff, 'a certain carious air of disdain that he wears P' ' Yes,' was again tho ofaost reply. 6 1 woadoE what it means ?' queried Hiokory, carelessly, knocking the ashea out of his pipe. Mr. Byi'd flashed a quick atkance look at his oolleague from undes hia haii-fallon lids, bat made ao oaowst1. ' It io not prido alone,' reoumod the rough and-roady defcoctivc, half-musingly ; ' though he'a as proud as the boot o£ 'em. ITeitbes is it any sort of mnke-b&lieve, or I wouldn'fc bo caught by ifc, 'Tis— -'tis—what P' And Hickory rubbed Wo boso with his thoughtful foL'oSoger, and looked inquiringly afc Mr. Bysrd. 1 How should I know P' romarkod kko othor, toooing his stump ole a cigar into tho fieo, ' Mr. Manooll io too doop a problem for me.' 5 And Miaa Dqko, too.' And Miss Doko. Silonoo £o31or;ed 4hio odmissioD, which Hic Isory MoltQ ot Icofc by obassving ;

5 Tho dcy Shot sooo hoi? on the witness-stand will be intoro&tiae, oh P' j 'It io not far off,' declared Mi\ Bprd. ?No?1 'I ihiok ohe will bo oolied aa a witoes^ to morrow.' 'Have you aoticod,' began Hickory again, after onotlaosr short iatosval ot! quiet contem plation, 'that it is only when Miaa Dire id presenfc that MgqdoII woaro tho lock oit sjo?o I have juot mentioned P' ' Hickory/ said Mi1. Byvd, wheeling directly about in his chair, aad, for the first time, surveying his colleaBuo squally, 'I have noticed this, that oror sines ine day oho made her first appearance io the oonrt-roooi, she hao sat with her eyes fixed earnestly upon the prisoner, aad that he hao ntvep answered her look by so much as a glance in hap direction. Tfeig bos bat one explanation as I take it. He . never forgets that it is through her ho hss bean brought to trial for his life.' Mr. Byrd uttered this very distinotly, and with a decided emphcois. Euf, the irape^vionQ Hickory oaly settled himself further back in hio chair, and, stretching his feet out toward the fire, remarked dryly : . 6 Perhaps I am not much of a jadga ot human nature, but I should hnve ocid bow that thio Monoell was not a maa to treat her oon~ temptuously for that, Rage he might show or hatred, bat this quiet ignoring oE hep presence seems a little too dignified for a criminal facing a person he has ovary reasoa to believe is convinced of his guilt.' ' Ordinary Jules don't apply to this moo. Neither you nor I can tound hio nature. II h© displays contempt, it is btcauoe he ia of the sort to feel it for the woman who has betrayed him.' ' Yon moke him oat meon-spirited, then, as well ao wicked ?' ' I make him out human. More than that,' Me. Byrd resumed, airte? a moment's thought, 'I m&ke him out cocs'stent. A man who lota hia passions sway him to the extant of com muting a murder for the purpose of satisfying his Iovq or hio ambition, is not of the ungelfLh cast that would appreciate such a sacrifice na Miss Dare hog made. This undo? the supposi tion that our reasons for balieving him gailty are well founded. 11 oar suppositions are false, and the crime was not committed by him, hia contempt needs no explanution.' s Just eo!' The peculiar tone in which this was uttered caused Mr. Byrd to flaah another qaick look at hio colleague. Hickory did not seem to ob» segve it. 5 Well.il will tell you,' returned By rd, with the sudden vivacity of one glad to tarn tho easronfc of conversation into a fresh channel. 'If you have followed the method of prosecution os I have done, you will have noticed that it has advanced to its point by definite stages. First-, witnesses ?7ere produced to prove the existence of motive on tho paefc of the accused. Mr. Goodman was called to the witness oiaad, and, after him, other business moo of Buffalo, all of whom uuited in unqualified Dsoertioas of the prisoner's fre quently»expr©Qsed deoire for & sum of money onfficisnt to put his invention into practical usa. Next, the amount considered 'necessary for thio purpoae was a'oceitained and found to bs juot covered by toe legacy bequeathed him by his aunt ; after which ample evidence was produced to sfeow that he knew the estanfc o? her small fortune, ond the fact that she bad by her will made him her hsir, Motiva for the ciime bsing fchua ootobliohod, they now proceeded to prove that ho was not without actual opportunity for perpetrating ifc. He was shown to have boon in Sibley at the time of the mu?dor. The statioa-mastok1 at Moateith was con fronted with, the prisoner ; also old Sally Perkins. Then you and I came foefoje the court with our testimony ; and what ever doubt may have remained as to his having been in a position to effect his aunt's death, and afterward escape unnoticed by means of the path leading over the hills to Monteith Qaa?ry station, waa swept away, What re mains P To connect him with tho mui'der iteelf, by some strong link of circumotantial evidence, oust as the ring provides. Aad who is it that cqu give testimony regarding fell© ringP—Miss Dase.' - Hem ! Well, oho will do it,' was the dry remark o£ Hickory. 'She cyill be obliged to do it,' was the em phatic response of Byrd. And again their glances crossed in a furtive way both seemed ready to ignore. ? What do you thiak o£ O?cutt ? ' Hickory nesfc inquired. ' He is very quiet.' 8 Tod quiet, en Pp ' Perhaps Folks that know him well declare they nover before saw him conduct a cbss in so temperate a manner. He ha« soaroely made an effort at cross-examination, and in fact has fchss far won nothing for the defence except that ah tonishing tribute to the prisoner's character given by Mr. Goodman.' 'Mr. Goodman is Mansell's friend.' 'I know it; but his ohort, decisive Btotemenfc told upon the jury. Such c man ao he made Manfoll out to bs is jaat the sort to create an impression on a body oi men like them.' 1 Orcutt understands a jury.' *Orcutt understands his 0039. He knows he can m&ke nothing by atfcomptinng to shake the evidence which has been pvesantad by tho pro socution ; the facts are too clear, and the wit nesses who have beesi culled to testify uvo of too reliable a-^harcctei1, Wbatovos defence ho oonteaaplateo, it will nofc EQQfc upon a denial of any of the fuels brought io light through cur oiioi'ta, ov tho evidence of ouch persons as Meopi's Goodman and Honison.' 'No.' ' The question is then, ia what will it lie P Some strong point, I warrant you, or ho would nofe hold himoelf end, his piano so completely in

reserve. Bat vhat okong point ? 1 aehnow I ledge the uncertainty troubles sao.' 1 ' I don't i7oudor,' rejoined Hickory. * So it 1 dooa mo.' m Aad a conotraintogiin fell between them thoft ?? loBted till Hickory puc his pipo in bis poobet and il Qignihsd hia intention of returning to his own I apaitmenta. \\ Chapthe XXVIII. I ;- THE CHIEF WITNESS FOR, THE PROSECUTION. '; 'Oh, while jon live tell truth and shame the ' devil.' .1 — HBNRr IV. ji _ Mr. Byrd'o coantenanco aftt r tho departure of his companion was anything but cheerful. The foot is he was secretly uneasy. He dreaded the morrow. He dreaded the tectimony o£ Miss I Dare, He had not yet escaped go fully from I under the dominion of her fascinations as to I rtgard with equanim'ty this unhappy woman I toroing herself to give testimony cozapsomisios 11 to tho mm oho loved. r .Yet when the morrow came he was among the li first to secure a seat in tho eoart-voaw. Though I the scese wag likely fo be harrowing to his feel- ' ings, he hnd ao wish to lose it, cad, indeed, ^ chose saoh a position aa vroald give him tbe ^ best opportunity fop observing the prioooex and I sufvejing tiie witneosep, ?» Ee was tot tho only one on the lookout for the testimony oi Mias Dare. The increased Dumber -i of spectators and the genepal air of expectation ) vuible io more than ona of the ohief actors in 1 this terrible dpam-i gave saopicious proof of the I hot, even if the deadly pallor of the lady her- ' I self had not revealed her own feelings ia regard 1 to the ocbioefc. 1 Tne entrance of the prisoner was more marked too than usual. His air aDd manacr were em phabiz-'d, go to speak, and hio face, wheo he | ''?'? tnrned it tov7ard the japy, wore an iron look o£ 1 f resolulion that would have made him eonopicu» | oaa had he occupied a loos pyoDaineot raoaition I than that of the dock. ; Mian Di?e, who hud flisbed her eyes toward 1 him at tho moment of his first appearance, * dropped them again, contrary to her asnal cue- I torn. Was ifc because she knew the momont :? was at band when their glances vvould bo obliged : to meo( p . ^ Mr. Ogoutt, whom no movemf nt on the part U of Mias Dare ever escaped, loaned over and I; spoke to the prisoner. I- ' Mr. ManoeJ],' said ho, ' are you prepared to r submit with eorijpo uee to the osdoai of coa- v fronting M:S3 D^re p' :i 8 Yse,' was the Qtern reply. i ' I would than advise you to look at her now,' ; proceeded his coanael. ? She is not turned thia way and you can observe hec without encounter ; iog her glancs, A quirk look at this wjoaeufe ~.: eBay s^ve you from betraying any undue emotion when 50a sao her upon the stand. The accuDod smiled with a bitteraoas Mf. I Orcutfc thought perfectly natural, and slowly j prepared to obey. Ao ho raised his eyeo and \ allowed them to traverse the room until they settled upon the countenance of the wodiara he loved, this other men who, oat of a still more i absorbiug passion for Imogeoe, was at that very : moment doing all that lay ia his power for the : uaving 0? this his openly-acknowledged rival, I watched him with the closest and moot breath- ; less attention. It was another instance of that ; peculiar fascination which a successful rival has '? for an unsuccessful one. It wos as if this groat ;: lawyer's thoughts reverted to hio love, and he '\ asked himself : ' What ig there in this Mansell ;! that she should prefer him to sho P° Aad Orcutfc MmoelF, thtts^h happily unaware o£ the foot, wao at the same inotsat under a scrutiny es ntmow ao that he bestowed apoa hia client. Mr. Ferris, who knew his secret, folt a keen interest inwatching how he would conduce jj himself at thio juncture. Not an expression OE )\ the lawyer's keen ond puzzling eye but wasQoen jj by tho D strict Attorney and noted, even i2 ife was not aadorsfood. 0£ the three, Mr. Ferris was the firofc to turn away, and his thoughts, if they could have been put into wordp, might have ran something like thio : ' That man '—meaning Oreutt—' is doing tho nobleot work one human being can porfoEmfo? mother, and yet there is something in his fooe I do not comprehend. Can it bo he hopes to win Miss Dore by his efforts to save hio rival ?' As for the thoughts of the person thus aacon soioualy subjected to the critioisra of hio dearest friend, let our knowledge of the springs that govern his actioa serve to interpret both the depth ond bitterness cf his curiosity; while the sentiments of Manaell ? But wLocqii read what lurka behind the iron of that sternly compooed countenance P Hot Imcgene, not Oroutt, not Forrio. His secret, if he owns one, he keeps well, ^a , and hia lido Gcarcely qoiver us he dropo tbena 1 I over the eyes that but for a momeDt before re- \i I fleeted the grand beauty of the unfortunate ij woman for whom he go lately protested tho most {)! fervent love. Jj The nest moment the court wos opened and ;[| Mips Dare's name was called by the D'wttiot | Attorney. | Wita a last look at the unresponsive prisoner, Imogen© rose, took her place on the witness stand ' and faced the jury. (To he continued.)