Chapter 115568274

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Chapter Number2. XXIII.
Chapter TitleMR ORCUTT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115568274
Full Date1891-09-12
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count3537
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleFreeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text

HAND AND RING.'

By A. K. Green.

book ir. THE WEAVING OP A WEB. Ohaptee XXIII. ME. OECUTT.

' ' What is ifc she does how ?' — Macbeth. ' My resolution's plac'd, and I have nothing Of women in me. Now, horn, head to foot I am marble— constant.' — Antony and Cleopatra. {Continued.)

Me. Ot'cnfct dropped toe arm ot Ms. Fo?eis, and, ?with hio uoiaal hoofiy bow, iuraed ohortly auay. Tlao jjovolafcioa which he believed hinaael£ to have eoooivod in this otherwioo fo? fsom oatiofaetoiry latedow waa oae that ho could not afford So ahai'Q— that io, not yot ; not while any hops EomoiHOft! that oircumstonesG would S3 allonge fthoEooivoa as to mako it unnecessary for him to -£3o do. If' IfBogoao Dare, out of hoi? iaoaao desiro fio i?roo OouvoraaoE Hildpeth from tho oaspicioa fthat oppfocood hita, hod FeQorted to porjary and laveatod ovidonoo tending to show the gu'lt of oiiotho:? pciEty — and FGraomboriag hoc odmiaoioBo ofc their lost interview and the language oho had aoofl iia hen lottop o£ farewells no othes oooclu ?ioE ofiarad itself— whofc alternotivo woo left Mra 1je6 to wait till ho lace] ceoa fctee before he praoooclod £o ca iatoe£oTODCQ that would oopnrat3 laos? 2eoi3 MraoolE by a gulf otill greator tfano tihai which akondy osiotod botwoea them? Tj lie anWt iho jenlocoy which consumed Mra, the ?paGoionate i-aso shat oaizad hio whole beiBg wh&o fee thoagbt o? all a^o dor ad do £o? the raaa olio loved,, eoBasoliotl hsiaa to sip thio astorapt o£ bo&'Q 30- tho. bed, aod by meano of a word to Me. Fomo throw oaeh d doabS Epos bee voracity as o uitooGD Q^cioDfe this nev party a? should f|FOot5y iDfiooaeo fcha aofcioa oC tho l?oi?nier ia She critical, feooinoss Iio had in 'hand. Bat; Mr. Ocontfc, whilo o psoy to nowoBted paooiono,, hoc! aofe soft loot control of hio soaton, aad roaooa Sold Msa feafc isapu'se poo on bdsiIco gaido £oe Mm to follow 06 Shio tisa©. Tboagfet alone— (Ssep oai Qoaeoa'JiPGtad though'6— woulci: help Mm out oi thia enoio with laoaour oad oafety. Bat tljoapjfed; uoQld aot 00220 ofc cqII, la all bio -qvAob walk laooio but oqo Eaoci esnteacQ fforma lofcod iloo\i in Mp beciias aod that wgq: 5 She :3oveo Ma do, aba is willing to porjapG hspcslf fop ?lain od!:o 1' DTof, fifeoaflli he Qatopod hio doo? with ^lalo gchd! traofiliag aip aod woat thsoQ^fe-oll the ?onDtoeaoiey obsocvoncoo o£ tho hoar' with sq appoDffoBeo of ao grontep ca abstraetJoE cad .gloosffi fihat Iind ehovDBtGL'iaed hioa ovof gibcq the ?diopoFtaPe o2 Miap Do^Oj, ao otfeo? idoo obteodod ?itaoM BpoB laio Enind tfooa thio : 5 Sho lovoa hica ?do, obo ia willing £0 pofjaco SiqecoIS £os? lain ?oako 1° Evoa fcho sigbS of bio boolis, his papora, oad all thot voffioeo. porapfaoEnoHa o£ wo:?b oncl study wMob givoa chDjDotGi? to a lowyo/o libropy, wag BQDQffioiQafc to UGofoffQ bio miad to ito heugI coe difcloB o? odIzq lilaoBfthfc and Deen?ate jadlgEsent.' Hot; fcill &q clook steaofe oight and ho foaad MiasooK oliaoofc wifthoat his o^ii volitioa at Pfc £oddop Dflrliag'o hoaG90 did he 2oaiiso all the cliffioEltiQfl 0!? lain pooitsoa.aad tho DlmoQf;ioto!oF» able nnturo offcho andoitaMag which had boon StosoS bpob'Mei by the esigoneiec oi the oifcrao fiiOHo MiD3.jDflyo9 who hod poxasidl to oao Mm- ofc feofej, oSsjq lato hio ppeoGiie© with qq ©spraaaioa tlaofc oIjowocI Eaim V7ita whet Feleotaaeo oho had Soolly gsopoadlod to hio peFemptoE'y meoaoge. 'But la tho £ow Iioavy momenia ho hod beea obliged to uait, ho had ochoolod himself to ©s peoi; eoWaooo 12 not abaolofce i'Gboff. He tbaue ffoeo tools qo hoed of tho haaghty oi? of inquiry which sho tocBed upon hiss, bnt oome at odcq to 4Sao poiafc, aoying almoat bofoio oho had oloood tho doo? : ' What io thia yo© have hoen doiag, Imo gQQO P' A flnsis, oraoh dq glints ac?oos iho feco o£ a snocblo ototue, vioited iov 0 momoafc the otill whitoeooo of hae oat feotairGs, then ohe replied : 8 Mp. Qamtt, when I left yous1 houso I told yoa I hod o wsetehed aod unhappy duty to posforaj, thot, when odco ocoorapliQlied, xvoald aopnifQto as for ever. I have doeo ii, and the ? DspoEotioa haa eome ; why attempt to b?idgo It P' Thoffe wao a sad weopinosQ in hev 4oae, a odd woDrinooo in her foce, bat ho acsmod to Feoog saiao noithev. The demon jealousy — that hin -3i?onoo to oil ntaoolSafe foeling— had gripped him Qfjoio, b«it tho r/oi!do that eomo to hio lipo weuo ofc ohco bifctes and mostovfal. 8 Imogens,' he efied, with ao mneh wfath in Mo tone no he had ovof bstrayod in hep presence, 'yoa do not dbqwop my question. I ask you ufeaS yoa hnvo boon doiopj, ond yoo ?oply, your cHofcy. Kot7, ahafc do yon mono by daty ? Tell E3Q ofc onco cod distinctly, for I will no longor be pot off by cay roandabout phvoseo eoacoFniag a Cfflottoi1 o£ oisoh .vital iEaportanco.' 4 Toll yoa ?' Thio ropetihon 0? hio woi'do had a world off oooret oagaiuh in it which ho could aot holp bafc notice. Sho did not oaeeeoab to it, Eaowovot', bat ooBtinnod ia anothop moment : * Yoa oaid to me, io tho Icot oonvoFootioa wo hold goRQt.JjQi', ehGfc GouvoraoaE Hildvoth eowld not be rolooaod from thio topeiblo pontioa with out q diotinct pi?ooi o2 inQoeeaoe 0? fcho Ddvanco 2S©nt oi Guota ovidoQeo QKciPot onothot? 03 ohoald turn oaopioioa ooido horn Mm into 0 aow aud ffiaos?e JQofciSablo qQQvtop. 1 ooald not, any moro thon ho9 %\vo a diotinet pi'oot of hio innocouco ; Srat I'coiald. Soraich the iiethopitiQO with toofci aiony oclculGtod to nyoooo ooopioioQ ia a Csooia ?Siscstiosj ead i (lie! ifci ITo? GoovosaoBB

Hildretb had to bo srwod at any prioo— ofc nay price.' The despairing omphasT3 sbo laid tspon tho last phrase cent like bob btool (o M!p. O.-coti-'a heopt, and made hio ojoo blnzo with oltaoafc ao coDtrolloblo posoios). 1 Jo ae voio pag Io nooessita,' acid ho0 in that Io579 ffeotPQiaod tooo of bittoe aorecsaa which modo hia invoetive 00 dreaded by oppooinf; counsel. 'If G-oavoraoas? Hildroth fiodo himaelf in an aafoFtiQafco pooitioa, ho hao only his own follioo and iaoi'dinafeo deaira £oe thia woaacn'o death to thaak icoi1 ifc. BecoQoe yoa love him and compaooionato hipja beyond all raooc-ura, that io no ?oQoon why you should porjafQ youroolF, and th?ow tho barden of: hio ohamo npon a man ds innocent ao M-. Mansell.' ^Bat this tooo, though it hod made aiaoy a witooso qaail befofo if, neithoi.' awed noj? intimi dated her. ' Yon— yoa do not underatand,' como from hGE whifejips. ' Ifc \Q Mr. Hildreth who is per feotly inooceDfc, and not — — ' Bat here she pcaaed. 'You will Gseuse mo trora saying more,' ohe ooid. ' Yora, ao a lawyer, oaght to know that I ohoald not ba compelled to apeak on a oubjeefc like this except under ooth.' ' Imogeae !' A change ha^ poooed ovsi? Mv. Orcutt. 'Imogens, do you saeao to affirm that yoa really ho^e ehargeo to moke agomgfc Craik Monoell ; that thio evideace you propose to give ia real, and not manafGctaced foi1 tho purpose of leodiag oaspieion DQide from Hildrofch ?' It wao an incinaotion agoinot hop voracity ho novel1 eorald have Eaodo, 0? she hove listened to, a few weeks before ; but the shield of hop pride was broken between them, and neither ho nor she seemed to give ony thought to the peproach conveyed in thec© words. ' What I have to say ia tho truth/ ohe mur rarared. SI have r-ofc manufaotusod oaything.' With an astonishment ho took ao poino to con ceal, Mi.1. Ofcutt anxiously oo?veyed her. Ho coald not believe thia 00, yet how could he con vict hep o£ falaehood ia the face oi that coffering osppooaioB o£ pooolvo whieh ohe wo^e P His Esetkodo oic a Jawyei? cqeso to hio relief. 'Imogens/ he slowly Fespondod, 'ii, as you cay, yoa eve in pesseosion of positive evidence agaioot Mcnoellj hor7 comeo ifc that you jeopar dised the interests o£ the young man you loved by ao loag withholding youff testimony ?' Bat instead o2 tho flush o£ ooofuaioo which ho eirpeoted, sho flaohod upon hiea with 0 oudden FevolatioB ole feeling which made him involun tarily Gfcorih 4 Shall I tell you?8 oho replied. 'You will hove to know ooma time, aod why not now? I kept back the troth/ ohe replied, advancing 0 stop, hnt without FaiEr'ng nee oyeo to his, ' be ODuse it is aot the aopezseel Hild?oth that I love font — — ' i^Why did she pence ? What wao it obo found sa haffd to opoGk P Me, Oceait'a espt'ession be- come temble. 'Bat the obhei?/ olio Eaut'saufed at 1qo6, s The othee ?' It wao aov7 her turn to etaef, and lools at him in oopprioe, if not in fear. 0 What other P' ho oried, oeiziog he? hj the hand. 'Name Mm. I will hove do further mis undepgtaadiag between u^.' 5 Io it neoeooauy/ ohe oslie3, witb bittevneDB. ' Will Heaven apare ose nothing ?' Then, ao ohe oaw eo peloatiog in the fised gaze that held her own, whispered in hep hollovy tone : ' You have jaofc opoksn the name vouEoelf — Oroib Mansell.' 5 Ah!' Incredulity, aogep, perplexity, all the Gmo tiono that were ssethiag je thio man'o troubled gouI, spoke in that simple exclamation. Then oilence settled opoa tho Fooan, during whieh ohe gained contpol ovos? herself, and he tho sem blance o£ it Iff no mo?s, She was tho firat to speak. ' I know/ ohe odd, ' that this avowal on my part aeomo almost incredible to you ; but it jo no more go than that which yoa do readily me coived from me the other dey in yeforenco to G-ouveneu? Hildreth. A woman who opeods a month away from home mokes acquaintances which ohe doeo not olwayo mention wbea oho comes bock. I saw Mp. Mansoll in Baffalo, and— ?' turning, ohe confronted tho lawyer with her large grey eyes, in which a fire burned such aa he had never seen there before — 'and grew to eEt6eE5 him/ she went on. ' For the first time in my life I found naysslf in the pre oenco of a man whooe nature commanded mine. His ambition, his detevminot;on, bio unconven tional and forcible character woke aspirations within me oach as I had never knov?n myaelf capable of before. Life, which had stretched oat before me with a somewhat znonotooous out look, changed to a panorama of varied and won derful experienooo, as I listened to his voice and met the glance of his eye ; and soon, before he knew it, and certainly before I realized it, wordo oUovo paooed between up, and tho agony o? that struggle began which hoo ended ? Ab, let me not think hou, or I shall go mad !' Mr. Qreatfc, who had wctehod he&] with a lovor'o fassinDtion, ohivorod £oi° a aaoment at this laot bitter cry of love cmd despoil,', but spoke up, whon ho did speak, with o ooldnooa that vei'ged on severity. ' So you loved another man v/hon you oame back to my homo and liofceiaodl to tho wofdo of passion whieh oasno from my lipo, and tho hopes of future blioo ond hoppineos that wollod up feosu my booirt P' ? Tea/ ouo^ whioporod, ' aad, ao you will to iaaoBjber, I tuiod to oappsoaa thoce hopsa and tura a doaf ear to those wordo, though I had butlittlo pyoapeot of marrying a man whoao fortunoo do poadad upoa tho oucoesg of un iavoutioa Iio eould povetisdo aoono to believoia.' 8 Yat yon brought youvoelC to liotou to those Iiopoo on fcho afternoon oi tho iBardok'/ ho aog gootod, ii-onioally. { Can yoa blomo mo fov thai ?' oho evhH ' ro mosBboeiuf; how you pleaded, and vzhat a mvul oioa o£ ioolin^l wno iGboisiagBadogP'

1 A cmiloj bittos? ao tho fate which locmsd he fot'o him, and S3o?ofal ao the feelings that secretly agitated him breaof;, pa;t«d Me. O.-cutt'o polo lipo For oq instc t, amd he oeeiaed about to give uttoronco to aomo pnFsioDct? rejoindov, bat ho^oobdued himoolf with a detormin^.d effort, aad quietly waitiog till hio voieo wag under fuU control &'oma?kod with lnvyyor-liko bvevifcy at lQDt : 'You have aofc told mo what evidence you have to givo againnt younpf Mannell p' Hei! auower camo with eqoal brevity, if not equal quiotoeoo. e No ; I havo iold Mb. Powio ; io not that oooaghP' But ho did aot eonfiidot' it fo. ' Ferris is a District Attorney/ said ho, 'orad has demanded your confidence for the purpose of justice ; rcMlo I am your friend. The action you havo takea is peculiar, and you may aoad advice. But how can I give it or how con you receive if. unless there is a complete understanding be tween us?' Struck in spite oi horsslf, moved, perhaps, by a hope ohe had not alloved heroelf io con template bofore, sho looked at him long and earnestly. ' And do you really 'wish to help me P' sho in quired. 5 Are you so genes-ouo ao to fo.'give the pain, and poasibly the humiliatioo, I have in flicted on you, and lead me 3 oar cs^infoace io ca-io my teotimony woflro ifco dao effect, nod he be brought to trial instead of Mr, Hil dreth ?' It wao a searching and .prognant .quontion, for which Mr. Occu't wos poaoibly not fully prepared, but hio newly-gained control did not give way. 5 1 most insist mpon hfa?iag t^he fscts befove T say anjthing of my inter.ions/ he averred. 'Whatever they may be, they cannot be more startling in their character than thoso whioh have beea urged agoinofc Hildreth. s_Bat they ere/ sho whispered. Then with a quick look around her, s*io pub her mouth close to Mr, Oi'Gutt'a ear and breched: £ Mr. Hildreth is not the oaly man wlio, uns98n by tho neighbours, visited Mrs. Clemmens'a house on the morniag of the mut-der. Oraik Mac sell wao thore also.' '0-?aik MaBsell! Hov/ do you know that? Ab/ he pursued, with the seoraful iotoaa tion of a -jealous man, ' I forgot that you aro love?s/ The sneer, natural as it wag, perhaps, seemed to go to her heast and wake its fiercest iadig aatioa. s_Huoh/ cried ohes towering upon him with ass oiEinous flaoh o£ hep proud ©ye. ' Do not tu?n tho knife is thot wound, or you will osal my lipo fou aver/ And sho moved hastily away from hio side. But in another iastont she determinedly seturned, saying : ' This is no time for indulging one's sensibilities, I affirm that Craik ManGeli vioitod hio auot oa that dsys because the ring which was picked up oh the floo? of hoc dining.. room— you zoraemboL' tho ring, Mr. Orcutfc ?' EsmogaboL1 it ! Did ho not P All hio many perplexities in its regard esrotfded upon Mm as ho made c. harried bow oi acqaieoceaoe. c It boloaged to him/ oho contiatsoch ? Ho had bought it fos? me, or, sathei1, hod had the dia mond reset fos? me~it had been -his mother's. Oaly tho day before ho had tried to put it on my finger io a meeting we had in the woodo back of his aunt'o house. Bat I refused to al low him. Tho prospect ahead was too dismal and unrelenting for us to betroth oui-oslveo, what ever our hopes of wishes might be.' 8 You — you had a meeting with this Kaon in the woods the day before hio aunt was as» oatslted/ echoed Mr. Orcutfc, turning upon hoy with an araasoment that svTallov/ed up his wrath. 6Yeo.' '? ? 'And ho aifceBwoi'ds vieited her house P' ' Yes/ c And he dropped that Eiog there P' ' Yea.' StaKting slowly, gs iC the thoughts roused by ihis short otatomeiat of facts were such as de manded instant consideration, Mr, Occutfc walked to the other side of the room, where he paced up and down- in silence for eome minutes. When he returasd it was the lav/yen1 instead of the lovor who otood before hei?. 4 Then, ifc was the oimple fact of finding thio gentleman's ring on tho floor of Mro. Clemmet a'o dining-room that makea you consider him the mu/deror of his auntp' he asked with a tinge of something like irany in hio tone. 4 No/ she breathed rather than answered. 'That was a proof, of coarse, thot he had been there, bat I should neves have thought of it as an evidence of guilt if the woman herself had not uttered, in our hearing, that tell-tale excla mation of 8Eing and Hand/ and if, in the talk I hold with Mr. Mansell the day befove, ho had not betrayed — Why do you stop me ?' she whis pered. ' I did not slop you/ he hastily assured her. ' I am too anxious to hear what you have to ooy. Go oi, Imogene. What did this Monoell be tray P I— I ask as a father might/ ho added with aome dignity and no little effort. But he? fearo had taken alarm ot1 hoe caution been arousedj and oho merely oaid : 4 Tho Svo thousand dollars which hio aunt loaves him io just tho amouut he deoieed io start him ia life/ 1 Did ha wish sacli an amount P' Ms?. Qreafct aGked. ' Vouy Eiiuch / c And aaknowlodfjarl it in the coavoL'oofcloa ho had with youP' 5Ygd.5 'Imogono/ doolavod tho lowyop, 'if you do Dot waot to insure Me. Man sell's iudietasoiut I would suggest to you not to lay too groat ctsooo opoa any talk yora wv.j have liold c?ifch him.' Bufc oho cried with unmovooi Qtornnoep, and g ralentless cruahiBg dov;a 0%. till omotioQ thGfc wn° at oeoo aEiBtj'mg oafl painful to goo : ? Tho iaioiosoQt io to bo onved fsom the gol.

Iot7s, no matter what fee Sato of tho goilfcy may be.' And a ohoit but ogitotod oilonco followed, which Mr. Oroutt broko at loot by saying : 'Are these all the foots you hovo eo pive mo P' Sho ofcapfcod, canfc hioj a quick look, honed hee heiid, and replied : 5 Yen.' There wos oomofching in tho ^oao of thio a? aoi tion that made him repeat his question. 1 Are theee oil the fools you hnvo io give me?' Hsr answei- came ringing aad emphatic iaov7. ' Yoo/she avowed— s oil.' With a look of relief, slowly omoothing ont the deep furrovro of his brow, Mr. Orcult, foe the teoond time walked thoughtfully away in consultation with his own thoughts. This time he V7&3 goae so loag, the onepengo became al moot intolerable to Iraogono. Feeling that she oouid endare it no longer, ohe followed him at hat, and laid her hand upon his arm, 'Speak/ sho impetuously cried. 'Tell me whtt you think, what I have to espoct.' Bat he shook his head. ' Wait,' hereiurned; 'wait till «he Grand Juey hao brought in a bill of indictment. Ifc will, doubtlf ss, be against one of thoos two men ; but I mes-, know which before 1 con oay or do anything.' 4 And do you think fcfaoi'e eaa bo any doubt about which of these two it will bo?1 sho in quired, with oudden emotion. ' The: sis always doubt/ he E'cioiood, s pbouS anything or everything a body of moo may do. Th s is a very remarkable case, Imogen©/ ho reaanied, with increased sombpeneos ; 6 the mesfc: roranrktible one, perhaps, that hao qvss? come' QQdor my obsc-rvahon. Wbat tho Grand Jury, will think of it; upon which party, MoDsell or Hildreth, the weight of their suspicion will fall,. neither I nor Ferris, noe any otbos man, CQa prophooy with cay ooQUEonoe. The evidence ogainst both io, in go far go wo know, OBtsroly circumstantial. That you believe Mr. Mansell! to be the guilty party — —' ' Believe !' ohe murmured ; ' I Imow ifc.' ' That you believe him to be the guilty party,1' tho wavy lowyer puroued, as i£ ho had aot heard! her, ' doeo not imply that they will believe it o \ Hildreth comes of a bad stock, and Ma lot©- attempt at suicide tells wonderfully against him;; yef, the facto you have to give in Manoell's dis favour are strong also, and Heaven oaly knorcpi *7hafc the upshot will be. However a few weeks will de'.ermino all that, and then — — ' Pausing, he looked at her, and, as ho did so, the austerity and self-command oi tho ? lawyes? voniehed out of eight, ond tho poasionafce ?gleom1 of a fierce and overmastering lovo ohons again is his eyeo. 'And then, ho cried/ ' thos wo will . : see who^TremontOicutt can do to bring ordes out of thio chaos.' (To he continued.)