|Chapter Number||BOOK IV XIII|
|Chapter Title||MR. NORTH SPEAKS.|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||His Natural Life|
His Natural Life*
By Majiçus Çlahke,
MB. N011TH SPEAKS.
1 «F method and manner of his revenge became i.ubiect of whisioredcouveibitioiioiitheisiaiid It his reported that Noith had been forbidden to visit the convict, but that he had refused to «cent the prohibition, md, by a threat of what he would do when the returning vessel hid lauded lum in Hobart lown, hod compelled the Commandant to withdraw his older The Com nun Unit, however, speedily discovered in Rufus Da» co si ns of insubordination, lud set to w ork iRiiu to reduce still further the "Bpirit
lie had so ingeniously 'broken lhe uuhippy convict was depnv d ot food, vv is kel t awake lt night», was put to the haidest labor, was loaded mtii the heaviest lions froke, with devilish nulice, suggested tint if the toi turee! wretch Mould decline to see tho ch iplam, onie amello ration of bia condition might be etlectcd , but his suggestions weie in vam lull) believing that his death »as ceitaiu, Diwcsclung to Noith a the sivioui of his agonised soul, and ¡ejected all such insidious ov el tures Em aged nt this ubatuiacy, Frere sentenced his victim to the 1 spread eagle and tho " sti etchei
i*ow the rumor of the obduricy of this un d muted com ict w ho had been i ec died to hei b) the clergyman at then stiangc interview, hid reached ¡sylvia s ears She had heird bloomy hitit» of the punishments intlicte 1 on lum by hei husband-5 ordei andas-const mtl) lcvolvmg ia her mind th it last conversation with the ch ip lain-she vvoudeicl at the pusonei s strange fancy iori flower, her brain begin to tin ill with tho e undefined and dreadful nieinoi les v\ Inch had haunted her childhood W li it ivis the link between her and this murderous vill mi1 How came it that she felt at times bo strange a S) m pithy toi his fate, and that he-who hal it tempted her life-cheushed so tender i remeui brmce of hei as to beg foi a How r which hei hand h id touched
She questioned her husbmd concerning the convicts misdoings, but with tint petuliut but
tality he luviiubl) displayed when the mino of Ruiua Diwesuitiudod itself into then conveisi tion Maurice 11 ero h u shly i efused to satisfy her This but raised hei caiiosit) bimbel She lelleeted how bitter he had always seemed i0aiust this man-she remembeied how, in the guden it Port Arthur, the hunted wi etch li id c lufcht her droas with words ot assuied confidence-she le collected the fiaginent oi cloth he had ¡ issiou atoly flung fiom lum, and which hei iirhanccd lov el had contemptuously tossed into the bli c im The name of ' D iwes, detested es it li id become to her, boi e ) ot some strange issoci ition of com fort and hope Wlut seciet linked behind the twilight that had f dieu upon hei childi h memo ríes * Depnv ed of the adv ice of Noi th-to vv horn, a few weeks Kick, she would have confided hei misgivings,-she resolved upon i piojcct that for her, vvis most distasteful She would herself vi it thcgiol, ind jucIl.0 how fir the rumoio ot hei husband s cruelty wero vvoithy of
Oacsultiy afternoon, when tho Commandant had gone on a visit of inspection, Trokclounging atthedooi of the New Pi ison, beheld, with sur prise, the figuie of the Comm nul mt a hdy
" W h it is it, mam 1 he asked, oc neely ublo to behev e his ey es
' 1 want to see the pi isouei Dawes Troke s ]aw fell
' See Daw es Î ho repeated "\ea Wheioisho'
Troko was piopaimg i he lhe imperious voice mel the cleai, steady gn/e, confused him
" He s here '
" Let me see him
" He s-he s under punishment, mam "
"What do )ou mean? Aro they flogging
' No but-but he s dangerous, mam The
' Do you meau to open the door or not, Mr
Troke gi ew moi o confused It was ov ldent that ho was most unwilling to open the door " The Commandant guv o strict ordei 3-'
' Do you wish mo to complain to the Com mandant ? cues S)lvia, with i touch of her old spirit, md jumping hastily at the conclusion that the giolers were, perilips, tortuimg the convict for their ovv n entoi tainment " Open the dooi
at once I-it once !
Thus commanded, Ti oke, with a hasty grow 1 of its " being no all m of his, and he hoped Mi s Trere would tell tho captain how it happened,
Hung open the dooi of a cell on the right hind ot the dooi way It was so dalk that, it fiist, byllu could distinguish nothing but the outline of some frame« oik, with something sti etched upon it that resembled i human body Hei first thought was that the mnn was deal, but tins was n t so-hegioiucd Her eyes accustoming them elves to the gloom, begin to bee what the
puni hment w is Upon the Hool w es plieed in ir u frime ibout six feet long aud two and a half f-et wide, with lound iron bus plieed trm creel), about twelve inches aput The mau s le cune to seek was bound m i lion/outal positi u upon this flame, with Ins neck projec ing ov ei the end of it If he allow ed his he id to liai u the blood rushed to his bl nu and sut located lum, vvhilo the effort to kee)) it raised strained every muscle to ag my pitch His face was purple, and ho foamed it the mouth Sylv ia uttered a cr) "lins is no punishment, it is
murder ' \\ ho ordei ed this
" The Comm uidant, soys 1 roke sullenly ' I don t believe it Loose him I " I dai en t, main, si) s Ti oke
" Loo c him, I s ly ' Hule) I - you, su there The noise had bl ouçlit sever il vv ardei s to the si ot " Do you hear me! Do you know who I am Î Loose him, I say ' In her eager ness and compassion, she was on her knees b) the si le oi the mfcinal michino plucking it the ropes with her delicate lingera ' Wi etches, you have cut his flesh I He is dying ' Help ' You
haï e killed him I
The prisoner, ni fict, seeing this angel of mercy stooping over him and hearing close to him the tones of a voice that for sev en yen she had heird but ni his dreams, had f unted Tioke and Hailey, ulai med by hei v ehemence, di igged the stretcher out into the light and hastily cut the Uehings Dawes rolled oil like a log, nul his heid fell against Mrs Frere Iroke roughly pulled him i ide, and called foi water Sylvia, trembi ug with sympathy, and pale with passion, turnt ! u[ on the crew " How long has he been like this? b
' An hour, saul Troke
A lie I said a stein voice at the door "Ho has been there nine hours .
AS retches I cried Sylv ia, " you shall heal more ct this Oh, oh I I am sick she felt for ttie » all-' l_i-' Uoith "atehed hei with igouy on his face, but did not move " I faint 4-she utteied a despairing cry that was not without a touch of anger "Mr North ' do you not see * Take me home-take mo home . md
she woull have fallen across the body of the
toit ire 1 prisoner had he not caught her in hiB
Lufus Dawes, awaking from 1iib stupor, saw in the midst of a sunbeam which pene trated a window in the corridor, the woman who came to save his body, Bupported by the priest who came to save his soul, and btaggenug to Ins knees, he stretched out his hands with a hoarse cry Perhaps there vi as something in the action which brought back to the dimmed remembrance of the Commandants wife the image of a similar figure stretching forth its hand» to a fi ightened chdd in the mysterious far o3 time She started, and pushing back her nair, bent a wistful, terrified gaze upon the face »r the kneeling man, as though she would fain re- d there an explanation of tho shadowy memory which h unted her It is possible that she would have spoken, but North-thinking the excitement had produced one of those hysterical crees which were common to her-gently drew her, still gazing, back towards the gate The came « u-uia fell, and au undefinable presentí
ment of eul chilled him as he beheld the priest -emotion pallid in his cheeks-slowly draw the tau- young creature from out the sunlight into tue gum shadow of the heavy archway Tor an instant the gloom swallowed them, and it seemed to Dawe» that the strange wild man of God had J? th,dt gâtant become a man of Evil-bhghtmg th ,Sutneä3 and the beauty of the innocence tnat c1 mg ts him For an instant-and then «iey a, e¿ out o£ tm? pnson arcilwlJ. mto the tree ur ot heaven-and the sunlight glowed ggg^jou their faces_
JcLIih,".!>ïnsl't of Ui* Natural Life his been J ir. »lïn.Chrke r°I,nCt0ni °f Tl' Ç""",la Uei from ilr
" You are di," said North " You will faint YYThy do you look so wildly ?
" What is it, ' she whispered, more in answer to her own thoughts than to his question " What ia it that link« me to that mau ? YVhat deed-what terror-what memoty ' I tremble with crowding thoughts, that die ere they can wluspei to me Oh, that prison !
' Look up , wo are in the sunshiue
She passed her hand across her brow, sighing heavily, as one awaking from a diatuibed slum ber, shuddered, and withdrew her ami from his North interpreted tho action coi i ectly, and the blood rushed to his face " Pin don me y ou c in not walk alone , you will fall I will leave you at the gate
In tiuth she would have filien hal he not igain issisted her She turned upon lum oyes whose repioachful sorrow had ilmobt forced lum to a confession, but he bowed his be id lud held silence 1 hey reached the house and he pi iced her tenderly m a ch ur " Now you aro safe, Madam I will leave you
She burst into tears " W hy do you treat me thus Mr North' Yvhat hu o I done to make you hate me 2
" Hate you ' said North, v» ith trembling lips ' Oh, no, I do not -do not hate y ou I am mile m my speech, abrupt in my manner You must forget it, and-and mc
A horse s feet crashed upon the gravel and au
mst mt after Maurice I rere burst into the room
Returning from the Ciscades, he bid metlroke, and loained the releise of the prisoner 1 urious at this nsui patiou of authority by his wife, his self esteein wounded by the thought that she h id witiie» ed his mean revenge upon the man lie had so infamously wronged, md his nitural bru t ihty enhanced by br lud j, he had made for the houso at full gillop determined to assort his authoi lty Blind with r ige, he saw no ono but his vvite "YYliat the dovSs this I hear? lou hue been meddling m my business I 1 on re le ise 11 isoiiers ' 1 on
' Captain liera* said Noith stepping for vvaid to assert the restraining presence of a sti nigel Frere started astom bed at the mtru sion ot the chaplain Here w as another outi ige of Ins dignity, auother insult to his su[icmu authoi it) lu its passion his gi osa miud leapt to tho vvoist conclusion
' 1 on here, too . M hat do you want hera with my wife ' This is )our quand, u it Î His oyes Ljinced wi ithfully from one to tho othei
and he sti ode tow aids North You infernal
hy poci ltic ii lying scoundrel if it vv uni t for y our bl ick cost, I d
' Yl nu ice I cried Sy li ia, in in agony of bli imc and tel roi, striving to i lace a rcsti auituc, h md uponhisarm Ho turned upon lierwith sohucely liifiiiniiis a curse, thitNoith, pile with ri(,htoous rage, seemed prompted to sti ike the bully nilli in to tho eai th. Tor a moment, the two men f iced cich othei, and thou 1 tere inutteimg tineits uf vengeance against e ich and ill-c imct giolcia, wife, and priest-dung the supplunt woman violently from him, and i ushed fi oin the room Sho fell heavily tig mist the wall, and is tho eli ni m raised Lu, he heard the hoof strokes of the dopai ting horse
' Oh1 cried by lvia, covering her fico with tiemUing hands, let me leave this place
Noi th, enfolding her m his arms, strove to sot tho her with incoherent words of comfort
Di//y with the blow she had received sho clung to lum sobbing 1 vvicc he ti led to tear lnniselt away, but hod he loosed his boll sho would hav e f dien He could not hold her-bruised, Building, and in tears-thus igainst Ins he ut, and keep silence lu a torrent of i0 imsed clo quenco the story of his love burst from his lips
Y\ hy should you be thus toi tin ed ? hu ci led ' Heiven nevei willed you to be mited to tint bool-you, whose life should bo ill sunshine Lcav o him-leav e lum He has c ist you oil YVu have both auflered Let us le ive this dreadful place-this istliinuu between edith and hell I I will give y ou happiness
I am going, she said, faintly ' I had aheady ariangcd to go
North trembled "It was not of my seeking I uto has willed it Yi e go together I
lhey looked at each othei,-she felt the fovei of Ins blood, she le id his passion in his eyes she coiupiehcnded the " lnticd he had affected foi her, and, de idly p ile, diew back the cold hand he hold
"Go1 she mm mured "If you love me, leave mo-le ive me ' Do not see me oi spe ik to mo again- her silence added the words she could not utter,-till then
Cn vi Ti li XIV
oi rriNo iihvDv ioksla
YiiimiCL 1 huies passion had spent itself m
that 1 ist net of v lolenee Ho did not rotui u to tho pi ison, as he hid promised himself, but tin ne 1 into the io id tint led to the C isc ides Ho lepeuted him of his suspicious lhere was nothing strange in the \ reseucc of the eli ipliiin Sylvia h id always liked the man, and an apology foi his conduct had doubtless removed lici
angel To make a mountain out of i molehill was tho act of an idiot It was n ituril that she should release Dawos-women lucie so tender
la n ted A few well chosen, calmly uttcied pi ititudes aueut the necessity for tieatiiieut th it, to those unaccustomed to the desj eratc wicked ness of convicts, must ippeirhusli would have
borved his turu far better than blustu and able e Moi cover, Noith was to sail in the L idy II uikliu, and might 1 ut ni execution Ins tin eats of ofbcial couipluut, unless he was eatcfully dealt with To put Dawe4 again to the torture, would be to show to Irokc, lud his friends, tint tho Commmdints wife »hid acte! without the Comm indaut s authority, aud th it must not be bhown Ho would not return and patch up al eve His wife suled in the sinie vessel with North, and he would in a few diys be loft done ou the isliud to pursue bia discipline
unchecked YVith this intent he rctuined to the
pi win, and gravely informed poor Iioke that lie vv is istouishcd at his b irbanty 'Mia 11 ere vv ho, most luckily, had appointed to meet nie this evening at the prison, tells me that the pool devil Dawes had been on tho stictchei since seven o clock in the morning
Y ou ordered it first thing, yer honor, said
' Y es, you fool, but I didn t order y ou to keep the mau there foi mue hours, did 1 ' Why, you scoundrel, you might have killed lum ' Iroke sei itched his head in bewilderment T ike his irons off, and put him in a separate cell m the old gaol If a mau is a murderer, that is no re cson you should take the law into y our own hands, is it ? You d better take care, Mr Iroke
On the way back he mot the chai lam, who, seeing him, made for a bye path m c irions h tate ' Halloo ' roars Freie ' Hi ' Mr North |
Noith paused, and the Comm indaut made at lum abruptly ' Look here sir, I was rude to you yust now-devilish rude Mont ungentle
manly of me I must ipologiae North bowed, vv ithout speaking, aud tried t > pass
" Y ou must excube my violence, Trere went on 'Im bad tcui[ ered, and I didu t like my vv ife mterferong Yv omen, don t you know, don t see these things-don t understand these scoundrels North again bowed " YVhy, dammit, how savage )on look ' Quite ghastly, bic,od i I must hare said most outrageous things 1 orget and forgiv e, you know Come home
and have some dinner
"I cannot enter )our house again, sir, said North, m tones more agitated than the occasion
would seem to warrant
Frere hunched his great shoulders with a clumsy affectation of good humor, and held out his hand " YVell, shake hands, paroon Y'ou 11 have to take care of Mrs Ireie on the voyage, and ave may as well make up our differences befoia you start Shake hands
" Let me pass, au I cries North, with height ened color , and so ignoring the proferí ed hand, sti id es savagely on
" You've a d- fine temper for a paison, said I rere to himself " However, if you won t, you won't Hang me if 1 U ask you again Nor, when he reached home, did ha faro better in his efforts at reconciliation with his wife Sylvia met him with the icy front of a woman whose pride ha3 been wounded too deeply for tears " Say no more about it, she said ' I am going to my father If you avant to explain your con duct, explain it to him
" Come Sylvia, he urged , " I was a brute, I know Forgiv e me
" It is useless to ask me, she Bald , " I cannot I lia ve forgiven )ou so much during the lost
Bev en years
He attempted to embrace her, but she with drew herself loathingly from his arms He swore a great oath at her, and too obstinate to argue further, royally sulked Blunt coming in about some ship matters, the pair drank rum Sylvi i went to her room, and occupied herself with
some m nor details of clothes packing (it is wonderful how women find relief from thoughts in household care), while Noith, poor fool, see mg from his window the hc,ht m hers, sat star uig at it, alternately cursiug aud praying
In the memtime, the unconscious cause of all this-Rufus Daw es-sit m Ina new cell-won dering at the chinee which lind procured him comfoit, and blessing the fur hands that had brought it to bun Ho doubted not but that byllu had mteiceded with his tormentor, and by her gentle pie iding bought him ease " God bless her, he mummied ' I hive vvionged her all these ye irs She did not know th it I suf
fered He waited mxioit 1) for Noith to visit bim that ho might have his belief confirmed ' I w ill get him to think her for mc, bethought But Noith did not come foi two whole da)s No one came but his g lolcrs and, gmng fn m his prison w union upon the sea that almost vv ishcd its walls, he siw the schooner at nuchoi, mock mg lum vv ith it hbet t) ho could uot acluev o On the third di), how cvci, North came Hismmuer was coustiuiued and abiupt His eye« wandered uneasily, and he seemed buidcucd vv ith thoughts which he dated not utter
' I w ant ) ou to thank her for me, Mr North, '
" 1 hauk vv hoiu ' " Mrs 1 rere
1 he unhappy priest shuddered at hearing the name ' I do not think you owe any thanks to kel \our nous vveie removed by the Com
mandant s ordei
" But by her persuasion I feel sure of it Ah, I was wrong to think she lind foi gotten me Ask her for hei forgiv eneos
' 1 orgiveuc s . s ml North, recalling the scene m the pi ison ' W hat li iv e you dono to need her foigiveuess '
" I doubted her, said Rufus Dawes " I thought her ungrateful and trencheious I thought she dehv eied me again into the bondage from vv heneo I li id esc iped I thought she h id betraved mc-bctri)ed me to tho \illaiu whose base life I saved for her Biveet sake '
" \\ hat do ) on me in ! asked North " You uevci spoke to me of this"
' No-I hld vowed to buiy tho knowledge of it m my ow n bre ist-it w as too bittei to speak
"Saved his life '
' A), md her» ' I made the boat that cirriod hei to fieedom I held her m my arms, and took the bre id fioin ni) own lips to feed hei I
" She cannot know this, saul North, m in
" She has foi gotten it pei haps-for silo vv as but a child But you will lemiud her-will you not ? lou will do me justice ni her eyes befóte I die ? You vv ill get hei f orgiv euoss for me Í
North could not elphin why such an mtei
view as the convict desired was impossible, and so he pioimscd " She is going aw ly ni tho schooner, saul he, come ding the fact of Ins ow n depiu ture "Iii ill see her before silo goes,
and tell her '
" God bless you, sir, said pool Dawes " Now pia) with mo , md the tuctched ptiest meehi mcilly lepeated one of the foimul.o his chinch picscnbed
fhe next diy he told his penitent tint Mis Fieiohul forgiven lum flim vv is a lie He hid not seen hei , but what should a hobo to him now! Lies vicio needful in the tr tuous path lie hid lindel taken to tri id Yet the deceit ho was foiecd to pi ictis cost him many a ping Ho hud succumbed to his passion, and to win the love foi which ho )eiuued had voluutuily abiiidoncd tiuth aud honui , but stau ling tlnib alone with his sill, ho despised and luted himself To deaden lemoise and chown reflection, ho had leeouiso to brand) , md thounh the fieieeo\citcment of his hopes and ferns steeled him ag unst the stupify mg uctiuu of the luiuoi, he vv is lcndeied by it uicapiblc of ullin leflcctiou lu cortam neivous conditions our mel e ph)sical povveisuio pi oof ag unst tho action of alcohol, md though ten times more diuuk than the toper, who, mco heieutly stammering, icols luto the glittet, wo can walk erect and talk with fiuoucy Indeed, m this artificial cviltiition of the sensibilities, men often display a brilliant wit, and an acute noss of comprehension, c ileulatcd to delight their fucudsaud terni) then ph)sicnns Noith had reached this condition of bl nu drunkenness In
plain telina, lie w is trembling on the veigo of
Hie di)s passed swiftl), and Blunts propala tions for sea ivcie completed lhoio were two stem cabins m the schoouci, one of which w is appropriated to Mis líele, while the other vv is set apart foi North Maunco kid not attempted to renew his ov ei tin es of f i lendship, and the chap lam had not spoken Mindful of &ylvus last woids, he had lesolved not to meet her until fairly embarkcl upon tho voyage which he in tended should link then firtuues togcthci On the morning of the 19th Dccembei Blunt do chu ed himself re idy to set s ni, mid in the uftei noon the two posseiigcis carno on bond
Rufus DiweB, ga¿mg fioiu his window upon the schooner th it lay outside the icef, thought nothing of the fact that after tho Comm mil mt s boit lud taken aw i) the Comm induits wifu another boat should put off w ith the ch ipi mi It was quite natural tint Mi North sh mid dosira to bul lim f i lends f ircwill, mel through tho hot still afternoon ho w itched for the i etui nmg bl it, hoping that the cb ipi un would biinc, linn boiuo mc-mgo from the worn m whom ho vi is nova to sec more on earth Hie hours wore on, however, and no bre ith of wind ruffled tho suilaco of the
sea lhe day was exceedingly close mid sultr), he tv y dun clouds hung on the hoi l/oii mil it seemed piobible tint unless ii thiiiideiitorin cle ired tho air befóle nic,kt, the calm w mid con tiiiiie Blunt, however, with a true sailor s ob stin icy ni regard to weather, swore theio would bo a breeic, md held to his pulposo of sailing lhe hot afteinoon passed away in a sultry suiisot, and it was not until tho shades of evening had bcc,un to fall that Rufus Dawes distinguished a boat detach itself fiom the sides of the schooner
md glide tinough the oil) water to the jctt)
Hie chaplain was returning, and in i few hours perhais would be with him, to bring lum the tnc-^ago of comfort for willoh his soul timstcd He stretched out his unshackled limbs, and throw mg himself upon his stretcher, fell to rccal hug the pist-his boat building, the news of his fortune, his love, md his self sicrificc
North, hovvevei, was not letuining to bring to the prisonci a messi0o of comfort, but he was returning on puiposcto see bun, noveltholcss lhe unhappy mau, toni by remorse and passion, had lesolved upon a course of action which seemed to him a penance for his crnno of deceit He had determined to confess to Dawes thit the message ho bl ought was wholly fictitious, tint he himself loved the wife of the Commmdint, and that with her ho was about to lcivo the island for ever " I am no hypocrite, ho thought, in his exaltation " If I choose to Bin, I will sin boldly , and this poor wretch, who looks up to me as an angel, shall know me for ni) ti ue self
lhe notion of thus destroying his own fame in the eyes of the mau w horn he had taught to lovo him, was pleasant to k13 diseased lmiigmation It was the natural outcome of the morbid cou ditiou of mind into which ho had dnfted, and ho provided for the complete execution of his scheme with that cunning which is born of working mischief in tke brain It was de-iir ible that the fatal stroke should bo dealt at the list possible instant, that he should suddenly unveil his own infamy, and then depa.t, never to be seen again To this end he had invented an excuse for returning to the shore at the latest possible moment He had purposely left in his room a dressing bag-the sort of article olio IB so likely to forget m the hurry of departure from one s house, and so certain to remember when the time come» to finally prepare for settling in another He had ingeniously extracted from Blunt the fact that 'he didn't expect a wind before dark, but wanted all ship Bhapo and aboard, and then, just as darkness fell, remem- bered that it was imperative for him to go ashore Unsuspecting Blunt cursed, but, if the chaplain insisted upon goiug, there was no help for it
"There be a breeze m less than two hours," said he "You've plenty of time, but if you're not back before the fiist pud, I'll sail without you, as sure as you're born ' North assured him of his punctuaht) "Don't wait for mo Captain, if I m not here," said he, with that lightness of tone w Inch ineu use to mask their anxiet) "Id take bun at his word, Blunt,
said the Commandant, who waB affably waiting to take final fal ewell of his wife "Give way there men/' he shouted to the crew, " and wait at the jetty If Mr North misses his ship through your lanuess, you'll pay for it " So the boat set off, North laughing uproariously at the thought of being late Fiere observed with some astonishment that the chaplain wrapped himself in a boat cloak that lay in the stern
sheets " Does the fellow w.T' to 8motl'0r "J«
self on a night like this I was h J renvark The truth was that, though his hands an J ue,a «"» burning, Noith's teeth elutteied wltu C<JW. Perhaps this was the reason why, when lulu
and out of eyeshot of the crew, lie produced a pocket flask of rum und eagerly drank Tho spirit gave him courage foi the oideal to which ho had condemned himself, and vv itb steadied step, he leached the door of the old prison To his surprise Giuiblctt refused lum admission I
" But I have come direct from the Command aut,' said Noi th
" Got any order, Bir '
"Order ' No
"I cant lot you in, your reverence, saul
" I want to see the prisoner Dawes I have a special message for lum I have come ashore on
' I im a ery soi ry, sn-'
"The ship will sill in two hours, man, and I shall miss her ' say3 Noith, mdigiuiut nt being thus fiustiated ni his design " Let mo pass
" Upon my honor, 611,1 daren t, saul Giui- blctt, who was not without his good points "You know whit authority is, su, as well as I
North was m despiu, but a blight thought struck lum-a thought that, in Ins sobeier moments, would nev ci h iv c entered his head he would buy admi ion He pioduccd the rum flask from beneath the sheltering cloak " Como, don t talk uousonso to mo, Gimblett You don t suppose I would come bei o vvltliout authoi ity Here, take i pull at tins, and let mc thtough Gimblett s feitiucs lelixed luton smile "YY eil, bu, I *uppobc its nllnght, if you say so, sud he And clutching the rum. bottle with one hand, ho opened the door of Diwes
cell w ith tho othei
Noi th entered, md as the door closed behind him, tho pnsonei, who had been lying appa rently asleep upon hw bed, leapt up, and made us though to catch linn by tho thi o it
Rufus Dawes had iheatnt a dreirn Alono, amid tho githering glooms, his fincy had le called tho past, and li id peopled it vv ith memo rics Ho thought that he w is once mole upon that huron sti md vvhtio he had fust met with tho svvoot child he lov e I Ho hv ed again his life of usefulness and hone r Ho saw himself vvoikuig at the bolt, curb u king, mid putting out tosca Iho fin beul of the innocent gul was again pillow ed on his bi e ut, hei y oung lips again murmured avoids if affection in Ins gi cody cir I icio was beside him, vv itching lum, as ho had watched befoie Once agun the gray sea spi cul mound lum h in cn of succor Once ag un, in the vv lid, wet nu i nmg, he beheld tho Anieiitin brig bearing down upon them, and
saw the beal ded faces of tho nbtomshcil euw He saw 1 icie take the child in Ins inns and mount ilpili the deck, lie heaid tho shout of delight tint went up, and poised iginii tho wol coming hinds wl\ich gieetedtho iescued casta vv ays 1 he deck vv is cr iw ded All tho folk he had ovci known weic tbeie Hosivv the white liurs and stem featui s of Sn Richilld Devine, md bcsido lum stoid, winigiug her thin bandi his vvccinig mother 1 hen lierc stiodo forwarl, and aftci linn John Rex the convict, who, roughly elbowing tliiough theciowd of pnsonen md gue leis, would hive ici lied the spit wilclo BtiodSu ltichaid Devine but til it the coi J so of tho inuiileiod Enid bell isis nose and tin list lum buck II )W the liiniineiii clvttciid lu the ship buildei s v ud i YVis it a c lim th y wciu mak lug' Nitfn Sylvli-sillily not f i bel . Iho air grows heavy lund with Hunt and black with buloke 'Iho Hydaipea is on lue 1 Sylvia dingi to her husband Biso wietch, would you shake hei oil Lookup Uni iiiiOin^llt Le even is glittciing with Btns »b vo tim smoko the an bieathcsdclicatoly One step-inotbei fix youl cyesoniuinc-ho-to my hunt Al is ' sha timm , ho catches nt bel dicss Y\ lilt ' It is a pnest ?-a pncst-who, smiling with infernal joy, would drag hei to tho flaumig gulf tint y iwns foi lum 1 he di camel leapi it tho vv retell a thro it and crying, "Villain, was it in tint f ito I saved hurl ' -iw ikes to find hinibelf sti iigglmg with tho monstoi of his di e tm tho idol of his w nkuig
North, pat dyscd no ksi by the suddenness of the attack than by tho vv oi Is with vv Inch it w is accoini lined, let fill lila cloik, and stood lum billig before the pioj hetic accusation of the in lil vi lioso cuises ho hld e uno to cull
"I was die lining sud ltiifua Dawes, "i terrible di cam ' But it has passed now Iho message-you havo bi ought mo v mess iga, hivo younot? Y\ hy-whit nils you? You me pilo - youi knees tiemble Did my violence-¡
North rteoveied himself with a gieateflirt " It is nothing Lot us tilk, foi my time is short You li ive thought ino a good man-ono blessod of Go 1, one couuect itcd to a holy hcrv leo, a mini honest, julo and tiutlifiil 1 have re
turned to toll you tho truth I un n mo of these things Rufus Daves silt st nmg, unible to compiehuid this madness ' I t »lil you that the worn m y ou loved-for you do love her-sent you a mess ige of foigucncss 1 lied
' YVhat I
" I nevci told hei of your confession I never menti med your n ima to hei
"And sho will go without knowing-oh, Mr North, what havi you dune ?
"YViccked my own soul I cues North, wildly stung by the i opro ichfni igony of the tone " Do not cling to inc My t isk m done You will li ile nie now lhat is my wish-I mci it it Let mc g i, I s ly I will be too late
" loo late I 1 n what' He looked at tho cloak-thi lugh the open window cuno tho mummied voices of tho men m tho bolt-tho niciiwi) of the i isc of ti» scene in the prison, flished aei i-s lum, and ho tuidcrstoxl it all "Gicut Heaven y ii go togethei I
" Let mc go, îopeats N irt'i, in i bom m voice Rufus Diwes stepped between lum md the door "No, Mullum, I will not let you go, to do this gre it vv rong to kill this innocent y nmg Hotil who-God help lui -loves you I North, confounded at this budden reveis d of their p isi
tions tow lids each other, eiouchcd bewildered ag mist the vv ill ' 1 say you nil ill « )t go ' Y'ou shall not destiny your own soul and hei a I You love her ' So d > I , and my lov o is mightier than yours, for it shall save bar '
" In God s n uno- cues the unhappy priest, striving to st jp his cais
"Ay, in Gods name I In the name of that God vv horn ni my torment« I had forgotten ! In the n une of that God whom you t luglit mo to remember ' That God who scut you to save mo from desp ur, giv es mc strength to b iv o you in my turu I-Oh, Mr North-my teacher-my friend-my brothoi-by the sweet hope of mercy which y ou preached to me, bo mel elf ul to tins erring worn m '
North luted agonised eyes " But I love her . Lovo her, do y ou heai Î Wh it do you know of
"Loiol enos Rufus Diwes, his jalo flea radiant "Lovo1 Oh, it ih you who do not know it L ive is the Barndee of self, the death of all deslio that is not foi anothci s good Love ib God like I You love?-no, no, your love is Bclfishness, and will end in bhnmc ' Listen, I will tell you the history of such a lovo iib y oui s '
North, enthralled by th« othei s oveimasteinig xvill, fell back trembling " YVhat do you mean ? '
"I will tell you the Beeret of my life, tho reason vv hy I am here Como closer
Tur house in Glargcs Btreot was duly placed at the disposal of Mrs Richard Devine, who wis installed in it, to the profound astonishment and disgust of Mr Smithers and lim fellow seivants It only icmaiucd that the lady Bhould be formally recognised by Lady Llhuor I he rest of the ingenious programme would follow as a matter of course John Rex vv as vv eil aw are of tho posi
tion which, in Ins-assumed personality,ho occupied in society He knew that by the vv orld of Bervants, of waiters, of those to whom serv ants and waiters could babble , of such turfites and men about town as had reason to enquire concerning Mr Richards domestic allans-no opinion could be expressed, s ive that "Devine's married some body, I hear, av ith variations to the same effect He knew weU that the really great vv orld, the Society, whose Bcaudal would havo been socially injurious, had long ceased to trouble it elf with Mr Richard Dev me s doings m any particular If it had been reported that the Lev lathau of the Turffhad married his washerwoman, Society would only havo intimated that "it was just what might have been expected of him ' To pay the truth, however, Mr Richard had rather hoped that-disgusted at his brutality-Lady Elhnor would have nothing more to do with lum, and that the ordeal of presenting his wife
w ould not be necessary Lady Elhuor, however, hid resolved on quite a different lino of conduct The intelligence conceruiug Mr Richard Dev me s threatened proceedings seemed to nei ve her to the confession of the dislike which had been long crowing uiher mind, Bcemcd even to aid the fonjation of those doubts, tho shadows of which had*"now ant' tuen cast themselves upon her belief in the - li*-utity of tho mau vv ho c died lum
self her son
"His conduct is bi "tol. <"»' »"e to her brother " 1 cannot lindern*'"I>t
' It is moro than brutal, it is item itural, re tui ned 1 rancis Dov me, and stole a look at her " Morover, he is married '
" Munod I cried Lady Devine
" So ho s iys,' continued the othei, producing the lottor Bout to lum b) Rex it S u ill s dicta tion " Ho writes to ino stating th it Ins ii tie, whom ho mai ned last )eu abro id, has come to England, and wishes us to leccivo kel
" I will not icceivo hu I cued Lid) Dov nie, rising and p icing tho room
"But that would be a deelnation of war,
Bud poor 11 lucia, tvv istiiig an Itali m on) x vv Inch adorned lus nresolute hand, ' 1 would not advise
Lid) Devino stopped suddenly, vv ith tho ges
ture of one who hid finally in ide i dillicult and long considered resolution ' Richilld shall not sell this house, sho said
" But, my dear Lllinoi, cried her brother in some al u m at this unwonted decision, "lam nfrud Hut you cm t pieveltt lum
" If he is tho mau hu sa)s ho is, I can, io
turned sho with ellort
Fiancis Devine gasped "If he is the mau I It is truo I lnivo Boinctuncs thought- 0, Elhnor, cm it bo that wo hive boen deceived <
She eimo to lum mid Unit upon him for support much is sho had leant upon hei son m the garden where they now stood nineteen yens ago " I do not know, I am ifi ml t > think But between Richard and myself is a secret-a shameful secrot, Frank, known to no othei living person If tho mun who tlneitcns mo djea not know tint secret, he is not ni) aon If
he «loes know it
" Well, in He iv en s name, wh it then ?
" Ho knows that ho li is iieithei pin t noi lot in the foi tuno of tho ni in vv ho w as ni) hush md
"Elhnor, )ou tcitify me Whit docs this
"I will tell you if there bu need to do bo,
sud the unlnpp) lui) "But I c innot now I uovcr mc mt to speik of ltagim oven ti him Considei tint it is hird to bieik i Bilenco of nearly twenty yens Wiitc to this min, md tell lum tint befoiu I icceivo his wife, I wmk to see lum done No-do not let linn c uno hoic until tho truth bo known I will go to linn
It vv is vv ith aouio trepidation that Mi Richard, sitting with his wife in the di ming 100111,011 tke afternoon of the did Mi) 184 j, aw utcd the advent of his mother He hld been vciy Hu- ions and unsliuiiL, for anno diys pist, mid the prospect of tin coining interview vv is, foi boino 1 eiison he could not c\j lim t> himself, weighty vv ith fe 1rs " W h it docs she vv mt to como 1Í0110 foi' And w li it cm bhe hive to siy ' ho iskcd himself "Shu cinnot suspect ni)thing ittci ill theso )cus, bin ely Ho Llidem 111 ed to le ison with himself, but 111 v 1111 the knock at tho don which anuouiicid the uri 1 vni of lus pioteiulcd motliei 11111I0 Ins hunt jump
" I feel deuced sink), Suah, he bind "lets h ive 1 nip of Boinctliinc,
"\ on ve been tupping ti 1 muck foi tho last five ¡cm, Dick (She hld quite sell mied hei tongue to thu new narnu ) " Yum ' Khiikincss ' is tho result of ' nipping, 1111 afi ud
"Oh, (lout pic ich, I mu nut 111 the humor
"Help )ouibclf, then \u\\ mo quitu Blue thit )ou ue lcidy with j mu stoiy ?
Hie bi mdy rovivcil lum, mil ho use with uQceted hcuttiicss, "My de ti motin t tllow mo to picscnt to you- Ho paused, foi Lhcie was that 111 Lady Lllinoi b f ico whick confirmed his worst fun s
"In ibIi to ape ik to y ou iloni, bite sud, ignoi
nig with stoidy eyes tho vv oman whom she Ii id ostensibly como tu seo
John Rex hebit itcd but S u ill s iw thu d lugct and lustcncd to eonfi nt it ' A wife nkould bo
1 husband s best fneild, m 1 lain ^ oin son min ned mo of Ins own flee will,and even liisimthcr un havo nolluiif, to k 1) to lum whick it is not my duty and puultgo ti hcai I nu not ifeiil, as you cut boc, and cm ben whatcvci nowa you bung '
Lady Devino bit hei pale lips Sho saw at once that the w oin in boforo hu w is not gently
boin, but sho felt ilbo that »lu wisiiwoinni if hifjhct mental cubbie thin hcisclf Picpucd as sho w ia foi the vv nat this bud len ind opun do du ition of hostilities tightened hei.iis Sat ill had cilculitod She began to icaliso that if bIio was to pi ive equal to tho tiskslw li id si tin 1 self, h!io must not vi mil lui strength in situ mialling Sic nilly lufusing to liok at Rich min wife sho addressed hciscli to lil lim 1 "My bl ilhei will De kuu tu hilf au hour, she saul, iib tin ul,Ii the nu nlion of Ins 11 uno vv ultl bctloi hei | ositi 11 ni s une way " lint I becked lum 11 allow ino to como first in ordei tint 1 might speck to j oil piivntcly '
'Well sud lohn Rex, " wo aie 111 pinito What li ivo you to s ly I
" I want to tell y m that I foi bul y u to cuiy out the pim you havu foi bl diking up Sir lltcluid b property
" 1 orbiil mc t li 111" Rex much rohoved " \\ hy I only want to do what my f tthcrs will unibles
me to d >
' Y ui f ithei s will enables you to do nothing of tho sort, and von know it She spoke, as though relic using 11 Helles (f sot speeches, and Sarih watched ha with growing alarm
" Oh, nonsoiiBo I erics John Hi x, 111 sheer um i/emcnt " 1 hal c a lawyer s opinion on it
" Do you 1 cmcinbcr w hat took placo it 1 lamp «ti id this day nmotccn y c >rs ago f
" At llampsteul ' saul Rex, gi own suddenly 1 ile ' lins diy nineteen yens a¿o No1 Whit do you mean 1
" Do you not rcmeuibet ? blie continued, le m mg f irward eagerly, and speaking almost ficicely " Do you not remember the re ison why you left the houBa vvhe re y oil were boin, and which you wifih now to sell to stiangela Í
lohn Rex stood dumbfounded, thcbloidsiifliiB mg his temples Ile knew tint among the
Bicrcts of the man whisc mkeiitiiiio he had stolen was 0110 winch hi had ncvei c, ulled-tho sccietof that Biciificc ti which Lid) Lllinoi hid oiico refeircd, and lie felt tint that secret was to be levelled to crush him now
Sar iii, trembling also, but moro with tage than tenor, Bwcpt towirdB Lady Lllinor, "Speak out1 BkoBiid, "if you hive ni)thing to say1 Of what do you accuse my husband 1
"Of imposture I cued Lady Elhnor all her outraged initcrtnty ncivnig hei to abash het enemy "lins min may bo your hubbaud, but he ib u it my son I
Now that the worst was out, John Rex,dink lug with jobfioii, felt ill tho dovil within lum rebelling iiuiiiist defeat " You 110 mad, ho Bind ' \a\i have recognised mc for lliroo yeal s, and now, because I vv mt to claim that which is my own, you invent tins ho 'lake caro how )ou provoke me If I am ni ty our son-you havo recognised me as Buch I stand upon tho law and upon my lights
Lady 1 lknor turned swiftly, and with both hands to her bosom, confronted kim
" You skull havo your lights ' You shall havo what tho law allows you I O how blind I have been nil theso years Persist in your infamous imposture Call yourself Kichaid Devine still, and 1 will tell the world the shameful seeict which my son died to hide lie Richard Dev me ? Richard Devino was a bastard, and the lawullows him-Nothing 1 '
'lhere was no doubting the ti 11 til of her words lhere was no doubting that even a woman whose home had been desecrated, as hera had been, would invent nile so self condemning YetJohn Rex forced himself to appear to doubt, and his dry lips asked, "If then your husband was not the father of your son, who waa ? '
" I am not ashamed to name lum, ' saul I udy Devine, with a sort of desperate pride lu ker tone, " My cousin, Arini0ell Esme» Wade, Vis
count Bellasis "
John Rex gaBped for breath His hand tug- ging at hu neckcloth rent aw iy the linen that covered lim choking throat He seemed to see the whole horizon of his dark past lit up by a lightning flash which stunned lum His brain, already enfeebled by excess, was uuable to with- stand this list shock He staggered, and but fur the cabinet against vvhich he leant would have fallen The Beeret thoughts of his heart rose to his lips and w ere uttered unconsciously
" Viscount Bellasis I He was my father also, and he has avengvd himself-for I killed him I '
A dreadful silence fell, and then Lady Devino, ' stretching out her hands towards the self con- fessed murderer, with a sort of frightful respect, said in n wlu«pcr, in which hirror and eupphea tion vv ere strangely mingled, ' What did you do with son ? Did you kill /um ilso '
But John Rex, vv aggiug his head from side to
side, liko a shambled beast that has received a I mort ii stroke, made no reply Sainli Purf y, aw ed as she was by tho dramatic force of tho situation, neicithcless remembered that Francis Dev me might nrriv e at any moment, and saw bel lnsc oppoitunity for safety She advanced and touched the mother on the shoulder " Y our son is alno I
" YVhero 1 '
" Will y on prounso not to hinder na leav ing this houso if I tell y ou '
" Y c, yes '
" Will you promise to koop the confession winch you havo hoaul cecret until wo havo left Eugl nul Î '
" I promise anything lu God s name, woman, if y ou li iv o i vv oman s heal t, spe ik î YVhero is my son !
S n ah Purfoy i oso ov ci tho enemy who had defeated hu, and said m level, delibei ato accents, " 1 hey call linn Rufus Dawes He is a convict at Norfolk Island, transposed foi hto for the luuuloi which you hcirdiny hush md coûtes» to luw nig committed-Ah I -
Lidy Dev mo had funtcd
[Will lil CONCIUlUIl is oin ni \i ]