|Newspaper Title||Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||Sowing the Wind|
Mrs. Margrave, after exhausting her re- proaches, or rather her breath, and leaving poor Helen to her own reflections, had sailed to her own room, pluming herself upon her clever diplomacy. She knew well enough that her accusations were unmerited, but she thought to prevent all further inter- ference with her plans, through Helen's fear of her, believing that all her niece's influence would be used with her lover to acquiesce in her will, but Mrs. Margrave did not know, nor did she give her credit for any greatness of character. She did not see that the power she had gained over Helen's mind was en- tirely through the girl's deep sense of grati- tude. But that last shaft of malevolence had taken effect beyond Mrs. Margrave's antici- pation. Not at all prepared to lose her victim, or for an instant supposing such a worm could turn, she rested satisfied in her power of enforcing her own will. It was late in the day ere Helen was really missed. Mr. Margrave had left home the evening before on Parliamentary business, so that presiding at his breakfast table, which was her duty, had not that morning been required of her. Mrs. Margrave, always self-indulgent, had kept her room even later than usual, and the servants, amongst whom there was often a whispered pity for the poor girl's slavery, were glad to leave Helen in peace. And so
it happened that just at the time that Helen's train was leaving the station Mrs. Margrave began to enquire for her, her anger increasing every moment at her non-attendance, storing
in her mind a host of cutting sentences for her benefit. The thought that this poor timid, meek child could burst her bonds of thraldom and leave her prison never entered her mind. Yet as the hours went past she began to think that perhaps an elopement had been effected by the lovers, and it was not until the evening brought Arnold Disney that Mrs. Margrave was convinced by his look of dismayed perplexity and consterna- tion that this disappearance was not with his connivance—it was not till then that she comprehended the real state of the case. She felt sure that her own cruel words had goaded her much-enduring slave to revolt, and one sharp pang of remorse shot through her heart, quickly, however, smothered by rage, and it took but a few moments to con- vince her that she had been perfectly justified in all she had said. Then again she felt frightened at the possibility of what Helen might have done with herself. At this moment, however, a note was brought to Arnold Disney, it having just been found half hidden on Helen's dressing table. It ran thus:—"I would spare you any needless search, dear Arnold; I will do nothing des- perate, but I will live no longer in this false position, nor continue to subsist on charity; I will ascertain my own worth, and work honestly for my own bread; the sacrifice of my own happiness with you must be made, it will be kinder to you, and truest for me. I may be able some day to convince my aunt that I am not insensible to benefits, but that rather it is the thought of them which oppresses me more than I can bear."
Arnold read the note, and in silence passed it to Mrs. Margrave, and still kept silence, with an expression of face wretched in the
"Mr. Disney, I sympathize with you really, but, perhaps, if you knew as much as I do of that girl's character you would not regret
her so much. I have always endeavoured to
regard her as a daughter, but her disposition and temper, believe me, are very defective,
"Stop, madam; I have been in this house too often to be entirely blinded to the true state of the case, and her letter confirms my belief. She certainly had some claim upon you, but while you appeared to be acting the part of a kind relative you have taken advan- tage of her sense of gratitude to make her a slave to your caprice and bind her very soul to your will"