Chapter 161821275

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Chapter NumberXVI
Chapter TitleA FALSE MOVE.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161821275
Full Date1895-05-11
Page Number37
Corrections0
Word Count1624
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Third Volume
article text

CHAPTER XVL

A PALSB MOVE.

The next day the two young men repaired to the olub for the purpose of having luncheon and dismissing their plans. Con trary to the wish of Claude, bis friend did not deem it advisable to at onoe depart for Tborston, as he wished to remain in town ?for a few days on business connected with Hilliston.

" You see you are quite in the dark regard ing that gentleman," said Tait as the; lighted their cigarettes after dinner," and before we commence operations at Thornton it will be advisable to know that he ie not counteract ing our efforts."

In that case you had better go down to Thornton and I will remain in town so as to keep an eye on Hilliston."

"I don't think that will be necessary," replied Tait reflectively, *' tjb _ is more than probable that Hilliston will visit Tborston.

"For what purpose!"

" Can't you guess. Last night he learned from Linton that Jenny Paynton supplied the material for that novel. Consequently he will see her, and if possible find out where she heard the etory."

" Yes, I suppose he will," eaid Claude thoughtfully. Dy tho way, who is Miss Paynton, who now seems to be mixed up in the matter!"

"She is the daughter of an old recluse oalled Ferdinand Paynton."

"A recluse! Humph 1 That's strange."

"Why bo. You would not eay so if you saw the old man. He is an invalid and lives in hislibrary. A charming companion, though I must say be is rattier sad."

" Where does he live !"

"At Thornton, half a mile from the Manor House. Nut very rioh I should think. His cottage is small like his income."

" And his daughter lives with him!"

" Yes. A pretty girl she is, who inherits his literary tastes. It is my impression that she wrote the most part of that novel. From all I know of Frank Linton he is given more to poetry than to proBB. Jenny has the brain, not Frank."

"Ho, ho!" said Claude, smiling, "is

it the sceptical miaogyniscio Tait I bear

finftftlrino 9"

speaking!"

" Himself. I admit that I do nob care for women as a rule, but there are exceptions to every rule, and in this case Jenny Paynton is the exception."

. 44 Is ehe in love with our au< bur ?"

"I. No. But I rather think he 1b in love with her. Aa jou will be when you aee her,"

" What are you talking about, Tait ? I have more to do than to fall in lore withoouutry wenohea, however pretty."

. 41 Jenny is not a oountry wenoh," said Tait with eome displeasure, 4,ehe is a highly eduoated young woman.

44 Worse and worse! I hate highly-ednoated blue atookinga."

44 You won't hate Jenny at all events. Especially aa it is probable you will see a great

deal of her."

"No. I shall keep away from her," said Claude doggedly.

44 That's impossible. We must manoeuvre to get at the truth. By asking her straight out she certainly will not gratify our ourioaity. We must plot and plan, and take her unawares. She is not a fool, like Linton, remember."

44 What! JL)o you call a lion of the season by ao opprobrious a name 1" |

441 do,4'replied Tait serenely, 44beoauae I don't believe he wrote the book."

41 Well 1 well! Never mind, Linton. We have pumped him dry, lhe next thing iB to taokle the fair Jenny. How do you intend to

set about it?"

441 can't say at present. We mast be guided by oiroumstsuoes. I will introduce you to the reotor and to Mr. Faynton. _ There will be musioal parties and lawn tennis fetes, eo in some way or another we may find out the truth."

44 Does any one else live with Faynton ; his wife, for iuslanoe?"

44 No. His wife died before be oame to Thorston, where be has been for a long time. An old'servant called Kerry lives [ with him."

" Man or woman ?

" Man. A queer old fellow, rather morose." "H'm! A flattering doBoription. By the way, he bears the same name as the ancient retainer in Boucioault'splay."

" Why shouldn't he ?

" It may be an assumed name."

Tait threw a surprised glanoe at his friend, and laughed quickly.

" Who is suspioious now!" said he, smiling. "You blame me for suspecting Hillieton, yet here you are doubtful of people whom you have

never seen."

Before Laroher oould answer this home thrust a waiter entered with a letter for him which had just arrived.

"From Hillieton,"said Oiaude, reoognieing the writing. " I wonder what be has to Bay 1"

"It's only another move in the game," murmured Tait; then as Claude, after glanoing at the letter, uttered an ejacula tion of surprise, he added, " What is the

matter?"

" Hillieton is going down to Eastbourne."

" Impossible,"oried Tait, holding cub bis hand for the letter. " He ie surely not so clumsy ns to show his hand so plainly."

" He does though. Read the letter your self. "

" My dear Claude," wrote Hillieton, "Mrs. Hillieton has deoided to lesve town for East bourne this week, so it is probable we will see you and Mr. Tait down there. If you oan spare the time oome to dinner at half-past 7 to-nighb and tell me how you are getting on with your oase. — Yours very sincerely, Francis Hilmston."

" Well," said Claude, as Tait silently returned the letter, " what do you think ?"

"I think that Hilliston intends to look up Jenny Paynton."

"I can see that," replied Oiaude impa tiently, " but touching this iuvitation to dinner?"

" Acoept."

" But I promised to see my mother to night and toll her about John Parver, She will expeot me bb I have written."

" I will take your apologies to her,"said Tait, quietly.

"You?"

"Yes. Listen to me, Claude," oontinued the little man in a tone of suppressed exoite ment. " You still keep your belief in Hillis ton. I tell you he is your enemy and wisbeB you to leave this oase alone. To-night he will make one last attempt to dissuade you. If he suoceeds he will not go Eastbourne. If he fails you can depend on it he will try and see

Jenny before wo do. Now. to thwart bis; aims we will go down to Thorston by an early train to-inorrow morning."

"But I must Bee my mother before I leave town."

"No! I will tell ber all she wishes to know."

"She might not like it."

"This is not a case for likes or dislikes," said Tait grimly; "but a question of getting the better of Hilliston. You must dine with him bo-night, and find out, if possible, if lb was his wife or himself who suggested the visit to East bourne. You need not tell him we go down to-morrow. Say you don't know — that you await my decision. Try and learn all you oan of bis attitude and planB. Then we will disouss the matter when you return. On my part," continued Taitsignifioantly, "I may have something to say about your mother."

"You want to see her ?"

"Yes. I atu extremely anxious to see

her."

" Perhaps you suspeob her,"cried Claude in a Gery tone.

" Bless the man, what a temper he has," said Tait joossely. "I'don't suspeot any one exoepb Hilliston. But I am quicker than you, and I wish to learn precisely what your mother has to eay. A ohance re mark on her part may eet us on the right path."

" Well, X will be guided by you," said Claudo in a few minutes. "Youoango to Hamostead, and I will dine with Hilliston. But I don't like the task. . To eit at a man's table and scheme against him is not my idea of honour."

"Nor is it mine. Yon are doing no such thing. All I ? wish you to do is to observe Hillisbon's attitude and hold your tongue. There is nothing wrong in that. X want to find out his motive for this behaviour."

"Then why not ees him yourself t"

"I will see him at Tborston. Moantime it is necessary that I beoamo acquainted with your mother. Now come and wire an ac ceptance to Hilliston and write letter to your mother for me to deliver."

Claude obeyed. He was quite content to aocept the guidance of Tait in this matter, and began to think that his friend was right in suspeoting Hilliston. Jilse why did the lawyer's plans bo coincide with their own.

" Mind you don't tell HilliBton too much," said Tait when the wire was dispatohed.

"I shall tell him we go to Thoraton shortly and that we Baw John Parver."

"No;- don't toll him about John Parver. He will be oertain to mention the aubjeot first." ?

" Well, and if he does"

"Oh, you must use your brains," replied Tait ironically, briffle his curiosity, and, above all, make no mention of the breaBtpin episode related in the third volume."

"Why not?"

"CeoauBe Jenny Faynton told Linton of that. She oould not bare obtained it from the newspapers as it is not related

therein." i

" It is pure invention,"

No! I believe it to be a faob." 1 "But who oould have told it to Hiss j Faynton !

" Ah 1"said Taib in alow voioe. " Find me the person who told her that, snd I'll find the

man who murdered your father." |