Chapter 161823067

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Chapter NumberXXIX
Chapter TitleKERBY.
Chapter Url
Full Date1895-06-22
Page Number36
Word Count1699
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Third Volume
article text




Author of "The Myatery ofHentom Oab,"

" The Lone Inn," "The OhineieJar,"&o. .



Having, as be oonaidered, prepared (be ground by acquainting Olaude with the nota bilities oi the neighbourhood. Tait next pro ceeded to secure an interview with ''Kerry. Tfria waB by no means'-an easy matter, ae either by aeoident or design Kerry eluded all the young man's attempts to interview bitn. Hitherto he had been acouatomed to fiah daily in the Lax; but now, doubtless by direotion of his master, be forsook' his customary sport, for some considerable time. His' absence speedily aroused Tait'a suspicions. -

"Hilliaton hnB auooeoded well," said he, after one of these futile attempts to eee tbe old servant. "He baB put Jeringham on hia guard."

"Paynton," you mean," observed Claude, looking up from . his plate; they were at breaktaat when this conversation took plane. -

"I thought you had determined in yourown mind thathe was Jeringham."

"JMoF'said Claude, oolouring a little, "I have oome round -to your opinion in the matter. If Paynton were Jeringham I don't think Denis Bantry would be in hie eervioe."

"Ah!" remarked Tait sarcastically, "ia

that tbe result of reflection or ol love?"

"Of love? I don't understand you?"

" Yes you do, Claude. You are in love with Jenny. The lost week has only deepened your first impressions. I believe she likeB you also, and so I foresee a' marriage whiob will rob me of my friend."

" I am not so oertain of (hat as you are," said Laroher, after a pause. "Miss Paynton has given me no hint of ber feelings/ and our aoquaintanoe is yet young. Even if I did deeign to make her my wife, I would have to gain her oonsent, and that of ber father. Judging from Pavnton's present attitude, that oonsent would most probably be refused. •

Tait did not immediately reply, but stared out of the window with an absent look in his eyes. The remark changed the ourrent of bis


"I wonder who Payntoncan ber he eazd At length, with some hesitation. "That he Is connected with the case I am certain from the way in which he baa profited by the warning of Hilliston. Like yourself, I have my doubts regarding his identity with Jeringham, be cause of Denis Bantry. Who ie he? 1 must go to BorriBton to-morrow and find Out."

" And what am 1 to do in the mean time?"

" Hunt out Kerry and learn the truth," said Tatt ooolly. " I think, after all, it will be best for you to see him alone. I am a stranger, and be won't speak before me; but to you, the son of his old master, ho may open bis heart. Onoe he does that and you may learn the truth."

"I doubt it."

" Well, there is a chanoe. Whatever tie binds Denis to Paynton you must not forget that be is Irish. The Irish are ah impulsive and exoitable race, so it is just possible that bis feelingB may oarry him away in your presence, and he may tell you all we. wieh to


" Do you think he oan solve the mystery 1"

' "Yes; He was in the house when Jering ham came homewith your mother; he picked up the garnet pin, and, it may be, oan tell us to whom it belongs. It may be the property of Hilliston, as is stated in the novel; on the other hand it may belong to your father or to Jeringham. Of one point 1 am sure, the person who Owned the pin killed your father. Kerry, or ^rather Deuis Bantry, knows the owner,and oonsBquently the murderer."

" If so, why did be not denouoce him ?"

"There you puzzle me," eaid l'ait, rising to his feet; "that is one of the many mysteries of this oase. Only Denis oan explain, and be may do so to you. I shall stay at home this morning, and prepare for my journey to Hor riston ; but you had better take your fishing rod and go to your post."

The post alluded to was on the banks of the Lax, where for the past week the young men had patiently waited for the appearance of Denis. On this morning Olaude found him self alone for the first time; and Bat down with a disoonsolate air, for he bad little hope that Denis would make his appearance. In this Burmise he was wroug, for scarcely had he been seated half an hour when the Irish man came slowly along* on the opposite bank of tho river.

He was a little old man, grey as a badger, with stooped shoulders and a dross-looking faoe. Without vouchsafing a look in Claude's direction, be prepared bis fishing tackle, and began industriously to whip the stream. Hardly knowing how to break the ice, Laroher silently continued bis sport, and the two, divided by the water, stood tike statues on opposite banks.

After a time Denis, who had beenounnicgly taking stook of Claude, and wondering why his letter had not produoed theefiootintended, moved down to where the stream narrowed itself between large stoneB. Determined to invent some exouso for epeaking, Laroher fol lowed after a time, and stepped out on .0 a boulder, apparently to throw his line into a likely-looking pool. Being within reach, he flung his line, and the next moment it was entangled in that of Kerry's,

" I'm sorry. Quite nn accident," said Claude, noting the^wrath on Kerry's faoe; " let me dieentangle it."

He jumped into the brown water, and before Kerry oould make any objeotion was aoross on the other eide, gripping the lineB. Without a word the Irishman let him separate the two, and then busied himself with fixing a fly. Nettled at this determined silenoe, Claude spoke.

"I wish to speak with you," he said, tapping the other on the shoulder.

"Is it to me ye speak ?" replied Kerry, with an admirable look of surprise; " and what has the like of you, air, to say to met"

" A great deal. Do you know who I am?"

"Sure, an' I do, sir. The friend of Mr.. Tait, you are no less."

" But my name. Do you know it ?"

"Bad luck to this stream, there's never* fish in it," grumbled Kerry, with a oonvenient attack of deafness. Claude was in no wise angered.

"That is very clever, Kerry," he said;.

" but "

"An' how do you know my name is Kerry ?"

" Are you surprised that I should know it?" "I am that,'rreplied Kerry, sharply. "I never set eyes on you before."

"Oh, yes, you did—twenty-five years ago." " Bsgorra—that's a lie, anyhow 1" muttered Kerry under bis breath with an uneasy wriggle.

"It iB not a lie, and you know it, my man," said Laroher firmly; "it's 110 use your pre tending ignoranoe. I know who you ore."

"Devil a doubt of it. Kerry, you called me,"

"Yes.beoauseyouare kuownby that n»ma

here, 'But bt Horriston——"

Claude stopped. He saw the bauds of the old man, gnp the ro'4 so tight that the' - knaoklei Whitened. The name had produoed

the offeot he intended. So almost without a . pause he continued, end aimed another blow at'Kerry's impurturbability. "At" Horris ton/'ha resumed, "you were known as Denis Ban try,"

. "Was X now?" said Kerry prepared for the attaok. "Augh, to think of it. And where might Horriston be, sir ?"

" You ought to know that, Denis."

"Your honour will be after giving me the name of a friend of yours."

:? "Quite right," rejoined Claude, seizing the Opportunity. "You were, nay, you are, a friend of mine. I am the little lad you car ried in your arms—to whom you told atoriea and aang aonge. Children forget a great deal, but I here not forgotten you, Denis."

In. dogged eilenoe the old man turned hie head away, intently bent on hie sport; but suddenly he raised the ouS of hiB coat and wiped away a betraying tear. Seeing that he had tonohed the men's sympathy, Claude fol lowed up hie advantage,

." You are not going to deny me, Denis, ere you?" he said entreatingly. "I am down here on an errand whioh you must guess. If Hilliston " .

" The purse of Cromwell on him 1" said Kerry under hie breath.

"if Hilliston told you to keep silent," eaid Clauds, affecting to take no notice of the in terjection, which confirmed hit euBpioions, "I, the eon of your dead matter, want you to Bpeak, I wish to find out who killed my father; I wish to punish him, for you know

his name."

, Kerry turned furioutly on the young man, but it seBmed to Claude that his anger waB feigned to hide a deeper emotion.

"It is a dirty informer you'd have me be," heoriedwith a stamp of his foot, "to betray him whose bread I eat. I'll tell you nothing, for it's that muoh I know." . "Denis "

*" I'm not D enis. It's Kerry I am. I know nothing of Horriston, or of, you, sir. Go a way with ye, young gentleman, and don't bo after disgracing an old servant to play the spy and


. Then, still breathing fury, he rushed away, but paused some distance off to raise his hands to the sky with an appealing gesture. The impulsive Irish nature had broken through diplomatio reserve, and fearful of saying too muoh, Kerry saved himself by flight. Claude guessed this, and forebore to follow him.

"I have broken the ice at all events," he ?aid to himself when returning to the Manor to tell Tait, "the next time I may be fortu nate enough to foroe the truth out of bim. He knows it, I ain certain, lie bates Hilliston and loves me. I oan easily guess with whom he sympathises in spite of his mastor. He is Denis sure enough, but who was Paynton ?"

It was impossible to say.