Chapter 161824869

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Chapter NumberXLIII
Chapter TitleTHE LAST APFEARAKCE OF FRANCIS HILLISTON.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161824869
Full Date1895-07-27
Page Number38
Corrections0
Word Count1577
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Third Volume
article text

CHAPTER XLtn.

THE LAST APFEARAKCE OF FRAN0I8 HILLI6TON.

Unaware of the tragedy wh oh had taken place at Eastbourne, Captain Laroher was in London brooding over bis wrongs, and weaving schemes how to avenge himself on Hilliston. His eyes had besn opened by Tait with regard to the conduct of that gentleman, and he now saw plainly that be had been Hillis ton's dupe for all these years. Indeed, be began to share Tait's opinion that the lawyer was guilty, and was oasting abont in his own mind bow to prove this, when an an nouncement in the papers informed him of the death of Mrs. Hilliston.

"The smallpox killed her, no doubt,"said Tait, when he had expressed his regrets.

"Wo!" remarked Claude, who bad been looking over the general news, "it was a oase of suicide."

"Suioide 5" exclaimed his hearers in one breath. ~

" Yes, according to tbis paragraph. It appears that in some way or another she be came possessed of a bottle of laudanum while the nnrse was absent,. The woman returned to find her' patient dead. Poor Mrs. Hiliis ton," added Claude, folding up the paper with a sigh ; " how sorry I am to hear this."

"I wonder why she committed suioide?" said Tait, meditatively; "she looked Wo determined a woman to yield to snoh a weak

ness."

" No doubt she found out that her husband

was gnilty of the arime,"s»id Laroher, grimly, "and so did not care to live longer with a murderer."

" You are wrong, father,"observed Claude, lookingup. "It was the knowledge that she bad lost her looks whiclikilled her. Depend upon it she took the poison eo as to avoid

dragging out her days aeoarred and miserable

object,'

4nSi

ig&SSip „

-ratbereynieeiiy. „« ._.. _,_— No dtobt ire maryieditowhens^

weeand is the womanat fait love". . \-^-'A

«uddiMdy;y"what:-Bre we to to>btol"d ehby* lesho tobii informed that her ino tber i* yet :«ii»e¥--i.^ '--.V- v'^-X-.v^irVv;^;'

.Captain Laroher shook bis bond; .. V8et your mind at reeton tbat pqiBt,"he said.witb. a nod;.. " I told Mrs, Bezel that<Jeany was »honh,to toopme fiipr trite ; that «halhink« her 'parentis are dead.; andlpointod nut that. it would be' uhwiss to mar the happiness of

Bes®l»greea witfmtyand -ehe baa eonaented

'thntthings shallrem&iiiaa they'are.": ^ . : .. V Does the not irant to tee Jenny, father i

, "Of course she does. I) isonly natural,

poor soul; but she loves her child sufficiently . to avoid oastingeshadow on her life. Jenny. will never know that Jeringhamwasher father or that her mother it still alive.' . 'She will marry' you, Claud e,&» Miss Kennedy, and know no more of tor ponneotion with thn. ' matter than ahe does at present." ', - '

"AndDenis?" ..

"Denis.has been told, I wrote turn two.

da/a ago, and I have no doubt to will oome up

to town to soe the last of hia wretched sister,"

"Che last of her f"

.. "Can you doubt it? Mrs. Bezel has death written on her face." * -

" Another blow for Hillieton," said Tait in a rather regretful tone. Villain as to knew, the'lawyer to to, he could not help feeling sorry for his troubles, fate bad held his hand a long time, but now she was dealing a foil measure, and pouring the vials of tor wrath on ?the head of the sinner. _

"It will be a heavier blow than the last," said Larcher, in a severe tone,for there is no doubt Hiiliston truly loves Mona."

"I suppose Denis will object to his going near her again."

"It is impossible to say. Wemustleave

that to the man himself."

TbiB conversation took plaoe in Tait'a rooms one morning some three weeks after the momentouB interview with. Mrs. Bezel. It bad bsen Captain Laroher'e intention to return at onoe to Thorston, but to had been dissuaded from this by his sou, who thought a few weeks in town would do his father good. There was no doubt on this point, for Captain Lar cher briekened up wonderfully in the exhila rating atmosphere of the West End. Bnt for the unexplained mystery of Jeringham'a death he would have been -qnice happy in the reoovered sooiety of his son. and even while the future was still blaok enjoyed himself in no small degree. It did Claude good to see that his father was at length getting some pleasure out of life, after his years of inoessant trouble and wearing anxiety.

* Tho nextday Denis, looking older and grayer than ever, came up to see his sister. He saw his master for a few minutes, and then wenton f,o Hampstead.

"I have told Denis how ill she is," ex claimed Captain Larober as the man took his departure, "and he has promised to to as lenient as possible towards tor wrong-doing. By the way, Hillieton is in town."

'"Hillieton!"

" Yob. Ho came up in the same train as Denis, and had the impudence to speak to him. Asked him where I was, as he wanted to see me," '

" To see you, father," cried Claude, in aston ishment. " What for ?"

"I think I can guss9," interposed Tait, quietly. " Hiiliston has been stricken by his wife's death, and wants to atone for his sins by confessing the truth. I would not be sur prised if he oalled here this afternoon,"

Captain Laroher looked soeptical, but said nothing, and the matter dropped for the time being. As it happened Denis was still ignorant of his sister's relations with the lawyer, else there might have been trouble. He had but a confused idea of Hilliston's oonneotion with the case, and beyond knowing that he was the owner of the garnet soarfpin could not oon ooi ve that he bad been actually present in the garden when the murder was committed. True it was that the soarfpin had been found on the spot where the corpse of Jeringhamhad lam, bnt assured by hiB master that Hiiliston was innocent, as Captain Larcher had truly be lieved these many years, Denis never gave the matter a second thought. Now he would learn the truth from Mrs. Bezel.

Denis only cams back in the afternoon look ing much put out. The ruin of his muob lovod sister by Jeringham had been a great blow to him, but the discovery that she was alive and had been with Qillieton startled him considerably. He oonld hardly reply to the questions of his master, but ulti mately related that they bad parted friends. Mrs. Bezel had told him that the dootor assured her that she oould nob live innch longer; and in the shadow of death Denis had freely forgiven her all her sins and follies.

" 4nd, indeed, sir, what elso oould I do J" said Denis, wiping the tears from his eyes, " when I saw the poor thing lying there like a oorpse. It's a bitter time she's had of it these last ten years in that death-in-life Btate. Oh, yes. Captain, I forgave her freely, poor soul."

"And Hiiliston}" asked Laroher, en quiringly.

"May his blaok soul burn," cried Denis, with a soowl. " Were be or I younger I'd leave my mark'onbim. Mona had a letter from him saying he was calling to see her this evening, hat that he had an appointment with yon, sir."

" With me, Denis} It is the first I nave heard of it. Where is he ?"

At this moment, as if in response to hia question, the door onened and Tait appeared, looking very disturbed.

" Mr. Hiiliston is here, Captain Laroher, and wishes to speak with yon."

: Claude had entered the room by another door, and .on hearing this stepped forward looking slightly pale. He slipped his arm. within that of his father, as though to protect the elder man. Then they all waited to hear what Captain Laroher bad to say. The per . mission for the interview most come from the man who had bsen the most deeplv wronged. He thought for a moment or so with a frown on his face, then sank into a chair with a deep

"' Denis, stand behind me," be said in a

peremptory tone.' "Claude, sib, down yonder. Now,Mr. Tait, we are ready to see our friend." . -

Tait. anticipated this permission, and was already prepared for it. Without a word he threw open the door, and Hillieton. dressed in deep mourning, entered the rsomwiVh apaper in hie band. He looked pale end worn, bis fresh dolour was gone. and at tospoketo kept his eyes persistently ion the .ground; It oonld be easily eean tbattbe than had re ceived a shook from wbioh he would not easily

recover. .

Oiaude.'bit-'

" PerVapa.^aaid HfUioVortagein.' -" 0n She' otharhthd/I roay'iibl toaogutUyaa yonj jSj®|fc:h»^'- troth inYiha't:

rHnpbinWSowWda/tbetaSj^

.of nil' immediately turned in th&* diraotton j whtt a HiUUifcon mo v ed to w arda tbpd oor. - . '

?" Having fulfilled the promiTO'I made to my dead wife I nowtefc«myteaye,"heB«id quietly. '-*V X will never «ea*ny of yon again,

*'' ' ? ^iinTe and coma day. you may learn that, ydti nave

miajddged ma.; Good-by," -

.0 opaEedtkedoorvbutbeforeheocrtildpaes through Deniaaprang forward*.

\ '' Myaiater, "he aaid, with an indignant look inhiaoyaa.

. -"lamabant to repair fcha wrong X did her,'

rep'.iad the lavryor, gravely. "XJy to-mon»w. ehe willbemy wife," ^