|Chapter Title||A FEW WORDS BY SPENCSER TAIT.|
|Newspaper Title||Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||The Third Volume|
A FBW WOBnS BY fiPBNSBn TAVPL "
, -When the case had been stated; whenithe; witnesses for and against have giventheir evidence, when the counsel on both aides have delivered their speeches, it is then ouatomiiry Jorthe Judge to sum up the entire matter for the direotion of the Jury. In this instance I am the Judge, and Here is the Laroher affair summed up for the understanding of the pnbiio. It has fallen to my share to wind up the story, so here I set down saoh results as happened from the confession of Mra.Hil iistpn, .
The immediate result of her death was the marriage of the widower to Mrs, Bezel, whioh took plaoe, eo to speak, when the latter waB on her deathbed. She lingered out another two months, and died in the arms of her husband, at peace with all the world. Denis heartily forgave her, and the only bitter drop in her trap was the absence of her ohild. Yet when Captain Laroher suggested that Jenny should .be told the truth, and brought to say good-by to her mother, Mrs. Bezel with a self-denial for which I hardly gavn.her credit refused to permit suoh a thing. She thought that Jenny would be happier if ehe was ignorant of the truth, and moreover, Mrs. Bezel shrank from letting her ohild know how she had lived daring these many years. At all events Jenny never learned the truth, and Mrs. Bezel died without seeing her daughter. That she for gave HiUiston for having deprived her of the . child is, I think, a proof of her goodness of heart, for there iB no doubt that he aoted sel fishly and oruelly in doing so. But enough of Mrs; Bezel, her faults and virtues. She lies in Hampstead Cemetery, under a plain stone bf roBB-ooloured granite, insoribed "To the memory of Mona Hilliaton." So she bad her wish at last, and died an honest womnn.
Captain Laroher returned with Kerry to the oettage in Nightingale-lane, as he could not make up his mind to resume bis own name, or tear himself away from the bookworm life of twenty-five years. No one knew the truth save Claude, Jenny, and myself, for HilliBton being absent from England does not oount. The Vioar was aleoenlightened on the eubjeot, and expressed muoh astonishment at the strange series of events which had culminated in the | death and confession of Mrs. Hilliston. Un willing to lose his old orony, he heartily
approved of Laroher's determination to resume I
his usual life, and so the matter was settled. Captain Laroher will remain Mr. Ferdinand Paynton to the end of his days, and will still
be a mystery to the gossips of Thorston—how - great a one they can never guess.
But a notable ohange has taken plaoe in his habits. He is no longer a reoluse, a misan
thrope. When I am at the Manor Houbb he J visits me there ; he is a oonstant gueBt at the | Vioarage, and may be seen f requon tly fi »h i o g be side Kerry on the banks of the Lax. Following the example of his master, Denis Bantry.al'o renounced his name, whioh he superstitiouBlv regarded ae one of ill-omen, and called himself Kerry for the rest of his life. If he was
grieved for his unhappy sister, her life and her
eath, he finds consolation in the sooiety of
Mre. Claude Larcher, who oonduets herself towards him as a nieoe should do. But the relationship is not known beyond the walla of Hose Cottage, lest it might lead to enquiries, and Jenny ib still known as the daughter of Mr. Paynton.
That Claude should call Mr. Paynton father is of course only regarded as natural by the vil lage. Has he not married Jenny, and does he dot stand in the relation of. a eon to the old
man* Thorston gossips think he isa most per- 1 feot son-in-law, and never guese that any |
nearer relationship exists between them.
Of course Jenny and Claude were married
at speedily as possible, and I do not know a j happier oonple. Mrs. Laroher has quite con
verted me with regard to the fair sex, and I plumes herself on her viotory. She has the I apdaoity to say that she will yet suooeed in
glUing me married, bat I think that is beyond
er powers. Mr. Linton married.them, and
they spent their honeymoon at the Manor House, whioh I lent them for the oooasion. Indeed, while at Thorston they invariably live with me, and I should be offended did they take up their quarters any where ehe. Not that they have any desire to do so, for Rose Cottage it rather small, and besides, the Manor it within easy distanoe of it, so that Jenny oan see her father, or, rather, her father-in-law, as often as ehe chooses.
Claude etill goes to different parte of the world to build bridges and construct railways.
Sometimes his wife goeB with him, but she. does not like to be so long away from Thor ston. Paynton is nqw an old man, andoannot livelong, so Mrs. Laroher wishes to be near him , as muoh as possible. Besides the cares of the' - nursery take up her.attentipn, so I thipk that in
a few montheClaude will 'settle down to busi ness inliondon, and. make his home at.Thora . ton, as he always intended to do. There ib a pleasant little plaoe not far from the Manor whioh I have been commissioned. to buy for
: him, so I really think that next year Claude ! and Jenny will take up their residence among
- os. -
The only *person who disapproved of the marriage was Frank Linton, who aooused Jenny-of jilting him. This was utter non sense, as she never had any intention of be coming his wife. However, the author oon . eiders himself badly treated, and has taken up
-his quarters in London, where he writes books and poies in Chelsea circles. But I do not think he will ever write so exoellent a book as " A-Whim of -Fate," perhaps beoanse Mrs. Claude Larcher refuses to tell him any more . plots. She has a good reason for so doing, as
the troubles whioh arose ouoof ber finding the murder naorrsin the garret of Rote Cottage , h iv • •wril-'d her in no small degree., Still, a
Mn.l'Glaude .dose not Berths mitlwinao am»Ue.Mii^^.;:^-^aK:^;; Vir '^vt- >K;-'
.Finally,, Hilliston l it iahard iosaywhat' hat bpboine ofth»t*entl«m»n.. Afterthe death ,-pf big eeoond wifeho withdrew/from business/and want abroad. There Ibslieve. heisetill, and fromwhatl hearof himat odd' times he seem* to here developed into A kind; bt, Wanderingjew, Franoe,Italy, Austria;
Germany, Russia; he has seen jail'-these:' plaoes, end is oonstantly travelling about, no doubt trying to .live down tbe_past.
Whether he will snooead in doing <o it is hard ' tpfitty. ?''?-?V.? :'r
After some consideration I have oome to the-oonelusion that we have been rather hard on Hilliston. He did not love Mra. Laroher,
in spite of his -wife's insane jealousy oil the. point, and I believe he wasainoerely,attached' to Mona Bantry, The blot on his onaraoter is that he did not marry her when she first oame to London, and, seeing that he was in love; with her, I profess my inability, to explain why he did not do so. Perhaps it was bn:
aooonnt of her low birth, qr the.oironmstanoet whioh oonneoted her with Jeringbam,but at all events he did not marry her till is was top late for the poor oreSture's hapniness. Other wise I do not see how he oould hare noted dif
ferently. Louisa Siuolair wet guilty.of the' murder, but as she did it on his aodount, and was wildly in love with him, it was to his
honour that he. proteobed her as he did, (
Whether he would have told the trnth had Mis. Laroher been convicted I do not know,' but as Louisa Sinblair did npt leave for Ameiioa till Mrs.. Laroher was released, X think Hilliston would have persuaded her to' confess openly in the event of a oonviction.
It is true that he married her for her money, but I think lie was tonohed by her devotion, and gave her some love. Nodoubt it was Mrs. Hilliston's remorse for condemning his father to lifelong seolusion that made her so kind to'Claude when he was a lad. Now it is easy to see why Hilliston was reluotant that Claude and I should in vestigate theoase. He was afraid lest the. truth should be fonnd out, and his wife arrested. I was wrong in my surmise. Hilliston was not afraid for himself, but for the unhappy woman who had killed Jeringhara in m'stake for him. The whole mystery would have bson solved years ago had Dioky Fental spoken out as he should have done. But the fear of being shut up in an asylum olosed his mouth, and so the oase was at a standstill for five-and-twenty long
It was strange that Jenny, who set the ball rolling, should have been the indireot means of avenging her father's murder—or rather of solving the mystery whioh oonoealed it. Had ahe nob disoovered those papers in the garret, she would not have been able to give Frank Linton the plot of " A Whim of Fate." Had that novel not been written and published, Mrs. Bezel would not have read it, and thereby have been induoed to write to Claude. Had she not done so, Hilliston would not have told Claude the truth, thenoe we would not have taken up theinvestigation and aolved the mystery, It was Jenny who was responsible for the whole. After five and-twenty vears the ohild of the murdered man unoonsoiously enlightened us as to the person who had slain him. Fate works in strango ways.
But I do not wish to figure further as a detective. This one experienoe has been quite enough for me. The thought, the anguish, the trouble is too worrying. The next oiiminal oase in the Laroher family oan look af'er it self. I abandon the role of deteobive, and thus put the last word to my only criminal case.