Chapter 162363481

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter TitleSATISFIED.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162363481
Full Date1896-10-10
Page Number37
Corrections0
Word Count2209
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Ducies of Dulverton
article text

CHAPTER VI.

The days wont by, and Cissy was introduced to tho type-writer. J.t took her a Jong time to leant the positions of the letters. As they Wore not arranged alphabetically, the thing would not spoil, and her earlier attempts at reproducing tho Rov. James's sermons resulted in the appearance of a document somewhat) resembling the " Phonotik Nuz." She found herself stretching her fingers out as if she were at the piano. Thou, there was a diabolical arrangement of certain Stops and springs, by which one key meant a small lettor, and another a capital one. All her commas would turn out to be marks of interrogation, and after some more than usually einphatio state nient of the Rev. James's (be was very om phatic in liis sermons) it was disheartening to find those mocking interrogatories at the ends of the sentences. The Rev, .lames declared that he wouldn't attempt it himself; ho af firmed that he hadn't the requisite dejicacy of touch; but ho showed so much delicacy in everything else that Cissy was inclined to doubt the truth of this statement.

After a little time she began to enjoy the typewriter. It was no use sitting down in front of it and stopping to think. The more fact of having to put a sheet of paper in the rack and sit opposite it commanded action. If she did not begin to tap the paper stared her out of countenance, and the sheet of paper once commenced had to bo finished. When ever she tried original compositions of her own she invariably forgot to look at tho keys, and in some mysterious manner tho 1 otters came out all right. She began to have quite an affection for the pretty littlo instrument, and turned out so tnuoh "copy" from it that Oscar Van Heidcnstein felt inclined to smash it. for mononolir.inff so much of lier time.

After the first few days of his visit had elapsed the mercurial Oscar found the quiet) sleepiness of Dulverton very oppressive. He visited the stables, and the cow-like equines

elicited marked symptoms of disgust from him.

He tried to teach the fat coachman to fence;

but that worthy went to sleep, and ran away

howling with terror when the button of a foil broke and the point pricked his skin. His dog " the screaming peacock chased in hot pursuit." but never overtook it. Alto gether, to vary the monotony of this dull old country house, with its sleepy inhabitants, Oscar Van Heidonsteiu foil in love with his aunt's lady help. He know all about her strange freak, and was rather amused by it. Most of his ideas with regard to matrimony ware thoroughly French, owing to his long association with the French colony in Smyrna. Full of these ideas, he one morn ing sought the aociety of his Uncle James, arid resolved to disburden himsoif of his

woes!

His visit would soon be over, but his beloved -Smyrna was gradually becoming loss aiid less attractive as the days went by. He had been almost home-sick for the clear waters of the bay, and the oak - clad mountains wherein his favourite prey, the wild boar,

loved to roarn, Now he didn't care about the wild boar. Letters from home ceased to interest liirn, and he informed Cissy that he was tired of brigands and adventures of that sort, .She would catch his sunny oyes fixed upon her with a smnewhat wistful expres

sion.

, Miss Prissy observed with dismay that he was getting thin, and Miss Dorothea took to coddling hirn With various little delicacies, which the interesting youth loathed in his inmost soul, but tried to swallow with a good grace. His wants were so simple that he could live on a crust of bread and a bunch of gravies, varied by bis perpetual cigarette. He gravely ascribed his loss of appetite to the climate and lack "(.exorcise, but, as he walked twenty or thirty miles a day rather than ride in the family chariot, it v/as difficult to believr his explanation. Miss Prissy fancied that h« was pining to return home, and grieved in hei simple, innocent old heart that certain little plans which she had boen forming had come tc naught.

AH women arc. matchmakers at heart; Miss Prissy was no exception to the rule.

" Uncle .Tames," said Oscar, coming straight to tbo point, with all the impetuosity of youth;

" I have the honour to inform you that I love' Miss 1/Estrange, and to ask her hand of you."

The Rev, ,Tacnes dropped a paper he held in his"! ian 1, and fumbled nervously about for it on the floor. " You take me rather by sur prise," he said. '"You know the position M iss L'Estrange holds in this house."

" I only f now that, 1 love her," broke in the voting man impetuously. "Hove her; I love her," he repeated. "Good heavens! yon English, how cold you are. If I had told my father, ho would have flung his arms round my neck and kissed me—-if she had a dowry that

" Gently, my dear bov. said the Rev. James. " Wo are not used to such fiery speed in this old castle of silence. Resides, I have no more to do with it than the man in the moon. For a wbim of her own. Miss I/Estrange chose to fancy that she wasn't wanted at home, and we w-.r I s'> d -.light.-;] with ho.v beauty and win .soni'-ness that we wore glad to have her on any

haamadoihei ..

Syay froMbns^ltn^thcr, and—and

?< '4*g '^^i^yonhgii^

y-1iv&"'hcm\dym^

"3 to|pVebP a toy, "Mygood -i j thirty-five.and I am leu yeare ,. „ „_, rytmrealise what4dl ibis means?"

iTbe IteV.Jamea'abraw contracted ominously lor amomont.^ "Oon't^otoo far, Oscar,"he BB3d, «tonfly/ ,' I dcal with youfrankly, be

cause it is my intention to winAfies L'Estrange • *f lout. It doesn't seem to occur toyon that„ when a man of thirty-five fallB in loyehedoes it with a passionate strength and earnestness - which make him very dangerous."

The young man stopped Tamping upland ?'? down. "Very well: my good uncle,?• ho said.

• "II yoii aremy rival, and I have eaten your " salt, I must leave here at once. And yet I

liked you ro touch. H wo were in Smyrna I would fight you. Now you will have a thou sand opportunities to my one; and I can't kill

my own nncle." •

"I am very muchindobted to you for your forbearance," said this strange wooer, quietly, 4'and As for killing me, I don't think that wouldbesoeasy. 1 am a crack shot and a practised athlete. But it is folly to talk in this way. I am a clergyman, and don't pro ; pose to bring a scandal on my cloth by fight

ing a duel with my own nephew, the mon i itrous young fire eater. Shake hands and stop

this nonsense directly,"

He boid out his hand, and tho young man took it, a smile rippling over his handsome face. "-Uncle James, he said, contritely,

"I'm worse than a Bashi Bazpufe. But—but ? •^but—" .

He turned to the window with a suspicious gulp in his thro&t for so determined a young

duellist.

« T

"I'lie eiaer man wait-neu mm jju

. -here, Oscar," he said, kindly, "there are lots

of things to bo considered when a man falls in

love."

"Ob, yes, I know,"broke in Oscar. "All the jrreybeards meet and talk it over, and go from one formality to another; but when one loves, when one's heart is consumod with a fiery yearning for the woman one worships, when her voice is music, and the rustle of her dross thrills one with wild, exultant longing -and delight; when her presence is life, her absence death; when one tosses slumberloss and calls upon her namo to the stars as they peep through one's lattice, and even the heavens bend down and whisper of her beauty —what do they know of this? To adore her at a distance, to lie sad when she is sad, to delight in her joy, to kneel before her in an ecstasy of love and worship—yes, that is what I under stand by love. Oh, you cold, phlegmatic Hng gliBh, you don't know what love is. Some day your liver becomes wrong—and you fancy it 19 love. Some day you feel bored—and you fancy it is love. Some day you see a beautiful girl, who will go well with the furniture—and you fancy it is love. Oh, yes, yes, yes; the veriest Oreek peasant knows more about love than yon do. Ivove, love, love. Bah'."

He flung up and down the room in an ecstasy of rage, his blue eyes glaring at _an imaginary foe, and his hyaemthine locks rising like the mane of an angry lion.

The Rev. James looked at him curiously. Then the youngster fame up to him.

" TJncle James, I am a brute and a savage. 1 beg your pardon. I am not fit to be in the same room with you."

"Now sit down," said the Rev. James. "Lotus discuss the situation. I haven't the

slightest reason in the world to suppose that Miss L'Estrange even dreams that wo love her. If you like to propose to her you can do so at once, and if sho accepts you it shall he my care to provide for the material happiness of you both. If she doesn't, then I will try my for tune, on the condition that you hear it witii good grace."

" Yon take it very calmly," said Oscar.

"Calmly!" said the Rev. James. "Boy, if I once let myself go, the torrent of my love would drown your puling passion in ah instant. I have never loved before, and now love means

life to me."

Oscar thought of two or three previous little experiences of his own.

Now that he closely inspected his uncle, tlio Rev. James didn't look so very old. He was slim and tall, and the dreamy look had quite vanished from his eyes,

A "horrible fear struck chilly at tbo young man's heart. He had never cried for the'moon so earnestly before; ho felt that the Rev. James, for all his quiot, self-contained ways, was a dangerous rival.

Cissy suddenly opened the low window and walked into the room.

" Whatever is the matter?'' she asked, with » startled glance.

" Oscar has something to say to you," said the Rev. James. " I will leave you until lie has spoken."

It dawned upon Cissy at once what was about to happen. She turned very pale.

" If Mr. Van Heidenstein has anything to say to me," she said, '"it must he in your presence."

Oscar name forward.

•* If I have anything to say,"' he cried. "Cissy (may I not call you Cissy?) I love you."

He came up to her with outstretched hands, a look of eager longing in his beautiful ryes. Cissy turned whiter than before.

" It is very good of you," she said, almost inaudibly, "but it never can bo, Mr. Van Heidenstein."

She did not look in the direction of the Rev.

James, but stood with downcast eyelids and tightly clasped hands, like a beautiful statue, the flowers she had held strewn around bor on the floor.

The young man burst into a torrent of grief Stricken and fiery reproaches.

"I cannot bear this," said Cissy ; and Van Heidenstein rnahed from the room.

Then the Rev. James came forward, and took her bands and put them on his heart. She had revealed her secret.

"Cissy," he said, "tell mc that I am not mistaken."

She burst into a passion of wiid weeping.

"I was so tired, so tired," she said, "and you are so strong. I knew it from that first evening we sat and talked together, and now my heart is no longer frozen, I Jivp again. ' Stop, hear me. I loved, and they sent my boy-lover away from me, and he died. And at nights he would come to mo in the moonlight, and reproach mo for having sent him away, until I nearly went mad. And then, and then ." i

"And then?"

"I came here."

She crept to his heart as a tired bird to its nest. The room swam round, and she would have fallen. When she recovered, Miss Prissy was kneeling beside her in her own little

room.

" My dear, I know all," she said.

Cissy flung her arms round the sweet old lady's neck.

" And you forgive rue?" she asked.

" My dearest child," and they mingled their tears together.

^*Syoul»»vo»of«^?^fBhoa8k^:AOTl6ver that« vening»8 tbey^rollcailohgtb rough the: Peacock garden benfcatb tbo'pale jraytS fft *W msi^ tBb^ ^ lToa^ Bo ^maa^ andatcad ifefefc,Ahd £trbng,'*ad I«m so vveakatid fodli'eh<

;J5^Su^tipfeara?'?-V-'^' . Xt..;LX ""-?* '-1^

'? ^cboed, -wondOTBgly. " Tbeai

jfle claapod her ia^his^ftms. " Fears ^e.~

cried. ?',; - ?'!,

Oh that this kiss, and these wound annt could

prove, , . - . ?

Howntteiiy I love yen, oh nay loveV

And Gissy<was satisfied. r

Tim Enp. ?