Chapter 169754174

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Chapter NumberXXV
Chapter TitleSTRANGE TIDINGS.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169754174
Full Date1897-04-04
Page Number8
Corrections0
Word Count1484
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleTruth (Sydney)
Trove TitleAn Australian Anarchist
article text

? - i -M ,, i i - % AJsr iffiliili ANARCHIST

[All Right* Beterved.]

(Bt V. L. THOMAS.)

Chaptee XXV. STBiKGE TlDfXGS.

The &6QMU listened patiently as Morton related all that bad happened since both of them left London ; bow tiulur, Viola, and Walgett Watson had come to Aus trab'a, bow Marker bad got into Parlia ment, how Watson had exposed Viola's ebam seance, and then he told of the murder, and tbe arrest of Viola, and her trial ud condemnation, and all the events

that fallowed. In corroboration he showed pome newspaper cuttings which he bad carried with him. The old Frenchman listened attentively, and read carefully through the extracts. Then covering his face with bis handB for a few minutes he said : ' Mensieur, te one wbo has led my life, tbe truth cannot be stranger than fiction. Whea I esoaped from Siberia, and crossed Asia to Japan and San Francisco, I en ? countered adventures so improbable as to idamn any book of travel tbat published Jthem. Yet, wbat you slate surprises me. Hewevar, I must Verify yonr statement ?before I take any action. Watson's un timely end surprises me. He was a man from wkem tbe Cause expected much, and :the peer girl, why have they arrested her of aU people is the world ? You say that there is still a chance for her.' Morten explained how he had suc ceeded in getting an appeal to the Privy Council, and tbe advaatage of gaining time, especially as pnblie opinion was op , posed to capital punishment cm women. ? Bah,' replied V allambrosa, ? pablic opinim in one of its unreasoning tnoods will do anything ; bat you have done well in gaining time. While there's life there's hope, and my poor girl is well ' How lang iB it since you have seen her ?' Merton informed him. ? The etcapte exclaimed : ? - Te think that I have been here for several days while she wanted a friend, lying oooped up here. Of course, Mon sieur, far an obvious reason I did not care to tun outside, and my friend here, being unable to read English, did not get any of year papers, and I am not ao concerned in ; .Australian publio Me as to risk capture 'for the sake ef reading about your politi cians and yonr pnblie life.' He paused. ?Why have they arrested her? Why should she harm him ?' Morton replied : ' Hia exposure «f her sbatn stance it the teases given.' The old man passed, and then said : 'Yes, I taught her that and ? few ?ther dodges, against which her nature rebelled, bnt 1 induced her to take part in them as the only mentis of continuing our 'labour for the service ef the Cause. 'Twas the same with Marker and his magic lantern. You say he has become a Minister of the Crown.' ' Yes,' aaid Merton. y 'Ah,' replied the old man, 'truth is again stranger than fiction. I picked him tip whan, rebellions and piqued like Satan himself he had been cast out the narrow Scotch^ Kirk, and was clinging te tbe Freethinkers for the aake of a livelihood. Ganaot he as Minister for the Crown aid yea ia your endeavor torelMSe Viola? ' Morton explained that this Hon George shewed no. concern, and that1 lilt 'oTiilmce was aiost nafavorabla to tke-casa. cried Vallambrosa, ' Let ns see I tiow the case affects bim. Whan there is yourder there must ba a motive. Now, I knew Viola well, and, though this lexpoave must have piqued her, she never would have committed such a crime. Wei* Marker end Watson goed friends ? ' MertaK replied that there was ne evidence te show that. tbey were enemies. 'Yoa aay he was poisoned, what waa 'the nature of the peison ? ' Morten informed him that the nature «f the poison was unknown. Hew the proseoation assumed that there mnst Have been lteth arsenic and strychnine, and that jone counteracted the effects of the ether, ;bo as te leave ne tracei i '~Bah !' exclaimed Vallambrosa, 'and 'iai &esry pass in a Sydney ceurt of law. H*«r did they know it was peiBon at aU that he died of?' ' Morton said : 'The symptoms were jlbeae of poisoning, and then a small phial Waa foopd en the table. It bore the label )o£ a weil-known Parisian perfnmier, but 'Ihe traces in the bottle shewed tbat it ibad been filled a second time with a iatrange liquid different from that named in the label.' . ' Great God !' exclaimed the old man, *1 filled it myaelt Ne wender they were nnable to trace tbe poison. Chemiatiy is a wonderful science. It is -one ef the great agencies of the Order te whioh I belong. While yonr official chemists draw their salaries^ and take their ease, and pursue the beaten tracks, ths scientists of onr brotherhood are un tiring in their search for new methods by whioh the tyrant can be stricken down. That mysterious fluid was prepared by a German — one of onr members— leas than ? 'two years ago. It is for the use of the Order, and ia, as yet, (unknown to the '?rthedox chemist. I had six other bottles .of it in my box wjien I was arrested. Ne doubt the others can be found there. Viola should have my boxes in her possession.' ' It is well for Viola that they have not 'been discovered there, ' drily ebeerved Jfcrtoa. 'If ,they . bad been, nothing venld baye e«v«d bar from, the gfUftwa.* 'And yoa say that evidence was ten dered to shMv that ttarker had neither hand, act, er^part ia tbe foul tranaaotion?' 1 'Yes,' replied Morton, 'he had wit- ! Besses to account for his movements from tha time poor Watson left bis own lodg ings until hia body was discovered. In ifaot, saapician eves never reeled on hint.' ~ ''StaiWa — strange,' mattered the old jnaq.' *^iat Watson waa poisoned I tare ?' |aot the leaat donbt. The diaoovery 'of

the phial eonvincea me on tbat point. Bat that ahe should da it satounda me. No, no. I can't believe that, mach aa her feelings must have been wannded by bia exposure of her spiritualistic fraud. I taught ber those tricks and many others, for in our journeyinga through the world we find that the cause for which we work will not keep as in food or shelter. We find ouraelves forced to adopt strange devices to earn a liveli hood. Poor girl, had I not been arrested in London, she would by now- hare made her debut on tbe stage ; and from what you tell me, she is as likely to make her debut on the gallows.' Morton assured him that aU was not over — that there was yet a chance of, if not establishing her innocence, at aay rate saving her from ao ignominious a deatb. 'bo far, it is well, answered the old man. 'Now, I must use all my resonrces to save ber life, aad, if possible, establish ber innocence. Though a poor foreigner in a strange land, I possess some influence of a strange kind, and all tbat shall bo devoted to tbe objects in question. Mon sieur, my movements for the next few weeks will be uncertain. Bnt I have your address, and will communicate with yon from time to time ; Bhall call on you if necessai y. I need net remind yon of the necessity of keeping my presence in Aus tralia a secret, if only for the sake of the client whom you are trying to save. One thing, there is plenty of time, if only to import a few score of hardy spirits from the old land, wbo would not.shrin'i from risking their own lives to save tbat of a daughter of the Cause. I don't despair. Here comes our host back with the wine. He is a most considerate man. He knew very well tbat we had weighty matters to discuss, and gave us time.' Ae they filled their glasses, and the old man trolled forth snatches of a Parisian chanson, few would have guessed his real character from his devil-may-care appear and. When tbe tram bore him back to the centre of the city, Morton reflected on the curious evening ho had spent, and mut tered — ' At one time I should have shrunk from such an ally in an} undertaking, but be is welcome enough now. His assistance is not to be despised in any affair he undertakes, and, no doubt, he is heart and soul in this, for he loves the girl like a father. Both her parents were, it seems, old comrades of hia.' (TO BE COKXOrtTED,)