|Chapter Title||THE CABINET MINISTERS PLANS.|
|Newspaper Title||Truth (Sydney)|
|Trove Title||An Australian Anarchist|
AU AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST
[All Bights Reserved.]
(By V. L. THOMAS.)
Chapter XXYIL THE CABIKET MISISTEES TtAHS.
The Honorable George Marker was alone in hie office, not the well-known roem occupied by tbe head of tbe Circumlocu tion Department, but a dea in the Com mercial Chambers, Pitt-street, where be transacted his private business.
It was about 8 p.m., and he was not usually to he found here at that hour of the evening, when public men are at dinner or in the legislature listening to the weighty and inspired utterances ?£ leading politicians, who make tho most of the favorite hour when people rise from the table. Drawers were pulled out, cupboards open, papers in confusion, the table and the floor littered with documents snd cor respondence. Two large trunks, half filled, betokened that the occupant was about to change quarters. In the grate was the light of a bundle of smouldering papers. The heap of flakey soot showed that it had been some time alight Steadily and- mechanically be kept on pulling out tha contents of the drawers and cupboards to sift them, and place in the trunks or cast thsm towards tbe fire, which lie thus replenished from time to time. When he bad finished sorting and selecting, ezaminiog-and rejecting, heclosed down the lids of tbe trunks, and gathering: together all the rubbish on the lloor flung it in the fire. Then aB the flames shot up he filled his glass from a brandy &ask an the ehelf, and sitting down muttered : ' The game is up. at least this phase of it. What will be the next meve ? It's a pity they didn't let me alone in childhood's daye. Had I net been thwarted I'd have become a meenister «f the Free Kirk. ' Passing rich on £40 a year ' would have gratified my ambition then. But no, I was crossed, my pride was hurt ; like Satan, I rebelled. Then I chummed in with the Salvation Army and Freethought Then came political agitation, and my acquaintance with Vallambrosa, and the Socialists, aud all the other reconstructed of society. That Tichbome claimant says he was urged on by the gullible people. I never knew what a man could do to humbug the public aud advance himself, till I toek up the trade of a democrat. How many brands, of de mocracy are there ? Well, I went through the lot, and was master of alL Cool cheek and ambition did it. I used every man as far as I could, and then coolly got rid ?£ him. How fortunately that old devil, Vallambrosa, disappeared ? Where is he now '? Is he alive '! Heavens !' Marker turned pale and paced towatda the window. Then he stopped. 'Ah I My nerves are unstrung; why should I be afraid ? The French Govern ment haB get hold of him. I read hia sentence ; he is too great a prize to let slip He's safely kept, if he's alive— which is doubtful.' He paused, filled his glass again, and .continued: ) 'Then his daughter snd Watson als* disappeared conveniently. Of oourse, she is net finished yet. On press and platform I have been foremost in advocating tbe abolition of capital punishment. Whit a fool Of course, I wai an agitator then. When a man attains power his ideas change. Then I entered politics at a good time ; but I had no thought that my advance would -be so rapid. I have always admired that fellow in ' Tbe Wandering Jew,' who grasped the globe and aimed at ruling the world.' ' Well, bo far I .have followed his foot steps up to a certain peint. Poor old flabby Jellyfish G-asbag took me into bis Cabinet just to give it a democratic flavor. Haven't I led him a mice dance. 0£ course I kept in touch with the old beys iu the various mevements. I could at any moment get up a strike among the miners, or the shearers, or the wharf lumpers. Tiien law and order would cry out, and our great Premier weuld come aad ask mo te use mv influence with Democracy, so as to make smooth sailing for the Cabinet. This we could do by giving the leader a billet, or a locality a lean, to spend on useless public works, Te tell the truth, I was the real ruler of the country. 1 had the subsjfwce, but my ambition weuld not allow me to be con—. tent.'1 A frown darkened his sinister fe&tuns. '7eBf as chatrman ef the. Labor &Lak, ; and as Cabinet Minister, with a Premi«r I could twist round my finger, Tahould have been content. But my ambiHtu- went 'higher. - 1 'meant' to bo Premiejv-oay, te rula l&detated Australia, : to -become 'rtiler- «f the Australian Bepublic. .. ItwaB.all for her sake, and sW refused me. Which is the cbstacle ? I've talked myself into her father's favor. Which is the abstacle — Morton or Grimshaw ? But Vera^Samuela ehril be miae I' He paoed up and down the room «x» citedly, and exclaimed:— 'Since she refused me, three days ago, everything has gene wrong. There h&B -been a run on the Labor Bank, the asses, who have been my colleagues, are getting Impatient Gasbag has teen alarmed, and wants te know when -the bank's aoconnt with the Government will be madevup. ' Then he has asked eome peculiar questions about the accounts ef my own depart ment. 1 thought Icould'tiave^metehei him in the usual way by getting the Bal main Anarchist Lodge to explode alittla dynamite, if need be to blow up hia.own office, but they havB done?aetMng.*: r ' , He sat down? ?That may moanmuch ertittle. Thea® Aw»wdiiiit devils are earnest ; not 'like other 'Democrat wind-bags. They Trill, now do nothing until after a cemmitteti meeting, at whioh I am summoned 'te jlftagtwifr I, mfwr t» to
that meeting takes place, the Labor Bank will bave closed its doors. There will be | a crisis. The Ministry, perhaps, may have to resign ; for, without the Anarchist's help I cannot induce my brainless col leagues in the Cabinet — frighten them to take tho etens required to weather the storm. So I fiave got a steam yacht ready snd laid my hands on all the loot available. With all my belongings I'll soon be aboard, and then for a prolonged trip in tho Southern Seas ; afterwards, perhaps, to some land where the extradition law has no force.' He started, 'A fugitive from justice. Hah! that would be a poor ending to my ambition. No fear ; I know too much — the public men ef this country are, themselves, too deeply involved to expose the working of my schemes. There will be a hubbub, but tbe whole will never go further than a nulle prosequi on the part of the Attorney-General. Look at the ether Australian banks and banker politicians. Then, when the storm has blown over, I'll leave the Southern Seas and return to civilisation. Where?' He paused. 'No, not here. I could get financially white-washed ; bnt, politically, I could not become a great Conservative force like other played-out Democrats. No, there will be a re-action against our politics — Protection will come. That fellow. Morton, will educate the public. . Curse him, he is always crossing my path. I've done my best to conciliate him, but he has rejected my advaneeB. He has saved her life ;
dui i uon i xear aanger irom ner, nor sue « ' certain, even if he saves her, to spend her life under lock aud key. Has ho spoiled my chances in the other quarter ? If I thought so he would not live 24 hours. I'd find means that wouldn't be baulked again.' His face brightened. 'Yes, he can't baulk me in' that quarter any longer. She shall be mine. I've made my plans complete. To-night Sir William will speak in the Council on that hobby of his, the prickly pear. I'vq got the servants an invitation to tbat vah'ety entertainment. She'll be alone. A few of I the trusty follows . I've gathered around me can enter and hear her away. A boat i will be in waiting at the foot of tho garden. Five minutes and she'll be aboard the yacht So shall L Well provisioned, we can make for eome islands in the XI ? I. a'II 1 ? tu:«
XUUlLtUj Llieii bllO Al littVO tu BUAILLilV- J-UiD inspired paragraph will appear in next issue of my paper, hinting at our long attachment, an obdurate father, and an' elopement.' A fiendish grin added to the repolsive ness of his face. 'She'll have to be my wife, er the other thing. Placed in such a predicament it is astonishing how soon women become reasonable, 'x'hen after a time I'll return to London as Sir William Samuel's sonin law. With my money and bis connection I can enter the Commons, become an authority on colonial affaire, an under secretary, a Cabinet Minister, who knows ? My ambition in the Kirk thwarted, I rose to higher things. Perhaps this check is ' enly a prelude to greater success. Well,' here's luck.' As he drank a half tumbler of brandy, the sound of footsteps mounting the stairs reached his ears. There was a knock at the door. 1 Ha/ ho cried, ' the men from the yacht come fer these boxes ; all my other effects worth carrying are already aboard. I'll fellow them. In another' hour she'll be carried aboard too. Everything is in readiness. When out to sea, perhaps, I can pretend te come aboard and effect a rescue. Perhaps ehe may. accept her deliverer. Weuld it not be romantic,? Anyway I am playing for high etakeB, and te stay here meant- ruin.' He opened the door and two foreign looHng'mftn enteretL He - pointed to the' boxes, which wore at once borne away. Then he oaata farewell look around the mm and left. (TO BE CONTINUED.)