Chapter 169756835

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Chapter NumberXXVI
Chapter TitleTHE TWO SUITORS.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169756835
Full Date1897-04-18
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count2756
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleTruth (Sydney)
Trove TitleAn Australian Anarchist
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AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST

(All Bights Besnvsd.] (By V. L. THOMAS.)

Chapteb XXVL THE TWO 6UITORS.

Sib William Samuels bad returned to bis Sydney home, and bis daughter waa seated in tbe garden one morning in Marcii. It was a lovely day, but Vera Samuels was somewhat serious, for, en tbe previous evening she had a very serious conversation with her father.

Sir William, though still hale and hearty, wished to Gee bia yeungest child settled in life, for, at his age, nothing is more uncertain than life itself. His otber children had married with his approval, and to their own advantage. Though he wished that his youngeat and dearest should always remain beside liiui to the last, yet he wanted to have her future Decided while he himself was alive. Ho had thrown out plain hints to that effect During her residence in Europe, Vera Samuela had learned to despise the simpering younger Rons and bankrupt poera, enfeebled in health and ruined in purse from a life of debauchery, whom the world spoke of as most eligible matches. She saw that their attentions were promp ted as much by her father's repulsd wealth ae by any regard for herself. 'The tenth transmitter of a foolish face ' and un empty title, whatever their value in Yankee society, had no attraction for the young Australian girl. In the opening chapters we have seen hew she mentally contrasted the worth leBEuess of auch characters with the earnestness of men like Watson and Morton, who could go across half the world to light a cause. Indeed, had Walgett Watson, by ordi

nary decorum and discretion, improved the impression first created, there is little doubt that in time he might have become (Sir William Samuel's son-in-law. But, alas ! his career was merely a record of chances missed, and fate did not permit him to retrieve the errors of youth. Tbe more staid demeanor t-£ Morton did not so appeal to her lively imagination. Still, she was warmed to enthusiasm on seeing his intense and persistent advocacy of the Sydney trades-unionists. Latterly, the whilom idol had been denounced by his former followers. Then Miss Samuels became aware that a young lady friend hud evinced the warmest interest in the young Irish bar rister, acd there is a certain freemasonry between the t-ex. She had never come to regard Morton as a suitor, though ehe reckoned him a sincere friend, aa well aa an entertaining companion. Air Hartley Grinishaw was another whose friendship she valued, without ever regarding him as a passible lover. Con sequently, when tbe Lancashire manufac turer entered the garden that morning her reverie was scarcely disturbed, but on see ing his ordinary calm aud immovable face bearing traces of nervousness and excite ment, she exclaimed, ' Good morning, Mr Grimshaw. What has disturbed you ? Isn't the agitation for reprieve going on all right '? Has confinement and persecu tion killed the peor girl V ' ' No ! No ! ' stammered Grimshaw, ' I saw my friend, Morton, this morning. t He says the reprieve agitation ami the Privy Council case are getting on all right, and the poor girl ib bearing up as well as pos sible under the terrible ordeal. No, the fact is, &iss fSamueie, though I may leak excited, I was never cooler in my life.' Yet the twitching of his lips and the nervous movements of his fingers told another tale. After as embarrassing pause, he stammered as he resumed. 'The fact is, Miss Samuels, I may leave Sydney to-morrow, and catch the mail steamer at Adelaide, and perhaps I may have to eay good-bye.' 'Oh, Mr Grimshaw, this is sudden. Why have you changed your mind so quickiy ?? He bluBhed like a school boy as he answered : ? Well, the fact is, Mies Samuels, I am wanted in the House — I mean the Com mons. From the Queen's Speech I can see critical divisions are sure to crop up within a month or two, and. though I am pained, I promised the whips that I would be back by tho beginning; of May. They not only want my vote, but they flatter me to say that oa certain debates my voice and knowledge of the subject are all im portant.' 1 But, Mr Grimshaw, f heard you tell pa a week age, that the study, not only of Australia's natural resources and institu

tions, but the workings «f oar untram melled Democracy, taught you mere in a month than a dozen sessions in the Com mons could de. Then why curtail your political education?' More confuBed than ever, he replied — 1 1 shall net lose so much. I have ar ranged for a good supply of Colonial newspapers, Mr Morton has promised to visit mo in England as soon as his profes sional duties will permit, and in politics he is a Nestor.' After a pause of a few seconds, Mies Samuels exclaimed — ' Well, Mr Grimshaw, both myself and pa will sadly miss you, for I am afraid these Labor troubles will not allow him to leave Australia for a long time. Like myself, he will wish that you could pro long your stay in Australia.' With all the bluntness of his North Country nature, Grimshaw cried — ' Miss Samuels, it all depends on yeur self if I remain.' ? What do you mean, Mr Grimshaw ?' she queried, puzzled both by the words and the energetic manner in which they were uttered. Hartley Grimehaw was now himself. Tbe timid, blushing, stammering, awkward man had disappeared. Bofore her stood the Captain of Indue try, who ruled tbe factory and the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, who was as bold on the plat form as he was resourceful in the Com mons. Grimsh&w saw tnat the critical point of his life had arrived, and, like all men of suoh stern mould, he rose to the occasion. They had now reached the end of the walk, and entered an artistic arbor. Conceiving boldness to be the better policy, he gently took hold of her hand, and eaid slowly and calmly — * Miss Samuels, yon may not be aware that I liavu loved you for years. Since I have known you, in fact. It was not the beauties of Wiltshire that tempted we to settle down to the humdrum life «f a squire, immediately after your father had leased Bannerdown Hall It wan not altogether a thirst for political knowledge that tempted me to Ireland, and, sub sequently, to Australia. It was to be near

you, to see you, to near your voice, .but I cannot bear tha suspense any lenger, or the fire that consumes my heart. I am determined to know my fate new. I have come to ask you whether you will bs my wife. If you consent, I shall reside in Australia, or any other land you may ah«*se for a residence, i shall never leare yon, Should yen refuse inerl eball leave

Australia as fast as train and boat can : bear me, return to London, and retire from public life, a miserable and disappointed ; man.' When he ceased, she gasped, { ' Oh, Mr Grimshaw ; it is really terrible j to hear you talk like that.' i He said, hoarsely, I ? My words are not half so terrible as the sufferings f have lately endured. Your answer, quick ? ' ' Uh ! Mr Grimshaw, this is so sudden ; and there are so many ? ' Here she paused in confusion. ' He cried, ' Yes, obstacles, you mean. Fool ! that I should net have seen it. Of course, 1 am years too old for yeu, and there are younger suitors about. The chief obstacle, 1 presume, is a prior attach ment.' Vera Samuels cried, warmly, 'No ! No ! Mr Grimahaw ; you are mis taken there. I have never loved : 1 deeply respect yeu, and am grateful for yeiir kindness to myself and pa, and am deeply touched by your chivalrous conduct since I have known you.' ' Then why not be my wife ? I can offer you all tbe worldly advantages which a goed match is supposed to confer.' 'Mr Grimshaw ! I never studied that, and though l'vs respected you, I never, perhaps, have felt that love that is described in the novels, without which they say marriage is scarcely right or wise.' . Grimshew smiled. ' The love of novols is seMom found in real life ; when it is, it ends in another place, which unties the knot fixed at the altar. We can get along very well hs ordinary people, without being the impossible characters described in tbe novels.' As.he attempted to draw her nearer Miss Samuels repelled him, and said : ? Mr Grimshaw, there is the greatest of all obstacles, without pa's consent 1 could nevei think ' ? Make your mind easy en that point,' laughed Grimshaw, ' I have already con sulted Sir William, and, though he refused to iu any way dictate or speak to you oa the subject, my suit has his best wishes. As your maid is approaching I had better tell him the news, which must gratify him, just us it makes me the happiest man in the universe.' Before retiring, he kissed and warmly embraced her. The maid announced a visitor. Enter ing the house Miss Samuels found herself face to face with the stipendiary magis trate's wife, Mrs Sackvilla. The lady was not slow in explaining the object of her visit. ' Yeu know, my dear, we are forming a society for the elevation of factory girls. The lion Geo. Marker, a Minister 'of the Crowa, has promised to become president. The fact that lie has sprung from the working classes will land weight to his position as head of the movement We are anxious to secure a good committee of ladies of good social position, but not wanting iu sympathy for their poorer and more unfortunate sisters, Mr Marker is very anxious to secure your co-operation, and is coming here this morning to ask your permission to have your name put en tbe list of the provisional committee.' Vera muttered something about her own unworthiness to nil such a position, aud hinted clearly that she bad neither the time n«r tbe inclination. But Marker's irrepressible friend wasnot to be put off, and she said : 'You know there is nothing revolution ary about this business, and it will give you the opportunity of meeting Mr Marker. I need not say that Mr Marker is very much attached to you. I may also eay that he is a very attractive man, well educated, a Minister of the Crown, with tha Premiership well within his grasp. ' What more need an ambitious young lady want ?' j Remembering Grimshaw' s werdB a few j minutes before aVera merely smiled. Thinking this meant acquiescence, her visitor remarked : ' I am glad you think so. But some body has arrived. It must be he.1 Yera laughed and said : 'They say that a certain historical character appears at mention of his name.1 Marker's lady champion said : ? It is be. Goad-bye, dear. It is now within your choice .to occupy the highest position in the land.' Scarcely had she left when the Hon. Geo. Marker's name was announced. As she drove away in a cab the Stipen diary Magistrate's wife soliloquised : ' I hope Marker succeeds, as he will if he only follows my advice about a good display tf diamonds. Oar sex wnnot

resist that. If it does preve a mafcob, I am safe. My visit this morning will make her think that is was through my good offioee it was all brought about, so I am bound to be her friend. Marker has pro mised that should the marriage come off that husband-muff of mine will receive promotion, which means increased income for me. Meanwhile we must devise some means of pulling off that dreadful land lord, who threatens to put the bailiffs in.' George barker had not forgotten the injunction of his lady friend to make a good display of diamonds. The Labar agitator, who had so often denounced the way in which the rich spent the wealth wrung from the sweat of the poor, now looked as gorgeous as a Jewish pawn broker's assistant does on a bank holiday. Yet, with all his display, he could nevsr hide his humble origin. When Vera declined to join the pro posed committee for the elevation of fac tory girls, he carefully explained that it was nothing revolutionary. . ''V ' You know, Miss Samuels, I have given1-*, over all that kind of thing. My great ob- * ject in life is to ameliorate the lot of the werking classes, and to wean them from the wiles of the agitator, who would lead them to destruction, without ever gettiag nearer reform,' Remembering something of his former history, above all, the circumstances under which she had first seen him in Ireland, the squatter's daughter could scarcely cen ceal her disgust. Marker saw that he waa losing ground, and instantly resolved to act promptly. Throwing himself on hk knees, after the manner of the heroes known ) to him through cheap novels, he cried, in a theatrical tone — 1 Miss Samuels, Vera, throw in yonr lot with mine, and we shall gain eternal renown in our success to elevate humanity. You see how already my talents have lifted me to the highest position in New South Wales. With you to share in my success, to steer on my ambition, I would rise to still higher positions. Vera, will you be my wife ? I have loved you siace the first'day I saw you; loved you as only a man of my strong, ambitious character can love. For months I have been longing to tell you thia much, Do not say that 1 am indifferent to you.' Tho gay-hearted young girl could scarcely repress a smile at the ridiculous position in which this tinsel hero of melo drama had placed himself. The tricks of the stage and its un reality may succeed on ihe democratic political boards, its sham character ia instantly exposed in the theatre of love. Looking at him in disdain, she said : ' What yon ask for is impossible, Mr Marker ; I have already promised 6a marry another, that is an obstacle on my part And I conceive that there ia another on your part. Common gossip has reacliml my ears about your relations with t:.at unfortunate girl awaiting death.' ' Commou gossip is a liar,' shrieked Marker, '1 admit to indiscretions of which royalty and the nobility are often guilt\, but 1 defy anyone to prove that i have ever gene through the ceremony of matrimony. Consequently, that can be no obstacle to our union.' As he uttered the last words the brave girl felt inclined to epit upon him. She hissed : 1 It would have been more to your credit had you doDe so. You admit to indiscretions. I do not know your relations, but I can safely say that they were not such as to justify your negUot of her iu a critical moment What have you done to take off the hangman's noose, now, figuratively, around her neck ? 1 need not say more. \ou ask me to s^y that I am nolindiiferaut to you. I am not, for I eimply loathe and detest you.' She swept from the rnnm, leaving him od his knees. With a demoaaical lamgh, he arose, and hissed, ' Loathes, detests me I Premised to marry another. Who is ho ? Curse him, it must be Mortou — always crossing my path. Viola, my other evil genius, also interferes in this instance. Bnt I'll be even with them all. Though I bave met a rebuff in the midst of my success, I shall succeed over all obstacles. My proud beauty — you bave spurned me te-day, b»»t you shall be glad to havn me yet ; ana, when you do, you slia 1 pay fer these inBults.' When he reached the Circumlocution Office, the clerks and messengers waut«2 to know what had happened. All agreed that never before had they eeen tfee 1 Boss ' ia 6uch a temper. (TO BE CONTWUEDb}