|Newspaper Title||The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)|
|Trove Title||The Devil's Own. An Australian Story|
“ A moneylender servos you In the pleasant terms; he lends you in the conditional mood; keeps you in the subjective mood, and ruins you in the future.” '
Addison. In a far away corner of this golden para dise! stood Pokin Court, standing in its cold grandeur and modern masonry, insufferably grand, painfully architectural, rigidly stiff, like a modem Noah's Ark, loft high ' and dlry bn Mount Ararat after tho flood, hut looking down and around, in pride and con tempt and pitying disgust at the small but picturesque little villus that had dared to show their heads 6r rather tho roof and chimneys within, view .even of such a princely domain as Pokin Qo\irt, tho residence
of Ebonezcr Jones, Esq., J.P. Inside the. gates all was plain and formal, from tho time .you passed tho lodge (a villa residence in ; size and capabilities that any retired officer in her majesty's service might have been glad to live in as far as comfort and con venience were concerned) up the long drive to tho bouse, where after waiting some time, “ not nt homo" was given, as tho door was opened by a maid servant or a scmi-slovouly man, .unless 'twas Tuesday or a certain day of the .week called reception day—on that special day you were ushered in by a retinue of tail coats to tho presence of ' Mrs. Ebc nozer and wore made much of if you were rich or popular, or possessed of any particu lar virtue or recommendation appreciated by the golden coterie of Pekin Court, who ruled society with a rod of iron (silver gilded for tho ollcct). Mrs. Ebonezor Jones’s friends oven to Mrs. Ebonezor herself, who could bo very agreeable and pleasant when by herself, free from the glamour and influence of the satellites and sycophants that swarmed to the Court, almost smothering tho poor woman with tho fulsome compliments and sickening flattery, enough to turn tho brain of any woman except a professional beauty or n French Marquise of the Louis Quatorzo period. In contrast withjtho pharisees around Pekin Court was Ebonezor Jones,nob half a bad sort of n follow, said his friends, certainly ho ap- Eoaredfto he popular witli everyone except is wife, who didn’t scorn to fully appreciate her earn sposo; perhaps she fancied it might bo thought rather unfashionable or vulgar to bo thought even domestic or dutiful or lov ing, nevertheless Ebenezcr didn't seem to break his heart Jab out his wife’s fashionable coldness, or in fact any thing else being by way of contrast to his neighbors a man with a large heart, and charitably iuclincdtowards mankind while his wealth could afford to laugh and defy tho uncharitable world of Haute villo. Of course ho bad his faults like the rest of mankind, his enemies said ho wsfs too fond of champagne and pretty faces, as to those weaknesses who could blnmo him for such good taste, the accusations of his enemies aroused 100 much of the fox and the grapes in the fablo.though if tho truth mast bo told, Ebonozer Jones had rather weak brain power, as far as tho science and education of drinking was concerned,and one or two glusos of the rosy nectar of the gods would occasion ally send Mr. Jones flying head over heels, in tho middle of Sir Roger de Govorly, towards the end of tho night’s festivities to the honour and scandal of some of tho painfully goody goodies of the feminine gender who happened' to be in the vicinity of Ebonezor’s somersault;and tho “escapade” as tho tabbies called it was much embellished and added to by them, in their description, with illustrations at the several “muffin worries” next day, amongst those worthies or unworthies in the neighborhood and else where. Tho Jones family was a particularly for tunate one, having inherited vast wealth and possessions instead of having had to exhaust their brains near out and shorten their term of years by money grubbing. Their father had dona it for them, “ Lucky dogs, ” said people when talking over the Jones family. Jones pero certainly had been a money grubber of tho lowest and coarsest typo. Rumor, in tho shape of a mate had said that together they had skipped off from the west of England to got away from the ob jectionable of certain bonks, and tho males for reasons best known to them selves, had landed in the colony in early times, but tho mate had not prospered in bis career. Daniel Jones starting on his own'hook as bo expressed it, in tho money grubbing*lino, and having no conscience but his brains, no religion but pounds, shillings and ponce and no biblc except his greasy note and aconnt book, had succeeded in life' beyond his own expectations. Dressed in greasy, shabby old clothes, and unwashed to all appearances, ho would prowl about tho "wharves and book slums of tho city waiting for a job or something to turn up. As a rule, ho rather objected to manual labor, though bo would have carried your trunk, or oven yourself on his back for a remuneration, for all was fish that came to his net, as ho was wont' to say with a chuckle, baring an eye to business with his motto, many mickle makes a mucklc, a penny saved is ft penny got, etc., etc. He plodded along, ana having scraped up n fow pounds, bo was ready when lbq_whoo the diggings broke out to make the “Lost of many a lucky digger with whom money was “busy come easy go,” or a ruined speculator potty advances at usiorcr’s interest,did Daniel Jones dole out like an octopus in human form, putting out feelers, ftnd woo betide those who camo within those clutches. The unfortunate victim was drawn in as sure as fate slowly by inches, imperceptably as it wore, if not at once, and had to succumb to his fate too often in the shape of ruin nt a broken heart. A dirty old man in many ways was Daniel Jones, n veritable Shylock to the poor, though to tho rich ho altered his tenets by a generous removal of bis bills, mortgages, loans and other tempting sales. For a time until yon found out too late that you were in tho whirl pool of his usury and must sink most cruelly. Uo was cruel to his wife, who some said ho turned out of doors. Bo that ns it may,she loft him, and the woman ho lived with for years was not bis wife. (TO DE CONTINUED.)