Chapter 174509836

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Chapter NumberXXI
Chapter Title
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Full Date1892-03-05
Page Number1
Word Count2408
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)
Trove TitleThe Devil's Own. An Australian Story
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CHAPTER XXI. (Conutined).


“I won't keep them waiting,” she said, hastening along at a pace totally unnatural to her. He was silent, keeping pace with her

till they reached the garden gate, where she st epped to gain breath before entering the house. In the meantime Mr?, Oholmondeioy had become very anxious about the girl's absence. “What can have become of her," she said to a young girl who had just entered from the tennis lawn, hot and tired looking. “I have not seen Madamoiselle Marin since lunch," said the young lady. “Per haps she is a field naturalist." “I heg your pardon—a what?’ said Mrs. CholmondoU-y. “A field naturalist, ,r repeats her com panion. “There is n society of field naturalists here, don’t you know. Did you never hear of it? It is great fun. I am a member, though I don't know n beetle from a spider, and if T srw a pink frog to-morrow I shouldn’t touch the thing with a pail* of tongs. Eat it is jolly fun going out with a nice party in search of curiosities, at cetera. Last Thursday we lost our way, and a whole hotly of us had to put in at a wayside inn, ?finding it impossible to get homo before dark. Such a sensation wo created amongst our stern parents, who were tear ing their hair in anxious tribulation about the lost sheep. Ah I here comes Madamoi selle. Now we shall have a rare treat." Madamoiselle Fanchette entered, and smilingly received the welcome—quite an ovation—accorded her as she took her scat at the piano. She had a superb voice, and so thoroughly cultivated, no wonder people said she ought to be on the stage. She was going on it. In a few more months she was coming out in Italy. The song ceased. Compliments and congratulations flowed in from all sides, as the singer retired to give place to some bow performer. Forth followed the girl with his eyes as she sat down by Mrs. Cholraontleley, -.taking up a photo that was near her. Mrs. Annoylaye was beside her, thank sng her for the song she had charmed tfchem with.. “Whose is this ? ” said the girl, holding a photograph op to her hostess. “ Is—is it meant for Mr. Aoneylaye?” Mrs, Oholmondeley frowned slightly, vexed with her young friend for touching on so sacred a subject “No, that is only a cousin." “Have you one of your husband 1” said Fanchette, not usually troubled with qualms of feeling. “Yes—l think you saw it, did you not, j rs, Oholmondeley?” “No, ray dear. I did not like to ask you for it, to tell you the truth,” said that lady. “Oh, it is here,” said Mrs. Anneylaye, sweetly, reaching her arm out to take a photograph in a folding frame near her, which she opened and then looked shocked—it was empty! For a moment she looked too grief stricken to speak. “It has slipped out. It must be some where about—under the table, perhaps” said Mrs. Oholmondeley, getting up and •looking under the table. Other visitors assisted in the search, rlookinginto every possible nook and corner •of the well furnished and crowded apart ment. Mrs, Anoeylayo rang the hell and in quired of the servant. No, she had never peen It—had never even seen the interior 0 * the ease,. Mrs. Auueylaye, with a crave a/6e * fcned to think back and re member last she had seen it. Mr. Gordon triea ,iel P ho /* fo^ fch ! i Go^ ons were neighbors. * friendly in-and-out intercourse prevailed between the familba, Mr. Jones remembered Hu jert Army tago being struck with the “But that was agesaag oo 5 * 0 * 7 * t ic races," Mr, Jones said. “ Oh, it will turn up when yon are n looking for it, I expect it has got into some book. I remember losing a photo for years, and after 1 had quite given it np, it one day fell out of an old dictionary; goodness knows how it got there," said Mr. Gordon cheerfully. Mrs. Anneylayo hoped so too. “ However, you shall not ho disap pointed, 1 * she said sweetly, to Mrs. Ohol mondeley. “ I have one upstairs, you shall see, if you will excuse me for a moment, it is in one of my drawers up stairs,” There was a pause for a few moments in the conversation, everyone seemed to have his or her idea as to the missing photo, though scarcely one hit upon the real fate of the portrait More over, few, if any, of the guests had seen Mr. Herbert Anneylaye’s picture, never, from motives of delicacy, having asked if there worn one. “A most extraordinary thing is it not*” said Mrs. Oholmondeley, “surely someone must have entered at the Window. Are there any natives about ? I remember at the Gape the natives used to steal anything they could lay hands on. I lost o workbox and other things off a .table in the window one morning.” The little widow was not long absent, rand on entering the room walked straight otp to Mrs. Oholmondeley, handing the to her friend in silence. Mrs. Ch ilmomleley opened the case and Hooked at it. She took out her glass ami looked into it, and as she did so all color faded out of her face ; she seemed too tagitnted to open her lips. Borne visitors moved forward anxious to'sGfc the portrait, and more anxious to know tho cause of Mrs. Oholmondeley’a agitation. “ Fanchette I Fanchette!” she gasped, looking round for* Jmr friend, who duino forward, , tr “Who is that'? you t<fl/?w the tace, Said Mrs. Ohohnondo'ey. •“ So dp 1. The girl looked, then a faint*pjije, half cynical, half self-possessed, saying <ta»ly 4 " That is the portrait .of gj, /julvcnt Armyifcag**, no one who knew ’?Him eojaUUlouU itfo? a moment. « Yoa’* 1 wkt Mrs. Oho.lino.nthdey, '* that is Sir Hnhe.^Awywgo/' Mr*, .J nney. turn** pah', add shivered at the very ’ r!i ‘ . 10 * mondeley and her comp^^ o ' ertVo of their sens''*. , . “ Oh no !’’ «h • sal 1 gently, “ .drsr Mrs'. Oholmondeley you are mis akbn, tint is my husband ilmbert Anneylayo ; that was Iris uniform, the Lancers. It is exactly like him, like what he was,’ fcbe said, choking buck her tears. “ My dear, come and see mo to-morrow, we will talk it over quietly,” said Mrs. Oholmondeioy more convinced than over, •bat am willing to create 'a scene or any

more sensational stir amongst the party who had- mustered in full force since music and singing had commenced. Everyone had looked at the portrait. “Not a bit like Armytage,” said Mr. Gordon, the outspoken. “ Armytage is not half so good-looking, nor as gentle manlike.” i “Oh yes, I can trace a strong likeness,” i said Mrs. Jones, ,f particularly the hair and beard.” “ No more like Armytage than, I am,” ’said little podgy Mr. Newbury, holding (he picture at arm's length. “ That's something like a man and a soldier. Nothing would make Armytage look other j than ho is—a cad.” Nowherry had lost on Lola, and had always doubted the baronet. “Hush! ah, sh,” said his audience in dismay. “ Pray goodie please to moderate, The’rancour of your tongue.” Sang little Mrs. Seymour to the irate offender. Forth, with arms folded, had watched the whole scene from ffrst to last. He couldn't quite make out what all the fuss was about. O! that ho could believe what was hinted at. He tried amidst (he hubbub to put two and two together, he found it impossible, he must think it out in the quietness of his own rooms. He looked at Madame Marin, a bright and iadiant expression seemed to have come over the girl’s face while he had been watching her, what had she to do with Mrs. Annolaye’s pho*o of her husband. The pirty broke up, most of thorn ; thinking it merely a mistake of Mrs. Cholrnor.dtdoy’s, as tlmy said good-bye to their hostess, on whose face a soft shade of sadness hud come, telling of a sorrow ful heart In vain Mrs, Ann°ylaye pleaded to be excused that night from dining with the Jonrs’. i “ No, we really cannot spare you,” said j Mrs. Jones. “ That’s all right,” said Mr. Gordon. | [ “ You see you mast go , it would never do for you to remain at home brooding over the missing photo. It will turn up, it cannot be of any value except to your self. We will call for you at seven sharp. It is a long drive. Now like a dear little woman be ready for a series of con quests,” said Mr. Gordon, smiling as he and his wife said au revoir: “ I shall not go to the dinner party i to-night; I have such a headache ; it is the sea air. I cannot hold up my head,” said Mndamoiselle Marinas they entered their hotel. “ • y dear, you will bo all right in an hour or so. A good cup of tea—and you cannot send a refusal now; it will put out the table so.” “No it won’t for Sir Hubert was ex- 1 peeked, and he has not arrived and can not now go, so it will make no differ ence.” I Airs. Oholmoncleley was annoyed, and of Lte the good woman had much to be annoyed about concerning her wilful young friei and. However, she quietly went to her room to rest an hour, after coming down to the sitting room in a toilette of velvet, ready to start for Pekin Court, and fully hoping to find her companion well dressed and her head ache gone, ready to accompany her. “Mademoiselle Marin says she is sorry, but her head is too bad,” said the maid, coming down to the room with her mis tress’s cloak. “ It is most annoying how very trouble some girls are,” said Mrs. Oholmondeley, getting into tne hansom. The dinner party at Pekin Court was all that could bo wished aud expected from people rolling in wealth, with noth ing to think of bub how to spend their fortune sensibly for the benefit of their f-ilow .creatures around them. Mrs. Oholmondeley whose eyes had wandered down the table with its blaze of choice flowers, rare china and glass, to the handsomely furnisliod room more worthy of the name of a hall, was charmed and surprised that such pivilisa tion could be in such a far away cornei of the world, “ A penny for your thought 7, fair lady,” said-Mr. Gordon, who by chance was sitting next to her. “ I was fancying myself as the Oountess of Wnrloigh in Belgrave Square. I can- j not imagine I am at the antipO(jies 157 th all this magnificence, not only here but) I in other houses. In England people are. contented for a lifetime wjhlj the same old fun iture, bo it ever so dowdy, fiv&F k0 shabby. Here it is different, having nothing old enough to' venerate you make up for it by everything fresh and fashionable, changing your furniture as you change your fashion in dress, J must say it is much the most satisfactory anxl refreshing, instead of wearying one’s eyesight wWI the same old musty ing chairs apd toffies a century old. “ That was curious fl-bout the photo to-clay,” said Mrs. Jones, in a low voice, “ I could nob make it out, Wthat really Sir Hubert Armytage’s photo." I “ I am quite positive of it —I know 1 it for a fact—l have good reasons for knowing (lowering her voice). I have a fac simile photo myself like it, which Hubert Armytage gave mo himself y ottrg ago. The mystery, for there is a piystory, will have to be solved somehow. Sij Hubert is expected back —I shall question him,” said Mrs. Chtfimo^dejcy. “ If you take my advice you wfi) not say a word about it (o him. It would totally defeat any plans you may have for solving the problem,” said Mr. Gor don. “I have my own ideas.” “[ know you will forgive my running awav so early,” said Mrs, Cbo njondoley, at an early hour that night, a ui tired and Fanchette is nob well.” It was quite early not quite ten o clock —-when oho reached the hotel and as cended tlic s'airs bo tlicit sitting room. The hotel seemed aM bustle and con fusion-—now arrivals or perhaps depar tures, she thought, seeing packages and portmanteaus in the ball. She has reached the top of the stairs, and h about to open the door of list room, when alio stops at hearing voices within. It is banchellcd and-r-and whoso voice is it ? She opens the door nujckly nml sees 10 her sn prise and disgust, FuncbetJte; the girl whom she has befriended, adopted npd treated as a daughter, clasped in thv arm? of; Ip* courier, tears trickling down too girls fac'-, whilst her companion, nothing abashed, starts to his feet and fac s *»irs. Cholmonfi.eloy, as if a»g«7 nn i,l ‘ trusion. Mrs. Gholmondolcy k Ipo angry to apeak, too much shocked and surprised in y dor a.word, soshosimply points to the door shutting ,ud at once Monsieur Gustavo, who is a-bout to, fi);o suppose?, make some excuse for his very conduct before leaving the room. Mrs, pjondcley is not a woman to storm and /{,nd stamp and scold, but she feola none t-ho h»as angry at Fmohetle’a be haviour, and tho ingratitude of it, after years of loving kindness. This then was the reason of the girl’s remaining at home, pleading headache. It is, hard to believe. She thinks for ft moment, and then in an icy cold tone she says, " Fan chclte, go to your bed,” standing erect

until the girl, crying bitterly, slowly walks out of the room upstairs. Mrs. Oliolmindeley, kind woman that she is, feels sorry for the girl’s tears of repent ancShe thinks, alas ! they are not tears of repentance, but teirs of regret for the departure of Monsieur Gustave.