Chapter 174510796

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Chapter NumberXXVIII
Chapter TitleSURRENDER.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174510796
Full Date1892-04-02
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count3257
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)
Trove TitleThe Devil's Own. An Australian Story
article text

CHAPTER XXVIII.

SURRENDER.

“The power of love in all ages creates angels." LONGFELLOW. What say’st thou wise one? that all powerful

lovo Can fortune’s strong impediment remove, Nor is it strange that worth should wed to worth, Tho undo of genius with tho pride of birth. —Ckabre. “Oh, mother ! I love her more than my life” “ You silly boy. I really have no pity for you,” said the Duchess of Grant ham. “ I shall have to get a keeper for you if yon persist in .getting such in sane ideas into your foolish pate.” u Insane, mother. Were you not young once! Did you never love fondly and deeply?” “ Nover a blackamoor, my boy. No, I really cannot feel for you. I never had any sympathy for black people. When half the world was weeping over Uncle Tom’s Cabin I never could shed a tear, nor could I over tho Wide Wide World, though: it was said the Dean of Carlisle wept over the book. I have such a horror of black people, nothing would tempt roe to keep a black servant-,” said said the Duchess, taking a sniff at her gold vinaigrette, as if horrified at such an idea. “ I tell you she is not black, she—” “ Well copper colored—I think I have heard that copper colored savages are tho most barbarous,” said the Duchess. “She is exquisitely fhir,” be said, “ and as beautiful os an angel. How can I convince you—go and see for your self.” “ I will acknowledge, my dear Rudolph, that she must be a very sensible young woman—young 1 no, she cannot bo very young with a tribe of children,” “ She is not six and twenty,” ho put in angrily, “At any rate she is wise enough to know Ihq great misery that mesalliances generally entail. She certainly is gifted with an unusual amount of common sense or,she would not have refused the heir to a dukedom. I should were I in your place, my soil, take it as a great insult. Tho duchess ’fancied she had made a great stroke by saying this. “ I lovo her all the more for refusing me, she is so true to her husband’s memory. I think more of her for such a splendid trait, she is a saint in good ness.” “Ha, un, ha, it is reolly too, too amusing,” said Lady Adela Verekor coming Into the room in time to catch the lust few words of her brotfier—-.“ too, too laughable.” “ A copper colored saint, my dear boy,. what next! bat you will gut. over it, its only calf love, calf love,' has' she thick lips?’ .. “I only wish you .were one-half as beautiful or as said £ord Rudolph angrily . .. “ Goody Twoshoes 1 what a storm in a tea cup. ’ Don’t bite my noso off, ibis really there,” said tho young lady, patting her hand up to her face and looking into the nearest mirror. “ Adola, my love, you need not wait for mo, you can go,‘ Don’t forgot about the gloyes. I shall not go out this morn* ing, this naughty boy of mine must bo convinced of his folly.”-,. Lady Adela was gone, and Rudolph took his.arm off the mantelpiece and s*t down on a low stool by his mother, whom he lovcd raoro than many young mien os a’

rulo dole on their parents in the higher sphere of fashionable society. “ Mother, dearest, I will not pie id another word in favor of the worn m I Tully intend to make my wife, mind you, if she will only have mo. I shall never marry any other woman if I wait ? ill doomsday, bub I shall not mention her name to you until you hive seen her your self. You promised you would e ill on the Fortunes.” “ Yes, I ought to o-»ll on them af or th ir kindness to you. They Hyp at R ch .uond do they noc ? A long drive for the hors'S but :t must be got over.” “ Fh; Fortescuos are staying in town for a week, ad h Alias Vavasour In Brooke street,” said Lord Rudolph. “ Then I will call this afternoon, it will spare me that journey to Richmond, but Rodolph my boy, although I would do anything consistent towards your happi ness you ought not to exp -ct me to go so far as to forget our position and to con sent 'to your sinking for over by a mar riage: with a woman totally beneath you in every way. I say mo more my soa, think it well over." A few hoars later a pleasant trio arc trying to keep the cold out in a comrort ible house in Brooke-s root, replete with every omfort, the bright fie ligh ing up the cosy drawing-room, as if to eclipse the cold scene outside, where the snow is failing softly, and the air is bitterly cold, though it is April, the month usually of sunshine and early (lowers. A slight little figure in a dross of some soft grey material is standing in the window eagerly watching the snow and the passers by “ Norman, do come and look at the old woman 1 picking her geese,' do, it really is snowing," says she, turning to look at the fireplace, where someone is warmly en sconced in an arm chair close to the fir<*. “Nothing would tempt mo to move away from here. I shall sneeze at the very idea. No, ho, I'm Parseo for th reat of the winter remember.” ’ why this is spring, lovely spring," says his wife. “Yes, uncommonly like it ho says, shivering in pretence, os he draws his chair nearer still to the object of his worship, the fke. I cannot see much longer, it is getting dark, and not four o’clock. I must have a piep at the snow; snow, be mtiful snow.” ‘‘Through the huah‘d oir the whitening shower descends At first time wavering; till nt last the (lakes Pall broad and wide and fust dimming ths the day, With a continual flow.” “As Thompson hath it," says Mrs. For tescue, for it is her, folding up her work and going to the window. “ I h vve never s- en snow before isn’t it lovely I Poor Aunt Dot will have a cold drive," “ Look here, if you two persist in break ing through the proper rule* of London fashion, in staring out of the window, you'll have your cousin, Mrs. Porcupine Quills, or what's her name, catching you some day when you little think of it. Have you forgotten her advice Connie,” said she in solemn sepulchral to ies, the feathers in her head gear bobbing about in her excitement an i anxiety to bring you to a proper sense of your utter savageness. “Connie you must never look out of the window, ’ said she, “never, and you must never look into a shop window, never, it is vulgar, horribly vulgar, no one looks out of the -window in London, it’s low," said the arm chair occupant mimicking the tones of Mrs. Elizabeth Stoat, an eccentric ojusin of the Fortescuos. “ I love looking out of the window in Loudon. I fancy it's the only place where it is worth looking out of the window,” said Mrs. Fortescuo. “Look, Oinnie,” said her cousin, “ what a splendid carnage. Sso, a snow flake has just floated down on thu coachman's wig. Ob, dear, poor man.” “ What magnificent horses,” said Connie. “Vera, my child, it is coming here. It has pulled op—Ewins ! I shall expire,” and they both beat a hasty re treat from the window and sat them selves down in. expectant a iffness till the door opened, and the servant announced the Duchess of Grantham and Lady Vcnker, as a tap, handsome woman, all sables and smiles, like some stately look ing benevolent tortoise-shell cat, entered, followed by a rather sporting looking d-imael, very unlike her mother in every way. “Mrs. Fortescuo, I believe,” said the Duchess, moving forward slowly, ns if uncertain, and holding out her hand to Connie graciously. “ Yea,” said Connie, who had fortu nately collected her wits in time to know who it must be. Then there was a band shaking all round, os Mrs. Fortescuo introduced her husband and cousin, both visitors staring at the small graceful figure of Vera, as Connie mentioned her name. “ I hava to thank you so much for all your great kindness to my son, Mrs. Fortescuo,” began the Duchess. “I as sure you be brought away very many pleasant impressions of his visit to the colony and bush life, iu particular at your—your ” Station,” put in Mr. Fortescuo: Ho told Connie after, he was all but going to say mia mia or wig warn, by way of a sa'ire, “Ah yes, station," said the Duclio.-e hesitatingly, evidently with a confused idea of police stations, railway stations and other stations, in her aristocratic brain. “ Lord Rudolph Vorekcr was so easily pleased it was quite a pleasure to show him what oar colonial life really was. I trust Lord Veroker is quite well and strong again/, said Mrs, Fortescuo, “ Bravo, Connie,' said Norman to himself. “ Y cs, thanks,” said the Duchess ab stractedly, looking across at the little figure in grey, who was chatting away, evidently quite at her ease with Lady Adda. “ I see you are fond of work,” said her ladyship shortly, nodding to the pile of velvet and silks, on the table. “ How notable, how wonderfully clever I I think I never could even mend a Jacob’s ladder in my stocking.” “ This Is not mine, it is my cousin's” (showing a mantel border,. pn which was some exquisite embroidery), said Vera proudly, exhibiting It. Connie is copying the mantel she had at Seringa. “ Then you do have mantel pieces oat there,” said Lady Adda in surprise, “Only for effect, I suppose.” “Oh, no, wo have fireplaces,” said Vera. “And no fires/’ said Lady Adela. “ Oh, yes, fires very often; in winter the nights are very chilly sometimes, and frosty.” “ Really. Is it possible ? ” said her ladyship. “How do you liko England, Mr. Fortescuo ?” said the Duchess, as she accepted the cup of tea ho offered her, with some cake. “ T think ho came homo a month too soon, as the spring and the summer are so be*

hindhaod, fo'gs so veryobjection abl<>,” miid Mrs. PoftescuiT “Fogs! dm’c you like fogs?” said tho Duchess in surp ise. London would not b Lvidoa without fogs, and we all lovu London so much. My daughters oft-n wish they could cirry away some London fog to Omrtleigh in memory of London and its delights.” 11 Ah! give mo blue Skies and bright sunshine,” said Air. Fortrsou *, giving bh« lire a good stir, as if to infuse as much lightaii-i warmth'as ho coull, a« a sorry subititute for sunshine. “ You must com j aid dine with us soon,” siicl the.Duchois ch -erfuliy, “and m ike some new friends. i regret I can n it ask you this week, we are in the deepest affliction. Yes, really, if there was a death in tin house we could not bo more wretched and u (comfortable, - for I have just parted with my c ink and butler, and without rhyim or reason it seemed to rno. They left m > at almost a diy or two’s notice, I may say, just be cause I would not let them smoke in the servants hall.” Mr. Fmt scene laughed oat loud. “ Ah ! L assure you, Mr Fortosoue, it is i. no laughing matter fir,me. I don’t know what we shall Jo without them, they have lived with me so long.” “ That accounts for it, your ladyship has been 100 good to them, which, in this age, does not answer.” “ Perhaps so ; servants are so oxigeant. I verily believe they will expect smoking and billiard rooms soon. I suppose you have *no difficulty with servants.” “None at all,” said Mr. Fortescuo. “We get very good servants*, and they do their work well. In England there is an aristocracy amongst servants and a lot of false pride, half their time being taken up in attending upon each other, and in an eitablishraenb of ten or twenty servants, every one objects to carry up a scuttle of coals to the nursery or tho smoking room. With us it is different. Our servants have to do what they are told.” “Ah, but you seo it is so different with you who have Chinese labor," said the Duchess. “ Chinese labor ! oh no, pardon me, your grace is quite mistaken. Certainly we have Chinese—Chinamen wo call them—but they aro of a very low typo and grade, mostly hawkers of cheap fish or vegetables. That in almoit tho extent of their employment, except in digging districts, where in the mines Chinamen are employed at a mu h cheaper rate than English laborers. Our servants are English, or rather British, and very good servants they arc if you treat them well. Our cook had a seven yeans character from). Sir Willoughby Egorton, iu this very street by-lhc-by— an excellent woman, and quite a cordon bleu as to dishes.” “Yob,” said his wife; “o treasure, indeed. Sh * would send in a dinner for twenty without any fuss a id wi.h very little assistance. My other servants had so much else to do.” “ I suppose you paid her tho salary of a curate,” said the Duchess. “No, only £ 5O; and tint was more than we generally give. But she took charge of the dairy, and made such delicious pastry and good broad. And good bread is a great requiui o in tin country, where there are children.” “ I quite envy you ; I had no idea of it. There are such wonderful discoveries and inventions nbwadays,” said tho Duchess, with a sigh, “and yet no one aeenn to patent anything to save poor house keepers trouble about servants.” “There aro lifts and m ichtnes to save trouble of every kind,” said Mr Fortes cue, “and yet yon have the same ser vants, and tho loss they have to do the more trouble they will give by their dis content. It is the old version of Dr Watts, “Satan finds some mischief still, For idle hands to do, ” “ Yes,” said tho Duchess with a sigh. “Itis too true, but how will it end. We shall have to do the work ourselves. At any rate, in spite of our destitute con dition, you w.H give us tho pleasure of your company on Thursday—l think curds were sent Come, love (to her daughter), we have made quite a visita tion.” Lady AdoU bad been trying to make herself agreeable to the w.dow, a sort of pumping process in reality, to test Mrs, Anneylaye’s capabilities. “ I suppose white sugar is quite a treat to you,” said Lidy Adela, dropping a lump of sugar into her tea with her fingers, languidly. “ Oh, no, wo always use white Sugar. It is as common an oro v t in Australia.” “Is it really? I thought you always used that black stuff—what is it? mo lasses in Canada," “ A great quantity of sugar goes to England from Australia,” said Mrs, Anneylayo, ignoring the mistake or ignorance about tho word Canada, The Duchess and her daughter rose to go, shaking hands in a hearty fashion all round, Mr. Fortosquo escorting her downstairs to her carriage. “ I was quite In love with them all, maramo,” said Lady Adola, as they a corner, Tho Duchess vouchsafed no answer, she bit her Hp in silent vexation, until they reached the ducal residence in Grosveaor Square. “Well, my do ir, so you wont to tho enemy’s camp after all. How did you got on? What sort of people aro they? and the widow, did you see her ? ” said tho Duke, standing with his back to tho fire. “ Tho widow is exquisitely beautify', and—and—a perfect litblo gentlewoman,” said the Duchess, with that extreme liberality of justice which was one of tho charming traits of her generous hearted character. “ Bless ray soul,” said the Duke; and what about tho Fortescuos—lick*of tho tar biu-h, ch??’ “ Well bred, you could seo it at once and Mr/ Fortescuo is thoroughly well road, and ho has that old fashioned courtesy so rare now—it was quite ro refreshing,” said her grace. “ Then altogether your visit was quite satisfaatory/’ said the Duke,. “She went to tho undertaker's to buy him a coffin, And when she got homo the poor dog was laughing." “ Yes, I almost wish it had boon loss satisfactory. You. soo, there is so little excuse now, oxcept ago; but they are coming on Thursday, judge for your self,” said her grace in a vexed tone, throwing herself into a low chair wearily, with a long sigh. Ths Duke and Duchess arc an affec tionate couple, devoted to their children, popular in society, and having been gifted with wealth (in the shape of a largo rent roll and sovral residences), health, and contentment, (heir eldest sou, Lord Rudolph’s, “ infatuation," n« they termed it, is tho first cloud in the horizon of. iheir peaceful life, hiving had it all their own way bithoito. It it something unexpected to find a son oi theirs having opinions of bis own totally

at variance with their ideas in the question of a wife. “ Rather a jolly womm and hand some,” said Mr. Forbeacue, as the carriage sounds died away, and he was once more in his comfortable chair by the fire. “ Charming,” said both the woman, “ and what a lovely dres*,” “ You behaved very well, 1 considering your half-caste proclivities, as your re markable cousin, Mrs. E izabeth Sionte, would pub it, Connie, bub you, ought to have'said your ‘grace’ oftener.” “ I never said ib once, 1 couldn't, th * id*;a tickled me so I was very nearly laughing. I thought stupidly of the story of the girl at the inn, who was told to say your grace to a certain Duchess, who was expected, and when she arrived the maid said, ‘This way, please, ma’am, and for what we ar« going to receive the Loid make ns truly thankful,’ ” said his wife. “ Ob, Connie, Connie, when will you learn to be serious and better beh wed 1 ” Never I hope,” said Mr. Fortescue, well aware of his wife’s weakness for fun, “ but seriously, are wo going to them on Thursday ?” “Of course, and it won’t cost any thing. . I nra going to wear my court dross without the tail—rigid economy, and yet no one app'auds m*, I raus ,’ applauJ myself,’ and she clapped her hands, and her husband and cousin fol lowed, suit, to the surprise of the Staid old man servant, who was bringing in a lamp. “ Btfb bless you, they’re that jolly it does a body good to listen to ’em,” said the old fellow, when talking over the family to his comrades below stairs (TO BE CONTITTUED.)