Chapter 174512278

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Chapter NumberXXXVII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174512278
Full Date1892-05-14
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count1957
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)
Trove TitleThe Devil's Own. An Australian Story
article text

THE DEVIL’S OWN

CHAPTER XXXVII; > ‘ CONSOLATION

AN AUSTRALIAN STORY BY MRS. ICHMOND HENTY (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

Sweet as refreshing dews or summer showers, To the long patching thirst of drooping flowers; Grateful as fanning gales to fainting swains,

Ami soft as trickling balm to bleeding gains Such are thy, words, ‘ ' GAY* ' “ Relations ! hang relations (oh fie) 1 they are themibst abominable people on the face of the earth. when', they choose to be disagreeable,” said *. Lady Mabel Fonsonby, standing m the, middle of her cozy drawing room, in--'Bruton street, as sbo flicks viciously a leather dog whip, os if she wblild like to thrash tho whole world, uncles,jaunts, and cousins in par ticular. “I do hato selfish relations ; do you know, Vereker, I’d rather bo like Topsy than own a tribp of objectionable men and women—misnamed relatives. -• I • don’t mind the men so much, hat tho women arc all alike—fish, pig*, toads, or any other obnoxious "’animal—-don’t I know them? didn’t. they, badger me , for marrying Hector.? Said he was a roue, a spendthrift, a: tippler, and heaven knows what else they'didn’t day, because hb was poor, os if he could .help being poor, when his father got through .everything. I told that'bid vampire, Aunt Mauleveres that Hector had more charity and love in his little finger than all my relations put together. So he has—we have had had a turtle dove life, much to Annt Mafia’s surprise and disappoint ment. She is,the worst of the lot. I wonder where, she expects to go to. She will never be allowed 'to join poor uncle if there is justice in. heaven. She hadn’t a penny of fief own, and. she >knows she has no right, .to , uncle’s money—darling old uncle, who loved us all so much, and then she minces off to church, looks de vout, quotes scripture with her eyes turned up* when she talks of her dearest Frederick, and feels surd she will get a seat in the front row in heaven, Don’t tell me about ill gotten gains not, pros pering—people got fat upon them. I can talk iwr I like about her, poor as wo were—poor., motherland/.L-r that woman never sent me a pair of glqvos. '' after uncle . died, ' and ahe has 'six thousand a "year and spends about one.Well, I suppose we shall be compensated - ih the next world for hav ing nothing at all in this.. See, there is Aunt Maria," and Lady Mabel dropped the whip, snatched up a small photograph book near, flopped down ,on her knees, turned up her eyes and, in a sneering voice, said, “ Good Lord deliver us,” in such mimicking-tbat Lord Vereker posi tively roared with laughter. “That reminds me,” she said, jumping up. “I wiali -I had my prayer book here, you see>l don’t carry it about with me, except on Sunday, when l am going to church or the park. In it I have small additions to the Litany added for my own use,- One is, ‘from heartless relations good Lord deliver us.’ I put this one poxfc to - the prayer against * Plague, Pestilence,.and Famine.’” “ But now my dear fellow, about your progress.” * j' t . . “ The fact is, the dear old governor has given in long ago. Ho is positively fond of my Utile -Vera, Who couldn’t be fond of such a darling?” said the young noblemen, his ' face lighting up with pleasure, as, h.e evidently contemplated the pretty. picture- of his beloved in his mind's eye,. “ Ah! who could ‘ be,” said Lady Mabel with mock gravity, together with a long sigh, at which they both laughed in chorus. “ Mater is almost on our side but for that old Aunt Lady Canute. She never ceases bothering mother about marrying aboriginal, girls—squaws -She is so aw fully proud you know, awfully.” “ Vulgar people always are," said Lady Mabel^ senteutiously. “She was only » Buggins.. or> -Gnbbins, or some such beery -name. VP,think I’ll have to tackle the old; thing myself.” “OhJ pray don’t Lady Mabel, it will only make matters worse/’ -? ‘ ,- “No it. .yron’t; those pig headed feminine bullies want a good amount qf bounce to bring'them to their senses, I never give yray ; they respect mb the more for having an opinion of my own; I shocked old Lady Manvers the' other day Iqt'saying-shooughfc to. have had. her toes turned .up. long ago, for all the good she does. Don’t give in Vereker ; it sebms a pity Miss Vavasour cannot have the Armytago case tried in court. I am -- *sure he is an impostor, I always said so/’ r ; “ Law is so 1 expensive,” Miss Vava sour says. She is afraid to attempt it, and Vera, is,, { tbb timid, eyen if she were well off, - poor little girlie;’’ “Sir Hnbort has gone to Paris;” said Lord Vereker. • “ What .for? some .devilment I am -sure,” said she, ,-VWh.afc'l about those papers ? proofs, of identity,” “ Tliey want two thousand/ : for them,” said ho. ' r 1 “ Bah !.- .Who? Listen ; you must em ploy some sharp lawyer to get them for five hundred^-—they are worth that. Set a thief to catch a thiefemploy a Jew fellow if jpoasible. . Ho will work the oracle; 111 do what I can for you Dolly; I’ll just rtackle old Canute ; I’ll seise her by the throat and threaten to strangle her if she doesn't at once promise to espouse your cause. Good heavens J. here she is,<specta(£es and ad.” “By tlio~Lord Harry,' theri Pm off Let tho. get Wwn to - tho dining-room till she is sbeurod,” said Lord Veroker, seizing his hat/ and making a rush for it down : stairs and into the dining room,) where T _ hd f 'hid' himself behind a high screen, lest her “ terrible high mjghlihes3,-!,as he called his aunt, should look' in, -fas she • did -sometimes when Lord ’Ponsopby was a prisoner to tho hbuse vijifch gout. VV, ,1' Lord Vereker. has la meet Mrs. Anneylaye at-tho 'Academy "at twelve,, so hurried ''Uwiay with a' light quick stop, lest, ha shouldjnofc be iQ tiipe, • Ho. hurried along. , Piccadilly, too happy to in terrrupt /(thoughts or. dfslath. his castles by calling a cab, and was crossing Albomarle fyb -( fan-; full tilt’ against Shc9£oFpf.tli. “ Urgent business, Lord Vereker, eh ? How are f yonl' ), -X;#W Jjyiiih Witting ' to, see you to-day, 1 fiave,somo news for Mrs, Annoylnyo:; I thought/..! would 'consult you first ” , . s ~ • * “ Welljl- artejast going to meet Mrs. Annoy]aj e at. thQvAcademyr~oc«me along,” said Lord Vereker.v : / ; v , “ J. ..will look you 7 up tr ,80p)e rtlmo this evening. Have you bad; f I fancy I know who bat I will,, not de tain you now,, au rovoir/’ Of late the Duke’s'"family,-, (together with their jjh: e gtpat etate

mous letters Lord Vereker had received, cautioning his lordship against being out after dark, as he had an enemy,, and bis. life was in peril: -. The Duke, who had a supreme contempt foranonymmis letters of any kind containing threats,, ppph poohed the idea. The Duchess became alarmed,, as was the Earl nof Marne. Mrs. Aonoylayo bad insisted upon 1 Lord- Vereker taking his letters straight off to the head of the police, which was “ very sensible idea of the little girl,’’ said the ‘Duke. “ There is nothing like unearth ing the fox wherever ho may be.” The letters were in a'woman’s writr, ing, though Lord Yoreker laughed at the threats. Ho little knew that twice his life had been in dapger and only saved by the vigilance of the police, iwho seeing two men following Lord Yoreker across the park after dusk, had joined the ;young nobleman' walking close to him, to his amusement,; to. the gates, when they had begged him to take a cab, which ho had done more to satisy the policemen than from any ( fear. ?. \ ? ;> ' . j Sholto Forth proceeded on his way after leaving his friend. He had noticed, how happy Lord Vereker looked, pyi dently it was Armytage resigned vice Vereker promoted, he said to himself and his thoughts went into a train con cerning the baronet “ No doubt he poisoned jVereker U»at,tinib.j My friend; you had bettor look out-rooks ahead,” Stopping at Fores’ to: look at some sporting pictures, some one touched him on the shoulder. It was the subject of his thoughts, Sir Hubert Armytage, who 8'emed very glad to, soo his old friend, and shook him heartily i by the hand, asking Forth how long he had been in England,. Sir Hubert pub bis arm through Forth’s, and taking him aside, entered into a conversation, detailing ail the ;events since they had parted, to the narrow escape from shipwreck at Porlra. “ Yes; and hung it, Gustave had charge of that case of jewels and other things of mine—valuable papers I would not have lost for a thousand. The follow has never turned up drowned io, all probability, but I can hear noth ing of my property. The ship’s company declare they never saw it. I have quea*ioa?d evory mpnjack of theiu oven to the captain, I have employed detectives—the devil to pay their expenses—they have done nothing for it. Look!' Forth, I know .you wi l do me a good turn. You are sharp for many things, do, like a good fellow, help me to find tho box—to tell you the truth, •only keep it dark—there are papers in that box that may lead to the discovery of my future wife’s murderer. I got them up in the district where.the murder was committed, msb me a deuced lot of money to secure them.''* When that box turns up then you may congratulate me, ray boy, you need’ob work for nothing. Shall I write you a cheque for expenses, eh ? You’ll need it ferrets cost money. Como along, my rooms ace quite close, I’ll write a cheque and leave you to do' tho rest. By the way, how about the girl you lost your heart to?” Forth shook bis head-r=?“ Ah 1” said the Baronet, “thought as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it, and that littte, Miiria girl ccmos of a bad lot, and her father before her; she is not worth a thought from one like you. Here wo are—come in. I’ve ordered lunch for two,” Foith declined, making soma excuse about having a particular engagement at one o’clock*. • “ Then I’ll send the cheque.” “ a o, pray don’t Armytage, if I spend any money for you : I’ll send in the aa, count, trust me,” ho said, laughing, as, he shook hands with Sir Hubert, and calling a cab as if to give due effect to his word*, drove away towards the Park, “ It is as I thought, there is something in that box that he wan's to hide, something that may hang him, I should imagine,by the excited Way he spoke of his loss,” thought Forth, ns ho drove along. “Gustave is alive; I think I have seen him ,/hore than once. It may bo fancy, perhaps it was, if not, I’ll hunt him up. That box may be as useful to mens to him ; I’ll try for it, If SirlL was honest'I would'nt peach but l know now he is a r-o-g-u-e,”