Chapter 186369393

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article186369393
Full Date1882-12-23
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count708
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleDevon Herald (Latrobe, Tas. : 1877 - 1889)
Trove TitleThe Maitlands
article text

CHAPTER VI.

For days Henry Maitland lay ia a semi-conscious state. The charge had struck him in tho temple and literally blown a piecc of the skull away, exposing the brain. The gun, when it exploded, was within a few feet of him, and thus the charge had not time to scatter. It was noted by the servants, and commented upon by them in awestruck whispers, that the wound was in tho Bame spot exactly as that which killed Walter Maitland. When, at length, he came to a state of consciousness, it was evident that his recovery was hopeless. But the feelings of the wretched man were jtrangcly, mixed with shame and remorse, when he found that the constant and watchful attendants who ministered to him in his helplessness and agony, were Lacy and her mother. Through all his delirium, visions of an angel face and Boft pitying eyeB had floated through his brain, mixed with some horrible phantasmagoria of his past evil life. The one, tho bright vision, was the reality ml Lucy; the other horrid spectres were the past impressions of his evil deeds which had left their indelible imprint upon liis soul, and which were revivified by the approach of death. But in all his delirium he had never dropped a hint of tho terrible tragedy sufficiently clear to enlighten Lucy or her mother. He babbled of bursting gunB in a language that, to them, was incomprehensible. But when Victor Levison and Detective Smith heard him, there was a flood of light thrown upon the dark past. If Henry Maitland had lived he would have been in danger of the gallows ; but he did not live, and, before he died, confessed liis crimes—not to Lucy, ho could not do that—but to his neighbour Campbell, who took is dying depositions. Before his death he wanted o make a will, leaving the whole of the property

to Lucy and her mother; but this was considered unnecessary, as the identification of Walter Brown with Walter Maitland had established the the late Walter Maitland of right belonged to them. Victor Levison and Lucy Maitland were married in November. There were great rejoicings at Bargooma; and the woolshed was turned into a ball-room, where all the shearers, and boundary-riders, and smart young men for twenty miles around brought their girls and danced till daylight. And then the smart young men put their pretty girl partnert on horseback, or into buggies, or waggonettes, or whatever mode of conveyance they preferred, and took them home through the cool November morning, before the hot sun had time to dry up the sparkling dew-drops from the grass which waved so cool and green all around them. The bride and bridegroom departed for Tasmania; but they came back in time to eat their Christmas dinner at Yambaar, where the old lady had taken up her abode. Of course, the Campbells wore there, and lots of other friends; and, although it was too hot for dancing, they had lawn tennis and croquet in tho evening. And it was not too hot to sit m the verandah and talk; and listen to Lucy and other happy girls singing, in the intervals of playing cards, or other indoor games. Ten years have rolled away since the events we hare related took place; but every year, after the shearing is finished, the woolshed at Yambaar is cleared for a dance. The few remaining wool bales tliat have not gone to town serve as supports for long tables, where a gorgeous supper is set out; the rafters are hung with festoons of flowers and blossoms, and a band of music from the nearest township sets a hundred couples in motion to its inspiring strains. The dancing is igorous, and in good time, for the tmployis of Yambaar aid surrounding stations are all devotees f Terpsichore. Mr. and Mrs. Levison are there or the first half-hour or so, ond with them are ft ouple of sturdy boys, who look on with wonder nd admiration, at the gorgeous vision of Jane nd Mary-Ann, the housemoids; and Bose, the ook; and Euphemia, the nurse; flying round in ho arms of their respective lovers, to the intoxiating strains of the " Blue Danube."