|Chapter Title||"I WILL KILL YOU!"|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||A Long Chase|
"t wm KUI. Ton!"
Nick now took Ralph aside, and said:
"Tell me as quickly as you can what occurred this morning."
" It was much as you had foretold. A passenger came to the office and bieught a note asking me to go at once to the house. Mr. Livingston held a letter in his hand, and was in a terrible rage when I entered. I will not repeat what he said. He loaded me with abuse, and I believe, would have struck me, had not Mrs. Livingston interposed."
" How did she act ?" ,
" She was quite composed, but very pale, and seemed to be suffering more if possible than he.
" She said nothing unkind to mc, and it even seemed that she both pitied and feared me."
Mr. Livingston gave me the letter to read, calling me a scoundrel as he did so ; and if what that letter said had been true ho would have been more than justified in all that he said to me. i
" I can't remember what the letter said. It pur- ported to be from Mabel, and accused me of having induced her to take the money and fly with me.
" I indignantly denied everything, and refused
to believe that Mabel could have written such a letter in her right mind.
" I think I made an impression on Mr. Living- ston ; but all at once he cried out :
" ' Just as we wera warned !'
" And then he seized me, and tore the contents from my inner pocket,
" Those letters were there, and the thousand dollar bill. He saw them, and I believe would havo killed me the* could he have had a weapon and had not Mrs. Livingston clung to him, begging him to
do no violence.
" Then, while she still held him, she begged me
to leave the house."
" Itseems odd that he could have been restrained." " It seemB so to mo too, for he was almost crazy with fury. And I never saw him even angry
"If I had not been forewarned by you, I don't know what I shoidd have done. As it was I was al- most stupefied. I started to leave, when lie hoarsely panted :
" 'Go ! get out of my sight. Never let me see you again, or, as there is a God in heaven, I will kill you-kill you as I would a dog.'
'' 'Go, go,' begged Mrs. Livingstone.
" And as I left the room I heard him wail : " 'Oh ! my Mabel, my Mabel !' "
Tears stood in Ralph's eyes as he spoke.
" Oh, how I longed to tell him it waa all a lie and that letter was a vile forgery ; but I remembered your warning, and came away."
" It was best. Miss Mabel refuses to reveal any- thing, and she has made tho same convert of mo that she seems to have done with everybody else. I believe her incapable of wrong."
"Rnlph's eyes softened with tenderness.
" She is an angel. Whatever she does is done with a pure and lofty motive."
" I believe that, and yet she eould help us so much. However, I have promised to keep her hidden from her parents until she is willing to see them, and you, of course, must promise the same."
" I did not ask her how Gilbert enticed her from her hiding-place-did you ?"
"Yes. He showed hera letter from me-forged, of course-in which I begged her as she valued the life and honour of her parents-"
"Did the letter say parents?'"
" I think so ; but she will show you the letter." " Tell me about it first, and then I will ask her." "-to meet me in Rutherford Place. She was unwilling at first to go, but Gilbert made such representations that Bhe finally consented. When we carried her away in the coach she was very much frightened, but became calm when I explained what we were doing."
" Thank you. Now I will see Miss Mabel once more alone, and then we will go."
"Why, yes. You cannot Btay here with Mabel
in the house."
"True," he said, despondently j "and yet-but no, I won't be foolish. I will trust entirely to you. I will do as you say."
Nick was touched by such confidence.
" You will never regret your trust," he sadd, with J deep feeling. ,AJ§
A moment later he entered the parlor. *%
" Miss Mabel," he said, " will you let mo see the- I
letter, with which Mr. Gilbert induced you to ee>
with him P"
Mabel flushed, but answered, firmly, pointing to
the open fire :
" I havo burned it." ' Nick conld seo the ashos of the paper.
He bowed and turned to go away, when Mabel softly followed him, and laid her hand timidly OB
" Can you not let this rest ?" she pleaded. " Yon can do no good by going farther. You seem to have perfect faith in me. Will you not bolievo ma when I say that I know-I know that no good can como of any further search ?"
"Miss Mabel," ho said gently, "I have perfect faith in you. You are doing what you think ia your duty. Behove me, then, I say that I am only doing my duty; and, too, to let me reassure you, I will reveal nothing that I learn, unless I am sura that more good than evil will result from it. Aro you satisfied ?" .
" f musft be ; but no, I will not say it BO. I am satisfied ; I will, I do trust you. And Heave!, grant that happiness may come to us once more ?'"
There was a suspicious moisture in Nick's eyes when ho returned to Ralph and said :
" She's »coble girl. I'll go for tho coach HOW. You'll have about fifteen minutes to say good-bye in. But first I must change you a little, for I don,' want our amiable friends to recognise you if the; should meet you."
It did not take Nick long to so disguise Ralph than even Mabel did not know him whon he went in to say good-bye to her.