|Chapter Title||THE LOVE THAT LIVED|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||Love and Passion|
THE LOVH THAT LTVBD,
He raised bia bowed head from his clasped hands, and a flush stole over his haggard face, for then, la the dreary prison cell, Essica Carroll stood bebte him, pale and wan, but with the light of unholy tri- umph shining in her glorious eyes; He arose end faced her, taking both her white hands in j his, end gazing into her face with eloquent eyes. His own
| drooped before the intensity of that gaze, The blood
rushed in a crimson tide to her cheeks, she trembled violently, and her heart beat so loudly that its pul- sations could almost be heard, A fearful revelation; had come to Essica Carroll. She had trampled upon her love, and aimed a death-blow at ita heart, asd exulted over its ignominious extinction, and-ens stood before him now face to face in that horrible prison cell with her hands in his, and knew that htr love »till lived; ay, she had not killed it ; it had not died, as she believed, but arose now and confrontai her strong and deathless, For a moment this know» ledge of the truth staggered her with all the fore» ef
a sudden blow.
" My love, my lo.ve I" she panted under her breath,, as she drew her hands from his grasp and hid her face in them. He drew them away, and once more bis eloquent eyes searched her face, Bomehow tbJR man's heart was strangely stirred by this meeting with her; his "love of olden times" here braving the opinion of the world with mad recklessness alone in his prison cell, And his voice quivered as he whispered, softly i
" Is it so, Essica P Do you really care a little tor
me after all P"
She knew then that her muttered words, born of the mad paselon in her heart, had reached his saw, and she turned away in confusion. He went oa eagerly, earnestly t
"Essica, Bnswer me this one question at least. Do you believe that I am guilty P That I took the life of your husband"-she lifted one hand with a haugty gesture, and he added-" the life of Alton Carroll ?*
She laid one exquisite hand, like a bit of ran white sculpture, upon his shoulder, and gazed into his beautiful melancholy eyes.
"No,"she cried, with eager emphasis. "So help me heaven, I do not believe you guilty ! And I halt Alton Carroll! I have always bated him, bat I--"
She paused as the words died on ber Ups,
"You love me;" he cried, wildly. Oh, Essie», Eseica ! what a blind fool I have been I" ,
He had sunk into a Beat, She passed one han! over his dark, waving hair with a tender gestan which showed how she loved him. Yet she hated herself for it all the same, and her very soul writhed in bitter humilation. She might conquer the whole world, but,alas! she could not conquer herself nor
kill the love in her heart,
" I have been justly punished for the wrong that I have done you," he went on, wearily, " and I dare not insult you by asking forgiveness, I was infatuated by Alicia Lawrence's pretty, insipid face, Men are alwayB captives to these wax-doll beauties without heart or soul, and submit themselves willingly to pretty * pink and white tyranny.' And it is a fitting return that where I had trusted my whole heart, there the trust had been betrayed. Oh, Essica, yon would never have betrayed me as she did ?"
' I Jovied you, EsBica Carroll answered, softly, " and a'Spaniard never forgets. Gay, for me to love anse is to love always.''
"And yet,"he cried, bitterly, "you married hm* And he shuddered aa he thought of that ghastly mutilated figure prone under the olive tree, Her face grew hard and cold,
"Ran you blame meP" she queried, brokenly. "My life was ruined, my heart was broken, all hope gone, That very night Alton Carroll came to me end begged me to marry him. I was mad and blind and ere I had time to come back to my senses I was bound ia iron chains to a dreadful doom. I was that manís
" Yet you loved me all the time," he repeated, wildly, carried away by the old passion which had come back upon bim with the fury of n tempest "You loved me all the time,"
She bowed her head without a word. He caught the little bands in his, and crushed tbem against his Ups.
"Alton Carroll is dead,"he panted, "and you are free, I, too, shall soon have my freedom, for the law will grant it, and no false woman shall long dis* honour the name of Rossiter. When that time comes Essica (for I shall get out of this prison clear of this horrible charge), will you let me atone for the mis' érable past ? Will you let me-"
(7b be Contmued,)