|Chapter Number||IV (CONTINUED)|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||Love and Passion|
(Vron Eagllib, Aiucrlena, nail olb*r Periodicals.)
My beautiful darling !" he erie«. " Bat Alicia, 4ear, I thought I would venture to speak to you on »ne subject-one person-before, we start for Amer- ica. Ton know we most go home tometimo ; we «aanot remain abroad for ever, pleasant ai it ii» And I want you to promiga me something, darling promise me not to flirt witb Alton Carroll. Will you, Alicia? You remember, long ago, how devoted he vas to you, and people began to say that yon were «gaged."
Alicia's face'flushed a trifle.
Alton Carroll P Nonsense, Guy. I only flirted with Bia because-because I was desperate; Ton wera .engaged to Essica, and I would not let the werld íes bow my heart was crushed and aohing, because you bad ceased to care for me, and waa going to marry another woman. Ob, Guy, a woman's pride will prompt her to endure the torments of perdition, be- fore shs will 'wear her heart upon her sleeve' for the world to sneer at. To be sure I shall never flirt with
Alton Carroll should we ever meet again. " But, oh, Guy,' and the turquoiseyes searched his face intently Cor a moment, " I-I wonder what she, Eaiica did. «ben she found that we had gone away together."
He grew slowly pale and bit his Up nervously.
"She was just the sort of woman to commit sui- cide," he returned, uneasily. "And, Alicia, if she bas taken her own life the sin will be upon my soul. J never go to sleep at night without the vision of her face-pale, and stern, and menacing-rising up be- fore me ; and in my dreams I see her dragged from a watery grave, aU white, and still, and dead \, And only last night"-he paused glancing around bim With a convulsive shudder-" last night I dreamed that she esme to my side-ob, so pale and wan, with long, white garments all drenched and dripping with water, and ber long, dark hair unbound, and great'pieceB of sea-weed tangled in it« meshes, She came to my side, her eyes were wide-open, and sueh ma. awful look in them,it m demy very heart stand .till. , Then she spoke to me Alicia, and her voice was soft and sad, and far away :
« «Though I wait twenty years,' she said, sternly -* though I wait twenty years for vengeance it shall yet be mine, I have sworn it I'
"And then I turned, with a cold chill creeping, creeping slowly over me, and I cried aloud that-"
He came to a sudden pause, catching his breath with a gasp, half terror, wholly horror. Down the long gallery, with the sunlight straying in through the stained glass windows, and lying in gorgeous patches over the floor, a queenly figure was moving With sinuous grace slowly toward them.
" The TUBtle of a silken fold,
The scent of eastern sandal wood,
A gleam of gold-« lady 1"
The woman whom Guy Rossiter had wronged.
He staggered backward, and put up both trembling bands bb though to word off a blow; but she seemed not to see him. With cold, proud «difference she passed down the gallery, looking neither to the light nor left, yet silently approaching the aston-
Arrayed in a costly dresB of black silk and velvet, glittering with diamonds, her beautiful, proud, dusky face qnite eclipsing Alicia's blonde loveliness, Bssica paid no heed to their presence, apparently, bat paused to examine a superb painting, viewing it with critical eyes.
And how could the two who watched her in mute astonishment dream that the accidental encounter was part of a deep-laid plot,
With a wonderful effort Guy Rossiter recovered bls'-self-posseesion. He oame forward and extended
band, half expecting her to strike it from her
"Besica-MiBsValdez I" he faltered, white to the my lips, and looking the arrant coward that he
She turned and gazed straight into his eyes for a - moment in a bewildered way, as thongh striving to
recall his identity; then a slow smile stole over her beautiful face, and she calmly returned the saluta
"I fancied tbat yours was a familiar face," she ob served, lightly, in a cool, self-possessed manner which was simply the perfection of acting. "I am pleased to meet you again, Mr. Rossiter."
.? You are very kind, Miss Valdez," he muttered, bnt with a strange, sinking sense of disappointment at bis heart.
She smiled sweetly.
"Not Miss Valdez any more," she corrected, coolly;
4U_Bm_MM_AHon-.CaMoll, I too« xaaniad on the
twenty-sixth of last June."
Her mocking voice rang out sweet, end clear, and -vibrant as she named that fateful wedding-day, and be trembled like an aspen; but all the same he recognised with a sort of guilty terror bow madly bia heart thrilled at the sweet sound of that well xemembered voice.
Panting and breathless, Alicia arose to her feet and turned her biasing, angry eyes npon the im- perturbable face of the woman whom she had in- jured so deeply-whom she hnted so cordially, but ¿whom she could not subdue, and who bad arisen so unexpectedly to oonfront her like the ghost of a for- gotten sin: Her bands clenched themselves tightly
together, and although she bowed in recognition of Essies, ber face was as white sb death, and set in «tern defiance and cruel hatred, while uader her breath" she panted brokenly:
" Face to face at loBt 1 Henceforth it is a drawn game between us. I understand her move as well as though'she had explained It to me, If she wins bia love back again, so sure ne I now stand here in ber hated presence I will take her life I"
;j;-But Alicia Rossiter little knew the nature of the Woman with whom she had to deal-little dreamed that she was as powerless in her rival's bands as tbe ' bird in the snare of the fowler ;" for, though " love is as strong as death," yet "Jealously is as cruel as «tae grave." '