|Chapter Number||XI (CONTINUED)|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
CFrom En x1 Üb, Am cri chu» And oilier Parlodlcnli*)
.' While thus engaged, one of the sailor! descried ß email object which excited his curiosity, tossing about on the still angry w«ves, like thistle-down
-r-_ .1- -inj Un pnint.il it -..tt *.% Wa ooptttl«., «ho also became very curious about ¡t, and Imme- diately launched a boat for the purpose of securing it. To his great astonishment he found it to be a child, carefully wrapped in a rubber waterproof and lashed into the tray of a trunk. At first tbey thought I W8 dead-for I was that child-I was so benumbed with thecold and wet ; but after working over me for awhile, tbey perceived signe of life, and persever- ing in their efforts, tbey finally bad tbe satisfaction of. restoring me completely. The captain took me home to his wife, and having no.children of their own, they concluded to adopt me, end I waa named
" They gave me such core as they could, but living in euch a primitive way na tbey did, it was not mncb like what the petted darlings of this country receive, Their home waa on tbe northern coast of Spain, not far from the city of Bayonne in France. It wasu xude little hut, containing only three small rooms, which were fumishad in the most meagre manner, if indeed, tbey could be said to be furnished at all.
*'I lived in this way until I waa twelve years of age, growing up ignorant of everything, Bave bow to cook the coarse food which we- ate, wash and iron the few clothes which we could afford to have, and mend the sails belonging to the veessels which my supposed father owned, and which were often torn in the gales at sea.
" It waa a barren life-I see in your kind eyes how sorry you are that any one abould have to live so-and though J knew nothing of any other, yet I can remember ho v I recoiled from ita hardships, my young heart continually j earning-yes, starving for something which I missed and had not. I suppose these people loved me after a fashion of their own ; bat tbey never manifested any affection for me, or for each other, although I was treated with a rough sert of kindness by them both,
"When I was twelve I waa deprived, by accident, of even this care, and again thrown a waif upon the «world, A heavy piece of timber, which was to be used in repairing the vessel belonging to Carlos Cor jrillion-my so-called father-was being hoisted to the deck, when the ropes gave wny, end it came .crashing down with tremendous force. Carlos was 'Standing directly beneath it, und bis wife seeing his danger, sprang forward, thinking to ward off the fatal blow ; she made a misstep and fell, and both husband and wife were crushed to death by the mas-
"¡will not go into detail now regarding their burial and what followed, but simply state important facts. I was taken to Bayonne, after all was over, and put into a charity school, and now I began for the first time to realise something of the comforts and purpose of life. I seized upon my books some- what ae a famishing dog would seize upon a bone,
and devoured everything within my reach, J
Carlos and Annette Carrillion were partly of -French, partly Spanish descent, and spoke the lan- guage of Spain in an incorrect fashion, Of course this bad become to me like my native tongue ; but after Z went to reside with the Sisters at Bayonne, I was taught both French and English ; and here, alio, I begaa to experience a curiosity regarding my parentage. I had known for years that I was not the child of those rude people, for Annette had told ne tho story of my coming to them almost as soon as I was able to understand anything. She had saved too ali the articles of clothing m which I was elad when the sea cast me up into her husband's arms, ?end these things I took with me when I went to Bayonne, One of the Sisters there was very kind to me, interesting herself in an unusual degree in my progress, and assisting me over many rough places, until I grew to love her dearly. One day I told her all that I knew of my story, and showed her my little bundle of treasure. She examined them very critically, and became quite excited over them, lhere was a little dress and skirt mads of the finest material and beautifully embroidered; a tiny pair of Lisle thread stockings, and shoos ; a little chain of fine gold, which had been clasped «round my neck, and marked on the catch -with the letters 'A,W.' Therß was siso a tiny ring, »with the asme ' ArUj' traced in wee letters on the inside ; and while looking over the waterproof cloak iwhich had been wrapped around my bundle, she had lound a pocket, on the inside of which a piece of ?cloth had been sewed, bearing the name, Evelyn Wentworth,'"
" My mother's name 1" exclaimed Arley, with ?white lips and dilating eyes.
Hex-companion did not reply to her interruption, ex «Copt by a look of sorrowful compassion, and then re-
" The sister folded everything with great care, and iola me never to part with one of them, ' 'You wilj find your /friends some day, if you keep them, she eaid; and also remarked that-she believed, from my k appearance and the name upon the waterproof, that ^X was of English parentage. Greatly encouraged by
^-sympathy and interest, I redoubled myeffortsio
N%and gave my attention almost exclusively to
an %t WBS fifteen, the matron of the school had
ing, f«jqn from an English la^dy who was travel
died, a neige; her own bad suddenly sickened and that herpU.bad young children, it was necessary some one who'supplied at once. She wished for possible, and wfi\speak her own language, if
land with her. I Id be willing to return to Eng«
moat eagerly for tbe\ot tell you that I pleaded the application known/\when the matron mode the lady herself, I was at dfter on interview with three unruly, but very pretty^talled as nurse over remained abroada year, and li«"1' Tne iamiI* England, Mrs. Alden's home is «fl? s11 came to
I have been with her during the Jot?1«8nd tnere
.tia» has been very kind to me, treating me mote
liku .1 friend than a servant, allowing me time for ¡ btucjy undur good and thorough masters. She has
bhuwn a great deal of sympathy and interest in my hi.uory, »nd ht'.B believed with me, from the fact of ruy busing been elad in those finely wrought gar mens, that I belonged in an entirely different spheTe irom any that I had hitherto occupied.
" Soon af ter our return, Mr, Aldan began to institute inquiries regnrding my parentage, but without suc- cess, until a month ago, or a little more, we came to London. A week after our arrival here, we read in one of tbe papers a notice of the approaching marriage of ' Miss Arley Weatworth with Mr, Philip Paxton.' The name-yow name-thrilled me at once, for I|felt that at last we had found a elua, We thought the reBt would be comparatively easy, bat we found great difficulty in ascertaining your place of residence. Day after day Mr. Alden made in. quiries, but It was only yesterday that he succeeded in finding Mr. Pnxton'a office. He was out when
Mr. Alden called, and was somewhat dismayed to learn thathe Was to be married to-day, end go abroad immediately for several months. He then BBked the clerk if he could give bim the name of the guardian of the young lady whom he was to marry, and he immediately directed him to Mr. Holley, your law- yer. He hastened at once to his office, and laid the facts, which I bave related to you, before him. He examined the articles of which I bave spoken, and questioned Mr. Alden very closely, and then, not satisfied he came to see me, and obliged me to repeat my story. He was very loth to admit my claim, for Ho to very fond of you ; but at leas tbe was ubiigan to confess that I am entitled to the name of-of-Arley Wentworth. He waa, however,.bo disturbed that he refused to come and acquaint you with the facts, although we all felt that it belonged to him to do bo > Mr. Alden recoiled from the task, and at last I said that I would some and tell you my Btory, and that ia how I happened to intrude upon you at this un-
" I know, Mrs. Paxton," the girl concluded, raising her pleading eyes, which were full of tears, to Arley's white face, "how bardthismuetbaforyou-and upon this day of all others I regret that you should have to learn It. I feel as if you must almost hate me for coming here in this way to steal your nnme from you, and to throw upon your shoulders the barden of mystery and doubt which for so many years I my- self have borne. But it waa necessary-I. must establish my birthright, and leam something of the parents^for whom my heart had been hungering al'
" Don't look at me so, please," Bhe continued, as she looked up and|met Arley'a burning, Btarlng eyes. " I would gladly have spared you if I could ; forgive me-pray forgive me-for the pain I am causing
Arley put out her hand to stop her.
" Have you that package of clothing with you?" she asked, in a hollow tone.
" Yob, t brought it, but I left it outside the door ; I did not like to bring it in until I had told you my story. I will get it for you."
Sbe¡arose and went to the door, and Arley in spite of the conflicting emotions which were raging in her heart could no1 help noticing how perfectly lady-like end graceful Bhe was in every movement, and she found herself wondering how it oould be possible for anyone to become bo refined and cultivated in tbe face of the difficulties which bad beset her hard life from the very beginning.
She brought the package and laid it in Arley's lap. With icy, trembling fingers she unfolded the water- proof, and there within it, wrapped in a fine towel, was a little'flannel skirt, finished sa tbe botton with rich embroidery. The little drees, too, was of finest texture and most dainty make. The socks and shoes were soiled and defaced by the sea-writer, but were evidently the best that could be obtained.
There was a little box in the package ; opening it Arley found the chain and ring of which the stranger had told her ! and she found, too the name" Arley" on one, the initials " A, W." on the other.
Turning the pocket of the waterproof inside out, she saw the name " Evelyn Wentworth" written upon a piece of cloth whichwas sewed to the garment.
As she saw this she aroBe without a word, but with a perfectly colorless face and rang the bell for her
The summons was answered almost immediately, for inquiries were beginning to be made for the absent bride, and the girl was loitering in the cor-
" Send Aunt Angelina here," Arley said, authorita- tively.
" Lor, Miss Arley I are you sick ?" cried the girl startled by her white face and burning eyes.
" No. Send Aunt Angeline here," she reiterated, tersely, and the maid disappeared as if she had been
Very soon, however, the door unclosed again to admit an elderly lady, who, after one startled glance at Arley, turned and regarded the stranger inquisi-
With swift, eager Btepa Arley glided to ber side, and holding the little ring and chain (which she had retained in her hand) up before her, asked,'in a low,
breathless tone :
" Auntie, did you ever see these before ?"
The old lady uttered a startled cry as she beheld them: then she grasped tbsm in her trembling hands and examined them closely.
" Child," she said, excitedly, " this ring I bought and had marked myself, and the chain your grand- father purchased at the same time. " We sent them to Evelyn for you, when she wrote as that ehe had a little daughter and was going to call her Atley, Where on earth did you get them ? I supposed they
were at the bottom of the sea."
Arley sank weakly into a chair at these words. She could not utter one word in reply, for it seemed as if her tongue was paralyzed, and as if all her senses werf£slipping from herí
Her young visitor Sprang forward and fell upon her knees by her side, and began to chafe her
"Forgive me-forgive me," she pleaded, while glittering tears rolled over her own pale face; "I would have spared you if.I could,"
This called Miss McAllister's attention again to
"Child,who are you, and what have you done that needs to be forgiven ?"
She bent to scrutinize her more closely, and all at once started back with a low, frightened cry, her face growing gray and haggard.
" Who are you, I say ?" she whispered, hoarsely. " Are you a spirit that you come bars with the face ned eyes of Evelyn, my lost niece P I could almost swear that she bad come back to me as freah and fair as she was when she left us almost twenty years ago. Child-child, what is your name ?"
At the wild, startling words poor Arley bowed her face upon her hands with a low, despairing cry, and knew now why the face of the young girl had seemed bo strangely familiar to her when she had
entered the room.
[ It was the counterpart of a picture which was even
then hanging in the library below-the picture of J the lovely woman, whom' until this hour, she had 1 always believed to be her mother. I
She knew, too, that the young stranger's Btory was' true-the identification of the ring and chain, to- gether with Miss McAllister's last words, had proved It beyond the shadow of a doubt.
The new Arley looked from tbe wretched bride to the perplexed and startled spinster in a helpless, ap- pealing way,
It made her miserable to cause all this pain and confusion, and she did not know what to say in answer to Miss McAllister's question.
But Arley came to her aid, and we are yet to learn that the strength and courage of heroes were in our fair young friend.
She Bat suddenly erect, dropped her limp bands from her face, and, confronting Mies Mc Ailie ter, said ¡
" Aunt Angeline, she is Evelyn Wentworths child ; ber name is Arley Wentworth ; the is your grand niece, and not I; I am an tmpoiter, who all my life have been subsisting upon the bounty of strangers, while she has gone unloved and uncared for all ber days. Tell her ¡"she concluded, turning to the girl at her side.
And, rising from her humble position, she repeated I her story, in a few simple words, to the amazed woman who was her mother's aunt. She showed bet aleo the little clothes, and the waterproof, with the name written in Evelyn Wentworths own hand, and Miss McAllister was convinced of the truth of her statements.
"Ibavenever heard anything like it I" she said, in a bewildered way. " I feel as if I bad been bewitched. But, my dear, you surely have Evelyn's face ; your
voice makes me almost believe that she has come back and is speaking to me ; and my heart is drawn towardyou with great tenderness, But, my darling," turning, and fondly laying her trembling hand on Arley'a head, " how can I bear to think of any one else in the place you have occupied for so many years, I cannot give you up, my love, even though I were told a bundred times that you are not Eve- lyn's child.
The young stranger sprang forward and seized the woman's hand, crying, bs she preaaad it to her lips :
" Oh, I don't want you to give her up-I never thought of sucha thing ; I do not wish anybody to give up anything. I only wanted to be sure who 1 was-that I really belonged to somebody, and need no longer live with such a mystery hanging over me. I thank you for saying such kind words regarding my resemblance to my mother, and that you feel tenderly toward me; I ahull always love you for it, I am so sorry to have made you so unhappy," she went on, turning to Arley with touching humility ; " but I will go away now and never trouble you again, I hope when you get a little accustomed te thinking of this, it will not seam quite so hard to you ; you have a kind husband, and perhaps, in his love and care, you will forget, by end by, how I have troubled you to-day. My only object in coming to you was to establish my identity, and I did not dare to let you go away, lest something should happen to you before I could tell you. I thank yon very much for receiving me so kindly, and bearing with me so pati- ently. When you get back, since you bave a new name, perhaps you will not object to my taking, in a very quiet way, the one that belongs to me. But I will not annoy you any further now. I pray that you may have a prosperous journey, and be very happy."
She bent down and just touched Arley'e fragrant hair with her lips, and then turned away as if to leave