Chapter 18941373

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Chapter NumberXIII
Chapter TitleTHE PORTRAIT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18941373
Full Date1884-12-06
Page Number20
Corrections0
Word Count953
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleArley
article text

CHAPTr» nu.

THE POBIBAIi;

Miss McAllister was not gone many minutes.

The door soon opened again and she entered, foi» fowed by a servant bearing a picture,

It was the portrait of Evelyn Wentworth,

" Place it here upon this table," she said, in a low tone to the man, " and then you may go,"

He obeyed and then quickly left the room.

As soon as the door closed after bim, Miss McAlliSo ter tnrned to their visitor and said .

"I want you to come end stand beside this pic- ture, dear, and let Mr. Paxton compare your face with the one painted there."

She took the young girl by the hand and led her

forward.

She went tremblingly, a sort of mist coming over her eyes so that she could not see distinctly ; but as« she came close to it she bent forward and scanned it eagerly.

There was one moment of breathless silence, then a low cry of surprise and joy burst from her.

"Yes-yss, it ts true-I hnow that she was my mother," she said looking tearfully up into Miss Mo Allister's face, while her o An glowed with a tender happiness which made her exceedingly lovely.

" Mr. Paxton,"eaid tha old lady, " come here and look for yourself. I think this test cannct fail to I put to flight all your doubts."

j She turned the girl and placed her side by side'

with the picture as she spoke.

Philip felt obliged to obey, but he carne forward very reluctantly, while Arley also bent forward to

look,

The face of the young maiden and that of tha portrait were almost identical.

There were the same large deep-blue eyes, the same soft sunny-brown hair and broad, low forehead with its straight, shapely brows, The nose of the young girl was a trifle more delicate in the outline than, that of the portrait, but the mouth was the same sweet and tender in expression, and with a sensative droop at the corners that was somewhat peculiar while the chin of each rounded and curved into the beautiful white throat precisely alike.

" Do you wish-can you ask any stronger proof than that before you ?" 'Miss McAllister asked o£ Philip, a trifle sternly. " There cannot be the slight est doubt that you are looking upon mother ana' child. It has always been n matter of regret to me that Arley did not bear more resemblance to her parents; I have thought at times that I could trace something of her father's expression in her features,, but it was never \ery satisfactory; but it is all ex« plained now, and from this moment I must own this clild as Evelyn Wentwortb's daughter.

" Ob, auntie, nun tie 1" wailed poor Arley, stretching out her hand with a despnring gesture to her and feeling almost as if she had been driven forth into exile as she listened to these words ; while Philip Paxton, convinced at last because he was obliged to be, clenched his teeth and ground his heel into the Bof t carpet in impotent rage.

Without warning or preparation twenty thousand' pounds were swept beyond his reach, while he and his bride o! but an hour or two weî8rGûrnpalWrf;ely'

speakit g beggars, _^ |

Miss McAllister wenífto Aríey and drew her\ head upon her bosom. \

" Be still, my child," she said, brokenly, but with exceeding tenderness, I do not love my darling one whit the lesB. Surely you do not imagine that the affection of eighteen years' growth can be transferred to another simply by a question of mistaken identity. No, dear ; but I must be just-I must acknowledge the evidence of my own senses. While from thia moment I must own this young girl as Evelyn'e child, you will ever be the same to me thatyou have been-a daughter in all but name. You two shall be' like a pair of sisters, and I shall claim you both."

She held out her band, as she ceased speaking,' to Ina, who came forward and raised it to her lips,, while tears streamed over her cheeks.

She had never expected to be received so heartily and kindly into the bosom of a family where another had reigned so absolutely for so long,

"Oh! but who am I? to whom do I belongP who are my kin ? I am stripped of everything-I have not even a name Left," Arley cried despairingly.

She had been very brave to renounce everything when convinced that it did not belong to her, but she felt very desolate and unhappy j ust now. She would not have minded it so much if Philip hod been noble and manly regarding the matter ; but it almost seemed as if he, too, had deserted her in this trying

hour.

"She should not say that when she has her hus- band's name," Ina said, sorrowfully, and looking up* with tears into Misa McAllister's face," and she must retain that of ' Arley' also ; she has always been known by it, and it would be very awkward to change it now. All my life I bave been called 'Ina,'and I do not believe I could answer to any other. She'* -glancing at Arley-" will be known after this as Mrs. Paxton, and so I will assume the name of Went- worth; in nothing else need there be any change. i You are very kind to receive me so cordially as your niece, and I shall always love you for it. If I had not made her so unhappy"-with a sympathetic look at the weeping bride-"I should be content."

{To be continued.)