Chapter 18941644

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberXV
Chapter TitleA TeaRFUL FAREWELL.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18941644
Full Date1884-12-13
Page Number20
Corrections0
Word Count2230
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleArley
article text

CHAPTER XV.

A TBABFUI. FABEWKLL,

Not a word passed between that wretched hus- band and wife for nearly fifteen minutes, then Arley wearily arose from her prostrate position and turned

to leave the room.

Philip looked askance at her; bis face was still clouded with mortification, disappointment, and anger, yet there was something like a gleam of pity in his eye for her.

He knew well enough that he had ruined her hap- piness, but he was too stubborn to acknowledge any sorrow, if indeed be realized any from the conscious-

ness.

It bad been a trying position, to be sure, to be obliged to tell his bride of only a few hours, that he had nothing in the world to support her with-that instead of giving her every luxury, she would have to be reduced to the bare neoeesariea of life.

But Arley could have borne this bravely ; she would courageously end gladly have helped bim to take up and bear his burdens if he had not crushed all hope out of her, by just the same as telling ber that he did not love her, and owned that he had married her for her money.

" Arley," be said, when she had nearly reached the door, and with a shamefacedneBS which was anything but comfortable, " where are you going ?-what do you intend to do ?"

She turned with a long-drawn sigh.

" I am going to my room ; and I intend to do-the

beet I can."

It was such a pathetic, heart-broken cry, and it out him keenly,

" I do not understand you-what do you mean by that? Do you still mean to be obstinate about this money ?"

" I am not 'obstinate' Philip ; but I shall do what I believe to be right. I shall relinquish everything

to Ina Wentworth."

That last name carne hard to her, and with a sob, for she realieed as she spoke how entirely another would henceforth occupy the place which hitherto had belonged to her alone.

"You are determined to do it, then?" be said, moodily.

" Yes, I must."

" Will you give me up also, Arley ?" Philip asked,

in a cruel tone.

She grew so white at this, tbat he was frightened, and regretted having asked the question,

"Very slowly she went toward him, and looking np into his face she said, in a hashed, pained tone :

" When I spoke those words which made me yonr wife a few hours ago, they were like solemn oaths taken in the presence of God, I promised to love and honour you-to cleave unto you until death should separate ua. Do you think after euch vows I could easily give you up ? My heart is nearly broken by what you have told me to-day-to be told, after giving you all that I had to give, without any reser- vation-my love, my confidence, myself- that instead of loving me in return, you have only been seeking my miserable money ! nay"-as he opened his Ups as if about to spe«k-" you need not try to palliate your act, for I know now that that was your principal ob- ject; I was simply o necessary incumbrance. It was a cruel-it was an ignoble thing, Philip Paxton, for you to do, and I wonder that you should dare to pro- fane your lips with those solemn words which you uttered to-day. How could you do it, Phillip-how could you deceive me so ?"

She wrung her hands in her misery, and her face was almost convulsed with pain.

"But," she went on without waiting for him to reply even ip he had desired to do so, " can it be possible tbat you would be willing, as you intimated a moment ago, to have to tie with unites us,dissolved, Do you wish to be rid of me now that you have dis- covered that I shall bring yon no money ?"

"I-I-but it troubles me to koo w tbat I cannot give you the luxuries to which you have always been accuBtomed," he stammered, much confused by the question.

" Do you suppose I should expect them, knowing Bs I do, your circumstances, and after losing all that I have lost this day P Oh ! to think that I have not even so much as n name left me aeide from the one you have given me,

" But tell me," she repeated, lifting her hand with an air of pride, her eyes flashing, the color coming into her cheeks with a sudden rush which made her dazzlicgly beautiful, " do you wish to be rid of me P Does the burden of my support appal you ?"

" I-Arley-I wish you would not ask me such absurd questions," Philip replied, nneasily ; but be did not offer one word of comfort or love ; be did not as almost any other man would have done, take her tenderly into his arms, and tell her that she was more to him than a hundred fortunes, that he would work for her .with all his might, and cheered by her great love, he would surmount every obstacle, end

win wealth for her in the end.

" Bow can I help asking you, after all that you have acknowledged to me ?" she cried, with a little burst of scorn ; then added, with sudden dignity ; "But no, I will say no more about that ; I am your wife, and it belongs to you to take care of me to the best of your ability. You won me, and I gave my- self to you in good faith, and now I will not;be dis- graced in the eyes of the world. I suppose I could do what others have done-refuse to receive as much as a crust from your hand, and go out into the world and battle for myself. But I will not ; I will take whatever you can give me-and I can be content with very little, so that I am allowed to retain my self-respect. You have mined my life, end I feel that, after what has passed between us during this hour, I can never be more to you than a wife in name-the tie that binde OB is but a mockery ; but to all outward appearance-for the sake of the proprieties of life and to save acaudal-we must preserve the sembl- ance of a happy husband and wife"-her lips curled scornfully as she said it-" who were this morning wedded in the presence of so many witnesses. Now tell me, Philip, what your plans for the future are,' she concluded, in a matter-of-fact tone.

He gazed at her in astonishment.

A few monents ago she was heart-broken and despairing ; now she seemed to have cast aside all sentiment, and become suddenly aroused to the business and reality of life, and to the necessity of

immediate action,

" I have made none," be briefly replied.

"Then will you make some now P We cannot re- main here, of course, as we are situated.

" Where will you go ?" be asked as if he were en- tirely passive in the matter,

Her eyes blazed.

How weakly he was trying to shirk the responsi- bility of the future upon her.

"I will go wherever it is proper that you should take me," she said with dignity ; " you know best what you can afford to do."

"Are you willing to go into obscurity with me -to give np the society in which you have been in

the habit of mingling, and|bsar to have your friends pasB you by as the wife of a poor man ?"

"I have no choice in the matter,"she returned, coldly. "If"-and here her voice grew strained and hard-" if you bad loved me, I could have gone to the ends of the earth with you, lived in a cabin and shared any hardship,deeming it noeacrifice; now, however, I can only try to make the best of my fate, and by striving to do my duty, winning thus the only compensation* possible-that of an easy coascience, Now, if you will tell me what I am to do, I will go at once and prepare to accompany you

whereveryousay.

Phillp saw that she was resolute, and after think- ing for a few moments he said :

" As long sa our tickets have been purchased, I think it will be as well to follow out our our I original plan, and at least start upon our journey . I you know I have bronght round trip tickets for I Paris, and we, may as well have the benefit of that much travel, and thus avoid any unpleasant remarks which might be made if we should remain in London. Meantime, we can arrange other plans for the future, Another train will leave for Northamp- ton in. a couple of hours," he added, looking athis watch, " and if you can be ready by that time, we will go on that."

"Very well," Arley returned, quietly, "if such is your decision, I will be ready when the time ar-

rives."

She turned away from him and disappeared within her chamber, while he, feeling relieved that this ordeal was over, even though be had been worste/1 in the conflict, descended once more to the library, as the place where be would be least likely'to be dis-

turbed,

Arley immediately sat down to her writing-desk, after he had gone, and dashed off a rapid note to Mr. Holley, her lawyer, asking bim to come to her

at once.

This she dispatched by a servant to his ofSce, bid- ding him use all possible baste to deliver it,

Then going to one of her trunks, which was packed and ready for her journey, eheunlocked it, and took from it a massive ebony box inlaid with pearl and

gold.

Opening this, she laid out many little trinkets and some costly articles of jewellery, which had be- longed to her supposed mother-trinkets which she had learned to love and value for that reason alone, and it was not without a pang of regret that she separated them from ber own store of ornaments. But she knew that she ought not to keep them, and that Ina would doubtless prize them as highly as she had done, therefore, she was going to give them to

her.

When Mrs. Wentworth followed her husband to India she left all such things behind, feeling that they would be comparatively useless in the life ehe expected to lead, and k&owing that the care of them would be burdensome, Thus tbey had been pre- served and given to Arley when she was old enough to appreciate them.

While she was engaged in this work, Miss McAllis- ter came in, and observing her occupation, tears sprang to her eyes.

Still she admired the heroism of the girl in thus being willing and even eager to render full justice

to Ina.

"This is very hard for you, dear," she said ina trembling voice.

" Tes, hard, but right, auntie, I suppose I may still say ' auntie,' even though I have now no legal

right to call you BO ?" she said, looking up appeaU J. ingly into the old lady's face. . __ J

. " My child, I should feel deeply hutt if yotvTJid not continue to address me by the old familiar name, for this change in your circumstances cannot in the least change my affection for you-you will ever be the same dear Arley to me."

" Thank you, auntie,- as you have observed, I am selecting all the jewellery which belonged to mamma -I cannot help thinking of her as ' mamma,' even now-to give to Ina ; the other things, I suppose, I may keep, since they wore given to me personally, even though I was believed to be somebody whom I

mm not P"

" Certainly you should keep thom-no one would expect you to resign them," Miss McAllister replied»

" But there is something that troubles me greatly,' Arley pureHed. " You know that I spent a great deal of money apon my bridal finery-money that I would not have touched had I dreamed of anything like this, and now I shall never be able to wear any oí it without feeling very uncomfortable."

" Do not let it cause you the least anxiety, dear. I will settle every bill when it becomes due, and make up to Ina what.has already been spent; it will give me great pleasure to do this for you, Arley, so wear your pretty things, and take all the comfort you can in them," Miss McAllister said, tenderly;

"Thankyoa, dear Aunt Angelina; you Brevery good, and believing that you are glad to help me out of this trouble, I cannot refuse to accept your kind- ness," Arley repled, gratefully,

" I want to tell you, the elder lady resumed, " that I approve of your course, to-day, very heartily, and if anything could have endeared you more to me, this would have served to do so."

" I am only trying to do what I know to be right," Arley said, simply.

(To be Continued.)