|Chapter Number||XXV (CONTINUED)|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
(From BjeçtîcC», Amerlewn, ««MC-oftier Periodtc«t*,y
J^JZ^JLJIJEEÍ JL «
" Weil, ya sue Jobn ned I've been i«s-Fetine peoplo all our lives, Bo's worked up from a common 8s£or to mate, «red I've always gooe along with bim as stewardess. This time we sailed aboard the RoOkot, bound from London to ' Vnteucift for fruits, and just befero we entered pori at Valencia, en. this voyage> John saved tbacapVo life, and so, when we lauded, he told us we should hnve B holiday, and go wherrf) we liked white the^essel was being loudnd np. W-a thought we'd like to travel about a Mt, Bnd wa went up to Madrid for a look at toa city, nnd one dayiwe thought wo'd .go-esd pay our respects to the English conbul. While w-e were waitin'-'to see him, tbie pretty young thing comes into the wui in'-room; and «ets right down ia front of .us. 'E was that startled when I nee her that I thought tay heart would jump out of tny mouth, for ebe W?B the perfect usage of a beautiful leddy th»t we picked up at semino». She and her husband had been shipwrecked ooaiing home from 'India, and they.had lost their tbaby-'Baby Allia,' the poor mother called herewith such heart-breiking moani
that they have rung ia my ears «ver since.
" Ot ! who were they ?"Lady Blaine cri*¿, with al- most breathless eagerness.
"-Ab ! leddy, I cra't tell ye; but this young girl looked so exactly l:Le the beautiful, leddy, that John and I fell to talking about it, und ehe theard us. She ?tuned BB white as a ghost as Bbe looked'around at UB and «eked us would we please tell her who we were talking about, for she bud been lost coming home from India during a shipwreck, and there was some puzzle about her parents and who ehe were."
" It, is Arley !-obe is telling me about Arley 1'' Lady | Elaine cried, to herself, her teeth almost Chattaring from nervous excitement. She bad half .inspected it before-now she was sure. But she restrained 'her impulse to speak of it, and listened eagerly while' ¿ace weet on with her c'ory.
" We told her," ehe said,," that we could not tell * her who the le^dy and gentleman were, for we were
so busy tendin' tojtheir wants and needs we neter thought to ask ; bat probably the captain knew, and
would tell her, if she could find him, She sighed, and |
looked disapp'mted, but EBid that it was 'a clue.'.'and might help her sometime. She seemed 'mnzin' glad
tO'ßud we were English, and nsked were we goia'i back to England scon. We told her yes, in a little ! mcre'n a week. Then she said, " Would we let bar go elong with 89?"
".JehnwBB mighty taken with her, for she were ¿est about the sweetest-spoken, prettiest little thing we'd oten seen, and be said he'd try to &z. it, if she'd be wiliin' to go ia a aailin' vessel, fehe told bim, so eager nnd wistful, that ehe'd go any way to get home once more. Then we »grt-ed that we'd go and talk more about it with her the next day, but when wo got there I found; her ravin', with the ferer and caora likely to go into her coffin thtvn back to Epg land, î I saw that the sickness would go hard with har, and there was no one to take cure c£ her save that jabborin' woman who kept the house ; so I took my thinge right straight off, and told John I should stBjv with ber till the iast minit before it was time te go back to the Rocket,"
"vYou good creature !" murmured Lady Elaine, with glistening eyes.ñwhile ohe was trembling from head to foot over this thrilling account of Arley'a
"Anybody .with a henrto'stonecouldn't have helped it, iffthey'd seen her lyin' thero so helpless and neglected ; but I didn't s'pose then that I wes going to getimy.pay.backinths.'jame way," Jane returned, with s grateful look in tl.o fair face opposite her. " I s'pose ¿hat is what the good book means, where it tells ye to 'icr.at your bread upon the waters, and ye shall get it again after many dayc' Well, the poor dear was dreadful bad for three or four days, but the fifth she seen&ed a little bettor, for she knew me, and told me about &er troubles, or something about them, She didn't .say much about that scamp, she sort o' shielded hitto,but J knew enough already from her ravine, and oo with what sha told me, I had the whole story, But it would have broken your heart to see bow the took on when she found that she couldn't go home with OB, end then it came out that almost all her money had been stolen, and abe hadn't anything p to pay fcsr bille witl'». But I fixed that all right for . her ana ¿hen triad to comfort her as well as I could, by telliV her thiut it wsnn't fit for the like of her to bogoin' back te England in a aailin' vessel, and .'twould be ever ss mu cb. better to wait rnd go like c lady in a «tourner, and 'ItSnally left her a bit com-
'Mîut wnsihore na one in all that etty-no English person whom you oould have hired to take care of berP' Lady Elaine asfced, much distressed over Arley's
" Not a soul, my lady, though we naked our guide -wa had to hire one to go with us wherever we went, for of course we couldn't understand a word of that gibberish, and be didn't know of any body ; the consul wa« away, and so wo bad to leave her. I suppose that wretch of a husband was somewhere .about, but be couldn't bs found."
" Did he nuver come to her while ehe wes tickF'
"No, leddy, uot while I wfite thero; «he sont for Mm once, but bf-'d gone from their other lodgin's, and nobody know where to And him. She snid if abe was only well ¿be should not mind bpin' left so much, nor the loss of the money-though her heart did ache to get homo~-fnr she could draw, and paint,
And sall her pictures and take cnre of horeelf, but to he Bick and alone and trithout any money was fit to diecourago anybody. The little chitterin' doctor <wns good to ber though, nnd sha could talk French
with him, so it wasn't quite se bad as it might bave I fceen ; and I told her she needn't worry over the
money I'd lot her have-the poor dear wanted me to J toke her di'monds- for it hod gone into the Lord's I treasury and He'd take care of if, AßÄ He has," Jane j Concluded, in s reverent tone: '
"? ïVbat ! have you ever heard from her ? H«s et<e sent it back to you?'' at sed the young countess, not quite comprehendinî her meaning.
"Oh, de-.r, no raatm, I don't mean thn'., but you h^YB h"en PO much kioder to me th»n I was to h»r, that I've hud my^Tiy twic-s over alreaíy," wna the earnest reply.
Lady Elair.e Kniled.
"Tbbt is thn "way you reckon it, io it ?" she said. Th<>n with a stïBnge trembling c1 her lips, and a queer feeling at her heurt, she r.sked :
" Who WES thh lad} ? What WM her name?*
'" She told me it was Mrs -M re. Paxton-I'm.-sure that wBs'ît j and I reckon thr.t her scamp of t. bus I b-md'a Other name w»s Philip, for wben ehe were ! ra*i¿'she would call out that crime and beg bim to go
to work so that tliey Ciul i go homp, and not stay there to starve or get into debt. 'ï tell ye, my leddy, I do¿'t do much cDtvïitn'on'my own nccmrfi, but it made me cry like » bhby to hear her ; and then the day 1 had to leave her! '£ declare ! for the first time in ny life I was almost willin' to let 'John go off alone, while I stayed nod took care of'ber. Aha 1 my leddy, but ye hive a tender heart yorcelf," June '"concluded, as heard a convulsive eeb tnd saw that
Lady Elaine was weeping bitterly.
"Üb, Jane, yon do not know it, but you have been telling me about my dearest friend,' she said, "I was quite sure of it, even before you spoke her name, und it nearly breaks my heart to loam how she has suffered and been wronged. Sh-e "WBS called Arley Wentworth when I first knew her, and she was a lovely girt, and she never knew a day of sorrow un- til she married Philip Pnxton. I have never seen her since, for ehe'went away directly; but she has written to me several times, though ehe has never hinted at any trouble, and yet I have imagined that she wes not happy, "And now-"
She stopped short, her face eil ablaze with indig- nation, «s ate thought of the wretch who, having refused to do anything to support the wife whom be bad won »ender fa'se pretetvees, bad taken her to a strange, a1 most barbourous -country, and, when she was rick, destitute, and friendless, had left her to her fate and returned to his own country.
Her heart wes in n perfect'tutnult of contempt and righteous anger, and she elmost bated herself for haviDg tolerated his presence for one moment. How- ever, bo stood unmasked before her now, and she would know how to deal with him in the future.
Jano^Collins was greatly surprised by what Lady
Elaine told her,
"Just to think of it !" she cried, her face a perfect picture of wonderment. " How queer things do
come about !"
" Sow long were you with Arley ?" her compan-
"Just about a week, yer leddyehip-the day was set for the Rocket to sail, and go I must in her, for thero was no OHB to take my place, and John couldn't g»t along without me any more than a baby could
without its mother."
" And you aie sure that no one came to see er to inquire after my friend dcringthattime ?" questioned the young countes«, thoughtfully, and remembering ' wbat Philip had told her about Arley receiving at-
tention and mon»y from a gentleman in Madrid.
?" No, leddy, not a soul came near her save the doctor, John, and I," Jane asserted, confidently,
" Did she at any time speak of any one whom she knew, or wished to call upon for ossistanc« ?"
" No, marm ; she said she hadn't a friend to help her, and she would be without a soul to do her a good tarn when I was gone,"
"Strange!" murmured Lady Elaine, musingly. "No, it is not strongs, either," she added to herself j " it is all of a piece with his other treachery."
Then she began to .question Jane regarding the clue which Arley had gained, or thought she had gained, about her parentace. She made her go over every item of the story which she had told Arley, nnd which we know already ; and as she listened to it, she also became excited and nervous over it.
She drew out her pocket-tnblets, writing down portions of tbe tale, asking quick, eager questions, taking down the name of the captain of the Rocket' and the place < f his residence when in port, and glenning every item which seemed likely to be of
use in Eitting the mystery of her friend's birth. I
She was astonished when the little clock in Jane's kitchen gave fiye short, shorp strokep.
Why, it is five o'clock, and I have kept you talk- ing much longer than I ought !" she exclaimed, rue- fully. "I have been here more than two hours, and I should have gone horne long ago."
" Never mind, dearie-I'd talk an bonr longer if I could do any good for ye or the poor child that's laid so heavy on my heart ever since I kissed the tears off her pale cheeks and left her alone in that outland- ish city," Jane returned, in a voice which was not
" We will hope that good may result from what you have told me," L<sdy Elaine said, cheerfully. " It may be that those troubles which my friend had to endure-that those very strr.its in which you found and left her, will prove the greatest blessings of berlife; itcertaintly will be so if they lead to the discovery of her parentnge. If she had not gone to Madrid and bad these trial", ehe might never have met you, or gained even a clue to the mystery. But I »m g ing (o see what I ca_. dr>, with the facts you haie Riven me, towards unlocking and solving this potiiplieated puzzle."
She took leave of Jane, and hastening to<her car rip go, was driven to her hotel. But she appeared very much excited, for all the way she kept tapping one little foot impatiently upon the floor, while her eyes deepened and glowed with almost a dazzling brightness, and a deep, rich color mantled her usually pale cheeks.
How heartily she depised Philip Paxton, now that
she knew the hateful truth about him,
How little, and mean, »nd contemptible he appeared to her-how false and heartless.
How she longed to grind bim between the mill- stones of her wrath until he should cringe and suffer n hundredfold more than A hat poor Arley mutt have endured in that foreign city, where, Bick, friendless, and penniless, life must almost have geemed too bitter and worthless a thing to etrugglo
Kow the CuDÎd understand why she had left Philip -why, proud and sensitive BB she was, she could not remain with bim to incnr debt or countenance his life of idleness and poverty.
" Poor, brave little girl ! She had never known what it wes to earn a penny during all her life ; but
she hi.d preferred to go out alone into the strange,, unfeeling world, to battle for herself, rother than subject herself to the mortification and disgrace of living pt her ease, as the wife of a shiftless hanger, on, who was too vcinly proud and stubborn to work
Then the thought came to ber, that perhaps Philip had adopted this very course for the sake of driving her to desperate measures, so that he could have an excuse for a permanent separation. She believed that be was capable of this, for she had al
' ways felt quite sure that he never would have
married Arley if there had been no fortune to be won with her.
She saw, now, that his story about her making appointments und receiving money from a gentle- men in Madrid, was but a dirtorted account of the
negotiations regarding the sale of her drawings ; while, itoubtleas, his tala about her going oway with the young Englishman, hfi& been colored to her dis&Svantage, in the Bama way to further h's own
"She knew well enough that Arley would never do anything to compromise her dignity or purity of
character Oh, if she only knew where to find her ]
she would hive flown to her at once, and compelled her to come home and live with her during the remainder of her hie.
"Her hsppineBebas been wrecked fnd my future, must b » a lonely one,1' she murmnred, with a weary ! sigh, "but perhaps Arley aed I couldflnd«ometbine of comfort in our love for each other. It Bhe will come bick tone we will make a home together
Then herthoughts tamed to that other story of the shipwreck and ' lost baby Ailie,' of whieh Jrne
Collins bad told her.
" Et ñs a clue," sbe said, her face lighting, " though how mueii can be prored by it,«mains to be -seen ; but darling we will follow it np-we will 'leave no stone unturned.' Oh, Arley, Arley, if it should be true, as I hope, that you belong to a noble house that yera have a right to a name of which any one might be proud, bow I sbonld exnlt for your sake, and-also because it would be tbe very punishment of all others, which ought to fall upon that wretch who has so ill-used you."
The carriage was stopped before the Langham, and who could step forward to assist her to alight but Phillip Paxton biajtelf,
TThe warm color instantly faded from Lady Elaine's 'Cheeks; her eyes grew cold and proud, and withont ?go much as a glance to -show that «be heeded his presence or his proffered band, she leaned forward arjd gave an order to her coachman in a low tone of [ voice; then she gave 'him her hand and descended \ from the carriage, and with a slight bend of ber
haughty head to Philip, whom ehe could not quite ignore in the presence' of several acquaintances who were standing upon the steps, she passed quickly into the hotel and up to ber own room.