Chapter 195861251

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Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195861251
Full Date1841-10-20
Page Number4
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Word Count1984
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Newspaper TitleAdelaide Chronicle and South Australian Literary Record (SA : 1840 - 1842)
Trove TitleA Chapter from Charles O'Malley the Irish Dragoon
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A CHAPTER FROM CHARLES O'MALLEY, THE tRISH DRAGOON;

THE DUEL.

A small and narrotf ravine between two furze-covered dells led to the «pen space where the meeting had been arranged for. As we reached this, therefore, we were obliged to descend 'from the drag, and proceed the remainder of tbe way afoot. We had ndt gone manyyards wben astep was heard approaching, and the nest moment Beaufort -appeared:- His usually easy and degage -air was certainly tinged with somewhat of constraint ; and, though his soft voice and half spaile were as

perfect as ever, & slightly flurried expression aboujt the lip, and. a quick and nervous -motion of his eye-brow, bgspokfe a heart i&t completely at ease. He lifted his foraging cap most cermoniously to salute us as we came up, and casting ah anxious look to see if any others were following, stood quite still. " I think It right for me to mention, Major O'Shaughnessy,*' said be jn a voice of tpost dulcet sweetness, " that I am the only friend of Captain Trevyllian on the ground; and though I have not the slightest objection to Captain Baker being present, I hope you will see the propriety of limiting the witnesses to the three persons now here." " Upon my conscience, as far as f amcoocerned, er my friend either, we ar© perfectly indifferent if we fight before three or threw thousand. In Ireland, we rather like • crowd." " Of course, then, as ypif fee no objection to my proposidonv I may oount ^ipon youi cooperation in the event of any-intrnsioh ; I mean that while we, upon our sides, will n<o| permit any-of ourfriends tocomejfdrward,you wiU equally exert yourself with jroprs." Here we are, Bkker and' niysdf-neifter more nor leas ; we expect *no oner and want no one; so that I humbly cohfeeTve airthe preliminaries you are talking of -will never be required." Beaufort tried to smile and bit his lips, while a small red spot upon his cheek sprike that some deeper feeling of irritation than the mere careless 1 manner of the major could aic-

count for, still rankled in his bosum. We nbir walked on without speakiug, except when occasionally some passing observation of Beaufort upon the fineness of the evening, or the rugged nature jof the road, broke the sileoee. As we emerged from the little mountain pass into the open meadow land, the tall and saldier« lite jGgure^of Trevyllian was the^^irist?object that presented Itself ; he was Btanding beSide a litUeston^ and seemed occUpliES in d'ec^hfering th<b inscription; He turned at the nbise of oui'^ aJpproach, and calmly waited oUr coming. His eye glanced quickly from the feature* of O'Shaughnessy to those of Baker; but seeming rapidly reassured as he iwalked forward,: las face at once recovered its usual severity and its cold Impressive look of ^sternness. " All right," said Beaufort In a^whifeper, the tones of which I overheard, as he drew near to his friend;' . Trevyllian smTled in return, but did not speak. During the few momenta which passed in conversation between die seconds, I turned fiom the spot vrith Baker, and had scarcely time ts address a question to himj when O'Shaughnessy called out—"Hollo, Baker! come here a moment." Ihe three seemed now in eager discussion for some , minutes, when Baker walked towards Trevyllian, and, saying something, appeared to ti ait for his reply. This being obtained, he joined the others, and -the moment afterwards came to where I was standing.- " You are to toss for first shot; O'Malley. O'Shaughnessy has made that proposition, and the- others agree that, with two crack marksmen, it is perhaps the fairest way. I suppose you have no objection ?" " Of course X shall mike none. Whatever O'Shaughnessy decides forme, I am ready to abide by." " Well, then, as to- the distance,'' saSd

Beaufort, loud enough to be heard by me where I was standing. O'Shaughnessy's reply I could not eatch, but it was evident from the tone of both parties that some difference existed on tbe^ppirit. " Captain Baker shall decide between us,'' said Beaufort at length, and they all walked away to some distance., During all the while I could perceive that Trevylliae's uneasiness and Impatience seemed extreme—he looked from the speakers to thfe moustain pass, Itnd/ strained his eyes In every direction. It was clear that he dreaded some interruption. At last, unable any longer to control his feelings, he called out—" Beanfort, I say, what tbe devil are we waiting for now ?" " Nothing at present," said Beaufort, as he came forward with a dollar in his hand. " Come, Major O'Shaughnessy, you shall call for your friend." He pitched the piece -of money high into the air, 'and watched it as it fell on the soft grass: beneath. " He&d! for a thousand," cried 0*Shanghneasy, running over and stooping down j " and head it is T* " You've" won the first shot," whispered Baker i " for heaven's sake be cool.*' Beadfort grew deadly pale as he bent over the crown piece, and seemed scarcely to ^ave courage to look his friend .-in the face. Not so Trevyllian. He phlled off his gloves without the" slightest semblance of emotion—butfoned up his ; <dl-fitting black frock to the throat—and, thVowing ajapid glance around, seemed bnly eager to begiia the eombat/" " FififeM^ifefes, andtbe-'words 4 one—two."' " ISxa'ctly I ihy cane shall mark that spot"— " Dfeyilisb long paces you make them,"" said O'Shaughnessy, who did not seem- to-approve jpf " They have'some cohfonnded advantage in this, depend upon it," said the Major in a whisper tq Baker. " Are you ready ?" inquired Beaufort.'

" Ready—quite ready," your ground then." t ' -As Trevyllian moved forward to . he muttered something to his friend. I did not hear the first part,, but the latter words which met me were ominous enough—JFor i as I intend to shoot him. 'tis just as well as; v It is." Whether this was meant to be overheard ana intimidate I knew not ; bat its' effect proved directly opposite.^ My firm resolution to hit my antagonist was now confirmed,, and and no compunctious vjsitings unnerved my arm. As-we took our places, jsome little delay again took place, the fluft of my pistol iaving fallen; and thus we remained ml ten or twelve - seconds steadily regarding each other. At length O^Shaughoessy came forward, and putting my weapon in my hand, whisper&tg low—" Remember yoti have but one chance.*' " You are both ready ?" cried Beaufort. " Beady!" " Then, one—two." The last word was lost In the rep'orVtof fijy

pistol, which went off at this instant/ Jftjf-* second, the iiash and smoke obstru^ff tfiy view; but tae moment after, I saw Trevyllian stretched upon the ground, with his • Mend ; kneeling beside him. My first impulse iraqs to rush over, for now all feeling of-enmity was buried in most hea;tfelt anxiety for his fete , but as I was stepping forward, O'Shaughnessy called out—-" Stand fast, 'my boy, he's only wounded:" and -the same moment he rose slowly from the ground, with the. assistance'of his friend, and looked with the same -feild gaze' around him. Such a look! I shall never, forget it: there was that intense expression of searching ansiety, as if he aought to trace the outlines of some -•visionary spirit as it receded before him. Quickly re-assured;- as ft seemed by the glance he threw on all sides, his countenance lighted up—not with pleasure—bat with a fiendish expression of revengeful triumph, which even his voice evinced as he ealled out—u It's my turn now." \ I felt the words in their full force as I stood silently awaiting my death wound ; the pause Was a long one; twice did hfe interrupt his friend as he w&'about to glve .the word, by an expression of suffering, pressing his hand npon his side, and -seeming to writhe with torture ; and yet this vras mere counterfeit; O'Shaughnessy was now coming forward to interfere and prevent these interruptions, when Trevyllian called out in a firm tone—" I'm ready I" The words, " one two," the pistol slowly rose ; fais dark' eye measured me coolly, steadily; his lip curled; anH just as I

felt thut my ls^t moment of life had arrived, * heavy sound of a horse galloping .along the rocky causeway seemed to take off his attention. ^ His frame trembled—his hand shook— and, jerking upwards his weaponi the ball passed hig^fover my head. t L . - " Ton bear witness I fired in the sir^ said Trevyllian, while the large drops of perspiration roHed-'from liis forehead, andhisfeatures worked aB if in a fit. You saw St, ind yon, Beaufortjioy friend—^on also—«peakj Why wjH you not speak f" " Be calm, Trevyllian; be calm, for heaven's •ake. What's the matter with-you?" " The affair Is then ended*" said Baker, ** and most happily so: You are, I hope, not dangerously wounded.*' As he spoke, -CTr^vyUian's features grew deadly ; liyidllw^lf-dpeR mouth quivered slightly; his:^ey^-became fixed; his atm dropped heavily besade him, and with one low faint moani hcleTl fainiing to the ground. As we bent over him, I noiir perceived that another person had joined our party i he was a short determined Iboklng man of about fortyi with black eyes and aquiline features. Before I h^d titne to guess'who it might be, I heard O' SpafftghnesBy address him as Colonel Conyers* " H^ is dying I" saidBeaufort,.still stooping Oyer*." his friend, whose , cold hand he grasped^ withm iiis owls; " pobtj pbor fellow 1" He 6red "in the aSr," said Baker, as he spoke in reply to a que&tion ^fri>m Conyers; what he answered -I heard not ; but Baker re- " Yes, I am certain of it. We all saw it.'' " Had you not better examine his wound^ said Conyers in a . tone of sarcastic irony I could have struck him for. " Is "jour-Mend not hit ? perhaps he Is bleeding." ' "Yes," said O'Shaughnessy; " let us look

to the poor fellow - now.*' So sayipg, with Beaufort's aid, he unbuttoned his frock and succeeded in opening lhe waistcoat; there was no trace of blood anywhere,, and the idea of internal hemdArhage at once occurred.to.tu; when Conyers, stooping down, pushed" pr6 aside, saying at the same time—" Your'fearafor his safety need not distress ybu much; look here/' . AS he ispoke, he'tore -opeirhis shirt,, land disclosed to oar^ almost donbting ww* a vest of ichldff^ jmf^l^n^ the skin, and compIete1y pi6tpl proof. . I cannot diescribe the effect this sight produced upon us. Beaufort sprang to hiis feet with -a bbund as he iscr^med ont rather thah; spoke—" No man believes me to have been> aware"— - • • ' .. No, no, Beaufort^ yonr, reputatiop is* very f&r removed from such a jstain," said Conyers. - . . O'Shaugbnessy was perfectly speechless r he looked from one to the other as thoogb some unexplained "mystery still'remained, andf onlyseemed restoredtoanysense of consciotfeness as Baker said—" I can feel-no pulse at his wrist: his lieart, too, does not beat." Conyers placed hm band npon his bosom, then felt along- his throatj lifted -up an arm, and letting it felt heavily upon the ground, muttered—" He is dead," It was trne. No wound had pierced him: • the pistol bullet was found witiin Ins clothes. Some tremendou8'conflict of the spirit within bad-snapped the cords-of life," and the' strong 1 man had perished in Ms agony. * " i ~ i -'"T-i^ ADELAIDE: 'Printed and Published forthe ftbprietort by SoBKsr Xbomas & Co.,<at their Prlntiag<9!lkj6,' communications tothe Editor murt be addrewed. AOE5TS: Mr PisttSjfBftdley-streetjAflelaide, Mr Abbott, North Adelaide. Mr S. P. Cooper, Hi ndmarBh. „ llrDnacai^Poix A^ftla^,