Chapter 196506226

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Chapter NumberXXVI
Chapter Url
Full Date1894-11-24
Page Number31
Word Count5766
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLeader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918)
Trove TitleGathered Rue. An Australian Novel
article text



liv Ellerton Gat. Author op "Drifting Unorr the Southern Cross," "Across the Gulf," &o.

Chapter XXVI.— "Frantic Mad, with Ever More Unrest."

Value must always bo relative, anil vario. with varying circumstances. A necklace that would purchase a wife or a . cano. in New Guinea is but a worthies. string of .hells in the aye3 of civilisation. : Diamonds have' no

value to the man wlio sees their delusive sparkle when he is seeking the water for whioh he is dying. What value ha. a meal to a man who has just dined with tbo Lord Mayor ; o title to him who begs bread ; a copper to a Rothschild ; a priest to a dying Frotestaut ; a wig to a new born babe ; or a skipping rope to a paralytic T The value of Ekaterinska in Underwood's jeiwsa greatly enbaneod by Ite comparative neighborhood to Moondabnrrs, with the oppor tunities ite possession would giro him of oaliing frequently at the home that sheltered Mora: Trcinsyne for . this reason its intrinsio value was raised and ho . was prepared to give rather more for it than ho considered it worth. Basil Tremsyns's objeot in acquiring it had been, in the first instance, to save his dead brother-in-law's name from the obloquy of bunk- ruptcy by taking over tbe mortgages npon it. He bail bean foiled in that objeot by tile petty viedictivencssof Craven's banker, who happened to be the same from whom Tremayne had with drawn his account some years before for an action of his whioh, Tremayne considered, in voked a breach of good faith, if not of honor. This banker, or bank manager rather, now took dvsntege of a delay In complying with the letter of tbe law (caused by the press of bnsi- cm on Basil's bands at tbo time of his mother's Hidden death and Craven's suicide) and placed Tremayne in the position of having to pur- etise in the open market against any other bidders. . . In this esse Basil would have had nothing to do with it bat for the knowledge that Underwood sjs especially desirous of acquiring it, and so placing himself at his doors, as it wero, at Oon- dells. From thore he oouid . make himself ebaoilcae ae a neighbor in many vexatious ways -web as compulsory fencing, boxing ble flooki with the Oondaiia sheep, dispiited boundaries and water frontages,' and by intro- dueing " oookatoo farmers" on tho lands adjoin ing Trcmsyne's. So that Bkatsrinska gainod a higher value in bli eyes, and he determined to possess it, no matter what prioe Underwood shonld run it up ta A venr small knot of uninterested speolators old gathered in the apaoioiis sale rooms of tho Sjdnsy agents and auctioneers. They looked en with indifferent gtza until, in sffool, . the siruggle hatwoon tho rival bidders- beoamo a trenuons one, and Underwood liad overstepped by tome hundreds tho price ho had already determined was ita utmost. value, even with the "''Bee its position gavo in hie eyes. ' Bat Tremayne, with a 'cool undaunted nod to tie auctioneer, overbid him ench time/looking insight past hii antagonist m though ho had ntier seen him before. Then tho onlookers iS, r"ed,,w'th Rob fre"h bill> and sppiandid equally Tremayns's consumate oool- Mil end determination and Underwood's fiery ugerneu. J' ,io'£y. M we Iiave seen, fell to Tre- Sit u.\ Underwood otalked out of the sale teem beaten and scowling. .Soon afterwards be went to a olubof whioh hs ikn,il .',11ry men;bor' """l wlicrs ho was tin t'crandah in conversation with Tnmt? bad Put »P 1>1" n»me, when IKE , !n accompaniod by Dick tenry!1411 ,U" "tU""d f'm tMslh,, !,(' ? , '"b verandah talking million J? A low intimate eon- nhed tb'«e n"1 . w1'"00'! voioe, purposely Sed'hU! n0t'fttU ' re"b tbau>' tbsMM.L1,we b"on bIddIng for Ekaterinska, Cnven oweS00' J,reto,bo/ «>wlni Clifford inyielf'biie r a?' '8 did not want it juitlea' mielit E? S orrain?d 4.o run it up that " « WM obvlo"u,.h.Stt0".OUt0, tUe moa"' ' WM diking to »»id some- ""oSttKlon4 obl,P;" Cnaorwood .said, wife, BhsmlwSl yott -bnow> imoaiiee of bis: wlf for her 5i.„P£as c f devil Inoarnate, 0t"l»siiddrlnUyi;ibuma,n, frailtlee-faoilo in c' ixr limes frnm »\ tf . ' Doubtlssa some '"landSeir 'hoPkiltof virtue her !? C0pe with si' i, "' '8allnK himself too weak 'bortrtw.vot,?,anl ty' aho' bl®«" « Ho e.M y of tbe disgrace " 'ndloohed'hi'm'i ?romayno stood before "Minion iu wllw." IS g tbe fa0# witb nn MM eontemnt IrS J""? ,WM no an8«r— only Hoh wsj full Of i„f ,od jn an e»ay attitudo "tern „!?„, J1 »'ont etrength. He looked to UndorwSi ? ?—in "'riltlng oon- iPed becSd' 0 b#d involuntarily i'd «d hands whita m » ond moved restless toohl. p,ar- "fe1!8 bl",fv»turos worked with from DiokI.i, " !gbt oono he had Nuliklog h frI0,nf w '- willingly re- a " Btood l»y his sldu to help, if

need be, in tho condign punishment to be in- flictcd. Basil hold the cano as if it were nfoil, preieing the point slightly on tho ground, and spoko in ins habitually low tone, deliberately and Slowly, ''W'11 y?a withdraw your statements abont tbe lady whose name you hare mentioned, and make an instant and ample apology for uttering them ?" H "Cortainly not i No ono known better than you, Iior brother, how true they are, muoh as you may naturally desire guob truth, kept in the background of oblivion." Underwood's tone was as insulting as he could make it, and no appeared not to notiot any menace in the cane Trsmnync held, though he bianchidpercep- tibly. You refute to apologise V' Not only refute, bufcl reo-itert that what I otattd is the truth, and that you know it#" .. Then -you must take the consequences of your basenoie." . The enne was raised now, and with one for ward movement, which Underwood could not avoid, Basil grasped him by tho oollar of his coat and hoM him firmly despite his struggles and Iteration in coarser languago of his accusa tion against Katherine Craven. Then he bela bored him with intense good will until the slight cane broke in two. Ho did not regret, either then or aftorwards, that lie could not in flict a severer punishment with the weapon ho had eeized. The disgrace was the same, and the ignominy of a publio horse whipping would suffice. He threw the pieces of cane from him and re leased Underwood. "That's how I treat a blackguard who bl&okens a'womsn's oharactor in publio," he said. "You shall give me satisfaction for this in sult; I challenge yon to fight a duel with ma I" Underwood piokod up. the .pieces of onno and flung them at Basil, bub they flew wide of their mark; H. east appealing glances around for sympathy and support, but every one present obviously turned from bim with disgust . "Bab! You must get your satisfaction at lava I ehall not figbt you." Basil turned awsy with Brabazon, and in a few minutes the veran dah of the olub was left toUndeiwood, who, hastily Battling the disorder of his attire, entered the. club.' A notice that moment waa boing posted on the boards to the effect that Mr. Geoffrey Underwood's name was erased from the list of honorary members. It was signed by the member who had proposed him. Basil was summoned to the police court for assault, and, after a cursory and per functory hearing of the particulars, was ordered by tho magistrate, with a Ionian t smile, to pay a fine of £5. . Geoffrey Underwood went on board a P. and 0. steamer, but whether be went furtlior than Mclbonrne .none knew, and as lie appears no more in this history we need not inquire. Tbe horao whipping appoared in the papers with sup- prossod names, but nover became a matter of notoriety. Kntherine never heard of it among ber opium dreams by the sea shore; nor Mora in her happy patient waiting for tbo reconciliation which she was sure must come soon. : When thoy did meet, and Basil know what special nows she had for him, all must bo well with them. Margaret was far away, and bsr name would never be breathed between tbein, while by-and-bye there would oome a little one of her own who would wipe away with one touch of its tiny helpless fingers tiio jealousy of the oliild of tlint unknown woman whioh Mora dimly reoogniaed at tho very bottom of hor trouble. She found the heat vsry trying during tho long weeks following Christmae, but she was content to lis in a hammock in ths ehado of the great white eodara and drsam away the days with a volume of Shelley, nn old copy of Mon taigne or Do.Muisct,' or some sterner volume uf Matthew Arnold, of Herbert Spenoer, or of Emerson, waiting and looking forward, longing to annihilate time and spnoc, -Yet with ail her love and longing her little notes weekly were but a dry statement that she was well and tlint Mrs. Wilmott Btill remained with ber, that Olga had oome and gone, and cer tain letters whioh socmsd auffioiontly important were enolosed ; while his to her related first his arrival in Sydney, then the date of his depar ture from there, that he was well, but Sydney was very hot with a preralcuoe of the trying wind known as " briokfieiders " — whioh they asy is so strong that Sydney umbrellas are made with an extra number of ribs to withstand being instantly blown inside out. No mention of tbe future, merely a bald reoord of the momont to keep up appc&ranees for her sake. Philip Armstrong turned np with the regu larity of an annnity, ready with bis valiia to acoompany Baeil to Ekaterinska, where he drsamt away five happy days on tbe sceno of Clifford Craven's abortive experiments, and where ho wrote a plaintive ode inspired by the sad note of the eurlew, and a humorous sonnet to the frogs In the marsh. Howssio delighted with their hollow oroak oroak, it Bounded so oynioal and pesshnistio in the quiat evening when the buitlo of the head station had asaeod, and the crack' of the stock whip was silenced. While Basil was busy 'with the manager in the hot little room that did duty as office, Armstrong lay at full length on the dry grass under the loqnat trees, looking up at the Southern Oroi9 and dreamiug dreams happy and whole hearted for having eheated' for onoe ths demon that pursued him. In the hush of the still luxurious warmth of the evening air voices softened by dietanoe floated up from the men's huts. He listened. Tho stoeknien were singing a song that he had written years ago and had almost forgotten. It amused him to have it recalled in this way ; ho remombered that when writing it he had hoped it might income a favorite lyrio with the men to whom mustering was th« reality of their livet. It amused hiin still more to find that tlisy bad taoksd- a refrain of their own to eaoh verse to suit the exigenoy of the time or ' the requirements of those who wished to join, in and yet knsw not ths wordo. Ha had called it THE MUSTER. In ran— . Tlio hot sun streams, the mirage gleams, Tho gum trees yiold a scanty ehado j Tho whito dust flies in mouth and eyes, Intent on work, no man's dismayed. The bulls turn back, tho Btockwliips crack Tholr long, lithe thongs like pistol shot ; No spur of steel tho bones feel, Thoy know their work and foar it not. Tho cows with calves seem torn In halvos, Alarmod they knew not where to turn : Tbo heifers gaze in wild anmzo— , Their losaon tliey bavo yot to learn. Through elOBe malloo, o'er fallen tree, The good atoads gallop, wheel and spin ; Bellowing all tho cattle call, . Tho bluo hills echo back tho din. With hoaving flanks they break the ranks, ' With loworcd horns they stand at bay; With crack of whip and saddle grip The stoekmen charge and galu tho day. On, on, thoy go, dogged by their foo, Tlioy've Inst tlio chance to make aotniid, Their hopos are dead, for straight ahead Tlio stockyani looinoth closo at band. Tho dogs all bark, Ite getting dark ; , -The long day's work ii noarly done. , . And stroug.liigh.posts receive the hosts Tho muster's u'ur by set of sun.

And to each vorso thoy shouted a jubilant chorus : — Run in the nags, roll up tho snags, For we're all off a muster-r-l-n-gl A Himply expressed wish from Bsiil that bis presonoe at Ekatorinska should not bo known even at Oondaiia was suffioisnt. Every one believed tbo necessity for secrecy had something to do with tlio complotion of the transfer of the property, and respected it up to a certain point but that waa a point to which their master could or would not apeoialiy alluda ; therefore the mailman happening by olinnca to see Mora herself as lis rode tbroogh Moondaburra with bis paokboreo spol-.s of her husband's preaencn with a great air of aecrooy, as though of courae she must already kuow of it. Then she trod on air and spent every moment of her time wntobing tho road by which be would come. Then day by day hor heart «ank,. uutil the usual wooltljr letter from Basil, in whioh be mentioned having bean very buiy both at Ekaterinska and in the oapital, but that be hoped to bo able to start for Yowarree in a few days, from whence bis letters should be more regular. Then hla unyielding nature beoamo fully apparent to hor, and ebc brokodown in bor stern resolve to moot him only on equal torms of for giveness. She ordored horses to be got ready for starting to Brisbane tbe next day, and agalnit Mrs. Wilmott'a earnest entreaties started on one of tho moat opprssaive days of tbo summer for her long drive. In ber feverish impatience tho long miles of monotonous gum forest aeomcd interminable, and tbe stillness and heat weighed her down with a sense of physical compulsion and hindrance. The nearest hotel received hor tirod frame and wearied spirit late at night, but not too late to Bend a meisongcr off to tbe olub to implore bor buiband to come at ouco to see bor. The man was to wait if Mr. Trsmaync was out and to give tbe noto into no other bands. She was prepared for a certain delay, but her messenger oame back very quickly. Mr. Tre mayne had started that afternoon by steamer for Jtockhampton. Tossing all through tbe hot night on iior bed, Mora wept bittor toars. She could not yot acknowledge that she had been entirely wrong, but tbe situation bad become unbearable, and she thought there waa nothing she would not do to bring him baok to hear her petition. She would telegraph to him and implore him to oome baok, or at any rate to wait where bo was until she could oome to bim. With the morning oame a different eounsei. She would mako no advance to bim uutil she could go to bim with his child in her arms to plead for her. With this determination eiie telegraphed to Katherine that she waa coming to stay with her for a few days. She was deeply shaoksd to see the ehonge a few months hail mado in Katherine. Duraa- reequo bad said she looked old and wizened, ber magnifioent bair bad become sparse and luBtre- less, and lier skin looked tense and yellow. Her manner wai listless and absent, and exhibited none of the fiery passion and impatience whioh used to oharaoterise it. Bridget Moran waa singularly kind and tender with her, treating her like a child. When Mora had been with bsr a day or two Katherine seemed to wako up to ths fnet that bsr sister-in- law was unhappy and suffering. Sbo questioned bor about Basil, and heard of ths estrangement whioh etill existed. Sbo taikod it over when Mora was sitting sadly on the boaoh with old Bridget, whose quiok Irish heart beat quickly to tho recital. "The poor oraytbure," she murmured, pity ingly; "sure, it only wants a worrud toolear it up. I wish,' darlin', you would go to confes sion an' let the holy. father tell ye what to do." Katherino answerod hsr roughly, and sworo alio would go to her deathbed without uttering a word. Bridget harped upon the subject until Katherine left her in snllen anger, saddling with ber own hands the benutiful horse she was in tho habit of riding daily more from custom ttian inolinatloii, for she did not disguise from herself that tier nerve was, not what it bad boon, and that she trembled . like a leaf after a tussle for snpremaoy with the spirited animal. Mara went back to the distracted Mis. Wil- mott, looking like the ghost of, herself, with sad, weary eyes that seamed to be looking out on a hopeless futuro. One ray of comfort oame to Mora at tbis time — ft lotter from ber father, announcing that lie was beginning to pins for the smell of the gum loaves and the sight of bis darling, and should be with her after only a' year of absonoo instead of two. , He landed in Brisbane the vsry day a little granddaughter was born to hiin at Moonda burra. As fast as hs oouid get there he went to see them. . He marvelled greatly at Basil's absence at suoh a time, but sat down and wrote rsams of description of the dear, sweet, pale face of the young mother, and the funny little dark one of the infant, who was so like Basil. _ But baok from Yowarree came no word, no sign from Basil. After many, wooks' silence, when .Morn was convaicsoont and the baby wae being carried about the verandahs, a little fluffy bunoli of mualiu and lsoes, lie rsooguised his own lottor to Basil at Yowarree amongst others whioh were rssddressed to bim at Moondabnrrs. He oouid not quite understand it. It seemed strange that if Basil bad left Yowarree before his lotter arrived there that bo bad not already arrived at Moondaburra, where no news of him of any sort had beau received. Mora's attitude under this want of intelligence filled him w'ith surprise ; she seemed so unsus picious of mishap, so iittls impatient of dolay. Ho blamed her tor it a little, thinking she wss too mush wrapped up in her ohild to remember her husband. Hs was wrong in ths conclusions ho drsw from thsae signs. Mora evaded the subject solely beoauss sbo wisiicd to avoid hie questions. Her delight in the joy of motherhood oouid not fill her heart to tlw cxolusion of other thoughts, and knowing that by this time Basil must have heard tho to him unoxpeotcd news of tho birth of her oliild she hoped that lie would Bet out at once for homo. . It was not until her fattier told her of hie own letter being araonget those readdrcased to Basil from Yowarree that she lost hoart. Then her restlessness and impatience grew upon ber, and aho insisted upon going to Brisbane at onco, that sea might have every facility for news, and far seudingand reooiving telegrams. Mr. Kirby spent hours at the telograph offioea paying enormous sums for special messengers to rids to Yowarree; but ths only news thoy could get was to tbe effect that Tremayuo had left there with ono man in his buckboartl buggy on snob a date. By tbo aid of the telegraph they traeed him for a tow stages, . and then no more oouid be heard of bim, and Mora lay orushed under tbis terrible dread that she would never more bib himallvo. Chapter XXVII.— I Must Burt Sorrow out of Sight. 1 Wlillo Mora was thus tortured with' all the horrors of unosrtaiinty,' with the dreed of un known terrors,' in wbioh not ths least was the vision of her hnsband dying of thirst- wander ing- round and -round-in the dread oirole that thoso lost and tbaddened by the sun. and for

want of water have invariably been fonnd to tako— -and with the memory of Evelyn's fate ever before tier, a summons came for her to go to Katherine, who liad boon slightly hurt by a fall from hor horse. Katherine wrote — " I have something I most tell yon and clear my conscience of beforo I dio. I don't bolieve I am going to die, though Brid get thinks I am." Full ,of deeper trouble Mora hardly gave a thought to this pregnant eeutenco in her sister- in-law's lottsr. Katberine'e appearance gavo little came for alarm, in faot she lookod better lying there on bor sofa helpless from concussion of ths spine than she bod done when Mora last saw her. Site was more r irritable and exacting, tnongh submissive as a child in Bridget's hands. The truth of her improved appearance wae that she was now dependent upon hor faithful old' servant for everything, and could not, without exorociating pain, lift herself from her oouob. Bridget only doled out hsr preoione laudanum intervals, and then only as a roward for good behavior. She was promised a larger dose than usual ae eoon as Mrs. Tremayne had gone, when she should have told her what she bad sent for her to bear. So you don't know where Basil is ?" 'We can get no information at all," Mora ,aid, despondingiy. "Katherine, it is killing mo 1 To think we parted after a quarrel never to moot again— it is too awful ! To think that I havo been all these weary months believing bim to have iiod to me, convinced that bo was hope lessly in ths wrong, and that now when a clear conviction has como to me that my darling is truth and honor itself, I may never be able to throw myself at hie foet and implore his pardon for doubting bim !" " Oh, ho'll turn up all right, you'll see. Wo Tremaynes take a lot of killing." " If I could believe that ! If I could go on hoping my hoart would not be breaking with longing to eoo him, if but for a moment, juet to «»y-'I was wrong ; without word or proof I wholly believe in you' But I shall never see him again i Ho will liars died belioving I doubtsd him to tbe end." "Nonsense, nonsense, lots of people turn op who bavo been lost for years ; yes, for more years than Basil has been missing weeks. He is poking around after a new blook of country, perhaps, and will turn np at ths nearest Land Offico eomo day quite surprised that any one bad been concerned about bim." This rough and ready consolation was very little to Moia's taste ; it prasnpposed that Baeil had suddenly grown careless of everybody's feel ings, had lost ail consideration for ber, for sooiely, for hie work. .Urgent matters on all tbe stations seemod suddenly to have oropped up demanding settlement. Ho would never have gone off of bis own accord and left duties suoh as these unprovided for, to iey nothing of deeper matters of consideration. She remombored why she had come so promptly at Katberine's request. " You wanted to see me partioularly ? You had something you wished to toll mo? 'To un burden your conscience,' I think your note aid?" Mora brought ber-tlinuglits to bsar on anothor's trouble with an effort. " What is it, dear ? How can I help you ?" "Perhaps after all I will not tell yon— it is not very muoh— is the door shut ? Where is Biddy?" "The door is shut, and I think I hear Mrs. Moran in the kitchen. Do not tell me unless you wish to— unlosa it will bo a relief to you that another should know it, or if I can help you in any way." "You are sure Biddy Ib not listening?" " Quite sure," said Mora, after going to the door, and looking into the next room. "Then I will tall you. Perhape yon may think I have been a guilty wretoh — perhaps you will never speak to me again ?" "It would not be for me to judge yon whatevor you have done, Katharine;' I feel my own shortcomings too deeply," "Then listen and try not even to look hooked. You know there was not muoh money to cometome until affairsatEkaterinska were quite settled, but thero would be something due to me from Oondaiia, orrathor Basil meant to give Olga and ma a third, or something. I have always been oareleas and 'vague about money matters. Any way Baeil paid a large sum of money into my credit at the Consolidated Bank, and it is all gone— every penny I I suppose I have fooled it away and wasted it, and I dare say you will be horrified, but what am I to do ?" "If that is all your trouble," Mora said in a surprised tons, " it can very easily be arranged. Father will pay in aome more money to your credit.. I thought from your note that there wae something really Berious— is this really all?" " Of oourae it is," Katherine said irritably. " Quite enough too. I can't got along withont money. Did you think I liad some crime on my oonsoicnce ? You are green, Mure 1" - When Mora took her leave aho found Bridget Moran lying in wait for her in the garden. " Has she told yon V The old woman's voiee quivered with eagerness, ond her faee looked pale and anxions. "Oli yes," Mora said with a smile, " she has made a great confession." " Dear Mrs. Basil, anre yon don't think any the worse of the poor eraytnre ?" "Certainly not. Women are not supposed to know the value of money, and Mrs. Graven has nover had to lesrn economy. I am stirs she need not begin the lesson now for a few hun dreds." Bridget looked up at her with a frightened unpretending gaze. Slio Baid — "I must go to her ; she doesn't like me to leave her." Mora went home to take what comfort she oouid from her rosy little baby, who was yet unnamed until her father should see her and pronounce the syllablos by whioh eho should be callod. Still no news oame from or of Baaii, and with every weak Mora'e feara and apprehen sions were doubled, until thero came a day when only to know the preeiae spot where bis bonoa ity would have been some oonsolation to ber. But before this Katherine sent another urgent summons for her to eomo once more to seo her. Mora weut at ones, oonqnoriug her repugnance, and feeling pity for the poor woman who had alienated every friend she had aver possessed by her violent tempera and unloving moods, and was now wholly dependent on thooare of her old foster mother. She was still aonfined to her couob, unable to sit iip or walk about, but suffering little pain no long as she lay quite etill. Dr. O'Brien predicted from week to week that she would soon ba rb woll as ever and able to ride as before, but lie found himself wrong, and she remained in the same slate, strangely unwilling to make tho least effort towards moving. Bridget, kind anil gentlein allolse, tryanniaed over bar in ono partiauiar. Sho was to save her soul from ages of purgatory by turning.Oatholio. She herself went constantly to maBs and confes sion— the waa making up by her zeal and devo tion for her long years in the bush, whore the consolations of Iter religion could only be ob tained -fitfully and irregularly, and to whioh, therefore, she had become'somewhat callous. Katherine had been obliged to acknowledge that ahe had not told Morn what sbo had especi ally eent for her to say, and Bridget gave her no .peaoo until she 'had exacted a- fresh promise from hey,

" III Again Mora sat by her sofa propared to hear her, and again Katharine's determination toiled her. She looked at Mora in hor fresh, cool, whits linen frock and broad slisdy hat, which made ber look singularly girlish and innocent, and again Bhe brought ber inventive powers to her aid. After having given suoh sympathy and oonso lation on tho subject of Basil's dis-appearance as she could according to ber lights, Mora liad to remind her that she bad written of something be wanted to tell ber. "Do yon want more money?" Mora asksd. " No, I can't spend muoh money iying.bere by tho hoeU It is Another matters I atn ooming to it presently," she said pettishly. "Why bavo von not brought your littlo baby to seo me?" . "It is such a long drive, Katherine, but I will bring her the first cool day. I cannot stay very long now, but I will come again eoon. Ybu wero going to say »! k no £rea matter, though I dare say you will stare. You know what my life was with Craven, what a womanish sort of thing bo was. You have guewed, perhaps, how from the first lie wanted no wife, hut a nurse. You know how unfitted I was for sach a life ! " - M Ye», yes, it was hard for yon, perhaps." Katherine bad hesitated and Mora folt con strained to say something. i "Then after somo years I gavo way to a great temptation." - ; Mora gave a scared look at her as sho paused. Katherine hesitated and stumbled over her words as she resumed. I knew I had an idea — that Clifford might —that there was a fear— in faot that he might shoot himself, and I— woll, I did not take suf ficient cars that tha pistols wero put out of bis way, as I ought— I did not take tlio tronbls to find out where they wero— do you think I did a terriblo thing ? Of oourae I did not know that he would uso them, bat I ought to have been sure that temptation was not within bis reach. It was dreadful, wasn't it ? dreadful enough to haunt a poor penitent on what may prove her deathbed." Katherine broke into tears, and Mora, though inwardly sliuddoring, had to console hsr and assure her thnt sho could not be held respon sible. Katharine roughly pushed her away and rang for Bridget, who ran in hastily with hsr beloved old greasy cabbage tree bat on her head. " Bridget. I have confessed to Mrs. Tremayne; haven't I, Mora ? " Mora bowed her head in assent and accepted her peremptory dismissal, whilo Katharine detained Bridget in attendance lipon her. ' A few dBjra afterwards Mors took lier baby to see Katherine ; sho fonnd hor sulky aud rndo, almost refusing to see her, and it was only . week later when Dr. O'Brien telegraphed from Katberine's cottage to say that a sadden ebangn bad taken place, and that tbe action of tho hsart waa seriously impeded. Daniel Kirby started at once with Mora, only to find that Katherino had been dead an boor. The poor old nurse, with ayes blistered with tears and voice choked with sobs, took Mora in to see bordead. "I don't mind," she said passionately; "I don't mind, she's in glory, puor desr, and' I shall sea bar with the saints aome day. Th. blessed priest camo to see hor ond saved her. Oil, Miss Mora, it all carao of confessing to yon how alie had wronged yon, it softened her heart maybe to religion." Mora gave hor a startled glanee, whioh tlie_ old woman, engaged in rearranging th. white rosea round tile pillow, on whioh lay the still beautiful bead of Katherino, did not see. "I knew you would make no difference to her, poor sinning darling, and I always told hsr it wasn't right that Mr. Basil shonld b. punished, for whatbo never bad nothing to do witb._ It wasn't her doing that it was saddled on bim, that waa that devilish Underwood's work." "How?" Mora murmnrod, trying to keep her emotion out of ber voice. ' " Didn't she tell you ?" Bridget oueried with momentary suspicion ; if Kathofine bad not told sbo would breatho no. word of lier dear ono'a secret, though sbo died for it. But sb. bad confesaed to Mora, did she not say so before her ? "Sua did not tell me how it was done;" Mora said temporising, feeling that the rovela. tion about to be made might even now escape ber unless she wore . cautious, even deceptive. "I would not have tortured her with ques tions." " "Well, as you know so much yon may as wall know alL The child was born in Sydney, and she came baok with it as soon as. she was able to travel. Tben Underwood fetched it to my bnt and put it in a sort of cradle that he made himself, in whioh it was found on the verandali that night. But it was I who ran np in tho very midst of the storm and lsft It. He did everything else ; he managed so that every one should think it was Mr. Basil's child, leftby the hawker's women. She was just like Mm, too ; you could seo it when yon knew who hsr father was ; more by token she took after her mother to that length that I used to think I had my littlo wild Katio back again when Margaret ran with her tantrnma down to me. That is why aha is so like Mr. Basil, too." . Mora sank on hor knees dnring this recital beside the dead body of Katherins ; after a time Bridget spoke to ber and fonnd ahe had fainted. (to be continued.)