Chapter 198379373

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter Url
Full Date1883-07-21
Page Number1
Word Count1654
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912)
Trove TitleThe House of White Shadows
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j It ma (mUrt«VsalM Ol im ilj»y, the third tinea the toml of \he AdvSite & Gefaeva, that be aaU to hk wif« orertoo, dinner- Sie-r 3 _ J L j . r e , • " I thsll vrobkbly be^op the whole of to- ' t 'in.iayrtndy. Do m>t let me be dis- ' Ytm earns to thj>«rantry for rtrt," u!d ier8 ™ the <i< iooetta away, (a very lunnnng wit vftmfansly; ..ipttifleetin^ hii eflbrte to be "Do-not,be toe iuniliar witb the people, delude."' '• ; ~ -t •• • ' • i • :• r:> ' I know lamr; to .treat them, Edmurd. ,_t they an reallyTirt leetwuliul. ftadthe hildren stare,a» guuOl were apbtore." The Adro«»U lo6k»fl no at Sniaiad rearded hia ^WILEMTH FADLUMUMOB- ID hi> •private life two inflnennee were dominant— •love for Ilia wife iad friendship for Arthur •Balcombe. He had love for no other woman •and friendship for no other man* and ilia •trust in both waa a perfeot trust. I " I do not wonder that the children atare I'^ffcoliere'they take me for a saint," she •said, laughing gaily; and " lam very for from •being one, Iaaaureyou." j are aa we all are, human ; and very J beautiful, Adelaide." I " It is not often yon pay me compliments, [Edward." ' . . , . , . I "Do yon need them? I love JOT; is not | that enough J" ,. . „ ' But I am fond ct oomplimenta." ' I muat commenoe a new studv, then," he said gravely. It was difficult for him to indulge in light themes for many minutes together. "So you are making yourself acquainted with the neighbours, I am afraid you will Boon tire of them." " When I do will turn to somethJng elae. You have also found something that eepeoisljy interests yos." . .. .. "Yes; a criminal case in which there appears to he a peat mystery. I do not trouble yon irith these law matters; long ago vou expressed weariness of such themes. "But a mystery 1" she exolaimed, with child-like pleasure; " in a place where news is so scarce. It muat be delightful: What is it about? There is a woman In it, of course." . . . " Yes; a young woman whose body was found in the Rhone." "Murdered I" " Murdered, aa if at present seems." "The wretch. Have they caught him? For, of oourse, it was a man who committed the dreadful deed." " One is in prison charged with the crime. I visited him to-day." " Are you going to defend him V " Probably. J shall decide to-night." " But why, Edward, why ? If the man is guilty he mutt be punished." "And If hfe is cot guilty he mast not be made to suffer. . He ia,poor and friendless; it will be a relief to me to take up his case should I see my way clear." " Is he young—handsome—and was it done through jjalouwl" . "I have told you, the oase u shrouded in mjsterv. As for tbe man charged with the crime, ne is common and repulsive looking." "And yea intend to defend each a creature f " Most likely." She shrugged her shoulders ; she had no understanding of his motives, no sympathy In his labours, no pride'in his victories. When he retired to his Btndy he did not immediately proceed to the investigation'of the esse of Gautrou, as it was reported in the ile of newapapen which lay upon hia table, E[e bad given Instructions for the collection of every newspaper in the oountry containing [pfiLrticuIais and information relating to the principal persons concerned in the terrible event, ana it was his purpose to employ the hours of the night in a careful study of these details, and also of tbe various opinions expressed bv editors and correspondents. Bat he held his purpose back for awhile, and for nearly half an hoar paced his study slowly in deep thought. Suddenly he went out and

sought his wife's private room. "It did not occur to me before," he said, 1 to tell you that a friend of Mr. Balcombo— Mr. Hartrich, the Banker—expressed to me his belief that Balcombe was Buffering." "Ill I" Bhe cried, in an agitated tone. "In mind, not in body. Mr. Hartrich did not Bucceed in infecting me with his fears, for I so thoroughly understand Balcombe's sensitive spirit that I know it is itnpoesible for him to uve and not to suffer. You have received letters from him, I believe/' " Oh, yea, three or four; the last a fortnight sgoT " Have yon his address ?" " Yea. He is in Switzerland, you know." "So Mr. Hartrich informed me—in the mountains, endeavouring to find peace of mind in silence and solitude. That is well enough for a few dav«, and intellectual men are always grateful for such a change ; but if it is prolonged there is danger of its bringing a disease of the mind of a serious and enl during nature upon a man brooding on his own fancies. I value Baloombe too highly to lose sight of him. Why should he not come and remain with UB during our stay in his villa? I bad an idea that he himself would have proposed doing so." "He refrained, perhaps, from a feeling of delicacy," said Adelaide; "as if it might be considered he bad a right to be here." "No." said the Advocate, " it is not likely that Balcombe can be swayed by any but generous {considerations ; he knows that I could not misunderstand him. If yon have no objection, write to bim to-night, and ask him to leave hk solitude and make his home with ue." " It rests with you, Edward ; I have no objection." •' He till be company for you, and your liritlit aud cheerful ways will do him g<x>d. You will need eum[>aiw presently, Adelaide, u hen the novelty of your new surroundings wears oil'. I am afraid, child," he said, with a regretful pathos in his voice, " that my society affords you but poor enjoyment. Yet when you accepted my proposal, I never thought otherwise than that you loved me." " I hope you do not think otherwise now,'' she said, in a low tone. " Why, no," he said, with a bright look "What reason have I to do so? We had time to study each other, and I did noE present myself to you in a false light. But we are forgetting Balcombe. Think a moment, Adelaide. Can you divine any special reason for unusual melancholy in him ?" She seemed to oonsider, and answered— No, she could not imagine why he should be melancholy. "Mr. Hartrich suggested that he might have experienced a disappointment in leve. But I rejected the suggestion, for Balcombe and I have for yean exchanged confidences in which much of men's inner nature is revealed, and he would have confided in me. I have never In my life known a man more likely to inspire love in a woman than Balcombe, and I have sometimes thought it strange he had not met with one to whom he was drawn by an irresistible influence, and who would have exercised over him a great power for good. Of an Impure passion I believe him incapable. But he expects too much. The man who seeks what does not exist—perfection—is likely to fall into the other extreme; and Balcombe would stand in danger of such a fall were he a butterfly man—a man of society. Write to him tonight and urge him to come to us—tell him, indeed, that be must come unless he is engaged on an epic." " If yon wrote to him also, as well." " I will do so. Give me bis address—no. never mind : I will give you my letter, and you can send it with yours. How do you get along with your new maid ?" " Charmingly. She is perfection." " Which laaid just now," he said, pleasantly, "does not exist. I must b* mistaken." "I should like to keep her with me always." "It is best that she should remain where she is. For a simple maid a country life is the happiest and best; indeed, for any maid, or any man, young or old." " Why do you not adopt it?" " Too late. My conns was fixed a gene- Cation ago, and a man must follow hia star. I shouladie of inaction in tbe country. And yon, my dear, what would become of you wire I to condemn you to it?" " Bow little yen understand mc. I adore the country." " For an hour and a day at a time. I know y ou jx.-t.ttr, Adelaide, than you know your- Until the Alpine peaks were tipped with tbe Hie of the risiug sun, the Advocate remained in his study, investigating the oase ofGjutjan. Oaly once did he leave it to give to his wife the letter he wrote to Baloombe. Neu spaper after newspaper was read and laid aside, end at length, the long labour at an end, tbe student and enthusiast rose and retired to hia bed. Before another day had

paaaed it was known that the celebrated Advocate, who had come to Geneva for reet from long and weuy professional toil, had undertaken the defence of a wretch open whose sonVtn the belief of everv man and womto, tbe emit ofblood lay heavily. . Trom that nioment the trial of Gaobaoi was inverted with an..important* which elevated it Into an absorbing theme with eVefy class of society.