Chapter 198379635

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter TitleA LETTER FROM JOHN VANBRUGH.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198379635
Full Date1883-07-27
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1707
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912)
Trove TitleThe House of White Shadows
article text

THE HOUSE OF WHITE

SHADOWS. BY a L. FABJEON, Author of " BlAde-o'-GraM," "Jothtx* M&neU" "Bread &od Chceae and KImm," "QtH," "Loadon'i lleMt,"

CHAPTER X. ALETTSBFSOWJOHJfVAKBBDOEJ.

For a little while Gautran scarcely oomprebcfided th*l he vu at liberty to wander forth. He had to completely gfrea himself Hp for lost that be was stupefied by the *nnooficeme&t that his liberty vu restored to him. He gated vacantly before Mm, and presently, recovering himself somewhat, taratched the warders warily, fearing, when they fell from his side that they were setting ft trap which would prove hu destruction. Meanwhile the Advocate was compelled to listen to the expressions of astonishment and Admiration at the skill be bad displayed and the victory he bad won. He paid but little heed to his admirers; the battle was over; his Interest in it was at an end. As he was about to leava the Court an officer presented liimself and said, " He wishee to ipeak to yoa. Sir." " WhoT asked ihe Advocate. The prieoear, Sir." The Advosafce walked towards Oautrao. And for the first time during the long dap of She trial gazed directly into the man's lace. £The msgnntiaffi in the Advocate's eyes Arrested Qaatran's speech, and he appeared to forget what he had haa intended intern' to say. They looked at each other in silence for a few moments, the expression on the face of the Advocate cold, keen, and searching, that on the face of OantTan as of a man entranced; Bnd then the Advocate toned sternly away, Crithout a word having been spoken between them. When G&atran Looked again for his defender, the Advocate was gone. Gautran still lingered; the Coart was nearly ^^iSj off," said a gaoler, " we have done frith yon for the present" But Gautran made no effort to leave. The gaoler laid his hand on the ruffian's shoulder with the purpose of expelling him from the Court; Gautran shook him off with the soarl pf a wild beast "Touch me," he cried, "and HI strangle you. Give me my property." They laughed at hiB threat, and enquired Iff hat property. "Theknife/' replied Gauiran, "you took from roe when you dragged me to prison. Give it to me. I don't move without it." They thought it best to give it to him. It tras an old knife, with a stout handle, and it opened and closed with a sharp click. Gaotran tried it three or four times, and with morose glances at tbo gaoler slunk from the Ccurt. The Advocate's carriage waB at the door. Veady to convey him to hiB villa; he dismissed the coachman, saying be intended to walk tome. As the carriage drove off, a person plucked him by the Bleeve, and pressed a letter into his hand. It was dusk, and the Advocate, although he looked sharply around, Could not discover the giver. His sight was Short and strong, and by the light of a street lamphe opened and read the letter : — "Will yon allow roo to see you, to speak With you? I know the House of White Shadows. In Petit Sarcotmei, and if you are Hot unwilling to receive mo you can express jour consent by waving a white handkerchief from your study window at any timo to night. 1 shall wait till sunrise for the signal. If you faro too busy to-night, let it be to morrow night, or the next, or any night this week.— Jotrs Vakbbuou." The Advocate placed the letter in lua Jiocket, aud murmured as ho walked through £be streets of Geneva— "John Vanbrugb, has he risen from his grave ?" CHAPTER XI. A8TARLINOCTEfcRTTPTIOy. The news of the acquittal of Gautran spread swiftly through the town, and the t>eo)ilc gathered in front of the cafes, and lingered in the streeta, to gaze upon the celebrated Ad vocafce who had worked the marvel. "He has a face like the sphyux, said One. 4 1 Do you believe liautran was innocent V asked another. " He made it appear so; but if Gautran did not murder the girl who did!" " It is my opinion," said an oracle, "that he lionet a murderer loose. We shall have to take care of ourselves on dark nights." " Would you cundomii a man without sufficient evidence T* asked a rival of the oracle. " I would condemn Gautran," replied the oracle, " on any evidence. When you want to tot rid of vermin, do you wait for evidence ?" " The law must be rospcctcd." "Life must be protected," retorted the Oracle, "that is the first law." Strong feeling was be/finning to be evinced in the result of the trial, ana without reference to Gautran—for it reallj seemed as if the Advocate were the principal party concerned—opinion was pretty equally divided. Kvcu in the inn of the Seven Liars, to which Fritz the Fool, who had attended the Court every day of the trial, and who had the fleetest foot of any man for a dozen miles around, had already conveyed the news of Gautran's acquittal. Tho discussion was long and animated—the women regarding the acquittal as an outrage upon tbeir sex, the men more disposed to put Gautran out of the question entirety, aud to yield a full measure of admiration to the Advocate for the victory be had gained. " Did I not tell you," said Fritz, " that he could turn blaok into white. A great man I A great man! If we had more like him, murdering would be a good trade." There were, doubtless, among those who thronged the streets to see the Advocate pass Gome sinners whose consciences tormented them, and who secretly hoped, if exposure ever overtook them, that heaven would send them such a defender. His reception, indeed, partook of the character of an ovation. These tributes to his powers made no outward impression upon nim; he pursued bis §niy steadily onward, looking neither to the light nor to the left, until toe gaily-lighted eliops and caf£s of Geneva were far behind turn. In the surprise of the letter he had received he lost sight of tho trial in which he had been engaged and of the Herculean labour of tho last oiyht days ; hi* thoughts were upon John Vouhrugh, who had been one of his boy Jritmla, and whom for many years he had believed to bo dead. In his lonely walk to 3?etit Sarconnux be recalled the irna^e of Vonbrugh, and dwelt more wfth curiosity than aQuctiou upon the recollection of the* young lives. He had but little desire to see ,Vanbrugb, and none to renew a friendship Which, during its existence, had been lacking |n the sterling qualities necessary for enrturauce. That it was pleasant while it lasted was the best that could be said of it. When ho and Vanbrugb grew to manhood there was a wide divergence in their paths of life. One walkod with firm courageous foot the road which leads to honour ana renown, sparing no labour, throwing aside seductive temptation when it presented itself to him. BLd it did in its most alluring forms, giving all the niijrlit of his mind and body to the cause to which lie had devoted himself, studying by day and night bo earnestly that, spurred on by ambition, bis bright and strong intellect became dearer ana stronger, ana he could siTarcoly miss success. The other threw himself uiKm pleasure's tide, and, blind to earnest duty, drank the sunshine of life's fipriug in draughts so intemperate that be |>ecanio intoxicated with poisonous fire, and, falliug into the arms of the knaves who thrive on human weakness aud depravity, his moral Beusc, like theirs, grew warped, and he ripened into a knave liimself. Something of this, but not in its fulness, had reached the Advocated cars, making but email impression upon 1 if in, and exciting no surprise, for by that timo his judgment was matured, ana bumau character was an open book to him ; nnd wheu, some little while afterwards, he casually heard that J olio Vanbrugb was dead, fce said, "It is well for him j be is better deadand scarcely gave Iub once friend another thought. He walked slowly, with a calm enjoyment t>f the solitudo and the quiet uight, and presently entered a narrow lane dotted with orchards. It was now dark, and he could not see a dozen yards before him. He was fond of darkness: It contained mysterious fK>s&ibiIitics, he nad been heard to say. Sphere was an ineffable charm in the still• •less which eurroutulud him, and he enjoyed It to its full. There were cottagcs hero and there lying back from the road, but no light Dr movement in them ; the iumates were fcslecp. Soft sighs proceeded from the Iflrowsy trees, aud slender boughs waved Solemnly, while tho only sound from the farmyards wa&, at long intervals, a mutlled shaking of wings caused by tho barking of a idog whom hie footsteps hod roused. As he passed a high wooden gate, through the bars f which he could diml^ discorn a line of tall £recs standing like sentinels of the umht. the |)orfutne of limes was wafted towards bim, pnd his lips softly breathed the words, "My wife 1" The thought was sutlioient ; he yielded up his senses to tbe thraldom of a delicious Inugour, in which tho only image eras that of the fur and boautiful woman who was Mailing for him in their holiday Ik . r. Had any person ei - n the tender U »ht ii i is and heard the tone in which the tt.^ls \wte uttered, he could not have ulitcd that tho woman they referred to was jjissionately adored. Not for long was he { rrmitted to muse )i;>on the itnage ot a being the mere thoughtoi whom appeared to transform a pa&sionlitis man into an ardeut lover; ft Jiarahcr interruption than that of sweet

] erfume floating on a breeze recalled him to ois sterner sell " Stop r " Por what reason f " The best Money!" Tbe summons prooeeded from one in whom, as bis voice betrayed, tbewoist passions were dominant.