Chapter 198380839

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Chapter NumberXXIII
Chapter TitleOLD PIERRE LAMONT INDULGES IN LOVE VERSES.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198380839
Full Date1883-08-20
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count1596
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.

CHAPTER XXIII. OLD PIERRE LAMOST IM»rLi!EH IN LOVK- V ERSES.

BY B. L. FARJEON, Author of " Blade-o'-drfusB," "J«).-hn.i Marv-I.', "Bread and Choose and Kuaca,' " Uiif.'' 'London's Heart," &c.

Two hours beforo Gautran'g unlawful entrance into th© Advocate's Btudy tnoro had hcen a difficulty in getting Pierre Lamont into hie bedroom. It was pituatc<i on the Urat floor of the villa, and as he waa unable to walk a step it was necessary that bo should be carried upstairs. Ilia own servant, "wlioac duty it was to wheel him about and attend to his wants, was on the BI«L but into Pierre lamonts head had enterr<l the whim that he would he carricd to his room by no other person than Fritz the Fool. Tho nian was sent for, hut could not for a lontf time be found, and it was quite half au hour before he mode his appearauue. When he didBO all the other gueste had left tho villa; of those who had como aniovited only Pierro Laniont ri niained. "Gently, Rently, Fritz," said the old lawytr, as he woe bt ing carried up tho stairs, " mv bouts are brittle." "Brittle enough I should Ray." rejoined Fritz, "chicken bones they might bo from the weight of you." " Are diamonds hcaw, fool?" " lia, ha," laughed Fritz ; u if 1 had the selling of you. Master Lamont, 1 should like to tnako you the valuer. I should get a raro good price for you at that rate." ID tho bedroom Pierre Lamont dismissed his own servant, and retained Fritz to assist him to undress. Tho old lawyer, undressed, was a veritable skeleton : there was not an ouuee of superfluous llesh on hie Bhrivellcd bones, " What would you havo done in tho age of "ants ?" asked Fritz, making merry at Pierre E imont's attenuated appearance. "This would have served," replied Pierre Lamont, tapping bis forehead with hit* forclinuer. "lehouM bare contrived eo as to bo a match for them. Hring that small tabic closo to the bedbide. NOM place the lamp on it, Put your hand iu the tail pocket of my coat ; you will timl a hamlkerchicf there." lie tied the humikerchu'f ahout his head. It was a coloured one, and as the small thin iaie peeped out of it, lirowu-skmned and hairless, it looked like the face of a mummy. Fritz gazed at l iin and laughed immoderatclv, and Pierre Ijunout nodded and nedded at the foil, with a smile of much humour on his lips. M Kujoy yourself, fool^enjoy yoinself.'' lie 4 *aid kindly, 1 hut dn.it p-i&a your life ia laughter ; it is destructive of brain power. Are there any books iu the room? Look about, Frit7--iook about. U 1''or booksV exclaimed Fritz. "People ^o to bed to Bleep." "I go to bed to think,"' retorted Pierre Lamont, "and read. People are idiots— they don't know how to usi- tho nights." " i'eoplc are not owis. There are no books in the room." " How Bholl I J aes the night?" grumbled Pierre Lamont. *' Open that drawer ; there moy be something to read in it." Y ritz opened the drawer; it was filled with bookfl. Pierre Lainout uttered a cry of delight. "Bring half a dozen of them quickly. Now, I am happy." He opened the horks which Fritz handed to him, and placed them by his side on tho bed. They wevc ia various languages. Lavatti : Zimtiiertnann ; a Latin book on Dcmonologv; poems of Loye dc Vega; Klingeimum's tragedies; Italian poems by Zupi)i, Filicaja, Cajsaiani, and others "You understand all these books, Master Lamont ?" ** Of course, fool." " \Vhat language ia this?' 1 4 Latin." " And this?" < 4 Spanith.' " And this?"

Italian. No coin'non mind coIJccted these booke, Fritz." "The master that's dead—father of him who sleeps in tho next room" " Ha, ha I" intended Pierre Lamont, turning over the images as he spoke. "He slceiis there, does lie?" " Yes. His father was a great scholar, I've heard." "A various scholar, Fritz, if those books are au epitome of his mind. Love, philosophy, gloomy wandering in dark paths—here we have them all. Ilie light and shadow of life. Which way runs your taste, fool ?" " I love the light, of course. What use in being a fool if you don't know how to take advantage of your opportunities ?' 1 *' Well said. Let us indulge a little. These poets are sly rascals. They take unconscionable liberties, and play with womcn H beauty ae other men dare not do." Fritz's eyes twiuklod. " It docs uot cscapo even you, Master Lamont," " What does not escape me, fool Y' " Woman's beauty, Master l^amont." "Have I not eves in my head, and blood in n;y veius?" asked Pierre Lamont. "It varnis me, like wine, to know that I ami the loveliest^ woman, for a hundred miles e round, are lying under the same roof." Fritz iudulged in auother fit of laughter, and then exclaimed, " iShe has caught you, too, ch ? Now, who would have thought it ? Two of the cleverest lawyers in tho world with ono arrow. Beauty is a fine power, Master Lamont—almost aa good as being a fool." "I shall lie awake and think of her, and read love verses. Listen to Zappi, fool. To dream of love is almost o^ good ae enjoying it." And in a voice really tender, Pierro LamoDt read from the i>ook — " A hundred pretty little Loven in fun Were romping, laughing, rioting,one diy." "A hundred!" ciioa Fricz, chuckling and nibbii.g his hauda. " A hundred—prettylittle loves! If Father Cai*l were hiding under tbe bed his face would grow as long an my ami." " Wrong, Fritz, wrong. Ilia facc would beam, ana he would licjtou with all his earn for the continuation of the poem." And Pierre Lamont resumed— " • l^t's rty a little now,' said 1 1 pray.' 1 Whiilier T-' To Beauty's face. 1 ' Agreed- tin My Jove so full of Loves- doliirbtful fii^h'.! Two with their ton-hew In her ejes— ;mJ two Upon ber eyelids, with their UOH* alight. A I.ove that found no room wMlo there ho Hew, Fell down into linr 1>o*jin with delight— • W ho fares the best'? ho cried ; I ur yoa ? " The picture of this withered old lawyer, sitting up in bed, with a coloured handkerchief for a aightcap tied rouud his head, retdin^ these languishing verses in a tender voice, and trying to briug into bin weazen features an expression iu harmony w : .th them, was truly a comical one. 1 4 Why, Master Lamont," said FiiU in admiration, "you were cut out for a gallant. Had you rccltcd thote lines in the drawingroom, you would lie.vc had all the ladies at our feet — supposing, ho added, with a troad grim, "they iad all lx?en blind." Ah. me I" said i'ierre Lauiout, throwing aside the book with a mocking Bigh. "Too old—too old, I am afraid." "And shrunken," said Fritz. " It is not to be denied, Fritz. Aud shrunken." " And ugly." "You stick daggers into me. \es— anu ugly. Ah f and with simulated wrath ho shuck his list in the air ; "if I were but my brother the Advocate, aJid he were 1 ! Eh, Fritz, eh ?" Fritz shook his head slowly. " If I were not a fool, I should say I would much rather be as you aro—old, and withered, and ugly, aud a cripple, than be standing in the place of your brotiicr, the Advocate. And so would you. Master Lamont, for all your love songs " lie gave a sudden gasp. " Did you see that Qoeh of lightning?" " No." " Listen, and you will hoar tho thunder.' 1 4 1 hear nothing, Fritz." " For all that, there's a storm brewiug, Master Lamont, and it will break over the house. I shall take care of myself." " lean teach you nothing, fool. Push the lamp a little nearer to mc. Give mc my waistcoat. Hero is a gold piece for you—1 owe vou as much. 1 think. We will keep our ovn counsel, Fritz. Good uight." "Good night, Master Lamont. I am sorry that trial is over, it waa rare fun." SOFTJF Al'STIUT.UN BIKI.P. ASSOCIATION. — The annual Ladies' Match In connection witli this Association taken plaro to-day. There an? ovor forty entries, the competitors coming from various parts of the colony. 1 here are twelve prize*, and should tbe weather be favourable some gnod nbwlinR may be looked for. The rifle* to bo o«ed will lie Martini- Henrys, and tho 200,400,500, and uOO yorris. RIFLE VOLUNTEER FORCE.—The annual matches In connection with this body i n «„u ffbeu the e evening the ] tbe Prince Alfred IIoUil. SA\ED FROM TJIN POORITOL'SE.—For years David Alliupsworth suffered with rheumatism, Mid iirtv/iiimtandlnp tbo best tcwlic&J attendance, could nut find relief, tie camet-«. tin- sdota County Poorh<iu*:e. and Lad l<> be carried Into and out --f bod on it of his belplts*a couditioiL AJti r the failuri d aJltLe remedies wliic.blmd he lorn df ibe I'oorlionso renolvttf emedy, St. Jacob'* t tho c'librolMl hail Leen UM-U u;>..N hiui HI' i .:i.l aptin i-.:ilk Hi"."!, without llie u-'cl i n.iw. 'I' c l.irts, aa iliovr Mdteil, vcriric.l 1-5' ll.r <~l lur i>( tho ^ortsmooth (Ohio) Corr^yondoit. ^ol.l by