Chapter 198381509

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Chapter NumberXXXII
Chapter TitleCAU? AND THE ADVOCATE.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198381509
Full Date1883-09-01
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count2985
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.

Br ft L. FABJTEON, Author of "BbW-OiUL" " Jo«hii» Msrnl,' "Bread and Cliim and Kisses,' "QtU,' "Loodoo'i Hairi,"

tHAPtKB XXXIL . ' oAcnuv JL*i> rax XDrooAt*.- >

•" How lei« bare I beeoaaJAdpr hrattared O&ntran, ehakias 'himaraT/aisd rubbinfe bit cfaL 'lit m a but a ^farte.* Iheol6bk (A themantel rtnwk tbe honroffcwo, "I oaantedtwtel»»wli»nIWB* in tiie grounds. M a n h m here two bnn. Yoa might hare tetmb-drtp longw. lit It the fin* I have etuoyod fot wariu-* ateep wKh6at a __ _>Insed tosleep More—-i" He shuddered, and did- not oomplete the m - tolMi xVQha w something todrink, Biaater." "Ton farts been belpfag yoarwlf to my jrattj «alq Adroeatei ^Yoa kn«w that, too., know: ewrothing, master. Ym, ft waa winel drank* f- nffld as milk. It mri down like ntn. wood tegeriHim. perbape, batMt for us. J mast have ttmmhtg stronger." He looked {eanomel7 mudth* room, awl sighed ud smiled; no appalling viaion grafted ok sight. " Ah 1" he saUt, " l t u Mm ben, Give me tome brand*." "You will have sou, Qwttan,? aid the Advocate; at*skbr. ,'< Ah. maMar, Itnjtond Oautaui, " think better of it Xmnethase hnndy—I moatl" "Must!" eahoed the Advooate, with a " Yes. mutiir nnui Iah^U not be able to talk else, aM Hwl b wbatytm wantmeto dtt," My tinea* b patched.?Mi Ass hear, for yourself that my la -as dry as a raven's. I moat ham drink, and ft mustn't be milk wine. I am *e»<]uto a fool, iiiaiiti'n 1 . H that cursed shadow wen never to appear tame again, I would, ahow those who nave bombard on me a trick or two that wonld aabnlah them. Corse It, and them, and all the-world I It yoo'vs a spark of oompaanan inyou, muter, give a poor devil a glass of brandy." The Advocate considered a moment, and then unlocked a am all cupboard, {com which he took a bottle of brandy. He filled a glass, and gave it to Oantran. "Here's confusion to oar enemies," said Gpatran. "An yon not going to drink, nuaterf Bat yo» can have it when you will; Jon do not need to beg tor it. AIL this is fine I I have never tasted suoh before. It pots life into a man." ' " What makes yoa drink to our enemies,' Geatran T asked the Advocate. ' " Why, mailer, are not my enemies yours and yours mine? We are now in the same boat. If they found »e out it would be as bad for yoa as it would be forme. Worse, master; worse, for yon have muoh to lose; I have nothing. You see, master, 1 have been thinking over things ainoe we met in the lkne yonder." " Sou are bold and sanoy. What if I were to.. .summon my servants and have yoa marched off to gaol ?' "Why should yoa do so? What would yoa accuse me of? I have not stolen anything ; you may searoh me if yoa like. No, do, master, I will take witting from yoa. What yoa give I shall be gratefalfor; but rob yoa? No—you are mistaken in me: I owe you too moph' already. I am bound to you for life." "You do not seem afraid of the gaol, Gautran." "Not when yoa threaten me with it, master, for yoa are jesting with me. It is not worth yonr while ; I am a poor creature to make sport at" "Yotlam daagerouslynear handing yoa over to justice." "Etawbat, master, for what? For ooming into your room, and not finding voa there, throwing m; la a corner like a dogf " It is so) d yoa hare atSen my wiee. These, are orimea which the law u

ready to panish, especially in men with such evil reputation as yours." 1 1 Yoa are right, I've no dooht; yoa know more aboat the law than I da I don't intend to dispute with you, master. Bat when they got hold of me they would qnesHan me, twa my tongue would be loosened against my will. I my again yoa ace jesting with me. How warm and comfortable it is in this grand room, and bow miserable outside I Ah, why wasn't I bora rich? It was a most nnfortniiate aocident." "Your tongas woald be loosened against your will! What could yoa say f' "What everybody suspects, but is not sure of, and could not prove, master, thanks to you, else I should not be here. Don't let us speak of it." " But we will speak of it. What could you say?" *' What I should be forced to say—what tbey would torture me into saying. They owe me a grudge in the prison yonder— Lawyers, and judges, ana gaolers — and nothing would please them better than to hear wnat I could tell them—than to hear me say I killed the girl, and that you, knew I killed her. Yon don't look pleased, master. You drove me to it." " You incredible villain!" " I don't mind what yon call me, master— I can bear anything from you. 1 am your servant, your slave, and there is nothing you could set me to do that I am not ready to perform. I mean it, master. Try me— only try me I Think of something fearful, aomething it would take a bold, desperate man to do, and see if I shrink from it. The raoler was right when he said I was a lucky dog to get such an advocate as yon to defend me. You know the troth—yoa know I did the deed—you knew no (me else could save me—and yon wanted to show them bow clever you were, and what a fool any lawyer was to think hs ooold stand against you. And yoa did it, maatar, you did it I Bow mad uiey must M with yoa 1 I wonder bow much they would civs to cry quits? And you've done even mors than that, master. •The spirit which has been with ma night and day, in prison and oat ofj prison, lying by my bed, standing by my side to the Court—you saw it there, master—dragging, me through the streets and lanes, hidingbeund trees and gliding upon ma. I thought I bad escaped it —it is gone, master, it is gone i It will not come where yon an. It Is afraid of yoa. I don't care whether it is a holy or an anholy power you possess, I am your slave; only yoa can save aie, and yoa can do with me as you will But yoa mast not send me to prison again —no, yon mast not do that. kWhy, master, simple as I am, and ignorant of the law, I feel that yoa ate jesting with me when you threaten to summon your servants to maroh me off to gaol for coming into your house, I should say to tbem, 'Yoaare a packet fools. Don't yoa

eee he is joking with me? Here have we been talking twether for half an hoar, and he has given me his best brandy aa a mark of friendship. There is the bottle, feel the rim of it, ana yon will find it wet; look, at the glass if yoa don't believe me. Smell it, smell my breath. Why, then they would aak you again if you were in earnest, and yoa woald have to Bend them away. Master, I was never taught to read or write, and there is very little I know—but I know well that there is a time to do a thing and a time not to do it; end that unleas a thing is done at the proper time there is no use attempting it. I will tell you something, though I aare say I might save myself the trouble, for you can read what is in me. If Madeline, when she ran from me along, the river's. bank, bad escaped me, it is likely that she would be alive at this moment, for the devil that sparred me on to kill her might never again have been eo strong within me, might never again have had each power over me as he had that night But he was too strong for me, and that was the time to do the deed, Bnashe had to die, Co yoa think. I don't pity her? I do, when the is not tormenting me. Bat when she follows me as she has done tto-nlght, when she stands looking at me with eyes in which there Is fin, bat £0 light, I feel that I could kill her over again If I dared, and if I conld get a good grip of her. Are ill spirits silent? Have they no voice to speak? It is terrible, terrible I I mast buy masses for her soul, and then, perhaps, she will rest in peace. Master, give me another glass ofthBt tare brabdy of yours. Talking is dry work." " Yoa get no more till yoa leave me." " I am to leave yoa, then f,' " When I have done with yon—when oar conversation is at an end." "I most obey yoa, master, ioa oould crash me if voa liked. " I could kill you if I liked." said the Advocate, in a voice so cold and determined that Gautran shuddered. "You could, master. I know it well enough. Kot with your hands—I am your matoh there. Few men can equal me in strength. But you would not trnst to that— you are too wise. You would sooroh and wither me with a lightning ton oh. I should be a fool to doubt it. Ifyou will not give me brandy, rave me a biscuit or some bread and meat. Since noon I have had nothing to eat but a few apples, to which I helped myself. The gaolers—curse them 1—robbed me of my dinner in the middle of the day, and put before me only a slice of dry bread. I would cut off two of my fingers to be even with them." In the cupboard which oontsined the brandy and other b'qaors was a silver basket of biscuits, which the Advocate brought forward and placed before Oantran, who ate theqi greedily and filled his pockets with them. During the silenoe the Advocate's mind was busy with Gantran's words. Ignonnt as the man was, and confessed himself to he, there was an indisputable logic in the position he assumed. Shrink from it as be might, the Advocate could not avoid con-

feeling that between this man, who was little better than an animal, and himself, who had risen eo high above his fBllowa, that in these extremes of intellectual degradation and superiority existed a strange and, in its sufgeativenees, an atrial equality. And what afforded him food for aariaaa reflection, from an abstract point• 'Of travelled iipon roeds soBtdelr apart, they, both am\ yed at the Same goal. T&a was proved bjr Ganteaae nooning apis the Advooate's threat to Dot hlmfn priaoB far Awaiting into the Houeo of White;,Shadows. ' "Sound lagk,? thought the Advocate, "learnt in a school inwhioh the oommOalaWa of nature Me the: teaohers. A decided Unship exists between ihis nrorderer and myself. Am, I, then, u low as he, and do the beat ot ns, in our pride at winning the orewn, indulge in sett-dslosisas of whiau • >hm (set,ashamed? Or is it that, strive aft us may, the moat earnest man cannot lift .himaelf above the grovelling motives whioh set in motion every aotion ot a human life f "Mow, master," sail Gaston, having PnlihcH munching : "Mow, Gautmn," . aaid the Adrooate, "Whydo you come to me f "I belong to Tom," replied Gaotiaa. " You Save me my life and my liberty. Ion had sg^ae: meaning in, it. I don't ask rod what it is, for yoa will tell me only what yoa choose to tell me, I am yours, master, body and aool.'' "And aouir qno&oned the Advooate, ironically, " So tooe," said Gautran, crossing himself,, "as yoa do not aak me to do anything to imperilny aalmtion." "Is 'it not already Imperilled? Murderer r* "I have done nothing that I cannot bay offwith mssaee. AskUiepriests? Iflcould not get money any ether way to aave myself, I would rob • church." «Admirable f exclaimed the Advocate. "You interest me, Gaotran. How did you obtain admiaatnn into the grounds?" "Over the wall at the back. Itiaameroy I did not break my bones." " And into tins room. How did yoa enter r "Through the window." " Knowing it was my room I" "Yee, master." H Howdid yon gain that knowledge t" " I .was told—and told, as well, that you lived in this bouse." . "By -whom where you told ?" *^Ab I ran from Madeline. She has Isft me foe ever, I hbpe—I came uponaman who, for some purpose oi his own—it ienone o{ mine— was lfawpimp on * bill a little distanoe from here. I sought company, and was glad of his. I mads op my mind to psas my night near something human, and did not intend to leave him. Bet when he said that , yonder was the house in whioh the great Advooate lived, and when he pointed oat your study window Iran oS, knowing I oould do better than remain with him. That ia the truth, master." " Are yoa acquainted with this man ?" " No, 1 never saw him before, 1 saw but little of him aB it was, the night was so dark, but I know voices when I hear them. His voice was strange to ma" " Haw happened it, then, that yoa conversed ebout me?" "I can't remember exactly how it oame about. He gave me some bnndy oat of a Saak-root such liquor ss yours, master, but I was thankful for it, ana I aakod him if he had ever been followed by the spirit of adead woman. He questioned me about this woman, asking whether she was fair and beautiful, whether she had met her death in the Rhone, whether her name was Madeline. Curse him t 'he called "her up before me, and I was spellbound. When I oame to my proper senses he WAS talking to himself about a gnat advocate in the house he was staring at, and I aaid there waa only one great advocaie—you, who set me free—end I asked him if yon lived in the house. He aaid yes, and that the lights I saw were the lights In your study windows. Upon that I left him, ead-

deolyand secretly, and made mv way here." " Was the man watching house ?' M It bad the look of it, He is no friend of yoors, that I can toll you. When he spoke of yoa it was with the voice of a man who could make you wince if he pleased.. You have served him some triok. and he wants to be revenged, I suppose. But you can take care of yourself, master." " That will do. Leave me, and leave this house, and aa you value your life, enter it no more." " Then you will see me elsewhere. Where, master, and when?" " I will see you in no place and at no time. I understand the meaning of looks, Gautran, and there is a threat in your eyes. Beware ! I have means to punish you. You heartless monster, when I defended you 1 believed you to be innocent. You have escaped the penalty of your crime, but there is no safety for you here. You do not wish to die; the guilt of blood is on your soul, and you are afraid of death. Well may you be afraid of it Such terrors await you in the life beyond as you cannot dream of. Live, then, and repent; or die, and be eternally damned 1 Dare to intrude yourself upon me and death .will be your portion, and you will go Btraight to your punishment. Here, and at this moment omv, you have the choice of either fate. Choose, then, and Bwiftly." The cold, stern, impressive voice, the commanding figure, had their effect upon Gautran. He snook with fear; he was thoroughly subdued. " If I am not safe here, master, where shall I find safety ?" " In a distant part of the country where you are not known." "How am I to get there? I have no money." "I will give you sufficient for flight and subsistence. Here are five gold pieces. Now, go, and let me never see your murderous face again." "Master," said Gautran humbly, as he turned the money over in his hand and counted it, "I mnst have more—not for myself, but to pay for masses for the repose of .Madeline's souL Then I may hope for forgivenesa—then she will leave me in peace." The Advocate emptied his purse into Gantran's open palm, saying—"Let no one see you. Depart as secretly as you came." ButGautranlingered still. "Yoapromised me some brandy, master." The Advocate filled the glass, and Gautran, with fierce eagerness, drank the brandy. "Yoa will not give me another glass, master." "No; murderer 1 I have spoken my last word to you." Gaotran spoke no more; but with head sunk upon his breast, left the room and the house.

"A vulgar expedient,"mused the Advocate, when he was alone, " but the only one likely to prove effective with such a monster. It is, perhaps, best that it has happened. This man watching upon the hill can be no other than Johfi Vanbrugh. I had almost forgotten him. He does not come in friendship. Let him watch and wait I will not see him."