Chapter 198381959

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Chapter NumberXXXVII
Chapter TitleTHE WRITTEN CONFESSION.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198381959
Full Date1883-09-12
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1558
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912)
Trove TitleThe House of White Shadows
article text

THE HOUSE OP WffiTfi SHADOWa

Br It. L. FARJEON, Author of "Bla<lfro'-G*»*L" "Joshua Marre^ "Smd an4 Chiil mi. BTtt«." * QtU,' "

CHAPTER K X r m TEB WBTITKlf OONFBSiOir.

During the whole of this interview John Vanbrogn had lain concealed within two or three ysrdi of the fallen tree, and had heard every word that patted between G&atc&n and Father Capel For a few moments after he bad thrown Gantran from him he was dazed and erhaasted by the straggle in which he had been engaged, and by t£e crashing of the timber whioh oad aared him from his deadlv foe. Gradually he realized what bad occurred, and when Father Capel's voioe reaohed him ean he reaolred not to discover himself, and to be a Bfleot witness of what transpired. In this decision lay safety for himself and absolate immunity, for Oaotran knew nothing of him, not even his name, and to be dragged Into the light, to be made to give evidence of fcbe scene in which he had been a principal actor, wonld have seriously interfered with his plan of action respecting the Advocate. Favoured by the night, he had no difficulty he might torn even the tragio and unexpected event that had oocurred to his own immediate advantage. He had not been seriously hurt in the conflict; a few bruises ana scratches comprised the injuries he had received. Among Ms small gifts lay the gift of mimicry: be could imitate another man's voice to perfection, and when Father Capel left Gautran for the purpose of obtaining assistance, an idea crossed his mind which he determined to carry out He waited until he was assured that rather Capel was entirely out of hearing, and then he stepped from his hiding-plaoe, and knelt by the side of Gau- Iran. Having now no fear of bis enemy he plaoed his ear to Gautran's heart, and listened. 4 He breathes still." ho thought, 4 there is yet a little life left in him." He nisei Gautran'e head upon his knoe, and taking his flask of brandy from hU pocket, he poured some of the liquor down the aying man's throat. It revived him ; he opened his eyes languidly • but he had not strength enough loft in him to utter more than a word or two at the time. " I have returned, Gautran," said John Vanbrugb, imitating the voice of tho priest, *' I had it not in my heart to desert you in your last momenta. The man you fought with is dead, and in his pocket I found this flask of brandy. It serves one good purpose—it will give yon time to earn salvation. You have two murders upon your souL Are you prepared to do as I bid you!" "Yes," replied Gautran. "Answer my questions, then. What do you know of tne man whom you have slain r "Nothing." V Was he, then, an absolute stranger to you r " Yes." " Yon do not even know his name!" " No." 4 1 There ie no time to enquire into your reasons for attacking him, for I perceive from your breathing that your end ia very ceaf, and the precious moments must not be (wasted. It is your eonl—your soul—that has to be saved. And th sre is only one way—the guilty must be punished. Vou have met your punishment Heaven's lightning has fitruok you dotra. These gold pieces which I now take from yoar pocket shall be expended En masses. Best easy—rest easy, .Gautran. There is but one thing for you to do—and then you will have made atonement. You licar me—yoa understand me ?" " Yes-^qulck, quick." " To die, leaving behind yoa no record of the puilt of your associate—of the Advocate, who, knowing yoa to be a murderer, deliberately defeated the ends of justioe, will be to provoke divine anger against you. No hope for pardon in that case. Can you write f "No." *• Your name, with my assistance, you could traco " Perhaps." " 1 will write a confession which you must sign. Then you will recoive absolution." He pourea a few drops of brandy into Gautran'a mouth, and they were swallowed with difficulty. ' After which he allowed Gautran'e beaa to rest upon the earth, and tore from his pocket some sheets of blank paper, upon which, with much lab oar, he wrote the following " I, Gautran, the woodman, lately tried for the murder of Madeline, the ilower girl, being now upon the point of death, and conscious that 1 have only a few minutes to live, and being also in the full l>osac86ion of my reason, hereby make oath and swear:— " That l>eing thrown into prison, awaiting my trial, 1 believed there wasnoescapc from the doom I justly merited, for the reason that 1 was guilty of the muraer. "That some days bctore my trial waa to take place the Advocate, who defended ino voluntarily, undertook to prove to my Judges tliat I waa innocent of the crime 1 committed. " That with this full knowledge he conducted my case with such ability that I was set free and pronounced innocent. " That on the nieht of my acquittal, after midnight had struck, and when every person but himself in the House of White Shadows was asleep, I secretly visited him in his study, and remained with him tor some "That he gave me food and money, and bade me go my way. " That I am ignorant of the motive? whioh induoed him. to whom X was a perfect stranger, to deliberately [defeat the ends of justice. " That the proof that he knew me to be guilty lies in the fact that I made a full confession to him. " To which I solemnly swear, being about to appear before a just God to answer for my crime. I pray for forgiveness and mercy. " Signed—" And here John Vanbrngh left a spaoe for Gaatran's name. He read the statement to Gautran. who woe now fast sinking, and then he raised the dying man's head in his arms, and holding the pencil in thealmost nerveless fingers, assisted thom to trace the name, Gautran." This was no sooner accomplished than Gautran, witha wild aoroam, fell back. John vanbrueh lost hot another moment. With an exultant smile he placed the fatal evidence in hie pocket, and prepared to depart. As he did so he heard the voices of men, who were ascending the hill. " This paper," thought Vanbrugh, as he crept softly away in an opposite direction, "is worth, I When Father Capel, with tho men he had summoned to his aaaistanoe, arrived at the spot upon which Gautran lay, the murderer was dead. held at the Commercial Hotel, Tynte-street, on Tuesday evening. September 11, to consider the present Hill-street tramway timetable, with a view of obtaining certain alterations. About twenty gentlemen wero present, and Mr. C. M. Ba^ot occupied the chair. The Chairman said that by the present time-table the cars ran at 7.30, then eveiy half-hour till 11.30: then the next was 12.30, and every hour till 2.3Q. That made too long a Raj). The morning trams also were inconvenient. After some discussion it was resolved to submit to the Directors of the Adelaide and Suburban Tram Company an amended time-table, which would provide tramB every quarter of an hour from 8.30 until 10.20 a.m., and from uoon till 2 p.m., both to and from the city; and again from 4.30 till 6 p.m. It was generally thought that the indispensable trams were those every quarter of an hour between 6.30 and 10.90 a-m.. and 4.30 and 6 p.m. Stress was laid on the tact thxt the 10 20 tram would be very convenient for the Nairne train. On Sunday a tram should be put on to leave at 9 a.m. to catch the hills train. Various other suggestions for the alteration of the time of the trains were made, and a time-table was drawn up to be bubmittcd to the Company. A STOCKBROKER'S GOOD INVESTMENT.— m Sandhurst, Victoria. Messrs. FACLDINU & CO., Adelaide. Gentlemen—For a considerable time I Buffered from acute rliouxnatiem. I tried remedies Innumerable, without experiencing relief. 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