Chapter 198382668

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Chapter NumberXLV
Chapter TitleTHE FLIGHT AND THE PURSUIT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198382668
Full Date1883-09-26
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1672
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 XLV.—(Continued). THE FLIGHT A£D THE PUBS PIT,

By A u fabjeon, Author of " Blades-Gran," "Joeboa Marvel/' "Broad and Cheese and Kisses," "Orii," "London's Heart," Ao.

Bearing in mind tbe words of Vanbragh that he would meet his wife and Arthur Balcombe lower down on the rood, he looked out for them. Ge saw no signs of them, and recently he began to blunder in his oouise. SLe tearohed' in vain for a familiar landmark, and he knew not in which direotion the House of White Shadows waa situated. Evening was fast approaching, when he heard himself hailed by loud shouts. The sounds proceeded from a strongly-built stone hut protected on three sides from wind and rain, and so placed that the water from the ranges rolled past without injuring it Standing within the doorway was Fritz the FooL Thinkiog his wife might have sought shelter there, the Advocate made hiB wajr to it, and found therelh assembled, in addition to rritz, old Pierre Lamont, Mother Denise, and her husband, Martin, and their pretty granddaughter, Dionetta. "Welcome, comrade, welcome," oried Pierre Lamont " It is pleasant to see familiar faces. We were compelled to fly from the villa, and Fritz here conveyed as to this hospitable hut, where we shall be forced to stay till the storm ceases. Where is your fair lady ?" " It is a question I would ask of yon," -said the Advocate. "She is not here, thenf " No. She left tbe villa before we did, in the company of your friend"—the slight aocent he placed upon the word caused tbe Advocate to start, as though lie had received a blow—" Arthur Balcombe. They have doubtless found another shelter as Becure as this, We wished them to stop for us. but they preferred not to wait. Frits had a hard job of it oarrying me to this hut, which he claims as his own, and which ia stored with provisions sufficient for a mouth's siege. I have robbed the old house of its servants—Dionetta here, for whom" (he drouped his voice) " the Fool has a sweet tootn, and her grandmother, whom I shall pension olT; and Fritz himself, an invaluable fool. Fritz, open a bottle of wine, and do the honours of your mansion. The Advocate is exhausted." The Advocate did not refuse the wine. He felt its need to sustain hu strength for the work he had yet to perform. He glanced round the walls. " Is there an inner room ?" he asked. " Yes, there is the door." " May I have privacy for afew minutes ?" Pierre Lamont waived his liond, and the Advocate walked to tbe inner-room, aud closed the door upon himself. "What has come over this man?" mused Pierre JLamout. " There is in his face, since yesterday, such a change as it is rare in life's experience to see. it is not produced by fatigue. Has he made discovery of his fair witc e faithlessness and his friend s treachery ? And should I not behave honestly by him, and make him as wise as I am on events within my knowledge? What use? What use? But at least no shall know that the secret of Uautran's guilt is not his alone." In the meantime the Advocate was taking advantage of the solitude for which he had been yearning since he left the bedside of Pauline. It was not until this moment that he oould find on opportuuity to examine the packct she had given him. It oontained what he imagined—the certificate of the birth of his child. He read it, and mentally took note of date, and also of certain words written on the back, in confirmation or the story related to him by John Vanbragh No room was theie for ioubt. Madeline was his child, and by his means her murderer had escai>ed from justice. " A just God smote him down," he thought; "so should retribu tion fall upon me. Jam partner in hiB orime Upon my soul lies guilt heavier than his." Within tbe certificate of birth was a smaller packet, which he had laid aside. He took it up now, and removed the paper covering. It was the portrait of hi» daughter. The picture was that of a young girl just bndding into womanhood—a girl whose laughing month and sparkling eyes conveyed to his heart so keen a torture that he gave utterance to a groan, and covered his eyes with hia hand to shut out the reproach. But in the darkness he|saw a vision, which sent violent shudders through him ; such a vision as had pursued Gautran in the lonely woods, as he had seen in the waving of branch and leaf, as had hovered over him in his prison cell, as bad stood by his side in the Court-House during the trial, from which he had emerged a free man. Bitterly was this man, who bad rcacbed a height so lofty thit it seemed as if calumny could not touch him, bitterly waa he expiating tbe error of his youth. He folded the portrait of his child within the certificate of birth, and replaced them in oocdcJ In summoning some kind of composure to his features, and the next minute rejoined Pierre Lamont. "You will remain with us," said the old lawyer, "it will be best." "Nay," responded the Advocate, "a plain duty is before me. I must seek my wife." ' She heraelf is doubtless in a place of shelter/' said Pierre Lamont, " and while this tempest is raging, devastating the land in every direction, jou can scarcely hope to find her." " I shall find her," said the Advocate, in a tone of conviction. " Storn fate, which has dogged my steps since 1 arrived in Geneva, ondTbrongntmetoapass, which were you acquainted with the details, would appear incredible to you, will conduct me to ner side. Were I otherwise' convinced, I must not shrink from my duty " 1 1 Outside these walls," urged Pierre Lamont, " death'stares you In the face." "There are worse things than death," said the Advocate, with an air of gloomy and invincible resolution. " Unless to orgae with such a man as yourself," said Pierre Lamont, He turned to Fritz. "Go you and your friends into tho inner room -for awhile. I wish to Bpeak iu private with my friend." 11 One moment, 1 ' said the Advocate to the Fool, as he was preparing to obey Pierre Lamont. "You were the last to leave the House of White Shadows." " We were the last humans," replied Fritz. " In what condition was it at the time " In a most perilous condition. The waters were rising around the walls. It had I should say not twelve hours to live." " To live 1" echoed Pierre Lamont, striving to impart lurhtness to his voice, and signally failing. " How do you apply that, Fritz ?" " Trees live," replied Fritz, " and their life goes into the houses they help to build. If the walls of the old house we have run from could talk, mysteries would be brought to light." " You have been my wife's maid," said the Advocate to Dionetta, as she was about to pass him. Dionetta curtseyed. "Has she discharged you!" Dionetta cast a nervous glance at Pierre LAmout, and another at Mother Denise. The old grandmother answered for her. "I thought it as well," said Mother Denise, 1 1 in all respect and humility, that so simple a child as Dionetta Bhoala be kept to her simple life. My lady was good enough to give Dionetta a pair of diamond earrings, which we have left behind us." Fritz made a grimace. " These things arc not tit for [xtor peasants, and the pleasure they convey is a dangerous pleasure." "Vou are not favourably disposed towards my wife," said the Advocate. Mother Denise was silent. " But you are right in what you say. Diamonds are not fit gifts for simple maids. I wish you well, and your grandchild. It might have been" The thought of his own child, of tho same age as Dionetta, and as beautiful, crossed his mind. He brushed his hand across his eyes, and when he looked around the room again he and Pierre Lamont were alone "A fool of fools," said Pierre Lamont, looking after Fritz. "If he and the pretty Dionetta wed—it will be a suitable match for beauty to mate with folly—he will be father to a family of fools who may be wiser in their generation than you and I. Your decision Is irrevocable ?' " It is irrevocable." If you do not find your wife you will i ndeavour to return to ub "I shall find her." " And then ?" asked Pierre Lamont with a singular puckering of his brows. And then?" echoed the Advooate, absently, and added, "who can tell what .niay happen from one hour to another?" ( To &e continual j ta-A STOCKBROKER'S U00D INVESTMENT. "Sand* buret, Victoria. Merara. FauLDINQ & CO., Adelaide. Gentlemen-For a considerable time I suffered from acute rheumatism. I tried remedies innumerable, without experiencing relief. At the solicitation of a personal friend, I "as prevailed upon to try St. Jacobs Oil. After two applications the pain modified, and before the tattle ™ b»U CTtlrely disappeared. You are at liberty to gin any JSlSHty to UbStestlniony of the efficacy o( tflj justly celebrated remedy.-JiS. OWES, Stock and Share Broker." The Great German Bemedy, St Jacobs OIL relieves and cure. Bhwimati™, NenraWa, flSdSSe, Toothache, Backache Sore Throat, Qutasy, Swellings, BoreneM, Chafing*, Krnpt oM, Inflammations, Happed Hani Corns, Uimlo„, Frosted Feet and rfars, and all bodUy W'ns for which aa External Bemedy may be applied. Bold ir Dnwrists and CbemUta. Price Ui Victoria, Half a Crown a Bottle. Directions In Kle.en UnguW" eocompany every Bottle. P. Falk & Co. AdeUido, Wholesale depot£ South Australia. »nM