Chapter 20334846

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Chapter NumberXXVII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20334846
Full Date1880-08-14
Page Number201
Corrections0
Word Count3489
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleAdam and Eve
article text

The Storyteller.

Adam and Eve.

Chapter XXVII.

BY MRS. PARR, Authoress of "Dorothy Fox," "The Gosau Smithy,' &c., &c.

WORN out and tired as she felt when she went upstairs, Eve's mind was so excited by the day's adventures that the found it impossible to lull her sharpened senses into anything like repose,

and after bearing Joan come in ahe lay touring and restless, wondering why it wu the did not oomti Up, nod what could poasibly be the cause of her stopping ad iottg bclpw. As time want on her lm'fftttfnee grew into anxiety, which in its turn became WSpkioo, until, unable to reatrain herself, she got up, and*, after listening with some evident aurprise at the stsir*head, cautiously stole down the stain, and peeped through the chink left by the ill-fitting nidge of the door into the rocm. 'There isn't another woman in the whole world I'd .fcrttst With the things TA trust you with, Joan,' Adam was satin*, fife bent a trifle further forward. 'You've done me ntore'g'dOd than anything I've had to-day. I feel ever so much better now than I did before.' Aa involuntary movement—giving a different balance1 to Her position—made the stairs creak, and to avoid detection fiffl hfid to make a hasty retreat, and hurry back, so that when JoJti came upstairs it waa to find her apparently in such a profound Bleep that there waa little reason to fear any sound she might make would arouse her; but long after Joan had sunk to rest, and even Adam had forgotten his troubles and anxieties, Eve nourished and fed the canker of jealousy which had crept into her heart—a jealousy not directed towards Joan, but turned upon Adam for recalling to her mind that old grievance of not gifing her bis full trust. At another time these speeches would not have come with half the importance ; it would hdve bSen mereljr a vexation which a few sharp words would have exploded sad put an end to; but now, combined with the untowafd cfretnn* stances of situation—for Eve could not confess herself * listener—was the fact that her nerves, Her states* and her conscience seemed strained to a jbtnTiW* «M*e each feather-weight ap pear a burden1. . T . Filled with that smart of wounded lovo #%«• weeteat balm revenge seems to supply. Eve lay awake until the gray light of day had filled the room, and then, from sheer exhaustion, she fell Into a dolo which gradually deepened into a heavy ileep, so that When she again opened her eytfs the sun Was shining full and itroDS. Starting tip, she Idtfßed rotted for Joan, bttl 7oaH hMbeetl lid tor « ootiplfi of boars and tMof«, SB* bad MeM veft sWiltfiily, cYe«rth* about with the hope that BVo fodkTsw W Aff. turbed by her movements, for Adam's great atl' sire waa that Eve's feelings shouH be in no way outraged by discovering either in Uncle Zsbedee or in Jerrem traces of the previous night's de« tMJioJ itid this, hv Joan's help, wss maaaged ao well that wflefl fife t«a*e lief apMaraneeshe wu told that nnele Zebedee, tired, KM Ifer#»ft was not yet awake, while Jerrem, brisked up by several nips of raw spirit, waa lounging about in a state of lassitude and depression, which might very well be attributed to reaction and fatigue. Perhaps if Eve could have known that Adam was not present she wonld have toned down the Amount ol cordiality she threw into her greeting of derretp, a greeting he atfcflpted with such a faj»rjr)y adjustment tit pleasure ud gratitude thai to nave shown a difference dn toe sdofeoi Adam's absence would have been to step back into their former unpleasant footing. ' Adam's gone out,' said Jerrem, in answer to the enquiring look Eve waa sending round the iitcbUh: . . .. 'Oh, t wasn't loofcffig 1 ftfr AeW said Eve, while the rush of vexed color denied tftt «Wer» tion. ' I was wondering where Joan could be. 'She was in here a minute ago,' said Jerrem, * telling me 'twas a shame to be idlin' about so. 1 ' Why, are you still busy ?' said Eve. ' No, notnin' to speak of, but what 'till wait, and fit it shoutd, 'till I'd spoken to you, Eve. I ain't like one who's got the chance o' eomin' when he's minded to,' bo added, 'or the grass wouldn't ha' had much chance o' growin' under my feet Hfter oueo they'd felt the shorn, Vo, now, don't look put out with me j I ain't gota' to auk ye to listen to nothin' yott don't wKnt to* bear, I've tried to see the folly o* that While I've bin away, and'tis all done with and pitched overboard j and that's what made me write that letter, 'cos 1 Wanted us two to be like what we used to be, you know.' ' t wish you hadn't written that letter, though,' said Eve, only half inclined to credit Jerrem's assertions. 'Well, as things hate tamed out, so do I,' said Jerrem. who, although he did flat confess H to himself, would have given all he possessed to feel quite certain Eve would keep his secret ' You jfP, it's so awkard like, when everybody's tryin' to ferret out how this sffair came about You didn't happen to mention it to nobody, I s'poeef and be turned a keen glance of enquiry towards Eve. "Hemention it!'said Eve. 'I should think not Joan can tell you how angry we both were, for of course we knew that unless Adam had some good cause he wouldn't have wished it kept so secret' ' And do you think I should have quitted a word to any livin' soul but yourself T exclaimed Jerrem. 'I haven't much sense in your eyes, I know t Eve, but you might give me the credit o' knowing who's to be trusted and who isn't' 'What's that about trustin' V said Joan, who now made her appearance. ' I tell 'cc what 'tis, Mr. Jerrem, you'm not to be trusted anyhow*. Why, what could 'cc ha' bin thinkdn' of to go sendin' that letter you did after Adam had spoke to 'cc all ? There'd be a pnrty set-out of it, you knaw, Jerrem, if the thing waa to get winded about I, for wan, shouldn't thank 'cc, I can tell 'cc, for gettin' my name mixed up with it, and me made nothin' better than a cat's-paw of!' ' Who's going to wind it about f said Jerrem, throwing his arm round her and drawing her coaxinglv towards him. ' You ain't, and I ain't, * The right of reptiMishing " Adam and Ere" in Queensland has been purchased by (he proprietors of tits Qi'Mulander. • •

and HI answer for it Eve ain't; and so long a* we three beep our tongues 'atw«en our teeth who'll be the wiser—«h V ' Awn, that's all very fine,' returned Joan, far from mollified,' but there's a somebody hasn't »kept their tongues silent; and who it can be beats m°o* to tell Did Jonathan kaaw for oertain 'bout the landin'? or was it only guess work withun?' 'I ain't sure—but Jonathan's safe enough,' said Jerrem; 'and so's the rest too: 'twarn't through no blabbin', take my word for that; 'twas a reg'lar right down set schema from begianin' to end, and that's why I should ha' liked to ha' give 'em a payin' out that they wouldn't ha* forgot hi e> harry. I'd ha' scored their reekooin' for 'em, I can tell 'cc.' ' Awh t iss, I dare say,' said Joan, vrftbseomful contempt; ' you allays thinks you knawß better thafl they you'm bound to listen to. Howaome dever, whfifl all's said and done, I shall finish with the same I txttfm with—that you'd no right to send that letter.' ' Well, you're told me that afoft?/ said Jarrem, sullenly. ' Iss, and nowl tells 'cc behind,' retorted Joatl ', * and to front and to back and round all the sides. so there T ' Oh, all right r said Jerrem ; * have your talk out, it don't matter to m«/ and be threw himself down on the settle with apparent unoonoern, taking from his breast-pocket a letter wbiob he carefully unfolded. ' Did you know that I'd go* • Vetter gired to me to Guernsey, Eve V he said. ' One they'd feW kept waitin* there for months for me.' Eve looked up, and, to bar vexation, saw Jerrem reading the letter which on ber first arrival she had written; the back of it was turawd towards her, so as to ostentatiously dis play the two splodges of red sealing-wax. 1 Why, you doan't mane to say you've got he /' exclaimed Joan, her •Qjger oompletely giving way to her amasement ' Well, I sever, after all this long whiles, and us tryin' to atop as, too ! Eve, do 'cc sse T he's a got the letter you wtfty biases and all.' * Joan,' exclaimed Eve, in a tone of mingled tpprooi and annoyance, while Jerrem made a feint of pleasing tbe impressions to his lips, cast* ing the while a look is. Eve's direction, whioh Joan intercepting, she said : ' Awh I iss I would—teeing theyta «e> much mint as Eve's, and you doan't know t'other if am 'TMCtf «H jo» can tell,' said Jerrem. 'Iss, and all yotf em tell, too,' replied Joan, adding, as the frown oti n% faoe betokened rising anger, 'there, my dear, yotl'4 bwt step inside wi' me, and get a drop more o' yottf ttoniu'n physio, I reckon.' * Physio 1' growled Jerrem,' I don't want no pbysk—leastwise, no more than I've had from ye* alfoedr.' '6fUcl to faeaf ft/ laid Joao. 'When you cniflgfl yon* tttanV *Meh, depend on it> 'ull be afore long, you'll taA *M tfcm tor band. I must make up a few somethio's /of itfto orento/ she said, addressing Eve. 'in ease any of 'en* drops in. Adam's gone off, she added, ' I don't know* where, nor he neither, till bis work's done.' 'Might just so well have saved himself the trouble^' gWfflw) Jerrem. * No, now, be ifflgWt/ replied Joaa, ' There's spurrits enough to wan ptseV tod. 'farther to float a Injiman in, and the sooner 'tis got tb» rids of tbe better, for 'twill be more by luck tfuttt good management if all they kegs is got away unseen/ •Oh, of course. Adam's perfect,' sneered Jerrem. Then, catching sight of Eve's face, as be watched Joan go into the kitchen, be added, imh a desponding sigh: 'I only wish I was— but tB« world's made for some—l 'spose the more they have tbe mow tbey get.' Eve did not answer; perlMpt she bad not heard, as she was just now engaged tfl shifting her position, so as to escape the dwsling rays of the sari, which came pouring down on her head. The movement aeemed to awaken her to a sense o( the" Aife <musual brightness, and, getting up, she went to the itlutkm and looked out. •Isn't it like summer?' ebe said, speaking more to herself than to Jerrem. ' 1 really must say I should like to have gone somewhere for a walk.' The words, simple in themselves, flung in their tone a whole volume of reproach at Adam, for to Evo's exacting mind then could be no necessity urgent enough to take Adam away without ever seeing her, or leaviug a message for her. M Welt, come out with me,' said Jerrem ; ' there nothin' I should like bettor than a bit of a strolL I'd got it in my head before you spoke.' Ere besitated. 'Pr'ape you'm tbinUn' Adam 'ud blame 'cc for IV 'Oh dear no f I'm not f Fm not quite such a slave to Adam's opinion as that Besides,' she added, feeling she was speaking with undue as* perity, 'surely everybody may go for a walk without being blamed by anybody for it—at all events, I mean to go.' 1 That's right,' said Jerrem. ' Here, I say, Joan, me and Eve's goin' out for a little.' 1 Goin' out 7 Where to V said Joan coming forward towards the door, to which he had ad vanced. 'Oh ! round about for a bit—by Chapel Rock, and out that ways.' ' Well, if you goes with her, mind you comes back with her. Dee bear, now? Don't 'cc trust 'un out o' yer sight, Eve, my dear; not further than you can see 'on, nor »o far if you can help it.' ' Tou mind yer own business,' said Jerrem. 'If you was to do that you'd stay at home, then,' said Joan, dropping her voice ; 'but that's you all over, tryin' to put your finger into some body else's pie. I doubt whether 'twill over please Adam either,' she added, coming back from watching them down the street; ' but there 1 if he and Eve's to sail in one boat, the sooner be learns 'twon't always be his turn to handle the tiller the better.' It was getting on for 8 o'clock when Adam, having completed all the business he could ac complish on that day, was returning home. He had been to tbe few gentlemen's houses near, had visited most of the large farms round, and had found a good many customers ready to re lieve him of a considerable portion of the spirit which, by reason of their living bo new at hand,

would thuß evade much of the danger attendant on a more distant transfer. Everyone had heard of the recent attack on the Lottery, and much sympathy was expressed, and many congratulations tendered on account of their happy escape. Adam was a general favorite, looked up to and respected as an honest straightforward fellow ; and bo little condemnation was felt against the trade carried on that the very magistrate con sented to take a portion of the goodß, and saw no breach of his office in the admonition he gave to keep a sharp look-out against these new comers, who seemed Bomewhat over-inclined to show their teeth. Adam spoke freely of the anxiety he felt as to the remit of the encounter, but very few seemed to share it Most of them considered that, having escaped, with the exception of strengthened vigilance, no further notice would be taken, so that his mind was considerably re lieved about the matter, and his heart felt lighter and hits pace more brisk in returning than when in the morning he had Bet out on his errand. His last visit had been to Lizzen, and thence, instead of going baok by the road, he struck across to the cliff by a narrow path known to him, and which would save him some considerable distance. The day was perfect—the sky cloudless, the sea tranquil; the young verdure of the cng» crowned cliff* lay bathed in sofb nunshine. For a moment Adam paused, struck by the air of quiet calm which overspread everything around. Nv,t a breath: of wind seemed abroad, not a sail in sight, not a sound to be heard. A few teat tered sheep were lazily feeding near; below them a man was tilling a fresh piece of ground ; far away beyond, two figures were standing, side by aide. Involuntarily Adam's eyes rested on these two, and while he gazed upon them there sprang op into his heut the wish that Eve was here. Be wanted her, wanted to remind her of the promis« she had given him before they parted, the pro mise that, on his return, she would no longer delay, but tell him the day on which he might claim her for his wife. A minute more, and, with all speed, he was making a straight out across the cliff-Bide. Disregarding the path, be scrambled over the projection of rock, and trampled down the furze, with only one thought in his mind—how soon he could reach home. * Where's Eve, Joan ?' he asked, as, having looked through two of the rooms, he came, still in breathless baste, into the outer kitchen, where Joan was now busirjr engaged in baking her cakes. ' Ain't her outside nowhere* I' said Joan, wiping bar face with her apron to conceal its expression. * No, I can't Bee her.' * Awn, then, I reckon they'm not come in yet;' add \tf thid time sho had recovered herself sufficiently to turn round and answer with in* difference. 'Who's they ?' said Adam, quickly. 4 Why, her went out for a bit of a stroll with Jerrem. They—' But Adam interrupted her. ' Jerrem 1' be exclaimed. ' Why* should she go* ottt with Jerrem ?' ' Awh, he's right enough now,' said Joan. 'He* so sober as a j<*3fr f or 1 wouldn't ha' suffered *en anigbst her. Eve ttroaght she should like a bit of a walk, and he offered to go with her, and I was very glad of it too; for Tahithy wanted to sand the floors, so their room was better for we than their company.' "Tkvery strange,' said Adam, 'that Eve can't see how shy pats me out by goin' off anyway like this with Jerrem. I won't have it/ he added, with rising anger,' and if she's to be my wife she shan't do it either ; so she'd best choose between us before things go too far.' ' Awh, don't 'cc take it like tLat,' said Joan, soothingly. ' 'Twasn't done with no mainin' in it. Her hadn't any more thought d vexin' 'cc than » Dabby, nor I neither, ho far as that goes, or I shotild ha' put a stopper on it, you n»y be Buro. Why, gu and meet 'em. They'm only out by Chapel Uock. They l«ft word where they wae goin' a' purpose.' A little mollitied by this, Adam waid : 'I don't tell Eve everything, bat Jerrem and I haven't pulled together for a long tioae, and the more we seu <>' ouo another the worse it is, and the less I want him to havo anything to »«y to Eve. He's always earryin' ou some <>r 'no*her. When wo were at Guernsey, ho made a reg'lar Bet-out of it 'bout Bomo letter that came thoro to him. Well, who could that Lavu been from ? Nobody we know anything about, or he'd have said so. Besides, who should want to write to him, or what business had he to go blab bin' about which place we were bound for'/ I haven't seen all the soundings o' that affair clear yet, but I mean to. I ain't goin' to be "jammed in a clench like Jackson," for Jerrem nor nobody else.' Joan made no answer, She seemed to be en gaged in turning her crock round, and while bending down she said : " Well, I should go after 'em, if I was you. They'm sure not to be very far off, and I'll get tea ready while you'm gone.' Adam moved away. Somewhat reluctant to go, he lingered about the rooms for some time, making up his mind what he should do. Ho could not help being haunted by an idea that the two people he had seen standing were Eve and Jerrem. It was a suspicion which angered him beyond measure, and after once letting it come before him it rankled so sorely that he deter mined to satisfy himself, and therefore started off down the street, past the quay, and up by the steps. ' Here, where be goin' to ?' called out a voice behind him. Without stopping, Adam turned his head. ' Oh, Poll, is that you 1" he said, 'las.' ' Have ye teen Eve pats this way ? I think she'd got Jerrem with her.' ' '3'pose if I have,' said Poll, with whom Adam was no favorite ; ' they doesn't want you. Yon stay where you be now. I hates to Bee anybody a-spilein' sport like that.' With no very pleasant remaik on the old woman, Adam turned to go on. 'Awh, you may rin!' aho cried, "out you won't catch up they. Thoy waa b»uud for NoUa Point, and they's past there luiig afore now !' Then the two he had seen were they! An.

indescribable feeling of jealousy stung Adam, and, giving way to his temper in a volley of oathß against old Poll, he turned back, repassed her, and went towards home, while she stood enjoying his discomfiture, laughing heartily at it as aha called out 11 hears 'cc. Swear away! I don't mind yer cusses, not I. Better hear they than be deafe V (TO BE CONTINUED.]