Chapter 20335609

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Chapter NumberXXXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1880-09-25
Page Number393
Word Count4231
Last Corrected2018-03-08
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleAdam and Eve
article text

The Storyteller.

Adam and Eve.


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

WHILE the small party of soldiers were em ployed in attracting the attention of the inhabitants to the meaningless parade of taking down the offer of reward, and replacing it by the

announcement of discovery, the larger portion of their company had already entered Uncle Zebe dee's house and seised upon Jerrem, their object being to avoid any defence on the part of the neighbors, which Adam, with a view of prevent ing further search being made in the house, had assured them was certain to take place unless they could find a means of very speedily effecting their purpose. Although little disposed to be influenced by any of his suggestions, the force of this one was greatly strengthened by the necessity of dividing themselves into two parties, one of which must take Adam on, while the other returned to Polperro to seize the prisoner. And this thoy managed with such promptitude that in less than ten minutes they had entered the house, and had dragged out Jerrem, who, half stupefied, was pinioned and marched off before he was sufficiently aroused to thoroughly com prehend or realise his situation.

The tattoo of the drums announced to the men on the quay that the capture was effected, and the party, hurrying off by the Warren, had joined their comrades, already half up Talland Lane, before those who had been spectators of one calamity could exchange then- evil tidings with those who had witnessed the other.

Yes, Jerrem was gone I led off to disgrace, maybe to death, through the treachery of his shipmate, his comrade, his—all but in blood— brother. What would come next ? Ghastly fears crowded in upon all present Vengeance grew rank, hatred spread out on all sides; the earth thirsted for his blood, and the air was thick with curses showered on his name. Even Joan turned relentless, and flung pity from her heart; while old Zebedee, stung to tbe quick by the odium brought upon his name, disowned Adam for his eon, and took God to witness that so long as life remained every farthing he possessed should be spent in saving Jerrem.

At early dawn of the next day, Joan, at the instance of her uncle and in company with several trusty friends, set off first for Liskeard, and then, if need be, to get on to Plymouth or to Bodmin—at one of which places Jerrem, they

• The right of republUhing " Adam and Eve" in Qaeensland has been purchased by the proprietors ot the Qutmlcmder.

said, wai certain to be tried. Bodmin gaol and Plymouth clink had both been ffmiltftr in days gone by to many who still lived to tell their tales and give their experience, and schemes were already abroad to put the larger boata on wheels, so that, if Bodmin were selected, conveyances might be supplied by which the mass of the people could be transported there, and see fair play dealt out to their comrade. But days went by without Joan coming back, and Eve, who was left behind to look after Uncle Zebedee, had to ait and listen to the terrible out pourings of wrath against his son, to which the old man gave vent in the pretence of his neigh bora, and the more heartrending desolation of spirit which bowed him to the ground when no strange eye was near to witness his weight of woe. So entirely had the chain of circumstances overpowered Eve that this climax of. disaster seemed to have sealed up the flow of her emotions, and listening to and looking at the tears, ex clamations, sighs, and groans, with which the ex citable sympathetic Cornish folk expressed their anguish and their indignation, she asked herself, 'Had all feeling left her? Did she no longer care what happened to herself or anybody around her? Was it nothing to her that her life was, as it were, at an end; her future blighted; her hopes dead; her love disgraced, reviled, disowned, and denounced by his own father and bis own family?' Any way, she could find no tears to bewail her sad fate in, no aighs to relieve her burdened heart, no groans to ease, her desolate spirit: all was chaos, over which two dark shadows moved—the spectral forms of herself and Adam. ' Uncle, what do you thinks become of him; where can he have gone tot' Eve asked one night as, no longer afraid of his neighbors seeing him, the old man tore off the armor under which in their presence he concealed every softer feeling. ' To bottom o' sae—clane gone out o* the warld, I hope, where I wishes I was too !' groaned Zebe dee. ' Awh !to think e'er a boy o' mine should ha' sarved us so I that he, us counted 'bove all other flesh and blood, should ha* bin the whiles carryin' 'bout the heart of a fausse Judas in his body!' ' Perhaps he was mad,' said Eve, dropping her voice in terror of the suggestion. 1 Lord send I could see un ravin*!' cried Zebedee. 'Why,' he added, his voioe breaking under the pictured joy,' I'd thraw mysel' 'pon un and hug un to me close, though he tend out my heart 'pon the spot fort ? Naw, lass, naw,' he sighed,' he ain't mad: 'tis the devil has seised hold on un somehow I that's what's brought un to this.' 'Didn't he say nothing that seems now as if he'd told you that night what he meant to do ?' urged Eve. 7Naw, nothing*.' ' And you didn't say anything to him, did youf 1 In, there 'tis; that's what sticks by me, and shaws me plain the vengeance that was in 'un, 'cos I tawld un that us was tryin' to dale double, so as to manage for Jerrem to stale away.' 'You didn't tell him about the soldier T faltered Eve. 'No, you couldn't, because you didn't know anything about it yourself, did you ?' ' Its, I did. Jerrem tawld—he always tawld me everything Jerrem did—and lup and tells Adam.' An ioy grip seised Eve by the heart. ' Oh, unole I' she groaned,' could it be because of that—that he thought—about me ?' ' What damon's in the maid now f cried the old man, starting to his feet, and standing before her with clenched hands and quivering limbs. •Do 'cc give heed to what 'tis you'm sayin' of. Doan't cc knaw that if I thought that 'twas you was the cause of it I'd scat our yer brains on the planohin where you'm standing to P Eve shrank back in terror, while Zebedee, after • minute's pause, his outburst ended, sank down into his former despondent attitude, muttering : ' There, there ! let be! let be! Awh, I wander what 'tis a-keepin* o' Joan so I—things is all bottom side upmost when her's out o' hailin' distance.' But two days more passed before Joan returned, bringing with her the startling intelligence that, instead of Bodmin or Plymouth, Jerrem was to be tried in London, to which place report said Adam had already been removed. But, though every one thirsted for news, beyond the bare facts, Joan had little with which to satisfy them ; she had failed in her endeavor to see Jerrem, of whose present whereabout* even no one oould speak with certainty; she could learn no positive tidings of Adam, neither had she been able to ascertain any trustworthy account of the betrayal, only that it was in everyone's mouth that Adam had done it, and had meant to do it from the first moment he found that the shot fired against his will would bring them all to trouble. Mr. Macey, the lawyer at Fowey, who had always managed Uncle Zebedee's money business, had said 'twas a terrible job of it, and though he couldn't take it himself, he'd see 'twas carried through by somebody sharper at such work than he was; and he'd sent Uncle Zebedee word that not a stone should be left unturned, nor a guinea unspent, while hope was left that Jerrem's life might be saved ; but he also sent a solemn warn ing to him, and to all the Lottery's crew, to keep quiet and out of sight, until 'twas seen whether they meant to carry their vengeance further, or whether Jerrem's life alone would serve to con tent them. 'Wa-al,' sighed Zebedee, who had listened eagerly to the whole of Joan's details, and patiently to old Mr. Macey's friendly warning, ' they'm fan* words and kindly spoken; and so far as they goes I'll bide by 'em. But hark 'cc here, Joan, if the want comes to the want, mind this, though they strings me up with un and we swings together, I'll stand yet wanco more face to face with Jerrem afore he dies.' ' And that you shall,' said Joan; ' and so will I, too, for while in life us cherished un, so while life lasts us '11 never desert un.' * And as for t'other wan,' said the stricken old man, bis wrinkled face growing pinched and sharp,' may the wound that he's planted in my heart rankle and fester in his own! May he live to know the want o' they he's cast hisself off from, and die a stranger in a furrin land, and be buried where none who knawed un here can point to the grave that holds un 1' ' Uncle!' cried Eve, thrusting her fingers into her ears to keep out these terrible words from falling on them,' uncle P but Joan's upraised hand warned her to keep silent, and turning

she uw what a sadden change had fallen upon Zebedee; hia features had relaxed, hia atretched eyelid* were half-cloaed over hia glased eyes, hia head drooped low and was aonk down upon hia breast. For some minutes the two girla stood anxiously gazing at him, until Joan, terrified by the ashen pallor which had blanched his usually ruddy cheeks, ventured to speak, and at length succeeded in so far rousing him that he allowed himself to be persuaded to go to bed, and the two girls were left alone. ' You're wanting to run up to your mother's, Joan, ain't you ?' said Eve. ' I'll sit and watch Uncle Zebedee while you're gone.' 'No, never mind for to-night,' said Joan, wearily. •Then let me go,' said Eve ; "twon't take me any time, and I want a breath of fresh air ;' and she rose from her seat as she spoke; but Joan intercepted. 'No; now sit down,' she said hurriedly; ' there ain't no call for neither to go; 'aides which 'tia too late. I don't want 'cc to go wan derin' 'bout in the dark—you'm too much given to goin' out by yourself—it won't do now; 'taint safe, you knaw.' Eve stared. ' Not sale, Joan! why not f ' Well, now, I'd rather you didn't. Sit down now, like a dear.' Eve sat down, but—her curiosity awakened by Joan's agitated nervous manner—ahe said : 'Joan, what is it? I'm sure you've heard something. Tell me, what makes you say we oughtn' to go out by ourselves, eh f Joan hesitated. 'I wonder,' she said, 'whether I'd best tell 'cc or not? It may be nothin' but a passel o' mased talk, only I wouldn't have a finger o' harm laid 'ponce for warlda.' ' Why, what is it, Joan ?' ' Well, my dear, you see, I've seed Jonathan. Through Adam's tellin', he was tooked off too, and lodged in Plymouth dink ; but findin' they couldn't make un spake a word o' sense, when they carr'd Adam away they left Jonathan bide, and there he is, and there I hopes he'll stay.' 'You do? What for I' asked Eve, amaaed. ' Why, 'cos o' you, Eve. las,' she said, answering her look of surprise, ' he's for all the world like anybody ravin' mad agen you.' ' Against me ? But why against me ?' * He will have that you'm the cause of it all,' ?aid Joan: ' and it seems now he let out to Adam 'bout the letter that Jerrem writ and ha broffed, and then he drove un further mad by a passel o' lies he's somehow got tagged on t' it, that you'd ha' told the sergeant, and through that he dropped a bit o' paper, tellin' of it all, into the rendevoos winder—for seemin' that was how they got scent o' the Lottery's landin.' ' And Adam believed him ?' gasped Eve. 'He must have,' sobbed Joan; 'and then I reckon somethin' he seed or heered that night finished un.' ' Oh, Joan 1' cried Eve, flinging herself down and burying her head on Joan's lap. 'las; don't it seem as if us ail must have some hand in tightenin' the rope that's round that poor sawl's neck ?' ' And Adam could believe that I would betray them—would betray him?' and clasping her hands Eve looked up as if making an appeal to some unseen presence. ' Him,' she said,' for whom I would have given my life—for whom,' she cried, breaking down,' oh t Joan, I would give my life now I' ' las, I know you would,' said Joan, hugging her dose to her. ' Why, haven't I called un everything bad before 'cc, o' purpose 'cos I should see'ee Haie up agen me for doin'it, and haven't I blessed 'cc in my heart for atickin to un through thick and thin ? Awh, Eve, my dear, don't 'cc judge me hard for keeping all to Jerrem'i side. "Taint only love for Jerrem makes me do it, but that Adam shan't never be fouled by having the stain o' blood restin' 'pon un. If 'twas only for that I'd spend my last breath to save Jerrem from hangin. 'They think they'll try to hang him?' said Eve, in a faltering voice. ' Iss, for certain they'll try, and. though I didn't say so to uncle, all Mr. Maoey fears is that wan life won't content 'em neither.' 'Could Adam have known that f whispered Eve. ' He koawed 'twas death to whoever was took, and a free pardon to whoever told on 'em, or else why didn't he take and knock him on the head hisself? Jonathan says,' she added, after a minute's pause, ' that when he'd told un 'bout you he sprung on un like a tiger, and shook un like a rat; and after, when it corned to 'bout the letter, he roared out like a bull belvin', and then fell flat down 'pon his face like one struck for death.' * Oh, why—why did Jerrem send that letter I' moaned Eve, wringing her hands in desperation. 'Iss, why indeed?' said Joan; 'though that could have had nothin' to do with the findin's out that I can see; for, if 'twas the last word I spoked, I could take an oath to never havin' quitted a word 'bout it to a single livin' sawl; and as to you meetin' the sergeant, why, yon never stirred from this, did 'cc ? Let's see, what did us do that day ?' she added, trying to recall the past events, while Eve, sensible of having concealed her meeting with Reuben May, averted her face, so that Joan might not perceive its terrible pallor. Over and over again had Eve endeavored to ?crew up her courage to tell Joan of this meeting, since which one misfortune alter another had crowded so thickly upon them as to make each endeavor seem inopportune. For days after the interview she had every now and again been seised with terror lest Reuben should make his appearance; and great was her relief when, as time went on, she began to be released from this anxiety. But no suspicion that he could in any way have been connected with the betrayal had ever entered her mind until now, when, as Joan spoke of her being the supposed betrayer, a sudden dart of terror seemed to strike her. Was it possible ? Could she have said anything that Reuben had laid hold of against them ? For an instant Eve wrestled with the doubt, and tried to crush it; but so vividly did it rise up before her that at any cost she felt it moat be set at rest, and, seizing Joan's hand, she blurted out: 1 Joan, there's one thing I've never told you of —thai the day we expected them all back, after

Jerrem's letter had come, I went out for a bit by Tallaod way, and there, just down before you come to the Warren stile, I met ' 4 Not he 1 No doan't 'eetell me you seed the sergeant,' cried Jean, forcing her hands up to Eve's mouth, as if to keep back the worda. 4 The sergeant, no I' said Eve indignantly,' but the young man I told you of from London— Reuben May!' 'Reuben May, Ere! Why how ever did he come down 'long this ways ? What broffed un here, eh V 4He was coming to see me,' said Eve. 'He had come in Capen Trigg's vessel, because of something he'd heard about us, and the minute he saw me he began about uncle and Adam, calling them both thieves and robbers, and I can't tell what' 'But that wouldn't make'ee tell un nothin' 'bout their landin' ?' said Joan. ' No. I feel sure I never mentioned that. I told him they were expected home, because I feared he'd want to come that night and see you all; but then we fell to quarrelling again, and parted in such anger that I hoped never to Bee his face again.' ' But what ever made 'cc keep it to yourself, and never spake of it 'till now ?' said Joan, turn ing her eyes upon Eve with a look of anxious scrutiny. ' I never meant to keep it from you, Joan, said Eve earnestly,' and, only that your mother and Mrs. Climo and the rest were here, I should have told you the minute I got back ; then, when they were gone, I said, I'll tell her as soon aa we come down from the cliff; but what happened there put everything else out of my head for that night, and Bince then, though I've had it on my lips to say twenty times, something has always come up to hinder me from speaking.' ' I'd a made sure you'd never cast eyes on any man outside the place,' said Joan, perplexed by this new opening out of difficulties. ' I wish now, more than ever, that it had never happened,' sighed Eve. ' Still, Joan, the more I think of it the more certain I feel that Reuben May had no hand in it unless it could be that anybody might have watched us together. That'B not impossible, although I never met a single soul, coming or going.' Joan made no comment; for a minute she seemed to struggle and debate with her thought*, then, suddenly looking up, she said : ' Eve, you'll have to go back home to wance ; it'll never do to have 'cc stayin' here now.' ' But why, Joan ? Has what I have told you made you think ill of me ? Don't you believe that I am speaking the truth when I Bay that what kept me silent were the bitter words that Reuben May spoke ? I meant to tell you of it because I had spoken of him to you before, but I could never have told Adam that one I had counted as my greatest friend had called him a thief over whose head the gallows was dangling ;' and, at the remembrance of how near those words seemed now to the truth, Eve burst into a passion of tear*. 'Now don't 'cc go for V> cry like that,' ex claimed Joan, dashing uway the drops whioh were blinding her own eyes. ' Whatever 'tis, I loves 'cc too well to think harm of 'cc for it; and whether 'twas he or Borne other man, t' mischief's done now and can't be Bet straight agen. But, Eve, us mustn't let more harm come to us if we can hinder it, and I towld 'cc that I didn't like the angry words and the manin' looks o' Jonathan, and he give two or three twists o' hisself while he was spakin' that made me turn as cold aa death, and 't seemed as if I couldn't draw my eyes away from the glarin' roll he was lookin' about un with.' 4 Oh, I'm not afraid of Jonathan,' said Eve, trying to brave down the tremor of nervous fear which was creeping through her ; ' a poor half witted creature who says one thing this minute, and forgets all about it the next.' ' Awh, my dear, don't 'cc sneer at Jonathan,' said Joan reprovingly ; 4 he's a bitter foe, I'll warn 'cc. And when,' she added, dropping her voice to a whisper,' he talks of maidens who loves to stand gazin' 'pon the Bea growin' dizzy and fallin' in, and o' folks bein' 'ticed fro' their homes, and never comin' back 'longs agen, 'tis time to steer clear of un, Eve, for there's devilry in his words, and mischief broodin' in his mind.' 4 Why Joan!' gasped Eve;' surely he wouldn't ? Tou don't think he'd—murder me ?' and, as the words came trembling out, her very lips turned white with horror. ' I wouldn't like to lave 'cc is his way,' faltered Joan. 4 But he'd be afraid—wouldn't he ?' 'Wa-al, if so be he could get free to tell his story there's no knowin' what might come of it. I had to dale double with un as it was, and manage so that neither wan bat me got in to see un ; and before he gets set free altogether, Eve, you must put miles atween you and they, who, when they'd listened to his story, would awnly be too quick to shut their eyes to what they wasn't axed to take part in.' 4Of coune, in that case,' said Eve,' 'tis best I should go back by myself again to London.' And, as the words came slowly dragging forth, the narrow street, the obscured sky, the stifliug air, weighed down upon her, and crushed h«r with a sense of gloom unknown before, when her thirst for freedom was but a want unsatisfied. Her whole being revolted against the cruel ex change ; her nature cried out in protest, but iv vain. The more they discussed the point the more convinced they both became that there was no other possible alternative, and, the money for her journey being supplied by Uncle Zebedee, under pretence of accompanying Jochabed Giles in one of her stolen visits to Plymouth, Eve set off lato one afternoon, intending to rest by the way, and get on the next day to Plymouth, whence she would take coach to London. There was to be no leave-taking, for no one must know that she was going away. So, with only a nod of good-bye to Uncle Zebedee, and a moment's desperate clinging to Joan, Eve left the house, and, in «ilent Badness, followed Jochabed down the street, past the Warren, and away along the clitf path until they came to the jutting point which, once past, shuts out all view of Polperro from beyond. Here Eve paused, and, motioning Jochabed to go on, she turned and bade her eyes gazo ruaud upon the scene, and look their last LirewelL The ion, which ail day lung had shone hot and

fierce, had run its course, and sunk to rest, leaving its trail of glory to tip the hills above, and be re flected down in crimson glow upon the sea below. The mist of heat, which all day long had hung over the land, though rolled away from there, still floated in filmy clouds before the harbor's mouth, veiling the little haven, and casting broad shadows on the rugged cliffii, up whose steep aides the white-faced homes clung, higher and lugher still, till they were lost amid the tangle of the ridge which crowns the valley's sides. Like an echo awakened by some tuneful strain which jars on the ear and smites the heart, because the voice which gave it melody is still and hushed for ever, so the sunset calm of that peaceful scene jarred on the misery of her who stood stricken and desolate. Involuntarily she shut her eyes, that through them at least her heart should be no longer pierced; and when she opened them again a mist of gathering tears obscured her view and Wotted out the prospect from her sight Then, slowly turning, Eve went her way, knowing that while this life should last the face of that fair earth would never meet her eyes again. (to be continued.) The Bachelors´Ball at Kensington House This event, which has for some time created great excitement in the fashionable world, came if at Kensington House on July 22. Among the eighty-three bachelors who were present were the Marquis of Hartington, Lords Rowton, Cal- thorpe, Lascelles, Capel, Fife, Mount-Charles, Clanricarde, Clonmell, Compton, and Mayo, the Marquis of Stafford, Lord Sandhurst, and the Duke of Portland; Mr. Rupert Carington, Mr. A. Rothschild, Mr. Leopold Rothschild, Mr. Hugh Kennard, Mr. P. Beresford-Hope, Sir A. Young, &c. The Heir Apparent and his gracious wife en- dowed themselves in what is called in court par- lance "frock dress," that is to say, that the steel pen coat of to-day is grafted, as it were, on the