|Newspaper Title||The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842)|
|Trove Title||The Murdering Banker|
THE MURDERING BANKER.
(From Blackwood's Magazine for December.)
(Continued from our last.)
"I had a great inclination to do it; but determined to ascertain the truth of the report from your own lips."
"But what would be the use of my saying any thing?" continued Mary, in a different mood, with difficulty controlling a desire to laugh outright ; "you know, Charles, you are one of my guardians, and may refuse your consent. You wouldn't agree to it? Would you?"
"I would die sooner--ah! Mary, if it rested with me"-------
"By the by, Charles, have you heard this new ballad? Such a pretty thing, though the words are contemp- tible" and striking the harp strings, she trilled one of the common place chansons of the day so sweetly, that Charles thought it would be a sin to interrupt her; and by the time the song was finished, the head of Mr. Peter Pearie was poked in at the door for a moment, and uttered the following
"I've ea'd on the chield over the way-he's coming at 'five o'clock on Thursday; so- let us hae a good denner on that day, Mary, befitting our station in the town, and my position as heed o' the hoose. Pearie, Peat, and Patie- son were aye famed for their five year auld cheviots, and we've aye dealt wi' Bell and Rennie; so we needna turn our backs on the King."
After this discourse the head was withdrawn, but we grieve to say that, from our knowledge ot Charles Patie- -son's character, we are afraid he never summoned courage to renew the con- versation, and allowed Mary to sing -song after song till it was time for him to return to tho Dene, and spend this solitary evening in envying the senior partner his happiness in living in the same house, albeit he was somewhat comforted by the way in which the young lady had received his informa tion respecting that gentleman's matri- monial designs.
A week, a month, a quarter of a year elapsed, and matters were not ostensibly much changed. Captain Slasher, in- cluded, was a frequent visitor, but, to ordinary eyes, his delicate attentions seemed exclusively devoted to Mr. Pea- rie's claret ; his reminiscences of Orien- tal beauty were too lively to permit his attaching much value to the lilies and roses of Mary Peat; and, with a per- severing gallantry worthy of a scientific old soldier, be persisted in maintaining the footing he had gained in the worthy banker's family, even after it was abun- dantly evident that a retreat would have been agreeable to all parties, and par- ticularly to the "heed o' the hoose." The "heed o' the hoose" was reduced to a very humble height in presence of the Indian soldier-the Cheeta shooting at Dhurwar-his steeple chases at Bel- gaum his leopard hunts at Billary, threw the after-dinner boastings of Mr. Peter Pearie, who in his day was consi
dered a dead shot at a moorcock, com- pletely into the shade ; and it was with feelings ot satisfaction, worthy of Mil ton's Satan, that Charles saw the fires of rage and jealousy slowly wasting away all the good nature in his partner's bosom. In fact, it could no longer be
concealed that Mr. Pearie hated Capt. Slasher, and it was also equally inca- pable of concealment that Capt. Slasher
didn't care three straws whether Mr. Pearie hated him or not. Twice or thrice a week, without any invitation, the gallant soldier stalked into the ban- ker's dining room just as dinner was announced,-told all the feats of the day-the leaps, and falls, and other incidents-sent in his plote five or six times to the joint of beef, emptied his bottle of port and three tumblers of toddy, and concluded the evening by snoring an accompaniment to Mary's nicest songs.
Now, whether it were from the per
versity that is said to be a constituent part of the feminine disposition, or from some other cause with which we
are unacquainted. Mary did not ap
pear to share in her guardian's dislike to the society ot her new acquaintance. She delighted in his tales of wild lndian adventures, and his accounts of the noble deaths of the wild monsters of the desert. On days when the hounds did not meet, he generally wiled away an hour or two listening to Mary's music,
or escorting her in her walks ; in these respects supplying the place of Charles Patieson, who had gradually withdrawn himself from his former intimacy, and
was endeavouring to wean himself from his foolish affection. One day when
matters were in this state, when the gallant Captain had escorted Mary to see the wax work models of distin- guished characters, which a provincial forerunner of Madame Tussand had brought into the town, with the addi- tional recommendation of modelling correct likenesses, in a few hours, of any one who chose to be immortalized in wax, while Slasher, we repeat, was escorting Mary to this sight, Mr. Pearie, after many ominous and mysterious nods with his sagacious head to his junior partner, commenced a lamentation in the following terms-
" Charles, hoo does it happen ye sae seldom stay to yer kail ?"
" You have other company, sir; I might perhaps be intrusive."
" Deil a bit, deil a bit. Ah, Charles, if ither folk had a wee taste o' your way
o' thinkin', it would be a' the better for my peace an' comfort. Charles, hospi tality is a wearyin' o' the flesh. I wish I had never ask it that lang neckit Indian
savage to see the inside o' my house."
" He is an agreeable man, sir, I be- lieve-full of anecdote"
" Lees, every word o't ; but, for a'
that, the smooth tongued leear is gainin' his point, Í had ither thochts for Mary; but a wilfu' man will hae his
way-and so will a wilfu' woman."
" Mary will soon be of age-she will have a right to choose"
(To be continued.)