Chapter 28678450

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Chapter NumberXXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1901-05-28
Page Number5
Word Count4237
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleCamperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954)
Trove TitlePriceless Violet
article text



BY EFFIE ADELAIDE ROWLANDS, Author of "A King and a Coward." "A child or Charily," "Love, the Con queror, etc., etc .

T.. attempt to deVcxibe tbt- condition of Ij>icetfter*s mind- in these d:ii? is on impossible task. lii.iv he got through the routine of. his vnrfc was someUiing that In after years h-= v, as a-.vsr able to understand. In fact^ when this time/ came, strung man as he vi.i.*. Jerurac would shudder at the black iris r y that hjd clouded his brain and l:-nrt ir. those first, aays when h? had 1.-. ?' f-m-d to realise thai Violet was ururti- anJ unworthy. *vi!i..'tim?s his troubie was .made i-[!;irf<or by the ?udaea susrststion that he li^! tehivcl cruelly to th* girl. in stit-Ji moments he would go over £>::<:•• more In life Imagination the incl t:-.-:its of that day upon which he lost his In •• ant! all his dreams of happiness. ' H,- couM s.'e himself so clearly pacing u;. and down the pavement c-i£side the Lou.-.- in which he knew * pc>ugU-? i.-f-ici-stpr had rooms. ~ ' H- ennid r e ,-l the bririiant mock?Tj- of th- =uwhine dazzling his eyes, and feel Hi- warmth of about I:;-.-. .\nd then hp could see hw*coming <-•% ifls him. with her face deathly pale. ??-?! i strans-, terrified look ? her lovely .-v.-h. and his heart would beat anew" with ifi-.i tamolt of fierce jealousr and rack i:i- .L.ubt. H-. r-nt-raix-Tfi that s>? ha-J cal!ra-nis' • .-??• i:; a s,>rt oi bewildered way. but he i:.-i n=: Ivw.,, a-coived. He kn<nv Uf^n. -? i in- kn-iv now. thi: !V -ightyjf him I;.M ilriv.n the color frc>m ferXlccaad £-• ::.-ht th:i: !.>jk of terror into her sstfi. WZiai^s hi- had usc-3 to her" he c l:;.1 I'atnsWr. He only knew that i-h- fi.i<! n.-i-jilod from him "with a lon try, and that when he had uttered his c-.. .-u.--;i:,ons she had nude no ppotest. 1 :iit \Th.n h^ had paused for breath, then i-":.-.- had !=T>ok-.T;. ? - •• ' Yhu .ue v?y, very wrong," she had :-•?".? "mt.p day. perhaps, you wiirknW 1. .-. ? but I—l have nothing t • -ay mw. psivpt good-bye." M-r vo.'cc had bet-n steady up to the l-.-: ot.-J. then it btx*tr. ar.d as she t,:in-l away he saw thnt her eves were ti: 'cf t^rs- And that was how he ala-ays remem l?-r.-d her—nut the snrcct, happy-faced v ;-let. so fr?-:h. so young, and 30 lovely. (. ii'Sum he had lost his heart from U-.e v..ry Iteginaiog. but Violet, the white i...,-: -A-oman with tears in her c-yes. And this vision tormented him..Against li.--n-.elf. against the.evidence of his own •?•-. it seemed d> pleid in her favor; >v; what was there to U? saiil on her V- l::tJ she not goae ileliberately to stele (;.:s man whom the kiu-w was his t-nemy? r-i-.l shv m? deceived him by' kC-eping f;v:n liiin the knowlejgu that she and :L"u?;:i.- Irfrfccst'jr hid : bven dom tf.-r.'l*" Wx3 thi-re any iK>ssible excuse ti i,.- pyi forward on behalf uf a girl -.!:.. ha.l acted as= she hid "arteS—who ) .a ffu.if- uni'rut-.vted on .-rich an erraud — niii r-hi-. th.- affixiaced wife of an-jthar 'I will forset h-r." Jcrume said to Sun^-^lf a huntln-.i t:t--.^f a day. uxxd the rci.rc hv said U tin- ni-iiv he- thought .-.-.•out hvr. f.),j about h£r. yeamtsJ I r her. The news of h.-r father's. t>xtraonllaary ti.-r. -if f.;rtune n;< to him only in -. lasii-- way: i,c: there w;is nothing v ?.??:? about hi.-? fiviiiiE lor Fci H^ sirask m-m her. ?- Th- li;t: t . slinjour that had fallen ui)un *. -:i :fa*- lisl. time lhf-y hsd hr-*n together !???-! swtfdy been disp?-11.-d. ? He. knew by cluw instinct that Fe.. was no friend to Viflet. and thou?li -he wxs done with Violet him.^t-lf. he- redentcd the suggestion o' Fi-o's eamitj". :?u he avoided all chance c? c*>min^ in • ;ntact with her. and made but cold re- to h*r overtures of friendship. K^ was working only t.> get thr:.tigh t:.--- bnsfcws that fell to Ms lot. ami so to v?c:ipt' for a time from London and its c-.-mories. tie turned to the though!. i,f joining U_- mother in h-:r country houwj w'ui: sn rJs?rn?s that hf had not frit sino.- h. v;,:-- a boy. There would be no prolnnc f r >m hi* mother Into the mystery of hi.-* fcr-iki-n -ngniraent. H.-.t In London, though he avoided all carious q-j?-tion?. he cou!d not shut ou; *!:•• lir-k in th? eyes of those lii_- was fin-ed :n c-:-me ir. contact with; and Jie l:r.'-iv that rumor must have bern '"?-ry t'-'y about him. m?tv especially when l-'.'"iy Tj[ancJit> her" G^-:"l'lai!ghicr had gjni- out of town. H- avoided, a^? F.x) had quickly seen. <?• ry sort of esgageait-Dt. His lift- was 1...-J i:: th..- routine of his daily work • '... I in tht- t^illtude of his cliAmbers. A ;?-w uf hi_J tjld frieuils attempted to ?l\iiv him out. Ijily SenshurEt was one •?? t::?=?-. She was much t>i delicately r...:.i~< to question the young man. but ?-:-•? iil>-M him so much. :inil die was so r- "ry that his engagerm at nv broken. t_,i-. shr frit drawn to go and se* him. . Jrrem-. howt-vt-r. though he was always c:-jtt-ruj to her. refusvi to accept any In v::.uiutu. Tht seoscn was drawing to a clo=e. and out- of its llnal entertainments was to be r wunderful evi-nlng fete which -Jjady Sfoshorst was to gtve in the sarSejis--ol si. L-eautirul huuie ju?i a little way out of tcivn. , . • ? ~-. ; • i T.> this ft-te Fk. had rt-solved that Jc-ro3si- Leicester sh-3uld come. Simply because sh* knew'that Lady Fc-nshurst was one of the- younp; man's nt-iunchest frienda. Feo had assiduously her slicht awjuaintance with tli.? countess, who had l?.?a to a slight crttnt frittered by Jlifs Huatley's :vt tlT-tiOS!!. Hhe admlr&l Feo, cl course, bntjhcr r;—irt had otvtr gone out to this sir! .-js it had gone out to Violet. .' , Kevertheiess. being a gcod-natureT! waian, sbe permitted herse-tf to drirt. ir.U> a kind of intimacy with Feo, and it was not long before Feo determined to nsake the best use of this intimacy. — She played her part very carefully, and Bu?t tefore the fete she took Lady Sens- hurst into her confidence. "I am s,'i happy about my little Khter V," she said. "I want to do some it I can to give. her baek her hap lur-ess. I know the engagement was liroken off for fow sillr reason, ami I fm sure they must both be dytag to make up the quarrel. But Vi is so proud, mid Air Leicester, is so obstinate. I hare v.r-.ttt-n to him. several .times.'*. Keo said. rrs.?t frankly, "to aS'Wtn to ccme nn4 r;ptak to me. but he will do nothing .of tlic- sort" • She gave a. little sigh. - . . ? "I wish I could see hira. It seems so Kad that they should lose their happiness ?s?fctn one little word wouid set it right; ?-id I bc-lieve I know how to speak'ihat word. Do you think you.could heipime. 'liar Lady Senshurst? Tou are Ettipow trfol, and then you know Jerome; so •sve.ll." ??? .. :, .?:??:; Latly Senshurst swalloweil the bait. •Xeave it to me. my dear," she. said, ?, and she felt that she : really liked Feo in this moment. "Like you. 1 have been convinced that Jerome was tireaking hi* heart over a matter thEt could very easUy be<set right. I assure you. when I heard that he and his sweet little fiancee were separated -1 could believe my ears; for I have heard *ccli stories from Jerome of his tappl ?nepj an'i.tlie perfection of the girl be Icved that it did not seem possible to me the'- could have quarrelled." ? '?'}.?-.-.'''?•? Ehe patted Feo's hand. 498 4

"I will arrah?e that you shall:'have your cht?t with Jerome at my fete. I am very glad, you .have; spoken to me, my deas.:i hope that your kind-hearted little Plan will: work out welj." -v ? i .-? She left Feo at this1-and drove away, fllled with the "intention ot.doing oil in her power to give-back to "these two young people the happiness they' had lost for,;the moment. ? .; ' : And Feo smiled 'to herself, well con tent, although it stung her to have been obliged to listen to those words about Jerome's love for Violet. She was so sure now of fretttng-her way that she put her annoyance on one side. She had be?n drinking tea with lady Senshurst. and as she drove back to the hotel she cast her eyes about nervously, fearing each moment to see Reuben Foster's haggard face: and a sigh of re-, lief escaped her Una unconsciously as she reached the hotel without a sight of him. i , . . .. ' . '? -:. , It was oof like Feo to worry over a matter of su inslsnitlcant a nature; but ever since that moment when she had s?>n Iteutiua so unexpectedly, his face hud haunted her memory. Without say ing anything tt> her father of haying so<>n the man. she managed to extract from him the information that Keuben h:id disappeared from Covertdale. . "Gone from bpd to worse, poor chap," Martin Huntley had said, in answer to her cautious questionings; "and now he has left the village altogether. His poor mother ij? broken-hearted: mid no won der, for Reuben had such a promising future. He was as nn? a fellow as one cuulil wish to see till the- drink got hold <;1 him. I never could understand whi ne took to drink." Dr. • Huntley . aaJd.. thoughtfully. "Some wpman in the case. 1 suppose." Feo shrugged her shoulders. "All common, people drink, don't they?" s he said, roushly. .Martin Uuntl-y'colored, as he often di<), at her vulgarity. "Tli^ Fosters are n >t common people, my darlins:." he answered her. hurriedly. Then, as If ti> himself, he added. "I wish I couia tod out wherii Keuben is: I should like to help him." This suggestion gave Feo a sort of con snlation. "Father shall give him some "money, and then everything will be all risrht. It Liucht not to be very difficult to flni h'nj. and h<? looked as if he were starving." Arid then a dark flush mantled h€r f.-u-t. Sht- was .ashamed of herself ?when she rcmernbi-rod how she had per mitted thi.< ha!r-?tarv?l cn-aturo In the ? street to bccooit her friend, to dare to ?sp?ik >>f his lov.-. "1 must have been "mail," she saM, bvUvcv-n her teeth. Thought of tb?- Cavertdile days was always bit:tr ana unsatisfactory. She ;inailt a h.vtu to forget it now. : She -.vent to the opera that niffhl. and '-veryijo'jly sra;;nc?l her and discussed ht-r. ai?l she wjs In her gljr>'- It was ' %vh..-n she reached her room again. anil sht*>£tiXMi a moment looking at her self with immense satisfaction before !>-r maid removed her white satin cmvn arid her jewvls. She came back to earth, however, very : <iuiokly. when sht- was jrfwit a dirty, cnimplcd note by the maid. "I had to go down and >pe.ik to the mar.. miM. H-_- wouldn't K- st-nt. away, 'and maik- qcitv aTtis.-. 1 suppt'irc he wants to btip." Fro anstverfi-J in iu-r rousln'St way, "Of coarsf. he U? a Ix-ssar. IVhac do the hotel people. mean by allowing this sort of thiwr? Give me a nritfh. I slia!l burn this t?jver; it'may have an infection in it. 1 wish I litid not t--*uchert it." ? ' ? ? She set lisht savagely to ireuK-n's letter—it had taken hi< last !ulfi~-nny to procutv tii>- leaner and envelope—and watcheVT :hv flames ilt-votir it eagerly. "To-morrow I shall .--peak to father. I fhill jus: let hirn know that Ketib^n is worrying me, and that I don't mean to be In>therei3 with hlni. We hcrve money. and can surely take care of ourselves against suui a creature as this." Then: was real contempt in hvr heart as she turned back and put herself into her maid's haruls. Kut if Feo could hire only lopkcU into the • future, she .witulJ have siren all her jewels to have iirevcnud herself from burning that note. Had she rfatl it, she would have, b^en wa-rned. how to act: as it was. she was going headlong to meet her fate.

I CHAPTER XXIII. Stronsly .itTdinss. bis ici-linatlcn. Jer <3me at'oweil hitnsolf to lie per^uarted by Ijdy Senshurst to attend h?r fete. She lr-i<3 alsr-y* b?ii such :i kind friend lo him th.ii when sli?_- male such :i."polnt of his bving present Iter fell it would be churlish ou his port to. have held to h!s refusal; hut ho drove down to the bt-aut! ful old house, when the i.-veniag very po"r spirits for such an entcrtai:i nicnt. It was is weU-taiown -<p-M. historic in a sen?!.-, with nui?iiitieent ih;it stretched down to the river. The whole place lucked like a fairyland when he arrived. The trees were gt-mnw-d with colored light*. ' and strings of picturesque lan ttms floated to and fro In the soft air. er?. Jerome founJ himself smllins faintly as h? realist how much Lady Blanche would haw enjoyed this scene. The old lady's zest fur such things was most un uiiril. He wondt-ie-I where she was—what Vlf-k-t was doinjT on this particular night. It hurt him to have to tell himself that he had lost the friendship of that qualnt tongued, chnrmins old lady ti> whom Violrt be^nngt^l. All his life was changed. He had lowt all lnten-st In his vrcrk: h>- had no atn bttlr.n for the future. Indeed, if it had r.ot been fur his mother, he would have turned his back on England nillingly. Hi- was not even sure now that he would not go abroad for a time. "Though." be said, passionately, to 1 himself. "If I go to the other side of the world I shall never teach mys-lf. forsw fli!ne3s!" ' H- arrived at the vHU when the car riagt* xft-re pouring in. Lady Senshurst (erected him aff?ction ately. "You nre a. very gr.¥>l b^y." shxt said, "ard lam pleased with you. Now, you ar? n-it to gx> away to-nisht. Jerome, un til I have had a little chat with you." , The young man smiled faintly acd pas-sod on. ' ? -..-?• ;•- Spicious a; jteir t th? grounds. It.secni c?rape from the i-rovvd of people. "He was greet*Kj warmly as he passed thrragh th.- throng. His object was to make his way to some of thw more secluded parts of the grounds. Ttm gaiety that surrounded him jarred on his sad heart. Once his heart became a blaze of passion—fce had passed close besWe a man. and had re cognised Douslcs T-eicc-ster. It semed to Jerome as if hi? kinsman's eyes had a gleam of triumph In them. The thought of what talght lie In the future bet?-?a S!r Douglaa and Violet almost EiirTocateJ Km. He peshod his way on now hurriedly. Fro sa.\v him go. and smiled to heraslf. It would be easy to follow him, was hi?r thought. She frowned a little as she saw that some one else was hastening af ter him. and that some one tva3 her lather. • TS'ithout putties l?fore herself any definite reason why she should object to see her father and Jerome together Feo felt irritated at the .sight- Two or thrws times of late Martin Eumlcy had indeed annoyed her very sharply. He had Insisted opon'introduc ing the subject of Violet, and he h3d Feemed to trouble about his youngest; giri in a way that roused all Fco's worst feelinKS. -;? '• ''? -. _': ' ?'?'~ " A3 we kno^ It always roused Feo's jealousy to hear msntlcn of her half sister, and her brows met in a decided frown now", as she saw.her father and Jerome pass clow!/ away Into the sha dows together. •"' . ' ?;, .?':.'?.'. *. ?" ?'?'{'. • She was" 'siirrnHndea cersself ."br'tJie usual crowd of admirers and new friend'.' "' For a. ? Ireak Feo. had discarded her' fancy for ti-hife garments this nighty arid

'Instead was dressed from'heira to toot in" some soft, gauzy; black material.-" 'SoriJe strings of: priceless' pearls' -were"' :stning foun3 her neck, and here and - there, a splendid Jewel flashed from the" fold's of. hergown.'; "-. '•?'? !"- '' ? .". ? y •?' : '. -? V-

She had never: looked mote superbly handsome, never keen more admired than Irf this moment.' Bj" this time most* people had become familiar with the' fact that Miss Hunt ter. with all her wealth of purse and personal attractions, was lacking In the first Instincts of refined womanhood.Her butt's were, howe\-er, so well gilded, that though she laughed so loudly and could at times be so vulgar, Society was not prepared to quarrel -with her on • this point. . '?? •? . ~.?..?.? Jerome had not Been her, and had not troubled to look for her. He iras far too deeply lost in thought, and it was therefore with a great start that he felt some one's hand on his shoulder, trad turning, had faced. Violet's father. A sud den rush of shame overwhelmed Jerome in that moment "I thought you did'not see me." Dr. Huntley said, "and I did not like you to ;;a?s me without a word." ? ; "I did not see you," Jerome mur mured. "I certainly should not have passed you if I had'done so." Martin Huntlcy's heart had given a leap as he had seen "the young man so near. He knew nothing: of the reason that had 'separated1 Violet and Jerome, and though he had not 'seen tils youngest daughter for several weeks', the know ledge 1 hat Violet must be very unhappy, hatf come to him very definitely of late. The old infatuation for Feo reigned as Ptron?ly as ever, yet there'were many momenis when Maritn Huntley found his heart yearning for Violet: and as" Jtrome had gone past him and he had caught a glimpse of theiyoung man's fact-, and seen the change written in Jt, a sudden impulse had' come to him to ."peak with this man who only a short time ago had been betrothed to Violet. It misht "be that he could do no good, and yet it might l>e that one word would put thimrs back as they had been. "You were going down towards the river." Dr. Huntley said: "may I come with you? I have lived such a tjuiet rountry life all these years that I always fwl a little lost In a big crowd like this; but I cannot let my beautiful xirl come by herself, you see." Jerome agreed willingly that they should stroll on together. Th.- first feellnc of humiliation at sight of Violet's father had passed, and he now realised that it save him intense pleasure to speak to this senile, pleasant mannerod man. "Arti 1 unly came." he answered Dr. Huntk y. "because Lady Senshurst ."(-•nicil to be to hurt when I told her I should not be here." "She is a great friend of yours." Dr. Huntley said, wllh a smile. "I took her In to dinnsr last nisht. and we spoke of you for a long time." Theri.- was a silence between the two men. They walked on for a few moments in that silence. Th'f hum of the voices they were leav ing bthlml srew fainter in their ears- Thcy were not alone ic this part. Odds and ends of people were moving In ana out of the shadows, yet tht-y were .se cluded enough for confidences. . "t hn%? .you, will furtive me." Martin Huntloy said. J?reak!n~g the" silence at last, "ir I fay a few words to you. "Say what you win." the young man answered, hurriedly. "Blame me~: —" He panned. Tor Dr. Huntley had broken in nuickly. "Nay: Why should 1 blame you when I am in Ignorance of what has happened? I only wanted to say how sorry I am that niy girl Is not to lie your wife." There was a seat close at hand. Jerome sank Into it. and covered his face with his hands. Dr Huntlty's heart beat quickly. lie Inid his hand on the young man's Fhnuldcr. • ? . . "I'ou care for her still?" he asked. Jerome flung aside his hands and look ed up. "That is what hurts."' he " said. hoarsely. "I don't want to care ; but I love her more and more." Vtolrt's father felt a thrill of pain, and Joy mingled. Me sat down on the seat also. "Why should you not wish to care for Violet?" he asked. "I am her father. ami I can tell better than anybody else iwrhaps In the wide world how hcauti-^ ful her nature Is. TVhen Fh* spoke to me of her broken engagement that day Mie looked a-s If she had passed through suflrrin.^ that would never be: forgotten. 1 felt it was not the moment in which to <iu>-stion her. Will you let me ques tion you instead?" "I will tell you all," Jerome said. ?aserly. He could not have explained why it was. but all at onre he felt as if the t>liu:k cloud of his despair wus beginning to lift a little. Ir. a low. swift voice. Jerome put be fore Martin Huntley the brief story of all that had passed, starting from that mo ment at the garden party, when he had su-n her driving away from the station, and had caught sisht oC Dounlas Leices ter immediately afterwards. He passed on from that until nil was told. -He did not spare himself: indeed, as the story had f.illin from his own lips, a sense of shame at his o\Vn conduct had grown un consciously In his mind, and for the.jlrst time a horrible suspicion crossed' his hrain that ho mlprlrt have made an awful mistake. ' . ? The long silence with which Dr Hunt ley irreived his words encouraged thia feeling. "You think I was wrong." Jerome said. "You think—-" Violet's father save a deep sigh. "The one who has been wronc," he said. In a tone of deepest sorrow, "is myself. ... How selfish, how cruel I have bees: and how plain everything is to me now! Thank God, it is no:" too late: But I mystify you, Jerome. Tou have given me your story, now I will glvt: you mine."- —. ??? As h>- sat listening, that-bitter. burn- Ins shame spread itself over Jerome's heart once again. - The anguish of feeling how wrong he had.been, dulled, indeed, the first natural element of Joy: and this was successful by a sense of keenest anger against his kinsman. He felt, without going any further Into the matter, that the whole business had been planned by Douglas Leicester, and it mortified his pride when he had to confess with, what success the scheme had been worked. He'sat so quiet, so silent, that Martin Huntley wondered ir he was only half convinced.' ?; ?' : "Do you not see things differenUj now?" he asked. Jerome sprang to his feet and stretched out ljoth his hands. -? "You .have given me iiew lire," he answered. "I don't deserve to have this happiness, for I have- been worse than n brute. I—who knew her. I who loved her—let myself be deceived so easily!" "AU thrit you did was-very natural," Martin "Huntlei- said ; " or, at least." It would ha\-e been natural If It had been any other girl than my Violet OaMf only I had seen you then! . . . ily poo* mile VI! . . i To think that out of your love and tender thought for me such misery should have come to you." '• Jerome's hands were still clinging to the ojder man's. ..??:.. .;..:?? ? : ~??,- ~,f . -' .. ""Will you trust her:to roe apain?". Jie asked. "Do you thlak lam (It to go to her? Do you think she will listen to Dg!"..,, . .".?'?"'•?'? ' ' ''???'' ".' •? • /;• ••:' -- 'Martin Huntley smiled. '„?..;', r.: "..", "?'???' "I have only one answer. Go. to'her lyourselt. Sbe is with her grandmother down In the country at a little farmhouse, called ReUcot, which Is the property of ': Lady Blanche. Iylnsr Just. : outside the Jlttle seaside village of IVavemouth " , Jerome wrung Martin HunUey'a han3s." He was thrillng with excitement: '"; "I cannot-thank you." he said, againl and. again. >teliwi" I realise 'fl'liat these few momentB!have,d?ne^ :i .l'don'ti feel as If-1. were in, my right mind.* I must go back to my rooms. .? It; you see Xady'Senshnm you caa tell her -why I; have gone." Teli her the'troth—Uwt -I-'.

lave been ' shown-my miserable -folly. Tell her-that to-morrow, by the earliest train, I shall leave London for Wave* mouth." He had taken away his hands and gone before Martin Huntley could fully realise his departure. (To be continued.) ?