Chapter 3043222

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Chapter NumberPART II. I. (Continued.)
Chapter TitleGHOSTS OF HEART'S DELIGHT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3043222
Full Date1892-12-17
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count3007
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Great Seal
article text

OUR NOVEL.

+

! IKOW FIEST PUBLISHED.]

¡UNDER THE GREAT SEAL, 1 A NOVEL,

BT

JOSEPH HATTON,

Author of "CLYTIE," "BY ORDER OF THB

CZAR," " JOHN NEKDHAM'S DOUBLE,"

"CRUEL LONDON," AC.

PART II.

. CHAPTER I. (Continued.)

GHOSTS OF HEART'S DELIGHT.

I But. Miss Mumford was more of a j Dutchwoman tban a Venetian in the

.;? matter of cleanliness. Her house, with its i immediate approaches, were constantly i washed and brushed up. The window j pa'aéè shone, the doorstep was as while as ?. the. blinds, the ver j atmosphere of the ». place was immaculate: Miss Mumford and !' ker neighbour, Mildred Hope; in Hartley's j Rowj were the centre, of a clean and godly j influence. Miss Mumford was only fifty : after all the years that had passed over

I Heart's Content and Heart's Delight, with

r ' wreck and ruin, with sun and storm.

Here she lived once more in the country j of her fathers, and though a spinster, was. j still a mother to David Keith, beloved by j the gracious lad, and respected by all ' . their Beiß hbours.

She had had a hard time of it when the

j- new settlement at.Hoart's Content .was I broken np. Before tho arrest of Plympton

i , and.tbe others the master had been able

) tCpiace in her hands .sufficent moneys fir' j her own and David's security against want. ! , By; his advice, she had followed him to f . London, and had taken a lodging there : not farfrora the prison where he was* con ! fined. Plympton's durance was not of long j continuance: He had influential friends

. at.Court. His story was honestly told by

one' who knew it well. The time was favourable for his cause. He was honou'r ,ably acqoitted of the charges brought , against him, and received a certain com

Sensation for tlieloss of his property, which

e .duly settled ia trust for David Keith. f:> This secured to the boy an education and ! a small income for life. With the moneys

of which Miss Mumford was already .possessed, the two were able to. live in comparative affluence in Hartloy's Row, ' at'Yarmouth.

if at this moment it seems odd to speak . of Sally as Miss, you would bo satisfied . if you could havo seen hot in prim black 1 silk with white fichu and apron, a pair of

. gold spectacles on her nose, and her grey

hair dressed in two bunches of curls about bet thoughtful pleasant face. She looked older than she was, on account of the troubles she had seen, and the responsi- bilities that Providence had placed upon her " unbekuown and unexpected."

Fortunately, as well for Plympton's companions as himself, they were sup- ported in their defence by ardent petitions for. their release. Even St. John's joined in] the prayers of the last of the mon and women of Heart's Delight and. Heart's . Content. Furthermore, the prisoners

carne before the Council by way of. pre- liminary inquiry, at the moment when the náw. Governor, Admiral Sir Richard Godwin Keats was on the point of sailing with instructions for the more enlightened government of Newfoundland that had keen inspired by recent eveuts in tbat un / happy colony, backed by something like a

rerolt of the merchants of St. John's. As evidence of this refractory spirit, , Sir ' Jdhn Duckworth bad felt called upon to

report the case of a merchant there, who had thought proper to, dispense with the . Governor's leave, and had. violently

attempted to build a house, which, in a daring letter to the Sheriff, he bad avowed his intention of letting as .a dwelling house. This attempt, moreover, was not that of an individual, but was instigated and supported by a company of raer . chants and settlers, who had raised a fund,

" the real object of which," declared the Governor, " was to oppose the govern- emnt, and establish the right of property upon a quiet possession of twenty years.

This was no further back than the early . years of the present century. In April,

1813, tho new Governor was authorised to make many changes, one or two of which may be mentioned. The publicans of St. John's, in consideration of their license to sell ardent spirits, had to act as consta- bles ; they wore now to be relieved of this λarticular duty, and taxed for their privi eges, the money thus obtained being.set * apart to create, a civic arm for the proper

pteservation of peace and order. Grants of land at an anunal quit rent, for the pur- poses of cultivation were sanctioned, but

with severe restrictions as to the renewal of leases ; the memorial of certain Admirals, a rigorous continuation of the enforced return of seamen after the close of each

fishing season as heretofore; or for the right to seize them and bring them on hoard His Majesty's ships was disre- garded; and further evidence was not wanting on all hands, for endorsement of _ the faith that had made Alan Keith

obstinate in his hopes of a free Newfound- land, with rights to dig and delve and make the land blossom as the rose.

Such was the generous mood of the government, when David Plympton and his follows^ stood for judgment, and the

magnanimity of the timo, has bnrdened the shoulders of Her Majesty's Ministers in our own day, and hampered the natural progress of tho enfranchised island. Although France liad been the disturber of lb»"» peace of Europe, and her ruler was chielly indebted to England for his throne, Great Britain, utterly disregarding the petitions of Newfoundland aud her own colonial and naval interests, and without any reason whatever, unless it was in the way of still discrediting and crippling the native settlors, voluutarily engaged to restoro to the French, tho colonies, fisheries, factories and establishments of every kind which they had possessed in . 1792, on the seas and on the continent of . America. It might be doubtful whether

after all Newfoundland had been success- ful as a training ground for the British navy, but it is the settled and expressed opinion of specialists that oxenpt for the generous, concessions of England as . rogard.? Newfoundland, Franco might to-

day be almost without a navy.

So liberal also were the privileges eon ceded to America that in a short time the incentive thus given to foreign competi

The Bole right of publication in West Aus- tralia has been pnrobased by the proprietors of tho WEST AUSTRALIAN. . ' .

Hone was soon the cause of serious em- barrassment to the colonists. Duly im- pressed with the importance of the fisher- ies, both the French and the Americans at once established a system of bounties for their encouragement, and at the same time secured for their own fishermen a monopoly of their markets by a probability duty on the import of foreign fish. This literally broke the financial backs of a vast majority of the Newfoundland merchants and fishermen. It was as if Government relenting of her tardy acts of justice turned once more to rend the unhappy colony. The price of fish fell from forty fivo shillings per quintal to twelve. Mauvjlarge mercantile firms became bank- rupt. ' Others realised thrir property and retired from the country. No less than nine hundred cases arising out of the general failure came before the civil courts. Bills to the value of a million sterling were dishonoured. The entire colony was at a standstill for work, and the modest savings of the industrious classes were swept away. The Govern- ment had to send aid to tho starving people, and did so with no tinstintiag hand. The innate pluck of the colonists, the recuperative power of the English Î'eople eventually utilised the now and

eneficieut laws of local and Imperial Go ernment ; but to this day the magnani- mity oE the home Government to a beaten foe at the expense of the colony.is an ever ¿rowing seed of trouble and danger.

! It was lucky nil the same, as I have said, for Plv tullun and the rest that their Íevolt, so-called, had to be considered

rheo ¿be Government was in a forgiving 'and generous mood. Plympton was re-

leased and to some extent compensated, elie, others were ver milted to take service in his Majesty's, fleet, iu which capacity they, disappear from those pages.

j Lesjter(JÖentz who sailed into port with the triumphant St. George was rewarded ¿or his patriotic services with ;an official position on the Governor's staff.' Coward- ice and cunning had come oui successfully ila his case; and he.-had the satisfaction Íf bestowing au official snub upon Master

>avid Plympton; whose business brought the two together,Plylupton as a suppliant, Íjester Bentz as an officer of authority in he Colonial department. The admiral of t'he St, George nad to report the, complete annihilation of the St, .Denis, which had be.én, used by Alan Keith for. piratical purposes. It was debated whether Keith ?nd his men should be proclaimed male

actors; but a super-sensible member of the Council of the Admiralty urged that they wasted time in discussing dead men. J^toreover, there had been something gal- lant io the way in which Keith had cap-

tured the brigantine from the King's. Ínemy ; and it was plain that he had been

riven to revolt and madness by the over- trained authority of Bistaolc and the »}ther fishing.-Admirals, who had used their powers for their individual advan- tages; Keith and his fellows being dead -r-victims to their temerity in fighting an English ship-there let them rest. And this in effect was the verdict of the court, which was too busy with a thousand living questions to do more at the moment than advance the promotion of the commander of the St.George and authorise the speedy distribution of whatever prize money be onged.. to his ship. Lester Bentz had aid something about the possibility of liddell treasures that might be found in ¿he locality of Keith's hiding place ; but he was vuage and hypothetical in his sug- gestion?, and the Admiral of the St. George declared " fore gad " that any man jvas welcome to whatever they might dig

out of the Godforsaken coasts and creeks about Demon's Book.

j Plympton having arranged with one of

the trustees of David and Miss Mumford for their removal to Yarmouth, where he had 'legal and other associations, went back tn Newfoundland, and busied him- self there for some time, more especially in the northern territory of Labrador. Mithin a year or two he died, and was buried by the side of his daughter Hannah. The settlers had cleared the forest there- abouts and made a cemetary of the sacred spot. The graVeyard took in the tree íiüder which the dog Sampson was buried; and upon the shadowing trunk of the tamaerack a plate had been let in bearing Sampson's name, with a brief reference to the manner of the dog's heroic death.

I And so the years passed away, and the buried treasure of Wilderness Creek

feared its triple-headed lie among the èraves of the dead and gone, and took

pon its stouy front the same tokens of Tims and Weather that marked the true mementoes. In winter these silent senti- nels oí the cave of Demon's Bock were white .with snow and frost, ghosts of the icy Wilderness. Summer found them green and grey with moss and licheu.

j In later years an occasional traveller, pioneer of trade and commerce, mission- ary of civilisation, prospector of metals, and hidden stores of earth and i>ea, would pross himself or.doff his cap, at sight of the little cemetery with its three cairns that stood higher than the rest, as Fate bight have designed for a landmark in the mazes of this strange eventful history, their mystic shadows creeping outside the Btormy portals of Nasquappe and the De- mon's ridge to light upon the fortunes of David Keith, the deserted. son of Also, and others within the orbit of his influence for good or evil on the Eastern coast of England.

CHAPTER II.

DATID'S SWEETHEART.

: She was the only daughter of Zaccheus Webb. He was a fisherman, well-to-do and of high repute along the coast, north and south from Cromer to Yarmouth, from Yarmouth to Lowestoft. He lived at Caistcir, and had helped to build the look- out station at Cáister Point, which is still one of the artistic details of the wild coast Hue that adorns many a draughtuiau's study of the east coast scenery.. Old Znckji as his intimate friends loved to call him, liked nothing better on quiet summer evenings wheo he had leisure to smoke a pipe with the look-out men and talk about tho adventures they had seen in the North Sea, and the ships that had been lost on the ScroBy Sands and the Middle Cross. Bis favourite scheme when he was in an argumontaive mood was to deny the possi- bility set up by Justice Cubit that some day Seroby Sands might be a seaport, while Yarmouth would have goiio inland desert-d by the sea as Sandwich had Sand« ich in the Straits of Dover. But Zaechctts waa not of a controversial dis- position ; nor was he a mau of educational culture. He could sign his name, and make sufficient souse of figures to calculate his. gains and profits and estimate the costs and rilks of his business. His

parents could have had no idea ofv the possibilities of the character he would developo when they gave him his unusual and' difficult Christian name of Zaccheus, which according to the Syriac is under- stood to mean innocence ;. but it was a true forcast. Old Zacky was as unsophis- ticated a man outside his own business as can be well imagined, and as guileless even in his trading as is consistant with keep- ing a balance in your stocking or at-yours bankers. Zaccheùs had with ál¿< this a certain shrewd view of things that kept him not only straight with the world but forth-on and in front of his neighbours. Briefly, it may be said of hi ra,: that he knew his trade, believed in God,, the Fly- ing Scud, and his daughter Elmira.

David Keith hoped to marry Elmira Webb as soon as lie had obtained his

articles and should be taken into partner- ship by his master, a conveyancing lawyer and general practitioner who thought more of the fine manly qualities of his articled clerk that he did of his fitness for profes-

sional life.

David did his utmost to acquire such knowledge as best pleased old? Petherick, his chief. But he knew more about fishing than conveyancing» It carne natural to him to sail a boat, interpret the signs of tbo herring season, and forecast the weather. He was boro, for the sea, and an eccentric Fate had bound him to

the law. Mr. Waveny Petherick was a kind-hearted man ; he did) not stand iii the way of David's nautical enjoyments; he approved of his engagement to Elmira Webb, and, once a week gave the lad a half holiday, on whieh occasions David donned such gear of oilskin and 'canvas, as delighted the heart off Zaccheus Webb,,

the smack owner of Oaister. ;

For most of the week David sat at his desk, copying drafts or proteasing to read law, while his mind;wandered away with the ships that caine and, fyéttt, moored for a little time opposite the window- to load or unload; but.on this summer ¡day that is eventful in this history, he* made holi- day, and it was ia his mina to. have it settled both with father. and daughter whether he should be ? accepted truly as the future hnsband of Elmira: Webb. Ho

had never closod his desk and put on his nautical suit of blue flannel and "rough'-, tanned boots with such a( b^inees air. Besides, it had become necessary that he should look the future, full in the face, and there was no future for him which did not give him Elmira as his wife and companion. Miss Mumford agreed with his intention to come to a final under

standing with Elmira and her father. She had failed to impress David with his youth and inoxperience ; she had argued that ho might see some other, girl whom he could love; that Elmira knew but.little of the world, aud that she might meet some other young geutleman whom she could care for more than she cared for him. She had dwelt upon the inadvisability of boys and girls being engaged before they could could really know their own minds ; but finding that David was desperately in love, and believed himself to be à man ; finding that Zaccheus Webb encouraged David's unmistakable pretensions, and that David bad a fine prospect of being well off in the matter of money, she en- couraged him to have it out with Elmira.

When he left Hartley Row that after- noon to meet the girl, Miss Mumford wished him " Good Tusk," and after he bad gone wept tears of anxiety and hope, and said a little prayer for his unabated happiness. Mildred Hope, who was known as " the prison visitor," came in soon after David's departure, and Miss Mumford poured out to her all her hopes

and fears.

Mildred listened with ardeeper personal interest than Miss Mumford understood or than anyone else, could have dreamed of ; for Mildred had no wish beyond the good of others, no object in life exeopt that of a true and unselfish philanthropy, young as she was, and, according to many, comely and pretty. But Mildred Hope comes into this romance a little later in the story.

(To be continued on Wednesday.)