|Chapter Number||PART III. IV. (Continued.)|
|Chapter Title||WAS LOST AND IS FOUND, WAS DEAD AND IS ALIVE AGAIN.|
|Newspaper Title||The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Under the Great Seal|
0 psrovr first published.! .
UNDER THE GREAT SEAL,
A. novel, t
Author of "Clttib," "Bi Obdkk of thc
pCz*b,V " John Nbedham's DduBM,"! ?
- " Crtol London," ftc.;;; 0.'
CHAPTER IT. (Continued.)
?'Was Lost and is Fomm, was
Dead and is Alive again.
" So far as I know," said David .". I am. Miss Mumford, who nursed me and carried me to England, told me so, and I was on my way to Newfoundland to claim my patrimony when I was wrecked."
"Indeed; you have some special author- ity r *
'"The authority of the trustees under tho will of my grandfather David Plympton."
" Proved, I believe, in the Courts by my chief, Mr. "Waveny Petherick, of
' .'.' Jes," arid the priest, " with whom you wars articled to the law."
"You Seem to know me well," said David,'smiling. " It is strange to be ship Wrecked and brought into Venice to meet one who knew my parents and who has knowledge of me also." "O Ol
" It is," said the priest, " and who until lately had kept trace of you and record for the sake of the,old days when|you were an infant, and your father and motlier were members of his flock. Strange! Fes/the ways of Cod are strange tb mortal man; the prayers of your saintly mother have been heard, her intercession has borne fruit, for the Almighty,Father is no res- pecter of persons where the holy'inter 'cessionof the Blessed Virgin is obtained, and her voice can prevail even though the sinner be Protestant and outside the pale. Nay, my son, spare me thy answer. Let us give. Almighty God thanks for this
. David fait himself subdued by the ear- nest words and manner of the priest,_only venturing to remark that he hoped he had been spared for some good work in the world. .. o. ;.'-.'f::;
"A pious and worthy ambition," . said the priest, " and be sure it is so; your future should be remarkable for good ; for you have been miraculously saved,and for such a.meeting in this city of marvels as your wildest dreams can hardly have forecasted. That you are a Protestant, and desire it to be so known argues a certain piety; it is the man of no religion, the infidel, the scoffer, for whose soul the Church is most solicitidus. Yon have prayed.to God? Ton.have thanked God foriyour deliverance P"
¦ " Yes, with all my heart and soul," said David, catching something of the religious / tone of the priest's manner; " surely the
worst of God's creatures would have done that, had he been raised from the dead as I have been, for my preservation almost amounts to that, the doctor said so only yesterday when we parted; and, in truth, when I last shut my eyes in that boat at sea, it was to die, and when I awoke, it was as if I had been dead and had come to life again."
';.": Was lost and is found, was dead and is alive again," said the priest.
" I wish your reference applied in full to my case, sir," said David, ." even though I should be called a prodigal and
, had herded with swine."
" Who shall say what a merciful and all: seeing God may not have in store for you! I am surely his messenger to you in this miraculous deliverance. Are yon atong'enough to receive tidings of as, great joy as that of yonr own deliverance to those who shall learn of it when most they think you lost? Your foster mother for example."
0"And tho girl who is betrothed to me," said David; " they will hear of the loss of the " Morning Star," and it will break their hearts."
"We must take means to acquaint them of your safety," said the cure, " I will obtain the aid of the English Consul . for that purpose without delay." .
'?Thank you* oh, thank you," said David, more deeply moved than he had y^t'shown himself.
" You are very young to marry P" said the priest.
" When one loves sincerely, and El- mira's father is willing, and my foster mother approves, and Mr. Waveny Petherick does not object, and. one can 'provide a home, a year one way or the
other is no serious matter P"
0 David made this statement rather in the .way of asking a question than pro- pounding a decision.
"Perhaps not," said the cure, "since you are so far pledged, let us hope there may be no other objection."
"What a blessing it is that my Lon- don trustee sailed before me, or rather not in the " Morning Star." He was to prepare the way for my coming, and meet the "MorningStar at Halifax."
. "It cannot be but the Divine hand is strongly in all this," said the cure; "but you did not answer me? Are you strong enough to receive a further shock, not an unhappy one, but a shock; I am some- thing of a physician, let me see,"
"He took David's hand and felt his
pulse; " We must not put you back into a fever. A little rest and I will come to you ?"?? again."" :.'?"¦
"I am strong enough for any thing sir," said David, " have no fear for me; I think I have passed a physical examina- tion that should answer for me. You have something strange to tell me something you are anxious to disclose, what is it<?"
David drew himself np and faced the priest, recalling to Father Lavello the figure of the settler who, in the stormy days of Heart's Delight, defied Admiral Ristack, and softened only at thoght of his saintly wife, the tose of that desert by the sea.
"I will take yon at your word. Put this cloak about you and come with me."
The cure took up a cloak that was; hanging upon the wall and they went out together.
"The air ischilly," said the priest, "it is not always summer even in ^Venice."
The sole right of publication in West Aus- tralia has.been purchased by the proprietors _ of the West Axtstbalian.
i He beckoned for* a gondola. David took a seat in the gloomy looking boat. The priest following' directed the solitary ?gondolier to the Turkish Palace; and sat Bilenly contemplating the water and the procession of buildings with their vistas pf back-canals, and collecting his thoughts ?for the coming interview of father and
j ? Alan Keith sat smoking in his decayed jyetpalatial room. He had folded his long gaberdinish coat;abbnt him; round his ?neck was. loosely wrapped a crimson silk ¦scarf. He wai sitting in a tall arm chair jthat had an elaborately carved back. At ;his elbow was a small table upon, which jlay an open book. The room was large, I with pillars and a vestibule at one end,
land an alcove-bed at the other, where Alan was sitting. The walls were gay with ] half defaced frescoes. There were heavy tapestried porters over the doorways; and small windows here and there blinded 'with dost. The marble floor was in lovely tonis from an artistic point of view, and it [Was 'covered here and there with mata and *»»gS' ''¦¦'".'':.
"Alan," said the priest, having bidden David remain within shadow of the
vestibule, "eur prayers and the interces- sion of your saintly wife with the Holy ATotherofCrod have prevailed."
. Alan turned his bright eyes towards the priest as if inviting further speech.
j 7'Becalm friend," was the ; cure's response. ' '.''. ¦ -i
"lam calm," said Alan, laying down his long pipe. ?* What ia it ?"
"God has sent yonr son to Venice,"
said the nriest.
*'!PraisedTie His holy name!" Alan replied.
The priest stepped back to beckon
David who came forward..
"This is yonr father,"said the priest.
"David, I expected yori," -said the father, controUing himself with A mighty .effort, but v only for a * moment. ( "I expected youl"
David looked at his father, and a sharp ery of surprise escaped him. *
"Oh, my lGh)dr Alan exclaimed, stepping towards the boy and opening his arms. David burst into tears and buried hiai face iii the old man's neck.
Father Lavello stealthily withdrew.
Alan rocked the tall fellow in his arms ' and "crooned in a pathetic way over ,r him for some moments; and then thrust him apart to gaze upon him.
; "My dear David, my son, my ain son, what a miracle! After a'' these heart breakin'years to see ye, in the ..flesh, to hearyour voice. Speak to rae, David."
"Father," said the lad.
"Aye, but gae on; tell me where ye hae comefrae, talk to mel I hae hard ; wark to keep myself f rae y'ellin' oot Uko a
"Sit down, father," said David, ."aid ;ealm ypuaself."
"Don't leave me, lad!" exclaimed ¦ Alan, " where's your Blither t Hannah, ye
hae brought him hame, but yo hae left us!" ':.;..,.
Alan sat down in his chair again still keeping David's hand in his.
David looked round the loom, and felt teo as if he might have lost his senses, as if he had eaten of the insane root, as many strange things had happened to him since he went by coach to,Bristol and took his berth on board the " Morning Star.'' , ',.,?¦
" Forgive me, David, if I am na quito mysel'. You see your sainted mither has brought ye to me sae often in my dreams that it seems as if she too might be here, though I ken weel enough she's dead and buried years and years agone. Nae, lad, I'll be mysel' in a minute."
The gaunt figure once more rose up and stood by the side of the young lithe waif
of the sea.
"Tek hoald of my arm; let us walk abput and pinch porsels and. be sure we are awake, he said, pulling the boy's arm within his own and pacing the apartment with him. " ..'"¦ ,?','¦
" Te think me a strange father; some o' these foolish kind folk in this city call me the mad Englishman; Fm nae mad, David, though I might ha' been excused for such ala' considering what I hae gane through. I'm neither mad nor poor, David; ye shall find I'm rich, my son, rich, far mair than even Lavello dreams ; I hae been waiting to tell ye; I hae toud them nought. Lavelle kens a little, but it's nought to what I hae got to tell ye, David! But ye look faint, ye are/ nae strong, we'll hae some food and drink. Hello, there Atilio, Terese. We'll kill the fatted calf, David; we'll open pur best wine-^-we'll drink and be merry?was lost
and is found?was dead and is alive., again."
¦ Once more overcome with excitement Alan staggered back to his seat, and David soothed him with filial words of comfort.
"I'm just an and fool said Alan pre- sently. ., "Iythpugt I was what the priest ca's a stoic, and I'm just an and,fool. David, sit ye doon, and feel yourself at hame, and Til just mek an effort to be mysel'. Eh, but it's sae long sin I had ye for a son. It just drives me wild to think o'.it." ,r.,C" '-"...." " \
The gondolier and his wife came run- ning in. .'.::"?. ' ". /:.':¦"
"Quick," said Alan, "food.and wine; all ye've got; the fatted calf?the best of everytHingV this is inyson!" '..'¦'
?', He rose up with a haughty wave of his bony hand as he made this declaration.
The Italian servants expressed their surprise and delight. Terese said the young Signor was as tall as h's father. The gondolier told David that his father was the kindest man in the world. Terese added that' dinner was nearly ready and proceeded with Atilio's. assistance to drag forth a table near the stove and began to lay the cloth.; Father Lavello, as the ser- vants ,withdrew thought it a happy mom-
ent to return.
"Eh mah," said Alan, " ye're just in time. Let me introduce ye?-David my son, this is my good friend and confessor Father Lavello, who kenned ye when ye were just a baby." '
For a moment Alan had forgotten that it was the priest who had brought his son to him. ' *';.,¦
" My dear David Keith," said, the cure,
" I congratulation upon the happy meet-, ?«" ¦ .
"Bat I'm forgeeting," said Alan, "and ye mun forgie nie for I'm a leetle beside mysel', it was you, dear friend, whofound him, you who have been God's instrument of kindness iii a' this. Forgie me. David I'd nivver a seen ye again but for Father Lavelle* /
-" The good father came to me at the Home, where the captain secured me a lodging,"- said David, 'land has earned my eternal gratitude."
} ,,. ?. ¦ ... ..
; " Here's the dinner," said Alan, as the servants came in with some smoking dishes. ''Fad*er Lavello, this is tbe: feast, nae, I wilina say for the prodigal bon, I'll just say for the prodgalifather; and I wish it was a better repast; but we'll make np for it in the choicest Chianti. Come noo, let's fa' to. I ken this lost and is foond, God bless him, is bothahuugered
Father Lavollo asked a blessing upon the feast; and the three- fell to heartily.
During the meal, David responding to his father's questions, gave him > some particulars of his life and his adventure in the "Morning Star." Although he hid spoken of Elmira to the priest he made no mention- ofv her -over dinner. Something made him pause when her name was on his tongue. He felt as if the declaration of his engagement was now a matter tobe privately mentioned to his father. Alan drew from the cure stories of their past experiences of Newfoundland, and Alan himself talked of Heart's Delight, and wondered what it was like after all those years!
He was much interested when David spoke of Miss Mumford, and Alan there- fore repeated, not without some bitterness, the story of his capture, and Pat Dorian's account, related to him long afterwards, of his rescue of Sally and Baby David from the King's buccaneering mw-power fu' scoundrels. He laid down his knife
and fork and listened .with «yes and ears to David's accouut of Sally's liome and jPetherick's office; and every now and then in a kind bf stage aside when Father Lavello: was most engaged with his meat and wine he would say to his son, "Bide a wee, my son, just bide a wee, and I'll tell ye a story tba WI make the blood dance
lin yvor young veins." Bide a wee," David would nod knowingly in return, 'falling in with his father's humour,'.. and ?putting his warning promise down to the upset of their meeting.
; But Davidhad by no means taken the measure bf hwpfather, Alan Keith ; nor had Father Lavello, his friend: andi con jftssor.o In all hir dreams,1 daring all his confessions, net in any single narrative bf adventure, nor when most he appeared, to be unburdening himself had . the.-mad Englishman of Venice disclosed the sscret of, the buried treasure' bf Wilderness
Creek. -iJ,.0 '':; v. \ f''f;fx,
[To be continued on Saturday.]