|Chapter Number||PART IV. XII (continued.)|
|Chapter Title||THE PATIENCE OF ZACCHEUS WEBB.|
|Newspaper Title||The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Under the Great Seal|
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sfjÉÎÔÏ*" PJBST. PUBLISHEP.3
UNBtR TJtE^RtAT S.EAL;:
<3s\athor~of "Clytie," "By Obdxb or the
' I /Czab," " John Needham's Double,"
" C&uel London," &c.
CHAPTER X11 (continued.)
The Patience op Zaccheus Webb.
, 'VWhy bless me, here 'be Miss Hope ;
shell tell you all about it. And surely Master David Keith his very self ! Lor', sir, I axes your pardon. Last time you was here you was upset and I was upset, but I hadn't got right hang o' things-and truth is I liked him better nor you, and I . conldn't? help it, so there ; but 1 melca my
humble 'pology all the same."
" Don't mention it, Mrs. Dene," sajd David, " I was anxious at the first oppor
ctunity to see my old friend." [
**Here be Master David Keith," safd ' ;]Q$arity, plucking Webb by the sleeve. ,
' T^ebb turned his head and tried to fix
,i!oWf jMioking eyes on, David, who drew a t"4haifenear the old man and laid his hand '"ojXHl'his arm. '
' " Don't yon know me, Zackv, dear old ïriend?"
-»-Kttftw yo' ? Tas, I knaws-yo'. She'll "coime, doan't vo' mek no doubt. Knaw yo*J Oh. my God!" ,
The old man rose to his feet, held bis hand apon his heart, and began to pace the t roora. Then seeing Mildred he paused to look at her.
-** An* yo browt her hura P" he asked.
" líot yet," said Mildred, " we must pray for her, and have patience."
" That's so ; patience ; have patience ; ¿¡lean wait, I can wait; winter'll pass all
' Then he sat down again. David took his hand. The old man smiled in a help- less kind of way.
. "You have let your pipe out," said * David ; " let me light it for you."
David took the pipe and lighted it. Zaccheus put it to his lips.
" It be true," lie said in a whisper, " vo' be Master David Keith ?"
" Quite true, old friend."
" Charity 'muses me, wi' fables ; but I knaw yo' well enough, ii yo' say I baint
" Dreaming, Zaccheus, not a bit of it," David replied, " haven't we had many a voyage on the Scud ? Haven't I rowed the dingey many a timo to meet you off
" Surely, surely," said Zaccheus, laying his pipe aside and withdrawing his hand from David to rub his palms together, remarking wi'h a chuckle, "and Charity says I bo stark, starin' mad "
"She is only joking with you," said
" I knaw, [ knaw ; she thinks I doan't knaw as Mira have gone ; she thinks I doan't knaw the world's agoin' all wiong and the fish is a' caught ; doau't tell me, I
knaws all about it."
He rubbed his wrinkled hands together smiling knowingly, but with such a sad look in his eyes that the tears came into David's, and he turned to ask Mildred to speak to the poor old fellow.
, But Charity Dene had beckoned Mildred
to the window seat. Having answered v Mildred's many questions about tho old
man, she, her&eif, became the interrogator. " Yes, it was quite true," Mildred said, 41 that the first finding of the jury was ^ considered to be informal, although it " meant that David had acted ia self
defence, that his action was justifiable. The judge had instiucted them that this being their opinion-aud the toreman said it was their unanimous opinion-their formal verdict should be not guilty. There was great applause in Court at this ; and then the jury consulted together and the foremau stood forward, and in answer to the Clerk of Arraigns he said they found the prisoner not guilty. There was more applause in Court at that, and David turned towards his father with a great sigh of relief, aud the noxfc moment lather and son embraced each other, and Êeople shed tears as the old man laid his
ead upon David's shoulder, overcome
"Eh, dear, eh, dear, just to think of it," said Charity Dene, " and I've knawed a man to be hanged for poacbin'."
" We are all deeply thankful to God for David's escape, and shall never cease to deplore the death of his assailant. » You have much to regret also, Charity
uI knaw, I knaw," said Charity, " and I shall, of course, never hear the last of thaWMester Justice Barkstead towd me I ought to be whipped, and I don't forget first words as you said to rae when you know'd as I left thom in the house to
-pether ; but what was I to do P He was
so uncommon pleasant» and so rich, and paid me so well. And what's more, I thought it war best thing for Miss Webb."
"Oh, Charity, you eould not have thought that !" said Mildred, quickly.
" But J did ; it mought hev been my blessed ignorance, but I did."
" You don't think so now ?"
" No, I got over that I'll allow, and I see that never no good can come of a bad action. Don't be angry wi' me, Miss Hope, I hev done my best since then, and will to the end ; and though I did like Îoung Squire Barkstead as was killed
etter nor t'other, I will say I'm glad Master David Keith is better than I expected he mought hev been, and I'm mortal glad they didn't conclude to hang
Charity, while penitent to some extent in regard to her share in the tragedy, couta not feel sufficiently kind to let Mildred off without these passing reflec-
"David Keith's first wibh on being unanimously acquitted by a jury of his fellow-countrymen, and with the approval of the judge," said Mildred, " was to see Elmira's father ; and this is his first out- ing during *his convalescence, for yon know that he was dangerously wounded, do you not, in that unhappy meeting ?"
" Yes, I fcnawM that, and I was main aorry," said Charity.
" And furthermore, he wished to drive
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overt» ttoarLook-omt; to" see* some-other*
old friends of Ka and Mr..-Webb's ; and when we sá^go^-bWt^" yon, David will go and ten tEcT_ioo£out men tbstThe is going to present-thorn with a new boat to Jbe onHo&thcZaecheus .Webb."
"»oh Which-I'm^sure they need one, and they'll be proud to havefit'fea'd after our Waster; theybft'n comes, the men /do, to drafter rhio}, u&a¿s sojoaej of um, tries to hev a crack iwifdhiaa^btítíthey findstit 'ard to mek anytlriffg^at of nm, and he 'do look! at 'em sometimes; that queer as yon dosn't" know whether to' laugh or ery."
*. Who is managing his business ?"
" Oh, as for (tbaV" they're baint mnch management to it, that owd hnnx William does his best, and Lookout cap'n he gives a sort of hand to it, and Mr. Petherick be atafcin interest in-things.'*
".Then you may be sure the best will be done thatP can7 be done in that direc-
tion," said __ilàrëd. ,
" I tefc jbhat for granted, and I hope you'll excuse me for say io'that yon looks hearty, miss; I hope as prisoners and other poor folks .is doin' pnrty weil." ¡
" Thank you," said Mildred, " I wish 1 could do more for them," moving towards the fire,, as David rose to take leave of
"I must say good-bye, now," said David; laying1 his bandon the old man's arm.
"David Keith,"x.mnttered Zaccheus, " made for.ajsailojv mortal fond o':'Mira."
" Good bye, old friend."
Zacchens held David's hand.
" It was while the Scud was laid up in Boston," he said. r"
"'Yes/'David replied, "try and think when we used ¿oT sit in ¡the garden and talk of ships 4t sea^nd first signs of the herring."
" I meant it to .a bena fine weddin', when David come back-David Keith, a fine young lawyer chap äs taimed to be fisherman ; but thereyo' nivver knaw how weather's goin' to be wi' glass shiftiu' np -andado wn4ike -a H_ûp.^aekr''
" It will be settled weather soon," said David, "then I'll come back, and Mildred will come, and we will put to 6ea in a three
master and sail out into the sunshine."
" I, dunno what be a talkin' of, but I likes to hear you^doan't leave me."
The old man turned Tiis wrinkled and
pitiful face np to David,who still held the old raau's trembling hand.
'" I will come back " said David.
" It's a lüng.time waitin'," the old man remarked, his mind going off again to thoughts of Mira, " I'n waited and waited ; but she'll come, I mek na doubt, if I can only live through the storm ; it's a hard un to weather; but we mun newer des- pair."
" That's right," said David. " Good bye for the present."
Zaccheus lapsed into silence, his gaze fixed upon the fire, his hands lying idly upon his "knee, his worn face showing no signs of intelligence or life.
Mildred knelt down by his side and thought a prayer for him, and as she rose she kissed the~helpless hands, and said, " Good bye, poor, dear, broken hearted father ! Good bye."
"That's wust on it," said Charity, smoothing her apron ; " he goes off into thom fits o' uncouciousness, or whatsutn ever they may be, and \% ul tek me hoars
to rouse him."
" I am sure you are good to him," said Mildred ; " let me ask you to accept this little gift, and I want you to write to an address I shall send yon, the postage will be costly,but I will give you money."
" Yes, miss, who be I to get to write
him P" .
"I forgot that you cannot write, Char- ity; I will ask one of Mr. Pethericks clerk's to wait upon yon ami you can tell him what you wish to eaj."
" Thank you kindly," said tho woman, making a courtesy.
" Good bye, then," said Mildred.
David, dividing his attention between the silent figure by the fire and Mildred's leave taking, watehed the prison visitor with a new born admiration of her gentle ways aad her soft, sweet voice.
" A blind woman might see which way. the cat's a' ¿ampin'," said Charity to her- self, as she watched Mildred and David, plodding over the sandhills to the Look- out station, " it's a wonderful thing how events do come about ; she was always fond on him ; that religious lass, wi' lier soft ways, and her insinoatin' voice, and, as I says, religion ain't no bar to love, not a bit, though men's shy on it; not as religion ever seemed to hurt Mildred Hope so far as bein' happy and the like, and even passin' over a joke good natur'd ; 1 never saw a neater ankle, nor a nattier foot ; I've heard 'Mira say the same, and I think it made 'Mira go to that high and mighty bootmaker as got his wares, they says, from France, not as Mildred needed such 'elps to uattiness; and as for her figure, well I often said the young man as gets Mildred wôan't need to rapine, staid as they say she is, for she's blessed wi' everythin', I should say, as a yonug man might desire/ I dessay that Master Keith may-be Master- Bight to her, but he's a way wi' him as I never liked so well as Squire Barkstead; bat then he had never the money; the way as Squire chucked his guineas about, well, it was enough to torn a lassies head, it turned mine, I knaw, and I'se sorry for it ; but what's the good a sayin', 'lead us not into temptation,' when a fine spoken young feller like him comes about wi' his guin- eas and dimins and his jewels, and his nice manners and asingin' songs like a male angel, as I says to Mira many a time. Well, we never knows what's agoin to come to pass-but if them two ain't made np their minds about a weddin' ring and all the rest, Charity Dene's no judge and you can just count her ont as no good Hello, dear, dear, why, you'll burn your boots, come out o' that !"
The old man had slipped towards the fire until his boots rested on the bars. His face was curiously drawn and his eyes were full of tears.
"Come, come, master, what's the matter, get up, man, get up."
She took him by the. arra, pushed his chair from the fire and he began to sob.
" That's reight, now you'll be better, I was afeered it was somethin' wuss, that I was. I once seed my father in a fit and it began just like that. Bat there, its only come from feel i a' a bit upset think in' o' things. Come, master, let me gie yo' a drop o' drink that'll put you reight."
She went to the cupboard and brought out a tumber into which she poured a fair modicum of brandy and pressed it to his lips.
"That's reight," she said, as the old man opened his lips and began to drink. "That s reight, we all 'as onr feelin's,and yo'n been hud pnt to it, that's a fact."
"Thank,^seid^heA>kL*an, 'Hhank,^ and, stretching hú^stifíened limbs, he" rose to his feet and walkéa^o'the window*
" Want to see em P The/se gone to the Look-out; be gora' toTgie 'em a boat and call it aiter-yoV^Zacchens'Webb."
j ".That's so," he, said, leeuijig against the window* frame,ohist>weto¿fe« wander- ing over the grey^sea. - '
(ïb he continued on Wednesday.)