|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||For Cora's Sake|
S ehIe - toutRtc~rt . FOR CORA'S SAKE. : CAPTEK IV.-(Continued). W.hen did this extraordinary acceptance take place ?' :'Yesterday evening, at Lady Netherby's ball.' - ' After supper 7' 'After supper.' 'That accounts for it 1 You took too much wine, and misunderstood my -grand daughter's reply. She must have referred yliu to me for an explanation of her engage nent, and cnnsequeno inability to entertain. al'jr other man's proposal. That was it !' \? May -I refer you to Miss Haught for c onirmation of my words 7' I: 'Isay, as I said before, no.' . ay T see the young lady herself 1' 'No; but I will tell-you something that mriy console you under your disappointment. I liave seen in several of yoiur papers, in the soei etyhdoluiitiminiy granddtaughter referredl to as my sole hpiress. I do not know who is .,resa~onsiblo for: these reports, 'ut you may have believed them, though tlheore is. not a .weird of truth in them. .+lMy granddaughlter is not iny sole Iheiress ; not my yheiress in the' slightest degree.. I have two stalwart sons, partners in myn business, both low in charge of the :,works at North End, Cumberland : mountains, and managing them extremely well,- else I could not be taking a long lnli day hiere; These sons are heirs to all my property. Nor is my grandmaughter the he irss of her late father. Site has a brother iow i:. cadet aeour military academy at\ West Point. He iitinerits the bulk of his father's estate. fly granddaughter's fortune is therefore, very moderate - quite beneath the consideration of an English nobleman,' con ; clided the old man, very grimly. Ih?ef young duke heard him out, and; then anrswered : 'I trust, sir, that you will credit in: + w -ith better. motives in seeking the 'hand "of. the young lady. It was her charm of pe'rson and of mnind that attracted ime to " Of course, of course; but, my dear duke, Stheide is a plenty of solo heiresses among the weilthy traciespeople.of London who would be;proud to buy a title with a fortune.; Iet mie advise you to strike a bargain with ori eof them. Now, as.I have pressing busi news on hand, you will excuse nie.' The young Duke arose, with a bow, and left the room,) mutteiring to hlinself ': What au-unmitigated beast that old man is 1! I do lile' the girl ; she is a:beaiutiful creature, but I am well out of it after ill.' ' Old Aaron Rockharrt made no false pretence ofiany sort for any purpose. He h~dl pressing business on hald, though it was bi imness which had sudhlenly arism'n luring hi, inltelrv'ow. aithl the Dukie, andll hal iii fact ci)in? out ,t' it. N. aSi msr had ithe young m ni left thile house than mlhi troim King went tin, hell agency of the Cunard line, aminscu!'red st?ie.roimins' for' himniself' a uldl party ii tmhe Asia, that was tA, sail on ti?, fllowing 'irtuirday froml Liverpool for New York. .:When he' re-entered his parlour at the LjAnghanm, he found his wife ahd Cora seated tlhtre, the gii'l reading the Court Joirnial to Shem gerandmnotlher. 'Put 'that tomlfooluoy dowli, Corra, and listen to me, both of you I This is Wednesday. i\!: liteve rL nldon for Liverpool on Friday miteitrling, amttii -aill from Liverpool for N-ew Yitl k on Satuill dly. So you selt that man - to!ue, thist?essi' " i'Yes, si,' wiithout, looking up. : k . 1'For. ny consent -to ai marriage with himn t -'Tllen tle .fellowv did''iot mistimke your - ,i?mling. ! Core. Hatighl =: TI could not a Vti btel!cedil blthiat.liny girl wvho had any of : ut blood inr' hem veins could hi guilty of such blIck treachery ais to breakl faith with her S..iitrothed... husbandu, and ':wiislmh to..marry arinther, just for the snobbisli ambition to be .i luchess anid 'be called " hel; grace " !' said th'l Tron. King.- - . '` Grandpa, it was not so I Indeed, it was ni# 1 ' Ohm, consider ! I had kllown `Rule R'b.hsay from my childhood, and loved him wiviL the affection a sister gives a brother; I knoew of nim otlher love, and so I mistook it for: the' lovo surpassing all others that a bet otlhed miliden should give her betotthed. Bub.when I met Cumbervale and he wooed nms'I loived truly for': the first .time-loved, as he loves me,'she concluded with trembling lips and downcast eyes and flushed cheek. ' Stutt and nonsmsense I Don't' talk',to- ln atbout love or any such sentimental trash. I am talking of good faith between mari'and w.Aian-words of which you don' t seem to kiiow thie meaning I '. - ". ' TOh, grandpa, yes, I do; but would it be godd faith in me to marry Rule Rothsay whn I love Cumbervale?' . : , ' It would be good faith to keep your word, irregpe tive of you?) feelings, and bad -faith to :reammk it in consideration of yourmfeelings I. SThUt;you arte t,) false to know this I,': 1 - mOb, sir ! prmy do not, set your face against , mny i?lmlamlriage with Cunlurvale, olm iisist on miny tmlmumrryicn Ruhl I At would not be for :IRtule's good,' pleadled Corn. . o ; Heaveun kunows it would iot be for
nrilR gOc?.l ifr. ai oCsen setter tor .Uttotnsay tha?l lh had beetn blown up in the explosion tliitikilled his father, than that he had ever sleys oi?ytiyour false Lface ; but you have * giyen him your word annd you must keep it or never look ome in the face again I You I shlill be married as soon as wo: reach Rock Cora raised her tearful fiace from her c halids and looked astonished Andl wratched. Oh you may gaze, but it is true.. ; Tlh fonitune hunter has discovered that he is on a flse sicent.. There was no fortune on tho F t.'diil T told hliin everything about you. I told hili) thiat you werel not, iy heiress at all, t because I haid two sons who would inherit all my property ; andlthat you were not even your father's liciress,: because you had ai brother who would inherit the. larger portion of his ; that, in point of fact, you, were only u , mddurately provided for. He i?vs startled, t' -I assure you. I told him that for years you hard'been engaged to a young printer in your ,inntive country, who would probably he the next governor of his native ?late. He bowed himsolf out. I engaged'our passage T to Netir'?'ork by the. Saturday's. steamer. You will never sao the little diandy again. He wnas after a fortune, and finding that you iave???; no, he hat forsaken you-and served t ti'tight, for a bsle, treacherous and con. P 'telnptible woman, unworthy even of his,'
regard ; for you are much lower in every way thaan he is, for while he was seeking a fortune you were seeking s title,-you wore concealing from him the fact of your engagement to Rule Rothsay. You were doubly false to Rule and to Cumbervale. Oh, Cora Raught ! Cora Haught ! Are you not ashamed of yourself ! Ashamed to look any honest man or woman in the face ! Ah I you do well to hide yours !' he concluded, for Corn had lost all self-contrl,, dropped her head upon her hands and burst into hysterical sobs and tears. Did you ever see a small bantam ruffle up all her feathers in angry defence of her chick I So did poor little, timid dMrs. Rock harrt in protection of her pot. She ventured to expostulate with hen tyrant for, perhaps, the first time in their married life. 'Oh, Aaron, do not, scold the child so severely. She is but human. She has only been fascinated by the young duke's rank, and beauty and elegance. She could not help it, being thrown in his company so much. And you know they say that half the girls in London society are in love with the handsome duke. We will take her home and she will come all right, and be our own, dear, faithful Cora again, and----' - Old Aaron Rockharrt who had- gazed at his wife in' speechless .astonishment at her audacity in reasoning with him, nbow burst forth with: ' Hold your jaw, maidam,' and he strode out of the room. A minute later a waiter came in and laid a note on the tiable before Comr and iinmedi ately withdrew.
SCorn took Lhe missiv' recogniserd the Ihandwriting arid seal, tore it optin and eagerly ran her eyes along the lines.' This was the note: r Ouihurvale tiodge, LoTndotn. May 18-. M:iTIss HIAvOT Fo: my indiscrotion of last evening I owe you an humble apology, which I )evg you to accept with this explanation, that, had [ Itn,"w,, for even suspected, that yourliand was taleary' protnised it? an'otlitr ilquarter; I ahl,,uld tevcr have t6 eeutn'd ti propuso fur it. I bga now to withdlnw such a false step. . Accept my best wishes fur your happiness in a union. with thi more fortunate man lof yc.ur chtoice, and helievre mn to be now and ever, Your obedient servant, CUtmsnttvALe. Scarcely had Corn's eyes fallent fron:: the paper when Lady Pendragon's carrigo dr6ve up to the door. : ' Glad of the ititerruptlton thnit eabllehd lier to escape from tmheparlour, nun; give way to the passion atid girief and iespair tihat were swelling her heart to breaking, Corn hnsteneud to her hid chlmb?rihr anil threw Iorself dtlwn upon the csuctth in a paroxysm of sols anod teas.w. Mrs. ItockhnrrLt waited in the partlour to receive the visitor, but no visitor came. On Fridaty morning the Rocktharrts left London, andl on Saturday they sailed from Liveotpool. 'Ten days brought them to Noew York. SMly soul I there is Rothas?y on the pier, waving his hand to us,' exclaimed the Iron King, as he led his little wife down the gang plank, while Cora came on behind them. Yes, there was Rule; his tall figure towering above the crowd on the pier, his
rugged face beaming with delight, his hand waving welcome to the returning voyagers. He shook handswarmnly with Mrs. Rock harrc, heartily with the Iron King and then, behind them, with Cura, and before Cora knew what wais coming she was folded in the arms and to the faithful breast of her life-long lover. As they followed the elderly couple Rule whispered : ' Dear; this is the halipiest day I have ever seen, but ai ihppier is coming--soon, I hope. , Dear, how soon '_ - You must ask my grancdparents, Rule. Tlfeir juilginent and theirrconveniience. must be consulted,' she said coldly. She had no thought now of breaking' her engagement withi Rule, though' her: heart seemed o breaking. She still loved that rugged man with the sisterly affection she had always felt for him, and--which, in her ignorance of life aml self, she had mistakeix for a warmer sentiment, aind resolved, in wedding him, to.do her; whole duty by him, for so !ong as she lived. . . Rothsay led the way to a carriage. When all were seated in- this the old man leanti toward Rule and'said : . ,, y Well, I haven't had ' chances to ask you yet. The election is over. How lid it go 4 Who is their man " ' .' They chose lme,' answered Rothsay. . Cora Haught's bosom was. wrung v with passion and remorse. Yet she tried to do her whole duty. ' If it craze or kill. niC I will wed Rule, and1 he shall. never know what it costs me to keep my word,' sIe said to 'herself,,as she lay sleepless and. restless in heot bed on the
night before her wedding morn. 'Yes, I will do..nly.duty and keep my secroet even uttcl death.' 'Evsn unto death I )butb. unto whose death 7' whispered a voice close to her oar-' aI voico clear and penetrating.-':: Cora started and opened her eyes. No one was near her. She sat up in bed and looked around the nplirtmenb. ,The light taper, statlilng on the hearth, burned low. The dimly lighted room .was vacant -of .any hutlttne Inilig except herself. ' I have been dreamting,' she said, and she laid down and tried to colmpiOse herself: tb sleep agati. In vain I When sle ,artose in the morning she said to hersenlf. : ' Yes, this day T anm going to marry Rule, dear, loving, faithful, t:ardlworlrkig, self. denying Rul·i A mnlonarch ilmong mnm, if greatness of soul could make a n?moarch. - In that sense no woman, peereks or' princess, coull inake at prouder match. Mlny heaven help ime to be n true good wife to him I' - SI8t said those words to herself, but oh I oh I how she shuddered as she breathed tlnim and how she reproached herself for such shudlicrl'i?g I. The girl's whlolehittiiro wai at war with itself. Yet through all therrible intiFlor strife sllhIlcept her firm determina tion to be faithful to Rule ; to go .thi'ough the ordeal before her, oven thougl i 'should cost her life or reason. My readers may remember the niarblo.like stillness of the bride as she sat in her bridal robes?lookiig out from the front window of her chantber on the bright and festive scene below ; how she faltered during thu whole of the marriage ceremony ; how like a woman in a trance she passed through the scenes of
the wedding breakfast and those that imme diately followed it ; how in her own rooml, where she went to change her wedding dress for a travelling suit, and whithlcr her gentle old grandmother had fol.owed her for a private parting, she had answered the oid lady's anxious questiuon as to whether she was 'hhappy,' first by silence, and then by mutter ing that her heart was too full for speech. My readers - will recollect the railway journey to the State capital; theprocession through the decorated streets between the crowded sidewalks from the railway station to the town house of* Mr Rockharrb, which had been placed at the disposal of the governor-elect for the interval between his arrival in the State capital and the day of the inauguration. The committee of reception escorted them to the gates of the Rockhaurrt ma'nsionn 'and left them at the door., There we -also left them, in the secotld chlipter of this story and there we return to them in this place.