|Chapter Title||ANOTHER FINE WEDDING.|
|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||For Cora's Sake|
CHAPTER X.-ANOTHER FINE WEDDING. The marriage of \Mr. Fabian Rockharrb and Miss Violet Wood was to he the great event of the winter. When the approaching wedding was announced in the newspapers, it caused a sensation, I can assure you. .Mr. Fabian Rockharrt, the eldest son of the renowned millionaire, the confirmed bachelor, for whom ' caps' had been ' set' for the last twenty five years; who had flirted with maidens who were now wives of elderly men and mothers of grown up daughters, and in some cases even grandmothers of growing boys and girls-To be won at last by a little wood violet I Preposterons ! The fourteenth of February dawned in that southern climate like a May day. Before starting for the church his father called Fabian into the library and lectured him as if he had been a lad of twenty-one. lectured him on the duties of a husband, of the master of a household, and the head of a family. Clarence arrived from North End, and Mr. Sylvan from West Point. The wedding arrangements were on an elaborate scale. There was an affluence of rare exotic flowers everywhere. The pews of the church were filled with the beauty, fashion, and aristocracy of the capital.
The rites commenced, and went on without any disturbance until they came to the question : 'Who giveth this woman to be married to this man ' Her guardian, the choif jtstico, a portly, ponderous pr'son, was mzvi1ng solemnly for. ward to perform this duty, when Old Aaron Rookharrt-not from officious ness, but out of pure simple egotism--took the bride's hand and placed it in that of the groom, saying: ' I do.' You may judge the etlect of this. The bride was mildly amnlued ; the bridegroom was deeply annoyed; the chief justice, the rightful owner of the thunder, was highly offended, and withdrew back in solemn dignity. Meanwhile the ceremony went on to its end. The benediction was pronounced and congratulations were in order. The marriage feast )vas a great sucrcess, like most other afhiirs of its kind. The Chief Justice had not got over the affront given him at the church, hut lhe could nob show resentment in his own house, and on the occasion of his young ward's wedding breakfast. As for Old Aaron Rockharrt, had not the faintest idea that he had com mitted a breach of propriety. So in utter ignorance of any offence given to any one, the Iron KCing unbent his stiffness for once, and was very genial to everyone, especially to the chief justice, who, secretly offended as he was, could not but respond to this friendliness. Among tihe wedding guests around the board was the beautiful widow, Mrs. Bloom.
ingfield. Mrs. Pendletime had requested Mr. Rockharrt to take her to the'the table, and he offered her his arm, placing her at the board, and seating himself beside her. The Iron King looked at the lady with more interest`- than he would hrve felt had not MIr. Fabian invented a rumour to the effect that he, Aaron Rockharrt, was addressing her. He looked at the lady on his left critically. Yes; she was very bheautiful-very beautiful indeed ! And, of course, she would accept him at once if he shoull offer his hand I A tall, finely-rounded, radiant blonde, with a suit of warm auburn hair, which she wore in a mass of puffs and coils high on her head; a brilliant, blooming complexion, damask rose cheeks, redder lips, blue eyes, and a pure, fine Roman profile-that means, among the rest, a hooked nose-a very elegant and aristocratic nose indeed, but still a hooked nose. She carried her head high, and -her well-turned chin a little- forward, her lip a little curled. All that mean a high spirit, intolerance of authority, and danger, much danger, to a would-he despot. Oh I very handsome, and very willing to marry the old millionaire. But-no! The Iron King thought not I She would give him too much trouble in the process of subjuga tion. He would none of her. Cadet Haught, watching the pair from the opposite side of the table, whispered to his sister, who sat on his right : ' As I live by bread, Cora, .there is " the aged monarch flirting with the handsome widow I A thing 'unparalleled in human history. Or is it dreaming I am i'
'She is trying to flirt with him, I rather fancy.' ' Wasted ammunition, bh, Cora 7 'I do not know,' replied the young lady. The breakfast came to an end and the bride retired to change her dress for a travel ling suit of navy blue poplin, with hat and feather to match, and a cashmere wrap. Then came the'leave-taking, and the jubliant bridegroom handed his bride into the ele gant carriage, while his best man, Clarence, gave the last order. ' To the railway station.' This was the final farewell, for Mr. Fabian had asked as a particular favour than no one of the wedding party should attend them to the depot. Their luggage had been sent on hours before, in charge of the maid and the valet. Half an hour's drive brought them to the station in time to catch the 3:30 train East. 'At last, ab last I have you away from all those people and all to myselfI' exulted Fabian, as he seated his wife in the corner of the car, and turned theopposito seat that they might have no near follow, _assenger. For as yet palace cars were n The journey was mad without events until about sunset, whq the train reached the little mountain station at Edenheights, where it stopped twelnty minutes for refresh ments. 'What a lovely scene 1' said the bride, looking down from the window on her left, into the depth of a small valley lighted up by the last rays of the setting sun streaming through tho opening between two wooded hills:
' Y es, dlerllw..ly, if I an thlink any lthing lovely besides yourself,' ho replied. 'Look, what a swo?t cottage that is alnmost hidden among the tress. An elegant cottage of white freestone built after the Grecian order. How strange, Fabian, to find such a bijou here in this wild, remote section.' ' Probably the residence of some well-to-do official connected with our works,' said Mr. Fabian, carelessly; then--' Will you come out to the refreshment rooms and have some tea ? See, they are on the opposite side of the train.' Violet turned and looked on a very differ ent scene. No wooded and secluded valley with its one lovely. cottage, but a row of open saloons and restaurants, crowded and noisy. - ' No; I think I will not so in there. It is not pretty. You may send me a cup of tea. ' I will sit here and enjoy this beautiful valley scene. And oh, Fabian ! Look there, coming up the hillside, what a beauti ful woman I Mr. Fabian 'looked out and saw and ricognised Rose Stillwater and saw that she recognised him. She was coming directly towards the train. 'Sit here, my love; I will go and bring you some refreshments. Do not attempt to get out, dearest; to do so might be danger ous. I will not be long,' he said hastily, and rising, and hurried after the other pas sengers out of the car. But instead of going into the railway restaurant he went back to the rear of the train, placed himself where he stood out of
sight of his wife and all his fellow passengers yet in full view of the approaching woman. ' What devil brings that serpent here 1' he muttered to himself. ' I mnst intercept her. She must not get on board the train. She must not approach my little wood violet. Good heavens, no I ' But the woman turned aside voluntarily from her course to the stationary train and walked directly toward himself. 'VWell, Rose,' lie said, in as pleasant a voice as his perturbation of mind would permit him to use. . I ' Well, Fabian,' she answere l. She was as white and hard as manble ; her lips when she ceased to speak, were closed tightly, her blue eyes blazed from her hard, white face, ' What brings you here 7' ho inquired. 'What brings me here, indeed 1 To see you. Only this, morning I heard of your intended business. Only this morning after the morning train had left. ]f there had been another train within R,?u ur or two, I should have taken it and gone to the city and should have boon in time to stop this wicked wedding.' ' What a blessing there was not. You could not have stopped the marriage. You would only have exposed yourself and made a row.' ' ' Then I should have done that.' (lb be continucd in oulr noxt.)