Chapter 31165103

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Chapter NumberIX.-(Continued).
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Full Date1892-01-20
Page Number4
Word Count1563
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleFor Cora's Sake
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FOR CORA'S SAKE. SCHAPTER IX.,-(Continued). ' You could not have made a wiser choice. You have my full approval ; and the sooner you are married, the better I shall like it.' Fabian bowed in silence. ' And you remrmber that we were plan ning to send a contildential agent to Europe to establish syndicates for our shares in the principal cities. Now you can utilise your wedding tour by taking your bride to Europe and looking after this business in person.' ' Yes, of course,' assented Fabian. _ Other. details may be thought of after ward. You had better begin to call on the lady. It is well to be the first in the market.' ' Of course, sir.' This ended the conference. Fabian groomed himself into as charming a toilet as a gentleman's morning suit would admit. He then set forth in his carriage and made the round of the three conser vatories of which the town could boast before he could find a cluster of white wood violets to pin on the lapel of his coat. He also got a splendid and fragrant bouquet, and armed with these fascinators he drove to the house of the Chief Justice and sent in his card. The-ladies were at home. He was shown into tlhe drawing-room, where he found his inamorata alone. In a pale blue cashmere home dress trimimed with swan's down and lace, she looked fairer, sweeter, daintier, and more suggestive of a wood violet than ever. .She left her seat at the piaio and came to meet him, saying simply: ' Good morning, Mr. Rockharrt. Mrs. Pendletime will be down presently. Oh, what lovely, lovely flowers I For me I Oh, thank you so much, Mr. Rockharrt,' she added, as Fabian, with a deep bow and a sweet smile, presented his offering. Fabian made good use of his time, and had advanced considerably in the good graces of his fair little love before the lady of the house entered. :He made himself doubly agreeable to the beauty and her chaperon, and finally offered them a box at the opera for the next even ing, ihd when it was accepted he at last took leave; :'Iihave got the inside track and mean to keep itl' he said to himself, as he drove homewnards. After three weeks' courtship .Mr. Fabian offered his heart, his hand, and his f6rtune to the little beauty. She accdpted them, and not only accepted, but seemed'very happy in doing so. The betrothed lover pleaded for an early wedding day. Violet answered that she would 'consult her chaperon and abide by her 'decision. Mr. Fabian then 'took the precaution to see MIrs. Pendletime, and pri~y that the marriage might take place early in Febrtuary. The lady answered, that she would :consult her young protegee and be goveinTd by her wishes. Mar.-7.abian bowed, thanked her warmly, shook~liands cordially and left the house. He went ` aright home, took from his safe a casket of. diamonds he had bought for his. biride, ind dispatched it to Mrs. Pendletime. He could get a unore costly one for his bride, he said. So prompt had been his action that the chaperon received this silent bribe before she had spoken to Violet about hastening the' mialriage day. Now the fire of these diamonds threw such a radiant light on the matter that she "saw at onc dethat the wedding must take place early' ini February. So "she persuaded her protegee to be mamnie'd in the middle of February, say the fourteeiith. St. Valentine s Day, the birds' bridal clay, would be a very appropriate time for a iood violet to wed. Mr. i?'abian paid his usual visit the next morning, when ?Mrs Pendletime thanked him.piaofusely for his munificent gift. He then'saiv Violet alone in the drawing room. Fabibin. told his betrothed that after the wedding breakfast, they would take train to New York and thence sail to Liverpool, to arrive. in London at the commencement of the seiason. Violet listened in the rapture of anticipa tion. ' And at the enid ot the London season he will minke a leisurely tour through England -seeotho monuments of its great old history; palaresi and castles of kings and chieftains who have been dust for ages. Then the homes:lind haunts of the great poets and painters.' The.'door opened, and tihe servant an noundid a visitor. Mr. Fabian, secure now of his'prize, arose and .said good morning, leaving Violet to entertain one of liher young adorers. Mr. Fabian went homeand sought his father in the library, where the old aman now Passed much of his time. 'Well, mny dlear sir, it is all settled. With your apiprobation, wo--Miss Violet Wood and nmyselt-are to he married on the fourteenth proximo, and leave for Europe inmmediately afterward,' said Mr. Fabian, seating him self., 'Thatis right. I aml glad you will sail

in February. You will thereby escape the winds' of March and the tempests of the sprinig equinox,' said the Iron King, senten tiously. ''Iam glad you approve,' said Mr. Fabian. Old A.ron Itoekharrt nodded in silence. Felbian looked at him ; saw that the old man looked grave and depressed, yet stern and'strong as adamant. He felt very sorry for his father. His own present happiness ' rendbred good-natured BIr. Fabian very compassionate towards the lonely old widowr. He had sonmething, inspired by this crmipaq.,ion, to suggest to the old man, yet lie feara nto do so straiglitforwardly. "' Father,' he said at length, for he, didn't mind lying the least in the world-' Father, 3 heard a strange report about you this morning.' ' 'Indeed I W~ :at was it I That I had failed in business,orquadrupled my fortune ?'. inquir'ed the egotist, who was always interested when the question concerned him self. ' Neither, sir. I heared you ware going td he marLried.' '.Fabian l'. sternly exclaimed the Iron kinig, darkly gathering his brows. 'Yes, sir,' said the bhoenevolent 4ir. Fabian, i ho, now that 'the ice was brokep, could go on lying glibly with the best intentions aind withoet the slightest scruple; 'yes, sir; you S .. :.,.? '/, .... , i·, . . .

knew that such rumours must necessarily get afloat about such a fine-looking marriage able man as yourself.' 'Ah ' and since the community have made so free, pray what lady's name have they honoured ime by associating with mine ?' inquired the Iron King somewhat sarcasti cally, yet not ill-pleased to learn that he was still to be considered a great prize in the inatrimoninl market. 'Why, of course there could be but one lady in the question; and equally, of course, you will be able to place her,' said Mr. Fahian, smiling. ' Upon my soul, I amn not.' 'Well, then, the lady to whom you are reported to be engaged is the beautiful Mrs. Bloomingfield.' ' Who I' 'The beautiful and accomplished Mrs. Bloomingfield, with whom you sat and talked during the whole evening of the Governor's State dinner party.' ' Yes, I remember her-avery fine creature -but I never dreamed of her in the light of a wife. In fact, I never dreamed of marry ing again,' said the Iron King, with unusual gentleness. ' With all possible respect and submission, my dear father, I would suggest that if you never thought of marrying again, you should do so now.' ' Fabian, I am seventy-seven years old.' 'In years, yes; but that is nothing to you. You are not half that age in health, strength, vigour, and activity of mind and body. What man of forty do you khow who has anything approaching your energy '

' None that I. know of, indeed, Fabian,' said the Iron King, softening into com placency. 'No, none,' assented Fabian. 'Now, and for many years to come, 3ou.will not be old at all.' ' Yes; .It hink I have twenty-five or thirty years longer to live.' ' And will you live those years in loneli noss? Cora will be sure to marry. A young woman like her will not wear the willow long, believe me. And whenm Cora leaves you, what then will you do? You have no other daughter or, granddaughter. As for my promised wife, you yourself made it a condition of our marriage that we should have an ostablishment of our own:' '"For the dignity of the, house of Rock harrt. Yes, Fabian.' ' And when Cora shall live left you, you will be alone-you will irequire the gentle ministrationd of woman.,more than any man I ever knew.' ' Fabian I' exclaimed old Aaron Rockharrt, suddenly and suspiciously, bringing his strong black eyes to be.osr pointedly upon the face otfhis son. ' What is your motive in wishing me to marry 0' ' Heaven bear ome witness, sir, that my motive, my only motive, is your own comfort and happiness,' said Fabian, and this time be spoke the truth. S1 believe you, Fabian. But this lady with whom tihe world assoolates my name is too young for me. She cannot be more than twenty-five,' said old Aaron Rookharrb reflectively.

' *ecll, sir, what did tho sagos and pr!?phcts recommend to David? A young womanl to comfort the king. I am not very well pisted in Bible history, but I think that is - the story,' said Mr.. Fabian.