|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||For Cora's Sake|
I r CORA;'S SAKE: CHAPTER XVII.-(Continued.) S' Desired !' by Jli-ve- I think he com manded. I do not remember ever to have heard his Majesty the King of tile Cumber land Mines request anybody to do anything in the whole course of his lif'.. - He always ordered him to do it. Well, Cotr:, dear, I will be ' best' mian to the bridegroom, since you say so. I have alvways obeyed you, Cora. Ah' ! you have trained mcu for the model of an obedient husband to some girl, Cora ! Now,.I am going down stairs to smoke a cigar. You don't objeut: to that,. I hope, Mrs: Rothsay?' lightly inquired the youth as he sauiteredl out of the room.. . He had just closed the door when Mrs. Stillwater entered. She came in very softly, crossed the room, sat down on the sofa beside Corn, and slipped her arch around the ladiy's waist, purring and cooing : ` liilve been waiting to ind you alone, dearest. I just heard your ,ro,th'er go down stairs. Mr. Rockharrt hals told you; dear. '. SYes ; he has toldl ina. Take your arms, away from mte, if-you please,Mrs. Stillwater, antil pray do not touch rme again,' quiitly replied the young hlady, gently wdithdrawing herself from the siren's close etmbrace. :~You are displeased with me. Can you not forgive me, then,' pleaded Rose, with drawing her arms, but fixing her soft blue eyes pleadingly upon the-lady's face. ~You have given me no personal offence, tMrs. Stillwater.' ' Carm dear-' began Ilose. , Mrs. Rothsay, if you please, ' said Cora. tma quiet tone. (' Mrs. Rothsay, then, ' amended Rose, in a calm vbice, as if determined not to take offence-'Mrs. Rothsay, allow me to explain how all this came to pass. I have always, from the time I first lived in his house, felt a profound iespect and atffection for your grandfather-' ' Mr. Rockharrt, if you please,' said Corna. 'For Mr. Rockharrt, then, as well as for his sainted wife, the late Mrs. ].ockharrt. I-' ' Madam !'linterrupted Cora. 'Is thero nothing too holy to be profaned by your lips? You should at least have the good taste to leave that lady's sacred memory alone.' ' Ceiiairil?y; if you wish ; but she was a good friiend' tme, and I served her with a daughter's love and ,devotion. In my last visit to,.Rockhold I also served Mr. Rock hiarrt more zealously than ever, because lihe needed 'such 'affectionate service more than lbefore. He has grown so much accustomed to my services that' they now scent vitally necessary to him. But, of coursei, I cannot take care of him day and night:, in parlour a-.hnd chamber, unless I become his wife-the Abisheaof his age. And so, Coma, dear-I beg pairdon-Mrs. Rothsay, I have yielded to "his pleadings and consented to marry him.' ' Mar.LRockharrt has' already' toldcli me so, coldly, replied Corn. ' And' dlear, I.wish to add this-that the marriage need make no difference in our domestio-relations at Rockhold.' 'I doinot understand you. 'I men in the family circle.' ' Oh;thank you,' said Corn with the nearest approa6h 'to'n sneer lihat ever she made. I have Bleard all you have to say, Mrs. Still water acid now I have to reply-First, that I givetrio'credit for any respect or affection, that you may profess for Mr. lRolckharrt, or for disinterested motives in marrying the ; aged millionaire.' .. ' Oh, Cora--Mrs. Rothsay.' ' I will say no more on that point. Mr. Rockharrt 'is old and worn in many cares. 7ipl would .notb willingly:.pain or anger lhim. Therefore, because' lie ills" it,' fii his' sake, notT'fdot?o?rs, I will attend you, to the altar. Also, if he should desire to do so, I shall remain at Rockhold until the retulr: of Mr. :c'JFabimhn Rockharrt.' ; At the sound of this nlame Rase Stillwater winced!and shivered. 'Then, knowing that his favourite son will be near him, I shall leave him with the freer 'heart and go away with my brother, whither soever'he may be sent. ' Mr. Fabian is ex pectedito return within a few weeks, and pirobably -be here long before. my brother receives his orders.` Now, Mris. Stillwater, I .think all has .been said between us, and you will please. excuse my leaving you, ' said Cora, as she arose and withdrew from the rooin. "Then Rose Stillwater lost her self-cornm mand Her blue eyes blazed, she set her teeth, she doubled her fist, and shaking it afte' t~he' vanished form of the lady, she hissed. ' Ver weil, proud: madam. I'11 pay you for all:this. You shabllnever touch one cent of old'-Aaron Rockharrt's millions.' . Hav-ing laurnclied, this threat;, 'sheo got up 'aiid Wient t hi'er room. Ten minutes later hle drove out in a carriage alone. She did nIote retlirn to luncheon. Neither did M?h'. "'Rokharriti:. who had gonie dowin to Wall' St. .utt'rinu the a'fternoon many packages and
Wbandbotes' came, by:vans directed to Mrs. R3se Stillwater. 'Thoso were sent to her apartment:" -At dusk Mrs.: Stillwater re k turnedrlirid wont directly to her room. A i foer minutes later--Mr. Rockharrt camn in, o okinihmoody.and defiant, as if quite con ,c:scious 'of the absurdity of: his position, or ready to crush, anyone whro betrayed the slightest sense of humor. Thle dinner was served1 and Rose Stillwater camne out of her room and entered the parlour--a vision of loveliness-her widow's weeds all gone, her .dreosa aviolet brocaded satin, with fine lace l'ierthe and sloeve trimmings, white throat and arms, encircled with pearl necklace and Sblr?celets, gohlen red hair. dresserl high and adorned with a pearl combe.i lShe came in smiling and took her place at the, table, Old Araron Rockharrt looked up at her in surprise and not altogether with pleasure. Rose Stillwater, seeing his expression of :ctmjuiLenrhiince, got " nw-owjinsight into the m ind of tho old man wlho-sh hald' thought she know-so well. S?,,WVlen they, all lofb the dinner table, Mrs. atililater went to her iro~u, and Mr. Rook ?6(0.ir~ to~'ok occasion to say : 'I wish you both to understand the pro gramme for to-imorrow. There is'.?boe no fuss, no wedding breakltfneb no-nonsense whatever.'
Sylvan thought tn himself that the mnrri age alone was nii.n-l-nsr* noluglh to stand by itvelf ; but-he said nothing. 'Sylv'an, you tl ar t morning suit COrns, you will wear at visiLting costtum, just as you w:-ar to an ordinary church service. Rose will be mruarried in her travelling dress I nnnediately after lthe ceremony myself and wife will drive to the depot and take train for Niagara, and probably return to Rock holdt by the first of July. I cannot remain long from the works while Fabian is away. Am I clearly understood ?' ,,Very clearly, sir,' said Sylvan. ' Then good-night; T am goinhg to bed,' and the Iron King strode out of the room without waiting for response. ' "Wo ever heard of at man dictating to a wolman what dress situ shall wear?' said Corai. Sylvan laughed. ' Why, the King of i he Cumberland mines would dictate your rising, your sitting, your laughing, and every movement of your life, if it were not too much trouble. G Good-night CoraL.' Early next morning they met at break fast, all quite solemn. At eleven they dressed for breakfast. Then the four drove off to church. The church was empty, because this, though the weilding of a. millionaire, was ron of which it might. I ef sail there was " No fsti, rno irds, no cake, no nothing." Thei party reachced lthe altar railing, hbowed silently to the minister, who nodded gravely ill return, and then formed before the altar -the venerable bridgroom and the beautiful bride in the centre, Sylvan on the right of
the groom, and Corn on the loeft of the bride. The young man perfornmed the mission with which hel had been truste:l, and then the ceremonly was commncllll ed. It Wvelt on smoothly. enough untill the iniiister in its proper place asked thoe question: ' Who giveth this woman to be married to this man? ' There was an awful pause. No one had thought of the necessity of having aL " church father " to give away the bride. The ofliciating clergyman saw the dilemma at a glance, and quietly beckoned the grey haired sexton to colni up and act as a substitute. lint Sylvan Flaught, with a twinkle of funl in his eyes, turned his head and whispered to the nuw coiner : "' After Ille is, maIllners of you.' " Then he took the brido's hand and said mightily. : ' I do.' The mnarriage c?eremnony went'on to its and and was over. Clngratulatiits were ollffered. Tile register was signedt and witnessed. And old Aaron llrnkhl.rrt led his newly married wife nut of th ll church and put her into the carriage. Then turning around to his grandchildren he said: 'You can walk hack to the hotel. 8no that the porters seind ofl our luggage by express to Cataract 1Houose, Niagara Falls. Thuy have their orders fromi moe, but do you seio- that those orders are. piompltly obeyed. Now, good;by.' - The brother and sister walked back to the hotel togetoer.
'T t will hn a curious study, -Corn, to see who will n?lrc in 'his now firm. I believe it is univ-rsmaly onc.l,'-edl that. w-heni. an old nan i.arii, a pre' y young wife, hle lecomes hll.r sIiI v,. iat loir hil oouroll grandfather lans iwni a.iislute imn.larch so long that I doubt if he could l?i reduced to servitude.' 'I have no doubts on the subject,' replied his sister. 'I have been watching them. He is nlot subjugated by Rose. lH, is not foolishly in love with her at his age. He likes her as he likes other agreeable acces sories for his own snale. I have neither respect nor af'ection for Rose, yet I feel some compassion for her now. Whatever the drudgery ,,f her lifo as governess may have been since she hlft us, long ago, it, has heen nothing, nothing to the peinal servi tulde of the life upon which she hiits inow enterael; The hLarlest-worked gveliV(iress. seamstress, or servant has some huours in the twenty:four, and some nook in the house she can call her own where she can rest and be quiet. But Rose Rockharrt will have no such relief. Do I not remember my dear grandmnother's life ? And tmy grandfather really did love her, if he ever loved anyone on earth. This misguided young woman fondly hopes to he the old man's darling. She deceives herself. She will be his slilve, by day and night selrlom out of sight, neve r onllt of his service and surveill inc'e. Po(.ihly (for she is Iot a wionun of principle) she may end by running away from her iaster, aill that hbefore 1)1ag.' Ily this time tney had reached the ladies' entrance to their hotel. Sylvan sent Corn upstairs, while he called at the oflice.
Fresently lie brought up a letter for Cora, who opened it, glanced ,ver it, and cried : ' Uncle Fabhian siays that ho' will be home the last of this month.'