|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||For Cora's Sake|
Qr tekll r. ORA'S SAKE. i Et XXI.-(Continued.) he took them out and wrote to her ecutors, saying that she was going to throw herself-not into the sea, nor from a precipice, because both earth and sea give up their dead--bot into the quicksands, which never give up anything; they, her torment ors, should never see again the body they had bruised and torn and degraded ; and she prayed that tho Lord would ever deal by them as they had dealt with her. ' It must hive been near midnight when she heard a tap at the window, so light that at first she thought it was made by a large raindrop, but presently her name was called very softly by a voice that she recognized. Then she understood it all, and her thoughts of the quicksands vanished. 'Her room was a small one in the rear of the house, immediately over the back kitchen and her back window opened upon the roof of the woodshed behind the kitchen.. Shn went and hoisted the window, and there on the roof of the shed stood Alfred Whyte. ' He told her that he had taken leave of the ogre and the ogress hours before, and they thought he was off to London by the four o'clock mail ; but that he had gone no farther than the railway station, where he had bought a ticket, and had gone on the plat form, as if to wait for his train ; hut when it came up, instead of taking his pl:ace on it, lihe had slipped away in the confusion of its arrival and had hidden himself in the woods on the other side of, the road, where he had waited until it was dark, when he had come back to. watch the parsonage until every' one. should have gone to bed, so that he could get speech with Ann. ' And then he asked her if she were ' game for.ia bol t" 'She did not understand him ;' ut when he'next spoke plainly,' and inquired if she -would run away with him and bIa. married, Sshe answered promptly that she. would. 'He told her to get ready quickly,' and to dress warmly,.for, the night. was 'damp- and cold, and to tie up a little bundle of things that she might need on the' journey ; but not totake much, because he had plenty of money and 'culd.buy all she needed. - 'Much ! Poor. little thing, she had not much to take. She put on her best dress-a well worn blue serge-a coarse, black cloth jacket, and a little straw hat with a faded blue ribbon. She had no gloves. She tied up a hair brush, worn nearly to the wood, a tooth brush not much better, the half of a broken' dressing :comb, and one clean linen collar, in .?a small. pocket handkerchief, and she wass all ready for her wedding trip. ..' He 'tild her to bolt her door before she crime out, because that would take the tgn'r sdme little while to force it open, intl twouhld give the fugitives a h?'tter start Arinn did everything her 'lover directed a'.nd finally stopped out of the window;. and closed the shutters with a spring that seeurely'fastened them. *'That, he told her, would certainly give them'ia longer start; for it would take an hour at least to force the room open and discover her flight. , Thdn they left the parsonige togetlher ' She had forgotten all about the parting note o'f malediction which she had left behind on therstand, as she stepped along the -.lane .leadinig to the highway. S'easked her to take his arm, aind ;whetn they reached the public road, he inqu ired if 'she: s~ere game for a ten mile walk... ' She told him that she could walk to theo end of the world with him, because she was, so happy to be beside the only one on 'earth who had ever been kind- to lier-since her father's death. ' Tlhen he explained the steps lie hiad'taken andipust still take, to dlude pursuit;' how, thatbhe,had gone to the railway station and boiiglib.a first-class ticket for the four o'clock express. to London, and afterward, when the train. came up, he had mingled with the crowd getting off and. getting on, and so eluded', observation, making everyone ,con cerned'believe he had gone off alone by the mail- brain to LIondon. '1ow, lie had told her they must' trudge straigh't on ten miles north, to take the train to Glisgow; so:that while people were huntiilg for them in the south, they would be snfMin the north. ' As-they walked on lie told. her that he wanted :to get away from England, and see the world-the new world across the: ocean. He liad seen Europe asumnmer after summer, travelling with his fathler and smiother on the continent. Now hle csnutecd to ste Amiri?rn, and asked her if she dild not also,. SShe told him she wanted to see every place that he wanted to see, and to go eovery where he wanted to go, for he was the only friend she had in the wide world. S'They walked ,on for hours. At, the stationzof Skeltoti young Whyte took second class tickets They reatched Glasgow at ten o'cloo.k, and found 'there' was a steamor •boundtifor NewYork at noon. They both' went;to the agents Riand 'representd themm sel~es s a newly married pail*. The tickets ,were; filled in with the names of Mm. and
marriage in Scotland. They arrived in due time at New York. SThey spent two days at an uptown hotel, :;nd then took'the pretty cottage at HarlAin, "in which they lived for several months. :nn's boy-husband often told her that she grw. prettier every day, and he seemed to grow fonder of her every day. iHo made her n ,uci happier than she had ever been before, as long as his money lasted. 'He.had left England with nearly £100 --his.half-yearly allowance. ' On his arrival at New York lie had '`writteni to "his father' and confessed his inarriage, and begged forgiveness and.- remittances. r 'But weeks passed on, anid no : letter 'rfilled with blessings and bank notes came irfrom the °oflendeil and obdurate father, , ,though the boy constantly assured his girlwifo thaflt the expected epistle would surely come :,in tiine, for he was the old man's only son, ;:'liormi ho would not be likely to discard. ' Meanwhile their money was running louvy. `At the end of six weeks after he had written the first letter to his father he wrote a sedond, but received no answer ; later still lie wrote a third, with no better success. ' They lihad gone a little into debt; in order Sto eke out their little ready money until the longed for letters of credit should come from
England; but at the end of six months credit a:tl cash was nearly exhausted. 'One morning in May the boy-husband took leave of the girl-wife, saying, as he kissed her good-hy, that. he was going down into the city to see if he could get some work to do. 'With,ut the least misgiving, she received his farewell kiss, and saw him eh-part watched him all the way down the street, until he got to Second Avenueand boarded a down town car. 'Then .she entered the little gate, and began to tend the jonquils and hyacinths that were just coming into bloom in her little flower garden, she did not expect to see him until night, nor-did she see him even then. When the little gate opened at eight o'clock and a man came up the walk leading up the front door at which she stood, he was not her husband, but the letter carrier, who put a letter in her hand and went away. 'She ran into the house, and lighted the gas to read her letter. Though it gave a shock; it did not shake her faith in her boy. -' The letter told her, in effect, that Alfred Whyte, when he had left her that morning, had started to go to England in the only way by Which he could get there-that is by working his passage as a deck hand on board an outward blound ship; that he had decided on'this course so as to got a personal inter view with his father, to whom he would go as a penitent prodigal son ; for he was sure of obtaining by this means forgiveness, and assistance that would enable him to return and bring his little wife back to England, where they would thenceforth live in comfort and luxury ; that the reason he had not
confided to her his intention of making the. voyago 'was becnauso le hdreaded opposition from her that might have led hIim to:abandonl the one plani by whichr h lhoped to Ietter their condition,. '.HeIconicluled by oentreating her nrt to think for one instiltn that lh- intended to desert her, who was.dearer'to o hii't that his own life, but to trust in himi as he trusted in her. In a postscript he told her where to find the small balanne of money thlly had left as he had only taken enough for his car fare to the city. l.n a second postscript hei promised to write by overy opportunity. Int a thirld and tlst postscript he begged hter to keep up hter heart. ' She cried aL great deal over the siopiration form her hlai, and she Inado a confilant of the elderly Irishwonian ivho was her nolte servant. ' After two weeks, Ann btegan to watch daily for th.e letter carrir, in hope of getting a letter from Alfred ; but day aftet daiy, week after week, passed and none cnnme to her. But there came news of the wreck of the Porpoise, which had sailed from New York to London ,on the day thmmt Alfred Whyte had left thins country-and whtich had gone down in a storm in mid-ocean with all on board. ! But as numerous ships had lof New York on that day hound for various British ports, it was impossible to discover rIhetlmer the boy was oid board, or if lie hbid shipped under his own or an assuimned name. 'Ann cried more tlatni ever for rt. few days, but then she seemed to give up her Ilad for lost, 4tid to resign herself to tihe inovitaldle.' 'She wrote to Mr. Alfred Whyte, Senior, hbu got no reply to her letter.; again and
again she wrote with no better success. The little balance of money left by her boy-hus band wats :al gone. She began to sell offt the trifles of jewellery thllat he had given her. One morning the letter carrier hI t a letter with ai London postmark containing a bill of exchange for a aiundred putnidiI, and notone word besides. I f'ul it colnme fromn her hev-h1l:lil, ior froimhalis fatlhe'l' She o,,uld not tell. ' Well, t,,'be brief, she never salw or ha.tr'l of him again. She lived c.infortbliy -wil,' her moutherly old servant, enjoyed life thoroughly and grew inore beautiful every day, and this fool's paradise lasted as long as her money did, Before her last dollar was gone, she saw the advertisement in the .Purauivant for a nursery governess, and answered it as has been told. ' This, my dear Corn, is the substance of the story told me by. Ann White'on the; day that I called on her in answer to her letter. -What do you think of itl' inquired Mr. Fabian, when he had finished his niarrative. 'I think the cruel neglect of her step parent and the sufferings of her childhood accountable for all lier faults, and I feel very sorry for her, notwithstandinr that she seems.to be a very heartless animal,' replied Corona. ' + 'That is the secrot of the wonderful pre. servation of INei' youth and- beauty even up to this+ present tiinie. N-othing wears a woman out as fast as her own heart,' ' You engaged her as you promrnised to do, lnut why didl you introduce hert at Rock [hold as i? single girl, and why under an alias ? ' gravely inquired Corona. -
'I introduced her as a single girl at her own request because of her extreme youth and her timidity. She naturally shrank from being known as a discarded wife or a doubtful widow. Besides, I never dirl say that she wais a single girl. I merely proe. sented'her as Rose Flowers; and left itcto be: inferred from her bhby frac that she was so.' D But why Rosa Flowers when her name was Ann White?' ' What a oross.questioneriyou are, Corona I but I will answer you. Again it was by her own desire that I presented her as Rose Flowers, which was not tait alias, as she explained to me, but a part of her true name. She had been liaptized as Rose Ann Flowers, which was the maiden name of her grand. mother, her father's mother.' Corn might hasve asked another question, not so easily answered, if shle had known the circumstances to which it related, namely. why Mr. Fabian had fabricated that false story of the young governess which lhe palmed upon his parents; hut, in fact, Corlt, at that tiheo a child seven ynIrs old, lhad never heard of it.. But she maule another inquiry. ' What became of Rose Flowers after she left us I Did she really go to another place 1 Who was-Captain Stillwator,' LMr. Fabian drove on silently without answering her, question, until she repeated it. Then he said : ' Corn, my dear, that is a story I cannot tell you. Let it be enough for Ine to saiy, the 8tillwater episode is tlh ground upon which I forbid my wife to ?isit her,.' '.Does Violet know the Stillwater story ' * No, not so tuch of ib ans you have heard. Wheo T brought her to Rockhold she was
more sinned ag;inst than sinniug : there was niothilng to pre)vI,.t her (lItr le:? iuto t icspectable family. . Ltie i t saiv i le,.. I succeeded for a few years. After s?i: .i us -hut there, I ,annot t-ll you that .stry i "You Iniu t Iln t |rb nltiilon te with, her.' * Yet slh is grilandfather's w ift. ' .i ii"repirahle ijisfortune. i'nvnt, t It t ..k r.their cours?e ; but 1 holm ie ? will nl, taki her whre he will hvi t h ogniei . I d,1 noIut thinik lie .ill.' 'Anu sie 'woul u :"? l ';ii suchl risrs. iSh' was terribly fright-iantdl when sliu' rerognized the Dean uf O'ivet. Was he really her step 'father, the once pour curate ?' ' Yes. While they were lionizing him in the Eastern.cities, his portrait, with a short biographicalLriotice, was published in one of the illustrated weeklies, where.I read of him and identified him by comparing notes with what I had heard.' 'How came he to rise so high ' ' Oh, he was a learned divine and eloquent orator. He was well connected, too. He Wivs inducted into that rich living-for which he had waited so.long, soon after his step daughter's flight. From that position he rose slowly, taking 20 years to become' the Dean of Olivet.' 'To think that a man capable of quarrell ing with his wife, and ill-using their step daughter should' fill'so- sacred a position in. the Church 1' exclaimed Cora.- ' Yes; but you see, my dear, the Church is his profession, not his vocation. He, is a brilliant pulpit oratdor':,with `influential friends. lEvery brilliant pulpit orator is not 'necessarily a saint. Besides, we have only heard one side of the cruelty story."
When they entered the Rockhold drawing room they found MIrs. Rckhnrrt alonn. She came forward and received them with a smile. ' Will you take a chair 9' said Rose, pull ing forward a luxurious chair. ~* No thank you. " I must go to my room and change my dress.' 'I will go with you,' exclaimed Rose, turning pale, and starting up to follow the young. lady. ' No. You will not,' said Mr. Fabian, in a tone. of authority, as be laid his hand heavily oni the woman's shoulder. ' Sit dlown. I have something to: say to you.'