|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||For Cora's Sake|
FOR CORA'S SAKE, Q.APTER XX V .-(Oontinued.) ' Cora--the Lord-hal given me-grace to Gfargive thelm. Write to-my step-mother. Fabian-=will tellyyou-where-' 'Yes; I will, dear Rose,' said Cora, gazing down through blinding tears, as she stopped and pressed her warma lips on the death-cold lips beneath them. - The, sound of approaching whdels. was heard. SIt is my grandfather. Go and tell him,' whispered Cora. M'&artthalnlieft the rootnl, and in a fiewv minti6ts Ir. Rockharrt;entered, leaning on, the sini of his valot. i When he approached the bed, Il sew how it wHa?ind asked no questions. He went to the side opposite to that occupied by Cora, andrbent over the dying woman.. Rose,' he said in a low voice-' Rose, my .bild r·" .. . Sleewas past answering, past hearing. . He took her thin, chill hand in hie, but it was with`~o life. He.bent still lovwer over her, and whispered. ' Rose.' ' -: f r. But she never moved or murmured. Her, eyes were fixed in death on those of Cora..;a, Thetn suddenly a smile came to the;dying, face, light dawned in the dying eyes, as, she lifted them and gazed away beyondad Co'ta's, fozrap, and murmnuring contentedly.. r , f.+:. '' Father, father-' and.. . ......:... ' :.With a sigh of great diliterance, she fell. asleep. They: stood in silence over the dead for 'a few moments, and then Mr. RockharIrt drew the white coverlet up over the ashen face,and then lening on the arm of his servant went out of the room. Three days, later the+ mirtal remainis of -Rose Rockharrt were laid in the cemetery +at 1North End. It was on the first of Novemlers, ai wek after it4ie funeral, that M r. Rookharrt, for the ..flh time in three months wont to the workS SOn-.that day, while Cora 'sat alone in the parlour,.a card was brought to her- ' The Duke of Cumbervale.' Tlhie,Duke of 'Cumbervale entered the parlour. ,.. ... CdrCopseto recoive him ; the blood rush. ing to her head and suflusing her face with blushes,n merely. from the vivid memory of fthe: painful past called up by thlie sudden sight of the :man who.lihasbeen the uncon scious cause of *il her 'dunhappiness. Most likely,the old lover mi.stook th?il meaning of the liidys5 agitatiton in `his ploeinet a ?nd iascilbrdat tltra self-flatterinti ,g i. fi . - ' : H. Rgt. 'v'r th a i l, ;mi lhtal : avn, ,e,, .. he Sa vaalira ed L 'wn'ith easy ';;'.rie, .aul bowlitii. slightly,sail . ' My (:dear'Mrs. Rothsav; TLatI very happy, :to see.you again t iI h ipvp I will tined, you quite well ' 'Quite well, thank you,' she replied, ro: - coveraing her self-control... . Tn the! ensuing, conversation, Corin, made knoivnhller, grandfather's nccidents and the Sdeatht!f Rose... . I' jin truly grieved tor, have .intruded. at so ituopportune a time,'a assertedt the: visitor, and !tlbse to take his; leave. Thli? Cor's conscietce smoto hler for her Sinholpitatbl rudenes....; Hera was a mati.who Ihard 'crossdt the 'sea. at her: gt'andfaithar's ..intlitti on, ?who had reach:ad the.cuunatry ill ignoritcen of the family trouble; who had com, direstly from the son port .to .North End?niaid ridden from North End to Rock holdd`l-(distance of 'six or'soven miles ; and she hart .scarcely givenhllitsh t civil reoceptio. And.?j.w sholuld. slet letliiim ngo1 all the wvay liack :ta( No61th End withdut evein offering ihim soome refreshment ? Surch a course under suchh cicunistaiixces, even'towards an uttier stringer, would have Leam uipraecrdentelr `in' her neighbourhood, whlichtihlad always 'been. noteid for its hos piat aility Y 'eu'till she waas,afr?? id to offe, hint, any polithh tteutioni, lest she should in io idoing. give iiln encouragement .to urge hins suit, thattllif< dreiaded to heat, i?land Wv;as dlese; minerd, ,ra.Jact. It 6: . iot until the visitor? id tadkei his hat it'liis left Mhand, and held.out tlioright .to bid liier good morning, 'thiat she forTjcel hors;lft do o her hostess' duty and say : . ' T is a very (lull house, duke, but if you ?airi enduie its dullness, I beg0you will stary tolnnucl with ina' l - ' : A ?,iiile suddenly ligltedl up tle visitir's cold -blue eyes. ' ' Dull," mianat I Žo hlouse ai he alull -even.thloughl: darkened by a ,-ecent be;! reavenfent -- whichl is blessed by your, preaen7?. I thank you. I will stay wi'thl much ph;leasure.' Ana· saItw r have done it I tlhroughb Coo1 a, with vexation. At length the clock; struuk two, that lunchlabn .allm rang, and Coma arasa withJ a a sniii?if. ilvitation. The drluko gavolb,hoi. Ihis atimn axtid they w'ant. ito the dialang-ro'ia, Tlhe -rey.hiiritd butler [.was in waitin:.
They, ttook their places at the table.. Oild 'John:'had just set.a plate of lobster saladrl heforeflhe guest when the sound of carriage wheelrrwere heard approaching this house. In a . fL" minutes more there lnt l.heavy j steps aloo gthe hall, the door opened, an old Aaronc Rockharrt entered the, room. Cornman lher-visitor both arose. '.Ah;'duke, how do you do?.. I got .your t telegr ifn on reaching Noi'th Enr ; went to thl hiritj ti ~ninet you, atidr'foduhil'~"hat" you.: hadl sitts-ed forr "Rockliold. Hald l your 4ideapatch iirrived an hour,earlier, I should have gonm.Min ty carriagn to'. neet you,',said the Trot,tKing with prompt politeless. S Now-it. seemed in order for the visitor to . offerr some condolence to tthis bereaved hus- 1 band. But how could he, where the 'irviiver himself so dedededly ignormed the subject of ° ,his own soiw'iav? To have' said on no: word about his ='recein loss .wouldh-have boeen, in the world's opinion and vocabulary, t barl form." ..You are very. kind, Mr. Rtookharrt ;'and t *.I' ;th'ank you.?I came on quite` comfortably i if''n' the'ihotel tack :which waits 'to take' me ":baok,' was il''that he saidl; S'No, sir, the I?ack .dies' not wait to take you back. I have sent'it itaway: Moreover, t :.:T settled .your bill at., the.hotel, gzvo up your L rooms, satw,.ypur vltie` aid ordered ,:yourI luggage to lkbrought here. It'wll[~'irive 1o
in an hour,' said the Iron King, as he threw himself into the great leathern chair that the old butler pushed to the table for hi. master's accommodation. The duke looked at the old man in a state of stupefaction, and wondered how he should deal with this purse-proud egotist, who took the liberty of paying his hotel bill, giving up his apartments and ordering his servants 7 and doing all this without the faintest idea that he:was committing an un pardonable impertinence. ' You are to know, duke, that from the time you entered upon my domain at North End, you:- became ' my, guest-mine, sir ! John, fill the duke's glass. My own impor tation, sir; twelve years in my cellar. You will scarcely find its equal anywhere. Your health, sir.' s l The duke bowedraad sipped his wine. , When luncheon was over M?. Rockharrt invited" the duke into .his: study: t. smoke. Before he had finished the first cigar, the Iron King, withdrawing his 'lotus,' and sending a curling cloud of vapour into the air,: said : 'You have something on your mind that you .wish;t~i get off it, sir; Out with it.': a Yougre. right, sir. I do wish to spaeak to you on a point on which' iy life's happi n'iess han"-l's? Your beautiful granddaughter does not- ;.Ye. yes I Of course I knew it concerned ,:' Tihon- I hope you don't disapprove my nuit' ' I don't now, or, I never should have in vited you; to ,come over to this distant country to speak for yourself. The circum
stances are different. Whn ,I refusI:l Iny granddaughter's hand to you in London it was boiause .:I li ,il already promlised it tot anothoor nitan--l tine fellow, worthy to he. come one of my. family, if vWer'a muta wa=- and I never break lpa.pr'omnin. i ISo rfuiod your oTler, aid" brought the young woman honie, and married her to Rothsay, whose disaippearance andil horrible death you must be familiar with. The horror is now two years old, ind I aiii at" libelrty to hestow the had ii n whomsover I plense. You'll donas wIll as another man, and Ileaven knows I shall be glad to have any honest white man take her otffmy hands, for she is .giving_ me a deal of- troable.' ' Trouble,' sir I [ thumuliht your lovely grandditughoi' i?s, tih?ltitrf ttnd comfort; of your ago, and I feared' tor take her from you. Iwould like to know the nature of;the trouble if yti'please..' Didn't I tell you 4 She's got the mission :ary mraggot in her heitl, and. it's .fedhrl ng , a little.brains she ,hal. Shei wanlts tb go outn as a tieaohl'r itand preacher to the red heathen, as Rule was., I, cannot break her will frith tout break?ing'lier neck. : If you can do any good with her; take her'. The suitor felt very uncomfortable. I-e was no~iat all 'used-to such an old rutlian as this. ?e..did not know how to talk with liiinw--ivli?'ti reply to hisa :rude consent to the probpoial oflarriage.' At lengthli his love and c'inpmisso?n promptcd him .to say:.. '?'lihannE yout 'Mr' tUColuhairl·r h I' will take thel Ikdy, if s|? 'will do i ije'tlhe'libnitu. to, trust herself itn my keeping.'. ;r? Mria* fool you. 'But that i yore: lok out,' grunted the old man.
The next morning when they met at breakfast MIr. Rockharrt invited his guest to accompany him to North End to inspect the iron mines and foundries; the locomotive works and all the rest of-it. -The duke had 'no choice but to acceptb the invitation., The two `gentlomen' left - directly, Ifter lbeakfast, and Cora :rejoi?ed in.'the aresprit of one whole day from the society' of the unwvelcome guest. Earlier than usual that afternoon the Iron King returned home, accompanied by their guest and by 1r. Olarence. The evening was spent in a rubber'of whist. The next morning, when Mr. Rockharrt and Mr. Clarence were about to leave the house for the carriage to take thlein to North End, the Iron King turned abruptly and said to his granddaughter : '.By the way, Corn, Fabian and Violet are coining to dinner' this evening to meet the duke. .. It will be a muere family affair upon a family occasiton, ch, duke ! A vlry quiet little dinner amonig ourselves. No other guests.. Good morning.' Cora returned to the drawing room, where she had.left the duke. He arose imiediately and placed a chair' for her; biit sie waved her hand in refusal of it, and standing, said very politely : ' You will tind the nmagazines of the inonth and the newspapers of the:day on.- the table of :the library on. the opposite side of the hall, if you feel disposed to look over them. Pray use the full freedom of the house anid grounds, of the' servaLtts also, and the horses and carriages. M r. Rockharrt places them all at your dispo.al. But please excuse nme,
for I have an engagement Whilch will occupy no nearly ill.day.' .,The dluke looked 'disappointed, Iut bowed: gravely and:rnswered. : . :. :. .. 'Of couri; a pray do niot let tann ia lindrltianl ti;, your more iliportlant o?Lupak. tions, Mr:il Rotllh?ay.' 'Thank you 1I' shae IswIred, at little ;vagun'ly, and with?l. smile she left the roomi The duke anatheniatized his' fatea ll:find ing so much ditlloulty in the way of his wooing, his,. lady ,love evading hint with a grace,, a oohlness, and a courtesy which ,he was constrained to reIpect. I-H strolled into the library, tulad then loiteredl'along ontlhoe path learling'down; to the ferry. Here lie fountl tile bIo at. ti? little wharf and old "Lebanon .ol duty. " Sarvimi t,: i»rsyter,' : aid , the' old :i egro,; touching his rimless ld hatb. ' Going over , ' Yes, my man,' said the duke, stepping on board the .boat i' W'ich dey mcalls mine Uncle` Lhnum` as mentions oh loe in dose parts, mlarLer,' the old forryman ekplained. 'Oh, they dol Very well.' I will re. inlember,' said the paissnger, as the boatl was pushed ofdf from the shorie. ' How many. trips do you'inako iii a 'day 7' iiquired thlte fare. 'Pen's 'pon how llmany people is a-comin' an' goin'. _. Some days I don't make no trips at all. Odler days, when dere's a werldin' or, a fun'al, I inuikes many as fifty.' The passago was soon madoe,,aud tlid duke .stuppod out on the wvest hanik.0;, SIs there.any path leading to the top of thi dge, Unole.-Lemuel?'n inqiioed the
duke. 'Lehnum, young marster, if you please. Lehnum !-W'ich dere is no paff an' no way o' gettin' to. do top o' dis west range, jes' 'cause 'tis too orful steep'; but ef you go 'bout fo'" ihile uprde- road you'd come to a paff.leadin' zigzag, wall o' Troy like, up to Sillier's Roos'. 'Zephyr's-what 1' , ' 'Roos', marster. Yes,'sar. W'ich so 'tis call 'cause she used to roos' up dar,.jes' like ole turkey buzzard.. W'en you get up dar, you can see ober.. free States. Yes, sar, 'cause 'dab pints w'ere de pints o' boundy lines ob free States meets-yes, sah I'- • * I think I will take a walk to that point. I suppose I can find the path 1' 'You can't miss it, sah, if you keeps a sharp lookout.' ' Very well. Shall you,. be here when I come back 1' 'No, sah. Dis ain't my stoppt' place; t'other side is. But I'll be on de watch dere and'eE you holler for me, I'll come.' '' Quite so,' said the duke, as he sauntered up that very road between the foot of the mountain and the bank of the -river which the festive crowd had come on Corona Haught's fatal wedding day. An hour's leisurely walk brought him to the first cleft in the rock. From the back of this the path ascended, with many a double, to the wooded shelf on which old Scythia's hli??had onCe stood- hidden. When he reached the spot he found nothing but charred logs, blasted trees, and -ashes, as if the spot;i had been wasted'by fire.. A ray.of dazzling light darted from the
ashes at his feet. In some surprise he stooped to ascertain the cause, and picked up a, ring, and found it set with a diamond of rare beauty 'and great value. : Then in isudden kmazement, he turned tobthe reverse side of the golden cup that claipod the gem and saw a monogram. "'I thought do,' he muttered to himself ; ' 1 thought that there was not another such a peculiar setting to any gem in: the world but that. lBu howi in the name of wonder should the lost talisman be found here-in the ashes of some charcoal burner's hut ' .. With these words he took out his pocket book' and ,carefully placed the ring in its safe folds, returned, the book to his pocket, arid arose and left the spot. The duike turned to descend the mountain. At len;gth he reached the foot, and" then ho hurried to the ferry. , The bo. t vas not tlqre, and as lie could not see across the ferry,'ihe shouted : ' Boat." 'All wight, young marser, needn't split your t'roat, nor mny brain pan, nider. I's coming,' camne the voice from mid-stream, for ,the. old: ferryman- was half across with a chance passenger. In a few minutes more the boat grated on the shore, the passenger jumped out, tipped his bat to the duke, and hurried up the river towajid North, End. ' Dat pusson were Mir. Thomas ILylan', fust foreoman obor all do foundries. Dore's a inany foremn, hbut he be de fust. Come down long ob de olo marse din artornoon for sum 'counts, I recon, an' now gone back wid a bld bundle ob papers an' doo'ments. Get in, I's roddy,to start,' and.he cleared a,seat
in the stern for his passenger. 'Who used to live in that hub on.-the' mountain before it was burnt down ?' asked the duke as he sat down. 'Ole Injun 'omnn n'amod Siffi r.' ' WVhee ,lid she conme from 7 ' Dunno dlat nutler. .Nhobly i?i'?n ? 'Can't you tell me snethtling.abi)ut.)tli a" strange :person, who lived right here in your neighbourhood?' (To be contin ": in our nRxt.)