|Chapter Title||UNREQUITED LOVE.|
|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||For Cora's Sake|
CHAPTER XXVTI.-U:nEUQUiTED .LOVE.: The Duke of Cumbervale, weary of a sleepless pillow, arose early and rang his bell, startling his gentlemanly valet from his morning slumbers; dressed himself with monsieur's assistance, and went downstairs with the intention of 'taking a walk before the family should be up. But his intention was forestalled by the appearance of Mr. Rockharrt cominlg out of his chamber on the opposite side of the hall. The Iron. King. looked up in some surprise at the appearance of his guest at so early an hour; but quickly. composed himself as he gave him the matutinal salutation:
'Ahl, good ornuing, `duk , an e.arly a ifser, likle ,nyself, ch ? Comne ldown to th (library witli mi, and nlet `s look 'ov'er the iiorning plqpt's.' The papars proved to be very dull, and wcern soon., laid aLsi'd,1 by the hostiand his guest, andl they fell into conve'rsation. 'You. took a' lo.'r walk yestedriay, I hear -wenilt across 'il the fea'y :boat, and stroiled up to thel foot of Scytlhia'sH oost.''. S'.I did. Cani you tell 'nie naaythitig about, that curious spoti ' 'No; nothing but tlhat it was the dwelling of il Tindlian :oa aolniuia, wlho. pelt'an leail to .econdl sight. andi who shoullltl hve leea0 sa nt b:; the .Stato's'prison its a~ foloua, or, at .the very hleaast ta; tihe a madhouse as a lunatic. She was burned out,.oieiperhaps burned hor self out, and vanished on the siano night that (lovernor Rotlhsay disappeared. She was'in somen way cognianttb of 'r plot 'against him thatb would prevoent hlia fromnl ever enteripg:upoin tlie'duties.of .hil olfice; T, in aay c!;pilcity Its aa managistraatte, issued a\ wrtIaat for her airrest, hitt it wass toe lIte. Slie' "Las gone. It is said by some people that she is a Mexican Tndlial, who had .beenn very bhau tiful in' lher youth; ianull 'lwho thadl become infatuated with. an -..nglish, tourist . who admlnired her to such a degree that ho married helr-according . t the ritues of her nation. iHe was a falsc-laearted caitil', if lie wias an English lord, Hlaiving ;c lananitted than folly of marl?nyillg tlae Ilnllnin wolmlann, h1l1 .should Ilrce'beon true to iholr--alul tohe best of the had banrgainra. nstrlad of which li.o growv tired of lher, and finally abandoned hced '
'Dil he return to his native country, do you know 1' ' He did not. She never gave hin time. She went mad after he left her, followed him to New Orleans, and tomahawked him on the. steamboat.' She was tried for murder, acquitted on the ground of insanisy and sent, to a lunatic asylum. After a time she was discharged, or she escaped. It is not known which ; most probably the latter, as she. was not cured. She was as mad as a March hare all the time she lived here; but as she was comparativeiy harmless, it seemed nobody's business to have her shut'up. And asI said, when at last I thought it was ,time to have her arrested on a charge of vagrancy it was too late. She had fled.' * Why do you suspect that she had some knowledge of a plot to make away with the governor-elect 7' ' I suspect that she was in. the plot. Developments, have led me to the conclusion. By these I learned that Rbthsay was not murdered, but that he went away and lived for many months among the Indians in the wilderness, without giving a sign of his identity to the people among whom he lived, or sending a hint of his whereabouts cr.event of his existence to his anxious friends. But that the massacre of Terrepeur--in which he was murdered and his hut was burned occurred when it did, we might never have learned his fate.' ' You, still, I cannot see thoe ground tipbo which you suspect this Indian woman, of complicity in the nm n's disappearance,', said Cumbervale. ' But I am coming to that. Soythiri was a Mexican Indian. -It is well known to
travellers that the Mexican Indians possess the secret of a drugwhich, when administered to a man, will not kill him, or do him any physical harm, but will reduce him to a state of abject imbecility, so that his free will is destroyed, end he may be;led by any one who miay wish to lead him. This drug administered to 'Rothsay, ,by' the, woman, must have so deprived, himu of his reason as to induce him to fellow any one influencing him.' 'What interest could she have had in reducing. the man to this state of demeuntia ' ' She had been like a' mother to the young. man, and had, sheltored him, in her hut for years, when heo had no other home. She was very much attnached to this adopted son of hers; she was longing to go back to her tribe and die among her own people. It may be that she wished to take him with her, tand so gave him the drug that destroyed his will. Or she may have been, the tool of others. All this is the merest conjecture. B3ut the facts remain that she foretold his fate, abnd that she wvanished on thel same day on which he disappeared, and that he remained in exile voluntarily, until he was nuirdured 'by the- Indians. • Still-there might lave beeoon another cause for this self expatriation.' . Mayr, I enquire its nature ' SNo, 'duke; it is only in my secret thought.. 'I have no just right to speak of it to you.' lnub if the question be not indis eorct, btoll umm? why you talke so deep an interost iti the utroliabloe stiry of this Indlltin woman's life 7' ' Ocrtainly.; h,?causb tln wild youni; blade wlio mltrriud ntit left her, anti plaid. doiwn
his life for that desertion was my own uncle, Earl Netherby, the heir to the dukedom, by: whose death my father, and subsequently_ myself, succeeded to the title.' ' You astonish me. Are you sure of this ?' ' Reasonably sure. I wvas but five years old when my uncle came. to bid us good-by before going to America. 'But I remember his having on his finger a >ionderful ring, a large solitaire diamond hith certain flaws in it ; but these flaws were very curious; they were faint traces left by the hand of nature shaping out a human eye. When ordinary' mortals looked at the : diainord1, they saw the delicate outline of ai eye traced by the flaws ini the stone. But it was-said that whenever a clairvoyant looked into it they could see, not the human eye, but, as through a telescope, they could view the panorama of futurity.' ' Nonsense, of course,' assented the duke.7 'I did not speak of bhe7 ring on'account of supposed magic power, but because it was so peculiar a jewel that it. would be impos sible to mistake it for any otleer ring, or any other ring for itself ; and to lead up to tihe statement that its discovery ensbled.me to identify the Mexican Indian woman with the maniac who murdered my:uncle, as you will see very soon.- When my uncle took leave of us, my father, noticing the family talisman- which, by the way, was picked up by our ancestor, Raoul-de-Netherbie, the great Crusader, on the battle-field of Acre, and was said to hlave belonged to an Eastern magican and has remained a heirloom with the head of the family over since-inquired of his brother whether he was going to wear the outrie jewel in open view upon his finger.
7My uncle, answered that he was; and half laughing, and wholly incredulous, he ndded: "' You know, Hugh, that this stone is a talisman" against shipwreck, -fires,: floods, robbery, mmurder, illness;` and all the perils by land or by sea, ,itid'all the ills that flesh is heir, to. While I wear that ring I expect. to be safe from .the evils of the world, the flesh, and the devil. So it shall never leave my living hand while I am away; but it shall bring me home safe to live to a patri archal age, and then die peacefully in my. bed." ,These or words to this effl'eo he was speaking, While I, standing .,by the chair. in which he sat, toyed with his hand, and gazed curiously upon the talismanio jewel, and got into my mirid ,an impression' of it: that was never lost. Mlly uncle soon after 'left 'the house, and we never saw hii i alive again.' ? He was the victim of.this msl woman 1'. l kwiow it. News wias slow in 'thosa days. 'We seldbin hiard frnit mny iinrlit. 1i-1 letters: were but the marks of the citiles ho' stopped at. WVe haii. one~ lotter .from Boston, a month later one from New York, and soon as ho journeyed southward. ,Then came a lonig interval, during -_ hich? we heard nothing froin him.. At length came a letter flrnm his valet, which announned the terribli news of the murder of hisnmaster by ' Mexician "Indlian woman, supposed to be iiall. There 'were no details, but only the e'plianition: tliit li?i,,h'tlh .: ilt -who 'had seen the niirlder-w~as, detained in i1Nw O'leaiis a aa vitbiess for the prosicution, fnd slhould tot nbe able to ioretur;n homtio'util after the trial. 'It was two months 'ftei*
the latter that the valet came back in charge of his late mstsir's effects. Only the family talisman was'?missijng. And as the family's prosperity was supposed to depend upon the possession. of that ring, its loss was con sidered only a less misfortuno than my uncle's death. (To be continued in our next.)