Chapter 31165799

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Chapter NumberXXXVI.-(Continued).
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31165799
Full Date1892-04-13
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count3186
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleFor Cora's Sake
article text

FOR CORA'S SAKE. C??i~sn XXXVI.-(Contiuied). ' Yes, Cora, he did.' SA.nd turned and went away. Went away and 'left :ute without one word,' she wailed, in doubt and distress. ' Cora,, my. dear, pray control yourself,' said Clarence, uneasily. ' Did he speak to you I' she suddenly in quired. ' ?ot one word.' ' Did you speak to him ?' ' No; for he was gone in an instant, before 1. recovered from my astonishment at his :appearaince.' ' How did he look ?-how did he look .:when hio recognised meo? In anger I' ' 'No, Corona ; hut in much sorrow, pity and tenderness,' gficvely replied Clarence. ' Then, why did he leave me ? Oh, why did he turn away from me ?' SMy .dear, he had every reason to think that ~his sudden appearance had frightened you,:and that his presence grieved antd dis. tressed you.' ' Vhy, oh, why should he have thought so ?' she demanded; with increasing agita tion. My deari girl, you were frightened. I amight say, appalled. You saw him suddenly, ndoil with a half-smothered scream threw youtr hands to your eyes as if to shut out the sight, and then sank to the ground. Now whati could the man think.. ut that you fearenl andhated the. sight of hiln'' ' Just as hi thought before .1 .ust us he 'thought before !' 'Atid he turned sorrowfully away and walked up to his cabin on the mount, entoiteil, and sliut the door. I saw him do ' Just as he did beofore Oh, iRule, what ,a fatdlity.1 i T'hat appearances should always be filfitp and disastrous between us I' she emoanied. SN?t in this case, Cuor.. Ab least not from tibs loutr. Come, we are on the ledge niow,' said Clarence, as lhe helped his niece, 0who with one more high step stood on the top of tle :plateau, "her back to one of the nios?t glorious prairie scenes in nature, her face :to a rocky, pine-dotted precipice, ngainst which stood a double log cabin, with. a door in the middle and a window on each side". . 'ThereOis, the hut. Now, shall I, take you theore. mor shall I wait here and lot you go alone '?; he inquired, as they stood side by side gazing on the hut. ' She did not answer. Her eyes were r'ivited hiii the do,i 'if tihe clabin, while sheI Innerd lh;,vilv in tilhi rm of hir uencle. Ssee hiow it is; you , r we:ki.ning,losing couraeic. Let niuiii :upport you to the door,' said Olance lputting his atln Uround her waist..' But she drew herself -up suddenly. 'Oh,.: let nme go alone, dear Uncle Clarence. My meeting with Rule should hb face to face only,' she replied, still trembling. but resolute. SArie you sure you can do it ? ' Oh, yes, yes I Mly limbs shall no longer refuse their office.' Oai once? tlirew.v himself- down at the foot of a puin tree to sit indl await events. He took out his watch and looked.at the tille. Sit: is one o'clock,' lie said to himself. 'lAt two sharp tile trail will mldoe, or ought to do so. 'Perha?lps Noville might. give us ?hal f an hour's grace, though.' A.t any rate, - ivill wait tlhree-quarter' of an homur, and if in that timeo hear nothing ' from Rothsay or Codr, I shall 'go down the mountain and explain the situation to Noville.' So saying, M r. CtOr'nce took out his pipe, filled 'mnd lighted it, and smniked. ' SCorona, like a soumtininbulist or a blind woman,, welit slowly towards the log cabin. holding' out her hands before liher. Shsoon = reached it, leaned for it moment against the log -wdll to recover her breath and :her couraige, and then knocked. The door. was instantly opened, and, Ilegulas Rothsay stood on the threshold still blntlthel in. his hunter's suit of bulckskin, but without the fur, cap-the same Rule, :utichanged except in habiliments and in the length of his untrimmed, tawny hair and beard. In the instarint of ineeting she raised 'liaor eyes to his, and read in thetn the undying " love of his' heart.L ?With a cry of rapture, of infinite relief iand infinite content, she sank upon, his doorstep, clasped his knees, and laid her beautiful head prone on his feet. Only, fir a second.,

He instantly raised her in his arms, pressed her to his heart, kissed her, and kissed her again and again, bore her into the cabin, placed her in the only chair, and knelt down beside her. .She turned and throwv her arms round his neck, and dropped her head on his bosom. And not a word was spoken between them. The emotions of both were too great for utterance, too great almost for endur ance. They were bathed in a flood of light from the noonday sun pouri-g its rays through the open door and windows of the cabin. It was the apotheosis of love. -Rule was the first to speak. ' You are welcome as life to the dead, my love ! But I do notunderstand my blessed ness-I do not,' he said, dropping his head on her shoulders, while she still lay on his bosom, in a dream, a trance of perfect con tentment. ' Oh, Rule, my husband, my lord, my king ! I have come to you, unconsciously led by the Divine Providence ! But I have come to you, to stay for ever, if you will have me. I have come, never, never, never to leave you, unless you send me away,' she said. 'I send you away, my dear ? I send away my restored life from me ? Ah, you know, you know how impossible that wouldl be ! But if I should try to tell you, dear, all that I feel at this moment, I should fail, and talk folly, for no human words can utter this dear. But I am amazed-amazed to see you here with me, as the dead to the material world might be, on awaking amid the splen dours of Paradise !'

' You wish to know how I came ?' ' No, :Tdo not. Amazed as I may be, I am content to know that you are here I But what a placo to receive you in. Ileft you in a palaco, surrounded by all the grand luxuries of civilisation. I receive you in a log cabin, haroe of even the necessaries and comforts of life I' he added. 'But you left me. a discarded broken hearted woman, and you receive me a restored and happy wifo I ' she replied. : ' But, oh, Cora I can you live with min out here? Look around you, dear. Look on the home you would sharo-the walls of logs, the chimney of rocks, the floor of-stone, the cups and: dishes of earthenwaro, pewter, and iron, ,tho-' Sho broke out passionately : ' But you are here, Rulo I And the log hutis transfigured into a mansion of light. A mansion like the many in our Heavenly Father's House. Oh, Rule, you are all, all to me--life, joy, riches, "splendour-nall to me. Am ,I all to you, Rule ? ' 'All of earth and heaven.' " ' Oh, how happy I am. R.ule, we will not part again--nover for a sinigle day I But be together, to-day and r ' To-morrow and to.morrow and to.mnorrow, To the lastsyllablw of recorded time ' .and through the endless ages of etornity I Oh, Rule, how could we over have mistaken our true hearts ? HIow, could we over have parted?' / ' The mistake was mine only, dear. After what you told ime on our marriage day, I lost all hope, all interesb, all ambition in life. I had toiled and striven and conquered, for the one dear prize; all my battle of lifo was

fought for you ; all my victories were won for you, and were laid at your feet. But when T found that all my love and hope had brought only grief and despair to you then, dear, all my triumphs turned into Dead Sea fruit on my lips. Then I left all and came into the wilderness; left no truce behind me; effaced myself from your life, from the world, as effectually as I could do it; and so-believing it to be for your good and happiness-died to the world and died to you !' 'Oh, Rule'! Miserable woman that I was -to wreck your life; your career.' 'No, dear no ; the mistake, I said, was mine. I should have trusted your heart:? I should have given you the time you im plored; I should not have fled in the mad impulse of suddenly wounded affection.' ' Oh, Rule ! if you could have only lobked back on me after you went away, only known the anguish your disappearance caused me and the inconsolable sorrow of the time that followed it.' ' If I could have supposed it possible even, I would have hastened to you, from the uttermost parts of the earth.' 'And then they reported you dead, mur dered by the commanches, in the massacre of La Terrepeur, and sorrow was deepened to despair.' 'Yes; I 'heard of that massacre. Tho report of my death must have arisen in this way: I had lived at La Terrepeur for many months, but had left and come to this place some days before the massacre. Some other unfortunate was murdered aind burned in the deserted hut, whose bones were found in the ashes. . did not return

to contradict the report. I wished to be dead to the world, as I was dead to hope, deand to you, deand to myself !' O Oh, Rule I in all that time how I longed, framished, fainted, died, for your presence. Yes, Rule ; died daily.' ' ly own, dear Colr:, how could I have mistaken you 7 Oh, if .L had only known I' ' Ah, yes I if you had only known my heart, or I had only known your where abouts. In either case we should have met before, and not lost four years out of our lives. But now, Rule,' she said, with sudden animation, ' now "We meet to part ILu more," as the hymn says. .I will never, never, never leave you for a day. I will be your very shadow.' ' My sunshine, rather, dearest I' 'And are you content, Rule? ' 'Infinitely.' ' And happy 1' 'Perfectly.' ' Thank God I So am . But why, oh, why when we met by the spring just now, when I wais crazed with joy and fear at the sudden sight of you, why did you turn away and leave me 7' she passionately de manded. He looked at her serenely, incisively, and answered calmly, quietly : ' Dear, because you shrank from me, threw your hands up before your eyes, as if to shut. out the sight of me. Dear, your own sudden appearance before me at the spring, to which I had gone for my noonday draught of water, nearly overwhelmed me; but I readily' recovered myself and under stood it, connectedt it with the trail below, and concluded that you wero on your way

to nFthermost to join your brother, whom I had heard of as one of the c.flmels of the new fort.. Thei,, believing that my presence distressed you, I went.' 'Oh, Rule !' After a little while Itothlsay inquired : ' WVas not that. Mr. Clarence Rockharrt whom T saw with you by the spring ?' ' Yes; Uncle Clarence. He helped me up to this ledge, and then he stayed outside while I came in here to look for you.' 'Let us go and bring him in now, dear,' said Rule. And the two walked out together. But no one was to be seen on the plateau; only, on the ground undir 'the pine tree where Clarence had rested was a piece of white paper, kept in place by a small stone laid upon it. Rule picked up the stone, ancl. handed the paper to Corn. It proved to be a leaf from Clarence's pocket tablets, and on it was written': 'I am. going down the mounrtain to tell Captain Neville that my party will camp here to-night, and join him at the fort to morrow, so that he may go on with his train at once, if he should see fit. CLARANCne.' ' -He saw you receive me; he knew it was all right; then he grew tired of waiting for me. He thought I had forgotten him, and so I had, and he left this paper and went to the trail,' Corn explained with a smile. ' Shall we go 'down andcsee your friends, Corn. Tell me what you wish, dear,' said Rothsay. Corona looked at her watch, and then replied :

' Courtesy would have required me to go down and take leave of Captain and Mrs. Neville before leaving them, but it is too late now. Their caravan is on the march by this time. They were to have resumed their route at two o'clock. It is after three now. 'We can go to, Farthermost later, dezr. It is but half a day's ride from here. Shall we go down the mountain and join Clarence ? Is it you.r wish, Cora 1' 'No, not yet. He is very well as he is. lie can:wait for us. Let us sit down hero together. 1 have so much to tell, and so much to hear,' said Corona. 'Yes, dear; and I also have 'so much to tell, and so muchl to hear," assented Rotblsay as they sat clown at the foot of the young pino tree, with their backs to the rising lill's and their faces to the descending moun tain, the brook at its foot, and the vast, sunlit prairie, in its autumn coat of dry grass rolling smooth hills and hollows of gold and bronze olft to the distant horizon. ' Tell om, heart, of all that has befallen you in threo dark years that have parted us. Tell It... of your grandparents. Do they still live ?'inquired Rotlhsay. Al Ah, no I' replied Corona. And then: she entered upon the family history of the last four years and four months, since Rule had disappeared,. and told him of the sudden death of her dear old grandmother on the very day on which the false report of Roth say's murder reached them. She told him of her Uncle Fabinan' marriage to Violet Wood a year later. O' f lier widowed grandfather's second marriage to Mrs, Stillwater, whom Bothsay

had known in his childhood as Miss Rose Flowers. Of the recent death of this second wife, followed very soon after by that of the aged widower. And finally she told him of her', own risolution to follow her brother Sylvan to his post of duty at Fort Farthermost, to open a mission home school for Indian children,; and to devote her life and fortune to their service; and of the good opportunity offered her by the kindness of Colonel Z. procuring for her the escort of Captain and Mrs. Neville, who were on their way to..Farther most with a party of recruits. ' And Clarence? :How came lies to lin ,.f the company ?' inquired Rothsay. 'Uncle Clarence could nit sgiree with Uncle Fabian in business plicy. So they dissolved partnership very amicably and ,with mutual satisfaction. This was after I had left Rockhold. Clarence gathered up his wealth, brought three devotedl seivanits with him, and iset outtto foll,w me. At St. Louis he purchuasuul wnPggns, tents, horses, mules, and every convenience for crossing the plains. He overtook and surprised us at, Fort Leavenworth on the very day of our intended departure for Farthermost.' ,?, ' Clarence came for your sake.' 'Yes; and he has enjoyed the journey. On the free prairie he has been like a boy out of school-so buoyant, so joyous-the life of the whole company.' 'W hat will he do now V' ' I think he will go on to Farthersndst for this season. After this I do not knw what he will do or where he will go.' f 'He will' remain .in this qua~ter, which

oflers a grand field for a man like Clarence Roclklarr,' said Rothsay. " I should think it might-in the future,' replied Corona. ' In the near future. The tide of emigra? tion is pouring into this section so fast that very soon the ground will be disputed with the Mexican government, and true men and brave men will lie much wanted here.' ' Yes,' said Corona, indifferently, for she cared very little at this moment for public interests, 'But tell me of yourself, Rule. I long to hear you talk of yourself.' Rothsny was no egotist. 1He never had been addicted to speaking of himself or of his feelings.. Now, at her urgent request, he told her in brief howv he had renounced all his honors in the country for the sake of the woman for whose sake, also, he had first striven to win them and had won them. ' Dear,' he said, ' from the time .you first noticed me, when you were a sweet child of seven summers and I a boy of twelve-yes, winters-for while all your years had been summers, dear,-summers of love, shelter, comfort, luxury-all my years had been winters of loss,. want, orphanage, and desti tution-you were my- only help, support, inspiration. I longed to be worthy of your friendship, your interest, your sympathy. And for all these things I toiled, endured, and struggled.' ' I know,' said Cora, earnestly. SYes, dear, you know it all. For who but you wore with me in the spirit through all the struggle, helping, supporting, encouraging, until you seemed to me my muse, my soul, my inner, and purer and h'gher self. Dear,

I wronged you when I connected your love with this world's pride. I wronged you bitterly, and I have sufifered for it and made you suflhr---' 'Oh, no, no, no, Rule. The fault was all luy own. II am ndt so good anl i wise as you,' exnlaimned Cora ; 'Hush, dear. iHear me out,' said Roth say, gently.: ' Well, go on, ?lut don't blame yourself. Oh, " chevalier, sane peur et eans reproche,' said Cora, fervently. He resumed very quietly : ' When I had reached. a position in this world's honor to which I dared to invite you I laidl nyvvictory'at.thy feet, and prayed you to share it. And, Corona, when the bishop had blessed our nuptials I dreamed that we were blessed indeed. You know, dear, what a misierable awakening I had from that dream on the eveiing of our wedding day.' 'T was my fault! Oh, vain, foolish, in fatuated woman that I was,' cried Core. (To be concluded in our next.)