Chapter 31365417

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Chapter NumberIX
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31365417
Full Date1898-05-04
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count610
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleLove's Conquest
article text

CHAPTER IX. Lord Tressilian was not in a very amiable frame of mind at the frustration of his cared fully matured designs, but lie adopted a btrasge method of venting his wrath. Adela, to her great amazement and relief, was not singled out as tie victim of his dis pleasure and disappointment. When she came down the following morning,- tired, dispirited, and feeling more than ever out of harmony with her life and surrouindings, instead of hiving to listen to denunciations and recriminations, she was received in sulky silence ; her brother refused to answer her when she spoke to him, and he.. would not address a word, to her if -he could help it. This was a welcome change from his usual demeanour, and Adela only wished that it might last. But, if he denied his ill-humour its usual outlet it was only because he was meditating a step which would more effect ually distress her than anything he could have said. He was resolved, since he could not announce an engagement between Cap, *ill Eamondo and Lady Adela, to do what was next best-to circulate a report which might possibly bring alout its own fulfilment. With this object in view he arrayed him self wibh care for a morning call, and, looking even more unpleasant than usual, set ,iff to pay a visit to a Mrs Stanfield, who lived:on the outskirts of the neighbouring market town of Bridgeford. This lady telonged to that stratumn of societ.y composed of the lawyers, doctors, and tradespeople of the town who had settled down into aristocratic retirement; but she occasionally forced herself into higher circles by her wonderful powers as a gossip. On the afternoon of the day on which she had received. Lord Tressilian in the morning, Mrs Stanfield, with a definite object in view, ordered her smart new victoria to be brought found, and drove out to pay a series of calls, the result being that all over the county the probability of a match between Captain Esmonde end Lady Adela Collinawood became a suijuct for general discussion. This being the case, it followed as a matter _of, course that the hints and allusions and smiling congratulations of well-meaning friends soon made Adela aware of the fact; and the annoyance and vexation which she felt were as great as Lord Tressilian could have desired. She was convinced that he was the author of the rumor.; but when she taxed him with it he would make no answer. Her position was now more unenviable than ever. Lord Tressilian expressed his 'anger and disappointment only by a sullen churl ishness of den:eunour which did not trouble her; buh the Elarl, who soon hesri of the reports about his daughter, was furiously angry' and he turned more violen ly against her than he had ever done before. In addition to this trouble and to the vexation she felt at being made the subj-ct of general gossip, Adele was made miserable by the thought of the annoyance which the gossip would occasion Captin Esmonde, and remnmbel ing the consideration and unselfish :ness with which lhe had always treated her, her'feelings of pride and self-respect were outraged by the idea that he might think that' she was to blame. 'Ohl, if he thinks that ! she thought shudderingly, a hot flush of shame rising to her temples. She could not help acknow. ledging-to herself that she cared very much for the good opinion of the- man 4whose love she had rejected, and it was the unhappi ness she felt after she had sent him away that opened her eyes to': this fact. [TO DE OONTINUED1.