Chapter 31365502

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Chapter NumberXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31365502
Full Date1898-05-14
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1251
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleLove's Conquest
article text

" r CiBs' iTa XlI. Sunday morning camp, a bright August day, and, as the bell was ringing its last strokes, the' stately old Bironet and his tall son entered the little village church and took their seats in the family pew in the chancel. Admiral Neville's grizzled head and weather beaten features were to be seen lower down in the churchb, nd reside him was the slight fgure of the little brunette who was his heiress. Her features were shaded by the broad-brimmed hat she wore, but, when they met after the Hervico was over, Deeys saw an attractive little brown face and a pair of extremely bright and intelligent dark eves that regarded him with undisguised friendli ness and interest. They walked home together, Sir Patrick falling behind with the Admiral, and noting with satisfaction the ease and readiness with which the old acquaintance was renewed. Maisie was a very animated and intelligent

d young lady, anld she found plenty to say to u her old playmate before they reached the e lodge-gates of the Manor. The Admiral's y gate was a few steps farther on, on the ib opposite side of the road, and they paused o until the two elders ome up. Maisie was y making Deny's laugh with a reminiscence of g her childish days when the two old men s joined them, and Sir Patrick's face beamed responsive to her remarks. r ' In't she a jewel of a girl, Denys 1' he a said eagerly, when the Nevilles had gone 'their way, and he was entering his own 1. grounds with his son. d 'She is charming,' replied Denys-' quite charming. And she is the same dear little a sotl-that she always was, I can see.' He spoke with all the warmth that Sir Patrick could have wished for; but the t young man was mentally making a comnpari son that would not have pleased his father had he known it. Denys. was thinking of Adele, and he -wished Sir Patrice could see her. If he was so delighted with Maisie, how could he fail to resist the grace and charm that.made Adele a queen among women 1 If he had only known her before his mind had been poisoned against her by those lying reports. .. ' ':.The two men stopped as they reaohed one t of the rastio bridges crossing the stream that •wounrt so prettily in and out of Moreton woods, and seeding a fat trout that was lying moionleess in the shadow of the bridge in the nut-bYown. water, Denys idly took up a pebble to tickle its tail. Y''es-Miss Meville is a fascinating little peroson. She will have: no end of admirers ty-and-bye, no doubt,' he said pausing to take aim. 'I wish you would forestall them, Denys.' I ,Splash went the pebble, a long way wide i ofiits mark, and the fib darted away, scurry- i ing up stream-; biut Denys gave no heed to I it now. He regarded his father with a dis-. turbed and anxious glance, realising for the 1 first time the direction in which his father's I 'wishes btiided ; but he retbrained the im- a pulse':to blurt out an emphatic and uncm. v prising .declaration of independence, and a attempted to turn the matter off with a a laugh. . Ii * 'Iy dear father, I hope you .are nob tak. er ing to matchemaking in your old age,' he said ;s lightly. 'Itb only brings vexation and a disappointment in its train, especially in such al a perverse and unimpressionable person as I w am.' si

Sir Patrick was silent. He saw that he had made a mistake in speaking so soon, and he wi-hed that he had not broaohed she suhj-ct But he decided not 'o make- bid worse by fu. ther ,lundering, a d hi registered a vow that he would be on his guard against the danger of defeating his own ends by any injudicious advocacy of his cause. Sir Patrick adhered strictly to this deter mination for the ntxt few week. ; he let things take their course, and it seemed as if Fate w es inclined to reward hiri by playing into his hand, for during this tine Denys saw ai good deal of Maisie The character of th-ir intercourse hiwever I precluded the possibility of anything more than friendship. With the quick perception r of her sex she perfectly understood Captain I Esemnde's feeling towards her. and, beian a . sensible and healthy minded English girl, -h was in no danger of bsnowin r her affect}: n where they would t.ot be returned; ·Sh',-hai read no French novels and very few English ones; but the unperverted instints -of her ;girlhood were a safer guide to her than much sentimenal reading, and sae w.ould h.ve heartily despised herself if she h ,d enter ttined for any man a warmer feeling. t.ti she had reason to believe was entertaihed "by him. Captain E monde was the most fascina ting and engaging, as well as the hindsomesr and most interesting man she had yet mnt, and she valued his friendship very highly. She showed her liking in her fr4nk girlish way, and, as Denys could not do less than respond to it, Sir Patrick's hopes began to revive. Several garden parties were given in the neighborhood after Captain Esmuonde's return home, and, as Maisie was more companion able than any of the other young l'dies present at these gatherings, he naturally sought her society At Mrs Hilton's bt.n' party he was observed to devote himself almost entirely to Maisie. Mrs Hilton looked at Sir Patrick with a meaning smile and nod as she observed the two returning from a long stroll through the gardens, and he responded with a good humored glance. The Baronet had no idea that Maisie, who by some sub le intuition had divined some thing of Deny's secret, and had a remarkable power of drawing out the confidence of people whom she liked, had been listening with warm sympathy to an account of which she was quite capable of reading. Poor Sir Patrick drove houte from that tennis-party in a fool's paradise, imagining s that all was falling out just as he wished, f and he looked for speedy realisation of his hopes ; but he was soon to be undeceived. The following day was Saturday ; and in the afternoon the rain poured down incess antly. Denys disappeared soon after lun 'cheon, and Sir Patrick was left to gaze dis- consolately out of the library windows, fret- r bing over the frustration of a picnic which had been planned by Mrs. Hilton and him selffor theexpr ,ss benefit of Denys and Maisie. Having once gone in for match-making, Sir Patrick was completely absorbed in his new hobby. He was terribly disappointed by the perversity of the weather ; but, as he b looked out of the window mentally anathe- 6 mathising the rain, a happy thought occut red to him. A picnic, with dripping trees, wet a grass, and umbrellas as accessories, was out Il of the question ; but why not go across to b to Ashholt and spend the .afternoon there I ci It might answer the purpose jtst as well, or h better ; and, under the infltence of this aud. den inspiration, Sir P.,trick's countenance cleated and he went in search of lii- son. ITO BE CONTINUED1 - -