Chapter 31365503

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Chapter NumberXI.--Continued
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Full Date1898-05-14
Page Number4
Word Count1939
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleLove's Conquest
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LOYWS, CONQUEST. OH APTER .XI.--- ontinued Some months had elapsed, since ý theyf had seen each other and the two had therefore a great deal to isiy.. Denrys was interested in hearing the home news, and in imparting to. his, father the details of a regimental scandal; but in the course of conversation he referred pretty often to the Throgmortons, and, as they esat at dinner, he gave a racy and amusing 'ac count of his visit. Sir Patrick listened expectantly, waiting for some mention of' the Collingwoods. fIt came at length, but in an incidental fashion that did not satisfy him ; and, when he saw that Denys was disinclined to dwell` upon the sublject, he becamo uneasy again. ' You sail that some of the Collingwoods were at the dance,' he remarked, reverting ,to the subject after Denys had passed' on to something else. ' Did you see anythiing of thein afterwards 1 I used to know Lord Castlehurst many years ago." ' Oh, of course-yes I' said Denys. ..' I must tell you about that, sir I Lord Castle. hurst came up to me in the cricket-field to compliment me upon soie :lucky play;, and. he claimed acquaintance' with me on the lacore of his old friendship with you. He was particularly civil, and he would have-it that [ must go and see him. ! 'idyougo!' ' Yes ; I dined there one evening. 'I went o luncheon, and stayed the whole evening, liscoursing to the Earl about you. He paid ne the compliment of saying that I reminded tim of you, but he qualified it by the remark ;hat I should never be as good-looking. I :hanced to have in my pocket the photograph hat you h td just sent me, and he was aston shed to see how little the years had told upon ou. I must say that he is rather an old gre himself, and he is crippled by gout,_ rhich makes him frightfully irritable.' You ever saw such a wreck as he has become !' ' I don't wonder; after the life he has led,' .served Sir Patrick severely ; ' he was al ays a wild rakish young man ; but he has )ne from bad to worse since the days when knew him, and now I should think he has I arcely a rag of reputation left. "His sons we turned out worse than himself ; and I .ve heard some most discreditable stories I tout his daughters. Did you see any of i em 7' 'Yes-Lady Adela and her brother Lord i Bssilian. He is a little beast--the worst ,cimen of a villian and a scoundrel that it Sever been my misfortune to come across ; d the brutal way in which he behaved to sister made me so angry that I was 'lhin an ace of knocking him down more a ! once ! The little brute I'--and Es I de's eyes flashed as he recalled the scenes 'had witnessed. They are a bad set, all of them,' declared Patrick ; 'and Lady Adela is as bad as n rest. I hear theat she is a practised flirt, a that she behaved very badly in jilting an she was engaged to because he lost a of his fortune.' Mgt was at the dinner-table that this. con "sation took pnlace ; but dinner was over, o the father and son were sitting over ?r wine after the old butler had with ,.wn. at r Patrick held his glaass??p to thel ight, v' iting to examine critigally the colour of di w?vine as he uttered his strictures upon tc v Adela; hut he was in reality;observ 1uis son's face ; and he was considerably m fietened when he saw the cloud which at crords had caused to pass over it. yt hat shameful libel,' exclaimed Denys' to *has it reached your ears alsoV iWell I n ';tell you all abou6 it ; and I know you Yt hink with me that she has been cruelly ed I' bt j, related the eirctmstances as he had th rd them from' Adeli ; 'antd so forcihly, wI e represent them' that, had his mind -re 'en filled with preconceived prejudices, hi ,'atrick's warmest sympathy would co bly have been.enlisted on .her behalf. .M " 'was, Deny's eageir defrnce only con i the old man's 'isgiving and deepened .ai ,dike. I -e is an artful woman, Denys ; and of W in pleading her own'ca se, she-would how to explain away a thing of that be to observed. 'It is all very well for an a shift the blame from her-own - era on to those of'her brother-of Pa that is an easy way of getting oubt of do b it was scarcely a womanly thing for ha

her to offer such an explanation to a stranger ; and, if it were true, I muat say that I should not think any the better of her for it; but I dare say there was not a word of truth in the story.' ' My dear sir, you don't know the ciroum stances !' said Denys, with a laugh, 'Lady. Adela an artful woman I She explain away awkward facts at the expense of her brother I If you only knew her! Bllt you -don't, and it is not likely that you ever will, so it is no use urging about it.' This conclusion fell in so happily: with Sir Patrick's wishes that his mind was set 'sd deily at rest, and the contraction of his stern well-out features gave place to an expression of relief. S' No-it isof notthe least use,'he assented ; 'it is of no consequence to us what Lady Adela is or is nob; but you will never get me to believe that a grape:'ould grow. on, a thorn, or a fig on a thistle'? ' Yet those figures of speech are sometimes used to show thatex'ceptional c,tses do occur, and one reado'of tha lily springing up among thorns,' said Denys quietly. His father went on without he-ding, this interruption. . .'I-know too much of that family :to"?be able to think well of any memher of it. It is a case of degeneration thls is lamentable to think of-when one remembers the gallant founder of the family. Sir Miles Collingwood was one of the most loyal of the true-hearted band who sacrificed their homes and fortunes for the king in the Great Civil War, and he fully deserved the title that was bestowed upon him ; but his descendants-- It is a melancholy thing, but it does sometimes happen, and this branch 'of the family has gone utterly to the bad. Nothing would ever induce me to have anything to do with them. And I confess I don't like to hear you speik so warmly in praise of this girl; it sounds to me as if she had been trying to work upon your chivalrous feelings to her own ends.' Densys met the searching gaze of Sir Pat rick's keen eyeswith an impassive counten ance; but there wase hot flnish on his cheeks as:he anwoered ' 'There is no, occasion for uneasiness on "that score, 'sir.' Lady" Adela" is. the last person to be actuated,by such motives; and it so happens that she does not like me. She has shown me very clearly that she is angry with me ; and unfortunately there is godd

a resson why she should be. I was prejudiced against her by. the very esme story that you have heard; and, as I kne v the man she a was engaged to, I conceived it to be my duty to take his part against her. Fool th:t I was, I must needs go out of my way to E insult a woman who was akleady heavily oppressed and wronged, and I did a thing I which was unpardonable in her eyes. She will never forgive me ! ' ' What did you do, Denysa ' inquired Sir Patrick, to whom this new aspetob of iaffairs º was by no means displeasing.. Denys recounted the story of his remidem eanour on the cricket field; and the old Baronet shook his head. ' You should not,' he said, 'have male in engagement with the deliberate intention of breaking it. That wes a breach of faith that no circumasances could justify, and I' must admit she had a right to resent 'it. You say she would not dance .afterwards?' ' No-she refused me point-blank' when I asked her; and she let me see pretty plainly bhat I had altogether forfeited her' good opinion.' ' Serve you right !' said Sir -Patrick, smiling and rubbing his hands as if he was very :much amused.. 'You Slhuldn't have done such a thing, and she was quite right to pay you back in your own coin. She' is a woman of spirit, : I have no doubt. Never mind, ibis a thing that :won't occunr again, and you needn't worry yourself about it. .-If you have made a mistake, the best thing is to remedly it; if 'it can't he remedied,' the next. best thing to do 'is to banish it- from. ycti- mind: This is my way.' 'It has been mine too,' observed Denys; ; but he spoke ruefullv, as if, he id 'not found the plan answer in the present instance. He was silent, grave, and depiesased for the remainder of the evening re;' b he exerted himself to maintain a show'of interest ini he i conversation,., which presently turned upon .Maisie'~Yevilln. . I ' Libble' Maisie "''' said Denys; w.ithnut .iving mucelthought to what he was sayiong. ,'She must be almost grown up by nowy. I What is she like? ' ' She is ' little Maisie still ; 'she will tiever I be' tall ; but she' has kept all her pretty ways and has grown into a charming young woman i' -a most charming young woman I' said Sir i Patrick, with `enthusiam, 'D nysi if you d don't lose your heart to ler, you will be ' harder to please than I think;' A

' She always was a dear little trot I' rejoined Denye, with a smile. 'I remember how she used to be always at my heels, like a faithful little dog-a little Scotch.terrier she used to remind the of with her hair falling about her face and her bright eve. shining through. She used to persist in being called 'Mithith Denyth' at one time-do you remember ? But she didn't see the fun of being a grass-widow, so, when I was away, she transferred her affections to someone else and for the time become Mrs- Dick, Tom, orHarry, as the case might be I' ' Yes-but she always returned to her allegiance when you came back,' said' Sir Patrick'a little jeailously. - 'Oh, that was only a shorb-lived fancy I I re'member she was desperately insulted when I reminded her about it afterwards She was about seven then, and she informed me, with much dignity, 'hat she w:on' growed out of baby-nonsense ' I She was a qu.,int child, and very original '. 'She is original still-.refreshingly, so I said Sir Patrick. .fYou. haven'b seea her since she went to school, at Brusssels, and. you will be surprised at thie change in her. We shall see her at Church to-morrow morn ing.'; And, confident of the impression that Mfaie's sweet face was sure to make, Sir Patrickhad the. pru ieice to abitain fronm any more on the subject just then.