|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||Love's Conquest|
_ LOY E'S CONQUEST. OHAPTER X[II.--COontinued Next morning Denys did not appear at breakfast ; but, when his father was half way through the umeal, he came into the room. I ooted.and great coated, and evidently about' to start- on -a journey. Re looked agitated and uihappy,.and from his pale and haggard appearance it was clear that he had not slept much during the night. 'I am returning to London,' ho- said abruptly, ' and I have come .to sy ' Good bye' to you.' 'Is your leave upl' inquired Sir Patrick coldly. - 'No-not till next week; but after. what has happenel, I can't stay here .any- longer. We shall be- better apart-for :a time abt least.' ' I agree with you,' said Sir Patrick drily. 'I hope that when I see you next you will. have come to your senses about -thi- foolish business.' r It is not likely that.I shall ever :be able to listen to aspetsions upon the woman 1 love, if that -is what you mean,' resumed Denys, with grave displeasure. 'You have done wh.t you cat' to ruin my hopes-of h.,p. piness, and I fear that you have succeeded. If, in spite. Of the mischief you have done, I win Lady Adela for tmy wife, :I may be"'able to forgive you ; otherwise I. never catl. I? think, when you come. to think over it;," you will see-that you are in the wrong. You have exceeded your rights in this matter, and your atbi ary interference has been un warrantable and tyrannical I' SI don't care what you think tho?b rmny interference,' said Sir .Patrick. doggedly ;.I 'all I know. is that you won't marry that woman if I can prevent it by any means in my power. And I think I have the means ; I think my letter to Oastlehurst" will do is work, But to clinch the matter, I wrote another last night to the girl herself :;- and,i when-she reads that, she'will'kndow beyond the possibility of mistake what she has to expect if she marries you.' 'What do you say ' cried Denys. 'You have written to Lady Adela '' 'Yes-I have; and, if you wish to know what I said, here is a copy of my letter.: Read it, and see if you think I have. m tda my meaning plain or not.' Denys took the p ,per whilih -his f.ther held ou't to him, and, with throbbing?hulses and dazzled eyes, read, in the well-known hand-. writing ' Madam-I learn from my son th ,t a report coupling your name with his which had previously reached my eats i, not with out foundation. My son' info inm nie tlhit you refused an offer of marriage which. he made to you, but that he hts not relinquished his hopes; and this, I h:,vo no doubt, you are very well aware of. Before the mratter goes any further however, I think you ought to be warned of the consequences thart would ensue if-you yielded to his wishes ; and I consider it my duty to:write to you and put them before you in. the plainest '.possible words. I will never con-ent to the, match I. forbid it absolutely; and. if my son marries you, it will cost him the greater part of his inheritance. ' The forttne that came to me through my wife is in my power to leave as I bhooso; and, rather than let it be the means of bring. ing into nmy family a person o,f whose con rixions and antecedents I dispprove as strongly as I do of yours, I am detefrmin d that it shall go back to my wife's family. I would-rather see my son in his coffin th.an married to yout; and I will- never receive you as my daughter-in-law. I wish you clearly to understand that I should never forgive my son if he disobeyed me in this nmatter, and that, as soon' as I heard of the marriage, 1 should not only cub off the allowance he at present enjoys, bh-t should execute a will disinheriting him fromn every shilling that I have control of. In marrying my son therefore you would be condemning yourso'f and him to an txporience-possibly a long one-of absolute poverty, with nothing but the prospect of a very moderate com pett:nce at my death; and, I think, upon reflection, you will see that it would not be worth your while. I am not a man to lhange my mind, or to go back ' from my written word. If you have any doubts on that score, you, may ask your father, who knows mre of old. I hbave written to him to forbid tlhe match, and yout may have been mado acquainted, through him, with the conse quances that you will have to fac, if yot encourage my son in hisdefiance of my wishes; but I think that it is as.well to mke sure
ithat they are put clearly before you,. and I thereforem tke no apology fur writing to you on thisisubject. SA8rssurinrgyou of;my fixed and unalterible detetrmiatiod in the matter, I have the hlonourt to xemain 'Yours truly, 'PATRICK Es"ONDE,' Denys, read the letter through without uttering a word,. biutt he -frowned angrily as he' read, and it was with diti cralt-y that he restrained himself to tlie en:l. When he had road the last sen tence, he flung down the. paper and turned' upon his father.with white face and flashing eyes. 'And thi -this vile and brutal letter, as deliberately cold, hard, and insulting as you can' make it,' he said, in a voice tremulous with passion-' this is the greeting to the Swoman I have chosen to love and honour, who is-dearer to me than life isielf, who is trirth aind puiity itself ! You do not know her ;:you have judged her by some spitieful and unrfounded report th.it you have no right to give credence to in the face of my assur ances. And, on the -strength of this idle gossip, you not only oppose yourself to my happiness, Iut try to ruin ani unoffending and defencloess girl-a girl with a, gentle heart that has already born cruelly bruised and wounded i What has she done to you that youe shpuld wri'e her'such a letter as this ? What right have you to address her ? She is nob engaged to me-she refused me in decisive terms, as I told you. How dared you write to her 1' The flood gates of Denys's wrath were opened, and the strength of the torrent let. loose was so overwhelmnirig that it rather in timidated-'Srr P iatirckn n e downis rising anger. But it was with an ominous contraction of tbhembrows that :re. ?eplied ' i' I- told ydo? '`Dey~s t6abit'I~ ioiuld - adopt every means in my power to put a. stop to this marriage; and what I say I stick to. I consider that ? li; I ir perfect right to corn municate my intentions-to the young woman.' *'You had no right to make that an.excusib for .a scurrilous attack upon her !' said Dea:ys, in a white fIeat of repiessed passion which was more forcible thrn blus:er. '.That I .tter is an outrage upon ler and upon ime. You have u ilfully'mistepresented what. I told you, so as to make me appear a conterznptible cad, making sure that I have only to -thro~w the handkerchief to win her; and you heap insult upon !insult upon the woman I love I If you wanted to wound and injure me, you have done it in the most effectual way -.by striking at me through :her. But Icall it a cruel and cowardly mode of attack, and quite unworthy of a soldier and a gentlem in.' ' Take care, Denys,'- cried -Sir Patrick furiously-'-take cate what, yon'say There are some things that I' will not stand from any man, least of all from'you ! "' do not care what I say nowA' answered Denys recklessly. ' After what you have done it does not- matter what I say nothijng matters, much to me now I To attack a woman in such a way-any woman ! But Adela--I shall never forgive you I . I am close upon thirty years of age, and. hdvu seen as much of the world as most meun, and I might be supposed to be capable of jludging for myself who was a fit wife for me ; but you have acted in a manner that wouldlhave been unwarrantable had I been a': boy of eighteeni I I will tolerate such tyrarnny no l,,nger. Henceforward I will be my" own master, and I will take my own way .aparb from yours. As for that miserable money of which you havtr tried to mnke it fulcrum-I dor not care whi t you do with it I Mloney may be a convenience, but it is not worth the sacrifice of one's own self respect, and that is bhe.prica you pubt upon i. ' I will-have none of-it, and you may leave it to anybody you choose I' 'Denys, you are- a fool,' exclaimed Sir Patridk, his eyes glowing. dangerously. 'You had better think .wice befrire you dare me like that, or I may. take you at 'your word. JI advise you not to try ' me too far. I warn youn that my patience is nearly at an end.' ' It won't be taxed any. further by rue,' retorted Denys, with quiet determination. Good-bye I' Ase'le lanced round the room his e'yes rested with a look of pain on 'a fair girlish 'face that smiled down from a heavy' gilt picture .frame on the oak-pannelled wall. The dark blue eyes narind 'the fair curls that clustered around the white temples were like his own ; it was a portrait of the young mother who had died when he was ton young to remember her.. Sir Patrick's young wife .had been his first love, and there was no remarkable beauty about her face, excepb the charm of youthful innocence ind' fresh English fairness, which hadl been caughbt and ademinrbly firi i ddit a?ras -.by th'elrirtisb?l; biut to Ddnya,:the'pietlriehadfalways seemed aen idealoE·fi'race ande lovelihss,"arfiaait l&ifi'VP th tenderesb regard for it. Hgeknew thait years might pass before he again saw.v the pictured face that: was the only remlenlbzance he had of hismothor, 'andl his eye?ssoftened in that farewell gaze. The clilange of expression was not lost upon Sir Patrick, who had followed
his son's. glance, and for a mmoont the tumult of wrath that raged within him died dowrias :he realised what his life would be if, through this quarrel, he was deprived of the sunny presence of the son who eas.-tho cntbre of all his hopes and pinns.: Fora? moment his will wavered. He was driving his 'son from lim, .and a life long. estrangement- might be the resulb.. Was. it.worth while ? WVould it not be better to yield, or, atmiiny rate, to make someecomnpiomise,rather than risk such a bitter separation ? But no. He .hdrl committed himself to a course of opposition by his loietters to Lard Castleliuret and his daughter, and he was not going to stultify himself by a rttractation. Pride, which all through his life had linen Sir Patrick's mastering passion, was too strong in him now to be overcomne, and the momentary impulse died away, leav ig him more stern and implacable than before. ' Very well, Denys,' he said in cold harsh tones ; ' I is to be "' Good-bye " then. As you will I Bub, mind this-if you go, thus, -in openl defiance of me, it is a decisive step that you are taking.' You don't cnne hank here until you have cured yourself of - this miserable infatuation, nid are ready to acknowledge that you have been in the wrong l' ' That will be never I' replied Denys.; and without another word cr glance, he was gone In the hill lihe passed the old bul br, wliose anxious questiouing looks bespoke the con fidential position hlie had won-by many years of faithful seavico,
I Yes, ' anders, I am going off, and, I am afraid,- for a long time,' said the young man in answer to the unspoken query. 'It is a serious quarrel this time, and I doubt if it will ever be made up. You will pack my things and sael them after Ime, won't you 7' 'Oh !Mr .Denvs, Mlr Denys,' cried the old mau, almost sobbing as hlie realised the truth, 'you dun't mean that ynouhave parted from Sir Patrick.in ahger? -He is too proud even to come round ; but! if you turn iigsinst him -it'll broak'his" heart.' ' You, mus look after him, 'landers ; and I know yout will do.your best to make him comfoitable. And, if he is ill, you must be sure and let'ue- know. .I'll keep you posted i.s to my whereabouts.' The dog-cart was et the door, ;and Denys sprang into it. Sir Patrick looking out of the. breakfas'-raom window, uaw it go by, and watched it disappear among the trees.