Chapter 31365687

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Chapter NumberXVIII.
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1898-06-04
Page Number4
Word Count3026
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleLove's Conquest
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gi LOVE'S CONQUEST. T CHArEsR XVIII. if Adela, however, was not so very happy over the sudden change of her prospects. She i felt that she was acting vainly the heroic b part of a social martyr, and:a martyr's feel ings are-ever sad and depressed, -instead of b brighb and joyful. But she did her best to hide a tinge of regree away -from , all her friends, and it was palpable only to her inner conscience. She sat down at once to write to her sister Elizabeth, anxious to let her-know of her early return home C. ri She was not kept long in waiting, for the p following. answer i was dispatched the same a day hers arrived:-'' * .DEAR ADDIE.-1. m snatching ia few moments from the vigilanci of the sisters, to d answer your exciting note. As fo' my h father I hate and despise him for his share in 8 sending me here I was not to blame for the I scandal attaching to my name. It was v devised by a relative who sought to entrap r me into a marriage which I spurned, and a d very bad construction was put upon what a was, after all, only a girlish escapade. I'll a never forgive him !-and, if I could, I'd pay c him: out for it ; but I can't, so its no use V of 'me thinking about such a thing. d Of oourse' I would do anything to get f away from this h-rrid place and the' society Y of these old women-but not at the expense 1 of your happiness. It strikes me that your I letter has a forced kind of make-be-beast-of it ring; and I don't believe ycur heart is in I the business. What his become of that charming Captain Esmonde that you dropped me a hint about I 'I cian't write much more. I have a bad I cold, which has settled on my chesb; and I have such a dreadful pain in my side that I am obliged to keep in bed. That is why 1 1 am writing in pencil. - ' Don't you go and marry the' wrong man. It won't answer in the long run. If you re illy like him, its another pair of shoes, and I'll come and dance at your wedding with joy!I ' There'll be a fine wailing and waggling of heads among these old catamarans when they lose the victim they have counted upon, and more important still the money for the con vent. They have been at the again lately to take the vows, bot I have been too many for them; and as soon as I get out of their clutches I shall tell them, as a parting con solation, that, in consequence of the taste they hive given me for their particular kind of religion, I intend to turn a MIohammedan. Don't be shocked, A.ddie dear ! I never was a religious conscientious girl like you-more's the pity-end the life here has made me desperate. It will be a fine change for Grevillo and papa to have me housekeeping for them after you ; and I hope it will he for their good, that's all ! [ am old enough to hold my own better now ; and, when once I have got hold of the reins, they will find me an awkward customer t) tackle. They will never get me back again to Spain-that I know; and, if they try it on with toe, I will pay them b.tck in their own coin I ' Here comes one of the old bats to tell me I am making my cold worse by writing. And if I don't give up they will bring the Mother Superior down upon me: Oh, they are a set! They will open this over a kettle and puzzle it out with a dictionary-they always do And I notice with deep joy that, when there have been any slang words and phrases th it they haven't been' able to make out, they go aboub quit" grieved and miserable. It wouldn't be'fair nob to confess, though, that there are one or 'two exceptions. Sister Eumene is an old dear ;. and Sister Ursula is as near to an angel as any human creature can be and. not have wings sprout l She is pevobed to her ' vocation,' anl I shook her dreadfully sometime+, poor dear; but she forgives me,.-because I am an exile in a strange land and have been hardly treated. ' Oh dear-this cough. It makes the pain drive through one like a knife.- I-must stop. Good-bye, Addie dear. Somehow, when I think of you now,: I remember you hbesb as the tiny elder sister whom I used to inveigle into my escapades when I was not" much more than a baby. I used to get into did. grace for that-I was always in disgrace for something-but I little dreamed then -how it was going to end. ' Ever your loving BESSIE.' It was just a week ,efter her engagem.-nt to Mr Blunt that Ajdela receivedfthis letter, The engagemnent was not- yet annouinced. Adele Inid begged that it. should be kept pti. vate for a little whiloeand her slightest wish

was law now that Mr Blunt had a voice in I ne the Oastlehurst councils; but she wore upon has. the third finger of her left hand a magnifi- expi cent diamond ring that he had brought her ; ther and not a day passed without his contriving gebt to see her. His devotion was touching, and wou increased every day; but the violet-grey 4 eyes that bewitched him, though they seemed no t to him more exquisite each time he saw them, has were as sad as ever when they met his gaze. -i: Nothing could have been more perfect than goiu the gentleness and sweetness with which she wog behaved to him ; but the light that he longed Eat for did not come into her eyes, and she grew in more fragile and drooping every day. fell She longed for a letter from her sister a with an eagerness for which she could Eli scarcely have accounted ; but when it came ant she did not get it directly. All the letters gla were invariably taken up to the E trl in the wil locked lost bag, and it was not until after ter breakfast that she received hers. She tore open the foreign letter in the well-known yo, handwriting the moment she was alone, and pic read and re-read it while her other lette, slay thb unopened and unheeded on the table. It was foe with a v..gue sense of depression that she mE put it down at last-not so much from the mi impression of illness incidentally conveyed of by the concluding lines as from the unwonted on tenderness and the whole tone of the letter wi -and for a moment her heart sank with a sti nameless.dread-a presentiment of what fate an might hold in store. It was a vague troubled cii feeling which she could not attribute to any re definite cause ; and telling herself that she be = was morbid and fanoitul that morning, Adela re exerted herself to shake it off When it was C; time for her to go to the Earl's room, she at was tired, out of spirits, and it was with a A lagging step that slie mounted the stairs. hi ' Papa,' she said, as soon as she entered his tt room, ' I have heard from Bessie, this morn- it ing, and her letter makes me feel rather el uneasy-' u She broke off suddenly, puzzled by the c. expression upon her father's face. It was h grimly grave, but she could see that its u gravity was not caused by ill-temper. The as next moment she caught sight of a telegram h on the table cloth and the red cover of a Tauchni'z Spanish dictionary. She stood as a if petrified, with a look of terror on her face. tY ' Yes,' said the E nd, in a softer and more s e sober tone than was usual with him-' it's it ic bad news. Poor Elizabeth is dead ! It is in 51 ' Spanish, and I can't make it out very well; t! but that is what it means.' e er He handed her the telegram;_ and she read sr mechanically the fatal foreign message that was sufficiently clear to take away hope. en * * . i of The shock of this unexpected and heart- I rending news, coming upon her as it did, It `e when she was already depressed and over. v ae wrought, proved too much for Adela's C strength, end for a time she was prostrate s ,w with illness. She was not able to come I to down-stairs until after her father and brother e iy had returned from their hasty journey to in Spain to attend the obiequies of the unhappy F he Lady Elizibeth; and then the slight cough q as which had been troubling her for weeks was 1 p so much more noticeable, and she looked so I a delicate, that Mr Blunt became seriously s at alarmed, and insisted upon the necoasity of a 'll seeking medical advice. A great London I y doctor was consul ced; but, though his opinion t se was more reassuring than Mr Blunt had c ,g. dared to hope, his intervention did little c ;et good. He declared that there was not as ty yet no real mischief at work in the lungs; t ,se but a complete change of scene and surround- t ur ings would be advisable, and, if possible, a t af. residence in a warm dry climate. Mr Blunt e in pressed for a speedy union, in order that he a at might take Adela to the South for the winter; ed but Adela could not be brought to consent. She made the mourning into which she had ad been plunged by her sister's death a reason i for putting off the marriage; and she showed 1 tab such distress and agitation when she was t -I pressed on the subject that her lover was I obliged to desist from his solicitations. He i sn. saw that the very reasons which made the on rest of the family inclined to mike their nd mourning for Lady Elizabeth as slight as , ith possible were those which made Adela feel it the more keenly and painfully. Her grief of was silent, but it was none the less deep. ipy With the patience and consideration that ,nd were part of his character, Mr Blunt kept on- his disappointment to himself, and thought to only of shielding her. He would not allow for the Earl or Lord ''ressilian to -bring any seir influence to bear upon her ; and in no way on- could his strength of will and purpose have ,ste been more forcibly shown than in the mad restraint that he exercised on Adela's an. behalf upon two such ungovernable spirits. yam He promised her that she should not lie re's annoyed by any one; and he acted with such S discreetness that soma degree of quietness for was for a time secured to her. ing About this time Frank Throgmorton, who he was still hivitig at -home, had . occasion to igh write to his friend (Japt tin Esmonde; and ice his letter cont-tined an allusion to Lady ind Adela's illness. Frank's letters were hey rambling scrawls, which were nob, as a rule, hat remarkable for the interest or news which

Iiis'y Uuuveyou, uu no alya wUVLUuU wurse ever came into his head, and, he being me deeply interested in Lady Adele, there was nd inevitably a good deal about her in this her let ter. set! A letter from Bridgefomd was eagerly zzle welcomed by Denys, on the chance that it do mnight bring some crumb of Castlebhrst news; mere and, when he saw an envelope addressed in h 1b Frank's handwriting lying on his breakfast ,go table, he tore it open, and hastily scanned It 'he contents in search of the one name that hat he cared for. He soon came to the following ster passage a is ' By-the-way, have you heard of the death are of Lady Elizabeth Colling wood I She died e is the other day very suddenly of pneumonia, her poor thing; and I fancy her death has been she a considerable shock to Lady Adela ! She n a has been ill herself, and was looking deathly id, in her black dress, my mother says, when )i she went to pay a call of condolence the top. Other day. I haven't seen her since I met in top wie at a tennis*party at Hazeldene some btas weeks ago, and I did not think she was igle looking, well then. I noticed that she had a uch nastly little cough ; and Mr. L'Estrange die. declares that she will go into consumption if for they, don't take care. But I should hardly w it think that-it's not in the family. I saw a good deal of Lady Adela that . afternoon at Hazeldene, 'and I must confess ant that I liked her better than 'I ever have tber, before. SBhe is not like other girh that one cad, meebsi; aud, `when one gets to know her, ,, i. there is something very charming about her vishI -something spirituelle, dou't you think I

I never noticed before what lovely, eyes she has -such an exquisite colour, and so iti expressive ! I remember your raving about. ly them. But, Denys, my boy, I hope you are in getting over that now, for you know it in wouldn't do! 4l ' They say that Blunt-a man who owns ti no end of coal-mines in Staffordshire, and has built himself a splendid place down here a -is always up at Oastlehurst now, and is of going in for Lady Adele. I should not tc wonder, for he is just the match that the Earl would like for her; he is simply rolling I in 'veatlh, and he is a very good sort of a follow. I dare say they are only waiting for k a decent interval to elapse after Lady o Eliz tbeth's death-to announce the engagement and, to tell you the truth, Denys, I shall be I glad to hear of it, for then I think that there ( will be more likelihood of your coming to r terms with your father. ' He seems in a most unreasonable rage at your refusing to go in for the heiress he has t picked out for you; but he will get over that. It is too monstrous and unwarrantable for him to give you no choice in such a matter; but, if you had defied him by 1 marrying the lady who was a special object 1 of his animadversion, he might have carried I out his threats. As it i', I hope the storm r will soon blow over, and that things will be straight between you again If nob, and if a any awkwardness through a suspension of I circulating medium occurs, I hope you will remember how often you have been my a banker in time of need, and allow me to a repay some of my obligatiions. I'm not a s Ormeaus like you; but, if you are in want of e an odd hundred or two I can get hold of it. a And of course you know that, so long as I have a couple of 'ponies' in my pocket, ia there will always be one for you. Bear that 1- in mind, 0 thou son of Midas I And, if the sr slenderness of thy friend's resources calleth up the smile of derision on thy lordly to countenance, bethink thee that the mouse ;s hath in her time and season rendered aid ts unto the king of beasts, and consider the te satisfaction of the puny creature in bestowing m her sme vices. a ' Thine through the roll of ages, as absolutely and unalterably,-" Tsnoa."' a. The epistle, like the most of Frank's, bore re signs of having been dashed off in haste, and ye it was almost illegible in some parts. After in satisfying himself, by a cursory glanco, as to 1; the general hearing of the beginning and end, Denys turned back to those pages of the letter which concerned the things nearest to his heart, and read them again. ; "Blunt-Blunt ! Who is he ? There was a middle-aged man who was interested in the cricket-match-- Oh, it cannot be I .t- They must be forcing her into it, and her d, health is giving way under the torture ; she r. will be going the same way as her sister. t's Oh, it is monstrous-monstrous l I must to see for myself I Let me see-how soon can se I get there 1 There is time to catch the or express this morning.t to It did not take Denys long to prepare his )y plans ; and, hurrying at once to head ;h quarters, he put in a petition for a few days' as leave on the plea of urgent private affairs. so The usually inexorable old Colonel, knowing ply something of the complicatiocs that had of arisen between Captain Esmonde and Sir on Patrick, supposed that it was on this account on that the leave was asked, and, thinking to ad do an old friend a service, raised no diffi tIe culties. as Denys well knew the reason of this un s; usual graciousness on the Colonel's part ; d- but he took care not to enlighten him as to a the true reason, and within an hour he was nt speeding into ;temptation as fast as steam he and iron would carry him.