|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||Love's Conquest|
SLOYR'S ONQUE ST . CHAPTER XIX.=-Conbtinued. 'I have so-much to say to you,', said Denys, .-breaking the silence Ait last. .. '-A gre'it deal has:happezied since I was: here f-Lave you hea-rd of the change in my posi-. lion l i Do you know that I am now a com paratively -poor man,,end .that L have no iprosp:tets:;beyoncd my- pay ,and the small income that will come to me from, the en tailed estate, that -my father cannot keep from me' The words roused Adela from a dream-of her forgetfulness. She was effectually recalled to the miserable reality ;-and the realisatiun came upon her, with a shock. -Ah,' she re-plied wi'h -'i deep' ~igh, ' I know Ihat your . fat her has been. very angry, iiid I kno.w wh:t made him so,. Mrs Throg morton toll mi- about it; and Sir Patrick wrote: to me: Hle nei?dn't;have:said what he did; I should not have stood in his wa y. I know what his feteling is ; 'bIto when he finds that there is no cause for his anger, he will forgive you.' 'I don't want his forgivenes3 'ibt thoe cost of my happiness, and f will not have it, said-,the young tnan passionately. '.And, as. to. froriveness, it is I whlo have. to forgive, I think. I told him when he. sentb that' infamous Jedter to you I would never forgive himo,-' Adela, lthat-i what 'I cuim dowii to: ask you. fla9 thlitvile lett'e. cone its work? Has t xoffeit'le, and li\rt you so much is to make my suit hopeless ? You did not give me muchl reason for hope before, but I don't think you knew how much I loved you. I love you so that I cannot imagine my' life without you. 1 have nothing to ;offer you now ; but I throw myself' otl your- meroy; You refused me when I was rich-I don't think you will.nowlthat I am,.poor.' He turned :to her with a -look: that made his pleading ahi6st irresistible, and essayed to take her hand ; but she moved :a step away from him. ? 'Oh, don't, please, please, go on like this I' she cried, in great agitation. 'I ought not to listen to you--I ought not indeed I 0Don 't: you see that I iave no-right to let you-I oniht' notb ihdeed Don't ..you seee;!sthat I have no riiht t6 let' y ia make this tremend'l ous sacrifice for my sake '1 `And I haven't' only myself or you to think of. Besides the ruin to your wordly prodpects, there' would, be the estringelnent bebween you and your father. And my' father has been bitterly insulted and angered ; he would never forgive me. Then there -is Mr. Blunt, .to wvhbti I'- hwv "given '-my promise i. Oh, ?I ought not to have let you speak-we ought not to have met ag-in I I, am engagedl to Mi. Blunti, and I miust never 'thinak of you any more I' They had reached the 'littble dell which" formed a " cul.de-saca" at the and of the: lane, and standing in the shade of a clump of. great Scotch pines, near the lichen-covered rock, 6over which the stream.was tumbling-= leaping in sparkling cisceedes among the mossy stones anid hurrying away in its winding channel between the birch-trees; but neither of tllem had eyes for the pretti ness of the nook. •There was it shdrt' hitter silence between them ; and, when Denys at last, broke it, his voice seemed strangely altered..: 'You m-au. that· You have given otir I" otniso to another man, and intend;to, keep it ! Then of course I have n:o right to say anothei" word.' Heo hd not thought seriously of the hint of an tnz.gement which had been conveyed in Frank's letter-he had looked-'upoh thiat as a mere go.sip about an. event bhat was pnssiblea--id the announoc meit : of ibt froms her own lips as an adbual fact was a cruel shock to him. It mnide his face turn sud rl-nly hrd,l, and his voice sodin etl s'ern hard hii.tt'r. The displeasure in his manner and the reproa)ch in his eyes piercod Adola's heairr, i.nd the pang she endlured was worse than anythistg, tshl had ever': Ixkoriienced. She could not beha ir, and, with quivering lips and with tears in lher eyer, she cried out " Oh, Captain Elmunttd,., do d nob' rnisjudge me-you ahtuiiil I love I It is too much I i c into -canmiot bc,,r it I You do not know thl if sons that have driven- me to take this ate,, !' lie looked into her.tigonisel face ; "nd, if c:,,tl-irtmatiOn ,f the tt:uth revealed in her invliutiryi ,atpu.uI wire needed, it was to be re ,I in hfr beautiful esies. .. ,Say tIhlit aegiiu, Aela l ' he cried, in a lot.s of hItpiy"ig'itatio'. '$Sny:thla! you love me I Do you indeed? Is tha.t really truel
Then, 'my darling, I do not care what reasons or obstacles o,r claims may be in the way ! You are. mine; and nothing on earth shall come between us ! ' He took her hands, and this time would not hber:.pilled. He retained, them in his grasp and looked straight into:her eyes. ' [ am not going to insult you, Adela, by asking if you are afraid of poverty-if you are unwilling to give up the wealth and luxury that might be yours if you married this rich man whom youdo:.not lovye. :I: know you too well. I kno.v that such a consideration would not weigh with you for. an instant. You mush have been forced into this engage niienti; but whatever the i oasonsi may- have been, they shall not-stand !i' :. "They-do shind--ihey must stand !' said Adele desperately. 'Let go my hands, ,Captain Eamonde I You do not know. I -'am tbound to Mr.- Blunt by every -considera tion of honour and duty--' ' You are nobt!' he interrupted impetuous, ly.' 'Yoiu are itot married to him yet, thank Heaven I' ' No--bub I,shoul'l have been but for my sister's ,death.. ; It was p rtly for her sake that I consented--that she might have .a .home and some chance tf. happiness after het wretchel years of exile.; and, .fter all, -she has been taken. Bubt;nothing: else has been altered ; and T 'cannot marry you after what your father has said and written: If it were.not. for me; you ;would marry Miss -eville, as youtr father wishes.' 'Miss Nevillel. What have you heard .about her I ' ,I heard that you were about to. be en gaged to her,' said Adela ; and, in spite of her disbelief in the report, there was a look of acute anxiety in her questioning gaze. :.a Engaged. to; her ' lI-Wlisht-, an=. at.om in :ble calumny I I would not be so wicked. Loving you as I do, how could I engage my. self to another ,woman I. No-Maisie Neville is a charminig girl, and she and'I have been friehds since she was a baby ; but there never has beenany thought of anythingmore 'between us. My.father wanted me to'marry 'her-thiat is true':; butb e is perfectly "blind aind unreasonablo." Don't let us talk about it, Adela, tell me.--when did you find out that you loved me I' ' Don't ask me ! I oughth not to have said it. .Oh, weak and wicked;that EI am-what have I been spying and doing i' cried Adela, in a sudden access of despair. 'Captain Es monde, loose my hands.l, I have no right to let :yoi, hold., them whenI I belong. to Mr Blunt I"' ' You must break off your engagement to him. `" He must release you-he,shall I ' It would be wicked of you to marry him if you love nme ; and, when he knows that,.he will set you free.' i told him before wdtwere engaged that I :loved you,' said Adelal'; ' I, told' -him 'soi dis tinctly;, bt ,, said. there were barriers between us thatbcould2 ever be'remnioed and he said he would take the risk. _" 'e had been most kind anld forbearing atid generous, and it is terrible to think' 'of the 'pain 'and disaappointrimen I.should inflict upon him by giving him up now- He loves me.as much as you do. , 'Iimpossible!' replied Denys. : 'No-one ever 'has loved, ever -will, or .ever can -love you as I do .. I'll .engage to give up everything:' elsei in the world to please you; now I know thab.you care for' une, I will never give up. You belong to, me, Adela'; and:I consider you mine just as much as if you were already, my wife.: Such love as ours is not to be trifled with, or mischief will come of it. You have been forced into this'engagement, but' you- are not 'going to carry it through. I hall not let you I' - He grasped her .hands so forcibly that the sharp facets of the. diamonds of her engage eient ring were 'pressed deeply into her soft fingers, and the pain that she winced under was a sharp reminder of Iher duty. Denys, il his: determination " tb bear 'down her scruples,. was quite as mainsterful as Lord Castlehurst or Lord Tressilian could have been ; .hut Adela was used to contesting strong wills, and although circumstances had sometimes been too much for her, her father had:s id truly that she was anything but weak-miided: She looked at Denys without a word; but.!: the expression'on her face was "one of unfalterinig resolutioni." ... Look here, Adela,' he said in desperation -'if I let you'go now I don't know what may happen ; you might marry that fellow straighhtoff from ia mistaken notion of self Iabnegation.' '1 won't do that. Please let go my hands -you are hurting me.' Denys. relaxed ,Ilise hold instantly,'with a look of self-reproalch andt remorse; and the passionate tenderness with which h.e.raised her hands to her lips and covered it with kisses caused Adela. farworse pain than she felt from the bruises on her fingers. .' iOh, don't,''" she said.; 'you- are breaking my heart-you are indeed.' S'My.darling, you have suffered enough; you shall be sived from any more of it. Jomie right away with me at once. I will tiako ypoi to moy aunt iin~,Lndon, and we can be-married ::from her'house. ':
SNo--o--n!' s aid Adela vehemently. I nri not such a coward I 'I am nob going to behave to Mr Blnt like :that. '?:I believe you are right ; I musb break off my; engage ment with him. I do not,,feel as though I could marry himno;- b.ut to leave him like that, without a word, without any reparation, would be too base a turn for'all his goodness. Y?U? inu no_' ask inm;:tb ido that.' ' ' Well, I won't 7tlifi. But I do:ask you to break off the eaigagement wiTnoubt delay, and give yourself ;to:, me :as soon as you ore frie., SI? don't know." Ib may be that I' may ntever be yours ; but I, hope Mr Blunt will Seleaae me, for I cannot-I cannot marry him now_: -Oh,` I cannot.' If he does not consent to give me up--' ' lie musl I' Denys said.. ' I tell you it would be sheer wickednesa 'for you to go on with this; aid if you bry, I warn you I shall fuorbid the 'baiins.' His lightier tone :showed that' hur-conces-. sion was It rlief to' him. But lie was by no mean satifiedll,, and :he demanded anxiously how she would be nble.tevenlighten Mr Blunt as to the state oOf 'her feelings and ascertain whether he would release her. He is cominig over to morrow morning,' said Adela, , ' He. comres almost overy day; ,but L will send him a note to say that I liavo something to tell: him, and that 'will .ensuru his coming.' . ' When shall I know the result of the interview 7! asked. Donyd nexiously. 'You must not keep me . id suspense, "Adela. I.
shall come up to-morrow afternoon to know my fate. The worst of it is that I might run against your father or your brother; and neither of them is likely to look with friendly eyes on my suit now. They might prevent me from seeing you; and, if once they hear I am in Ihe neighborhood, they will take every precaution possible to keep us apart. They might checkmate us by some move it is impossible to foresee. It would be wiser to run no risks. Won't you come and meet *me here to morrow afternoon 1 Here we shall be safe from interruption.' ' It is no use thinking ahout it. T must not come. It is no use thinking about it.' ' Why not l Do come-ah, do, darling !' pleaded Denys, in his most persuasive tones. It' is.a perfect trysting place. You must come. '1 must not comr,' stid Adela firmly. ' If iM.rBlunt holds tme to my engagement-as he may do -I shall not be justified in coming. You muat come and ask me, and, if you think that too risky, I will write and tell him what Mr Blunt says. I should tell him that I was going-to do that.' 'I shall come,' said Denys decidedly. ' Well, I can't forbid you,' she replied, with a wistful look that belied her uncomprisiug words. ' But I must go now ;. there is a short out through the park by the path up this bank. I shall go home that way.' 'Why I 'Because-because-oh, OCptain Esmonde because the longer we are together the harder it` may be for us to part, and besides it is not right and honorable of me to be listening to you when I am still engaged to Mr Blunt. Good-bye !' And, drawing her hand away, she fled, leaving him in a state between hope and-despair that bordered on distraction.