Chapter 31365745

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Chapter NumberXXI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31365745
Full Date1898-06-11
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1344
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleLove's Conquest
article text

OHAPTERa XI. If the iaght which hod met Tressilian' startled eyes had left any doubt in hie mind' they were speedily dissipated by the first, words which- he heard Otptain 1Etmonide' say. 'Adela, when are you going to give up o-lling me ' Captain Eimonde' I That for mal designation from you chills me ,evary time I hear it ; and I bhink that 'ib is high time that you should learn my Christian name. Do you even know it 1' ' Yes, Denys,' Adele replied innocently; and the expression of her face was so ex quisitely sweet as she spoke that it was a pity that Lord Tressiliatn could not see it. He could not see the pair from behind the curtain, but he could hear, and he heard a sound which filled hitm with consternation Things had gone as far as this-that Adela was allowing Captain Esmonde to kiss her Captain Esmonde who was now even a worse detrimental than the discarded Buck fastleigh I The Viscount might well stand horror stricken and scandalisetd. He was overwhelmed with amazement and indiana bion ; and no doubb it was from absolute inability to move or utter a. sound that he abstained from declaring his presence and remained where he was, a silent listener to the convoesation that followed. 'How long have yoni known my name, Adele ? Tell me when you learned it 1' said Delys, evinoing an interest in every trifle

concerning himself and her that must have sounded exceedingly foolish to unsympathetic ea r. Adela smiled. 'I have known it longer than you would suppose. I asked Frank Throgmorcon a good many questions ,,bout you at that dance at which I treated you so cavalierly.' 'Indeed !' responded Denys delightedly. 'Then you did not regard me with quite the indifference you assumed! Did yourinterest in me begin at so early a date i' 'I don't know; I suppose so, or else I should not have been so vexed and hurt at what you said,' she answered, with a smile of fhy confession. ' But I did not know it then -not even after the adventure that night.' ' That luckless blunder of mine,' exclaimed Denys, reverting with keen pleasure to the memories of his curious courtaship. ' What fun it was! But you and I did not think it fun then, did we 7 ' ' No, indeed. Oh, Captairi Esmonde I atm so thankful that my brother did not discover us ! If he h id found out about that I don't know what the consequences might not have been' Denys had good reason for believing that. the secret was not unknown to Lord 'Tres eilian, and he remembered, too, the aseount ,to which the knowledge had been turned; but this was a point on which he thought it better that Adela should not be enlightened. 'What a state of mind I was in 1' he said with a gay laugh. ' I c n laugh at it now, but it was serious enough then; and I never felt such a sneak in my life as when I was lying pcrdu in that wardrobe, in mortal e dread of discovery. There I had to stay. overhearing every word that passed between you and your brother. Oh, Adela, how he bullied you; and how I longed to spring out rfrom my hiding place and punch his head. I don't at all like the notion of leaving you to bear the brunt of his fury when our engage g ment comes out. * I shall not mind it now,' she sifd steid elbasly. SfBut I do. I do not forget how brutally he behaved that night, and how he made you cry. 'Oh, you do not know what I felt at the esightof your tears. And you looked so lovely t with your beautiful hair falling all about you. I never thought that girls could have such long hair except in advertisements. It is no wonder I fell in love with you.' o Adela laughed and blushed, and he o ventured to put his hand upon the soft masses of hair with a light caressing touch. B 'I want to see that vision again, when you 'e won't be bent upon driving me from you,' he said persuasively. ' Adela, when will our little villa be a reality 1' ' When 1' she says, clasping her hands as d the wistful look came back into her eyes. ' Ah, 1 don't know. At present it seems to y me like a far-away castle in Spain.' 11 Why should you think that 1' he asked ' earnestly.' 'What is there to wait for I If we waited till doomsday, your amiable e relatives would be no nearer being reconciled to the match; and my father may live for tnother twenty years. Heaven bless him, poor old man-I am sure I hope he may. Even when I succeed to the estate and become ' Sir Denys' in his room, I shall not he very much richer than I am now, so why y should we wait.? Let us settle a day now dear-and let it be soon, so that people may d be under as little delusion as possible on our account. How soon will you come to met' k Vs hy, in the spring, perhaps-when the fuss there will be about the breaking off of o my engagement to Mr Blunt has had time to subside a little-- ' ' It is just that row-fuss, as you call it that I do not want you to be exposed to,' interrup'ed Denys. 'In the spring-three or four months hence 1 That will never do ! t I cannot live without you all that time; and, besides, I should not dream of leaving you for so long to..-the tender mercies of that brother of yours. I know he would behave to you; and you would inevitably break e, down under it. You must excuse me, my darling, for calling your brother names. e After what I saw I can't help it. He is the ;f most ruffianly Hallo-what's that? Who's there ' The exclamation was caused by the sound of a plunging movement behind the curtain. In his anxiety to heir the remarks about himself, Lord Tressilian had leaned forward, and, catching his footin a fold of the curtain, had lost his balance and stumbled. Thus Id ignominiously betrayed, he shambled forward with the beat grace he could muster. i ' Good heaven', Tressilian, is that you 1 e ejaculated Captain Esmonde. ' And pray r how long have you been eaconded in that snug little retreat of yours behind the cur gain t We never heard you come in.' d You were too pleasantly oscupied to have any attention to spare,' sneered the Viscount. S' By Jove, I heard it all--btle kissing and schemes for love in a cosbage. i've been here long enough for that!' S Denys surveyed hIim with a smile of good humouted contempt ; it was clear that he was neither annoyed nor disconcerted in the e least. Shb. well thn,. we shall he snared the

brouble of making any explanation,' he said coolly. Ib' a peculiar code of honour 'which lends itself to gaining information in the mode you have adopted, and I can't say that l admire it.; but that's no fflair of mine. I am afiald,' he added, with a laugh, 'that you have in for some uncom. plimuentary references to yourself that can sP scarcely have been pleasant hearing ; but I do not feel that I need apologies for them as of course, if we had having, if we had h been aware of your presence, our remarks n would have been more guarded in consider ation for yours feelings." S Lord Tressilian glared angrily at Denys; but had no holl upon Captain Eamonde, and felt that he was powerless against the polished weapons of ironical courtesy and 1e cool conbempb. E [TO BE CONTINUNDi