|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||Love's Conquest|
SOYE'3 oONQUE3T3 CHAPTER XXfTI.--Conbinued. SNot yet, perhaps'; ibut you will soon ?lhave to.: She will adoptyou as a nieco direct= ly, I know. Her n me is Madame de la Rivodiere.' What--is she French-?' 'No buit she married a Frenchinman, and she has lived for y.ears in France, so her ways are quite French-and very charming, "I think: Yoea must not be surprised if' she receives us in her bed-roomh. 'It 'is. her regular habit to go to bed at three o'clock in the afternoon, and sbe receives her visitors sitting up among :her ,pillows (juiit like an old French ma.rquise holding a levee. She is not like anybody else I .ever. knew, add I ami no.hind at disclritidns j, hub you. will see htr for yolrselh diiectly. Here we are I ' The cab hbad stoppd -before one of -the great houses built in 'flats' at Prince's' Gate ; and, handing Adela out, Denys took her up a broad flight of stairs to the second storey. * She used to live in chitrming apartments' "au troisiene" in the' COha'mps Elysees in Paris. .when , .first found her out,' said, Denys ; 'aid she has made her homne here as much like that as possible. :'You will sue that her rooms are n b a bit English. Ah, -Eugenie-how. are. you. . Tee trim dairk-complexioned little: maid, ' with bright black eyes and cherry-boloui'red rihbmns in her coquettish little cap,. was plainly not English either, and she returned. Deny's salutation with a voluble and delighted greeting in French as she showed them 'in. Madam-- would be ch ,rmed-?b s"''Modsieuir -it was so long that he hild iot':been I .--Yes -Madame was awake, and would see Monsieurh Denys-.oh, ciel. yes !-and. Maaeiroisý"lle I ;.. j .Thiegirl o•duld nto ki/ip the wouider .she felt out of her black eyes as shelooked at the lady who acc)mpanied the t'ptain ; an i' Adela coloured vividly. ' I had hetter prepare my aunt,' said Denys. • Will yciu wait here a s toond ortwo;:, my. dearer.?' .; . .. wrhichbo. treietinild. ia Freitih .salon, with itt bard polished floor and gilt and ormoluo furniture, that she could almost have fancied herself transported ihbto the,.midst of'Parisi while Denys followed' ihe smaid l'through :a' door opening into the next, room. The time of waiting seem-d interminable to Adele, : who felt,. indescribably-, lonely and desolate the morDhnb Denya Wasg9ut of her sigliht'. lb~ib he reappeared at list smilingsas he he'd the door open, and signed to her to enter. .8Sieweii 'in, and the" blaze of light that met her eyes was quite dazzling. A bright fire was horning on the tiled hearth, a .d'the: room was brilliantly lighted with innumer able waxes candle-. It was a small room, and there.was no carpeb on the polished. t'-floir; -but: ib was turer cosy:.ind.bright "and: cheerful than any bed.room 'Adela had ever; seen. The panulled walls were painted white, pale=blue silk curtains were drawn across thie ;longi;narrow winlovas, and. ther touches of the stme delicate colour here and there relieved the whiteness of thte walls. A pale-blue s ttin coverlet was spread over the bed, and propped up among. daintly frilled and embroidered pillows was an 'old lady dressed in soft satiny' white, -who `marde a fitting centre to this interior in white ands blue, Site was a very pretty old lady. Her hair, which she wore-in two curls on each. tide of her face, was the whitest, and her eyes the bluest, that could he imiagined, aid: the' delicate lace s:rings of her cap were fastened tinder lier chin by a beautiful littl)' :hroooh consisting of as single " magnificent- .dmep-blue sapphire set round with diamonds' r It was all so unlike wiat ?a ela' hbud pictured that she'felt quite bewildered; and site stood still, looking as much surprised and interestel as Derenve ould have' desired, until she was summoned to the':bed-side `by .:the high-pitched tones oti the old lady's voice. ' Come hero, detr child I Lb men see my boy's choice and welcome my. new . ni'ce'l " addthe old lady put oub- ahand, on whichli. splendid rings flashed' adil- 'glittered, and Adela's cold firgers were taken and held in a; wtarmt clhip. ' . The. reception which. Madame de la Rivnd- I iero gave to: her unexpected guest was qui e as cordial and motiherly as Dnys had foretold' and . very few minutes estffice.l to make Adla feel that hle had brought her to a real refuge. ,. A tempting little supipder, cooked espeiallyj to suit the taste of Captain' Esmonde, who was an especial favourite of Jeanne, the pre.
siding genius of the kitchen in Madame's little establishment was presently brought up; b and, while D."nys and Adela sat down to a ? little round table on which were set out all hi sorts of daintily-discussed delicacies, Madame sla M uquise, as Ade!n in her own mind called tie dignified lit In lady, sat up am tg l -her pillo vs and sipped her bouillon or what- t ever it was that her basin contained. s ' I do. nct apologise for asking 'you to sit e down to your supper here, inmydear children,' s she iaid, in her gracious tones, 'for you know that it is because I cannot deprive I myself of the p'easure of-your society; for the 1 short tine liht iemains to us this evening. , You, my dear little one,' she said, smiling at 'Adela, ' will stay with me for the present, at leass ; but I have not room for this boy, and he must seek other quarters. What hotel do I you propose to go to, Denys, my dear boy 1' ' I don't know. The nearest,' hle eplied,' :with a-smile,''so .tha6 I -may stay here as long as I can' and come again early in the morning.' And he didistay as long as he could-long 'bejohnd Madaime's'usual hours; and he was so unwilling to eo that at last she had to dismi.ss him, in plain terms, telling him that he was :a . aughty boy, demoralising her ?whole. household and keeping his fiancee from the rest she greatly needed. He rose from his seat, laughing, and said "'Good: nighb,' i kneeliing on one knee and kissing Madamei de la Rivodiere's hand iný a way that seemed perfectly natural and appropriate; then he turned to Adela. ':Do notb mind me, my children,' the old lady murmured softly; but-Denys hesitated, end looked at Adela's blushingg face with laughing eyes. '-;'-"om inmad 'se me off th? premisies;, A dela !'. he said persuasively ; and he bore her off to the landing above the stairs.~ SAdela'e-,eturned .to hier:?ostess with . an absent and wistful look in her eyes that made the old lady smile. ' Silly child,' she said, with gentle raillery; .' you ate feeling lost ; and stranded withou t himn already I Bub' be tranquil ; he will- he here ve:ry early to-mot row morning, I have no doubt 'Alh, child, you have a sweet face and.lovely eyes t I do n,-twonder., thl?t Shis fancy. was caught. And so you have lioth decided to g:ve' uip,eveiythliing for each other' Foolish, foolish children I And I am worse -than you are, to he sowready to help yoti it. You must tbell'm all about ib to-moorrow-I ?know. scaicely' anything; thatbboy Denys was in such a hurry to bring you in-and- men are always. supid -at expl ,nations.' You shall tell me everything r' hut to:morrow, not now. What you want now is sleep. Eugenie shall show you the room she has prepared for you Good night, my white lily,' : Adela was worn out, and she slept di eanilessly until late the following morning. Wiheri she entered tlie smll salte-a-manger, to which.the attentive Eugenie conducted -.her,. she found Denys already seated at breakfast. with.Madame .de:la Rivodiere, who earned her','fternhons of: 'ease and repose by the extreme energy and activity of her. morning " liabits. " 'NoIw, my. children,' nhe said briskly, aftbr she had cleared away the breakfast things I. with her..own higds,, 'whato will you do ? You can have this room to yourselves; or, if you : prefer the a salon there is a fire. there,;. or, if you would like a drive in the Park; I cm order .the carrmi ge,. which is ,always: at my; service. The morning is fine'; do just what you feel disposed. As for me, I ami always invitacible.ain the mornings. I: make no ceremony with you and Denys, whom I regard as my children, so you see me en petgnor.' , And indeed the little lady, charming and Sdelightful as 'she was in her commonllace' grey woolen loose wrapper, did look very different friom the,:marquise of the, previous night.; '" "`Denysend A'delas choose to g' for'a walk, and they were happy at being alone togeth'er iiin the .P;·rl, "which at that early hour was almost empty, only a few nurse maids and children -or a stray rider or two being -visible.. A Landon park on a sunny morning has itrapicture-que aspects, ~ndlto these two, '.valkng'ing it, even the fogr '?vs Iethereallised; in bthe rose;co:oured" reflection' of tlf-ir o0wn happiness 'There is one thing that troubles me,' said Adelea; digresiing from ;the plans for the futiire that formed the subject of their conversation. I am afraid I ought to have thought of it before,, and I don't know how Iit isethat I ??aven'; ,Will .no? yourt`atint'b Ikindness'in iskinig me id be ?ocause of estrangement between her and your. father .. ,"o.- Oh no-you:need'nut be ,,afraid-'ofh tla t My father ;hns% nevettr ken ~any no'ice mif ·Aunt. Mary,..anad bl?ey4could ,not .bgreatir. strangers than they are. You see, she was much olde, than my mother,' knd only her h'half.·site-r. : Sh? was married and settled in Fanoe beforre my moher was grown tip.; so :my father has never met her, and he thinks of her as a French -Coman'and an alien. 'He regards all foteituners with suspicion and
aversion ; ani ne. was nog au aii anxious ror me to see inythirg of Aunt `Mary; bub't found her out in Paris the first tbin.e-II went there, and we have been close. allies ever since. Th"y wenb' into* luncheon happier, if lhat. were-:possible,-thin when- .they star.ed.for their walk ; later, when Denya had gone oub on'~business, .VMadime de 4? Rivodiere oncei more the Marquies in aebate--had the oppor t uniby, for. which bli''i,wase:longing,' of along and: confidential talk with Adele. ,The kind little lady hlid the rarii'' giet o'f witining *jieoples confidriae;; and: Adela soon felt able' to onnfide in_ her, as she had never done in any one before,'finding in the worn inly sympathy that was so warmly elicited by the story of her troubles a seniprt and consoltion that even Donys could not have givein., During the aftetnoon some viitors called' to whom Mt'dame'de Ia Rivodiere inbroduced. Adela as a yopng friend who Was staying with her ; and teu, was handed .round in the 'retby tiedioomn. But, 'while tihe visitors were having- their tea, Eugene, coming in to light the cndles,i bhekpnedCnmysteriously to Adele, and said that .Mademoiselle. was wanted. ' 'couldn't make np my mind to face all 'those:people in'thiure,' he said apologetically, ns he placed her in . an easy chair and broughbt i hassock for her feet; ' besides, I wanted to see you alone. Look, A.oleh, whab I have.got,'-anril; with mischief in' his eyes, hehdrew tian ofliciil looking document from his pooket.
'Yes-it is a licen'e. Anl you needn't f be soared abiut the cost. It's only thirty r shillingq-- nd that's nothing. And now a let me soe which of these fib best. Ah, yes b -I thought the smallest would be she ose.' v Adela sat contempla'ing the plain gold q bond whion he had slipped upon her finger t before she knew what he was about. She E said nothing, but blushed deeply '.aid her eyes had a langu ige of their own which was r sufficiently expressive. Denys had go-d news to impart?indl was f in exuberant spirits. The 'appointment for which he had b-en .hoping for h ,d been offered to him, and he would be able to make F a home at once for Adela at Pinehurst. I Tb is such a pretty place,' he s id enthusi astically=-! quite near to my old -home, so It know all the people ahout. One could not vish for aýpleasauter neighborhood ;-I know t -you will,,be chsrrned?.with it. LWe shall be table to hive just ihe sort of chaiming little house that yoP planned ; nd&I vote that we shall go dobwn and see about it as soon as we are married.' .` And, oh, Adela, there is no olbject in delay. Don't. let us waste any time ; let it be to-morrow I' There was no reason for waiting, aind Adela raised nnd oljection Before the end :of that eventful week rheaefore the deed was done, ]and she became Adela Eemonde. She was married in a dingy London church on-'a foggy November. morning ;' and the only guests prcsent at the wedding ivere M dame deila RIivodiere and Colonel Haompton, ;a friend of Denys, who gave the bride away. - The sky was inky ,liack when the small ,wedding party wen`inrito the vestry to sign | registers, and the gas had to be. lighted before they could see to write their names. The gley-haired Colonel wrote his last, with ii feeling: of' conipunction, for he' khew what the consequences of thiswedding were likely > to be; but, when hetlo ked up and saw the irrepressible gladness and gleeful `trio mph 'on Captain Esmonde's .f lce, he was not able to restrain a smile of sympathy, and his scruples t vanished. Two days -later the announcement of the a w, dding appeared in the newspaners, and Sir, Patrick saw it in the Times. He put down the newspaper with it rather tremulous hand, " but his features were as' hard and sternses ir they had been cast in iron, and, sitting down to his writiiig-table, 'withouti a moment's D hesitation he wrote a letter of instliucions to t his lawyer.