Chapter 31365936

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberXXVIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1898-07-06
Page Number4
Word Count1225
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleLove's Conquest
article text

CHAPTER XXVIII. ,After he had seen Maisie deptrt, Sir Pat-. rick stool for a moment or two in the hall, undecided whether hoe would go back to his or not. He did not hesitate long. With the echo of Maisie's last words lingering in his ears, he turned his steps towards the library. Adela rose from her chair as ihe entered and murmured something about going up-stairs. A tete-a-tete with Sir Pa trick still seemed formidable to her, and she wanted to escape; but he detained her. 'Will you not spare me a few minutes, Lady Adela.? Denys will be back very soon, and he will like to help you up stairs. Won't you stay here till he comes ? There is some 'thing'that I should like to a ty to you, if you, will let me.' Adela resumed her seat and waited expectantly for Sir Patrick to begin. Her heart was heating fast, and she felt her cilour rising during the pause that followed ; hut, vh'n Sir Patrick at last spoke to her, it was to put ta question for which she was quite unprepared. 'Lady Adela,' Ihe said abruptly, ' will you t.ll me if that young woman-that Miss Throgmorton who called here this afternoon -hss any cause of enmity against you 'I' SMaude Throgmorton 1 Oh, no I' Adela answered, with a look of surprise. 'N,, indeed-I have no reason. to think so.' ' You have never had any quarrel with her ' 'None that I- know of-oh, never cor lainly I ' ' Then what could have induced her to Write that letter against you? Could it have ieen pure ill-nature and__ love of. mischief making ? ' SWhat letter?' inquired` Adele, in astonishment. ' What could she have to say about me? Surely she did not write to you i' ' No-but to her friend Mrs. Hilton, whom she knew, would bid sure to come 'and tell me all that she sail. It was the first intimation that I received of the marriage that my s,n was contemplating; and, if you coul-l have heard the contents of that letter you would perhaps not have wondered at my resentment. I know now that the insinua tions about you must have been baseless fabrications; but they wete so mixed up with fac's about your family which I knew to he true that it was natural that I should believe them. It was a most spiteful and malicious lotter, and I can hardly believe that she could Ith ve written it unless she had some grudge against you I ' 'It is very extraordinary I' said Adela, a note of pain in her voice ' I had notm mny friends among the people round about us, but I thought Maude Throgmorton was one. I never dreamed that she h id any feeling against me. She is a year or two yoanger than 1, and we have never been particularly intimate, but she has always seemed perfectly friendly.' ' She is a snake in tha grass I' declared Sir Patrick, who was apb.u.tbake extreme views. ' I saw what she was the moment she set foot in this room-.t pert, forward intolerable young woman. It is a mistake for such women to be allowed to write letters. They do plenty of mischief with their tongues, but when they take to sowing discord by every post things will come to a pretty pass. A most pernicious practice. Bat fortunately the mischief done in this case may be remedied -at least, I hope so.' He broke offaomewhat abruptly a,nd looked at Adela. L'mg experience had taught her the virtue of silence, and she said nothing; but there was an expression on her face which drew Sir Patrick irreptessibly towarles her. '?Lady Adela,' he said, rising from his seat and speaking with considerable agitation, ' it is impossible to look into your sweet face and. not know than the stories that have been spread abroad abut you must be entirely without foundation. It is not often that I bring myself to acknowledge that I have been in the wrong, but I do so now. I know that I have misjudged you cruelly, and that my behaviour to you has been unjust ar.d inex cusable. Ate you willing to forgive it, and let by-gones be by gones '?' Thtis appeal took Adele by surprise. The utmost that bhe halt dated to hope for in the way of reconciliation with Sir Patrick was a boloer tion thati would imply tacit fnrgiveness, and tin apology so full and heartfelt as this

was more than she had ever dreamed of. He looked very like Denys as he spoke, and as she looked up and saw him standing before her, her heart went suddenly out to him. Rising instinctively from her chair, with a vivid colour in her cheeks and with tears in her eyes, she said falteringly- 'Dear Sir Patrick, do not speak of that ! Your fe"ling against me was natural enough. I was not worthy of Denys, and there has been enough to justify you in objecting to my family. I do not wonder at it indeed; but, if you can overlook ry shortcomings and le I me be a daughter to you, it would make me very happy. It has been a bitter regret to know that I have been the cause of the estrangement I.etween you and Denys. It has been the one trouble of my oI trried life; and, if that were removed, -I think Dinya and I would have nothing left to wish for 1' Sir Patrick took the little hand held out to him and gazed earnestly into the sweet face. ' You must be very unlike the rest of your family,' he said after a pause; 'I cannot trace the least resemblance to Lord Oantle.: burst as I remem`,er him; but you remind me-yes, you remind me strangely of a young lady whom I knew in my youth. Her name was Molly Romer ; she was my first love, and she was the most exquisitely beautiful girl I ever saw ; but she has been dead these thirty years.' ' Molly R"umer i' excl timed Adela, looking up in surprise. 'That was my aunt's name -Lmy mother's only sister-who died as a young girl !` My mother was a Miss Romer.' ' Impossible,' ejaculated Sir Patrick. SSurely not! I know Lord Castleh'lrst married Lady Georgino Warrington, a daughter of the old Marquis of Rockhamp tton.' ' Yes--she was his first wife; but she died,.and he married again; and my mother twas his second wife. Poor mamma, she was too gentle to be able to hold her own with papa, and here was a very sad life.' Sir Patrick gazed at Adela with a stare of {blank incredulity, as if he could scarcely believe what she was saying. When he realised all that her answer implied he was overwhelmed with surprise. ' It must be so, of course,' he said ; ' and it accounts for the likeness that I noticed; but I never would have believed it possible. I remember now that Molly had a younger sister-a child of thirteen or fourteen she must have been when I knew the Romers. And she was your mother 1' [TO BE CONTINUSD'