Chapter 33100338

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberXIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33100338
Full Date1894-03-03
Page Number44
Corrections0
Word Count1609
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWestern Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Southern Cross
article text

CHAPTER XIII.

This was on the fourth day after Basil's .departure. Lorne iras not interfered with again by their inquiring visitor ; the days were her own to roam as she willed through the scenes that were dear to her, living over, in memory, every moment she bad lived in the light of the eyes of her well belowed.

" It was here I saw him first, and here he told me that he loved mo, and here-he said good-bye j" But, oh, those réminis- cences lacked the splendour of tho original \ She wanted her lover-not the memory of him only! Her-heart ached for the maa who had given her a woman's soul.

A week passed, and he came not ; longer and longer seemed each dsy as she waited and watched fer him tn vain.

4-t length sbe began to fear that he waa dead.rrit never entered her mind to suspect falsehood, as many a prudent girl would have done.

Lorne, in her maiden innocence, could form no conception of the pitfalls into which so many trusting women strayed when they gave ear to the love stories of strange meq.

One night she dreamed that he was lost in the mountains, and the dingoes howled dismally around, waiting for him to die.

She jumped, up with a cry of such terrible, anguish, that Rosamond, who had been dozing, said :

; «Ton silly thing! Do iiedqwn end sleep-br lèt rae sleep!"

" Qb, Rozzie, darling, I have had such

a dreadful dream !"

"HaveyóuP* Well, tell rue in the morn-

ing," said Rosamond* sleepily. "l ani, dead tired to-ni^ht."

Lorne slept again,and her second dream 'was' far more a\fful than the first-for she dreamed that ber lover was only a dreani -and the happiness he had brought Inte 'her life had neyer been !.

She woke, weeping, and slept no more that night. In the morning, as soon as it was, possible, she stole away tb Bee once more the meeting place, and the trees whereon he had carved his name, to con- vince herself that'she had'known and/ loved him in very deed.

But when she reached the spot-<>h, joy, that might well repay a thousand years of such dreams !-he was there in the flesh before her { ' ' " '

" Basil 1" she cried with passionate gladness ; and in a moment they had met as lovers meet. ''

"Lorne, my own, had yon almost given me np ÍJ Lorne, my dear one, why do you* tremíale like that ? Has the time been so

Jong' to yon P I 'did *nötdejay h moment

after my work was done' ! ' Look at me speak to me, Lorne! I feel as if I have been away from you for a million years 1"

"Oh ! the days have been so long-BO long) fifteen whole day«« Basil, »od

you said you might be only a week ! If you had stayed much longer I believe I should have died !"

" Tes, fifteen days," said he. " Do you think I forgot to count them P It was only the dreams I had of yon that kept me from going crazy !"

" I have had dreams too, and they were hardest to hear, for I thought there had not been any you ; and the man I love had never lived at all, except in my dreaming brain ! Yon must never leave me again, Basil, I cannot bear my life witbent you now !" .

He held her close until the wild pul- sation of his beating heart made her tremble and pale.

"Never again, my own ! The world is a big place, hut there is no spot in it fer me, away from your side."

" That is a promise, Basil, I will not let you forget it."

" It is a promise which I mean to keep, if you wilt let me."

« If I will let you ?"

"Yes. You must be my Wife, Lorne, at once, and then, on this side of the grave, there need be no partings. for us, for ever."

She looked ap, Startled hy his stern manner. His hand gripped hers with compelling force, and his eyes wore a look shs had never seen in them before ; but she did. not fear the unknown.

."Your wife, Basil? That is to go away and he with yon always, by night and by day? I am almost afraid to picture such happiness. It seems too beautiful to be possible !"

He rested his chin on her hair while he whispered part of his answer. He did not want her to see the love in his eyes just then:

" Always-by night and by day. it is. possible, my beloved, if you will agree to my plan. Don't you want to hear why I went away?"

" Not very much," and Lorne laughed happily. " I don't want to reeall the time you were away. I only want to think and feel that you are here. ¿

*. Listen, Lorne, I have a great deal to say to you, only you are such a darling, that I am afraid yon will not understand !"

"Don't darlings possess an average amount of intelligence ?" smiled Lorne.

" The dearest darling in the world has more brightness than the morning star ! But she is innocent as a baby on the things it is most neccessary for her to

know."

"Keening nie? Please enlighten me, Basil--if you think it is time you took my neglected education in hand. You can teach me anything!"

".Thank you-you dear! I mean to try very bara. Yon agree that we should be happier together always, than we are when we have only a few stolen hours cf bliss out of every twenty-four ?"

"I agree.*'

" But you are only eighteen P" .

<*Why are you so sorry I am only eighteen? I shall never change if that is what you fear.*'

"No, I do not fear that, thank öod! I can trust your love as I trust ray own. But what J mean ÍB that a person nader the age of twenty-one cannot legally marry without the consent of a father or guardian."

$1 sse. But yon need have no fear about obtaining my father's consent. You don't seem to understand that he would be glad to get rid of me on almost any

condition !"

" Dear, I understand your father a great deal helter than you do. I knew him well -r-years age. And have good cause to

remember him."

"Yen knew him?" she repeated amazed. " Bnt hew can that he Î He has lived here since the time when I was aiihV babyl" i

I knpw him before you were hom; you poor little thing 1" he added, almost under his breath. *' And from what you have told me I know he has not altered for the better. He is a man of ungovern- able pasaions-^one who never forgets nor forgives. He hates my father and all who bear our name with a hatred yon, could neyer understand. I saw him strike a blow once, (ral! snail I ever forget itt You know the giant he ul My father was small and slightly built, yet he struck bim, with murder in his heart, and left him for dead where he ha4 fallen over a cliff !" -

41 My father struck yours P But why ? What does it all mean P"

"It means more. Ibhau ? can*$ajl yon. Lorne; but. ths^!í|«stuo ea^fSr that blow---he é'truck'it^ly.because he was

cruel and strong. They were walking together, and they sent nie away. I waited^ at a Ijttle distance, and thea'.I saw your father join them. X could, 'not "hear what he said, but be lifted, his great fiat-» . ; -. v - -

" But Basil, J don't understand \ W?ho were'walking together, and' seht you ,

awav ?."

" There, there, ô>M> de wA¡ ask tne \ Some one who' wai very dear'to my father, and {or whose sake he dared) nô^ resent that blow. But If I had *qtmet and loved his daughter first, John Pres cott would pay dearly for it, even in this land where be came to hide his head," v

Ob, this is awful I .Yon should have told me before you made me love you. If you were iu your right senses you would have nothing to say to the daughter of one

so wicked !

" Then J sm not in my right senses," said he, " and never have been since you looked at me with those heaven born eyes, and drew the heart out of my body."

" Oh, Basil you must not talk like that ! Yon know you should have gone away and never spoken to me again !"

" But I did not,", said he softly, and JLorne trembled to think she was glad he had stayed. "Another thing, you must remember that I did not know your name the first day; but even if I had it would have been just tee esme--1 loved you and made up my mind that you should be

mine."

Lorne did not look displeased." .

" There is a sort of retributive justice about our love that pleases me. If I had been seeking revenge all my life for that old injury, could I find a sweater one thant this P To carry off my enemy's daughter and make har my w,ifo !"

{To oe continued.)