|Newspaper Title||Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||The Wealth of the West|
|article text|| |
Bates let a long wreath of smoke out of his lips.
" Well, Frank, taking the thing all
round, you have some cause for railing at fate. It was rough, there is no doubt, and after all that time too."
They were sitting in their rooms.
Conyers looked down in dejection.
" It sickens me, Bates. I do not know that I am any more weak-minded than other men, but it makes me feel like
giving up everything. The heart knoweth it own bitterness, and you do not know how exceedingly bitter mine is. You do not know—no other man but myself can—what hopes I had built up—what fears I imagined I had left behind. And now all the fears and horrors are back again, and the hopes——"
" Are where most men's go to in the long run, dear boy. Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. Not much consolation in that, I suppose, but it is the truth, and we may as well knuckle down to it. But it's easy for
the third man to talk—it's like bearing another man's toothache. Go on, have your say out."
"I think I felt as near going mad as
ever I did when she said those words.
I know how true they were."
" How true they may seem. You know nothing of what happened that night."
He looked up gloomily. " Do I not ? I know more than you think."
" Contrariwise, my dear boy, you
think you know more than you do."
" Don't trifle, Bates—I can't stand it." " I am not trifling. On the contrary, I have been very busy. I saw Scotland Yard to-day."
Conyers looked up wearily. " I don't suppose it matters very much Bates, but you have done the most fatal act of your life. That ends it."
" I hope it will—that's what I meant
it to do."
" Do you know what you have done ?" " Yes. I have put the cleverest people
in the world on the track of the man
who did the deed that night."
" You have, and that man was myself."
" That's what the lady thinks." " It is what I think too."
" You talk at random. I have the most certain means of knowing that you
could not have been the man. We won't go into detail, but I know that you were safe till morning when I left you that
" You knew I was safe till morning ! Bates, when we are sick in body our
friends pity us, and can put their pity into words; when our mind fails us it is part of the horror of the thing that when
we recover, the nearest and dearest, even can never refer to it again. It was so
with us. We have never mentioned it
since. Old man, those who are mad are
cunning—you see I have not much reticence on the subject now—I have never told you all I know. Now for the first time I am going to. You remember
I struggled with you for the key, but it was part of my cunning that——"
(To be Continued.)