|Chapter Number||BOOK II. IX.-(Continued.)|
|Newspaper Title||Liverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||Marian Gonisby|
[An, Rights Rksbbvhd.]
.By £. DOIDGE,
Author of «-Father and Sou,' «The Daughters ' of'Evei'^MysteryoxMeirveillieu/.&o. t
' ' She withdrew to her own adjaoent, cabin and gently oloaed the door. Theo wing: her- self upon J the narrow strip of carpet, she bowed-her-head' upon the little cushion of
the lounge and yielded, to her pent»up,
' Miss .Gdnisby,! myidearj this twill never
It wa9 the kindly voice of Dr ¡Curtis.
4He will diel'- moaned Marian, as he helped her to rise.
1 * Never say die I! With careful nursing and proper treatment I hope to pnllj him through, I assure you.'
4 You, only hope, Dr Curtis ; you oannot «ay you expeot he'will recover P*
There waa an intense anxiety in Marian's eyes as in her voice.
41 have known many equally Boriout oases to recover,' was Dr Ourtls's hopeful re- joinder; and, in truth, he could say no
That night no sleep oame to Marian, j and it Would be difficult to say which suffered most-the father or daughter-for a great fear was upon her.
With the morning oame the dootor, also Miss lieslie, a kind girl and fellow* passenger with whom Marian had made friends, and Who insisted on relieving Marian for the day that she might take some sleep. Marian reluotantly consented to lie down for a little While, requesting that oho should bo oalled '¿Gfire lunch, or sooner if her father asked tf/r her. She droadod that at any moment the end might como. So weak was Mr Gtonisby that if he but rose hurriedly he might fall bade dead, Dr Curtis had said.
Marian withdrew to her cabin, wearied out with anxiety and watohing. She threw herself,» aa shot waa, upon the oouoh, and
kindly sleep, despite her fears and anxieties, soon wrapped her in its merciful embrace.
She was awakened by the stewardess, at ?4 o'olook in the afternoon, bringing her a eup of tea and some light refreshments.
'How long have I slept?' enquired
<*-It is 4 o'olook.'
41 must go at once to my father. Why did they leave me so long ? It was very wrong.'
' It was very right, Miss Gonisby,' replied the stewardess. * The dootor saw you and said you were not to be disturbed till now ; he declared you would also be on his hands if you did not sleep, and now you must eat and drink this before you go to the patient.'
' How is my father ?'
< Dr Curtis said an hour ago that he was just the same-no better, no wor.«e. Now take this,' and the stewardess sat down with the full intention of seeing: that Marian took the refreshments she had brought her.
Marian drank the oup of tea and- managed to eat but two or three Bmall bisouits, f de- daring she oould eat no more.
' She hastened to her father. She 'first
thanked Miss Leslie in a few hurried words; then stooped and kissed the slob man.
' Do you feel better, father P'
. Mr Gonisby made no reply. Marian took one of his hands and bent over him lovingly, asking, 'Shall I get you anything, dear papa?' He looked; at her hard and strangely.
'Do you know me, papa?' eh« asked again.
' Ton have been gone a year. ' You were once my daughter. I heard you playing : the harp that Marian-my little Marie played was lifted up and up, and the angels took it ; it was for your mother, they said. It was not kind to take it. They have taken everything. I shall never hear it again
', Oh, he wanders ; he is delirious,' cried Marian, the silent tears triokling down her
"He was light-headed several times to- day,' replied Miss Leslie. * Dr Curtis says it was to be expeotedv and he will be so to- night.'
' Poor father, it is terrible.'
The invalid looked vacantly about bim -; then, motioning with his right hand, said': ' Listen, they are coming baok again with the'harp. . . But it sounds so sad I . ; Marie never played like that. . You are one of them. There is another ' (pointing to Miss Leslie). . ' Why do the angels take from us all that we priae. and love P . . Tell them to be quiet ! . . It is i so dismal. . Swish, swish, gush, gush. . the strings are broken ! . . It is ali out of tune! . : Why, where is MarianP*
1 '-Here;father,<by your side.'
?Marian,, was .drowned in the ..muddy Thames. They told me she was saved. . . But I knew they tried to deceive me. My Marie never oame baok. Dear, dear little Marie. You should have seen the bonny, little , brown Qurls of her shapely head ! < w . And I, too, shall be drowned! . . Look, they are not angels : they are. mer- maids ! Shimmering, scaly, oreatures of the ,sea, they dip and sport Jika fishes ! ., ú 'Tis »they who have Marie's harp I . . No wonder -they cannot 'play it ! YAh( I am so tired! It is not musio, and np, one,will stop it.' T
Then he lay baok and dosed his eyes,
exhausted by the 'efforts of, his- fevered( imagination. , . ,
Marian knew.¡that her Jather was worse,
for- she said : * He does not know me; Míbs| Leslie, and he may die without a word of, recognition-of farewell 1* , . ,
'Do not be unduly alarmed, dear,'said, the kind girl. ' Dr Cartis says, in all oases i of this kind, deliriousness is incidental more or less.* ' '
' It is so fearfully hot-what ohanoe has he here P' said Marian, in great dejeotion.
' We shall soon have passed the narrower .part of the Bed Sea, then it may get cooler,' enoouragingly urged MIbs Leslie.
' I thank you from my heart for your great kindness, Mias LcbIío ; now you will please go. I had no intention that you should remain hero so long. You look tired.»
' It is the heat ; do not mention it., I will Bharo the night-watoh with you if you .will permit.' , - " Bat Marian would not hear of this. She said after suoh a shamefully long sleep Bho was quite equal to sitting .up with her father through the night.
And the night was one never to.be for- gotten by poor Marian. The patieut'.s lung trouble was at its worst, and the delirium at
its height. Strange, weird fanoies ran riot in his disordered brain ; the real and unreal mixed in the confused working of the mind, which in normal times waB always elear and
? * . *
' Have I slept, Marian ?'
The morning had oome, breaking in upon the distressed watoher and pain*stricken Buf- fer er, who 20 times and more had thrown off impatiently the slight covering that was upon him.
The light of the last day which Josiah Qonisby was to see had dawned. Dim and ghastly looked the light whioh faintly illumined the cabin as the rays of the morn- ing sun began to stream in. Shaded and sad and woe-begone were the faces also of the watoher and the watched. The dootor
looked anxiously at the patient as he felt his pulse.
It was a feeble and flickering pulse.
4 Yet now, as so often happens, Marian was oherishing hopes of recovery. With the subsidence of the attack of pneumonia there was, a clearing of the brain of the phantom a
which had haunted it.
In' answer to her father, Marian answered : * You have been unconscious, papa, but you have slept a little ;' then, turn hig to ,the dootor : * He is .better-is he not,
* We -have mastered the inflammation, thanks to these piasters,' said the dootor, as he was then removing them ; * but Mr Qonisby is still very weak.' he added. *
Se ordered the brandy and milk to be administered at more frequent intervals, and said he would himself watoh by the ' patient till breakfast time, bidding Marian to go and eat something and rest a little.
But not long could Marian remain away from the patient's bedside. ,
When she came back, the dootor met her at the cabin and called her aside, saying :
41 am sorry to have to tell you, Miss Qonisby, but I do not think your father oan last the day out. I am speaking plainly to you, in case there may- be any matter your
father would wish to attend to.'
4 Thank you, Dr Curtis ; I do not think there is any matter of imporcanoo to trouble him with. Myjjoor father, he will die ; I feared it wouldhe so-for days past.1
4 Bear up, my dear , while there is life we may still hope for the best, but I thought it my duty to tell you/
. Marian thanked the dootor again and re- joined the dying one.
Mr Qonisby lay very weak, with a a grey pallor upon his faoo. As Marian carne to his side, he gently lifted his hand and took Marian's. He.noticed chat she had been crying.
* Do not ory, my daughter. . I think
the end is near. % Marie P-'
\ Yee,, father,', as Mr^Qonisby looked up, with a oons^ained and troubled expression; fnto hisi child's face ; his brows were con- tracted, cand he .was summoning the little strength ^that r waa in, him as, with a Jast effort.
4 You are in pain * father 1'
j* It is not that-I'aui trpubled ; I cannot
leave you, thus, poor girl. ( I have been à ' brutto you, these two or,three., years . .'
- if Do i not« speak of it, father. Do not, I beg of you 1*
> fiXjmust. . I cannot leave you so. . You do not. know, Marie. . In anger I dealt an injustice to you, my only ohild. I I made >auwUl .shortly before we left. . It ¡ .was ora just. I out you off with a shilling.
. Your uncje got the bulk of my money. . ¡ All,of it, save £5,000 whioh I have left to ! Dr H--1 towards the movement to estab , lish our people in their own native home.
But what are these things to me, if my .own ¡ flesh and blood should come to want P or who
is my brother, even, that he should come between us P . . I have been mad 1 . .*
41 will not have you troubled now, poor father, over suoh matters. Do not,think of
4 What ! you oan forgive even so gross an' injustice P'
41 think, only of you, dear father ; n and I shall bear no ill-will or thought of such, if it is as you Bay. I« have guessed as muoh, dear papa.'
,i And yet been your self-your kind self still P . - God of our fathers-, forgive me 1 . . Surely I have grievously sinned in His ?ight 1 . . And He has punished me 1 . . How can I rectify it P It muet be done.'
4 You are unable, father, yon are quite unfit to bo troubled by suoh things 1 Dr Curtis Bays you must be kept quiet and free from worry.'
41, shall not die in peaoe till I have set right-that-whioh--is-wrong. . Marie,
I beg you-I command you-^to ~ go and bring the oaptain and Dr Cartis to me at
Seeing that har father had set his .mind on doing something in the matter of his will. Marian hastened down to the cabin to call the officers mentioned. Marian mentioned to the doctor the purport of the above con- versation, and, like the practical man that he was, he bronght writing materials and paper. Marian felt herself unequal to being present, but lingered witnin call.
11 understand you wished to make some important communication,' said the doctoras quietly aB possible to his patient. The cap- tain is present.'
' Thank you. . I wish to make a new will. . Heaven help me. It is late hvthe day. . Can you help me P'
Captains of passenger boats are called upon to do strange things at times, and iris wonderful how often they are T equal* to
11 think I oan help you, sir,' replied .the oaptain, as he drew from his pooket a little book, and read from it the following ' form of will,' as good and sufficient in law-if . properly signed and witnessed ; and as he
slowly read Dr Curtis wrote on a sheet of foolscap as follows :
' This is the last will and testament of Josiah Gonisby, passenger on the steamer O-, late of London. Being of sound mind, and in fall possession of all my faoulties, I give and bequeath to my daughter, Marian Gonisby, all my real and personal estate ; and I hereby revoke all former wills and oodioils, and hereby appoint Josiah Goniaby, of Biohmond, London, as solo exeoutor of this my last will and testa-
' Signed by the said Josiah Gonisby in the presence of us both present at the time, 'who have thereupon signed our names in the pré- senos of oaoh other, and in his presence,
as witnesses.' »<ii?
While this short dooument was being drafted, Mr Gonisby lay motionless, breatb> iog languidly. It was read over to him, and he signified that it was quite as.he wished. ,. 4
The doctor, as if ^afraid of the least exertion on the part of the patient, sug- gested (that he might sign it without, Joeing
raised in bis bed' '' *
Mr Gonisby looked round. Be motioned to the door, murmuring, ' Let Marian come
in.' She was called.
'Help me, my darling,' he t said,,and Marian gently raised the dying man, who was now so weak as to be unable almost" to
lift his hand.
He had taken the pen in his right ( hand, but there was not ink enough upon it, and it was dipped again in the bottle and handed to him. He then began' to write^ Marian supporting him. THis action lopkpçl deli- berate. He wrote three letters, ' Jos.' The pen fell from his grasp, a spasm of pain, a stifled little,cry,Jtand Josiah^onisbç fell ! baok in the narrow berth-a corpse !
* . . .
There, where but a narrow sea divides Jthe African from the Arabio shores^they slid ¿down", injto the sullen and^stranger^ jdeep , waters of the Bed Sea the mortal remains- of
.Josiah Gonisby :
Swathed in canvas, weighted with led, f ' 'TTntii the ses! gives up its dead.' '
i What matter" where the disoarded, dust may
lieP * ,"»t
Yet on the heaving sea 'tis sad indeed to
be. ' * ' .'-?»"
* * . *
The sea-gulls sang his requirem : the hot wind blew from the desert of Sipa^jand only one true soul mourned a, father' dead :
her soul like the desert, and her heart tv desolation, save for the thought of one far ,off.
| Poor Marian !, Alone and.disLiherited 1