Chapter 37498508

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Chapter NumberBOOK II. III.-(Continued.)
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37498508
Full Date1899-04-29
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count2612
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLiverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)
Trove TitleMarian Gonisby
article text

OEIGINAL NOVEL.

[Aix Rights Keseevbd.]

Marian Gonisby.

By E. DODGE,

?Author of . Father and Son/ 'The Daughters

of Eve/ ' Mystery of Merveillieu/ &o.

BOOK II.

CHAPTER III.-(Continued.)

Mr Phillips had met his first repulse with the impression thac it would he his laet, fand >it was then his intention not to pursue a "prize which was promised to another ; but it had happened that, in a conversation with Mr Gonisby, he had learnt of the father's

determination that Marian Bhould never

imarry Mr Whidden, on account of his in- superable objection ¡,to giving his daughter to any one outside of the Hebrew faith. ¡Finding, therefore, that he already had won the father's consent, and being by this time thoroughly infatuated with our heroine, he felt himself justified in continuing bis

-attentions. With what result wo shall seo.

With impatience ho sought for the next pietext for visiting Dingley Hall. Nothing Uko a good one carno for a week after the dinner party. Then ho found what he con- sidered a capital exouae for making a flying visit to Richmond. In polite sooiety ladies find it iuoumbent upon them to * oall" after a party or reception ; gentlemen generally

do not find timo for this detail. It waa in Richmond the Gonisby s resided. The boat race was about to take plaoe on the Thames, when the oraok Australian would try con- clusions with Amorioa's champion. Of course Miss Gonisby, an enthusiastic Aus- tralian, would wish to seo the conteat. Why had he not thought of that before ? His impatience took him down to Riohmond by tho first train.

The morning wuh a bright ouo, Buoh as

Would invito to out»door oxoroiso. He had

no oooaeion, bh it Lupponod, to ring the bell ; for as hu was proceeding through the gardon, wluon adorned the front of Dingley Hall, ho was pleaHed to discover Marian amongot tho floworM :

* Miss Gouisby, will you forgive this early intrusion ?' ,

'I boliovo ian gland is still a free country, Mr Phillips.'

' The Iroest in tho world, I believe, Miss 'Gonisby,' he retorted,, laughingly. «But

that is hardly the question. One ought cor- ,

tainly to have some excuse for enoroaohing upon you at this hour.'

* If you think so, then I trust you are fully and properly equipped with exouses.' This waa said in suoh a pretty, polite, yet meaning way as to impress the visitor with the faot that he would never wish to be left with an idle excuse for any step he might . take when Marian was concerned.

* I thought, Miss Gonisby, you would like to go to the boat-race to-morrow ; and I should be delighted if you would let me drive you, and have the still greater pleasure of escorting you on the river.'

* You are very kind, Mr Phillips. I be- lieve our party is, however, already formed. My father and unole, aunt and myself aro to drive down to see the start of the race.'

* But have you not arranged for a boat ?*

* I really could not say ; but I f anoy we shall view the race from one of the passenger

boats.*

' Far better to have a small boat, as the

others are so orowded.*

* You will oome inside, Mr Phillips. My aunt is in and will be triad to see you.'

* Thank you ; hut I would rather-muoh rather-stay here for a few minutes, if you do not mind, Miss Gonisby. It is so pleasant in this charming garden with your charming self.'

' Do you remember a conversation we had, Mr Phillips?'

«Well.»

* In view of that you must know that I cannot listen to any speeches of an adulatory

kind.»

' Marian, your father ?'

' Mibs Gonisby, if you please, Bir.' ' Your father has consented--'

' It is quite useless, Mr Phillips. I beg to wish you good morning. I am sorry you foroe me to be rude,' and Marian, bowing with studied dignity, passed into the house and left Mr Phillips rather non- plussed, and certainly little advanced as to the particular object of this visit.

He hesitated for a moment as to whether he ought to follow Marian into the house and pay his respects to Mrs Gonisby, but he felt too oresttallen just then, and left Ding- ley Hall repulsed but not yet willing to

admit defoat.

* # # *

The morning of the great boat-raoe was ¿air, but slightly too windy to make it altogether a desirable day on the river. As the Gonisby family drove down by way of Putney, the elder Gonisby enquired of Marian whether she would prefer one of the passenger steamers or a pulling boat.

Marian answered that she had no ohoioe, but thought it would be preferable to view the raoe from one of the passenger boats.'

' It will be the more comfortable and safer,' agreed Mr Isaao Gonisby.

Arriving at the starting point the party were somewhat surprised at the immense orowd that had gathered. It seemed that half London was turning out to see the event-America versus young Australia. Old Father Thames was lined for miles with untold thousands of spectators along either bank ; old and young took up the popular ories of the rival soullers ; wagering was rife ; and orowds surged and pushed their way to parti of 'vantage and to the landing place.

- It will not be an easy matter to get a place on a passenger boat. I fear,' remarked

Mr Josiah Gonisby.

11 thought we were in good time, but the orowd is there before us/ replied Isaao.

They had come to a standstill in their drag, and were watohing the moving mass as interested spectators, when who should oome np but Mr Phillips.

' I have been on the look out for you/ he remarked. ' Mies Gonisby was good enough to inform me you were coming. Have you engaged boats ?'

Ho waB informed that they had not.

4 Then I am afiaid you will have a poor

chance to do so now/

» Do you think we oan get on to the ferry boats F' enquired Mrs GoniBby.

*They, as yon can see, are already orowded. On the best steamers the full complement of standing room was filled by

tiokot-holdors.'

' Wo shall havo to make tho host of the bank, I think,' said Marian, who may havo foreseen the innooont little plot whioh innocent Bonjamin was about to most innocently rovoal.

' I shall bo vory happy to take one of the party in my boat. Mibs Gonisby, will you

do me the honor ?'

* I would rathor stay with my aunt under the oiroumstanoos, thank you/ repliod Marian without hesitation. j

Her father, who sat by her side, said, in a subdued tone, ' Don't be so contrary, Marian. Go with Mr Phillips and get a good view of

the race.'

Mrs Gonisby also added her word of

advice to the same effoot.

' It's very pleasant on the water, Miss

Gonisby,' oame persuasively from Mr | Phillips. ( I will pull into the best position I on the river to see the raoe ; you had better

come.*

Urged on ali sides, Marian doubtingly consented. It was arranged that directly the race was over they should meet in the same spot, and Marian desoended from the drag and accompanied Mr Phillips a little way down the river to where his boat lay

moored.

It wanted half-an-hour yet to the time of starting the race, and, acting on a suggestion from her oompanion, Mariau consented to be rowed up the river, to await the passing of the rival oarsmen when they should be well on their way.

Bat it was not of the raoe they talked, nor of the championship they thought. Thus are other races run-wheels within wheels in the complex movement of human com- plications. Hanlon's win, or the Austra- lian's defeat, could mean infinitely less than Phillips' win over another Australian, practically not in the running for the time

being.

They pulled leisurely up to the first bend

in the river.

«You are looking very charming this morning, Miss Gonisby.'

' I do not feel particularly so.'

Well, here is a compliment you have in- spired, I assure you :

' Upon all the river there is none so fair As young Australia, blooming just here.'

.I am sorry you should waste your eloquence on this desert air.'

' Please don't discourage me ! If you encouraged ever bo little I should manage something really much finer !'

Marian did not reply. Instead she drew from her pocket a tiny rase, deliberately unfastened the clasp, and, taking a ring from it, plaoed it upon her finger and looked tenderly upon the treasure.

' There are prettier trinkets in Loudon, Míbs Gonisby.'

4 That may be ; but oertainly none I value

more.'

Phillips understood the challenge. He was about to ask the meaning of what Marian had done, but on second thought refrained. Ho guessed that Marian had put on her engagement ring, and it was a solid reminder of what he understood too well Marian was engaged, and wished only to be addressed as one who belonged already to another. His inner consciousness whispered that it was ungallant, almost ungentle manly, to foroe attention or affection on one plighted to another. As against these re- flections, however, was it not true that Marian's own father onoouraged his suit, by the assurance that ho would never give his oonseat to Marian's union with Mr Whid- don ? He was consulting Marian's own peace of mind and future happiness in trying to win her affections. Thus ho salved his conscience and pursued his quest.

* I wish, Miss Gonisby, you would throw that ring overboard P'

' Indeed ! I would just as soon think of throwing myself over,' was Marian's quiok

response.

' To be loved by you I would not ohange plftoes with the Prince of Wales.'

4 Mr Phillips, I will appeal to you onoe and for all-you must not persist in this oonduot toward me. I am here alone with you ! . . . Do not make me doubt you are a gentleman.*

4 You are rather severe upon me. I admit that nothing would justify me taking advantage of your goodness in ooming with me. But (this ho said with real tenderness) may I not plead with you P*

4 No ; you know it is quite useless.'

* Your fathor says, on the oontrary, that I your engagement-if it amounts to that

with tho far- away Australian is broken that nothing oan como of it.'

4 Would you marry polely to please your

father ?'

' If I had the great happiness of winning you, Marian, I should also please my fathor.'

'Then you never will. Let that bo my final answor. Enough of this. Will you plcaao to row back to tho landing, Mr Phillipa ?'

' Forgivo mo, but I oan't do that-look, tho boats aro ooming. The Australian loads by a good length !'

4 How oan you tellf

' Triokett has tho inside rowing, and is ooming like the very-very wind.'

At oQoe they forgot themselves and their

troubles in the excitement of the race. The

river, barring in the course of the soullers, was a seething mass of humanity; bands played, crowds oheered, handkerchiefs waved ; and the two almost naked per- formers were straining every muscle for pre- eminence in the aquatic world. As they passed Marian drew her dainty little oambrio from her pocket and waved it toward tke Australian, as he flashed past, exolaiming :

'1 hope he will win !'

* He looks a winner, upon my word/ re- plied Phillips ; ' and for your sake I hope he

will.»

'Thank you.' It was the first note of sympathy-the first really cordial word whioh had passed between them that morn- ing.

' How you Australians stiok to one another/ he added, not thinking of anything

but the raoe. '

' Of course/ with a little laugh, and Marian's eyes still sparkled with the momentary exoitement of the passing of the

race.

She was watohing the fleeting boats still, and as they had a good stretoh of the river before them, Phillips handed Marian his glasses, whioh she accepted.

' 1 think Hanlon gains upon him,' she re-

marked a minute or so later.

' They say the money is mostly on the

Amerioan.'

* I don't oare anything about the money-*

it ia the honor.'

' Honor !-yes, that is good. By George, you Australians have grit! The glass a moment, please. Yes, the trioky Triokett will take the corner first-he has overtaken Hanlon-they are going for all they are worth 1-they are gone !'

They were now left in the ruok, amongst many others, all speculating wildly as to the upshot of the race, while steam launohes of all shapes and sizes whistled past. Phillips, as he reseated himself to resume the oars

looked steadily at Marian, and so wistfully, withal, that the girl laughed outright at

him.

' Do you know what I wish, Miss Gonisby?'

' What is it P»

' * That I, too, had been born in Australia in the same street, in the same block as yourself.'

' I do not suppose that would have made any difference.'

4 Well, at least I would had a fair chance

then.'

Marian shook her head, and half turned away from her companion. Her gaze still went in the direotion of the raoe.

There was not now the expression of vexed impatienoe upon her face there had been* The distraction of the race, in whioh she really took a greater interest than Phillips, had helped to effect the change.

* Do you know who you remind me of when you have that intense enraptured gaza ?'

* I have no idea.'

' You remind me of our divine Sarah !* ' Bernhardt f What nonsense 1'

' It ia true. She must have looked like you when young-almost as beautiful,

Marian.»

'It was not quite possible to be angry with him / she thought. His persistency was aggravating ; but more for George's sake than her own, she would simply dis- regard him-and she determined.

* There is only one feature/ he went on, oontemptatively, ' in whioh Nature has fashioned your profile somewhat differently your chin is less heavy than Sarah's ; but, by heaven, I doubt if Bernhardt is more

determined!'

' Ah ! I am glad I resemble your imma- culate Bernhardt in this partioular at least. I admire determination of ohamoter. Weak

and shify characters I dotost and pitye Believe me, I shall try to be worthy of th great comparison you havo drawn.'

4 It seems to me I do but lond you armor with whioh to do-'

A orash-a whirl-blinding spray ! Ah, good heaven, whut has happened ?'

In a moment their boat was overturned, and Marian and Phillips woro dashed in the wators of tho Thames.

It had happoned without a moment's warning. Tho position Phillips had taken up, immodiatoly round tho bond, had pre- vented an on-coming steam launch from Boeing tho small boat in timo to prevent a

collision.

Boeing what had happoned, the captaba of tho launch at onoo gave orders to stop, then to reverse the engine.

(To bo oontiinued.)