Chapter 3766459

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter Number2. IV
Chapter Url
Full Date1887-04-23
Page Number4
Word Count750
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954)
Trove TitleA False Start
article text




CHAPTER IV. (Continued).


Dick Madingley, who was by nature relentless in his vengeance, had steadily adhered to his rôle of lago. He had nothing to say to it ; he knew nothing about it,- it was no affair of his, but, if you asked bim as a man man of the world-well, Mr. Enderby had endeavoured to make the most of his information.

'Ah, I am aEraid so. It is very sad that a clergyman should give way to such madness,' observed Angelina Torkesly, with a deep sigh ; ' but -? after what I saw yesterday I am afraid

ihere can be no doubt that Mr.

Enderby has yielded to temptation.'

. And then the fair Angelina, ia all the glory of contributing a fresh sauce to the highly-spiced dish of gossip they were discussing, narrated her story of the yellow envelope and the "telegraph boy.

Dick Madingley said nothing, but -in the eyes of the audience this evi- dently was an important fact that 'admitted of no rebutting, and they were expressing their opinion to that effect freely when an unctuous voice boomed upon their ears.

' I would recommend you to be' a little more reticent of your opinions, ' my good people. This accusation is

about to become the subject of an -action for libel, in which one or two of the leading personages of Tunnleton will' figure prominently, and several .more have the piivilego of entering

the witness box.'

A sudden shower could not have more effectually washed out the con- versation than the rector's announce- ment. It was the first society had '. heard of such a thing as an action for

libel being contemplated, and society had a hazy idea of the pains and penalties connected with the style of persecution, but Tunnleton was prompt to recognise that it was a very unpleasant affair to be mixed up in. The fier. Jacob Jarrow had taken up the cudgels with such good will for hia curate that he had quite persuaded

himself that this action should be and

would be brought, although Maurice had never for one moment hinted at such a course. However, his speech had the effect of dispersing the little knot, and Mr. Jarrow found himself left face to face with his host and with 'General Traun as the sole auditor of what might pass between them.

.fit is very good of you to stand up , for your curates Mr. Jarrow,' remarked Dick Madingley, suavely, ' but if you have any influence with him you had best counsel him to drop tins action for libel. He is no friend of mine or you would see bim here to-day, but I don't like to see a man make st fool of /himself. I'm the last fellow to find . fault with anyone for having sporting ' tastes, but if a man does have a little flutter over a race it's no use telling j lies about it. I don't pretend to be a -. censor of morals at my time of life,

but, Mr. Jarrow, if it is wrong for a parson to bet, I can't see that he mends things by denying his having done so.'

' You bad better be very careful how you .reiterate that calumny,' said Mr. .Jarrow, pompously.

* Had I ?' replied Dick Madingley, 'with an evil gleam in his bright blue eyes," J Good ! next time you see your model assistant, just ask him this question : Did the telegraph bring you good news from Goodwood on Wed- nesday p'

'Good gracious, what do you mean?'

exclaimed Mr. Jarrow.

' 'N othing more than I say. Simply ask Mr. Enderby if the telegraph brought him good news from Good- wood on Wednesday. If his ansiver satisfies you I am nilling to retract my recently expressed opinion.'

It was a bold coup on Richard Madingley's part, for telegrams may refer to many other things than rac- ing, and Dick had no idea of what Enderby's telegraph was about really. Still he knew it was Goodwood week, and had managed to wring from the telegraph clerk, with whom ho was on intimate terms, that it did come from the ducal gathering.

As for the Reverend Mr. Jarrow he was fairly taken aback, and left to use nautical parlance, ' in irons,' and ere b<s could recover himself his host was gone. '