Chapter 39421633

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Chapter NumberXVI-(CONTINUED).
Chapter TitleSTORM.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39421633
Full Date1888-04-07
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1083
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleCairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text

Hand and King.

Br AarsA ICatuauise GtKEEn*.

CHATIES XVl-(CoxTixbi:u).

STORM.

Oh my offene is rai k it smells to licav n It hutl tieprin 1 eil st cue io t -

JJtaifT

It waa a juxtaposition of mental moral and physical forces that almost took Mr Bvrtl s breath away He had n . doubt wbom she had como to see or to what »ort of a tryst lu was ibont to be made an un willing witness But he could not have moved if the bl ist then eurgin0 through the tree» hid uprooted the hu"e pine behind which he had lnvoluutaril) drawn at the nrat impiession lie had received of hei np proach He must w itch th it w hite face of hers» slowly evolv-» itself from the surround mg d irkness and he must be present w hen the dreadful bolt swept down froui heaven if only to s e her ejes in the flare of its {»ho tlj fl une

It carne whilst she w11 crossing the "lade Fierce blinding uioic vivid an I seal ching than at au) time before it flashed down through the cringing boughs and like a niintle of fire enveloped her form throw mgout its every outline and making of the strong and beautiful face an electric vision which Mr Byrd was never able to forget

A Budden swoop of w ind followed flinging ner almost to the (çro Hld but Mr Byrd tcuuw I rum that moment that neither wind xioc lightning not eren the fe itr o£ death

would stop this woman if once she was de terminée! upon mj eouise

Dreading the neil few moments raei. pressibly yet forcing linns If as i detectiv e torcuiun at ins post though ev eiy instinct of his nature rebelled Mi Byrd diew him self up igainst the side of the low hut and listened Her voice rising between the muttenngs of thunder and Jie roar of the ceaseless gale vv is plainly to be he ird

Cruk M insell said she in a strained tone that waa not withi ut its seventj you sent for me and I am here

n.h this was her mode of greeting w as it * Mi Byrd felt Ins breath come eisiei and listened for tin reply with mtinsest in

terest

But it did not come The low rumbling of the thunder went on and the w ind howled through tile griiesou e forest but the man she had addressed did not speak

Craik1 Her voice still carne fioni the doorway where she had seemingly taken her stand ' Do you not he ir me 8

A stifled groan was the sole reply

She appeared to take one step forwaid

hut no more

'I can understind said she and Mr Byrd had nodiffieultj in healing her words though the turmoil overbeid was almo t deafening why the lestlcssnesa of desp ur should drive you into seeking this interview I have longed to see ion too if only to »eil you that I wish heavens thunderbolts had fallen upon u¡> both on that diy when we sat and talked of our future prospects

and

?V lund flash cut short her words Strange and awesome sounds avveke m the air above and the next nioment a great branch fell crashing down upon the roof of the hut beating in one corner and sliding thence heavi'j to the ground where it lay with all its quivering leave3 uppermost not two feet from the doorway where the woman stood

A shriek like that of a lost spirit went up

from her lips

* I thought the vengeance of heaven had '"?'ÍTL ,e «"«ped. And for a moment

le-VT*-" It I» mot to o«, »nu mon ^.l.i.purc.1 '

wita a return, of h«jr old «atinan»«« that «m

worse than any shriek Murder is not to be avenged thus Then shortly V dark and hideous line of blood is drawn betw een you and me Craik Mansell /cannot pass it and you must not forever and forever and forever But that does not hinder me from wishing to help you and so I ask m all sincerity AVliat is it you want me to do for you to day '

A response came this time.

" Show me how to escape the consequences of my act," were his words, uttered in a low

and muffled voice.

She did not answe at once.

"Are you threatened?" she inquired at last, in a tone that proved she had drawn one step nearer to the bowed form and hidden face of the person she addressed.

"My conscience threatens me," was the almost stifled reply.

Again that heavy silence, all the more impressive that the moments before had been so prolific of heaven's most terrible

noises.

" Yon suffer because another man is forced

to endure suspicion for a crime he never committed," she whisperingly exclaimed.

Only a groan answered her ; and the moments grew heavier and heavier, more and more oppressive, though the hitherto accompanying outcries of the forest had ceased, and a faint lightening of the heavy darkness was taking place overhead. Mr. Byrd felt the pressure of the situation so powerfully, he drew near to the window he had hitherto avoided, and looked in. She was standing a foot behind the crouched figure of the man, between whom and her- self she had avowed a line of blood to be drawn. As he looked she spoke.

"Craik," said she, and the deathless yearning of love spoke in her voice at last, "there is but one thing to do. Expiate your guilt by acknowledging it. Save the innocent from unmerited suspicion, and trust to the mercy of God. It is the only advice I can give you. I know no other road to peace. If I did-" She stopped, choked by the terror of her own thoughts. "Craik," she murmured, at last, "on the day I hear of your having made this con- fession, I vow to take an oath of celibacy for life. It is the only recompense I can offer for the misery and sin into which our mutual mad ambition« have plunged you."

And subduing with a look of inexpressible anguish an evident longing to lay her hand in final caress upon that bended head, she gave one parting look, and then, with a quick shudder, hurried away, and buried herself amid the darkness of the wet and

shivering woods.