|Chapter Title||AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN. Her step was royal-qneen-lile.- LONFELLOW.|
|Newspaper Title||Cairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||Hand and Ring|
Hand mid Ring.
Br ANNA KATHAHIXK GiiE»^pHjj
CHAPTER J I.
AN APPEAL TO HÇATE». " Her step was royal-qneen-lile."
But before she could reply, before her hnnd could lay itself on his arm, ii sudden hush like that of awe passed "solemnly through the room, and the physician, who hnd been set tn watch over the dying gasps of the poor sufferer within, appeared on the thtrshold of the led-rooni door, holding np his baud with a look that at once commanded attention and awoke the most painful ex- pectancy in the hearts of all who beheld
" She stirs ¡ she moves her lips," he announced, and again paused, listening.
Immediately there was a sound from thc dimness behind him, a low sound, inarticu- late at first, but presently growing loud enough und plain enough to be heard in the
utmost recesses ot the fur thei most rt om on «mt Boer. '
'"."Sand! ring!'* was the burden of the short ejeculation they heard. "King! hand !'' till a tudden gasp cut short the fearful iteration, nnd all wa3 silent again.
'* Great heavens !" came in awe-struck
whisper from Mr. Ferris, lis hel-pressed hastily toward the place fromWhcnce these
words bad issued.
But the physician at once stopped and
" She may speak again," he suggested.
But, though they listened breathlessly, and with ever-growing suspense, ric» further break occurred in the deep sileuce, and soon
the doctor nnnounced :
" She ha* sank back into her old state ; she muy rouse again and she may not."
As though released from some painful tension, the coroner, the District Attorney, nnd the detective all looked up.' They found Miss Dare standing by the open win- dow, with her face turned to the landscape, nnd Mr. Orciitt gazing at her with an ex- pression of perplexity that had almost the appearance of dismay. This look passed instantly from the lawyer's countenance as he met the eyes of his friends, but Mr. Byrd, who was still smarting under a sense of his late defeat, could not but ^wonder whut that gentlemun had Been in Miss Dare during the period of their late preoccupation, to call np such an expression to bis usually keen and composed face.
The clinch of ber white hand on the window-sill told nothing ; "but when in a few moments later she turned toward them again. Mr. Byrd saw, or thought he saw, thc last lingering remains of a great horror fad- ing out of her eyes, and was not surprised when she walked up to Mr. Orcutt and said, somewhat hoarsely : " I wish to go hom« now. This place is a terrible o'ue to be iu."
Mr. Orcutt, who was only too glad tc comply with her request, again offered hci his [arm. But anxious ns they evidently were to quit the house, they were not ah lowed to do so without experiencing anothel Bhoi k. Just na they were passing the dooi of the mom where the wounded woman lay the physician in attendance again appeared before them with that silently uplifted hand
" Hush !" fcaid he ; " she stire again. 1 think she is going to speak." ?'
And once more that terrible suspense heló each and every one enthralled : once mon that faint, inarticulate murmur eddiec through the house, growing gradually intt speech that thia time took a form thal curdled the blood of the listeners and mad( Mr. Orcutt and the young woman at his sidt drop apart from each other as though a dividing sword had passed bt-tweeu them.
" May the vengeance of Heaven light-upoi
"--< tilt* ÍICVMJ f' Ililli wita tium titxiujflit m.- C> Ifll.
pass," were the words that now rose ringing aud clear from that bed of death. " May the fiite that has come upon me be visited upon him, measure for measure, blow foi blow, death for death."
Strange and awe-inspiring words, thal drew a pall over that house and made th« dullest person there gasp for breath. It the silence that followed-a silence, thal could be felt-the white faces of lawyer ant physician, coroner and detective, turnei and confronted each other. But the youn¡ lady who lingered in their midst looked a uo one, turned to no one. Shuddering am white, she stood gazing before her as if sb already beheld that retributive hand dc scending upon the head of the guilty ; thet as she awoke to thc silence of those arouu her, gave n quick start and flashed forwar to the door and so out into the street, befot Mr. Orcutt could rouse himself sufficient! J rom the stupor of the moment to folio'