|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||Matched and Mated: A Romance in Real Life|
AITN t. MATCHED AND MATED. A ROMANCE IN REAL LIFE. BY MRS SHACKELL. [Authoress of `Broken Life,' ' Re- 1 tribution,' etc.] a OHAPTER x-(Continued). 'Show Mr Hugo out,' she cried, her eyes ablaze with anger. c This was too much for the high-spirited son,he bowed low to his mother and made s his exit. Merely snatching his great coat off the peg in the hall, where so short a time ago d he had hung it,he hurriedly put it on,and pulling on his cap he rushed out, His brain was throbbing wildly, and he walkedr up one street and down another without aim. When his excitement abated, and a fatigue commenced to tell on him, he I suddenly thought of Clifford. ' I will go into town,' he resolved, 'and tell Clifford. Then before he sails for England we will go to mother and try to t get her to come round.' In his excitement he wandered far away from the pier. It was late when he got there. The boats had ceased runniog. He was about to turn back when he heard the a dip of oars upon the water. In a few moments a single boatman came. Boat, sir ' ' Yes.' Hugo looked out and saw a negro with a pair of oars. Thrusting his hand in his pocket, as he stepped under the light, he pulled out a handful of sovereigns amongst the silver for the boat 1 fare. The eyes of the negro looked greedily upon the gold. Off went the boat and Hugo in it. Double Bay was soon behind them. They were alone on the water. Hugo was beginning to feel thankful that the worst of the row was over. He felt sure that when love had conquered pride, and when his mother saw Kitty, all would come right. His reflections were cut short by a stunning blow struck on his head, and he was conscious of being pulled down into the boat. After this a blank, but he came to himself again struggling in the water. He knew that he had been thrown out of the boat, for he saw the negro pulling off. He knew he swam for a time, and after that all was blank. The next morning the body of a man perfectly naked was found, nearly lifeless, upon a small island called Goat Island, between North Shore and Double Bay, He was carried to the Sydney Hospital, where at first it was thought he was dead. However,I when they put him into a hot bath and used the usual remedies respiration betan. Next day a paragraph appeared in all the Sydney papers 'GOAT ISLAND MYSTERY.-At an early hour yesterday morning the body of a man about 30 years of age, perfectly naked, was found by a boatman on Goat Island. He had evidently received a heavy blow on the head, which caused concus sion. As the patient is in high fever and delirious, no clue can yet be obtained to his identity. Very little hope is enter. tained of his recovery.' Mrs Brandon saw this paragraph in the papers. So did Pauline see it the following Saturday. Ah, was there no instinct, no falling of the thought into the great hereafter, to. whisper to those two women who loved him so dearly ? No, for both of them read the paragraph with the same remark, ' horribly morbid,' and then forgot all about it. Then the weeks wore into months, and the dark shadows were gathering round Pauline's eyes, and the mother's fond heart was breaking. Often a paragraph appeared after the following fashion, reporting the state of the poor sufferer :-"No clue to the Goat Island Mystery. Patient still un conscious," Letters often passed between Mrs Bran don and Pauline, but Hugo's name was never mentioned. One day while Hugo lay upon his nar. row bed, his once fine manly face pale and drawn, his glorious blue eyes dim and vacant, a sister of mercy stood beside him. ' How is he 7' she asked of the nurse. 'The doctor says he will recover,sister,' replied the nurse, ' but they fear his memory will be for ever clouded. if he gets better, in all probability, he will leave the hospital only for the lunatic asylum.' ' God forbid,' said the sister, crossing herself devoutly. She stood stili beside his bed; there was something in his stupid stare that seemed to fascinate her. He lifted his worn hand to his bandaged head, and moaned miserably. Tears stood in the good nun's eyes, and kneeling down beside his bed she prayed. 1His eyes were fixed upon her unmean bigly, vacantly, and she spoke to him. 'COan you think, dear V' she said, in a I low and gentle voice. No reply. ' Dear,' she continued, ' can 'you tell me your name ?' To her surprise, he moved his parched lips, and distincily uttered - Kitty.' Do what she would no other word could be got from him. The next morning the following adver. tisement appeared in all lbs Sydney Ipapera. ' If this should meet the eyes of Hugo 1 B--- return to your efilicted mother. All is forgiven.' Below this was a paragraph.. ' Perhaps a small fact may throw some light upon e the Goat Island mystery. The patient mentions the name of " Kitty " in his j delirium.' Mrs Brandon saw her advertisement,
and she Paw the paragraph abeut the w patient also, but she attached no impor- h, tance whatever to thelatter. Pauline, too, saw both .on. the Saturday following. ai SWhen she saw the advertisemnent her B dim eyes brightened. ai ' Alice,' she cried, ' look at this. I b really believe it is meant for Hugo Bran- o don; and see this,' she added excitedly- a ' Tuis naked man,who was found on Goat tl Island, murmurs the name of Kitty in his w delirium. It was on the night of Hugo's a return that. the naked man came upon the n island. G eat Heaven, could it be ri Hugo I' tl Alice was pale as death, and her hands a shook as she read the paper. a ' Al, Pauline,' she answered, 'I alwaya h said you carried it too far.' p Pauline sprang to her feet. 'L."t us go o to Sydney at once and see Mrs Brsndon, I and know the end of it. I am unable to n bear it any longer.' o But they had that and all the next long and weary day to suffer in sorrow and suspense, for no boat would leave Tasmania for Sydney till the fol- F lowing Monday. They arrived there on the Wednesday, n and, through the medium of a cablegram, Mrs Brandon was brought to meet them. Mrs Brandon held out her arms to ee, brace Pauline; but she held her off, , crying out ' Where is Hugo ?' ' My dear, I know not,' answered the surprised lady. ' The night he returned from Tasmania I was harsh to him. We parted in anger. I thought from day to day that he would return. I have ac tually advertised for him.' Pauline was choking now. 'To the hospital,' she cried. The astonished coachman looked at her, and then at his mistress. Something in 1 Pauline's face made Mrs Brandon echo her order to the coachman. 'To the hospital,' cried Mrs Brandon also. In less than half an hour they were beside the bed of the patient of the Goat Island mystery. I will not attempt to describe the scene which followed-the mother's grief and memory of her harshness to her only son, and Pauline's krowing now that she had carried her joke too far. Mrs Brandon was calm, but her pale face told of the tumult within her. They all gazed for a moment upon the corpse-like face of poor Hugo. They all recognised him. ' Oh, my love, my darling,' cried Pauline, throwing herself upon her knees beside him. ' Oh, Hugo, I have done this, oh, wretched me.' The unhappy mother could only stare from one to the other in wonderment. It 1 was all a most unfathomable riddle to her. ' I catnot understand it at all,' she said. S'What has happened to Hugo ? and how 1 did you come to know?' 'Oh, don't understand,'she cried in her wild grief. ` Oh, how can I tell you ? what shall I do? you will hate me-you will curse me.' 'Heaven forbid, my child !' said Mrs Brandon, to whom all this was inexpli cable. 'Pauline, dear, you are very much 1 excited; try,my dear,to compose yourself. It is indeed my son, we must get him home.' She knelt down beside his bed, and tried by every endearing way in her motherly heart to recall him, but in vain. The nurse told them the crushing news that it was a hopeless case. From the hospital to the lunatic asylum. ' Oh, no, no !' they both cried; their misery 3 was too terrible. L So absorbed were they in their grief I that they did not become conscious that there was yet another person upon the scene till the sweet voice of the sister of mercy recalled them. S'Oh !' she said, more to the nurse than 6 to them, 'someone has recognised him 7 then. Ktnd God, I thank Thee I With streaming eyes and clasped hands 7 she stood by in earnest thanksgiving. - They had just time to scan the costume of the sister when she asked them, Have you recognised him '? 'Yes,' said Mrs Brandon, 'he is my son. S'I am not surprised, madam. I knew from the first that he was of gentle birth;' and then humbly, ' It has pleased God to make me the instrument, I think. Was it the paragraph in the papers, the name ' Kitty !' a'Yes,' replied Pauline, ' was it you who inserted it ?' I ' It was,' replied the nun. All poor Mrs Brandon could do was to gaze from the nun to Pauline in a dazed way. She was perfectly mystified. What had the name of Kitty to do with it, and a how was it that Pauline was behaving as a if lie were her lover, and how did this anun and Pauline so perfectly understand Swhat was so full of mystery to her 1 Then the sister said, ' Ljet us all pray. aThey fell upon their knees, and the siste, Sprayed aloud. ' Oh God, I thank The -for guiding me,Thy most unworthy hand dj maiden, to find the friends of this man dwho is ill and suffering. Oh, may it e please Thee to restore his mind to reason and his body to perfect health,for Christ's sake.' There was never a more solemn Amen than that response from his mother and betrothed. The nun went aon praying for some time, and when she 1 spoke to themt again Mrs Brandon gave Lu her their a~ddress, and made her promise to visit them, for she was indeed the means of finding him. e They saw the doctor, then, and he is assured them that they could remove :e him home with perfect safety. He said is that he must have been exposed perfectly ~. naked to the fearful weather all night. .d There was concussion of the brain. j. ' He may at any time recover his memory, a. but for a time only I fear,but where there is life there is hope. He has a most a splendid constitution,' he went on. ' He has suffered enough to kill six fellows.' .n ' Six fellows,' murmured the poor patient. Ah,there is the blackfellow. Ah, id here come the sharks to eat me up I Kitty I Kitty !' he cried out, ' take care, :d the sharkis will eat you,' and the poor creature reached out his bony hand to r- clutch some imaginary creature. The syloud heart-breaking .sobs from Pauline were the only response to this outburst. lo ' My dear,' said pour Mrs Brandon, .11 ' take comfort. I suppose this Kilty is the young person, the cause of all this pstrouble.' in 'Oh ! for goodness' sake don't 1' cried at Pauline, her miserable face turned with is wreolhed pleading towards Mrs Brandon. 'Well, well, dear,you are most kind .t, and good indeed, but we must arrange
without further loss of time to get hint ev home.' an Then a bed was put into the carriage, NY and all that was left of the once stalwart or Hugo Brandon was wrapped in a blanket in and carried out. By slow degrees they broughthimn home and laid him on his di own bed. Th.n Pauline, kneeling at Mrs Brandon's feet, told her ti the whole story of the fraud fo which she practised on Hugo. 'Ah, ar my dear child, I am as much to blame, gr more indeed than you. Thu Judze was P right; he alwa3 a said I should have heard B the whole story. "Hear his defence," all used to say. If I only kept my pride w aUU indignation under control and heard at he my poor boy's story I should have h penetrated through it, for the pescription e of Kitty would. have told me. Besides, I knew that Alice was your companion's name the fraud was indeed but a shallow n one.' h CHAPTED. XI. It was the beginning of the fourth B month since the attempted murder of Hugo Brandon. One day the sister of c< mercy was sitting beside his bed with his ai mother, Pauline, and Alice. All they t talked about to the sister when she came w to visit them was of the time which " passed in the hospital before Hugo n was found by his friends. He) d was always talking to them in wild incoherent strains, but he I never recognised any of them. The sister would always try so hard to recall J his wandering thoughts. This day, as I usual, she bent over him, trying to recall him. ' Dear,' she said, ' now, look at me, v you know me, don't you ?' 1 He turned his head in the direction of v her fact and murmured ' Kitty.' 'That was the lucky name, dear, that f found you. Now try again, my dear; a you want Kitty, don't you 2' a To their surprise and delight, he said, a ' Yes. I want Kitty.' ' Here is Kitty now;' and placing the c hand of Pauline in his, she said : 'Now, speak to him yourself.' Then the nun drew back a few paces, and prayed. Mrs Brandon prayed with her. 'Hugo, darling," began Pauline, ' Don't you know me? I am Kitty, your own Kitty, your own sweetheart.' Hugo, looked stupidly at her, and echoed her words. 'My own Kitty, my own sweetheart;' but there was no recog nition in his dull, heavy eyes. Then the big tears dropped from her eyes on to his I face,and she tried to take away her hand, but he held itfast.Ah,wasit the magnetism 1 from heart to heart, or was it that relenting Heaven was moved to kind pity $ by those sufferers. To their delight he said, ' Kitty.' I ' Yes, dear.' ' Take care of the sharks : can you swim ' 'Yes, Hugo,' she said humouring him. ' Strike out then, my girl, 'r we shall be drowned. Put your hand on my shoulder-that's right-strike out,Kitty.' He threw out his arms as if swimming, and then panting and exhausted again closed his eyes. Then she said,'We are safe,now, Hugo, dear, we have swam ashore. All danger is over. ' That is right,' replied Hugo. 'Now see, dear,' she said, ' we are at home,see how nice it is-see your mother, and you are in your own room again.' ' That's good" sighed Hugo. Thus she sat beside him day by day, watching to grasp every glimmer of reason from him. Her reward was great indeed when he would call her and speak a few rational words. Thus by little and little his reason returned. One day she was sitting beside him as s usual. He was lying on a couch beside the open window, the sweet perfume of f the summer air reaching them. He per fectly astonished her by asking her if his mother had sent for her. Pauline was so completely thrown off her guard by the intelligence of his question that all her v prudence left her. She threw herself on her knees beside him, exclaiming. ' Oh, thank God ! Thank God ! Hugo, your senses have returned. I must tell e you now. I was playing a joke upon you. Oh, my dear, I am not Kitty, I am o Pauline Hall. Hugo, forgive me for all the mischief I have done. I wanted to win your heart as a poor girl. I have D carried it too far. I am the unhappy I cause of all this misery. Try to keep t your mind now, do not collapse again !' SThe suddenness of this outburst might a have destroyed him, but luckily it had a the contrary effect. He raised himself j upon his elbows, and peered into her. face. ' You are Pauline Hall, .he said, 'who, then, is the other Pauline Hall I' ' Oh, that is Alice De Pizon, my com 1pauion; we arranged to play a very cruel trick on you.' waiyadmr He closed his eyes waiyadmr inmured-' I suppose it is all right :I can. Snot understand it clearly.' n Then- there was silence again and -s Pauline's heart beat in expectancy, but the spoke no more then. 'eThus day by day his reason returned. e At the end of the fourth month he ecould hold quite a rational conversation. e' Kitty,' he said one day, ' I can under. estand now why you used to say, Whr Pauline goes I will go, we will never a part." I thought you were most unreason -e ably attached to her; do you know, dear, d I almost hated her.' y ' I was jealous of your love-you uno b. derstand it all now, Hugo 1' i. ' Oh yes, darling.' ~' And you forgive me V e 'Indeed, indeed I do. All's well that itends well. I have had a narrow escape .e from death's jaws, 1 think. Look at my arm-isn't it a bare bone?7 And my hand ir looks like a claw. Never mind, I'll be u, all right soon. Who is the other Pan. I line ?' ', ' That is Alice, you know, my com ir panion.' o ' Alice what 2' e 'Alice de Pizon-funny name Isn't it 2 [e It always reminds me of poison. She is a very grand character. I wish I had u, been advisedi by her and told you the is truths before you left Tasmania. But now is 'tis done, all words are idle,' said Pauline regretfully. d ' Say no more about it, my sweetheart; h we have all suffered enough. I don't s. think I will ever be able to call you .d Pauline thotugh. To me you will be always -e Kitty, and the other girl is now and for
ever'Pauline. Alice de Pizon,' he said a again musingly. ' it is a French name., Why does she wear that black thumb stall I on her finger ? I noticed it on her hand t in Tasmania.' 1 '1 have grown accustomed to see it. She f did tell me and I forgot.' < Than as he grow stronp4er they would c talk Cf the future and all tIe joy in store s for them, and thus the time paterd. Love and happiness are the best of medicine,and e great was the joy of the Judge end Mrs t P'padon when day afti r day .jy saw Hugo regaining health andepirits. The night which nearly ended so fatally, when Hugo and his mother parted in anger,the Judge was sorely grieved. Be heard all his wife had to say, relating every word of the interview. ' Gwendoline, darling,' he said gravely, ' you have not acted wisely or well. 'Why not have listened to all lie had to say, and heard his defeoce ? Suppoae your father treated you so when you took mte before Rex ? Put yourself in his place.' ' Tut, tut, Geoff,' she said, 'there is no comparison, you were his equal in birth, and his superior in everything else. I tell you she is some common creature without family, and he has taken her, when he might get Pauline. No, I will never forgive him. If he thinks fit to disgrace himself by a low marriage, let him do so, I shall never receive his low born wife.' 'You cannot say what she is,'was all the Judge would say. ' You have not heard his defence.' I Although she would have given all she possessed to recall him, although she would receive a beggar off the streets to hold her boy in her arms again, her pride : would not allow her to give in. Even the advertisement which fortune favoured so well she had inserted in secret. The poor woman's heart was being slowly wrenched in twain between love and pride. Judge then, gentle reader, how delightful this happy ending was to I all. To be continued.