|Newspaper Title||Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954)|
The hoar was a little after two in UK morning ; a perfect silence, broken a! interval^ by the roll of some passing car riage, or («int echo of distant music reigned in the streets of Van'ttj Fair. Vere Dene swept down the marbi« steps, with their coating of crimson cloth which lay before the Marchioness ol Hurljnghata's residence in Park Lane, her head drawn up, the Vere diamonds flashing in the lamplight under her thir gossamer wrap There bad been sonic faint surprise, a little well-bred expostula tion at her early departure ; and Lord Bcarhaven, standing at the carriage-dooi bare-headed and regretful, murmured egajnat the fates. ' Your presence ie absolutely necessary 1 ' he asked,
j 4 Absolutely, You understand every j thing, and besides, I should be so miser j ably anxious all the time. Goodnight.'
! 4 Good-night, MKS Dene ; or, rather,
let us say au moir.'
The carriage rolled away into the dark* ness, carrying with it no Jelicious whirl of thought, no sweet consciousness of a night of triumph. Lord Bcarhaven throw a coat over his evening dress and hailed an empty cab crawling down the street. A moment later he was hurrying Arlington street way.
There was a fitful gleam of light in
some of the windows at No. 281 as the carriage drew up and tho door opened. A few feet farther on was a hackney coach with the outline of a policeman on the box with the cabman, the conveyance from Starr and Forster's, in which their confidential agent had arrived to convey the Vere diamonds to safe custody.
Under the subdued light of tho shaded lamps, Vere waited, but for whet she scarcely knew. The ancient butler, » faithful old servant of Vavasour Dene's, came forward with a poor attempt to con- ceal his agitation. 'Some one bas been inquiring for you, Miss, he said. 'J did not know what to do. I had to hid bim in the library. But-'
4 Who is up, Sommes'I Aro all the servants in bed ?'
4 Every ore, except myself and Miss Ashton, Miss, flfour maid said you left orders for her not to wait for you. ; Mr. Winchester has been here some time; but
wihece ho in now I know no more than--1
'And ¿he.egflnt from Starr's, whcro is he?' . .
'In the broskfast.-room. Uy haï hoon
here half an hour'.'
j Vere's heart was beating fast .onqugh j noir ; a curious .choking in her throat i checked her ready flow of speech
for » tpw momenta. Then all tho domi- nant cour,:*»M h*r nature seemed tourne
sgain, sirenciT***»?* M&Jf WW »nd !
audacity of purpose Sho s\. o*-^ stairs leading to her dressing-room^"--. face calm and placid, as if sho had no consciousness of danger, a profusion of soft wax-lights flashing upon the living fire of jewels gleaming on her dusky hair and round the full white threat. For a moment she stood contemplating her own perfect loveliness, then she re- moved the glittering jewels from her wrists and throat and bosom and placed them ono by one in their leathern cases. Taking tho cases from the table, she walked down the stairs again At the foot of the Blairs stood Ashton, a smile of uneasy meaning apon his handsome face, a smile of uncer- tainty aa to his welcome. They mado a strange picture as they stood thus, this brother and sister, after a parting nearly five years old, as different now as light from darkness, as wide asunder ns tho poles. ; .
(To bo continued.)