Chapter 52033585

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Chapter NumberXIV
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Full Date1884-07-23
Page Number3
Word Count2370
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleRonald Walton: A Tale of Early Squatting Life in Moreton Bay
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RONALD went heavily into figures to see whether it wouloTpay him to buy Boorooma at the price named by Mr. Sharp. He looked at it from every point of view-good seasons ;

"DUO" suaauuu i- i i .? -ij rrt»i. T^i^ for

interest ; his probable expenses and returns ; the increase of stock, and many other items bearing on the main question. The result of it all was satisfactory ; and as the purchase would remove all impediments from his path to the alter, he determined to close with Mr. Sharp's offer, and wrote to him to that effect ; but, as the mail for Sydney by the Sovereign steamer was to close the next day, he had no time to ascertain where he could get the necessary amount in cash for the first instal- ment ; BO he had to leave that information for a future letter. Next morning, an advertise- ment appeared in the Moleton Bay Courier ; -"Wanted -- thousand pounds. Good security. Address R. W., Cornstalk Inn." There were but three applicants. . One re- quired too high a rate of interest ; the other was a person whom Ronald distrusted in business; and the third was Silas Blast, Ronald thus reasoned,

"I do not care much for Blast either, but he has always been well spoken of-and after all, it does not matter, so long as a man is honest I shall not have to meet him often ; and I suppose if he gets his interest regularly, and that is all he will require. I reckon I shall be out of the lender s hands in seven years, if I have ordinary luck. I shall go and


He did so.

"How do you do, Mr. Waltont I am delighted to see you. It is an age since I had the pleasure of seeing you. How are things looking up Boorooma way ?"

"The country and Btock are looking splendid. ' Capital lambing. In fact, it is about the purchase of the station I came to see yon."

"Ohl I see. How stupid of me not to discover that at first I Tuen you arc 'R. W. ?"' He knew perfectly well that «R. W." ' was Ronald, or he would have not .replied to the advertisement. " Well, it will be lucky for my client if we agree about this business. He is a very particular man, but yon will not find him at all bord. He has the sum you require, and some more besides

for investment.

" Your rate of interest is a little higher than I can afford to pay, Mr. Blast. I have been offered the sumí require at 12 per cent. If I have to pay more, it will not leave me a fair margin for profit, and risk. In fact, I have resolved not to give mere than 12 per


Ronald turned the signature and address of the writer down, and showed Blast the letter he hod received from the man he distrusted.

"I require no proof of your assertion, Mr. Walton. He read it nevertheless.

"I do not like the party, therefore I do not care to have anything to do with him in a matter of so much importance, Mr. Blast."

"Quite right, Mr. Walton. Never deal with a man you cannot trust. You would be very silly indeed to go to Atm. Oh, you need not be Buprised, I know that hand- writing as weU as my own. But of course you know we are conversing under the sanctity of confidence, I must congratulate you on your discrimination."

All this was said in such a friendly tone, that Ronald was completely thrown off his guard, and replied,

" No, I have resolved not to deal with him. Do you think your client will advance the money at 12 per centt"

" I can ascertain that for you in an hour. Will you be round this way by then, or shall I send my clerk to you ?"

" Do not trouble to send. I will look in again."

At the time appointed, Ronald again entered the lawyer s office, and was received graciously.

" It is all right, Mr. Walton, you can have the money at the rate you named. My client knows something ofthestotion,eiidalsoo(good reputation as a manager, so that I had no trouble at all with him. ïi I understand you rightly, you only require an advance sufficient for half the purchase."


*' Excuse .me, Mr. Walton, may I ask whether you «re paying cash for the other

bett fi'.

"No, I em to give security on the station for the amount. V> -Ur- Sharp.

" I beg your pardon for asking you another question. What interest are you to pay t"

" Twelve per cent."

"Now, unless you particularly wish lt otherwise, if you will take advice Idndly meant, you will obtain the whole of the money from one person. You will then ha va

the whole of toe business in a nutshell." Your accounts will be leas complicated { yon will save the exchange between here andi ; Sydney, and the security will be more satis- factory to my client in consequence of no other person having a claim on the station.

Thelawexpenseatoyoualso wiUbeconsiderably


" But would your client advance so large


"Of course he would. As I told yon before, he has some more money for investment,

over and above what you advertised for."

*' Very well, Mr. Blast, I will close your offer. Kow, may I ask you who your client

is ?" JU

" I deeply regret that it is out of my power« to satisfy you on that point, Mr, Walton! fl My client is Bomewhat eccentric, aaa only fl

lends the money on condition that he does ? not appear in the transaction, But that can V ake no possible difference to you. The 1 money will cost you exactly the same whether 1 his name appears iii the mortgage or not. | My name will be substituted for his, and I, I of course, will give him a conveyance in due i form, which will secure him ; but you will not be charged one penny for that.

Ronald was conning the matter over in his mind, and had all but concluded that it was all the same to him whether thc lender's name or Blast's appeared in the deed, when the lawyer, said,

" I may tell you this much, in confidence of course. My client is a clergyman whoüas lately had money left to him, and he is sensitive about his name appearing in a commercial-in fact, as a money-lender. He thinks it would perhaps impair bis influ- ence amongst his flock."

That settled the matter. Ronald closed finally with the offer, and a few days after, signed his name to a deed that bound him over tighter to Blast, than do the fetters the galley slave to his bench. It bound him to pay the interest regularly, and the principal within a certain time ; failing that, the said Silas Blast could sell or take possession of the stock, station, and all things thereon, and show Ronald the door. The deed was a masterpiece of John Hardsholl's, which the astute Blast found it impossible to improve


Ronald was delighted when the business was completed, and sped away to Ada and her mother with the news. His high spirits were contagious, and a merry evening was

spent at the peaceful home of the Brandon's^HJ The three were not alone. Mary Robinsj^HH iinfl rrJH ic" finr. frénd A°* and afl^B

Blast dropped in., ile, tooT^spPWC'HHH' participate in the general rejoicing, Tr *fl^H spirits were higher than usual with hiflflH Three important matters had been BettflflflJ that day, between persons whose fate

henceforth to be linked together in a cusin flflfl teel that was not to be .severed during loiflfll weary years-Ronald signed the deed ; Bhtflfll proposêd formally to Mary ; and AdaflflJ wedding day was fixed. flHJ

It was on the forenoon of that eventful daSflJ that Silas Blast went to Neptune Villa, anoflflj asked to see Mary's aunt. He opened *LneflPJ interview with his accustomed skill ; spoke offlfl

his great affection for Mary, and begged theflfj eccentric old lady to give her consent to their flj union at an early date. She said, flj

*' Silas, I have always felt a keen w$rett^flj in you, and believe I always shall. I have ^ ever-made you welcome, as a friend, to this house, hut-now do not be offended-my willing consent to your union with Mary you will never have. I have always been in the habit of saying honestly what I mean, and in a matter of such importance, I am not likely to vary my custom.'

" I am very sorry, Miss Robinson, that you do not approve of me. May I ask why f

" Tin nnt nair uny questions, I ara not at

I liberty to give my reasons." 1 waiUcaTSttry ~~i

some time ago that I was not likely to be a I consenting party, but it seems that my wishes 1 are not to be regarded iii the matter. V . j

" But I did not ask Mary some time ago." ] " Do not attempt any of your sneaking,

lawyer quibbles with me, Silas ! I saw how | things were going. You know very well ' that you have had this in your heart for months past. You know it :" she said, thumping the table with clenched hand.

He did not attempt to deny it, but said,

" If Mary is willing to be my wife, will you oppose it Î"

" No more than I have done. Mary is of an age to know her own mind-but I do not believe she does, for all that. Moreover, ! have not the legal power to control her in

that respect, nor would I exercise it if I had. - But I love her, and believe I ought to advise her, as her father would were he alive ; and I know he would not approved of the match. Now, Silas say out like a man what you

intend to do."

Slowly and coolly, without hesitation, and with his snaky look, he said,

" I must say, that under the circumstances I am bound in honour to place myself in Mary's hands for sentence."

"Then I wish you were first placed in the dock for sentence, and I your judge, Silas :"

replied the impetuous old lady, with much

warmth. " I will go and speak to her-but that will do no good, I know. Stay yon


Mary was in her room, and her aunt said,

" Mary, Silas has asked my consent to an engagement between you. You know I will not give it, but I «-ill give you my advice instead-Don't hare him. Yon will never be happy together. I have a presentiment of that. You have got over other affairs, and will get over this if you are wise. Now, what do you intend to doî"

Mary was really distressed and perplexed.

She knew all along that her aunt disapproved - of the match, but hoped she would relent at last ; and her determined attitude now threw amore serious aspect over the affair. She scarcely knew what to say, but felt called upon to say something.

" Dear aunt, I am so distressed to find that you are not likely to give way. I do not like to do anything against your wishes, but fear

that both Silas and I are too much in earnest to retreat. Believe me, I think you ore mis- taken in him. I cannot she why we should not be happy. You yourself cannot give a reason for your objection. Think, aunt-is it reasonable?" she said pleadingly.

" Mary, yon are more to mc than you ever thought, girl ! Are you not the daughter of my beloved brother ?-All I have left of bim f Do not have that man, I say 1 But you are your own mistress ; you have a conscience, an responsibilities of your own, and must act for yourself without my aid. But, look you, my child-if ever you want a friend in time of sorrow (a tear rolled down her wrinkled cheek) come to me. You will never hear a word of reproach from these lipa, for anthing that is past and gone then. "Now, go to Silas, and UBe your own judgment."

Mary kissed her aunt sorrowfully, for she knew that she was going to do an act that the old lady would give the world to prevent, though she could or would not tell why. If ever Mary was in earnest in a love affair, she was this time. She had had plenty of time to consider, and her resolve was fixed. She and Silas Blast exchanged vows, and had it not been for the sadness she felt on account of the annoyance she knew she was causing her aunt she would have been perfectly happy.

Poor aunt Felina left Mary's room and sat down in the cats' nursery with all her peta about her-a habit she had when particularly sad-and did not move till dinner time.

Silas Blast's hatred for his wretched «dave, Giovanni, increased more and more, and his severity with it, for the young man never retaliated, and the coward thought his spirit was broken, and -that he could take his full revenge for the resentment he showed at his ill-treatment long before. Deep as the lawyer was, he could not read and understand that Italian nature. Giovanni kept cool and self possessed under all the insults and petty tyrannies heaped upon him-outwardly "cool, but he resolved to be revenged when the tune came, which he felt assured lt would.