Chapter 52443178

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Chapter NumberPART II. II. (Continued.)
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52443178
Full Date1893-02-25
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count3404
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Great Seal
article text

TALES AND SKETCHES.

[NOW FIRST rDBLISUED.]

UNDER THEGRErYT SEAL,

A NOVEL,

Bï JOSEPH HATTON.

Author of " Clytie," " By Order of the Czar,"

"John Necdhain'o Double," "Cruel Lon- don," &e.

[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.]

PART IL

DMAITKU IL (Continued.)

You never saw anything more bewitching than the «lark »Ino dreamy eye» of Klmhi Wehb, tina were as arch as a grisette's at om moment aud at another soft and enticing ai that of the traditional houri. Sometimes ii her very talk she seemed to cling and seel shelter from the world's alarms ; at others shi was self-possessed and déliant. She hui moods of merriment ond moodB of melancholy that Zacchcus, her father, called the doll drums, "the like of which was naturel ti gals." Her hair was brown and wavy. 1 was tied up in a bunch high upon her hea<

that showed a sun-burnt neck, suggestive o sinuous strength. She was a trifle above thi medium height, just tall enough, David liai loug ago discovered, to top his shoulder, uni

David was within an inch of six feet. Sin

had afiucly-formed, flexible mouth, lips ucithc full nor thin, hut with u lurking emile o pretty sarcasm iii thc corners, that guvi piquancy to her manner and point to all shi said. .Shu had a small now, willi a moderately open nostril, that suggested higher breedinj than lier station implied, and a beautifully modelled chin with a benevolent, dimple in i contradicting other characteristics of thc fae and head that naturally belong to the KIÜBI and incosstant. How these opposing qualities good and bad, developed under thc influence to which they were subjected remains to b

seen.

David Keith was the very, opposite e Elmira Webb. The contrast no doubt, lui for him a subtle charm. He was »fork. Sh was fair. He WHB ««solute and strong of aili She was fantastic aud fickle, He was o powerful build. She was soft «nd witlewy He had all thc capacity of lovicg that belong ta earnest, generous natures. She lacked con »tancy. They were a very handsome, evci rlnwy couple; she with her «aiaebievoss eye and lively manners ; he witt: his dark stream; ?eyes, his thick black hair, his bronzed, open ! honest face, «nd in his walk thc swing of i ' young giant. To think of him sitting on i

liitrli stool is Pctbcrick'sdfficc, was a wrong t< romance, ned to thc bo^'s unteoefents. H had inherited something of his £randfulher' aristocratir appearance, but underneath th gentle nature his motlier had given him, (her burnt thc fires of ambition and passion, o which so Tur he had little or no consciousness

except in the deep ant intense indignatioi which was aroused in his natureiby storiwo wronp and oppression, «nd an'oetxsional ye«T ing foi-advcnuirc inspired by thé romances .<] thc csa and laud, which he read when 'h should have been ^studying 'the musty la\ books that were 4s fit him 'fir his career -rn Petlrcrick's chief clerk, uudiri thc dim future Petherick's Juniorpartner.

"At last," thc impatient lad exclaimed " rt seems an eternity sinec three o'clock why, how splendidl you look'!"

Me took her proffered band OB she stoppet front the higher .ground to« dip in thc «iones ar.d then turning about tow-' that they wer unobserved he took ber face betwonc hi strong hands «nfl kissed ber.

"There now, you have rumpled my lliat, eke Baid in her fascinatirg imperative -way ?"Serves me right, I onçlrt to have changed i «nd my dress,'too ; bavl thonghi you wouli 'be mad if I tcçpt you waifing. "

She turned'her li ead cs if she ejepcotod t<

see Bomeoneon the bank.

" Mad, nothing ooetfi ever mafce>tne mai writh you!*

"Oh, I «ton? knowefeeut th«t,"-<ah<: "replied , acadjustieg her hat, «cd, with «ul .atTcctn fastidiousness, stoppingamong dteifircy-blu ; enarramt ««clever tbeeca-thisttes asia yell«

? ia vender that decorated the danes.

I " Don't JWI sec I «iiy?egot oa'sny Sunda'

«11008?" «he said, iu euswer to lue look < I surprise.

"Shalt ul carry -JBDU?" David replied «toppingto«tk thuoeeslion.

"Carry itce ; noY' she said. ""I doti «hink you «wald."

i "Couldn't I though 1" the ta*, replttid

' putting owtJhis arms.

" Thea .you wou/'t,1' she aaiC " I skaï ' .-spoil my-eheis for ail ulmt."

" Shall. I dmd you'«n£ne!"

" Ho»- can I gel inte that dirtyttnat *"

j " I'll «be«' you," «dd David, "** when w

;get there.'"

Thc boat ity in little more (hanan iu'dtc nation of UK beach, laude by ti« constáis -' '«ragging of certain >ycwls that were ocoa

eioiiallyhaaiUl up thewihy rope«a£ windlass and it. vaejnaitc a.distance from the ridgi dong .the haly dunes ti thc beaok. teo -now aud taws « lien they were húMcu frau view David would «top to admire UII fisherman's coauettish daughter, 'the like o; whom for «rit «nd dash-and for -cress auf

wcoity, some would u2£-the «tildie coast from .the Waah to Hueetanton, towns and cities included, could uo& show ; and Dnviii delighted in tile wayward, pretty_çiH, mon particularly aurania day oía» others, «'lieu il soeaied as ff she bad actually dressed for tl« occasion thattolbim waa (ntught witli.*o much

uwiocnt.

Al length the} .etine to the boat, allamber, ing kino of dingo/, with Cong oars and e rough brown «ail et'oived away on thc.usttoni, abit'of old urpa-uhn. smelling of fish, .and s rootr» seat that had'been the work of David fixedlow down by the tiller.

"Sf ad isn't dirt, lyou.kmnr," said Itavid, " it really cleans things, and «and like this is good enough for Lawtytr Petherick's pounce, box," jumping aboard and malanga gigantic duster df the tarpaulin, and then dropping lit over upas the sand.

" I don't think I'll ?go,'" «he said, meaning to go all tbc time. " I shall spoilrny thingc.

! " Kot gc !" said David, looking at her, a j very sailoi-iman in hi» irough jacket and his < slouoh bat (pushed back ?fasm bis open fore j head.

! She coulfi not help admiring him os be

stood up for a moment, a-sd watched the .anxious expreision of bis lace change to .delight when-iic understood that «ho was only playing with him. Then she mentally compared him with Harry ¡Barkstead, the University gentleinan. with his superfine manners and hie (boastful, commanding «roy«.

Do-vid plunged down aud thrusting rliii Jong arms into the tikarruck beneath the seat, which he had made for days of «ailing wticu nUuMML wa« more dian usually -difficuU to please, lie drow out a pilot jacket and a great woolies muffler, und constructed aioaehion.

"There!" he cxeloénied, "noa- give me your liaed !" j

Elmira could have vaulted into the boat

with case, as she had douc many a tinte; hut she enjoyed David's considerate acts of courtesy. They made her feel more of a lady, and ICBS like a fisherman's daughter ; though in lier way she was proud af her father. It wat only when Harry Barkstead called at their cottage that she felt a little ushained of her father's homely nays and want of educa-

tion.

" It's all very well (a start in a doun boat, but how will it bc when we've taken on board a cargo of father's fish?"

She had seen away in thc distance thc figure of Harry Barkstead, and could not help wondering why lie hail followed her, and then disappeared as if he had dropped into the cartu. Ho must bc lying dowu in one of tile valleysof thc dunes. " Why!" she wondered, in a curious and indefinite way.

"If it conics to that," said David, "we won't take in any cargo ; we'll make a passenger boat of thc Swallow. By the way, I wonder Zacchens thought of calling a great lumbering boat like this the swallow. Come, Mira ; now see it is lit for any queen, and, therefore, almost (it for you."

Ho look both her hands. She smiled ant

I yielded, and yet she wondered what Harr; ' Barkstead could mean by following her, anc when he saw David walting should sta] behind and hide. She did hot tell Davit what she was thinking of.

" There you are," the boy exclaimed. Imnd ing her to lier seat. *' Never saw you look s< lovely. Why your cheeks are rosy as I Dutch apple."

"Tell mc something else that's disagree able," waa thc Bbarp reply. " I hate to lum red checks." And that was true, for lie: rivals said she drank vinegar to make then Íialc. They were pale us u rule-the dclicaU airncss that is rare as it is healthful.

Then leaping ashore David seised the bo« and tugged thc Swallow into thc water. Il was no child's play to haul the dingey inte thu flowing tide ; but David loved to test hit strength and master difficulties. She wai fairly afloat before he clambered aboard and fiuBbcd her into deep water. Then be laid

told of thc oars and thc Swallow began tc dance lightly over thc swelling water that rippled past lier and laid tributes of weed am) shell along thc yellow beach.

" Your checkB are red enough anyway,' said Elmira, as David paused to mop hit burning face with a silk bandanna haudkur. chief which had been presented to him bj " Sarah Mumford to her dear, dear youne

j master David Keith," as a birthday gift.

" I expect tiley are," he said, laughing, " they arc hot enough, but I did not mean j that yours w ere-you know what I mean, anything but lovely : I'm a had bund at a I compliment."

" You said they were red."

"I meant that there was just a little flush upon them like-"

" Like a dairymaid," she replied, "yoi: are too complimentary," and then when slit saw a shadow of disappointment and anxiety fall across the boy's tace, she laughed and Bhowcd her white firm teeth, and cried, "there, don't be silly, pull away !" and took off ber long groves that reached to her dimpled elbows, «n<f laid lier hand upon thc titler, putting the boat's head straight for thc Fiyini

Scud.

" Do yon know why I was .inpatient foi your coming to-day, more particularly lin patient t mean !" David asked, pulling easy, " of conree yon den't."

" It is generally because yon love mc so,' she answered archly, " at least that is youi excuse for being so rude as te tell me hon

late Hero."

" Well, that is always thc reason," he ansvrered, " ro-day more than ever. I have something dreadfully importait to tell you, something that nobody knows as yet, exccW my trustees end me."

"it's a secret, then !" she mid.

" Yes, * Bort of secret-at present," ht replied.

" You mean It will no longer be a seorel when yon have lol«? me !"

" They do say women can't keep secrets,' said David, " but I believe they eau de any thing; II know you can, that is anytiRug s woman might be proud to do."

"Why have you taken to calling me t woman all at once !" she aaked. I am tiot sc old as you ; and I'm sure I never thought ol calling you a man."

" Then 1 really believe you will when I haw toId:you what I was telling to thessaiand thi sky and the 'dear did dunes for lack of you, wheo I saw yoe come sailing ulong9.Ire sand hills like a fairy yacht on a fairy ssa.-"

"Very well,5«inlistening, she replied "tell mu while % put the Swallow's head about-hereVc'boat from thc SottÛ signalling

'nc"

OHAPTKE III.-DAVID TUT** ELMIRA av un

MISSION TO NEWFOCNDLAND.

"Steady, lat tbem come up to us," sait

$>avid.

The Blyiar.-Scud'B boat drew alongside

"Cappa Webb saysyooioughtnos woUpul Stack, hebeagoin to land -catch at netty and "all be hutu'tn supper."

As a nile, «the fisherman ferried their hsuli from the roads to thc beach, where thor/omer washed enttipickcd thc auckcrel and herrings, , as thc ewe night be, «ahile thc auctioucer'i 1 bell letwuadcd along tlte-coost, 'to notify the I fish be had for public salo, lin theircgulai

season, when " the poor man's fish" «'tts the harvest efrf ba sea, in which Yarmouth chiefly engaged, lithe beach was a sight to behold. Men eaustusmve a chief. If some bold spirit does not elect himself to domineer .over the couir*ra«&', Ute community will elect one. Even Heart's Delight, freed from the tyranny of the Adaikal's rule, when thc fishing season was over, mast have a loader, and>they obeyed David Plympton. Thc iY'ariiioiith bxhermen, in thevltrtMys, andauere late in th? present century., "wauld elect a " mayor "ito-scttle all disputes Mist might arise among them. He was dnessediin a half-elaestcal kind of way, tc représeett Nepi one, and -was carried about the town rtu-a^tiiy decorated boat on wheels. In tho uà«et<of t hese opeaingf cstivities, ike Dutch fishing Host would colac sailing in, «.nd then there ssas uko " Dutch Sunday, with its com iiiingUau^iL'fforeign folk,.and British, and " all the fen 4r thc fair," .which .Ure itnowiog HolUuMiopr: held upou the beach for.thc sale of vaoiousttoys and ««odell shoes, .globes of cheese, RUC! rcd-fsee apples. Added to thc Dutch alert, the North'Country boa*« often brought ov.iuers, and captains andithcir wives, and Ussy lodged in thc Rews, aud ttclpcd to make Yiwaoutli busy on .market daye, when the local .tradesmen and kiddiers laid out their stalle and spread tJtoir white «twuiugs, making thc market stjeare gsy and huey.

Bat thisCuly fishing oí./2aecheus Webb anil the rest, was what alight'lia called the off- season, aricVH made no puj.'ttciilar addition to the llieacli life «if «lie^tiinc Moresvcr, .old.Zacky litad a warehouse aud Cab-curia g place in tho town, and lie generally had «arte at the jetty to carry fais cargoes liiiicr, eccept.narr ana ttcn in the matter of a asaalbtake in.UK July fishing.

"" All right," said David, and Elmira .wived lier haudbeiv&ief to Ute Flying Scud which luvC lifted hortauchor and was already invit ineitlie breezevS'ith lier greatibrnwii sails.

" But wc wcat't put back, ch:?"

"Ko," uid .Elmira, "Wodli you hoist anil, end theo you can talk without, sbippi&g to puT and blew like a gtmpus, as lather would say."

Shcoeaned bunt and laughed as she,criti- cised ifccr- companion, who had :f<uud Iii« «ceret «ad the heat a little trying.

"il am not quite up to my .usual form, I (grant you," said {David, " but I'm lO-jual to nsw you to the oppoeite coast and cast anchor «t Schcveuham, u y<ju so with."

" Ko thunk you. I know how stroug you aneu andihoiv proud you arc of it,*'«heiroolied, still laughing.

?* Who ha-vo you bee» sharpening your wit upon in tho town Ï" the boy nuked, shiming

hts two heavy oars.

" If you smt/lge my gewn I'll never forgive you," she said, without noticing his question, but moring as far uvay osdhe could from the mast and ropes rhich David began to got into place. Presentí/, he hauled up thc lugger sail, und Elmira put thc boat about io catch, thc breeze which began to freshen as the SHU

declined.

"You really ought to bc * sailor," said Eluiira, as thc boy linulcd thc sail taut against thc mast, aud offered liar the control of thc rope.

"There," he mid, rearranging IIÍB extem- porised cushion, "ifyou'll sit here and sail her I'll come to thc tiller. That's it ; and if I ought to he a sailor I'm sure you ought to bc a snilor's wife."

"Oh, indeed," she said, "it is »sot my miibilioi] I assure you."

" I hope not, for I am to lie a lawyer; but law or no law we'll have have our boat ¡fin, not to say our yacht."

" Will we ?" she said, seating herself comfortably al his feet, where he luid packed Iiis jucket aud tarpaulin for her UBC, and hold-

ing the linc with the hand of an expert. I

" Will we ! Why of course we will ; and

s-e'II Bail right round thc world. When 1 < rome into my money, Mira, I fear I shall astonish poor old Petherick."

" Yes *" she said, " I didn't know you were coining into any money, David."

"Nordld I,"nld David, "until this week; that ia one of the tbinge I want to talk

about"

" Yery Well, I am listening."

" Thia in how it is ; my grandfather

Plympton died ton yours ago ; he left me hu i

heir, but his lands had been confiscated ; the case has been in thc Courts ; his trustees have been fighting it off and on ever since he died, and at last it has been decided that a certain Íñece of territory at Heart's Delight in New oundland, originally granted to his father and which he inherited, is to be restored to his heirs and assigns-well, Mira, my dear, I am his heir and assigns, and I am to go to Newfoundland to take possession.'

" To Newfoundland !" Elmira exclaimed. " Yes, to Newfoundland." "You seem very glad."

" I am."

"To go away? And yet yon say you love

me and cannot live without mc !"

"That is why I am glad." "Indeed."

" Because, you see, when all that is settled I shall come hack and marry you."

" It takes two to make a wedding, said Elmira.

" I know that, and we shall bc thc happiest two in the world," he said, leaning over bol- and kissing her.

" You are very masterful now that yon aro going to have a bit of money," Bhe eaid, untying her hat, and pinning the strings to the waistband of her gown.

" Yes, my own," he said, smoothing her hair as she coquettishly laid her head uear him and then rested it upon his knee.

" And are you going to he rich, David !"

" No, not exactly rich ; Petherick doesn't know what the land's worth yet ; and there is, it appears, a recent purchase ; a curious kind of a deal that thc old man mude just before he died, but Petherick says that's a piece of no-man's land'that's worth uothiug to nobody, unless there may be mineral» ; out supposing there are, they might not bc worth working."

" I never Bald I would marry you," laughed Elmira, pressing her head against him.

" You have Baid it in your eyes ; you have said it with your lips when thev uttered no words, and with your dear hand when we huvc said good night ; you are saying it now. Oh, Mira, what would become of me if yon were to say no, or if I lost you, or we wore parted !"

She let thc sail (dump for a minute or two, and permitted David to draw her nearer to him so that he could look into lier eyes, and j as he loosed the tiller, and thc boat drifted I with a flapping sail, he kissed her with his barning lips and in a hoarse whisper, asked her if she truly loved him ; " not. os I love you," he said, " with all my heart and soul, and with every thought, and at every moment of my life, night and day ; but enough to let mt dewe-te my life to you?"

" Yes, David, I love you," she said, over- come with his passion, and returning his bot kisses, "and I will morry you !"

" My darling !" he exclaimed, ." My darling !" and bc could say no more ;"nor did she speak for ever so long. The boat drifted

round and headed as if of her own accord for Glister and home.

Thc sun was sinking beneath thc sea. The yonng moon like a crcsoont of cloud appeared. A light cool breeze -arose. ©avid kept the Swallow's head straight for Caister ; and for the time being «he world held no happier couplo than David Keith and Elmira Webb. She had given herself up to thc glamour of

thc time. He tied realised in her confession the dearest wish of his heart.

(To le wntimcd.)