|Newspaper Title||Alexandra and Yea Standard, Gobur, Thornton and Acheron Express (Vic. : 1877 - 1908)|
CHAPTER III. The long, weary fortnight had come to its end. Easoil, restlessly pacing the deck the last alternoon of his detention looked curiously different to the laughing eyed young man who had danced there with such happy carelessenee a month ago. But it was not the love-thirst of his heart which had brought those eet lines to his mouth and quenched the old brightnees of his eyes. SIt's a shame, the way Grant is cutting Enuoll out,' eul I one middy to another an they looked at him. They were both in a bad temper, having to stay on board that lovely afternoon, arid, Leing devoted aimirert of Ensoll, they were inclined to be abusive of his friend and Captain alike. 'Grant knew EAsoll was gone on her. I call it caddish. now that Eneoll is out of the running. Grant and she are always together.' The other fully concurred. Eneoll had gathered from various thinge let slip in con. vernetion what was taking place on shore. Grant himself ihad never alluded to Miess Keith, and Enrolt was too proud to ark. But the fierce pain at his heart would fill him at moments with rage against Grunt for trying to step between himself and Mits Keith. Only for a momentary, careleet amusement. For what else could it be? Grant had not forgotten Mirabella Stock. Even he, Eneoll, sceptic ao he had been on the subject of his friend's powers of devotion, really believed at last in his love and fidelity where Mirabella was con cerned. lie knew how hie unfortunrrte passion had changed his whole life. The (Grant of to~day wal no more like the Grant of a year before than a happy, care less clhoolboy is like the man who comes out hardened, reckless, bitter, from life's great battle. Yet here he was, idly flirting with lberbe Keith-when he knew that her love was the life's happiness of his friend. For Eneoll was certain that Grant knew that he loved her. As he thought it over today, he felt he could keep silence no longer ; be woula speak to Grant that night, when he returned to the ship from the Admiral's ball, where probably he would have danced all night with Phribe ! In the pale light of the early summer dawn Enroll fotund his opportunity. * I warnt to speak to you,' he said curtly. * Allright, old boy,' answered Grant care lersly, but he leant hack heavily against the side of the ship, gazing acrors the silent harbour, with its gloaming lights and dark ships which lookeo like ghostly shadows in the morning twilight, and it seemed as if hie did it to avoid meeirng his friend's evee. 'Is it all up with you and Mirabella Stecl? T Grant's strong frame quivered from head to foot, as if the pitiless, curt question had stabbed him through. Then he answered slowly : ' It was all up long ago.' ' Do you mean, then, to marry Miss Keith ?' ' Marry her !' he broke into a harsh, dis cordant laugh. 'Not much chance of my doing thlit ! ' Then will you-in Heaven's name, tell me-' But a sudden, swift change leapt into Grant'e eyes. IIls whole face was convulsed with lury. SWill you tell me by what unwarrantable impertinence you question my affairs ? Let me ones, and he hanged to you !' Enlloll, thrust aside, stood quit still. Something seemed suddenly to have snapped within hnni-something that set his whole life jarring and clashing out of tune. It made him quite dizzy, an if the discord were physical. Trust, faith, tender affection, re spect, were being crushed, maimed, slain, amid the miad, wild confusion of those other raving feelings. T'ar friendshio which had begun so long ago, which had leested so faithfully, which had been the controlling power, keeping in beru'.iful harmony so many opposing feel. iugs, purposes, aims, tastes, wae dead.