Chapter 58217146

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1876-12-23
Page Number2
Word Count891
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAlexandra Times
Trove TitleWongawarra
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CH?APTER V. Yllinor Boveridge never know how long she had lain there in the quiet shadow of the rocks that had witnessed a fearful crime, but when she arose weakly from the ground and tried to steady her trembling limbs by holding on to the rough tree where the murderer had leaned, her dizzy eyes refused to second her efforts to discover the body of her murdered father. A few moments, however, brought a little strength, and then she saw that there was no longer a stilly form lying on the grass; it had disap. peared. Terrified and astonished, but recalling rapidly that she must have lain there long, Ellinor hastened to the spot where Mr Ileveridge Lad fallen to the award. It wad not hard to discover, for on the soft grasa a broad patch of red had changed the p.eaaent hue of vertlure into a painfully, a fearfully suggestive one of blood. A shudder ran through the frame of the distracted Ellinor, and for the first time she realised that she had lost the dear parent whom she had only lately recovered after a separation of years. She must return to the homestead instantly, and ere the thought had well germinated, she was flying from the terrible: place like one in delirium. Doubtless,they had acken her poor father to the homo he had so long made happy by his love to the dead and to the living. Her rapid feet soon made the distance less betwcon her and the homestead of grey stone ombowered in Its rich sua rounding of foliage, antl she was scarcely conscious of time ore she stood once more on the verandah from which she had looked out on Wongawarra with such a happy hoert but a few short hours agone. What was thi ? There was a buzz of voices in the diningroom-voices strangely loud in the vicinity of death; and on the verandah, peering Into the room through the open French windows stood two or three servants, their faces expressive of the utmost astonishment and terror. Pushing them aside with an Impetuous movement, Ellinor stepped into the apartment, and stood gazing with extended eyes on the fearful scene before her for one pitiful moment of in action. Upon the long table in the contro of the chamber lay what Ellinor's heart told her was the body of her parent, A stiff, im movable form, covered hastily with a heavy shawl that belonged to poor Ellinor, and which she herself had thrown upon the arm of a couch on the previous evening. At a little distance from the body stood George Larkins, with his arms folded, and a sneerof triumph on his handsome face. He was gazing at another ligure, who, directly opposite to Ellinor Beveridge, was indig nantly trying to free himself from the grasp of two troopers. Picture to yourself the feelings of the loving and faithful woman when she recognised in this struggling figure her lover, Frederick Howard. The face of Frederick was scarlet with passion, and the veins on his temples were swollen up like whipcord. " Unhand me, villains I" he was saying in deep concentrated accents, as if not even in such an extremity could he forget the preteonce of death; "on the word of a worthless wretch such as he dare you arrest me for the murder of my best and oldest friend l" As soon, however, as Ellinor's shadow darkened the floor, and his passionate eyes fell upon that white, terrified face, as ahe stood like one petrilied opposite to him,his efforts ceased at once, and an expression of the deepest despair fell upon his burning face. " What I" she cried, as his last words fell upon her bursting ear, " what is that yon have said, Frederick? Arrest you-you for the murder of my father I Stand back, police I" she exclaimed, darting to the side of the prisoner, and passing her protecting arms around him; "stand back, and touch my husband at your peril I Look at me, darling: look at your wife I Fear not Il they shall not touch a hair of your dear head I" Involuntarily, perhaps, the grasp of the policemen relaxed as the devoted wife threw herself upon her husband's breast; and Frederick's arms gathered up the precious burden to his heart as if he would never part with it again. " Some fearful misunderstanding, my own darling," he whispered; "but be strong, it will soon be cleared up." The words recalled Ellinor to a sense of her position, and she withdrew herself from her husband's embrace. Like an incarnation of justice and retribution, she turned toward George Larkins, who, In glad enjoyment of the scone, smiled esroastically as his eye met that of Ellinor. "You had better look out," he said sneer. ingly to the policemen; " your prisoner will escape." " No, he will not I" she said. " Troopers, arrest thin man, I saw him fire the shot that killed my fatherl Oh, no," she cried, as the miserable assassin tried to bound past her and escape the fate which was now overtaking him, " even a weak woman can hold a murderer I" arid she clung to him until the handcuffs were clasped upon his wrists, and rendered his further efforts at escape futile.