|Newspaper Title||Mercury and Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1878 - 1903)|
|Trove Title||Ada and her Cousin Charles, A Tale for Victorian Boys and Girls|
CHAPTER XVII. DEVOTION. The letter dropped from the hands of Ada, who fell fainting into Edith's arms. "Ruined !" said Mr.Pipkins. " Why he hasn't had the time to spend his money !" "Serve him right," thought Edith, but she didn't give expression to her thoughts because of her love for her friend. Ada, coming to herself, exclaimed "Oh ! dear, oh ! dear, he intends to kill himself. He says in his letter that he will never see me again, that he bids me good-bye for ever. I cannot let himt die for want of a little money. All that I have, is it not his ? Does Charles doubt my affection for him ? At all risks I must save him! Edith, dear ! quick ! give me my bonnet and shawl, and get on yours. Mr. Pipkins, please come with us. Oh ! do, pray, be quick ! We must hasten to Charles's lodgings !" And Ada, taking Mr. Pipkins's arm, hurried into the street, accompanied by Edith. The astounded clerk thought within himself, what he would not be willing to sacrifice to be loved by Edith as Charles was loved by Ada. They have reached Charles's lodg ings. Ada, trembling, knocks at the door. They are admitted. They learn from the servant that he has been busily engaged writing all the evening. They proceed to his room. It was time, for the wretched youth had fully resolved upon committing suicide. Here I ought to say a few words either in de precation or in favour of this very sharp method of extricating one's self from a difficulty, but as I have been requested by a lady friend to finish the tale promptly so that she may know what becomes of Charles, I will forego the temptation. I regret it for the reader's sake, who would have had from me a splendid homily for or against self destruction, but I rejoice in it for my self, since it will save me the trouble of much fine writing. Charles had returned to his lodging with the firm determination of writing valedictory letters to all his friends, then of explosively putting an end to all his troubles by blowing his brains out. So, first arranging his writing materials, he loaded a pistol that he had purchased in happier times for a fancy dress ball, and placed it by them. Next, he sat pensively in a semi-melo dramatic attitude, thinking much of himself and his interrupted career, and a little now and again of his cousin Ada. The " great himself" occupied the most of his thoughts ; the " little she" only cropped up occasionally and gave him, I mustsay, butlittleconcern. He thought what a loss he would be to society at large, and how he would be regretted ; he little thought how much a greater loss he would be to that lone unit of society whose life was bound up in his. Just as he had made up what really little mind he had to put an end to himself, and from the mode that he was about to adopt, also to make a great mess in the room, and a great com motion in the neighborhood, he heard a series of rapid taps at his door, and the sounds of steps without it. Throw ing down the pistol that - "Charles, dear !" exclaimed Ada, observing his scared look, and throw ing herself into his arms, which were extended with surprise, more than with love, on seeing her enter, "Why did you write me such a cruel letter ?" He saw grief in her face. He ap preciated it. He resolved that as soon as she was gone he would unload his pistol. Then he kissed her. " How could you expect me to live a dishonored life ?" " You shall not be dishonored," she said fervently. "All that I possess, Charles, dear, is yours!" Placing herself at his desk, she wrote a letter to her trustees, authorising them to sell as much of her propertyas would suffice to pay Charles's debts. The magnanimous, mighty-minded Charles consented to live on these terms. The handsome, physically, well-favoured youth, accepted, with a profusion of kisses, the relief thus tendered to him. As for poor Mr. Pipkins, on hearing of ih?esacrifice that Adsa, in her inno cence, had made, he wept, whilst Edith could not refrain from muttering some what' louder thanlshe ought to have done, " What a..fool* she is." Bat Edith was a girl: who had no senti ment,? whilst Ada;- g6odland noble as - she was,jlived'in a tTtopian world. Bl-eese=harles wabs handsome-fellow" shd thought him a good one. He was really' abad one at heart; he was mely aii eak one. ' theii way home. Edith sai d, "'rfel, if e does not marry you at •' Edith dear. whether hie marriu- me or not, it is all one to mt. I have done
what 1 consider to be my duty, I have saved him from the sin of self-destruc tion:. Seated in their little parlour, Mr. Grinnidge was much affected by what tbe heard from the young people, among whom was not Charles. He had gone into town, as be said, to make arrange Pments with a lawyer about obtaining the funds that Ada's letter would place at his disposal. "My dear child," said Mr. Grinnidge, 'I cannot say I approve of what you -ave done, but as your signature has been given, I am afraid that your Quixotic gift is alegal one. However. now that you will own next to nothing, and that Charles has absolutely nothing at all, he will be sompelled to adopt some profession or other finally, if he intends taking you for wife. Thanks to the generosity of Ada. C?harles preserved what he called his honor, that is to say, he was enabled to pay his verandah debts. As for Ade, what was left her of her fortune only yielded her a poor fifty pounds a year. This change of circumstances, however, did not cause her a moment's regret. The only matter that troubled her was that she no longer had it in her power to pay Mr, Grinnidge as before for her board and lodging.