Chapter 59751102

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Chapter NumberIII.-(Continued)
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1883-06-23
Page Number3
Word Count1403
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMercury and Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1878 - 1903)
Trove TitleClare
article text

OLA RE. [FAmrLY HERALD.] CHAPTErR 11I.-(Continued) "Oho, young lady-the green-eyed monster, eh t They say where there is jealousy there is always lob " " Indeed I am not jealou-, Algy; and, if any one else said so, I would never speak to them again. Clara Courtrae jealous indeed I" "No," said her brother; I spoke of Clare Strahan." " Oh; don't Algy1 . I wish: you would not remind me-" Clare," said her husband, coming forward from the drawingroom, and speaking in rather constrained tones, for he cculd not help hearing her pas sionate utterance, "I am obliged to go to London at once--I have had a letter that demands instant attention ; but if you ;will stay in Ventnor till Monday,.I will do my beat to return and escort you to Southrocks~." " Do you mean that you are going 'now ?" she asked. " Yes-at once. I will write t) you from London. if I am detained beyond Monday. You will come over from 'Roby every day, I hope, Courtrae, and keep Clare company. "Indeed," said Clare, "I shall re turn to Scuthrocks tc-morrow, as already arranged." " Can you take her there, Courtrae ?"'' " Oh, yes, I will see to that," said the Captain. " I am very sorry your business is so imperative. Called away by your publishers ? ' " No," answered Strahan, rather hesitatingly, "by a private letter-but I must attend to it. Well, good bye, Courtrae ; good bye, Clare." She did not notice his extended hand, and, coloring deeply, he turned away. " Well," said her brother indig nantly, "if I were Strahan, you would have your ears boxed, young lady I" "Should I," questioned she. "Algy, something is the matter. Iv-he looked quite pale when he came into the conservatory." " Wily, he heard you resenting your married title-that is all." "No," said Clare, "I think there was some bad news in the letter." " Perhaps the mater is begging, or rather demanding a little assistance." " Mamma asking for money? Oh, Algy, I do hope not I ' Presently she returned slowly to the drawing-room, but it was deserted, and, after turning over the music with a hand that trembled slightly, she went out into the hall. Her husband had just entered a cab that waited at the open hall door ; his mother was speak ing some wistful words as to the wrap=, and Captain Algercon was talking and laughing with Nellie, who looked strangely anxious, as though she too foreboded evil from this sudden journey to town. CI1APPTER IV. Clare arranged to leave Ventnor on the afternoon of the following day, and the captain promised to take her all the way to Southrocks Hall, and remain there for the night ere returning to Roby, where he appeared to have es tablished himself very comfortably. Clare's mother-in-law greatly enjoyed the company of the good-natured Hus sar, and, though Nellie, suspicious of his motives, di:couraged his attentions most consistently, he flattered himself that he was gradually carrying the ob stinate fortress of her regard. Having the morning to herself, Clare resolved to gratify her long cherished desire to see the little Pfolliotts, and, taking the precaution to arm herself with camphor and aromatic vinegar, she went out alone, soon after break fast, and crossed the hills by a footpath that led to the Grange. The butler looked somewhat dismayed at her ap pearance, and told her at once that his mistress could not receive visitors, owing to the danger of infection ; but this fresh difficulty only increased Clare's determination, and she insisted that Mrs. Ffolliott should be told of her arrtival. The old man took her card and showed her into an apartment, and presently Mrs. Pfolliott, who had known her for many years, came down stairs, but refused to shake hands with her. "Clare, you naughty child," said she," this is very kind of you, but I wonder your husband allowed the risk. 'rank and Beatrice are convalemcent I now, but tlhey have been in great danger. Clare, -dear, you mqw t not stay ; the Colonel shall drive you back in the pony-chaise." In vain Clair as~lked to see her little favourites ; the Colonel and his wife were firm, and, though they promised to let Beatrice visit her at Southrocks as soon as practicable, the Colonel almost lifted her into the chaise, and dismissed her, as she complained, laughing, "' most inhospitably." But she had gained her end, and visited the Pfolliotte, notwithstanding her has band's precaution to warn her coach man. When Captain Algernon arrived to lunch, he found Glare on the sofa, com plaining of fatigue and an uncomforta ble sensation in her throat. Shecovld eat nothing, and began to cry when he spoke about their travelling arrange ments. " I feel more inclined to go to bed," said she, "than to undertake such a journey. 'I cannot think what has given me such a headache." "I hope you are not going to be ill, Clare," remarked her broker, regarding her rather auxiously. "Nurse yourself, dear, to day, and let us postpone our journey till to-morrow; there is no ne cessity for us to travel to-day. Let me telegraph to Mrs. Fanshaw." "No, No," said Clare, "I know you would rather return to Roby, Algy, but I told Mr. Strahan I should go to Sontbrocks to-day, so I shall certainly do so." The exposure to the air increased the symptoms of illness from which Clare was suffering, and they arrived at Southrocks with the knowledge that she had caught the fever from the Pfolliott's. Mrs. Fanshaw had her in bed as soon as possible, whilst the Captain sent directly for a doctor, and wrote to his brother-in-law, also to Roby. The doctor came, and pro 4ounced it a bad form, aggravated by

the joJrney; he had the whole ho0se d'sinfeated, and said she had youth and a goo I const'tu"on in h r favo: r Then followed days of delirium and unconsciousness. Clare could not en dure the presence of her mother, who came to Southrocks as in duty bound, but stayed at the neighbouring palace of the Bishop ; Nellie's co: 1 touch and gentle movements werehcwever grateful to her even in her insensibility, and her mother-in-law, a born sick-nurse, tended her untiringly, wi.h all the affectionate energy of Elizabeth Strahan in the Cumbermere days. It was drawing near Easter, when Clare, lying in bed one afternoon, opened her eyes and half a hispered to Nellie " He has never come to see me." ' Nc, dear," said Nellie, colouring, and looking exceedingly bewildered; we had a letter from the Continent in answer to your brothel's, which told him of your illness, and we have written to him since to tell him of your con valescence. This morning auntie had a few lines saying that he was thankful to hear you are better, and that he would come home shortly." " Why did he go to the Continent ?' "We do not know, dear ; but no doubt be will explain his reasons when he comes." " I suppose he is angry," said Clare slowly, " that I went to Pfolliott Grange, Nellie ?1' "Yes, Clare darling." " Have I been, talking of him in my illness ?" " Well, you did, dear, now and then." "What did I say ?" "Oh, never mind, darling !" and Nel lie laughed. " Well," said Clare, with something like her old defiance, " I did not mean it. It is very rude of him-very unkind -very-" " Clare, there is some mystery in his absence ; but his return will clear it all up. Now let me read you some extracts from his last poem." "Are you there, mother ?' "Yes, my pretty ; did you want me ?" "It will be my birthday soon; please persuade Nellie to stay. Algy is com ing on the twenty-second." "Of course, we shall stay, dearie," said the old lady'; "and I have written to that naughty boy of mine to hurry him home. And you'll like to invite some of your own friends too. Shall we not be in the way ?" Clare held one of her hands and one of Nellie's, and her beautiful eyes were dewy as she shook her head and smiled. (To be continued.)