Chapter 60620354

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Chapter NumberIX
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60620354
Full Date1884-07-28
Page Number121
Corrections0
Word Count1777
IllustratedY
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 - 1889)
Trove TitleCrowned with Good
article text

'. GROW If ED WITH GO 0 D-BT^##p!AN' A.:.

CHAPTER IX. ? ''?Mamma,' said Alicia next morning, when the two were seated ' at breakfast, ' why can you not take me to Brussels, instead of going for a tour into Italy ? It would please me beyond everything to be in dear old Brussels again. Do say we may go there, dear, . ,and directly.' '.'? Lady Sinclair felt surprised. 'Why, my dear, I thought you had such a dislike to remaining quiet. That was the only reason ? . why I proposed to go to Italy. We scarcely know a soul in . Brussels, and I shall not permit you to go into any gaiety at the palace.' ? 'I xoish to be quiet, mamma,' interrupted Alicia. 'Why Bhould I not go there if I wish it?' t ' Lady Sinclair recollected herself. Her daughter had for so long a time spoken and acted rationally, that it was difficult to ? . .comprehend the fact of her insanity. 'Of course, my dear, if Frederick agrees we will go there at 'once. Happily I have not engaged the courier yet, nor, in fact, made nny other preparations.' ' Will you telegraph to Frederick ?' .-.,'. ' Yes.if you like, my dear.' I That morning Alicia studied The Times, and copied into her pocket-book unobserved the announcement that a certain mail ateamer would leavo Southampton on the 31st of October for Melbourne. 'I believe I can manage it,' she thought, as she watched the Btormy sea from her bedroom window. ' It is certainly not safe to go direct to Marseilles. I must contrive to get to England. Once in Brussels that will be easy.' She Bmiled triumphantly, picturing to herself the meeting with Lionel. She would come upon him suddenly, in nil her beauty, and the surprise would conquer 'iim. He would he her own once again. No more anxiety for his safety, no more weary waiting lor his coming — always the joy unspeakable ot Ins loving presence to brighten her lonely lite, his smile to chase away her terrible fits of melancholy I Poor Alicia, overpowered by the anticipation of bo much happiness, buried her face in her hands, and wept tears of mingled joy and sorrow. Meanwhile Lady Sinclair, happily ignorant of her daughter's

? - /:-- -$-y plans, hastened the arrangements for their journi£iiorth\foru to Brussels. The doctor had augured hopefully of ''7d|cia s* desjra' for change and yet for quiet, and did not think it»t*al^U^essdrJ^, that her former guardians should be sent for to accOT»pao**4*ef: A week found Lady Sinclair and Alicia comfortably ensconced with their respective attendants in the Place de ? . Alicia soon began to interest herself in the sisters connected with one of the religious orders of the city. Her plans for escaping to England had not matured themselves in her mind until she arrived in Brussels, but now an idea that the sisters might help in attaining her end took possession of her, and she began, eagerly but secretly, to work towards the furthering of this object. To secure the frequent visits of a sister for whom she professed a liking was no difficult matter. In her conversations with the sister, Alicia had only to display a leaning towards the Roman Catholic faith, and that devotee was ever ready to pour into the willing ear of her pupil the beauties of her church's doctrines, in the happy, conviction that she was acquiring an influence over this misguided spirit for its eternal salvation. But for the visit, of this dark-robed figure to be an event of every-dny occurrence wa8 all Alicia desired. She was supremely indifferent to the welfare of the immortal part of her being. Her brain was ncapable of realising anything higher than the tangible forms of happiness or misery in the presence or absence of her husband. For this joy she was striving, with all her mental powers (such as they were) quickened to an intense degree. Secretly she had observed the material and fashion of her visitor's garb during the long conversations they held together, and also secretly she procured and made with her own hands a dress precisely similar. When all was complete she waited with surprising patience' for an opportunity of making her escape in this disguise. October had very nearly drawn to a close, however, before the long wished-for moment arrived. One cold bright morning Lady Sinclair, knowing that Sister Marie was with her daughter, and wishing to make some pur chases in the Montagne de la Cour, ordered the carriage and set out alone. Alicia knew that now was tho time to carry her plans into execution. She dismissed Sister Marie on the plea that ahe was

t suffering from headache, and contrived that none of the servants ?kh/tfuid observe her leave the house. Then, hastily assuming the /lister's habit, which she kept in readiness, she boldly quitted the house by the most frequented exit, nerved to the effort by the excitement of so precarious an enterprise, and by the knowledge of how little time there remained for delay if she meant tt- embark in the steamer by which she had set her heart upon travelling. The sombre figure, carrying a small reticule, caused no unusual amount of interest among the few who noticed it ; but when Lady Sinclair returned in about two hours' time, she was met by Alicia's maid, who, with a pale and troubled coun tenance, inquired if her ladyship knew anything of Mrs. Lindsay's whereabouts. Lady Sinclair, of course, imagined that her daughter was safe in her own rooms, and great was the confusion and dismay when it was found that neither the sisters at the convent nor any one else could throw the least light on Alicia's mysterious absence. As the hours passed slowly by, Lady Sinclair's dread of any esclandre, combined with an amount of real terror as to what might have become of her unfortunate daughter, caused her so much anxiety that she could no longer endure the comparative inaction of merely making inquiries through the servants of the house. She applied to the police, but as they had not the slightest clue to guide them, her ladyship being quite unable to conjecture what had been the reason of her daughter's sudden disappearance, they could render no satisfactory assistance, beyond circulating a description of her appearance among their official brethren ; and, notwithstanding all their efforts, Alicia had so successfully disguised herself that she; found not the slightest difficulty in reaching Antwerp in safety From thence she took the boat to London without loss of time,, and early on the morning of the 29th of October, the fugitive,, pale and exhausted from a night of sea sickness, stood on the: deck, watching the sun rise in crimson glory over the roofs of the yet sleeping city. A feeling of triumph at the complete success of her arranger ments so far, and the ever-present thought of her meeting with Lionel; which, to her excited imagination seemed now so near, were sufficient stimulants to aid her in overcoming any difficulties she might encounter. But a greater obstacle than any Alicia had anticipated was to postpone for a time her intended voyage to New Zealand. Scarcely had she contrived to change in London the sister's garb for that of an English lady, when a feeling of languor that had naturally succeeded to her state of high excite ment increased to sensations of absolute illness, and by the time she arrived in Southampton she was obliged to take refuge in an. hotel, where she lay for many duys, if not dangerously, at least very seriously ill, with an attack of intermittent fever. During: most of this time Alicia was partially unconscious, but she was. so far aware of what passed around her as to be able to protest againBt the doctor's suggestion that her friends should be

THE ^-PDGITiVE^rrPALE^'AND ' EXHAUSTED FROlt A NIGHT OP SEA.-SICKXESS, STOOD OX THE DECK, WATCHING THE SUN' RISE IN CRIMSON GLORY OVEB TIIE - ^QC^J^|THj^rj^p|j ,,'-' ' '*' '.!;(' 'i' '^ V'-'ti l! '''* ^.' ' '' '' '-' ' ' .' ? SLEEPING CITY.' — CllAP. IX. ?-- ? .- - -,..- k A - , „ ^^^0^j^0]^^0^i

THE ^-PDGITiVE^rrPALE^'AND ' EXHAUSTED FROlt A NIGHT OP SEA.-SICKXESS, STOOD OX THE DECK, WATCHING THE SUN' RISE IN CRIMSON GLORY OVEB TIIE - ^QC^J^|THj^rj^p|j ,,'-' ' '*' '.!;(' 'i' '^ V'-'ti l! '''* ^.' ' '' '' '-' ' ' .' ? SLEEPING CITY.' — CllAP. IX. ?-- ? .- - -,..- k A - , „ ^^^0^j^0]^^0^i

- apprized of her state. As she was not in any immediate danger, however, and as the attempt made by the medical man to learn her address seemed to agitate the patient, it was relinquished, especially when in about a fortnight's time Alicia's good consti tution prevailed in shaking off the disease, and she began rapidly to recover. So strong was her determination to achieve her object, that as her resolute will forced back and conquered to a great extent her illness, so did it conceal every token of insanity . trom even the physician's watchful eye. She bewitched him by her beauty and. grace when she was able to rise from her bed during most of the day, and she won the heart of the hotel manager, less by her liberal remuneration than by her gracious thanks ior the kindness she had met with both from himself and his subordinates. Alicia had given her name as Mrs. Lewis, and had not, even in the ramblings oi her semi-delirium, disclosed her intention of making a voyage to New Zealand. No traces of her destination or of her real name appeared upon the small stock of luggage, to which she had added but little during the day she remained in London. Feeling perfectly secure, from the fact that, had any suspicions of her whereabouts occurred to her friends, they would long ago have pursued her here, Alicia began to prepare for a return to London. She was now known by many people in Southampton, and a desire to bury herself in the great city, whence she could embark for New Zealand or for Australia without any one being aware of her movements, induced her to hasten the day for her departure. Accordingly, about six weeks from the commencement of her illness, Alicia returned to town, and took apartments at a private hotel in the Strand, a little exhausted by the railway journey, but as resolute as ever to carry out her cherished scheme.