Chapter 61305499

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter TitlePROBATION.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61305499
Full Date1899-12-05
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count2224
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleClarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915)
Trove TitleFrom Convict to Countess
article text

, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

FROM CONYICT

£ TO COUNTESS.

A NOVEL BY DB. GREY.

Continued from Saturday's issue.

CHAPTER HI. ,

PBOBATION.

The Enrl gazed out of the carriage, looking back, till a turn of the road Lid her from his eyes! "Two years," ie said, RS he threw himself back on the seat, and all for a whim. " "Well ! I believe I must be tho best tempered man in the world, or I would not let two women drive me from homo, make me quit my country, leave my friends, and ono especial friend above all, for this long timo", but thore is no alter-

native.

"I might he weak minded mid dominated by a stronger one, and yet 1 would have held, my own against my determined mother, but it was tho girl that did it ; that Alma twists me round her finger, and if she rules me with a . rod of iron now, what will my future ' "have in stove ;. I must havo a smoko

and figure it out.

" Confound it," ho continued to him

. self, ""if I wcro not bound in honour I '

would' live, in London and run' up and down disguised and have a look at ' her now and then') but I suppose that

would bo acting a liej so I.shall - have to givo it up, or Alma will fix those . ' large violet eyes on me, blazing .with , acorn or contempt, and I could not

stand that, even if I were base onough to practico a deception for lovo's sweet . sake. No, ' Eric Budleigh,"""" you must

got out of the kingdom, and the sooner

: the better.

"Jim," he said to his servant who was sitting on the box, "You can : smoke if you like, .and now wo are on

our travels you can call me ''Sir.'."

" Thank you Sir," said Jim.

'??'-'? Jim wos'a countrified.- looking man with hugo arms and shoulders and a back broad enough to carry the gates of a city. . He had no conversational powers as a rule, hut ho had plenty of strength and courage, and was a good

man in a row, and perhaps more useful i to the Earl just now than a more

chowey and smarter looking -man j

?would be. I

" Jim," enquired the Earl, " ara, you in low spirits ? "

" No, Sir." . -;. . '? ? -|

" Aro you glad, to got away from Budleigh?" - ''. '."?' 1 '.?'.':, ? ; "Yes, Sir."- :\,y\ -?'"'?

"But why, Jim ?" / : ¡

Jim half turned on his seat and

looked sideways at his master. j

"Why," Sir," he-soid 'awkwardly, j

" You see I was walking down by the mill last evening, and under thc willows I came on a couple swoethearting like, so I said friendly enough 'Good even- ing ! ' and they looked up, and it was my ladies' maid and ' tho miller, so I stopped and said quite civil,

" Alias Julia, whon you aro doné ?with the miller, I- will soe you home."

.."You needn't trouble, said tho miller, rathor short.

.."." Oh ! it's no trouble miller," said I, " it's a pleasure:" -

vV " No doubt," said he, " a pleasure all

on'ono sido."

" Julia laughed, she seemed mighty pleased, and I felt my'face getting"

red."

"Let mo tell you miller," I said, -walking up to the pair o£ them, " that it's the manners of a hog to get up a quarrel in the presence of a lady, and such a lady as Miss'Julia. I am . ashamed of you that you don't know

what is due." ?

. " So," says ho, coming forward, "I'm a hog, ami?"

" Now," says I, " you've said it, I didn't Bay.it."

" Oh ! I'm a hog, ami?"

And in a moment we was wrestling like mad, and Julia was screaming like a stuck pig.

" Don't bo frightened, Julia dent'," says I, " He's not able to hurt me. I'll take you' home alright in a minuto. This made him very savage, and ho gave me a 'crud, bad kick on tho shin."

"Ho was in a nasty temper, .Tim,"' said the Earl, " quite put out, I should say."

" Very likely, Sir."

" "Wefr, go on'and tell me about the "bad tempered nullor."

""Woll, Sir, the next minuto I got him by tho shoulder and. hip and pitched him clear into his dam." '

" That cooled him down, Jim ! "

" No ! Sir, not a bit. ... Now Julia," I saysj "I havo learnt tbc millcr what is due to a lady and TU take you home, and I gave her my arm. We only stopped sp I' could point out tho miller climbing np tho hank with tho water running out of his boots, and she laughed that clear, and silvery, that tho miller looked up, on his hands and knees, and

shook his fist at us."'

"Julia," I says* " Name the day." " No day will I name," says she. " What.will you do," said I.

" I will toll you in one word," says she. " I will bo married tho same day as Miss Alma," says she. .

" So I can't say I feel in high spirits, nor I can't," "says I, " feel in ldw spirits, but I feel fair to middling."

The Earl gave Jim a penetrating

look. " Ah ! Jim. It is not all love affairs that are fixed up so well or so quickly ns yours."

.. Late in tho afternoon ouv travellers

reached Dover, and putting up at mine inn, tho Earl ordered dinner, and .while growling nt his ill fortune, and meditating on his love troubles, he, in pure abstraction of mind, did fair justice to lu's meal. Then he restlessly pticod his room and wondered how he was going to get through two whole years if tho beginning was so irksome. Ho stopped in his walk and looked out through the window, there seemed to be plenty of stir in the streets, carts

laden with different commodities were going towards the quay; sea' faring mon in companies of from two to six, some by themselves, some accompanied hy girls, arm in arm, wore going up town. A 'group of children, whooping and following some acrobats in tights

and spangles, scampered by. Sien J

Lurrying to business-, women in con- versation, made- a motley and diverse, scone. /

Eric looked at tho moving and changing crowd until his feeling of unrest, growing stronger, ho called Jim and they sallied down the street-they

studied men and manners for a con- siderable time, and about- six o'clock found themselves on tho quay, and spent their time till sunset inspecting the shipping.;'then, trying to retraco their steps, 'they mistook, their way and found themselves in a low quarter of tho town, passing round a corner of the street they came in contact with a number of roughs alied to the scum of the city, to judge by their appearance

and talk.

Tho sight of the two strangers seemed unpleasant to them, and re- marks of nu uncomplimentary naturo were bandied to and fro.- * ,

. Eric took no notice of them until an old boot, thrown by an unkempt youth, Btruok him on the leg. " What blackguard fhrow that ? " he. said, stopping and facing the crowd. "The wen«h looking out of that window," Baid a man, winking to his companions and indicating a slatternly girl gazing

down the street.

"Oh!" said Eric contemptuously. " A pack of curs which snap at tho traveller's heels and tlieu'sucak away."

" Whoso ho ? Give him ono ! " and tho mob closed in. threateningly, over- lapping tho, now arrivals, ono or two had their lists up. ' '

"Yes," snid Eric. "A pack of mongrels; -who being many, havo raised pluck enough among them to set on to two; why, you white livered curs, you darb hot fight your own numbor.".,-; .

" We daré though;" cried voices, and a consultation took pince;

" Now then," said a man, pushing his way through tho crowd, " Two of UB;!WÍ11 fight you two." '. ;

No you won't, my good man," said tho'Earl, " But my nrnn will fight any ono of you that you like;"

Another 'counsel was held. " Let Bob tacklo him ! Yes ! Bob will soon settle his hash. I'll hold' your hat Bob," '

Then a voice cried, "Bob Perry ia our man. . Make a ring lads." .

The crowd spread out ; anti Jim also peeled off his coat and vest and rolled up his sleeves. His'opponont,-middle sized, compact, and closely'shorn, who had all the cut of a pugilist, shaped up active and confident. : " Time ! " called

the self censtitiited -keeper of tho .enemy. ??".:.:'.''.'- '' ;;' ? ' ?"' ' " '

The men .stood tip and faced each other, there was a great différence.in the stylo of tho two men, the ono measured his distance, sparred quickly, shifted his ground; quick and agile on his foot, whilo Jim,. far strongor but slow, showed, by" bis clumsy guard, he

had but little science. ; ' .

Having studied his man, Bob shifted, feinted, and got home, with a sounding whack, oh Jim's chock, getting back out of reach as, nimbly as a ; cricket. Jim bored in and lot out an upper cut,

which would have sent Bob across the

street if (ph! that «if) Bob had not dodged it. Before poor , Jim cou'd recover his opponent had stopped m and let fly right and left, one catching Jim in tho . jaw, making all his teeth rattle, the other hand getting home on Ilia huck. ' Jinvstruck another ponder- ous blow, which his adversary avoided by ducking his head, and Jim, over- balanced by tho force of his own stroke, foll upon his hands nnd knees. '

" Time ! " called the keoper, and his master picked up the unhappy Jim. " Now Jim," lie wisperod, " I can see you aro lighting a professional, you must close and iget hold of him next round. Think of the miller, Jim?" " All right, Sir."

"Time! Now Bob give him his gruel," cried a Voice.

Tho two men faced ench other, Bob with a confident smile, Jim with a dogged, determined look as ho drovo Bob back with a slow, steady rush. In vain Bob gunrded and led off twice cutting Jim's face, ho could not stay the larger man's weight and strength. Jim at length closed, and for a few moments tho two figures ontwined and wrestled, then ono of them shot up over tho bend of tho other.

" Look at poor Bob," said the tune keeper, ns Perry described a parabolic curve nnd foll head downwards behind Jim, "ho comes clown wopse." BobwnB examined, and his shoulder was pro- nounced to bo out, amidst shouts of " foul ! " ; " That's not fighting "; and a shower of stones, from the outside of thu crowd,, hummed round tho Earl and his man. Eric laid Iiis hand on

his pocket pistol, when a shout " Avast there, my heartios, bear a hand ! "made him pause, as six or eight sailors, hended by. their mate, broke through the howling gang-"Twenty to two," cried tho leiidci', "Gtvo tho cowardly lubbers their Uowmice,"-"All together now, smartly. "That will put ^a stopper on your jawing tacklo," said Hid mato to the yelling time-keeper, as he' sont him to graBS. Jim, with à

black eye and nose larger than ordinary, followed Jip the mate's rush, three sledge-hammer blows and three ruffians

lay ¿kicking on their - backs, but the

crowd was off. A rush, a scatter, and the sailors came back blowing, certainly, but looking as if each man had done his duty.

" Thank you,'.' said Brio, shaking tho mate's hand, " I was in an awkard corner, but for you and your meu. Thank you all, como away my lads and let us have a dram." Nothing loath, the jovial crew rolled along in the wake of Eric and their mate, to where thc proffered reviver might bo ob- tained, nud when the glasses had been charged, Eric lifted his own, "I will give you tho old toast my brothers, in " Hore's to tho wind that blows, the

ship that goes, and tho lass that ioyes

a sailor." . .

The Earl stood several drinks, for the crow, and on leaving, they insisted on escorting him to his hotel for feor somo more land lubbers might be

about.

From the stamp dutias paid for patent medicines makers we learn that 4,000,000 pills aro . taken by the inhabitants of the "United Kingdom every week. In Franca the quantity, is about half. Only about 1,000,000 are taken by the people of RUKH'II.

The Australians are the biggeBt pill-tnkira j

in the world, ,

M. Dupuy, three times Premier of Franoa |

was the son of an botel-porter. j