Chapter 61305718

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter Url
Full Date1899-12-19
Page Number6
Word Count3524
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleClarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915)
Trove TitleFrom Convict to Countess
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'Burke left tho house with visible reluctance. ^ He let Alma walk a few feet in advance, and then followed at her elbow. The fresh air-tho sea' breeze, the splendid harbour, the different objects which claimed atten- tion; the traffic of the ? streets, the erection of new buildings, presently diverted the girl's thoughts 'irom the unpleasant. scene, through which she. had just passed. Once : or twice she caught Burke's oyo fixed on her with an expression of concern, but when ho . noticed her look ho quickly averted his gaze and turned, his attention some-

where else.

Ho paused ot length before a Govern-

ment building and took Alma into a . large office, where ho presented Mrs. Munroe's^ lotter to an elderly, clean- shaven personage seated in an arm chair at a writing table.

He opened and read it, looking curiously at Alma as ho did so from time to time, finally he said to himself :

" I supposo it must be done," and ho I

drcW an official form from his desk and proceeded to fill it up.

He questioned tho governess. " Is your name Alma Gray ?"

" Yes, sir."

"Aro you aa assigned servant, to Mrs. Munroe ?"

M Yes, sir."

""What is your number? " " S3, sir."

After writing upon the paper he signed, scaled, and addrcssed. it, then handing it to Burke, ho said, "Take tho lotter and tho girl to Hyde Park

Barracks at once." Burke read tho

superscription and shook his head. |

When they wore in tho street Alma [ enquired of hor companion., "Why ¡ did that old gentleman look at me as if he pitiod mo, Burko?" " Well, Miss Alma, I suppose wo all aro sorry to see a pretty young lady, one of tho quality brought through so much bad luck and trouble; please cross over by Blaxland's stock yard." Burke walked on not hoing inclined to talk, and in silence they wont on together until thoy began to roach the upper part of

tho town.

" Look, Burke," said Alma, break- ing the silenco, " thoro is a garden, and men walking in it, surely thoy are convicts, but what a BÍZO it is, and what splendid vogotablos, aro thoy for the Governor ? " "Nb, Miss Alma, thoso aro Hydo Park Gardons, and tho convicts cultivate it for the Barracks ; bat wo have to go through that gate." Ho indicated a gato in a high stono wall, and conducted Alma through it, and stopping before tho warder on duty as gato-keopor j ho p'rosontod his

lottor. , , ,

" Oh I " tho warder said, " the superintendent is down thoro in tho court yard-that tall man with the beard-go to him ?" *

"Burke," said Alma, an uneasy

feeling taking possession of her, " Why

does Mrs. Munroe send me to all these strange places ? "

"I cannot tell you," said Burke, . " but you will soon learn."

The superintendent left Jones, for it was to that red-haired warder ho was

talking, and held out his hand for Burke's letter. After reading it ho said to Alma

" What is your nomo ? " "Alma Grey."

" And your number t "

" 53."

. "Do yon know what you have como

here for?"

"No, sir."

" This lotter is a magistrate's order, stating that you have been guilty of

lying,disobedience¡and misconduct with . the opposite sex, and directing me to give you twenty-five lashes, and lay

them on well."

Alma was stunned and speechless.

" Jones, bring the girl to the office while I make the entry in the Punish-

ment Journal."

Jones grasped Alma's wrist and thay I followed to the office Avhere tho Black

book, as it was usually called, was pro- duced, and the entry mado as follows, and read out by tho -writer:

Punishment Journal.

. Date: .October 21, 1808; Nomo: Alma ' Grey. , Ship : Scarbrough. Oiïenco: Lying disobedience, &c. Punishment : 25 lashes. By order :

Henderson. . Remarks : Well laid on..

" Now," said the Superintendent shutting tho book. " Jones, bring the grl along.". They proceeded down tho yard, and Jones conducted the trembling creature to a huge post .painted black, with rings and straps at top and bottom. " Go," said the superintendent, "and tell Jeffrey that a wench is waiting to. be flogged, and to bring his whip."

" The cat, sir," said Jones.

" Yes, cortainly. Come back at once, thou strip her and trice her up; ready for punishment," ,

: " Yes, sir." And Jones departed.

Alma turned to tho superintendent with her face pale as death. She spoke with a quivering voice. ? . '

"'Oh, sir, there is some dreadful mistake. It cannot bo .true. I am" innocent. " I have done everything I ? was asked to .do. I beg you to send

this man to Mrs. Munroe.' You will go quickly, won't you-Burke. Sho will not, she cannot be so cruel."

, " There is no mistake," said the superintendent. " You are . fully de- scribed ; your number, name, em- ployer, ship. No doubt you say you aro innocent, but every ;one,: says that when they got hore. And as for Mrs. Munroe, she has sent each one of hor servants here to be flogged, somo of

them more than noce." .

' Alma attempted ' to., speak, bu t he interrupted her. " Say , no' moro, yon can do no good. My duty is to seethe ordor enrried out.' Jones;: you como to mo at tho dispensary when Jeff rey is ready." And. then, disregarding tho girl's pathetic appeals, ho went away, leaving; them unanswered. ?

" Well, Miss ; Alma," said Jones, sidling up with his sneaking smile and rolling eye.. "rYou may bo sur- prised to see mc, but. I havo been expecting you' this month, you must haye been on your best behaviour, or you would havo been hore bef oro ; but .better lato thannovcr, and now you ,'aro como, stand hero, (pulling hor roughly by tho arm close to thé post), while I.make your toilette, or rather I should say ' your untoilette, for dur visiting lady friondB always assume

decollatte drosses." '

While speaking, he Blipped his hand inside tho collar-band of her gown and rapidly unbuttoned it down her bosom.

Alarmed at his action tho unfortunate

girr started back, but Jones grasped hor by tho wrist and shoulder. " You want to give trouble,'.' he snarled. " I suppose you want to rnn up aud down tho yard. I will soon stop your game my beauty. Como hore," and he forced j her back to the post, " You lind bolter

let me strip you quietly." »'

." Youshallnot! "said Alma honrsely. A short but severe. strugglo took plaoo between them which ended iu Alma's i bonnot being tramplod under foot' and her luxuriant hair falling

to hor knees.

Then anothor warder carno to assist

Jones; and with some difficulty tho men dragged up tho girl's aim and and made her wrist fast to tho post.

" There, you jado," said Jones, breathing hard. " Now you may fight as muoh as you like, but it won't stop mo from exhibiting your volup- tuous figure to a small but soloct circlo

of friends."

At tho brutal intellogonco convoyed by Jones Alma turned weak and faint. In hor extremity she appealed to Burke. "Bnrke, will you not help mo ; think of something ! savo me from this ruffian. I can't think, my brain

turns round and round,"

" I am powerless to help you, Miss Alma. If I gavo my heart's blood it would not savo you. Hero is my strap to put round your waist, this is all I

can do."

"Thank you, Burke," said tho wretched girl, "you have saved mé from some additional shame. Ohl -what

shall I do. O God help mo."

" When you havo done with all this rant, I will get on with my work," said Jones. He stopped up to the woman and deliberately finished un- buttoning her garments from tho nock to her Svaist. " It did not take long," he said, with mock respect. " I cannot find any. moro buttons or strings to uudo, Miss Alma, everything feols to bo open," and ,he unceremoniously thrust his hand down through hor loosonod clothing.

The insulted girl struggled desper- ately to' free her fettered hand, but in vain. * " You brute," she panted. .

Hor look of horror and shudder oE

repulsion OB she felt tho rough paw of Jones on her flesh, pleased hun; ho

looked on her shrinking figure -with ^a gratified eye. "It seems you don't like me to touch your dainty bosom, my lady, or perhaps you shiver becauBo yoor clothes are too loose and you feel cold. Never mind ; you will soon bo warm. Jeffrey will play a dance tune on you so that you will sweat in spite of yourself. He is coming now, so

here is your -wrist free-now slip your j arms out of those sleeves at once," and ho laid hold of the cuff of her dress.

" JDo not touch me then," said Alma, with indignant horror. " I can enduro anything rather than the pollution of your touch."

" Well, do it yourself, my doar, es- poso your figure with your own fair hands, it is moro humiliating still-but do it at once, wo can't wait all day for your loisure ; now undress."

With the greatest reluctance tho poor girl drew off first ono sleeve and then tho other, and slowly rolled up the body of her gown down to hor waist, thon sho stretched out ono white and shapely arm and laid her. pther

hand on tho collar of her smock.

" Well," said Jones, " what aro you waiting for ? "

Alma had hesitated, and now glunced from thc satyr expression of JonoSt to the coarse faces of the gaol officials, ?who had gathered round, waiting with odious curiosity tho promised revela- tion of her charms. At onco modesty over-powered herj " I can't," sho said, faintly, letting her arms fall.

" Then I can, and will," said Jones. " You will have to enduro tho pollution of my touch' a second time."

The threatened insult and strain on her nerves were moro than Alma could boar. Her prido broko down. The despairing girl bogan to plead with Jones in a pathetic voice, which would have moved the heart of a tiger. " Do not .take down my smock. Oh, Jones, ? let mo be whipped in it. It will not save mo from pain-surely my suffer- ings will be as great, but I implore you to eave me from this degrading exposure. Look at those men round me. * Yon have a mother or sister, Jones, savo mo this shame."

" It is impossible, my dear. Bcgula tion No. 8, says, ' A convict of cither sex receiving corporal punishment shall havo it inflicted oh Iiis or her baro back.'

"Bill," ho called out. "Come here."

"What for?"

" To seo tho pretty .governess flogged."

"I am coming," said tho man; and othor officials strolled up.

Jones turned on Alma with a face on .which lust and hate wero visible in each lino ¡ bis tooth glistened like a beast's, who bas its prey underfoot.

"I am glad you have begged for mercy. I told you beforo, when you carno under my hands I would take it out of you. Tho moment of your humiliation lins come." , Ho grasped herby hor thick and flowing tresses

close to the back of her head. " I will

drag you along thc ground by tho hair unlessyou stand quiet to bo uncovorcd. Ah ! You shut your eyes, never mind, I will inform you how you look as your toilette is in progress. Your polished shoulders appear white as ivory. And os the prospect enlarges, tho curving slope turns from a snowy white to a most becoming crimson, ns your charms,' blushing ut their own loveliness, glide into view. Your garment sinks and your pretty figuro is revealed as your discarded smock falls over your belt, showing tho grace- ful contour of your waist.

" And now my proud, dainty, modest lady, you are oxposcd rind shamed, with your soft white back ready to be scored from shoulder to hip.'.'

Ho stopped gloating over thc misery of her face as she changed colour from white to red and red to white, whilo drops of perspiration rolled down her blushing body to the ground.

Jones dropped back, ' remarking, " Look at her, you can see what she is


" By jove," said Jeffrey, she is tho finest piece of goods that ever came uudcr the whip.

"I think Sally Waters, who was flogged yesterday, was the best of the two," romarked the smallost warder in tho gronp.

¡ Jones laughed scornfully, " Youliko i boef, William, but this woman has

symmetry and grace as well as size. ! Study the ripe curves of bosom, check

and waist. What do you think bf it ? "

" I think it a d-shame," criod a


" That is becauBO you are an ignorant ass and know nothing of art," retorted Jones. "Notice how the black post acts as a back-ground and throws out every lino of hor ivory figure, I call it

a ' sketch in black and whito '."

"Yes, just so," said tho small wardor,-" the Bchool-mastor is abroad, and I will allow that the governess is almost as good looking as your old


As tho wife of Jones was notoriously ugly a laugh went round the circlo at this delicato reparte, aud Jones was so irritiated that ho could not go on with his lesson. " It is no uso casting my pearls before pigs," ho said shortly, " my timo is too valuablo for that."

Ho looked round for tho superintend- ent, and his eye lighted on Alma. Tho flush had died away on hor body, and she resembled a lovely marble statuo. She would have touched a hard heart ns sho stood with bowed head, her eyes closed to shut out the wanton glances of tho crowd, ono largo tear rolled slowly down her oh eek and found a resting placo on her breast, where it glittered in tho sunshine Uko a diamond on a mound of snow. But Jones had a'heart made from a nothor millstono. Ho stopped to the side of tho dejected girl, and a resounding slap on her naked back recalled her to a 6ense of his presence.

" Well, Miss Almn, wake up, yon seem to bo getting sulky. What dc

you think of your new experience."

" I think I pity you," said Alma, in

a low voice.

; Jones laughed, " Pity me ? pity your- self, you mean."

: " No, Jones| I am to be pitied, but yon more."

" "Why," said Jones.

." Because you are a bad man. Cruel, cowardly, foul. A torturer and tyrant. In character, you are weak and vile. Lost to every impulse of true man- hood ; 1 cannot help but pity you."

" You have got your record this time Jones, tho wench gives it you. pat," said a voice " And she is game to the last," added another.

" Then let-mo say," said Burke, from the back of tho throng, " that the lady speaks thruo, ho was describing how sho lookB, and she has describetl i Misthor Jones. And by tho powers

my heart bleeds to seo the way ho ! threated tho poor Colleen. Moro than wanst I had my arm back to break his skull with this lump of stone I houid

in me fist." ;

'" You had better not," said tho startled Jones. "If you mako a dis- turbance hero you will get twenty-fivo for yourself my man."

" More than that," said Burke, "if ; I struck you the wan blow I would ; like, if I had yees alone, Misthor Jones, ! I would send yees to your father, the j divil, for yeeB no man, much less an j Oirish man, and I will give yeos a. ; pound to come wid me and look at tho j garden, so I will."

j Jones took no notice of Burke, and j replied to Alma as the weaker and ' safer party. " The pretty governess ? can't forget her occupation," failing

pupils, you intend to take me into your class in order to keep your hand in at teaching, I suppose. I should like to be' your favourite pupil. What lesson shall I learn first, my governess. You aro tcaohing anatomy juBt now, aro you not ? at any rate you look moro like the nude model of a painting class than a teacher in a Sunday school."

" If you were a man you would let tho wench have somo peace, seeing what sho has to bear," said tho youngest warden in the circle.

"Well," retorted Jones, "she sets up to teach class, os tho governess for- sooth, when Bho' is ono of tho unruly people, who, for misconduct, is about to bo whipped-and all your gameness will go out of you when you get it, Miss-Alma. It won't bo a spanking from your mammy this time." -

" Jeff," said the boyish warden in a pitying tone, " Don't bo hard on tho girl, sho is so tender and pretty. I am sure sho is not a bad wonch. Lay them on light and I will , pay for as much rum as you liko to drink, and moro."

"lam sorry to refuse a good offer," sahl tho hangman, "but I havo no choice, thc superintendent is standing in with Mrs. Munroe, aud I am obliged

to lut her have it."

" I am glad to licor it," said Jones. "Now one of you slip over to'the superintendent and the doctor, and as Curter is a bit sweet on tho governess hu won't bc pleased to seo her so un- adorned and triced up. Bill, you fusion her hands to the post while. I plait up her long hair and tio it in a coil so that it will not shako down in tho way pf tho cat." As soon as that was dono Jones knelt down beside Alma. " Bill," ho said to his friend, " lift up her skirt a bit out of my way." Then ho grasped tho girls trim ankles and fettered them securely to tho foot of the post.

" I believe the jade ha's uo petticoats on ? " said Bill, as Jones fumbled with tho last strap.

" No moro sho lias," said Jones, " Look hero at the brazen hussy."

" Look out, Jones," said Bill, " Burke is going to throw."

" It's all right Burke," said Jones, springing behind Jeffrey, " I' have dono now, and tho girl is ready for her picnic."

To be continued in Saturday's issue.

I The Duchess of Sutherland is a type

of a new woman at her brightest and best, and of what, in the eoming century, wo hope to recognise as a true aristocrat. As soon as her husband succeeded to the dukedom ahe proceeded to identify herself with his province and his people, and' has brought her'own cultivated, modern views of life to bear on the situation and surroundings. She realises that rank baa its obligations as well BB its privileges, and from her vantage ground has done much to promote the welfare oE the peasantry and her dependents. She nae founded, on a sound financial basis, the Sutherland Nursing Institute, and works hard to encourage the revival of home and cottage, industries, in the shape of the hand-loom weaving of homespuns, serges, and tweedB. The Bale of these goods she fosters by wearing the stuffs herself, and encouraging her friends'

i to wear them.

A very practical society for the employment of women exists in Lon- don, which subsidises its members, while they learn their trades or pro- fessions. It is through the society's agency that the demand for women dispensers, photographers and com- positors bas largely arisen. Likewise, it encourages girls to learn hairdress- ing, as appears from the yearly report juBt published. Curiously enough,

there remains one field for women's

energies which is not overcrowded, and that is teaching the deaf. Yery few girls take up thia work, and tho demand for teachers always exceeds the supply.

Mies Elspeth Campbell is one of few society ladies who can play the bagpipes. At the recent concert given by Lord Archibald Campbell her playing of the bagpipes wan one of tho chief attractions. Misa Campbell is vory bright and musical.