Chapter 62144897

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Chapter NumberXIII
Chapter TitleLYNDHURST'S INTERVIEW WITH HIS NEICE, HEBE- HEBE PROVES HERSELF TOO MUCH FOR THE LAWYER-MRS. PSYCHE
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62144897
Full Date1884-09-20
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count4638
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleClarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889)
Trove TitleJohn Brown and His Dog Faithful
article text

CHAPTER XIII.

LYNDHURBT'H INTERVIEW WITH HIS NF.ICB, HEBE

HEUE PROVES HERSELF TOO MUCH POR TUB LAWYER-MRS. PSYCHE HANDSLIP CALLS OK HKHK, WHO SHOWS Mas. PSYCHE A FIRM FRONT, AMD TELLS ll BR ROME HARD TBUTHB

( A WORD ou TWO of HEBE'S CHARACTER

JOHN BROWN AND ACHATES AGAIN AT CASTLE MAINE-FAITHFUL WALKS ALONE TO SCHOOL -ACHATES,' AND THE SECRET DRAWER.

i í' Well, Hobe, my dear, T am very glad to have thia opportunity to see you, very glad, my dear girl, very glad. I thought I would take a run up from Mel- bourne,'and say,,how do you do? - I have left my business unflniBhed, just to have a look at yon. Tou look charming, inland air agrees with you,

' Hebe, asido, "What is up now? Uncle has somo «ohomo in his head, circumlocution, boo hive talk, ho has boan gathering pollen by the way for his visit. I'll let him go on,"

' Her uncle continued, "Ah, I am glad you are comfortable. If you want money, lot me know."

" So, thank you," replied Hobe, or rather broke in Hobo, in an interrupting manner. " My wants are small. For the last twelve or eighteen months you havo acted as if. I did not ejdst. Rather late .in the day to* come forward; ' undo. Does' it "not' strike you so?" i i'

" Well, you see, my dear neioe, I sorupled to inter- fere with Mr Brown. He is rathor strange on tome points." ...

" Indeed 1 You may havo oause to think no, but I hiimr ho is a gentleman. - That all relations were worthy of tho name. I bog pardon-I interrupted you." ' . ' v '? ff r-,$ '

: " I gave a hundred pounds to your mother." ' " Äiiw-mother, please uncle."

' " Wall, stop-mother. For the sake of your dear father, and I am quito ready to help you,"

' " To whioh kimi offer I have given my reply, faith- ful brother to my dear father."

/ Lyndhurst winced at the words " faithful brother," and his serpent oyes sought the floor. Iteoovoring himsott, ho wont on, ';

: " I have brought you a little present of a gold locket; with our family coat of arms on, and'your monogram underneath. Look at it, and toll me what you think of it." Î

Hebe took tho locket in her hand.

: " Very handsome ; yes very chaste. The heraldic design' is rather remarkable-a hand,, with* elbow resting on a cushion, clutching a dagger pointing in the direction of my monogram. Ha, ha, no hidden meaning hero, uncle. I must get some sago to look through his horoscope, and study my birth star." Again tho silvery laugh broke forth. " Wo havo an astrologer here who prediots the events of life," Hebe went on, looking intently at tho coat of arms. " Why, the jeweller has sent ono of the grand flourishes from the monogram right to tho tip of the point of tho ominous weapon I I am the lost of our race on papa and mamma s side. Who is it that is holding a daggorover moon a oushion ?" Again the silvery laugh rang through tho room. " Are you ill uncle? ' Take this wino ; it will put some colour in

your face."

Hobo soliloquised, as her unale drank tho wine, " OoDsolonoo is a coward ¡ and whoso fault it has not strength to prevent, it seldom has just loo to accuse."

" I havo those spasms occasionally," remarked Lyndhurst, putting down tho wineglass. " Don't koop the lookot, my dear Uebe, it you don't like it."

: "Oh, yes, I will koop it; it will bo a momento of your visit. Yes, I will remember."

" By the bye, those lost words of yours remind mo of some foolish dream your mothor-"

' " Siiy-mothcr, piense," said Hebe. " We oon have only ono mothor in this world ; I oannot say about the next. Mrs Psycho Uandsllp may bo a kind of dnpli-mothor, but no more, unolo."

"Hang tho wholo fominino gondor-root and branch," soliloquised Lyndhurst. " Between them I will bo hanged." Lifting his hoad, ho went on, " Your Btop-mothor told mo of a dream you had,"

"The escritoire is coming to tho foro again," thought Hobo, to herself.

" Lyndhurst continued, " You used in tho dream tho words ' I will remember,' something about o chest of drawors. I did not troubla myself much about what sha Bald, becauso sha talks so ; Uko all women."

" And so do men, when they beat about tho bush to Bay what they havo to say. I ll back a lawyer against a woman any day with the tongue," said Hebe, pout lng her red lips.

" Hebe, you oro cynical."

" That word, unolo, to not in my lesson books, so it must bolong to the books of law, studied and carried ont by lawyers. Ha, ha, ha." And the laugh was Uko the tinkling of a silver bell. . ; >.

" Hara tba (ixl 1 .To« ruaeabec the dream, yo«

li Ul« witch r

" Yee, I rsmembjr «rerytainr, even ths tnt day I aaw yo«, aadyoa were aoaatioauyoa choald ba aloa« with daar pana, to loam bia taunta."

Lyadhar*. » bro« beoaiat knitted, and a death pallor

aproad orar bis face, Heb« watching- hin oloasly all

toa time.

i " I Kare got the kay T waatod," she murmured to 1 benair.

1 " What do you mean, child, by teeretat"

" Why, unole, yea know men alway* have teeret» . like women, you know. I forgot to ask you, how

long did poor papa sleep that afternoon I waa away, I and you were alone with him ?"

" He did not sleep at all, you chit.1'

" Unole, you forget yourself. Recall that word, or I go," and she walked towards the door with the hauteur and carriage of au empresa.

"I take back the word. I meant no harm, my j

dear Hebe."

" Then don't forget what is due to your neioe. ' " You are fiery, Bebe."

" Mot at all. I remember humility is the aouroe of all true greatness,"

" Why, Hebe dear, I was nearly forgetting. But I must not keep you from thu school room j it is about, your time to go, ia it not."

" Yes, pant my time ; but please say what you were going to remark."

"Only I nearly forgot to toll you"-a lie-"I brought a silver plate, with your name on for your

escritoire."

" I thought it wa» coming," muttered Hebe.

" The engraver showed me how to put it on-only take me a quarter of an hour. -Run and get it, like a good girl, and I will do lt here while you are at

school."

- Unole Lyndhurst I No I You have had enough to do with that escritoire in the presenoe of death. You are not a blank page to mo, oven from the first look 1 got of you. I read you bettor than the astronomer reads the stars, or the geologist the age of the world. You can explain how the seo et drawer is empty ; you can tell me -tho orphan child -what papa said to yon on his doath-bed ; you, the brother of my father, who has left his orphan child to be oared for by a noble gentleman, tho' one» a total stranger 1"

" Yes. Mr Brown has a nurnose to uni u. Ha.

h», ha."

" Vile man of the earth t tho' I say it and apply it to you. Onoe unolo ; but no longer so. Only in name henceforth. Yea, Hr John Broun haa a pur- pose to gain-a noble purpose." Hebe drew herself up ns she spoke like a czarina of Russia, and went on, " Yee, a noble purpose- to teach me of a higher and purer life than taught by the pupils of Lincoln's Inn. A noble man he is, in thought, word, and deed ; and he would instil those high principles into the orphan Kiri. Maxims breathing purity ; thoughts as fur above you ae the stars above the earth ; deeds beyond your comprehension, because thoy were done by the Saviour while on earth. God bless Mr Brown, says the orphan girl on her knees," and poor Hebe fell on her knees, sobbing as if her heart would break.

Lyndhurst stood up, trembling from hoad to foot from the outting rebukes he had received, saying, " Remember, girl, what you aro doing by forfeiting all your rights in me."

Hobo was on her feet in an instant. She was the Empress again. She threw buck her bead, and Bald, " One of the grandest things in having rights is that, being your rights, you can give them up without

Borrow."

" Cast no dirt in the well that gives you water, ia a i>roverb I would commend to you, Hebe," snarled

iyndhurst.

" As you infer, sir, you are the owner of the well, I would remark that there is too muon filth in it already ; so clean it out, Your simile is wrong misapplied, so I hand it back to you-ita author where it ought to rest,". *

" I will never forgive you, Hebe, for your language." " Slr, you need not have told me that, for it is only the brave and puro that know how to forgive. I have read somewhere, that forgiveness is the most refined and generous pitch of virtuo human nature oan arrive at. Cowards have done good and kind ootionB ¡ cowards have even fought-nay have con- quered ; but a coward never forgives, It is not in his nature, and as a rule, he takes a mean advantage of his opponent,"

" You drive me from tho house, girl, by your language."

" You, BIT, drive me to tho language by your double-dealing and action, But before you go, I will repeat to you. some telling words I learned yesterday, and I would ask you to weigh them, and apply them. Tho words aro 1 There woro thruo sagos-a Greek, an Indian, and a Persian-who, in the presence of tho Persian King, debated this question : Of all evils Incident to humanity, which ia the greatest f The Grecian de- clared, "Old .age oppressed with poverty. The Indian answered, pain, with impatience." While tho Porslan, bowing low "-Hebe bent towards Lyndhurst as she spoke-" mode answor,-The greatest evil, oh I king, that I conaoive, is the aouoh of death, without one good deed of life to light the darksome day, Good day, sir; I have my lessons to attend to, A pleasant journey, and happy thoughts. Sorry your lourney here has not rewarded you. Remember, the

Persian's words."

Hebe bowed low, and left the room,

" I, Lyndhurst, a barrister of Linootn's Inn, to be ridden over rough-shod by a girl in this manner I I would not care for her words and airs if I had got the dcBk. That confounded locket, too ; it nover struok me. She is too sharp. I will carry ray point yet ; hang the whole box and dice of women.

Next day Hobo had anothor visitor, in tho shape of Mrs Psycho Handslip.

When the servant girl handed Mrs P. H.'s card to Hebe, Hobo smiled, " What is coming now ? You aro all getting very loving. Unolo yesterday ; step- mother to-day I Unolo tried by Battery yesterday ; to-day my step-mother will try the opposite, if I mis-

take not." .'? ?? ' ?

: " Well, Hebe, you need not have kept me waiting

so long."

"I came immediately I received your card." " Have you Been your undo ?"

: " Yea, he was here yesterday."'X K ;

" Tho wretch gained a point on me ; scored a triok under tho cover of illness," muttered Mrs Psyche, with tightly compressed lips, " What did ho say to you, Hebe?" ' ? ??? .

" Oh, a lot of things ¡ like if he were questioning

a witness in court."

" But tell me exactly what he asked you," said Psyche, stamping her foot.

" I cannot do that ; please don't ask'mo."

' " Why ?" almost shrieked Mrs Handslip, her rage getting the better of her.

" One reason I cannot toll ls, wo never tell tales out of sohool in this establishment. We always Bend any girl to Coventry that.does so."'

" But your uncle was not at school."

" He was in the school-house-this room is part of tho establishment ; so what passed here I cannot speak about," Baid Hebe, with a smile

i " Is that the way you speak to your mother ?"

" Mamma ls dead. Hebe standing up. , " What do you mean ?"

" Mamma ls dead, I say."

" What am I, then ? You are so olever, answer

me."

; " My *<<7»-mother, please."

"What ls tho difference between a mothor and êtep-mothec ; to my mind, only a distinction without a difterenoe, Answer mo this instant," and down went the foot again.

" My mamma is my mothor ' still, tho' hot in this world now. You aro tho second wife of poor papa, so only a itiy-raother,"

; "'Who taught you all this ?"

" My brain, *£y-mother."

" Yes, and that prying Frenchwoman, that was on board tho ship that your father took suoh a fanoy to. I saw thom together several times,"

Hebe's blood was up. " If you dare to say a word against my papa I will leave the room. Tho Frenoh lady was kind to mo, and sat ap with papa when he

was so ill."

"Well, I mußt say your father left ma a nioe obedient daughter ; loft, as ho loft me, almost penni- less.". ... ? ' ; ''.,'?...'.'

" Papa left you a thousand pounds, and asked you to remember the orphan ohild-his dying wish. What have you dona? Why, left mo to strangers."

" Hoigh ho 1 You are a beauty, to talk aa you

do."

" I waa anxious to be dutiful to you. I wrote to you that I might stay with you during tho holidays. You replied in a most unkind way : you wrote ill words of papa. Three times sinor, I have written you. You sont me no reply ; no money, or a present at Christmas, did you scad mo. I was as a dead ohild to you. Papa was good to you ; yet you to me, hts child, say unkind words about him.

" Yea, Hebe, my darling, he was kind," and up went the handkerchief to the copious supply of tears.

" Haba, darllsg, jem ra mea bu me qaestioning jon stoat than dream yoa hair

I "nsuiltiiis again," ttomght Habe, "I did not rsssessbar at the tim« ron aiked me, bat I remember I MOW aad a good many other things."

I "Nevar miad aboat the other things. Tell me why yoa had th¿¿ dreani ! What pat it into your head?"

" I don't want to be rads, dear stepmother ; but is ?ot that the reason, and the only reason, yon have some tot-day, to ask me about that dream ? Ia it not

sol"

" Wall, I esma to me yoa, my child."

"That rn aa evasion, step-mother. With all doe respect, I décline to reply to your question."

" Heirn, yoa are no longer a child ; yon have the mind of a «ornas. I will rest here this afternoon, while yon are at your datiea. By the bye, Hebe, you poor sana used to tell me what nioe letters Jour mamma uses' to write him. Toa, darling, have

er letton ; I ahonld so like to read them. Lot me inst rand them, please, while I rest on the sofa. I am so tired," and she threw herself in a languid

manner on the couch. I

'. Another move," thought Hebe. " No, dear step- mother, those letters are wie red-written to papa, intended only for his eye, They were his property ; he willed them to me. To yon he willed his money ; yon kept that to yourself. I act the same by my property. I am sorry, bat yon have my final reply ; those letters are s ie red to me."

"Oh never mind, the letters are of no oonsequenoe to me," said af rs Psyehe Handslip, biting her ander I lip till the blood came.

"Thanks, stepmother," replied Hebe, with pouting

red Una.

"Had your mother aay propertyt I mean-I mean "-sirs Handslip got otinfnsed. " I mean, had your mother any property before you were born I"

Hebe paekered her Ups to repress a smile, ere she replied ; than, with all the gravity imaginable, said,

" I never spoke to mamma before I was born, so

1 cannot nay.

Hrs Handslip looked at the girl in horror ; she was perfectly aghast at her stepdaughter's reply. Hebe returned the look with a smile, then rang forth the rippling silvery laagh.

" A strange, strange girl," soliloquised the widow. No good of my stopping here. I wonder what kind of reception the unole got I Not a pleasant one, I fancy. 1'hose lips of Hebe indicate firmness ; she takes after her rather there. Once a suspicion was raised in his mind he acted-wrapped himself within himself, and became hard as the nether mill-stone. No, it won't do to press her too olose ; if I do, she will become pertinacious-stalk out of the room ; or show me the door. I must not fall out with her at present ; must have time to think out some further coarse of action. Try Lyndhurst again ; find out what ke gained by his visit. Yes, I had better go, or else my temper will get the better of me."

Then the false woman from the uouoh spoke,

" Hy darling, I think, now I have seen you-whioh ia a great comfort, relieved my mind, whioh was a little weighed down on your account-I think, now I have seen you, I will return to Melbourne by this evening's coach. I don't feel well. Don't be alarmed, dear ; but you know, after all the trouble 1 have gone through-your father's failure in England, his illness, and the position he left me in, in a strange land-all has told on my nerves. My doctor is very anxious about me. I must be oareful of myself, for your sake ; it would be so ead if you were left alone in the world. Your unole is quite indif- ferent about you."

" Please, stepmother, remember he is my dear papa'a brother, and yon are speaking to his niece."

" Well, I will go and see my medioal man. Don't tell your unole I was here if he asks you."

"I will speak the truth, if he asks me."

" No matter. Good bye ; will see you again when I am better."

Away the woman of the world went.

Hebe stood for some twenty minutes in the drawing room after the widow went ; stood, thinking of the interview-thinking of tho interview of the day before, her anole's actions, words, duplicity. Lake a panorama, the past was open again to the girl's mind

-her ohildhood days in England ; hor suffering parent on board Bhip ; the oottage of death ; the funeral ; her dislike to her undo even at that period. Her mind recalled the whole of her step-mother's conduct, her indifference all through his illness ; she read her step-mother's heart through her granite nature. Hebe was quick at thought ; endowed by natara with a keen penetration-a penetration far beyond her years. In hor calm, peaceful, placid honre Bhe was a child, full of vivacity-a ohild like all othei girls of her age ; but when her blood was up, the depths of her lUmiiaat nature wero stirred the ohild fell into tho background ; her preco- cious mind took its place. She said things oven at times beyond her own comprehension. Of her precocity to an extent John Brown knew, still cvon ho had not gauged the full depths of her nature, for he had only seen her in her calm moods. He saw on his last visit her mind was ripening before the natural time, but he did not know at times it spoke and acted aa if fully ripe. She hod the firmness of her father, aad high nature and blood of her mother, who was of Italian descent. With and towurds John Brown she (Hebe) was docile-ready to learn, obey his slightest behest-for he had gained her entire oonfidenoo, whioh, it is needless to say, her unole never had, and her stepmother only in a partial degree ; the simple foundation of whioh was, bocaum Mrs Psyche Handslip was her father'* wife. So when that connecting link was snapped, and Hebe saw what hor mind grasped, she refused to bow down to tho idol of olav, Psycho. Further, there was a natural aptness in Hebe's mode of expressing her- self when roused. Her repartee at such times carno without an effort-stinging, cutting ; would forgo ahead, much in the samo manner as a great and worthy preacher in London, who states he is so full of wit, aad the ludicrous side of things, that it is a thorn ia his side even in the pulpit. Out it will come at times, unconsciously to himself.

Hebe had, aa it were, two natures, as her canine friend Faithful.

Hebe stood thinking, till she became tho ohild again ; the* the tears flowed from her eyes. Wiping them away, she said, "lam thankful step-mamma and I parted friends so far, for papa's sake.

Then she kneeled down in that great room, and prayed for all, and pardon for her own sins.

Here the ourtain must bo drawn.

* » * * * . » # »

John Brown and Achates arrived at Castlemaine from Daylesford about three o'olook in tho day, tak- ing np their quarters where Brown had stayed on his

previous visit. 1

" We had better not go to tho academy till after school hours, Aohatcs, for we must not interfere with Hebe's studies ; so let us take a stroll to the top of that hill, to have a view of tho surrounding country."

" Well, so let it be ; but I was just going to say, I believe the old dog has gone to pay his respect to your protego. He looked at me very knowingly as he passed me at tho door, as muoh as to say, ' If you don't know what is due to ladies I do.' "

" Why, the old scamp followed me to my room ; saw ma commence changing my olothos, watohed for I a time, licked my hand, and walked out of tho room. His impatience got tho better of him, I suppose Let ns walk in the direction of the school, and call if necessary."

" If yon please, ma'am, there is a great big dog run- ning into every room of tho house. Ho scratched and scratched at tho front door till I opened it ; then he pushed mo on one side, and walked in. Why, hero he comes, ma'am," and in walked Faithful into tho school-room.

Ha looked round as if on a visit of inspection, as chief inspector of ladies' seminaries, then walkod up to Hobo ; licked her hand-a kind of kissing the tips .f her fingers in bis gallantry-and sat down at her feet in the elass, blinking hUt eyes as he looked at tho pretty girls around, as if winking at thom.

The lady who was conducting the class Cone of the principals) at onco recognised tho Newfoundland, but could not suppress a hearty laugh at the quaint way tho dog sat and looked. Faithful looked at her a moment, put up his paw over one eye, as if brush- ing away a tear (it may have been a fly) in sorrow for the lady's want of feeling ; or it may have boon he was hurt at being laughed at, for immediately afterwards ho licked Hebe s hand, and then walked

I down tho long room out to the front door, whioh waa

open.

Here a pedlar was engaged doing business with the servant girl. Tho man was stooping over his basket, blocking up tho door-way, and ho did not soe Faithful approach, his head being low down, fixing the things in his basket.

The dog paused when ho Baw tho door-way blocked by basket and man. He looked anthe man as a stepping-stone, or ready for a game of leap-frog, so he placed his two paws on the man's shoulders as a boy would at leap-frog, and jumped, giving the man a push, or a kiele with his hind leget as he went over, whioh waa vigorous that tho pedlar's head went into the basket, and his feet and legs landed tu the hall, as if playing head over heels.

Faithful, «aa gone. The pedlar declarad a rade boy or aaa had pnaasd hia head into the bukst, and tornad hita ovar by two Meka behind.

Habe wltnasmd tha whole thing, for she had fol- lowed Faithful out ot the schoolroom ; but aa nothing waa broken of the pedlar's, and he waa Bot hurt, she said nothing, but bought soasa things frota him.

Faithful met his inashji on the way, licked his hand, and walked on by his side.

" Bo, so, old maa ; paid your raspee» to the ladies, then same back tome," said John Brown, puting the dog's head.

.' Well, Achatas, as the old dog has betrayed ns, we had better eal). Habe won't rest, and she may go hunting for her major-domo," and sure enough, as ne was speaking up came Habe.

At the sight of her, Aohates' hand went np ; I leave the reader to supply the rest. Bnt he was obligad to remove his hand to laugh, when Hebe told

him and John Brown of Faithful's treatment of the pedlar at leap-frog.

All walked back to the school-house.

The Misses B's of the school, met John Brown in the hall ; the senior saying with a bland smile,

" Mr Brown, I shall have to lay an embargo on the old dog if he comes to my class ss a pupil again. His ludiorons look, as he sat toeing the class-line, blink- ing his eyes at me as if he enjoyed the fan, or

assignations to me for a tête-a-tete after Behool hours. I oould not go on with the lessons. I have not recovered my equilibrium yet ; and as for the school, the young ladies' gravity was so upset, that all dis- cipline was at an end for the remainder of the afternoon."

" I am very sorry, dear Miss-."

" Tut, tnt, you know how attached we are to the old dog. I offended him by my langhing, BO he left the school in disgust. I see him now putting up his paw to his eye, much aa to say, I cannot look on your conduct without weeping. Come, Faithful, give me yonr paw, and be friends."

The dog did so.

TO BK CONTINUED.