Chapter 62144983

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Chapter NumberXIV
Chapter TitleTEMPE HOUSE-MRS PANDORA AND THE BARRISTER TETE-A-TETE-MRS PSYCHE AND LITTLEHEART -HEBE'S LETTER TO L
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62144983
Full Date1884-09-27
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count2887
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 XIV.'"

¡ Inure HOUSE-MRS PANDORA Ann THE BARRISTER

TETE-A-TETE-Mus PSYCHE AND LITTLEHEAUT -HEIIE'B LETTER TO LYNDHURST.

! Morning room nt "Tempo House," ll.HO a.m. Mrs i Pandora sitting in her chair of state; the Egyptian

gods lookiug down, elthór as if they were protecting

or, or would have hor offered up as iv eacrifloo to thom.

I The brown holland covers had been returned to

i their oftlco on tho furniture, because S. Lyndhurst I Handsllp, Esq., H.A., had made no signs of becoming ' a boardor or figure head at "Tempo House." No white lilies stood on tho oak table, No, tho antique voso had been put back into its sepulchre, as a skele- ton of thc past hope-as a sequanco of the frigid action in tho barrister of Lincoln's Inn not becoming a boarder. Tho blinds were drawn, shutting out old Sol, as if forbidding him to throw light on the past. The room wore a sombre look, as if it were a vault, where tho anoestors of many generations were buried ; Mrs Faina Pandora looking, as sho sat motionless, like tho laiardiau.spirit of the dead, diessed os she wai in a kind of white wrapper, giving her a spirit- like, etheteal look.

Notovon tho buzzing of a blue-bottle was heard, or tho movement of a mt,".-as if all the dead in the Sarcophagus woro eaten, leaving the death scavengers nothing to do,

The folding doors creaked, leading to the dining room, for the oiled feather had not been appliod to tho hinges since tho day of thc Madeira, The out glasses had beon roturnod to the lender ; the silver or plated forks had been put to bed ; tho delicate dolf had given place to tho willow pattern ; Cupid and Venus wore covered with dust, until tlioy beconio blind to each other's beauty-Fama and Lyndhurst.

Cold wntor took the placo of Madeira, and boiled log of mutton and oapors the place of duoks and fowls. Lyndhurst, tho author af the wreok of the ship " Tempo House," because he showed no sign of being,tho figure-head ; ho had not called for a week.

A gentle knock nt tho door of tho vault.

'. Well, Anna Maria, what do you want?" spoke a hollow sepulchral volua, from tho far oornar of the

vault.

' " Picoso ma'am, what am I to cook for tho dinner to-day?" >

" Boiled leg of mutton and oapors ; warm up tho' cold cabbaga and potatoes that woro left from yester- day's dinner." / ' '.)

A ring of the ontranao door boll. '"? !

" Who can that bo 1 It sounds like his ring. My hair in pupers, and only a morning wrappor on I Wall,

it docs not matter."

" How do you do, my doar Mrs Pandora ? You look Uko a seraph, sitting in this dark room.

A doopor gloom sproad ovor tho room as Lyndhurst closed tho door. '

" I thought you wore ill, Mr Handslip ?"

" Ah 1 yes. Yesterday I had a severo attack of bilious fovor."

"Indeed, I would advise you to tono'down your living ; that is my rcoipo for all my boarders."

'. Any advice coming from your lips must bo worth following. Is Mrs Psyoho within ?

" No, sho has gono on a visit until to-morrow evou ing, or uoxt day. Sho told mo that as you woro confined to 3-our room-so the servant at tho hotel told har-sho would go to Goolong for a day or two ; but sho must havo changed hor mind, tho'sho said distinctly sho was going for tho sake of the sea air. I say, she must have changed her mind, for Mr Littlo hoart, at Cobb's office, saw her get into tho Castle- maine coach." - :

" Aro you quito Büro, dear Mrs Pandora ?" said Lyndhurst, drawing his ohalr vory close to that lady.

"Quito suro, for Mr Littlehcart Inquired at tho booking offlca immediately tho coach started. Mrs Handslip was tho only lady passenger, and the clerk

told him she had booked for Castlemaine. I would not mention this, please, for I nover repeat what my boarders tell mo.

"So, so, Psyoho," soliloquised the barrister, our movements seem to be in duplicate. My going yesterday, Psyoho going to-day, will put Hebe moro than over on tho .qui viee. Hang tho women I In every caso in court tho damaging evidence conies from, or, through, the womon. lam glad I called this morning to get this Informatica ; it will help mo to castle my king."

"No, dear Mrs Pandora, I novor repeat what I hear ; especially when a lady Uko you is conoornod." ' A pathetic sigh was tho only reply, that scorned to waft and waft on tho waves of flio air, till it lighted on Lyndhurst, its intended restiug placo.

" I had better work UIÍB Mrs Pandora," thought Lyndhurst.

" Hem, hem ; dear Mrs Pandora, yan don't seem weU. Thcro must bo a balm in Gilead for your cure; a panacea for all illa , is to bo found in congenial society. Allow mo to invite myself to lunoh to-day."

; " No Madeira," Bclf-communed Mrs Pandora,

" Will yon allow me ?". continued Lyndhurst.

" Tea, I thought yon would become one of my board era. I do ao miaa Mr. Pandora in the house," and down went the mettam eye*.

Te», the figure-head waa missed at Tempe House, aa a figure-head of a ship ia aisled, for old Pandora was as an ornament to the house, and nothing more.

" Why, I thought you were quite full by what Psyche told me ; every roora occupied."

Mrs Handslip had said so ; she had ber reasons for ao aayiag.

" Strange," ejaculated Mrs Pandora, " When your sister-in-law paid me the three months board due Borne nineteen pounds ten-I casually broached the subject of your coming to Tempe House, and her instant reply was that you were too wedded to your club and ' liberty hall ' lifo. She remarked, further, that she had mentioned the matter to you, and your emphatic reply waa, on mi account."

Lyndhurst gave a suppressed whistle, and in a kind of masing way, said. Nineteen pounds ten shillings -leaving eighty pounds ten as a nest egg. Hang the

women 1"

Tho restless eyes for a moment went to Lyndhurst's face, and with quick, hasty voice, Mrs Pandora said,

" Did you say ' hang the women ?' "

" Yes, the iciuhinromen, fox as usual I find another button off my shirt."

" You should say mulcrgurmint. Bir."

" So be it j and iny socks are never mended." " Feet-warmers, please, Mr Handslip."

" Ah, my angel widow, you understand these things," endeavouring to tako Mrs Pandora's hand, and imprint a kiss on hei quivering lips.

" No. no, Mr (landslip, that ant is not legal. Your only right to that in throng» thc church."

" Did you serve the Inte happy Mr Pandora so ?"

" Yes, and he-poor George !-was most obedient, for he want at once to Dr. Commons (Doctors' Com- mons, in London) and bought thc license."

The joke wau too good to be lo-t on Lyndhurst, so with a suppressed chuokle, he said,

" What kind of ¿trrmn was this Dr. Commons ?" " Why, a littlo fat man ; BO jolly."

" Ah," soliloquised thc barrister, *' I must not go ahead in that way, or else I sholl be landed high and dry. Hang the women ! Turn which way I will, they dig their olaws into me, and try to run me to earth ; Hobo tho woman in miniature ; Psyche, the parrlot in paint ; and now Fama would resit in the chair of matrimony. I must have no witnesses to our interviews, or else it will be all U.P. with me."

Lyndhurst continued, aloud, " Well, Mrs Pandora, come for a drive after lunch ; in the meantime I will take a turn in the garden,"

He did so. Mrs Pandora rose. Up went the blind -old Sol looked in ; li^ht and sunshine once more in Mrs Pandora's beat room. The auburn hair was loosed from its imprisonment; the slate silk dress, fitting Uko a glove, took tho place of the wrapper ; strong scone (not Rimmers) fell like a Seaton mist on tho deep laced handkerchief ; and the servant girl went round the corner for some Madeira.

" Is that uot Mr Littleheart, Mrs Pandora ? He looks vory down in tho mouth."

" Fretting for his lost tove, I suppose." ' " Who may that be ?"

"Don't you know? That is good) Why, your

sister-in-law."

" IB tho feeling mutual ?"

" Undoubtedly ¡ lovo ccrtiin love."

" That's the game, is il Psycho?" muttered the bar- rister. " I am learning something to-day of how you work. So, so, my painted Jezebel, lie to mo about money; lie about your present visit ; lie about Mrs Pandora's house.- You did not want me to watch or see your actions ra Littleheart." ï'.-.-j

" Has Mrs Psyche any friends at Castlemaine, Mr Handslip?": k - :.- ?

" Well, there is Hebe."

" Who ts Hobo, may I ask ?"

" Don't you known of my nieoe Hebe-Psyoho's step-duughter." , :.. 1.' .** :

". Never heard she had a stop-ohild ; I am aston- ished." ; " . . (

"You maywoll be,.Mrs Pandora ¡ you seo there are wheels within wheels." . /;" ,'/ ' ';

"But why has nat Pysohc mentioned anything about this step child ? Is tho girl at school ?",

? " Woman,' you know, dear, Mrs Pandora, is at all times ah'enigma-an enigmatical problem I cannot fathom. ' You ought to bo able to read Psyche ; womon oan read their own sex quicker and truer than men. - Yes, Hebe is at sohool."

" Had I known of this child, I would have asked her to spend tho holidays with me; I do so love orphan children." "..',' .'? ,- ;

This was said with groat warmth of feollng, for at heart Mrs Pandora was kind. Sho was at times silly, foolish, but not wilfully unkind.

" I am indeed glad to find you are so thoughtful, and an exception to your BOX. With you, duplicity ] hato ; lt la foreign to my. nature," said the snake in tho grass to tho mistress of Tempe House, giving' an unnecessary but to the horse with his whip.

Mrs Handslip has got money, left by her late

husband ?"

" Hang the women I" muttered Lyndhurst. " You aro angling now ; it won't do to say too much to you. my pippin/' Aloud : " Yes, Psyche has got monoy, I will drive you to your door, and return the trap."

At 12.¡IO that night, Psyohe returned very unex- pectedly to Mrs Pandora. They kissed eaoh other and wont to bcd. Outwardly purred, like two oats goeking reposo with velvety paws ; inwardly, like two of tho feline tribe, on tho roof ota house at midnight ?-Hashing eyes, backs up, and helm straight for ac encounter, especially on Psyche's part, for Bhe saw Lyndhurst's walking stiok in the hall, left there bj mistake os he went for the drive ; so ko need nol havo begged Mrs Pandora not to mention to Psyohe he hod been to Tempe Houso.

Duplloity generally leaves a trait of Bilme. W< BOO it In the caso of Psyche and Lyndliuist, in thoii doublu-deallng one towards tho other, us Bet forth ir the above aotlons. Never woro truer words Bpokoi than tho warning, " Bo sura thy sin will find the« out." ' , '

Naxt morning Lyndhurst called at Tempo House for his stiok, not wishing to lcavo that tcll-talo lr tho hall. Mrs Handslip handed tho cane to Lynd hurst os he entered the front door, to Lyndhurst*!

astonishment. ¡

" Why I dear Psyohe, I thought you wore at Gee long?" Said with a sardonic grin. -

." Why, Lyndhurst I I thought you wero too ill tx move tho day before yesterday ?" With a smile of (

veritable siren.

" Quid jiro ¡m>" muttorod the barrlstor.

" Check-mato," soliloquised tho widow, Sho ther wont on, " I hope you onjoyod your drive yesterday a drive after an illncm is a good tonio for a heated thwarted brain. Ha, ha, ha, don't kill tho hon thal lays thc golden ogg, Lyndhurst."

" You speak iu parables, Psyohe."

" Only in parables to thoso who won't understand.' "I saw-you going by Cobb's to Castlemaine Psyohe." - ' ' ? r

; " Did you ?" jerkod Mrs Handslip, pressing her Hp! together. " Playing private detootivo ; diamond eui diamond? Hobo told ma all about your visit. Gheei up, tho Kl Dorado will turn up yet. Shako the tiei woll-you know what I moan-and the goldon fruil nmg fall." - :

"I had Important business at Castlemaine, Psyoho,' " So had I, Lyndhurst, and I was moro successful than you ; o mother can do moro than an uncle"

" There is no misohlof that a woman is not at thc bottom of it."

"You.are oynioal, Lyndhurst, To bo on a pal with you, I.will Boy,-women aro thorns in n law- yer's sido." -, .

" Hang you women 1"

'iYos, I know lawyors would gladly ploy Oalcraftf with the ropo,", ,

Lyndhurst took out his watch. " You must exousi mo, Psyoho, I havo an engagement. ; I must not kooj you from Mr Littleheart, for ho lookod very disconso Into yesterday; Tat, tot," and Lyndhurst was off not walting for a reply. " Take that," ho muttered, as ho hurried away.

Psyoho was not prcparod for. this parting sally. She Bhowed her nngor by stamping nor foot, ani hissing through her olenohed teeth, "That cat hat botrayod mo during their1 tito ' à têtu yesterday Silonco is golden ot present."

Mrs Psyoho Handslip wont to her room to think. After a time sho carno to tho following conclusion "Lyndhurst did not seo mo on tho coach ; ho onlj returned by tho night coach, so would not be at UK offico so carly. So he lien. Who did soe mo ? Nol Fama, I know. Must bo LltUoheart I ho can give tho solution ; I will try him," and down to tho sit- ting-room she went.

"Good morning, Mr Littlehoart. Reading th« papers as usual ; I suppose tho ladles' column Í Births, deaths, and marriages I Ha, ho, ha. By thc bye, my brothor-in-law was asking about you thc other day j perhaps you have seen him since ?" Said with a bewitching smile.

" No, I have not seen him lo speak to since thc Amt day ho lunohed here."

Paycho gavo o satisfied smile.

" I asm vat j oraas with yon ; you might hare ooma yesterday naarainy and spoken to me at the coach oAee. I waa piqued about it I suppose asme other lady waa in the question ; such ia hie," with a sigh. " I ara a good mind to send you to Coventry for it."

" If I had thoaght yon wished me to speak, I should have done so with pleasure, my dear Mrs Handslip."

"Two tricks," murmured Mrs Psyche; "What fools men are in the aanda of a woman." Aloud :

"Toa roust remember in future to act more le !

dehanalr. But I have this satisfaction 1 I was told j you looked very disconsolate all day, and could only ease yow mind by telling Hrs Pandora of my cold drive. You naughty man, you suffered for your neglect."

" Mn Pandora should not have told you what I

said : she has added to it."

" Three by honours I" soliloquised the widow. " Mn Pandora did not tell me, so it is no use taxing her with it. What say yon for a game of ohess?"

At ohess they went, tryiug, during the game to

fathom each other's financial state.

Lyndhurst soliloquised, too, " Hebe nevor told Psyche «hat passed at our interview. No I I won't believe it ; bot I will test tho truth at once."

Lyndhurst wrote to Hebe an affectionate letter, saying how grieved he was to learn that Hebe had repeated to her step-mother everything that had passed, and that Psyche openly boasted of her power over Hebe.

The brunette's reply waa brief and to the point.

"Dear boole,-It is against my nature to forget what is due to my relatives in their absence. I refused positively to tell step-mother what passod during your call ; 1 refused to allow her to speak against yon. You may show her this note, if you j

like. One word more. Now step-mamma has so spoken, she stade a request ; I refused. What that request waa I will not say ; sho eau tell you.

Your lorrowfal «ei oe,

Hem:."

.' I th ou gat .o," «aid Lyndhurst. Suoh is the result of duplicity.