|Newspaper Title||Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889)|
|Trove Title||John Brown and His Dog Faithful|
HIS IDOGr FAITHFUL
UMW. a. w. nmiBMM,
LAWRENCE, CLARENCE RIVER, N. S. W.
S. Lyndhurst Handulip, esq.. O.A., Darrin« ?topped opposite a dead wall, aud read with care U placard re De Wert. Any eaves dropper or listoni ?right have heard him say, with a sharp smack < Ike lips,as some professed oonnojisseureda after takic wine of a high and good vintage. " I thought ao ; was not mistaken. Yes, he ia the man,'' and in lower key he went, on, .' Yon are the man for m money."
Then tho barriater pulled down the caffs of h skirt, and walked along to his club. When he gi
there he sat musing.
" Two hundred pounds. Bah 1 The other ia betti ?ame. I cannot carry out my plans till it is don I have made fair uso of my time the last month i two. As usual, women ure ut the bottom of ever; tiling ; so the dismissed servant gave me what info nation I wanted, and she has gone as stewardess t England, lt must be dune ; nearly two years passe ?ince he died. Well, why should I not do it / Job Brown will nut let her want." So conscience had coating of thin veneer put over it. by thc "Joh Brown will próvido." This was Sunday.
A Frenchwoman read the placard, shrugged he ?bouldara, and said, " alic: ron» r/i, route tja il route (away with you, Icc it cost what it may.)
Monday night De We>t, the matu of the dea Bacchus of Blackwood, the escaped convict, ul in light-fingered Moses, was walking down Flinders lan« ajoliloqnlsing thus : " Better keep near the city fo the present ; at all events till tho hue and cry is t an extent over. Thu Du will never think of lookini for mo so near their warren ; my Incog is perfect Money 1 must raise somehow ; if I had somo cash,
know n way tn work one of tho banks. Tho difficult, is the start ; work the bank, then slope Mr Waiko) I wish sollie ono would aid rae to raise tho wind." D Wert wont on,sententiously. "Tho DH (detoctlvoti are sharp. Many seeds aro sown for a few flowers I want a golden flower. I am as strong as a bank i I could only get a nt.irt. What cure I for law ; : have nover taken life-I never will but in self defenco. I wish somo one would offer mo a job."
AH hu said thu Inst word, a hand was placed on hi* shoulder, and almost before Do Wert felt tho hand, i ?appraised voico whispered in his ear, "Como wi tl me into the shado ; I am a friend, don't be afraid Trust mo, as 1 am ubuut to trust you."
Thu speaker spoke, Do Wart detected, in a force«' nasal ton". ; ho wore a travelling oap, long hair and flowing grey heard, like au Ishmaelito, wrapped in s long overcoat reaching almost to tho feet.
De Wert and tho stranger crossed tho lano, and stood in the shade. Tho incognito spoke, looking through his spectacles.
" Slr Walker, lilias De Wert, and so forth, don't bt alarmed," as Do Wert drew back a paco, to be on thc defensivo. " I say again, I wish to bo your friend, I could have handed you ovor yesterday and thif morning to tha authorities, and claimed the twa hundred roward ; hut now. serve mo and I will ro- wan! you, that you may leavo tho oountry. Are you
" First, stranger, tell mo who you aro ? You have mo at a disadvantage."
" Bo satisfied, Light-flugored Moses, by my saying I am ,i doteotlvo, and know all your movements, Port Arthur, for instanco ; I won't say moro. Will you clo tho job ?"
" If lt ÍB a put-up oase, I wont ; somo detectives arc too fond of this gamo. I won't betray another. Arrest ino if you like, but ( won't betray a mate."
" No, Do Wart, it is not a put-up case. You will do tho work alone, and you will bo safo."
"Ono moro question ; will blood have to be shed ? I have never stained my hands yet with blood, and I will not aommenco now."
" God forbid thora should bo blood shed," said tho Btrangor, with a shudder. " No, no blood in the question. Two hundred pounds aro off ered for your arrest ; I forego that, and will give you ono hundred pounds if you servo me truly. Hero ara two ton pound notes, as an earnest of my bargain-a pledge of my word, and first fruits of tho hundred pounds. Now what say you ? Take your ohoioe between arrost and this work."
"I am your man."
Take this paokot ¡ it IB sealed. You are not to open tho paokot, or break tho seal, till you get ten miles at least beyond Koyonton, Thou you will learn your destination ; nuilee for lt on foot. You will also find a rough plan of a certain house ; study tho plan well, master tho plan. Then reconnoitre tho houso to ba oporntod on. Tho room is on tho ground floor, you will find, so you won't have much trouble Recon- noitring on suoh is your profession, BO that part I leavo to your trained judgment! * You will find you havo nothing to fear. No opposing forces, for suoh ns you moot with will bo wonk. Lot Thursday night ba tho night that you do tho work, after twolvo o'clook i mind lt on dono that night, or rathor it will bo Friday morning. Bring away what tho small Bellied note tells you. Thora is but ona line in that noto ; road it when you opon tho other papers, and then burn it at onoe. You can tako anything else that yon like for yoursolf ; in foot I should bo glad if you carrlod something else away. Yes, do so ; don't forgot, bring what I want hero, say thiB night week, and you will havo tho promisod money, Then, next day you must leave tho colony. Remember, I am on tho watch ; you oro in my powor."
" By what you say tho work ls easy, Mr Stranger." " So easy that you will be surprised, and say it was tho easiest job and best paid you ovor undertook."
" Thursday night, after twelve o'clook ?"
" Mcot you hero, this night wock. At what hour 7" " Ton o'clock sharp."
" Right. Good night ; your instruotions will be obeyed to tho lotter."
Each immediately walked away.
" Who can that be !" soliloquised Do Wort. " He spoko In a fuigncd voice ; still at times I was puzzled. But tlioso detectives aro up to everything. Ho hus mo in lils clutches, so I had better act on tho square, Got my money, then tho Bank trick, and off to green Molda and pastures now."
Tho stranger muttered to himself, " Yes, the 'work could not ba in better hands j no harm wilt come of it, and I am safo. ' All legal proof at once destroyed ;
dead mon toll no talos."
* . * * * * * # #
" Dear Mrs Pandora, I am indeed glad I have met you. I was on my wny to Tempo House, to ask you if you could qunrtormo for n, fow weeks in your oosy
" Yes, Mr Handslip, our best room will bo vacant at 12 o'clook to-day ; a cross old bacholor has been its occupant for some time, and tho' his timo was up yesterday at 12 o'olock, ho declared his lost week woe not up till Tuesday at 12 sharp ; so he goos to-day. I am so glad you are coming."
" How are Psyoho and Mr Littlohcart ?"
"Just as usual; playing at cross purposes with each other, Its how much havo you, and how much havo you, roply. I seo it all now."
" Novar mind them, dear Mrs Pandora. I will look in at lunoh timo, and send my gooda and chattels during tho afternoon. Au revoir, dear Mrs Pandora. You havo not given mo tho promised kiss yet." Said
with a treacherous smile.
"No; romombcr thoro is tho church botweon us and it, you naughty man. Good-bye."
Sirs Pandora was BO ploasod, that she commenced washing her hands in invisible soap in inperceptible water, as sho said to horsolf, " Coming to lunoh 1 I must havo the bolled leg of mutton and capers for lunch, and a few fowls for dinnor and soma Madeira. I will mend his fectwarmors, and put buttons on his undergarment. Ha, ha, won't Psyche bo cross. I wish she would go, then I might got him to take me out. I mUBt go back, and get everything ready."
* . * - * * . ? . » »
John Brown, Achates, and Faithful onco moro at
"Well, my child, you aro looking weU. Still good accounts of you from Miss--," said John Brown, on the old Bendigo road.
" Yes, I like my lessons mofo and moro, and have conquered my Indolonco when on the muslo Btool."
"tam indeed glad to hear this from yourself my
child. Mr Achates and I havo somo business to do in Holbourne ; ic will toko us somo days. Wo shall have to go by coaah, so I cannot take Faithful with mo ; I want to leavo him in your charge."
" Oh, jolly I" broke in Hebe, dapping her hands as
n little ohild.
"Tho old dog will bo contented with you," said John Brown, " bat yon must not take him in to the school room, to wink at the young ladies. Ha, ha, ha. I spoko to Miss -about leaving Faithful with you, so that part is ali right. But remember, tty child, you mast keep the muzzle on the old scamp
after I asa (oas, lor I saw Fat tbs pnMniaaaa to-daj in the distance. He has gat some oaaas at court, . find, so will be hare for soo« days. If Faithful go away from you, or got oat of the house, ha nigh drop across poor Fat. Poor Pat does sot know tai dog is here. And again, after a day or two, I thin! the old fellow would leave »rea yon to find me. WU you remember thia ; if you promise me, I shall bi satisfied. Don't trust the old dog, day or night."
'. Ye«, Mr Brown, I will take care of the dear ok dog."
.. Hebe, how long ia it since your dear papa died ?' " Two years on Thursday night, or rather I shouh say Friday morning," replied Hebe, with a tremor ii
" Cheer up, my child. I will make it a point tx interview your stepmother while I am in the city. . 1 suppose your uncle ia at Ballarat still ?"
.. I don't know. I have not heard anything sino ho wrote me the note I told yon of."
" Now, Hebe. Mr Achates and 1 start by the earlj coach in the morning, so I must have a talk with thi old dog-give him to understand he is to remain witt you, and be obedient to your wishes. Remember th< muzzle, for poor Pat'B sake. The word dog literati] means the bit i ny n ni mal, and Faithful at timei appears determined to assert his rights to the denni tion un behalt of his progenitors."
Next morning John Brown and Achates left Custlemaiuo for the mother oity.
?' Use a little more elbow grease Anna-Maria ; tw< moro gentlemen boarders to arrive in time for si] o'clock dinner. Look sharp on your pins, Maud Judith, with those carpets. Bring your duster here Penelope Beatrice, and dust Venus and Cupid, and don't put the spoons and glasses in the oven as you did yesterday, when I told you to keep everything
warm for dinner."
" Who was the grand gentlemen that bo coming,
'. I don't know, Ponelope Beatrice. A gentleman calle.! this morning, and secured tho rooms for his
" Didn't you ax their name Î"
" No. I forgot. We are to commence dinner with- out them if they are not here in time. There, you have broken my best vase, you stupid !"
John Brown and his inseparable bad learned where Mrs Psyche Handslip and Lyndhurst were quartered.
" So, so, something in thc wind, when those two are working the chess-board in the same house," said
Brown to his friend.
Achates' only responso was by his nose going up and his chin descending, as he trained his moustache upwards.
" What will Medea and tho Dragon think when we put in au appearanoa this evening, Achates I" A query Achates was obliged to reply to, so the fringe on his upper lip was left at rest.
" I cannot say what thoso two constellations will think ; but they will be in a state of effervescence. A touch of tho bile, perhaps ; nausea, mal-de-mer."
All wore gathered around the festal board talking and laughing, when our two frionds wnlked into the ruom, unannounced. Immediately dead silence reigned.
Lyndhurst became as Belshazzar at his memorable feast-his " countenance of brightness was changed, his thoughts troubled him, the Kirdles of his loins woro loosed, and his knees smote one against anothor." Mel was* written on the walls of his conscience. " Thou aro weighed in tho balances, and art found wanting." Tho pallor that spread ovor tho barrister's countenance was painful to sec.
Mrs P. Handsllp's faoe just before showed a vor mi lion of joy-a brightness of tho sun on a serene, culm, unoloudod, unruffled day ; but on tho entranco of our hero and friend, a dark cloud swept over her face, like a cloud in tho heavens placing its back before tho sun-no partial eclipso, but a total ono,
Mrs Pandora, as mistress of tho houso, was thc msc to recover. I say rcoover, for she felt all was not right.
Mrs Faina Pandora was not blind, She looked at Psycho, she gazed at hor barrister, and was puzzled ; sho tried to read thom,)but the book was upside down. She glanoed at John Brown aud his friend to road thom, but thoro again she saw but a dosed and sealed book. A feeling that takes possession of one on entering a dark, clammy vault for tho first timo, orept ovor her. Tho room was as a vault to her ; Lyndhurst's face as a visitant from the other world ; and Psycho's countenance as Eurymono, the infernal deity, who gnawed the dead to the bones.
Tho opening and shutting of Aohates' mouth, as she looked at him where he stood, broke the spell. Sho gave a kind of silly laugh-sho could not help and said,
" Gentlemen, you have turnod our gathering into a Quakor's meeting. Pray be seated."
John Brown only stroked his beard, aud bowed to Mrs Pandora ; he and Achates taking the two vacant
The spoil was broken-Mrs Haudslip was Fsyohe again.
"So glad to seo you, Mr Brown, and you Mr Aohates ; what an unexpected pleasure to meet you. My dear frionds always drop down upon me unex- pectedly," !
'. Unexpected visits aro not always welcome ones," smilingly responded John Brown.
" You cruel man, why do you say so ?" .
" Oh, I was only musing ; in other words, medi- tating, Mrs Haodslip."
Lyndhurst, tho oloquent barrister, essayed to speak ; but his throat was dry, his lips were parched, his tongue failed in its ofllco. : No words carno, but that peculiar sound ono hoars at times , from the dumb, when they aro trying to struggle agulnst their sad state. Everything nad boen seen, and mentally notiocd by John Brown since MB entranco into tho room, nor had anything boen lost on Aohates.
.' How is door Hobo 7" said Mrs Handslip, in an undortone, that Mrs Pandora might not hear tho question.
"I am . glad - to'.say your step-daughter Hobe, is quito well," respoudod John Brown in a high voice, as if he wished everyone at the table to hear.
Mrs Psycho pressed her lips togothor, . and an ominous scowl shot across her foco, while a sour, angry look wrinkled the brow and face of Mr Little heart, aa he looked at Psyche in surprise,
i "Ihavo not seen your dog,"j Lyndhurst managed to jerk out.
"Ahl tho dog, that made a journey after you left UB." 1
Lyndhurst looked up, with a puzzled look on his faoo. Then John Brown, turning to Mrs Handslip,
went on, ?
" I left the old dog with your step-daughter Hobo ; the old fellow will help to chcor hor this week of sad thoughts to her. By tho bye, after twelve o'clock to- night will commence tho anniversary day of hor father's death. Two years then sinca he died, Mrs -. Beavens! what is tho matter, Lyndhurst ?" broko from John Brown, ns ho sprang from hisohair.
1 Our hero might wall ask, for the barrister hod dropped his knife and fork, looking ghastly, mutter- ing against his will, " The dog I Death t Two years to-night ? Oh God I" and seized a tumbler of wino that stood at his elbow, and drained it, as If io stop his words that came against his will,
Mrs Pandora Bat looking extremely palo.
"Spasms," gasped out Lyndhurst, gasping for breath, put his hand to hia falso broast. " Spasms ; I am subject to them. Any shock brings them on, and you speaking of-my-brother's-death-I was -not propared for,"
" You nad botter toko a sedativo, Mr nandslip," said John Brown, with a laconic smile.
" Yes, a sedativo," echoed Aohates, " is a soporific in your complaint," and up went tho hand.
" I had quito forgotten," which was truo, " that this wook was tho anniversary week of my brothor's death. Two years ago to-night I sat by his Bide."
But ho did not say what promises he had made at that death bed-side ; ho did not say what special wish was expressed by the dying merohant regarding Hebe, on the second anniversary of hor father's death. Lyndhurst thought of it ; it would foroo its way into his brain, Uko sulphuric aoid burning into
" So you have loft tho dog with your protege, Mr Brown. Sho ought to bo highly honoured to bo a konnel-kcepcr," hissod (for it cannot bo oallod any- thing olso) Mrs Hsndslip, with a sarcastic smilo.
John Brown's blood was up. With emphasis, ho said,
" Madam, your *nroa»m ill fits yen ; that noblo animal Baved your late husband's ohild's Ufo. Per- haps you have forgotten that, in running your chariot wheels of plcasuro in tho metropolis, the gilded coach, tho sea of glass, tho vox jiopuli, is like a painted ship on a painted soa ; it is not always voe Dei. Give mo my dog before a painted sham-a Guy Fawkes, an effigy of tho world. You speak about Hobo being a fennrf.kooper I That faithful dog lovos her, and will protect her ; loves her moro than tame human beings in tho world. That dog would lot a coward drown to save tho life of a woman, tho' tho poor woman waa but a Frenchwoman." Psycho gave a start at the la«t words. "He ia a. detective of
M »MU order; I would back Ma a#ai>ut Scotland jard to track a thief, deprive him of his plunder, and ka va no tm» baldad. Tea, Faithful will -olva a mystery ¡ will tell whether you are true oe fal«, by hia hereditary intuition. Give me the opinion of a child in reading the hearts of others, and next give me the opinion of my canina friend."
Lyndhurst kept nfbvins; uneasily io his chair aa John Brown spoke.
" I meant no harm, I can assure you, dear Hr Brown ; I only thought the child, in her affection, would be sitting up late at night near the dog's
"Faithful's kennel ia always my own kennel. Hebe knows this, so her room will be the old warri or's room, and this protection ia equal, I waa going to say,
to a cohort of Roman soldiers.
Mrs Pandora had for some time been taking stealthy, furtive glanoea at Lyndhurst. She gave a scream, and flew to the barrister's aida, for be had fallen from his chair, and poor Mrs Pandora fell fainting at his side.