Chapter 62145331

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Chapter NumberXXI
Chapter TitleHE[]E NEXT DAY, AND MRS. PANDORA-MRS. PANDORA AND SOMNAMBULISM-REGARDING THE STATUETTE-HE[]'S OPIN
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62145331
Full Date1884-11-08
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count1920
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

OnAPTER XXI.

IHEBE NEXT DAY, AND Sins. PAN DOHA-MRS. PAN

DOHA AND SOMNAMBULISM-REGARDING THE STATUETTE-HEBE'S OPINION OP JOUN BROWN REGARDING HER UNCLE'S WORK-HER MIS- TAKE, JcC.

Next morning Montagu o somlnary was a kind of liberty hall, owing to tho lateness of the sonoort. So the pupils wera allowed to rost in the arms of Morpheus till 8 o'clock.

Tho dumb-bolls ; exercises for tho purpose of pro- moting health, strength, and jraerfulncM, in short, tho usual calisthenics wera for once omitted.

Mrs Pandara, as the coo-clock struck eight, gently tapped at Hobo's bod-room door. i~ .

The brunette quickly rose, dressed, and descended to the breakfast table with a palo, caro-wom look.

Fbrtnaaaely, Hita B. and her aUerpatHaWa waary lookdown to her work ead etTsrU at the mBaUtal entortáis meat. They%otiood ahe waa rather menda ekma in her remarks, ao eoacloded ahe had orertaaked her strength.

Sha wai offered a dar's grace (rom school, partly on aooonnt of her worn-out look, and partly because ahe had been so eulogised for her share tn the musical harmony, for all admitted her tn be the belle of the room, and her pieoea the richest gems of the night.

Hebe firmly refused the day's holiday. Her thoughtful, shrewd mind told her her wisest oourse was to work. Her acate judgment led her to feel she was more likely to get relief in her Tacitus Madame De Staël and algebra, than sitting twirling her thumba, brooding, moping. She did not wish her thoughts to dwell on her uncle's barbarous conduct. Further, she wished, that day at least, to keep Mrs Pandora at a distance, to avoid a tête à tète with that simple-minded woman.

Poor Hebe, in this critical, weighty work that she nursed in her own bosom, she felt she stood alone ; alone in the great wond, throbbing with the pulse of life ; alone at Montague house, as much as in the dry. parched, Sahara, barren desert.

Immediately after breakfast she went to her room for her books. A minute after she closed the door, there was a timid tap at the door, reminding one of

the linos of Poe

.... Suddenly, there came a tapping,

As of someone treutly rapping st my cuauiber door.

"This some visitor, ' I muttered, "nipping ut my cliuinber

door,

Ouly this, aud uotliiug more."

The beautiful, mobile face of Hebe showed for a moment-as she heard the Haven knock-deep agita- tion, for she knew that timorous knock was the housekeeper's. Her brain became sur charged with the thoughts of the previous night ; her little body slightly quivered, as Mrs Pandora opened the door and came forward effusively, yet witta a snake-like movement. With her oyes studying a ohink in the floor, she commenced

.' Miss Hebe, I have been thinking all night of that book on somnambulism, and intend, to-day, to try all the booksellers, to see if I can get any work on the subject and its oure ; for if your unolo goes on and somnambulates about me, I will have to marry him to keep his spirit quiet. Marry him out of pity, for his forlorn state. At daylight this morning I searched well my materia medica, and there it recom- mends strict attention to hygiene, i.e., diet, especially in the evenings ; to exercise the body by walking, riding on horseback, and gymnastic exeroises, with plenty of ventilation in the sleeping apartment."

Hebe, as she listened, was more than pained at the

state ot this woman's mind. She knew to reason with her would be as quixotic as to attempt to search out the secret of the philosopher's stone, or the mystery of perpetual motion.

At times the orphan was wrath with the relict for her great stupidity ; but Hebe was not one of those who nursed her wrath to' koep it warm, but ono who tried to make a sunshine in a shady place, especially when she was dealing with suoh a vacuous mind as Mrs Pandora's, so with a musical strain os from an ^Eolian harp, she said

" I thought, madam, we said all we had to Bay on this subject last night, I don't wish to bo unkind, but you are worrying and upsetting yourself too much. I am muon afraid I shall bo compelled to tell Miss B. all you have told mo, if you do not try to rally yourself."

" Don't do that, I bog of you ; it is all my own fault ; your dear unolo is not to blame," Mrs Pandora began to blubber.

Hebe could not stand this kind of foolish noiseless

weeping, so to change the subject, she took tho widow by the hand, saying,

" Come, Mrs Pandora, I have not shown you Mr Brown's last kind gift, sent to me a few days ago.

" What is it if" said the housekeeper, with a degreo of vigour and animation not before shown.

" This, a marble statuette of dear papa, taken from an oil painting in possession of Mrs Littlohoart, who wa» my stepmother."

" Was," ejaoulatod Mrs Pandora, under her breath, then aloud,

" Is it like your father 7

"Yes, life-like, perfect ; sa to me, the richest, most valued gift dear, kind Mr Brown has given mo."

" I will lcavo you now, Miss Hebe, and to-morrow we ean speak again about your uuole's disease."

" No," replied Hebe firmly, " no, say all you havo to say now. I act from tho motto, hattie mihi, era» tibi, that is, Mrs Pandora, to-day to me, to-morrow belongs to you. Uy acting on the meaning of this Latin proverb, I am kept from being a laggard in my Behool exercises and every day work, so I am de- termined to make it my motto through life. Say all you have to Bay now, for-for your own sake and mine-I will not again enter on the subject in any way."

'' Faina Pandora saw the firmness of Hebe, that she

inoant what she said. The strong-minded ohild was too much for the woak-mladed woman. So with her ovos again on tho chink in the floor, she replied,

" Very well, dear Miss Hebe, I will go now and take some »al eolatilo, and thon go and purohaso all the books I can find on somnambulism, and its cure."

Away Eho went, with a dow drop in each oye.

I said the orphan ohild felt herself alono in tho great teeming metropolis, as much as if she were residing in the groat Sahara dosort. Tho reason was, she had decided to keep from Mr Brown what her uncle had been guilty of ; this deaision, tho' sho had come to it herself, weighed heavily on her mind. To keep a secret-such a secret-from her truo, woll-trled frioL'd, was painful to ber, to a degree no word can explain. Hobo felt it best to act so ; she feared that her guardian, as she loved to call Mr Brown, with his noblo, upright mind, would denounco Lyndhurst, at nny cost to tho barrister. Now Hebe made a mistake in not taking John Brown into her confidence ; truo, he would have at once sot tho lnw in motion against Lyndhurst ; Achates would havo called in tho aid of " Entre nous," and so the barrister would havo had his whole diabolioal work revealed boforo tho Supreme court, and sont to wear a felon's garb. , i

But then, this would have beon tho end ; the finale of his plotting and scheming.

' Hobo would have been saved much future sorrow ; years of anguish and terror.

Not that the orphan know what fear was, she was temority itself ; snowed in all her actions a contempt for danger. .

She know John Brown was not a parson to be played with, that there was a oortain lino of demarka tion that ho would allow no man to overston ; that if over ho did grip-figuratively speaking- her unolo, it would be in a crin as of an iron vice.

Her face blanohcd when she thought of tho oataraot of danger her uncle was ou tho brink of, if John

Brown onco know.

Hebe intuitively read character ; read the oharactor of thoso sho was brought intooontaot with: ? Correctly she read John Brown ; for as the orphan felt, for that night's work, he would havo como down upon tho villainous barrister with sledgo-hammer force ; crushed him beyond all recognition as it were, for tho orphan's sako.

That Lyndhurst had burglariously entered tho house, ransacked her room, to purloin her escritoire, tho girl never for ono moment doubted.' She had only that very day-the day of tho concert-placed it in

the care of Miss B.

Regarding the handkerchief Lyndhurst loft on tho statuette, Hobo first thought to post it to tho barrister with, or without a note ; but on second thoughts, sho decided to keepit and watch tho course of events. Sho knew her unolo was untruthful-in ono word, n liar-so that he would declaro the handkerchief had been stolen from him, and mado uso of by somo scoundrel that he had to appear against in his posi- tion as lawyer, in court ; that through his instru- mentality tho man was convicted, and that ho swore in the prison he would havo his rovengo ' bringing

the barrister to his knees. ,

All this surging through tho brunette's mind, sho determined to wait and seo how things would ga.

< Yes I Hobo had guaged John Brown riuht, as he told her in after days whon all came to his know- ledge

Ho would do much for Hobo, stay his hand to a oortain point for her sake ; but no powor on earth, on this occasion, would have prevented him swooping down upon the fiend in human-garb as tho eagle swoops down upon its prey.

John Brown was ono of thoso mon who woro over ready to forglvo a wrong dono to himsolf, but raroly, if evor, forgave a wrong committed against ono ho loved. Ho was quick in thought, tho not hasty in judgment, flo woll know human nature-its prono nesB to err, but whon ho had explored all tho pro» and COM-sifted tho matter, no ono would sift wheat in a slovo to separate tho husks from tho wheat, or win- now tho chaff from the golden grain, his action was prompt, to tho point, decisive, without any abate- ment, where one he loved had been wronged. It was never his wish to Bwervo from tho path of duty. His religious feeling he rarely spoke of, for ho detested to tho very bottom of his nature, cont hypocrisy, whin- ing religion.

Brown'« general reply when asked . ahoot the fessne, erma mihi mucker*-the cross is my anohor -be a friend to the haman noe, remembering the Isttin proverb,it« it mrvtat »pm*-the ead Ofosraa the «mik, the evil that men de lires after them ; the good ia oft interred with their bones." Unblush- ingly Lyndhurst called at Montague house a few days after, Hebe was out walking, this Lyndhurst hoped would be the case, Mrs. Pandora made two attempts to get a tete a tete with him on somnara baUana, bat the barrister waa too wlty. He left a book of poetry for Hebe and departed. The book waa Milton's " Paradise Lost."

TO BK CGNTIMUKD.