Chapter 63620231

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Chapter NumberXIII
Chapter TitleTHE STRIPPING OFF OF SOME DISGUISES.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63620231
Full Date1886-08-14
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count622
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Sydney News (NSW: 1881-1894)
Trove TitleSociety, Friendship and Love
article text

CHAPTER XIII.

THE STRIPPING OFF OF SOME DISGUISES.

" Doubtless the pleasure is as great

Of being cheated as to cheat."

-Butler.

The following evening Margaret went alone to Oaklands and found the company assembled in the drawing-room in a state of great excitement, all talking at once, and without listening to each other, and it was some time before she could discover in the general babel what was the matter.

'.Is it not miserable?" cried the hostess. "Such a charming man ; so refined and intellectual !"

" Poor, misguided creature ! I am truly sorry for him," said Mrs. Grimleigh.

"Perhaps the whole charge is false,'' suggested her daughter. " Some spiteful scheme of au enemy to annoy him-do you not think so ?" (to Mr. Fitzalan).

" I should not wonder," said the tutor ; there are people who delight in finding out lies about their neighbours. They ought to be stopped."

Margaret glanced at him with a slightly guilty feeling. But he was lookiug at Mis3 Grimleigh, not at her. " What has happened ?" she asked.

No one noticed her question, but Tom Grimleigh answered the tutor. "I do not know what ought to be done to people who delight in telling lies about their neighbours ; but the police are likely to be pretty sure of their facts before they follow a man from Hungary to America, from America to Australia, and arrest him at the entrance to a public building.".

" This is becoming interesting," said Mr. Broadhurst. "We seem to be likely at last to learn what has happened. If one of you ladies and gentlemen will kindly explain what has occurred to upset you and your arrangements we, ignorant people, will be humbly grateful."

; " It is just this," said Tom Grimleigh, "that our sup- posed Count is likely to spend the next few years of his life in modest seclusion, with such light and cheerful occupa- tion as breaking stones or picking oakum, or whatever the Hungarian equivalent may be."

" Then, the Count is an impostor !" cheerfully remarked Maurice Gower. " I always thought he would turn out to be one, so I cannot pretend to be astonished : but what has

he done ?"

" Something shocking in America; he murdered someone, did he not, Tom ?" said Mabel Grimleigh.

" His master, was it not ?" supplemented her mother.

"Oh! no!" cried Mrs. Broadhurst, " the other man committed the murder-I am sure they said BO. I never liked , that Count Andrew, and he persuaded our Count to join him in taking the papers, is not that it ?"

"My dear ladies," cried Tom Grimleigh, laughing, "have you no other suggestion to offer? I will explain, if you will allow me. No one has murdered anyone in this case; the facts,, according to the police, are these: The. Count Czarnaschek, it seems, left Hungary about a year ago

for America-"

"Then there is or was a Count Czarnaschek," put in

Maurice.

" Certainly there was, and a devout believer in mag- netism ; but we have not heard that he made money by his craze, or lectured upon it. He had with him a sort of con- fidential half servant, half secretary, the son of an English mother and a Hungarian father. It seems that this lady and gentleman ended their days in an English gaol, and that the Czarnaschek family took pity on the son and had him

educated."

" And this individual of doubtful parentage is, I presume, the gentleman who has lately given us such valuable infor- mation on the distinction between the 2>neuma an<^ *ûe psyche?" said Mr. Broadhurst."

{To be continued.)