Chapter 64221565

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1891-07-22
Page Number4
Word Count889
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleBathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW : 1851 - 1904)
Trove TitleBride's Promise
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BRIDE'S PROMISE. ? 0 ? By tbe Author of ' Pbxelope,' kc. Chapter III.— (Continued). . j My husband,' she faltered — ' has any thing happened to hirri ?' . } '.?He is hurt, Lady Haughtori; ?tiiey are bringing him home. Your father is with him.' Bringing him home ! How much those words conveyed! With white lips and. great terrified eyes Bride listened as the gentleman, almost as much agitated as t.he was, tried to break it to her gently; and told How Sir Gerald's horse had refused a high wall, how his master had urged him to it with whip and spur till the infuriated animal took one bound, missed the wall, and then full heavily back upon its rider, bre iking its own necks a it did so.. Looking at the speechless agony on Bride's face as he told his story, he kept back the truth, and forbore to tell the wife that her husband's hours were numbered. His back was broken, and Sir Gerald Haugton was being brought home to die. Half an hour later there was the tramp of many feet and the master of Haughton was catried in. There was a crowd of sad frightened faces around, and a sound of bitter weeping as the old man-servant who had known Sir Gerald since he. was a child burst into tears on perceiving .his master. But they all fell back as Bride came'*or ward and shrieked while she looked upon the sight of her husband lying pale and speechless, with the look of death upon his fdce. There was blood upon his gray hair and upon, his red hunting coat— he seemed a sad, 'almost lifeless burden car ried home to'die. He opened his eyes as Bride's wild cry rang through the hall, aud, holding out his hand, smiled up into wife's agonised face and fainted. ' Go away, Bride,' said Doctor Levison gravely. ' My poor child, this is no sight for you. Go to the drawing-room — 1 will come to you presently.' t _ . ........ ,,*., , And in less than an hour they came and ' told her that Gerald .was dying— that. he had not many hours to live. With a white despairing face Bride looked up into her father's pitying eyes. ' Oh, papa, save him ! Get more advice, and save him ; jhe must not die ! He loves me so, and ' I have not been worthy of him.' Hush, Bride! My darling, be brave. Go to Gerald; you will not have him long with you' now. But with wild entreaties to do some thing to save the life that was ebbing so fast away, she clung to her father's hand, and then after a while went up-stairs to see her husband for the last time, st'll hoping against hope. But no human' power could save him. Sir Gerald could not live, and he knew it. \Vhen the horse, fell back upon him and they came and drew him from under its dead body, he had looked up in their faces and said quite quietly — ! 'I shall never leap ditch or gate again ; carry me home to die.' _ ; All night Bride sat beside him, holding his hand in hers, weeping bitterly as she thought of his love and his kindness, watching, his white unconscious, .face drawn and compressed with pain. Then, as the gray dawn lit up the far east, he spoke. ? . '.'?!.; ? ' Bride, are you there ? Poor little wife, Death is about to separate us.' She laid her cold pale cheek on his hand and hushed her choking 'sobs to listen to his last words ; and they talked together in sad, solemn tones, as . only j those who are to be parted for ever can talk, sadly and sorrowfully of the past,, the present, and the future. '* . 'Brjde,' said Sir Gerald, lifting his hand and laying it on her head, 'after' all, dear, why be so sad ? We are going , to be ; parted only for a little while., , It i may be a strange fancy, but I want to die : holding the belief that you will 'remain | mine always. Bride, promise me now, as ! I lie upon my death-bed that you will | never marry again. It is, niy last, my I dying wish. Will you swear now, before Heaven, to be mine ' always, and only ! mine?' He looked' steadily into the eyes that were litied imploringly to his. '? Speak' Bride— I 'am going. Promise before I die.' ' I promise.' . His head fell back upon the pillows. ' Kiss me, my darling. Gbbd-bye ! ' Bride bent . forward, but the 'lips she pressed to her dying husband's brow wete cold as ice. , . ,-. v These were his last 'words. When the chill morning light came into the room, it , . shone aon the cold, calm face of the dead ; for Sir Gerald had'gone toliis'lbng Kb'rrie, and Bride was a widow— a widow at twenty-one— bound by a strange promise to remain so as long as her life might .. 'last. ..;-.- ? :' .;v.. ;. ,.????? ?; ???? ,: , !?}