|Chapter Title||PLOTTING IN SECRET.|
|Newspaper Title||Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876)|
|Trove Title||Harry Linton's Downfall: A Story of Old Sydney|
HARRY IJNTON'S DOWNFALL. A STORY OF OLD SYDNEY. 3BT I. AATr INs. (Written expresslyfor the Portland Guardian.) CHAPTER VI. PuLOTTIG rn SEcaET. " Magna vi et animi et corporis, sed ingenlo malo pravoque." . FSaRust de Cat. "He would have pased a pleasant life of it, In depite of the devi and all his works, if has path had not been crosed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal. man than ghosts, goblius, and the whole race of witches put to gether, and that vaa-a woman." Sketch Bo;k. Some time since the writer of this veracious histioy was seated in the public room of an h.hotelin Ararat, in whicbhwere imbibing three Nquatters. In another corner of the room sat an old rbite headed man, with a flamiDg nose and fishy eyes. The squatters wecre discussing the arrival of the Prince and the expense which Mr. Mloffatt was going to, to give him a fitting reception. S"How absurd!" exclaimed one with a Swould-be ristocratic drawl, by the by, bow do mnin ilwo have moved for the most part Sin the society of sheep, cattle, and kanuaroo, learn that Dundrearion drawl? " If he paid ane a visit I'd make no foss. Ilo would have to take me as he found me, pot lack you know." "Certainly ! " exclaimed the others. They then began to talk of the glorious independence of on Australian squatter. How he is above caring for visits from the great ones of the earth ; and looks down from his magnifico-bucolio elevation on princes, and all beings of that genus, with a.
patroniinog gaz. Upon tabi up starte] the old man, be of the inamed eyes: - "Look here youe meal" be exelaied )ge'ticiating fariously, a don't talk such boih as that! Who are you, that profre not to cure shout reeeivinr a visit trom the son of your Qeemn? You are conting your chckns bore they are hatebed. There's not a -- squtter in Victoria but would gudi- U:cn aie Prizer a bets if be waoud ec descemd so far a to visits bis station I D"'t try to impress strangers with your ir p trae by talkissoch - rt as that, be caxse to an ein his sess wculd believe yo ; and if what yon said were tre, that Si ii y? o fe:t o respct- for the son of Queen VicFetra, then yea deserve kicking from Dasto lesrsuhe" - The sqeaiter vanished ! Bravo, old man! You sbowed more of the English geotleman in thtot ne irelegantspech of yours, inter larded as it was with words not to be naded in ears polite; than did those three sdia-?otg r-obs who retreated before the Sie of 3oVr just indignation, in all their dis loyal, vulgar braggardism ! Peaings eimeisa to tbose felt by these sIarters had long pervaded the breast of Mr. Cash. He longed to become on terms ol friendly intimacy with the officers of the rarison.and others of that "set," and yet at the same time tried to persuade bhimsel that he cared nothing about it. He had fre quently dined at the vice-regal table, why therefore should he care to receive an invita tion to the officers' mesa s? For the same rea son which induces cantankerous children to cry for the moon; foolish young men to fall in lowr with unobtainable young ladies; or rich old ladi-s to expect the disintererted love of penniless young saitors: because of that obstinacy implanted in the human mind which causes men and women to refuse to accept things as they are, and coatinoally to banker after the impossible. Mr. Cash knew very well that it would be as easy to mix oil and water as it would to bemingle free settlers and emancipists. Even Go vernor Macquarie had found himself unequal to the task, yet Cash desired to carry it out. It was therefore with no alight feelings of exaltation that he received a rieit from Cap tain Lambert. Lend him a few hundreds Of course hewoold, was proud to make his acquaintanceind hoped they should become fast friends, what a disappointment it was, Hector's losing the race, cosld'nt be helped, would Captain Lambert stay and dine, that was righti And so-Mr. Cash-chatted on, having an eye to business, however, all the time; and taking care to charge cent. -per cent. for the money be advanced. The dinner was the best that money could pro cars, and the wine was excellent, so that the brave Captain became so delighted with his bhost that he patted him on the back and showed his appreciation of the good things before him in every way, except that which Cash most desired, namely, by giving him I an invitation to mess. Ply him with wine as be would, try all the means he knew, throw out the broadest hints it was no use. I When Captain Lambert at length rose to go, i Cash found, to his mortilcation, that there I was as yet, no chance of being admitted into I the exclusive military circle. I a a a' s e a a _ h The morning after tha cup race Mr. Cash had paid a visit to the bank, * with which he I did business. "Good morning;" he said to the cashier abo was at the counter, "I shall be drawing some very heavy cheques for a time, as I'ce los: over six thousand pounds on those infer nal races !" . " Very well," said the cashier smiling, "they inust indeed he heavy if you mean to overdraew your account." Mr. Cash walked away well pleased with himself. What a thing it was to bare money; and why should be bother himself about the officers ? let them cut him if they chose, he could buy the whole regiment up for that matter ! And eo he walked on smiling contentedly, until at length his brow grew stern, and his looks more serious--he I was thinking of Dora Winter, and how to gain her. He was a clever, clear-headed fellow this ex-convict, a man of sound judg- t ment and great determination, but, unfortu nately all his talents were misapplied, and all his inclinations evil. Wilkins had kept up his nightly intro spection of the Colonel's house, and listened through a chink in the weather-boards, to I the last conversation which had taken place between-the old-officer and Harry Linton, with which the reader is already acquainted. It was soon after the departure of Cap tain Lambert that the emissary returned, and told Cash all he had heard, The mil- I lionaire was so pleased with the report, that I he gave his aervant a bottle of rum, before dismissing him for the night. I may here 1 'remark that excessive rum drinking, was one of the chief vices prevalent in Sydney at that time. -" So the young puppy as lost heavily on the races;" soliloquised hr. Cash, "and will doubtless want to borrow the money. Now the question is, how, to induce him to borrow what be wants from me? I must think it over." The man here rose, and, proceeding to his bedroom, steeped a towel in cold water, and folded it around his head. He bad drank more wine than usual, with the jolly captain, and was not so cool-headed as he wished to be. After-repeating the bath two or three t times he returned to the room. " I have noticed him of late, taking soli tary walks towards Botany. If I can catch him to-morrosw, I'll find some excuse to converse with him, and, if he does not bite,I'll boldly offer him the money. Only five days and Imust close on the old colonel. I Now, suppose I let things take their course, and trust to chance. I hardly know which: will be most advisable. Yet the youngster may be able to borrow the money somewhere else. No, no I he must have it from me. Besides, I've not yet matured my great I scheme to crush him i-let me think it over I" Mr. Cash nowlit a cigar, and was soon lost in deep thought. Occasionally he would wink gleefully at the wine-glass and rub his hands, from which it is to be inferred that his cogitations were satisfactory. Then, again, he would suddenly look .rave, and mutter, "Perhaps, after all, she wtll not listen to me--a convicted felon 1" And then a SThe first bank established in Syduey was the Bank of New South Walos, in 1817, with a capital of £20,000, subsequently increarused to £300,000. Previouas to this time the currency onslated of the notes of merchants, traders, shop. keepers and publicans, which were for small amounts, sometimes as low as sixpence. The second was the loBank of Australia established by acompsnyof shareholders in 1831 ; which how. ever, smas.red through m;smanagement.
dangeroas light woui b'zza torth fron his eyeand he weld set his teeth firmly, and den his hands with fary: So the hoors s d still be sat smoking and sinning _web- g the~fr~ - p aos eds of the trrheroras schee which he ma taming with a derenress and perspeiaty worthy of a better arnse. It was n u1ntil the cold breee:or early morning blew in at the open winddw, nd the aber ight began to glo rify the gient SyDney harbour, that he rose to seek res:-to try and forget his wicked ient~ions and calm his ? rning pas sions in sleep and temporary forgeftan. The evenin ssbseqmst to that on utith Captain Lsmbert dined with Cash, and Harry had the interijew with Cplossal Wrter, Dora at conversing with Mrs. G-ey, at whose snug relidence at Par-smttta she was starsn. The room was Lap!ly thob-h ele g y furnised, and gave dfer 6iSdennn that the dwellers th erin w ?r ne'e cf taste and refnement. The Ieaer Eis-f? she had passed the aln-t,"l three m yer -s and ten-wr?s the widw of M-?er Grew, late of the New Soth Wales Corps. Sh was a fie old lady-ne oa tht t:ins now. alas! nealy ezzinm. Wher balara has ine old English genlewomn gone? HR?s they also been tnable to keep prae with tibs e- ahead are, and dropped hck in thee so - gling race, to sink out of the ranks of WIe in company with the old English genLemc- Sir Roger de Coverly and Co.? I thickit is Mrs. Beecher Stowe who a?ks the question why no one ever thinks cf describing the beauty of old women ?-but, whoever it is, the imqmry is natural in thewe days of sensa tion oreve with heroines like nothing in " the earth beneath." Whilst rovelists re trying to outdo each other in gii glowing descriptions of young lagis-mlking them preternaturally perfec in form and fea ture-with dLpo?tions such as no human creature under the son ever possessed (I write it with all reverence)-not one of these scribblers ever "comes out stougo" on the subject of antique beauty. Far be it?roman humble individual like myself to attempt it, for how could I, who shrint from -ertsk ing to describe the beauty of youth, dare to depict the serene comeliness of a green old ae ? Well, we must leave description a-one, and go on with our story, frst of all, premising that Dora has just concluded a confession to the motherly old lady, who has listened to it with the same love and patience that she would have displayedi had the fair girl before her been one of her own children -one of those departed ones long since snatched away from her by death. " And so, my dear I" said Mrs. Grey, after gaing earnestly at Dora for a time, "you love this young o?cer?" Dora blushed and' hung down her head, whilst tears forced ! themselves from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. " Say, nay, child," the old lady continued, " I meant not to pain you. You most hope for the best-there is this to be said-Hflarry is rich, and can easily pay the money your father requires. ie is of good family-the Linton, of Salop, are old friends of mine-I I knew his father well, but have never seen ndm; is he dark, Dora?" S"Yes-that is-no, I don't know," stam mered the youn?glady, trying to look as if she was not blasing. " Well, well, never mind," Mrs. Grey went on. "Dark or fair, it does not matter, so that you love him, and he is worthy of you, so set your mind at ease, and hope for the bestl" Mrs. Grey here appeared to be deeply en gaged with her knitting, but Dora seemed ill at ease, and spoke after a short pause: "I must tell you, Mrs. Grey, though it grieves my heart to speak it i" she paused, and seemed strn?uling hard to master her emotion. The elder lady discreetly kept si lent, and presently Dora continued :-" IIar ry, that is, Mr. Linton, was at the races, and he sat near me. When the cup race was run I saw him turn as white-oh, so white ! and he ran off, looking so dreadful, and never spoke a word. He told me he had the money to pay papa, and I am afraid he lost it all on the race." Mrs. Grey sat looking anianously at the poor girl, who now burst ito a parozysm of tears. With the prophetic divination of old a'e she begn to see troubles, dark and gloomy, looming in the distance; but she never showed it, that brave old lady ! not she, but only tried the more to comfort her companion. " My dear girl," said she, "do not alarm yoarselt unnecessarily; and never meet sor row half way, 'remember that suffcient for the day is the evil thereof.' Even if Harry has been a loser on the race-and those young men tUll bet-I remember my poor husband once; but that was before we were married --" Wliatever ~ipropos anecdote Mrs. Grey in tended to tell was never destined to enlighten the ears of Dora, for at that moment the servant opened the door, and saying, " For Miss Winter," handed Dora a letter and re tired. Dora looked at the envelope and saw that the address was in her father's handwriting. Apologising to her hostess, she hastily opened it, and read as follows: " My dearest Dora,-Harry was here last night, and assuredl me that the money would be paid before the 24th inst. I do not wish to cause you any uneasincss, my dear girl, hout consider it my duty to warn yen not to forget that there is no certainty in this world. The best way to avcid disappointment is to deal sparingly in hope. "I desire you will return to your old fa. ther on the 25th, as the house does not seem hlke itself when you are absent, r.-d old Peggy is asking me every day when her young mistress is coming back. D)o no: come before then, as it is uncertain whether I shall be at home. "Give my kindest regards to my old friends, Mrs. Grey and Mr. Camp, and be lieve me, " In haste, *' Your affectionate Father, "Joinr Weren." When Dora had read the letter, she bhanded it0 without a word, to her old friend. She appeared overcome with terror -a dread of impending calamity. Mrs. Grey perused the letter calmly to the end. She was evidently impressed with the same feelings as Dora, but there was no trembling in her hands as she refolded and returned it-nothing to betray what her opt nions on the subject were. " My dear," she said gently, "my brother William will return soon--it'st a near his time now I Ie has more judgment than either of us, we will wait and see what he says. But hope for the best, my child, hope for the best I"