Chapter 64689417

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Chapter NumberXI
Chapter TitleTHE SOMNAMBULIST.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64689417
Full Date1868-02-24
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count2268
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitlePortland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876)
Trove TitleHarry Linton's Downfall: A Story of Old Sydney
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HARRY LLNTON'S DOWNFALL. A STORY OF OLD SYDNEY. Bn It. A. ATKINS. (Written expressly for the Portland Guardian.) CHAPTER XI. TIlE EOMNAMBULIST. Gentlescoman: I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her night gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon 't, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed, yet all this while in a most fast sleep. Doct.: A great perturbation in nature, to re ceive at once the benefits of sleep, and do the effects of watching. Macbeth, Act 5, Sec. 1. Directly Wilkins had parted from Colonel Winter and Mr. Camp, after the conversation mentioned in the last chapter, he- took care cffectually to disguise. himself, so that -it would have been difficult for even his most intimate acquaintance to recognise him. Being a prisoner of the Crown,-h'e well knew that if once detected, as Wilkins, the escaped convict, he. would be allowed little opportuo nity of again freeing himself from :captivity, or paying off the score which he owed Mr. Cash. He pondered deeply as to what course of action it-would be advisable to pursue,, to c?rry out the object' which he had it; view; and at letigth came to the, conclusion' that it would beas well to engage some one to act as his'companion in the close watch which he meant to keep upon Cash. The principal reason for tLis wao, that Wilkins, expecting to discover th'ehiding place of the notes, and gather, sfficient evidence to prove that it was Cash who had hidden them, saw the necessi ty of.having some eye-witness in' addition to 'iiriself. lie at one time thoughbtissrobable that Cash had destroyed the notes, hbut know ing the man-as he .did, soon disabused his " mind of this idea. The notes, he concluded, would be kept until the forgery, was forgot ten, and then passed-perhaps in Eigland, by some agent employed by Casho. They bad most likely., been hidden in some place away from Cash's house-so that' they would be safc.in case his premises were searched but where,? That.was the question that it remained for Wilkins to answer; and he; be lieving that 9 Those who hide can find," and also that the hider would occasionally, if not frequently, pay a visit'to his concealed trea sure, to see that it was safe, determined to watch .Cash 'closely. Wilkili'recollected that Lieutenant Linton had a servant, a mai' named Jack Hedge, a smart young fellow, and a character in his wiy, whii had been: brought up on Squire Linton's esfate, ad: d was much attached to his usoung oiister. 'Jack was not a soldier, so after Linton's arrest:he ' as thrown upon his own resources, 'lidwever, he was quicklyinstalled as servant to Captain Lam bert, and had continued with that gentleman ever since. To this young man Wilkins de termined to divulge as much ot his plan as it was' necessaiy!'for hin to know, -and' enlist his assistance in the attempt to rescue Harry from unjust captivity. It was night before he reached Sydney so

he deferred seeinr Hedge until the morning. The place where Wilkins lodged was a public. house, chiefly patronised by' sailors and soldiers ; and here he had frequently heard the story of Harry Linton's trial and convic tion. Since their young officer had been sentenced to work in the chain-gang, the soldiers bad, one and all, taken a rooted dis like to gaolersn, overseers, and all other hum ble instruments of the law; and to such lengths did this feeling of dislike induce the men of the gallant 73rd to go, that several overseers had already been severely mal treated by them. Under such circumstances it is not to be wondered at. that these latter were not in the habit of frequenting the " Three Crowns," and this was one reason why Wilkins found it one of tlhe most de sirable places at which to 'put lup.' _ It so chanced that on this particular night, Hodge, whose master was dining at Govern mcnt House, strolled into this, favorite hotel to discuss the affairs of the day, -and found Wilkins to be the only sober man of some ten or a dozen who frequented tho-smoke dried parlour. The two--men then began conversing, and it required very little skill on the part of the' onen to induce .the other to speak on the subject of his master's trial and conviction. W'ilkins watched him closely; and soon became satisfied that .tho. honest open-faced young man before him; was to be trusted. Heo therefore, alter their second glass of ruin, and after receiving a promise of secrecy from Hedge, told him who he was, the plans wt.ich he had forned, and' asked him to join in keeping a clos' .witch on .the movements of Cash-. . - . Everything hasing been arranged Hedge said:-" Why not let my master into the secret? I'm sure from what you've told me, and a strange tale it is, that we shall be able to get Mr. Harry out of all his trouble'. rlaster'd do anything to 'erve his old friend, and although he's a bit wild there ar'nt a braver nor a better bearted gentleman, bar ring Mr. Harry, in the world I " "No, no I" replied Wilkins. " two of us are quite enough to go through with this business, and you know, yon'vepromised me to speak to no one about it." "So be it " said the other, "if you so wish it, but I must tell him that I'mn going to do something towards getting. Mr. Harry liberated, or he would I of let me hlave enough time to go tbrnugh with the work as I could wish." - Wilkins, after a moment's consideration agreed to this; and the two parted, having arranged to commence their campaign the next day. , . Three weeks passed over and still nothing had been observed. in the motions of Mr. Cash likely to lead to an elucidlation of the hiding place of the notes; yet still the two men kept up their watch hopefully, and un tiringly: They discovered that Mr. Cash was drinking very hard, and appeared to be in a slate of incipient delirium tremens. He usually.' retired .to bed, as they supposed, about eleven o'clock, and keI?t a light in his room all night. But he did not seem to rest well; for, several times during the night they would notice his shadow crossing and re-crossirig the window.blind, as he paced to and fro in his chamber. They had' managed to search the house one night whilst Cash was enjoying himself at llighetti's, and his servant, who took advan tage of his absence was regailing himself, at a neighbouring inn. They entered by means of a key, which -Wilkins had in .his pocket when Ca'b made the attempt upon- his life, and which he bad carefully kept ever since. This key opened a small side door of the house. Nothing was discovered that could in any way lead to the inference that the notes were hidden in the house; because the only place in the whole 'establishment'under lock and key, was a large chest in Cash's bed-room, and this happened to be left un locked on the evening -in-question. As Wilkins well .knew Mr. Cash was far too cute to keep mnoney, or any valuable.pro perty in his dwelling honuse knowing as he did, the number of talented burglars, who at that time resided in Sydner.- Ile kept all his wealth in the strong bor at the bani; except what money was necessary for daily expeu. diture. - . - It was on a sultry night in summer, when. scarcely a breath of air relieved the eopprer sive heat of the atmosphere, that-.Wilkins and Hedge' tet as usual at thle "Three Crowns." " Well Jack I"- said -Wilkinsa,, I'm de termined tonight' to'"try wliaf fear will do. I'll look in through his bed-room window, which you know-is on the ground floor, -and take off nam beard and 'whiskers, 'ssid"ask him "where's them notes'I i? i a voice like the ghost in the play."'' . ' . : - :, Mr. Wilkins chuckled as he thought of -the eff, ct. his sudden appearance. would. have upon the norves of Mr. Cassh.;: '"-The best-thing youn-could do;" responded" -Hedge, " be's sure to take you for a ghost, if you only look serious onough ; and now he's so shaky its ten-to one i he bodon't let out the secret..' " 4 , ": "1 f?''; rd,' e .You don't kno?, him, as-I do;" said W3ilkins, " ho's enough- nerve for ten men, and would hesitate before telling hsis. secret,. if all the ghosts ns oever was ruz"axed' him to blab. - As" to' itbeing iten -to one' os' his telling; I don't kriow, I ehould:sayo even bet tine. He mniglht'thinkI 'meant the notes he stole' from': meobefore' throwingnbmo' ov'ir hoard.":; ; i" ."W ell, well," exclaimedthoe 'other,e' wo canhoily' try hlim' athough 1' ho addedd; I(l will put'you In on awfil: fix to let' him' knowi who you are. ' He'd have you' bhrited down as saure as Ifatoe.:Wer itust tiy somne other plan Wilkins, Pit.nover agree to that.!' - :: "It 'must be triedl- it's our 'ioly ichance," said WYilkins, deterniinedly. ' : . They then started to the whbarf,'fori the purpose of hiring a boat to take tbem over to their' idestination.t As:they ailked".long, Hfledge tried to persuade h~ cbmpanloii? to abandon tlhe plan which he intended to adopt, hut in vain,: Wilkins' mind was made up, and ie hastened to change the conversation. "There are' gre'at"doings at Government I6isoe tufiight, Ibelieve;' hie said: . S!YeI "" said Iledge; " "Master's'. 'gone there. They are going to have, what they call a 'feet-sham-peter," which means a spree in the open air, and much better than flaring up' inside, such weather as this. They are going to have all the trees lit up with co loured lamps, and altogether it will be:-a g ralid do." "' ... - " :: , . :, ? ,:,?i , ; " Then perhaps,"- said Wilkins, h'.Cash will be there." - , . ... "No I" returned his qcompanion; that's not likely, Mr. Csh hba never, been invited to GovernmetI House sin8e poor Mr. Harry's trial." "Indeed 1" said Wilkins, in a tone of as

tonishment.: "Then it has not been all smooth sailing with the scoundrel." By this time they reached the shore, and found a waterman waiting with: the boat, which they had hired from him. every night for the past three weeks. " Good night, gentlemen," he said, as they pushed off. " Be kind enough to fasten the boat here when you return. Curious work," he muttered, as he walked slowly home, this boating at night." When they arrived at the North Shore, they secured their boat a little distance from the bottom of the lawn, which, the reader will remember, spread from Mr. Cash's house to the water's edge. They, then cau tiously approached the house, keeping in the shade of some scrub, which grew in the neighbourhood. There was a light in the room usually occupied by Mr. Cash, :and through the open window canme the voice of the mas ter of the house, speaking to the servant : "I don't feel well to-night. Give me a bottle of brandy, (and I'll go to bed; You can go and see your friends,' only be here early-in the morning." "Thank you, sir;they heard 'the man re ply, as he placed the bottle of brandy, on the table: for his master, and withdrerew; Pre sently they 'saw him leave.the house" by the back door, .and strike off in an inland direc tlon. Cash then took up the candle and left the room, and'almost immediately the light shone forth from the window 'of his bed-room. The itwo men 'sat patiently waiting and watching.; At length all seemed '"quiet within and without the house, and- Wilkins,. who had removed the false whiskers from'his face, rose to'go towards the bed-room 'win-' dow. Hedge whispered persuasions to him to abandon the enterprise, but in vain.: The moon was shining brilliantly, and sor rounding objects were as visible as in broad daylight. Hedge watched his companion, as he crept stealthily towards the house.' When he had neartly: reached it, " Jack saw the French window thrown open, and-Mr. Cash, dressed as if for a journey, stepped out on to the lawn. WVilkins stood, so that the strong light of the bright moon fell full upon him, directly in the path of his old master, Hedge beard him ask Cash, 'in a sepulchral voice, where he had hidden the notes. To his intense astonishment, ('ash never answered the question-never started nor stood still but continued, his .walk - to. wards W ilkin's uninterruptedly. The latter was walking backwards before him,; gazing into his face. Hedge was thunderstruck, he otuld omake nothing of what he saw., At last Wilkins joined him holding up bis band for silence. They saw Cash go down to the waters edge and unmoor his boat.' Wilkins dragged his companion to where their own boat was lying. "By the heaoens aboeo us we have him now ! His secret's ours," he said'I in ex cited whliper. " hVhat do you mean " 'said Hedge still bewildered. "Can't you see, the. man's asleep I' re turned Wilkin's as they prepared to follow Cash, who had already pulled out some dis tance from the shore. ,