Chapter 64974367

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Chapter NumberXXIV
Chapter TitleTHE END OF IT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64974367
Full Date1881-06-11
Page Number0
Corrections0
Word Count1790
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)
Trove TitleThe Golden Link
article text

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE END OP IT.

Phillip Armstrong, as might be expected, felt uncommonly strange when he awakened the next morning ; but he had not forgotten the conversation of the previous evening.

He reached Mr. Bolton's house late the same evening and retired to rest as soon as he arrived, without even going into the sitting-room to bid Edith good-night ; but this was not an unusual occurrence after a row, and so no notice had been taken of it on the following morning, beyond Martha Woolston remarking to Edith that her brother's airs would be the ruin of him some day, and that this all came of indulging children when they were young.

As her custom was, Edith did not make any answei*, but the hot blood rushed up into her cheek at this, as she deemed it a slight on her father's memory. Even her gentle spirit was beginning to rebel, and Mrs. Woolston felt this, and her heart was glad.

She had not dared, as she had threatened, to inform Matthew Bolton of Phillip's last outbreak. Her last stroke she knew had been a bold one, and ßhe feared for the suc- cess of another even bolder still. She feared because she believed the old man had begun to suspect her.

Now, if there was one thing for which she hated Phillip more than another, it was this, that he dared to stand up- right in the presence of that man before whom she was com1

pelled to bow.

There was but one man whom she feared, but before that man she cringed as a fox wouid before a lion. She was ready to kiss his feet any moment, if he should desire it. She feared him so that one conld despise her for her fears. She could, as she said, play a bold stroke when she liked against any one ; but let Matthew Bolton be a spectator of the game and the cue became as powerless in her hand as

that of a child.

And she knew that Phillip feared nobody, therefore was she afraid to play this last stroke just yet.

Phillip spoke little at breakfast, and the moment it was finished quitted the table.

In about a quarter of an hour he returned with his hat in his hand and bade adieu to his brother and sister-some- what to the latter's astonishment, kissing her several times before he left hold of her hand.

He turned away and left them as he thought for ever.

And a very bitter tear stole down his cheek as he passed ; from the door.

í " I wonder why he is taking his carpet bag with him ?"

asked Edith as she watched bim going down the square.

Walter looked up from the book he was reading. " Perhaps taking some books down."

And this satisfied them both.

Walter suddenly asked Edith, after a few minutes silence, laying aside his book and staring her full in the face, "Do you think Phillip will ever marry ?"

" Marry ? What on earth do you mean ?"

"Why, I had an awfully rum dream last night-that he was being married at the Theatre Royal to a girl, whose face I knew as well as possible, though I can't for the life of me

remember where I have seen her."

"You silly humbug! what are you talking about?" laughed his sister.

" I don't see why you need laugh a bit," said Walter ; ' ' those sort of dreams very often come true I can tell you.

I shouldn't wonder at all if it did."

" What ! be married at the Theatre Royal, to-"

"Wow, then.it is you who are silly," interupted her brother ; " that's got nothing at all to do with it, it is only because I was there last night; but just you remember what j I have told you."

" I shall do nothing of the kind ; for I never heard such a pack of nonsense in my life."

And yet, after all, it was not so very far from the truth.

And poor Phillip all this while was feeling about as miserable as could possibly be.

! All bis calculations had been entirely upset by his adven-

ture with Julia, and he had come adrift rudderless and

chartless.

Two or three more days passed, and then, to the bewil- derment of Edith and Walter, and still more so that of Martha Woolston, he made another start for Sydney, where he soon found himself in the old place in the well-known

coffee-room.

Not a single thing had been arranged ; he was too bewil-

dered to think.

He sat for a long time gazing through the window, waiting until it was time for her to be gone.

He thought and thought, until his head grew giddy, then he buried his face in his hands and almost wished he were dead.

When he again looked up it was quite dark.

Julia was standing by his side looking down upon him ; he had never heard her come in, and she, thinking he had been asleep, had purposely not disturbed him.

| "Well," he said, laying a hand on hers, and trying to

force a smile.

A tear stole quietly down her cheek and fell upon his

arm.

He drew her close to him.

"Tell me what it isthat troubles you ?" he said, iu a rather husky voice.

" Have you left home ?" she asked suddenly, and appa- rently with a great effort..

" 1 left the place this morning for ever," he said, slowly. He would not call it home, "There was no home," he used to say, "where there was no trust."

"I wish you had not done this," she said, as suddenly as before, " I am sure you will repent it afterwards."

"Julia," he answered very sorrowfully, and in a troubled tone, " can I not even trust in you ?"

In a moment she saw her error, and said, quickly,

"I did not mean that-I only meant at your going in this way."

" What else am I to do ?" he asked, wondering at her

words.

"How do you tend to let them know that you have gone ?"

He drew a etter from his pocket.

"I shall post this so as to reach them last thing to- night."

She took the letter from his hand.

"Will you promise me to think calmly of what I am going to say ?"

He nodded assent.

" Then go back to-night-they will never know any dif- ference. I don't want you to leave them in anger ; if you must go let it be as peacefully as you can. You will be

thankful that you have done it afterwards. Promise me.

this ?"

And when he answered her with a kiss, and she felt that she had won, she tore up the letter and threw it into the fire, and the smile came back to its own place upon his

brow, and her heart was very, very happy when he said tb

bftr.

"You have begun your work already."

He walked with her to her home that night, and when he bade her farewell his thoughts were very bright com- pared with what they had been, before she spoke ; for the I sunshine of a woman's love had lightened them, and where [ that shines in its purity there is no room for clouds too.

That night Julia slept the sleep and dreamed the dreams of those who have done a good work during the day.

I The next morning Phillip wrote to Matthew Bolton, and ' told him how he thought it would be for the happiness of

nearly all about him that he should seek a new home for ! himself, and work for himself ; that he had done much wrong, but that be could not live where he was not trusted ; that he hoped nothing he had done would prejudice Mr. Bolton against Edith and Walter, who were as worthy of all his kindness as he was unworthy of it ; that he thanked him most heartily for all his past kindness to himself, and trusted the time might yet come when it would be proved that he was not so ungrateful for it as he waB believed to-

be.

And two days after Phillip received the following from

Mr. Bolton :

" Mr. Bolton regrets Mr. Phillip Armstrong should have thought it necessary to adopt such a course of conduct a& mentioned in his letter of the 18th instant ; but, at the same time, as he is of age, Mr. Bolton cannot see that he has any right to offer the least objection to Mr. Phillip Armstrong following his own desires. Mr. Bolton does not consider it desirable, under the present circumstances, that the intimacy which has hitherto existed between Mr. Phillip Armstrong and himself should continue ; but desires to state that there need not be any apprehension that the sister and brother of Mr. Phillip Armstrong will not be amply provided for, so long as they conduct themselves as they have hitherto done."

Again Phillip found himself in the dwelling which an evil woman's influence had rendered miserable, and, taking from his pocket Mr. Bolton's letter, he showed it to Edith, whom he had previously informed of his intention, and then to Martha Woolston, and the same evening bade them fare-

well and went to his new home.

And when he arrived in Sydney he showed it to Julia, too, and, when the tear came into her eye as she read it, he kissed it away, and bade her remember that this was the only way by which he could hope to make her his wife.

And from that day she vowed to herself that she would give up her life to repay his kindness.

But lidith wept for many and many a long day, though in secret ; for Phillip had seemed to her father and brother and all, and she prayed more earnestly than ever that these things might yet be well.

Matthew Bolton waited until he heard of Phillip's, de- parture, and on the evening of the same day he opened the iron box in his bedroom, and took from it a paper packet, and deposited another in its stead.

And he opened the paper, and read a few lines of the writing within, and he sighed and threw it into the tire.

And the paper bore this inscription, "The Will of Matthew Bolton, dated 10th November, 18-."

( To be continued J.