Chapter 65584282

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Chapter NumberXXXIV.
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65584282
Full Date1883-08-03
Page Number0
Corrections0
Word Count1559
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleKerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Vic. : 1877 - 1889)
Trove TitleAdventures of Three Young Ladies
article text

ADVENTURES OF THREE YOUNG LADIES o CRAPTER UXIT. What a terrible woman she is,' seaid Kate, with a shudder; 'if only to be free fro the blight of her presence, I hope we shall esc cape. I shall never hear of an Arab or a Moslem without shuddering,' replied Jessie ; everythiing in turbans and trousers will excite my espccial horror. . if it were only the costume urged Edith, witll something of a blush, it isjnot so bhad. Well in his Arab soldier's dress, he did look splendid,' said M1rs Bacon with a smile. Edith turned poutingly away. She did not much care to be reminded of her favourite, There was a slight twinge at her heart, a twinge oi sorrow and uncertainty, when she rtoughr;of the gallant young captain who had irked]so much for her sake. The attendants brought in theusual morning coffee. On the tray was a scrap of parchment on which were written these few words 'Dr:nik without fear;I have seen to the pre paration myself. 'Tll inMoLneI.u.' 'He is very carefal of his filends, at all events said ,Iras Bcon with a smile. Edith simply blushed and sipped her coffee in silence, Half an hour later the moollah entered and bade them prepare for the journey to the capi tal. 'Ladies,, he said, 'once more lot me explain that"I have done everything in my power for your release. 'We are sure of that, criedi Mrs Baconr to whom all looked as sp keswoman, But though I pave taken overy precaution in my power, it is not in me to command success. If I fail, however, it will be from unforeseen circmstances. 'We will pray fervently that nothing of the kind may occur, they urged. You must be surprised and alarmed at nothing, he continued. I have commanded the caraven to go a circuituous way, in order that you may have the benefit of the scattered and sheltered oases as a guard against the heat. 'But the empress. Is under my feet for a moment. Keep your eyes about you and if suddenly, surprised by wild and savasge-loeaking Arabs, fear no thing. They will be our friends and saviours. HIe gave them a few more hints anud explana. tions and then retired. Our adventures remind me of ancient history said Mrs Bacon cheerfully. We are like the celebrated victims of Roman history. thelheroins of the rape of the Sabines. 'I shall never want any more adventures as long as I live, sighed Jessia. 'Nor I, added Edith. Deont halloa before you are out of the wood, said merry hearted Kate. We may be doomed to a good many yet, before we have done with them. As soon as they were summoned, all rose list less, Slaves in abundance looked after their ward robes ; they had iterily nothing to do. Descending to the courtward closely veiled. they found a carriage provided for them coo of those largo unwiedly but comfortable vehicles, which afford good roomfor four people. It was drawn by six powerful horses. But even thus provided, it was not likely to promote very quick travelling. Curtains completly concealed the ledies from view but they could easily move them so as to peep out upon the motley cavalcade. The empress was provided with a simular conveyance to herself as were her chief wo men. The rest walked closely veiled in the centre, guarded by the black guard of the haremr Another escort rode fast on each side in the costume of the picked cavalry of the em' pire. They were about twenty iu number. It was contrived that theempress's and the other carriages should go first, while that cone tainiisg the three girls and their chaperon was last. A portion of the cavalry rode ahead, some five or six on each side the long serpentino caravan, while three cavaliers in white flowing cloaks and turbans of the same colour rode behind. The last carriage was at least ton yards in the rear of the others; the drivers who walked atthe horses' head, shouted and encouraged the stout and sturdy animals. 'Edith,' suddenly said a well known voice, 'you can throw up your curtains. None are looking but ourselves.' They hastily drew back and raw nothing save the three horsemen just alluded to. 'We are at hand,' continued Lionel Monta gue whose face was died a deep mahogany. -Thank heaveon, dear brother,' cried Edith. 'Now at last I hove. ,Of course you know that my companions are Captain Thompson and Mr Ashurst,' he added, 'We supposed so,' replied Mrs Bacon, who saw that the two girls were too agitated to speak. Pray Heaven this may be the last of our trials. . The cavaliers, after a cautious look forward now pres ed close to the side and enjoyed a brief conversation which was like a ray of hope, a blue pleasant spot in the rift of a broken cloud. Hope was at the bottom of every word. 'But,' urged Kate, 'are the robbers the moollah speaks of to'beltrusted. 'It is enough,'.cried Edith, 'that he is. And then she sank back, confused at the warmth of her own explamation. We must put our trust in:him, any way.'put in Captain Thompson rather sullenly. '1fave you any doubt of him ?' nasked Edith rousing herself. 'Certainly not-very far from it; I believe him to be perfectly honourable in his inten.. tions, was the now rather sad reply, 'though'l do not like him. 'There aro certain nnaccountable antipathies in this world which can scarcely be exdlained,' quietly observed ?Mrs Bacon, anxious to come to the relief of her young charge. At this moment the moollah clad in his chain armour with a nmagnificent white burn ous waving over his shoulders rode up. 'Be cautious,' he said in cold earnest tones. 'I do not wish to prevent you from conversing but remember, should the least suspicion be aroused no mn?rcy will be shown. VWith one accord the girls dropped the cur tains. In that dreadrul- hour of peril and danger of hops and brightness they would risk nothing. The three cavaliers dropped hack to a re spectfuldistance and two of them conversed freely with their friend the mnoollabh. CaptainThompson remained silent and r~ served, A terrible struggle was going on in his heart' Captain Thompsonloved Edith with stern earnest and passionate devotion. He had cast his whole soul into the fray, and been what is called a hard hit. While they were securely on board the ship and he was indulging is what might be called amere flirtation-restrained from more serious devotion by the rememberance of the girl being a rich heiress--he had been halfinclined to believe that he had received encourage ment. Whetbor this was so or not would ever re main a perfect secret. But even if their had been some of that pleasant encouragement which a woman may sometimes give without any serious meaning. how could he chalange averdict. It was clear to him now that whatever her secret sentrments might have been they had re, ceived a check. This was ever since she made the acquain ance of this accurred moollah. In his own mind the question now was abould be retire leave the coast clear, and abaud all hope. Why? Because a renegade an Englishman who had abandoned his religion and nationally had passed like a blight between them. No,

Ho would manfully etick to his post and did they escape from this barbarious countrp, try his luck in the tonrunment of love. Despite his powerful prejudices against the moollah he could not .but allow in his own mind that he was their sole hope and sheet anchor. It is getting rather warm,' euddenly ex ciaimed Lionel. 'We shall halt at youder grove,' replied the moollah gravely ; and if my friend, Sirdcr Bey, does not play us false, their will end our troubles. 'But the ladies cannot continue their adviece in this bullock:cart,' cried Ashutst. 'No. They will have fleet Arabs provided,' said the moollah-; advance, and once free .we must never draw rein until we are out of the emperor's reach. 'You join us in our flight,' said Lionel.: I thought you had made some arangment .about the Rift tower. 'I have cast all upon the hazard of a day If the empressenothcr were to betray me death the most cruel that humanity can conceive would be my fate,' was the melancholy re ply.. 'But the false earl whispered Ashurtt. 'We'will beard him in England, John Rowen is about to sell up and leave for home His testimony and the memory of friends per haps may serve to reinsate me. If not-well there is the wide world before me. At this moment a - pleasant grove of palm trees was reached. Under the cool shelter was a spring which, after filling a. small well overflowed into a pool, which served for the horses to drink from. Thowaggons were placed in' a cool and shady place pro:ected by leafy screens of ver dure from the gaze of men. SThe empress whose countenance was dark and brooding kept aloft from the. English girls. Doubtless in her dark ane inscrutable mind, fed with ignorance and indolance denied even the possession of a soule she was concocting some deep and savage echeno of revenge. (To be continued.)