|Chapter Title||THE HOME OF NORA'S LOVER.|
|Newspaper Title||Fitzroy City Press (Vic. : 1881 - 1920)|
|Trove Title||The Rival Claimants|
! .3 . 'HA tRRITUWIS ii- lslite- 7 lllesIl. "CbAPTER VI. bout an hour later t young L y ý ar se1t put Tro'.aKildare Castle, attens 1 _ e housokeeperr and favorite , ehter,, on her:. expedition to OGIn r.. I?'he.?Lady of. Kildare had attired her sistl in .a riding-habit of bottle-gre n It colsakhwhich fitted jauntily to her slight. niiAgies. Her little head, from which her Sbroase'hairfloated in a rippling cloud, Sicrowned with a gay litle hat, from which drifted a long scarlet plume. Her hands were inchf?d'lh long buffgauntlets, and she carried a pretty jewalled riding Lywhip. She was splendidly mounted upon ,heer favorite thoroughbred, a thin-necked, afesy-eyed animal, who rejoiced in the c4 seese of Turcoman. ' -he sauoy little face of the youthfil t.Lady Nora was sunny under all its 1"i sadows. With her bright hopeful. tiaetOan, she could not yet enn into an OSiaitlr and unvarying despair. She hoped, S"' ipite of her better judgment, and in .' ,pieof frequent attacks of a terrible ,.dpre;sion, and was determined to keep ., up her courage until the worst was made Sikwown to her beyond the shadow of t Sdoubt. The castle housekeeper, Mrs. Bridet Kelly, had been forced'into the noeL "-position of duenna, and- the still mote` dnorvel position of horsewdman. The latter did not pleas hir; but she had nbt thneotrageifo r efse the gaydemnand of her awng mnetres". ' ..... s afe wswa fat,h baby-facpd old lady, the ,widow of a former; steward of Kildare, sa.. oif. oas good a family," shewas wont to, say, `.assany gentleman in iUlster." Her great pride, however, was in the s,-grandeur of:the?iKildares, and more us. ally in the Lady?Nor, whose beaut, m egaety, wit and sweetnesi afforded her x-,lnezhaustable themes ir her garruloh ."'Jr-?m ood ." " ' ,. • " " 'She was mounted on a sober old . pony, "uof somei scotikh bried, and wore a, long blo-ck habit, a'relie of olden times. On h'er hgad was perched a tall: riding-bit, v' ich had belonged to Lady;Nora, and Sfr?m?,under.the brim of this her. round . .r,? bahby-face looked out in a comical expression of genuine anxiety and apple ,-? 'eneion. S Beslde Mrs Kelly, on a piebald horse, ,-rode Shane, the Lady Nbra'es favorite :l eritor; a dignified, elderly man, with .i the faee' nd form of a; skeleton, and with .' the manner of one who' felt himself the ' gtiirjcan and proteetor'of the great Lady 'aThe 'Tilittle ,party. had gone but a brief Sdist' ce down the sea-ide' avenue, when . loud, deep baying was heard behind ti em, and three of. Lady Nora's hounds, t'nwhichhed slipped the leash; came boudd . tr after their young instiess. SLet them come l" cried Lady Nosa, c assShae would have called alled for their. "eeper' - We 'shall?r'int theite,' "she -h'lodded; gaiy," if web'artil the O'NeltlIn -?-his den I-Now for a gallop !" ' ` She swept on down the avenue, with ftsting hair andh abit, and followed by' .oer dogs, a glorids picture of the" Wild cl Hutress,' ast we: might imagine her ,afc hearing the: strange, old Gormi ,",egends sa .. .dG n "",. Shan., as in duty bound, pressed afte her, and good Mrs. Kelly, linging ito s her, pny a mana with 'both haiids a s - ehuttin.g her ey es galloped i mod snit. She scarcely dared' breathe or ' the. next mile or more, 'ad the, i'dy -Nora slackened speed, at the 'draw-bridge =and' went soberly over. . I Oh, Shane I Shane,!. gasped the :housekeeper, lifting one tremblng hbad ".hand putting..it to her sine, while- she , ,looked up imploringly into his grime, :martinet face. "It's dead I am entirely l a'. I can never stand the like of this. My flesh is. quivering like a jelly. Why i doesn t, the Lady Nora keep to her dogs when she rides like this 1 Sure it's a "mid freak, isn't it now, to be cautsing "two old bodies like no to ride like the whirlwind i" " 'Arrab, now," observtd. Shone,." the d )s.oiry'ra bha allthe Kildare spirit. I 'like, it myself. And she only taking us f.r thoumanuers like. It ain't polite to .call on a young "nobleman without ,ervants to show your quality. Let the Lady Mors alone .for knowing what's right. Wiuld you wish the Lady of Kildare to ride out like a beggar, her station unbeknownst r" 'Mtis Kelly was silenced, although she managed to disclaim any such desire. '"At this juncture the "Lady. Nora looked back over her shoulder, and ,aeein leer . housekeeper's perturbed counteuance, considerately slacked her. Th :. ey followed the coast roud, with the -: -sea to the left of.. them, as they went ri southward. and the hills and mountains to their right. '"A.bririst ride of a few miles along the Sbreezy eoastbrought them to anopening 'i ththe smouitain, :which opening> was the wide mnuith of one of thoeo valleys,' .; ::or.aleinu,',as they are called, which Ltriam is tfamw ils . h?'..is twasthe Gle O'NeiL . ':O"-ic BaOxF CorcR.nKc R 1 PILLS iis S0 ' ranted to rroe aildischrges from the Urinary Organ fastn eoihers'ex (?roied or eoroiitt iom?f OnrI,end ,;'?a'at the Bact. nuaranoteed ire from meleiury -'Seoldi blose. . I? ed enub h o l Chmistie lnd Patent "-ii ehiel1o'eueto?; Sour Prrollttanurv 'rm Li owis asn o mtam?.nCoamnmlieneaoCeL ln utogl"o
It rwah , .wide, deep valley, shut an by high :'ountainsa on ite north-whst', and south-east" sides, and open to the sea at one 'oens;, : 'melting at its other extremity into-thr-open country. iba-?'Glee O?Neil comiiin ed a vht' '"stat?qof fertile acres and' wood, with "a goodly sec?ton of bog in its,south* eastern portion. It was one, of the brightest, suntiiest places in all Irelafid,ý is'lated. amid its mountain-. ramparts, and needed only certain improvements to become avery Eden. It had belonged to the O'Neil's for centuries; during which the broad acres had become'encumbered with mortgages, and things had been allowed, to go'at hap-hazard, for the O'Neils were a wild, rickless race,, generous to, prodigality,. hospitable to a. fault, yet noble, trire, and brave as the bravest. 'The present Lrd O'Neil was not: yet fivean-d-twenty. His father had died some three years before, leaving to hins a glittering title, a noble name, an estate heavily loaded with debts to nearly its full value, and a number of pesant tenantry who had been ground down by scoundrelly agents to the very verge jof despair and starvation. ,The first proceedmg of the young lord was to etablish his home in the ruined hall of his ancestors, and he was the first of 'his 'name who had lived there for several generations. He next set to work to rebuild the cottages of his tenants, to repair their wrongs and adjust their rights, and displace their despair 'and poverty with a smiling peace and plenty. Holowered their rents, andbet toworlk bravely to: cultivate' hisHri;ianaged patrimony, with the hope of paying off the debt upon it, and 'restoring it to its pristine glory. The young lord, or The O'Neil, as he was cilled, and ai the" representatives of hi, famfily' had been called from time imesnmorial, h4d.all the best qualities 'of his race.' He was noble, brave, and d iing:.ven to rashness. He was gene rous, as the Irish are apt to be, agraduate of the Dublin. University, hospitable, .kind-hearted, true as steel, and withal 'so gny and bright and dashing as to have won the sobriquet' of " Wild Larry," by which, as by his more stately title of The O'Neil, lie was known throughout the whole country side. And thiiyoung fellow was the unde clared lover of tie'Lady Nora Kildare, and the winner of hEer heart.' The yauthfitl Lady of Kildare halted a moment at the entrance to the Glen,' a natural delicacy interposing to. prevent her advance. "But I must go on,' she said to her. self. "I used' often' to" come' to Glen O'Neil with' pzpa, and ri:, Kellj. and. Shane are surey ,e'scort enough. 'I am so inxious.and troubled, and I must see Larry." Shemoved.on turn into the glen. A broad carriage road led from the high; way through the very centre of the lonel valley, and this road was bordered with magnificent - olds elm-trees' whose braneches, like those of the' great Kildare drive; met overhead in'a bowery arch. . " This is the loveliestglen in green Ire-. land-in all the hide world l". said Noea, as they cantered over the road, the foot falasf fhe horstisgiving back amuinffied sduntd. ' ' "Aye, it is,': said Mrs.; Kelly, con ceiving herself, addressed," and looking round with an air of interest, while she clung.to her horse's mane with both her ungloved hands. "And a fine kettle of broth have the wild O'Neils' made of it, with their harum-scdrum ways,'and their living at court, 'and the 'cheating agents they had to 'the?fore, and the great big leak at the hbu~ig-hole, saving your pre sente, may lady." "But it has been to greatly, improvpd sln the yoneg lord sntered into posses sion," mused Nors. '!True for you, my lady," acknowl. eded Mrs. Kelly; "but it's many gene rattons it will take to lift the big debt they tell me is pressing on these fields, unless," she added, with a sly twinkle in her eyes, "it's true what they are all saying, that The O'Neil is going to be married to a great heiress, wholl lift the debt as easy as to.lift the little finger of hert, , That would be the old luck of the O'Neile." The Lady Nora blushed, then grew pale. The housekeeper's garrulous talk aroused too many painful reflections. So she cantered along more swiftly, trying to" busy her thoughts in. the scenery. In the very centre of the wild and pie' turesque glen stood the old hall of the O'eils, now in a state of wild and pie turesque decay... It had long ago lost its stately title, and was known as ".Castle Ruin," a title which, itniMust be owned, ras fitting.. " A ride of half-a-mile down the elm avenue brought the visitors' in eight of C'OstleRuin. It had;been a grand old,structure i"r days long past.', Its towers were hoary with are. The ivty draped its masnive'. walls,and climbed up to the old, leaky, mosa-grown roof, as if trying:to hide the ravages of time, and cover from idly curious eyes the poverty of a once wealthy lord. One wing was in utter ruins, and the bat and' the rook flew it' and out of its skshlees windows, and the owl dwelt in the desolate 'chambers, with no one 'to dispute his sway except creatures of his kind. Around the old hall were the ancient terraces, with broken raiings. On these terraces a few peacocks strutted to and fro with hnrar cries. The lawn beyond was smoothly shaven' and "well-kept, and a small park at one side was in fine order. In all other respects a great desolatibn reigned on every side. This was the place Nora had meant'to restore to its former glory and beauty. The cottages down the glen contained the tenants she meant to benefit. And she had planned to rebuild the old' hallin. a' style' that would render it thi eqtial'in arehitectural 'grandeur and beauty 'with: Kildare Castle. ' . t Her eyes filled with tears at the pros pective downfall of all these fine plans. Dashing these evidences of her grief away, she galloped up to the hall, her hounds byin, at her horse's heels. She rode along the terrace, and drew rein at the wide, old fashtoned entrance. No servant was -anywhere visible, but otlher dogs canie boiuding from .the stables, anid the pacsock screamed,.and a I general confusion reigned. "Humnlhl"' said the. Lady Norn. urueily.. " I thliuk a mitra?a is wanied here! Nou servants to h seen I : Ledi me sea if I con't brintg tee." Th-re .'as a littlehuntming-horn at her s:ddle ?,nw, with 'hich she wasa. wonui to call her dogs. She raisd 'the liorni to her lips and sounded a long, shrill, -muusicall blast thit, went, ringing and e mtinig through tis 'old hallsb ofCastle e"pRast wnll waleetmoe of these dad
peo I fancy,"' she said. laughing, nd herecome some one ow."