|Chapter Title||A VILLAINOUS COMPACT.|
|Newspaper Title||Fitzroy City Press (Vic. : 1881 - 1920)|
|Trove Title||The Rival Claimants|
1Rovelltt. The 1ifl Cinma"It By 311S. HARRIET LEWIS. Auths, of" T1e uSaderdd Heas",' "L The Balis schme," T: AcDouble Lif#, Etc., Etc. CHAPTER; XIX. A VLLAImos COM?&Acr. As we havessaid, Tim Fogarty, alas Muorple, was in most wretched guise. During the fortnight which had elapsed since his hurried flight from the hotel in Publin,' fter his recognitionofLumsBill, . he had passed tlhrongh the several stages of seediness and poverty, and now pre sented a strong family resemblance to the great tribe of beggnra which infests all the Irish and Englsh cities. It was a wonder that even his mother had the courage and the aflection to re cognise and to claim him. It was no wonder that the smooth, mild-faced, gentle seeming lawyer, scaning-him no closely through gentle, half-shut eyes, should deem him an eminnary of the fainher of Evil, and just the man of all othero.to assist him 'in carrying out his nefarldous plans. Fogarty, or Msrple, had not followed thie crcuitous route of flight laid out for him by Bassantyne, and which had been intended to .bring him at its close to Ballyconnor. He had intended to follow ii to the letter. and had indeed gone to Drogheda, but here he had fallen in with some jolly ale-lhouso frequenters, made their acquaintance, and remained to cul tivate their society nuntil his money was all spent in drinking and gaming. The end of the fortnight found him still at Drogheda, poor and penniless, his best garments disposed of for board, and utter destitution staring him in the face. At this erisis of affairs he had decided to write to Bassantyne to lend him money, and was indeed on his, way to a stationers to invest his last three-pence in paper, pen and a stamp for the par. pose, when to his horror he eneosnteted his old enemy, Lame Bill, face to fsce. Losing his courage utterly at thin crc contre, and comprehending in an instant that Lame Bill was searching for him, Fogarty turned and fled down the nearest street, darting into alleys and hallways, and never resting until he had distanced Lane Bill, who had sprung after him in quick pursuit. The fugitive did not return to the inn where heahsd been lounging, bat, with a wholesome horror of the law, with which Lame Bill was now associated in his eyes, he struck out for the open country, and made his way by slow and circuitous outes to Clondalkin, begging his food as he went, and sleeping at night in brick yards or under edges. He had arrived at Clondalkin a half ho'r before midnight on this night of Michael Kildare's visit to his ward, and led stolen, with slow and creeping steps, to Yew Cottlage. He -ntered the cottage like a burglar, and' found himself, to his terror and amazement, confrented not only by his mother, hut by thes Dubin lawyer, whom he had formerly known, sad whom he ruregninsdin an instant. - That his eneounter with Mr. Kildarc hbded him no good he seemed to feel in atinctly, fir he tried desperately to break loose from his mother's clinging embrace, treating her with a roughaness which he might have bestowed upon Lame Bill himself. "I-tc me go, will yeou ?" he cried, half choked and wholly maddened. "Let go your hold, I say. Do you want to hang me f He tore frto his neck her Ieng, stout arms, and walhout to make his wecap-. when the lawycr quietly closed and locked the door, withdrawing the key. . Whit are you afraid of. Tim l'! asked air. Kildare, in his soft. mellifluous tones. " Not of me, eurely? I woildn't aetray you for a thousand pounds. You are as safe 'with moe as with your own nether." y ,Fi rny-isoked. at thes S'er-iesubt "'fulls and sblli-nly, and with a treacherous expresson in his ejyes. As he had no mane-. he regarded a lawyer as his na tura1 enemy. -'1 know all about youn," continued Mr. Kildare. fixing his cat-like raze full upon she fugitive. " I know that you are an escaped convict, and that the Dublin police, through some strange quarter. have got wind of your presence in the country. I know, too, that they arelook ing for you and a fellow-conviet of yours --a scheming. murderous fellow, with the manners and looks of a gentliean. I know that a heavy reward is oftread for this man's capture and yours, sand that more than one person is anxious to handle the reward money." The fugitive breathed hard. A 5anger inis look nappear d on his savrage face. He worked his hands nervously. "You know too much I' he muttered. The lawyer smiled. "Not so," he answered. "I like a fellow of pluck. I like you, Tim Fogarty. You have only to any the word and you and I can be friends, and on the btest of terms. More than that--while I am pro
tecting you I can put you in the way of 1 making a. bit of money. I have got a little irregular business on hand. and I want somebody to help me in it." "Irregular, eh?" muttered Tim. " Well. I'm your man. I'm used to 'ir regular' business-I am. Anything in I the way of a house burning. That's what Itook my voyage for, you may remember; or would you want something thatanother chap owna? I am good at lagging." I'll tellyou what I want, but not just yet," said Mr. Kildare. "Just now vou want food and drink. You look famished." "lain, very near," aosented Fogarty. "I've had nothing to eat since noon." "Then the first thing to be done is to give you some food," said the lawyer. "Mro. Fogarty, the shutters are closed in the parlor, and Tim and I will go in there and wait while you bring up somes eupper.", As he spoke he opened the parlor door and passed into the room, taking the candle with him. Tim followed him. Left to themselves, the two men sat down facing each other, and soon arrived at an understanding, so far that Fogarty trusted the lawyer and felt at eassi in his presence, and Kildare came to the con elusion that by playing upon the fears and tho greed of th esnaped convict he could mould him to his will. Mrs. Fogarty came rp with another! light, and a tray laden with cold meat, bread, and a bottle of ale, she having ! weakness for Dublin porter and kIindred beverages. The fugitive took the tray on his knees and fell to eating as if nearly starred. .?ielawyer watchled im as he ate, ands istidied his countenance closely. "He has more of the animal in him than of the intellectual," thought Kil dare. "Odd that there's such a differ ence in families. There's Mrs. Liff y, this fellow's aunt, who only needs fine clotlhes to blossom out as alady. Icould do worse than marry her, although I don't intend to do-that. And here's Mrs. Fogarty, Ifrs. Liffey's sister, also agentle woman by birth, hut of coarse nature ad vulgar soul. ready to do anything bad for money. And here's Mrs. Fogarty a son, who oughtitobe a respectable trades man, or even an architect, like Ir. Liffoy, or a professional man; and what ishe ? No street gamin grown tomanhood could have greater aptitude for crime than Tim Funarty. And no street thief has a viler record than he. 'And perhaps, as as,far as I am concerned, it is just as well. If I were to marry Mrs. Liffoy, no one would ever need to know that this wretch Fogarty is her nephew. But I do not intend to marry her, and shall get rid of her just when she ceases to be use ful to me. So with this fellow. -. Mean while, he can be very useful to me. None of these dark reflections, how ever, appeared in the gentle,soft-featured face of the elderly lawyer. Instead, a benevolent smile glowed on his delicate visag9, and he stroked his shin leisurely with one small, white hand. . When Fogarty had appeased his hun rer and cleared the tray, the lawyer said: " Now, you may leave us, Mrs. Fo garty. Tin and Iave butiess to talk over. Yenuwill have the rest of the night to talk with him, you know." The widow assented, and took up the tiny with the extra light and with drew. When the sound of her footsteps had died out of the hall, and Mrs. Fogarty had gone up to her own room, Mr. Kildare quietly locked the parlor door, sed drew his chair to that of the fugitive .*Now let uns undertand each. other. yny frisnd.e.Lheisld:o" "=I'hsve'got'a big job on hand for you. You will have to work cautiously, and in disguise.' When you shall have finished the job I shall re lui'e you to leave thfie country-to emi grate, in fact." " On twenty pounds r' "No; if the job is well done, you shall have enough to take you across the ocean and set you up is some decent business. But it must be understood that you will go." "Oh, yes, I'll go," saiud Fogerty,glibly, adding, mentally, that he would go down to Wicklow and hide at Ballyconnor, where he would be -as safe as in America. " And now, what is the busi. ners 1" The lawyer hesiLtated. He was not a man to put himself in the power of another; yet here it became absolutely necessary, for the furtherance of his plan". to make a confidant of some sort li this man. After a little silence spent in close study of Fogarry's countenance, Mr. Kil dare drew still nearer to the fugitive con vict and Mid: "You may know, Tim, that I am an associate guardian of my young kins. ronian, the Lady NoHera lildare." "Yes.I know." " Another claimant has lately arisen to Point Kildare, and this new claim ant is now the earl, and in full posses sion= "'I know that, too," interrupted Fo garty, hastily and unguardedly. "You do? Ah, you saw it in the papers? It's the great sensation of the day with the Lady Kathleen Connor'a singular and sudden marriago. They form the chief subject of conversation at every club, party, assembly or ale-house. Every journal contains some allusion to these two sensations. High and low alike discuss them. The new Earl of Kildare will be the lion of the season, if he will only show himself. He is a hand souse fellow, and worthy of his exalted position." "Is Ie at Kildare Castle now I" asked Fogarty. .No, ho in in Dublin on abness.i see him often. In fact, Iwanted him to stay at my house. as I am his ljnsaman, and am tobe his lawyer, but he preferred a hotel. But to return to the point. My ward, the Lidy Nora Kildare, is now my especial charge, Sir Russel -Ryan giving upbhis pot nith the los of her property. I t has been mywisbh that Nora sbsuld marry hoer cousin, but she refuses. She is an obetinate, selferilled creature, and has made me much trouble." " It is the way of gals !" observed Fo garty, sententiously. "She was so rebellious, in fact," said the lawyer, keeping a keen watch on his company through his sleepy-lookinc eyes, " that 1 was obliged to deal harshly with her. In abort, Fogasty, I brought her to his house four nights ago. And she is up stairs at this moment, a helpless prisonerS" Fogarty nearly leaped from his chair. " In this houtse !" he ejaculated. "Yes, in the dark rooto at bhe head of the stairo. She is poor, withouo money and without friends. I hase gioen out in Dublin that she is going down to Dally connor. And-there is one thing more, - Pogarty. The girl is in my way I"