Chapter 65655203

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberXXXI.-CONTINUED.
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1892-01-22
Page Number4
Word Count3059
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleFitzroy City Press (Vic. : 1881 - 1920)
Trove TitleThe Rival Claimants
article text

The Rival Claimaits. By MDIRS. HARRIET LEWIS. Author of" The Sundered Hourt," " The Bailif S&Aerhem," "7he Double Lefr," itc., Etc. CIAPTER XXXIL-CONTLIOED. "Ah, no Lorry. I would give meuch to know it impossible. But it is true, as you will acknowledge when you hear my story. Listen, Larry !" Anti with flashing eyes, cheeks flushing redly in her just indignation and hIer horror, and in a voice impetuous and passionate with her terrible grief, the yourg Lady Nora told her story. She began her recital by telling how, sihe had returned to her guardian's house from a walk at. nightfall, and had gone into the library and the alcove adjoining; how the lawyer and the new earl had come in and talked together privately; how she had openly avowed her presence; how they were rendered thereby desperate and frightened; and she detailed the stirring interview that had followed, and whlich had ended in her transportation to Yew Cottage, and her imprisonment there in a dark cell. Then she related the ---eircumstances.. attending. Michael Kil dare's visit to her, and how, in her hot indignation, she.had dclared to Ihim' all hter-knowledge of his baseness and Ihypoc risy. She concluded by narrating the inceident., fresh in the memory of the realer, of Timt Fogarty's night visit to her room, his pretended rescue of her, his flight with her totBlack Rock. and from that pioint out upot the Channel; detail isig.als is revelation to her of his em loers ,baoeness, and all .that had followed, up to the moment of her lover's opportune appearance at Rough Fogarty's cabin. . a - LIord O'Neil lietened, to this narrative breathlesslj'. And as the clear utterances fell on his Ihearing, his doubts of Michael Kildare'sintended blood-guiltiness gave pilace toa'iconviction of his otter baseness and wickedness. 'L" My ppoor No I" he said, tenderly and compastionately. "This haas been a fearful experience for you, whose life till this sew-Earl of Kildare camte was bright and tdjoyous l And you mtet alltlhesoe peils naite! That was hardest of all." " I did not meet them alone, Larry." replied the girl, in a low, reverent voice. " 1 never felt alone when I was iout with ity enemy ont the. waters. Ie wtho guards' rthe Ihelpless and the innocent was withme.' antd I was not afraid."' The young lord took on .of the Iitle hands frnlo its close clasp on his coat anid raised itp geutly and roveretntly to hlis lips. "The coniversation you overheard in thelawyers library most have been t'f great importance,. said Lord O'Neil, after a brief oilence, " since it could drive Michael Kildare to plans of murder." " It was of gravest importatnce. lie told theoneiv earl thit he, Redmond Kildare, was earl only by Michael'asulteiance. He told him that there was a taw in his claims; ilhich, if it were knowrn, would cast him back intohis former obscurity, and give back to mse my old wealth and bnoots." Lord O'Neil started. " Can this he possible ?'! he asked. "It is. tedtitnd Kildare ts; in troth, atVrritpr('tltsIlrpdiiit"Kilfjaire, nor to the famuily titles." e Thtai why does Michael auppori his claims sp' .Perhaps because he is, tid' frt it; perhaps for oimn deeper rnastin. -There is some mystery in Miichaels conduct which I catint fat.hom. - All I kinowi is that he has risked everythisng on the elchances of Rediitond'as eocess, and that he would sacrifice me because he fears I msaymake his favorite trouble." ThenI:ledmond is not really the earl 'I". ·"Nsh. fi isnot, the girl answered cgratey. ;.', o "tAid ysou are Ilawfully the theiresoi Kildare; 'uNorei questioned the young lord... YesLarry." auSiicethisi a the cs," sasi.Lord O'Neil, "`aol tlie two men have handed togstlteragaiia t you, and Michliel Kit. dare~has tried to destroy your life, you are nit safe, Nura. Even in the care of Sir Russel TRyin you would not be safe: These two Kildares are dangerous enemies sad the sturdy old Sir Russel will not It able to defentid you frot themt. Ho will harve no conception of their baseness, their wiliness their intrigoes. He is an

intimate friend of Michel Kildare's, who is his lawyer in Ireland, and one word from Michael will outweigha. lhundred from you. My darling, you are in a position of the utmost peril:"' ' "I know it," said' the Lady Nora, quietly. " Then what is to be done ?" asked the young lord, turning in his saddle so as to partially face her. : "You are still a minor, and as such are subjected to your guardians. One of these is villainous, and seeks your life; the other is the con Iiding friend of the first,and would believe siohing against him. Norn,' never in your life did you need a friend and pro. tector as you needone now. Letme take i goo over to the Scottish shore, where we casn be married by good old Mr. Cowan. qnco my wife, Michael Kildare's authority over you will cease. Once my wife, Nora, 'savourneen, you will be safe: I will Batch over, you day sand night.. I will defend you with mylife. Say yes, Nora l-ssy.yes." Us looked at her with eager; pasobiat eyes, his noble face all aglow. It was 1 hard for Nor ito refuse a pleanding like this, but all her instincts revolted against astolen marriage. "No, Larry," she answered, smiling sorrowfully. . "It cannot be. W'. en I marry you, I mustinot do so clandestinely. 1 shall be married in my own chapel at Point Kildare, by my own dear old chap lain, and iith my household and tenantry around me." ' " But, Nora, when can this be ? Your guardian will take you away-toDublin to England I We 'shall be sepiaratedl- perhaps for everII But if you were to ,marry me, werinuod go'to Glen O'Niil - and~defyyi , sms"'"'" y your enemies=" 'u-" " The place for the lady 'of Kildare ia at Kildare !" said the girl, impetuously. "I hare thought out'my course while I inaushot p inold Rough's cabin. I"am coing now, first of all, to Point Kildare. The newr carl, or pretended earl, is still in Dublin-" ' But his mother is at the eastlel" "True, but I doisot fear her. I am going home, and shall resume possession of my rights.' I shall telegraph. to Sir Ilusseol and to Kathleen to come to me. dAnd I will stand a siege at Kildare Castle before I will retire from it'and give place to the new olaimants. If he wants Kil. dare now, hie must win it through a re course to the law." Lord O'Neil looked admiringly into the spirited young face. How brave the girl Nal! "Perhaps you are right,' Nora," he said. " We will carry your plan into effect. We will ummons to us Sir Russel Ryan and the Lady Kathleen. Lord Treshat is at Glen ONeil, gloomy, dispirited, despair. ing. ' Ile shall come ftPoint Kildare'as assistant guard. The new earl shall not be permitted to again set foot in the castle until the law confirms his claims!" "Which it will no doubtdo! " declared the young Lady Nora. " Sir Russel and Mr. euarn could not perceive this hidden flaw in Redmond Xildare's claims, and the revelation of whait I overheard in Michael Kildire's library swill go for ino. thing inn a court of laIw. My only hope is that these conspirators may in some way betray themselves,. At any rate." ihp added, setting her scarlet lips together resolutely, "Itedmor.d Kildare will find a sudden obstacle in his path. He must fight his way." The lovers discussed Nos's plan at full length, deciding upon carrying it into effect. They rode on slowly through the night and the darkness. It was nearly midnight when they arrived at Kilkeel, which was already wrapped in silence and gloom, They rode slowrly through the little town, taking the road to Bosstreror. After leaving Kilkeel, tfearing that their mode of travelling was fatiguing to the Lady Nora, the young lord dismounted. seated his charge in his caddle, and walked at her side with his hand upon the bridle of her horse. It was thus they continued their journey, the girl's splendid face drooping toward the noble, glowing one uplifted to her, and her alsy voice responding now and then to his passiontate urteraoipee The eight. miles to Rosetrevor were completed by two uo'clock' of the chilly October, morning, even at, the 'rate of progress the young couple made.. The Lady Nora was averse to going to a hotel at that hour. and after some deliberation, tbhe wanderers decided to go on to Jones boro, from which place they prociegied to Dundalk. They arrived at the seaport town after daybraktired od worn. Lord O'Niel, conducted Nora to the railway station, and then returned his horse to it owner. He presently returned, to his betrothed, with the announcement that a little in the neighborhood was open, and that he had ordered a break. fast to be made ready at once,' The young couple proceeded to thp eating-house, a neat, small place, where they were attended by a brisk waiter in a long white apron, and where 'was served to them a hot breakfast of chops and ten and toast, the best thatthe houseafforded at that hour. Breakfast over, the lovers returned to the station, and leaving Lady Nora in a waiting-room, Lord O'Neil telegraphe to Sir Bussel Ityan that he had found the Lady of Kildare, aud that she was now ott hIer way to Kildare . astle, lie begged Sir Mussel to come to his ward at oncb. 'I ie miessage lispatched, The O'Neil dispatched oneo to the Lady Kathlaen llas:aotyne at Ballyconnor, 'vii Wicklowr, reqluesting her to coute to the,L'idy Norn at Kildare innturdiately, Bis lordship theti rotrnp4 tp his charge, detailing whlat hie had done. i' "D;d you telegraph to Lird`Trsshalunh' 'keked Nora.' r;· `'l " Ni; it woulld have dtet no good;' i receivrd Alleen'e mesage by Cthe merest clhact, but aocli a thing might not occur 'again in years. Glen O'Neilis beyond te. realt of telegralphic meeasges. Itwduld take a mressagersa dayeor two toflnd Cas'le.Ruin, -.sut IIave sone especta.r tiua of meeting Lord' Trpgllat 1 at the Dutloy station. He tas a habit of tidi over there alimost daily' 7 Aftor uni huer rtiorsdof waiting, the lovers teitls~erdd ott tlhearjournoy toDuni 'luj byisay of Dclfast; going by the mail Theoy had a irst-clueas cotpartient of the rtilways coch to themselves, and the timepnasedswiftly. They were iutinished at last when thie uard opened their door, announclig 'thir arrival atuitlteyy. Os alightinsg, at thie atetin tue .first pereati te yotutg couple encountered tma Lard Treohotit.' Hia wa 'lookinig stern, silent and glo. sity. lIe hIsd egecd greatly durmeg tlim post few' weeko.; tito rpsttem, tiu~ard eyes, 'brightetaid as their ggzp restei stia tchediew arrtvds o nad ho lirrted to ;ais Shrs. aiod. Lord 0 N~estwal Hhoe stretchd Itnoda.;

SThank God, lPrr\y he;ejacilated; "You have found Lady Nora l Ihave ben prey to the wildest fears concern ing her.: Alleen' Mahoia arrived last night, and was met at the station hby her father, who took her onto Point Kildare. She told iou a frightful story-" "Which was all true, Treshami," inter posed Lord O Neil. " We are nowon our wayto Kildare. Come with us." Lord Tresham 'asented, and Lord O'Neil hastened to procure a carriage, in which the three proceeded toward Point !Kildare. The Lady Nora's astory was told so Lord Treshem, who proved himself the moat symnpathetic of friends and listeners. He' ,cordially approved - of Nonra's resolution to take possession of Kildare Castle and hold it unlil compelled to relinquish it. ""I have sent for Kathleen to come to me," said Non.r "I shall need her, and no doubt she will gladly leave her hus 'band for a few weeks, or even longer." !" He will not come here with here 1" asked Tresham, growing pale. ' I think not. He is a strange, moody ran, and shrinks from other people. liHe may refuse to allow Kathleen to come, but 'she will not heed his commands. Poor Kathleen! Tied to a man she loathes, what a sad destiny is hers 1" i Lord Tresham averted his head, mak ing no reply.. . I The journey to Point Kildare wiras per formed in good time, and the party ar rived at Kildare Oit-off just as. the first glow of sunset began to glorify the sky. The carriage rolled over the. draw bridge and came to a halt, as old Dennis. /thes bridge-kieeper, came hobbling, out of. his' gate-house to meet it, according; to his ancient eustom. 1 'The Lady Non put out her bright, piquant face from the earriage window. "Denote I" she called, softly. The haggard old man ruehed toward her with a cry of joy. ' "My lady I my lady I" he ejaculated. *It i my lady I" '' Yes, it is I, Dennis," said the girl, extending her little hand through the carriage window. "Iam coinehome, good Dennis." The bridge-keeper caught her hand in his, kissing it with a wild fever. These simple retainers of the Lady of Kildare had an ardent love and admira tion for their lovely little lady, and more than oine 'of them would have laid down his life to benefit her... Old Dennis was almniost wild with ex citeilent. : "Thank Heaven this day I" he cried. "Our lady. will have 'her rights' again. The new earl is a villain, as I said he was. My lady," he added, pausing abruptly in a gathering terror, "it is not to marry the earl you've come " " No, no, Detinis. Is the earl here 91'" He'as in Dublin, my lady, but is ex pouted back with Mr, MIiclhael Kildare." "' And the new countess, Dennis I" " She is at the castle, bad luck till her. There's not a soul on the island but hates her. She's gone out riding now with two attindants, and is over somewhere on the iniitiland. She's the ould scratchl and all. my lady, and it's we that think she tint got all the craziness out'of her yet." SSho's on the mainland T" said the Lad 1yora,quickly. "' A! ApdlMahon' Is he still an the island P' "Yes, iay lady; but the new earl has discharged him, and is going to bring a new stewart and servaits up from Dublin. And Mr. Michael's coming to teach the new stewardhis duties. And Mr. Mahon and the chaplain and the servants and I are all to leave to-morrow. And it's ejectments they are going to serve on the tisante-" i,.'Not jntyet " cried the Lady Nora, her suinny eyes flashing. "Lord Kildare must prove his rights in the courts. And till the judges award him Kildare, he must not1 et foot R4 this soil. NIor musat his. mother. You hear, pennis' We will stand a siege first, as my oncestors did in the old feudal times. Up with the dran-bridge, Dennis. We have found a use for' the stout old relice at last i Up with the draw.-bridge, and let dio one land on the island 1" The old man's face kindled. He was all pvcitplpept and joy. ' Aye, aye, my leady " he exclaimed. "The new cmotias Pain't iros pill here; and the COutoff in -wellpd, wilth the auturin ralno, and the water is fairly ai b'ilin' in it, so that there'll he no way to get over without they go 'round,' he added, perpetrating a "bull" in his pggpestness. ' They'll have to land from the sea side, if they, kand at all." He hurried to call assistance, and to draw up the ponderous old bridge; When she had seen that feat performed, the Lady Nonra gave the order that the pyi age should proceed toward the castle. LOng k iqPo thep new arrivals lad threaded the .lbgg, tree-alphed avenoe, and arrived at e: jr "eatinjiin, old Dennis an4 his assistaot had dons their beat to aproan gyrg the island the glad news of the lody Nors's liihfrinning. And when the cacriege draw op before thi great doors of the castle the Lady Noran was greeted with an ovation that brought the tears to her eyes. The chaplain, Mr. Mahlon, many of the tenants, all the family servants, in cluding Mrs. Kelly, the housekeeper, Al eeni Mahon the old Shane, were there to receive 11r- The chapel bell rang out a merry. peal, an 1 all iip elild4en of eer, vents ai teilantry, lately released from their small solfool-house, mode the air riig with their ashouts. It was a joyful hour for the late fugi. tive.? "I believe I have done well to act thus boldly," slte said, oas she sprang lightly out on thei steps and shook hiauls with tefr 4dputed friendsd "end jf every tl jsg evnf trisuiphlanh~lyure ifg cue iiiec hI iill fefhl I ciars dpghe tlji 'ItdaL I ciold' to' haop tioutsivhiph is ri~glitfilly~ mine', The movtion weaes iP f1 ppgre ese othell. old ·Dannis'a asssletot fame rugonliig to' ard ithe groups on the oastle lawdn and steps' "cryiiggout f' s . . !:t" tThe countes hb comea to the Cut-off, and she acted like a madwoeain rihen she fouid' the bridge oup and old -Denit re fused to let liher cross; Sfle `rode up and down; psif to swini arerss' Aitisd at lonte. il e sho f'.und py Iidy ied come abld taken posaussis, she hlittol hn lipg fist aiid casnei a big hcon 4od tligp she rude otf, eayiiga alip4 tgo is Dmn,, and lelcerapis Mffr her sop1 Ai the tioeser' santa sunt withto liar " That is oa well,"ald the younei Lady of bildare, her fece bri-lit as susiohinie. "''e'll take the 'sorurrs wlieii it ciuses. Nunwlet' nuc toate the joy. JThriw tlie easlye do'ori idi openni l isK Klly. Come jlall sfs, iiiy)t~ friends.; ~~· ' ofa return to tepssleiauig onthim arm 'aItlic i heal nild with nlai Tres CIIaPT~plIu XX~t It wee a fe hioslre latr oi·n the isnso i'ey of Non', relara te the meas lathat Tim SFogarty eaht iii the lIttle lrarhor at Yew Cot. Itsge awastuog M~ichael Kildatel ·:, ·!i .i~i·; Tub caohhnul: d