Chapter 65756024

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Chapter NumberPART IV. IV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65756024
Full Date1893-05-06
Page Number8
Corrections0
Word Count1173
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1929)
Trove TitleUnder the Great Seal
article text

®ate$ awl J^rtchesi. [sovr riBST rrmisHtD.] ONDERTHEGREATSEAL, A KOVEL, BT JOSEpIThaTTOK, Author of ' Qytie,' ' By Order of th& Gar,' 'John Keedhim's Double,' 'Cruel Loo f ALL SIGHTS BESEBVU5.] PART XV. Chafiee IV.— TheCoontry Real-tit is Town*. Elnur* Webbtiftd not o\er-estim&t*d her penooal Attractions. Unsophisticued as she was in regard to London life, with no practice in cooaetry, except npoo such ckUjhis as came in ber ny down in Norfolk, tthe had nevertheless pictured facnelf the leader in xame sxcb set of London bcilcs and sjcauix as Harry Barbstrad bad described to her. She expressed no surprise at the London streets, tbe m equipages, the* livened servants, the wonderful shops, the aristocratic bearing of the West End crowds. Any one might hVrt thought she had been accustomed to soch sights and such society all Jier life. She shopped and diacossed mfllincry with the most fa&niQn&ble 'w^i«*^ aad with perfect «An-r ffVid, On her first sight at the opera she created & sensation among the set in which yottng B&rk£tead was a, pa-gona grn/a. Harry was both proud and jealous of the admiration she excited. Ehnira was apparently innocent of the fact that she divided with the prim* donna the attention of a Urge proportion of the boxes. Tli» -n«-n w*« nnit* t*J;Mi witti *?!?*? tww

beauty, an fresh, and young, and striking. Ehnira eurveyed the house with well acted indifference, bat her heart beat fast and idriously with a sense of triumph. The old fconse at Gustor, «* 2accheaa, ber father, were for the time bring forgotten. She never ?Boe remembered David Keith. Barry Bark . Mad little thought wbat a bandfal of tremble he bad undertaken in bringing the country beauty to landau She received every visitor with gracious **se and interested geniality that captivated bath tnea and women. Her one object in life seemed to be to give pleasure to all who came within the range of her personal magnetism. Every man thought be had made a deep im pression upon her; emery woman confessed that the country girl was at anv rate modest and unaffected. Lord Grennox was smitten to the very thing he called hi* heart. He was twice Barksteadfe age, and had ten times his wealth. He was a married man, but his wife was very complaisant, and ** received n in a very miscellaneous way. Lord Grennox Tinted EUnira'u box twice doting the evening, and Insisted upon Bark stead bringing Madamouelle to Beul&h Home, which Harry did on the very next day, not ithat he was aaxiooa to- do «o, but Elmira -ftooldBOtlethimrpstaniilhehadreapoDdedto Ibis lordship's invitation. Lord Grennox was lDoUmousfor hisamour^ He was nerertheJew, a. leader In the fashionable world, even a ftnovrice at Court. Lady Grconor was one of Che most charitable women of her time, foresBQSt in every benevolent wort. Grennox biiuaelf «as popolar at White's and Boodle's, and be bad been known to give a voluntary adrantieetea bad loser when play ran high at CrockfendV On the whole, be was what men called jl goad fellow, and women, a eery dangerous max; my dear ; be knew, as little about virtue mxtd cared less than most men of his class in Ac fashionable world of his tisae, not that the age in winch we live is over «crapnloos en oondaonuf eadaX lnsdtts of the

Society. .As there was half a centnry ago. and before then, ad as there -w£U U bo doubt in the castories to come, tbere is a good deal of bowing to virtue and pasting it by, __~-;.- Tbere wen t» half measures about the pecatWloe* -rf Lord Grenoos Before Emirs- {tad been in ton a month she had taken leave of Harry Barkstead and sailed away to those continental cities he had told her of, under the protection of Lord -firennoT. Why should the. consider Harry HarkBteadt He had not married her, nor did I he intend ever «o to do. She had not bound ?her life to bis in any way. He had no claim .open her. He bad not honoured her with his -society for ber pleasure but for his emu. Lord (Tifcnnox had consented to settle upon her such an income for life as would make ber independent of both his lordship and Harry Bsrfcstead. Ebnirahad accepted his lordship's proposals, and had obtained proper lepal assistance to ensure the deed of endowment being properly executed and with botta mpde trustees. She wa«a woman of busines^andinarery short time had met other women of bosiness in the town who had given ber good advice, and men of business too, one of them having relations with Norfolk, and all of them possessed of the full knowledge of the immense wealth of Lord t.reiwwx. She was a born adventuress, this Elmira of the East coast, a 1'otupadour, «. Delorme,. a Cutleraaioe ; and ».«e held her on-n woes the young Queen Victoria was among the most delighted of the audiences .at Covent Garden and Druey Lane. Though dueUine was beginning to decline cren among array men ad a mode of satisfying wounded honour, it was sufficiently the mode to justify Harry IWluttead iu seiidiog a friend full speed after Lord Greonox with the -demand of an immediate meeting. Society and ceriaio journals *h*r reflected the vronsl phases of i teTife arid character found the dis -appointinent of Barkstead a matter for much gossip and amusement ; and of course it was taken for granted that the young Norfolk gentleman would not ait dovi tamely under the injury 'which be liid suffcir-l at the bunds

of the gavest and cleverest Lothario of his time. Nor did Harry intend to do so ; bnt meanwhile Fate had other business in store for the false friend who bad matriculated for a reputation quite as ecftudalous as thai -of Lord Grennox. Harry received a message from bis father to go down iramedUtcly to Ormesby Hall on pain of disinheritance aud other punishments. So while his ambassador of war sped on lus way to France and Italy, Harry Barkstead took the coach to Yarmouth, a prey to the varied passions of pride, hate, unrequited love (he still called bis passion for Bhnira lore) and fears of bankruptcy. He had of late not only far exceeded in bis expenses the liberal allowance of bis father, but he had contracted financial responsibilities that he could nor meet without a special grant, and bis bilk had begun to accumulate iu hands tbe least reput able among money-lenders. What be most feared, however, 'was £ir Anthony's anger over the afiair of Elmira Webb. Hib father was rich enough to meet the financial claims that pressed upon him, and Itad rescued him from tbe accommodating Jews before ; bat lie had a personal regard for the smackeman of Caistor, wod might bitterly reseat the sedac tioii of old Webb's daughter: Harry \ fore cast of tbe agenda paper of his sins which bis father— Justice Barkstead, as the common people called him— bad prepared against him was beside the mark.