Chapter 70982780

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70982780
Full Date1885-08-22
Page Number32
Corrections0
Word Count1191
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleFound Out
article text

The Novelist,

Found Out.*

Br THE AUTHOR OF " COMIN* THRO* THE 'RTE."

CHAPTER HI.

Shining was the painted lia* , Wi'gladsum torches bricht,

' ' Full twenty gowden dames sato there

And ilk one by a kniclit : Wi' music cheer

, To please the ear,

When beauty pleased the sieht.

The host and the private secretary did not approach each other until the. gentlemen left the dinner for the ball-room, and then it was at once visible that they were the two handsomest men in it, though a difference of 25 years lay between

them.

Their rapprochement was in so far curious that each waited for the other to speak/and over the eyes of both an invisible curtain seemed suddenly drawn, leaving them blank of speculation, or even natural inquiry, as they looked at each other.

" You remind me of some one I once knew, Mr. Velasquez/' said. his host, after a moment or two of silence, in which there was yet no hesi-

tation.

" A lady ?" said Velasquez; ; ~

"A lady. She lived in this neighborhood for many years-r"

" And her name ?" : said Velasquez, his sombre eyes rayless as pools of ink. î,

'* Mrs.-Fitzhugh, the wife of my friend."

"Ihave heard the Btory/' said Mr. Velasquez ; and then Mr. Dashwood's duties took him away, and in a few minutes the dance had begun.

?Perhaps those present numbered a hundred souls, all told-all pleasant to the eye, all be nt on dancing the old year out and the new year in, and all as heathenishly oblivious to the sins of the past year, as they were ready to cornmit .them over-again in the coming one.

All save two persons, one of whom was dancing .-with Katharine ; for seeing him quite alone, she had asked if she should find him a partner? ."Whereupon he had taken her, and Mailinger Dashwood had smiled, then at the first opportu- nity asked Mr. B-- where he had picked up his

secretary..

; Ho found the great man happy, his eagle eye roving from charm to charm, and wishing that .like the census he could, embrace them: all; and .only in the interval of his spasms of admiration could be extracted any information as to Mr. Ve lasque.

..'^Yes-yes, a handsome fellow-and I know that you like handsome fellows ; but look at that 'woman's' back-and this , one's shoulders-and there's an arm !, where did I pick him up ? > Oh ! he's a protege ol my wife-r-and he does light work ?for me-his parents are dead--look ' at tthat goddess in amber ! Introduce me, for Heaven's sake-and if her husband isn't a peer, I'll make

him one." ' . - j

. « But she must make you happy first; Baid Mr. Dashwood with' a slight smile, as he moved away ;. and . having effected, the. introduction, glanced cynically around on an assemblage out of which he would only have owned one as daughter and not one as wife. , : .; ' j: =. . . ¡ :. Not that there was a woman present that the most tight-laced dowager in: society could have 5resumed to flout, or refuse to introduce to her

aughters. No reckless Monad flung her arms aloft, here, no Bacchanal. with roving glances swam jinthe dance; the only difference between this ball room (apart from its planning) and any bther in thé county, lay in the loveliness of the women, and the perfection of their adorning; but this seemed a great deal to the handsome out- siders present that night. .

... .Perhaps the room helped them-for Mallinger Dashwood had too keen a perception of the beauty of a woman's skin to offer it a light background, and so gave it a foil in a wainscoting, of black oak ' to the height of 20 feet j but set the wax lights Somewhat low, leaving such curious eyes as. could raise themselves so high, to follow _ the friskings of those gods or goddesses who, whether on the upper walls ¡ or ceiling, seemed never to have frisked enough-for their own and lovers* content.

Few men lifted their eyes so high, the flesh and blood, charms below contented them so well ;. but to-night a giri looked up, and her partner's eyes followed, for already it seemed natural to him to note her every word and glance, just as he and she seemed the only pair possible to.each other out of thé whole room.

.The women said, with a sneer, that she danced with him because, save her father,"there was-not another man present by whom her stature would not look uncouth 5 but Katharine - had scarcely noticed her.;partner's looks, she had: onlyi felt drawn to him by.joné of those curious instincts of natural affinity, of like towards likej that reveals itself when two persons meet in-the midst of sur- roundings that in each of them equally: arouse mistrust, or fear. ^ " - . ...

; ."The ceiling-is beautiful,'* said Mr. .Velasquez,. " but tho room above it must bo more beautiful still." .*.-.

She started violently, and looked at him with a lightning dread, suspicion, and tremor all in one. In söme subtle way she felt him to understand-^ BO that fox a minuto the two stood gazing at each other, with an. egression curidúsly ont of place in the ball-rd'om, and offering a tiirget to the eyes

and worEs of the lo'okers-on. .

"Are your thoughts of Heaven ?" said a wo- man's voice beside Malhnger, and tho tap of a flower fell on his arm, " for surely the young pair you are watching have found it.". . .

" No," said her host, " I was . thinking at that moment of Providence (how it brings all things to those who wait), even revenge. And as a case in point, see this lace flounce in tatters j and now Mrs. Vivien is happy-for Providence-has de- stroyed tho only stumbling-block . to hor * being tho bost dressed woman in the room." v ,

- . Tb9 copyright öf 0 Found Out" has bean purchased by

the proprietors of the 11 Xowu awi Country Journal/* far wHbisiw pitidicatios» " ..

í'Next tb your daughter," said Lady Alice, ruefully. " Dear Dasnwood, if you must have her here to eclipse us all, why on earth could you not leàvé her to the mercies of a country dress- maker? All our men are in love with her, but not one of them dare KO near her for fear of of- fending us."

"There is Bafety in numbers," said Mallinger,

carelessly.

,rBut not with a Mr. Velasquez," said Lady Alice, gathering her tatters around her prepara- tory to flight. " Can't you see that on both sides it is a case of love at first sight ?"

"Ia it?" said Dashwood, and smiled as the lady fluttered away-then his face changed, an extraordinary expression playing upon it, but in- scrutable to the eyes that at intervals had intently watched him throughout the evening.