Chapter 70983536

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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70983536
Full Date1885-09-05
Page Number32
Corrections0
Word Count964
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleFound Out
article text

The Novelist.

TouM Out.*

BT THB AUTHOB OF U COMIN* THBO' XHK BrTB.M

CHJLPTEE VIII.

He turned Mm rieht and round about» Ag,will a woman's Bon :

* Then 'minded him on a little wee key, That his mither left to him. "

, » Si-.i'.L* '"."*' *. . ; . '. -mi ' She bade him keep his little wee key v

Til he was most in need.

Mr. Velasquez had spent one 'Unprofitable quarter of an hour in search of the domino whose words had so moved him as to drop Katharine^ hand, but soon he became aware that he was him- self followed, and was shortly addressed in lan- guage curiously in unison with his thoughts.

""\Yhy are you masquerading here ?" said a oarefully disguised voice ; "are you ashamed tc bear your father's name P"

(' It"is one that I am proud to bear/'.said Ve lasquez.

"His death spoke his elegy/', said*the hollow voice. .;. ..\

" No/' said Mr. Velasquez, as one stung-at un- awares, and abandoning caution, "it is left to his wife to speak the true one."

"Soyou ore his son?"¡¡ . fl am my father's son/'

f And you love your host's daughter?'* .

Velasquez did not reply. .. \.; - '

"And our host loved Mrs. Fitzhugh/' said a voice in the ear of the man who addressed Velas- quez ; "a woman was at the bottom of the fenc- ing-room business, and perhaps a woman will bring the truth to light yet." A

" In the devil's name," cried Dashwood, in his natural voice, and trying to seize the black domi- no, " who are you ?" '?

But his hand grasped thin air. Velasquez, too, had vanished in the crowd that each moment was augmented by fresh stragglers from the ball

room. * , -

.Black dominoes grew bolder and white ones moretimid, as the moment of unmasking quickly approached ; but one notable example of each die appeared from the scene of action at a quarter, £0 12, though shortly afterwards a lady and gentle- man in plain evening dress, but masked, might have have been seen descending the stairs from their chambers to.the supper-room, and mingling with the crowd already assembled.

¿It'was brilliantly lighted, and as 1 o'clock struck, the tallest black domino present lifted his mask/, and about 500 people followed :hÍB ex-

ample.

«Then , broke oat a sharp fire of exclamation, laughter, reproach, and there showed out a bril. lian£ dazzle of lovely necks, and of faces all flashed with exercise and mischief, SQ that such a galaxy- of beauty , was perhaps never before met together in that one room. . .-, -, ,"

BuOhe host concerned himself princinally^iüi remarking, not .the crowds present, but thé disap- pearance of ono important and one unimportant individual, to wit, his daughter, and Mr. Velas,

quez. ;

¡Probably their absence was observed by no one but himself, as bis hungry guests closed round the tapies, and Mrs. Vivien's clear voice congra- tulated him on the success of the evening.

J.He looked at her keenly, but her eyes were innocent, ber ball-dress crumpled, and as if it had be'en worn under a domino for hours, till be began to doubt his own conviction, that "thia woman* who bad loved bim fruitlessly for years, was trying to secure bim irrevocably by her knowledge of the most seoret passage of his

life., ... , .

J' Have you seen my daughter?" he saidj "but no-you have not been skating-and I thought I met once with Mr. Velasquez."

/'iAnd where are the young people ?" said Mrs. Vivien, glancing down the length of the brilliant room. " I usually find them out by their crowns, for sitting or standing they are nearly, a foot higher, than the tallest of either sex present !"

.."They are wise, and avoid extremes of cold and heat," said Mr. Dashwood. " No doubt they will appear presently."

" But are not these extremes met in each other P" she.said, innocently, "though surely Dashwood has btßer intentions for his heiress. "

" Possibly, Miss Dashwood has other intentions for. herself." ,.

.? Probably. But in the absence of an old lover there is sometimes as much , danger in the pre- sence of a new ohé. And there is something odd about Mr. Velasquez. Is he here in his father's name/or his mother's ? v ?.....j.

./< I never asked him." : ^ ?

" But" to-night he has been recognised," said Mrs. Vivien, "ançfl suppose by some false resem- blance, for I have heard him twice addressed as Fitzhugh by men who pretended to know hip, father." >???'

Maliinger Dashwood shrugged his shoulders.

"What will not old men say or do?" he said ; '* look at our greatest man-is he responsible for bis. actions ? And they must be madmen, indeed, who recognise in his private secretary-my old friend, Fitzhugh." «

" His skin is dark," said Mrs. Vivien; *' but his height and the shape of his face-especially the mouth and chin-are English."

" And what, my dear lady, has this to; do with »e?" ' ? ? .?

" You had a good deal to do with him, in Hf e -and death ; and" perhaps with his -widow or wife.". v

" On the contrary so little, that as wife I rarely met her, and only as widow once, when she forced herself upon me." _

" And as a maid you never loved her Pf*

But Mr. Dashwood's reply was lost in. a burst of music that just floated through the doorway of the temporary banqueting hall, summoning the wassailers to far wilder revels thajv had pre- ceded the hour of supper.