Chapter 70983775

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Chapter NumberXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1885-09-12
Page Number32
Word Count775
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleFound Out
article text

The Novelist,

Eonnd Out.*



" lïow Christ's curse on my bead," he said, " But I did lose by that bargain."

Mallinger Dashwood stood for a minute in an attitude of listening, after the door closed, then he crossed over and locked it, observing as he did so some obstacle lying close to the wall that, on stooping to look at, he found to be a black


Had he touched the ample garment, even with his foot, the issue of this story might have been different, "but he saw a cloak only, shrugged his shoulders as if at a visible fool's presence, and came slowly back to the fireplace.

" So I was right," he said aloud, as he leaned one elbow on the chimney piece ; " and for some whim, probably his, they must meet 7iere of all places ; and he forgoes his vengeance for love, for love, poor wretch ! He must have been here when I came first ; I felt a presence in the room, but he heard no more than Tita may have told him"-he turned sharply as at some sudden thought and touched a Russian helmet that hung close to his right hand, and from whose misshapen jaws he drew a paper, and stood looking down on it fixedly. The characters traced upon it would have been faint by day, and in the dim light were quite un- decipherable, even if a broad stain (torn through its centre) did not mar them.

" And if the fool had found it, what then ?" he said, half aloud, " what then ?" It could have f»roved nothing, and as it is, Tita's son knows as

ittle as Tita's mother.'*

He replaced the paper, the jaws closing on it with a peculiar snapping sound-a sound care- fully committed to oral memory by an unseen au


" A spy-and she stoops to flirt with him. And ,Jack jätormoath" (he laughed aloud) "odd that he should be cut out by his own cousin. So there's another ?unfaithful woman-yet I could have sworn she was immovable as I, both in love and hate. If she reads her paper, she must be aware that he sails with his regiment at any moment, but knowing the impossibility of their meeting, she feels no more divided from him thus, than if he remained in England. Meanwhile-elle s'amuse. And Jack Stormonth is scarcely the man to go shares with another in a woman's favor. He shall have some news before long of his Kitty-and you, Tita, will receive some of your son. Mr. B. goes to-morrow, but he will leave here-Mr. Velasquez."

He moved towards the centre of the room, and stood looking down angrily at the invisible

stain at his feet.

" A coward'B blood !" he said, with an accent oi bitter contempt ; " you left her alone ; you almost deserted, while you loved her, and then you must Sut a shameful end to your existence, and leave

er to bear the dishonor of it. Tita, Tita! I jwould have loved you better, I would have shielded you better than that ! And you remem- ber me-the undying hate that looks at me out of your son's eyes tells me that. I can move yon yet, I can make your heart throb, and your eyes flash-while perhaps, little by little, gradually shrouded in a faint contempt, a chill pity, you have forgotten-him. I wiü see that look, I will hear your voice before I am many days older ; your son's presence here gives me the clue to you that^for 23 years I have sought in vain. You must be nearly 40 years old ; perhaps you are not

ibeautiful now. but you are Tita."

He walked to the window, and looked out. The mere was deserted, and only the waning light of 'the moon glimmered coldly over its expanse ; early morning was at hand, but without a visible streak of daylight.

" To-morrow this rotting shutter shall be re placed with a whole one," he said, still speaking in the soliloquy that he habitually indulged in here. "The door shall be barred, the panel se- curely closed against sweethearts and spies/'

Near the door he paused, and looked down on the dim outlines of the voluminous black domino, flung down as in haste against the wall.

" Fool," he muttered, then unlocked the door 'and passed out on the other side ; the key grated in the lock, and ^oe more the fencing-room was silent as the grave.