|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||Found Out|
He neither Mst her when he com' Nor clappit her when he gaed,
And in ana out at her bower window
The moon shone like the gleed.
Scarcely was the silence established than once
more it was broken.
. Not by Jack ; he still knelt on one knee, half expecting Dashwood's return, with one intense bit- ter feeling dominating all the confusion of his mind-thatKitty had come, had gone, had spoken with his rival once, twice, and he, poor fool, poorer Jack, had not even Bpoken to her, had not even kissed her ! And within two hours he must be at the railway station; within 24 hours he might have embarked, and be was as powerless to reach her by word or letter as if already the bullet she
had feared for him were buried in his breasfa.
" Kitty !" he whispered passionately, and cursed himself for having put Velasquez forward, wast- ing in doubt of her the precious moments that she should have passed in his arms ; and then his pulse stood still, his limbs became rigid, as light steps approached the fireplace, and a figure (how in that moment could he tell if it were Bhort or
tall ?) advanced almost to within reach of his
Bat in the next second ho knew that this was not Kathariue. The bodily sense of that one be- loved presence was absent, and mingled with the bitter disappointment of his rashly kindled hopes came the impatient thought that he might as well have chosen the ball-room to-night for a trystíng placo, as this desolate spot, to which
* The copyright of "Found Out" has been purchased by he proprietors of the " Town and Country Journal," for exclusive publication.
all the world seemed to be hurrying on each
other's heels !
If love had brought three young people hither, and fear or habit, Mallinger Dashwood, it was clear that neither love nor fear swayed the mind of this new visitor, but rather an apish curiosity as to the insides of the gaping and grinning hel- mets, and pots-de-fer securely fastened to the wall and against the mantel-shelf. He heard a match struck, saw a flicker of its light on a man's domino that swept the floor, caught the click and jar of more than one lifted and falling visor, then, as the match died out, heard a sharp, half-stifled excla- mation, and the faint rustle of paper, followed by a snapping sound as of steel meeting steel.
The next moment flesh met flesh, for another hand had folded itself over the one that held the paper, and as, with a half-shriek, the thief strug- gled to get free, Jack issued from the fireplace and dragged the figure along with him to the
" So you are one of Dashwood's spies ?" said a voice, surprisingly clear and high, considering the male garb visible beneath the domino, while a disengaged hand fetched him the soundest box on the ear that he had enjoyed since childhood.
" No-I'm not going to be his son-in-law," said Jack, imperturbably ; and so you're a woman," he added, looking at the man's hat, the close hair, the mask and domino-all masculine save the voice that revealed, and the woman's temper that
" How do you know that ?" she said, sullenly.
" Men never box other men's ears, and women always tuck their thumbs inside their fingers when they hit out-not from the shoulder. Allow me"-and he took the little rosy hand, turning it palm upwards, in which the nails were clenched over the stolen papers-"I must unlock these, and you can punish me with the other hand at your leisure."
" They are no more yours than mine," she said, between her teeth, '/ and you are telling me a lie -she loves Velasquez."
" How long have you been hero ?" he said, still keeping a firm grasp of her hand.
She neither moved nor spoke.
" Probably it was you who brought Mr. Velas- quez here to-night," he said slowly, as one who thinks aloud, " and perhaps he came a3 no spy but only by accident, to hinder me and my sweet
Kitty from being happy."
"You have little""caro for the young lady's reputation," said the black domino, with a Bneer.
" It needs none," said Jack, carelessly : " if all the women on earth disgraced their names, there would be one exception to the rule, and that would be my Kitty. And in the interests of Kitty's father"-he dexterously unlocked her fin- gers-" I will relieve you of these."
She stamped her foot with fury as she felt her hand empty, and knew that the secret knowledge by which she had meant to coerce Dashwood to her will, had been snatched from her before she
had even mastered it.
" If you had a knife in your hand, you would kill me now," he said, laughing, though with little mirth, " but before I go, I should like to know if you are in love with Velasquez-or with my fu-
ture father-in-law ?"
" You are rash," she said, sullenly, " for I can do her, ancLyou, more harm than you suppose."
"You can't," he said, carelessly, "for she is Kitty, and I am Jack-and as we've got each other's good opinions, we don't trouble ourselves about other people's.
He threw open the window as he spoke, and making as if to get out, he turned suddenly, and had removed the mask and was peering into her face before she guessed his intention.
" I like to know Kittty's enemies and mine," he said, " and so good-night-and I wish-I wish to' God you were Kitty."
Then he shut'the window between them, and hanging to the tough ivy, began that precipitous descent to the ground upon which none but a man with surest eye and foot might venture, but swiftly as he went, it seemed to him that he had made the ascent more swiftly still, with the heart bounding in his breast at the thought of Kitty, while now it lay icy and starved as a babe that famishes for want in its cold and deserted cradle.