Chapter 70985143

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Chapter NumberXXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70985143
Full Date1885-10-17
Page Number32
Corrections0
Word Count1263
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleFound Out
article text

CHAPTER XXII.

'Tight on, my men," Sir Andrew sayB,

"A little I'm burt, but not yet slain j 1*11 lie but down and bleed awhile,

And then I'll rise and fight again.

If. the outside of a dairy-door could speak, and chronicle its impressions of a human face, it would have said that no such happy, brilliant, succssful an one had approached it these 20 years than that of Mr. Velasquez. Mary Martin herself had guided him part of the way to her young lady, and, with bitter satisfaction, left him. But I think no young man of three-and-twenty, however old for his years, can behold unmoved the spec- tacle of his beloved, safe and happy in another man's arms, especially when he was on the point of securing her in his own. So Mr. Velasquez stood there, looking, with all the color and life dying out of his face, and Katharine, after one brief glance at him, hid her face in Jack's

shoulder.

" Good morning," said Jack, dryly, " I can't get up to shake hands, but you understand that I bear you no malice."

Mr. Velasquez had advanced a step or two, the door was closed behind him. In the cold morning light his dark face showed the hue of ashes, above which his eyes blazed like coals a-fire. He was not looking at Jack, but at the back of a hazel colored head, and his glance, too, included the sweep of two! arms that enclosed, without throt- tling, a beloved neck.

" Katharine Dashwood," ho said, and at this familiar unusual address, the girl started, and half showed a lovely profile, "if you loved this man, why did you pretend to love me ?"

Then Kitty would have arisen: in her wrath, and without the ghost of a blush about her, had not Jack held her as in a vice, but she found voice to say : '

"I never pretended-you know that I 'never loved anybody but-Mr. Stormonth.

? If. the situation were ridiculous,! don't think either of the three persons concerned in it felt themselves so, and while Kitty (like any other shame-faced woman who knows herself in the wrong) clung to Jack as her natural refuge, Mr. Velasquez seemed oblivious of pots and pans as he

looked at his rival.

"I think, sir," said Jack, politely, " that you have-stolen-about as much as you have a right to expect. No doubt you will retain the document -but your dishonest intentions on the lady are

baulked."

But Kitty's sense of justice was stabbed by this, and she got free of Jack suddenly, and turned with flaming face' to Mr. Velasquez, then bowed her head as one ashamed.

"It is all my fault," she said, "I liked you always-from the very first-and when I-I got jealous.I> I thought' I liked you

better!" . .

Mr. Velasquez laughed, and his laugh was not pleasant.to the ear. All the bitterness of his overshadowed youth, all the silent suffering of an inherited disgrace, stirred in him now, and turned his nature into gall, as he looked in Kitty's eyes and knew himself betrayed.

; Perhaps he was not in his right mind then, or a devil entered into it, and swayed him, for when he turned ' away from- her, and went out, he had

made his resolve.

s ; It was a very pale face that Kitty turned on her

lover as the door closed.

; : " What is he going to do ?" she said in whisper.

; Jack looked grave, and evidently other things beside courtship were on his mind.

; " Kitty," he said, standing up, " do you know that I have refused an invitation to dine with you

to-morrow evening ?"

\[ Kitty opened her lips, but astonishment, and some remaining fright, kept her dumb;

" But I shall be in the fencing-rooin at rather a late ;hour."./ l , ' ' .

: " And I cannot meet you there/Jack," she said,

sadly. ?

*.'? "'I don't expect you," hè said ,. " I go: there to meet your father."1 1 \ ' ;

Kitty drew a quick breath, and Jack's arm went round her in case of her needing support.

" Jack," . she whispered, " what does he want with you P Don't trust yourself with him-and if you must be there, why I will be there too !"

'; " You can't, Kitty," he said, and a dark shadow fell on his usually bright face ; "there is men's work to be done between him and me to-night."

' Kitty's pliant body seemed to stiffen and grow cold as she drew herself away from Jack.

" Won't you tell me, dear P" she said.

",No," he said; "when we are married, perhaps -but not now. He has been very cruel to us, Kitty, and only because roy mother wasaFitz hugh-though I.think he would give you to Mr. .Velasquez if he asked for you to-night."

: He: might give ¿me," cried Kitty, with oyes that lightened only to be drowned in tears, " but I would defy Mr. Velasquez.to take me."

He shan't," said Jack, forgetting everything as he looked at her, but that here was a princess whom true love had turned into a timid loving

ohild. .

. " You might tell me," she said, but offered him no 'bribe; though that mattered little, as he was .one of that bold order of lovers who know how to

seize better than to sue.

" " Miss Katharine !" said a sharp voice from the -, door, and Mary Martin came in.

Her usually fresh face was pale, her eyes told of , a sleepless night, and there was a nervous tremor

in the usually firm hands .as ßhe approached the

young pair.

"Master Jack," she said, "I've not told my man yet-and I niislike'the thought of turning t out of tho farm where I have lived over 17 year

> and you can. stop Mr, Velasquez if you please,

though there was murder in his. face when he went out. It can't do him any good, nor you and Miss Kitty, to rake up bygones, and I wish my tongue had been struck dumb in my head before I spoke the things that I knew."

" Did you have any talk with him this morn

ing ?" said Jack, looking at her keenly. I

" Not I, sir ; when he said he wanted some pri- vate words with me, I just brought him- straight to the dairy, and said I'd join him-and to guess by his face, you gave him words enough, for all

the short time he wa3 here."

" Mary," said Kitty, aud puther arm round the comely shoulders, and kissed the anxious face, "I don't know what Becrets you and Master Jack have got, but don't you . fret-we'll take care of you."

"Of course," said Jack, heartily, and kissed Mary too, yet she was only half comforted when Kitty thought of the time, and all unwillingly, but in a fever to go.

. " What is - the hour to-night, Jack P" she said j but Jack would not tell her. And so, by perpetu ally prolonged farewells they parted, and she went light a3 a feather, along the way that she had traversed so painfully a few hours before.

Who would seek to weed out Hope from a hu- man heart? ;But if you eradicated it thoroughly you would leave no heart behind.