|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||The Forger's Wife|
~ The Forger's Wife.
(BY "Hows ON.") ;
[Thisstory has been written for the Town AND Covxxàt JOURNAL by a clever little, persevering Sydney giri, who le blind, and has never, therefore, had the advantages and opportunities enjoyed by boya and girls who can see. No doubt; bur youn* readers who aro blessed with sight will peruse the tale with interest.-ED. T. & C. J.]
i CHAPTER I. .
" Do you think you will be able to find your way to your Bister Lucy's place, Linda ?"
*' Oh, papa, it is rather a dreadful undertaking. Couldn't Edmond go instead ?"
" I would much rather you would go, my dear. It is not Edmond she wishes to see, but you ?"
"Well, I will go, papa, and make the beat
"Well, look sharp, and get ready. I would like you to be away to-morrow morning if
" When does the next train go, papa P"
" In two hours, I think. Could you be ready
" Oh, yes," Bhe replied.
Linda went slowly to her own room ; for she dreaded travelling alone. It was not long before she had all her necessities packed. Mr. Hamilton felt .very anxious about his young daughter j but he knew that there was no help for it. She muBt
go, come what may.
: '^Good-bye, my dear. I have ordered old Mat.
to take you to the station in the, dog-cart. ¡I don't know where Edmond is j but' Í will aay goodbye to bimforyou." ., i
JJUJUl* Dav* uunu nuns
was a troubled look in her father's eyes-such a look as she had never Been there before. Laying her hand timidly on his arm, she said, "Papa, what is the matter with LuoyP Do tell me ; tbat I may be prepared for the worßt."
"Oh, Linda, my child, don't ask me," he replied, "you will see only too soon for yourself. Leave me ' now, my beautiful .daughter."
One embrace, and Bhe ? .iwas gone.
' Edmond heard of his sister's departure, and was standing at the hall door .waiting for her. "Old Mat. told me you were going away; and BO I
. ; /came to give you a fare
. ! " Oh, yes, indeed ; and
I pnly wish I were not."
;1V ;" Never mind. I shall j/ come to Sydney in a few
days. That's if you are . not back. I would goto
- the station with you ; but
I have not got one minute to spare."
So, helping his Bister into tho dogcart, he de parted. The roads were very rough from Ingle borough to the station; so that th ay did not get there much before time.
" Shall I get your ticket, Miss Hamilton;" Old Mat. said, jumping out of the dogcart, " or would you rather get it yourself P"
? "I would be very much obliged to you if you would get it, Mat."
The old man bustled into the ticket-office, and in a few minutes returned.
"Come on, misB. This way. I shall show yon a good seat." The old man placed her in the car riage, tucked the rug
round her, and "waa about to leave, ¡when she asked him whether he could tell her what was the matter with Mrs. Raymond."
" I don't know, I'm sure, miss.
' The engine gave a whistle ; and he left her. He watched the train steam slowly out of the station, and went reluctantly back to the dog
CHAPTER II. ;
Linda was somewhat surprised when she heard the guard call out " Sydney." :
" It hasn't boon such a bad journey after all," Bhe Baid, gathering her wraps together. " If I hadn't fallen asleep, it would have been very mo notonous. Now I am in a fix. I don't know where S-street is. But I suppose a cab could take me there. Hailing one, she told the driver where to drive her to. It was not long before they stopped in front of a dirty-looking building.
"This is tho place, madam," the driver called from his lofty Boat. iLinda paid him the fare, and
" Now I must inquire for Lucy." Going to a dirty little cottage where a dirty little child was playing on the doorstep, she asked of him whether Mrs. Raymond lived there. "Oh, yes," the little boy Baid, looking up in astonishment at the beautiful lady Btanding before him-" why, I am Harry Raymond. Do you want to see ray
... mother P"
t Linda was so taken abaok at this child being little Harry, about whom Bhe had heard so much, that she could not answer for a minute or two. She walked in, and saw her sister, who. waa once as happy aa BIIO, lying on a dirty bed of straw. . Qb.Q waa overcome with griof at the eight.
? .". Oh, Luoy, Lucy," Dho said, throwing horsolf
down beside her, " have you como to this P My poor, poor aißtor ! And I knew nothing at all
Mra. Raymond oponod her eyes alowly. " Who . are you P" she aaked, in a low, trembling voioe.
" Don't you know me, Lucy PYour Linda."
( Mrs. Eaymond only groaned. ¿ho was fading
fast. Her hours on earth wore numbered.
" Lucy, dear papa wished me to come and see you. Little did he know how your husband had ill-treated you."
"Linda, don't blame him. He forged the cheque only to save his children and me from
" But why did he do it ? He could haye asked papa for some money." «....... t
" Linda, he will never come baok to me again.1 He will die in gaol." ¡
"Now, never mind him.';'Let?ns speak about yourself, before it is too late. Have you seen a
doctor, dear ?"
" Oh, no. He could do me no good."
" But we must see. Never give up hoping."
" The disgrace is too terrible fco face. I would rather I were dead."
Linda went to the door where Harry was sitting playing. " Go ; go quickly for a doctor for your mother." The little boy ran swiftly down the street, and in a few minutes returned with the dootor, a young handsome man. He was grieved to see the wasted form of a woman lying on tho scanty bed 5 the lovely girl kneeling by her side.
" Oh sir, sir," Linda cried, wringing her hands, " save my dear sister."
"I am afraid that she is past medical aid.'
Linda looked, and saw it was .only too true ; for in those few minutes her spirit had passed away.
"Lucy, Lucy," she moaned, "what shall I do with your two little ones P"
The doctor looked on, and. thought he had never seen a woman look as lovely as Linda as
she stood, there. The doctor could not bear to see her grief, so, stepping quietly to her side, he asked whether he could be of any service to her.
"Thank you, sir, if you would only bring a
woman to assist me."
He left, promising to call again in the after noon. Linda had been so wrapped up in her grief that she had not noticed a little form lying asleep in the corner of the room.
" Is Elsie awake ?" little Harry asked, bursting into the room. Going over to the corner where his little sister lay, he woke her, and told her to come out and play with him.
Richard Raymond was the only child of Robert and Elizabeth Raymond. They both died within a few weeks of each other, leaving their son, who was only 16, under the care of Mr. Hamilton, who promised to do all he could for the boy. He and Mr. Hamilton got on very well together ; having a large sheep station. Ho took an active part in it. Five years passed away ; and Lucy Hamilton and Richard Raymond had grown in that time very fond of each other. He thought the time had come for him to settle in life himself. Find ing Lucy one morning in tho breakfast-room alone, he asked her to be his wife. She willingly con sented ; and in three months they were married. A month passed ; and he began to get tired of station life, and told Lucy that they must go to Sydney. She begged of him not to go, but ho told ber that his mind was made up. So there was no uso of hor talking.
They bade adieu to Ingleborough Station. Now Lucy's trials began. Ho stayed out at night, and mixed in all Borts of company ; and very soon ho had gambled all his money away. Thing after thing was sold to pay his debts. Lucy dared not say anything ; for she know only too well by this time what he really was. She struggled on, not letting hor family know hor troubles, until at last the great and fearful blow came.
(TO BB CONTINUED.) .