|Chapter Title||The End.|
|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||The Mystery of Phillip Bennion's Death|
It is not so very long ago, if one counts by the mere flight of time, since Philip Bennion and then Ralph Hardwicke died. And yet it seems as if it had been a century ago--as if, indeed, there .had always been that black cloud behind. Ánd yet, in another sense, it seems as if it were but yesterday since I stood there with Nina, . and, in the full flush of his young manhood's strength, saw Ralph Hardwicke die. I fear'that in that sense it will "always seem as if it ^ere but yesterday- .
We hushed It up, the whole dread story. In that we" were able to do so much as that, we need give thanks. Save Nina'and I, , np one knows Just how Ralph Hardwicke died. Céntainly none has. the least suspicion of that strange history of wie. kedness which one would scarcely dare to say was human, which he had to tell, and to which, -whether I would or I would not, I had to listen. That same night, in my own Are, I burned that hideous pipe. I stood by and watched it till it was utterly, con sumed. Only Nina and I are aware that there was ever such an instrument of murder, and of sudden death. It is a secret which we shall carry with us to our graves. The Medici cabinet now stands again in Rome. But it is now. fitted with another key,w!hich more closely resembles "the keys of every day. The former key,-that "ingenious contriv ance," has vanished,with the pipe.
Raymond Clinton is still in full chase of those fafeuoug animal^ ¿cle¿t the/dogs, J fancy, he. wlH_
overtake them before he's done. Ryan has found . another place, with me. ' I think he is a batter servant to me than he ever was to Philip Bennion.
I no longer live in Piccadilly Mansions. I oc cupy a house of my own. With me resides Nina Macrae. She says that she will never marry. Possibly she never will. She declares that I am the only husband she will ever have-I, à broken down'old man! * And. sometimes, when she sits at my feet, and pillows her head upon my knee, and a great silence seems to wall us round, I know
thait she is thinking of whait I am thinking, and ot . what, strive against it how I may, it seems that I am forced to think-of how her other guardian, the
friend.of my boyhood, died. >