|Newspaper Title||Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Dark Days: A Story of Light|
CHAPTKll VII. '!*
Six; morithà ,Boon , slip away, full bi, hap-, pfoeas'to some, fun of regret ¡and misery to others, but no one could have told from,his, >-, outward seeming how they had passed with
Richard Barry. i; .' V:; ¿ ,' X For tho first threo months he- had suffered
V-ribly; hiB had been mental os well asl "^i-t pain. , Young and ambitious in-his proies, anfßciontly BO to make him-go boort anu uj into ¿ho; cffort to oarry out Major Sani. ,,B .prop0gais the sudden darkness thaï^ *0£0 on hhn had
seemed to boa bun,,, that he oould not boar. and when nlone upon - bed thoro had been times when, he asked ^aoU whother his reason was not giving wa-,, By doßr0ea, though, he,grew calmer, ain^¿ouid i,jdo from all who Knew, him' how kee- wore his .?sufferings.'... ' ' " -,
Xiusmore was greatly taken up by his pro fessional duties, and whenever he could steal time for a few days, in spite of the distance, he used to go down to Cornwall, his affair of the heart running smoothly and free from
rock or shoal, But all the same he found time to spend with his friend, and there were few_ evenings that he was not by his side reading to him, when Barry would go softly up and down the room, habituating himself to the place, so that by the slightest
touch he could tell where he was.
"I don't annoy you, Fred, do I, perform ing this wild beast walk ?"
.'Annoy mo, Dick? AVhat nonsense 1"
"You see, I want to work up another sense to make up for the one I've lost."
" Poor old Dick !" thought Luamore, as he gazed in his friend's face, from which the lost trace of the explosion had passed away. Even his eyes did not Bhow that they were sightless, save that there waa a dim look in front of each pupil. " Poor old Dick ! he bears it far better than I could." He could not read his friend's heart, and how under that placid, calm look, and sad smile, there waa sn agony that at times wai almost more than he could bear. And BO timo glided on, with Barry, as he laughingly told Lusrnore, getting on splendidly. He played chess and draughts with ease, and wrote a great deal, having set to work at tho end of five months upon a book dealing with his favorite science, and winning more and more upon Lusmoro by the placid, almost sweetly patient dis position he displayed under bis heavy trials.
? One evening Lusrnore sat in his friend's chambers, very quiet and thoughtful,
" Have you the big brief consideration, Prod ?" said Barry, smiling. *' Why don't you talk?"
, "Thinking, lad, thinging," he replied. , "What about? Secrets?" .
' "No; about you. I was 'wondering whether it would be cruel to talk to you
Thero was a minute's silence, and then Barry spoke, and his voice was little changed, but he strengthened as he went on.
" Not now, Fred. Time baok I could not have borne it, but my nerves have got to the right tone once again, and I. think I am manly enough to accept my fate."
: "My dear .old Dick," oried Lusrnore, and he spoke now in a choking voice, " would to Cod I had your nature 1 I should be a better man."
I " Why, Fred, old fellow, Fred 1" oried Barry, taking his friend's hand in a cordial grip ; " thero are thousands of poor fellows who have been worse off than I. Come, now, tell me about the Cornwall people (low is tho western belle ?
"Ahl don't ask me, my dear boy, " said Lusrnore. " If you touch that string I shall go on talking about my darling by,the hour. >Vhy don't you ask me something else ?"
Thero was a silence now for some minutéis, during which Lusrnore watched his friend's face, and regretted that he had spoken.
"I will ask you something else,", said Barry at last ; something I have longed to ask, but have nevor dared ; and, Fred,' old fellow, I thank you for your delicacy all through the past, I felt and appreciated it
all the timo. Tell me this---"
j Again there was a pause, bat at last Barry
Baid in a low tone-'.
i " I hope that Mr. Basman is, not going td marry Miss" Sanctuary-for her 'sake.".'.',,
I " Di tells ms that she believes tho major's ready to consent, but hopes that 'it may be Í' mt off. ' Perhaps it may. By, the, way, old
ellow, I'm going down-last train' on Friday. Come .with me ?¡ .. .','>''/,.-? ; . .
j Barry started, and his. lips quivered as. he gazed full at his friends; fully but blankly, and sáid'in a low husky voice -' ' (|',
! ''No, Fred. ". I could not bear it." .;-,'?". ' i There was another pause. .
¡ "Don't think me pertin'anoiouB," said Lux more at last. " I havo a particular reason forgoing. I must go, and I should .dearly like to.,haye, your companionship ; and Dinah, who! would like to see you very,'very muon, begged roo to press you to oorne.','' -. ' "But you are not going to tho Sanctn arys' ?" . , \ , '. ".,'. ' ' "'
"No ; to our old lodgings,,, ,Dick;,master all the'past and como.'.',. ! \,
" Would it .not.be painful to the major ?" ' ' The poor old ,fellbwr is a ,-wreok of ': what he was, nut I, knowlihe,\wóuldpgladly^Bee you." ' ' "','/'." ?".'- ''
" Well, I will comb, with you, Fred," said Barry atlast.. '..',;..'.",.".,: ¡ ".
i " You will,. old fellow ?. . That's, brave ! And I'll tell you ' something 'as . we go down that will please you for my sake, I'know."
1 Affairs were not happy down in Cornwall. The land was so fair, the sun so bright," the sky so blue, that it seemed ten' thousand pities that troubles should be made by man to mar what might have been a happy peace ful life. Some such thoughts as these often passed through Major Sanctuary's mind, as he took his Tetters morning after morning into his study to read, and those he left know why-that they might not see the trouble that his correspondence caused. There was ho estrangement, but a tinge of coolness be tween tho brothers, who now treated each other with a gentlemanly courtesy before their children. At other times they seemed to avoid each, the major going out in fine weather with his camera, but in a half-hearted way ; the captain busying himself with his gardening operations, but the old interest seemed gone. One day Dinah exclaimed pettishly to her cousin
' " May, I'm so miserable I don't know how to bear it. It's dreadful to be like this ; and 'papa is right ; it is all that'Mr. Bosnian's
fault! I wish ho had never seen him,"and
photography nover been found out. But I say, May, Fred is corning down* soon'; he don't say when, and he is going to,bring poor' Mr. Barry.!' She said no more; for she was startled by her cousin's pallor ;'and 'that morning soo went out alone. ! '
The major had taken his camera and, regardless of troublesome boys, was taking a few photographs ; 'Captain Sanotuary'was busy making some alterations in his ' green house, and May was seated "alone, when there was a step in the. little passage and, unannounced, Ério Basman entered' 'the
.room. '? ? . ? ' .'. ??'?'!: ? '?? .'.
¡ " Ah; May 1" he exolaimed, "alone Î - This .ÍB most opportune, for,I have come-down foe two-reasons." ',' '''' y '"' .'.' ..'; '-'"'.:; ; ? He waited for her to speak, but she made 'no reply. ? .--iv .--i.-'.---,-i M ? ?
' ' One reason was to soe ? tho major1 about ,his -company ; the other-can you not gueBS the other ?" ' -'-..'"'-. " ' v'°'" *
She was silent for. a fow moments, and; then Baid calmly,'.though it was evident that* she was agitated and alarmed-- 1 ? >'?' ' * >,-i ; << a if would be affectation if I professed that Ï did' not understand, Mr. Basman.' Why do you put mo.to tho pain of speaking?" '". '?'.
." Pain bf speaking ?" he Bald, in a low, ' angry whisper, as if foroed to speak beneath' his breath for fear of breaking into a passion.
! " May, it is too bad ! It is cruel! - Month 'after month I have humbly begged of you to listen moro warmly to my_ suit.
" I have tried not to give you pain, Mr. Basman," she said, glancing at the door, and he saw tho direotion of her eyes. -
" Thero is no one at home, " he Baid roughly, "and I will bo trifled with no longer. I have been patient j I have waited ; I have studied you in tho tenderest way j-.but time
goos on and I am treated'BB if I Were some.' silly, lover, and you were a : coquette; May,
am I to tell yon again that it is your father's wish that yon should be my wife?"
" Mr. Basman, I haye told you each time you bave so addressed me that I can never he your wife. Why do yon give me the pain of refusing you again and again ?"
" Because I know that I shall win," he said angrily. ^
" It cannot be me," she said, with spirit. "Mr. Basman, I will not listen to you again."
"You will," he said, with a look in his eyes that frightened her, and she took a step towards the door ; but he stopped her and caught her hands. "I have your father's full consent to speak to you as I do, May, and-there, I will not be angry. Come, do
not be so obstinate."
He tried to put his arm round her to draw hei to his side, but with a look of anger she escaped his hold and stood at hay.'--'
"jTow dare yon ?" . > ,
"Hew dare I?" he cried, "because it is time to put an end to this foolery. ' If I am not to woo . you gently, I must use other means-that you force me to uso, mind.
What do you Bay when I tell you that your' farther is absolutely ruined, and unless you make me his friend lie will pass through such a fire of trouble as will pretty well break the old man's heart?" . ! J '.
" It is not manly," she cried, "to speak to
me like this " . . i ;
¡'."All things are fair in love and-war,'
May, and I swear that ' what I tell you is
true, and that unless you consent to become my wife, I will use every means in my power to-Curse it 1 Who is this?" .'' . . '"
; He walked to the window; for there wore steps outside, and, Baizing her opportunity, May ran to tho door. He started back to reach her, but she flung it open, ran ont-, and caught atthe hands of Luamore. ?
; "Why, May, - what has happend? .Has this fellow dared---" : ' \ ?'?
" Dared ?" cried Basman, " yon' insolent blackguard 1"
Lusmoro would have eaught him by the throat, but May clung to him ; and, startled by the noise, Captain Sanctuary hurried in,! followed by his brother, who turned pale as he saw Basman there. _....,,. "","
. " I came in this moment," cried Lusmore, " juBt in time to. save Miss Sanctuary; from
this scoundrel's insults."
"Look here, major,".said Basman.inso lently, "I've had enough of this. You've allowed this fellow to hang about here after Dinah." ' . 1 . ,:;.>*.'
' "Miss Dinah Sanctuary, if you please," said the captain.
j "I am speaking to your brother, sir," re
" Ho rose, and with outstretched hands began to hurry away" [See tale).
ported Batman. " You hold your tongue, or else go out to your gardening."
The captain turned crimson, but on glanc ing at his brother he saw that he was, pale, his face drawn, and he gave sp pitiful a look at tho captain that the latter mastered his rage, and after exchanging glances with the young barrister, remained silent.
"Ive borne all thiB long enough," con-, tinued Basman, "and I'll pear it no .longer. That fellow shall not enter the house while
I'm here. Major, send him away ."
" Mr. Lusmore-I beg your pardon," said the major-" I am sorry-but Mr.'Basmari I-I really--"
"Oh, .papal" whispered May, "has. it come to this?" , ' ,,,,
"I am very sorry, my dear, "he said, J', but
j ,'f One,^moment,, major,": said Lusmore quietly.' "Captain Sanotuary, I believe you 'are,co-tenant of this house?"
¡ Yes,',I believo so, and I'll be silent no loogor. Brother Tom, I'll not Btand by and see you and my guest insulted like this." ,.
' ' '' For, heaven's sako 1-You don't know,'' faltered the major. , . . ; . . *
" No, he don't know, and there's no need to tell him," cried Basman insolently. "You had better hold your tongue, captain. Now, sir, will you leave this house ?'. '
"No, Mr. Eric Basman," said Lusmore coolly ; " and though as a professional' gen- - tleman I should regret to lay hands upon you, if, af tar what I am going to say,'you do not immediately go yoursolf, I swear that I'll turn you out." ? ' ;,..,>('-,.: n
|; '.'Mr. Lusmore-for - my sake-for my ? child's sake-be silent,".cried tho major.
1 : "For your sako . and for the sake of the lady whom I look upon as a sister, I shall not be silent till I have first exposed^and' then got rid of that swindler-thief would bel almost á justtorm,' and---',' i Uh-z J í . ' - ! ; " Will you leave this house ?'f roarod -Bas man, seizing the poker. «1*«:
, ":My good fellow, put that poker down," said Lusmoro. "It is a weapon that is use less against the strong arm of tho law,' and I- have'a little weapon in my pooket book; thafwill make that seem as'puriy as a straw. Major Sanotuary, I believe you did not sign that? I am right in saying you did not write your namo thoro?" ..... ::l: .'.,:
"There? !No; that is not my hand.1'
i !" Ño,"I thought not;' I was pretty sure. Now,' Master Basman-forger,' what have ybu'to say?" -; ?>?"???: - C
For' answer Basman mado a bound forward to seize tho slip of paper Lismore held out' towards him in his' lett hand,1 but tho young ' barrister was on his' guard, and orushing ic 1 np, ho naught < tho fellow so fierce a blow
right in the cheek that he fell heavliy npon the carpet, where Lnsmore kept him down by placing his foot upon his chest while he smoothed the paper.
" Now, major," he said, "what is it to be ? Shall I send for the policeman, and will yon prosecute, or shall we let him go ?" '
"Ohl for heaven's sake, no scandal!" cried the major.
"I thought yon would say that," said Luemore ; " but we have him on the hip, if you like, and it means two years' imprison ment, if not more. Major-captain, as a barrister, may I give you advice upon a ease that I have been studying the past six month?",
~, " Yes ; speak but," said the captain, for the major was standing with ono hand over his eyes, the other being clasped by May.
" I will," said IiUsmore. "The fact is, our dear old friend here has been fleeced, and stands to lose about sixteen hundred pounds through'the machinations of this scoundrel, who intended to have Miss Sanctuary's fortune as well. You can rooovor nothing, so my'advicé is-pleasant as it would be to punish-let the rascal go," . . ?
j" Yes; let him co, cried Captain Sano tuary. " Brother Tom, you will not opposo ? I have enough for both."
The major was silent. He seemed stunned, and remained without speaking, as Lnsmore removed his foot and pointed to the door, through whioh Basman hurriedly escaped.