Chapter 75654768

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75654768
Full Date1883-12-22
Page Number8
Corrections0
Word Count1415
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWarwick Argus (Qld. : 1879 - 1901)
Trove TitleThe Maitlands
article text

CBAPTEB V.

Henry MaiUand's property adjoined Bargooma. The two homesteads were aoout five miles spurt. Maitland was not much of a sportsman himself he WAS too keen and. too eager in bis pursuits of wealth to indulge in Snob frivolities; but, with his usual cunning, he pretended an enthusiasm which he did not feel for sport, in order to keep op his assumed character of IJnff carelessness and good nature. On his property, however, were many

51aoes famous as the favourite haunts of snipe.

'ha first shooting of the season was generally to

he obtained along the dnck-hatinned crooks, and round the edges of the rich swamps of Yambaar,

which was lite name of his station.

8 inco the death of Walter Maitland there were strange whispers as to the peculiar life led by the present proprietor, Henry Maitland. Although, when he mixed with the neighbours, or when his business took him into the nearest township, there was no apparent difference in the man, it was rumoured that he shut himself up periodically, and had prolonged bouts of aolitary drinking.

One day, about a fortnight after the arrival of Victor and Lucy at Bargooma, Honry Maitland rode over, to invito Mr. Campbell and his friends to a days snipe-shooting.

Lucy had no suspicion that he was her father's murderer; but she knew the part he had acted after her father's death, and she shuddered as he insisted upon shaking hands with her, after the formal oeremony of introduction.

Victor Levison and Detective Smith had their own reasons for appearing on friendly tortus with the man whose crimes they were endeavouring to trace. They did not wish to arouso his suspicions, and therefore they accepted his invitation with ap parent pleasure. " You will bring tbo ladies too, Campbell,0 said Maitland, in parting, "we will make a regular pic-nio of it. It is not often that I have the pleasuro of acting as host to fair ladies." Thus saying he doffed his hat with the graoe of a cavalier, and cantered off, the beau ideal of a good-natured, jovial, country gentleman.

" Wliat a consummate hypocrite the man must bo," said Victor. " But ue deceives nobody," quietly remarked tho host,11 he cannot constantly wear tbo mask, and every now and then tbo veil is lifted, by some slight expression, a look, a word, tho turn of a sentence, which reveals the hidden thought; ho is most disliked by thoso who

know him brat."

"Weil,I suppose we will go over to Yambaar

to-morrow?"

" I think so; we may possibly hoar something, and, in any ease, you can have eorae.gpftd spoil, while the ladies will enjoy the drive."

Next morning the fonr-in-band drove tip to the door, and soon the partr wore seated In the drag. It was a glorious October morning. A. alight shower the previous night made the air appear

now balmy than turn*], with the scant of light rood and wattle blossoms. As they drove down be long avenue, the heavy odour, wafted from the rell-kepfc garden, proclaimed the preseuoe of the >weet-scented boronia, overpowering its more deli* Ate neighbour, the Daphne.

Aafarastheeye could reach, a rioh mantle of unBrald green spread oat in gentle undeletions, irhile grouped aboat in pleasing irregularity, the peaceful lightmod added a charm of its own a the landscape. At varying.distances, and in weiy direction, the gleam of water caught the eye, is little lakes of fantastic shaptt, some of which irere of great depth, and others merehr shallow lepressions, received the rays of the ruing urn, ind reflected them to the eye of the observer. The leaves of the tall white gams, sparkled like liamond-stadded trees of fairyland, as the alight breeze made the leaves quiver, and the adherent rain-drops also caoght the white van-rays, and rt Elected (hem back in the many-coloured hu« of the rainbow. The air was vibrating with the rations sounds, and heavy with the exquisite sdoors of a Spring morning in the Australian bosh. The musical note of the magpie reverter* Ued from every bee, and the daring aongstec jnly stuped fab sweet note occasionally, while ha made a savage dart at anyone who dared to. oongq near the nest where his mate was attending to .jbjeir young brood. At a safe distance, groups ' of solemn-looking native companion* oould be seen, engaged in picking up the early worm. While evay now and again they wonld sound a naii of alarm, and then set to partners and chassl, to teach each other, i«lf^ lunatics, dancing, on attenu

ated stilts.

In the meantime the bays were going alqng is fine style, and their regular patter patter on the turf made a joyous music, which chimed, in with all ths, surrounding* of a glorious. morning, and sent we life-blood of old and young bounding through the veins like quicksilver. Henry MaSt land met them at the door of hie house, .Vat the party did not enter. The happy hunting grouhds were further on, so they immediately madefcltart

for the Warrarakk swamp.

There was a tent already pitched, and the ladies were left to sketch ana amaee .themselves while the sporfcpen proceeded to (be spot awe the snipe were seen. , . ... i vrs*i-x'.

It looked a very Uk^ spot^^deed^jL rich, black swamp with plenty of cover.. Here aM that wereeTampf ot,acacU,ifhfle toftn& thee of the swamp, gtantred* ." moisture. Presently, W .

enough-looking . pouter, bat ' badly

blundered ahead* and startled aeoaple oT JxaM' of snipe, which <roee.with aJwhin-oin«l**O0%Hl&d made straight for the other end of the swamp, jj-rf.) Hattand called,injii| dqg wiAh ja cm ; fpdhe

put his gun suddenly to his ahpnVw, H .to ? shoot the animal, .^.thought -better, t». ii»'and oontented him|elf.with usming astonefctturn. ,

Presently, the snlpi Wganto rise ^ obe*,*ti3 twos, ana the pirns vrere 1»ntfliW ririfiy ttfenlj. Victor fft* a gwJd ,di«, and mad* Wtoe brilliant execution witiiM*iight*ndMtha*relf bBfcfefc steady and nnerring preeisioaybe hid toifield'ftp Campbell* whb never. miweiTii^faiariglbfrcPd rarely with his left.' . MaWaad tfiot itatd|i fiy J"'* torn,heating Detective Smith, wtoar, evidently indicated want .rf practice. were now, rising thick and Jyt, f-*

another swamp about two tpOes distant,

? Beforentdnliig to ths 14dk4^*ptt4u£n'fcat down te ihdnlge in^*raoke'sfcdto«OMt'4bi gams in their bags. Hmfaitliimdnl spiting *»iVj largely egotistical; and vjwonderfully

native as to remaifcable shots, 'which appear* tft£g * necessity «n these ones final;, bat wiSi,ws.we will not trouble the reader. ,Hwgy. :

seemed inno verr amiable mood. Thai

tion had tamed into a chspnel which <

please him. It lilted woin tn'WD " "

which murder is brcragul to lido

Smith was {full of pleaehig aneeootee jrfjt^Jhe fortuitous way in which evidence is soyptifnff lodhoosning. He instanced a ttN,i|pi nephew had murdered his uncle becauaejw. ,<w man was too long in dying. JThe uncle,"had ip vtren&v been killed by faPing1 doite a will; 'The nephew Was his "heir, and assumed each a-natural appearance of chastwiwl erief, tfaaino Bdsptehmflf foul playkroae, andthfcwlmatiwftatnwiedr! Btit the nephew seemed haunted with seme kiodirf horrid fascination in . talking about .thejde^th of

his anisle-and . in combatting an idea whtthmof body but himiielf had entertained, ttiat Ills', po|>» was othor than accidental. Tltththe wtatw gan-to^rink, and strange eapreesioiisielf^tW tie ifipe while half Public saspi(4pnoif^| aroused,'She! whol^ of the snrnmn^iisr *Ua affair wer^ pdnately. ezunined. ,Famt

evidence were accumulated,all pobitinglh ioiouT direction; at length the body was mIiiIwWi Clutched in the hands ths dead 'yrtaii !nM dis «vered a f ew hairs, which a «aicl*«oopic emfr nation proved to belong to the nephew. yWf was tbelast link >n the chain. - , ..

"Bahl" broke in Maitland wittaenrefl {." this is the eld goody .goody storv of tihb norwry, undef a new form; <H 'ooorse tne oqphev ^ctattitted suicide, and then lived long enough to confeei* S know all aboptiL" t > .

M No, my dear air," oontined Smith, ^metlyy

" he did not oemmit suidde and bonfees. He Was found guilty knd banged."

lieOtend rese with a muttered imprecation, ami strode .towards Us gun, wUdx bad left defining against a teee. b iua way be came wUhin reaob td his nnfortnnate dog,-and he rented his ,wngfe upon the animal by giving it a viciops lack. .The poor brutOt with a yelp of agohy, ruphod mfj,

and, in bis fiight, knocked over nis master s v&i, which, Exploding ks It fell, the chairge strntic Haitland in the head, and -he tell to the' grimnd apparently a lifelesi corpse.