|Chapter Title||AT REDBURN FARM.|
|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||A Terrible Wrong|
;\. OUR NOVELIST
r'/ ' A TERRIBLE WBOH0I, ! ' 'By Mrs, Harriet Lewis,
Author of 'Tht Doulh life' 'Iwtf Darhwood's Crime' #o,
CHAPTER XLV. ATHEDBUHNFARM.
It -vas tlie morning1 subsequent to tho botrotlial of Dolores with GHflowl Molcorabe. - 1 The old Earl of St, Miuu' sat nloiu /in tho great, dim library of his towi mansion, Ho had beon Inisy writing lettors, but tho pen had dropped fiom liia finders, and bis thoughts had turned from political affairs to tin great problem that; had for years oo enpied him so entirely— the proble of tlio existence of his son's ohil Had a ohild been born of Lo- d 0 -wnl- Lennox's ill-fatod first marriflcrel
And, if so, did thnt ohild still livo P 'I would give nil tlio remaining yonrB of my life,' lord St, Mnur Said to himself—' nil tho years which with my constitution and vigour, 1 may reasonably expeot to live—if 1 could find that grandchild ! Strange, that no trnce of that poor lost Queenie has ovor been discovered— strange that she and tho ohild— if there wne a ohild— disappeared so completely ! They mxiBt both bo dead ! And I shall go to my gravo ohildloss. My distant kinsman will inherit ray title and estates, and my lino of the family ?will be extinot. It is hard to bear hard, bitter, terrible !' He was brooding over this great grief of his life, this corroding anxiety, when tho door opened, and Sir Basil Nugent was announcod, Tho old lord rose to roceivo his visitor with iv warmth of weloorao that attested how strong a hold tho young baronot had upon his heart. ' I bog you will oxouho my early visit, my lord,' said Sir Basil, ' but I desire to consult with you about a difforont plan of search for Miss Wyun. I havo not slopt sinco sooing her last lliffht. Hoi1 ualo fn.o.n. nn t,ln'« mul
Sorrowful, is always beforo my oyos. She is poor and in trouble But how are wo to find her P She is so near \is, and yet sho ia as far from us in this great wilderness of London as if seas divided her from us I' The old lord looked at his visitor with ( sudden, keen suspicion. Sir . Bnsil's tone and manner wore a rovoln * tion, ' What is Miss Wynn to you, NugontP' ho asked. 'I thought you woro helping to find her for me.' ? ' I am trying to find her for my self,' deolared Sir Basil, frankly. « I love her, my lord, and I hopo to win her for my wifo ? ' Tho earl shook his old gray hoad. '? No, no,' ho interposed. ' At your age, Nugent, such alovo would ? uo falal. Miss Wynn is beautiful, ao. complishod, winning, and lovely, but * there is a stain on her birth, Sho is no mato for you. Your wifo must possess an honourable namo. Tf Mifls Wynn had but that, sho would bo a fitting brido for a royal prineo, With out it all her beauty and accomplish, monts cannot savo lior from tho slights and scorn of society.' ' Socioty will not daro scorn my wife !' declared Sir Basil, with a uwifit flush upon his hnggnrd face. ' And if it did, wo could do without sooiety. If Miss Wynn wero my wifo I would ask nothing more in this world.' ' You might bo happy, but sho would be more sensitive. She would be distressed upon your acoonnt, Nugent, oven moro than upon her own. I bolievo that she had too much good sense to consent to mai'ry you, my dear boy. I intend to adopt her as child, and to koop her to myoolf as solfishly as possiblo,' said tho earl. J1 That is, unless I find ? ' He ohockod himsolf abruptly. ' My lord,' .said tho young baronet. ' if I find Miss Wynn, I shall loavo no moana untried to win hor, If she woro a boggav, I should still bo honoured by hor acceptance of mo as her husband. Hor origin is no stain upon hor. Sho is puro and lovely, exaltod in mind and soul. I honour and lovo hor, and I will marry her, even against your wishes, if need be. I will nevor give her up !' i Tho old lord looked with admira tion upon tho fair, handsome faco of tho young baronot, flushed as it was with determination and enthusiasm. ThonhoBighod and shook hid head, but ho repealed no more worldly arguments. „ Ho saw that they would bo wasted upon Sir Basil Nugent, Perhaps, too, ho could havo urged thorn moro frooly if thoy could havo como directly from his heart, but his acquaintance with Dolores had shaken his ideas of caste, and ho did not wonder that Sir Basil should deom ' tho world well loBt ' for hor sake. tl Well, well,' he said, ' we must find her bofora wo can dispose of her future, Nugent, And you must not oouut too much upon any roturn of vour affection from her. I vrnnrlni-
if Lady Victoria had a hand in send ing hor from my house-. Thero is Borne mystery about hor flight which Ioannot fathom. But we will, wo must, find hor, and then——' Tho door again opened, and Griflorcl Molcombo is announced. There was a subdued triumph in the villain's small, palo eyes, in his bloodless, vampire features, In another woek ho would be the hus band of Dolores, and ho would then S reclaim her relationship to Lord St. laur, and reap the rich fruit . of his long intrigues. As ho camo in, Sir Basil Nugont aroso to tako his leave. Ho passed his rival with a haughty inclination of his fair head— instinot mado him regard Melcombo with dislike— and withdrew. Lord St. Maur bestowed his attent ion upon tho now-comor, ' I hopo that my visit is not in. opportune, my lord,' said Melcombo, ? in his soft, drawling voice.^ ' I dropp. ed in moroly for a few minutes' con versation with you in regard to Miss Wynn.' ' You havo found a clue to ,her whoreabouts P' 'I am sorry tosay that I have not,' answered the hypocrite. ' But I hope soon to find her. I am using
every offort in my search for hor. Havo you obtained any information, my lord, in regard to hor P' Tho earl replied by rolating tho ?vent of tho procooding evening. M.loombe bit his lips and changed colour, Ho rosolvodto soo Doloroa i.hat evening and forbid any furthur visit by hor to St, Maur Houso. 'iMdyou, my lord, that I lovo Miss Wynn,' he said, prosently. ' If L find her, and if sho oonsonts to marry mo, have I your consont, an « er guardian, to her marriage with me P'
^uuruiwu or ivuss Wynn'n person, only tho trustoo of her little fortuuo,' said tho earl. « If Miss Wynn_ lovos you, Molcombo, I shall not objoottoyour marriage with hor, You know hor history, and you are old enough and froo enough from nooiety prejudice to bo spared all un. happiness m such a union. If 1 find Miss Wynn, howgvor, I warn you, Melcombo, I shall try to koop hor in ray houso as my child. Yet if uho lovos you; I will not stand in your way or hors ; and if she lovos somoono else,' added his lordship, thinking of ^ir Basil Nugont, ' uiy consont will bo as readily given to her marriago .vith that other.' Molcombo did not prolong his visit. We had deemod it best to solioit Lord ?t. Maur's consont to his proposed iiarriage, and congratulated himself upon having obtained it, ' Now, when I prosont Dolores to Him as my brido,' ho thought, as ho loft St. Maur Houso, ' ho cannot acouso mo of any undorhandod pro oeoding. I havo his consont to marry her, and I shall act upon it.' Loft to himsolf, tho old earl reflect ed upon tho two visits ho had reooiyod that morning. Loving Dolores as ho did, it soomod to him that hor union with Sir Basil Nugont would bo moro fitting than n marriago with Mol combo, who was old enough to bo hor
fathor, ' I should favour Dolly's marriago with Nugont,' ho thought, 'if I wero suro that sho lovod him. Thoy are worthy of oaoh other— a splendid young paii1— and hor origin ought not to oloso tho door of happiness to hor. Men of rank many aotrosscfl, who are rocoivod into tho bost flocioty. Thoy marry poor girls ofton onough. Dio parity of rank is, therefore, not a fatal objection. Only, I wish sho had boon of honest parontago.' Ho was struggling with thoso con flicting thoughts when a third visitor was announcod — Mr. Faxon, tlio ' private inquiry' oflicor, who had boon employed by him yoars boforo to search for Quoonio Itodburn, and whom ho had rocontly ro-onlistod in his sorvico. Mr. Faxon was a small, quiot man, with a smooth, florid faco, and with light hair— having tho appoaranco of a country onrato. Ho had tho roputa tion of boing keon and shrewd, and his failure in tho task Lord St. Maur had assignod him had boon tho ono mortification of his professional career. Tho oarl grootod him courtoously, inviting him to bo ooatod. 'You havo como to report moro Palso clues and fresh failures, I sup pr ?, Paxon P' said his lordship, with a siR'li. ' I hopo you do not intend to throw up tliecaso again.' ' No, my lord,' answorod Paxon. ' I am glad to bo able to report at last a partial succoss.' Tho oarl turned whito, ' What havo you discovorod P' ho asked. Was thoro a child P And if ao, dooa it livo P' Ho awaited tho answer in an agony of susponso. ' Lot mo bogin at tho beginning of tho story, my lord,' ropliod Paxon, respectfully. ' I havo discovorod tho birthplaco of Miss Itodburn, and havo soon hor family. Hor rolativos aro very rospoctablo, Hor mothor is well connected. Hor brothor is a f armor, not quite a gentloman— in faot, a yeo man. Ho is a man of intogrity, and is honoured and roflpootod whorovor known. Ho liyos on his own farm, which haB beon in tho Rodburn family for conturios. I viaitod it, but could find out nothing of tho loot daughter, Misa Quoonio. Sho ia roportod to havo died in London whon at school, oightoon yeara ago.' ' Then tlioro was no oliild P' ' I traeod Misa Quoonio Rodburn to hor London school, and to ft Villa in St. John's Wood, where flho livod as Mrs. Oswald Koith. I have found a housomaid who sorvod at Throok morton Houso, thg ladiofl' school uho attoudod, and who know tlio young lady's entire story. Tin's housomaid, Sarah Wagg, witnossod tho marriago, and gave mo a groat doal off inform, ation. I oan produeo hor whonovor nocoflsary, Sho otatod that aftor Mr, Koith'a dosortion of hiu yonng wifo, the latter wa« ill at tho liouso of a browor in Snrroy. I found tho browor, a man named Brown, and tho browor'o wifo. I can produeo thorn aluo, whon noodod. Mra. Brown was tho imi-fio of Mrs, Koith ; Mm, Koith'n child wua born in hor houao ? ' 'Tho ohild! Thon thoro was a child P' oriod th» oarl, agitatodlT, 'Did it dio P' J ' No, my lord. It was a girl, a beautiful littlo oroaturo, Mrs. Brown says, and waa ohristanod Doloros. The birth waa duly rogistorod, and whon your heiress is found thoro will be no difficulty whatever in proving hor identity.' 'Thank heaven! But whore is
wio uuuu r '§ That is tho only thing that re mains to be discovered, She waa oduoatod in tho family of a olergy. man at Norwood. At tho ago of twelvo sho was sont to Nioo, to a fashionablo Bominary for young ladies. Sho returned to England last summer, Sho is boautiful, accomplished, and well worthy to bo acknowledge as your lordship's hoiross, Sho visitoc Hodburu Farm last an minor, and is known as Miss Dolores Rodburn. I oxtortod a discription of hor vory art fully from ono of hor young cousins, a lad, tho son of John ftodburn, but John Rodburn himself in as close mouthed as an oystor, Tho Rovorond Mr. Watkyn, or Norwood, is absent from homo ft woolc, and I could not obtain his oxaot address. But John Redburn knows where the young lady is — ' Then wo must soe him. at onco,' cried the earl, all oxoitoraont, ' Can wo run down to Rodburn Farm to day P' ( To bo oontinuod)