|Chapter Title||AT REDBURN FARM.|
|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||A Terrible Wrong|
V . ? . . ? O.UR NOVELIST
A TERRIBLE WROm ? »
By Mrs.Hahhiet Lewis. Author of 'Thi JDoulh Ufo' « lord Darhuood'8 Crime' fyo,
.CHAPTER XLV. , ATRBDDUnNPARW.
' Wo have just timo to catoh nn expresB fov Mnidstone, my lord,' ho exclaimed, Tho earl lost no time in preparing ?for the journey. A cabwns ovclerocl, and his lordship, with Mr. Poxon, woro presently hurrying1 to tho station. Half an 'hour' Inter they woro steam ? ? . Mil t * ?* !? 1 1 ,
ing swirriyTownras iviainstono. Lord St. Maur could scarcely con trol his ? joy and oxcitoraont at tho .hows Paxon hnd brought Jiira. No longer childless and desolate j ho hud a grandduughtei1 to inherit1' his title and walth, and she was worthy to succoed him. . Tho tears sprang to hi* old oyes. His heart throbbed with a x mighty goatitudo to tho Providence , that had not forgotten him. He pictured his grandchild as re sembling his weak and erring son. His heart went out in love to her. Already this young dosoondnnt was all tho world to him. Tho swift ox press train scorned to .him to' crawl along tho lino, Tho minutes seemed to him as hours. Ho required Paxon to toll his story over, ovon to the miumtost detail. By tho timo it was all told they were at Maidstono. Horo they transferred themsolvos to a oarriago, and wore borno rapidly on then1 way to Redburn Farm. Tho day was mild and springlike. ThofioldB woro groen. Cows wore cropping tho horbago, and farmers at work in tho rich soil. Tho old Earl of St. Maur had no oyes for tho beauty of landjucapo or Boason, Ho could only think of ono flubjoot — liia grandchild, They drow noar Redburn Farm, and now tho oarl looked about him with an air of intorost. Tho fiolds fihowed thrift and intelligence Tho houso, with ita quaint gables and ancient apponranco, might havo' boon tho abodo of a country gentleman. Tho ?waggon gato was open, and Paxon drove into tho yard, The earl sprang out and ran up tho house stops, Hounding tho knooker loudly. By tho timo Paxon had socured tho liOi'BO and had followed his employer, thordoor was oponod by Mary Rod* burn. ' I wish to flooMrs. Rodburn,' said his lordship. ' And her son, Mr. John Bod burn.' Ho handod Mary Redburn his card. She fflancod at it, and mado a low oboisanco, inviting him to enter.
' John is in ttio living room, along with mother, my lord,' sho exolaimod. ' Como in, my lord, This way, your lordship.' Sho oponod tho door of tho drawing room, but it was dark and cold, and Lord St. Maur bogged to bo taken to tho living room, Mrs. John Rodburn flung1 opon tho door upon tho oppoaito aido of tho hall, and ushored tho visitors into tho low, quaint sitting room. Old Mrs. Rodburn was seated in a highbackod chair noar tho hearth. Hor eon John was reading aloud to her from a Loudon newspapor. Both arose at tho entrance of tho visitors. ' Tho Earl of St. Maur,' announc edMary Redburn, whose bui prise and bewilderment at his lordship's visit was apparent in her tonea and looks. ' His lordship wishes to soo you, mother, and John,' Tho oarl advancod, bowing court eously. His koen oyos seemed to devour both inothor and son. Old Mrs. Rodburn, gaunt and grim, hard and storn of visago, looking as if uho had outlivod alt human emotion, haughty and solf-repressed, was yot unmistakably a gentlewoman, No more commanding liguro over appear ed at tho Quoen'a drawing room. The visitor's titlo sooraod not to improsfl hor, and yotno more ardont worBhippev of rank oxiatedinallEnirlandthan sho.
Her son, gaunt also, and solfropross od, lookod worthy ovon tho carl's ro spoct. But it waa tho mother, haughty and statoly, that commanded most of his rogards. Sho looked like a dothronod quoon— liko ono who has Buffered dfcfoat in a mighty battlo— liko ono who stands alono. ' To what aro wo indobfcod for tho honour of a visit from Lord St. Maur P' asked tho old lady, coldly, without a glimmer of surprise or curiosity. ' It's tho shorthorns, mothor,' said her son. ' You wish to aoo tho cattle, my lord P' ' No, I oallod upon private busi. hobb,' anBworod the oarl. « I wish, madam, to make some personal in quires, tho eauso of whion I will ox plain. You onco had a daughter naraod Queonio Rodburn P' The old lady's faoo froae inntantly, 11 Sho is dead,' answered John Rodburn, huskily. » What can you wish to know of her P' 11 She is dead!' echoed Lord St Maur, in a disappointed voice. Dead ? But sho left a child named Dolores Whoro is tho child P' and his voico grow eagor. ' It is to find tho child that I am horo. Whoro is she P' Old Mrs, Redburn glarod upon hor visitor, ' My lord,' sho oxolaimod, ' how daro vou say iny daughtor loft a child P How daro you say tho Rod burns aro disgraced by suoh ashamo P' The oarl lookod upon the old mother pityingly. 11 8hame !' ho said, ' Disgrace ! WhocounloH thoRo wnvdn wifli flm
name of Lady Oswald Loimox P' Tho Rcdburna starod at tho earl bewildered. ' Wo woro speaking of Queonio, not of any titlod lady,' said Mary Rodburn. ' Our Quoonio was un fortunate — you needn't glare at me, mothor, It's tho truth, and tho truth will como out, soonor or lator. Our Queonio was not married ? ' ' Mary,' intorpoacd hor husband, flternly. ' Well, John, hia lordship knowa Quoeuie left a child, so that he U aware that she turnod oat bad/' said I
Vfary Rodbnrn, vonomously, ' A pretty girl, my lord, but educated ibovo hor situation , Pride must havo d fnll, and——' '? Poace, woman !'v said old Mrs, Rodburn, in an awful voice that silenced her daughter-in-law. ' Are you lost to all shame P My lord, I cannot imagino why you havo oomo hero to insult us, What intorost havo you in lost Quoonio Rodburn P' 11 This,' said his lordship, ' She was tho lawful wifo of my boh, Lord Oswald Lennox, And hor daughter, tho Lady Doloros Lennox, is my law ful grandchild and hoiross 1' Old Mrs, Redburn droppod baok into her chair. Hor ghastly visago, and opon, con vulsed oyes alarinod her son and his wifo, as well aa tho visitors, Water wns bronclit. and tn'osontlv tho old
ady recovered her consciousness. Sho ookod wildly at tho oarl, and then sank upon hor knoos before him cry ing— ' A lawful wifo 1 Oh, say thoso words again. A lawful wife P ' ' Yes, madam, Sho was the law« ful wifo of Lord Oswald Lennox, my only son, aa she is to-day, if living nncl unmarried, his lawful widow.' Tho old mother's faco glowed with rapturo. ' Tho shame is liftod,' she mutter ed. ' Wo oan speak hor name again —my Queonio ! Sho breathed tho namo in a vory eostnsy of joy and ihank^giviug, John Redburn bowed his head on his hands. His wifo, palo with joalouny and onvy, could not ropross a sneer, ' She s doad,' sho oxolaimod. ' But if she were alire, Lady Oswald Len nox would never speak to tho mothor who cast hor oft' in her trouble and oursed her.' Tho old woman's featuros quivered with pain, ' It is true,' she said, humbly, ai the oarl liftod hor to hor feet. ' I oursed her, my own lamb, that I lov ed bettor than my live. 1 havo loved hor all these years, my lord,' and sho looked up at the earl pitoously. But my pride conquered my lov«, I have wept for hor in socrot. I havo yearn ed for hor. If sho lives, I will go to hor on my knoos and bog hor to for give me. And if sho will, I will bo content to dio.' ' Poor Quoonio !' said John Rod barn, brokenly, ' Poor, wronged, helpless girl. Oh, if eho but livod, wo would ontroat of hor to pardon ua. But forgivonoss ia impossible' ' If sho lives I' criod old Mrs. Rod burn. ' Sho dooa livo. I know it.
L 1001 II, X. Will gO lip 10 JJUUUUU HUM voi'y day. I will find my child. And i if hIio cannot forgivo mo I will dio at hor feot.' ' Bnt tho child P' aaked tho oarl, ' Whero is Dolorofl P' 'I drove h^r from thin house,' answorod John Rodburn, huskily. ' Heaven forgivo mo, but I havo deep ly wrongod hor, m well as hor poor young mothor, I drove Dolores from my door. Sho wont back to Mr. Watkyii, and thonco olio wont to tho Highlands of Scotland, to bo a com panion to au agod lady named Minn M'Kinlooh.' ' What I' oriod tho oarl, staggering baok.
' Sho wontunuor tuo namo of Alum Wymx, for I told hor oho muat no ongor boar tho namo of Rodburu, Sho callo hornolf Dolly Wynn.' Lord St. Maur grasped for breath, Dolly Wynn! Why, thon, hia ivard and his grandchild woro ono and ;ho eamo ! Tho lovo ho had givon Miss Wynn waa tho cry of nature to lis own ilosh and blood. Ho aat down nastily, not having strength to fltand, md a cry of thanksgiving wont up Prom tho vory dopths of hia soul. ' Whero is sho now P' asked Paxon, ' Havo you hor address P' ' No, answorod John Rodburn. i( Wo cast her off, and sho has novor written to us since, except that sho Dnco Rent mo, under cover from Mr. Watkyn, a sum of monoy as a pnrtial payment of hor educational oxponses.' ' So she's tho Lady Doloros Len nox,' ojaculatod Mary Rodburn. ' The granddaughtor of an oarl, and a groat hoiross. Somo pooplo do haro luok !' and aho sighed enviously, Tho oarl pursued hia inquiries' and heard all that could bo told him of tho lost daughtor of tho Rodburna, And, thon, as nothing waa to bo gainod by a further stay, ho took his leave, and down away with Paxon. Why, sho waa boforo tho windowo of my house last night, Listen,' Whilo ho sot Faxon's intolloot to work upon tho now oluo to hia grand daughtor, old Mrs. Rodburn Btolo away from hor sitting room to tho long-unursod and oloso-shut ohambor that had bolongod to her daughtor. Tho ruaty koy gratod in tho lock, the door oponod stiffly, ond tho old woman dropped upon hor knooa in tho shadowy room and sobbed and prayed aa only a strong soul can givo way in an hour of uttor anguish, ' Only lot mo aoo hor again, my lost Quoonio,' aho muttorod, brokenly. ' Let hor spun xno as I dosorvo— ? lot hor hato and dospiso mo— only lot mo soo horagain, oh, heaven 1 My wrong od darling— my poor, poor Quoonio I Whon all tho world turnod against hor, hor mother was floroost and bit terest of all, and oursod 1 And yet sho ' waB puro and sinless ! I can never hope to bo fonriYon, but only
let me see hor sweot faco ngain.' For hours tho mother lay prostrate in the cold, dim room, overwhelmed by hor remorse and agony. It was near nightfall whon Bho eamo forth, haggard and broken, and white as death, with oyos- full of torriblo despair. Sho wont to hor room and attirod horsolf for a journoy, and pro sontod horsolf at tho door of the sit ting room, ' I am going to London,' eho said, lniBkily. ' I cannot rost or Bleep under this roof until I havo found my child. John, will you dvivo me to Maidstono P' ' I am going with you, inothor,' answered John Rodburn, ' Tho oart is at tho door. I wttti just (jfoiug up to call you.' ' Thoro'a no u«e in ffoinflf,' flaid Mary Rodburn, ' Queonio is dead, and Lady Dolorofl won't own them that cast hor ofH when eho waB no body, You'd hotter stay at home.' But neither mother nor eon hooded hor. Thoy olimbed into tho cart, Jolm Rodbum Baid his adioux, ono of tho lads olimbod in after thorn, and thoy drove away. ' Only to find hor 1' broathod the old mothor. ' Only to find her and knool at hor feot and die I Heaven guido mo to her, as I boliovo it will. Only to find W «md di« I' (To bt w»tittu«^