|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||A Terrible Wrong|
A TERRIBLE WRONG.
By ]yiri8. Habrikt Lewis. Author of 'Thi JDoulk LifF^Jiord
Vwhvood's Crime,' fyo. CHAPTER XLVII. CONFESSION,
' I vrwa the daughter of a Kentish yeoman, whoso wife was a gentle* woman, and well-connected, My father died many years ago; my mother in alive to-day! I nave a brother also, who Urea upon the old farm near Maidstone. I nevor dared to tell you this, Hugh, lost tho -whole story ot my past should be brought to light. I was tho only daughter of my parents, and tho idol of my mother and brother. They potted and spoil ed mo. My motber was ? ambitious for my future, and I Avaa sent to a fashionablo ladies' sohool in the out skirts of London. 1 ' During a walk one day, in whioh I was attended by a maid belonging ? to the sohool, I. dropped my hand* kerohief. A young man sprang to pick it up. That was tho beginning of an ftotiuaintanco that has wrecked my lifo, and brought upon mo this final ruin, Ho introduoed himself to mo AS Mr. Oswald Keith, Ho met me again and again, as I thought by aeoidont. , Ho bribed tho sohoolmaid to bring mo his letters, He mado lore to mo. I was only a ohild, Hugh. I was flattered by_ his attentions ; I thought I loved him, and I believed ? tfiat my mother would bo pleased by xny marriago with him. He bound m« to secrecy in iward to him, yot urged mo to marry him. Ho led mo on and on, and tho end was a privato marriage in an old Oity ohnroh, with Sarah. Wagg, tho. maid, and Clifford Melcombo for witnossos.' Tho desolate voioQ faltered an in stant. The marquis still did not stir nor remove hia fierce gaze from his wife's wild and pitoous face. ' Go on I' ho whispered, hoarsely. -( Oswald took mo to a villa in St. ' John's Wood, and there for many months I lived in a fool's paradise. At school they bolioved mo to have re turned home. At horao they believed . mo to bo still at sohool. I had not dared to toll my mother tho truth Oswald had forbidden that— and I received and answered my letters ?from homo through thoagonoy o£ tho school maid, the girl Sarah Wagg. ' I had then boon marriod about a (year, and I wna expecting my child, when ono day Oswald camo to me, accompanied by Gilford Molcombo, ?who was hia ohoaon and intimate friend. And then Oswald told mo that our marriage was illegal, that I was not lawfully hia wiio, and that ho was about to marry another. ' Tho hopolcflo voieo broko down Ggaini The golden head was bowed in an agony of Bhamo and grief. Lord Glenmorris still remained immovable. Presently tbo marohiono'so resuraod, brokenly
M Molcombe oonfirmotl Oswald's ?words, They said that I was no wife, that Oswald's real namo wao unknown to me, that ho had docoived me from tho flr.it. I think I want mad, I. fled from tho houso that night, and wan dered through tho streets in a frenzy. I stood on Waterloo-bridgo, intending to commit suicide, but I saw anothor woman leap over into eternity, and in horror I rosumed my flight. At daybreak I was found lying on the steps of a houso on tho Surry aide by th« inmates, who took mo in and cared forme. In thoir house my child was born.' Sho told tho remaindor of her early history rapidly and feverishly— of saoing Oswald Keith with his newer bride— of her abandonment of her child to her mother's charge— of her adoption by Mrs, Oalthorpe, ?' Now you1 know all, or nearly all, Hugh,' site concluded. ' My child livoa, »nd ia c&llod Dolores Itodburn. Thiuk what her lifo lina been. Her father— Oswald-— I never oven know his other name until I returned with you to England last yoiu\ Do you remembor that party at St. Main1 Houso in our honour P Molcombe wan there. Ho recognized mo as tho Queonis Keith of othor days, He told mo of my child. That night was eventful to mo. In aportr'ait in Lord St. Maur's picture gallery— a portrait of hia dead boh, Lord Oswald Lonnox — 1 recognized tho man I had known as Oswald Keith, and who, as heaven hears we, I believed to be my husband.' Again a spasm of paiu convulsed Lord Glenmorrijs'fl features. ' Even sinco our meeting Meloombe has threatened me with exposure, agreeing to prosorvo my secret only upon condition that Dolores would marry him. Ho loves hor, and would mako her his .wife in spite of the cloud upon hor origin. Thorp is only , one more explanation to make. You have heard Lord St. Maur speak of hia ward, Miss 'Wynn P Ho has told you of his anxiety to find her. Miss Wynn— although ho does not dream of it— is his own granddaughter, Dolores Redburn !' The story was all told. . Lady Glen, morris rose wearily from her ,chair and took a tottering stop towards the door, Thou sho paused, regarding tho marquis piteously. ''I ought to bog you ou my knees to forgiv« me, Hugh, for marryinfj you' with my soorot untold — for dar ing to marry at all 5 but I was eo young when that toouble camo, and I had done no wrong. I hold, mysolf guiltless, oxcept in respect to my dis ob.o4ieno« to my mother and in marry ing you. But I know that you cannot &rgive»no, You ara proud, and I have brought shamo and dishonour upon yon, I have loved you with all my jioul ; I always #shall lovo . you. You can easily procure «, diVorco, Hugk. I shall not wait for you to send wio away, doav. I will go qniotly and at ohco. But Bay to mo boforo I go that you will not curse mo for tho wrong 1 have done you !', Lord GlownorriB'H lips quivered but ho did not answer, ' You cannot say it ? Oh, heaven, wy punishment is gpoalor than-I ewa'
boar ! I will go, Hugh — but 1 may hoo my; boy first, may I. not P I may givo him a last kiss P' Her blno oyos glittered with a frenzied light. She leaned against tv ohair for support. ' Whore would you go Valeria P' ' To Dolores, Sho and I will leave England and hide ourselves from all who have over known us, I will not see you again, Hugh, Wo part horo now for over!' Again Bhe staggevodblindly tovwdB the door, Her hand wa9 upon tho knob, vfhen her husband's voioe called to her—his voico po sweet, so tonder, that it Boom ed to her like tho voice of an angol from hoavon. 'Valeria!' 11 Yes, Hugh,' sho answered, in a gnsping voico, ' You havo spokon of my pride,1 Valoria. Mv m-ide is crreat. but love
is stronger than prido. Do you think 1 can put from me tho wiie who loves me, tho wifo I worship, tho mother of ray boy, tho only woman in all tho world I could lovo r You should havo told me the whole story before, my wife. You were guiltless, tho viotim of others. Heaven forbid that I should add to your wrongs or griefs, Oome to me, my wife I' Lady Glenmorris starod at him inoredulously, The grave, dark, stern face had softenod into an expression of ineffable tenderness, His eyes shono with his infinite lovo for hor. Ho openod his arms, and with a wild ory his wifo spang forward, and was olaspod to his broast. It was half an hour later, when they spoke again of the cause of thoir unhappinoss, the seoret of tho march ioness, ' There are several things to bo done,' said tho marquis, gravely, ' In tho flrst plaoo, Yaloria, your child must not bo sacrificed to Gilford Molcombo. Ho is a villain and a scoundrel. Wo must Bond for Dolores, and adopt hor ao our child. Noono noodbo told of hor true re lationship to us, but justice demands that tho poor young girl should be cared for, and thai sho should share our homo.' ' Oh, Hugh, you are so good 1' ' Wo will send for hor within the hour, Lord St. Maur nood never know of her relationship to him, but he must bo told that Miss Wynn is found and that sho is with us,' Lady Glonmorria assented. ' Molcombo will circulate tho story, and raiso a soandal. I «ra no coward, but I think it bost for your sake, and for that of Dolores, that wo should go abroad for a few years. Wo will loavo England tho day ^ after to-morrow, and tako up our residence in somo quiet town upon tho Con tinent until this affair is forgotten.' ' And you forgivo mo, Hugh P' 'For all answer, ho kinuod her passionately again and again, Not until this groat trouble liad risen between them had ho known how completely his lifo wan bound up in that of his beautiful wifo. In com parison with tho alionatiofl of hor love, whioh ho had foarod, tho truth soomod a blosflod roliof , a trouble al most eaay to bo borno, Thoy passod into tho library, and tho marchioness wrote i\- lottor to Dolorou tolling hor that Lord Glonmorria knew all, and that hia homo and heart wore opon to tho ilrst-born child of his wile. ' Thoro ia no longer need of your flolf-sttcrifloo, my darling,' wroto tho mother. Honooforth, 'Clifford Mol eombo can bo nothing to you. HoncO'
forth, you aro to livo with Ufi, and sharo our lovo with baby Hugh. Wo shall loavo England in a day or two. I Bond thia lottor by special mossengor. Come to mo as booh as you rocoivo it— como, novor to loavo mo again. Lot Elspoth follow with your lnggago, a\id tell tho faithful old woman that sho shall not be separated from you. No ono is to know that you aro my child other than by adoption, but wo shall adopt you legally, Dolores, and at onco. Come, then, ray darling, to yourfathor and mothor.' Happy tears foil upon those linos and the fow that followed, The lottor wan floalod and dispatch ed by a footman, and Lord and Lady Glonmorrifl resumed their convoc ation, laying plans for tho future. A couple 01 hours later a cab drove up boforo tho door of Glonmorris houso, and Dolores slowly mounted tho stops. She was promptly admitted and shown into tho morning room, whore tho marquis and marchioness awaited her. Lndy Glonmorrie embraced h»r in a rapturo of gladnttiu, and thorn led her to the marquis. Hi« grave oven ntudiod for a moment tho oxquiuito youug face, in all its splendid lovolinoHB, and noted thenoblcsoul that shono iutho velvety black oyoB, tho purity and sweotnoas, the gontlonosa and porfoct breeding, that difltinguinhed his wife's finst born child. Sho looked up at him half approhenfuvoly, with a pleading that touohed him, and ho took hor in his arms and kissed hor, 1 'Woleomo homo, mv daughter,' ho said, tenderly, ' You aro to be ray ohild, too, roraombor. I hope you will bo vory happy with us.' (To bo continuod)