Chapter 77376056

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Chapter NumberVII
Chapter TitleDOLORES.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77376056
Full Date1893-11-22
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1644
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)
Trove TitleA Terrible Wrong
article text

CHAPTER VII.

DOLOR KS. ?

John Redburn drevo slowly into his yard, conscious that- his mother and wife were viewing his approach, and that they were full of wonder in regard to his companion. How he was to face those feminine autocrats, and introduce to them Dolores, he did

not Know, lie helped the girl to des cend, and lingered a moment to speak to Joe, with the idea of putting off the evil moment of disclosure as long as possible. But when delay became no longer possible, he led the way into, the house. The girl, through her blue veil, noticed that he seemed perplexed and anxious, that his features grew harder and grimmer, and greatly wondered. ' Wait here a moment,' said the farmer, huskily, as they entered the great kitchen, with the yawning five place, its blackened rafters, its spot less floor, and its curious maid of all Avork. ' I must speak to mother first.' He went into the adjoining room,

Known equally as the parlour and sitting room. His mother sat at a wondow knitting. His wife was straightening her frizzled locksbefore a scrap of mirror. The latter looked inquisitive. The former, always brooding over the great tragedy of her life, had no time or inclination for idle curiosity. ' Who is it, John ?' asked his wife. ' And -why didn't you bring her in liere ? What must she think of you for leaving her in the kitchen ?' John Redburn passed his wife, ad vancing straight to his mother. 'I delayed the letter to Mrs. Watkyn too long, mother/' he said, trembling, his face bathed in a cold

perspiration. Old Mrs. Redburn regarded him with a look of cold inquiry. ' Mrs. Watkyn has broken up her home,' he continued, ' and has gone to Liverpool. The girl had no situa tion to go to, and she sent her to us.' ' To us ? Good heavens, John ! Yon don't mean that that girl is Q.ueenie's — is Dolores ?' ejaculated Mary Redburn. John Redburn bowed assent. The old lady sat immovable as fate. ' How could you bring her here, John ?' cried bis wife, reproachfully. ' Mother cannot bare it. And the o-ivl isn't tit. to nssnpin+.n Avit.Ti nnv

children — ' ' I found her. at Maidstone, on her ?way to us. She has nowhere else to go. She will have to remain here a few days or weeks until she can pro cure a situation. Will you fry to bear her presence for so short a time, mofc ther '? She is here, and cannot he sent away until some plaee is found for her ? -' ' She din-stay for me. What can her presence for a few weeks matter for me ?' Yet she rose abruptly and departed, t o hei' own upstair room. The' husband and wife looked at each other brankly. ' You have done it, John, bringing

liiis jii.tiiiBj.ess (Mtxti'LUG Jieit;, sum Mary Redburn. ' Mother is angry, and she has a right to be. I shouldn't wonder if she left her money away from us for this. And as for me, you must have a great respect for your own wife, and a great regard for your own children, to bring such a creature into your family ? -' ' Hush. 1 'would have avoided her presence here if I could, but she is

i'nino, and she mnst stay for a .fe-v weeks, jit least. She, atjear.t- js sinV: less. I hove no love for her more; than yon. I wish she h'&d died in her iahincy ; but she didn't die, and she is just now oh oilr Lands. Her presence canWot. contaminate you for the boys, and I -insist upon it that you treat, her well,' There was a tone of authority in the farmer's voice, such as convinced

his wife that it would be well for her to make the best of the matter. She smoothed her face, while her husband went back to the kitchen, returning with Dolores. As the girl entered the room she put back her veil and advanced to Alary Redburn with a smile. The woman recoiled before her in instinctive' dislike, envy and jealousy. She had expected to see a girl of

sorrowfnl visage, weighed 'down by her dismal name and some possibly instinctive sense of her shameful origin. Instead, she beheld a slight, supple, graceful figure, crowned by a face beautiful as a vision, radiant as the morning, tender and sweet as heaven - a face with small, perfect features, pvpr bio-, black and velvetv. full of

poetry, and passion — great, warm, happy, smiling eyes, — a complexion of clear, dark pallor, a broad, low brow, and waves of dusky hair, Avhich had a russet bloom upon its darkness. It was a face bi*ight with the gaiety of youth, hopeful, eager and expect ant, and dowered with a rare and ciilnnrlirl lmroliVocc ?f.lifi'f. v/vnflAVfwl T^e

owner strikingly distinguished. There was no fear in those happy eyes, no shadow of shame on the grand young face. Even Mary Red burn could see that Dolores bore her self like a young queen, that her beauty was of the brightest patrician tjrpe, that she was exquisitely high bred, and that her gentle, courteous man ners were the outward expression of a gentle and generous . nature. The two looked at each . other for a moment steadfastly, and Mary Red burn's heart hardened towards the

visitor. ' Mary,' said her husband, notic ing the contraction of his wife's freckled forehead, ' this is Doloi'es. Dolores, this js my wife.' The gh-1 held out her hand im pnlsively. ' I am glad to see yon, Aunt Mary,' she said, simply. 'I have never known any of my relations, and [feel already well acquainted with

Uncle John.' ' I am not your aunt,' said Mary Redbum, coldly. ' As to John, you can call him whatever he likes. I do do not take readily to strangers.' ' Dolores felt the rebuff keenly. The radiance died from her face. Her lip quivered slightly, and then an expression of resolute pride held her feelings in check. Mary Redburn had never liked Qneenie, tbe petted daughter of the house ; she felt that she hated

tjjueome s child, and she. was at no pains to conceal her aversion. John Redburn motioned his guest to a chair- at the open window. The boys camef in, big, awkward Joe, and bashful .Tom, and rstnrdy Will,- all, rough farmer lads, and all amazecL^Trtr the wonderful beauty of their guest, and all greatly in awe of her. John Redburn went ont'to see to his horse, his wife disappeared into the kitchen, and Dolores was left with her cousins. In the course _of ten minutes thei'e after the young people were on the

oest ana most iriencuy or -terms. Will has brought his favourite dogs to exhibit. Tom has told of his colt his father had recently given him, and Joe has poured forth the secrets of his boyish heart to the sympathetic listener. All three of the boys fell in love with, their cousin, though none of them could explain the relation ship between them. John Redburn returned to the kitchen and held a brief private con ference with his wife. As a result, Mary Redburn came iu and offered ungraciously to conduct the visitor to a room upstairs, and Dolores followed her to a dreary little attic chamber with sloping roof, up under the eaves. The floor was bare, the furniture old and rickety, and the window was a dormer, high up, and quite ont of

JJolores reach, one put a rush bot tomed chair under it and climbed into the window seat, where she sat perch ed for some time, surveying the land scape. This quaint old English house look ed very plesant to this girl, avIio had never known a real home. Mrs. Wat kyn had loved her very tenderly, but she had been one pupil among eight at the old rectory where her earliest years had been passed, and of the £ four had been Mrs. Watkyn's owe children, and far nearer and dearei than any alien child could ever have liRcrvmf' Dnlnvps lmrl lipfrn p-ndnwpr]

with a peculiarly sunny and hopeful temperament, but she had looked on while the Watkyn's children had been caressed and petted by their parents, feeling a longing for such kisses and tenderness, but nevei experiencing them. She had been a wretched little outsider all her life, looking at happiness, as someone has said, through other people's eyes. If she had noi been given an exceptionally hopeful nature, she must inevitably have growi up soured and embittered by those ex periences. When she was about six years of age a little incident had occurrec

at the rectory that had given a nev current to her baby thoughts, anc exerted a great influence upon he: character. Mrs. Watkyn had been cuddling her little child, of the same age a: Dolores, in her arms, heaping kissei on the small face, and calling he: ' mother's pet,' and such fond name; as mother's love. The little Dolore: stood by, tenderly sympathetic, bu with a grave shadow on her bab brow. ' Why do you kiss Minnie ar.( love her so more than me ?' she ask ed at last, jealously. u Because she is my own little girl'

ttiiawmeu iuia. lrutAjji. avLUbiitM. always love their own children best my dear. That is why heaven give to every child its own mother ? ' ' Then where is mine ?' interrupt ed poor baby Dolores. ' Where i my mother ?' But that was a mystery that hac greatly troubled Mrs. Watkyn, an( which she could not solve. (To be continued. )