|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||A Terrible Wrong|
A TJEBB.IBLE WilQm
Br Mrs. Harriet Lewis. Author of- Tka Danhh IAjW1 lord Darlcwood's Grime,' fyc. ._-?
CHAPTER VII. , HOI.OIMX
'You have no motliev,' she answered. '? Smnn liille children Iosp their mol lim\-nn-? bnvo io go ?U'rthcmt.' ' is my ?)ioiK«v in heaven ?' asked rlie ohikl iixnnehthilW.
' I. don't know, dear. I wouldn't think of such things if I Were you.' tiut Dolores did think of them, then- and later. She used to lie awake at. Tiiffht., when her little school follows slept, and try to imagine how. her mother' had looked, and piftnml loving scones with tliut mother. As sho grew older- she htid seen tlmt nthoi- girls Imd parents find J'el.'i.tive-s, -while sin; had none. She hml tpiesiioned Mrs. Wnlkyn, hut tliat liuiy i-onld toll her nothing ol' her history, and maintained a reserve upon thesnhjeH that would have awakened i he snspifMnns of one more worldly -?wise than her ynmigoharge. i\tsfhouJ, a f(er Dolores liad gone 1.o Nice, the girls had been wont to talk of home and loved ones. And then sh(! had learned to comprehend tfie peenliarity of her own position. She Imd uevei- hnil a home m her life. .She did not know if in all the world there lived one person akin to her. Other girls dreamed of hrilliant marriages, of love and grandeurs : iJolore.s dreamed. of her mother and Lor kindred, and wondered if any ex isted, and longed and yearned' for them. ' She. had won the highest honours at school, had completed her school
'??''»™, hum iiiui. i mm i siiiii', iiiiuui' .ssiiitj convoy, hack in iSFrs. Watkyn, who was the only guardian and friend she knew. The good lady, avIio was about to depart for Canada, upon a visit to her son, was embarrassed by this return of her charge. She had not been able to procure a situation for her as governess. The girl's beauty and ex -jn isite air oF high-breeding made such a post seem unsnited to her. Tn hev dilemma., Mrs. Watkyn determined lo throw the responsibility of Dolores' future npon .lolmRedbnrn, and wrote to him, as we have mentioned, asking I him to recieve her. His answer being delayed, she had interpreted his silence as assent, and, „ as the hour of departure was at hand, she told Dolores all that she herself knew abont her ; how John Redbnrn had brought her to the rectory at ihe nge of two years, how that he had ?never been to see her since, but that he had written once a year, enclosing a. cheque for her expenses, and had ex pressed his wish that she should become a governess. She told Dolores that she .was now to go to her kinspeople upon a visit,
and the girl had set out upon her journey, thrilling with anticipations of the home she would tind and the warm hearts that would greet her. No thought of the shadow darken ing her life had ever penetrated her young soul. Her reception, however, had somewhat daunted her. This ' VJncle John' was so silent and cold to her, and his wife was absolutely unfriendly. What . could it mean ? They must be very distant relatives indeed. Mr. Redbnrn had no doubt educated her out of charity, and she was very grateful to him, but of course her stay at Redburn Farm must be short. The fields, and pastures, and wood looked beautiful to her in the lovely June afternoon. She looked at them and her brows grew graver and more thoughtful. LL \ J_ ? J__)--1-J1_' 1__l i! ? 11
ai any nue, sue xnougivs, nnaiiy descending from her lofty perch, ' I can try to make my kinspeople love me. And if the}- will not, they can at least tell me all about my parents. Since I have found these relatives I may find more. Who knows ?' She made her toilet hastily at the dilapidated dressing table, brushing out her crinkling (lark brown hair with the russet bloom upon it, and putting on a fresh collar and cuffs. Mr. Redburn had brought her little handbag with him, and the maid had conveyed it upstairs. Her trunk was still at Maiclstone Station, she having left it there through some motive of girlish delicacy, and not having since dared to mention its existense. Having brushed her simple black gown she made her way down the two flights of stairs to the family
parlour. Un the way down she saw through open doors comfortable bed chambers — at last two of them hav ing the unused look peculiar to un occupied guest rooms.. She wondered ? why she had been put up into the dreary attic when these rooms seem ed untenanted. She was not exacting or suspicions, but she thought it almost looked as if her presence here was very unwelcome. She opened the sitting room door. Old Mrs. Redburn sat in her high backed chair by the window grim and stern, and with a book of awful severity. The three boys were wait ing impatiently for the return of their cousin, and sprang up to wel come her. Joe led her up to Ins
iiACllH.tlJU.II.'Illvl. U IL'U tl 1» IV IV 111 ».L UUlUu' ness. ' Grandmamma, this is Dolores,' he said. K'one of the boys liked the author itative and hard old grandmother, but they feared her. But Dolores, looking into that Sphynx-like coun tenance, felt her yonng heart stirred with a strange emotion. The old woman was awe-inspiring — anything but lovely or lovable. The bitterness of years had seemed to choke ont all kindness in her nature ; but the happy young eyes of Dolores seemed to . merce beneath all the hardness to
the sore and suffering heart. Or elsa it might be that some instinct warm ed the girl towards her ancestress. At any rate, to the wonder of the three boys and to the anger of the old woman, she bent forward and touched her fresh and sweet lips to the withered old cheek, sayinir, softly - ' Joe calls you grandmother. May I, too?' '' The old woman's face darkened. The kiss thrilled her old pulse and somehow aroused a strange pain in hei.1 heavt. The voice* so full of
music, caressed her ears. The' girl's beauty amazed her. But the bitter ness of years was not to be dissipated by the girl's offered love. The ulrer other grief fjniToded too 'deeply- to be healed even by Dolores. ' I don't care what you call me,' she roldly said. ' T don't like kisses; 1 don't like girls either. 1 tint nn okl woman, and hate nothing in common With yom Be kind enough to leave me to myself*' The girl shrank back, growing pale. .
Lion t mind, Dolores, said Joe : ' it's grandmother's way. She don't care for anybody in the . world. Father says she had some great trouble once. Shall I show you my album, Dolores ?' ' Call me Dolly,' said the - girl, brightening again. ' Mrs. Watkyn and my schoolmates always ;eall me Dolly. Dolores is too long and too solemn for every-day use.' The supper, a substantial farmhouse meal, was presently urin6unredl It was served in the kitchen. The labourers were lodged and boarded at a teiinnt house quite near, and only the family gathered about the table. No one spoke except when necessary. An airof oppressiveness reigned. No one questioned Dolores about her school or attainments. Her presence was barely tolerated, and as she was quickwitted and observing she did not fail to notice it. After the meal old Mrs. Redbnm went back to her room. Young Mrs. Redbnrn, as the daughter in law was sometimes called by way.'of distinction, helped her servants. The boys went out to feed the cattle and attend to their nightly tasks. John Redbnrn
?awu nis niece were alone in the sitting room together. ' Uncle John,' saidthegirl, conrage ously, ' I fear that my coming here has displeased you all. If this - is so, I will go aAvay n the morning. It is true that Mrs. Watkyn has^gqne away, but Mr. Watkyn is still at Norwood, - and might find some shelter for me.' ' 1 will write to him to-morrow
and urge upon him the necessity tor finding yon a situation immediately,' said the farmer. ' This is no place for you, Dolores. Your presence -here is painful to us, and you cannot fail, to be unhappy here. I wrote to Mrs. Watkyn to-day that we could not re ceive yon. We are very plain people. ' Is that the reason of your cold ness to me, uncle John ? Why, you are my kinspeople, and I would love you if yon would let me,' ' cried the girl, drawing , nearer to him with radieut eyes. *' I have longed all my life for relatives of my own!' ' Yon are aromatic girl,' said John Redburn, somewhat harshly. 'We don't care for love. We've had enough of it to last our lives. You ean stay here until Mr. Watkyn can find a place for yon — indeed you must stay till then. Expect nothing of us and you won't be disappointed !' The girl shrank back, and a troubled look appeared in her eyes. ' Don't you want me to love you ?' she asked.
' No, I don't. We don't any of us want your affection. The sooner you get over such silly ideas the better,' said John Redbnrn. ' This is a hard world. You'll have to work, as we do. Your face will be a curse to you — I don't like pi-etty faces. I thank heaven that I have no'' daughter,': he added, somewhat irrelevantly. ' Get the romance out of your head, Dolores, and think of hard work.' : The girl was silent a few minutes. ' I suppose that we are very distant relations, uncle John, are we not ?' she asked. - ' The farmer nodded. ' I knew that the relationship could not be very near,' said Dolores, simply, her lips quivering. ' You have been very good to me,'. sir, and I thank you. Mrs. Watkynsays that you noi'n 011170170 noin oil im- aviianctao. ?
that I owe you everything. I thought, perhaps, that I could pay part of nay great debt to you in love, but since that is silly I shall try to pay it all in. money as fast as 1 can earn it. Some day,' and she spoke with a girlish dignity that surprised him, ' if you will kindly give me the sum total of your expenditures for me, I shall be greatly obliged.' . ' I don't want to be repaid,' said Mr. Redburn, a shade less roughly. ' In fact, I have spent none of my money for you. There is a little fund in my hands for your benefit. It is not all expended, although I have had to draW/Upon the principle pretty heavily.' . 'Who left the money to me?' asked Dolores. ' No one. It is-& fund that was in my hands for another purpose, and was diverted to you. The money is not yours strictly. It belongs to another.' 'To whom?' ' That I cannot tell you. You must not ask questions here, Dolores. Accept things as you find them. If you don't like them, remember that yoxi are soon going away, never to re turn. Here comes my wife. You ax*e not to ask her any questions, re member.' It was not likely that, the girl would carry the problems that filled her soul to aching to the un sympathizing farmer's wife. She
almost smiled at the thought. ' It's time for you to go to bed,' said Redburn, presenting Dolores with a lighted end of candle. ' We ai-e early birds here — early to bed, early to rise, is our notto.' Dolores took her candle, said good night, and withdrew. She had gone half way up the stairs when she re flected that she onght to have spoken to the farmer about her trunk. She turned clack. The sitting-room door had sprung lightly ajar, and the voice of Mary Redburn reached her ears, uttering words that held her spell bound. '; I don't care,' the farmer's wife was saying, fretfully. ' I can't treat her decently, and I sha'n't try. I
with her fine education and lady ways. I'd like to take down her pride. I could humble her head into the dust just by telling her who she is. I wonder you can ever speak to her civilly, John. It's a bad day that she entered' this house:' There's a curse on her, although she is so in nocent of it, and that curse will weigh her down yet. Like mother, like daughter, 1 say.' (To be continued.)