|Chapter Title||THE VICTIM.|
|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||A Terrible Wrong|
, „. . .4 TERRIBLE TVRONG.
By Mtjs. Harriet ?Lktcir-. : Author of '? The Uoubh Lifer Lord ? V'^ Darhtooil's Crime,' $c, ?
CHAPTER II. , THE VICTIM. : ?
'For lioiH-s she wandered on in the gloom and rain, her brain seeming on five, a hand of ice appearing to clutch at her heart. Wild with her agony of grief and shame, she took her head ..through strange .and lonely streets, like some deeper shadow of 'the night' no one speaking to her, or offering to
molest her. At midnight she stood upon Water .. .loo-bridge. ' She altered at one of the alcovecl seats, and in a dazed and confused .'way made her preparations for suicide. .She drew -out her pocket handker chief, upon which was written her name, ' Qneenie Keith,' and laid it ou the seat. She flung . her wates 'proof upon it, and dropped . in.. .one . of the pockets of the cloak her wed . ding ring. She was nearly ? erased with her anguish, and scarcely knew what she did, but some faint idea flitted through her tortured soil that these relics would be found upon the morrow, and that Oswald Keith would hear of her fate. She stood divfistnrl nf Iipp -wrrnns.
and ready for death. She raised her wild eyes to the blackness above her in u sort ef prayer. Then she made a movement to mount the parapet. But in the very act she whirled aside by a swift figure that had come upon her unobserving and unobserv ed. Another miserable woman— some unfortunate, ' mad from life's history, glad to death's mystery swift to be hurled' — sprang past her, mounted the parapet, and leaped over into the blackness beneath. As the woman's shrill cry rang out, poor Queeriie started back in utter
terror. Then, in a panie, she fled from the bridge and disappeared in the gloom of the Surrey side, as a policeman hnrried in the opposite direction to the scene of suicide. The next morning's newspapers contained an account of the suicide of a young womannamed Queenie Keith, who flung herself from 'Waterloo- bridge. The relics which she had left had been taken to a police station, and were duly described. Later in the day, Grifford Melcombe examined and identified them. He told a plausible story, claimed the property as ' Miss Keith's' friend, and earned them away with him. Lord Oswald Lennox read the story also, and gave an hour to useless regrets and unavailing remorse. Then he attired himself with un usual care, perfumed himself, and went forth to call .upon the Lady Victoria Ellesmere. '
.tie round, her at home, and very gracious and pleasant. He told her hat he loved her, and asked her to be his wife. This was not the passion ate wooing with which he had won hapless young Queenie. A strange gloom hung over him, oppressing his spirits, but the Lady Victoria, charm ed by his beauty was not too critical in regard to his manner, and yielded a pleased assent. -; ' I want to leave England,' he said to her, in a hoarse and troubled voice. ' Let our engagement be brief, Vic toria. Promise to be my wife in
' Three months hence ? Yes, 1 promise,/ said' the Lady Victoria. 'That will' give me time' for a trousseau. 'We will be married in May!' Lord Oswald Lennox returned home, and sound his father in the library. ; The young man's face was haggard.^ The shadow of his crime had dimmed his fine beauty. His eyes had a desperate look, as if he felt himself haunted.. . 'I have done it, father,' he said, abruptly, as the earl looked up in haughty surprise at his entrance. ' I — I have cut short my — my en tanfflemflTlt,. fimrl ' s+.n.vf orl /Vlno-»» T.orlTr
? Q ? — — -j ..«»*..(. uviii uiiu Wlt^ll'J.. X1UUV, Victoria Ellesmere has accepted me, and we are to be married in May.' Tne earl rose and held out his hand to his son, well pleased. 'I congratulate you, Oswald,' he exclaimed. ' Now get rid of that Melcombe. and be a man, upright, honourable, and noble ! Begin a new life from to-day.' Lord Oswald broke away, hurrying up to his own room. 'The past is dead!' he said to himself, fiercely. ' I have acted like a demon. Queenie has killed herself. No ghost of this past can ever arise to haunt me. She is dead — dead — and I am free to start anew. I will many Lady Victoria. I will be rich and prosperous ; and so long as I ilTTQ ' 1-1 rt nArlnA (C Tnlinll 1 ? 11? -
murderer ! Poor Queenie ! My poor, lost wife ! Well; she can never rise from the grave to mar my pros perity!' And he laughed strangely. ' I am rid of her for ever !'