|Chapter Title||THROWN ON THE WORLD.|
|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||A Terrible Wrong|
A TERRIBLE WRONG.
By Mns. Harriet Lewis.
Author of «?' The Donhh Life.' Lord Dark-wood's Crivie' fyc.
CHAPTER V. '*? THJJOWN* ON THE WORT.n.
' Then come up to her room,' said Mrs. Brown, delighted at the prospect of solving the mystery that had so puzzled her. ' I did not know Miss Queenie's name. We knew her only as Miss Queenie !' The mother's face was overspread 'with, a curious gray pallor. It was plain that those simple words concealed an arrow that pierced her
proud old heart. Th is mystery seem ed to her to have a taint in it of dis grace, and yet that word and the name of Redburn had never before been linked together. She hated her self for her suspicion ; she was wildly incredulous in spite of it. No doubt it could all be explained — only let her see her child. ' My daughter is Miss Redburn,' she said, her head uplifted somewhat
haughtly. ' Please take us to her immediately.' Mrs. Brown silen tly led the way up stairs, her visitors following. She flung open the door of Queenie's room. The girl was not there. The month was May, but a low fire burned drowsily on the hearth. A shaded lamp burned upon a table between two windows. The furniture was of the
usual lodging house type, old, and battered, and rickety, but it was scrupulously clean. In the far corner, among the dee]) shadows, stood alow, white bed, half hidden in a tent drap ery of white 'dimity. : ' Mrs. Redb urn's eyes swept , the chamber, and then fixed themselves upon the lodging house keeper in eloquent dumbness. ' Sit doA\*n, ma'am,' said Mrs.
Brown, respectfully, placing a chair before the hearth. ' And you, too, sir!' addressing the young man, and placing another chair. Mrs. Redburn turned upon her like a tragedy queen. ? '. ' Where is my daughter?', she demanded, fiercely, all the passion in her soul, all her fears and anguish, leaping into expression. ' ' I'll explain, ma'am. She's gone out for a little,' said Mrs. Brown, quailing before those stern haggard
eyes. ' She'll be in soon, 1 hope. You see, ma'am, a boy came here an hour ago with a written message to her, and. she went distracted like, and wrung her hands, and seemed actually mad with terror, poor young thing! The note contained a warning as her mother and brother were coming to see her, I think. Leastways, I picked up the scraps after she had gone and 'nififlprl t.lipm ^no-pfliPT. n.nrl +,lTf-v shptii.
ed to read that way ? ' ' Where did she go ?' asked John Redburn, hoarsely. '???'? 'That I can't say, sir. If you'll wait, she'll be in soon, I think. She's never been out in the evening before since I knew her, and she won't be out long now, being she's so feeble !' 'Has she been ill.?' asked Mrs.
Redburn, quickly. ' Very ill for more than two mon ths,' answered ' Mrs. Brown, with a look of pity for the unsuspected mother. ' She was out of her head for months— didn't know a. thing delirious, you know ? ' ? The mother's rugged face was transfigured with sudden joy and relief. Mrs. Brown had expected that her tidings would produce grief ; she was not prepared for ' that strange expression .of thanksgiving. ' I knew that she was ill,' said Mrs. Redburn, her hard voice tremulous ? .1 J _ 1 tt T t 1 i 'I
imu tender. i icnew sne must oe. She had great talents ; she studied too hard, and, in some vagary, you know, produced by over study, she left her school and came here.; You see, John ?' ' Yes, I see,' answered John.. .But his voice 'was hard, and his mannex*. constrained. ? ? ' My tender little lamb ?' said the old mother. 'I have done wrong in not looking after her more carefully. She has been delirious for months, you say ? Is she in her right mind now ?' 'Yes, madam,' answered Mrs.
?'Auniij IT VJJ.tLCi.JHg iiUU OULG IT CIO LU tell all she knew of poor Queenie to this mother and brother. ' She had kept her affairs to herself, and never let me know anything of her real history, but her mind is clear, I know. All she needs is your love and care te make her quite well. She has suffer ed so much.' ' She Avill have the best of care, and love without stint,' said the old mother, softly. ' We will take her home to the old farm and nurse her up, my son and I. She is my. only daughter, ma'am, a lady from her birth, sweetest, lovingest ? '
A baby s moaning cry came from the bed. Mrs. Redburn paused as if shot, and slowly turned her head, after a jerk . ing, automaton fashion/ in thai direction. v 'What is that?' she asked, in a 'whisper. Mrs. BroAvn hurried to the bedside and took up the infant, returning with it. Its long white robe fell
over her black dress ; its tiny head lay against her broad bosom. It look ed like a little doll, its elfin face illumined by a pair of strangely largo dusky eyes, just now full of baby inquiiy and disquiet. *c Is it not a beauty ?' said the lodging house keeper, awkwardly. ' Bless its little heart ! The little precious darling ? ' ' Is it yonr child, ma'am ?' asked John Redburn. ' Mine ? Oh, no, sir. Mine are a sturdy lot, big, healthy children, sir, while this is as fair and delicate as a'
little princess, tne Deautyi. 1 ins is Miss Queenie's child.' Mrs. Redburn stood up, white and awful. ' Woman!' she ejaculated. 'What lie is this ? What jest, what — — ' Her heavy figure swayed, '.ml she fell back into her chair. ? John Red burn was at her side upon the instant. Mrs. Brown put down the child in haste, and brought water. ^Mis.Red bnrn recovered speedily from, her attack of faintness.- She had never
been guilty] of such weakness before in her life, and her hawk-like eyes pounced again in an awful gaze upon the lodging house keeper. , .... ' ' Hush, mother,' said John Red burri, gently. ' Let me question this woman. There must be some mis
take, ma'am. Or perhaps you were jesting, and meant to say/, that , my sister is fond of your child. Is that it?' '' . ? , -' ???.?:. ?=? ' By no means, sir. The 'child 'is your sister's, born of her, in this very room, three months ago, as.the doctor will testify, and as the birth isre o-Jstered. I attended to the registry
O ? -- - - ? — - . u *- myself, and the entry was odd enough. Miss Queenie named herchildDolbres; an oddish foreign name that means grief, or some such thing, and armrotriate the name is to Miss
Queenie herself, and likely to, be to thechild.' ? ? . ??. ? ? .; ';'; 'This is actually and truly Queenie's child ?' asked John Redburn, still half incredulous and wholly bewild ered. ? -.. ? f ' There's proofs complete, sir.' '
The mother now roused lierself from, her stony si lence. ; ; ; ; ; . . ? : . 'You see how surprised1 wej.are,' she said, tremulously; 'We did' not' even know' 'that my daughter, ;was married.' . . .... . :.; . . ' , ,;',,, . 't ... ?;., 'Where is my sister's husband?', lisked John' Redburn.,,,. ?,+,-,??;,, A ,..,., ? CTo be continued.)