Chapter 78360457

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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1895-02-27
Page Number4
Word Count999
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)
Trove TitleSworn to Avenge
article text

^he novelist;1

Sworn to Avenge,

By a New Author.

CHAPTER Vnl.— (Continued.)

Tiie doctor's face Iras very serious as lie answered— ' I shall call sometimes, of course ; you must ;kaovr -I should like to very often, but you must let me bethe judge of when I can come, and leave no bit

tor the gossips to mate a feast on. I EhaH always be near -when you need me ; that mil suffice. Good bye.'' Katherine stood by the window till his figure— fitting the dark Arab horse he bestrode like zome equestrian statue in bronze — disappeared down tho green, vista of the avenue oal£3. And when she saw -tttti no more, the JHcene of her loneliness and desolation -of soul streps back upon her like a dark and cold re turning trove. The -silence throbbed heavily about her ; the air Bcerced chiller — the outer sunshine bleaker -with the keen sea wind cutting through it. The little chamber, Bo-Tich and luxurious, and a little while Ijofore so full of a nameless charm, op pressed her with its narrowness and stiUneBS — the empty place whereher friend had, sat besides her intensified Sie dreariness -when her eyes invol untarily turned to that spot as she moved from the window. On the carpet, where he had otobd ? ^hile bidding her adieu, a little square of -nasteboaTd had drou-oed. most pro

bably fallen from his pocket as he drew his gloves out. ? Katharine picked it up. It was ' only &8K»rd with his address, written in own singular chirography, ' Philip Lester,, M. L-.' The-delicious, spicy fragrance of deli catercdgsrs exhaled from it, tho same odoxrr that bad greeted her when he Bhook out his spotless handkerchief of dainty cambric By an indescribable impube, half bbbsuous, half sad, she put the cards to her lips and breathed in the warm per fume—it seemed to be a part of himself that he had left behihd to keep her com pany ,? the mere holding of the card board in her hands— the sight of Mb name — all gave it an almost aen tient meaning to her irritable fancy. There was a rap at the door; with a 5kurtled movement Bhe thrust tho card in the bosom of her dress— hei'self un conscious of how much significance this involuntary aefceontained. The foot man entered. ' Dinner is -? ready, madam. Mrs. Howe askB if you will have it served hare or come to the dining room ?' ' Hero, Manton, if you please.' Catherine shuddered at the idea of /vKtrin^r.ii.innn ia the great §Ulll»tuOUS saloon. * . The ghostsof the wild revellers, whewe orgies had been the themo of nurBery tales for the generations of 'We3tcombe, TTould rise up to mock the solitary stsrte of the black-robed widow , if she ventured to preside over tho- guestless board. At best.the meal would beamera formality. In the abnormal conditions ni her mind tho bodily functions seem: ed to have suspended their natural tasks. The tempting repast which the digni ed old butler spread out before her on a tiny round table was discussed almost ?nntouched, and ordering her wraps, Katherine set out for a walk in the spacious park. ; The west -was still brilliant with the golden after-glow that seemed left ; by, the departing son as escort to the queen of night, that swung a silver crescent just above the dark, plumy treetops, following like acaptive in the day-god's train. The wild [had lulled, but left a little keenness in the air. Through the open ings of the forresfc gleams of the white ning sea flashed, Bhoiring foamy caps, spectral sails of fiBhsra' boats hurrying homeward. The eereain of gulls sound ed shrilly above the deeper tones of the roaring breakers over the harbour bar. The night was falling coldly, and Katheriue felt the dry leaves 'crushing drearily beneath, the tread, of her dainty foot,, shod fairly in soft; kid boots that tit- like moulded wax. ? She was making her way through a a pathless portion of the dense, woody park, grown up in huge elnia, beeches, acd-eaks. It was her first ramble— in- deed, her fir3t appearance outside of her B£w home. The sylvan 'beauty and luxuriance of tho underwood delighted her nature loving eyes, and she roamed on swiftly feeling the circulation quicken in her elastic young veins, and that feeling of emancipation that comes to the senses in the open ^country or the. grandeur of. primeval forests. Whilst passing through a thick cop pice, gathering richly-tinted leav as and sprigs., of vices as she went, she felt her. step sink suddenly, as if in soft new mould that was different to the velvety carpeting of moss which lay behind her She stopped, drew back, and noticed that the impression of her boot had been left in the damp green/moss, which had the appearanea of having been dis turbed, and hastily replaced, aa r2 some Bharp, Sat implement had been thrust ander and then withdrawn. . Curious — she knsrr not 'S7by: — STatlie- rir.e. stopped, and with, tho branch of a, faggot removed tho loose turf. The light 'was going fast, but ihero was enough left to show the flash of metal, ehe fell; a hardsubstance roxisb the stem of oak in her hand, and, Teaching dbirn in the. soil, she drew out a pistol. A wild, sickening sense oi; impending mystery, or of revelation rushed upon Her. She stood trembling;, with the' weapon grasped tightly in her hand ; her eyas wandered wilh a frightened eagerness around tho product whers the deadly weapon had been buried.' Ail her faculties seemed sharpened and. quickened by the strained tension of her mind, and her peering sight diacsrnad . a small gray something just beyond the Bpot where the pistol hud been covered Yfith the mo33. . Quivering through :iil liar frame, she went forward and picked up a nian'cs ; glove.