|Chapter Number||XX Continued.|
|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||Sworn to Avenge|
Sworn to Avenge,
By a New Author.
CHAPTER XX.— Contiunea.
« Ton might have spared yourself the exquisite courtesy of making'' me. the re cipient of such information, Lady Ire dale,' said Kenrick, with amazing in Bolence. He was evidently trying what bravado could do to unsettle Katherine's equani mity. She remained as cool and placid as a summer lake, and 'without noticing Eenrick's remark in the least, went on
' Further more, I have determined to permit you no further exercise of the prerogative you claim under that will, which being lost and unproven, is not, for the present at least, ih any way ? binding upon my acts. I have com manded my agent Mr. Thornton, to re ceive no further instructions from you connected with the business, of Ash bourney to which my father will attend hereafter, until this whole question shall be adjusted in the courts. And, lastly, Mr. Kenrick, on no pretext whatever , will you set foot within the grounds of Ashbourne;, or venture to address a line to myself. I shall forthwith take mea sures to entrench myself in this position until legal proceedings ohall finally re relieve me of all embarrassment.' Katherine sat leaning calmly back in her- chair, steadfastly watching the lawyer, and seeming to take a quiet pleasure in his suppressed rage, which 1 «he could not help seeing was rending * his vitals. ' Her manner and her placid indiffer
ence to all he said so wrought upon him that he become utterly desperate, . and, - with a tone of stifled fury, he exclaim . ed— . 'Woman! Have you forgot that I hold your life in my power ? Have you forgot that , a word from my lips can J place you in a dungeon cell of the com ] mon.gaol on the charge of murder ? j That it rests with me whether you are J arraigned and tried before the bar of ? justice for the slaying of your husband, and that even if the pity of a jury shall give you a verdict that may save your . life — that life must lie for ever after f under a shadow that will be to as the / curse of the leper, shutting you out from ? j the sympathy of all the world?' : / - 'I have forgotton nothing, sir I' ' Then you will dare to challenge ',' your own doom by attempting to insti ! tute proceedings that will drive me to expose you.' 'At every hazard I shall free myself ; from the odium which that willimposes ?_? and — and from the hateful— nay, inaup . I ?. portable position it forces me to occupy ' towards you.' ?' I see that you have taken your re-, solve— now hear mine. If Jam not to poBess you, no other man shall, I swear. i know that you love Philip Lester— I know that you would give your blood to aerve him, or to save him from danger. I can bear to see you perish on the Bcaffold, but not to see you the wife of kny man on earth. If the law shall 4 spare your life, then must Philip Lester ? die in your stead, and for' your crime \' '. Ha ! ha ! ha ! And so you think to malce a coward of me bydark threats against my friend, since you find that I am not to be frightened by those against myself.' Eeolly, it is all too contempt ible to notice ! My business with you is at an end, Mr. Kenrick. ' I will not try to make you understand how worse than useless to any of your purposes it ._..-? . would be. to attempt auy accusation whatever against Doctor Lester. As to your brutal insinuations concerning my friendship for him, they are : like their tiuthor — quite beneath my consider-, ation. Will you do me the favotir to . ring that bell ?' : . Beside himself with anger at the last degradation that her words put upon him in making, or seeking to make him the instrument of his own dismissal from the house by directing him to ring ,'.''. for her footman, Kenrick exclaimed, with violence — ' Madam, am I a slave to obey your orders?' - ? . V . ? . ' Oh, no ; but I was under the impres sion you thought yourself a gentleman, and might therefore comply with a lady's request. I see that even you do not make such a mistake about your Belf,' said Katherine, as she quietly rose and touched the bellrope. If he had dared he would have ? . , ? strangled her where she stood regard ing him like a cool white stakie of scorn. All his passion for her Heemed i to have turned to hate, and the hot \ blood in his veins to gall. Nothing but ?I the low, ominouB thunder of Gelertf s i deep growl kept down the vile instinct to Bpring upon and rend the frail and .lovely creature whose proud disdain ? : waB lashing him like the scourge. of a fury.
. ' Woman, you have signed your own ? death warrant by this night's work. 1 Tour blood be on you own haughty \ Lead, and just ere it comes to lie with ?! 'the lowest,rememb.sr that my love would ; have saved you as surely as my hate shall destroy you and the man you love!' , With this, and before the servant ap J penred, Kenrick flung himself from T Katherine's presence, grinding and \ gnashing his jaws in the rage that con \ Burned him. i He waB at last driven to his defences; ! further skirmishing would hot only be j the merest waste of time and effort, ? i but leave himself exposed to any flank ? movement which his enemy might ha-e ; in reserve. Besides, under Katherine's . \ declaration of her intention to contest i the will, lurked an imminent, perhaps a . fatal peril for himself. Chewing this most bitter cud a3 he ? . . strode back to the city, Kenrick decided that to parley further was to run the risk of his own destruction. Katherine meanwhile returned to her \ eitting-room and soon after . received the evening post.
Her heart grew sick and cold as she rainly sought for the promised letter from her absent friend. Not a line yet. i( What can have happened to him ?' she asked painfully of the unaps-vreriug .silence. ?' Never once did any doubt of his truth and sincerity enter her thoughts. She knew the world teo little to suspect any foul play, and could only conclude that some accident or mischanco had prevent ed his writing to her as he had promised to do. She only felt she must wait on. Thus she had let the days and weeks Blip by, and then another night passed, and still she had not breathed a word of anything she knew or suspected to a human ear. To be continued.