Chapter 78361394

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter TitleA STRANGE BRIDAL.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78361394
Full Date1895-02-11
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1193
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)
Trove TitleSworn to Avenge
article text

THE NOVELIST F r- t ? —^_-______ ?

Sworn to Avenge.

By a New Author.

CHAPTER I. A STBAHGB BETDAi.

H The last sweet,, solemn words of the H Ktarriage service had teen sjeken Bf ' Man and wife' they if ere now and for H ever. And after the last sound had left S the lips of fhe grey-haired vicar, a W~' Bilence, ; like that of the very tomb it Sf self, held the bridal pair and the T?ed | ding prrty in its spell, -while theclergv r man extended Ma priestly hands to give the solemn benediction to those he jast

JU.LUGU tugCLUUX 111 IjiiC 'VJ.JT WLLMJZ, White and rigid, as if kissed into it3 stern repose by the cold lips of Death, the bride's fair face ohone under the gauzy veil. No timid glance, no glad some blush met the eager, hankering eyes of the dark-browed bridegroom aa they turned together from the alter to ? receive the granulations of friends, and -''the bleBsing3 of those who had given sweet Katherino Gordon toths wildest rate and most reckless of a hard, un canny of proud aristocrats. Thegirl had pleaded and prayedagainst alliance, but Malcolm Gordon waa a stern man 'with his children, and when the proud young Sir Godfrey Iredale, heir to the ancient castle and noble estates of Ashbourne, asked for the hand of Katherine.hia only daughter, he ?would hear no arguments, but Sung k. authority into the scale with Sir God W fray's uncompromising passion for the ' girl ; and thus it came to pass that the portionless maiden and the master of Ashbonrne, with its broad acras nourish ed by the sea, its crowds of servants, and its old Norman csstle, wore made ,;. man and wife. And now, the nuptial ?? ceremony having been duly concluded Hfl in the village church, the bridal pair |B1| prepared to attend the wedded party to P^, the house, where asumpfcuous feast and jrevel frere to be held in honour of the lovely mistres3 of Ashbourne. Sir Godfrey felt that the unpretent ious home . and meagre entertainment which alone could be furnished by Kata erine's parents wotild be unfitting the. dignity of his wife, and all ' the beat families' of the whole country-side had been bidden to welcome Sir Godfrey's bride to her. future home in the ances tral halls of the Iredalea of Ashbonrne. It was a miserable, gloomy day, and ft dpnsA foe from thfl sea had made it

almost as dark as night aa the company filed out of the church. Torches, held in the hands of some of the labourers on the estato , selected' for that purpose from the best specimens of thsir class, cast a lurid glare upon the paved pathway that led from the church, under an arcade of solemn / elms, to where the carriages waited in tihe High-street beyond. . A bright, rich earpst had been un rolled upon the mouldy tilea for the dainty feet to pass over, and Catherine Iredale, in their cloud-like drapery, glided more like a 'blessed ghost' than mortal woman under the gloomy Bhadow of the funereal tree3 .rGdly illu mined by the blaze of burning wood. The bridegroom's carriage v?n,e the first before the gate, and Katharine felt( , a shiver of deadly fear creep through' her as she found herself shut in alone with, her husbsaid. ..,??', Poor girl, sha took no comforting ' ' thought of the delicate silken cushions of the splendid carriage, ?wlvvso r»tseda bore it like tho wind through he grand and solemn wood, that led towards her future home. ' - She remembered only that hnr pure young heari turned fearfully and mis trustfully from tho man who now was master of her fate ; forgetting for the time that the caressing handfrom whose

toucii sue saramlr. with Jceen aversion was 'to be4 her portion ever more till death should set their two Ihrea iw ?nnder. To her fancy, Ashbourne Oastle, of whose splendoura all the country-side was singing, was naught else liufc.a dismal prison-house of all pale i despairs, and its sumptuous state a heavier burden for her tender soul than any toil or sorrow that poverty, with free dom and peace of mind, could have for her. Such were her dreary tbcB-jht? as tha Carriage rolled swiftly along, far in advance of all the less magnifi cent equipages, through the dense, dark wood. ' * The sound of the rapid wheols was Bcarcely audible on the soft sand cf th» 10 id, and in the silence Katherine cue almost hear the beating of her frighten - '..??? ed heart, and her hand lay cold as-stone . ... in the passionate clasp of her husband, ?'? ?U trho in his aelfioh gladness took no no-, ?if* tice of her bride's reserv. She belong-' .'.';? ed to him now — that was enough ! ''' Sharp asd loud through the black December day rang out the crack of a -r pistol-shot, ii»-c:..i from the rare of t: e -^ carriage — a wild yell of agony burs: v® from the bridegroom, for the ' death !:' missile had been {only ioo true to it3 '?'? mark. * : ??:. Just then the torchlights that -Knc-d the long avenuo to the castle g¥a sod . . through the forest. .-'. ' Drive for your lives !' cried the- dis tracted Kaiherine to the coachman a.nd j,j footman, when they inado as if to halt. '^ On, like the s.vift Plutonian steeds . ffew the noble horses, till' they ' were drawn up before the broad marble steps of the colonade in front of the old castle.

??^juick! ior tne iove of heaven! called thepalo young wife, over who?o spotless brid:;l veil flowed a strr.am of gore from ih- senseless h-?ar she sup ported in h*r .-inns. A wild soene ensued when the death stricken master was»borne by the hands ©i his servants into the brilli;tnfc f estai halls, and laid, bleeding a*ad uucon Bcious, upon a couch under tho glitter ing chandelier all decked with myitie blossoms in honour of occasion. Scarcely less lifeless, the bride wa3 carried to the nuptial chamber, and her pallid beauty' disposed beneath the rosy canopy of its sumptuous bed. As quickly as might be, the nearest surgeon was in attendance, and to the ?-4 enxioua crowd of terror-jmiitton by ?J standee, pronounced tho wound a fatal ?' ono. The ball had not accomplished it3 mission as quickly as it was wont to do, and was lodged in tho head, having jnado a ghastly, crushing wound.

us nugnu iinger ior aays — lie migxit expire in an hour. Dismissing the comp.'iny, Mi'] and Mrs. Gordon, with ono or two special friends, remained to dispense thewctfiil duties thus instituted for the weddirig fast. And interval of consciousness follow ed the first period of stupefaction, and the wounded man was able for a brief Bpace to realise the fearful and moot tragic termination to his selfish dre»:a cf happiness in the possession of Kath arine's pure a.nd exquisite beauty. l^jv (To be continued.,)