|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||Money Or Wife ?|
OUR SERIAL STORY
Money ov Wife ? 1 ....»»?' CHAPTER XX.
Julian Bryant travelled up t(n Liver pool with Ketch to see him off. Jn vlow of the fact that It was mori than probable that Ketch, would run into a good deal of money before very long, Julian had proposed that he shoulcv travel with a certain amount of com fort; but Mr. Ketch disposed of this idea very quickly. ;*».
'*Not me,' he said. 'No swagger state-rooms and sitting -up stiff and starch life; besides*, wo haven't done the trick yet, air, you know, not- xsora- pleto like, and so we'd best go oasy.' Moreover, it appeared that Ketch had a 'mate' going out third-class, and he preferred to chum with this' young follow; They parted at the docks and grip ped hands firmly. 'Here's luck to you, sir,' said Ketch, 'the real sort, I mean. ,1 hope you'll get just everything you want.' Bryant laughed. i It was strange how every now and then, when he' was' alone with this rough working-man, a sense of hu mility would come upon him, a dis agreeable feeling, which was not easy . tc break off. 'Thanks, Ketch,'- he said. 'Your good wishes count for a good deal.' Then he laughed again. 'Though I suppose in the «yes of the world I've had more than ray share of luck.' 'Well, I wish jou good, that Is what ;i mean,' said Ketch! 'and there is one thins, cure, sir, jwhether this thing
comes off, as wo. hope it will; or whe jther it dries up- and rots, I'll never 'forget what youVe done for me, never! You've been 'the right sort of pal, you bave. So, onoejmore, here's luck!' .. I Bryant travelled back to London with «, feeling, of restlessness upon, him.- He .?would miss Bll'l Ketch. Of course, he could always go to the works, but It was the man who had drawn him, who
jnaa naa me pawor to interest him, to i take him right oufo of himself. t After waiting, he hardly knew why, a certain length of time, Julian had I -put the mattir'of finding Enid into the I * -hands* of aibothor lesal firm. Some I times, when he thought of Tenderten, I 'his lip would curl, and yet an uneasy ' I feeling woald come, too. ? I , He had given the, man what he had I ? j asked, but he mistrusted him so abso I ! lutely that- he was prepared aj any1 I 'moment to. find that Tenderten had I played the traitor, and that Ellen I Crooper knew the trick he had played.
the secret of' hi? life,, the real story of his career. ?}-,'' He had not known until he began matters howij this question of following' up Enid's movements, of forcing him self, as it wjere, once again into her 'life, was going to cost him. ! He never , doubted (not for an ln | stant) that she would fall him. When '?she was found, and his wishes were made known;. to her, she would unhesi tatingly consent to do u.U that was re quired of he;. Sometimes the thought would come; (and thl»t \vas chiefly 'at night, when; he lay vainly trying to . 6;eep), that .perhaps Enid might not be found, that perhaps already the free dom he was scheming to obtain be -'; longed to him, that perhaps- — He ?never let hirrWlf quite finish -that sen tence—he cafled himself a coward, and he did all he could to work up hard . and. bitter feelings for Enid; but .he* never could let himself go through with the supposition that phe was dead. The very suggestion was like a' physical pain. '?' . ? The lawyers Vho wero nntinv -v». m«.
took the. matter .up in the most prac tical sort of way. There was no ques tion of sentiment, no fern- of intrusive questioning. To them it was a very ordinary case^ and, when onoe . Mrs. Bryant w'as found, would be carried out as cxpeditiously a? possible. Money can buy nearly everything, and money would buy Julian Bryant liLs freedom! He was now .beginning to bo tor tured with the thought - that it was absolutely due to Lady Elien that she should be Informed of the real position 1 of affairs. A The more he saw of her the 'more her charming, bright, .half-boyish companionship cheered and comforted
him; the more dishonorable it had seemed to him that this woman should not know what was passing, and yot he could not bring himself to speak to her? He dreaded to lose her! She stood for so much In his life now, and he had the very -?onvlncing feeling that he meant so much to her. He never deceived himself. He was almost sure that Ellen Crooper wan not in (lovo with him, th.at something was holding herv-back. But he did know 'that she trusted him, that she turned to him as to one who would not fall her, and that certainly constituted tho onlyreaJ happiness that Julian Bryant had in his life now! His mother had gone back to Italy. She had worn herself out In abuse of
Mr. Pleydell, and in writing frantic letters of reproach and pleading to her eon; but Julian had been firm. .He would have nothing to do with his mother. Had she been poor, struggling-, un happy, he would have taken all her burdens from her, but she wanted for nothing, -and he could not forget that in his hour of greatest need, when he had asked her for help, she had denied him! 'He spoke frankly and easily to Lady Ellen about his mother. She was not wholly in sympathy with him. One afternoon, as they sat together, she Ventured to tell him that she thought that he had been a little cruel. 'You don'.t understand!' Julian said. 'It is my mother who was cruel. You've only, known me since I hav«
had all this monex, If you had known mo In the days when I was waAklng the streets for some means of earning daily bread, perhaps you would find it In your heart to forgive me what I have done my mother.' 'I wish I had known you In those days!' Lady Ellen said softly. ''It is so nice to ,be able to do things for any one one likes; and what can I do for you? You -have everything.' 'Not everything.' said Julian Bryant, 'not everything— yet.'1 The woman shivered a little and drew back. It -was so often that he
spoke like this, and yet he never ac tually came to the point. Why did he not speak more definite ly? She -wanted him to speak now, she wanted things to ibe absolutely settled. She wanted to put dreams and fancies and sweetest thoughts all behind her, and to face a new future, She was re solved that she was going to be happy with Julian. There was so much in ?him that appealed to -her. She could be of such help to him. He was over weighted now with his money. He seemed almost helpless at times; and Lady Eilen had begun to make all sorts of little plans and &ehemes for the future in which this money of his was to play such a big part, not frivolous schemes or foolish ambitions, but big, real work. .She was growing a little thin and be-' coming nervous. She did not attempt to disguise from herself that she waa convinced, that she was .quite sure that he Intended to ask her to marry him; but what she did, not understand was
why he never did do this. She laughed a little hurriedly, and said— . ' .. 'Perhaps I am .thinking of things from your mother's point of view. 1 often imagine, how I should have felt If I had had a son. I believe I should be a horribly jealous mother!' - 'There is no comparison between such' a nature as yours and mj mother's nature,' Julian answered. They changed the conversation ab ruptly, and he told her. all about Ketch's departure the day before, and of the man's enthusiasm, and of the .wonderful fortune that ho really ?bo- lleved was in store for this humbly born Inventor. '.It soun'ds like a fairy story,' snld
Lady Ellen. 'How. lovely it muBt have been for you 'to have done something for him.' ??' . He shut his eyes and his memory wafted him back to the cold, dark morning hours In the garage, to the rough work, and to BUI Ketch's sturdy friendship. There was a little pause, and at that moment the door opened, and Colonel Dawney was announced. With a little catch In her voice, al most 113*0 a cry, Lady 3Dllen/got up. 'Adrian! Oh, you stranger! Where have you been? Some one told me that you had gone to the 'Riviera,'' 'I paid a flying rlolt to Nice,' Colonel Dawney said, as he shook hands with her, and then nodded pleasantly to
Bryant, 'You know my Bister Mllly is there, and sh'o has not been' well lately, so I ran over to see how she was.' Lady Ellen's hands were trembling a little, and there was a nervous, excited thrill in her voice. 'Please ring the bell, Mr. Bryant,' she said. 'We'll have some fresh tea. and perhaps we had better have some light.' As one well used to his surroundings, Julian Bryant turned on the various lamps and then took his stand on the hearthrug with his back to the fire! His attitude seemed. to signify posses sion. When tea wag brought Adrian Daw ney looked at him thoughtfully. What a fine, splendid-looking man he was! Just the sort of man to take tho heart of a young creature like Ellen Crooper. They chatted together pleasantly for quite half-an-hpur, and then Colonel Dawney got up, 'Oh! — oh! you're not going, and I — I've such a lot to say to you, Adrian! If you disappear now, goodness knows when I shall see you ag-aln. Qan't you —can't we dlno together?' 'With pleasure,' said Colonel Daw ney; 'as a matter of fact I came to ask you if you would care to dine with
some friends of mine this evening, the wife of my Rector is In town. You saw her that day at the farm, you re member. She is staying for a little while with her sisjer, and I know she would like to meet you.' Lady Ellen clapped her hands. She was quite excited, 'Oh, it sounds lovely!1* Then sh« turned quite apologetically to Bryant. 'You are already engaged, aren't you, this evening?' ? Julian said 'Yes,' and then prepared to take his leave. 'I'll come with you,' Bald Dawney. He just paused to Impress upon Lady Ellen the time, and tell her that he would be waiting for her at the en trance of the Rltz, and then they went down the stairs, and loft the house to gether, he and Julian. They walked some little distance In silence, and then, as Julian was about to make some casual remark; Colonel Dawney said to him rather abruptly— '1 wonder, Mr. Bryant, if you would give me five minutes' quiet chat.' 'Of course,' said Julian, though his heart began to beat a little nervqusly. 'I shall Ibe delighted. Will you come to my hotel? I am not In my. house tor the moment.' 'That will do very, well,' said Daw ney, and they walked on briskly, When they wore in Julian's sitting room, Adrian Dawney put down his hat and stick and unloosened his big coat. , 'I hope you won't think me Intru sive, Mr. Bryant,' he said; 'but I have to put a very pertinent question to you. For some little time past the Duchess of Wiltshire, myself, and others con nected with Lady Ellen have ^boon rather^ perplexed how to act. We have beeji waiting, and It seems to ? me we are[ likely to wait Indefinitely, to know what your Intentions are. I must tell you.' Dawney went on very quickly, 'al- though I a.m not actually a relation, of Lady Elton's, I hnve known h&r all1 her life practically, and I— have stood to her very much In the light of a brother, nerhans oven of a father.
Hence theVeason I approach you.' 'I won't misunderstand you,' &ald Julian Bryant. He had grown very pale, and hail moved to the fireplace, and was standing with one foot on the fender, 'You allude to my friendship with Lady Ellen?' 'Yes. What the ?Duchess and we oth&rs ure anxious to know Is, is your sentiment for Lmly Kllen friendship only, or have you other views? You see,'. Colonel Dawney added, with his charming- smile, 'she Is very youns. I don't know what her.Hge is really, but she Is one of those sort of women who never grow old, and she neerta to bo looked after, to have all ports of care lavished on her.' Bryant looked at the other man for n. moment, and then said — lJlt Is my earnest desire to give Ludy Rllcn this cure.' 'Hnvo you spoken to her?' ; He shook his head, , ,( 'No.' \ 'Why not, Mr. Bryant?' Julian caught his brenth very quickly and then said— 'There are. reason.' why I;ho»ltate.' 'If your mind I? not sure,' Dawney said sternly, 'then you must not give the world the reason to Buppoae other wise. You must not suffer Lady Ellen's? name to be whispered about You must not expose her to gossip and
comment; in short, Mr. Bryant, If ypu do not Intend to ask Lady ISIlen to be, your wife, then you must keep away from her altogether.' 'I. do intend to ask Lady Ellen 'Crooper to be my wife,' Julian Bryant ?answered now, vety quietly. 'If I have not done so before, It is because, as I said, just novy I have hesitated— but I have been .wrong! I will speak to her to-morrow.' 'I think I can guess what her an swer will be,' Bald Adrian Dawney; and he stretched out his trend, smiling again; 'and I hope you will both be very happy. I think— you are just the type of man to suit her. I hope you will not harbor any very hard; feeling tor mo »because-T*have- spoken to''y*u w openfy.' 'That would Tje^impossiblo,' saia Bryant; and he gripped Colonel Daw ney*s hami almost .passionately. He walked with his gttest out Into tho hail, and they parted with a feel ing of mutual liking; but after Adrian Dawney had son1?, a sudden chill gripped- Julian's heart. He had pledged himself to speak, and yet he knew that ir he-dia speak' he must tell all, and that woutd' mean that Lady Ellen would never consent to be his wife! -