|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||Money Or Wife ?|
OUR SEBIAL STORY
Money or Wife? CHAPTER UK— (Continued.)
She grieved for her lost happiness, but there was a touch of natural re sentment In her sorrow. Sho did .not understand why Julian should treat her so unkindly, unless indeed he 'ha:l lofi-; all love for her, and she would not
lot herself think this yet;- still,: their llfu .was so different, ,'fhero seemed 1 5 bo nothing ahe could do for Julian. He put her aside so completely. Sho 'knew nothing of his work or of liis pros pects. He seemed to have a (good deal of business about which sho knew no thing. Letters came frequently, now, 'but 'ho put 'them In hla pocket unopened, to toe read when he was alone. 1
Once, as she was looking at him noting with a pang at her heart how tired he was, and how his good looks had' faded, their eyes met. , There was such an agonised expression in the man's face that Enid's lips trembled. She rose, and going across, she kissed him tenderly. 'You. aro worrying about something,' she Bald. 'Dearest, my dearest, won't you tell me what it is?' 'Don't imagine things,' Julian an swered, 'and ho spoke, roughly; but ho caught her -for a long time, and. a flame of happiness ran through her, radiating all that was dark for just a little while. 'I want you only to remember that I am here,' she whispered to him un Bteadily— 'that I love you. . . that I would do anything for you, Julian, any. thing, my dear one, anythlngl' His voice was not steady as he an swered her— ? 'I know it,' he said, and his voice wa» strange and hard. She drew away from him,' and all was dark, once again, for it acemed to her as- if her loving words had carried hurt to' him Instead «« comfort, That night he told her he was going .
-.u me country on tho morrow to be tested In his driving ; he might be absent all day. Enid was up to give him breakfast, and she sent him to his work with a loving Wbs, and a blessing, folt if not, spoken, and then she went back to bed again, for it was very early, and- she cried a little while; she was bo1 un* happy. ,..-?? ?She yearned over, the man/ she had .married just us a motehr yearns over a child. . She felt her courage fading slowly away. She was beset with anxiety. What could sho do? How could sho help him? How -bring back a sem blance of their lost happiness?1 After'she had risen and dressed she roused herself. Tho little home had to bo cleanedi and there was mending to be done, for Julian's work played great havoc with his clothes?. And while Enid swept, and dusted, and even scrubbed, her heart was with him. Sho determined to meet him with a smiling faco and planned to give him something very nice for his sup per. Onco again »he set herself to
look optimistically to the future. Per haps to-day would ho. a, turning-point in their lives, if he did well to-day he might soon be In regular work. 'That tho work would bn in a sense menial had coafietl to vex her tender pplrlt. Thoy had tested so many degrees of suffering that there remained not a Slimmer of snobbery to either of them. To drive a motor-cab would bo hard work, 'but it was a man's worts, and a man with brains could rise even in this profession. Indeed, Enid found it possible to rejoice that her beloved one uhould have a life lived out in the open air; no close ofllco drudgery. Ao she settled herself finally with her needles and cottons and a coat of
tils (in which thero was a big rent) in tier lap, something happened. A letter slipped out of one of the pockets of tho coat and fell on tho floor. j As Enid Bryant stooped to pick up this letter and replaco it, she paused suddenly. A certain namo inscribed caught her eyes. A flame of color rushed into her face, and her heart beat hurriedly. She hesitated, looked again at the letter, put it aside; then onco more she hesi tated, and then her decision was taken.
out tho -paper on the table In front of her, It was a communication from a firm of solicitors, was dated a week previously, and headed 'Ro the late Mrs. Marnock,' and was evidently on© of numerous letters; thoso mysterious letters which he had never opened In her presence. Enid read carefully through this lawyer's letter, and when she had done so she sat and covered her face with her hands. She was trembling from the effect of a great, a dreadful shock. For this letter re capitulated In curt legal terms certain facts which had already been commu nicated to her husband; and these facts dealt with a bequest made by the late Mm Marnock to Julian Henry Bryant. The amount of this bequest was so lar?e that the Ugures danced before Enid's eyes. The lawyers had .written apparently to repeat once again that there had
been no mistake, nor was thoro any possibility of compromise; their duty was to pay over this money to . Mr. Bryant .only if he fulfilled the con dition attached to the. bequest. And what was this condition? If he agreed to live his life apart from the girl he had married, then Julian Bryant would be a rich man, a man with an assured position, a man with -power! If ho refused to fall in
with this condition, then not a penny would pass into Ills possession. Julian Bryant's wife sat, she hardly knew how long, with her trembling hands pressed to her hot eyes. She thought she had gone through as much suffering in the last few months as a woman's heart can bear; buV nothing that had gone was as bad as this. To feel that she stood a tangible barrier In his path! That she, who loved him, who would have given her life for him if. it had been demanded of her, should be recognised as a bar to all that was worth having in life, was a tragedy in it& way, It destroyed so 'much! Now was explained to her so much—the ir ritability, the restlessness, the un spoken trouble; all thoso thlns-s that had drawn her husband so surely away from her! She knew him so well. She could read into his heart, and follow almost every phase of the torture which this unusual and most cruel proposition must have signified to him, and when the first hot resentful misery had pass ed, her thoght was of fullest pity for the man. She longed to comfort him, to put her arms about him and to kles lfm, and to hold his tired head on her breast; for she knew the poison of this stTange bequest. Love -for her self (that wonderful love!) was light ing now, not merely against ugly necessity but against, the grimmest de termination. 'He will never do it!' she said to
herself, 'never! never!' She rose, and picking up the letter she slipped it .baok Into the coat .poc ket, and then she stood a .moment with closed eyep, lifting the coat in her arm3 and pressing her lips to it as though it wore -sentient and responsive; then sho brushed the tears away and sat down and thought deliberately. Hap-plly, Julian was not coming back till late/ there wore so many, hours In which to think and act!