|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||Money Or Wife ?|
poiiey of Wife ?
I CHAPTER I.— (Continuod.1
His heart was beating wildly. It is ?ie that he had not uo yet set him ?f to sort out and arrange arid cal ?late how Enid and he were going- to '
He on the very little income which he ?rned; bu at the back, of lila mind Hire had lurked the. uncomfortable ?nvictlon that It was not going/to bo ?very easy matter. And now in the ?wt 'wonderful, most, unexpected, way ? was nominated to a post that would ?san certainly four times the value of ?mt he had been earning hitherto. ?^ stood rQ;!er.s In ri'.M-irc that the ?man at the desk' laughed. ?,.' ?^Vcll,' she asked, 'do I uridefstand ?it you will accopt this new '.office V' ?He looked at hor. for un' Instant. ?Accept!' he sakl. 'Oh! you know ??ill) The only thing is,1 nm I quite ? to the work? Hodson has boon ?toy you so long; he is such a smart ?ap. Of course I'd do my utmost, [o ?^Irs. Marnoci^intei-rupted him. ?'I have taken your measure;; I know ?iat you can do,, tlmfsi quite sain ^pnt,' she said in her curt way. 'l'ou ?ll start your new duties next week, ? there is anything frou don't feel ?lite sure about,, come to me. Don't ?- to the others. Come to me.' Her ?llow face had a tinge of color. .. 'I Ha very ambitious for you, Julian, ?his is only a beginning'.' ? The young man stammered, He ?it it well-nigh impossible to express ?s gratitude. Her kindness, her belief ? him meant so much— so very much! ? 'I wish I could .thank you,' he said; ?ut'l can't, honestly. I can't.' ? 'I don't want thanks,' said Mrs. ?arnock. 'I know I can trust you. ?ou will have to see ??me very f re- ?if ntly at the beginning; in fact/ thero ? a good dcul Jhat I ought to talk ?er with you at once. Dine with me ?-night.' ? Julian Rrvnnt hit life Un
I 'Oh! I'm eo very sorry,' he «aid, I'm afraid I can't dino to-night.' ? 'You are already engaged?' ? He laughed a little shyly. ' f ? 'Yes,' he paused an instant, and Ren he said, 'My wife expects me.' ? Mrs. Marnock sat very stilly and' lere was silence- for a moment; then lie repeated — ? 'Your wife? You are married— then?' ? She spoke jerkily—harshly. I 'I married th« first day of my holi lay. We have been spending our loneymoon abroad.' I Again the woman waa silent, and lien she queried— , , ? 'Wliom have you married?' ' ? ' - I 'My wife is a Can|ditin— that is to Ry,' Bryant added eagerly, 'sh« really
? -English, .but 'She has llvei tho iast Iw years of her life with an aunt in ?inada; her parents are dead. She |me over to study music 'here. She ?ays most 'beautifully.' ?'And feho has money?' queried Mrs, ?arnock, her voice 'day and hard, ?He laughed.1 ?'?Oh, no, not a fdrthinff, Some lady I Toronto interested herself in Rnid Bd sent her over to England to study. Me met for the first ^time this w'in ?r. Wo were staying in the same ?ardins-house.' ^ ?Mrs. Marnock was tracing somellne« m the blnttlng-paper with n pen.' Her Ind tremWefl ?-that :lon?, thin, fopown ?inned hand ov-prburdened ^vith ring?. ?'Why did you not tell me?' she asked ?ddenly. ?He looked surprised. ?'I did not think.. about it. Of course, Bj- mother knows.' ' ' B'Tour, mother!' Mrs. .Marnock ro« Bated the words nlmost contemptu ?sly. 'And naturally your mother B)uld approve of sunh supreme folly!'
'Folly!' Tho young man repeated the word with a little note of quick anger in his voice. v Mrs, Marnock threw down the .pen.' 'Yes, folly. What are you? Twenty six or seven? 'Welf, whatever you are, you 'are a boy Just beginning to cranvl in business, assuredly not .able to hold yourself uprlg-ht, much- less. to .suppo'^' another. person... Why didn't you conns; and tell me .what you had in your mind? ? Why dldn'-t you come, to mo and ask my. advice?'. ' ?' He' answered her straightforwardly. 'I don't think I wanted advice. ] wanted -happiness.' ' Thi woman laughed a mlrthles3 laugh. 'And you suppose you can buy your happiness in this way? Well, , you are not the first fool who has dreamed suQh a dream.' Her tone ?ohangea'. 'I am disappointed in you,' she said ?harshly. 'I had certain ambitions for you. As I told you just now, I be-' lleve you had stuff in you Jo achieve Wg things, but to get them you must 'be independent; . you want to stani alone. , In Go-d's name, Julian,' .why did you, do this thins?', _, Julian Bryant answered her prc-udlj 'Becauso I love my wife with, all my heart; 'be--au3o she is alone in tho world and has need of me; and be cause she loves me as I love her,' And Mrs. Marnock answered him with a shrill laugh. 'I understand,', she said.. 'She got up slowly from -he/ chair, and moved about the room.'. There was a strain ed silence' for a ?moment, a silenco which sho broke.,- 'So,' she sald^with a sneer in; her Yoice— 'so for the second time you have sacrificed your. life fore woman! In' the beginning it was your mother who destroyed' your career, forced you to leave \ the army - when your father died, and landed you with responsibilities that robbed you of all you had. When She 'married and took herself out .of your hands I thought I saw the way clear for you, and now you have taken on another woman— a wife.' She 'turned and looked at him with 'her sharp, accusative eyes. 'My' friend, you were -lucky enough to lose your mother; I am afraid a wife will be less easily disposed5 of.' The young man shut his lips flmly. Angry words, words he knew that ho would regret after they had been
spoken,' trembled on those lips. He turned towards the door. 'I am sorry 1 have disappointed you,' ho said, and with that -he. would have passed out, but Mrs. ??Marho.ok-iWped »im. ?.'..; 'I -must give you. a we,dddng pre sent. Don't; leave till you hear from mo. this afternoon. 'Bryant went out and tried to eat sotue lunch. But -his interview- wit!) tho woman whom foe 'served had taken away his appetite. He felt uneasy, clciprej*ed, almost unhappy. WTien Ik wont back to his work this feeling lingered. Ho was longing to be away, fro-m the office, longing to rejoin his wife. It was the first time thoy had been separated for so many h&ui;s, He wondered what she had been doing with herself. To him she \va« a child, a care, u precimis re-sponsj'blilty. One 'by one the other clerks finished lheir work and. went, 'but he eteye'd on, ?»\u i ting, and at last Mra. ' Marnook'y aecrotary came to him .bearing a letter There was a curious look on the man's faco as ho handed this -letter .to Bryant. He paused ' an Instant a« though he would have spoken, and then, with a little shrug of his shoulders, h» walked away. ' Julian Bryant slipped'- the letter Into an inside pocket of his coat, and then made his way quickly out of theofltos, Although' .Mrs. Marnock had spoken' cf a wedding present he had a prosnti mont this letter would .give him -vary little pleasure, Ho was however, wholly unprepared for the contents 6i It, Xot until he was well away from the office did he open it. Inside1 hs foundi a cheque for £230 and a very short letter:— . 'An 'hour or so ago,' wrote Mrs, Marnock, 'I told you that I had sreat ambitions- for you. By your own folly you have destroyed these ambitions, You have' not only done a very toad thing for yourself, but you have de celved me as I tan no longer .trust 'you, and as y°'ur marriage alienates en, tlroly all my sympathy, and the Interest I have felt in your career, it 'will be futile for you to romain on In this office, I therefore write to toil .you' that,- 1 shall have no, .furpier^se for your services; and I enclose you one year's salary.' 4 Just for a ilttf.e, while :$©'' young 'man fc'lt dazed; , then\tnJe \har£-hnef)3, tho cruelty ctf this treatment, awaken ed his anger. Hardly conscious .. of where lie 'was going, he walked on, telling (himself passionately that ho would immediately, return this , ill omened wedding gift. Phrase after phrase flashed into;; the young man's mind of the letter he would write 'when he returned this cheque; 'but after a ?while there came a change in the cur rent cf his 'thoughts. Anger gave way to' the inevitable reaction, -and w.ith it there came1' an uncomfortably ' clear percept-ion of what lay Immediately in ifront of^hlm. The expenses of his marriage and his .honeymoon had exhausted what little money he had in the bank. There remained Indeed barely, enough to pay his bill at the modest hotel where for the moment he and Ms wife were stay ins. H he sent back 'this £250, what could he do? Had he-been absolutely alone the position, would have toeenso different, besidea tho money was Justly hliij he had foeen turned away,' .cut off from hi* only means of existence; hateful thought it. was to feel that he. was obliged to use this money, he dared not act on impulse* 'After all, I shall get some port of wwk,' he told himself. But there dtole over his heart even as he ©aid this to htonselif a cold, dull feeling. It wou-ld not be his first experience of trying to get- employment; he knew now that he had been extraordinarily ?lucky to have been given, an opening in the firm of Marnock 'and Marnock. Influence had helped him to this po sition; there was nothing of the sort available now. He had planned to get back to Enid' as quickly a» possible; tout ho let 'bus after 'J-us pass him; he wanted to be calm, he wanted to have driven trouble out of his (eyes before he mei his wife. That morning they had sighed as they had klB'ged and, parted for a few hours. 'Horrid, 'horrid work,' Enid had said-; and - Julian 'had repeated , the words;; and now the 'horrid work' was taken from him I ? Julian Bryant trembled a little as he faced the full significance of this!