|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||Money Or Wife ?|
OUR SERIAL STORY
Money or Wife ? ' CHAPTER 1 1 (.-(Continued.)
The brilliant promise of her student days was well fulfilled, fortunately, for she played to a critical listener, a man who was sparing of praise, and who r never gave encouragement unless it could be honestlv arlvpn.
But he saw a future in this «iri: I love and the suffering which' love I brings had awakened the soul in Enid: I she played now as she had never play. I c-d before. Her heart seemed alive with I excitement and joy as she hurried I homo after that momentous interview. I Julian had come iback from one of I his fruitless errands; he was sitting I by the fire trying' to read. I His wife's heart sank as she looked I at him, and ho frowned as he looked I at her; and as she knelt beside him I and told him the story of what she I had done and what lay before' her in I the future, the delight, the hope, the I excitement faded out suddenly. I 'You think 1 am going to be idle land let you work!' Julian said. 'You I must be mad!' I They were the first rough words he I had spoken to her, and they hurt very ? badly. Still Enid tried to hold her I own. I ''Dearest,' she said, 'what does It I matter which of u,s works? We are I not two, we are one; and if it comes I in my way ? ' I 'I tell you, I won't havo it!' Bry I ant answered hardly. 'I am not going ? to let you earn money to keep me; and 1 1 -am not going to let my wife turn ? herself into a show person, to toe ? stared' at and criticised, and get her ? head turned with stupid flattery.' . I Enid laughed, but there were tears I in the laughter. I 'Oh! Julian dear,' she said, 'I am so ?sorry. I thought you would have been ? pleased,' ? : , I 'Pleased!' said Julian Bryant. ?'You've got queer notions of what is ? likely to please me, I must say!' ? So Enid never went back to the ?man who had given her suc'h hope, land the little old piano remained shut, I They stayed on through the winter, land the early part of spring, Little | Mrs, Bryant rarely laughed now; in
deed, gradually there fell upon the two young people a silence, They walked together, they sat together; they were always together; but the nrlsery of their position never let them be to gether really. , When the anniversary of their wed ding day came round, Julian Bryant found himself literally without a shilling, in bis- pocket. He went out in t'he usual way, kiss ing ills wife gravely and saying- no thing; and fcutidenly there came upon him the. impulse to go to Rachel Mar rock. 'If I humble .myself, if I give her the satisfaction of letting her know that she was right, perhaps sfte may do something for me; at least I shall know whether she is working against mie, and if she i», by God! I won't spare her!' But ) when he called at the well remembered ofllee fhe porter gave him the information that Mrs. Marnock was. not. there. . . 'She don't come often now, air,' he. said. 'She has been adling a bit thia winter, and is abroad somewhere in foreign parts; leastways,, that Is what I hear.' Bryant thanked the man and gave ?lilm a smile. He remembered 'the, last time he had Centered the' office, : *and how beautlfuUllfe had .seamed to him then. ' : . He had only gone a few yard» down the- street when' the porter ran .after Wm. ' ' ???'?', ?;.:? 'Oh! sir, I^beg your pardon, sir,' 'he said; 'but I've just 'heard; ai Mrs. Marnock's come back. She is In Lon don. You know where she lives, don't you?' 'Yes,' said Julian Bryant. Again acting on impulse, he hailed a 'bus and was carried westwards. There was something new beating in his heart, something: that dispelled for a iittle while the wretchedness. ? It was hope, For if she were ill and suf fering, then perhaps this wouid bo the moment In which to approach her. She had been good to him, she had shown 'him kindness more than any other person in those days when everything had been taken from him sc suddenly, he only wanted wovk, not favors, only the means of. earning a living for himself and for one depen dent on him. Ho made his way by degrees to her ?house; she lived in one of the 'most fashionable quarters; he had dined at this house twice In the old days, that 'had been when 'her 'husband had'UeC'n [alive, and he 'had been summoned there to discuss his future. The luxury, tile beauty, the wealth contained in this house had said very little to hiim then because to a certain extent he had been accustomed .to such ' things; but now, as he stood on ? t'he doorstep, the remembrance of this woman and her power mocked 'him and me almost turned away. Necessity was, however, so press ing that he set his lips and put 'his heel on his pride. He was not des tined, however, to1 see Mrs. Marnock, as he was given the information that she was not well enough to receive anyone. She was confined to her room. [ 'Will you give me- a message, sir? Would you like to write a' note?' Julian Bryant said 'No' at first/and then he changed his. mind. . .' 'Yes, I'll write.' Ho sat down at the table in the ?tvide, spacious hall bo charmingly ar ranged, having treasures on -the walls; it was scented with flowers, a glimpse of another world. He did, not 'choose 'his words, h-? wrote like a man dis tracted. 'I want you to help me: I've tried everything, and everything has gone against me. You were once very good to me, and I disappointed you. I'm sorry; but just because you were good to me once I want you to give me an other chance. I've come to tmy last penny. God knows what will happen if I don't got something tovdo. I don't ask you to take mo back into your office, but a word from you would give me work somewhere else. I ask you to ?peak that word,' * He signed It with his full name, and
'Iris hand trembled as he inscribed her's on the envelope. He hardly knew where he walked 'When he left the house; he was agi tated, nervous, unhappy. r^.pw '.that * he ?had ' written to her he felt. as. if he had done wrong, and yet— -and yet, a drowning man will chiton at a straw, and unless he had help, he, too, would ?go under, perhaps never to come to the top again. . t ?. : ? .\ He found himself after awhile hv 'Piccadilly, and gave, a great start When some, one hit him on the shoul der. Turning, he faiced a . man ' he knew well, a former chum, one 'of his old regiment just home from India on leave. . ? ^ ''You are the first of our fellows I've struck, Bryant. Wliat are1 you doing? —nothing? Well, i come along, we'll have a 'peg' first and khen we'll 'have lunch. Good Lord! hownJce it Is to be back in the old country!' In a dazed sort of way Julian fol lowed the other man into a club. It was like a glimpse of old' days to sit at. a well-appointed table, to hear re gimental 'shop,' to talk over old times and. old friends ;' and out of this there came/a suggestion. The man home from India was too tactful to express the ?sympathy he felt for Bryant; neither could he offer assistance, at least not the aasistance which he felt .pretty surply wa3 what' the other man needed; but the shabby look of his former chum, the misery in ' Jullan.'s eyes hurt lilm dreadfully, and ho v would ' not let his guest' go, till they ,had talked things over, 'and. he had mado Julian promise to meet him again In a couple of day's time. The next day he wrote saying that' he had backed a winner and that his ch'Um Was standing'in1 with' him, ami with the cheque he enclosed camo the suggestion. (To be Continued,)