|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||Money Or Wife ?|
Julian Bryant lay In -the small, ex quisitely neat ;bed and watched the sunlight filter through the lace cur tains. Tho window was open and the ibllnds moved to and fro with a plea
sant rythmlcal sound. He moved a little on his ?pillows and save a sigh' every now and then. It was so plea sant to lie still and wage up slowly. Pleasant, and yet there was the sense of doing something what ought not to 'be done, that this sipell o£ luxuri ous ease would be followed by a need for extra haste and industry. He had been dreaming so busily and he 'had worked so hard In his dreams that he felt he .might permit 'himself Just a few minutes more. 'He had been driving 'for miles, so It.
seemed to him, driving through the dust and the summer heat and then through' .the cool, splashing jrain. He had got along first rate, doing far bet ter in. fact than he had expected to. That was a brilliant idea of Derry ?man's, the suggestion of learning, to drive a car. The work was so Inter esting, ' 'but It was very dirty. Still dreaming, Julian lifted his hands to the bed and looked at them. How had ' they managed to get so clean? The ?grease and 'the dirt Jiad ? seemed to .stain them beyond all redemption, and ho had once been so vain of his hands: curious how the *nlnd drifted back and back; ho could see things quite clearly In 'the days when he 'had 'been a little .boy. If ha shut Ms ey&s quite closely he was actually living in that time. He turned once again on his pillows. The 'bed was certainly very enticing; but It must be more than time -to get up. Then' all at once he remembered that 'he had arranged 'to take a day off, a very sensible thing to do; he really was awfully tired. It was abo minably 'lazy of 'him; bht in', a few mlnutOB he would Ijo asleep again/ No; he must not sleep again, he , must got up, He opened his eyes quite widely. The room was changed.. lt: was larger, much prettier; there, were flowers on tho table. He looked - about him with his browa contracted' In a pussssled ?frown* and at that moment the door opened and a nurse came in. 'It Is time for your medicine, Mr. Bryant,' she said. Julian lifted 'himself on his elbow, and looked at her. 'Medicine,' - he said. 'I want my breakfast.' ' '.. _ ? The nurse laughed. ? 'You have had your breakfast a long
time ago.' 'a'm quite In a 'muddle,' the yo,ung man said weakly, and he sank back on the pillows again. He swallowed the medicine, and the nurse moved away In her soft fashion. As the door she paused— -'Your servant Stephens is waiting to come In.'
Julian Bryant made no answer, and the nurse passed out, her place being taken almost immediately by a trira looking; valet. With half-closed eyes Bryant watch ed this m.'n. He was arranging some clothes on a chair, putting out some smart socks and bed-room . slippers; then ho came and stood by the toed. '!Would you llko to ' be shaved now, sir?' he tsked. ' ? 'I always shave myself,' the man In the bed answered. ' The valet made no remark, only ob served— 'Very, well, sir,' and turned away; but as he-was going Bryant called to him.. '. .' ', :' :\-:' \ ? '; sa-\ who are you? What are you doing here.?' ; ? 'My name is' Stephens, sir. I was engaged by your lawyers.' 'How long have you been ..with me?' 'Going on for a month,' sir,' said Stephens. 'A month!' repeated Bryant; then he seemed to wake up. completely. He dragged himself Into a sitting position. 'I don't remember anything,' he said; and Stephens answered— y ','No, sir; you haven't seemed to no» tlce anything. I'm glad, sir, you have had a' turn for the better. - Would you llko. to gst up, sir; the doctors, espe cially Sir Joseph, wish you to be rous ed, He thinka it would do you good to sit UP for a while every day.'1 ?Bryant looked at him In a curious fashion; then he said — » .... 'Yes, I'll get up.' ? ? But it was not an easy task; more than onco he would have fallen If Ste? phens had not held him firmly; and when at last ho was sitting In the chair by the window wrapped about in a silken dressing gown, he felt too ?weak to speak. ? He was roused from another spell of vain thought by Stephens asking him a question. 'The car is here, fir, and the chauf feur wants to frnow If you have any orders?' Bryant looked at him. ? A car? What car?1', . l- .
'Your own car, sir. It comes every day about this time. 'Sir Joseph Is very anxious that you should go out In the air. I havogot a light overcoat wait Ing for you, sir. I, took measurements from your other clothes.' '.'I don't want ,to go out,' said Bry ant. The valet retired, and the sick man sat on -thinking; * but his thoughts troubled him. As Stephens came back he sat forward trembling a little and said— 'I want— I want Mr. Pleydell, Send and ask him to come, he must come.' 'I'll ring through, sir,, to the office.' . In a very little while 'Stephens was back with the information that' Mr. Pleydell was away, and would not foe back1, in' London for a fortnight or an
other three weeks. . 'Mr. Tenderten Is' at your service, sir.' , .. . ...-? ? 'No.' said Bryant. , 'Xo; I don't want him to come and see me.' The doctor arrived, the one who had been called -in to. attend him. when he had been taken so 111. . . 'I have been, lying In -bed too long,' said Bryant to him. 'Give. me some thing to make me strong. It Is hateful to feel as I feel now.' 'Ah! this is an Improvement,' said the doctor. 'We have only been wait Ing for you to make a little effort on your. own account, Mr. Bryant.' 'What has been happening to me?' asked Julian Bryant.. . The doctor detailed his illness. 'Fortunate'!?,', he satf, 'you are so healthy and so young that we have avoided complications; 'but you had. a nasty turn for about ten days, 'Mr! Bryant. I was very anxious about you.', 'You brought me here, I suppose?', 'Yes,' said the doctor. 'I am 're- sponsible for that.' 'You ar« all very good to me,' said Julian Bryant. 'Perhaps you don't know that I am— that f am a pauper. I can't pay for all this.' 'Well, wo can wait until 'you are quite well,' was the brisk reply; and In another moment or two .Bryant was left to hlmcetlf again.' ' ? He slept brokenly .through the night; but each day he seemed to grow a little stronger.- A certain spirit -was fighting for him,' a spirit that had misery In It and anger, and each day fresh 'evidence wai brought to him of tho' position which he now' held. He had known from Mr. Pleydoli that Rachel Mar.nock!8 bequest to him .em braced vjnore 'to him than money In vested and lodged In banks. The lawyer5 had told him .that Mrs. Mar-, nock had loft him her London house, t«vo of ( her motor-cars, a yacht, and some horses In training at Newmarket. Some one had organised everything during hie UHness; he learnt incident ally that his house wan open, 'waiting for his return. Dally the cars called In 'case he -should, require them. Act Ing on some one's authority, Stephens had put together a wardrobe suitable for a man of Mr. Bryant's social and financial .position. On every hand luxury met him. At times, indeed, he felt like one llvins' in an enchanted land. He had 'but to move bla hanfl, and his slightest wish was Gratified and aga'lnst tho strength of that spirit of, misery and anger combined was struggling a conscious element of sat isfaction, a delight In the ease, the chafra of his surroundings, a rc-estab« lishment of personal vanity, a sonse of the knowledge of power. (To be Continued.)