|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||Money Or Wife ?|
OUR SERIAL STORY
Money or Wife? CHAPTER XXIV.-(Continuod.)
'.Waft— wait I!1 he said. ' 'I .want to ask you just one or two questions. I tuimWed to th« fact a loaig time ago that; you, were, not -a 'happy '. man. At fVrst' I attributed this to the- great
bhange ,in your circumstances, for no one knows .better t'han I do that money, big money, does not always bring hap piness; but I have been .watching you and studying you' lately, Mr. Bryant, and! convinced myself a little -while ago tlmt you were a, man living with a shadow always. Now, all this is ex plained -to me. You are going away from here, and probably you imagine .that you xwill never1 be;. permitted to como Jiere again as a friend. 1 hope you will dismiss that idea, X think Nell would fret very much indeed if she thought— that '-your friendship was' to end. -'Will you let me know— wtat you are: going to do? -We have been speak iw. «««? iiiMnin+RKv tocether: and you
have, as if were,, twirod your 'heart to me. I em not going to say that I ap prove of tt»v.aecr£Kjy'-ymi, have.- main- tained all this 'time; ipor-haps the ex tenuatlivg circumstances of which you havo spoken will .make this patdonab-ie. I want to' see you again. 1 should like to 'ask you toletme be of any service to you that I can.' ''Thanlcs,'' Julian Bryant stretched out hlshand, and Colon oMDawney took It In 'a tlgfot grip. 'Thanks,' Julian said again a ''second. tlm«, and then ho went away. - Two or 'three minutes after -he 'had gone, the -door opened very slowly, and Lady 'Ellen. peeped in. ? 'Oh,' she said. 'You are there, Adrian. I thought I heard you both go.' ?aiic had put on a white tea sown, a y«ry'pri:tty, -.dainty gown: arid u«-h« came' almost timidly fonvard she look ed tho girl 'Adrian Dawney always called 'her. -Was 'it very—very .difficult1.'' she aakod. Ho smiled. 'Come and sit down; and don't fret, ?your little heart out In the least. Per haps i'.m -going to hurt your vanl:y, Xell; but' the fact is. that just1 as you made the discovery that you could not
marry wir. Jdryant,' so mv. orya.'ii realises that he could not marry you.' Ijady lillcn sut bolt uprlsht, an.l looked at -the tall figure standing on Hie hearthrug. 'Adrian!' she -said. 'Really ami truly! 'Hut-how funny! My vanity isn't a bit .hurt, but I am curious. Did he tell you why V, Can .1 'know .the reason'.'' 'It Is a very simple reason,' s-'akl Colonol Da-wney. MHe hats a wife al ready. A wife, whom, 1 pretty shrewdly guess, Is very dear to him, although they are at this very moment! trying to (?et separated' from one another.' 'A. wife!' said Lady Kllcn. Then »ho colored 'hotly, and for one of the few tlmr&ln liorllfo she looked almost cold and hard. 'But— how could he uomo into our .lives as he did, pretending to ho a bachelor, letting everybody ini f-islno— -.-V. it wasn't— it wasn't, risht! ] never should have Imagined that. -Mr. Bryant would have done such a thins as that.' , 'He tells we that there are extenu ating circumstances, and I am going to believe 'him,' said Adrian. 'We must nwver judge' one- '-another' unless we i'ave Rood ground for our judgment. The great thing to realise, -and .to re
joice over, is that you are notg.olng to be made unhappy about this.' '1 am' very surprised,'.1 paid Lady Ellen; 'and. yet,' she added, in the same , breath, 'I don't know, 1 hava always felt that there was something, somebody who influenced him. I ex pect why he turned to me, and he. liked me was because he was unhappy, and beeaues 'he knew that I wa_ in the same boat.' 'Why arc you i unhappy?' asked Adrian Dawney. ' -sOh! I know— 1 know,' he added; 'there were lots .n the past is over and done with, .Nell; the _-ast-r-to make you 'wretched, out and you are so young, and you have, ao much. Why should you be unhappy?'' ''Because I can't got what 1 want, I suppose,' said Lady Ellen, a little .recklessly. The ftnan looked down on1 her, paus ed an instant, and then he said—, 'Of course— I understand why you drew back from tho thought of marry ing- Bryant. It is because there is an1 dther man In your .life, Nell) won't you confldo in me? Won't you tell me something about this other man? In the letter you wrote ino this morning1.
juu oaiu ,-uu iuun ujjuii mis as juui brother. You asked me to act for you, as a brother. I love- you. very dearly(/ and I want -to do all In any power to help you, to advise, you.' ? \ Lady Bllen got. up and snapped her fingers in .his face. ,'I don't want your advice,' she said; 'and there isn't another iruin, at least,' ishe amended, 'there is; but you can't do anything with him.' 'Why not?' aaked Colonel Oawney a little hurriedly. ' There was a little nervous thrill run hins through him. 'Why'no't— Xoll?' She stood In front of him very pale, and she tried to -laugh. 'Because—because he is the stupid est— blindest— dearest creature in all the world.' Then she covered her face with her hands*. 'Oh, Adrian,' she said. 'Don't you understand?'
He stood very still, and then he I said— ' ' ? ' I ^?Nell*-— ' ' The word was a whh.« * ' ? I per, but it was full or am-a_ement, and I of soinethinglel8o,Jan exquisite tender- I ness which held a confession. ' I He took the two ^mull trembllujc - I hands from her i'avc and he held them I in his one strong hand. Then he drew I her nenror and nearer, till her heart I wa^ resting on his bfeu.t. I 'It can't bo true, Xell,',' he aald. 'Oh, I my dear, it can/t be true.' ' ? She released herself a little from his' hold, and stood looking up at him' | flushing and puling, wltli tears in her | eyes. '?/ ' ' 'But it is true: It has always been true. Oh! how-I have despaired of letting you know. 1 have done my best, .Adrian. I am sure nobody could have accused mo of not having tried to make you see. 'Why at times, 1 have felt quite ashamed, becatlae 'I have , flung myself at your head so openly: and you have never seen me coming.' 'Tlmt wus because I have been blind,' the map answered her', ''blind and stupid and all the time— I ,have been eatlnn; out my heart for you.' _ 'Now,' said Lady Ellen, in her bright, blrd-llke way, 'now that can't be tnif.'' 'U Is absolutely true!' 'Then why have you never let me know?' Before he could speak she had stood on tip-toe and put her hand on his lip. ? '' ' , 'Xo— no!' she said hurriedly. 'Don't tell me. I— I understand.' ?Sho bent forward and .kissed the empty sleeve as she spoke, and then the tears came, 'Oh! I am too happy,' -she said; 'much too happy,' she repeated bro kenly. The man who loved her 'bent over her and kissed away her tears. ? (To-be' Continued.)