Chapter 81631292

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Chapter NumberXVI
Chapter TitleMrs. Dalbert Again.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81631292
Full Date1898-01-19
Page Number27
Corrections0
Word Count1668
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905)
Trove TitleThe Mystery of Sea-Towers
article text

rot*

The &y?teiy of Sea

^ cliff Towers.

?Author of '^Che jDis-Honoralfce/'.

"Wyaumjn," -'An Australian Busb

Track;" : <4?hiiinery of Ohurch ^Gon- ._ eett," etc. r > '* J " . :

C^APl^d XVI.

t * ? - "

Mrs. Dalbert Again.

A womaai sptf any a*?e from thirty,

forty-five, iwflioi considers 'that her life has been a failure, and who is oaaT^BEIfe* lookout or some chance, even ait thai late hour, make it ia success, Isi a dangea-Qpsperson to be brojight, an con tact ^witb-/ ; V _ ~

As d/uteh at straws or other jpfrsSujle or impossible saviours

does such:a,. woman cJufcehj at eir cTi'ms*iance&- She diay wreck a hun

dred Iw^'ibut ^shejwill take the risk with perfect iij^iffereiice.. Wlha* does, it a hundred or, a thousand Sail{or; go -under, if she only <KKi^^toaAtihfe top.

She exaggerates her misfortunes, holds fiier ;'fusses and advantages lightly, she h^ la grudge against the world; aafd a.|i; ^creation, if necessary or possible, miifc&t pay ffche penalty.

INcr does carnage satisfy many *woinen dC this ambitious stamp, espec ially wjien the iiiaririage relations have been regarded by the outside world as ibaylng <>f expectations. There are'-some 'vspmeii whose chiaf aim in life is fo\ enter the haven ot

<tonnuibial ^bliss with a sufitalble par**

men. If the .turns out unsuitable or un satisfactory thej still feel rtfliafc tibey haves reached the goal. If left wid ows, they jha yeat any ra5e succeeded

where ma^^&ers have failed.

But th^.&oaiiam referred to takes lifcble ax?obamt of having: "been inarmed. If the < mafria^e.iias not come up t j (her ideal, ^ie frets liereelf at having failed ^summit aspired to,

<aaid the' ockiseg^aicfe fis a restless, dis satisfied, and" o^r-weaning selfish life,

We. flaust not? " however, 3>e coo se vere in jour estimate of such a woman as was Mfo. Dalbert. S!he hadi i>een brou^ht up in ^comparative luxury^ had

^pent -^b in around of alter

matte ipffeasure and disappointment, had married; i maift totally unsuited t*> hei temperament, jigdi, lived a siiort, lovt

married life, and had j be&i : earljF Ifeft a nvSdow, with /brilliantcomparatively wneultic ^ed ^enst^ a^4 & meagre fortune. Her meeting iu&ndia with hei- cousin RaynaondvBalLmtyne, had opened up a new-prospetefc for her; ,but 'twas dis 'tiance lent enchantment to the view,

anil ^e' m<w^n^ following ifche dis iByppeaMnlt^: ^^Drr Shroeg^-she sat readlng a^^fcsi1 a r00111 'of a hand someJU&use in": a;" (Melbourne . suburb,

with «sijti<essiop%f countenance the'

Sethfiosedale,

J' ~

i, anev un&ortumateiy ^-seemed';to one that afterie^al ^ittersrhad been adjusted, a »very iajwiths should' have put everything allTaglyt, toot mow a medl

cat que^tm h^Tii^ortUiiiately intrud

ed wiiicb at jj-reseot

I fiind it difficult to see <fchie end of. However, you know that I am careful off speech and sometimes taUk in para bles, so you will do well to keep your self fully "conversant with imodem lit 'erature.'

'' ; Tours, etc.,

... ^ * Sefth Rosedale.

'P. ®; Shall await your advice.'

' -'The jfool!' ejaculated' (Mrs. DaUbert, when s<he had perused and iieperusea the'letter. IHe is very cautious aiuT fearful of coiimnittihg himself. I sup pose tfiiait referentee to litenaituire means that f- aim to loofk through the "newspa per earC'fli'ly, there is evidently some thing haptpening at the Toiwiers.'

'Mattel,' she called «to her attendant and companion, 'j*un< dowastaars and bring up the paper.'

?Step took it eagerly from the girl,

anid'^^iijg 4I sQiaH'ntot waint anything'

for awhile,' walked over wffch miic'n deliberaitimiv to the window aiiid -drew up sun easy .chair.

What a consummate actress sii<; vrjash She toew full well that the let ter, was awarding; that something ser iouss must have <x?eiarT^ 'foir- Setf? Rosedale to have thus written ito "toes: . She guessed that she was wanted, and every nerve in -her "body. was Singling With, nervous exciteuieiufc, aaid yet she ?carried herself ibafore her companion . With, all <fehe - composure- and outward oalm. copeei vaiMe. . .1

/ Her eyes soon caught the paragraph about thfe disa-ppearance of Or. Strong, . -sajojil she tread. it with the -closest afcfcefc

. tioai.- Occasionally she stoppedin her reading, and gazed atross tiieMreet in front of her; butshe saiw-motMug. Her thoughts iweie %wit3i the ^taagedy -wlhieh invagination coajtmsl uip befoce hei" at Sea-C9iff. Not tha t she valued il^e. par

ticularly, but jjhere were reason why" she dreaded die conspquettc^s of Seth

Bosed<aiie*« aat If Dr. Stoa^f ww

still alive, slie -would do lier best to save Mm 'from the fate of Raymond and {Septimus Dorset. He had .tfludet ed liUfto a snare,, whalt gain to them for him to pay the penalty. ^Mien, how ever the 43MWighi: flashed <a©rossi hei .mind. 'Deiad men <tell no tales.'

.Her 'hesitation was onoimeaiftary, however. She determined to save the doctor's <l'ife, if not too late.

'Mabel. I am going out, and may not -possibly return until <to-morroiw."

The girl was a-«ranibry%red lass, wlio had been engaged as companion and attendant; she had learnt the ad vi<slbility of "Asking no questSoous of her mistress on- occasions - such as the prasemt.

She assisted: Mrs. Dalfoerfc to dress wMct, aMhoagh she guessed thait. a man's life was at stake, Sirs. Daltoert did with the greatest care as/i deliber ation.

There was a finish albiout Mrs. DaU> berit, when she was ready to go out,

' wlifeh. iboitSi pleased and' interested bet

companion. Sire was mos t pei^Eec/:-: 1y dressed woman-tba't 'Mabel liad'-ever knmvii'. It -wasjnot a surface 'eleg&nce "or Exterior finish either, for eveiy gac: meiit «be ^vasl in style anilrfinisSj perfect of.iits kind/ Not <that the .mat erial was sp&ediKy, costly, tfru;ii it .was tbe'majce ioaid! it the outcome of ; go*od

breeding. No <w4>ma3r~'i5i n't ,sh£ ever seem c/wjM~ give hfejp

. tiatoiy swjiigxx£ Mrs.;. toaiBieiSr

- But ifc:"was not1 'curare oar liigh

. breeding to Avhich Mrs. Oalbertoweft

<tMs c^eganeeof style; slie was an ar

- Matter of 'dross, an-d ii.»r

aaid deportmenst, apd Jbfiar ^j^/;lNraKis3taie^ to it. ' .. V

Nor was tflie dress of Mrs* Daliberf

wLttuxtft sigDMcaance i» fts general "beering upon ijea* character. The guid ing prlncipi<e <# h<?r life was 'goort

taste.' -It was not «ie mora! value of au action, so much as to how it .would aipjpear -to outsiders. -Her standard of right amid wrong was dost sight of when the question of appearance came in. If a tiling could tie .made to ap pear right, it was right, and tshe had so ?ttraiiied lier mind, and. schooled her self toy hatbit, that good-taste had -be

come her rule of life.

it certainly simplified life and con duet to her. She could talk to a clergy man. and impress him with her ortho

doxy amd goodness, without any sus picion. on iher own part that ssihe' was playing the hypocrite. It was sample and genuine, so far as she wais concer ned, for it fulfilled her canton of good taste. "Crime, -by this, if oaiiLy it was saved firoan vulgarity, was quite as» coirreet as .religion'. Personal gramma tical! was with htr, as with thousands of other women, the most powerful ^motive; and so long as her ariastle

sense was not offended, all aivehnies, Tdhethea* good or bad. were i&vailaible "<to heir for its acquisition.

This wia - explain her connecttiou with .Sefli Rosedale. Her cousin, Ray ,moral BaUaptyne, -had disappointed her. She thought that he would' havt anarried her but he did not offer to? do so. His age anfdl mode of life ihad en feeMed his ardour, so that the physical t»eauty which, hladi at once captivaAetf and conquered Seth Uosedale mid Sep tiinus Dorset, and other men she had met with, bailed to Mince R&yanond Ballantyne to marry her. iShe might hajve gained her end da this tout for the counter influence of Seth _ (Rosedlale, who wanted her for MimseJf. But Rosedale was a mere ibluiixlerefr com pared with MeSa Daibert, whoise dom inant passion 'was love of ihonour and positions and whoso one pursuit was gain; font who'fieteraninted-to, Slave and enjoy it, if poissible,without comprom ising herself or doing violence to her good! taste.- ' :

Inhere was of coarse umpieasant world to 'be done, there always is un der such oirc'Jimstanc&s; l>ut o&ier* would <16 that' for. her, and ^n; such a manner that she was not offended' or involved. *. - >

iMrs. Dalbert .steppeduponthe strees as fair anid finished a' speciman, «£ a Society woman as couid ; we'll be- uiet with anywhere. From;. her ;gloves 11> her -boots 'she AVas faultlessly Stftlred'.

How ^little.- would ,a ; stranger have" dreamt cut theTerrand- uponiwhich she was hound. ' ^ ,

/She traivelledi i»torihe;n3orl3wn.sub mte !by tram and therecailed! a han -sosm ca3>. and..; instructed the ? mam to drive her out to Sea^Ciiff. .

To "the Towers; - ma'am T queried tshe man. . . . . . " -

*No,' she replaM-shfiffi3y, Sto; Fera^ .JifleL'"' "J V ? '. .'' *

The ®h^-ni«sit! have" recogliiLsed -me,

itJRSapi't. It" did jsot; tr-atilble tier,.'

tho wever, it only suggested -tor her- just ::tb0D;i thaife 4&e *. inan.TinfBst: lii&ve Jbeeii

-impressed with her ipans^iajiity tx> s-j

remeniber her. - .

\;It mTi^t jaotrbs. es^pecfcicfc that Mrs. ©albert -was" iiarrassed with anxious 'thoughts aiboot 4he fate of Dr. Strong* as the cab roiUeil smosaiithly along to

ward* ^aa-Cliff. ? -'Mfl^'si^Bpaien would

-have -been im it -birr her .mind was t with toer owai Sha wanted wealth, she fished to be mis

o>£ Sea-Cliff Towers; foyt If

Mble without the addition of Setti .Based'aile. She might be content to make -use oif a man, loflatter andexi comrade as ifar as It suited Qierpurpase, ftmt 4t was another .thing to make a life com-paamofn of Jiim.

She iliaxl beauty, talent, find style, she -was utterly mnserupukwis as to t3i& >reat, aod with money she Jbelieved that she "oorild choose tier eompajiions, and tier position at will.

INoriwasshe tflie first woman who 3i!ad so th<wigiht, or 'been similarly dis appointed.