Chapter 82273132

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82273132
Full Date1902-07-05
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1206
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWarwick Examiner and Times (Qld. : 1867 - 1919)
Trove TitleAmidst Christmas Snows
article text

CHAPTER III.

Peggy Hume slept, and In her sleep

ebe dreamed that her lover called to her |

Baying she must meet him at the marble cross which had been erected to the me mory of his ancestor.

Still deep in slumber the girl rose to obey the dream-call, and dressing her self, she donned the white ball gown which lay near, then she put on the white fur-lined cloak and drew the hood over her head.

Going down stairs she unfastened a side door and stepped on to a lawn which was covered with snow. Crossing this she wended her way down the drive, then, instead or going down a private road which led on to the high road, she turned along a lane, past the back of a farm.

I After going some distance she came to i a stile, which Bhe climbed over, and

| crossing a field entered the wood which

bordered Burwood high road. On she went until she came to Ihe bridge which crossed the brook, then she climbed a narrow path which led to the stile.

In another moment she had reached It and stood on the stone step with her wide upon eyes fixed on the cross, but In reality, not seeing anything.

At that moment Surly Tom happened to raise his eyes, and as they rested on that motionless white figure he uttered a loud yell that caused his companion to drop the box he was just lifting out of Its hiding-place, and some of the dia monds fell on the broken cross.

"Oh, Lord, have mercy upon us!" he said, in an awe-struck tone.

13ut the yell and the sharp clatter of the box had aroused Peggy from her slumber, and as she awoke to her sur roundings. she became conscious of two things, first that she had been walking in her sleep; secondly, that the cross had been broken and a box evidently full of precious stones was being rifled by two villains.

Now Peggy Hume hod her father's bravery, so without a moment't hesita tion she rushed forward to defend what she believed must be her . lover's pro perty, seeing It had ben bidden beneath the cross. As she advanced Jack howl ed and sprang back, but Surly Tom had recognised In what he had believed to be a ghost the face of Miss Peggy Hume.

"Hoots man; It's only the general's daughter. You'll never let a woman stand between you and wealth," he said; then going up to Peggy he con tinued: "Now, miss, you'll have to let my mate take you as far as my cottage while I carry the jewels."

"Put them down; they belong to Lord Burwood," Peggy exclaimed, as she caught up the crowbar which lay on the ground and held It aloft In such a threatening manner that Surly Tom re treated while he growled: ,

"Put that down or It will be worse for you."

"I'll give you one cha.no*> to get away, and if you don't take it I shall use this," she said, swinging the crowbar aloft.

The two men looked at her and In stinctively realised that In spite of her slight, graceful figure, she was a self poBSessed, vigorous young woman, with both the will and the power to bring the weapon down with force, and for a moment even Surly Tom hesitated. Then he rallied his courage and called out: "You go for her In front, while I do behind;" but Peggy was too quick tor them. She stepped back to the wall, swinging the crowbar in such a manner that it was dangerous to come near.

But it was only a question of time; she would tire sooner than these strong men, and Peggy knew it, yet she re solved to defend her lover's properly to the last moment. But her strength w beginning to give way when a muffled sound fell on her ear, end the man Jock uttered a cry:

"Death on the white horse!' and rush ed across the road and up the snow covered bank on tbe other side.

Both Peggy and Surly 1V>m looked round, and surely enough a white horse was approaching, bearing on his back a rider who appeared to be dressed all in black, but thai he was no ghostly vlei tnnt was evident from the way he dug IiIh spurs into his horse and tried to hasten die poor brute's movements.

"nick!'' Peggy called out, recognising her lover «« lie drew nearer.

"Oh, Lord!" muttered Surly Tom; and without a word he followed his friend.

"My darling, what does this mear.?" exclaimed Dick (Lord Burwood) as he dismounted from his horse and took his sweetheart Into his arms, and nestling close to him Peggy told how she had come there In h"r sleep and disturbed the thieves.

"Thauk God I was here In time to save you from harm. Evidently those fal lows have heard the taje, ay I have done that treasure wns hidden und>:r Ihe cross. I always regarded I: a? a fabl?

but It seems I wan mistaken, and now. I sweetheart, you must ride !n from nlj

me at. far as the Ha!!. W'pll tak» li.iB

treasure with ;is=," lie xaid, caih-niiL- tip] i the scattered jewel* o«d ( .aclr.g them;

in the box, which Peggy carried In her

arms, while lie held her in (he saddle In J

front of him, and BO they rode to the

gate which led into the park. |

They then dismounted, and having fastened his horse's bridle to thi? gate, I l<e accompanied Peggy to tlie side door I

"Good night, sweetheart," said Dick. "Hide ti-e diamonds In your own room, and to-morrow I will claim them and you. They will more than clear the mort

gage off my estate. My good punt re I fuped tn help me, and I was coming home castdown and heart-sick, but now I siial

hope;" and, kissing her, the young Lor I Burwood left Ills lovely Peggy and rode

home. |

The next morning he visited Hydon

Hall, and when the general saw the ilia-J I monds and pearls, which were worth

fifty or sixty thousand pounds, he |

changed his mind, and sending for Peggy, lie put' her hand In Dick's and bade them be happy. I

"So, after all, you rode to win," said

his sweetheart. |

"Yes ,to win the loveliest bride that ever man had-sweet Peggy Hume." I

And so on that happy Christmas morn ing they spoke of the bliss that was theirs, while in the village the tale of the

broken cross was told, and how Miss | Peggy had been led thither in her sleep,' and woke to defend her lover's treasure. |

Lord Burwood. In his happiness, decid

ed that the would-be thieves should not1 be sought after, or punished, so long as they kept clear of the neighborhood, see ing that their lawlessness had led to htm winning the woman he loved. I

"God bleSB the lovers, both this and everj- Christmas!" were the words utter ed In each cottage where Lord Burwood

and his intended bride were named.- .

"London Weekly Budget." I