Chapter 82505377

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82505377
Full Date1899-11-14
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count584
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)
Trove TitleAn Astounding Marriage
article text

I -_ _ .,.-1 - '? ?- *? ??'? ? ' ? ' ? M ASTOTOM ; MAEEIAGE.

BY A CORALIE STANTION, Author of 'A Jealous Woman's Plot.' 'The .Oth^r Woman,' Hia Enemy's Hand.'

CHAPTER X ,

: - John Howitt, as he left the Law Courts ; one brilliant July afternoon, some ten 'days later; was electrified by the shrill cry of a newsboy, yelling with all the force of his youthful lungs : — ?

'Failure of Ringwood's Bank! Ring wood's suspend ? payment! Startling collapse ! Painful scenes in the City I' He bought a paper, and scanned the columns apprehensively. The eminent, old-established firm, it seemed, had been on the verge of ruin ever since the re cent- death of the senior partner, whose large interest had been severed from the concern by his heirs. And now the crash had come, with startling sudden ness to the uninitiated. 'My poor girl!' Howitt. muttered. 'I must go to 'her at once!' He knew that all Irma's 'savings had

been lodged at Jiingwood s, popularly supposed to be as safe as the Bank of . England! He found her making valiant at tempts to control her bitter disappoint ment at this hard blow to all her visions of lifelong independence. With char acteristic thoughtfulness he waited for her to broach the subject. 'I am afraid I sha'n't be able to marry you at Christmas, John,' she Baid, with a brave attempt at a smile. He sat down and took her in his arms. 'I saw it as I came along,' he said, ?with tender sympathy. 'Perhaps it is not as bad as it seems.' 'I x wired to my solicitors at once,' she said; 'Tsut it was too late, it ap pears. They fear that everything is

gone, John.' ' ? 'Trma, can't you trust your whole life to me 1' he asked. -, 'I could1!' she answered emphati cally. 'But 'it's the thought of being beaten, John — conquered by circum stances— that drives m& wild. I de- j termined that I would win a competence for myself. I set out with the one

idea, and I had almost achieved it. If you' marry me now, John, you will mar ry a disappointed woman.' She could smile now. The thought of taking up the battle again was not without its at tractive side to such an energetic nature as hers. 'After all,' she went on, 'I can begin to save again. ' The tea-shop pays veiy well. ' You're not angry, John?' 'No, dear !' he answered. 'Do what you think will make you happiest.' He was a very' unselfish man, and he put the best face on the matter. 'I think,' he added, with a smile, 'that I should miss the cosy little tea-shop parlor, where I find a little woman with a wel come and generally a fierce delight in arguing with me!' 'You're a man ' in ten thousand, John!' she said. And, over the tea cups they made their beautiful plans for the future, which was to be the sweetest reward for days of ' toil ' for Irma — for years, of patience for John. To Mary Audain, who arrived' hur riedly for confirmation of the report of the bank's failure, they seemed to Have i realised the ideal of human- happiness — a perfect companionship. 4 A shadow crossed her pale face as she reflected that such happiness could never exist for her. ? '