Chapter 82505870

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1899-11-06
Page Number4
Word Count922
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)
Trove TitleAn Astounding Marriage
article text


Mary's birthday-ball '.was in full swing. It was the first' large enter tainment the brother and sister- had given,1 and no pains were spared to

make it stand out. in the memory of all those fortunate enough to be- present. ? The stately rooms and conservatories were so many gems of decoration, each done; in flowers of a different color. Mary'a practised taste had superintend ed the whole. 'The' first four -rooms through which

the' - guests passed on their way to 'the ballroom were a dream of harmony ; the first one,. a bower of white roses; 'the second, of the most delicate blush-tint ; the' third, a deep-pink;, and the fourth, darkest damask-red. As each succeed ing' room was larger than the last, the guests, ? on1 reaching' the white rose apartment, which was at the head of the grand .staircase, obtained- a glimpse of th'e1 deepening tints massed in a har monious whole, and many cries of genu ine admiration greeted this artistic- de lice. ?. .' ' ? -The 'distant strain of one of the fa miliar Hungarian bands greeted Philip Menzies as he made his way to the ball

room, rather late, as usual. . :HeJ;ookup his position in .one of the doorways, criticising dress and move ment with unerring taste and unsparing severity as he 'waited for the waltz to come to. an end. .' ' The .great room was lined with white lilies arid glossy tropical plants, ' ropes of white roses were slung across the ceiling,' high; on the walls1' a myriad of wax-.can'dles glittered in antique silver sconces.-^- It was a- Scene so cool, so rest ful, that .the warm, breathless' crowd. of dancers struck a note of incongruity in Philip's- super-refined mind. ? ,;S.uddenly, in a -mome'nt's- block, a couple of .dancers detached themselves from the rest, and forthwith, a great, whirling' crowd' faded,- and only one woman's face stood out with painful dis tinctness-, one clear, sweet voice rang in sistently in, his ears. . - . . It.. was .Mary .Lennox, the woman on whom he had played the trick that had 'cost him so many uneasy uan?si since.

She. was dancing, with Lord .Giltore. How everyone ' moved aside for her ? 'crowded -round her when the music ceased ! Was it to, be .wondered at? Was'ever woman so lovely? The face, he had, seen it before ; the pure, '.perfect outline, the ivory skin,' the -rippling, sun kissed hair. But the eyes! They .were' a revelation to him,, like magic pools in which a man could see his soul.' It was not; only their color — that dark,' rare purple — not their beautiful, almond shape, not .their heavy, white lida,. not' their 'dark, fringe of silky lash— it was the lighit.tha't shone from out them like a glimpse of heaven— pure, true, a little sorrowful, as though for the crief of

others;, a little wondering, as though the soul within had strayed from a bet ter world, and found- much to astonish and 'grieve at in this. For the first time in his' life Philip Menzies loathed himself. But he could not understand her seeming importance. ' He knew all the teen of distinction in the room, arid he saw that they all formed part of her 'eager little 'court. His practised eye noted, too, that the pearls -at her throat were a9 large; as hazel-nuts; that the 'creamy lace of her dress was worth a king's ? ransom, that the chased gold cover of the ivory tablets she used as a programme was an antique piece of rare workmanship ,which belonged to his1 friend, Douglas Audain. ? . A thought, stunning in its possibility, ?made the blood leap to his cheeks under the bronze. ;'He pushed his way- through the crowd, heedless of soft, gloved hands touching .his arms,-.of eager' smiles on

tair lips and, hnding his host, caught him by the arm with lingers that gripped like steel bands. * ? ? , * 'Douglas, don't trifle with me! Who is that womani over there — in white lace and pearls?' His voice was so agitated that Audain smiled' bitterly. Would his '- reckless Iriend ever experience half the agony of self-reproach that had laid him on the rack? , ? ? ? 'I will introduce you,' he said shortly. Philip did not resist, although he had a. feeling, that he was being dragged ?along into, a whirlpool that would only

(release mm when it had sucked out his life. K . ? 'Mr. Menzies, my very dear friend,' ? Audain said, when he had forced his way /through the crowd of his sister's admir ers.- 'Philip, my sister f' There was somethirig rigidly just in him that would not let him disown the friendship. He 'was' not of the. sort that lays its sins ?on ' other . shoulders. ' Philip had never been known to-be visibly disconcerted #in his life, and, of -course, lie was not now. His voice was very grave as he murmured something pourteous, and he got away as quickly as possible, that was all. %» (To be continued.)

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