|Newspaper Title||The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950)|
|Trove Title||An Astounding Marriage|
AS ASTOTfflDHG . MAREIAGE.
? ? BT A. COBALIE STANTON, Author of 'A Jealous Woman's Plot,' The Other Woman,' 'ffia Enemy's, Hand.'. ?;? : .--'? :?????
CHAPTER. VI— -Cbntiniied. i
'Douglas,' he said, when at last the guests hod dispersed, and the two men .were alone in tine study, 'what a tra gedy! Shall I go away at once? Tell . me to do anything you like, and I will do it. Only don't ask me to express my ? remorse, because I cannot. Why didn't you tell me?' ' 'I don't know. I was trying to think what it was best to do. I am glad you »rf- — suab'nTnPf? ' Aiirfiriii on.iri TmslrilV. Tfc
.was a foolish remark, event a paltry one ; but Philip did not seem to think so. 'I have thought the matter over until I ami tired,' he went on wearily. 'I 'can't gee anything to oe gained by your going away. ' ' ', . ?' , 'If we had only known!' tihe other breathed. 4 : r 'Yes, that's it,' Audaini eaid, with : Bidden) fierceness. ! 'What odious brutes we men are!' That's just what I said to myself at first. If I had only known! Any other . woman in the .world but my sister ! ' '5fou mean, that every woman ini the world is someone's sister or daughter] Yes, you are right,' Philip said qui&tlyl 'It was a dastardly, an utterly unpar donable action! Don't think I'm, pos- ing, Douglas. I mean it — every word. ;I could hardly look your sister in the face. Those great candid eyes of hera eeemed to look me ijhrough and through, and almost pity me for being such a bass thing us I am. She does not sujs pect, Douglas? Nothing tells her that I am her worst enemy?' : ' 'Nothing. She does not suspect. m She heaps coals of fire on my head every minute of the day by her goodness to me. I don't know what to say,' Doug las repeated. 'I see no good in your going away. There's only one thing I am certain) about. She must- never know, even if we both! have to give our, lives to keep the knowledge from her. I would sacrifice iny life willingly-^-and yours, too, Philip. ?- I have Jived in the same house with her for; a fortnight, and I know that her soul is as beautiful as her face. She has at kind word, a practical thought, for .?. everyone . in; trouble. The servants worship her. iPer happiness is more to me already than anything' else ini tihe world. And I say she shall never know, Philip. She shall many a good man, and live a ehadowless life.' 'She shall marry a good mam!' The words rang in Philip's ears. The scoffer, 'the misanthrope, found himself think ing what a heaven such; ai woman could .make a man's life. 'No, you mustn^t go, Philip. She might think it strange. She was ask
hardly face her with commckiplace re plies.' Philip held out his hand silently. . 'That is, if you care to take it,' he said gravely. . ; - ;, Audain shook it heartilv, with; (an earnest look into his friend's eyes. 'I am not going back on you,' he said. 'I don't forget that I encouraged you. I am as much to blame. If sin cere remorse demanded the price of our friendship, I would pay it willingly1. But 1 don't think it does. You must help me to keep tlie truth from, her all her life.' 'You don't think it would be better to tell her, and make what reparation I could, that way?' 'Not for worldB! It would humble her to the dust. She has all our pride, Philip. And she is a woman. To her
it, would seem like turning into a mock ery a most sacred thing.' And, wonderful to relate, Philip look ed at it somewhat in the same light as he walked home in the early hours. From ing about you the other day. I could that moment he knew himself, although to the world he was the same heartless, brilliant cynic, that he was a changed man. . -He remained on his old footing in the house in Berkeley-square, although the friends' companionship was graver, if .not a whit less deep. When all is said and done, the roots of a friendship such as that of these two men lie very deep. It was baeed on congenial tastes, a com mon life, cleanly and well-lived, and a mutual respect, until that fatal day. And the remembrance of a common action that was not good knitted them even closer together, * in their repentence, to devise means of atoning as far as they were able. ,? '? :- So it happened that Mary saw much of Philip Menzies, and fell little by little under the spell of his extraordinary fas cination. She heard his witty conversa-. tion/the expression' of his wide, humane,
views, the criticisms of his refined, cu tured mind, and began to assimilate them, laying thus the innocent founda tion 'of much future sorrow. To be continued. -