Chapter 87681032

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter Url
Full Date1893-09-28
Page Number1
Word Count2554
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 - 1918)
Trove TitleHer Colonial Cousin
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R L0 PI!L twu ril • : CHAPTER IV. e, S, HBATS AND DIAMONDS, fan" M rs.Cantwell's little dinner-party was n .diitinct -snCCesS The soup was hot, th,, sto' wine cool, tho entrebs were well flavoured, -the joints up to time; hence it W a ona 01 -very bright and pleasant scene that Cousin the Pat's eyes rested at aboutnine pm.tof that it" eventful night, The rooms were full of the Sodours of sweet flowers and lighted with i0 wax candlesi through the, open windows I couples were passing to and from the lawn ; while Mr Dauber Browne, in a faint tn tenor voice, was'charging the company to for "Love for a year, a wrek, a day. he After a few moments' survey, Pat's , sharp eyes discovered the hero of the " 0 evening, his rival, Thompsoan of the Thames, a rather short stout man, who pre looked as it he had enjoyed his dinner, seated in"an easy-chair, hib oth er-in- aw elect hanging affectionately over him, and g i giving.his heated brow the benefit of her large feather fan. Patrick's he4o clouded, lI " his hand grasped the ba.k of the chair ll ti upon which he was leaning, and his eyea usin Swandered restlessly in search of a little her crimson-draped figure laden with glitter- thm ing, jingling jewellery. But Kitty was not to be seen, being th hidden behind Mr Browns at the piano. Tie When the song was over, she rose and ad. vanced into the middle of the room I and B then suddenly Patrick Cantwell's oxpres- resto sion changed, His cheeks flushed, his eyes ad sparkled, and his whole face beamed with a POl a smile so radiantly sweet that a young fluh lady in his vicinity was quite captivated, P A and; was heard to declare that "that Pt Colonial cousin of the Cuntwells'" was ona of the most striking-looking men she had " Kit met for some time. -m Kitty had not bestowed the faintest * sign of recognition upon him or shown y bly word or movement that she was aware of ithe bis presence. Little he cared, oven when only she approached his rival, spoke a few ' worls, and then dropped into the seat by past his side, gladly vacated by her mother, for Ali he knew-what no one else in the room drew knew-that she would never share that thd villa on the Thames, never touch one penny of that priolous money which lay so noun close to her grasp. For Kitty had for- is a sworn the Thompson colours, and had abou appeared before the astonished and And, puzzled eyes of her family and friends in a woul simple dress of black material, without on, pr's patch of colour to relieve its monotony, cousi without a single ornament save a bunch of from pale monthly roses clustering in the soft in t1 bjaok lace that shrouded her white shoul- bette ders, Presently she rose, crossedthe room, and heri unjewelled fingers resting on Mr Thompson's ,coat-sleeve, and disappeared the with him into the night. aion, Mrs Cantwell's spirits rose considerably Tb at this point, and even her troublesome Kitti nephew came in for a stray smile and a her' pleasant word, which was partly a tribute motl to the very successful effort he had made denlI to look civilised. Hehadnondasoendfd to until patronise a Bond-street tailor, and two oxha da before had placed his tawny head in then the hands of a fashionable coijfau', with permission to clip and crop as he thought I ha fit. The result was so satisfactory that yeou Patrick proved quite an attraction at his mom aunt's ' At Home," and soveralpeople con- Th gratulated Mrs Cantwell and her daugh- p v ters' onhis distinguished appearance--in r F fact, one young lady declared that he wa from her ideal of the Vikings of old. i After about twenty minutes' absence, hio, Kilty returned alone Mr Thompson, nephe fatigued by his joqrney.of the previous -a night, had returned to his hotel, she iu- atanc forioed her mother, and had begged her to - convey, his apologies, which wee large graciously accepted. Ri;tty now became tuoro very lively, sang, laugheo, and flirted lino' with much spirit, but never bestowed even Il a look upon her cousin, who made no effort ifrI to.attract her attention. As the guests d'rl began to depart, Kitty, evidently wishing drat to avoid any confidential communicatione grs with her family that night, hastened into "an thegarden, hoping to reach her room un- "ver3 p?aceived by way of a bnck-entrance. She to g had not gone far when she became awdre ligt of pursuing footateps. She qluickened her 11 pace to a run, but it was of no avail one tell SUan?t later she was in Cousin Pat's the staong arms, and a shower of grateful and ra)turoou kisses were being rained down upm her hands, her writs, her little ring- te, less ears. tie "My dear girl-n-y brave girll I knew . you'd do it-- know you would! I staked d my all, my future, my happiness on your ? ' .worth-and I have wonl Oh, my darling, rid may I be able to repay you for what you have done for me this day I Heaven grant -so • it!" . 't Oh, Pat, Pat," cried poor Kitty a few onl minutes later, when she had somewhat roe covered from this impetuous charge, " what she shall I do-how face them all Poor mother -she willnever getover it Her heart was set on my marryiug him. But 1 couldn't na -the moment I saw him i knew I couldn't How can 1 toll her ?" " Come in at once, and we'll tell her to- p gether I Who's afraid P" replied Pat, half til earrying his trembling charge into the 1 dread presence. fot The room was deserted by all save the hostess and her girls, who advanced with a eager welcome. . _ "Kate, my darling child, you have made mo s0 happy I Heaven bless you, amy o dear I" SOh, Kitty, tell us all about it i What did he say? Wha't did he do " q" Pow Kittyturned asidefromher mother's no arms, and cast a piteous glance at her co?m- .o panibn, who, drawing her arm within his own, calmly and respectfully begged his o unfortunate terror-stricken aunt to accept him as a son-in-law in the place of Thomp son, diemissed. Phe Ece0o that ensued lasted far into the niglt. Mrs Cantwecll was by turns pathetic, scornful, appealing, threat-ning, denouno ing, and, latly., wildly hysterical. The P brazen culprit, the serpent that had crept ' into that once peaceful home, alone re mained callous, unmoved by appeal and Spproach. He would not give up Kitty- olong she remained faithful to him, no other woman should win either look or thought. or Kitty herself, in tears, sank down at her oUher'as foot and boggedlher pardon. She would do anything to please them, but she would not and could not recall Mr Thomp son.{ sho did not want to marry her couisin if her mother objected, but she would never snarry any one else, At last iMr Cantwell nut an end to the I sceno by fainting; and Patrick, offering to ?poivoher, was indignantly ordered from the house by the naughlters, After ; 1tnrried word to tearful Kitty, he departed. I The newt day wos a very trying one la the LaurLls. All visitorsl wcre d,:nied, and lire CAntvell lemaincd in licd, s victim to pasmodio hysteri%, affcCtion>teoly tended by her dutiful children, Kitty wna not 4ilowed to cruOs the threshlold of the room, and was treated by her sisters with silent bat bitter contempt. In the evening the invalidwS scoaxed down to the littin -rocem. where abh lay on this sofa with closed eyes, surrounded by thn girls, working and read ing it silence. Kitty's eyes were filled Witb tears-she could ecarcely sco to draw er gosdle through; but no one noticed or «itd hfe iteje ~st intorrnption to this dismal ne W the arrival of a mysterious boa hic'? , the servant anoouucsd, a cman had just brought cnd left without any messago - js was Rldraescd to "Miiss Catllcrin sn Sreat surprie Kitty ptoceeded to un . tk it, the members of her family takiun P" '-uerest whatever in her occlupation oi z.nyy however a sharp Cxclnamattio' atterted their attention, and a muoman, "laater e invalid was sitting uprighton hi\ - ouah hFith very wide-awake eyes and the irl.--bookslad works flung aside-wore

leaning across the table. stiring dumb ounded at the contents of Kitty's parcol an ivory re.sket lined with satin in which reposed the most exqumiito paruro of srilliants they had ever set eyes on-neck lace, ear-riug;, bracelet, rings. It certainly was a regal set, and its pure sparkling healnty had an electrifying effect upon the family. "ut, they are too lovely " " Such stones-such stones !" " And the setting 1 -why, it is a work of art!" Look, look-there are your initials in pearls on the bracelet !' "Kitty, Kitty, what does 1 it all mean P" " I don't know," she replied, in a dazed voice. " You know as much about toem as I do." "It moans Mr Thompson-that's what it means, you, wicked girl " cried Mrs 0 Cantwoll, bitterly. "He ordered this c for you, little expecting the treatment g he---" " Mr Thompson 1" interrupted Kitty., 'Oh, mother, he never could afford a d present of the kind-it would swallow up a( a third of his capital!" '"Then from whom can it be F" cried the b lirls blankly, s Kitty could not help thom; so they c ixamined the case attentively, bhook out 31 the papers, scrutinised the address, but rere not enlightened. Then, Kitty re using to try on the jewels, the girls, with ri ler permission, vach in turn arrayed th homeelves, and felt for the time being in hi he golden realms of fairy-land. is " We shall have to advertise in the fo 'hmes--that's what we shall have to do,' to aid Zeldie, as the ornaments were being th eatored to their onso, when Kitty, whp lo ad been pressing a spring at the back pendant, suddenly looked up, her f ushing scarlet, and exclaimed " I know whom they are from I Cousin ki 'atrick " k " C'ousin Patrick I Oh, nonsense I" be Kitty, you're dreaming I" " Impossible I' 01 -in chorus. pe " I am making no mistake-I know it Oy y a word scribbled inside here. No, ithel, you are not to see it. It is meant g n'y for me," e " From Cousin Patrick P Then they're aste I" said Maud scornfully. Mrs Cantwell made no remark, but. c row the case towards her and examined he diamonds oriiically and attentively. "I am sure they are real," she an onunced, in a aloiv puzzled tone. "There P sa clearness, a hardness, and a weight " bout them that could not be imitated. Lnd, even were they imitations, they a rould be, as works of art, a more valuable i iresent than I should have thought your ousin could afford-that is, if they comeo rom him. It's very perplexing. I think, t n the circumstances, Catherine, you had l etter write to Patrick to.morrow morning and ask for an explanation "t With these words Mrs Cantwoll took 1 he mysterious property into her posses ion, and retired with it to her room. The next morning, nothing loth, a: Citty, immediately alter breakfast, drew ior writing-desk uptothewindow,when her s nother, who had not appeared before, sud- t lenly entered the room, dropped into achair, mutied her bonnut-strings with an air of s xbaustion, asked for a glass of. wine, and r hen said " My dear ohildren, don't be alarmed- n have most extraordinary news to tell S *on, Last night I could not sleep a aomnont-those diamonds troubled me so. a he responsibility was too much I so I got s p very early and drove down to your auin's hlvcl, where I saw him, and also a an Ir Fisher, his solicitor, who had arrived mi nom town the n:ght before; and from bu ire, my dear children, I learned that my an 3phow it not what I supposed him to be qu -a young follow in struggling circum- ph ances-but, on the contrary, a rich man t% *a very rich man indeed-owner of a tCi rge portion of one of the principal C loroughfares in Melbourne, beaides gold- i linca up-country which he woris t imself and a lot of other valuable ci roperty in various parts of the world. 'he family, I understand, prosperord on- th erhully from the first year of their emi ration, and poor 'tilip died a well-to-do- 1' ian; and since that time it seems that or verythbng his son has touched has turned o o gold. I never was so surprised and de ighted, not only on his acccount, but on 'osua, my dear C(atherine-for i cainnot :1ll you, my child, how it has cut nme to C :he heart to have to interf'ro between you ind the husband of your choice; but A nother's duly, a mother's cruel experienco e - Ethel, my dear, I'll take a cup of This strange announce?menft was received .n breathleas ailencla three of her laughters' fair cheeks flushed uneasily, fi ind each of their hearts, the barristor'a tl bride's included, echoed mournfully the p sorrowful dirge- v **Too lata-too latel Oh,'if we had a only known in time '' c Kitty rose to her feeot, no sign of triumph a on her troubled brow, and, facing her family a she exclaimed, in a tremulous bitter tone S"Well, mother-well, girls-we have I made.a pretty business of it, haven't we ? i This young man with the Midas-like touch has not at least struck gold on ther promising premises, has he lie has been toiling honestly, good-humouredly, with infinite oforbeaanco for tho pisattwo months on this kindly soil, and we have all been found wanting in the very virtues honored among the lowest savages--hospitality and gratitude-gratitude," continued Kitty, with a sob, "for benefits received in by gone days, which our deepoat affectios, our warmest welconoe, could have ill repaid. Oh, what must he think of usaP Jow quickly he fathomed our shallow grasping latei c ?! Mlother, you must not, you can not,eoxpeotmo to marry him no -1 couldn't, I couldn't wear his diamonds! I couldn't share his wealth! I-1 would rather die! I--I-" " And I-T would rather you didn't just yet," said Patrick quietly-ho had been standing in the open window at Kitty's slhbow during the latter protest. " Kitty, my child, don't trouble yourself aboust my property at present, but come out, and let us see if we cannot pick the peas in time for dinner to-day." Kitty turned round and met his eyes with a tearful, rebellious, yet pathetic glance, then the colour crept back to her cheeks, she slowly wiped her c-yes, and, without further objection, stopped out into the sunshine of a loving and happy life.