|Newspaper Title||Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||The Kennises|
By Godfrey Egbemont. f Author's rights reserved.]
Chaptee VL (Continued from our last )
' Helen, dear,1 he respended, * I thought— I thought you would like to be here — yes, hang it ! on poor Harry's account/ Tears of glad surprise came as she heard this. Was it possible that her father could again be wholly the dear old father, once her best and only friend.
? Poor Harry ! poor Harry t' he con tinued, thinking of a black, broken hulk still visible wedged among the grim rocks, and then of the desolate Glebe so near them. ? Have you seen it ?' she asked turn ing to him. He knew well enough what she meant, and replied ? No, dear, I have nof. Don't think me unkind — I was waiting till yon were strong enough, and then we'll go to gether.' ? Papa, you cannot dream what I have lost in Harry 1' ' My dear,' he said soothingly, ' I hare gone through it all,' his heart softening to her more and more as the recollection of his own loss grew vivid again through the dim, sad past. 1 It seems as if everything were darkened by the shadows of this great Borrow, and oh, Papa ! ' she sobbed * had you not treated Harry so unkindly he would never have left us and been drowned.' ' As God is my Judge, Helen, I am sorry as a man can be, and know I might haye acted otherwise — I've treated both of you very badly and wish I could call him back to your side — I do indeed ' « Oh, Papa !' if you had only been kind to us 1' *My dear Helen' he groaned de precatingly, but she went on, not vin dictively, but because her full heart irresistably urged her; * It would have been easy for you, how easy J^rto have given Harry a partnership, or helped him in a hundred ways! What could have been easier? You did it for other people many times !' Smitten hard by bis daughter's richly earned reproaches, Captain . Kennis started to his feet and exclaimed * Helen I Helen I I cant bear this — you'll break my heart I' * Mine is broken, Papa.' * What a miserable churl I have been!' walking wildly about the room, tortured by Helen's gentle words acd Iris own conscience, - Perhaps I hare said too much, dear Papa. I had no wish to reproach you, but cottld not help speaking.' He did not deserve the grace he received, and knew it. * My poor child J I don't merit such consideration I Oh, Helen, I'm afreid when we men look upon money only as end and aim of our exertions, we are led whither our good angel would never lead us ! We get to think that happi ness is impossible without money, whereas true happiness is ofiener far beyond its reach I* A. pause ensued wherein his solitary inarch continued. ( Papa,' Helen said suddenly, ' there is one thing you can do, now a word from you will b8 enough.' «Whatisthat?' 'Forbid our house to Mr. John Cremer 1 Tell him to go. He follows me ? I feel it — like some loathsome rep tile. I hate him I Do this for me, papa dear.' The Captain stopped and reflected ruefully. He had for the moment quite forgotten Mr. John Cremer, * Egad, Helen, -ou must bear with me for a little while in that quarter. Bat why shouldn't you know all ? I was a better man when I told you every thing!' Helen wonders painfully why Captain Eennis need hesitate to dismiss his attorney — but is soon informed. * In 1 wo words, my dear, I am indebted to Mr. John Creraer in a large amount secured by mortgages on the Station property, which amount I am at present unable to pay.' 1 Oh, papal I am so sorry.' Would she have shown equal com niiBeration if the glib arrangement previously made for the cancellation of these mortgages were known to her ? 4 For this reason I must keep on good terms with him — in fact the mortgages are all overdue and he could positively sell me up any time he chose. I expect though, if wool keeps a decent price that I shall be able to clear myself shortly, yet, if I can't I'd sooner sell out altogether than remain longer under obligations to a man who seems your special detestation/ ' I can't help it, poor papa' said Helen with a shudder, ' how I wish you^ were free, or that the money were owing to someone else 1' ' Don't think anything more about it dear. Just tolerate him for a while if you possibly can, and consider whatever I may have said or asked you to do regarding him formerly, aa things of which I am thoroughly ashamed,* A few days later, Helen had suffi ciently recovered to accomplish her most cherished purpose and accompany^ her father to Harry's grave. After this it was her custom to pass at eventide within the quiet Glebe and hold sweet communion with the dead — she often murmured Harry Vaughan's lines — ' They arc all gone into the world of light. And I aloae left lingering here. Their very memory is pure and bright-, i And vay Bad thoughts doit cheer.'
!?-: he-jr^nc- a constant ea'ier stHarfiVid, but seldom saw Helen in tbe house, because invaliditm made the rendering of frequent excuses an easy matter. The greatest obstacle removed, his game was nearly won. What bad be to fear but Helen's distaete, or, rather, her senti mental attachment for a grave-yard? This fancy could not last. She will forget him in time, be thought — forget him, and reward the faithful love un changeable, though years should flee ere thisfooliehremembraacefaded. Patience I patience 1 be eoHnselied himself — the fruit ripens slowly but is gathered at last. Shadowlike he followed Helen Kennis when she walked from Harfield along the lucerne paddeck. up the tortuous coun
try road toward the quiet glebe. Peer ing from some corner, or at a distance, he invariably dodged her footsteps till cer tain she had entered the little gate. Then, leaning over the side fence he would see her near the grave by which Sam Tyrrell and himself had stood that day when the corpse was found by the waves. No sleuth-hound tracked surer than he — sauntering in apparent care lessness to the road-way should some belated yokel trudge near — steadfast, and nigh mad with a horrible jealousy at eight of her he adored bending lovingly over the grave of another, or strewing blossoms there, brought from the garden below. Long, long he would remain, motionless as the earven monu ments before him — wanting to shriek his love — wanting to leap forward and seize Helen and bear her away in his arms, only restraining himself by biting his lips till the blood trickled down his chin, or clenching his hands till the palms were lacerated by his sharp, nar row nails. When she moved to depart he would rush swiftly through tbe fields, and over the sandhills and along to where a break in the rocks formed a email inlet. On tbe tiny beach at this spot he would deliriously stamp, and curse, and rave, the cliffs and foam flecked boulders silent spectators of the madman's horrible freaks. A passion play often lasting far into the night — in keeping with the ragged scene ; the actor's wild words mostly drowned in the surge's roar, but sometimes rising in yells and peals of hysteric laughter above the thunder of ocean. Station affairs anon rendered the Captain's presence at Kenniston neces sary. Helen bad rallied so marvellously that she could no longer be classed as an invalid. It was determined therefore to leave Poolamponk for a while, and come back before winter. We quit a temporary lodging-place which has yielded peace and comfort with regret, but Helen felt that in departing from Harfield and the solemn glebe she would leave the most precious thing en earth behind, .. The last calm evening of their stay came. Helen turned to her customary vigil with Harry's .name on her lips, with Harry's image in her mind. Dusky eventide was waiting for her as she gained ihe grave, dusky eventide which hides the day, which hid the sullen wretch who followed close and kept his hellish watch outside like some grim sentry of the Tombs. The evening deepened— a dark band stretched between the fleeted sunset and the coming moonrise — a sombre interval dimly lit by far shining stars. When the spiritual is strong within us those subtle emotions whereon thought «tii3 focAi-ntr mnrmr. nTknxrA Anr frrnKCAr
cannot be expressed in language. Helen Kennis, for the first few minutes, stood at the foot of of the long low mound, dumb as the firmament above, yet, like it, actively responsive to unseen agencies. The white headstone gleamed before her, the capilline sheoak foliage soughed mysteriously, though but the faintest whisper of a breeze eras felt, the dry mal lee leaves rattled as if ghosts were shak ing the stems, the dead lay all around couched in the faith that they might suddenly be awakened by an archangel's dreadful trumpet, solitude through all and gloom, yet alone with him she loved none of these could disturb or terrify. The watcher without can barely discern her still figure, but marks the trees whereunder be knows she prays ; and blasphemes God because that the fairest of His creatures caa so give her whole heart to an accursed, man's memory, though never a smile to him ! 1 My darling !' Helen moaned at length, * My darling, ti-y only, only love!' Againdeep silence — again it was broken, 4 Dear Harry, I roust leave you for a while — only for a while. ? How it wrings my heart to know you will be alone in your cold grave when I am away ! They will not care for you, dear,— they will not watch the flowers grow above you ! Oh, how cruel does it seem that our lives are parted — that on this earth we may never meet more. But you are some bright angel, and hear me as I say this though, alas ! you cannot speak to me. Why don't you speak to me, my own? Why don't you tell me you are near, as I know you are, and call me your darling as you used ? I am staying longer with you to-night, Harry, for I shall not see your grave when the sun sleeps to-morrow. Oh, love ! my heart is broken ! Why did I not die when you died, that I might be with you now ? How can I bid you farewell ? how can I live through weary, weary years without you ? Oh, my Harry I my love ! my love !' Gleams from tbe risen moon penetrate the darkness as tottering overwrought to the tombstone, she kissed the senseless surface, and sank unconscious on the grave. Higher tbe moon climbs, filling the heavens with splendour, and casting soft shadows over the agonised girj— robbed of her love, robbed of her joy, robbed of life's brightness by a seifish insatiable enemy. To he continued in our next.
Chapter XV. The Powder Flask. The assertion made by Mr. Brown that Eose had seen Bernard's powder flask in Dick's room was perfectly cor rect. This was what she had whispered in her uncle's ear in the Court-house, which he had failed to understand, but insisted on being told afterwards. The flask she had seen there was the same Bernard had sworn to losing, and his friend was a witness to his missing. He bad lost it near Edwards', and Dick had picked it up, and kept it, hoping to make it of some use against its hated owner. He usually carried it about with him, to guard against the chance of its being seen by inquisitive eyes. On the Monday morning when Eose saw it, Dick had taken it out of his Sunday coat pocket, and laid it down on his bed, meaning to transfer it to the coat he wore at work, but went away quite forgetting that he had not done so. Directly after he left, Hose was sent by her aunt to tidy his room, and the first thing to meet her eyes was this same flask. In mute astonishment she looked at it where it lay, not daring to touch it, eo great was her consternation at seeing that little tin bottle with the name . printed on it staring her in the face. ' Bernard Stcckton,' she said, spelling the name letter by letter in a low voice. 'Yes, aunt, Fm coming,' she answered, as Mrs. Brown's shrill voice called her for the third time. She walked slowly out into the garden where her aunt was, feeling she scarcely knew how. She was confused and stupid, hardly able to comprehend tbe simple questions Mrs. Brown put to her. A quarter of an hour passed in assisting her aunt as well as she could in the preoccupied state of her mind, and then she went back to Dick's room. * No, its not here ; it never could have been here. I must have dreamed I saw it,' she said, as with a puzzled air she carefully searched the bed and room, but could find no trace of the red flask with the white letters printed so clearly on it. * No one has been here since I went out ; it couldn't walk away of itself. The fact is I dreamed I saw a powder flask with Bernard Stockton printed in white on it. I don't believe I'm quite awake now ; let me see,' and she shook herself, and pinched her arm to make sure. 'Oh, yes, its all right; I'm awake,' she said shrinking at the pain she had inflicted upon herself. * But I won't tell anybody ; they would only laugh at me. Yet I do wish I could be certain about it,' and ehe recomnaen ced her search. To le continued in our next,