Chapter 96893605

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1881-07-28
Page Number4
Word Count1957
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSouthern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Trove TitleThe Kennises
article text

©rigtoat Wt.

{?Written expressly for the Soviliera. Argui )


By Godfrey Egremont. [Author's rights reserved. J

Chapter IV. , : (Continued from our last )

Harry could hardly grasp the blessed truth at once. Poor, dear Aunt Martha; she had gone, then ! The moat generous, the kindest friend a man ever had! Done him good now as she had always done ! It was right that tears should trickle down his cheeks as he thought of the open-handed lady who had been father and mother in one — who knew no stint of giving, and bad befriended him ? «' _ _ 1 ? a— «.L- tumaont

since ne was a ooy, «» »'c picocm moment. God knows he had never wished for her death, and would have been content to fight his hard way to success or perish in the attempt ! '1 hen these feelings gave way to the natural joy and gratification which circumstances begof . 0 Helen J be thought— my brave girl I my love ! nothing now may sepa rate us — nothing — nothing 1 With gladdened mind, flashing eye, and glowing cheek he opened the second letter, recognising the Captain's hand writing throughout. Kenniston, March 10. My dear Harry — This morning I received a communication from Mesrs. Bramfield informing me of your Aunt's death, and the fact that she had left all her property to you ; also inclosing a letter which I have directed and posted totbe address you sent our postmaster some time ago. I offer my sincere congratulations, and trust you may be long spared to enjoy the handsome fortune, now your own. It has pleased the Almighty to visit me with a sore affliction by removing one whom I dearly loved — one who, in fact, waB the object of your affectionate regard. I regret to inform you that Helen is dead. . She caught a fever, at first supposed to be an ordinary low fever, but proving, unfortunately, of a malignant typhoid character, which itrnncrht. hp.r vnun? life te a close last

Wednesday week despite the best efforts of our two doctors. No pen could de scribe the sorrow I feel, for bo long has she brightened . my solitary, home that I seem again to experience the anguish of spirit which oppressed me when her dear mother' was taken. ^ r Ihave hardly strength left to write 1 this, my nervous system has suffered so .severely from the shock. 1 doubt whether I shall ever be myself again. She passed quietly away trusting to the : inercy of One who is able to save. I feel .assured she has gODe to a * better land' where * all tears are wiped away ' By her express wish we. buried her near Poolamponk, the little summer ': watering-place where I think you once. - stayed a few weeks with us soon after . your arrival. Her grave .is near the south east corner of the Glebe, within a -? leafy triangle formed by two sheoak trees '.'.arid a clump of mallee or dwarf gum. ' 'Kenniston has grown so distaBteful to me in consequence of Helen's death that you must not be surprised if you see me almost as soon as yourself in England. -.,-Iiiave abont settled to leave my affairs in charge of Cremer, and end my days in the Old Country. . Wishing you health and strength to enjoy the blessings showered on you by a benignant Providence Believe me, dear Harry, Affectionately yours, Edward Kennis. ' ' Life, and love, and light were crushed in the poor fellow's heart who read this cruel lettarJ What were wealth, honor, existence itself without Helen ? Better beggary, with' her smile to cheer the day ! Better all the. ills, of humanity,'.' so she were by to-siag sorrow, asleep I Better everlasting labour and a slave's position, ' with Helen to make these things sweet happiness. Better any thing than the lot befallen — tawdry riches held fast by '? rirasty title-deeds, while the tender grace which should have made them worth the having had fleeted from earth 1 Harry Kennis's worst enemy could not have beheld unmoved the agony of despair which darkened the face so lately bright with joyous exultation. ?Oh, my love! my Helen 1 my darling.' he sobbed, and wept unre strainedly. What mockery after all, was this fair promise of everything de sired, overwhelmed next moment by the shadow of the grave 1 : - ? ' Business can hardly afford time for mourning, though the seared brain ?-. yearns to be alone with its woe. An ? hour had elaDsed when a knock sounded

*t the door* startling Harry from the trance of wretchedness which overmas tered his being. Boggle missing bis most regular hand, had taken a walk to the . wasgon fearing lest perhaps ' he should be ill. . : :*: What, my man' he said, after enter ing and speaking kindly to tbe miserable stone -cracker before him * ain't you ? 'well?' ' ' - -? - « Yes, thank you' responded Harry rather ashamed' of his tell-tale; eves '.I've had bad news,* pointing to the black-edged envelopes, * that's all.' All, indeed ! 'Ah,' and Boggle shakes his bead * that's a bad job. I've know'd it my self.' Harry tried tc speak but couldn't just then. ? You'd not be a -coming out agaiu n ?jw, this afternoon ? A neat and deli cate way of getting him back to woik Boggle considers. * No, Mr. Boggle.' ' Well, if I was you I'd take a nob bier or two of brandy — nothing like it for producin' of quietuess.1

A new specific for grief, or and old one — vh;ch ? ? 1 dou't think it would do me much good.' ? Ah,' said Boggle * I remember when my o d woman died — seven year come August — I got to feel quite resigned like, almost happy after I'd taken a few nobbier?. Nothing like it— that's my belief/ 1 Oh, brand-'s a very good thing in its way,' remarks, Harry wearily. ' Why, I know'd a man as was born and died on it, as one might say, Jim Wollops by name — He didn't thrive remarkable well though, but, bless you, he'd a never lived two hours if it wasn't foi brandy. He drank it in mother's milk, fust of all, to ile the waj-like, Tben took to it nat'rel in a little warm water, and so on, till the time he was fourteen, he lived a'most on nothing else — Ah, I know'd him well as a man. I've seed him take it regular for break fast, dinner, snd tea. Somehow he busted up one morning and went off fluking to t'other spirits saying, quite

express wish he was buried in a coffin made o' staves of a brandy-barrel, and they do say there's a smell o' brandy about bis grave yet.' Harry made a faint attempt to smile at Jim Wallops's eccentricities and said — * Mr. Boggle, the fact is, my cireum ftanca are altered considerably since dinner time. By the death of a dear relation, I have come into a little money.' ? ' Have you ?' replied Boggle * and a jolly pleasant kind o* thing it is to come into.' ' You see I shall leave the colony at once, and must therefore cancel my agreement with you.' * All right — you only forfeit a week's wages.' * That I am quite willing to do. I shan't go back to work.; and allow me to say, Mr. Boggle, that I never dealt with a more straight-forward fellow than yourself.' A compliment so evidently sincere is a new sensation for the contractor. * Well,' he responds * you're good ! I know'd, of course, you worn't used to stone breaking, but a soopler, handier one than yourself—making allowance for your not bein' a perfessionai, I could'nt come across.'

' I don't exactly know whether every thing will be straight as regards some business I have to settle, ' thinking of Bramfield, Modley, and Bramfield's let ter. ? * If I should want anything like an identification perhaps you wouldn't mind a trip to Melbourne, on payment of all expenses ? You know my name is Harry Kennis, I tald you so at first, and you can see the address qn these letters.' 'Most happy to be of service — on them terms— Fm 'sure/ I remember once identifying Bob Branagan — he turned bushranger — after a trooper shot him. Same .kind o' thing, most likely ? I knowdtim, and 1 know you.* ' Same kind of thing, except the bushraneing and shooting, I suppose.' ' Well, I'll come if you send for me, on them terms.' ? Good-bye, then, Mr. Boggle, I shall leave here next train.' 'Well, good-bye, then. Don't forget, on them terms.' By the afternoon train Harry left Squanton, arriving the same night in Melbourne. First thing the following dav he proceeded to find Weatherlye, Sharpe, & Go's office, and having done so, entered with the Messrs. Bramfield's letter in his hand... Mr. Weatherlye was engaged, a clerk said, .but Mr. Sbarpe wou d be in directly — would he wait? Yes. Then come this way, here is Mr. Sharpe's room, take a, seat. Hairy took a seat, noting the pigeon holes full of papers, the shelves loaded with bulky volumes, the deeds tossed about, and the; general litter which so frequently characterises a solicitor's room He wsb becoming tired of these uninteresting surroundings when Mr. Sharpe entered. A small, ferretv-eyed man, middle-aged, bald-headed, and gray-whiskered, arrayed in a dingy suit of black cloth, showing indications of a rumpled, white neckcloth. The

professional smirk was exhibited, but seeing only a sun-browned indifferently dressed young man before him, he re lapsed ia'o a severe expression of coun tenance. . * What can I do for you, sir ? seat ing himself at the table and pretending to look through a stock bundle of briefe. 'My name is Harry Kennis. My solicitors, Bramfield, Modley, & Bram field have directed me here — Messrs. Weatherlye, Sharpe, & Company.' * Coe, air, coe, not Company.' ; *X)h, I beg pardon. However, my solicitors inform me that I can draw on them through your firm for five tfaon sand pounds, if needful, on productiou of this letter. Here it is.' Mr, Sharpe's eyebrows tried to as cend where the roots of his hair once grew, resumed their normal place dis appointedly, while tbe smirk returned as without response' he took' 'the prof fered tetter. He went to a pigeon-hole, to k out a packet, compared the docu ment with, a prees-copy, and then sat down to read it. Its perusal finished, he peerdat Harry curiously and asked, ' Are you the Mr. Harry Kennis our esteemed correspendents mention Y * Yes.' ' Pardon me, my dear sir, but how are we to know thnt ?' * Know it ? Haven't I shown you their Jeter.' * Very true, very true, but again — pardon n-e — again, what is to hinder other people's doing the same thing?' » Other people's doing the same thing ?' Harry repeats wondering!;.

1 Yes, my dear sir, other people's doing the same thing. You see, in such an important matter, it is our duty, our special duty, to know that tbe person who presents this letter is really Mr. Harry Kennis, not that we doubt your word for one moment, not for one mom ent.' To be continued in our next.