Chapter 96893734

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1881-08-25
Page Number4
Word Count1896
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSouthern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Trove TitleThe Kennises
article text

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( Written cxpnsaly for ihe S^vtfurn Argui.J


13y Godfrey Eguemont. [\uili r's rlgLts rusirv.d ]

Chapter V. (Continued from our last )

It was peihai'S best, that S-ni had gone, away, more sffecud ihsn he cared to show, lor the smile uhiih lose to Cien.iii'd face as be beaid tbis queer specitncu of classical lore seemed hardly in kecpiu^ with the scene. * Oh, that's it, is it ? ' De mortuid nil nisi bonuin,' you know ; r-ui as Latin is

generally used on tombstones to bide the truth, we'll have simple Lnglish beie.' Mou'.da did not, as might be antici pated, understand a single word of the hacknied quotation, and finding he had (linguisiically) caught a Tartar, deser ted the ancieuta for his funny vernacu lar. * Headstones is dear, as p'r'sps you ipigat be acquainted with the Jack — headstones is dear.' * Never mind that. You fiud me a man to do what I want — let him name the price, and 1'il pay it beforehand.' ' Cfcsh £8 is in advance, is in advance of al! other kind of payment — eh, sir?' here Moulds chuckled as if he had made a joke. « Well, my good fellow, can yon or can't you tell me of any one who is able to set up a neat headstone over this grave, at the south end here, with a simple English inscription which I will ?wiiie out for his guidance?' Seeing his questioner was becoming iirpaueiit and really meant business,

Moulds quietly answered, 4 If aB how you wants a man as knows how for to put up over this yere ehap'd grave a aootable headstone — : pru'per shaped — say four by two foot above ge-round, and an handsomely chiselled or painted erpigrapb, why, sir, if you wants this done prompt and reasonable, I'm your man ! it's part of my perfession.' Moulds, in fact, cut hair, 3old patent medicines, pomatum, pipes, cigars, and fancy goods, made cuffius, dug graves, erected tombstones, and gave vent to imaginary Latin during his leisure hours. * Oh, ytu do it then ? * Yes, sir, I am what may be called a tomb-stone man by breed, and knows the ins and outs of a grave as well as nio.-t of 'em.' 4 I'm sorry I didu't speak to you this morning, it would ha*e saved ime, but I didn't know you were such a universal geuiui-.' He had inducted Moulds to dig the grave at a certain spot selected as most Mutable, after a little deliberation which aiiivii.ced the tombstone man that his euotoiuer had never been in the Giebe before. * I can do 'iK sir, and quick. You might have it up this week.' 'This week — this week,' mused the attorney, ''twould be time enough, I tLiuk. I'll give you the inscription if you'll ccme with me to the hotel.' * Them as honours me with their com pany and orders can, particular* if they pays iu advance, find pens, ink — 11 in j in and ordinary — atid pa^er in soojer at my residence, we p-esod it thin morning — name up in bi;r letters — don't remember ? We can di ive there in ten minutes.' * Then we'il go at once, if you please, for I haven't much lime to ni.are.' Accordingly they went. John Cremer sketched the kind of --tone he wanted,

writing tne inscription very piainiy ior Moulds' benefit, agreed as to price, and handed him the money, receiving a faithful promise that it should be fixed over the grave, and at the south end in three days. It was fortunate that an amicable understanding tiad displaced the previ ous estrangement, for Sam Tyrrell and Mr. John Cremer were the only passen gers by that night's mail, and the situa tion, otherwise, would have been a dtcitiediy ewk.\ard one. * TtiU is a sad business,' remarked the attorney, to take one of tbtir many conversations on the road home. * Sad ? I hardly felt wore cut up when ray father died.' * lie was a fine young fellow, although I say it — still I can forgive and forget,' and Cremer caught a melancholy smile and fixed it on bis cheek, but could baidly veil the cold, unfor0i»iug glitter of his eyes from that sluiple-iniudfed

companion. * Miss Kennis will feel it severely,' blurted out Sam, ' though, of course,' noticing an angry flush ahicli now ap peared where the smile had lately betn, ?of course we all know that you are to marry her — the captain proclaims it. Heigho, I was madly in love with her myself in years gone by.1 ' I don't know why Miss Kennis should ft el hie death much. He was, as we al know, a gocdhearied fellow, self opinionated though ; bur, w hen he had the chancp, fce appeared too Lzy for work as a man in ean.est would.' 4 Oh, hang it !' growled Sam, * she's a kind of a cousin ; on that tccouut alone I suppose the news of Lis death would affect her.' ?I grant \ou, in the coubiuiy way, but nothing further. You know ihcre whp nothing Letwei n them, Lcr faiLei would uot allow it.' * f-bearJ something to that ifi'ict oiice ai»«i of cmrae thai uu-y liis ci&i'.' ' I i-uppote it uiil be;y for us o uli C' * Vitr r/,ii inn Trips n ! f rfli.'l At

leil bin* — indeed there is no utcesaitj . * Du , my dtfcx sir, in il.cnc so.ciui ci cu.u taute-, we must Luiy leceui uitfuid with the dead, aa 1 i ave dune.'

Caught by his own words, Sam could Bay nothing. ' It Mill be necessary that you should corroborate any statement I may make as to the painful facts we have this day witnessed. I might mention sever*! reasons, but confine myself to two. In the first place, donbls might be cast on my single testimony, seeing the relation in which the dead man and myself stood. Secondly, and owhat is far more impor tant, the late Mr. Harry Kennis had expectations regarding some consider able property willed him by a maiden aunt. Now,' all possible evidence re garding his death will be absolutely nnoJf,,l an *ltot CYlftfmiT »F r Htl PP.!!) fit! 1 R

may be properly altered and everything completed on this head to the satisfac tion of the family's legal advisers in England. English lawyers, I may re mark, are particularly careful — particu- larly careful/ ? Well, I suppose if I mast, I must,' said Sam, not quite recognising the strength of the reasons adduced, ? but still, I'd much rather not, if you can manage without me. I hate scenes of any description.' * But what scene is there likely to be ? I simply relate facts, hand Captain Kennis the burial-certificate, and you

can corroborate. He won t go into hysterics, and you may lake my word for it, that Miss Kennis is not likely to care much.' Soon after they arrived at Kenniston. Sam, despite his strongly expressed reluatance, found himself seated in Cre mer's buggy, and being driven rapidly to 'the Houbc' 'No good to argue with the beggar,' he thought, * he'd give me fifty more reasons', and besides, perhaps he is right.' The Captain was not in the office, 60 with the privilege of intimacy, Mr, John Cremer started through the various apartments in search, shyly fol lowed by SamTyrell. They discovered him in a small room which served as a kind of library and lounging-plaee after dinner. He greeted Cremer warmly, and bestowed a stiff salute on Sam. 'Captain,' said Cremer, 4Mr. Tyrell has accompanied me here at my request, because I am the bringer of bad news, which are of sufficient importance to need independent testimony-' Sam, as he bowed acquiescence re sponsively to the Captain's inquiring gaze, could have sworn that he heard the rustle of a lady's dress near at hand. Cremer went on, ' Ah, the fact is, my dear sir, I have to inform you that Mr. Harry Kennis is dead, and buried.* The Captain gave a sigh of relief, the dreadful thought had crossed his mind that wool was down again. * A slunwreck occurred at Poolam

ponk as we came up from Adelaide. Mr. Harry Kennis must have been a passenger by the vessel, for we found him lying dead on the shore next morn ing, and had him properly buried in the Glebe, near the township. I have ar ranged for the erection of a proper head stone, and will give yoa a copy of the inscription. Here is the burial- certifi- cate,' spreading it out slowly before the Captain. « Mr. Tyrell can confirm the truth of what I say.' ' Unfortunately I can, Captain Ken nis. Poor Harry is dead, there is no doubt. I stood by his grave and saw him placed in his last resting-place. Mr. Creuaer's account is quite true, sir. It was his wish that for your satisfaction I should say so much,1 and the foolish fellow's eyes were full of tears as he spoke. 1 Very kind of you, Cremer, I'm sure. Poor Harry,' remarked the Captain luniniirinmlii ' * F irrmcinpt hiR Aunt

Martha's property will go out of the family. There can really be no doubt about his death whatever, I suppose ? 'None at all, my dear sir,' empha tically responded the attorney, Sam shook his head inornfully. 4 We recognised him without diffi culty, though he was much swollen, and disfigured by bruises, he ? ' A piercing shriek interrupted Mr. John Cremer'8 speech, followed by the sound of somebody falling. They rushed through the folding-doors into the next room, and found Helen Kennis insensible on the floor, for, unknown to them, she had been there and heard the miserable Blory from beginning to end.

Chapteb VI.

Slow feter and days of delirium fol lowed the cruel shock,, though weakened and wretchedly changed, . Helen did not die. None would have recognised in the prostrate, haggard girl, the once blooming beauty of Ken niston, the * Bush Rose,' as Sam Tyrell used to call her. She lingered on like

some wilted flower, oftentimes praying for death, oftentimes raving of Harry's grave or calling on him tenderly to come and take her where he was. This illness proved, almost againBt belief, that Captain Kennis still re garded his daughter with feelings of affection. The goodness which is part of our humanity, though so long di vorced from active expression, returned its place in his heart, and swept away mercenary calculations bidding him re member bhe was his only child, the sole link binding him to a pure, happy past. What right had he to condemn her sul lenly because her wishes had clashed with his determination ? Night and morning saw him by bedside, a careful, patient nurse. He would not suffer the women to take his place, am Hearing all her delirious prattle, became conscious that, woit'iy or unworthy, Harry had been moie to her than any thing the world was ever likely to j bestow. | To be continued in our next. i