|Newspaper Title||Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||The Kennises|
( Written expressly for the Southern Argus.)
By Godfrey Egbekont.
f Author's rights reserved.]
Chapter VL (Continued from our last.)
^ The Watcher Without sees the pas sionless stone receive her sweet lips* caress. (Ah, that kiss should wake the dead against me 1' he matters. He sees her feneeling amid the native creepers she has planted there, and corses the ruddy flower that dares to tonch her divine form.
Hnshl What was that? Steps? Can he tear himself away from the eight ? Ha ! My God ! A man had walked quickly to the gate, in hot im patience leaped it, and passed down the middle walk. The Watcher Without notes him with straining eyeballs aB he comes, and draws a loaded pistol froin his breast-pocket. * Can it ? No, im nossible ' he fihndders.
A broad pathway led straight up the centre of the Glebe for about half way, then branched off at either hand round a large square plot of ground. Not far from the lower right-hand corner of this plot—- the South Eastern corner — a close clump of mallee and two sheoak trees made a distinct triangle. The grave was within this triangle and placed North and South. The headstone faced the South. Helen always turned to the left and took the longer way, arriving at foot of the grave. The stranger, how ever, takes the right hand and reaches its head. The Watcher Without sees through the clear moonlight this man gain the place and pause before the bead stone so lately' blessed by Helen, and which hides her from his visw. These are the chiselled words, their shape and purport, which the stranger reads, his back to the mute Watcher Without who dreads, and glowers, and execrates : —
MEMORY \ op I . JkrJMub. i j Not dead but j i sleepethe—Ijike '?? '?? rar-52. j j No dates of birth and death, no fulsome praise or nauseous record of imaginary virtues ; yet he who eagerly scanned the lines, beginning almost with wishful doabt, ended in despairng con viction ! The witness spake too plainly, nor would be lightly disregarded. * Oh, my God !' the stranger groaned, * it is too true — I was foolieh to doubt it.' A second time he read the lines, as though hoping their meaning might change. The rigid letters told him the same sad tale that his best and dearest lay buried there. *OhHelenI my love, my darling!' The Watcher Without shivers as palsied; his lips are dry; his cheeks are white — he tremblingly lifts the hammer of the pistol, but the mourner by the tomb does not hear its murderous click, and utterly overcome, sobs, ' 0 joy and love ! both taken from me ! What can I ever gain that could replace them ? My true one ! my dear one ! Mine ! mine ! though death has claimed you now — God help mel How worthless my fortune ! how desolate — how dreary is my life without you ! The fairest thing it possesses is your memory, my darling— the recollection of your sweet face that may, alas ! no longer smile on me. Dear heart, they separated us ! Oh may we quickly meet where partings are unknown ! I pray it may be soon !' Had his voice forestalled the Arch angel ? Had he broken the slumber of the dead? She whom he deemed a Saint in Paradise rose up before him, the moon beams streaming on her features and lighting her form with pale radiance— showing to his wondering eyes the beautiful girl who loved him 1 Was earthly existence ended, and were her feet now treading the pure regions of the blest 9 No ! There stands the carven witness, telling her that Harry Kennis sleeps below — telling him that Helen Kennis lies buried beneath ! O sheeny, shimmering moonligot, let not thy dreamy rays show True as False, or False as True ! * Great Father !' he cries *? in mercy let her remain ! let her remain-— this apparition of my lost love, that I may gaze thereon until, like her, I die I' He moved toward her with out stretched arms to clasp the vision ere it faded and left him lonelier than ev-ir. His mazed embrace inclosed no fleet ing phantom, but warm, palpitating flesh and blood of woman ! She saw him with love's eyes whose tears had dewed that barren grave — she saw him with love's eyes that Ions; had sought him even in the distant heaven — she knew him with love's heart that grasped the blessed truth, and falling on his breast she sobbed, * My Harry !' * Helen, darliag-, can it be you ? yourself? not your spirit?' * Harry, my owu Harry 1 1 knew you, dear, though I mourned you as dead !' The shining rays fall on them — the graves are at their feet. Is life, then, theirs — and glowing as of old ? What may the raarrel be? how came thev so? To he concluded in our next.