Chapter 96894892

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1881-09-22
Page Number4
Word Count1510
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSouthern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)
Trove TitleThe Kennises
article text

-*)tfgitu*l Unit.

(Written expressly for the Southern Argut.)


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

Chapter VL (Concluded from our last )

The Watcher Without gnashes his teeth and raises his pistol, yet waits, as, astounded, not realizing his bliss, Harry Kennis stands gazing at her who fondly leans upon him, yet wonderingly con fronts the white headstone. * What may this mean, my Helen — this tombstone ? Oh, help me to com

prehend it all !' *I do not know — I thought it was your gravel' ? My grave ? gracious God 1 1 (hought it was your grave, and came to see the eacred place before leaving for England. . 'Id© not know,' she repeated, ' they told me you were dead.' 1 Told you I was dead ? Why, darling, your father wrote saying that you were dead and buried here.' 'And buried here ? I ? They told me you were burned here, my own 1* « Who told you thin?' Suddenly, evilly, completsly is the question answered. ? I told her', Cremer shrieks from his Watch Without, * I told her! I wrote you! curse you! I have sworn it! I swear it again — bv G — , you shall never have her ;' and takiBg aim at the sweet girl nestling on her lover's heart he fires, and as she hills, rushes swiftly away. Hot dead ! no, no, not dead — thank the good Lord who protects the innocent! The coward missed her. His bullet struck the lying tombstone, and but sprinkled Helen with splinters from the forged epitaph. She had swooned, stunned by the loud report, and over come by revulsion of feeling. In his intense excitement and rage, Harry gently places her on the ground and leaps the fence to chase the selfish villain, the cause of all their suffering, and strangle him like a dog. He notes the flying figure already far down, making for the shore, and hears its screeches which pierce the calm air as if some animal were writhing in pain — then, remembering everything, hastens - back to his restored darling. Captain Kermis, after a fashion com mon to excitable gentlemen of a certain gge, prided himself on the equability of his temperament, the firmness of his nerves, and general imperyiousness to surprise : an opportunity for the display of these cherished qualities presented itself some half-hour after the occurrence of the events above described when his daughter, accompanied by a certain gen tleman, ran into bis bedroom and con siderably interrupted the engrossing occupation of packing-op. ? Papa I papa ! here's Harry ! Harry ! cot dead after all !' ? Harry ! God bless my soul, you don't Bay so? Harry? and if the cap tain were not thoroughly startled, and in a hopeless chaos of mind, suspecting his daughter had been possibly deluded by an insinuating spectre — the human countenance hasno index value whatever. ?Harry?' he continues. 'Harry? are'nt you dead, then ? 'Dead be hanged, Sir! Do I lcok dead?' *Why, bless my soul, Harry is it really yourself ? Are yon sure, Helen? Why, d — ~n it, how can it be possible ?' Nevertheless, Harry Kennis was too substantial a fact for dissipation by means of ejaculations or even oxorcism, so the Captain ran and hugged him as he stood, bawling, ' My dear, old fellow, how glad I am to see you — How happy it make me ! Fray forgive me, my dear boy, I was very unkind to yoa both !' 1 Forgive you ?' returns Harry, wild with joy, ' forgive you ? I could forgive anybody anything now I think !' 'Even Mr. John Cremer?1 Helen Bays shuddering. *Ah, that is another affair — the black hearted, cowardly villain !'. 'Cremer?' asks the Captain bewildered. 'Whatever has Cremer to do with this ?' ' Did you write to me, Sir, when the news of Aunt Martha's death came, say ing that Helen was also dead ? ' Write ? Aunt Martha dead ? Is she dead ? Somebody's dead then ! Old fellow, I congratulate you !' ? Did'nt you do it before ?' 'Before? how could I? I didn't know before !' 'Oh, I pee,' said Harry, musingdarkly, ' all is scheming, dishonourable dealing, and forgery — all but that letter he durst not detain.' 'My dear Harry, my dear Helen — I really don't know what has happened or what's about to happen ! I can't tell whether I'm on my head or my heels at present — will you please explain ?' Then Harry told the captain all. he knew — how he had received the letters at Squanton — how, before his departure for England, he had visited what he believed to be Helen's grave — bow she had appeared there alive and well, and lastly of Mr. John Cremer 's conduct and attempt to murder. There is no need to transcribe the remarks, cursory and otherwise, with which Captain Kennis frequently interrupted the narration, sufficient to say that when it was finished he cried, ' Well ! if I haven't been deceived and humbugged by as vile a rascal as ever remained unhung ! Why, I've been quite like a child in his hands — To trust such a wretch as that — bah, I'm a born idiot ! Then this tombstone is all a lie, of course — and the man buried there just a stray corpse from the wreck. Sam Tyrrel, though, to corroborate — I can't understand that I' 'Perhaps, Papa, the poor fellow resembled Harry, and he was deceived in that way.' j

i ' That's it, you may depend, Sir. Til guarantee Sam Tyrrel would do nothing dishonourable.' * It must be so, * returned the Captain, but I'll ask him when we get back.' * * ***** Occasion was taken some time since to remark that Harry Kennis was very

headstrong — remember that evening when Helen sang ? When we are parted' — yet, with all his determinations, no argument, at first, conld convince Helen that their immediate marriage was the one thing necessary to make this world a perfect residence for the Kennises. She gave way though, dutiful in anticipa tion, it may be presumed, and a few days later Harry and Helen were quietly married in the little church, by the same parson who previously believed he had buried the bridegroom. Monlds received a handsome fee for the removal of the headstone, and is supposed to have exceeded his instruc tions, for, curiously enough, there is no 7 no trace even of a grave within that leafy triangle at the Glebe. Nothing was ever seen of Mr. John Cremer in South Australia. Fearful that his base attempt on the life of Helen Kennis would lie punished by the law's strong arm, he fled to America. His estate was transferred for a certain money consideration to a legal friend in Adelaide who helped him to a conve nient vessel and becsme in his place the Captain's creditor. It seems a travelling

auouaiMu wtciniiiua icwguiacu tuts quondam Attorney at New York in the person of a drunken, disreputable loafer, famous for whining money out of stran gers and sponging on reluctant acquain tances. Harry paid all claims due on the Station, and Capt Kennis having sold his interest therein for an amount which secured him a comfortable income, accompanied his daughter and sonin law to England, living with them at Alton-Kennis. This Chronicle might close here, but Mr. Samuel Tyrrel, J.P.,has favoured the author with the perusal of a letter received by him last mail from Harry Kennis. The following paragraphs are extracted literatim for the benefit of those interested : — ' You cannot imagine how olive branehes multiply round the parent stem. It seems only the other day when I sat with yon disconsolate in the ' Colonial Arms ' and thrashed that rascal Cremer. Yet here is my curly-headed Maud quite a bier eirl. and o.fip.rntin nA Wuhan

ranging in fine gradations after her. I trust yet to welcome you at Alton Kennis ; it would do your heart good to see the Captain romping with the children. He is now only known as 4 Grandpapa,' c Granpa,' or * Gappa ' as the cherubic articulations are more or less capable. He has grown very stout, and is mueh respected in the County I am rather afraid that Mrs. Kennis. (who sends her love) and myself are inclined that way too. It is not impossible I may stand for Parliament at the next general election — they say that Disraeli will bring about a dissolution shortly. 'Maud has just come to my elbow and commands me to go and play lawn tennif. Children are tyrants, so I must close this rambling letter, and may tell you that throughout old England no happier family. can be found than your friends, the Kennises.' THE END.