|Newspaper Title||Eastern Districts Chronicle (York, WA : 1877 - 1927)|
|Trove Title||Maoriland Ho! Nature's Enchanting Wonder Isle. A Weird and Entrancing Romance|
A Weird and Entrancing
L'l ATI! A II ESIEURT.
T.i 11111111:1 :;ti]l remained unmoved, ana kepi: liH eves freed 011 madam with a Vieie.iug limi; t.lial. made tlio lady feci l'Xi;i'" dillglv IlllC-.'ll'fl'l";nljlo. "llispito of wl,;it you say to ihu contrary. I believe that dii.i laily is very easily ullectod by the power I have referred to. May 1 leal you«'
A chorus of voices pleaded with her to Buhmit lo the ordeal, and smiling disdain fully Madam Elnio consented.
To llunna placed her, sealed somewhat 1111 nil from tho rest, liut in full viow of nil. Tlieti talviny from his tamba .1 small piece of shining metal about tlio size of balf-a-crown. bade thi: sceptic look at it ?steadily. " D.i nut think rnuso presump tuous as to imagine 1 can absorb the thoughts which pp dominate in this pood lady's mind at this moment," said he, .lowly. and appealing the others with ttti apologetic gesture of his arms, though licriid net remove Ills glance from madam's face. " I assume nothing but to guide, with my will, whatever idea lias possession of tlio mind of my subject at the mo ment, that is all."
For eovur.il minutes there was a deep
aiiuncc in the apartment. Little by little
the assertive smilo failed from Madame Klsie's pa!o face, her eyes began to dilate, and tier stately form to bend fortvnrd like one overpowered by drowsiness.
Suddenly she Btartcd, satboldly upright, ond rubbed her eyes. What had hap pened ? llad she really been dozing after all ? Tlio shining object on which hor look liad been concentrated seemed to grow and exp:md beneath her vision until it oncompisaed all space, and had shut out from hor everything else, save the presence of the Maori. Ilia piercing glance fell into the woman's wido open cyea will) a burning triumphantexpression as lie stepped one pace forward, and laid his baud witli a light touch upon her
"Look! and behold that which is near-. at your heart and your mind," he
Madam Elsie .shuddered ; to her the objects in the room wero no longer
'' What do you sec, madam V he said, pwsenlly.
The subject, struggled to speak; then in a voice, strange and hollow, which .tanled those who wero listening to her, answered,
"This is not I'inefalls ! What has
happened ? What strange placets this 1''
'? Describe what you see," cried Te Uiiima,
"Hero ia a lovely peak, from which I can see the bills alia valleys of the Patea, even to the llunna Uanges. Beside me etauds the form of a giaut, whose face is hid from view. Kmv he turns. Ob ! Heavens !-ihat mat.-it. is-it is mv-"
With a piercing cbriek she full back oil the sofa insensible, while the rest grouped
round hi r in terror.
"Stop! (.top ! for mercy's sake," cricd Grace WelJon, seizing the Maori by the
Te Huuna waves them nil back, and pausing liib iiando twice or thrico over Madam Klsie'.i restored her to her 11011:1.li condition, and she was led away lo her abutment by (irace and Mrs Wel don.
Tic Maior and the others were deeply flliecl. d by what li.it transpirci, but wero too uell bred to make any reference to it by asking any ipcst'ona, ami soon the Maori retired 10 ins room for tlio night.
V.'lie.n lie was gone tile master of l'uie fr.ils and his guests spoke more free'y ^oncoming what had occurred, and Major Wcldon t"li\ them the following story.
"Jtislcti years ago since I becamo nrijiiaiiiie t with 'J'e iltinua. J had sonio busine. a at 'i'aupo, 011 the other side of . he Island, and look the chief with ine ns companion and guide, Previously 1 had been to Auckland to engage a gover ness for mv little Uracil.
Cue night during my stay there I was accosted in <Jueen iStreot by a young girl -evidently a stranger to the city-who enquired the way to a suburb some five
miles ilidani. When told how far she
bad to go the jioor thing sank down 011 her kuee.i, and clasping licr hands, mut tered, " 1 can go 110 further. <j«»d help tuo." 1 raided her up and found alio had fainted. 'J'ho hold wlioro I lodged was not far away, mid idle was conveyed thither ; and in short I was Bo struck ly the extraordinary beauty and sadness uf f.:eo that 1 became interested, aud gleaned from bur that she was friendless, slid had not a relation in New Zealaud.
Shu bad been the companion to some fine (lame in Kiighuid, but had given up the position owing to sonio persecution, which it w<is paintul for her to detail, and co with what little money she had left, llad embarked for the colonics, and liere 1 found her houseless and Penniless.
Helen I'eniberton was the girl's name, landing she. was well educated I engaged licr as governess, and she returned with me to X'iuefalls. Let tue say that I was ?surprised at her various accomplishments for one ho young, and looked forward to tier becoming an acquisition to our small circle; but the girl's sorrows appeared to ivuigh iter down, and though filie strove to hide it I saw plainly that her health was impaired. Dr. Craig was called to .tteud her. lie could find no positive disease, but such terrible debility that he .aid any illness might prove fatal to Iter, it was at this juncture, mid when MUs X'enibcrloii bad been with us something over a year, that To llunna aud I started
X limy say that tho Maori Imd never Been t1\o guvoriK'-H; tlici'i'fiu-o, what 1 nm iilmut. to rulatu will appear all tho more
euiitinuud tliu mnjor, who had fiiiuyud to tflku a uip nfwiuc. "To Hunna juinrii 1110 at 'J'a itruiiga, uud in lees than u wi'uU «'U I'u.icliod Tuiipo. Tliuro nro, or worn mily iv.o di-cciit IidU-Ib in iho plncc, mid 1 uuU'cti'il ihu I'L'st for oui' quarters, iiiMDiiiy.oiiiiiriii'lahlooiiu.stDru'.d building, with ohiH'i'fiil be:iiii<niiG, frum tho win down hi' which thoro woru cliariiiiiii; views ol tho Biiir..iiiu!iii'.'i;imiiti,y. ThoMiwrics iivdi'iniiii auj..im-il initio, wilh a door of couuiiutiuatniii l.i-nvou'ii ; and uiuat go by liltlo iip:iriiiu:iitii they wuro for any tirco aiurtal t'l wv» tliu <lrn\vny yiid. Mine
r.i->itj:iii' il J'Veuh bid. euvcrtd with i
fcnylit chin?».. ;i bin iiippud wimliEtmid, j tluL'hi'& i' Jiifjing uihli", with iieuft, thick lioitrih iuij the lire place, and a
t«rg« mwror vu the mantal, J
inn nrai mght E retired to badettly, for I >vas tired, and slept soundly until morning, aavo for # peculiar dream, in which I fancied that the last thing my eves rested on before I fell aslopp was a small bottle labelled poison 011 the man tel-piece. TI10 letters wore largo and plain enough, though how 1 could read
tlrm in the dark was a puzzle.
Somehow in my first waking thoughts tliis circumstance come buck to me, and I jumped out of bed to look for the bottle, but lo! there was nothing there, and I burst out laughing at my own foolery. The Maori beard tue, and came into my
" Good morning. Why does my friend
laucir."' lie nsltcd.
1 explained. To Uiintia looked grave,
but e-.ud untiling then.
A long day with business matters ma.-Jo mo forget the incident of my dream al
My last thoughts, when in bed the night [oUo.ving, were of Piiicfiills and its in mates, and S3 fell quietly into temporary forgettulness.
It might have been somewhere in tno early houis of the morning when I awoko- not abruptly or suddenly-but regularly. I rubbed my eyes, and stretched forth my band for my " repeater," won dering what was the time, when, to my surprise, in lifting my eyes to tho fire place I saw the strange bottle on tho mantel as I had Bei'n it in iny dream.
There was no mistake now. There it was, with its red label l'vison. I could see tho things as plain as I sea you, though it was dark. I lay back on my pillow, and fur tho spaco ul several min utes fought hard with a terror to which, hiilierto, I had been a stranger.
Fortified at length I leaped out of bed, and lit my candle. Then I began to ex amine the room carefully. A mure un romiinlic, unghastly common-place cham ber could not be imagined. There was certainly no mysterious phial. While I stood mystified I heard Te II unna knock ing at the door of communication, and I
" What is tho matter with you ?" ho enquired.
" Matter t This place is haunted," 1
"Every place is haunted," said tho Maori, quietly. " Sit down and say wluit has happened."
I obeyed, at the same time feeling somewhat ashamed of my companion.
" Whit o'clock is it ?" was his next question.
"Time! thirty-Bcven minutes after one by my watch."
" Good," be cried. " Has my pakeha friend courage to put out the light, and
sit with me here in the dark ?"
" For what purpose, Te Ilumia ?" I asked, suspiciously.
" Not been use I want to rob or murder
my pakeha friend," said ho with a lofty air. " If such a tiling had been my ob ject, then could I have done either long ago. I have spoken."
My courage was now equal to anything. If it came to a tussle we were but man to man, so blowing out the candle I sat down beBido him as he had requested me. In a moment I felt his cold fingers lock themselves within mine, and at the Barno time a peculiar sensation went through my frnmo bb if 1 had been suddenly brought in contact with a galvanic bat tery. " Look straight into the mirror," I heard him whisper. " Gaze steadfastly upon that speck of light reflected there,
and be silent."
It seemed I had no power but to do as he bade me. At first the mirror was nothing but a blot of dull drab grey ; but while I gazed a soft glow appeared upon itsBurfucc, which lighted anon into a full radiance, and behold, it sectnod as if I sat within its glow. Then I saw the picture was a room in my bouse here at Pinefalls-the room occupied by our governess, Miss Pemberton. J^very article of furniture, down to the inoBt iniiiule thing within the chamber was rovealed to my uyes-even to the desigu of tho paper 011 its walls. Standing by tho fireplace I anw the tall, slim figure of tho governess with her features full upon me, and liar long, white fingers clutching that fatal bottle with tho red label. In the terror of the mjment I would have leaped up with a warning shout, but I fell 1 was powerless to move, as iu the throes ot some horrible nightmare.
Slowly the figure raised its transparent hands and passed then) through the long masses of raven hair, uhiuh covered tier liko a sombre veil. How pale slio looked, uiid wax-like, like a corpse.
I struggled to free myself and cry out, but even as 1 did BO I raw her raise tlie poison to lierlips, and drain the dregs."
Tho major paused, and gulped down a glass of wine.
"I remembered no more," lie con tinued, looking round at th» osger faces about him. " I suppose I must have swooned or something of the sort, for the next thing that I remember was that it was broad day. To Ilunna was sitting by my bedside reading. When 1 was fairly niysolf, and began to question him, ho only shook liis head and replied, " lot thepakcha hasten liis business ai\d return home again."
" Holy An-to-ny!" ejaculated Burke Itrady, with open mouth. " An the poor unfortunate crayture has really poisoned herself, major?"
" Aye I" responded the master of Pine falls with a sigh. " Aye, my lad, that dreadful aeene which passed before my vision at Taiipo wus practically enacted here by the unhappy Helen Penibertou almost to the minute. Tne poor girl was found dead next morning by one of the servants, and it was proved at the inquest that she had taken her life about the hour Te Hunna had bade me look into
" Muslia, it's quare entirely," said Brady, philosophically, and the rest of the- little group echoed the sentiment ere they separated for the night.