Chapter 148381328

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter TitleMR MAJCR WELDON.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148381328
Full Date1893-09-30
Page Number2
Corrections0
Word Count2202
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEastern Districts Chronicle (York, WA : 1877 - 1927)
Trove TitleMaoriland Ho! Nature's Enchanting Wonder Isle. A Weird and Entrancing Romance
article text

CHAPTER V.

Sli& HAJCE W2LP0N.

Fentfitt and his friend were most hoar pitably raeoived by the master of Fine falls Station. To men who, having led a bush life, yet who feel at the same time that they have returned to the status of society whence they came, the first thought is for their toilet. The dress of our two (cicada required some renovation before they again entered the presence of the ladies ; not that the process took long. In their small valises they carried no dress coats; in fact, no broadcloth at all. The luxury of pure water, and a comb drawn through the silky hair and beard comprised the operation of dress ing.

?'That Madame Elsie is a splendid woman," remarked Fenton, between frequent douches of water.

"X never saw a handsomer," rejoined Vane, at the looking-glass. " But where

is Mra Weldon?"

" Ob, there is a Mrs Weldon ; young

Westholm'e said our host was married that is he gave me to understand so; be sides, there is that pretty girl, his daugh

ter." *

" Oonclusiva evidence," laughed Vane. -" Perhaps he is a widower. He said that years had brought sorrows. Bark 1 some one is singing.

It was scarcely singing, but rather the half utterance of one whose thoughts were otherwise occupied; but the voice *u fresh and singularly sweet and clear. The song ran -

We'lJ love as tboy loved of old, dear.

When worth was muoh and wealth

was small;

For the world has.grown so cold, dear,

That its chill lies over all.

The young men drew nearer the win dow. The eong continued

, Trto love should not despair, dear,

Let us love as in days gone by; The lark, whose nest is nearest earth,

Finds her muslo in the sky.

" It must be Miss Weldon," remarked Itenton; " what a sweet voice; I mast (ret those words ; I wish she (would go

on."

" It it not likely," slid Vane, who had returned quickly to the glass; " they are

the two Inst verses."

"You know (he song!" exclaimed Fes ton, in surprise. '

' "Yes, I have heard it frequently,'' was tho response.

" Ah i there the fair songster goes,*' remarked Fenton, aa Grace appeared from under the verandah and prooegded

to the Sower beds.

?we did not turn as he seemed busy' with hi* silky beard, but his lips - were compressed, his eyes betrayed a deep emotion, which had something of fierce, scornful defiance in them.

" Our resources I fear, Vane," laughed his companion, " will aoMoriy torn m out Adonises; they must take as as we are.f but don't you think we shall be keeping our other refreshments wait

tot I"

viae tossed down the oomb. " I beg your pardon, Howe," he replied, " X had forgotten."

" Beauty unadorned is adorned the molt," laughed fenton j " at least we ? dsn repute the saying that ' the tailor makes the man,' if ourcostume> is not quite <fe rtgeur, it is «ot unbecoming.''

On descending they founds autaUffliMiA jw»1 awaiting them ; the table made j bright and light with'flowers. Major

Weldon, with Grace, were present,-ftnd'i Mft&wn Sliw wpa in. Nite Blwfc

Mtmee easier; oooUng lotions bat baeni1 applied to hor" head, .Mid' she appeared asleep. As they «at dawnthe young men exchauged glances. Their party wjia _ complete-their host was a wiaowor. ?

Tne conversation turned,chiefly upon, England. Vane spoke but little ; when* lie did it was upon general subject*, never referring: to his own" ebnebrnkor himself. Unnoticed by the rest it did not escape FenJton. 1 . i

'.Gentlemen," remarked Major Wei-, don. as the meal came to An end " I roust; ask you to excuse - that is, it it be' necessary-my leaving you for to enter tain the Indies awhile; but!hive ft new .purchase of cattle, and have to superin tend their branding; I always see to that myself." Ho rese aB he Bpojce and took his hat, The others vent; with himitilo the verandah, Then, 'at a proposition from Fenton, they stepped downijjto the garden, which was spacious; while be yond the flower beds extended wacte or more of shrubbery, throughput which paths had.been made, high tulipB and other trees offering pleasant shade from the noon-da; son.

Madame ElBie had gone with Fenton to the other side of the house to show him her orchids ; and Vane, with Grace, - who was strolling through the fabyrinth just mentioned, when Jie saw the girl, upon whose face he was looking* start, and a troubled expression come into her eyes as they were fixed in front ol

her.

Glancing in the direction he beheld advancing towards them a tall, graceful,

handsome lady, whose likenots to' Madame Elsie there wag no ikistaking, hut her face was wan, pale, and bore the marks of exceeding grief, fieri)air, long and luxurious, was more grey than brown. Her attire w«a a dress of come aoft lav ender hucd material, which hung in ail most classic folds as their wearer came slowly on, her slender hands dropped,

| olasped before her, and her head de-, i pressed on her bosom. The figure was | so striking, so out of placi in such a spot

that Temple Vane coiild not for the mo- ? ment prevent his features expressing bis

astonishment, fie was roused by Grace's. light touoh on his arm, here wee t voice, falling in a whisper on hia ear-" it is: poor mamma. If you please come awny, and do not disturb her. Where can Mrs Winwood be ?" she added, as to herself.

Vane did not hesitate to ollty, but some movement on their part arouaed the advancing lady. She raised her head quickly ; then, with a loud cry, her eyes dilating as they rested upon Temple, she1 sprang towards him.

He read the truth at once-Mrs Wel doa was mad! Hia first impulse was to step back, but Grace's small hahde were clasping his arm, her voice whispered pleadingly -" oh 1 pray, pray do not move! We ought to have let you know; but, indoed, she will do you no harm. Poor, poor mamma!"

Hn Weldon ndvaiicing sagorly, with evident excitement-for her pale cheek was flushed, her eyes brillnint-placed a Blender, pretty hand on each of Temple1* shoulders, and gazed at first fiercely; but by degrees, with . most touching sorrow,

into his iaoe.

_ Slowly the hands slipped down to her side ; the light faded from her delicate face ,- mournfully she shook her head.

" No, no," she murinuted, half aloud,' " not yet 1 not yet! It is not he. Ah J this weary, weary waiting J"'

She was abeut, to past on, when Grace (it appeared involuntarily) Mud-" dear!

mamma I"

Mrs Weldon halted, and oast upon her' almost a haughty look.

" You I" she said, coldly, " Why do you oall me mamma -you ?" Then, burstiiig into a soft, amused laugh, - "you are not my little Grace-you I" ^laughing j again). "1 never had any child but my darling-ay Grace-my-pretty, my sweet'

Grace 1"

Her voice had sunk again into its sad

melancholy, and, without taking further1 heed of either she passed on, resuming i the attitude in which Vane had first seen

her.

Grace Weldon covered her eyes with her hands ; a sob broke forth from her lips. "Ishould not have spoken ! It

was wrong} but-bat it is so sad 1"

" Sad, indeed 1" murmured Temple Vane in a tone full of sympathy. "Par don me; perhaps my presence-"

" No 1 no J" interrupted- Grace, com poaiijg herself, and brushing away her tears. " Mr Vane, as you see, mamma has not her reason. It is a Very sad story i it was trouble that turned her

brain. You will understand me. I am : certain that I cannot tall you, neither can papa ; but aunt Elsie will-." I

" Indeed, JkUss Weldon, if the subject i be painful, as I am sure it must be," in-1 terrupted Vane, iookiagdown with that i wondrous gentleness of which his eyes I were ospable, upon the pretty, earnest! face lifted to his- I

But Grace broke in- , I

" Painful, of course it is, Mr Vane ; j still, papa would prefer that you should know. Let us find auntie, if you do not j I mind ; and when you meet mamma again

please do not notice her. 'She will not notice you nowthat she has seen that you are not he for whom she is always fiearoli- j ing." j

They had. turned in order to proceed to' the orchard house when a middle-aged,

qoietly dressed! gonteel looking wotom! overtook them, walkizsg quickly, 'I

" ^1* Weldon came this way, did she not;, Miss ?" she asked. _ - i

41 Yes, Hts WinwOod she cahnotiiare' pme f*r."

Indeed, at that moment they came in eight of the unhappy lady; she was walk ing by Madame JSUle, whose arm was .bout her waist, while Mrs Weldon's

leaned on tier shoulder as she whispered -" I have not found her yet, Elsie ; wilt yet. Oh, the weary waittag-l" " ''

W0Bla" Grace bafl addressed'ae

Mrs Wrnwood joining the sUtera, Mis Weldon went on with LerfwhtteMedame Elsie came towards them. Grsoe hastened; to meet her; Temple, liklting, waited their approach. 1

"I understand,Mr Vane," e&!d Mad ame Elsie, as they did s», that you already knovr wy poor brother-in-law's gtent trouble; one,! fear, that will never De removed. Grace desire* we to relate the cause of her unfortunate mother's in [ sanity."

" Indeed," bgjan Temple,; when he

?topped, finding that the young girl had quitted tbem unphMtMdt

,«'Yes,"remarked. M*4*meElsie, not

?*?' ' th" shbjeet is|e*oeed thut SSS IBy "?£.' for tho re*Bon

that, though her ractfear knows mVself

h^r«tU.,h"nd' #he "® »»t«oo£ise

b®r M a «tt»nger." '

4W51S?'" *kT '" .*«"

' It is so. Let us beieatisd h&re.' "ilia story is not long, and weeh^laUbemnre qusinwa MtU it, Irideed/'.'with.a

left jrou forme to entertain ,®artly that !

* l . i.:. ?

#48

eslc yotrtojpak^coojffl the eiibject, cither (62

*' You in&ytruBtiBa*; Vane, earnestly; ? :j' '

They had tafeefc iH*

seat beneath-the ;®pr_ tulip tree ; at the end : bright flower

the hoiisej injieioi

.walking wftU PeuJ»f ,

upon the two.as ihjejk' inclined! hers WW'

to his-and ft jpain breast; drawing 6flf towards his oorapantit

silent, and found '.lierj

garding hfm ; i meeBJif ofcered herself,'.'jiayj pardon, but your expi'

ment teemed to (MI . ^

could have fancied Wflini fore.! - ?uT""'

" IxJo notthtnk'i

joined tonple, vexed$6j

blojid stealing from'el' he Added quickly,

could never have for^6j

Madame Elsie iiipUW compliment, as .herevBp quite impossible'; ;you many months in the (Mil been many, many years.'

? " "5£ou tame out don P

" No, I joined' thetn" to>getting. what 1' ii»?i

may aoiin .be'intorriipbT Major Weldon, cameo)® nineteen years ago-imi hit union with my

was really a mnrrioge their tastes in eveqrt

and, baring fortune enouj of the old country'* mitnfs bolb their indinatfoj>s))i

the freedom and anconvi . existence out here, a lifeidji ness promised to bo theits''

"The promise forsofufc; be more than fulfilled. ,j^)j

and their letters borne^. ,

delights that surroanfiedi r day R ead, a terrible eliaiig&jbj trade was seated alotae wltjf' the room we were juA'abU Weldon had ridden tb tbe1^ iug the castle ; tile eerut& occupied in the outer prptiJlfer were alarmed by loud *Srtji p , sister. Hastening to leara,t|iej

found her extended inwnSt,

floor, and the child aqae^l Sjshfi Was al ready coming to, and .as ^^inM 'wi'^ grief, staggered 4»&erfeetj'tljj^jjf»lbfcred

from her disjointed eenteaega^Jrbat bad occurred:-" a ruffian, - a;tiiiliSMemaliou sundowner, had suddenly printed him self before her, dcmandi^^iu$Aey. >Slie had indignantly eppfot^^||ta^QQr *° summon help, when, pluclnp^tfcebabe

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