Chapter 161824161

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Chapter NumberXXXVIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1895-07-13
Page Number38
Word Count1497
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Third Volume
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r ~ ®ait:folded over - .letter wlt9»«M>igh;V ^oriqiStde'sr^ "


YettheiesOlt of this oonfessiohwas an entire displacement of thspoint wbenoe it was neces sary to survey the aua. ;r The motiveswbioh lied caused .the snppoei^ldeath; of Jj archer would not sUffioe Via: explain'^

Jeringham. ? The oeie bad assumed a new Mpeot. batneveribelessltwas as com plex and ihsxplipable as oyer. Tait thoughl of all this with inconceivable rapidity, but didnotgive utteranoe to bis opinion in the jmienoe of bit

friend. ..? . ' •• •_> ?'"V'

."The letter 3« wonderfulso far," *u his aoie remark, " but it ian wreatpity tbet it end* so abruptly. I suppose your father will per sonally relate all other aetata, Claude, when you see him again." ; . ;, •' ? V.

The youngmen assumed asitting position, and deliberately finished hie wine'betore reply

ing • to this remark'. He looked anxious and* disturbed ; and, now be bed reoovered from,

the overwhelming' tnrpriae at finding his r father alive, seemed less delighted than be should have been. Amiraole had been wrought in his behalf; the dead hadbcsn.reitoredto

life; but he was by no means gratified by. .the'


"I don't know whether X shall tee my f atber again;" he said shortly.

" But, my dear friend"-^—~

"Oh, I know all yon would say, "interrupted

Claude, hastily, with a frown, "but X am not ? prepared to. admit your arguments. My

mother is alive, my father is m existence, yet: for twenty-five years I- have looked on tbem j as dead. Can you then . wonder that I feel j awkward towards them both; that I am by no j means disposed to render them that filial j affaotion, whiob you must admit, they but ill j

deserve!" ' . '

" The question is so delicate that X oan only hold my penoe," said Tait after a pause. " I admit what you say. Still they are your own flesh and blood."

"I might answer yon as Hamlet did on a 1 like ocoasion," replied Claude, with a bitter i smile; " but a quotation.wdl nbt mend mat- i ters. What I have to consider is the advise- ' bility of seeing my father again."

. " You must oertainly see him again," said the other promptly.


" In the first plaoe he is your father, what- ' ever you may say, and in the seoond you had better tell him personally that you abandon further investigation of the oase. After all, your objeot is gone; for though you might want to avenge the death of a parent, the murder of a scamp like Jeringham oan matter nothing to

you." ]

"Oh, that I abandon the oase goes with-] out speaking," said Claude, quickly, "and i you" . " j

" I aot in the same way. The further we go ] into the oase the more perplexing does it be oome. It iB beyond me. Only at the Last Day will the mystery be solved. Still," added Tait, meditatively, "I muat admit a cariosity yet exists on my part to know who struck the blow. Of oourseyour father's story corroborates Dioky Pental's, but the gardener mistook him for Jeringham by reason of the fanoy dress."

"Does this letter suggest anything to you ?"

" It narrows the field of enquiry, that is all. | Your mother, your father, and Donis Bantry must neoessarily be innocent, as they were in the house when the murder took plaoe in the garden."

"If they are innooent, who is guilty 1"

" We have a choice of two who were outside at the time. Youoanohoose between Hilliston and Mona Bantry."

" Mona Bantry kill her lover 1 How do you make that out!

"You forget your father's aooountof the soene in the sitting-room," said Tatt, signifi cantly ; then Mrs. Laroher asserted in the presenoe of Mona that she had oome with Jeringham; furthermore, that he was in the garden; Mona, also, jealous, acts as any other woman would have done in suob a position, ebe goes into the garden to demand an expla nation ; there is a quarrel between her and Jeringham, and she kills him, then flies, not to hide her disgraoe,but to evade the oonae

?uenoes of her aot. This is a feasible theory,


Claude shook his head. "I don't agree with you," he said emphatically. " You forget that

we have my mother's account of the matter to ] plaoe against that of my father's. It you re oolieot she also admitted finding my father and Mona iu the sitting-room, tthe also admits tainting, but there.all resemblance between

the accounts oeases. My mother dietinotly. j

says that ehe threatened her husband with tbe dagger, that ehe fell on the floor when she lost her sebieB. When she reoovered them the dagger was gone. Now," ooutinned Claude,

slowly, " if you remember tbe crime was pom- j mitted by means of the dagger, for it wbb found i red with blood in tbe grounds, and then was taken possession of by the police. If my mother's aooount is the true one, Mona Bantry may certainly have pioked up the dagger and have murdered Jeringham, as you suggest. But if my father's story is to be believed, Mona left the room before ray mother fainted, and oonsequentiyoouid not have gained posses sion of the dagger. It follows as a natural oon sequenoe that she oould not have committed


Tait nodded several times during this expla nation to show that he agreed with the points raised ; but when Olaude concluded he rubbed hiB ohin in some perplexity.

" Here we oome to a dead stop," said he impatiently. "It was asserted by. the police that tbe murder waB committed with the dagger worn by your mother at part of the fancy dress."

" Yes 1 If you remember, it was on that evidence she was arrested,"

"Well, if she wore that dagger in the sit

ting-room, Jeringham .oould not have been : killed with it, because the murder must have I

taken plaoe while your father was trying to { pacify your mother."

Olaude glanced at the letter again. "My father makes no mention of the dagger in this," he said,, with a puzzled look.

" No! I should like to bear what be bos to say on the subjeat, the more so as I incline to bis story rather than to your mother's."

" tTor what reason ?*' . .

"In hereonversation with you, Mrs. Bezel— orratheryour mother—said that she threatened

yonr father with the dagger in the sitting- ] room of 'The Laurels.*" ?

"Yog. Well!" v

'' If you remember the evidenoe given, by her to the polios at the time of the arrest was

lairoh^ps*; ^^^^Ir|$^ii^cm,fb1la hu.moftiBi bad«pokaniruly tothe police, ahdifbr'lpirib

Thed«S»r droit bavifceenjost at the ball, and picked

. "Ioan nif&fl nothing faf'jfl/'.he said, after

one^n'ridcwrtionj^.;'1 tiiepnlT way^to get »i

lives, and briiig tbem tbKether. - Oat of their

meeting good may oome." .".•??'?

"! "YonwtUlhencairnOd see yourfather," s&idTsit encouragingly.

YeB,I-must. I seeno way out of it. He malt be informed that my mother lives, and I am the proper person to tell him to.'Though it. is strange,11 added Olaude, suddenly, " that Hillistoh never told him." . ' ??;-?

^'HumphJ That gentleman seemi to serve both aides,"- said .Tait, gruffly. " Your jnotherepeak*areH-<jfbim,^oarfatherthink« norand 5f Mm, ahd lroth trusthim, yet for

what I oan eeehehat deceived both.- -

. "How?"

? "Why, fay'keeping faaok the truth from etiohr 'He has let" yourfather think your mother .dead, and vice ixna; What do yon mafceof that?" , ?

VI tell you I can make nothing of the whole Confusion," said Olaude. oroBsly, " I will see my father and ahandon;tbe oase,.for I am sick bf the affair. It is maddening.: What a pity your lanaitio did not wokebp a few minutes earlier so as toeee who struek the blow, and thus hare settled the matter ? But it is not that which troubles me."

V No I What else disturbs your mind 1" "Jenny."

_ "Jenny?" echoed Tait, with feigned simpli

city. 4' I am afraid I am dull. I don't eee."

" You must be blind,jthen," retorted Claude, in an exasperated tone. " You know I love Jenny."


" Well, I oan't love her. She is my half


"Indeed," said Tait, in nowise astonished si this announcement. "How do you make that out ?"

"Why, isn't Jenny the daughter of Paynton, and isn't be my father?"

" He is your father oerb&tniy, but I assure you Jenny is nob his daughter. She is no relation to him."

"Tait I What do you mean ?" "Oan't you guess ?"

"No. Out with it, man. .Don't keep me in suspense."

"Why," drawled Tait, enjoying the situa tion, "Jenny is tbemeoeof Denis—in other words, ehe is the ohild of Mona Bantry and Jeringham."