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Chapter NumberIII
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Full Date1891-10-03
Page Number1
Word Count1109
Last Corrected2018-06-12
Newspaper TitleBathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (NSW : 1851 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Mount Macedon Mystery
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CHAPTER III —————— LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM. Thus was the first-born cast forth on the world through his own fatal passions. He could not justly blame anyone but himself for such a result ; but, as is generally the case with people of per- verted minds, his whole rage was directed against the innocent, and he left his father's house burning for revenge on Charles Edgar. He had a small amount of money at the time and it was generally believed he went to America, as he was seen on board a vessel trading there and was not met in Sydney afterwards. The occurrence fell heavily on the household. In spite of the wayward and fierce nature of Reginald, his father could not forget that he was his eldest son, and, though stern and unyielding as he was, many a sad hour was spent in bitter thoughts of the erring son by the old man. His wife, who had a genuine affection for the young man to whom she had been a second mother, was deeply grieved, and with the tenderness of womankind often besought her husband to advertise his forgiveness and bring, back the prodigal, but he would not unbend to consent. Thus three years went by without any tidings, and the name of Reginald Edgar was never mentioned in the household. Charles, who was the very antithesis of his stepbrother in character, had grown a tall and handsome young man. He was now twenty-four years of age and had hitherto been heart-whole, but Cupid, who had overlooked him so far, at this time shot his arrow and it found a resting place in Charles' breast. Adeline Devereaux was a handsome brunette. There was French blood in

her veins which accounted for her viva- cious manner. Her flashing dark eyes were indeed the windows of her soul, for they spoke more eloquent than language of every passing emotion within. Melting in tenderness, sparkling with passion, or laughing at folly, her eyes were the infallible index of each change. They were in truth "speaking " eyes, and threw a charm over the face, which made up for a nose that was not quite classic, and a forehead that was too high to be exactly beautiful. Her chin, square and strong, indicated determination, and her robust physique gave the impression that whatever the mind decided the body could execute. Her father was a prosperous merchant whose place of business was in King- street, Sydney. She was an only child, and had never known a mother's care, that parent hav- ing died in giving birth to her. She had been carefully brought up by her father, and, added to her acquired

accomplishments, she possessed those in- finitely superior qualities of a cheerful disposition, an even temper, and intel- ligence of a high order. She was not yet twenty, when Charles Edgar met her, and it was a case of love at first sight. The meeting was a dramatic one, for Edgar saved her life at the time. In company with her uncle, who, re- sided at Newcastle, and was on a visit to Sydney, she was boating in a small skiff on Sydney Cove, that delightful little bay in Sydney Harbor, overlooked by Go- vernment House; and to the shores of which the Botanical gardens slope down. A sudden gust of wind overturned the boat about a hundred yards from the shore, and Charles Edgar, who was strolling in the gardens and saw the dis- aster, at once plunged in to the rescue. The uncle was absolutely powerless to help the struggling girl, as he could not swim, and it was the merest chance that he managed to seize the keel of the over- turned boat and keen himself afloat.

Meanwhile Miss Devereaux, whose clothes kept her afloat for some time, sank, but when she rose again Edgar was at hand and seized the drowning girl. He was a strong swimmer and managed to bring her safely ashore. The occupants of a boat that was some distance away had also noticed the upset, and coming up relieved the uncle from his dangerous position. On recovering from the effects of her immersion the young lady insisted on her preserver accompanying her home,and her uncle, who of course had witnessed the rescue, was equally importunate in that respect. In truth it did not require much per- suasion to induce the young man to go with them, for though Miss Devereaux's toilette was somewhat spoiled by the sea water and her hair disarranged by the same cause, Edgar mentally resolved that he had never before seen so fascinating a lady.

It was no time to argue with the drenched girl and her shivering uncle, and in a few minutes they were being whirled away to the Devereaux mansion in a passing vehicle, the driver of which had been induced by Edgar, on payment of a good fare, to carry them. It is almost superfluous to say that the young lady's father could find no ex- pressions cordial enough to thank the pre- server of his daughter, and he insisted on Edgar promising that henceforth he would look upon the house as his own, and come and go whenever he wished. Such a privilege as this is a dangerous one to give a man when the house con- tains a beautiful and charming woman. It is tantamount to tempting Providence, and holds out a premium to match-mak- ing or heart-breaking, as the case may be.

In this particular instance, the result was that Adeline Devereaux and Charles Edgar fell hopelessly in love with each other. There was really no just cause or impediment why they should not. They were matched in age, in social position, and in wealth. They were both good-looking, healthy and accom- plished, and it almost seemed as if Pro- vidence had thrown them together as suitable partners for life. For some months they forgot the prac- tical side of life in their newly found ----------.