Chapter 82715599

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Chapter NumberLXXXVI.
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1902-05-27
Page Number4
Word Count2139
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSingleton Argus (NSW : 1880 - 1954)
Trove TitleOlive Varcoe
article text OLIYE YARCOE. CH APTER IiXXXYI. It was a fortnight after John's death, and Olivo, clad in deep mourn ing, eat upon a great rock by the sea shore, looking westward. Her eyes werB fixed on tbo dying splendour of the setting sun, whose glory trailed along the sea in lines of purple, crimson, and gold. Dazzled by these, she did not see, creeping near tbe shore, now flashing into the light, now darkling in the shadows, a small boat, impelled by a single rower. But her tiny figure, conspicuous ia her black garments, stood out darkly against the glories of the sea and sky, visiblo to bim a3 a beacon might be ; and with hands somewhat unsteady, be rowed swiftly towards hor. Then, as the keel grated on the sands, she turned, and saw Sir Hilton Trewavas. He came towards her hurriedly; and as she rose, and would havo sprung down from the rock, his hand seized bars, and aided her. It was but the touch of a moment; yet her heart beat, and her cheek crimsoned, while Sir Hilton grew pale to thc lips. ' Do you ho7d out your baud to help ma now?' said Olivs, a little wistfully —' you who would not touch mine less thr.n a year ago, eron to sr.y a last farewell ?' ' Bo cruol to me if you v; ill, Olivo,' he answered. ' I long to hear re proaches fmm your lips. I wish you wonld speak bitterly to mo; then I might have a hope.' Olive looked at him in the same wistful way ; and, .-.s hor eyes half filled with rears, she turned- her foce frora him. ' Always tha same cold gentleness, tbo same pity, tbo same forgiveness,' he said in a despairing cry. * Oh for a tone of tho old waywardness, a flash of tbe old passion 1 Shall I never, never sea ?' 1 IS'o,' answered Olive £„d!~ ; ' it is gone fcr aver. Sorrow has broken my spirit to tha yoke. I shall never Terr tbe world again with the tire of my tongue.' There was something in her tone that spoke of a broken heart, and Sir Hilton looked at her ti-1 hts eves ''row im. ' Olive,' ha said, pleadingly, ' listen to me, I implore ycu. Do not send me away from you for over. B-a my wife, and coats with mo to itaiv for your health's saka. You _ra ill", you are wesk, yen seem to me tho shadow of yourself.' Hl3 voice shook, and he held bis band towards ber imploring!" as aha shrunk away from him against the rock. ' I cannot be your wife,' she replied. ' I am engaged to Charles Vigo. I have promised to be his wife. You beard the promise down yonder at the little inn when—--when yon refused me yonr lore.' * Pity me, Olive!' _3:d Sir THilton, pas-ionately. ..*! was blind then. Is this yonr forgiveness, to remind me of that bitter time ? Heavens J what right has this man io steal yon from me ?—to rob aa of all I bold dear on earth ?' 'Yoa gave bin. the right,' returned Olive, sorrowfully ; ' all that ~om3n conld say to man, I said to you that night. I did not tarn to him, till all my prayers to yoa had failed me.' Sir Hilton hid his face in his hands ; h9 could not answer her. 'And even then,' continued Olive, mora softly, ' it was for John's 3ake I went. And shati I be so selfish cow as to leave the man who helped me? word, and heap the world's costempt on him, and then forsaks him ? 77c, true to my promise to him. 'Suffered 7' erc.'aimed Sir Hilton, catching at the word. 'I* it because ne has suffered for your sake that vou will net desert aim ? Then you must not forsake ma. I tell yen it 13 I who have suffered — suffered horribly', because X thought you gnilty, and loved yon still. And if wa speak of sufferings, Olivs, what right had yon to surfer for me?—what right to load me with this burden cf gratitude, of wonder, of love, and now thrust me away from your lifo, telling me I shall bear this _urden for ever, and you will taka no payment—yon will endure no return cf lore from me?' ' I cannot help it,' said Olive, with a quivering voice; 'I belong to Charle3 Vigo now. But do me justice, Sir Hilton; own that I tried to spare you this pain. Bemember bow 1 pleaded with yon that night, with what tears and anguish, and with what patience I bore your scorn.' ' Olive, you madden me '.' cried Sir Hilton. ' Is it comforting to know that this misery is my own fault? And .why not have said to me teen, ' I am innocent V ' You would not have believed me,' replied Olive ; and to ertpiain tha cir cumstances surrounding ma would have been to denounce! .John. I thought it better to besr your bate than to sea you dishonoured ; end to know the truth wcuidhave brought on you two terrible alternatives—each one a. dishonour.' ' You -would not give mo the choice of either,' returned Sir Hilton, bitterly. 'You let me act in ignorance—reject you in ignorance.' ' Could I dare to give you such a choice?' asked Olive. 'Could I put before yon the alternative of being the denouncer of yonr own brother, or the coward who permitted a girl to take upon hersaif his guilt ? It would bave been a shams to help me to ilee, knowing the truth.' ' You are right, Olive, said Sir Hilton. ' I should have been a coward, indeed, if I had kept your innocence within my lips, even for a moment.' 'Then yon see,' she continued, mournfully, 'it was impossible, of all men, to explain the truth to you. Have we said enough ? Lot me go now. This only pains me.' 'And yon will leave mo like Ibis?' he said, with increasing passion— 'you who, for my sake, havo suffered your innocence to bo branded with crime—you who have bowed your head to the outpourings of a blind world's wrath, to save me from sorrow? Ob, Olive, you cannot, you shall not leave me.' 'I must —I must!' returned Olivo. ' Charleu Vigo took mo with that brand upon mc—gloried in so taking me —bora with mo the blind wrath and bate of an unseeing world— suffered for me. I will not desert him now —I will not!' sho cried impetuousl}-. 'There breaks forth the old passion, Olive, but not for mc,' said Sir Hilton in a sad voice. 'Xo, not for you,' sho answered, and her face flushed a sudden crimson. 'I hayo no right now to break into passionate tones for you. I told yon on thc night wo parted I would never ask you for lovo again. To your pride, I gave it up, and put my hand in Charles Vigo's, and bound myself to him for ever. Sir Hilton, on that day you saved your family name, but you lost mc.' Onco mora Olive turned away as if to leave him, bnt he stood before ber wijh outstretched arms, bis faco p:.le and resolute. ' You shall not forsake ma thus !* he said, with desperate calmness. 'I have loved you too long to let you go, and you Lavs loved me. It is for mo y.on have suiTrered, not for Charle3 Vigo ; and by the mark of your | suffering* now upon your face, I you. Vou shall never be any man's wifs but mine:' ' Do you threaten mo?' said Olivs. She smiled as eha spoke, half sadly, half proudly. ' Vou smile, Olive,' be cried, eagerly catching at hope. Then you do not mean to forsake me utterly ?' ' I do not forrnita you,' she replied ; ] 3os~igo is very near; we shall even | be neighbours.' j Olivo said this with her eyes, bent j on the ground, and a faint colour j stealing into her cbesks. She had a j thought iu saying iu which Sir Hilton j did not understand. Ho fancied it j was said cme-Jy, with ths intention to j wound. ! ' Olive, 3 on have grown bitter to ?; me, re cried, angn.y. 'You insult i' me, when yoa offer me friendship and \ neighbourly civility instead of "your j love. I wiii have neither.' Olive could hare answered, : Yon offered me the gift of your alc_3 onco, instead of lova '; bat she did not say it—she remained silent. 'Neighbour 1' continued Sir Hilton ; ' yon shall never be neighbour of mine I To know you were sleeping beneath any other roof as its mistress, saTe Trewavas, would be too bitter for me. I will not put my soul to that test. Vou might have spared me tbJ3 la.t insnit of neighbourliness, i Olive.' I Olive glanced at him reproachfully, . bnt no read her look wrong. ; ' Yes, I know,' he said, ' how I : insulted yoa in the old time—l | I denied love and offered charity—l j know, that before your eyes I pro- >' raised my hand to another woman, but ? I dtd no', know that you could stoop ; to take revenge for all this.' -i. - v ?..-.-,*.-_ -Ci, -*g._ -3.U T Olive softly. ' Ihera is no vengeance . in my heart now.' ' Yen revenged yourself,' bo ! answered rrercsly ; 'bat how? Bv - heaping benefits on me beneath which ? _. writhe. Vctt cliose to bow vour ! scul into tho dust far me, and despised ;' 'Xo. no,' said Oiive gently. 'I ?' 'TLovea mc-,' repeated Sir Hilton,; bitterly, ' and bound yourself to ; another man * I do not want such ?'. love as, Olive; I ask your whole \ soul.* ' I cannot give it,' she said, steadily. ' I have no right to love you now i any more than you had to love as when you were bound to TEieanor . Marisiowe.' Sir Hilton's face psied a3 she spoke. : 'Vour words are just, Olive,' he sain, 'though their sting is bitter. But I have a right io love yon now ; ' and you know, you have always , : known, that my love xor that poor girl wa_ as a pale icicle compared to ' my rove for you. A moment ago you ?' spoke of giving Charles Vigo your Ufa, because b9 had suffered for you. Then you cannot deny to mo the : same right. I give my life to you ; because yon hive suffered for mo. ,- You may hate mo if yon wild, bnt you ; cannot prevent my doing this—you '. cannot prevent my choosing e_iie, and ; solitude, 3nd sorrow, for your saks. . TLet the Trewavases die with me, and ; let the nama perish, since Olive : Varaoe will not ennoble it by mingling her blood with theirs.' There was a day whan Olive had ; never thought to hear such words as these from Sir Hilton, bnt now she , listened to them in mournful calm- . ness. ' TDo for me what you will,' she said. ' 'I cannot deny to you the peor privi- \ lege of sorrowing for my sake. 77N"ow 5 let me say farewell: tbe sky grows : dark.' 'It is ali darkness for me dow, and ! I go out into a dark world,' said Sir ; Hilton. ' Olive, your calmness mad- ' decs me ? Von speak to me 33 TEleancr Maristowe would, and not like . Glive Varcoe.' , ' .Leave ma, I iatreat you,' returned I Olive sadly. 'Do you know, that ! great happiness and great sorrow aro alike C3lm ? Eleanor's calm was tbe first, mice tho last.' She gave bim her hand as she spoke, and as be clasped it, his anguish and despair burst all bonds. Tbe thought, that when tbi? hold relaxed, he should never grasp her hand again, made his heart quail. ' Olive, Olive,' no cried, as hp drew ber towards him, *is my misery nothing to you? Will you give your self to a man you do not love?' 'You try me too much, murmured Olive, reproachfully. 'I have givou _j word to Charles Vigo. I belong to him. If he wishes mo to bo his wife, I 3flali marry him. I shall never bo yours, unless given to you by his hr.nd.' (To be co;'Jir:ncd).