CHAPTER V.|1895-03-09|Penarth Chronicle and District Advertiser - Welsh Newspapers Online
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vu well aware of the fact. But she had not been happy with her husband, for the reasons we may now give, and which will serve to explain much that will appear afterwards during this narrative. In the first place, Lucy Raymond believed her husband had deceived h-r. He hsd represented himself as an oiScrr -it tlip army, and thus her girlish vanity had be:H' oajed. But when, upon her arrival at the I (, .r.m which she transport Bailed, and in which ?;i • a. d hfr husband were to proceed to India, she discovered his real non-com- missioned rank, itLO, was very angry, and her indig- nation overcame her alioctions. She had money enough, and was well dressed, so it came to bo understood on board the ship that she had been deceived into marriage, and her conduct also gave some colour to the remarks made by the saloon passengers regarding her. She was easily moved by admiration, nnd though perhaps really attached to her husband and we believe incapable of ,any unfaithful thought, she craved for the zest of < -approval and admiration which in her humble sphere She had always fullyconimandud at home. So when they landed in India Lucy found herself, instead of the honoured and adoiiied wife of an officer, a mere "female'' on the strength of the regiment, her pride took fire and burned fiercely. Her husband was kintl to her; his position was for iris social grade a good one, and he had every prospect of a commission shortly as quartermaster. But Lucy declare*! she had be^n deceived, and many <lisj!nteB atoofc in ttlleir quarters. One iiult, her husl aud had not to find with her, the was not extravagant. She seemed to possess a natural t;¡¡;teÎn dress, which assisted her, and she had, moreover, an object in view while saving money. She did not intend to remain in quarters with her husband all. her life. Lucy had, she argued, been horn .ior bettor tilings, and, therefore, she saved all >e could to enable her to live in some .sanatarium ill. th« hot season as a "lady." Her b.u?baud wa* appointed acting quartermaster, and now she tclt muiv NI.Ù,ieù, but the old feeling 1 11 that «ie had bevii a vic-tim still remained supreme. He was ordered to anothol station, and then Mrs. Layton tame out in quite a different vharaeter. She did not care io accompany hiin. She had a little house of her own, and, by somf female strategy, managed to court attention without giving rise to ecandal. New arrivals, who were not particular, pronounced her a "jolly little W01JJI1,D," and in the deadly want of occupation at times Mrs. Layton managed to secure a flirtation with the subalterns. So tilings went on until her industrious and per- severing partner was put on the sl.vff, transferred to a distant station, and then she came out in her true colours. As an otliccr'a wife, a* "he said, she could rullie it with the best, and obtain loans from the bank when she got' into debt. Those deLts were secured upim her hU¡').,¿tl,d' pay. lie h;id to insure his life in consequence for the benefit of the bank. But Lucy did not care. She determined to be a lady, and so she carried on all sail, regardless of the lee sh re to which she was dri! ting. 'I hus it came to pass that she found herself at Mussuri at the beginning of the hot season—and quite ready to flirt in moderation—though quite ,capable of inspiring a grande passim in some of the idlers who came up on sick leave to the station in tho lulls. CHAPTER VI. AN EXPLOSION. THE Mall at Mu-suri is or was, at the date of my etory, the great meeting place for the society of the station. It was the drive before-mentioned which is not free from danger to quick riders, for it is only a few feet wide and not more than half a mile long in the level. It is not given to everyone to gallop along such a road with a mountain on one side and a precipice on the other. Between five and six o'clock in the afternoon the Mall is crowded. We have ladies in janpans and ladies on horseback, with plenty of men in curious costumes to carry the former, and some on hoiseback to escort the littr t. Tiffin ha" passed, and. everyone is at liberty to ndc in the Mall. Some amble, some canter, a few gallop, and nearly all are flirting, for what else can you do in Mussuri ? The ev.^mourtd subaltern who had despised the Major's ad rice before tififn, was now in full flirtation with Mrs. Sh» had taken him with her that morning to the milliner's, aud he has assisted her to make a choice of a ]\ bee net, and had even given her to undeistand that need net mind the expense, for 110 lonudered it a present to her. And now she if (,;it o Jiiai in a manner which, if flirtation were, not so common, and furious love- making n'her » f%nieie of the station, would have been pronomc<;d 'l':c;de,IJ "marked." Major Dean-, who was up on short sick leave, pending the hsnc. of the threatening rumours that were living in all rtirsc'.ion# coEcerning the native regiments, wa'.cW the pair, and being indirectly related to tin f00rh young mar., determined to put a stop to his folly bctore a duel and scandal ensued. But the grass widow, who perceived that her admirer had a long puise. had made ur her mind to dip into it, -and encouraged the roullg man 80 openly that older "hands," though jorh&p? not a whit less intrigante, turned up their eye* and vonder how she could. Mrs. Layton would doubtless not have carried on such a flirtation had he been aware of the probable iconsequence?, for duelling had by no means gone out of fashion in Mussuri. Many a quarrel at the club had ended in a meeting, and Major Deane deter- mined to save his young friend's character, and •protect the foolish woman, who was running her head into a noose, for her husband's sake at any rate. And thus some weeks passed. He spoke seriously to Frank Soutar, and made such a point of being attentive to Mrs. Layton that she became quite llattered. The Major saw only one way out of the trouble, and took it. He called on the young grass widow," who gave no quarter to her enemies, and was graciously received. I have heard of you, Major Deane," said the beauty, "from Mr. Soutar. I feel quite as if you were an old friend." I" regret I can scarcely count myself a friend," replied the Major, gallantly. "I wish I could; but you see-" Well, Major pray proceed." I scarcely k: ow whether I ought. You see, Mrs. Layton, 1 a a peculiar in my views, and wish tny friends to oe really friends. Now you are so young, pardon me- so handsome, that I cannot dare to I beg your pardon, I'm sure—I didn't memi Hore tho Major, who was scarcely forty, sighed, And continued the conversation in a melancholy tone. I must save i'lank, he thought; this woman would jSwalJ-ow me a,te, whle.: di4 Jonah;, but he only -i j ,1 continued—