Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

1 article on this Page

---.__----[ALL RIGHTS ItJISJlRVBD.…

News
Cite
Share

[ALL RIGHTS ItJISJlRVBD. ] NO ROBBERY. 1IY HENRY FRITH. ijuther (Jf The Mystery of Moor Farm," On the Witiss of the Wind," Through Flood, Through FÙe," fc., &c. CHAPTER XXV. •THE RIVAL SUITORS—AN EYCOUXTER UMmiEls achievement soon spread abroad, and all &er acquaintances, while blaming her rashnesp; con- gratulated her upon her very narrow escape and presence of mind. "But," remarked Minnie, sen- tentiously, what is the use of having a mind if you don't use it when you are in trouble.' And so the days and weeks passed hy. I Amongst those who took an early opportunity to seethe young girl and congratulate her upon her i preservation was Marmaduke Deane. He was the (pause of considerable anxiety to his good mother (Lady Deane), for his tas'es and habits, far from |>e £ ng aristocratic, as she had fondly endeavoured to tcakethem.weie more character: s'ic of the work- man or the rustic. And for months he paid Minnie great attention. ul wish you wouldn't use such words, Marma- duke," his mother paid one day, after a conversation in which her son's Inn-ruace was embellished with some choice "slang" phia«e«. "One would think you had never been educated. I'm sure Mr. Roots, (the tut^r) would never sanction such terms. "A chip can express himself mtvh m re to the point with a bit of f-lang," was the young man's teplv. Marmaduke already look d upon himself as a man, and In was certainly very t-ill and strong for his age 1 What's a cove to do A y pals under. stand me well rnim h." J "My wishes sh oil be for you; and your 'pals' as you c-dl then. Ton are a r at deal too Iniieh am<n ;-sf. Ill" work people, and I don't at all approve of your going so much to Mrs. Layton's eot- age." Why n t'- asked Va-madnke, doggedly. u Hi e's an old f. iClll of y<-i;rs." Xo. she Ü a servant, ;.J1'i her child isnota' all Well, at any r,t." whh you to abstain from going there for the future." Vinr.ie'f all ri.ivht. I like her very much. She's a cJipping go ll, Mim.-ie L." "Idont a ''lipping' girl may be, Marmaduke, but I trust you will attend to me. The gir is no fitting associ to for you. She is not a lady." Ob, an't she!" exclaimed tie lad. "She's a jolly sight more a. lady 1,1 an Lily Watson, who you are always shoving down my throat. A stuck-up, rug-nosed yal" aduko r Hold yom' tongue this moment. Your Do you understand I entirely disapprove of your association with that ghl-Mimiif; I avt n." Very well. I help it. If I sec- her I'll talk to her. 1 he's a nailer is Minnie." "Yonr idol rooms quite a misress of all trades," remarked r ady Deane, roused to sarcasm. First she's a clipper, then -t In time we shall hear she is a lady erhaps." She will be if I can make her one," remarked young J)c,,iyie. I'm going to pop the question to her some day." 1 he ex(lamili,n of horror that rose from Lady Deane, and the disgu-t expressed in her countenance even disconcert e i the re kin s youth Mamiaduk*. "Why shouldn't I a he asked. She's all right. An awful pretty girl she i-, too; the best in the tasket." Y ou mnt 0 mad v,r:L" all the comment Iarly Deane rondeslenJed to of (r to this remark, as she sailed out of the room in her most majestic manner. Ch, that's it, is it? Very well," remarked Mar- maduke to himself, as h tnrued to iln window. j hen I'll juft spite her by spooning Minnie when- ever I (an. Mad, indeed. am f W th the axove(I objcct of disobeying lady Dearie, this young iflan took up his hat and vaulted from the window into 'he garden. e then struck across the path, and as luck, or i 1-luck, would have it, encountered Minnie hevseK Hullo, Minnie! how are you? Been lmder any snore engines Xo," replied M'nnie, qui> t'y. Once was quib enough don't you think so loathe lesponded the 1 d. I sty you are a plucky one hy everybody thinks you a heroine jslill, and all the p o le talk about you." I wish they wouldn't th' n," said Minnie. I'm iot worth all that. It's ail long past and over." Oh come, that s very fine. Quite the modest retiring g rl. But, I say, Cl]m' for a walk r "Xo thank you, Mr. Dearie, I must go home." wis the elegant lep1y. "I like you awfully. Jlinnie. Come along, there's a good girl. You're the only girl in the place worth her salt." I cannot go with yeu. Of course I can't. Why, what would mother say and the people and Lady De uie?" "Bother Lady Dea-e, relied Mamnduke. Come a ong and we'] go into th, Leigh Woods and find a I daresay." -No", said Mmnie, firmly. "I'm going home." "Expe.tng young Watson, I suppose. 1'11 pun(h his head if he goes worrying you," sneered Deane. p < He does not worry me at all," said the girl fiteadily. inf)w, Mr. Deane, good-bye/' He extended his hand to meet hers, but instead of re1 easing it, held it firmly in his, and attempted to jead her in the direction opposite to chat in which he wished to pro-ore d. I et me go," the cried, indignantly. Mr. Dran", don't be to sbpid. You are very rude and very rough." Perhr.)" r nm; but then I want your sweet society. That- oaf Watson sn't going to keep you from eveiybody, I can tell you i "Mr. Watson i-1 a an, whnh is more than you a e, I (an tell you Then you can't expect me to behave like one," retorted the passion to youth. "Give me a kiss, Minnie, an 1 part fr'emls." She made no antra or. but struggled to frre herself. She had nearly sueec'ded, when Marmaduke Deane sudd:-iilv sei ed har wai^t, and pe haps might have gained the k;ss he sought had not his collar been irmly tc-i ed it,<lll behind and a. sudden jerk laid him prone upon the g ass. He lea: t to h;s feet, and found I: the oaf Watson* øtmding before him. ï „ W hat do you mean by ilat," inquired Marma- I Printing of every Description i Quue angrily. I m-ant to release this young lady from yonr insults," re lied Edward, "and I have succeeded.' I don't-wish for your society an v longer." "Get out of this; you iit rloper. Don't you kno-.v this park is my property, and you are tres- passing? I'll have you taken up if you don't look on t." You miserable cur! Come, Minnie, let me escort you. Ihese cubs should be chained up when they become dangerous." Minnie smiled, and gratefully accepted his offer. "Cubs:" exclaimed Marmaduke, white with rage as ho saw her laugh, and noticed her content- ment in Edward's society. Do you mean to call n'.e n cub, you railway cad F If the cap fits you can wenr it. You are a low, co-.var ily blackguard, for all your grand descent," replied Edward, indignantly, and deserve a lesson. Come, Miss Layton, let me assist you. Miss Layton may go on, and you, if you art not a coward, will wait here." "Don't stop," whispered Minnie to Watson. "I know he wants to hurt you. Come with me, please, Mr. Watson." ] i You need net be alarmed," said Watson, aloud. Cowards who attack defenceless girls do not usually fight with men. Such blackguards are better cut or horsewhipped like curs, as they are." Th's retort maddened Marmaduke, and, without considering probable consequences, he rushed at Edward Watson, and before the latter could protect hinself, hit him a severe blow upon the cheek. Edward had only time to throw his head back, for the assau't was to sudden that his hands could not protect him. The blow reached his cheek, but his quick movement in some measure saved his eye, at which it was aimed. Minnie screamed, and "ailed for help but Wat- son took no notice of Marmaduke for a moment, He told Minnie to run away home, and then but- toning bii coat, put himself into a fighting atti- tude, and stood his ground. I'll teach you to call people curs," said the spiteful Marmaduke. You shall have as good a thrashing as ever a cad got. Xow, then!" As he finished speaking he rushed suddenly upon Edward, and aimed at his rival a tremendous blow straight from the shoulder with all his force and weight. Watson partly parried it, but the impetus was too great; he leaned 1 ack, put his foot into a hole in the ground, and fell heavily. Ah, ha," < ried the bully. That will teach you manners, you cad! Get up, will your" Edward said nothing, but rose slowly. His face was puffed, but the glance he permitted to rest upon his adversary made Deane feel uncomfortable. Once again the young men faced each other—the bully the taller and stronger. Edward Watson, cool and collected, stood his ground and maintained a defen- sive attitude, breathing quickly between his closed teeth. P Marmaduke Deane faced his late friend, and I made another sudden rush, hoping to overthrow Edward by sheer brute force. But this time his tactics did not succeed. Watson stepped aside, and as the enraged Deane passed him Edward dealt hii& a severe blow in the face, which cut his cheek badly, and covered his face with blood in an instant. Unheeding his wound the powerful young squiro rushed in a terrible rage upon the calm engineer- the former with all his evil passions aflame, the latter feeling in a certain sense in the position of a knight-errant, whose aim was to succour damoscis in distress and Edward Watson was quite prepared to assist Minnie l ayton, for he felt the influence of her attractions deeply. A Marmaduke rusbed at Edward, who now felt it was time to stir himself. He had learnt a peculiar blow frcm a young clergyman, an excellent boxer and a pattern priest, who worked down in the canal district, amongst the boatmen and deck hands, in which a little knowledge of the noble art was necessary, as I could, if space permitted, prove from I an actual occurrence that came tmder my own know- ledge and observation. This hit was a peculiar one, but I cannot expbin it. All I know is, a young friend of mine, a vo-y fair boxer, was kr:o.kcd acrossa i ocm, sweeping all the ornaments off a table in his flight, until lie finally sul aided into the coal-scuttle. This was the "tap that Edward Watson now j determined to draw upon the excited Deane. As the latter rushed at him Watson parried with his right I and retreated one step. Then in a second the "right somehow advanced anl made an opening for the left, which dashed oiit wil h a t, ri-ific upper cut, and in a moment Marmaduke Deane was lying pmne up< n the ground with a broken jaw, bleeding from the tongue and teeth a peiftct picture of I helplessness and l'asion unsubdued. f Elward V at son ttooptd down rather amazed at the prompt effect of tho parson's lessons." H8 endeavoured to rouso hii prostra'e antagonist: but he, whether because he was unwilling or unable to rise, re'i aiued resting where he was. His eyes wera I closed and lie lay motionless. ba Li led the animal, muttered Edward. Kef er 1, t him lie. lie is breathing well enough," he add<>d, as lie felt h:s IK art. All right, Deane r" But Dean-, though he beard and well undeistood I the n, replied not, being more inelinCd to lie ¡' at Hay t me thm to speak the truth. So there he lay r sting in the grass until Edward went to seek the do tor at best sp; ed. I By the time the young engineer had gained the surgeon's house Marmaduke had entered the Hall. uneerei ived by I.ady Deane, and sent a servant en horseback for Doet jv Prober, who, thanks to Edward, was alieady on his way to the Hall. Meantime, M-nnie hid returcod home and told h?r mother, who, in iier seer t heart rejoiced that Marmaduke Deane (her child) had formed an at. tachment. to Lady Dcanu's tiue daughter, and what! will -it- William say when he finds his heir as he is Yet her schemes did not look very rosy just then. She had bo orne very much atta"hedto M'nnie, and Marmaduke was always very rude. How was it that the drld she had taken to work out revontro had twined around her heart, and the son she had relin(Iiiis, son she hoped to work upon, and who would be heir to the estate, if she held her tongue and played a waiting game—should be so untutored and rough r h had promised herself vengeance, but the effects of her scheming somehow did not look so pleasant just. then. Edw,.rd Watson might even yet win the prize, and then all her influence with young Marmaduke would be gone. From him she hoped many thing', and did not hesitate to hold out ] Minnte as an inducement or decoy. Mrs. Lay*on ] wanted money and p'casant surroundings. She must keep Manna Juke in good humour. v | Executed at the Chronicle Office, Penarth. I I CHAPTER XXVI.. WAS IT WORTH THE CA-N])' E Lucy LAYTON'S ideas of vengeance (her notion of striking at the man whom she imagined had inflicted a lasting insult upon her, through his or her child) were beginning to assume a less pleasant hue in her eyes. Her intention had been to sub- stitute her boy as the heir, and when he, the petted and spoilel child of the celebrated and wealthy Sir William Deane-when this lad had grown up a real gent'eman -the idol maybe of the county- then she could humiliate his supposed parents, and put fotwa d her cottage-bred child as theirs, and daughter lowly brought up instead of the son—the heir the parents had so long wished and prayed for. This scheme had appeared to the angry Lucy Layton a very refined and original kind of revenge. It had its advantages, no doubt. She was on the spot, and could note the gradual aceompl shmcnt of her plans. There were no violent means t, be resorted to. All the fell satisfaction of the mur- derer, or his deadly and dangerous deeds, were ot anticipated nor desired; but the quick revenge t at works in darkness was her's, she fancied. C, She had brooded over her wrongs—her lost hus- band, for whose love she in her youth had tied from home and caused her father's death. Her warped and wilful spirit had resented any interference in her (onduct at Mussuri; her vanity had urged her to flirt, and play a dangerous game; her temper had alienated her husband, and then she turned upon the first person who interfered. Eating her heart out with the brooding conscious- ness of unsatisfied revenge, and the utter insuffi- ciency of her schemes to promote happiness or even the success and satisfaction she expected, Lucy Layton ask herself the question, so often asked by those who have plucked the Dead Sea Fruit so to speak, and found it all ashes, Was the game worth the candle i" Mrs. Lryton was rapidly coming to the conclu- sion that it was not. She had reckoned without taking Nature into consideration. Her boy, upon whom she hoped wealth and honour would descend, and through whom, when her dty of vengeance came, she had some vague ideas of striking at his' (supposed) parents, had developed into a very rommonplace and vulgar young man, one of whom it were certainly unreasonable to be proud. On the other hand, the cottage-girl she landed Minnie would be, had all the ease and appearance of a gentlewoman. Well-bred and very pretty, every- one remarked the gradual development of her beauty, and openly said that che was more fitted for ihe hall than the cottage. Here was » check at the outset. The girl's striking likeness to Sir Wid am Deane, her father, was daily becoming more marked, and affected Lady Dean-1 not a little. This circumstance alone was enough to render ov mistrustful of the success of her plot which, gh so very firm and solid-looking when first u together, was crumbling away by degrees, just as some apparently sol d and durable stone dis- integrates under exposure to weather and SlLh adverse influence. "Was the game worth the candle P This is the question she had to answer. Is the game ever worth the candle ? Do not most forbidden fruits and stolen apples of tin's life, beautiful, enjoying, engrossing as they are when we are plucking them and eating, turn acid in our mouths oven before, we are satisfied? Do they ever satisfy? Have they not from Adam downwards, brought with their onjoy mcnt a punishment, sure if slow, certain if halting ? The lame goddess is behind us. Nemesis will yet over ake us, and then we ask, Was the game woith the candle ? Was it ? Ac. So Mrs. Layton answered, and her heart began to misgive her, but she could not turn back. She had put her hand to the plough, and was obliged to con- tinue the work, even though m:my a furrow were lined upon her own face, and the turning up of past scene- and buried memories were not pleasant to behold. W as there any way out ? Marmaduke Deane had already developed, as she had hoped at one time he would do, an affection, fur Minnie. But the girl detected him, and Mrs. I tytoll knew too well how obstinate Minnie could t e. In such a case no persuasion would move her, and even Lucy herself felt that Marmaduke was- not a so a to be proud of. i But there was another reason why Airs. Layton- was ill at case and already incl'n -d to confess her- self beaten. Minnie had frequently shown symptoms of a preference for young Watson, and the events of the day upon which lie and Marmaduke had met, an already detailed, served, to confirm the girl in her previous estimite of the rival claimants of her favour. Should Watson ever propose marriage to Minnie, Mrs. Layton was quite sure she would accept him; but she fancied that the son of the g eat Sir Walter would never be permitted to unite h'm- ,self with the daughter of Lucy Layton, nie Raymond. There was another consideration which weighed upon the mind of the woman, and that was the in- creasing devotion and opeiily expressed ad miration of Collier, the inspector for herself. He was becoming importunate, and she had no satisfactory answer to give him. She felt she must decide one way or the other soon, fof George Collier was continually pressing her to become his wife. She could give no reply,, for no intelligence of her husband's death had reached her. He hul disappeared; but he might be alive, and. then she didn't love George Collier^ any more'than she did in the old days. Altogether, therefore, it will be perceived that Lucy Layton was in no way comfortable. Her arrange- ments, which had looked so clever and which had promised so well, were in imminent danger of col- lapse. She scarcely knew whether to continue her plans or leave the neighbourhood, taking Minnie with her. Fate, however, solved the question for her, and led to a clearing up of events which will now be explained. A p The defeat of Marmaduke Deane had, so far from quelling his passion for JViinnie, only served to stimulate it. He could not understand that such a common girl could resist him for any leng hot time, and thei efo; e as soon as he had recovered from his bruises and felt presentable, he made up his mind to wait upon Mrs. Layton and ask her final consent to his paying his addresses to her daughter. He thought he could easily gain her (on; ent, and as soon as he obtained the interview he sought, he put the question to Mrs. Layton, little dreaming that he was asking such a favour from, and con- with, his own mother. And sho P Did she have no scruples, or dlCl em betray any feeling when, for alrrost the first time, sbe found herself t. te-a-tcte with her child, for whom he could not help feeling a tenderness which. be d d not, in fcw lelrishncss and self importance* • .*Y»?LT k ?