Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page

5 *l?l 6 0 §fI [ALL MOHT3…

News
Cite
Share

5 *l?l 6 0 §f I  [ALL MOHT3 RKSERVSD]. 1*  I For Love and Honour I 0 P  By HAROLD BINDLOSS, m ? By HAROLD BINDLOSS, g| fljgjS Author of A Wide Dominion," His Adversary's Daughter," The ? ? Kingdom of Courage," The Mistress of Bonaventure," &c. ? are g=re aeaaBaaa iliI_1Ii_- SYNOPSIS OF PRECEDING CHAPTERS: Harry Elliot returns to tngland after an ab- st>nc« of eight years. He had gone abroad to "He a friend from the consequences of a poach- ing adventure. Torn Grayson had struck down u neighbour of his employer, and in order that (irayaon, who was about to be married, might not lose his situation Harry disappeared. On the night of the affray Harry had been seen by Alison Elliot, the niece of Arnold Elliot, a ship- owner. While abroad, Harry sets himself to clear the name of his father, a ship's captain", who had gone down with his steamer on the Pacific coast. It is believed that the skipper was Dot sober when he lost his ship, but Harry's in- vestigations lead him to conclude that his father was sacrificed by Arnold Elliot, and that the ship was lost for the insurance money. He meet* Tom Grayson, to whom he confides his dis- coveries, and states that if he finds Salter, the engineer of the steamer, he will be able to learn the truth. Harry takes up his residence in a country inn rear Arnold's house, and makes his presence known to his old acquaintances in the country- side. He finds Alison Elliot. prejudiced against him, and he can see that for some reason or other she has taken a dislike to him rneir patli now led from wet leuge to ionafe along The brink of a declivity in the depth* of which a stream rioted, and Alison, who was glad of Harry's hand, beg.m to wonder what the result of her rashness would have been had he proved less sure-foored. By-alhl- bye, however, they leached more level ground. and after following the stream some distance Alison stopped where the rocks upon the other side of it ran ixiok and vanished into the mist. We must get across, but there seems to be a good deal of water," she said. Harry looked at the stream. It came foam- ing down between big boulders and luiubled over shelves of rod vhich promised to afford a very insecure footing, while he fancied it was more than knee-deep. There's only one safe way of getting you -over., i)e remarked, in his most marter-of-faer tone'. "You'll have to be carried." He spoke -is if it were the nio*: natural thing, and Alison .shot a svvil't. indignant glance at him. "No," she declared: that's a point on ■which we disagree." "Then# said Harry, "you can iry the other way." She moved forward, mi: il one hoot v. an covered and she had to gather up her The water swept by in whirling eddies, and she could not toll into what depth the next step would rake her. It seemed possible that she might sink to the waist, and she had r.o wish to look ridiculous hi tiie presence of iit;-» man. While «he hesitated he stooged <wifiiy and picked her up. For a moment, she felt tempted to struggle free, even if she i'eli into the stream but this. ,he reflected, would absurd and more undignified than being car- ried. Then she noticed the steady way in which he held her, though she is of In!) I stature and by no means Ha«i!o. He strode forward through the w; ter. pant- ing n. little as he stumbled among the un.'ve i stones, and she could hear the .si ream *wirl about his limbs. She was ainn.'St astonished tha.t ho kept i>i.» footing, because she did not expect him to Pnd his burden • a lisjM one. The;i he lurched violently into a d?e<>er ancf she wondered if he would let her fall; but he. j'ccovered himself again, and she heard him as lie raised her a little higher iUt-1 Q nuitLi.: 'v,r u f' ff > -as ovi J f: ?- t H  L bin ?. t ) ,ugi)t it ?? Tt h_> octe?ttH.:?:') !an muscu l a.' ?* ??gt:h lie '? L.lti liei- 110 0,1-, :uul riet down upon the bank with a xcsiul air which she thoegln admirable, since *1:3 knew the would ,,eii had li., shown any sign of embarvrwment/ His besi excr.se was that he had merely done a ';en«iV'a and natural thing. She did :.ut know that he ,?-. t i-,It lie realised this, and thar his coolness lotd cost him an effort. "If I'd waited while you thought it over Ave'd still have been on the other -ide." he said. very possible," Alir-on agreed. Do you always attack a difficulty in that uncere- monious fashion?" As a rule, any way. The longer vou stand considering, the worse it generalfy looks. On the other hand, the straighr-ahnd method sometimes lands you into a good deal more than you bargained for. "I suppose that's true," said Alison, smil- ing. But if you're referring to the present case, it isn't altogether flattering. I wasn't," Harry assured her. I was thinking of something else. I let myself in for a big contract when I came over here." Then you had some object besides the idea of enjoying yourself?" Harry, who had been thinking of Salter, felt sorry he had nor reflected before speak- ing. \es," he confessed, I bad an ob- ject; but I'm not so sure I can realise it now as I was when I started." "The difficulties you boldly plunged into look too big for you? No," said the man. %N itli an expression which puzzled her. "They might be over- come. The trouble is that I foresee complica- tions if I'm (successful. But we nui^t be getting en." He had given her no clue to his real thoughts; but as they plodded across a rain- swept moor lie grappled with the Cjuestion- What would be the result if any information he might be able to extract from Salter should incriminate Arnold Elliot? Alison, lie knew, \va& endowed with a strong family pride, and respected Arnold. The hitter's daughter, who would be involved in the oblo?uv that ml1"t ?'H?'-Y the mfn'? exl)oitre, w:M (tenre.,t friend; and Harry could imagine how Alison would regard him if lie It Arnold in vllldrcattng hh fathers memory. ,JIis facs grew harder as ther walked on. and lion, who noticed this, wondered, but for- oorè. to acTV for a re>>«on. By-and-bye my descended a .stone-strewn kp0 into the valley, where the rain stopoed and a ray of sunshine streamed down on them. jHari'y looked back with a smile towards the "hillsides, which were still shrouded in leaden mist. th I expect it's raining as hard as ever up there," he remarked. You generally have to pay for climbing abort: the comfortable, everyday lev.d. That's not the general idea." Alison poi nted out. v Most people want to get as high as they can." Harry locked thoughtful. Well," he «aid, it isn't easy going up. You have to lace dangerous buttresses and sometimes overhang- ing ledges, vfjiile there's often the chance of an ugly fa!], 0ven when you're right on top." Alison, who could not tell that he was thinking of Arnold, changed the subject, and liy-and-bye Harry left her at the gate of Low Wood, where her father and Vane had already Arrived. When the mist came on, we looked out for you at the top of Staneside Ghvll," Christo- pher informed her. We came down the Hake." Alison ex- plained. Then Harry must be something of a climber. The stones would be slippery." They were. He told me he could gone up the buttress." Vane .smiled. "Then, if I'm any judge cf character, I quite expect he could. That j'oung man is-i't in the habit of saying things casually. Alison left them in a somewhat puzzled tnoocl. Her prejudies against Harry were growing fainter; but she was a little asion- istied at the favourable manner in which her father and Vane, who were shrewd and thoughtful men. seemed to regard him. It reminded her, by contrast, that while thev -were on good terms with Arnold, neither of them had ever expressed any particular admi- ration for the latter. This seemed strange, as they were naturally acquainted with, his character. CHAPTER VIII. I Harry was dining with Arnold. -,omewn:Lt against hia will, but lie had refused two invi- tations, and could think of no way of evading the third without giving rise to -suspicion* 3.ti to his motive, which he wished to avoid. He lbad undertaken a difficult taäk. »od )'<* jeauseu mat. no ••• .s nave to overrule ni« inclinations during it. It .was a hot evening outside, but the great room with its high, painted ceiling was refreshingly cool. Through the open w indows one could .see the Cens, towering black against a saffron sky, and the scent of many flowers flowed in. Alison, Christopher Elliot. and Vane sat about the table., which glittered with fine glass and Ailvex.; ;and a deft man-servant stood near his master's chair. Carpets, pictures, furni- ture, spoke of refinement and luxury; but Ha.rrv smiled as he remembered how often he had eaten his evening meal in swaying, rain- thrashed tents, and been glad to sleep after- wards in saturated blankets. Arnold «at at the head of his table in creaseless evening dress; everything he wore was exactly as it should be, and yet. no single article seized the attention or looked new. His cleanly-cut, re- poseful face and quiet manner, which had nevertheless a hint of pride in it. matched his dre,<;[{. He was a man in whom it was difficult to find a flaw. Yet he said nothing brilliant, and only smiled when attention to his gu-ests demanded it. As a matter of fact, he was in it IlwlIglnful mood that evening, though nobody could have guessed that Harry was the cause of it. As the latter had said to Alison, the climber meets with perils; and though Arnold had faced them cleverly as wallas boldly, he had come upon one very slippery place during -iili ascent. Once he had surmounted it. he had, however, never looked back. until the younger ni-in -i appearance had forced him to turn his shrinking eyes upon the episode again. Deep down in his heart he hated Harry for having dragged up the buried past. The rest were quietly merry. Boisterous laughter or loud repartee would have sounded out of place at Ktileholme, but Christopher told a few drily humorous stories, and Vane was generally ready with an apt rejoinder. Sometimes he and Alison indulged in light badinage. The meal proved a lengthy one, but Harry found it .strangely p!e'UM to watch and listen to the girl. She had looked at home among the rocks on the fell-side—he thought she ltad the gift of seeming at homo a.ii no doubt that this was her natural environment, "fn the mean- while. the light was fading. and it was grow- ing very still. During the pauses in the con versation taev could hear the river brawling down the valley. When the dessert was on the table Ainoid looked up at Harry. You were in the Yukon gold region, were you not?" he asked. Yes," s'ud Harry, quietly. "1 wa? there J when the Calabria went down.i Arnold seldom tweaicd his feelings; but j Harry fancied that li,,? .1i)(I he was not mistaken, for his host hated the mention of the vessel's name. I "Ah!" he said, with a sympathetic ges- ture, "it must have beeu a painful-hock to you. A deplorable catastrophe!" It was a month or two lie fore 1 heard of it." HJtrrv answered. Then I read the ac- count in ail yM newspaper one night in camp. I wa.s glad." he ndd' •»?!idy. •• I had to work uncommonly hard ;iext dav. Thre was a brief ilence, during which Arnold sat back in his chair, with ;;n expres- s ion of decorous pity, and his fingers resting lightly on the stein of his wineglass. Harrv lea lit forward a little, with his eyes fixed on hi in, antl i here .v ;t look which puzzled Alison in his bj-ouzod face. lYo were at it. shift a' out. night said day. thawing out the surface of our frozen claim." he went un, "It was a relief to work, be- cause it was weeks ljefove I could bring my- self fully to face the thing: the night I first I hoard of the wreck lots left its mark on me." He let his voicj sink to a low. impressive tone. "After nil, I ..»-as only <i!i- among other."?— men who'd seen tried partners dte.wn; widows left suddenly desiitnte when the gold their husbands had staked their lives on find- ing went down with tliell. likes to wonder what.straits the loss of the Cala- bria drove them to Alison fancied that Arnold shivered, whieh s he thought was to his credit; but next mo- ment hi.s face iv^nied its compassionate ex- pression. niey opened a fund in Portland and San Francisco. It was a relief to subscribe," lie, replied. "You heard that an unsuccessful attempt was made at salvage by an American wrecking association?" "Two attempts. Harry corrected him. "The last was by private adventurers." I read something about it. The steamer, of course, could not 'n be refloated, though 1 be- lieve thev managed to recover the passengers' gold. Ö "They got some," said Harry. "The curi- ous thing is that the safe was open." This was of no direct interest to the others, but they felt compelled to listen. The two men spoke quietly, but there was, Alison fancied, something in their voices and atti- tudes which hinted at carefully suppressed emotion. Tliit, said Arnold, astonished me when I read of it. The ship's safe was al- ways locked, and I had full confidence in the honesty of the officer who had the key. As lie was drowned, we will never learn how it came to be open; but most probably he and its owners made some attempt to save the gold after ihe vessel struck." It was a plausible explanation, which had already occurred to Harry, who had. how- ever. found it unconvincing. Now he decided from his manner that Arnold could throw no light upon the subject, "Well," he fln-y,»ic(]< quietly, "the topic is ft uai"fL,i one; but it gives me an oppor- tunity of saying this—I am as certain as I can Vie of anything that the Calabria was not lost throi.i,-it niN-,fatfiei-*s fault. While I live, thai belief will remain with me." Arnold made a sign of sympathetic under- standing. There's a good deal in connec- tion with thë disaster which will probably never lie explained." Then, seeing that they meant to say no more, Vane talked about something else, and it was some little time later when the "¡(!TId of a disturbance ro-e from outside the room. Arnold looked up sharply, with indignant astonishment in his face, for disturbances of any kind were singularly scarce at Ride- holme. Everything moved with a decorous smoothness there; but there was no doubt that somebody was speaking in a loud, deter- mined voice in the hall, and another man ob- jecting in quieter but equally resolute tones Then a sound of quick footsteps was followed by a hoarse cry, "Out of the way, or you'll be sorry. Arnold turned suddenly in his chair; the door was flung violently open, and a stranger broke into the room. A man-servant, who ap- peared in the entrance behind him, addressed his employer in a deprecatory manner. I told him you were engaged, sir, and asked him to wait but he insisted on coming in," lie explained. Harry could not see Arnold's face, but Alison was able to do so, and she had no doubt that he started when he saw Mi-e in- truder. Next, IUompnL however, his l'xpres- sion only indicated a resentment, which she thought was fully justified. The newcomer was plainly dressed in blue serge; his face was hot, and he looked breathless, while the way he had entered the room and his general appearance suggested that he was not abso- lutely sober. that fellow in the hall wouldn't let me in," he began. Arnold looked at him in cold .surprise. "Naturally," he replied. "My servants were only carrying out their instructions." The stranger laughed in a jarring manner, and Harry, watching him. decided that he was a man or intelligence, accustomed to work with his hands, lie. however, could not see the man very clearly from where he sat, because the light was fading, and part of the room was growing dim. Well," said the intruder, I've come to talk to you, and you had better hear what I have to say." "Then you must wait until I'm ready." Arnold signed to the servant at the doof. "Take him. up to the library." The stranger looked astonished at thts j treatment, but he followed the man, who beckoned him, and when the door was shut Arnold turned to his guests. A troublesome fellow, but. I may as well zee him. I didn't expect him to-night," he said, carelessly. they finished the dessert before they rose. and then Arnold smiled at Alison. You'll excuse me for a few minutes while I get rid of the fellow upstairs." he said to her. Thev strolled out on the terrace in front of the house when Arnold left them, and by-and- bye Alison looked at her father. I wonder who lie could be?" she said. "He made a rather startling entrance." As he's a stranger to dale. I expect he's one of the m who are puttoig up the new pumping plan; a., the k'.«) nn:.t'. Chris- topher replied. Arnold has had some trouble with them, though I don't know how it arose." 1 believe you're correct," Vane agreed. He told me about the thing. They de- manded some extra labourers. and he wouldn't supply them—the contractor, I un- derstand. is liable for the whole cost of •recting the plant." Then, has Arnold reopened the old lead mine? Harry asked. lie did so some time s ince. I'm afraid it has proved a rather unfortunate venture." They changed the subject, and while they si rolled about the terrace Arnold entered the library, where the stranger sat waiting him. He looked at the latter sternly as he drew out a chair. Now," he said, will you be good enough to tell me the meaning of this visit, Salter? The other seemed to resent his manner. "Yes." he said; "the police are after me." Arnold showed neither surprise nor inte- rest. it's a pity but I don't see why you should come here." That's not how I expected you to take it," and Salter gazed at him in bewildered anger. Can't you realise that you have to stand by nie? I wonder where you got that idea from?" The man leant forward, closing a big hand. Don't talk to me like that. It won't pay you. Do you want me to go to the under- writers who insured the Calabria? It would be singularly unwise of you. But in the first place, and before you lose your temper, you may as well explain why t;• • ■ police want you." Salter knitted his brows, and Arnold was pleased to notice that it evidently cost him an effort to think collectively. The man's slight unsteadiness on his ieet when lie had entered the dining-room suggested the reason for Ji '.Y i." he said. "I didn't keep the berth you :1 me. but. ac I got another, I didn't ":1" and tell you, as I'd thought of i. 'e. *• on saved yourself some unnecessary tr.; = 'l»!e." Arnold informed him. keep that berth either." Salter v• oo. "Then I shipped as second with a v. ••• i eiied of firemen. Half of them were s r' i tropics, and couldn't keep steam on her. and I'd trouble all along with the work when he i -ir fit, one night when she was rolling e. tviiy, and I gave him a shove toward, the siokehold ladder. Slit: lurched into a sea just t.;o:i Vou rre sure about that lurch? It was o• j: 'iiiiiie. The man fell down the ladder r.inl hurt himself? alter hesitated. He didn't get better." A-no'd lighted a cigarette, though had i" smoke! in his library. Ltifortunate i n' of You ti?edn't tell me any lf'or. No doubt the firemen laid their pre- iitdivi'Hv of the matter before the Board i-i 'i'rad ■ biU we'll turn hacli to another part ■ A ij., topic. You 1.11. of course, interview ibf :it: Twrlters if you w ih; but a litti.- re- f' t,i :u should showyou that it would pro- LJ.h t~ to your Arrest. -J: more Salter gazed at him in si'll^n b?- v ii.u i'.nent. He had fancied that he had his I f..);"ucr employer in his nor. or; now he sat hefotv the carefully-dresseft ttv.l very CQl- le. i i! f:ei>! Viaan in his hatutaiio;" -J. the thing loo!(l The spacious rooms, the v. ide eI e had t cc t ti t ^.ell-trained servants who had disputed hi- iv.nce. all had their effect on him. He ft i himself an obscure HId unimportaat per- impotent to strike at sllch a man as the <j.. r of Ruleholme. What was more, the r, who had not shown the least alarm, d as if he felt secure. ides," Arnold added, "you seem to have overiooked tee fact that you are already v.anted by the police. Salter gave in. Any way." he pleaded, "you'll help me to keep clear of them?" Arnold smoked in silence for a while, and liieii looked iii). No," he said. I will not help \ou to evade the but as you are. no doubt, out of a berth, I might find you one in this dale, where they are scarcely likely to look for you. After all. you saved me some money when the Lingfdl L;ke her crank- shaft some years ago." This, as Salter realised, was a reason that would ar satisfactory on the face of it, and he appreciated Arnold's cleverness in making use of it. He had no doubt now that he was no match for this astute gentleman. What do you want me to do? he asked. "Uun a pumping plant at a lead mine in the neighbourhood, for which you'll get the regulation wages for that kind of work. Take it or leave it; but if you're not satisfied don't come back, to me. In the meanwhile, you had better go back to the village and put up at the Salutation. You can tell the people casu- ally that you're going to the mine." He rose, and. calling a servant to show the man out, strolled back to his guests; but, though Salter was not aware of it, Arnold's calmness during the interview had cost him 6ii effort (To be continued. )

Advertising

[No title]

NEWS IN BRIEF. I

Advertising

REPORTER " RAILWAY GUIDE.

Advertising