|Paper||Iron County News|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||Link by Link|
|Paper||Iron County News|
"link by link. A THBILLING STOBY OF THE IBAHOO-PBUSSIAN WAB. uv jiACinici; m:ik.m, CHAPTER IV. Tin'. ttKriiirr. TSHE night hud fulloii dark nnd hot S nnd Hiillry. " WltliHwIlt foot nnd trembling limbs tho girl hnitotiol on. Sho reached the boat-housu, and a hurrlod whisper told tho hidden fugitive that all was Hiifo. Ho cropt out und helped hor to unloose tho clumsy, llat-bot-toinod murkot-boat, und thoy both on-torcd on-torcd it nnd drifted of! lhto tho swlft-llowlng swlft-llowlng curront. Tho man took tho oars, tho girl tho tillor-ropo, und, without u word anvo tho whisporod directions di-rections ho needed, thoy floated on through tho hushed hot darkness. "Is it fur?" tho man naked prosont- ly. No." "How havo you managed to got away," ho whUporod ciirloiibly. A slight sob rouo in tho glrl'a throat. "I havo mudo n good beginning, truly. My first act toward my husband has boon to decotvo him." "Ho will not discover you you nro suro? ' ho rjuostloned In alarm. "No, I did my work too woll'" "And you rorot already?" "I nover Bald so." "No, but your voice, your fuqe, nil show It." "Since whon havo you learnt to rend them bo ncoiiratoly?" "Child, child, do not torturo mo. Do you not know that ovory look, ovcry accent of jours brings back tho past as though it woro but yesterday? yester-day? Do you not know that my lovo " "DonotBpoak of love," sho cried, With sudden tempestuous linger; "tho wrong I havo doho tortures mo sulll-ciontly. sulll-ciontly. I think of his lovo, nnd how I havo nlrendy repaid It." "My clnlm Is groator than his. I havo 11 right stronger surer. You know it." "I know It," sho said, calmly, looking look-ing straight on, past! tho troubled, pleading faco to tho "gloom of tlo wnluTO beyond. ? "You nro sorry, griovod, that -I camo again. Oh, Nlnottol nnd onco you told mo your lovo nnd duty would novor full." "Havo thoy dono so?" "Not In tho letter, but In tho spirit yen." "Can I help It? Tho task is bo-yond bo-yond my strength. Whon I stood on tho threshold of new joys of tho doopost bliss my Ufa had ovor known you dashed tho cup from my lips, you stolo tho Joys from my heart. It Is not for myself I caro, ovon now, so much as for him. Ho trusts mo so nt. torly." "I'oph! I thought you woro nbovq such foolish weakness. Do you lovo this man then?" "That conceniB mo only." "It is tr.io that ho has mnny flno points of honor. Your llttlo trick tonight to-night would Bhnmo you forovor In his oyos, onco ho know of It," "Is it for you to uttor such wdrda?" sho tukod him, paBHlonntoly. "Why do you lovo to torturo mo?" "I do not wish to jialn you, Ninette," ho Btnmmorod, huskily. "Heaven knows 1 havo moro nood of your ro-proaches ro-proaches than you of mlnol" "If you know that, bo silent now; spooch 1h useloss." Ho leaned back and jillcd his oar In sllonco. Thought wast busy with him, and somo romorso touched oven his callous hoart for tho, wrong and tho suffering ho m bringing on this girl's young llfo, Ho romembercd all sho had ondurod, all sho must still endure; en-dure; nnd Bomo dim nonso of Bhnmo movod him, aa ho thought of tho shnd-ows shnd-ows ho had cast 0:1 tho morning of hor youth, tho glorlos, of hor womanhood. Through, tho dnrknoss loomed now n sqiitiro stono building, half in ruins, und built upon tho river's edgo. In winter tho waters ofton flooded it Ghostly tales woro told by tho pons-ants, pons-ants, Jar and noar, rospoctlng tho spirit? of murdered mon who haunted lu doBortod chnmbors. Tho girl pointed suddenly toward It. "That Is tho place," sho said. "No man or woman in all this country round dnro vonturo hero." Tho bout wus Bteorcd closo to tho walls, which woro doop boddod In tho soil, and half hlddon by tho rlvor woods and osiers which grow thick nnd donso around. Tho girl throw tho ropo around tho jutting stonework; stone-work; ho thon lnld down his oars aud stood up. "You am climb through hero can you not?" said NInotto, pointing to tho nrch of a window abovo tholr hoads. "Tho atones aro llko stops. I havo ofton boon In mysolf for curlpsU ty; thoro U 11 largo hall; underneath nro Vaults. If you nood n light, go to tho vaults; othorwlso from, tho rlvor you may bo soon; boo, I havo brought you n lantern and matches, and hero nrp broad and wlno and moat, Tho lurdor was well stocked for my homo-coming. Within threo duys, If possible 1 will como again. My signal will bo threo lioots of tho night-hawk. Now hasten; ovory mo-wont mo-wont Is prooious." f "How will you return?" "Tho stream is with mo I shall havo no trouble." "And you will not forget," ho urged laying his hand on her arm iib thoy wtood on tho swaying bont. "Do not fenr," Bho Bald bitterly. "I will bo hero If I llvo." "You nro n bravo girl," ho snld with nglcamof udmlrntionin his eyes; as ho looked at tho pnlo benuly of tho determined de-termined fnco. "Foe your snko I um almost Borry I havo mado you do this tiling." "It is no tlmo now for reproaches or regrets," sho unswored, coldly. "What Is done, is dono. If nny ono sutTord for to-night's work, rot liBsur-od liBsur-od that it will not bo yourself." Ho bont down and kissed jpjr brow sho neither inviting nor repelling tho caress; then taking tho bundlo from hor hand ho rapidly ascended tho jutting 'stonowork, nnd poising himself nn Instant on tho ledgo, drop-pod drop-pod noiselessly Into tho ruined hall within. A faint glenm of moonlight pnrtod tho heavy clouds, and rollcctod Itself on tho surfaco of tho dark, still waters. In tho pallid, Bhadowy light tho girl's faco lookod almost deathlike. Sho waltod nn instant for tho signal that nunouncod his safely, thon loosonod tho bont, and was borno on tho rapid Impetuous current back to tho mill-houso mill-houso again. Tho fow ofTorlloss strokes of tho oar In tho backwatd passage cost hor no oxortion; tho rush of tho rising wind, and tho dnsh of tho rlvor-fonm, Boomed Boom-ed rather to lnvigornto than to nlnrm hor, Tho fnuUibtlo forms ot tho drifting clouds abovo hor hctd, tho swaying shadows thrown on tho dark wators from ulthor bank, tho brcnth of thochlll wlndon hor hntr.tho whirl and rush of thornpld waters that closed hor In on ovory Bldo ull thoso suited hor mood, and bracod hor energlos and gavo a strango, fearless audacity to hor smllo, n moro dauntloss gracp to hor form. Sho sprang out at tho landing placo. and moorod tho boat onco' more thon with light flying stoops ran Into tho , houso and closed tho door behind hor. Hor hoart throbbed fast as sho entered. en-tered. Unfastening hor wooden shoos sho stolo with cautious footsteps up tho stairs; tho door was ajar; tho light of tho palo, sickly moon struggled through tho clouds and foil across tho casement. Tho dnrk flguro on tho bod lay motionless his heavy rogulur brotthlng nlono disturbed tho Bllonco. "Tluinlc God!" eho murmur, od; "oh, thank Godl" nnd straightway straight-way fell on horknoos boforo tho wood-on wood-on crucifix, and wept nnd prayed In tho very abandonment of Joy nnd glad roliof. Sho thought sho was safe. Sato? For nil that Lovo'a blindness might havo discovered sho was; but sho novor thought thnt Hnto has it thousand eyes, nnd that while Lovo sloops nnd dreams It Is awnko and watchful. , "I would havo spooch with you, Plorro Loroux." Tho young miller started and turnod toward tho spoakcr. "Is It you, Hoso Mlchol? Havo you como to boo Niuotto?" "No; I havo como to sco you." It was closo on sunset; 1'lerro Bjood by tho rlvorsldo, where ho had halted u momont for rest and coolness uttor tho labors of tho day. Sllontly ho turned to tho woman who had bo ubruptly addrosaed him. His heart wna bo light, his llfo so happy; ho had neither n foar nor a enro In tho world now, aavo a touch of unxloty for tho wook-old wlfo, whoso faco was paler than ho carod to sco whoso oyes woro lcs9 bright than tholr wont, or so It sooraed to his fond fancy. "To soo mo? What is it?" ho asked cnrolesnly, und all tho tlmo his oyos rostcd on tho roso-covorcd porch whoro tho fulry flguro ho so lpvod was used to stand nnd watch for his homo coming. "It is n mattor sorlous enough you havo enjoyed your fool's paradlso n wook. Do you caro to como out of It now?" 'What do you moan?" ho asked, with sudden anger. "Tho oarth and nlr nro good," mut-torod mut-torod Roso Mlehol, "but tho hoart of woman is evil."' A vnguo four stlrrod within tho young man's bron3t; h 1b oyos loft tho solitary porch und turnod to tho brown, hard vlsago bcatdo him. "Say on," ho eald mechanically. "Yqu will not 'thank mo for opening your oyos," tho woman answored, coldly. "Thoso who lovo novor do; but It Is woll to ask you if you nro nwuro that your wlfo goos out nt midnight mid-night to moot a lover, I havb Boon her twlco with my own oyos nnd sho jfour wlfo but a. week!" , Tho muns faco growwhlto as death; ho loaned forward hl hands clutching clutch-ing tho boughs boforo him, his heart und ptilso Booming to stnnd still, ns if tho vory llfo in htm wus suspended by thq ngony ho BiilTorod, "What foul Ho Is this?" ho hissed betweon hla oloao-sot tooth. "It Is no Ho, It la gospel truth," re peatod tho woman, "Twice within this week I hnvo booh hor Btonl away to tho rlvcr-aido, unlooso tho boat and drift n'wny down tho rlvor how far 1 know not sho returns Just botweon midnight und dawn. How comes it you havo not found it out yourself, friend Tlerro?" "It ia fnlso," ho gasped. "Como with mo straight Into her presence, nnd thoro ropent this llo if you daro?" "For what purposo? That bIio might frame somo protty tnlo to hoodwink hood-wink you Btlll furthor? No, I'lerro Loroux, I can do hotter than that. You may provo tho truth of my words yoursolf. 1011 havo but to watch and wait. Tho third night from this sho Will again go on hor midnight orrnnd. You must tnko hoed you Blumbor not so Roundly as of late; follow hor to tho watorsldo whero tlio boat Is kept; it my words aro not true, thon proclaim mo through nil tho town us thofoul-tongucd slundoror you havo called mo." Tho faco boforo hor prow dark with rising passion. "If you woro but a mnnl" ho muttered, mut-tered, in tho low or florco tonos of nngor nnd Indignation too doop for oxproeslon. "You would kill mo, I suppose, for daring to show you that tho girl you deem bo perfect Is no bolter than many of her box perchnnco worBO." "Sllonco!" ho thundered. "Dnro not brciitho such n word of hor In my curs." You aro hard to convince," Bho sneered maliciously. "You bollovo ovorythlng ho raay-chooso to toll you. Ah, woll, you nro not tho first por-haps por-haps you will not bo tho Inst." "You cnllod yoursolf her friond onco," ho said, flashing a contemptuous contemptu-ous glnnco on tho woman's dark nnd vlndictlvo fnco. Tho rebuko touched hor. A flush of shamo roso to hor brow thon sho laughed. "Hor friond, yes; that was boforo I know her as sho is. I!o-ldcs, I pity you. You havo cast all your hoart on hor. You love thercforo you aro blind. I said so boforo. Of course, you nro bitter against mo bocnuso Into jour darkness I bring tho light of truth. Men aro over bo whoro thoy love." Ho shivered in 'tho bright, warm sunshine. His oyos turnod blindly, darkly. on tho dcop brown waters at his feet, on tho radiant, radi-ant, azuro-wlngcd buttcrfllos poised on tho Illy stoma, on tho scarlet-throated birds that darted in and out ot tho foathory blossoms of tho limes. It was ull so fair, so pcacoful, so still. A fow moments boforo ho had lookod on It with oyoa bo glad, und heart bo thankful, and now now a hideous dnrkness covered nil. A terrible bur-don bur-don lay on his llfo which his strength could hardly bear. Yot, oven thrbugh tho misery that crushed and tho pnln that maddened him, hla first thought was to defond her to hurl back tho foul aspersion ho had hoard. Ho lovod hor bo uttorly, bo trustingly, doubt could not find nn easy rcstlng-placo within hla loyal soul. "Havo you Bald all?" ho naked. "All! Ia it not enough?" "It la too much to bo passed ovor lightly. This mattor ends not horo. Hut for tho present I will provo your words or " "Or what?" she asked hesitatingly. "Hovengo thorn!" As tho words fell from hla lips, ho turned, nnd went, with tho staggering uncertain stop of a drunken man, through tho orchard paths und up to tho old gray houso tho homo of his Infancy and manhood, tho homo whoro honor and Integrity nnd virtuo had alono reigned for generations past, with no stain of ovll or breath of shamo to mar Its spotloss famo. Was she tho woman ho deemed too puro und fair nlmost for mortal lovo to touch was sho to bo tho flrat to darken thoso stainless 1 ccords? llo-Uof llo-Uof In tho story ho had hoard could not hold him yot, could not shako hla fidelity or weakon hla love, but n doadly fear cropt Into his aching hcurt and ran llko nn lec-curront through his veins. Tho poison of doubt had breathed upon his senses, nnd tho plaguo-spot burned yet doepor nnd dcopor with its torturing whispers. Onco, in tho ngony that consumod him, ho gazed up at tho homo ho loved and stretched hla arms out to tho vacant va-cant air. "Oh, my wlfo, my lovo!" ho cried, unconsciously, "lot all tho world por-Ish, por-Ish, only lot mo know you true!" It was tho yearning, tho idolntry of nn Inteuso ongrosslng passion that spoko in tho words. To think that tho loveliness ho hold in reverence bo dcop, tho heart that hud boat ns hla own, tho lips that had broathed tholr kisses on Ills that thoso woro shamed and vlto, nnd dishonored, wna worso thnn death. If thoro wna trcuohory or inlldollty In hor pnat or prosont, sho yiis equally lojt to him. Sho could no more bo tho spotless Ideal of his llfo. that ho know, 'J hen ho pnssod through tho roso-covorcd porch ond stood in hor prcsouco. TO UK CONTINUED.