Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

6 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

- -. - -.- - - ._r-.- - _-…


._r- [ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]. For Love and Honour By HAROLD BINDLOSS, Author of "A Wide Dominion," His Adversary's Daughter," The Kingdom of Courage," "The Mistress of Bonaventure,"k&c. WYX- mmŒt -ZR i a a ;s WIX 3 a z wx *a E?),< W 3; ? w-x Mpl I +Xxl" *9? ?x', ?lw- +k fix? SYNOPSIS OF PR LOADING CHAPTERS: TIarry Kliiot returns to England after an ab- sence of eight years. He had gone abroad to nave a friend from the consequences of a poach- ing adventure. Tom Grayson had struck down & neighbour of his employer, and in order that Grayson, who was about to be married, might not lose his situation Harry disappeared. On the night of rlie 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 not 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 meets 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 ieurn the truth. Harry takes up his residence in a country inn near 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. With the assistance of Grayson, Harry gets into Arnold's office and makes an examination of the papers referring to the wreck of the steamer in which his father had lost his life. He has a narrow escape from discovery by Arnold. Harry gets on the trail of Salter, only to learn that he is wanted in connection with the death of a fire- man. and that he has disappeared. Salter makes his way to Arnold's country Jiouse, and Arnold gives him work at a new lead mine he is opening up. CHAPTER IX. The afternoon was hot and bright when Harry laid down his fishing-rod and seated himself on a boulder beside the shrunken river. It flowed by, erystalliively transparent, among the warm, white isiones. iii(I was rather proud of the few small trout in the bottom of his creel. He had been using -what they call in the north country the clear- water worm. which is a sport that demands a kiIful hand and an accurate eye, when the rivers run low. and the flash of a swinging Tod or a glimpse of the fisherman will send Every trout in the neighbourhood under cover. Not a breth of wind was stirring, and a .tlazzliiig brightness poured down upon the dale, but Harry had toiled under a hotter eun, and taking out hks pipe he glanced lan- guidly at the surrounding fells. The hill .grass glowed golden on their smoother slopes, and here and there the face of a crag, wet with trickling water, flashed like a mirror, but the hollows were filled with thin blue ehado-v. Then his eyes rkcl on a cluster of ugly wooden buÜdings v.h a taH iron dl!m;¡.:y I projecting from one of them. upon Tnt s?e d a neighbouring hill. A column of smoke rose straight up into the listless air, and the -jrhythmic clang of a pump broke through the low gurgle of the river. It was situated at the lead mine Arnold had reopened when the price of that metal rose, and Harry, who knew something about mining, decided to visit, jthe workings. Picking his way along a stony -elope, he stopped outside the first of the build- ings, looking about him. Ugly mounds of debris straggled down the hillside, a stream of milky-white water went «pla>shing down a bank, and the nearest shed Tattled with the measured pounding of an en- gine. Presently a man in soil-stained clothing cams out of a door, and Harry called to him. Good-afternoon, Mat," he said. Your 'job isn't a bad one on a day like this." He indicated the unsightly heaps of rubbish. You're making a great mess of the fell-Coot, though I suppose that dcesn t matter if you're earning money." Mat smiled sourly. There's not much money being made on this contract. Best of the vein was worked out forty years ago." "Then why did Mr. Elliot restart the mine?" Lead had been going up: I suppose that was it. A power of money it mun have cost 3iim. Old timbers all to be pulled out, and engine took a lot of putting right. Then it wasn't big enough, and we've just got a "larger one. Soon as we'd got fair started price begins to come down. frarry stretelied out his hand for the Ion,, oteel bar his com panion held, and examined its diamond-shaped head. You forge them rather flat," he said. They'll hold the edge longer, though they won't cut so quick. Fresh from the fire, I see. Made it pretty hard, by the look of it." Mat glanced at him in some astonishment. You seem to know. Now, Mr. Elliot, who owns the mine, could hardly tell one end of a drill from the other." He hasn't used one," said Harry, smiling. 44 Any way—and it's more important—I expect he knows how to handle the money." Mavbe was the dry only changing silver for lead while price keeps as it is." Mat paused a moment. Coming down? Mr. Elliot wouldn't mind. JYou're in a manner one of the family." "Thank you." said Harry. "I'd like to look round, if you'll lend me some overalls. You seem to be heaving out a good deal of water." Mine's main wet. but loose stone's worst trouble." answered the other. Next moment Harry saw another man standing with an oil-can in his hand in the doorway of the engine-shed. He was looking in their direction, and Harry fancied that he had been listening. The man, however, dis- appeared into the shadowy interior. 44 Who's that? Harry inquired. "I saw jhim at Mr. Elliot's not Jong ago." xt Engine-man," was the answer. Mr. Elliot put him on, and he' canny with his hands, but stand-offish and a bit queer in the temper. Wait while I look for some overalls." Mat moved away, and Harry, who noticed a. "woman on horseback descending a hill track some distance off, strolled towards the head of the shaft. Soon after he luul done so a. bell clanked sharply in the engine-shed, and a wire rope rattled over a big wheel among the framing above him. There was a clash when the wheel stopped, and a man with a hot. wet face strode out from a dark opening close by. Easy! he said to somebody behind him. C. Let. me get hold and then lift canny." He stooped down, clutching the ends of two poles, and when he moved out into the light another man appeared. Between them a. limp object lay upon some sacking stretched across the poles, and Harry, drawing nearer, saw that it was an in jured man. His eyes were half-closed; his face was ashy white; and there was soil upon his clothes. Then Mat came running out of a neighbouring building. What's wrong? he cried. The men laid down their burden in the A'hadow. Roof came down in the new drift." said one of them. Jim was drilling where it fell. Hard work to get him out, and he hasa t spoken since." Mat pointed to one of them. Off with you!" he said. "Gan straight across back of fell and bring Doctor Grey as quick as you can. The man set off at a run, and Harry bepfc down over the injured miner. He noticed that one of his legs lay in an unnatural man- ner, and, what struck him as more important, that a red smear was rapidly widening across the front of his jacket. It seemed to be run- ning from a rent in the torn sleeve. 44 Leg's broke beneath the knee," said the -man who had remained. Looks as if his arm's gone, too." Harry whipped out his knife and slit the sleeve, which fell apart and showed a ragged gash in the arm from which a bright red flow was spouting. We've got to see to this at once," he said, thrusting his thumb in among the muscle above the elbow. How long will it be be- fore that doctor comes? "An hour at quickest, if hers in," was the answer. There was a clatter of feet, and several men gathered round asking hurried ques- tion*. Harry, who saw that the flow of blood liad only slightly diminished, waved them back with one hand. "Out of the way;" he said. 44 Mat, slip I your thumb in where mine is and press as hard as you can." He moved his hand when the miner obeyed him, and tore open the damp &hirt at the injured man's ck, after JViià he thrust a thumb down between it and the shoulder. Stopping any? he asked, anxiously. "A bit slacker," was the reassuring answer. Harry, who heard a clatter of stones below, looked round at the men and signed to one who appeared the most collected. He also 8aw that a girl was standing behind them; but that did not concern him. Get a small flat stone, you, and tie it in a Tlandkercnief," he said. Somebody give him another handkerchief—a big one." It was done, and he directed Mat to hold the injured man's arm straight up, and the other miner to lav the where he had first placed his thumb. Slip the handkerchief round it. Get both hands on to it and pull," he ordered. "4 That's not where the cut is," his assist- ant objected. Never mind," said Harry. Pull harder —tight as you can." It's stopping." Mat broke in. They secured the bandage round the stone, and when Harry stood up, straightening him- self, the men once more closed in on him. 44 His leg's broke," said one. Can't you do something to it? "I daresay I could," said Harry. "In the meanwhile, it's not important." He's still swounded." remarked another. "Wadn't you try to bring him round?" 44 No," said Harry, shortly. We'll let him stop in that swoon as long as possible." This seemed to astonish them; but they made no comment, and it was obvious that he had secured their confidence. They were competent to deal with falling rock and crush- ing props; but broken limbs were outside their province, and they knew a man who could face an emergency and quietly do what wa.s needed when they saw him. For that matter, so did Alison, who had arritvetd on a hill-bred hackney a few minutes earlier. Standing on the outside of the group, she had watched Harry at work, and his quickness and coolness had roused her admiration. He never hesitated, and the men did exactly as he told them. which was noticeable, since she knew the dalesfolk were, as a rule, more ready to resent than obey a stranger's com- mands. Harry, standing still for a moment, quietly alert, looking down upon the sufferer with steady eyes, made a rather striking figure amidst the group of waiting men. Then he looked up and recognised her. "Is that your horse, Miss Elliot?" h. asked, in the crisp, curt tone he had used in addressing the others. It's one Mr. Elliot lends me," said Alison. I came over with a message to Mat j about some timber." I 44 Then it would be well if you rode back aa fast as possible and told Doctor Grey what I you have seen. You should reach his place before Mat's messenger. Say it's a case of a ■ broken leg and a cut artery." Alison turned away, and a few moments later Harry saw her ride out from behind one of the lower sheds, and go flying at a gallop down the rough hill-track. It struck him that she rode very gracefully as well as boldly, and lie watched her with a stirring of his heart as she swept along the sunlit hill-foot. Then, throwing out his pipe and tobacco, he took off and folded his jacket, which he placed beneath the injured man's head and shoulders, and afterwards carefully straight- ened the bent leg. The man showed no sign of consciousness, but there was a little more colour in his face. 4,4 Now we've made him comfortable. there's nothing to do until the doctor comes," he said, and quietly lighted his pipe. Then the others began to talk about the accident, which had caused no great damage to the mine. A few big stones had. as some- times happens, fallen from the roof, and Mat, who left one of the men with Harrv. took the rest away to clear out the mass of debris and put fresh timbers in. It was about an hour later when a grey-haired man arrived in a gig. with Alison riding behind him; and, leaving his lathered horse standing, he hurriedly scrambled up to the shed. He examined the sufferer, and then nodded ap- provingly as he jurned to Harry. You have beeu looking after him? he said. Harry made a sign of assent, and the doctor smiled. "Well," he said, 44 you have done about all that was possible, and I can't find much fault with it. Send for Mat. and we'll get to work at once." He looked round at Alison. Per- haps you wouldn't mind keeping an eye on the horses, Miss Elliot." Alison, who surmised that she was not wanted, moved away. and for a while the doctor and his untrained assistants were busy with the injured man. Then he spoke to Mat. We'll put him into the nearest shed, and he must not be moved until I send for him," he said." The floor of my gig's not long enough. I'll get Irvine's float." Five minutes later he called to Alison as he got into his gig. I daresay you'll be pleased to hear there's no cau"e for anxiety, though that's largely due to Mr. Elliot's care." he ai(1. Are you coming back with ine9 Alison said she meant to ride home by an- other way, and Harry, who had been handed back his jacket, set out with her, walking be- side her horse, because the track they turned into was very steep and rough. How did you know what to do? s he asked. It was largely common sense." said Harry. 44 Besides, I've' seen some accidents— rather too mailV. in fact. Before I went north to the Yukon I bought a little book about sueb matters for a dollar. As things turned out, it was worth it." The girl listened with approval. She now found his curt manner, which she had once disliked, curiously expressive, and there was no doubt that lie was a man of extensive ex- perience, which appealed to her. d Still. Imowing what should he done doesn't necessarily give .tIn.e the power to do it." she said, thoughtfully. That's true," Harry agreed. On the other hand, it gives you the power to try— particularly if you know that a comrade may lose his liir unless you make the attempt." "You have had that experience?" 44 Once or twice," said Harry, rather grimly. You can't always keep clear of trouble when you're chopping big trees, drill- ing among slippery rocks, or working in shal- low alluvial claims. Some of the little shafts we sunk had a trick of caving in." Alison favoured him with an unobtrusive glance of careful. scrutiny. He was, on the whole, a good-looking man, which was, she had already decided, the best word for it; but he was most remarkable for his quiet, re- sourceful self-confidence. This was a man who was generally sure of himself, and, she fancied, able to make others believe in him. After all. she supposed, the men who grappled with tht wilderness in the lonely, rugged land he had dwelt in acquired of necessity some desirable qualities. When they reached a more level place he stopped. I mustn't keep you any longer," he said. "The track looks fairly smooth." Alison tapped the horse, and. standing bareheaded among the heather, lie watched her ride away. CHAPTER X. The doctor duly arrived at the mine with a small flat cart, and Mat, who assisted t. lay the injured man upon it, was going bask to his work, when he noticed a little book with a strap round it lying on the ground. "looks like something of the doctor's," he remarked, after he had picked it up. More likely it's Mr. Elliot's," said one of the miners with him. "Must have shook it out of his pocket when he put his jacket under Jim's head." 44 Then that young fellow's a relative of our "s' said the engineer, \\ho was standing close by. A cousin's son," Mat answered, handing him the book. Put it somewhere safe until I come up." The engineer flung it into a chest where he kept his tools, and forgot all about it. as did Mat. Neither did Harry miss it until he was getting his lunch some days later at the inn where he had taken rooms; but when he -i4,,) to rinfi tlk-P honk in his Docket h., left cis meat, ana entering tne room ne slept in, •earthed two or three suits of clothes. It was not in any of them, and he forgot that when he hr.d gone fishing he had worn a light grey jacket he seldom put on. He called his land- lady; but it transpired that nobody at the inn had seen a pocket-book lying about, and ho decided to walk across to Low Wood, where he fancied he might have dropped it, after finishing his lunch. On reaching the house he found Christo- pher and Vane absent—which, indeed, he had expected; but Alison was on the lawn, sit- ting in the shadow beside Maud Elliot's chair, and crossing the smooth sweep of grass he found a place upon a bank a yard or two away. It wjs a drowsy afternoon, and outside the strip of shadow ilazzlin;; -i:n>'ti:ie lay hot upon the grass. The listless air was filled II with the hum of bees at work among the flowers. You are looking better than you have done for some time," he said to Maud. The girl smiled. I think it's the weather-; the glorious sunshine. Sometimes I feel that I'm an exotic—never made for the sad, grey north, though it has really been very seldom grey for the last month or so Then why don't you make your father take you south where the sunshine is? You could spend all summer basking among the olives and the vines, with the hot Spanish Sierras or the blue Mediterranean spread out before you." He knew that he had blundered before Maud shook her head in gentle reproof. Ail she said, aren't you forgetting? How could I get there? I'm afraid they have no room for my bulky chair on the Express de Luxe." Harry looked confused and regretful, and Alison liked him for it. If you're enthusiastic about the south, why don't you go? she asked. Harry's face hardened. "The trouble it that I have something else to do." It's. a little difficult to believe it," said Alison, mischievously. But what do you know of Spain? You haven't been there." 44 Does one never know anything of things and places one hasn't seen?" Maud broke in. Harry made her a little grave inclination. "I think you, and some women like you, must know a little. One would like to believe that the finest things are, after all, hidden from our bodily senses-but it's a. pretty big ques- tion. isn't it?" He paused, and pointed to the ranks of fells that ran up, clad in gold of hill grass, and ribbed with crags that lay in blue shadow, high into the cloudless heavens. Even this material world has its glories—and there can be little in it more beautiful than that." 44 It's ephemeral," said Maud. A rain- storm will blot it out; but you haven't answered Alison's question." 44 Then I've seen bits of Spain in Arizona, California, and Mexico; and one understands that it's everywhere very much the same. They're never in a hurry there but I some- times think they get more than we do out of life." He laughed with a trace of grimness. "Its keytoue, if that's the right word, is very different from that of the snow-bound north." "You mean the wilderness between the Rockies and the sea. It's wonderful, isn't it? I've read and sometimes dreamt of it. I do dream of the wonders that are forbidden me. Black firs, rocks, and rlvürlO reen, aren't they?—crystal lakes, and restless weii who ItfC too busy even to notice the glories of the wiids they live in." You have got very near it," Harry agreed. Still, their tense activity is infec- tious. It gets hold of one. This, on the con- trary-I mean Low Wood on a summer after- noon—is more like drowsv Spain but I think I like it." 44 What a concession remarked Alison. Harry's eyes twinkled as he lazily glanced round. Not a spray moved among the larches behind the house; the burnished leaves of the copper beech overhead were absolutely still; and the hushed voice of the river emphasised the quietness. The tarn lay, a wrinkleless sheet of silver, in the valley, and the hills beyond it were ethereally serene. Close by him. the light draperies of the girls made patches of' colour in the* cool shadow, and their languid attitudes added to the re- pose of the picture. Alison he thought won- derfully graceful, and Maud's thin face, worn bv suffering as it was, struck him as fragilely beautiful. As he had said, all this was very different from the strenuous life of the toilers among the Western rocks and woods. Well," he said, 44 I don't mind confessing that I could live here—if everything remained as it is now. But I'd better explain that I've lost something." Ah said Maud, smiling, "that's really not unusual. One loses so much, or perhaps I should say somehow misses it." In this case, I'm very matter-of-fact," answered Harry. I've dropped a pocket- book, and when I last played tennis with Alison she told me I could take off my jacket. It struck me the book might have fallen out then." Did you beat her? Maud inquired. "I did not," said Harry. 44 1 daresay it was fortunate," Maud com- mented, mischievously. She doesn't like to be beaten. One of her greatest difficulties is to give in." Ali.son, disregarding this, turned to Harry. "We didn't find the book here. Had you it in the pocket of your jacket when you were at the mine? It was a light one. You were stooping over the man." "Now I remember'" Harry exclaimed. I took it off afterwards. I'll go along pre- sently and ask if anybody saw the book." You must have some tea ifrst," said Ali- son. and sitting still in the shadow, they laughed and chatted lazily. In the meanwhile, a man in greasy over- alls sat smoking in the engine-house at the mine. The iron-roofed building was very hot, and it rattled each time the pump plunger went down with a clash. The recurring shock was, however, soothing to his accustomed ears, and the splash of water which rose and fell in time to the measured pounding of the engine filled the air with a drowsy murmur. It had its effect upon the engineer. There was nothing that immediately demanded his attention, and lie could have dozed for a while; but with all his faults Salter was a man who did his work, and he remembered a bearing brass which he could occupy himself in filing. Opening a chest, his eyes rested on the book Mat had handed him, and taking it out he found a few letters inside addressed to H. Elliot. He replaced these, but he glanced at the written pages which filled up the rest of the book, and noticed the heading on the first of them. Latitude—N. Longitude—W. Strong breeze," it ran, and Salter, filling his pipe again, commenced to read. It was a rough account of a voyage, and as he had spent a good deal of his life on the water, he fancied it might help to pass the next half-hour. Be- sides, the spot indicated lay somewhere near the Canadian Pacific coast, which he had visited. He became interested. The entries were terse, but. to one who had been at sea they told their story vividly. It was a record 0" stubborn toil and privations undergone by a handful of men who had driven a little badly-found schooner north through blinding rain and screaming gale. Salter could pic- ture them clinging to the helm by turns amidst the spray, half-fed, when their sleep- ing berths were flood-ed and the galley fire was drowned. His interest grew deeper as he came to one entry. 44 Brought up in six fathoms to lee of the reef. with full scope of cable out. Sea breaking badly; schooner putting her bowe in. Uncertain if we can hold her." Going on a little further, he found that they had been forced to thrash her out to sea, but they had run back again in a day or two. He began to wonder why they had wished to re- main near a reef in those lonely waters, and determined to finish the narrative before he got up. The next entry explained their object. 44 Sea smooth; thick fog. Rigged diving-pumps and Baxter went down. Steamer lying stern to stream, far over on starboard bilge. Only possible to reach her at slack water. Went down after Baxter; hauled up half-unconscious. Intolerable head- ache. Must experiment at easier pressure in shallow (To be continued).

[No title]