« AnteriorContinua »
ALL THE YEAR ROUTE
WITH WHICH IS INCORPORATED
No.175. New Series.
SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 1872.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “HESTER'S HISTORY."
THE WICKED WOODS OF
satisfaction and unwillingness to gratify her.
She exacted from him a hundred little marks TOBEREEVIL.
of homage, such as May had never looked for, nor thought of. He became so busy with her, and so tormented by her, that
he soon found he had very little time to CHAPTER XXIX. PAUL'S TROUBLES BEGIN. attend to his business. He became curiously
Days passed, and Katherine had domes- changed in a short space of time, his temper ticated herself thoroughly at Monasterlea. alternating between bursts of anger at himShe had taken possession of all the best self and her, indulged in generally during things in the house with the most charming the hours of his absence from her side, and goodwill. The prettiest and most com- unreasoning fits of mirth, which almost infortable furniture had been carried into her variably took possession of him whilst in room, and she had the warmest seat at the her presence, and left bitterness of heart fire and at the table. The little red couch and exhaustion of body when they passed under the black archway in the parlour, away. which was covered with Miss Martha's Meanwhile May stood aside patiently, knitting, and cushioned with pillows stuffed not wondering that the brilliant beauty with down off Miss Martha's own geese, should be found more amusing and attracshe had at once made quite her own. She tive than herself. She stifled her heartache, had taken possession of Bridget, so that for was she not sure of Paul's love? And the handmaiden did little besides attend why need she be jealous, and ungenerous, upon Miss Archbold. The visitor had also and unkind ? Tender trust such as Paul her hostess in thorough subjection, and she felt in her was a thousand times more wrought her will pretty freely upon May, precious than the admiration of a moin spite of that young lady's rebellion ment. Therefore she would be tolerant, against the tyranny of her rule.
and await, however longingly, the happy But Katherine's attentions were chiefly hour when Katherine should take her way devoted to Paul, and to no one else did back to Camlough. But as weeks went
she care to be agreeable. All through the by, and Paul's strange unhappiness indark winter days, in the quiet little cot- creased, all thought of her own pain passed tage, she was restless and troublesome, and away, and keen fear for his welfare caused sorely tried the patience of her enter- her a misery far more sharp.than she had tainers; but when the evening brought yet suffered. It was but a short time since Paul her mood was sure to change. She he had begged her to save him from anytook as much pains to amuse May's lover thing that should look to her like the be
as though her life had depended on his ginning of that evil which he believed to being merry. And Paul was glad to be lie in wait for him. And it seemed to her amused, though he did not like Katherine. now that it was time to be up and doing
He did not like Katherine, and yet it for his sake. was certain that she exercised an extra- One night the three young people were ordinary influence over his actions. She sitting late over the fire. The keeping of absorbed his attention, in spite of his dis- ' late hours made one of the changes which
Katherine had introduced into the house. is a view of the matter which I did not She loved to amuse herself a long way into take before. But then-suppose I turn the night, though the servants grumbled, into a miser, and some bolder kinsman and even Miss Martha was dissatisfied. comes forward and murders me? It might The mild old lady had been obliged to be wiser to take the thing into my own yield the point. She might go to bed her hands." self when her eyes would not keep open, “Nonsense!” said Katherine. “I forbid but midnight often found the three young you to ruin yourself by anything so silly. heads bent together over the fire. May on Have a little patience, and don't believe in such occasions would be as merry as her bogies. The old man will die, and you guest. She would have laugh for laugh will get possession of all the wealth. You and jest for jest with Katherine; and she will leave this mouldy place, and become would not be disheartened even when a great man in England, where taste and she found that Paul would listen to the money are appreciated. You are cultivated stranger, and would give little heed to her. and accomplished. You can have your will
• Tell me about Tobereevil,” said Kathe- of all the good things of the world. You rine to Paul. “I have heard scraps of the may marry the handsomest woman of your history, but I want to know it all. There time—but, oh, I forgot! I beg your percould not be a better time for an uncom- don!” and Katharine glanced at May, and fortable story.”
laughed in make-believe confusion. Paul's face darkened, as he gloomily But May was bravely at her post, and prepared to comply with her request. He out-laughed her. went steadily through the whole of the “Go on, please,” she said, blithely. "Go wild tale, passing from one lean hero to on and finish the story. We must let another amongst his ancestors, till he nothing interfere with the hero's grandeur. finished with Simon, the present terror of You must wed him to a princess-unless
, the country.
indeed, you can find an unmarried queen. 'Oh, dear!" said Katherine, when he You are bound not to stop until you
hare had done. “And you are the next-of-kin. placed him on a throne.” Why the end of it is that you will be the “I am bound to no such thing!" said richest man in Ireland.”
Katherine, pettishly. " And he shall not “That is it,” said Paul; “and there will go on a throne, for kings are wretched not be many wealthier elsewhere. I have creatures.” lately been calculating the old man's wealth. Well,” said May, " that does not prove Think of the accumulation during many that your hero may not be a king. You have hundreds of years !”
not done anything for him yet to prevent He said this with his brow bent and his his being a very wretched creature
. But eyes on the fire, and a look in his face which all I say is this, that I hope he will be May had never seen there before.
allowed to look after his poor subjects "What is this old man like?” asked in these parts. There is a long account Katherine, who had lost all her levity, and due to them from the forefathers of his become for once grave and earnest. "Is majesty.
We will include the settling he very old ? Is he in good health? Is of this amongst the pleasures you have he likely to die soon ?”
mentioned.” “ That is as may be,” said Paul, grimly. Katherine laughed a cynical laugh. “No, “He may live long enough unless some one indeed!” she said, “no such thing! My interfere to help him out of the world be hero shall send Tobereevil to the hammer
, fore his time. You know it is on the cards He shall fly from this land of beggars and that I, being his kinsman, may do him that of bogs. He shall revel in his inheritance
, good office.
not squander it for nothing." you could never be so silly !” cried “We talk about my hero,' and 'my Katherine, eagerly. “You would be pro- hero,'” said May, smilingly, " but the heir hably found out, and if you did escape of Tobereevil must declare for himself. Let punishment, there would still be a great him speak and say if he will turn his back deal of trouble and unpleasantness. Be- upon his people.” sides, if you are of a superstitious turn of Both bright pairs of eyes were turned on mind, as I strongly suspect you to be, it Paul, May's with more eagerness ard might interfere with the enjoyment of your anxiety lurking in them than their own happiness.”
cared that they should betray. Paul grew “That is true," said Paul, dryly. “It troubled and embarrassed under their gaze.
"I don't know," he said ; “I am not pre- while May became like some pale spirit pared to declare. But I am not sure that hovering on the threshold of this dwelling the wisest plan for the future master of which had been her own, and kept aloof Tobereevil would not be to get rid of the by the demons that had driven her out. whole thing, and leave the curse and the It had taken three strange months to woods to rot or flourish as they please.” bring things to this point, and one bleak
May grew pale, but she answered readily, day in March Katherine took a fancy to before Katherine had time to speak. walk out by herself, away from Monas
Well, there will be time enough to terlea, and towards the Woods of Tobedecide when the right moment comes.
In reevil. It was a gray morning, with a the meanwhile, is it not time that this cold and scathing wind, but Katherine meeting should break up ?”
was healthy and strong, and clad so as to And the meeting did break up. Kathe- defy the bitter weather. She rine had achieved triumph enough to last wrapped up in furs, and carried a gay hat her for one night, and went singing down and feathers upon
her head. As she the cloisters to her chamber. She sang walked along the road people curtsied to her light song while she unbound her her, and looked after her, for her beauty golden hair and put off her jewels, and her shone dazzlingly in the chill of the colourlaces, and her gown of glittering silk. And less day. she fell asleep, smiling, and dreamt that
It seemed to amuse her to be out thus May was weeping at her door, but she alone, and on an errand of her own, for she would not let her in. Yet May was not laughed pleasantly to herself as she went weeping; only lying awake in pain, with along. She sometimes looked behind her, wide - open eyes, and fiercely - throbbing but she did not stop at all till she had heart; for tears could not save Paul, how come to the entrance of the Tobereevil ever strength and courage might.
Woods. Then she stood still and gazed All the courage was needed, and needed at them. Katherine Archbold had not the get more urgently as days and weeks went least share of superstition or of poetry in on. The change in Paul became more her nature, yet her mind as she gazed at marked, and Katherine's subtle power the trees was filled with the recollection gathered closer round him, while her of the story of their origin. But she had cunning boldness kept him further out of no shudder for the cruelty of the wholethe reach of May's wholesome influence. sale murder that had driven their roots into Her conversation ran upon money and the soil. She was not troubled about freezpower, upon the folly of a man's not en- ing mothers and babes, and famished men. joying whatever he could touch, upon the She thought only of the success of these uselessness of so-called benevolent en- strong woods which had so forced their roots deavours to do good to one's fellow- into the sad reluctant land, covering many creatures, and every hour Paul showed a a mile with their mighty limbs. She had more restless impatience to possess the in- a vast admiration for anything that had heritance which the miser had promised triumphed, and she gloried in the triumph should be his. His temper was altered; of the trees. every flickering shadow had become a Having gazed her fill at them, she dived sombre cloud, every gleam of his old good in amongst them, walking over the meek humour appeared only under the guise of primroses, and never seeing the young a feverish hilarity. Katherine amused violets. She plunged into the thickets, him with stories of the gay world where and amused herself by forcing her way people did what they pleased without through the underwood, fighting with trouble about duty, and in perfect freedom stubborn branches that barred her way, from the thraldom of what stupid people delighted when she could break them and call conscience. She showed him that life trample them under foot. The trees in such a dreary corner of the world as thrust her back, but she had her way, this was no better than that of the mole in in spite of them, conveying herself into the earth, that gaiety, and excitement, and certain of their fastnesses, where human luxury were the only things that made ex- footstep seldom made its way. She found istence worth having. And when Kathe- a pillared chamber of gloom, where the sun rine talked she drove out the devil of could never shine, and by the gradual gloom that tormented his soul; but only spread of whose impenetrable roof the that when she had ceased seven others faithful light of the stars had been one by might enter in and take possession of it: one put out. Perpetual darkness reigned
in this spot, and there was also a ceaseless bound to get my will whosomelerer leads sound of disturbance, for the roar of sway- me a hand.” ing miles of wood surged above and below “Come,” said Katherine, "this is interest. in continual thunder. Even the mildest airs ing. My dear wise woman, I thank you of heaven seemed to have secret stings, for your compliments, and I am delights which goaded the Tobereevil Woods un- to make your acquaintance. You thoogte ceasingly into motion and sound. The dark- you had something good, and
you ness and confusion were very awful in this have something naughty; so you become solitary dungeon which the trees had made quite friendly and tell me your secrets for themselves. It seemed like a meeting. Nothing could please me more. It gives me place for evil spirits. Katherine approved intense pleasure to meet with people who of it, and, in order to enjoy herself, took intend to have their will. And who is your her seat on a fallen trunk over which she boy Con—and what is he to Simon?" had stumbled.
She knew the story well, but chose to
hear it from Tibbie. CHAPTER XXX. TWO CONGENIAL SOULS.
"He's my sister's own son, an' Simon's KATHERINE had not been long in this nephew,” she said. “An' I've swore an cath uncomfortable spot when she heard a sound on my knees that he shall be master o | which, fearless as she was, caused her a Tobeerevil. There was a will that is momentary shock. To hear a footstep in nearly signed whin Paul Finiston he eat || such a place was startling. Yet there was in an' turned us ont o’ doors. I've been a crackling of the underwood to be de- years starvin' yonder wid the black-beetika tected through, or rather on the surface of, an' the rats; an' I'm bound to have a the roar of the woods. Her eyes, being reward. I'll get back to his kitchen, as' now used to the darkness, distinguished the I'll put my boy into Paul's shoes. I've outline of a woman's form, which was grop- been begging on the hills, but it's little 17 ing its way amongst the bushes. Presently think o'that when I've the money-bagsin e a scream from the new-comer announced clutches, an' I'm come this ways thronghi fear at the glimmer of Miss Archbold's woods in hopes o' meetin' somethin
' wicše. white furs. The figure fell and cowered that 'd help me. There do be devils ai' on the ground, and Katherine amused her bad spirits always livin' in the threes-To self for some minutes with the terror of not afraid o' them if they'd give me a bar' this unknown and silly wretch. Then she But I'm mortial feared o' the angels, fer? touched the prostrate body with the toe of they might keep me from my will.
" her little boot.
Katherine looked at the creature Fita “Get up quickly," she said, “whoever admiration. Where in all the land cozil you may be !"
she meet with anything so congenial 5 The creature, an old woman, revived at this hag, who had thus avowed a purpose the human voice, and gathered herself which had made them enemies at ouet grotesquely into a sitting posture. They “For I,” thought Katherine, " have do could see each other now, however dimlý. termined that Paul Finiston shall be master Katherine looked like some beautiful fairy, of Tobereevil, and I am resolved to bara who had chosen for no good end to pay a my will. And this creature is also ber visit to this spot ; the other like some witch upon forcing fate, so that her Con skill in her familiar hannt. For the old woman take his place. Yet we shall be friends was ugly, and she was weird. In short, in spite of this little difference.". she was Tibbie.
My dear soul,” said she, “ sit down on “I know ye now!" she cried, “I know this stump and tell me all about it. I an
Ye're Sir John Archbold's anxious to hear your plans. What do sa daughter from beyant the mountain. Many mean to do in order to ruin Paul Finiston a time I have heard o' the beauty o' yer
"I would not tell you," said Tibre face, an' the hardness o' yer heart. I know “only that I know you are hard-hearted ye by yer hair, for though my eyes is not If I thought you soft an' good, I woulda good, I can see the glint o't. "I took ye open my lips to ye, not if ye prayed me up for an angel, an' I'm not good company for yer knees." For Paul Finiston's the sott the angels--not till my boy Con's some that women likes.” way settled to his property. When Simon “But he is a fool,” said Katherine, * 2.0 gives him his rights, then I'll set my mind impostor, and a beggar, who must be to goodness; but people can't get their wills turned by the shoulders out of the country; wid the grace o' God about them. An' I'm Tibbie crowed, and clapped her hand
I ing away.
with delight. “Oh, musha!” she cried; where it'll be found. I'll get somebody to you have the purty tongue in your head." pluck it for me that'll not know the harm.
How do you mean to do it ?” asked For I tell ye that I am bound to get my Katherine. “Don't be afraid to tell me, for will." there is no one within miles of us. Shall Katherine stood looking on, while the old you give him a taste of nightshade, or a creature thus bemoaned herself. little hemlock-tea ?”
There, now,” she said, presently, “ do “ No," said Tibbie, doubtfully, as if the not cry any more. I have a mandrake idea had not startled her, but was familiar myself, and I will give it to you. It will
to her mind. “I have thought o' that, an' be no loss to me, for I have everything I | thought o't, an' I'll thry another way. I'll want. I like meeting with difficulties, for
do it by a charm. An' that's what brought I have power within myself to break them
I like it, she says ? Oh, wirra, wirra !
have the mandrake! Like to get my will !
don't want go sarchin' through every bad place in the it, I can give it to some one else.” woods, and on the mountains, turnin' up the Tibbie uttered a cry.
She fell on the stones, and glowerin' under the bushes, ground, and laid hold of Katherine's gown. hopin' to find a mandhrake that'll do my "Ladyship, ladyship!” she said. “I will. If I can find him, oh, honey! won't meant no harm. It's on'y amazed I was, I make my own o' the miser? I'll make an' I ax yer honour's pardon. Give me the keys dance out o' his pockets, and up the mandhrake, an' ye may put yer foot the money-bags dance out o' the holes on me, an' walk on me. I'll do anythin' he has hid them in, an' the goold jump out in the world for ye when I have a divil to o' the bags into Tibbie's pockets. I'll do my will
. Ladyship, ladyship, give me
, make him burn the will that has Paul in it, the mandhrake !" an' write ont another that'll put Con in his " There, then,” said Katherine, "I proplace. I'll have all my own way; an' the mise that you shall have it; and if ever I ould villain may break his heart and die should want anything of you I expect you
widout me needin' to lift a hand against to be friendly. Stay, there is one thing 1 !! him.”
should like to see the house of Tobereevil. Capital,” cried Katherine; “but where Bring me there, now, and
shall have will you find the mandrake ? Are you the mandrake to-morrow. I don't want to sure that it grows in this country at all ? see the miser; only his den.” And suppose it does, don't you know that Well,” said Tibbie, who had now got to suit your purpose it must spring from a on her feet, and recovered her self-possesmurderer’s grave ? Then, even when it is sion, “if you can creep, an' hould yer found, there is danger in getting possession tongue, an' if yer shoes don't squeak, I'll of it. It screams when its root is torn take ye through the place. There's little from the earth, and the shriek kills the worth seein' for a lady like yersel', but person who plucks it."
come wid me if you like it. On y don't Tibbie's face fell as she listened. “You're blame Tibbie if Simon finds
out. larnder nor me,” she said.
“Leave that to me,” said Katherine, “ I'm tellin' me the thruth?”
not afraid of Simon." “Certainly, the truth," said Katherine. Tibbie clasped her hands and rocked
Tibbie lifted up her voice and howled herself with delight. “ That's the manwith disappointment. “Everythin's agin dhrake,” she muttered. “There's nobody me,” she said, rocking herself dismally. can gainsay her wid the mandhrake undher “ But I'm not goin' to be baffled. I'll her thumb"; an to-morrow it'll be Tibbie's.” cross the says if ye'll tell me the counthry So these new friends set to work to
- An' are ye