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   Chapter 33 THE PARRICIDE'S FATE.

They Looked and Loved By Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller Characters: 12963

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


Meg Dineheart and her sullen son did not care to stay in to hear the new evidence. They were trying to slip quietly away, but an officer, all unconsciously to the guilty pair, had been quietly guarding them both, and they were informed in a curt whisper that they must remain.

With sullen looks of baffled rage the conspirators sat down again, and Lizette, who was looking very pale and ill, although resolute, began her story.

She told of her return to Pirate Beach on Jack Dineheart's bark the tenth of June, and of how he had gone over in the row-boat to see his mother, returning soon, pale, agitated, and bloody, with the story of the shark that had bitten him in the water, and the falsehood that Nita had never returned from abroad. She dwelt on his taking her to New York, and her inexplicable imprisonment there for no reason that she could discover.

"Little did I dream," continued the maid, with tears in her eyes, "that my dear mistress was on trial for murdering her husband, and that Jack Dineheart was keeping me shut up, knowing that as soon as I heard about it I would denounce him as the murderer, for I never did believe that shark-story he told me. But I was in no danger of ever finding out the awful truth, imprisoned as I was, if a kind friend had not interested himself in my fate. Mr. Donald Kayne had promised my mistress to send for me, and then he learned that I had sailed for home on Dineheart's ship. He learned that Dineheart had landed at New York, but when he sought the sailor and asked him for me, he was told I had died, and was buried at sea.

"Not believing the story, Mr. Kayne placed a detective on the sailor's track, and then he decided to murder me so as to escape espionage. He and his mother bound me, while drugged, to a railroad track, believing I would be killed, but they had been followed by the detective and Mr. Kayne, and as soon as the sailor and his mother left me I was rescued and taken to a place of safety.

"That was last night, and when Mr. Kayne told me of the awful plight of my dear mistress, I knew that God had spared me to save her life, for I know-and God knows-that it was Jack Dineheart who murdered the miser that evening of the tenth of June, when he went ashore at twilight and came back with that white, scared face, and the blood on his hand and sleeve."

Mr. Fielding, the lawyer for the prosecution, knew now that he had no case, that the prisoner at the bar was innocent of crime, for Jack Dineheart and his mother, terrified at finding themselves in the power of the law, confessed everything, and begged for mercy.

And a cruel and disastrous plot was laid bare when they revealed the secret kept so long, under threats of death from Miser Farnham, should they dare reveal it.

In his character of a well-to-do ship's captain, Farnham had been an unsuccessful suitor for the hand of the beautiful American girl that the rich Spaniard, Juan de Castro, had married.

Hiding his chagrin Farnham had vowed a bitter vengeance on his rival, and the opportunity came to him within a year after the marriage. Juan de Castro was very rich in his own right, having inherited the estates of a millionaire uncle, and when his parents looked coldly on his choice of an American bride, he swore in bitter anger that he would never look on their faces again, but return and become an American citizen.

Converting all his wealth into money, he stored it in a dozen chests and secured transportation for it on the vessel of his wife's pretended friend, Captain Farnham. The young pair embarked for New York, but on the voyage the young mother, after the birth of a daughter, died, and Farnham murdered the unhappy young widower, and pretended that he had committed suicide while in a frenzy of grief at the loss of his wife.

The babe was cared for by a sailor's wife until they reached Pirate Beach, when he placed it in the care of old Meg, whom he had promised to marry.

He stored the stolen gold in the cellar of his old house, Gray Gables, and kept its hiding-place a secret, but he promised that Jack should marry the little Juanita when she grew up, and become master of the great treasure.

Later, when the murdered man's sister, Pepita, came to America to seek her brother, the miser, fearing she would detect his villainy, had sent her an anonymous letter, acknowledging her little niece's existence, and promising if she would come at once, and secretly, to deliver Juanita into her hands.

She went, fell into the spider's web, and met death in the gold-vault, from whence her bleached skeleton had now been removed, to rest in a consecrated grave.

When Jack Dineheart, listening at his mother's door that night, first learned that his fiend of a father had married the girl promised in her infancy to his son, he had gone mad with jealous rage for himself, and honest pity for the lovely girl doomed to fall into the power of her father's murderer. To avenge his own wrongs and to save Nita from a fiend, Jack Dineheart had slain his father.

The miserable parricide and his whining old mother were led away to prison to be tried for Miser Farnham's murder, and for conspiracy against the life of Lizette Brittain.

A few months later the old fortune-teller was sentenced to imprisonment for life, and her son was condemned to be electrocuted.

Long before the sentence of death was executed the prisoner became violently insane, and, attempting to murder one of the wardens in the prison, was shot dead.

Old Meg, whose affections had been centered on Jack, after his death never held up her head, dying very suddenly one day, when she had been in prison barely two years.

Mrs. Van Hise had made a charming discovery. When Meg Dineheart had mentioned the name of Gertrude Vaughan as that of Nita's mother, the lady had given a start of surprise, and made a few abrupt inquiries of the fortune-teller. Later she said fondly to Nita:

"I have a claim upon you, after all; my maiden name was Vaughan, and from what Meg told me I have discovered that your mother was a cousin of mine whose acquaintance I had never made. So, Nita, dear, you belong to me until Dorian claims you."

"Which will be to-morrow, if Nita will consent," exclaimed the happy lover.

"She will not consent, for she has to order her trousseau first, and I shall take her home with me to-morrow, and she will not be ready to be married until late in the winter," laughed Mrs. Van His

e, determined to hold on to her lovely cousin as long as possible.

They all went up to New York the next day, but before they went all arrangements were made for Azalea Courtney's comfort. Nita went herself to the hospital where the burned and disfigured girl would have to remain many months.

But the heavy hand of affliction had not softened nor sweetened Azalea's temper. She had heard how the trial had turned out, and her heart was full of disappointment, hate, and jealous envy.

"I suppose you have come here to exult over my misery!" she said bitterly.

"Oh, Azalea, how can you think me so cruel? I am sorry for you; I came here to help you."

"I suppose you think me poor and came to give me money, but I have startling news for you," Azalea returned angrily.

"News, Azalea!"

"Yes. You think yourself heiress to all Miser Farnham's money, but my mother told me the day before she died that old Farnham was my own uncle, and that I ought to have a share in his wealth, so I shall employ a lawyer and sue you for a division of the spoils," said the disfigured beauty, with angry triumph.

"You will not need to sue, Azalea, for all of the miser's possessions that can be discovered shall be given to you freely. The chests of gold that have been taken from Gray Gables since the fire are all mine, you know, my father's property, but the house belonged to that wicked old man, and the property will bring you a good sum. I am glad you will have this money, since you are too proud to accept anything from me," Nita said gently.

The next day, Nita accompanied her friends to their home in New York, taking with her Mrs. Hill and Lizette, each of whom she presented with a sum of money that, measured by their simple tastes, made them rich for life.

"Miss Nita, you have made me so happy!" cried grateful Lizette.

The girl was the sole support of her mother and a crippled brother. The sick boy needed country air and food, and would have died in the hot city but for the present of money that Nita had given her the night she had saved her from old Meg's murderous designs.

"With that money I sent them both into the country, my mother and my brother, and it helped them, oh, so much!" cried the maid. "To-morrow I shall seek them out, and now that I am rich, I can live with them and take care of them so nicely, although I hate to leave your service."

Nita sympathized with all the good girl's plans and wishes, and lent her aid heartily to their accomplishment, rejoicing in the great good she could accomplish out of her store of wealth.

Mrs. Hill remained with her in spite of the fact that she was now well-to-do.

"I love you too well to leave you, dear Miss Nita!" cried the affectionate creature.

At Christmas, Nita and Dorian were married, and the beauty of the bride and the splendor of the wedding at the Van Hise mansion, on Fifth Avenue, created quite a sensation.

Their wedding-tour was to Spain. Nita had a longing to see her father's birth-place, and Donald Kayne, now her devoted uncle and friend, shared her yearning.

He had a fancy to see Pepita's old home, so he accompanied them, a welcome guest, on their journey.

THE END.

The New Eagle Library will next bring out a complicated and entrancing romance, under the title of "The Wiles of a Siren," by Effie Adelaide Rowlands, No. 1199.

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Therefore, the STREET & SMITH NOVEL dealer is a careful and wise tradesman, and it is fair to assume selects the other articles he has for sale with the same degree of intelligence as he does his paper-covered books.

Deal with the STREET & SMITH NOVEL dealer.

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79 Seventh Avenue New York City

* * *

Transcriber's Notes

This story was originally serialized in the New York Family Story Paper as "They Looked and Loved; or, The Mystery of Pirate Beach," from June 4, 1892 to September 3, 1892.

Added table of contents.

Retained inconsistent punctuation after "Alex" in Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller.

Some inconsistent hyphenation retained (e.g. "serpent-ring" vs. "serpent ring").

Eagle series list #982 and #1103, changed "Daugher" to "Daughter."

Copyright page, changed "Renewel" to "Renewal."

Page 6, changed "he eyes" to "her eyes."

Page 7, added missing close quote after "Where do you live?"

Page 10, changed "brning" to "burning."

Page 15, capitalized sentence "What if she recognizes me?"

Page 25, changed "suddered" to "shuddered."

Page 29, added missing quote after "Mr. Mountcastle's life."

Page 76, added "in" to "abroad in this lovely summer weather."

Page 87, changed "distressd" to "distressed."

Page 96, changed "prefered" to "preferred."

Page 103, changed "Azelea" to "Azalea."

Page 112, changed "heat-broken" to "heart-broken."

Page 120, changed "Kane" to "Kayne."

Page 133, added missing space in "dead white."

Page 141, changed "first" to "fist."

Page 153, changed "van" to "Van."

Page 160, changed "van" to "Van."

Page 168, changed "Van Wise" to "Van Hise."

Page 174, changed "Van Nise" to "Van Hise."

Page 179, changed "Castra" to "Castro."

Page 186, changed question mark to exclamation point after "walked on," changed "Castra" to "Castro," and changed "committed" to "commited."

Page 188, changed "take her from he" to "take her from me."

Page 196, added missing "in" to "he lifted her up in his arms."

Page 199, changed "bloor" to "blood."

Page 213, changed "heartlesness" to "heartlessness."

Page 214, changed "van" to "Van."

Page 223, added "his" to "her brother and his wife."

Page 224, changed "darding" to "darling."

Page 225, changed period to question mark after "fancy."

Page 234, changed comma to period at end of fourth full paragraph.

Page 237, added "I" to "but I was young."

Page 243, changed "van" to "Van."

Page 251, moved comma from after Nita in "The next day, Nita...."

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