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发表于 2023-09-22 01:34:04 来源:Return to basics and return to true nature

of the man invariably made itself felt by all with whom he was brought into contact in the affairs of everyday life, how much more was it manifested now as he poured the revelation of his long pent-up love—the love of a strong, self-contained nature which had broken bounds at last— into the ears of this woman whom he had subjugated—yes, subjugated, utterly, completely.And what of her?It was as though all heaven had opened before her eyes. She stood there tightly clasped in that embrace, drinking in the entrancing tenderness of those tones—hungrily devouring the straight glance of those magnetic eyes, glowing into hers. She had yielded—utterly, completely, for she was not one to do things by halves. Ah, the rapture of it!But every medal has its obverse side. Like the stab of a sword it came home to Eanswyth. This wonderful, enthralling, beautiful love which had thrown a mystic glamour as of a radiant Paradise upon her life, had come just a trifle too late.“O Eustace,” she cried, tearing herself away from him, and yet keeping his hands clenched tightly in hers as though she would hold him at arm’s length but could not. “O Eustace! my darling! How is it going to end? How?”The very thought which had passed unspoken through his own mind.“Dearest, think only of the present. For the future—who knows! Did we not agree just now—life is full of surprises?”“Au!”Both started. Eanswyth could not repress a little scream, while even Eustace realised that he was taken at a disadvantage, as he turned to confront the owner of the deep bass voice which had fired off the above ejaculation.

going on to-night. I really am quite frightened now. That hideous noise! It terrifies me!”Well it might. The deep-toned thunder note within the burning heart of the volcano is of terrible import, for it portends fire and ruin and widespread death. There were those who were then sitting on the verge of a volcano—a mere handful in the midst of a vast, teeming population of fierce and truculent savages. Well might that weird chorus strike dismay into the hearts of its hearers, for it was the preliminary rumble of the coming storm—the battle-song of the warlike and now hostile Gaika clans.Chapter Five.The War-Dance at Nteya’s Kraal.The sun has just touched the western horizon, bathing in a parting flood of red and gold the round spurs of the rolling hills and the straggling clusters of dome-shaped huts which lie dotted about the valley in irregular order for a couple of miles. There is a continuous hum of voices in the air, mingling with the low of cattle, and the whole place seems to be teeming with human life. Indeed, such is the case; for this kraal—or rather collection of kraals—is the head centre of Nteya’s location and the residence of that chief himself.Each group of huts owns its cattle inclosure, whose dark space, girdled with a strong thorn palisade, is now filled with the many-coloured forms of its horned denizens. It is milking time, and the metallic squirt of liquid into the zinc pails rises rhythmic above the deep hum of the monotonous chant of the milkers. Women step forth from the kraal gates balancing the full pails on their heads, their ochre-smeared bodies shining like new flower pots, while their lords, reim in hand, set to work to catch a fresh cow—for among Kafirs milking is essentially man’s work. About the huts squat other groups of natives, men smoking their queer shaped, angular pipes, and exchanging indaba (Gossip or news); women also smoking, and busy with their household affairs, whether of the culinary or nursery order; round bellied, beady-eyed children tumbling over each other in their romps, and dogs ever on the prowl to pick up a stray bone, or to obtain a surreptitious lick at the interior of a cooking-pot; and over all the never-ending flow of voices, the deep bass of the men blending with the clearer feminine treble, but all rhythmic and pleasing, for the language and voices of the Bantu races are alike melodious. The blue reek of wood-smoke rising upon the evening air, mingles with that pungent odour of grease and kine inseparable from every Kafir kraal.That something unwonted is impending here to-night is manifest. Men would start suddenly from beside their fellows and gaze expectantly out upon the approaches to the kraal, or now and again the heads of a

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whole group would turn in eager scrutiny of the surrounding veldt. For strung out upon the hillsides in twos and threes, or in parties of ten or a dozen, some mounted, some afoot, come a great number of Kafirs. On they come: those who are mounted kicking their shaggy little ponies into a headlong gallop; those who are not, starting into a run, leaping into the air, singing, or now and again venting a shrill and ear-splitting whistle. From far and near—from every direction converging upon the kraal, on they come. And they are all armed.The excitement in the kraal itself intensifies. All rise to their feet to receive the newcomers, each group of whom is greeted with boisterous shouts of welcome. Snatches of war-songs rise upon the air, and the rattle of assegai hafts blends with the barbaric melody. Still, pouring in from all sides, come fresh arrivals, and by the time the sun has shot his last fading ray upon the stirring scene, the kraal cannot have contained far short of a thousand men.Near the principal group of huts stands a circular inclosure about fifty yards in diameter. Above the thorn fence bristle the great branching horns of oxen. To this point all eyes are now turned, and the deafening clamour of voices is hushed in expectation of a new diversion.A narrow opening is made in the fence and half a dozen Kafirs enter. An ox is turned out. No sooner is the poor beast clear of the fence than it is suddenly seen to plunge and fall forward in a heap, stabbed to the heart by a broad-bladed assegai. The slaughterer steps back to his lurking position and stands with arm upraised. Quickly another ox follows upon the first. The weapon, now dimmed and reddened with blood, flashes in the air. The second animal plunges forward dead. A third follows, with like result.Then, scenting danger, and terrified moreover by the crowd which is gathering outside, the beasts stubbornly refuse to move. They huddle together with lowered heads, backing away from the opening and emitting the muffled, moaning noise evoked in cattle by the scent of blood. In vain their would-be drivers shout and goad them with assegais. Move they will not.Another opening is made on the opposite side to that of the first. After some trouble two oxen are driven through. They rush out together, one falling by the hand of the lurking slaughterer, the other meeting a speedy death at the assegais of the spectators.There still remain upwards of a dozen within the kraal, but of these not one can be induced to pass out. Panic-stricken they huddle together closer still, until at last, their terror giving way to a frenzy of rage, the maddened brutes turn and furiously charge their tormentors. The air is rent with savage bellowings and the clashing of horns. The dust flies in clouds from the rumbling earth as the frenzied creatures tear round and round the inclosure. Two of the Kafirs, less agile or less fortunate than their fellows, are flung high in the air, falling with a lifeless thud among the spectators outside; then, crashing through the fence in a body, the panic-stricken bullocks stream forth into the open, scattering the crowd right and left before the fury of their rush.Then ensues a wild and stirring scene. Their great horns lowered, the infuriated animals course madly through the village, each beset by a crowd of armed savages whose dark, agile forms, avoiding the fierce impetus of their charge, may be seen to spring alongside, plying the deadly assegai. One turns suddenly and heads straight for its pursuers, bellowing hideously. Like magic the crowd parts, there is a whizz of assegais in the air, and the poor beast crashes earthward, bristling with quivering assegai hafts, as a pin cushion with pins. Yelling, whistling like fiends, in their uncontrollable excitement, the savages dart in and out among the fleeing beasts, and the red firelight gleams upon assegai points and rolling eyeballs, and the air rings with the frenzied bellowing of the pursued, and the wild shouts of the pursuers.But it cannot last long. Soon the mad fury of the chase gives way to the nauseous accompaniments of a slaughter house on a large scale. In an incredibly short space of time, each of the bullocks is reduced to a disjointed heap of flesh and bones. Men, staggering beneath huge slabs of quivering meat, make their way to the fires, leaving the dogs to snarl and quarrel over an abundant repast of steaming offal.The great joints frizzle and sputter over the red coals. Squattedaround, a hungry gleam in their eyes, the Kafirs impatiently watch each roasting morsel. Then, hardly waiting until it is warmed through, they drag the meat from the fire. Assegais are plied, and soon the huge joints are reduced to strips of half-raw flesh, and the champing of hundreds of pairs of jaws around each red blaze takes the place of the deep bass hum of conversation, as the savages throw all their energies into the assimilation of their unwonted meal. It is like a cannibal feast—the smoky flare of the great fires—the mighty slabs of red flesh—the fierce, dark figures seated around—the gleam of weapons in the firelight.(The unwonted meal. In former days, meat was very sparingly eaten among the Amaxosa races, milk and mealies being the staple articles of diet. When employed on such a scale as above described, it had a curiously stimulating effect upon a people habitually almost vegetarians. Hence it was looked upon as a preparation for war.)At length even the very bones are picked clean, and thrown over the feasters’ shoulders to the dogs. Then voices are raised and once more the kraal becomes a scene of wild and excited stir. Roused by a copious indulgence in an unwonted stimulant, the Kafirs leap to their feet. Weapons are brandished, and the firelight glows upon assegai points and rolling eyeballs. A wild war-song rises upon the air; then falling into circular formation, the whole gathering of excited warriors join in, beating time with their feet—clashing the hefts of their weapons together. The weird rhythm is led off in a high, wailing key by a kind of choragus, then taken up by the rest, rising louder and louder, and the thunder of hundreds of pairs of feet keeping regular time, make the very earth itself tremble, and the quivering rattle of assegai hafts is echoed back from the dark, brooding hills, and the volume of the fierce and threatening song, with its final chorus of “Ha—ha—ha!” becomes as the mad roaring of a legion of wild beasts, ravaging for blood. Worked up to a degree of incontrollable excitement, the savages foam at the lips and their eyeballs seem to start from the sockets, as turning to each other they go through the pantomime of encountering and slaying an imaginary foe; and even in the background a number of women have formed up behind the dancing warriors and with more than all the barbarity of the latter are playing at beating out the brains of the wounded with knob-kerries. The roar and

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rattle of the hideous performance goes up to the heavens, cleaving the solemn silence of the sweet African night. The leaping, bounding, perspiring shapes, look truly devilish in the red firelight. The excitement of the fierce savages seems to have reached a pitch little short of downright frenzy. Yet it shows no signs of abating. For they have eaten meat.Chapter Six.Hlangani, The Herald.Suddenly, as if by magic, the wild war-dance ceased, and the fierce, murderous rhythm was reduced to silence. Sinking down in a half-sitting posture, quivering with suppressed excitement, their dark forms bent forward like those of so many crouching leopards, their eyeballs rolling in the lurid glow, the Kafirs rested eagerly, awaiting what was to follow.A group of chiefs advanced within the circle of light. A little in front of these, prominent among them by reason of his towering stature and herculean build, was a warrior of savage and awe-inspiring aspect. His countenance bore an evil, scowling sneer, which looked habitual, and his eyes glowed like live coals. He wore a headdress of monkey skins, above which waved a tuft of plumes from the tail of the blue crane. His body was nearly naked, and his muscular limbs, red with ochre, were decorated with fringes of cows’ tails and tufts of flowing hair. On his left arm, above the elbow, he wore a thick; square armlet of solid ivory, and in his hand he carried a large, broad-bladed assegai. One shoulder was swathed in a rude bandage, the latter nearly concealed by fantastic hair adornments.A hum of suppressed eagerness went round the crowd of excited barbarians as this man stood forth in their midst. It subsided into a silence that might be felt as he spoke:“I am Hlangani, the son of Ngcesiba, the Herald of the Great Chief Sarili (Or Kreli), the son of Hintza, of the House of Gcaléka. Hear my word, for it is the word of Sarili, the Great Chief—the chief paramount of all the children of Xosa.“This is the word of the Great Chief to his children of the House of Ngqika (Or Gaika). Lo, the time has come when the Amanglézi (English) seek a quarrel with us. We can no longer live side by side, say they. There is no room for the Ama-Gcaléka in the land they have hitherto dwelt in. They must go.“So they have located our dogs, the cowardly Amafengu (Fingoes), our slaves and our dogs, on the next land to ours, that we may have a continual plague to scourge us, that our sides may be wrung with the pest of these stinging flies, that our name may be spat upon and laughed at by those who were our own dogs. Thus would these English provoke us to quarrel.“Who were these Amafengu? Were they not our dogs and our slaves? Who are they now? Still dogs—but not our dogs. Who will they be shortly? Not our dogs—not our slaves—but—our masters! Our masters!” roared the fierce savage, shaking the broad assegai which he held, until it quivered like a band of flame in the red firelight. “The sons of Gcaléka will be the slaves of their former slaves—the dogs of their former dogs. Not the sons of Gcaléka only, but all the children of Xosa. Not the House of Gcaléka only, but the House of Ngqika. Who is doing this? The Amanglezi! Who would tread upon the necks of our chiefs and place the fetters of their lying and hypocritical creeds upon the limbs of our young men till the latter are turned into slaves and drunkards? The Amanglezi! Who would stop the mouths of our amapakati (Councillors) and drown the collective wisdom of our nation in floods of fire-water? The Amanglezi. Are we men—I say? Are we men?”A low suppressed roar ran through the circle of fierce and excitable barbarians as the orator paused. Again sounded the ominous rattle of assegai hafts. It needed all the self-control of their habitually self-contained race to restrain them from breaking forth anew into their frenzied war-dance. But a wave of the speaker’s hand availed to quell the rising tumult and he continued:“This is the ‘word’ of the rulers of the Amanglézi. The time has come when the Amaxosa races must be subdued. They are growing too numerous. They are waxing too strong. Their power must be broken. We

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must begin by breaking up the influence of the chiefs. We must put down chieftainship altogether. Hear ye this, ye sons of Ngqika? Hear you this, O Matanzima, warrior son of Saudili, the Great Chief of the House of Ngqika? Hear you this, O Nteya—pakati of the race of Ngqika? Hear you this, O Nxabahlana, of the House of the Great Chief, you who have led our bands to war before the very birth of many of the young men I see before me? Hear ye this, Maquades and Mpanhla and Sivuléle, and you, Panganisi and Untíwa, of the House of Seyolo of the House of Hlambi, golden mouthed in council—in the battle-field flames of consuming fire? Hear ye this, all ye gathered here before me this night—tried warriors, and young men who have never seen war. The children of Xosa are growing too strong. They must be subdued. The power of their chiefs must be broken. Such is the word of the rulers of the Amanglezi.”This time, as the orator paused, there was no restraining the fierce excitement of his hearers. Each warrior named, who had greeted the mention of himself with a low, but emphatic “há”—now sprang to his feet. No further example was needed. Again, the wild rhythm of the war-song rose upon the night; again the fierce thunder-roll of the tread of hundreds of feet shook the ground. Again the circle of firelight was alive with grim, threatening forms, swaying in measured time, to the unearthly chant, to the accompaniment of the shaking of fantastic adornments, to the quivering rattle of assegai hafts. For some minutes this continued—then when the excitement was almost at its height, a mysterious signal was given and the whole wild crowd dropped quickly into its listening attitude again.“Such is the word of the Amanglezi,” went on the speaker. “Now hear the word of Sarili, your father, the Paramount Chief, the father of all the children of Xosa. Hear the word of the Great Chief conveyed by the mouth of Hlangani, the herald—‘Lo, the time has come when we must unite in the strength of brethren. The Amanglézi are urging our very dogs on to provoke us. The Amafengu are located on our borders, to taunt and jeer at our young men—to lure our young women over into their kraals that the very name of Gcaléka may be debased and defiled. Not a day passes that this does not happen. Why do we not revenge this? Why do we not execute a sudden and fearful vengeance upon these dogs who

spit at our name and nation? We dare not. The Amanglézi say: “Your dogs are now our dogs. Touch them and we shall send armies of soldiers and you will be eaten up”—But, dare we not? Dare we not? Answer me, all ye children of the race of Xosa! I, Sarili, your father, call upon you—I, Sarili, your chief. Answer! Show that the war-fire of our free and warrior race is not dead. It has been smouldering for many years, but it is not dead. It is ready to break forth as the destroying lightning leaps from the black thunder-cloud. It is ready to blaze forth in its strength and to consume all within its reach.“‘Where is my father, Hintza? Where is he who was lured into the white man’s camp by fair promises and then shot down? Do I not hear his spirit calling unto me day and night. I cannot sleep, for the spirit of my father is crying for vengeance. It is crying day and night from the depths. Yet, not to me only. Who was Hintza? My father, yet not my father only. The father of all the sons of Xosa!“‘Lo, the white Governor has summoned me, your chief, to meet him. He has invited me, your chief, with fair promises to visit him at his camp. Shall I go, that I, Sarili, may meet with the same dealing that laid low my father, Hintza? I will, indeed, go, but it will be with the whole array of the fighting men of the Amaxosa at my back.“‘Hear my “word,” my children of the House of Nteya, pakati of the race of Ngqika. Hear my “word” as spoken through the mouth of Hlangani, my herald. Receive these oxen as a present from your father to his children. Eat them, and when you have eaten and your hearts are strong, stand prepared. Let the war-cry roll through the mountains and valleys of our fair land. Let the thunder of your war-dances shake the earth as the reeds by the water side quiver beneath the rushing of the storm wind. Let the trumpet tongues of your war-fires gleam from the mountain tops—tongue roaring to tongue—that the Amanglezi may hear it and tremble; for the spirit of Hintza, my father, which has slumbered for years, is awake again and is crying for vengeance—is crying and crying aloud that the time has come.’”The speaker ceased. A dead silence fell upon his hearers—a weird silence upon that tumultuous crowd crouching in eager expectancy in theEanswyth shuddered, but said nothing. She nestled rather closer to his side, as he continued:“Now to open the box—a thing I haven’t done since, partly from superstitious motives—partly that I intended we should do so together—if we ever were to be again together, that is.”He pressed the spring, but it was out of order. It needed the wrench of a strong knife blade before the lid flew open.“Look at that. The assegai point is so firmly wedged that it would take a hammer to drive it out—but I propose to leave it in—use it as a ‘charm’ next war perhaps. Now for the letter. It has gone through and through it—through the photograph too—and has just dinted the bottom of the box.”He spread out the letter. Those last tender, loving words, direct from her overflowing heart, were pierced and lacerated by the point of the murderous weapon.“If this is not an oracle, there never was such a thing,” he went on. “Look at this”—reading—“‘I dare not say “God bless you.” Coming from me it would entail a curse, rather than a blessing...’ The point has cut clean through the words ‘a curse’—Mfulini’s assegai has made short work of that malediction. Is not that the voice of an oracle?”She made no reply. She was watching the development of the investigation with rapt, eager attention.“Here again—‘Were anything to befall you—were you never to come back to me my heart would be broken...’ As the paper is folded it has cut through the word ‘heart’—And—by Jove, this is more than a coincidence! Here again, it has gone clean through the same word. Look at the end. ‘I want you in all your dangers and hardships to have, with you, these poor little lines, coming, as they are, warm from my hand and heart’... And now for the photograph. It is a sweetly lifelike representation of you, my dearest—”

A cry from her interrupted him. The portrait was a three parts length cabinet one, cut round to enable it to fit the box, which it did exactly. Right through the breast of the portrait, the assegai point had pierced.“O Eustace—this is an oracle, indeed!” she cried. “Do you not see? The spear point has gone right through my ‘heart’ again for the third time. My dearest love, thrice has my ‘heart’ stood between you and death— once in the portrait, twice in the letter. At the same time it has obliterated the word ‘curse.’ It is, indeed, an ‘oracle’ and—What if I had never given you that box at all?”“I should be a lot of dry bones scattered about the veldt in Bomvanaland at this moment,” he rejoined. “Now you see how your love has twice stood between me and death; has preserved my life for itself. My sweet guardian angel, does not that look as if some Fate had always intended us for each other from the very first!”Chapter Thirty Eight.At Swaanepoel’s Hoek.Several months had gone by.The war was nearly over now. Struck on all sides—decimated by the terrible breech-loading weapons of the whites—harried even in their wildest strongholds, their supplies running low, their crops destroyed, and winter upon them—the insurgent tribes recognised that they were irretrievably worsted. They had no heart for further fighting—their principal thought now was to make the best terms they could for themselves. So all along the frontier the disheartened savages were flocking in to lay down their arms and surrender. Those who belonged to independent tribes in the Transkei were treated as belligerents—and after being disarmed were located at such places as the Government thought fit. Those who were British subjects, and whose locations were within the colonial boundaries, such as the Gaikas, Hlambis, and a section of the Tembus, were treated as rebels and lodged in gaol until such time as it should please the authorities to put them on their trial forhigh treason, treason, felony, or sedition, according to their rank, responsibilities, or deeds. Still the unfortunate barbarians preferred to discount the chances of the future against present starvation—and continued to come in, in swarms. The gaols were soon crammed to overflowing; so, too, were the supplementary buildings hired for the emergency.Not all, however, had preferred imprisonment with plenty to liberty with starvation. There were still armed bands lurking in the forest recesses of the Amatola, and in the rugged and bushy fastnesses beyond the Kei. While most of the chiefs of the colonial tribes had either surrendered or been slain, the head and Paramount Chief of all was still at large. “Kreli must be captured or killed,” was the general cry. “Until this is done the war can never be considered at an end.” But the old chief had no intention of submitting to either process if he could possibly help it. He continued to make himself remarkably scarce.Another character who was very particularly wanted was Hlangani, and for this shrewd and daring leader the search was almost as keen as for Kreli himself. Common report had killed him over and over again, but somehow there was no satisfactory evidence of his identification. Then a wild rumour got about that he had been sent by his chief on a mission to invoke the aid of the Zulu King, who at that time was, rightly or wrongly, credited with keeping South Africa in general, and the colony of Natal in particular, in a state of uneasiness and alarm. But, wherever he was, like his chief, and the “bold gendarmes” of the burlesque song, he continued to be “when wanted never there.”All these reports and many more reached Eustace Milne, who had taken no active part in frontier affairs since we saw him last. He had even been sounded as to his willingness to undertake a post on behalf of the Government which should involve establishing diplomatic relations with the yet combatant bands, but this he had declined. He intended to do what he could for certain of the rebels later on, but meanwhile the time had not yet come.Moreover, he was too happy amid the peaceful idyllic life he was then leading to care to leave it even for a time in order to serve a

potentially ungrateful country. And it was idyllic. There was quite enough to do on the place to keep even his energetic temperament active. The stock which had constituted the capital of their common partnership and had been sent to Swaanepoel’s Hoek at the outbreak of the war required considerable looking after, for, owing to the change of veldt, it did not thrive as well as could be wished. And then the place afforded plenty of sport; far more than Anta’s Kloof had done. Leopards, wild pigs, and bushbucks abounded in the bushy kloofs; indeed, there were rather too many of the former, looking at it from the farming point of view. The valley bottoms and the water courses were full of guinea-fowl and francolins, and high up on the mountain slopes, the vaal rykbok might be shot for the going after, to say nothing of a plentiful sprinkling of quail and now and then a bustard. Eustace was often constrained to admit to himself that he would hardly have believed it possible that life could hold such perfect and unalloyed happiness.He had, as we have said, plenty of wholesome and congenial work, with sport to his heart’s content, and enjoyed a complete immunity from care or worry. These things alone might make any man happy. But there was another factor in this instance. There was the sweet companionship of one whom he had loved passionately when the case was hopeless and she was beyond his reach, and whom he loved not less absorbingly now that all barriers were broken down between them, now that they would soon belong to each other until their life’s end. This was the influence that cast a radiant glow upon the doings and undertakings of everyday life, encircling everything with a halo of love, even as the very peace of Heaven.Not less upon Eanswyth did the same influences fall. The revulsion following upon that awful period of heart-break and despair had given her fresh life indeed. In her grand beauty, in the full glow of health and perfect happiness, no one would have recognised the white, stricken mourner of that time. She realised that there was nothing on earth left to desire. And then her conscience would faintly reproach her. Had she a right to revel in such perfect happiness in the midst of a world of sorrow and strife?But the said world seemed to keep very fairly outside that idyllic abode. Now and then they would drive or ride into Somerset East, or visitor be visited by a neighbour—the latter not often. The bulk of the surrounding settlers were Boers, and beyond exchanging a few neighbourly civilities from time to time they saw but little of them. This, however, was not an unmixed evil.Bentley had been as good as his word. His wife was a capital housekeeper and had effectively taken all cares of that nature off Eanswyth’s hands. Both were thoroughly good and worthy people, of colonial birth, who, by steadiness and trustworthy intelligence, had worked their way up from a very lowly position. Unlike too many of their class, however, they were not consumed with a perennial anxiety to show forth their equality in the sight of Heaven with those whom they knew to be immeasurably their superiors in birth and culture, and to whom, moreover, they owed in no small degree their own well-being. So the relations existing between the two different factors which composed the household were of the most cordial nature.There had been some delay in settling up Tom Carhayes’ affairs—in fact, they were not settled yet. With a good sense and foresight, rather unexpected in one of his unthinking and impulsive temperament, poor Tom had made his will previous to embarking on the Gcaléka campaign. Everything he possessed was bequeathed to his wife—with no restriction upon her marrying again—and Eustace and a mutual friend were appointed executors.This generosity had inspired in Eanswyth considerable compunction, and was the only defective spoke in the wheel of her present great happiness. Sometimes she almost suspected that her husband had guessed at how matters really stood, and the idea cost her more than one remorseful pang. Yet, though she had failed in her allegiance, it was in her heart alone. She would have died sooner than have done so otherwise, she told herself.Twice had the executors applied for the necessary authority to administer the estate. But the Master of the Supreme Court professed himself not quite satisfied. The evidence as to the testator’s actual death struck him as inadequate—resting, as it did, upon the sole testimony of one of the executors, who could not even be positive that the man was


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