Vellenaux eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 219 pages of information about Vellenaux.
widow, who, from prudential motives, had engaged her passage under the name of Mrs. Harcourt Grenville, and fears for her personal safety were completely set at rest on finding that the news of the accident by rail, which had cost Sir Ralph Coleman his life, had not reached the ear of any person on board, and she, herself, was not quite certain but that her accomplice in fraud might yet survive; if so, her condition was still very precarious, but she argued that he would scarcely recover, or he would not have committed himself by making known to the world his share in the transaction concerning the stolen will, and under the assumed name, and in a distant land, she would be secure from detection.  She had no intention of remaining at the Cape; her object was to try her fortune in India, and had only come on board the “Kaffir Chief,” as it afforded her the earliest opportunity for evading pursuit.  She was well aware that she could easily proceed to India from the Cape in one of the Indiamen that so frequently touched at that port, and so, on the whole, she felt tolerably easy in her new position, and set to work, with her usual tact, to make herself agreeable to the Captain and her fellow travellers.  Ensign Winterton she took under her especial protection, which very much flattered his boyish pride; made considerable headway with Major Dowlas, who, by the way, was a bachelor; and never failed to accept the proffered arm of the attentive Captain, when on deck; for although married and on the wrong side of fifty, being an Irishman and a Corkonian, he was not insensible to the charms of a handsome woman some years his junior.

Her account of herself was, that she was the wife of a surgeon at Graham’s Town, had been some time in England, and had spent the spring and part of the summer in London, and intended to remain at Cape Town until her husband came for her.  She had several thousand pounds, the savings of some twenty years, dressed with excellent taste, and had taken such good care of her constitution, that she looked at least ten years younger than she really was, and felt convinced from all she had heard and read, that she would experience but little difficulty in procuring a suitable husband and establishment in one of the Indian Presidencies, she cared not which, and having no acquaintances in the army, was not at all likely to be recognized as the ex-governess of Vellenaux.

CHAPTER XVI.

There was another change that had taken place in the little village of Vellenaux which has not been brought to the notice of the reader, and may as well be introduced here as elsewhere, since it must be known sooner or later.  The venerable rector who had performed the last sad rites over Sir Jasper, did not long survive his old and esteemed friend.  He had been ailing for several months prior to his decease, and had been assisted in his clerical duties by a Curate, a gentleman

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Vellenaux from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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