Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,—and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams.
deep groan seemed to issue from it.  The long low musical laugh he had heard before sounded in the room.  The next moment he hardened himself and began to read them over.  They consisted of the letters mentioned before, his father’s marriage certificate, and the addition of a still more important document—­a statement drawn up by his father a little before his death, in which he acknowledged Captain Piercy, the name his son had been known by, prayed for forgiveness for the wrong he had done his mother, and fully acknowledged his marriage with the fair Italian.  This was the document which had led the countess to persecute Captain Williams, and her son to murder his brother’s widow.  He read them slowly through, and taking them in his hand walked towards the fireplace; he was about to cast them in, when the same low mocking voice sounded so close him—­he turned and beheld an appalling spectacle.  The picture of his own mother, that had occupied a large compartment of the room, had entirely disappeared, although but the instant before he had seen it—­and in its place appeared the figures of a man in a full dress naval uniform, and a lady in the costume of the one he had murdered in distant America.  He gave one wild shriek and fell senseless on the floor.  To seize the papers was to Edward, whom our readers will easily guess to have personated the lady, but the work of a moment; he regained the panel and swung it to just as the domestics were hurrying up; not however before he had fixed upon the toilet with a penknife of the Earl’s, a paper with the word “doomed!” in large characters traced upon it.

CHAPTER IX.

The agent’s punishment.

The village bells tolled mournfully, and the stout farmers looked with Saddened faces at each other on the morning which was to consign to earth the remains of Mary Waters.  Matrons held their aprons to their eyes as they followed the melancholy procession.  She was laid by her own request in the same grave with Ellen Hunter.  The old clergyman who had loved her as his daughter, faltered as he read the solemn words, “I am the resurrection and the life,” and when the ceremony was concluded, there was not an eye that was not filled with tears.  When the old steward heard the earth fall upon the coffin lid, his frame was seen to quiver, he fell forward, and his spirit had departed.  They laid him by the side of his grand daughter the next day; and it was soon ascertained that he had left the bulk of his savings to the poor children of Johnson, and that Mrs. Alice Goodfellow was appointed sole executrix.

Rumors now began to circulate about the Earl—­a claim had been laid in due form by Edward—­and the tumult which raged in his heart was indescribable.  Yet he dared to think of vengeance, and swore an oath to have the heart’s blood of those who had humbled him.  As he approached the house of the agent he determined to ask his aid in carrying out his schemes.  Mr. Lambert, however, had no intention of being dragged down into the vortex, and received him coldly.

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Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,—and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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