Of course, there was great excitement over the discovery of the real murderer, especially as Jarper was so well known in Melbourne society, but no one pitied him. In the days of his prosperity he had been obsequious to his superiors and insolent to those beneath him, so that all he gained was the contempt of one and the hate of the other. Luckily, he had no relatives whom his crime would have disgraced, and as he had not succeeded in getting rid of Madame Midas, he intended to have run away to South America, and had forged a cheque in her name for a large amount in order to supply himself with funds. Unhappily, however, he had paid that fatal visit and had been arrested, and since then had been in a state of abject fear, begging and praying that his life might be spared. His crime, however, had awakened such indignation that the law was allowed to take its course, so early one wet cold morning Barty Jarper was delivered into the hands of the hangman, and his mean, pitiful little soul was launched into eternity.
Kitty was of course released, but overwhelmed with shame and agony at all her past life having been laid bare, she did not go to see Madame Midas, but disappeared amid the crowd, and tried to hide her infamy from all, although, poor girl, she was more sinned against than sinning.
Vandeloup, for whom a warrant was out for the murder of Lemaire, had also disappeared, and was supposed to have gone to America.
Madame Midas suffered severely from the shocks she had undergone with the discovery of everyone’s baseness. She settled a certain income on her husband, on condition she never was to see him again, which offer he readily accepted, and having arranged all her affairs in Australia, she left for England, hoping to find in travel some alleviation, if not forgetfulness, of the sorrow of the past. A good woman—a noble woman, yet one who went forth into the world broken-hearted and friendless, with no belief in anyone and no pleasure in life. She, however, was of too fine a nature ever to sink into the base, cynical indifference of a misanthropic life, and the wealth which she possessed was nobly used by her to alleviate the horrors of poverty and to help those who needed help. Like Midas, the Greek King, from whence her quaint name was derived, she had turned everything she touched into gold, and though it brought her no happiness, yet it was the cause of happiness to others; but she would give all her wealth could she but once more regain that trust in human nature which had been so cruelly betrayed.