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Ransford, and receive letters from him and presents, although your grandfather thought him a scoundrel ?
I did. I was a wilful girl, and resented my poor grandfather's efforts to limit my independence; I could not endure the idea that I was not to be trusted, and my grandfather loved me so much that he was jealous of my being out of his sight, and this almost became a mania with him.
He did not like you to be beyond his eye; and you justified his mistrust. You thought that was the best course, eh?
I do not understand.
Your grandfather wished to exercise surveillance over you, and your desire of independence being great, you received the addresses of Mr. Ransford unknown to your grandfather, and accepted a present from that gentleman worth from one to two hundred guineas.
Yes, I regret to say I did.
We were to be married in London if I would accept him, but I did not accept him.
We shall see. Now about that meeting in the summer-house which you explained to my learned friend : it is true that you waved your hand to him?
It was a girlish freak.
response to your
invitation? I did not invite him.
You beckoned to him; and like a second Leander he swam the Hellespont?
He crossed in a boat, or over the bridge lower down.
No, and he implored me on his knees to stay a few moments to hear his protestations of love.
Did you remain ?
I will not ask you to tell us all that passed between you. Was your conversation interrupted by the arrival of your grandfather?
Mr. Holland : She has told you that and all the rest in her evidence in chief.
Don't mind Mr. Holland, Lady St. Barnard; he is not in order. Pray attend to me. I will try not to wound your sensibilities if I can help it. Did your grandfather interrupt your conversation ?
Yes, that is true ; he did not mean what he said, my poor dear grandfather.
But he applied epithets to you of the foulest kind ?
This was not the first time that your grandfather had been angry almost to madness with you?
No; the next time was when he discovered the necklet which I had thrown into the river.
You told us of that; but was he not frequently angry? Did he not say you would come to a bad end ?
He did not.
Mr. Holland : If he did it is a common enough expression with parents and guardians who have high-spirited children to deal with. Thank you, Mr. Holland. I am not cross-examining you. Pray
I attend, Lady St. Barnard. Did not your grandfather consider your conduct cause for anxiety on his part?
No doubt; but that arose through his overweening love for me, and not because I gave him cause to fear. I was young and possibly a foolish girl-vain, I dare say, like other foolish girls.
Mr. Ransford frequently wrote to you, and you received his letters through a privileged messenger?
Now do you remember that letter in which he proposed that you should elope with him?
Did you answer that letter?
He dwelt upon my evident unhappiness, and begged me to go with him to London, where I could remain at an hotel until the arrangements were made for our marriage.
He said if I consented we could go by the mail train that night, and he would have a carriage ready on the North Road to convey me to a station a few miles out of Dunelm where the mail stopped. If I consented, at bed time, I was to place a pot of flowers outside the window on the window-sill.
It was not necessary, then, to answer the letter if you placed the flowers on the window-sill? And you placed them there?
No, sir, I did not.
Do you swear that you did not place those flowers on the windowsill, the signal of your consent ?
I swear. [" Thank God," said Kalmat, in a whisper, and he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his heart.] Did
you tell the servant to make the signal ? I did not. Nor do anything to have it made ?
No. I did not wish it to be made; I scorned Mr. Ransford's offer; I was ill that night ; ill with shame and remorse that I had given him encouragement in any way ; but I could not in my girlish flirtation have dreamed that he would trespass upon my condescension and dare to propose an elopement. He only did this, I suppose, because he saw that I was very unhappy at home.
You think that was the only reason?
The Bench may form a different opinion ; but no matter, to return to this pot of flowers, this signal of your consent to elope. It was put out on the window sill ?
I have since had reason to believe so.
you not know it at the time? No; some terrible mistake was made, I feel sure, about those flowers.
Yes; we have heard your theory, that your grandfather thinking flowers in a room unhealthy placed them in the open air just at the
moment when Mr. Ransford was waiting for the signal. But that is only a theory. And you swear you did not answer the prisoner's letter by giving the signal suggested ?
I have sworn it.
My learned friend is going to say there was no intention of elopement on the part of Miss Waller, and therefore it could not have been interrupted. I will amend my question. Your ladyship described to my learned friend the disturbance that occurred at about the time fixed by Mr. Ransford for you to place the pot of flowers on the window sill. Mr. Mayfield had evidently been suspicious that something extraordinary was likely to take place ?
Mr. Holland : My friend calls that amending his question. I object to it in its original and in its amended shape; as indeed I object to his cross-examination generally; but as your Worship is inclined to allow a considerable margin to the prisoner's attorney, I do not needlessly address you; we must, however, draw the line somewhere.
The Magistrate : Certainly, while the Bench is anxious not to limit a full inquiry, it is quite clear that,
Mr.Cuffing : Pardon me, your Worship, I do not press the question; I bow to the decision of the Court, and would at the same time suggest that the present moment offers a favourable opportunity for adjournment.
The Bench agreed with Mr. Cuffing, and the Court adjourned.
The next day Clytie returned to the moral torture. Thumb-screw and rack were duly provided at Bow Street ; and she bore the miseries of this modern Inquisition with fortitude, though not without pain. She looked pale and worn.
The Court was crowded to suffocation. Every window was thrown widely open.
Iced-water was placed within reach of the witness, by whose side Lord St. Barnard was still permitted to sit. The prisoner did his best to carry out Mr. Cuffing's instructions, but all his efforts did not shake off a certain hang-dog look, which the intelligent portion of the lookers-on construed in the lady's favour.
“We will return for a moment,” said Mr. Cuffing, “ to that night of
the proposed elopement. You retired earlier than usual, you say; why was this?
I did not feel well.
Mr. Cuffing consulted his notes, glanced for a moment angrily at the prisoner, and then pulling down his shirt cuffs and looking important, said
Well, then, you could of course not see anything that was going on in the Bailey, as you called the street. Mr. Mayfield having assaulted the prisoner said he was a black-hearted scoundrel, and your grandfather ordered you to bed ?
Mr. Mayfield had evidently discovered the design of Mr. Ransford; no doubt he had ; I could tell by his language. Thank
you; that is what I wished to know. Mr. Mayfield had come to prevent it ; he might have bribed Mr. Ransford's messenger and seen the letter.
That is just what he did, your ladyship, and I shall call the messenger, who will explain this fully. Meanwhile tell me, did you overhear what took place after the disturbance between Mr. Mayfield and your grandfather?
I heard sufficient to make me very unhappy. (Kalmat groaned, and a policeman loudly demanded "Silence."]
And the next morning you left your home and came to London ?
You know that Mr. Mayfield disappeared from Dunelm at about the same time, early in the morning ?
I have heard so.
I have not seen him since that dreadful night. I hope he may be found to give you his version ; for though he was deceived by appearances which were against me, he was a gentleman, and would tell the