By Berwen Banks

By Berwen Banks

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, By Berwen Banks, by Allen RaineThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.orgTitle: By Berwen BanksAuthor: Allen RaineRelease Date: July 4, 2006 [eBook #18758]Language: English***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BY BERWEN BANKS***E-text prepared by Al HainesBY BERWEN BANKSa NovelbyALLEN RAINEAuthor of "A Welsh Singer," "Torn Sails," etc.111TH THOUSANDLondonHutchinson & Co.Paternoster RowCONTENTSI. BERWEN BANKS II. THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF III. THE SASSIWN IV. THE STORM V. GWYNNE ELLISARRIVES VI. CORWEN AND VALMAI VII. THE VICAR'S STORY VIII. THE OLD REGISTER IX. REUBEN STREETX. THE WEB OF FATE XI. THE "BLACK DOG" XII. A CLIMAX XIII. "THE BABIES' CORNER" XIV. UNREST XV.THE SISTERS XVI. DISPERSING CLOUDS XVII. HOME AGAIN XVIII. THE VELVET WALK XIX. THEMEREDITHS XX. GWLADYS XXI. INTO THE SUNSHINEBY BERWEN BANKS.CHAPTER I.BERWEN BANKS.Caer Madoc is a sleepy little Welsh town, lying two miles from the sea coast. Far removed from the busy centres ofcivilisation, where the battle of life breeds keen wits and deep interests, it is still, in the opinion of its inhabitants, next toLondon, the most important place in the United Kingdom. It has its church and three chapels, its mayor and corporation,jail, town hall, and ...

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, By Berwen Banks,
by Allen Raine
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: By Berwen Banks
Author: Allen Raine
Release Date: July 4, 2006 [eBook #18758]
Language: English
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK BY BERWEN BANKS***
E-text prepared by Al Haines
BY BERWEN BANKSa Novel
by
ALLEN RAINE
Author of "A Welsh Singer," "Torn Sails," etc.
111TH THOUSAND
London
Hutchinson & Co.
Paternoster RowCONTENTS
I. BERWEN BANKS II. THE HOUSE ON THE
CLIFF III. THE SASSIWN IV. THE STORM V.
GWYNNE ELLIS ARRIVES VI. CORWEN AND
VALMAI VII. THE VICAR'S STORY VIII. THE OLD
REGISTER IX. REUBEN STREET X. THE WEB
OF FATE XI. THE "BLACK DOG" XII. A CLIMAX
XIII. "THE BABIES' CORNER" XIV. UNREST XV.
THE SISTERS XVI. DISPERSING CLOUDS XVII.
HOME AGAIN XVIII. THE VELVET WALK XIX.
THE MEREDITHS XX. GWLADYS XXI. INTO THE
SUNSHINEBY BERWEN BANKS.
CHAPTER I.
BERWEN BANKS.
Caer Madoc is a sleepy little Welsh town, lying two
miles from the sea coast. Far removed from the
busy centres of civilisation, where the battle of life
breeds keen wits and deep interests, it is still, in
the opinion of its inhabitants, next to London, the
most important place in the United Kingdom. It has
its church and three chapels, its mayor and
corporation, jail, town hall, and market-place; but,
more especially, it has its fairs, and awakes to
spasmodic jollity on such occasions, which come
pretty often—quite ten times in the year. In the
interims it resigns itself contentedly to its normal
state of lethargy.
The day on which my story opens had seen the
busiest and merriest fair of the year, and the
evening found the little town looking jaded and
disreputable after its few hours of dissipation, the
dusty High Street being littered with scraps of
paper, orange-peel, and such like débris. The
merry-go-rounds and the "shows" had departed,
the last donkey-cart had rattled out of the town,
laden with empty gingerbread boxes.
In the stable of the Red Dragon three men stoopedin conclave over the hind foot of a horse. Deio, the
ostler, and Roberts, the farrier, agreed in their
verdict for a wonder; and Caradoc Wynne, the
owner of the horse, straightened himself from his
stooping posture with a nod of decision.
"Yes, it's quite plain I mustn't ride him to-night," he
said. "Well, I'll leave him under your care, Roberts,
and will either come or send for him to-morrow."
"Needn't do that, sir," said Roberts, "for I am going
myself to
Abersethin on Friday; that will give him one day's
complete rest, and
I'll bring him up gently with my nag."
"That will do better," said the young man. "Take
care of him, Deio," he added, in good, broad
Welsh, "and I will pay you well for your trouble,"
and, with a pat on Captain's flank and a douceur in
Deio's ready palm, he turned to leave the yard.
Looking back from under the archway which
opened into the street, with a parting injunction to
Roberts to "take care of him," he turned up the
dusty High Street.
"Pagh!" he said, "it has been a jolly fair, but it
hasn't sweetened the air. However, I shall soon
have left it behind me," and he stepped out briskly
towards the straggling end of the street, which
merged into a wild moorland country.
"There's a difference between him and his father,"
said Deio to his companion, as they led Captain
back to his stall. "See the old 'Vicare du' huntingback to his stall. "See the old 'Vicare du' hunting
between his coppers for a threepenny bit! Jâr i
man! you would think it was a sovereign he was
looking for."
"Yes," said Roberts, "the old Vicare is a keen man
enough, but just; always pays his bills regularly; he
is not as black as they make him out to be."
"No, I daresay! They say the devil isn't, either,"
said Deio.
It was very evident the person in question was no
favourite of his.
Meanwhile Caradoc, or Cardo as he was called all
over the country side, the "Vicare du's" only son,
had begun his tramp homewards with a light heart
and a brisk step. He was a tall, broad-shouldered
man, with health and youthful energy expressed in
every limb and feature, with jet black hair and
sparkling eyes to match. His dark, almost swarthy
face, was lighted up by a pleasant smile, which
seemed ever hovering about the corners of his
mouth, and which would make itself evident in spite
of the moustache which threatened to hide it.
The band of the local militia was practising in the
open market hall as he passed, and an old Welsh
air struck familiarly on his ear.
"They'll wonder what's become of me at home," he
thought, "or rather Betto will. I don't suppose my
father would notice my absence, so long as I was
home to supper. Poor old dad!" he added, and a
grave look came over his face.In truth it was not a very cheerful home to which he
was returning, but it was home, and had been his
from childhood. It had been the home also of his
ancestors for generations, which, to a Welshman,
means a great deal, for the ties of home are in the
very roots of his being. Home draws him from the
furthermost ends of the earth, and leaving it, adds
bitterness even to death.
His mother had died at his birth, so that the sacred
word "mother" had never been more than a name
to him, and he had taught himself to banish the
thought of her from his mind; in fact an
indescribable uneasiness always leapt up within his
heart when her name was mentioned, and that was
very rarely, for his father never spoke of her, and
old Betto, the head servant, but seldom, and then
with such evident sadness and reticence, that an
undefined, though none the less crushing fear, had
haunted him from childhood upwards. As he
stepped out so bravely this soft spring evening, the
look of disquietude did not remain long on his face.
At twenty-four life has not lost its rosy tints; heart,
mind, and body are fresh and free to take a share
in all its opening scenes, more especially if, as in
Cardo's case, love, the disturber, has not yet put in
an appearance.
As he reached the brow of the hill beyond the
town, the white dusty road stretched like a sinuous
snake over the moor before him, while on the left,
the sea lay soft and grey in the twilight, and the
moon rose full and bright on his right. The eveningair was very still, but an occasional strain of the
band he had left behind him reached his ears, and
with a musical voice he hummed the old Welsh air
which came fitfully on the breeze:
"By Berwen's banks my love hath strayed,
For many a day in sun and shade;
And while she carols loud and clear,
The little birds fly down to hear.
"By Berwen's banks the storm rose high,
The swollen river rushing by!
Beneath its waves my love was drowned
And on its banks my love was found!"
Suddenly he was aware of a cloaked figure walking
about a hundred yards in front of him. "Who's that,
I wonder?" he thought, and then, forgetting its
existence, he continued his song:
"I'll ne'er forget that leafy shade!
I'll ne'er forget that winsome maid!
But there no more she carols free,
So Berwen's banks are sad to me!"
By and by, at a curve in the road, he again noticed
the figure in front of him, and quickened his steps;
but it did the same, and the distance between them
was not lessened, so Cardo gave it up, and
continued his song. When the strain came to a
natural ending, he looked again with some interest
at the grey figure ever moving on, and still seeming
to keep at the same distance from him. Once morehe quickened his steps, and again the figure did
likewise. "Diwss anwl!" he said. "I am not going to
run after an old woman who evidently does not
want my company." And he tramped steadily on
under the fast darkening sky. For quite three miles
he had followed the vanishing form, and as he
reached the top of the moor, he began to feel
irritated by the persistent manner in which his
fellow-traveller refused to shorten the distance
between them. It roused within him the spirit of
resistance, and he could be very dogged
sometimes in spite of his easy manner. Having
once determined, therefore, to come up with the
mysterious pedestrian, he rapidly covered the
ground with his long strides, and soon found
himself abreast of a slim girl, who, after looking
shyly aside at him, continued her walk at the same
steady pace. The twilight had darkened much since
he had left the town, but the moonlight showed him
the graceful pose of the head, the light, springy
tread, and the mass of golden hair which escaped
from the red hood covering her head. Cardo took
off his cap.
"Good-night to you," he said. "I hope I have not
frightened you by so persistently trying to catch
you."
"Good-night," said the girl. "Yes, indeed, you have,
whatever, because I am not used to be out in the
night. The rabbits have frightened me too, they are
looking so large in this light."
"I am sorry. It is very brave of you to walk all the