|Chapter Title||QUEEN CARITA|
|Newspaper Title||Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901)|
|Trove Title||The Christmas Fairy|
CHAPTER III.—QTJEENf CARIT^.
Boxing-night at Drury Lane Theatre ! Everyone knows what it isv 6'ue would think' all the carriages and cabs in London had been pressed into the' service,1 and thaifc at least a; Quarter of th'G pbpulati'ori of the' great city was going io' the pantomime. Fortunately, the'night vfct's ftney hot frosty, as Christmas is; m1 std'He's'^-thWe'. fe'lv
frosty Christmassy in! Englalii'cl nov^bui; mild and dry ; in truth',- M idVal: Boxing^ night,- for that festival is ti'sltally $'ei
About' teri iriiriutes pftst seven',- a hand some dark Brougham came into line, and a tall,- slight man,- with a light wrap coat 6ver his evening dress, alighted, and lifted out a pretty little1 girl of ten, with light, fleecy hair, eind! ee fur maiitle" coveting her satin
This pair' were quickly followed by three
laids, from eleven to- fifteen in age, attired ! in' £}]ton' suits,- the' two youngest looking!
rosy and eager, the eldest supremely digni- J fifed as thotigh fie had ai soul above' pant6- j miners,- and had only come to keep " the ! children" in countenance. Perhaps he hald been" Satiated with such dissipations ; btft Missyhadbeenbroughtupinthe country, , and had: never yet seen a pantomine. She danced along by her tall cousin's side, with ; big,' blue eyes, of wonder and delight at
everything she saw, and a silvery tongue running nineteen to the dozen.
" And there are real fairies, Falconer, are there not?" she said. "I don't mean real, like what nurse used to tell me of when of when I was little, and I believed in them ; but little girls—not dollies."
"Oh, yes, pussy, real little girls, and aw fully pretty ones, too; and they wear gold
" Wear gold frocks, Falconer! Why, they would be all stiff, wouldn't they ?"
I "I don't mean gold exactly, but stiff
looking like gold. Oh ! they are magnifi cent. You never saw anything half so lovely."
Missy sighed—-a happy sigh of sublime anticipation—and clung closer to her cousin's hand. The approaching glories were almost too much for her.
. In due time they were all in the box, Miss Rose Mansfield installed in the centre
with Lord Falconer on one side,- and her brothers ranged along the other.- There was plenty of room for all five in front of
; " Why, there's Falconer with the Mans field boys and the it sister," said a very handsome ydang lady on the opposite side of the house, to her mamma; " What an odd fellow he is !"
Perhaps he was, but though lie bowed with a bright smile, to the handsome young lady, who was reported to' be not ill affected towards, him1, he' would not have
exchanged his present situation to be be-j side my Lady Blanche Atterburyv He was far happier with these jolly, rosy-cheeked little cousins, who were in such as state of ecstatic delight, and were altogether so
fresh, and honest, and genuine, than sit-i
ting with Blanche ; which proved, of course j
that ho was not the least bit in love with , Il6l\ i !
jSosie, and Harry, and Lil (short for Lil-; ford); asked no end of questions, and gener- , ally spoke all: at once ; but he never seemed to' tire of answering them. He wate a man whcfm children always-loved, and though he would romp with them and be like a schoolboy among schoolboys,- ho' Ohe! ever dreamt of taking a liberty with him. ^
Presently the orchestra' Struci up,- and Rosie's cheeks fiuslied a deeper rose,- and her blue eyes sparkled more and more; and th,6ri a little b'ell tnlkled-^-that delight
ful call bell!—arid up rolled the act-drop, , and (ibere was ai scream of delight from a tlio'u'grfnd- young throats,' and such a clap ping of littfe hands'as did one's'heart good
«?< Oh! Falconer," criecl Kosie, breath lessly,- " isn't it beautiful?"
Of course, he- said it was, and so it was; but then he had long passed the enchanted age when pantomines delight, and he knew all the " business," and saw all the tinsel ; but to Rosie this glittering grotto was al most reality.
Well,- there were fairies and mortals, and all sorts' of incongruous jumbles of person ages iri nursery tales, and all that could be gathered was that some mortals were going to-visit the Enchanted Island, where dwelt Queen Carita and her attendant
^The next scene showed the island in
question—a very gorgeous place indeed; and out of a number of huge golden roses popped a number of small fairies in glitter
ing garments,- and began to dance to a I lively measure from the orchestra.
V. Which is the Queen, Falconer ?" asked
Bose and Lil in a breath.
"She isn't there yet," said he; "she'll come in a moment. Look !"
The fairies parted in two lines, right and left of the stage, and from the back appeared suddenly a tall, lithe girl's figure, which seemed blaze of gold and jewels as she came forward with. a kind of dancing step, and paused in the centre of the stage. .
[to be CONTINUED.J
The annual report for 1884 of the Mini ster for Education show;s that 127 new schools were opened, 1912 schools were in operation, and i875 were in existence at the close of the yeaiv Last year 167,134 pupils, showing an- increase of 71,516,
atteuded the State schools of the_ colony. The statutory school population (six to 14 years) of the colony was 180,577. The amount expended by the Education Depart ment last year was £774,357, and towards this £56,766 was paid into the Treasury as