|Newspaper Title||Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901)|
|Trove Title||The Christmas Fairy|
THE CHRI6TMA S FAIKY,
The ctooi? opened, and a tall, portly mail of. seventy apparently—though id reality Be was four years over that age—came into
' Tom Evelyn was a man to wear well. He had a fine constitution, was of temperate habifca^ and possessed an endless fund of animal spirits ; if he had nothing but bread and water for dinner he would make merry
" Wellj" he said, coming to the fire ; "I've news for you. Nob so much Bertie— she never knew him—but you, Nellie and
" Him !" cried Berfcie, tragically. " Who is it, father ? The fairy prince, or the wicked king* or what ?"
' A deuced good-looking fellow, my dear,' said her father, patting the golden head nestled against him ; " but neither king nor prince-—though he is a swell. Jack, you member that young fellow who came to our lodgings at York ?"
'Oh !•' cried Nellie, before her father could get further" have you met him again ? How could we forget him—so kind as he was sending those splendid grapes to
mother and all."'
" Aye, I mind, my dear, never fear. Yes ; I met him to-day in Bow-streets He stop ped me, with a " Well, Tom Evelyn, well metand there was I gripping that white hand of his before I remembered to be re spectful. I do not know who he is now, any nrorp thai; I did thirteen years ago. lie asked if he might come and see us on Sunday, and of course I said ' yes,' though I doubted our ways according with his; but bless you! he don't seem to mind. So he's coming about • hree o'clock on Sunday. I don't know if he's been to the pantomine yet ; he didn't say anything about it, and I
didn't ask him."
" Why don't he tell you his name asked jack. " We miist find it out,"
" Easily donereplied his father. "He seems to be a good deal among the profession
from what he said."
" Mysterious being !" observed Bertie.
I am all on pins and needles to see your
Tom Evelyn glanced at the lovely face,
and a shade crossed his honest features. But, dear me ! there could be no harm ; Bertie, despite her theatre experiences, was a child in ways and thoughts, and as pure-hearted as if she had never heard of evil.
And, in truth, old Tom flattered by the request of the " swell" to reuew an acquain tance, if it could be called so, between per sons so far apart in station—dating back such a long period. Bertie was well able to take care of herself,
'•Bless us!" cried Mrs. Evelyn, when Bertie, pirouetting into the kitchen, an nounced the news to her, "I shall bo pleased to see him again/ But, lord! if he stays
to tea we must have a cake and the best tea
pot. ^ I'll polish it up well. But, dear me !
Bertie, these swells don't have regular sit down tea like we folk-—4hey have it quite
" Now, mother," said the girl; " you just let everything be as usual. We are 'not gentlefolks and it's no good our aping them* lie 11 only set us down for snobs if we try. Swells never look down 011 people who don't show airs and graces j it's the cads they des pise/''
"You re right, my dear, yoli alwaysare
said the good woman—it was odd how all the family followed Bertie's lead. "It's the good blood in you that makes you feel so, I believe. I'll just have a nice cake and the best teapot—that's mere respect; but he shall take us as we are, and he can't say we're vulgar, anyhow."
." That's a dear old pet," said Bertie, kissing her; and she executed, all round the kitchen, a pas suel that would have brought the house down at Drury
"Bless the girl!" cried Mrs. Evelyn, dishing up potatoes, "I'd be glad to sit still if I was you. Ain't you ever tired
Bertie ?" '
" Not very often," said she, laughing merrily.
" Ah ! well; you're sixteen, so was I once though to be sure, I hadn't your spirits, and warn't so lightly made neither; I used to be done enough after a good breakdown or cel lar-flap.
" Ob ! 1 love a cellar-flap, Give me the poker aind shovel for a sword-dance !" cried Bertie.
But Mrs. Evelyn interposed her ample
" You cut away, miss," said she, laugh ing. " How do you think Mary Ann '11 do her work if she's to be gaping at you danc ing a sword-dance over the kitchen floor ? Off with you."
Bertie laughed, dived, darted nimbly away from a flourishing dish cloth, and started an inspiriting hornpipe on the threshold of the kitchen door; while Mrs. Evelyn and the " slavey stood laughing and applaud ing, till the noise brought down Tom and Jack Evelyn.
But this incursion was more than Mrs, Evelyn would endure. Armed with a roll mg-pin she chased the whole crowd from the kitchen; and then fled laughing back
to the parlour where Jack and Bertie° exe
cuted an impromptu " double step," to the delight of old torn and Nellie.