|Newspaper Title||Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901)|
|Trove Title||The Christmas Fairy|
2SES CHUISTMAS PAIRY.
V01IAPl'teii V. —CONTINUED.-'
&S'ai$ seemed such a child,- so childlike in
"msuMur, that Lord Falconer Invito ivcul
letft ]>i tusclf not to" lay a c'rttessittg balnd on. the f.iiining- tresses. Probably J3t»rt.ie. $fouU have thought nothing of it if he had done sb; but her father might have disap proved.
" Wall, I'msure you've no'cause'to com plain sai«l Jack; " it's woman's rights in this house, so far as you're concerned.
" You clon'c look as if you objected to the bondage, Jack; Does he, Queen Carita?" observed Lord Falconer.
/ - " Oh, im ; ifc agrees with him," said
Bertie, rubbing her soft cheek against -'jack's hand.- " Men like to1 be bullied, • don't they,- Mr.- Falconer ?"
"In your fashion,- Fairy Queen,- cer tain ly'.V ,
Bertie laughed merrily/ and.' dicTii'V blush
a bit. ' .
'• But sometimes-I have1 to1 be severe with" Jack, X have indeed,'' she said, with mock gravity.
. ,f I should very much like to Bee your se-\ Tority," sai<.l Lord- Falconer,-.. while Jack
Yoit 'shall some day," replred Qu^en Curita, unmoved.- Why,- you know," rippling out into laughter a'giiiny "'t- eou'4l shut you out'"'-of Fairy-Land." :
" Nbt-if you stayed behinclv BWl;ie.'y
^"Blarney Btone agaiiiy .Mr'.-. .Falconer. Please don't-t haltfe' been so! teased that way."
f £faa'ti.yo0 lil'teto' have' pretty thita'gs said flc# yo-il! f
* Yoit wouldn't,- if you had heard them from the time you Were four years old.'
, ""Tis1 very unusual to dislike flattery, Bertie.' ' , . <
' Ay,' interposed Tom, ' so' t'is,- and we pro's never can have enough of it ; but Bertie' really^ does dislike' much blarney. Bhe'll turn quite huffy sometimeseh,
1 Well,' said Lord Falconer,- smiling',- ' I won't enter into'any solemn league and c'onvenant' not to speak pretty truths; but I will do my best' to obey your behests, Queen Garita. Will that satisfy you?'
*'Quite,* responded she, gravely ; and at that moment Mrs. Evelyn came in to an liou'nee that tea was ready.
They had only to cross the hall to the" parlou r, which looked the picture of comfort, with the snowy cloth on the table, and the tea equipage thereon, Mrs. Evelyn's best teapot, a real silver one, shining glori ttsly in the combined glow of fire and lamp light.
Lord Falconer was pleased to find that be was placed'next to Bertie, and though the viscount was far too- well bred to devote the major part of his attention to the youn gest persons at the table,, he contri fed to draw' her out a good deal. He dis covered that though she could barly be called on educated girl, she was by no means wholly ignorant,, and she had a re markably quick observation,> so that noth ing escaped her,, and remarks often showed a degree of worldly wisdom- which1 seemed 1 curiously at variance' with the frank sim
plicity of her manners. She had none of " the forward pertness common "to young
people iii her profession who' have been
noticed and fussed over from infancy. She was perfectly unembarrassed, and some times prettily saucy, but never pert or self
•'How nice it must be,' she said to Lord F;ilcmier; in a low voice, while a buaz ol conversation was goiug on. among the others •at table; 4 to be educated like you)'
< Should you like very much to be edu
«Oh ! bo much ; y°u see» 1 "aV(" never had the time. I tried to learn French - | once, but 1 could not get very far. We have
to work so very hard.'
' Do you dislike it ?'
4 The work'? the profession ? Oh, no; T ' don't mind hard work—not a bit—and I
love the profession. I just enjoy dancing, 1 do really. But I should like to be able to learn. Don't you know a greatd^l, M> .
• I don't think I do. You see, tin1 more' we know, the' more ignorant w seem. And then, knowledge: is relative,
isn't it?' , -
« Tlmv do v'nii rneutr?'.
• Why, I know Greek and Latin And. 'some modern hiiig'nages, and so' on ; but if H bad! to- earn-' niy living, .fancy, you,, i would' l eitve' trfe bolt in3. in th-e'faco, M>
tciyowle'ilgs' wcmi'($ not be of MiVch use- to
; Bertie'pneltorotf Lvev »tv.ii«Sifc brown'.
? «' T'hati-might be,'' said film,. nfi;or a pan'sr.
I suppose you; couldn't dance the' rf.wovd dance, or the hornpipe/or sing'a- cbar-v-i - r song,1 she laughed at tbo idea of this oris. to'Jalic-Tooking iivdividnftl- doing mnsio-l)>i;l 1 business; ' but then,' she went on'.grnvolv. « one likes to know for I he sake' of know ing. I-might earn more money than yon ; but,-then, It isn't the best' things that pny the best, is it ?' If it was only myself I had to-think of, I would rather know more aw\
earn less.' . ' , '
Lord Falconer's heart gave a quinlc th^ob. Whence had : Bertie inherited such aspirations as these? A. girl brought up^among music-hall and' pantomine perfor
mers ! • ,
• Some day," he said, softly, " you may be able to give more time to learning many things, Queen Cart-ia.
<Ob,no; said she, shaking her' head.
How catt that ever be ?'.'
4 Well,' watching covertly the beautiful ; face; ' you maiy marry some day.'
' A clown or: a Christy Ministrel cornel • mail?' interrupted Bertie', with a look and accent that started him. 'No, sir, 1 shall never'do thait. I don't mlea;n,''fearing evi dently that she might be misnnderstoorl, r that I am n'riy better' than they are,, in one vftvybut still—w
I *' Still,' said he, wickedly, testing her,
ry0ll think you ought to marry a duke or j an earl at lealst.' ^ 1
| ' Now yon' are laiighiug at me, sii, xe | turned the girl, half bitterly. " Miss Farren i and Kitty Stevens married noblemen, and Miss Mellon married a banker but they are the only three in the century, aa far as I know, and they were not music'-hall dan
«Forgive me, Queen Canta'. I w is not laughing at you ; but I was; teasing —I admit that. You musn'fc be angry with
" A.ugry with him! That was not very easy," Bertie thought,- as she looked into i. his winning face. She smiled and .shook
4 Why, air,' she said,14 that would be im pudent in me to be angry when you are
?'.)od auougb to talk to me.'
4 I have enjoyed oiu- talk very much,
f .irv.' j
' Have von ? Then you are very kind. 1 im sure 1 have. Shall you over come hew
4 If your parents will allow me, and you
are all williiiji to let. me come.'
' Why, of course we shall be willing, ind father aud mother' as pleased as can
Here. Mrs. Evelyn as Iced, the guest f lie would have some more tea, and his t^a-.tete with the lovely Queen of the en chanted Isle- came to' an end.
After tea, when there was an adjourn ment to the drawing-room, Lord Falconer jinked for music, and found that both Jack jmd Nellie could sing really Well,- with re Snement and taste, They . chose , goocl *ongs, and executed them in a manner that /lid not in rfny degriee suggest the music-hall. From Bertre he had expected refinement, but scarcely front the other two. Bertie h id a del'ieio-ns'-voice,, and sang' some high c'J.'tss thalhuls like an artist, ; Neither
r rl coivkt pfay enough to give any piano ; iJiPcesy but they played accompaniments
i w'elL < : •, . ?
• Lord Falconer' passed' a delightful even ing, a-iuT at parting received a hearty invitntion lo nnme again when lie chose.
'We're plain, people, sir,' said old Tom Evelyn, 4 and not- much.-.oompany for "the hlfprf of vnn ; hut if you earn to come, why, vou'rn always welcome, ain't he old lady ?'
to his wife. , • • - •
" Why, to be sure/ responded she, ex tending her plump hand, '• and the chicks'lJ
?i i v the same.' ; ' -
/.Certain of that,' said Jack, heartily, as
Ijoid Falconer s glance half unconsciously nought Bertie's face, and met a smile from violet eyes and rosy lips that amply,satis fied him as to her'views on the subject; He had a curious. in-jlinrttiott toehold her soft little hand in his longer than need be \Vhen lie ba<le' her good nightbut he did not yield-to; the temptation, and left the house with the resolve not—as should have been - to avoid it,'but tc coiTie1 again as soon1 as lie could do' sov Yet, he' had no idea of wrong;' lie' woul'd: have shrunk in horrbi1, from'the-thought of abusing the open hos pitality',? the too-implicit trust of his h'onest
host and. hostess;' of (jorrrtpting thelieart i of'a young girl,,obviously, despite the sur roundings of her theatre life; as pure as his own* 1'iUle child-cousin. And yet he was tempting.fate,, and conrting';I he evil, wbich, lmcf anyone* suggested it to him, he' would ha've tepmlhhecT with scorn and indignation. Many an honourable man has acted'in sim ilar fashion before Leigh Falconer; many an honourable' man wilt do so again ; and when the sr&at wrong ha's been done' which no .penitence, no regrets can undo, forwhich there is no restitution, the unavailing cry bursts forth, '"If I had' but drpamed of this! If I had only drawn back before it was too
[to 7BT3 CONTINUED', "j
The;local indebtedness in England and 'Wales lias increased1 in-the aggregate in six years by more1 than £50,000.000- A.t the .close' ot 1877 the amount was£100,pi5,405 • £,t the end of (1883 it had -irown fc l