|Chapter Title||A DISCOVERY|
|Newspaper Title||Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901)|
|Trove Title||The Christmas Fairy|
THE CHRISTMAS FAIRY.
Am- . ^
CHAPTER. VIII.—A' DISCOVERT,
Bertie was hurrying nlong towards the wings to be ready''for her. first cito* that night, when a ballet, girl, carrying ft splen
did bouquet, came up to her.
• Bay, Evelyn,' she exclaimed, ' just a moment, dear.' A swell felldw.' gave(this to me' for you, and 1 promised I'd give
ik'» iaon't want it,' said Bertie ; 'swells can
Iteep their bouquets.'. . . '
•Lawk-n-Daisy 1 yon are high and mighty, Bertie Evelyn. Afraid of : yer ma ? You needn't tell her.' , . . ,,
' I won't have the flowers,' repeated Ber
:i.. • You may, if you: like, Dalton ; aud I. nvi .1, be off, or there'll be n. stage wait, ;aud .old Garland'. (the, stage maunger) ' will be
And away went Bertie, like a flash;
or golden light.
• Well; 1 never 1' mused Miss Dalton ; • ami I'll ? laY' liny money/'there's ?'«: note ifrioug the flowers.' ' Yes, to be'sure; liero r-.o. 'I'll read it. Evely.nMl never" know, j,vir 'yitiixiurPoultenyi ? neither ;' and ? she >;irbiip*eded 'deliberately to-peruso the • amor ous • epistle intended for - the priucipal airy'. ?' ; •• ' „ , ' ,
• Ain't there a lot of swells in front to 'lit,'? said "another girl to Bertie, as the two stood chatting in' the wiugs,- waiting fur their'several cues-in the third not. 'Just look! Do you see Lord.Falcqner there? ^Ain't-he^handsbnie ?' 1 i
•Lord Falconer ?' repeated Beitio ; ' who s • thai?' " " , " I'' '
« Lord 5 my dear, don't you know him I Everybody does. Look here—now, !you peep. Do you see, in the middle of the "'.fourth row, a young lady with a white satin
dress, liud geraniums in ,front? Well, its Lord Falconer next her; lie's ju6t talking: tbher.' - • ? "! . ,
' -Bertie's eyes followed her companion s gaze,, and rested on Leigh Falconer's strik
ing features'! '
' Lord -Falconer 1' she repoated, drawing in. her. breath with a quick gasp. How do •'yoifiuowit ?'-; ' i
' How do I know it ?' repeated the other, staring. '-Why, how the dickens can I help knowing it? How do I know yoii when I see •yojvor Garland', or Dbbbs ? Ain't you ever
seen him before ?' ,
,u <I thought—it was someone else,. saia; Bertie, faintly. '"'I ,
• Well, yon know better now. Viscount Faiobner ir is ; anybody'll tell you that.; Got heaps of money, ai;d all the swell girls setting their caps at him, for he ain't mar : riod.There's Lady : Blanche- Atterbury
would give her oars to,,be Lady Falconer, - but ho-don't seem to see it ; and as for
Lady " . ' • But here, luckily for Bertie, the stream of the'damsel's e!oq:icnce was cut short by the call-boy, and she was obliged to rush on to :tlie'stage. . . ' ,
• Bertie stood still, leaning against the wing,1 thankful that she bad a little breath jug space before her turn ra.ne. W hy hadL'eigh Falooner deoeived them all ? Why had he riot said at once who and what ho was ? She felt bewildered, and had no time to col lect her thoughts on the matter before her cue was spoken, and surely only liable could have made her do -the right thing, for she was not thinking a bit what she was • about. •'• ,r ''
Bertie said nothing to Mrs. Evelyn con cerning 'Mr.' Falconer's real identity, and for the next two or three days this vis count 'did not visit Elm Lodge ; but one night Bertie came across him unexpectedly. . Mrs. Evelyn had heen very unwell, and un
able to acoompany Bertie to the theatre, and the girl had been detained through the illness of one of tlie dressers.' Bertie was one of those people to whom others always , , appeal in any emergency ; it was, tliere
: fore, long past twelve when she stepped out
rom the sfcago-door; and came face to face
•Bertie!' he said, surprised, and bend
: ing down to her. ' How ia it you are so
• I couldn't help it; one of the dressers. ,-ff was- ill.' Mother is not- wbll;'either, to-,
- night, so slie couldn't come" With'me. ^ My.
cab has gone ;' I must get one' quickly. -
: v: She had spoken rather hurriedly, soarcely
looking at liim. He laid his hand on her,
shoulder: ' - " ' * : :: ' _ .i ; ; - .'.Gome with me, I will get you a cab. But
a moment' first.' '
He drew her aside, deep into the shadows, of the colonnade, quite deserted-now, and; stopped. . , =• „
^ ' Bertie,' he said, ' what is the matter / Have I offended you m any way ?' " . ?
, ? Oh 1 no, no ; but, oh 1' blurted out the
girl, 1 why did you not tell us! the truth— 5?ho you ,were ? one of the girls told me you
Were "Lord Falconer.'
1 Is 'tllat all?' ' said tbe viscount, draw ing'aqu'ick breath. ' Well, is my offence unpardonable? I didn't Btato anythingun-: true, Bertie. I told'the servant my name ' was Falconer, and your father naturally
called me • ' Mrl' JFalcoiier. I own I pur ? posely employed ambiguity. I wanted to
be on a friendly footing ; and I am so well -known; it was better, in many "ways, not to have too much gossip about me and Elm " Lodge; don't you thinlc so ? You won t
think lesB kindly of me because I am a vis
count'instead'of-a'commoner, will you,, Bertie?' „
fNo,' sir — my Lord, I mean. tier . face brightened again, 'Please forgive me ; ? o'but lfc'.puzzled iiie—I couldn't'understand.
• /•'a «My sweet Queen Carita ! Now you will , be > happy again, will you ? And you need
' 'not;1 sir' or ' my lord1 me, fairy.? '
:' I musn't treat you like an equal,' she .. .. said, quietly ; "you are a great deal above
. -i ' Don't make so much of the distance, ; ; ^Bertie. 'Now, we must'not linger here. We , .;>8bail find-a cab'in Bb.w Street.'_
; - .-Ho .drew her >ha.nd on to his arm, aud
. turned back with lier. .
... ;i' l am going' to see you home, you know,
Bertie.' , :
'Oh 1 Lord Falooner, no, please. I •Bliall be "quite safe." I couldn't tike you o.ut - ;i of tbe way like that.' ' I
•' ;« It is never going out of my way to serve ' VOu; Bertier;; and I don't think it" is safe for ' a girV'sa young and "good-looking' as you are
•to'v go sb far' in a dab by bers'blf In the small houre of th« morning ! -A :
• You are very 'good/ said the girl, grate fully, mid ; slio said lio more. Her .heart ,\vAs b6atiug ' fast with that strange; 'un alloyed1 happiness that was filling her.
In-Bow'ibtrcet Lord Falconer hailed a hansom, and, handing Bertie in, sprang in after her, and gave the'eabman the order,
'Elm Lodge B——•
[to be continued.]