|Chapter Title||A WARNING NOTE|
|Newspaper Title||Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901)|
|Trove Title||The Christmas Fairy|
CHAPTER IX.—A WARNING NOTE.
' Jack,' said Nellie, one evening hb thb two eat together at supper in the parlour;
' I'd like to have a bit of a talk" with you.'
The .brother and sister had finished: their, work.by eleven and returned homo, and as both Mr. and Mrs, Evelyn were at Dairy Lane to-night, they had the house to them selves, for Mary Ann had boon sent to bed. v . . . ,,
What's lip?' said Jack, laying down, his;
knife and fork.
' Well, said Nellie, ' I don't know that it's the best thing t that miglit-be for Lord ' Falconer to come here so much;' *
'Why, Nell—' began Jack.
' I don't mean,' coutinued-his sister, not heeding him, ' that there's any harm meant. Ho treats-Bortie almost as if she were a child, and I believehe's not the man to go about mischief- deliberately; but human nature's human nature, Jack, and I've often, thought lately whether, we've been ,wise;to lot a swell like that come visit ingliero. A lord, too 1, And ho.can't come for tlie.bid folks aud us—we ain't that at tractive to a.man of his sort.; but-Bertie's just '.porfectlyloyely, and she lias,such win ning ways. She might get to like him too much herself. I think father ought to speak to Lord Falconer, or something. Don't von ?!
jack looked very grave and thought
• It's'awfullv difficult,' he said. ' It might • ook so odd now, as if we thought he meant harm; .or,, had an idea.that Bertie was get ting-fond of him. You don't think she is, Hell, do you ?'
' Not now ; but she might. You see, she's getting, on for seventeen, and .lie's just tho: man a girl would fall in love with. She's very fond of him, or, at any rate, likes him very much; but she's quite frank about it. Still, that don't go for.
? Wo might have thought of it earlier,' said Jack, scratching his head meditati vely, '.or father arid mother might. It's rather a poser now. What'd Bertie say if he didn't como ? Slie'd twig.'
' And that wouldn't do,'responded Nellie. ' Now, it :was . very nice his: bringing her hom'eitho other night, rind wo know it was just as Bertie said— she never tells lies; but then there can't be much good in the end.for a girl liko Bertie and a nob to be so much together. • He wouldn't marry her, Jack, though'I believe, you know, she's born his equal.. : That's what makes me afraid to say.-anything* to father; for he
thinks of Bertie as if she wore a child al together, and mother, I'm sure, lias some idea that my lord may marry Bertie. He couldn't marry a better girl; but that's not everything—she's only a dancer and not educated. It's real madness to think he'd
' Of course; but the upshot is—wlmt nro wo to do? 13ost wait awhile, I sup pose?' -
' I'm afraid wo must,', said Nellie, sigh ing ; ' but mind, .Tack—not a hint to Bor tie. You might just do all tho miBchief in
Jack promised, hut brother and sister wero both rather silent during the remainder of tho meal. Then a cab drove up, nnd Bertio bounded in, with a lovely bouquet that a lady had given her—tho wife of a dramatic author, who had come round and spoken so nicely to her. And oh ! tho little Princesses of Walos wero at tho thea tre to-night; and so sho rattled on, telling merry stories of things that had happoned in the theatre, and who wero ' in trout,' and so on. Bertie was always tho life and soul of tho homo circle, aud kept thorn all in a roar of laughter at supper time.
When sho wont, to bed that night—sho slept alone—she took Lord Falconer's flow
ers carefully out of the vase that contained ! them, and, wrapping thorn in silver paper, locked thorn away in a drawor. They wero dead now; but for hor they would nover
' How are you getting on with * Hornani,' Bertie ?' asked Nollie, a few-mornings.later. ' Lord Falconer hasn't been for more than a week.'
She watchod Bertio's face covertly as she spoke.
' Not much,' replied tho younger girl, with a shado of disappointmcntonheropenbrow; ' but I am some littlo way, and 1 cau re
member all he told mo.'
11 wonder you caro for it,' said Nol lie, laying some gold braid on a scarlet
' I oaro for it very much,' said Bertio, thinking of those words of Hernani, ' Why. has • fate placed my life so far apart from thine ? I bavo so much need of theo.' ' But I.havo not nearly finished the scone botween Dona Sol and Hernani. You seo, tho last time Lord Falconer was here ho did not do any of ' Hornani''
Nellie thought it a pity that ' Hernani' was not left undone; but sho did not say so. She conteuted herself with asking Bertie to hold the pieces of cloth sho was ongaged upon, that she might be able to lay the braid more evonly.
' Is this for your newj character song,
Nell?' said Bertio.
1 Yes; I fancy it'll bo a hit. Jnck and I are to go down to-morrow morning to rehearse.the dance with tlio ballet. Father is come to take Wilkins's place ; he's
• Wilkins. was the Maitrc do lallet,
' And I shall stop at home and read,' said Bortio, ' and keop mother company.'
[TO BE CONTINUED.]: