Chapter 112409165

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Chapter NumberXI
Chapter TitleSISTERS
Chapter Url
Full Date1885-07-01
Page Number2
Word Count1398
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleBowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901)
Trove TitleThe Christmas Fairy
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" Lf.t 1110 speak to Bertie, mother, &aid Nellie, when Mrs Evelyn.gave her daughter Lord Falcooov'a .loiter. "It was only the night before last I was saying to Jack that he oughtn't to como here." . ... .

"We'vobecnto blamo—your fal.hor and I," said Mvs- Evelyn, 'sobbing. " W° might have known ; BorUo will got ovor. it, siireij, she is'bo young—besides sho mayn't euro

for him.' ??? ?

« I'll bo bound she doos,' said Nome grim ly ; and: as ; for getting ovor it' I don t know. As young as she is, I' don't'fancy any of us understand hoi\ As for him, lies been selfish,"lis ?•moiu.gonornUy are. c ought to bo thankful that ho stopped short when lio did ; not many—especially in.his class—would bavo done that. They think a girl like Bortio honoured by being put in a villa, audhaving a brougham and achango

of furs." .

. "Av, to bo sure," assort tod Mrs.. Lvolyn eagerly, iinding a'consolation in side issuoa as is commonly the case with.theuucducated. "/Just look at tliat Dolly Dalton ; why, she wears real diamonds, ^aud only gets two pounds a week, and Millio Sandors, sho only got the ougagemonfc through Mr. Sherwood, the great stockbroker, and he threw a: bou quet to Bortio last night, the old sin

ner I"

v He's liko most of 'om, 110 wovso and no i bolter,* said Nellie; whoso exporionco had made her cynical as to; tbo virtues of, the male sex; '".but his being a' sinner won't

make Bertie happv."

'•'.•And alio turned aside sorrowfully. Bertie bore up bravely, only when Tom Evelyn took her in his arms and called himself an old fool, and Lord Falconer a villain, sho shrank away, .and cried to him uot to say. " Huch tilings--not .to. blamo, anyone.;' nevor

to mention (ho suhjpet to her at all, if ho

l'ovod her; and Tom though but .an'ignor- | nnt lniin/had sufficient sense to seo that ho i might do serious mischief if ho did notoboy:|

Bortie's wish.' i I

•you see,'.lie said afterwards to his wifo; i " sho'a so sensitive—it's tho good blood iu, lier-makes her so; sho's _beyoncl mo

' iiltogctlicr.: -1 don't know- if • shefpards for ?, my lord -, but I hope she'll forget him_ <in

4 time. I liked him too—I did liko him',' i

? continued Tom ; and it ftin't fair to call him |

a villain. I wna most wrong ana ho couldn't i "well help loving Bortio ;' only '.you; soo, wo | •y. forgot she visn't'quito a child—that's' boon ,

tho mistake.' / -•

Mrs.'Evelyn did not- think it necessary to montion thoisocret ambition,-scarcely ac

ltnowle'dgod to herself. Sho hud received m : rather rude shock, and reflected that sho , ' wonl be'wiser in future ; it wasn't to be ex

, pected thata.lord would marry Bertie. ?? ' One night when Bortio wont up into hor

room, Nellie,;after a short interval, followed,, ' hor. Sho i'ciind the Fairy Queen of two ' hours ago sitting in a low chair noar tlio firo .: wrapped in ft blue? dressing gown, .over " which her rich hair fell in a cloud of gold.

Sho had been looking pale and 'weary a "' miniite before, but a vividllush roso to her t ! cheek as Nellio camo in, and she, glanced

. in her adopted sistor'sfaoo with theglance of

a frightened fawn.

Nellie came up to tho fire, and stood look-, ? in'e'dov/n on Bertie;; but Bortio, after that

'• first glance, tnrnod her eyes' resolutely to

tho fire, anil sat without word or movement.-. Clearly she had no intention of breaking the ice ; so at length Nellie began; ? i i Bortie:don't think .mo meddling. .Will • .you let me ask you something?' •<* ;? j «

' •If you like," spokon slowly and-list

lCSSlV. !

?Then Bertie' Nellio paused and cleaved her. throat, 'do yon do yon care

for Loid Falconei.'

Bertie must have anticipatedtlie quostion;\

* but thero was no change in her, aha - did not | !" now evon colour. She sat quite .'still,breath-,^

ing in long-drawn respirations. Sho t answered, after only a moment's silence,

' her gaKo still.fixed on the, dancing flames, ]

' Yes,' uttered quietly and Hteadily. ' j • Oil! Bertie, I knew'it must be ! But do | ' you care much, dear, very much ?' J

• Yes,' said Bortio again. _ i : "Voice and manner seemed almost passion

less ; but Nellie knew boiler than that. Sho icnelt down by Bertie's side, and folded hex arms .round her slender form, and drew - tho bright head' down on her bosom, and;.,

Bertie Clung to lier iu.her desolation ; but still sho did not weep; her eyes were tear ; less, her lips dry and parched. _

41 didn't know if.;' she whispered pro

-??? eently j you will not blamo mo, Nellio ' ;

1 Blame you !' interrupted tbo other j'liow j could I blamo you, dear, dear Bortie ?' j

? ? You might think me foolish, perhaps ;

?«' but I must bear that. But you will not |

: speak against him ? He was very noble—lie i

—others would have been so different ; ana J ' if ho'iiad been, Nellie,I might not have been " strong,-perhaps. I don't know, but I Iovp

him so much! I am afraid of myself; I want never to see him again, and you may trust ' me, Nellio. If he asked mo to see him I 1 would not go ; but then ho would not ask

me. I wish he had never seen me. I have made him unhappy!' _ . - - • Has he not made you unhappy, Ber

' tic?'

' ' Yes but that is better for me than-if I had never kno wn him.' She stopped, and the 1 ' next words were scarcely breathed: ' It is

Buch blessedness!' Nellie was silent. Her ethics did not reach to this. She could not comprehend how love for ever parted from its object could be 'blessedness ;' the beautiful truth, ' "lis bettor to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,' is ( only, a truth to loftier natures than Nellie

?' Evelyn's. She was a. good, warm-hearted I ' girl, with far more refinement than gene- |

rally falls to the lot' of hor class and pro- j 1 • feB8ion; but sho was no specially excep-1

tional being, and Bertie, with^ her finely iu-. • " - Btincts and passionate intensity of feeling,

. ofr.pnpuzzled her. .

,«I don't underfitand, dear' she said at length ; ' but then I never really loved any ono, and I am not liko you, besides. But you may be sure 1 shall never think you . either wrong or foolish, Bertie.'

?' ?" After that they dii.l not say much more tn'

pacli other, but they sat together until the five got low, and tlien Nellie kissed her sis

ter niul lmde her good-night.

A few days later Bertie saw in a society

paper a paragraph stiltingthatLord Falconer liiid gone alnoitd.:

1 Perhaps ho will ltiaet someono abroad whom lio will lovo bolter than ho loved me,' thought Bertie, drearily. ' It must bo bo. Mo can't lovo mo tho sumo as if I wero liis equalantl yot I nra snro I was born so 1 But it is no nso thinking of that ; I shall novor know who my fatlior was.'

Tho next morning Tom Evolyn called the girl into tho sanctum to seo a stranger. It was tho manager of tho Theatre, Manchester, who camo to offer Queen Ca rita tho leading part in next year's panto mime at a higher salary than slio was re ceiving now at Drury Lane.

? Needless to say that tho offer was accep ted, and Bertio was pleased for tho sake of thoso who liad earned lier gratitndo; but for liorsolf alio seemed to have lost all in terest in lior profession. She felt, if sho did not say it, for probably slie did not know

tho words—

" Tho light of a whole life tlics,

.! Wiien lovo is'dono."