Chapter 1290886

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Chapter NumberXX- (Continued)
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1290886
Full Date1871-03-11
Page Number3
Corrections17
Word Count8696
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Last Corrected2016-10-03
Newspaper TitleThe Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)
Trove TitleThe Hermit Convict
article text

THE HERMIT CONVICT.

By the Rev. William Draper.

Chapter. XX.—(Continued.)

Rooksnest is a subsidiary part of Burnham Beeches, and its respectable owner is going over to the head station presently; but a journey without a breakfast?—No, no. There is no economy in starving the body. Black Bess, of course, was fed and groomed; and so much pains did her master take with the latter very excellent method of economising the health and power of the horse that breakfast was ready be- fore he had completed his work.

"Steak and onions," said Bob.

"Good," said Harry, who came in sniffing the savory air. "What a blow-out I'll have!"

"Make your breath smell," said Jenny.

"Just like your courting notions," replied Jacky, to whom Miss Jenny had addressed her

words.

Whereupon tho young lady attempted to box his ears, and this, creating a universal laugh and no small amount of noise, attracted the attention of Sam. Brown, who began to fancy he smelt something, and following his nose he arrived in due course at the back door, to dis- cover his dairymaid slapping her brother in much the same fashion as good mothers do their babies. They were a good-natured lot, however, and no serious consequences ensued; Jacky, to be sure, was rather red in the face, but no one thought of running for the doctor; Jenny, too, was fussy about her breath, which had become rather short, which means that she found it necessary to breathe a little faster than usual; but all the painful consequences vanished as the father led the way to a round table of merry glee, and "who could have helped it, Jacky," said his father, "to see your shameful basting?" "Ah, I'll have it out of her, see if I don't, when Robert comes," replied Jacky.

But this only increased the glee; Jacky plunged deep into the breakfast to hide his red face, and such an excellent example was followed by all.

Grace, as it is called, a most unmeaning phrase—a blessing is the proper term, was asked before any were allowed to begin. It was not a form at Rooksnest, it was a sincere request for a favor without which no good ought to be ex- pected. Good, famous appetites then addressed the savoury steak and well browned onions. There were no serious formalities in this "break- your-fast" among the Browns. Kind-hearted, but rough, they were thorough bush people, who had an eye to comfort rather than ceremony. So the morning meal was dispatched, tho table cleared, the family Bible was placed on it, a chapter was read by the head of the family, and this was followed by a simple fervent prayer for a blessing and protection for the day. Mrs. Brown and Sarah proceeded then to get every- thing to rights, an important duty, in which is involved a universal principle, that the right way to commence is to turn everything upside down; ergo, you must go through Confusion- street to get into Tidy Park. Mr. Brown was off as soon as prayers were over and he had saddled his mare, the two youngest children ad- journed to Rubbish Corner, where they pro- pounded hosts of novel plans to get into mis- chief; and the rest of the Brown community, in their several spheres, accomplished works and labors for the benefit of the united interest, and this was a triple cord of the strongest character which could not be broken.

Black Bess was in good humor, as good as her master. A log laid in the way? Black Bess thought it an excellent joke, and, with scarcely so much as a spring, over she bounded with a step light as a feather, then a miniature gulley with a murmuring stream, next a tolerable good specimen of a creek, and sometimes a fence lay in the way, but it was all the same to the beau- tiful creature, she gracefully bounded over all as if she fully entered into the fun of the thing. She sniffed and snorted and used every possible means within her power to express her opinion that it was a fine morning for an out. How she slyly glanced at some cattle which were grazing near the track; she was fond of mustering and was well up to her work in it. Scarcely needing the guidance of the rein, she wheeled round and round, turning the refractory cattle as if it were a matter of course that they must go where she

bid them.

The direct road to the station was less than half a mile, but Brown was making a circuit this morning for the purpose of calling on Mr. Sinclair, who had for many years been connected with Burnham Beeches Station; some said as partner or mortgagee, but in reality he had em- barked in one speculation in which the first owner of the station had shared with him the risk and the profit, and very large the latter turned out to be. This money he invested, and and eventually purchased the station which he carried on for awhile with great success. But the pursuit was never to his liking, and he was glad to find a customer for the property in Colo- nel Tomlinson, reserving to himself about forty acres. He had contemplated such a step long before. He provided for the future by planning a large garden and orchard, which was planted with choice trees and shrubs, and christened The Vineyard. To this he had now added a sub-

stantial house.

Chapter XXI.

THE VINEYARD.

The vineyard was literally a Paradise. The whole of Mr. Sinclair's forty acres was included in one vast mound, upon the summit of which the house was built. It was of cedar through- out, built upon the Indian plan with ten rooms, divided into the library, dining, drawing-room, nursery, storeroom, office, and four bed rooms, and in all of these there were indications that the owner was a man of taste, but that comfort was the ruling idea. The library only need be described in extenso. It was not defacto a library although it contained about 200 vols., but it was called by that name, for originally Mr. Sinclair had intended to have purchased a large quantity of the best literature—in fact to have made the library one of the pet institutions of The Vineyard. But time turned the book- worm into a listless reader. So the library be- came a studio, laboratory, an amateur workshop, and a medical consulting-room, for, to the arts and sciences in many forms, Mr. Sinclair became an enthusiastic devotee. Retorts and receivers, jars and crucibles, diagrams and plans, drugs and chemicals, tools and paint, a lathe and an electrical machine, an air pump and a camera obscura, sundry photographic apparatus, models of steam engines, and several cases of geological specimens, such were only a few out of many indications that, at The Vineyard, there was someone whoso soul was bound up in philoso- phical pursuits. Mr. Sinclair was an artist also of no mean order, and on a mahogany easel in

the centre of the room, upon this particular morning, there might have been seen a canvass ready strained and prepared for the painter's handiwork. Upon the walls there were hung several sketches, prints, paintings, and designs, some framed; but the most of them were mere studies, and to any other eye than that of the owner the arrangement of these would have appeared the most slovenly that could be ima- gined. But he understood best who had placed them in their several positions, and out of this chaos there had proceeded some beautiful crea- tions, which adorned and beautified the dining and drawing rooms. Only one of his own paintings appeared amongst the mob—so Mr. Sinclair termed the designs to which reference has been made—but this occupied the post of honor. It was immediately above the mantle-piece, and represented an exquisite portrait, as large as life, of a little girl. One of its striking peculia- rities was this, the moment one looked at it, the eye instinctively turned to the painter, and spoke with a single glance the words, "any one can

tell who this is."

Yes, it was the portrait of Mary Stirling Sin- clair, of whom we shall know more in due course. She was an only child, and withal of so tender and gentle a disposition that the father often felt kind of unaccountable dread, lest the only one should some day dissolve into thin air and ascend to dwell in pure ether. So one day, from memory, he sketched the outline of her face, and adding to the various delineations of countenance and form as opportunity offered, he at length com- pleted this admirable painting, and put it where he knew his daughter would be sure to find it. It was not long after that this came to pass. Run- ning with great excitement to her father's study, she burst in upon him with a joyous laugh ex- claiming, "Father, father, come and see, some

one has taken me."

"Taken you my child. What do you mean?"

"Oh! come, do come, now, and look, dear father. Ah! now, I see it all. Did you do it? Tell me, did you?"

"Me, me?" replied her father, "me? How could you think of such a thing?"

The child paused for a moment, and though still in doubt yet silently led the way to the drawing-room, where, upon the sofa cushion, the picture was placed: "There, father. Now,

who is that?"

"Why, child, there can be no doubt who it is. I should say it was a portrait of Miss Mary Stirling Sinclair. But who can have painted it?"

"Ah, now, dear father," replied the laughing girl, "now you are a great rogue. You want me to believe that you know nothing about it, but it is no good, for I recollect that you wero drawing the face of a little girl some time ago, very much like this."

"Well, dear," said Mr. Sinclair, "I did paint it, but I did not think I could do it so well

without the model."

"But then you know, dear father, that every one calls you so clever."

"Call me clever, ducky, do they? Who do you mean by everyone?"

"Oh, Mr. Brown does, and—and—I do."

"Well done, little pet, and this is every one,

is it? Ah! well!"

"Mr. Stewart says so, too. I heard him talk- ing about you one day, and he said he only wished you would do as much for the good of others as you were clever enough to do at home, and you would be Mr. Coles' right hand man."

"Indeed, Mary. When did he say this?"

"When first we heard about Colonel Tomlin- son coining," was the reply. "He said that the new owner at Burnham Beeches was a good man, and he hoped that he would help Mr. Coles, for it was hard work trying to persuade people to do well when others did not appear to take any interest in it."

"Ah! He said this, did he?" "Yes, father."

"Well, well, child, I'll think about it. One kiss and away."

Mr. Sinclair's life seemed bound up in that of the child. She was as fond and affectionate to both her parents as a child could be; and to this may be added, she had learnt and carried into practice much scriptural truth. In a word, Mary Stirling Sinclair was one of those fair creatures whom novelists generally stylo angelic. "Fading away" was frequently visible upon her very pretty face; but this sometimes gave way to favorable symptoms of renewed strength, so that the child's life seemed to hang in a balance, and no one could tell which side would eventu- ally prove the heaviest. Very few were the op- portunities of doing good which wero within her reach, even had she been old enough to be thus useful to others. But the Almighty had planted in that child's heart a strong disposition in this direction, which, if it had had room for expan- sion, would have made her a medium for the demonstration of good works, always so high a source of ornament to the human form. The child's anxiety was strongest about her father; there was a lurking suspicion that he was in danger; how could she help him?

CHAPTER XXI.

NEW CHUMS AND COLONIAL EXPERIENCE.

MR. Sinclair was not in the house when Brown reached The Vineyard; but the sound of axe and maul near at hand plainly showed, as the servant said, that it was most likely he was up in that direction. So it turned out to be. Two new chums had been engaged, and had just entered upon their duties. Mr, Sinclair was clearing a corner of his land, and the men were told to split some posts and rails for a dividing fence. Like many more of this class, they knew a vast deal, but it was a useless knowledge which led to serious mistakes. "They could split, they could fence, they knew all about it." From an early hour they had been "at it." A large tree was felled after a tough job (they owned to this), but so well had they worked that a log had been sawn off, and splitting had com- menced before the employer arrived. Alas! they were willing, but they lacked thut very useful article—colonial experience. New-chum like, they had begun to split from the outside, instead of bursting the log.

"They always do the same thing," said the vexed Mr. Sinclair. "I began to tell you how to go to work, and you both said you had seen

it done."

"So we have, sir,"

"But surely no one but a new hand was splitting where you say you saw this kind of

work done."

"Well, sir, he had not been in the country long, but then we thought he must know the

way."

"Ah! well, you have spoilt that log, my men, and thrown your time away; stand aside and let me show you how to go to work. After all perhaps we may make something of it." He dismounted from his horse as he spoke, and throwing off his coat and tucking up his shirt

sleeves with a steady, business-like air, he laid hold of the maul and the wedges, and the burst- ing process had just commenced as Sam Brown

rode up.

"Good morning, Brown," said Mr. Sinclair, "just in time to see the A B C of a tough job. Wrong, you see. It always is so."

"Yes, sir, but everybody must have a larnin', I did the same thing years ago. I can remem- ber it as if it was but yesterday. I had saw'd down the tree, cut off the log, and then in went the wedges. I got off a slab, 'but,' says I, 'this fellow looks a bit different from those I see elsewhere.' I couldn't make it out at all, and it was mighty hard work too, and yet the slab warn't a bit handsome, no, not a bit. My word

it warn't."

"Rather different from the work you would turn out now?" said Mr. Sinclair, laughing.

"You may well laugh, sir, but howsomdever on I went; I warn't goin' to be daunted with hard work, but soon I pulled up short. I began to calcerlate. At the most I should not be able, at this rate, to get more than six or eight slabs out of a log, and they were queer ones, and a good days work to get 'em. Well, sir, my cal- cerlations ended in, 'there is something ascrew here, or it's a caution."

"What came next?"

"Why, down went the tools. 'Here's off,' says I, 'to see somebody else split.' I know'd that Bob Jones, him as come up here not long ago, sir. Ah! I see you recollect. Well, I know'd he was a splitting some posts, so Bess was saddled in a jiffy, and off we went on a voyage of discovery."

"To find you were wrong?" said Mr. Sinclair. "I should think I did," replied Brown. "Lor, sir! how they did laugh when I told 'em what I had did. 'New-chum splitting,' said Jones and his brother, 'and yet, Brown,' says they, 'you're not such a new hand by a long spell;' and I warn't, Mr. Sinclair, but still I had never seen it done before; but, bless you, five minutes made me master of the art and mystery of splittin' posts and rails, or anything else; and now you have had my confession, allow me to ask how you found out the way, Mr. Sinclair?"

"Oh! I cannot take much credit to myself. I was looking at my first log, cogitating which was the best place to put in the wedge, when a neighhor passed by. Says he: 'A little help is worth a load of pity;' 'that log looks as if it would run well;' so he made no more to do, but ran in the wedges. It was beautiful to see the log burst; talking all the while, until a dozen good billets lay before me. It was easy enough when you know the way."

"Right, Mr. Sinclair, may we all see that in everything. That's what I say."

The log by this time bad been split up into billets, some of which were reserved for palings, whilst from one of the best Mr. Sinclair ob- tained some good posts.

"Now, my lads," said he to the men, "you see how to go to work, and if you look sharp, you may make up for lost time. Never be afraid or ashamed to ask how things are to be

done. You have much to learn in a new coun- try. Every one is ready to teach, but you must be willing to learn, or you will ofton go wrong."

"That's right," said Brown. "My word it is, and perhaps you won't think me interferin'

if I warn these men about those dead trees which they have fired at the roots. Don't go near them lads, they may fall before you think. And now, Mr. Sinclair, if you have five minutes to spare, I would beg the favor of a word or

two with you."

Sam Brown had been at a good village school in Dorsetshire, and was a shrewd and clever man in his way, but a long residence in the bush had tacked on to his early education a number of phrases which either he or some one else had invented. "But how's the mistress?" is a very common phrase, and Sam Brown emphasized this inquiry as he again remounted his mare.

"Well, I thank you," replied Mr. Sinclair, also mounting his horse as he spoke. "Come in and see her. I hardly know what to make of my little Mary sometimes; she was sadly ailing this morning. Well, to be sure, she is coming to meet us! Naughty little puss, to come through the wet grass. Miss Thomas should have kept you indoors." As he spoke, he stooped down and lifted her on to the saddle. "Light, lighter still," he muttered to himself, but the child caught the word, and looking up in his face, which was troubled for a moment as he spoke, she said with a sweet smile, "Heavier bye-and-bye, dear Father."

Was it a passing cloud? Something cast a dark shade upon the father's face as the child spoke. He looked at her, then gently fondled her nearer to his heart, and tremblingly replied,

"Yes."

But the child raised her joyous voice in such a ringing peal of laughter that the cloud vanished before they arrived at the front door of The Vineyard. Here they found a dray loaded with various goods and chattols, including a very heavy lady and her two daughters. A good-looking man on horseback came forward to greet the owner of The Vineyard, and, to his great surprise, he saw before him the last man that he would have expected to have met in Australia, his old friend and neighbor in their early life at home, Mr. Gumby. Nearly twenty years had passed since they had met. Mr. Sinclair was the first to speak:

"Well, who would have thought of seeing you, friend Gumby?"

"Why, Mr. Sinclair, business was bad; tho mill wanted repairs; my lease was out, and the fact is—I was unfortunate and——"

"Failed," exclaimed the heavy lady who had been regarding the speaker with intense im- patience as he replied to Mr. Sinclair. "Gumby found out a new plan for roasting coffee, and nothing would do but he must patent it—do be quiet, Gumby; yes, and a pretty patent he made of it. First, he wont to London, and spent what he called a trifle; the mill was left for me to look after. Do you think I waB going to look

after a mill? not I, indeed!"

"I only asked you to attend to the accounts and look after the men," replied her husband.

"Yes, I dare say, and you enjoy yourself in London; but, however, Mr. Sinclair, we must let bygones be bygones, you know. He sold two, yes, two; spent a little fortune in advertis- ing, printing, and fees, as he called them, and after all he was glad to sell the whole thing, patent and all, for a ten pound note."

"Want of capital, my dear."

"Want of capital? want of sense, I say. Why, more than a hundred pounds was fooled away on it, wasn't that capital? After all, Mr. Sinclair, he must finish it up by dragging me all over the ocean. You should have seen me before I left home. I am terribly fallen

away."

It was well that the lady turned her head as

she spoke, for there was a smile upon every countenance as she referred to her wasted form. She was stout, broad-shouldered, and looking the very picture of health.

"Well, never mind, Mrs, Gumby," said Mr. Sinclair, "you must want something. We breakfast early, and have lunch about this time. Dear me, 'tis four hours sincc breakfast."

"Four hours! You don't mean to say you have breakfast at 6?" said Mrs. Gumby.

"Six, my dear madam," replied Mr. Sinclair; "yes we have a knack of getting up early. You must do so in this country."

"I shall never do it, Mr. Sinclair."

"O! yes, my dear, we shall," replied Mr. Gumby. "We must all put our shoulder to the

wheel."

"But you never was such a fool as to think I meant to do what the people do here."

"I think you will," said Mr, Sinclair, "when you find that you must."

"Must, must, Mr. Sinclair? Did you intend

that for me? Must?"

"But I repeat it, Mrs. Gumby, and your best friend would tell you the truth as I do. You must do a great deal in this country you would never dream of doing at homo. Industry has its reward here, idleness is always despised. But come, lunch is already laid."

So saying, Mr. Sinclair assisted to get the ladies out of the dray, and having introduced them to Mrs. Sinclair and Sam Brown, they went into the house where, after the ladies had attended to a few little matters of toilette, and had returned to the dining-room, Mr. Sinclair invited them to his always hospitable and well spread table, taking his place at the head, and presiding with such hearty good humor that even Mrs. Gumby forgot all her troubles for a while, and chattered about "bygones being bygones" to her heart's content.

"It does me good to talk, Mrs. Sinclair," she said, addressing that excellent lady, "and, for one, I say let bygones be bygones. I have always found, and I'll say it before the twelve judges if necessary, that Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair were true and honest friends."

Of course the host and his good wife bowed again and again, and by mutual consent they gave the talkative lady the fullest latitude of speech. This she would have continued to ex- ercise to the full, but her husband, in a tempo- rary lull of his amiable lady's full-charged bat- tery, addressing Mr. Sinclair, said: "Why, dear me, sir, I had quite forgotten. Do you know what brought me up here?"

"Brought you!" sharply retorted his wife,

"who are us then?"

"Brought us then," said Mr. Gumby. "I am corrected, my dear. I forgot that I have a letter for you, Mr, Sinclair."

"For me?" exclaimed Mr. Sinclair. "You should not forget letters, Mr. Gumby. Up here it is important."

While the letter is being read let Mrs. Sinclair be introduced. She was of a class that you must live with to know all their excellencies, a sincere, devoted Christian, not one in name only, but from the heart. She had given the subject her earnest consideration in early life, and at seventeen years of ago had felt it to be her duty to acknowledge herself a follower of the Saviour. Henceforth every notion was tinged and in- fluenced with the hallowed feeling which is in- separable from a holy life. In her home there was a scrupulous faithfulness in the discharge of every duty. The most unwearied pains were taken to make the house a happy, healthy, com- fortable resting place. Her husband's life and welfare was to her a primary consideration; her daughter's education and religions and moral training most painstaking pleasure. There

was no mere fanciful enthusiasm in these or

any other duties she thought it right to fulfil; her life was one of steady perseverance in a marked out path, and nothing could induco her to swerve from it. Now this was not perfec- tion, for those who knew Mrs. Sinclair best, heard quite enough to convince them that she felt the common anxieties which temptation and an imperfect state are sure to produce. Others called her holy, consistent, devoted, but she would tell you that "every heart knoweth its own bitterness," and that the difficulties of act- ing well her part were great. Mr. Sinclair was a Christian nominally, but practically ho lived to gratify self. He was a moral and good man as the world calls men good, but there was no hearty love to God in his life. Religion as he practiced it was stern duty, love had no place in it. If God could be blotted out of his me- mory sometimes, he would have felt relieved, but as this was impossible he followed Him far enough away to lose the influence of a devout life, in a formal round of obligatory duties. Mrs. Sinclair was the opposite to this. Hor re- ligion was of the Mary of Bethany class, with just enough of the Martha characteristic to make her an admirable housewife, a devoted mother, and a clever manager.

"My dear," said Mr. Sinclair, after having read the letter which Mr. Gumby had brought, "I have the pleasure to inform you that our friends are to be neighbors. Mr. Gumby is engaged as storekeeper to the colonel."

"Coming down in the world, isn't it? said Mrs. Gumby. "But then it can't be helped."

"There is no disgrace in any honest employ- ment in this country," said Mr. Sinclair, "but I was about to add that Colonel Tomlinson bega I will do him the favor to see that a few orders he has transmitted are attended to, so I shall ride over, and if you will accompany me I shall be very glad. There are some little matters of ladies' contrivance that you will be well able to manage, but I should be sure to bungle over. Miss Tomlinson writes a postscript about them. Mr. and Mrs. Gumby we shall see installed in their new home, and shall be glad to know that they are happy."

"Ah! more moving, I knew how it would be. Is it far that we have to go? That horrid dray! But perhaps you are going in your carriage, Mr. Sinclair? and——"

"Carriage, my dear madam, we have no such thing, I assure you. Mrs. Sinclair always rides her horse, and finds the exercise beneficial."

"Then there is no help for it——"

"Except you walk, my dear." Mr. Gumby knew that the interruption waB dangerous.

"Walk! Me walk two miles in this oven of a country? Oh! dear, but this is just the way with you always. It will be the death of me, I am sure. Come on girls, get ready; your father is determined to sacrifice us all. The sooner we are dead and buried the better."

"Oh don't,say so, Mrs. Gumby. You do not know yet how mercifully God has provided for you." Mrs. Sinclair spoke in tonea of pity, and added strong inducements to hope for brighter days. But they fell upon stony ground, and produced only a temporary impression, Alas! Mrs. Gumby's heart was one great piece of self.

The word was written upon it so repeatedly,

that there was no room for anything else. Her husband was a honest, good meaning man, who, if he had had a different wife, might have shene in the sphere in which God had placed him; but his wife kept him in tho constant view of Grumbleland, and the people who inhabit that region are wretched managers, so home became a hospital of every family complaint. Her un- just criticism of all his actions made his life wretched, and if it had not been for the re- straining influence of religion, that woman would have surely driven her husband in despair to find relief in scenes of dissipation.

But where has Mr. Brown been all this time? Why, he very soon departed for Burnham Beeches. "Anywhere," said he to Mr. Sinclair, "to get away from your friend's long tongue." The two Miss Gumbys had accompanied him. During the progress of the lunch, they were ex- ceedingly glad to accept tho invitation of Miss Mary Sinclair to "come and see her chickens." So, in companionship with Miss Thomas and her little charge, the beauties of The Vineyard were inspected and admired, then a little walk was proposed and gladly assented to. The direction taken was towards Burnham Beeches, and Mr. Brown overtaking them, informed the young ladies that their papa and mamma were coining on immediately, and advised them, as they were so for on the road, to go on with him. Miss Thomas assenting, and stating that she would return and inform Mr. and Mrs. Gumby that they were gone on, the two Miss Gumbys reached the station a full hour before their parents.

CHAPTER XXIII.

WHAT A PARADISE! Before the new arrivals started for their de- stination, Mr. Sinclair invited them to look round The Vineyard. The first place they visited was the garden in front and on either side of the house. Immediately before the door a long walk had been planned, which was planted on either side with vines, and inside these, at a proper distance, a row of orange trees. This long walk, by a series of bye-paths, gave ingress to tho inner garden, which was laid out in beds of every imaginable shape, with gravelled paths; and beyond this was the orchard. This orchard abounded with fruit trees, representatives of al- most every fruit which could have the least possible chance of growing in the climate. The trees were loaded with fruit, but as yet none was ripe. The flower beds also were a constant source of exclamation. How beautiful! Mrs. Sinclair had detected some new variety which was just bursting into bloom, and her enthu-

siasm for the moment served to dispel the luke- warmness of the elder lady. But the poultry

yard, the dairy, the kitchen garden, and the well-arranged store interested her most highly, and when the good host and his wife showed them over the house, and exhibited some do- mestic conveniences, which, though simple, added very much to family happiness, Mr. and Mrs. Gumby simultaneously exclaimed, "What a paradise!"

By this time Miss Thomas had returned. She was the governess in Mr. Sinclair's house- hold and the superintendent of the Sunday school at Burnham Beeches, for this station had its church, its regular appointed minister, and the privileges of Christian ordinances. Mr. Sinclair had contributed largely to the erec- tion of the church, and professed to attend the simple but excellent services which were held

within its walls.

Are there not many squatters who might, with benefit to themselves, their families, and employees, do the same thing? Surely if it is right to worship God at all, He ought to be sought after in the bush as well as in the city. Albeit, there are some who stoutly assert that there is no necessity for such worship five miles

out of town.

An excellent man was the minister of this little church, who hitherto had been maintained principally by Messrs. Sinclair, Stewart, and Argyle. He was not a strong man, however, and would have been unequal to the duties of a regular charge as it is termed, but at Burn-

ham Beeches, in a little cottage which had been provided for him, he found a sanctuary and a home, and enjoyed a quiet, useful, and happy

life.

The church was a neat structure of hard- wood, with Gothic windows tastefully glazed with stained glass in small groupings of Scrip- ture history. The building would seat about fifty persons, for whose accommodation cedar

benches were provided, which were free to all. A pulpit of the same material, with its crimson cushion, completed the furniture of this House of God. But the exterior surroundings of the church were very picturesque. Shade in abun- dance was provided by a semi-circular grove of trees, around which seats were arranged, and horses could be tied up in the grove itself. Then the church lawn was planted with flowers, and these were so arranged that there were al- ways some in bloom. "Is not this a little para- dise?" Such words were constantly heard. Nevertheless, just outside the fence the little cemetery protested that death reigned here, and thorns in the hedge and thistle on the burial ground claimed for sin a place, of which they were the correct interpretation.

"Would the new proprietor support the church?" Such was the inquiry from many. As the question was put to the Rev. Edward Coles on the Sabbath when little Mary Stirling Sinclair discovered her portrait, it was some- what anxiously answered. As it was put three weeks later, and answered, "Yes, dearest, he will," the intellect would have been very dull not to have discovered that between tho minister and Miss Thomas thero existed an understand- ing of a very peculiar character. We shall see. Strange things do happen, and stranger far would it have been if the minister, a single, lonely man, had been brought into constant companionship with the governess, in the exer- cise of every kind of Christian work, without feeling that there existed between them a bond of sympathy which drew them to each other as the needle of the compass will claim its affinity to the north. Miss Thomas came to the vineyard as governess; Mr. Coles saw her, and

love conquered both.

CHAPTER XXIV.

BURNHAM BEECHES.

Mr. Samuel Brown was escorting the Miss Gumbys around the garden when Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair rode up to the station, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Gumby. The two young ladies were, of course, greatly pleased by what they saw; had it been otherwise they must have been destitute of the slightest particle of what

is known as the sanguine temperament. Burn- ham Beeches was a beautiful place; its only drawback was the monotonous level on which the house was built. But to compensate for

this there was a lovely prospect over the im- mense lowlands which stretch out to the ocean, for, like Leyton Station, it was situated at the very summit of the Range.

Miss Julia Gumby was a little in advance of

eighteen years of age, tall, and good-looking, as the term is understood. She was also a very sensible girl, in addition to her other attrac-

tions, and tolerably well educated, but no talker like her mother; on the contrary, she was re- served and thoughtful, and read much, the reading not being of the lightest character, which is too often the case. Her sister, Miss Charlotte Gumby, was, on the contrary, an en- thusiastic admirer of sensational romance. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp would have kept her in ecstacies for hours; no great fault, considering that it has operated in a similar manner upon many thousands. After all, Miss Lottie did not waste very much time over such literature. She was sixteen years of age, and pretty. Some people called her beauty waxen, like a doll, but it is difficult to discover any particular compliment in this description of fe- male excellence. If all the dolls in the universe could be brought into one focus, so as to con- centrate all their grandeur into one representa- tion of the human face divine, yet the flesh and blood reality must be preferred.

"How do you think you will like the country?" said Sam Brown, on their way to the station.

"Pretty well, Mr. Brown," replied Miss Julia; "but it is too hot for Europeans."

"Hot! yes, 'tis hot; but one gets used to it."'

"Some time must elapse before that can be the case," said Miss Lottie. "The mosquitoes troubled us frightfully when we landed. Our hands and faces were so marked. Oh! dear me, Julia, was not I a fright?"

"Rather, dear; but all of us were in the same plight. Do they live all the year round,

Mr. Brown?"

"No, thank God, we have a little case in that

respect, yet we don't seem to mind 'em after a

bit."

"I don't think I shall ever get used to them," said Miss Julia. "Dear me, Mr. Brown, last night we had to camp out."

"Such fun," laughingly exclaimed Miss Lottie; "mamma was ready to go into hysterics when a lot of wild dogs set up howling near

us."

"You heard them rascals, did ye? I can't say that they makes a pleasant sound."

"No; but Julia would have it they were wolves, and wolves always attack people. Mamma wanted to climb up a tree, but papa said he was sure that no tree near them would hold her."

"Rather personal, miss," said Brown.

"Oh! but you know papa says all sorts of things without meaning any harm. He is a thorough good old dear, and loves us all."

"Yes, but Lottie," said Julia, "we were all afraid, and the mosquitoes, oh! dear me, I was

tormented."

Sam Brown smiled as he asked if they were Scotch greys?

"Scotch greys, Mr. Brown? I am sure I do not know what their color was," said Lottie.

"Excuse me, miss," said Brown, "I meant their size. They were not young elephants, I suppose?"

"Elephants! Mr. Brown," exclaimed both the young ladies, "you are joking now."

"No, no; I didn't mean the word as you do; but we have in this country some who are venomously active. They will pounce upon ye, and sting and worry until one is almost wild. I have had my hands raised an inch with swell- ing, and the inflammation has not been down for days. If these fellows were the flies which plagued old Pharaoh, I wonder how he could have resisted the Almighty; they have made me run for it many a time. But how do ye like the place, for here we are? I have taken you in this way to see the church first; and if you will excuse me for a moment, I will see if the parson is at home, and get the keys."

In a few minutes Brown returned, and with him the veritable parson aforesaid, before whose presence Miss Julia felt somewhat reserved; but as for Miss Lottie, she was at home with him in five minutes. The usual introductions being exchanged, the church was opened and inspected. In a trice Miss Lottie was in the pulpit, looking at the very limited congrega- tion as if she would deliver to them an excel- lent discourse, provided the aforesaid parson was away. Mr. Coles was not a man to hedge himself in with peculiar priestly notions of sanctity. He was a man, and with the old Roman citizen, he could say, "Nothing which affects the welfare of mankind can be uninte- resting to me." In the pulpit he was a man, preaching the Word of God as one of like pas- sions with the people whom he addressed, bringing his own experience to the light of the Gospel, and with that light comforting, warn- ing, intreating, exhorting, instructing, but in a spirit which made the people see that his ministry was for their welfare. Out of the pul- pit the most humble person in the congregation was acknowledged as worthy of his esteem and labor; in the spirit of his Master, he gathered up all the fragments. Difficulties had assailed him where he had expected to find nothing but the most hearty goodwill; but it was his habit to take them all to God, trying to live down ob- jections, doing his duty and leaving the result. The services of his church received his careful attention. In making the House of God com- fortable and attractive, he said, "Such a place ought to be the best furnished of all." He had seen many a church or chapel with broken windows, and other sad evidence that no one cared much for the sanctuary. It always struck him that the condition of the house of God was

a good criterion to judge of the character of a

people.

"How very neat and pretty, sir," said Miss Julia, "and everything so clean and orderly."

"Yes, miss, I like to see it so," replied Mr.

Coles.

"A good place to speak in, I should judge," chimed in Misa Lottie. She spoke from the pulpit.

"Perhaps you will give us a sermon," said Mr. Coles. "It is not often we have a lady in

the pulpit."

"Sir, please pardon me, but I alwayB try to look at a place of worship from this stand point. We all know what it is to look at the preacher, but I like to know how the preacher looks upon the people."

"Very good, miss," replied the minister, "it is not a bad notion, I confess. Certainly I have felt the vast difference between sitting as a hearer and standing up as a preacher."

"And now, Mr. Coles, as I have escorted

these young ladies thus far," said Sam Brown, "perhaps you will not object to show them round

the garden and the house. Hullo! here is the dray and Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair. Now, sir, you will have a goodly company to relieve the quiet

of your life."

"But it has it's temptations, Brown, which I fancy tend to make a man withdraw into himself, and so to neglect others."

"When you feel that a-coming on to you, Mr. Coles, the best thing is to jump on your horse and run over to me, and I will give you a little bit of work which will set all your blood gallopin' I warrant you will have none of your mono——What do you call it? I can't re- member those queer words."

"Monotony."

"Ah! that's it. Now good-bye, Miss, and you, Miss lady parson, we shall be better ac- quainted by-and-bye, I warrant. Run over to us when you got monot—. Here I go again, monotonous. I call it ugly, sir, that's what I feel. I get ugly to everybody, and when that comes on to any of our folks, my old lady says, 'physic 'em,' and the physic produces such a change. My physic is a ten miles ride, and I leave all the ugliness behind, and return home quite a good lad. My word, don't I eat after it, that's all!"

"Excellent plan, Mr. Brown, I'll try your re- cipe."

More introductions, and then the whole party proceeded to the inspection of garden, house, dairy, &c, &c. The first person to pass an opi- nion, was Mrs. Gumby.

"Is this the station, Mr. Sinclair?" "It is, my dear madam."

"Well, well, this is a place to bring a respect- able family to!"

"Oh! pretty tolerable, Mrs. Gumby. The colonel, no doubt, will add what he wants. That is how things are done in this country."

"Add to it what he wants! I should say he will have to add a precious deal. Why, it isn't so good as our men's cottage at home."

"Perhaps not," said Mr. Sinclair; "but you will have to excuse me while I go to see if your house is ready. I am afraid the quarters will be rather close. Mr. Coles, I will leave you to entertain the ladies, if you please."

"With all my heart, my dear sir. Young ladies, mamma will like our church, do you not

think so?"

"Oh! yes; indeed you will, mamma," they both replied, "it is a pretty place."

"Oh! I dare say, everything is pretty if you can see it so. For my part I have not seen any- thing pretty in this country yet."

"Let us hope that the beautiful is all to come," said Mr. Coles. "It is not all on the dark side, I can assure you. The clouds have silver linings, have they not, Mrs. Sinclair?"

"Indeed they have, Mr. Coles. We have far more than we deserve, and any home, however humble, is made to shine brightly if God dwells there. We lived in a far more humble way than you will, Mrs. Gumby, for some long time."

"Ah!" grunted Mrs. Gumby, "you are Job's comforters, all of you, I can see. You were young. Gumby and me are not so young as we

were."

"You are in the enjoyment of good health, my dear madam," said Mr. Coles, "and this is a great blessing."

"Very great, indeed," said Mrs. Sinclair, "and having food and raiment, let us be there- with content. We live, in this country, much in tho open air, and as to comforts, why a cosy hammock will make a man feel that he is in Elysium, especially if he has his pipe."

"Oh!" said Miss Julia, "mamma will find all will come right, we intend to do all we can to make her happy."

"Well done!" shouted Mr. Sinclair, who had just returned, "I know you will, I saw you were the right sort. Father has been telling me some of your domestic accomplishments. Why, my dear, these young lasses can wash, cook and bake, cut out and make their own clothes, keep accounts, play the piano, draw, and beyond all, they are good gardeners, and don't mind a bit of scrubbing."

"Capital!" replied Mrs. Sinclair. "Why, you have a little fortune in them. You need not blush, young ladies, I only wish that more of our Australian lasses were like you. Get on? Why it would be a wonder if you did not suc-

ceed."

The compliment seemed to gratify the hard- to-please mamma, who thereupon admitted that she had no reason to complain, and all she regretted was that hundred pounds whioh Mr. Gumby had thrown away on his coffee-roaster. It would have enabled them to begin squatting

on their own account.

"A hundred pounds, my dear, why a thou- sand would not be enough," said her husband.

"Nor two, for such a station as this," said Mr. Sinclair; "not even ten thousand and

more."

"You don't say so!" For some moments the reasoning faculties of the coffee roaster's lady were allowed to have a little silent talk with themselves, during which Mr. Gumby took the dray down to the house allotted to them, and the Miss Gumbys accompanied him. The Rev. Mr. Coles also took this opportunity to return home, for the reverend gentleman had invited Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair to take a friendly cup of tea at his house with the new arrivals, and he was somewhat anxious lest his retired habits should interfere with the proper rites of hospi- tality.

[To be continued.]

Hints on Cauvino.-Thoro oro many porBons who fnnoy that iib long ns a joint of moat is cut up it littlo matters how it is dono. They would, by travestying tho words of Shakespeare, " stund not upon tho order of their cutting, bufc out at once," and havo a notion that all attempts nt choice carving aro contemptible-moro extra- vagancies of faucy or epicurean self-indulgence. But no grouter mistake was ever mado. Not only is it truo that moot is twice as nice if nicely divided, but also a joint proporly carved will go nearly twice as far as another of similar size und weight clumsily cut up ; and overy careful housewife and true economist will do her best to in ob ter the art of carving as soon as possible. Not only will she be taking the best means to avoid waste, but sho will also get the credit of keeping a well provided tablo ; for even where there is but little to sorro, if it is well cooked, well carved, well Bervod, and neatly put on tho tablo, a singlo dish is prefer- able to a profusion ill-prepared. Even in so Btnall a matter as tho cutting oC a slice of bread, a loaf ulwoys cut straight and even goes much farther than ona hacked and bown irregu- larly, or in all directions, and it is palatable to the last piece, eo that there is no excuse for

loaving odds and ends. Every good housewife . should make a rule in this matter, to which sho should, expressing hor wishes in a coutteoUB and gentle manner, compel overy member of the household and overy visitor to adhere-that is, to bogin at the top of tho loaf, aud toïo oil' tho two aides equally, and iu evenly out pieces. Nothiug is moro disagrecablo thuu to como to table and be served with a loaf of bread after somo careless slattern has hacked it about in all I ' directions.-Household Huide.