|Newspaper Title||Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||A Little Hoyden|
A LITTLIE H0YDEN. : (By JENNINGS ;CARMICHAEL ) (From The Australitian.") CHaLLPTER I. ' You see the absurdity of it, my dear children.! How can one have patience with a man who wants to buy a pig in a poke ?' The speaker was a girl of twenty. ,summers her. audience-a lanky young emu and at whiskered; bellicose goat. The pair'wivere her body-guard,and had grown so attached to each other that they were even`'fed and housed to gether, though ' William' kept pace with 1i?MNs. ,Brown's '.insatiable Iap?-. tite w?thidiiudtt3;'::MisS Idh?'Thbrpe's pet emu was named after a fashion able lady, who had chaperoned her dur ing her brief visit to Melbourne. Ida had soon,.wearied of 'balls and races' and rifternoon teas, and retuirned .te her station home before the f?irst month of her visit sas o-er. Mrs.. BIrown had-:.hen written ?'fto Thorpe dale, 'ifikliig all iiids odf omplainits, and giving up the wilful 'debutante as 'a hopeless hoyden.'. - This report had got Miss Ida into disgrace, and,:she.had Econsequently taken malicious pilheas;ire iii chrisfen ing the emu, (caught forliher by the overseer) after her ?neney, the, bird's. long neck and lsteeIy gait suggesting her aristocratic namesake. 'The coolness of the man !--to write to papa without even having spoken to me ini hishlife~ l :Ofdiurfise, '"Ifs. Brown," I can look for no sympathy from you,.aid 'I fehr the"subject is out of ,' Willidm's ":line:' Ida had iirvested her bird iitli Mrs. Brown's individuality, as :well as her name. She .was a -wvise-emu, and de voted'her energies to .:the business of appr priating ee'y thi ng swallowable within reach:. ' He's cominig 'to- iorrow, " frs. Brown," and papa says I am to behave myself, and get a nice smirk ready to say, " Think you, Mr. Escott, for your offer, which I joyfetly and -gratefully accept !i' '
Ida curved-her lips-into-a--minucing expressiob', ?nd reariled lif~r setwith eyes that danced innmoekery. But her audience were not interestedl--' Wil liam' curled his tongue round a tuft of spring grass;i while the emu picked viciously at a east-off boot. IdaThorpe knuelt on thle dandelione'd grass and 'looked with wistful eyes across the paddock to whdre thehome stead chimney rose above thie garden shrubs. There had not been much in that country.hdouse tb lhallow it for her with.the warmth of-home. .There. had been- no . rbom indoors, with a queirulous invalid mother, and anirrit able father, for the - high-spirited daughter, who -was thlir qnly :and un welcome offspring.. Richard Thorpe had ?wanted a son, ai,_ the disappoint ment .of . Ida's.. sex, together -with his wif6's illlihealth, had made him regard the child with coldness from the first. Mirs. Thorpe was not richin maternal affection, and the wretchedness- of- an inv~lidi's:i;existence after, her active, fashionable.life, embittered her. ,; 'Take the.little creature away !' - she had sobbed when the tiny baby was placed in her arms. So Ida was rele gated, to the.' care .of "ervants, hert mother,'s s' ifferii ga ,lasting 71iong enoglh' to wean her entirely from the little one, who griew. in sttiength and beauty as the mother faded and pined. SIn this atmosphere Ida's disposition acquired perversg.twist;,whieh widen Sed the breach bet~tceit 'hec'and her parents. To complete her ill-luck, the' governess was a frosty and unlovable -parsonage, her rigid discipline, .unre laxed by.sympathy, , rousing all- the re~bel in - the' pupil's " ature: -iss Murphy's departure, after Ida's eigh teedith year, ~ins -a joyful evenit;,Vhich the pupil commemorated by naming the eaturnine Magpiecafter hser.. V; - ' Just as I'nm having a real quietiume this crops up,' soliloquised Ida, looking into- the blo'soming wattle-tree oiver her head,with moody, eyes. ' Papa and manhialiave" tiot t'oubled *hei'ir 'he'ids abou:t me:. foi ag'ssl; ,:aIoiv -iiuchi:. Sshould like to give that young man a bit of pmy iimdind !'? ' Whiile Ida was talkinig about Mr. IFred Escott to her- ccmpanions, that gentleman?w' as simoling in a railway :carriage, bouiid for the nearestbtation to Thorpedale. lie w;ais "'oung ~ _d handsome, somewhat spoilt by a bl'se .look,,,and an air of bored resignation. Mr. Escott was on quest for new sensa tions. He had grown-tired of woien's adulation, and the homage of society. He wis wehryrof the societ3 giilt:witli her calculating smile and mercenary nffections. Once during Ida Thorpe's flying visit to town he had caught a. dlisdainful glance from her girli'h eyes, andl the lookhld chptis'ate?him. ' I havdea.hn?ideadlthat-Icould fall de -lightfully in love with that child,' he said to .his .special, chum, Charlie Frazer. ' She looks a thoroughbred,' was his friend's reply. But whlen Escott had conquered his indolence sufficiently to seelk an initro duction'-to Miss ThorDpeMrs. Broni infoirmed. him 'that Ida lihad gone home, preferring 'the company of cocklatoos and kangaroos to civilised society.' , ' That .girl shows ..excellent taste,' Mr. Escotdt lia'dreniarled,-lv5ith a shrug. But his interest in A-lrs. Brown's de butante was ihbt:" th'ei.'lsdfficiently strong, to induce him to make further efforts to know her. Thorpedale," he learnt, vas.nmore. thl n a tumndreFIitileE ' away. He was not yet bored enough to travel so far after a fresh attrac tion. 4s time went on, Ida's careless glance persisted in haunting his mem ory. He felLinto'the;liabihof wonder ing how the grey,eyos:would look in various moods. He picture'd them an gry and tender, dl1urin?, andrepelling. Thenf lie wrole thiittsinularIletter t6 SIda's father, asking for an invitation to the- station, and permission to pay :-.. his addresses to the lidaughter.: ifr. Sand lrarThorte·~rewere"as ~ileifdgfdah% the'ftife stoni'slhe d, foir Fred~eirick Escott was' known to be.wetilthy, and his family connectiopswgre good. No wonder Mr. Thorpe hastened to write - a stately but gratified invitation, and to'deliver.the firstof a; series of lec ture! to liis daughter on the desirabil ity of the match. : - 'Thank heaven ! all those costly frocks and things were not quite wast ed I' Mrs. Thorpe.had said as a-supple ment to. the paternal oration. Ida's
city finery was turned out, which she had locked up with so much satisfac tion. She was ordered to put on a decent' dress for dinner, and to give iher golden-brown hair a little more nttention than the casual twist with which it was geneially favoured. .'I'm-not at all sure that I am not making a superlative idiot;of myself,' Mr. Escott-reflected, knocking the ash from his cigar, and looking out on the wilderness of eucalyptus through which the train was passing. 'The girl may have gone off, or may turn out erdinary and stupid. Just my luck if my little romance proves a frost: .. xEred.had planned his journey so as to arrive:at Thorpedale the day bafore he. was expected: ' I want to -surprise--my-little--lady in a natural hnmour, though;. course,, the father will not htive been ass enough to tell her the objec't of my visit.' JBut Mfr. Thorpe had thought it expedient to warnmhis daughter to be on her best behav;iou i', uniiridfdl " of'f I'[le coi?'t'rrf_ ness 6'f hef disposition. Mr.C Escot~t got. out Aof, the '\oacli whiceh ha'd .brough)hiiffon fromik,?the i ailway station, at one of the bounn' dary fences. ' You'll find thll' 'ouse,-sir, ain't very fur, through them there wattles,' the driver shouted. ' Well, Miss Grey Eyes-you will have co be very charming to coinpeni sate for a. twenty-mild ::drifein;thiat rattlefrail !' ;lred rema.iied straiight ening6is stiffened limbs, and looking from rthe disappearing coach to his .luggage, which had been turned on to the roadside. 'It' never struck me thliat twvo solid portmanteaux. .miglt prove inconi'enien?im-at 'this -jun'cture. I'l leave them inside the fence, and wait cli?evelopments.' IHe jad hoisted oine bag siccessfully ovner, and was in the act of balancing thg other on the to rail when a.treble voice remaridled,? d ~jr leav 7ur iug gage with theigo at di'll' lo'ok after it for the present.' Theiunexpected ramark caused the young- man to drol the portmanteau, while he turned to meet the mischie vous race and -mnocklng gpze: of Miss Grcy lves. t'e are just returning from a walki' said Ida, withli a sweep of her arm to" wnrds' ' Williaml ' and ' Mrs. Brown? ' ? prelisume you are Mr. Escott, thougli we did not expect yourtill to-moirrow.' For :h moment Fred's ready wit for sook him.
'I- I believe I have tlhe pleasure of addressing Miss Thorpe?' stammered 1red, baaring his ]eadul. ' es. I think I once saw' you on the lawIn at Flemington, last Cup day,' re jeined'Ida, her voice talcing a matter; of-fact, uninterested tone; Wo'uld you mind calling your goat offl ?' interrupted~Ir. Escott.- ": 'Ohi! he's nruite harmless,' returned Ida. That's his way of loving you, and the emu altwhiys arches her neck, and mhikes a funny little noise.' ScrYey interesting, I'm sure,' stam mered Fred, bursting . inito a laugh which :pulled him.together. ?i . :Please come to the homestead, and I'll send a man for your luggage,' said Iiss Thorpe. 'It is perfectly safe here but "William" will guard it if you like. Hlie and " MIrs. B3rown ' maki excelldnt watchldogs. They are knowmi as "The Insepa-i bles."'' 2N ,W Fred's eyes demanded' aft'- explana tion, so Ida added-'I called my bird after Mirs.. Brown,,theladywho used to!take nide to bhlland thinis ii'f3eli bourne. ?o doubt .ou _know her ?' 'Y I sa hnhr a few days ago,} :laughed Fred ; ' and we were talking; about you.' 'There is a slip-rail a short distance. aiway3; we could climb thedence but for my friends. "William " has often tried, and once ?vhnn I was in 5Me1r boutrnehius' horasi goitJ stui3 -iietweend the'rails for two da.s.' If Mliss Thorpe expected the stranger to look sympathetic on the score of her .favourite's misadventure she waseer-~ tainlj; di?sabipited-? As they folf*oid the fence to the opening, Mr..Escott asked : -Do you 'often go about vwltl these pets of yours ?' SAlways,' rejoined IdnaT - I have a lot of birds at home, too, and three little i"?fllabies in; the! fowvl-yard. ¢The ran out of a limislhfire, anid widre"eaughlity one 6f' the hands,, so I called them " Shaldachl, Mfeslhaddn, a'ndi Al?ledgo." ' M Mr. Escott laughed, while wishing he could work up an enthusiasm for dumb.animals on the spot. .. •It;. vas d:ecided _-thiat -tlie luggage shlbuld be left 'till called for. On the waiy through the ~i;atles :'to the house Mr. Escott glanced at the spiiited little face by his side, and came:to the con clmisioA thlilh 'she was? ~ilSelier 4timi ever.''; d?atias not' very 't'allkativ, 'i;d' addressed most. of heasremarks to 'Wil liain,' whol persisted in-lagging behind to nibble the- grass' or:make:. tours among the budding tussocks. At last tihe iron-gates of the drive iscre reach ed ' Alloty me to isele'ome, you , to Tlhrpedale !' shid Ida,;: tuhiiing to her coinpanion with a swetepingrbow . . 'iDo you mind finding your on-n way to the house? I am-:sure papa and nama will Ij'delighted to see-you.'
';[y d carf Chiarlie,' wrote E?sbottf to liis friend Frasqr, ' youwill be dying to hear- lio my:m' romantic love affir pans out, nil hatib T;orpedaile 'ilro;ises in the way: obf.:.attradctioins : T'apa::and: dafima Thorpe are a -trifle tedious, but the girl- is aw'itchliP'ind has'already quite uiired me of wlbat you unsynimpa the.tically definred as\ rthe vhipours." I hase positively been gavanised into taking an interest in my surround ings, ahd :amemeibogoh inilole"?to feelh ssiigely eniragded Lt any rvi al in tie' field. The only thing-at-present be t\iden me and theqcharming object of mi 'iiffectionsriss an:elderly billy-goat: ai?nd a callow emu, a namesake of Mirs. Brown's: They ar:e i living exanipnile of " Two souls with .but.' ? single ,th°ught," &c., &e. They.take up an astonisliing amount of space, and quite spdil my lady's .perspective, where my humnbl humn:a charms :darei-coincerned. T. find it impos.ible hlitei;llfy :or-figura tiv ly, toget within cooee of Miss Grey Eyes. A stal?rart~yofing emu on one sidhi, and a muscular old billy-goat on thd otli&if,.ard?effomigh t6 6hbke any fel low o1. To p'nss on, Mliss Thorpe is a paradox of peifecticns and perversi tieh, and I have been obliged to pack away all the old arts of fascination, and east about for new methods. le fore paIpa and mamna my Lady Disdain is docility personified, but once out of the parental ear-shot my suit is so persistently attacked with cold water
that. my wooing haus grown quite ex citing. I feel young and enthusiastic, and flltd more zest in ousting Miss Idn's dlumb admirers than I ever ex pierienced in cutting out human rivals. I amn in a poetical frame of mind, so excuse the involved metaphorical beil liancy of this commnlunicatioi . You will not hear from ime again unless I induce thii~ bewitching hoyden to rc cognise nmy irresistible attractions. Untlil then, cry confusion to the goat, William, and mortification to the Ion. Mrs. ;.rown. With every good- wish, yours cordially, . 'Fred.' (To be Continued.) ......................