Chapter 140233128

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttps://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140233128
Full Date1922-06-10
Page Number52
Corrections1
Word Count2175
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2019-12-24
Newspaper TitleThe Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946)
Trove TitleDaughters of the Seven Mile
article text

CHAPTER IV.

The following days passed ail too quickly for Ann. They ran a wax Iron Time as fast as beads from a broken string, and the hour for the girl's momentous decision came only too soon. She was tore between the desire to please ker-parents and the wish to marry the man s.ie really krved. She was flushed and worried about it all, so on Saturday afternoon, when the ere of the dance had come and Jessie Carter arrived at Moonee to dress there, ae often was* her etistom, she found Ann restless and not a little upset.

Jessie was a fresh-faced bush girl who loved Alf Wilson. Her ambition, was to many him and settle down beside bis mother somewhere, firing a calm life of labour and fove for Alf and'bis people." Ana looked at tke girl's flushed cheeks as Jessie stood ? beside- her in her bedreom," and, kuowing AlFs secret, she felt" vexy aony for Jessie. It made ber forget for the, moment her own troubles-the fact thai to-night she must choose her husband -and tell Mkliael, if be should be her choice, about her mother's obscure .parent age. She brushed ber hair with trembfi ng bands, and felt a strange uneasiness abbot the'whole thing.

And here was Jessie, imagining Alf loved her, when Aif *r;ui married to Kitty and ..she-dared not tell her. Life was not such

an easy thing to put up with after all.

^Alf hasn't asked me for one dance yet," . said ^Jessie, patting- out her pretty pink dance disss on- Ann's pa tchwc-rk-quilted l»ed-:' "Do JOB like the way I've put those roses.

f'Yes. They look very nice, Jess."'

"The sleeves are short, hot once volt get above the elbows I haven't so very many freckles, and my.arms are not bony."

Ami agreed.

'??What are" jou wearing in voirr hair, Jessf

- '"WeH, J was thinking of wearing this." Jessie held npa ridiculous wreath of roses. "I thought they'd look pretty, but Mum -was all for a bow."

Quite seriously Ann tried the roses, whiU Jessie stood stock still, her hands lield awktrardly in front of her. ; -

know I want to look my best to night, Ann." A flush dyed the girl'e . cheeks a deeper red. "Because, somehow,

I -to ask me to-night. Ob! «rbat are yea doing, Ann?" For Ami; in ter surprised pity, had polled the zosps awry in Jessie7#

Lair. _

'I'm sorry, Jess." She longed to put her

?The exclusive right of piMU&ag this work throughout the AosbaMaa CowioimpdtK ha* been -Stirtihased by the proprietor* of "Tte Mbalatia#." frfterarv, dramatic, and vuving picture cqpy ^ rieht [>y Zota Cross throughout Aaetralia ai Kew -Zealand, sad all ftber Bcitbk PonrtwWim. Our ztaden arc iafenncd that all ehantcttn: hi tfe Story an parriy imaginary, mod B *hef name «f any Hvjo? pasoa happen* to be mentioned bo per sons! faapfteatfen is intended.

Alf awl Kitty, fart

pact Bontb ^r «b-not i

w lie ari to kv «i Man m« flafi ?l«vs'« tey w-i^ki^ tHPopoBe. Of «ta» Alf* new total at it; Irt, I doa't know wte, 1 fed that to^irfrt w going tofee tfeebttge*& veM. ia wm

In mi**, Uk>^ Hiungm Asa. %et far Iip« wm. trwrthffng »

!She took the mks few* Jeamete bur sikatty mm! tried the bow. ;;

*m! I do tike the njaev Ana! IWt

r«t!" Jeeee stid, feetoa* longingly *t

^ i

? Ana fifcefed with the^boir. ?MX»t Setae-' knr, Jm-ne, if I were yoo, I *odto?t wear

either."

?" "Ob! but I mast, Ann. I'm sure Alfd lie tfce raw. there! 8ft wand m and oat Hits- tibat?"- She twiwed the bur.

. . "WeH, ff yoa like," said Abb, knowing no better tlian Jessie, Ttti tawing Ruse quite plain."

"Bat roar's Is » fofrir, ABB. I t* so dti Kitty Fiywit won't be at the dmc. She's the obIf tows girl l ever was *£caid of, becnK Alf used to be always talking

a boat her once. ' Sw lie newer n)* a; word. Ob? T« so glad" sbe won't be . theret" .'

"Batabe wifi, Im." Ay» kat 'hff face turned from Je*ie. "Sbe told »e, that sbe wmjld be there."

"It isn't possible." Jessie smoet&ed out brr sash. "Jio towiiies at tb»

dance'."

ABB threw down Iter brash and eoo*b impatieetly.

"Are they at it agaze?" sbe asked. "I'm sick of it. At last Wednesday's meeting everyone agrred to Jet the TOW blow oner, Bun4y tbey haven't brsaght it up Main! Yoo sever kaow where the. Cedar _ Creek boys are for five auiatea. There's a b«s load coming out iron* towB. My , Ada is witHheD, her brothers, and Kitty ' and Michael. He'# going to p5ay."

Jessie «at down beavihr apon the bed, the bright smile. vanishing from bee clie^g. '?.*....

"There'll be a dreadful row if they do," she said. "J heard- our Joe say this morning that tliey were only fooling the committee. They only wanted the' town push to start, and then finish them Hjdf way. Joe won't stop at anything to keep Michael Farney from coming. You just see!**

'1 'shall. All-the same* I'm sure that yew are making a mistake, Jess. Joe was not at the last meeting.'"

"And Kitty Flynff*!! be there, with, her hair all so pretty and, her mouth so red and her hands and arow so white. Ob! Ami, I feel is if this is £omg to be the moid, miserable night Of my life." ' '

"Don't be «Hy, Jess," said Ann. "And hurry up, or we'll he the lasT there."

Sbe continued dressing, and tried J»ot to think of the calamity of Kitty's pre-^ senee at the dance, while 'Abb, wonder ing If Michael and his friend* were run ning into a hornet's nest, felt like crying

for Jessie.

Harry, having saddled horses for the girls, brought then up to the door.

''Be careful, darling, said Mary, to Ann as they mounted. > "

"You'll know the worst when I come home, mum," she returned. And kissing her mother tenderly sbe rode off with. Jessie. \ '

"I'm going on to warn Michael, Jess," said Ann when the}' came to the Stare Hall. "Yott go in and do njjr share of talde decorating for Ma .Mormon, will yon?"

"Very well," agreed Jessie. Aad Ann galloped on aloue.

She had not gone'Y«y far before ahe, heard the sound of singing, .the crart of a whip,'the clip;clip of rushing horses' feet, and the T>us Iinnbered Into view.

She.had some difficulty in stopping it, for Crocodile J ones, the read-headed driver, who oceawwiafl^ rolled Jus-londs all over the road, jb ooe of his most jofwa moods, and the horses'were tearing along at agreat speed.

Seeqgnirang Arm,' however, he . pulled

up. * .

"Whoa! What's up? Strock a rock?" came. a. chorus of voices, and then he&ds were tlmist oiit from all sides.%

Aon saw Ada and several miners she knew, and, for a second, she feared, since she-could not distinguish him in the crowd, that Michael was not there.

"What's the damage?" cried an unpera

wite u tbe bufies are

1 were yoo. I mwlAit tnra --^ .

don't-ay I didn't warn ftm 2 thetes

"Okl laayi flkt )g?tatBadc«l

Vila's At texiUef boni s dbarw of jmev Taieea, *ai then. Mietaelleapt owt of tfie Twa, fend ran taAJtn*

He .*mek at Tom tat pa.ta-,

her. and. reaching tar* inlmec . ^ . artiitie hand* apen far roggh one. Ann ' iootseddawn at, the tafd ~ 'm .iallta ^.

Carter's,a»d then nfc atMidiaelVfa^

Sm andHint and nfter this nostrils. . jftg it eijflikd, apd ffflhed. There wa« strength m hia «*

boviab figure,, which waa-'taH for an _ liateaaV foreeta' well it bctut; in

? face, and ~bia wtafe wimvrr waa . ooe L«f ?

rnw and rharwi *

. "What » it mjr dearest?" life *ai«Lpre«f tag Ana's land. . And Wtwfttf w» m the »»g8A, hi* face rawed to aera, AM felt that Joe Carter tad an ttawrr vtai wr of trimteg fat atwr tad tad a chaw* aiace abe tad first met MictacL

Sm could not rwnmber ever having

eeett hm otherwise than he '#*« a£ preain% ' weH-pocNDed to fei* «wwy wbitetaadker chief aad w*fl-triami«i nailu mitlr Jfttle things, tat ttay wtriat a world of dilfcr jnce betroen llHari end fe. ;

"I'm not goixEg to gtie np (m dance, Ann," be said. And presently maay of the others were out of the %n*, crowding round hec.

"We'd better jto back. We can't go on." Wtai a shame f* Voice* broke fim'ewy Where. "Tb» sort of thin* is the- dizzy limit! But the-laat tune the town boys and busbies had arpwtte tewriboya came hom* without sjiirts and coflars."

"Ofe! I aajr! What's it all *fcoa£,

.injrway*" .* - '

A»n esdeavoueed to djjl*in that the Seven MDe boys wore sensitive about their girls dancing with tta town fcoya. and, she added, "You knew, yon boys do look a lot sieeTi and dance' much better tnap ,:tite bush boys," " ? "fJnod fnr yon. Ann," cried Someone. "W«1I! Wlat ia it to be? . Crocodile's getting impatient,"* - , ??'.

"I vote we all. go,** saidMicha^. "I«. been aAed to play, and we've all got our ticfeete." ' ' '-^1 -

"Sight, ttay answered. ^Ueath to the foe." And, iaggiwag,- theiraH hur ried taek into the 'inn except mwuh.

"How far is it from here to the -hail,, Annfbe asked,

"About half a n»ile. Why?*

"Will yon walk it with me?"

' "If yon Ske." ' ? _

Hidiael helped ? her down frow te 'eaddle. and, arm in arm, they walked along tbe bush road, while the 'bus rattled on before than. Snatches of ctarases floated, bad: to th^m. Now it was: ?

''Do ye ken Jolin Peel, with 'his «aat ae -

^ .

Do ye le* Mm P^ at tbe bre^k of darr

- Der j* k«n Jkifca Pe*l «hea he's to, tar

wtth his born and tae bounds In tbe morn

ingt" and now:

"Ste»iH)y, tfcotfter to dMaUir, ?

t«e»dSly, hlrit ty Made;

ai>t! rtroag, M«w>iiig rime

. Uke «he b#ym_of ^ie,OM Brigade." .

"I waoi jny answer to night, Ann,"

whwuered Mictael.

"Do yo« ?*' eta said. "You migbtu't bcpleasedat it

He slinped hia ann aLout her waist.

"1 couldn't be disple&aed if it pteased

^6hT Michael!" She looked at him

softly. ? - . * ? 1

"Wtat fa it, darlintr' '

"I wish-I wish l^new you better."

"Yon mightn't like ite then. Kiaa me,

Ann."

8be Idssed 'Mm.

"Kis« tne again, Anr>." " "But why should I do ail the kwsingr she laughed. ? ?

"Then fet us sit down for. a wliile, and I won't give yon * chaaee."

"If* getting late. We had tatter -

I'd rather kiw you undf* the stars. then dance with all the 'girU in the

"Would you? Well'. I'll ait down jugt a minute, only don't" crasfli 'niy dreasl"

Michael sat down beside her, -and draw ing her head to Kb Scolder ta woiwl tar

witli aR tbe temjeinem of a lovej-.' . *

"A»n, you've kept me waiting and wait-. ing, he breathed againrt Ber «ar."Say you'll marry me. S^ TowJnwf W*.''

"Of course, I l«ve yo^ .lGffla^Jj '? We" stammered, carried^ away; by yMi? " emotion. "But X i»;B«rt';a'"'«Bod." iariiea'' for you. 1' ^taloB^-iii *

1 oil .99 " " \

"You belong to

"You do. You do.^' /AiHt"* ti£«l aud aogood,

taobn are in

skies and tlie greep at'^e frees

? ejwi-,and .your'. aHaV'JT'..>

"Ofcw 'atonl" she _ taidNted,

takd over via jnoiraiS^^J"

tattermilk, ai>d;^^8irai!BriMlMiWl^

Boi look! ~How

w^e have bands l&e tHr P^ tbraat oni .het red, rough, hawk. *Ttay ttc aa hard as iroDbaxt,' to6/r

Michael kisfed was, "

^They're, mine, tf;yobTl giv

give Ihem tor?

"But Michael, FH dtagrace' yxm mjom, wSe. You are ao ambitjoos. ^ m'ie toU me thai, 'you only caate to Arafcrafi*

to^row famous. Then youll g« ***1

-'And take you." -

, "Oh!" ahe sighed. .*?tat coifid tavcr

be! Let us go/'

^Noi until I've tad my answer, v^**14 promised, Ann. I kmnr rm aiily a m^Seh nrasician, dekt, but l want you so. Some thing in my beart just keeps on

. for you. Ann! Ana! Be bj Tfife. You - mt0t understaud jiow mue3». \caxe." ' ?

1 #ie felt bis nerrous hands growing

bc^t«'. iu hers, and suddenly snatching . her own away, ata put her arms about/ him, and kiaeed him. *

^ ^ilicliael!" -Jitst--jnst give mc a little ~mofe time' to thiftk," she begged. I'll . givfe you«- your answer .Bome tiiae to

nidit." '

. VWell! I suppose I'll have to Iweon tent with that, he said, knowing very well who is rival was.. "'But, mind^you,.

?' "Tajdneit aw* <?f yon, Anit»#":i» «ri4."r'- -

iSjSSTto ^ ^

Ump-iit fca" " -