Chapter 159557059

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter TitleWHAT CAME OF IT.
Chapter Url
Full Date1890-12-27
Page Number42
Word Count1287
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleCooee! A Christmas Tale
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A llappy time has no history thoy say, so this chapter must be very short. Not that a badly broken leg is always a source of un mixed bliss, or that Hugh considered his so at first, or that he did not despite the tenderest nursing find it a weary time till be was allowed to leave his room ; but when at last he was allowed to hobble on crutches into the drawing room, the aspect of things changed consider ably, for Mrs. Grant looked after him like the tenderest of mothers, aiid Mary talked and read and sang to him and spoilt him generally, as is woman's way with hurt mankind, and the consequence was—what need to write it? The imagination of the simplest reader would fill up tho gap* if this chapter ended here.

Given a wounded knight and a ministrant

maiden, what could .they do. but .fall in love. with each other?' This Hugh and Maty pro-, ceeded to do in the simplest and.most whole hearted manner. As this process has'been described before there is no need to say much about it. They felt remarkably happy without any adequate reason, Mary's clear eyes hod a new, deeper, softer expression, and there was a look in Hugh's that made Mrs. Grant half glad, half sorry, for it told her that she must make up her mind to lose Mary some time


One afternoon Dr. Brown came in and found Hugh comfortably established in his corner.

" Ah!" he said, complacently polishing his pink bald head. "All, now, this is better. much better, but you are not out of the wood


yet, you know._ We must bo careful, very

careful, "he continued. " You will not be about for some time yet, convalescence is a tedious business—a very tedious business. I should •not wonder now if. you found it the most tedious part of the whole affair, but you must bejmtient; 110 hurry, mind, no hurry."

Hugh had his own opinion as to the tedious

iiess of a long convalescence under tbe existing circumstances, but it was not for him to con tradict his doctor, so be promised patience with the most praiseworthy gravity and sub mission, and, to do him justice, from that time forward he got well as slowly as be possibly


The little doctor now turned to Mary and began chatting about her flowers, and books, and work, drawing her on to talk by quaint suggestions and unexpected questions in a half brusque wholly kindly way, and beaming at her for her bright replies with his kindly blue crey eyes through spectacles that seemed to be

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worn merely to be beamed through. His face seemed to have been specially constructed to express kindliness and cheerfulness, ana all who met him felt its influence.

"Why, the very look of him does one ".power of good, his poorer patients said, and to every home he entered he brought comfort, or hope,

What a pleasant room this is," he said at last when he was leaving. "A remarkably pleasant room; there is a sense of resttulness about it that does one good in these hurry skurry times. But, bless my soul! I shall miss my train. Good-bye!"

Hugh and Mary quite agreed as to the pleasantness of the room; in fact, they felt as if there were some vague sweet heavenly in fluence there, as indeed there was—the atmos phere of love. One afternoon Mrs. Grant coming in suddenly found that she had inter rupted a most interesting conversation; but she expressed no surprise when Mary, with glowing cheeks and sparkling eyes, ran away like a startled bird, or when that audacious young man on the sofa boldly addressed her as •'Mother." She listened patiently while he1 poured out his happiness, and told her a host of golden plans for the future. Laying her hand upon his head she looked long and earnestly into his face.

"God bless you, my boy !" she said at last in a voice that tried in vain to be steady— " God bless you both!"

Then, holding herself very upright, and

trying to look as if nothing was the j matter, she went away to her own room, and_ there, kneeling by the bed, she cried as if her heart would break. It was so hard to realize that Mary, who had shared her every thought for all these years—Mary,

who since she was a tiny child had been her : life's one object, and all its brightness too would be her own no longer. " I cannot spnro her," she thought—"I cannot spare her; but he will shelter her and take cave of

her as I could never do," she went on thinking j of the true, strong face she had looked into so lately. "What a fine fellow he is! He said

he would not take her from me—that it should make no difference to me. No difference, the foolish boy, as if the harm—if harm it is—had not been done already! She is not' iny ain thing' any longer—dear, ah, so dear ! But she never can be all my own again—never quite

the same."

" How selfish I am!" she cried at last—"oh,

how wicked and selfish !—moaning and fret- I ting so juBt because happiness lias come to my { darling, ready to spoil the brightest time in | her life. Bed eyes; I thought so,"going to j her mirror—"just the thing to damp the young thing's happiness." Then she tried— this very selfish mother—to bathe away all signs of tears and make herself look bright and cheerful.

A light tap at the door, and Mary stole in too flattered and shy and happy to notice any thing unusual. She came sure of the entire sympathy which had nover failed her all her life, and which did not fail her now, and nestled her head in her mother's heart uncon scious of the ache there; and the ache grew a little less as they clung together whispering a tender, loving word now and then.

• " Hem !" said Dr. Brown severely when he liad heard all about it. "A-bem ! So—that was your object in breaking your leg in that very unnecessary and aggravated manner, was it ? I always thought you had some ulterior


"Ob, come now, I didn't do it on purpose, you linow," Hugh said.

"Do you mean to say you wouldn't have done it on purpose if you had known what the result would be?"

" Of course I would."

"I thought as much," said the little man, nodding, " I thought as much."

He said a few kind words to Mary, -but, for the first time, cut his visit short. He could not stop, he said. He had not a moment ^ spare, not a moment; but he paused by Hugh's couch and gazed at him first through his spectacles,

then over them.

"Well, my boy," lie said, " you have won a treasure. I tell you what, she's far too good for you. Above rubies,, you know,", lie went oh, " yes, far above rubies. Take bare of her —be good to her; if you don't "'

What would happen in this not very likely contingency he did not wait to say, butwpnt off, abruptly turning at the door to give Hugh another steady look over his spectacles.

For once the course of true love promised to run smooth. Hugh was moderately well off, and Mary had a little money of her own. and altogether things promised to be prosperously humdrum and uninteresting.