Chapter 160100516

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160100516
Full Date1884-08-30
Page Number44
Corrections0
Word Count1145
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleMary
article text

CHILDREN'S COLUMN.

MARY.

[By Maecus Barak ]

CHAPTER L

It was in loo—, in ana arouDa Adelaide.

The native school had been in existence for some years, and its founders were sanguine of it becoming a permanent institution. Dr. Moorhouse, the Protector of the Natives and the real head of the Bchool, was a man of large heart, and had every faith in its final success. There were frequently from 70 to 100 scholars in the school, and the rapidity with which they learnt was gratifying to all who were interested in the movement. The school was situated only a few yards from the Torrens River. It was a. square, red brick building, with a quadrangle. Besides the school there were dormitories for the boys and girls. The aptitude displayed by these native children in learning the rudi ments of the English language was remark able, and visitors were taken aback and sur prised at the knowledge which they displayed when examined on the principles of religion. The school was frequently visited by the parents of the scholars, who were very affec tionate, and their good-humoured smile grew broad when they saw their chil dren so neat and clean and learning the mysteries and bearing the names of the white people. Some of the simple natives thought it good. In the summer eveningB the boys used to swim in the Torrens, and the giriB used to sit in school, or in their dor mitories, reading or chatting.

It was an afternoon in the month of October. Mary sat by the window, looking towards the Torrens River, and a gleam of pleasure crossed her comely features.

"Here he comes at last. Oh 1 I thought he would never come to-day," she cried, turning to the girls in the room.

All the girls ran to the window, and saw the young native, who was making his way towards the school.

" I have come at last," he said as he ran up to the window, and kissed the winsome girl

who held out her hand to welcome him.

" What has kept you so late ? The King has been lecturing you again, I know.".

" So he has, ana the more {he tells me the more I dislike you being here."

" He is an old humbug. He would not say so if he knew how we are getting on. does not know much."

"He knows what is his, and what is another's."

" He would like to get all the good things he sees."

" I will never get you to see it as I do," he said, and he sat down beside Mary.

The girlB went out to romp, and George and Mary were left alone. A long silence en sued. Neither spoke for a time; both gazed into the plain towards the sea, where the warm glow of the setting sun was tinting the heavenB with purple.

"George, won't you come back to school? We are all so dull without you."

" You judge others by your own feelings, Mary."

"They all say so, and often speak of you." " I often think of you all, but I prefer to follow my father's steps. The vile white man may"

"Hush, dear! you must not speak of our kind friends in your old way."

" Friends! Robbers, scoundrels. FriendB! Who called them friends ? None who know them well."

"The King, dear, has turned your head You did not always think so."

"No; I have got my eyes opened."

" Your eyes, dear, always seemed to be open," ana sne looked into his face co quettishly. «

" Yours are stars, and the prettiest I ever saw."

Let them guide you here, and keep you hereevery day."

Here I will not come—but" " But what, dear ?"

" Well, love, may we not hope to have a wurley of our own some day as our fathers and mothers have had ?"

" Would you not like a beautiful house, as the white people have, with a garden to grow fruit and flowers ?"

" No; I would not. I hate the grubbing white, and would not follow his example in anything."

" Do not speak of that any more, love. It excites you. Tell me now what is doing at the camp."

"They often speak of you there. They would like to see you."

" I should like to steal out and see them all for a while."

" Then why not come. The air is not so pure here as at the camp, and the magpie never chatters here, nor do you hear the real laughing chorus of the laughing jackass."

"I should like to come aud see them all

again, and to be with you always."

"Then. Mary, dear, said he to her, in a tender whisper, "come to-night."

"I will, she answered, impetuously. " All this is Bham, and not real. Why, we cease to live here. Oh, these books ! I hate their sight. We have no fun as we used to have at the camp. And yet " She fell upon George's shoulder, and sobbed bitterly.

•• WW. To if Wo 1 Who Sn fT/11, nra nn ?"

What is it, love ? Why do you cry so 1'

" Oh, George 1 It would be so wrong to go away after all these kind people have done

for ub."

"They have done nothing for you," said ' tone. They nave done George in an angry tone, all against you."

" So you and the King say,"

" And so say all or should. Why should I draw water for tbe Governor, as they wished

>. Who is he that I should bend my me to do.

back for him ?"_

" Drawing a little water, dear, is notmuch. Herbert does it now, and he is none the worse."

"Herbert is a dog, and the son of a drunken father. He is constantly with the whiteSj and often drank."

" It is best as you wish it."

" I wish you and all of them to leave this place, and have no dealings with the whites."

"I shall speak, to them to-night or to morrow, and I will tell you what they say."

" But you"— "Well?"

" Won't you oome to-night."

"Not to-night, darling.. I shall run away, but not to-night."

The long shadows of the fine gumtrees that dotted the plain grew fainter, and darkness would soon be on, A brief and affectionate farewell; a mutual vow of eternal love and constancy—a vow older than these gums, aye. as old as the distant hills, but ever pure and green, kept alive by the instinct of true, tender,and sympathetic hearts—wasbreathed into each other's souls, and George left the old brick building and made his way towards

the bills.