Chapter 160152354

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter TitleJOHN
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160152354
Full Date1881-12-24
Page Number35
Corrections0
Word Count2796
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleHow I Pawned My Opals
article text

OHAPTKR 17.

Two days afterwards I got • letter from Diek that somewhat consoled me for the dhgrac* which hong over me for my mining opals.

" My d ear Nell.—No penhasyet been Invented that conld express the1 feelings of gratitude Which fill my heart for the deliver »no# you Wrought for me. Never shall I forget last Wed nesday morning. ImStyba with a miserable oon yictioh that tbe Day of Jndgment had come, and

that'I was tbefiratarfmlnalto be judged. . ;? To-day aWheqne of Harry Ruin's oame in for

£86. Ton (din imagine bow thankful I am that. sill has beenartanged. 'Indeed, if aeems as if 'my gratitude is too' great^-aa if I oonld not re ' cover from it. Bat think of your deiti

tote'condition,'and tbat helps me to toooh the ground-again. I knowthat at boon, as ever

Hsmiltontecovera he willadvanoe the money to. me onreasonable •terma, and then I can get

aT— your "lovely opals book from (hat old rascal

not that I sboold abuse him. Bat what I want yon to tell me, Nell, is, have yob enough' money to go on with? I know the mirncnlons way in which a woman can; go throogh -a week with dignity, and epend prthaps only threepence. Bat have yon the

threepence ? Tou wonld ccnfer a great favour' ota me by stating the real state of your finsnort' Ton can btvenoconoeptionof the manner in '•which ', t" "km saving , money. The"''way I m'snsge it' ia this: — I take -every, morning "one shilling and sixpenee for my.,

lurch — not another soni. ? 1 Billiards; are

cinders and aahea to me; as forbeer, I nevef, tasted it for a week tlll-yeaterday, and then it: was older-^the day beltag sohot. The only re deeming little1 VieeT' cling to 'Is a smoke now and tben. Andtbeic is nothing like a pipe to

console a man In s&toHbn Faith'—not that I'm: vfflietrd thohgh^ can hardly explain It to yon, Nell, hnt there isaeertaln desolation in saving money sb ferociously. However, I mean to per •evere,-vindeo yon see, my dear girl, I am qaite ' in a position to be ysnr banker."

But! decided that I oonld manage "without trenching on Dick's hardly saved store. ' I nould not .help beingsorry that he had to be so pain fu'ly economical. It might be pleasant to. be

stingy If one oonld lire longenough. Bntthsra : 'is a certain wastefulness about hoarding-np J money when yon may never have the pleasnreof spending it. I used to think Bees and myself managed witha very moderate allowance. But

on reflcctlbn I fonnd* that mother most 'have i p&ld for nearly til oak -dreams, and any girl knows that this la a considerable Item in her expenditure. It wsa when I found all s;y re uniting money melt away on trifles light aa'air that this fact was forced on my reoolleotion. In

three weeks I found that thirty-seven shilling!1 bad been frittered away with very little to show. lor.the money.' I took a pocket-book and pencil: aid began to make w eolemn entry ofaill could. i en-ember. A feeling of intense virtue suffused: my frame, but nevertheless.I could: not get on with the list-. Collection three Sundays, three sbiliibge; Marabout ffathers for white toque, six teen shillings; a beggar with'ode leg, tivo ahil iingc. There was a slight tiige of regret in my. miLd abont this entry. John had Bsserted that' all beggars in Melbourne were impoetets.. " Bat! the man with the one leg Who plays a- barrel-: organ, be is not an impostor," 1 had Bald. "Oh, yea he, is, the other leg is doubled op in his! ppcbet." I did not believe this at the time, bat now whi n 1 regretted to find my money fading away like last year's roses, H'.oconrred.to, me: that John might be right. -Where was the rest .of the thirty-seven shillings? I raked my memory in vain to answer this.question. The' npsbot was that I bad to be extremely saving, not only bad 1 to think twice before spending a shilling, bat 1 bad to think twioe, and theii not ipend it. As I had not from the fin: allowed Mrs. Harrowby to bear the cost of my. amuse ments 1 had now to make excuses, and steadily decline going to the theatre, opera, or even oon

certs. , .

"Is it that yon are turning aerions? aaid Louise'in an awestruck tone, one night when they were jgoingto the opera, and I, aa waa .be aoming my wont, atayed at home. -

" Who knowa VI answered laughingly. And, .indeed,! began to enjoy having so mush time, to myself for reaoing. There are So many delight

ful old end new books that one should'read and meditate over—not once,'(rat a great many times. As Hadame de 66vign6 arid—" It is to the interest of those :I talk-to that I should read beautiful books.", So- I read "Seven Lamna of Arthiteoture" for an hour and morel

and then I bethought me of apieoe of work I had to'do—the trimming of a "hat, Sol took it into the drawing-room and eet to Work/ I had a yard and a half of white eilk ganae, some pale blue sarcenet eilk. to line the wide brlm.afew ears of corn and a scarlet poppy with which to drape the unadorned nakedness of theatraw. Who, without trying it, could believe that to looai i j twist a length of ganze round the crown, and catch the eilk op at the aide with a flower in a graceful manner, was almost beyond one's highest skill? Ifound it hard to believe I had been brought up.a Christian, as time after time I pricked my fingers, and puckered the gauze. In the midst of tbia who should come in but John. Sometimes when he was more than ordinarily bUBy he did tot come home to din ner, and wonld perhaps be not seen by the family till breakfast time next morning. On this evening be had not been home to dinner, and it was nearly 10 when he came in Ever since ibe.pBssageat arms I have recorded we had been coldly civil to each other, and that was all.

"I suppose the rest are at the opera," he said, after a formal salutation had been ex changed.

" V tt," I answered, .fixing my slight, foolish flower on the side of the hat.

" Why didn't yon go with them f

" I'm not sure tbat 1 am Very fond of operas, especially * The Grand Duchess.'"

" So you stay at home a la Cinderella and trim a bat for .a few orphans—of coarse that thing most be meant for more than one."

I think a man reaches the maximum of his bdionsuess. when he stands in the Briton's ty pleal attitude With his book to the fireplace, smilingat one's hat, and calling ft" that thing."

" You'ate mit.taken." 1 answered gravely. " It Jsicot for an orpbapaeylam, but for a family.

The father, weua it and goes first, all the reat | follow-'in bis wake and tire' completely pro

tected."

" In that ease I mnat sea whether it ia adapted for a masculine head.? He took my hat, and with the deftness peculiar to bis eex he put it.on baek to front. It wis too ladicrous. The sight of bis big moustache and brown faea under,thie flowing ganze and. delicate bine eilk .completely onset my gravity. I burst into a peal of laughter, In which heyoined, then return -ing my fast, he said—

? >»• Are you sure it ia .beeauae yon are getting I . indifferent to the pomps and vanities, of this life

that you stayed at borne to-night?"

It is easy to'make a lofty anddlgnified ex cuse when you pre very indignant; but if an ancient feeling of kindness stirs the neart it is more difficult.

" Well perhaps not altogether," I replied, holding " that thing" at arm's length to decide whether tbe poppy was not too far to the baok.

*» Yob are very. mysterious of' late,, Nellie/' said John, sitting on an ottoman .at my . aide, and speaking more in his old tone than 'be had done for e long time. _ ; i 1

" We need to: he very good friends at one time. So yon remember when I wept do.wp to flamlington three y ears ago, j ust before I went to England?" he went on, lowering, his voice as if he weregolng to tell e secret., ,

"Tee, of course, when you were "so proud because the tips of your monstaehe When pulled very hard reached your ears.";

"Ah, little slanderer, b that all you re member about my visit f .

"Ob, no. I reeoUeet very well'how yon took me out rldee on JUI and.taught me to.jump brush fei>oes,to the utter ruin of my riding skirt. And one Sunday yon gave me snuff in church; spd when I took a tiny pinohT had to keep my face burled in my handkerchief for fear of sneezing. - The Bev. Nioodemps was preaching one of bis periodical sermons on the bottomless pit, and the.next tlmelmet him he said, "My dear.Helen, .it'.gave me athrfll (of pleasure to "see now deeply affected yon were iset Bnndsy; snob tears are a sign of grace! * j

"Yea," rejoined John, laughing, ? and'do'you remember the day I went with you to: Sunday School,'and Mrs. Asbgrove insisted ou. my taking a clsas ? There >1 fonnd myself with right little beggars, punching each other on. the sly. and then staring blankly in my'face. I knew I ought to tell them about Adam or Jonah, or tome old patriarch; but I felt ewfnlly mixed'op;. I could not be sure what were the proper Anecdotes, to ttok to the noises." fit last I said.,* Wholes ittbat went info, the lions' den?' I here, was a perfect ,ppioar.' ?fibeJ.Blr.' *No; pjeaie Sir it were jnsboa end the ten apici.' ' •lt'wiirn't, it Were

the ten tribes of Jadsh.' ' It Was Noah and bis -seven wives.' - find then they began to quarrel over-it, sod give f«oh otherfinrtivp. kicks. just like grown-up Christians— ,

? ''Fighting .each ptherforconolljation

Asa he'lng eaph other for the love of 'God."

find there I sat cdnfnsed and helpless." There ' were so many prrsont who tmight havebeen the

victim that! eohldnot be tore vrholt really -was.- find the Httb imps were making such a - noiieevery one intheecfapol waa loakingatins. fit last, :in despair, I told .them*..about the ' House .(bat Jack Built.' Next week ah 'Irate mother Complained to the Superintendent. She said she sent her children to Sunday School to learn' hjmns and Pharisees (she . meant para phrases), and not worldly rhymes." ...

We both laoghed heartily/and then John said rather abruptly, " Do yDU remember tbe morning I left?"' My heart gave a sudden leap. I did remember jt—perbapsr too well—but all things considered I dld pot see that John should hting it np. •

"Yes; you left" early in the. morning, didn't yon?"' I said carelessly, bending over my hat, , and stitching in the lsst ear of wheat.

'" A" little after sixbtit "early u it wa» a certain young lad; tu up to give me yome bieakfast. What delicious coffee, it wm to be sure. 'I track tbrte oopaof It ;before,Ifinished the'.bird the Jbui g lad; looked at the clock aiib a little cry. '

•"Ob Jack i'^ahe celled .me Jack In those days) 'jco meet leavirin fobf minutes. Thij co cb l*cai a 'Aaron's corner at ten minntea put six.' With that she handed memy gloves Una8

&y face was getting:intoleiwbly-hot.t, ,

"How absurd to;recall such triflja,"^. Isaid, mrkii g a desperate,attejnpt to, cat snort these riminUctnees. "j ?

" Trifles! eb. bot wait till I tell yon all! Thi> charming young. lady gave me. ioj gloves, and' bade me pat'on-my greatcoat' (it was a oold winter's morning), and then I was quite ready to go- but oh how loath. You must plctare to yourself that the breakfaat-room was warm and; cosy, with a great fire of split fragrant' black wood crackling in the wide chimney, and that tbe young lady—she was just seventeen if ! remember rightly—had tbe brightest eyes, the. sanciest smile, and anoh roses in her cheeka.' 1 believe 1 can even describe her dress. It wss a lovely soft bine—a morning gown, jroa know, with a delicious little white fur collar and cuffs. Her fair hair had been hurriedly wound up, and as she flitted about a benevolently-disposed old bairpin slipped ant,of its place in that un obtrusive way. in which true oharity is .always performed, and there the thick soft fair hair fell, over her shoulders in beantifnl ripjplipg waves. ' Oh, Nell, why didn't.you wear your, hair like this before (her name wot Nellie,by-"tbe-way— onrious coincidence, isn't itf) You : musk pioture to yourself that;tbe caret ofthis world and tbe deceitfulhess of' the law' bad not then taken bold of me, and that I was the fdlow who in all the world least'liked going away from this yoong lady. 'Never1 mind my hair.jou really

mutt go.' • It's *11 verywell for you Who see. jonr bair like the every day tony "never mind it." Did- yon keep it: as ? surprise: to the lut moment?' 'Ob yon goose; mostl drive yon outnfthehouae? Be&lly,. Jaok, good-fay,' she •aid, giving me bet two soft, little warm hands,' ' I 8Qppoee I'll not see yon for a woful long while,' I said,' unable to take my. eyee1 off her bair. Bbe came a little nearer, with a beautiful moistnre in her bright ..egee, and. thenl drew her still a little closer, stooped down, and"

"ton t$ll the etory nicely; no dionbt yon have bad practice in relating it," I- aald, half choked with contending emotions. ?

"Nellie, yon should not say that," retnrned

John in a snbdued kind of - tone. "11 I have : vexed j on I em sorry, bat that parting has come np in my mind eo often of late, and— Well, at least after being anob good friends at one time, and cousins always, I think yon might bf a little more open ^rith me. I don't want to force yonr confidence. Of bonne I saw at a glance the relations between yon and the gentle man yon were talking to in Fitxroy Gardens"

here John paused, and though in,my heart I wonld have been glad to disabuse him,of his mistake, two or three contending emotions sealed my 1 ps.' Perhaps the most potent of

these influences was the half bitter thought that. as John himself had been engaged without even : writingany of usaifrlendlynote on the matterj, be would more readily believe that I eould adept the same bourse, and;of oourse eventually he

must know the truth.

" Whatl want, to say," he went on, I'll that if I can do anything for you I shall b» very glad.

It strikes me that you nave not been in smooth'

water of late."

*> Thank you very mush,7,1 replied, hesitating whether I Should say spy more. . '?

" oh, confonnd.it," broke in John impatiently. "I beg your pardon,^Nellie, but if you' don't

give me any bread, don't offer mb'a stone. That conventional 'lhankyon very mush,' is

too absurd. It WotilQ be far less aggravating to. hear you say, * Please, mind ynnr own business.'"

There was a ring at.tbe gate, aod the entrance ? of tbe family saved any further altercation.

"Tbe mail is in, Hell," said Hester. "I suppose yonTliget yoac letters :to.morrow."

Mrs. Hartowby looked at me and then at John' in an enquiring sort, of .way.

"I suppose yoQ were too busy, toopme to the' opera, John," aheaaid, slowly drawing off her glovis. ..•*•• • , ?';

"Tis, and that, woman howls at you so when she is dying. I cant stand'jrer."

"What woman^ .No woman dies hi*The Grand Duchess.' * ''

"NoV-'I neyer.gou the opera without seeing some woman in laws and jewels dying gracefully in time to the mdtic, or a'foolof a tenor in

black- velvet lamwsihsted Undercover of the

ophicleide and big drum—only ^unfortunately be never: fs really stabbed* ,M .

"Miss Vandome was there to-night wlihher mother.- That girl: really seems to grow handsomer every day," Said Mrs. Harrowby, calnJy 'ignoring herwont bad temper.

I gave an .involuntary glance at John, be was looking straight at me. It may seem carious, bnt tbe ndehtion of bis ci-detant jiantit made me feel pleased that I had' not taken him into my confidence, as I had felt tempted to do.