|Chapter Title||WHAT CAME OF IT|
|Newspaper Title||Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||How I Pawned My Opals|
WHAT CA1EB 07 IT.
I got try letters next morning atbrbakfsat— • delightiol batch, t f orgot sli my troubles, my pawned opals, DlekYiiiareabed poverty, sad my own destitute ooaditieu,1- while Voiding
them. Host of Bessie's letter3w»* d&roted to Dick; bow she loved blm.if possible, mare than ever, bow desr the old tlmes>fn»Ffatriling ton seethed to leok bSck upon, how:Sht was w iting a journal, and meant toperseVere to the etd, though jokes and sights always ajemed • little stupider after , writing about them; and most important. of all, bow nsotberjuid father knew of this attachment between Dick and her self, end were not—oh, not hidf'pounds* as we feared. "Ismafraidyou*U,hava,towaftalong time, Bess,' before piok'a, ship pomes in," the pater said to meqnite kindly. Bat I know Dick will be very economical no w.and we'll be able to manage quite well on USSOp a year to begin with, fcc. I feel thsckful that I had been able to serve Dlokao effectually. What a blow it would be for Bessie if be bad loat hia position in tbe Bank! - But the afternoon port brought an invitation to me toeommohwith the rest of tbe fsmily/'Wbieh Changed the'oomplexlon of my tbongbis from gratitude to reseat. An in vitation to « grta t ball.gi ven by.the Qraotleys
prior to leaving,fur (.trip tojpbpa' Now a j bsll at Grantlej'a was quite amevent in Mel
bourne society,;. From the moment you drove i in at tbe gate and up the immense blue-gum avenue, 1 it wi th .glorious, 1 ighta, thatlooked like globed pleeesicf vivid atarUght ; and'heard tbe soft musical rippling of innumerableJronotaiiia, it was like a brief aojourn in ah enchanted land. Instead df'theheavy splendour'of obatllness that one ao often Anus oppressive in the our lonndinga ot the wovsaec riehet, enefound an ctherealized kind of beaaty, wUoh seemed in no way associated with material wealth. Natur ally all Melbourne was eager for Invitations. Those who were disappointed at once remem beted that Mral Grantley waa tbe daughter of an Irish labourer, "a man who broke atonea, my dear, for seven at eight shillings. The mother took iq washing, and Mrs.. Grantley nod her sister no dduht helped." ."And where is tbe sister now?? POh. she married one of those millionaire Amerioans—they live in Paris in tbe utmost magnificence—not that t suppose for
a moment they tte received by the very beet focitty there." Shis supposition wai mere roslire. Tke American millionaire's unlimited
coupled aith'his ? wife's beauty, her enpieoe tact and unerring taste,bad opened to lib m'the most exclutiverepreeentatives ofiiba ' ancient Fabourg 8t> Gertnain. it tne there; no dout.t.-Wre Grantley hsd learned the rare secret of giving a bell that warlike • page oat of the •• Arabian Nights " But ignite apart froin this divine gift, I HkedMrs Grantiey immensely. She was to witty and vivacious, and'yet withal (I ere was a grave depth In her beautiful Iritb eyes that made one feel she was never afebamed to. remember the old. homely days when ber father delved and her mother (pan — or wathed, which, after all, is much the same.
" 01 course yon will go, Nell," said Louise, atd without waiting for an answer she honied away with a portfolio under her arm to take drawings of the anoient gods.
" Of coarse I can do nothing of the kind," I thought bitterly. For a moment a vision roso op before me of myself in shining raiment, with my opals gleaming in their marvellous way round my throat, and John coming hp to claim the first" waits, and then" I returned to proaalo reality and reminded mjeelt that my opals were pawned, my purse all but empty, and that wj
last evening dress was shabby beyond redemp
tion. ' Though outwardly I shed no tears,' 1 felt that kind of inward chill which has all the melancholy, of .weeping- without Its pathos. Then'Igrew uhamed bf myself 7 I remembered how many things'there were that should weigh on my mind more than the foot of being aeiaMe to go to a ball. X reflected bow high the per centage ' of paupers, lunatics, end criminals Is ell over the oivilized world—how short wrid fleeting life is, how one should strive after goodness, ahd try to Improve the time.
Ihe result of nllthls moralizing m to leave a generaT flatness, which induced the feeling that after all. nothing mattered ao very much. Under theae circumstances one may imagine my ipy at.'getting a note from; Diok by the after noon pest'saying:—'"My 'dear 'Jfell—By-Wis morning's mail I received a letter from my great aont eneloaing a draft for £800. Ait fasts merciful Providence haa pat it into her'lieAt that a fellow cannot go on eziating indefinitely en nothing, that it ia possible be may.'nojt be vowtd to celibacy' and that tailors have a superstitions habit of looking for payment. *1 never tbonght I sboold be ao glad to get mooejr. Dear girl, let me go with yon to-morrow to redeem your opals. I shall be at the corner of
street at halfput 8 precisely.
I waa only too happy to obey. Poor old Diok looked quite himself again.
H Do y on know,.my dear girl, I was beginning to be quite sceptical aa to the very existence of bappineaa," he said, aa we walked onto JadaHV
Furies, witohcraft, bappineaa,' I used tq say to myself, repeating a melancholy little lltapy of the belief of early days; bnt now begad I feel that misery is nothing bnt a disease; the,worst form of any, because', yon see, hiviog it once'or twice is no manner of protection against thp old bsggegeegain." '
"Do yon remember, whit Heine'saya:t^briat the matter, Dirk ?"
" Das GlUCkistllnefslchte Dime,
Upd blelbtnlobtlaw am hdber art,
" 8is StreichtQaihaar Dlr yon die 8ttrna."
? UndknsstDfcknfhifadfltltettforl .,-:e
"Fran tTnglCok bat hmGegentluile,. ? ' v,
Dkk ilebefast ana Bern rsdrdokt— ' file mi h&be Jcoloo JSlZsu
Eltst sichzu Dlr ans Bett dndtfilckt."
" Comet .now,, Nell;'• don't be .'after giving yonrtelf a acre, throat, ,but put ,it into decent .Christian words.. Although J understand? das' and' '.Bio,' the rat of .the meaning it a, Jjittlo
"Bnt .lt la ;ao hard bo translate, 'Diok ; fhe neareetj.eapget to the liist verse It
" Jortasmalilan bee si air, ?. .
-ifkqdoes not long in oas place stay,.
Bhe fromthy forehead smoothes the bur—
ojuitlieiVklM had fUti'k^.":'''"-; "-i >
. ^JThe hthierJ vera^cteaes^me; 'fee h^gl^of clasps theeIpringljf' to^ier heart.; -Shenian the
la in no hurry, slta down by thy bed and kbit*:?!" ' . ?'
" Faith, the old hanldaD turned the JiOffof hrr stocking well before she left me thi* time,"
'said Dick.. ' 1
Thus laughing and talking we reaobtidlha Mont 'do Piete. "We both thought?ndah'tboked a litUn dejected when.Diok produoed the ticket and explained that be hid'oomo toredoimjny
• . Bqw delighted I was to see them onoeagain. Theyblu'shed and smiled, and grew red and
and gre^and fleetiDgsearlet cuTbSsniaeivwi^st
of'old. .It was delightful to, fold them "up tenderly and put them ihjbo my pcetemonnai once more But a terrible'thing happened' aa we were going out. ? Just as Judah was epMjtog the side door for as, one of the assistant*'muio up'the gloomy damage—into .which tbe aide door opened—ushering two ladies and a gentle manlntci theaitting-room we had left. It .waa John followed by hla mother and rim Aroh
deaconnen'. The two ladies were talking, arid a few pace* behind. John with a glanoe took it all in; be looked-from Pick to me without a sign of " recognition, Hben- stepped book and stood faeing the ladies, asking some questions, and barring the way till we wept oat.
It was all over,' and arranged . in the moit satisfactory fashion, and pet all. through I bad not been to exquisitely Uncomfortable as I felt when John^eame into dinner that.. wenlng. He was behind time,and asheaai domi he made acmebrief apology forbeing.late.: Hesat just opposite to me, .but die worse .onoe.aUo*ed his eje to wander Jn, my. diiecfiqp., Ahattrb at it may seem, ah overwhelming sense dfcOfalasioo fell on me, whpn.'ba I eat mere, XTalW realised the eqnlvotal light intArch'^mhittPiard my conduct. .A,girl wba in Ibeibifeneeof her parents, made assignations vrltb'amsh Unknown | to her relations, made pasignatibnt,' 4nd went with him: to a pawnbroker;' Wbatxild he think? Hot the least ebahee of'finding ont. He hastily ate biaaeup, Uatenedtfith half bis mind, to bit motberVreftersted expressions of honor as to the - wiqkedoew of a man named . Joriing, .. fin had deserted hia;wifefor aix.months, then", returned and lived upon her. earnings, apeat 'all tho money aha had, and finally stole all her jewellery—a gold' watoh,and chain and some rings, which had been traced to a pawnbroker's. This was the reaion^ the vWt wfileh had been paid by herself and the'Archdeaconries* under the abadowef Joints legal pinions.. " r
" And ton a otually went Into a pswhbroker'a, mother," arid Louise,' "whitfani/I wfehlhad been wlthypu." ' ' •"1
"Indeed; my" dearitam' at a loia to know what fun there cotdd be ln visiting toeh a plaoe —the resort of criminal* end-fagalxmjlfolevery description," retained Hp. BbbnlgiHiwrij,
"Barely, my Iove,your»elfspd.Jha Arch dBaton's wile cannot be placed in .either oate gtrj," arid the Flofeslor with mildslepreaa tion. ionise and Hester tittered, bat John looked.st impassive as If he ware.a Bphinx in the Lybian Desert. .Did my abnormal iniquity so prey upon hia mind, that like the King of old he would never be seen to smlle sgain? I am afraid I half enjoyed the thought of the way in wbich I would scatter , those gloomy visions if hia by the simple Statement—"That was Die t FifsglbboD — my future brother -la - law. He wae in temporary embarrassment for money
co I (owned my opals, and to-day he went with a «to cedtem them." For I really felt that I n oil offer John an explanation tua time. The opportunity offered itself in the course of the ecenlng. I hid been playing and tinging to " an audlroie composed of the performer," aa Dlek need to express It, when, aa I sang that old patbet'c Sootob ballad,
" s» eet thaUnook'i note and long
lilllliill ^mlly up the glen,
But ay to me he stags ae sang,
1 ye no oome beck again ? Will ye no come book again ? Better lo'ed ye canna be.
Will ye no oome back again?"
I felt rather than aaw that John had oome in and etc od a few pacee behind me. Aa eoon ae I finished the eong I turned round and aaid—
"Ton aaw me to-day at Judah's?"
'• I waa grateful that yon aheltered me from your mother'e observation. She would have ben astonished if she had seen me."
" I should eey ehe would rather."
"I daresay you guessed what took me there." "I never gutea."
How I put it to any one whether with the beat intentions in' the world, sueh curt re joinders, coupled with a demeanour cloaely re sembling that of an iceberg In the Arctio Ocean, are not enough to repress the most determined friendlineta. It is all very well to plan a re conciliation and repeat a oonfeasion beforehand, but after ail anticipating a conversation Issome . thing like trying to answer a letter before it is
received. I set quite still, honeatly wishing to explain but quite unable to call up'the neoes aary amount of humility—to eat duet like the serpent as it were. And then Jobn spoke:—
"Isold before thst I have no wish to foroe
your confidence, bnt there is one thing I -muit eay."
He paused, end the beating of my own heart was the only sound I beard. Then John went on, every word dropping from his lips like a separate icicle.
"While your parents are absent yon are supposed to be under my mother's protection, are you not?"
"Tee, I suppose so."
?'Then I ask you in all fairness is it con sistent with your ideas of propriety to make assignations with a young man who is a complete atrapger to her."
" That depends on"
"It depends upon nothing," interrupted John vehemently. " There is nothing to exonse a girl for doing snch a thing.' And to go with him to n pawnbroker's of all place* ia the world. You credited me with gnessing the purport of your visit. What was it?"
" To redeem my opals."
" I thought as muoh. Yet daring the last three or four weeks you have had so little money that you have been obliged to deny yourself all
customary amusements. j
I nude bo rejoinder.
"What conclusions am I to draw lookiog at me with a world of wroth blazing in his eyes.
''Knowing nothing yon will of oonrse think the worst," I answered, looking at him with the fearlessness of injured innoeenoe.
« shall I tell yon what I am foroed to think V add John, with a' sodden calmnessgof manner
which I knew was forced.
"Tee; if it gives yon any satisfaction."
".'Then I think yon are a misguided, over* credtiloua girl, who allows herself to be blinded •nd ddteaby a foolish attachment.?
f maintained an obstinate eilenoe.
" Answer me one more question, Nellie. Do yourpareuts know of jonr engsgement f
" My engagement ? well, it would be an extra-' ordinary thing if they did, seeing I don't know of it myself," and with that I made a clean breast of it. . John's faoe Was'a perleot study; amusement, indignation, and mine other curious expression strove for mastery. When I finished he stood , looking at me for a minute or two without saying a word. "
"Well, yon are.a most distermlned wicksd little minx," lie cried at last, bnt there was a •mile larking round his month. What pleasure could yon find in tortaringme like that ?"
"Torturing you?1' .'
"Tea, oome, Nellie,I'll etand no more non oense. . , Oh, hang yoar letter-writing. Yon don't go out of this room till yon give me an
"Good heavenslhow many more' questions hats yon to ask. xoa're like a osteahlsm and a Eojsl Commission rolled into one." -
" Well, I'll ask only one. Do you know what made me so mad about the pawning business ?
. Now no evasions, NeU—look at me r-ralght in ?
. .John was atandlpg beside me now, looking at me In a way that' made my heart beat and my
"Shall I tell yon. Nell"—he eald' almost In a whisper, "because, my darling, I love yon."
I went to Mrs. Grsntley's ball after all, and danc»d with Jack so often that I am afraid ever; one must have gamed we were engaged.