|Chapter Title||A Christmas Development|
|Newspaper Title||Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||A Christmas Development|
Frank bad taken his bicycle with liim, an** two flays after his arrival was riding arTonjJ pen outlying road when he perceived another cyclist isome little distance ahead. Frank soon overtook her, ami, to 'his surprise, gn'w it was his fair travelling companion. He rode alongside, and with a pleasant "Good afternoon," proceeded to accommodate (hlisi pace to hers, when, with a somewhat ab rupt reply ito his greeting, she shot quickly afhead ami went on alone. Koine what net
tled, Fraiirk made no effort to rejoin her, but, Blackening his pace, so aa to give her a good start, made a mental re wive to treat her as distantly as possible should he ever meet her again.
After he had .gone about half a mile Ifi'e saw her sitting by -the roadside on a fallen
.'Hullo! I'm fwiimd to meet her," he mtit tered disconsolately, "However, I'm not going to turn back even to oblige her. Th<
road is free to fill, ariSri T'lf hi distant
enough, even to meet her, exacting require ments." r : *
. ho resolyftg, he quick-en e-cl -his pace an<* passed her, lifting his hat slightly aS he did so, but not even glancing at where slhe pat.
Had he done so, he would have seen that it was a very disconsolate little mortal upon whom he. was revenging himself, and thai it was a most appealing face that lookeq
towards lvis own averted one. ,
Wa3 he dreaming? Sorely ihe (heard his own name? Half-reluctantiy he looked be hind, and this time he Jieard it most dis tinctly, and in a decidedly beseeching tone
He instantly dismounted, and, -wheeling his bicycle, went to the dismounted rider?
"Did you call me, Miss Clifford?" and then, with a sudden recollection of bygone (lights, and in timely anticipatioaii of renew ed ones; "pardon me, but 1 thought I heard you call me by name."
"So I did, Mr. Atiterton," said Muriel, in a very humiliated tone and with a very embarrassed manner; "but 1 (have met with an aceideint. My tyre-is punctured, and (wicn a sudden access of colour) my ancte is sprained, and I cannot stand."
Frank was instantly all sympathy, and asked iher if she thought she could walk to the nearest farmhouse with his assistance.
"The nearest farmhouse is a mile away, and is my own home," she replied.
"A mile! Is your ancle very bad? Too bad to .walk if I supported you? I am pretty strong, and you need not be afraid
to lean on me."
Muriel blushed, and with Frank's assis tance managed to stand; but walking was a lost art, and alter many futile efforts ahe was obliged to confess herself besuten.
"Whatever shall I do?" she said, peril ously near to tears, for poor Muriel felt all the embarrassment of her position. It was had. enough to bra dependent on a stranger for assistance, but when the stranger was nnc whom she had treated with such ob vious disconcern it made hei*feel desperate.
"Could I not ride to your home, and send some one with a trap. suggested Frank.
"Ob, thank you, cried Muriel- delight edly; "that will be the very thing."
"And you will not be frightened?"
"Not at all; only very, very sorry for putting you to so much trouble."
"No 'trouble at all," rejoined Frank; and, jumping on his bicycle, and was soon at the ir.i-mhouse. He found Muriel's people very pleasant and homely, very much distressed at her accident, and very grateful to him self. Muriel's brother harnessed up his horse, and, with Frank's guidance, soon readied his sister, who by this time was nearly fainting with pain and exhaustion. However they soon bad 'her in tlhe buggy, and although 'their progress was necessarily slow, the farm was eventually reached, Muriel safely tucked in bed, and Frank on 9iis way to Narraooorte to dispatch a doc tor to her assistance. That night he re ceived a telegram from McAllister. It was brief but to the poinlt, McAllister evidently jvinemering tlheir conversation, and feeling n little curious as to the verification of Frank's prophecy. McAllister's telegram to-"How are tilings?" Frank's reply was - "Things are moving."