Chapter 174507758

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Chapter NumberXXVII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174507758
Full Date1892-01-02
Page Number1
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Word Count4780
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)
Trove TitleThe Devil's Own. An Australian Story
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THE DEVIL'S OWN.

AN AUSTRALIAN STORY

CHAPTER XXVII (Continued.)

BY MRS. RICHMOND HENTY. All RIGHT RESERVED.)

YES, I will take the place I like it," said Mrs. Annelaye as they left the fruit garden, the pockets of Johnny’s nicker-bockers bulg ing to an alarming extent after sundry un-

rijic gooseberries and other early fruits had bew added to the miscellaneous assortment of teach articles which swelled bis costume. to the station and to Goldsborough by train, a long talk with tha agent, "who pomned to make the placed econtly habitable for fiooh an advantageous tenant. j 1 CHAPTER XXVIir. I PX.BASI7HB, “A crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures and talk, but a I twinkling cymbal where there is no ’ love. " Bacojt. Spring # with its freshness, its opening buds, is just giving way to early summer, already there is a wealth of blossoms every where, and sweet perfumes from fragrant flowers add their scented charms to the sunny atmosphere of the many gardens and shubberios. Goldsborough, liko some other places at the end of tho world is blessed with a heavenly climate, no tropical or vapor bathorish, but bright and warm in October, not too hot to make out-door existence ob- so tho Qolbdsboroughitcs mako the best of it,_ as do many in a liko tem perature. Cricket; tennis, boating, picnics and other out of door recreations crowd ono another; garden and tennis parties are in full swing for tho season has commenced, the season par excellence of rent enjoyment. There is a happy look on tho faces of every one, os much as to say I feel as if the very atmosphere makes mo light of heart, and in clined to dance and sing, to do anything and enjoy life while I may. Tho Goldsborough community are not largo enough to indulge in compotitivo entertain ments or opposition hospitalities, rarely more than two or throe fetes or dances fall on tho same day in tho upper set that sways tho fashion. "Such a boro, dear,” says Mrs. Pinkeen “everybody knowing everybody, for one has to change one’s costume so dreadfully often ; such a nuisance,” she adds, with a well acted sigh of .regretful resignation, though if tho truth bo told, she revels in tho excuse for tbo fresh display of Worth’s nouvantes and White’s confectioners. In vitations are much discussed as to date before they go forth to tho suburbs, and not sent at all if likely to clash with those of some higher or more popular member of society. With .the exception of a few moro couragous ones who, with much self-confidence, and assurance feared no opposition in their com ing fete or dances. Government House fes tivities.nt once make tbo date of these to come a caution, for no ono attempts to com pete with vice-regal magnificence; that is, should tho representative of Her Majesty do bis duty properly and spend his money freely on tho community to whom ho is too often indebted for his bread" and buttered sides’ existence, instead of carrying his money away with him after a term of colonial money grabbing and unpopular meanness. At tho time of my story there happened to be a popular Governor, gifted with good blood in his veins and a generous-minded disposition, who-did his best to majeo his roign a pleasant ono for the colonists by his kina hospitality and hearty welcome to all who come within tbo range uf his acquaintance or friendship. Dinners were numerous at Government House and at certain seasons of tho year, race month' in particular. A.scries of gaieties followed each other at tho. Woe-regal resi dence in quick succession, generally com mencing with a few sober dinners by way of a welcome to tho numerous guests that ac cepted Lord and. Lady Carnolford’s hospi tality for tho great event of tho year, tho Goldsborough races. Tho usual eruption of entertainments this season was opened by a garden parly by tho Governor. A mixed assembly it must bo, for bow is it possible to separate tbo china from tho crockery in a place where liberie cqalito and. fratornito' is sentiments, and radicalism runs riot to a great extent through the general mass of tho people who havo many of them made them selves what they aro by tho sweat, of their brow It is a glorious day; old sol looking down from his seat in tho heavens, has been merciful throughout the day and now, to t]ie ; afternoon, only bestows enough of his radianco to make tho fete what it should bo, perfect ns far as temperature is concerned. Herr Schmidt with his band of sad weary looking musicians in sober uttiro, breathing forth the soft, sweet music of Mendelssohn, Schubert, ana Strauss, on stringed instru ments in the ballroom, whilst a unitary con tingent of dapper looking volunteers in light uniform are banging away in true dashing military style dance music of tho most ex citing kind. Highland reels, schottischcs, galops, waltzes, follow ono another rapidly, making all votaries of terpsichor within hearing of tbo tempting strains feel as it on springs and longing to scout decorum and trip the light fantastic toe to suoh enlivening music. The grounds aro crowded with well dressed people in and out of society. Hero, a sober looking group . aro discussing parliamentary twaddle eagerly, as if their arguments were valuable to the well being and success of tho world in general and their colony in particu lar. , “Poor besotted fools,” sighs old Judge Warner to n friend neat—as they couid not help hearing tbo last sentence and decision of one of the party—“poor besotted idiots,” if they would only go to bed and hide (heir miserable skulls under the clothes for very shame, tbo country would go ahead and scramble out of tho puddle of despond they have plunged it into—what are we coming to —if we allow such fools to govern us?", “Wo cannot make silk purses out of sows’ ears, sir, so wo cannot expect much else from such cads,” says bis friend, a colonist of tho good old typo, and strict conservative at heart. Groups of pretty women and well dressed men saunter about, admiring the view in raptures with tbo day, with the music, with themselves, and in particular with their toilettes. “Isn’t it too cruel to give US' such tempt ing music and not allow us to dance, it is right down cruel, .tantalizing is too mild a term, "says Maude Pomdetcrro; “just listen) they are playing my pot waltz. 1 am sure I shall not bo able to sit still much longer.” “Allow mo this dance then,” says Arthur Brandon; of the volunteers, “We will'got be hind that grove of lauristinas and. dance till tho.“ light of the moon.” I’ll defy anyone to see us." only wish wo could," says Miss 'Pomdc terro, crossly. “It.is altogether too provoking. 1 hate garden parties whore you can neither dance nor play tennis—you cannot even flirt comfortably, without having goggle-eyed gossips peering at yon. Ah 1 hero comes Sirs. Annclayc with the Hales. Isn’t she pretty? such a lovely face.” Who? Mrs. Hales? no, I don’t think her pretty ; she partakes moro of the quantity than quality to my mind." “Don’t bo silly Arthur, I am in no humor oven’ to smile—certainly not to appreciate such a joke, I mean tho widow—she is the only woman I envy and tho only widow I don’t feel spiteful in contemplating—Heigh ho! whata thing it is to bo a widow;” and Miss -Maud Pomdetcrro, groaned a sigh tragically. : “Don’t look like that, you will make mb weep, you really will, you look so liko Niobo, just when she discovered the loss of her family of fourteen, was it not, little piennninnhies.” * “ Rather a fortunate bereavement I should think,”- said Miss Pomdetcrro, “I hoto children, except they are vary pretty and beautifully dressed, and as to babies, I think half of them, deserve drowning liko tho kit tens and puppies." • “No, really, you don’t say so, you aro too cruel, but about that lauristinus donee, aro you - gnmo? I think It positively unfair, Mnndo. you with your juvenile limbs, having valuable possession of a whole sent to your self, whilst we havo been for tbo last half hour wandering about with weary feet, liko so many Irish trnmners” sold Mrs.' Hales, a largely 1 constructed, 'jolly looking woman, coming (ip nt tho moment with Miss Vavas our, Mrs. Annelayo and some others, all eager for a * seat— and looking about for another and finding none. Sir.Felix is look-! log for you Maude, ho is going homo—he has just boon entertaining as with a long list of his gievances, number one, having to come hero; number two, tbo utter stupidity and absurdity of garden parties; ftumbor three, having dreadful daughters on his hands; number not being able to marry them off. Ho'ls just now poising as patience on ft monument ,without tho smile near (ho tennis lawn." , _ “ What a crowd ?of well dressed people,” said Vera. “A mob is tho more characteristic word," said Mrs. Halo; “all tho wbrld nnd his wire aro bore—publicans and sinners, if they win

hoftsfc of a councillor's robe, or a J.P’s, distinction, prelates- and parsons, judges and jurymen, soldiers and sailors,' I was going to say tinkers and tailors if with the gift of the gab, in the radical interests they have now tho questioned honor of M.P. shin. The political world hero always reminds me of tho old song of Rub a dub dub, Three men in a tub; A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, All jumped out of a rotten potato for radical nunsity.) “As you know so few people hero, Miss Vavaspur, I’ll bo showman and point out the celebrities now we have seats for I intend to sit whore I am till God save tho Queen drums us nil out” - lam all attention if it will not tiro you," said Miss Vavasour, settling herself comfort ably, as if prepared for an interesting lec ture. - ° “ Well tho man that has just passed ns is Hon. William Makopicco, a star of our political horizon, a planet of our Christian hemisphere, king of the goodies; oh, no his wife is not hero, she, poor thing, is goodness knows whore—she is not his bettor half for she bo now hath is not bis wife. ” “ Dear mo how sad I” said Vera, “ Who is that dark girl in the pink: rather hnnsomo face?’ “ Yes 5 that is Molly Porter. They go by tho name of the Stockade Tureens because tho family kept a crockery shop at Botany Bay, Now Caledonia, Van Dioman’s Land, or some other such lively place, and” (a whisper) “flow very dreadful,” said Miss Vavasour in surprise, “but I haven horror of nick names, though men will talk when they have nothing else to do. It reminds mo of Water well, whore I used to go for tho waters with an old aunt—such a dreafully gossiping place. Tho club men there nick named every body. One woman they called tho.Witch of Endor, two girl friends of mine they called Rhubarb and Magnesia; tho three Arnold sisters, very nice girls but not pretty, wore named Plague, Pestilence, and Famine— hattloj murder, and sudden death—was it not shocking? But that wasn’t the worst of it, at the club tho men kept a largo book like lodger, they called it their R.M.D. Book, It was marked off in separate divisons in which was a description of all tho perfections and imperfections of tho Wntcrwoll young ladies, from their accomplishments to their eyelashes and ankles, and each page had a column of headed R.M.D. (ready money down) stating the sum tho girls had or would have down. ..Old Aunt Phoebe used to think there was no placo like Wntcrwoll, gossip and all.” “That’s tho Hon. George Grimes, n barris ter," said Mrs. Halo," nodding pleasantly to the person in question. “ Adders poison is under his lips. Ho is said to ho the moat curious temporal man that over existed; woo betide those who como under his spleen. Tho family were -originally drapers or chess mongers I should say; but ho is clever. Oh, yes; clever and sharp—sharp as a two-edged sword. Ho has no mercy; he is venom "itself when the fit is on. * I think there ought to bo n'tax on bad tempers and bad language,” said Miss Vavas our mildly; “they make life so unpleasant” “Wo have a very effective way of punish ing such tempers,” said Mrs. Halo. “How?” said Dr. Swinoy, who bad joined the party. “I am dying for the recipe. It will bo so useful if over 1 take unto mo a bad tempered second wife.” “I am only alluding to public life doctor, - whore they take oxhibtions of temper from whence they como, and treat them with tho silent contempt they deserve, in fact send them to Coventry, particularly in Parliament whore tho cure generally succeeds. But I am sorry for Mr. Grimes, for I rather like him, he is so clover; but his want of suavitor in modo will spoil his public career. “ Ladies I ladies 1 I am surprised at you You have been talking scandal at a furious rate—would yon not like some tea or coffee." “No thank you, but perhaps Miss Vavasour would or Mrs. Annclayc, but wo should lose my seats if wo all went, and I am so comfor table. I am .very busy describing the menagerie—don’t interrupt me. My discourse is most edifying, I can assure you. Wait till I can see tho back of your head, I shall then harangue about you, doctor without mercy. ” “Draw it mild,” said Dr. Swinoy, for I may bo listening amongst tho bushes.” ; “ Tiresome fellow. Ho is a Dr. Swinoy, failed for eighty thousand and never paid. anyone,- and was -as jaunty as over .soon after. Don’t look so shocked Miss Vavasour, it, is the way of tho world, parti cularly the colonial world. There's scarcely one man in five to-day bat has not been whitewashed ups and doNvns of money making and speculators.” “Whitewashed!” said Miss Vavasour in surprise. Yes; tho term for bankruptcy and tho greater tho rogue the bettor bo gets through the ordeal, and, moreover, looks all tho better for it if ho fails respectably in tho world view. I always toll my husband to fail heavily or not at nil, and to give me lull notice in time that 1 may "make my arrange ments comfortably. I always drum into his head that ho must settle a gigantic sum on me. If a man fails honestly or for a few hundreds here, be is" at once dubbed a fool. ” I thought he was never going. I wanted to show you one of our Croesuses, Mr. Dormer, over there by the marquo; immensely wealthy, and a good follow—very charitable, very mco in every way. All earned in tho colony. Mr. Halo has often given him six pence to hold bis horso when Mr. Dormer was n little lad running about bare-footed at. his father's place, a small wayside inn near Sea View. You sec wo ore an enterprising community, and those have succeeded most, who have for their motto “each one for himself,” and tho more selfish and conscience less and hcartoss one is tho better they will succeed in life, particularly in a now country whore pride of birth, pride of intellect, pride of education ranks nowhere compared to pride of money; in fact is a groat millstone, and detriment to success. ” “Mrs. Annclayd may I take you into tho ballroom; there is good music, or would you’like an ice,’’ said Captain Price.” “Thank you; I should like to hear some more of Schmidt’s music,” said Vera, rising and looking pleased at tho attention, for she had never neon fond of gossip, and had felt almost sleepy with listening to Mrs. Hale. Then her cavalier marched her off through knots of fashionables and bevies of pretty girls and animated men to the ballroom. “What a beautiful woman,” said tho Gover nor to his daughter, as they met at tho entr ance of the ballroom, and both Captain Prico and bis companion bowed slightly in passing.. “ Papa t fancy you finding out and noticing our little beauty so. quickly,” said his daughter. “I hope you didn’t boar that, Mrs. Annol ayo, if you did you will got so conceited and disagreeable like the rest of tho society beauties. ” “ I hope 1 shall never bo disagreeable or conceited,” said Vera quietly, “ana 1 am suroi I shall never ho a fashionable beauty, the role would novor suit me. Ido bate the idea of conventional life in its worst phase—per haps it is my want of finished education. ” For a time they sat listening to tho band. Vera'glad of tho soft music and stillness that pervaded the room. She 'did not feel herself, perhaps tho rc-aclon of such excitement was too much after her quiet secluded life, for this was her first ontro to society since her bereavement Indeed it required, groat per suasion on the port of Annt Dorothy to coax her ncico out of bor seclusion, and now she was in tho midst of gaiety and excitement She felt more isolated than when in her own quiet homo She missed bor one love, and memories of that Inst dance they bad hod to gether, only a pleasant scratch - dance at a neighboring station camo rushing back fc> her. After a stroll through tho gardens they re turned to Miss Vavasour and party, finding to their amusement Mrs. Halo still acting cicerone, and too deep in conversation to notice Vera’s approach. “Are yoti'going to tho Harlequin Cullodon’s dance, Miss Vavasour?'” No, my ucicc docs not go to balls, -and wo don’t, know the Cullodons, indeed, as yet Mrs, Annolayo knows very few people, she has preferred a quiet life," Ah, but sho must como out a Httlo moro’ —though tho Harlequin Cnllodons nro not much loss—sot a beggar on horseback—and I remember Mrs. Cullodon when they kept no servant, and I remember ono day seeing her on her knees cleaning tho sitting room grate; it’s quito true, ana now they, scarcely notice their oldest friends." 'll. “Mrs.Annolayo,may I introduce Mr. Simon Jones to you,” said Captain Prico, returning wilb & toll, thin, looking individual, who bowed and blushed and blushed and bowed, perhaps at being fall 1 face to fivo pairs or eyes watching- him. “Would you like, somo coffee,” said Mr. Jones bashfully'to'Mrs, Annolayo. J “No thank you,” sho said 1 lightly, walking away with her partner,' wishing to bo nearer the band. “Not, gone , yet, Maude, vro have been seated hero ever since,” soid Mrs, Dales. “I am so th’cd,” Baid Miss Poradctorro, plump

mg heraolf into Void’s vacant seat, I boliovo papa has gone; lie is nowhere to bo scon. ” “I saw him only two minutes ago;” said Mrs. Hale, “with Mrs. do Wiggins;” ; “ Oh, that drendfpl thing (with & grimace) the Venus do Wiggins.” Miss Vavaosur laughed a morry laugh. I bog your pardon, did you really say Venus do?” • • “Venus do true. Sho is a Mrs. do Wiggins. I cannot eunmornto half her—her, what shall I call thorn- to bb'charit able wo will say—yos—attributes wo will call, it—but sho really did havo her cast taken, sho did really in Romo.” i “Her cast! Horoscope?” said Miss Vava sour. “No, don’t you know people can take your figure in piaster or some mnlcablo stuff-—but you' have to stand or sit perfectly still, clothed in air only." “No clothes or drapery at nil,” said Miss, Vavasour, looking stunned—how shocking! how horrible.” - “Yes, when I heard'it I felt inclined to ask her, liko the’ friend did UP the Princess Borghcso if sho didn’t feel chilly during the process. ” “I think wo must bo going homo when my niece returns’' said Miss Vavasour. “ Who is Mr. Jones?” “Ho is Mr. Jones, very sick and very stupid” . 3 “Ho always reminds mo of h nowly hatohed chicken,” said Maude Pomdoterre, “nil skull and hairs.” Then ho ought to bo very clover,” said Miss Vavasour. “I don’t think that it follows unless, liko Sancho Panzn’s parrot was it not? all his wits aro in instead of being out. ” “Is ho married?” said Miss Vavasour, j “Alas! for mo,” said Maude, “ho is mar ! ried, over so much married, having allied himself to the whole Cbickwood family. Papa calls him the contingent—its quite a puzzle to know which is really his wife, Chari io Fenwick was nicely sold tho other I day—ho wanted an invitation for the Jones’s ball, so ho paid devoted attention to Mrs. Jones, as ho thought for a whole half hoar, and hs ho was taking his leave, Mr. Jones said: “ By-tbo-byo, Fenwick, 1 must intro duce you to my wife— was it not a sell. I [ fancy Charles Fenwick’s fate must have boon a picture for Punch—when ho discovered ho [ had been wasting all his pears as ho '{palled them, upon Miss Cynthia Chichwcok—but I like Mrs. Jones—nice little thing, nothing in her but very nice, and sho would bo charm ing wore she not so timid, and no wonder poor, thing, to bo crushed and annihiliated by an avalanche of sisters, not to mention a silly flighty mother; but Minnie duckweed made a lucky bit on her marriage, though she was only a nursery governess or some thing of tho kind. I haven’t patience with her mother. She runs after every man she thinks sho could catch for a husband.” “Wo arc all in lovo with Mrs. Annolayo,” said a young girl, fresh aa a rose, coming up almost out of breath to her cousin Maude. “ 1 thnk she is beautiful as a dream, and her dross simply perfect I wish I knew her. ” “I will introduce you if you wait hero, this is her aunt in black. The widow will return shortly,” said Maude. “Yos, she is talking to Lord Camolford, who i seems very much struck with her. I know Lady Camelford admires and likes her very mud). Sho told me so just now, and asked mo all about Miss Vavasour and her noico, and I know nothing about them till after, when Aunt Vernor told me—wasn’t it horrible? tho murder of hot husband ; poor 'little thing! no wonder sho looks sad at times, but such a pretty swpot look of sad ness—if anything more loveable than beams of delight. ” “She is so young and fresh looking,” said Mrs. Hale. “ Sho is quite youn^; sho married early, too early, 1 fear,” said Miss Vavasour with a sigh. “ Oh! I say. Have you scon tho Camel to day, Maudo,” said a showily attired girl. “ Her dress is something hideous—tho latest fashion, sickly toad, dying of lovo color they call it From Worth she told mamma, not that 1 believe it. Hero she comes, mind you look at her,” “ Who is sho,” said Miss Vavasour, os a very plain woman with a Kalmuck face passed. “Sho’s a Mrs., Mattafaco, a lawyer’s wife,” said one, “Isn’t sho ugly? My husband said ho would whip her if sho was his wife. Do you know sho cannot sit down; it would spoil tho sot of her dress. Willie Forester wanted to have a hot about it. Sho has some spring arrangement that prevents the poor thing positively getting a rest. Law seems to s pay, she spends most of her husband’s income on dress. Trios to lead j tho fashion by startling and expensive cos- ! turaes —r so exceedingly vulgar such bad taste. “Como, come, Mrs, Halo bo just. Doesn’t sho.give nice dinners?” said Dr. Dumcomb. “Only to men. Uneducated as she is she is well up in tho ways of tho world and knows that a good dinner is much more valued and appreciated in this ago by tho men than all the ologies and services of creation, so sho gives her cook £755 a year. That is Captain Papillon with her. Ho is poodle. Yes, poodle. There is a fashionable community hero, I call them tho atmospheric —merry hues of Windsor is too virtuous a title. They all havo their poodles —silly young men who follow their latest infatua tion in docile servility for tho time being— in fact, inseparable cupboard lovo I fancy— for no man could bo charmed with such an awfully ugly face, and as to her figure, Clarice Harvey told me Mrs. M. takes over three hours getting up for tho afternoon. She’s a splendid make up' considering sho is fifty, if she is a day, and risen from the ranks. Oh 1 dear, yes ; cola ra sans dire, but ono would forgive nor that in such a miscel laneous assortment of inhabitants, Ah ! norc is Mrs. Cnrow; do you admire her. she was ono of tho Wallis’ girls, tho fastest girls about town. Sho lost her reputation long ago,- and is no«* hero to take away anyono olso’s, bat very doubted always as to her beauty no ono listens much. They say sho smokos, Sho is talking to Miss Jossio Mclntosh— hark!” “Ah J how do you do, Jossio?” said Mrs. Carew. “ Have you been 511, you look pale. What have you been doing with yourself; you look liko a boiled owl.” “Yes, I do feel awfully seedy,” sold Miss Mclntosh, yawning and trying to stillo a stretch. “Foot is I smoked seventeen cigars lost night coming down from GlcnUvot.” “ Cigars I” “Well, cigarettes, all tho same; such' a lark.- Wo got o carriage to ourselves, Charlie McPherson, Duff Cayoron and others with Laura Fawcett, and her'and me played nap tho whole way down. It was awfully late when wo arrived—the train was - twenty minutes late owing to tho crowd. Yes, I do feel seedy. ’’ “Now that is shocking,” said Mrs. Halo, “would you believe such a thing if you hadn’t beard it with,your own cars; but tho Glenlivet girls are awfully fast they toll mo. So you really are going Miss Vavasour. Mind I shall come and sco you soon. Good bye, good-bye. Mrs. Annolayo don’t buoy yourself too much,” sho said to Aunt Dorothy and her noico as thoy left their scats. “Yos 5 woo littlo.thing, tho widow.hasn’t much to say for herself,” said’ Mrs. ' Halo, a moment after. CHAPTER XXIX. JUBTU. “Jest and youthful jollity, Limps and cranks and wanton wiles, Nods and bocks and wreathed smiles.” Milton. “ Pater! x pater i dear; wo are famished ; don’t ask us anything for five minutes,” said Maude Pomdoterre, rushing in through tho French window and flying across (ho room, followed by her sister, io tho handsomely carved sideboard on which wore tho silver j biscuit tin and oako bosket,' regardless of I awaking Sir Felix Pomdoterre, who was suffering from an attack of rhumalism os ho called it, though it much resembled gout, and with feet up was enjoying a clandestine afternoon snooze in his comfortable arm chair in the dining-room of Corinthian villa. It was an established fact that the Misses Pomdcterro usually made a visit on tho biscuit tin or cake basket on tboir return from Pekin Court,” “Didn’t you got anything to cat. girls?” said Sir Felix, rousing himself and sitting up in a more robust position ; “no lunch of any kind.” “Oh, plenty, plenty ; like tho five loaves and two small fishes amongst tho thousands, only wo had no ono to perform tho miracle pater dear. I fcol better now; would you liko the menu—profusions of flowers, heaps of glass, piles of plates, and “ Well, but you couldn’t cat hyacinths and hock glasses,” said Sir Folix who, was n well known epicure, “Nothat was it, so wo had to content ourselves (eight hungry souls mind,' with tho robustest of appetites) with potogo and teakettles (what is tho French for teakettles Allio) miniature leg of baby lamb, cold meat sauco unlimited homeopathic sized dish of lamb.outlets with mashed potatoes. 1 could have oaten tho whole arrangement, potato and oil; salt junk lillipution, (TO DE CONTINUED.)