|Newspaper Title||The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)|
|Trove Title||The Devil's Own. An Australian Story|
THE DEVIL'S OWN.
AN AUSTRALIAN STORY
CHAPTER XXVII (Continued.)
BY. MRS. RICHMOND HSNTY. (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
«It was spiced beef what there was of it, Maude," said her sister. “To continue—small rice pudding, an natural; stewed pears and Stilton cheese
cold— there 1" “Well, girls, you deserve to want if you couldn’t be content with such a lunch,” said Sir Felix. Wo should have been content, but every one wont in full tour for the cutlets, and 1, being a junior, had to smilingly cut cold meat, my especial aversion ever since I road one of Dickens’ works, it always sets my teeth on edge, und gives me a goose going over my grave Kind of sensation. But pater, do listen, two snob nice now chums there. It was quite exhilarating to scoa new face—one a. baronet, the other his fidus achates, Mr. Forth, both just imported, wasn’t it bonny of Mrs. Jones giving us tbe first toss; we got on splendidly. Mind you, I don’t fancy tbo baronet could set the Thames on flro, but he is a genuine baronet, and Watkins, Mrs. Jones’ maid, said his dressing case was the talk of tho ship, and his jewel case feet square und pounds in weight. Won’t it bo fun at the Whitesmoro’s dinner to-night; I imagine my triumph over those horribly conceited girls, and after . all their people wore only small tenant farmers or erofters, I think it was. 1 intend to say with my nose on end, min la, so Sir Hubert Armytage told me—don’t you know Sir Hubert, not Sir Hubert Armylago our now baronet Ah! well, I heard ho was very ex clusive, ote,, etc.” “I liked Mr. Forth far tho best; you are quite welcome to your 1 barrownight,’ ” said her sister. “And after they wore talking about that pretty widow and tho Fortescues. Poor Norman Fortescuo has to soli Seringa; not his fault poor fellow; they are-coming down for a month to stay with - Mrs. Annol ave. How is the gout pater?” , '“Gout? It’s nothing of tho sort,” said Sir Felix, rutiled. “Well, you’ll have to got well, pater, for there is no end of gaiety coming on. “Yes, the Jones’s are going to give a series of princely entertainments, regardless of ex pense. Such a lot of people arrived by the mail. I hope my baronet arrived heart whole after such a cargo of temptations.” “And pater, dear, what do you think, Sir Hubert (haven't I got the name, pat) asked me if possums were good eating. 1 said de licious—exactly like human flesh, kept for a fortnight well. Dicky Ferrers said so; whnt bettor authority? They aro staying at the Continental. I believe they both wore agree ably surprised at finding wo did not live in xnia-roias or wig-waras, and are awfully disappointed at not seeing real live aboriginals running about in a primitive state of Adam and Eve. ” “Maude!” “Well, they didn’t say so exactly, but they looked it—a nod’s as good as a wink to n blind horse.” “Sad-de-dado, daddle-de-dnr,” said Miss Maude; “oh, I wish it was night,” she added, waltzing round tho - room in her ex uberance of spirits and airy stylo, only cut short by the voice of Sir Follx. “My dear girl you would shock your new friend with such unladylike slang.” “Pater” said she, “you never told mo how you got on at tho Bishop’s last night. Did you get a shot dinner and a long grace with family prayer, sauce and a sermon or desert. ’’ “ No; it was a very good dinner; well ap pointed table, in fact it was perfect, except the prayers after. Why will people .mix up religon’ with feeding—a great mistake, bad for tbe indigestion, to say nothing of having to go down on your marrow bones with your head low enough to bring on a fit of apo plexy.” “Well, pater,sl think it must have done you good, for, do you know, I fancied there was an air of £swcet submission, gontlo resignation on your face last night when wo came home,” said his daughter. “Has anyone been here?” said her sister. “We bad such an awful fright—yer could a knocked mo down with a feather, as Maudo would say.” “What a tarrftdiddle ; I wouldn’t,” said Alisa Maude. ” “Girls, you are not to bo trusted alone if you cannot bobavo decently,” said Sir Felix. “Well, listen pntor, else I won’t toll yon. It was turning the corker of Longcloih Terraco, we came full tilt upon, who do you think? Mr. Athanins.” “Well, what of that; bow is the father confessor?” said Sir Felix. “ I haven’t the least idea, I never thought of asking him, but ho didn’t toll mo that he was suffering from any particular complaint—in fact I was in too awful a fright to stop to talk—fearing he might ask what books wc were carrying—what could wc have said? I should have been driven to say they were for you, pater—what would he have said? Ho might have ordered us to do penance in a wet sheet alone in tho church all night. How ever, I hold the strap firm und religiously kept tho lacks downwards, so ho never caught sight of the first letter “C” in Cbnndos or “R” in “ Rod as a rose is she” Julia Vernon lent us.” “lam sorry about Fortescuo," said Sir Felix, “but doubtless his rich relations will help him out of it—it’s only whnt his father did for them—old Ronton would never lot Jioor Fortescue go to the wall; for his athor’s sake they will help him.” “Mr. Joshua Renton I my poir, dear, in nocent, old pater! what a mind of sweet simplicity you must have, dear, charitably minded old gentleman." “Get out with you calling me ‘old gentle man,’ said Sir Felix, who rather prided him self on his juvenility. “ Well, you must be simple-minded if you endow old Ronton with each heavenly attributes as goodness and generosity. Mr. Renton, my dear sir, ho is tho kin of skinflints. Fanny Milner told me she went to Rosobank to got a subscription for her school feast, and Mrs. Ronton, who was nobody you know, a Vandcmohian, and moreover, she said very primly, looking as if she had breakfasted on ramrods, that she didn’t bco why children should bo # crammed with buns and other indigestible things, and ns to romping about and tearing their clothes, it only excited them and rendered them unfit for tho duties of life; thirdly, and lastly, the homily ended in a subscription of eighteonpcncc.” Sir Felix laughed, ho was naturally good hearted, “I wish,” he said, “ I been half ns careful with my pennies—it will give mo a lesson. ” “If you do I’ll run off with the first man that offers, even if is the now baronet’s courier, Mrs. Jones told me Sir Hubert gives his courier two hundred a year, and Mr. Forth five liundcrd.” “I don’t believe it,” said Sir Folix, “if you say Mr. Fprth is only ft friend is it likely, unless ho wns ft tutor or companion or keeper,” “A keeper! what an ideal it never struck me—perhaps tho baronet is a sbingic-sbort —wlint fun I and really when I corno to think of it—l fancy ho is mthor eccentric. I re member ho kept one glove on nil lunch time— fterhaps it is the last fnshjon. I attributed tto the privilege of a. rich man, sweet inno cents— 1 intend to cram them at the Vernon garden party, such simplicity of character, _ is really quite refreshing—Oh, dear,” said Miss Pom dote rrc —“what a world it is, sirs.” “And pater, what do you think Mr. Forth asked? if there were many'convicts at largo in society.” “What did you say?” said Sir Felix, laugh * $My face would have done credit to a stage Gorgon, I looked so horrified at tho word—l said sh, sb, sh, for heaven’s sake never mention the,word convict unless you wish to be hung, drawn, nnd quartered; it is such a delicate question ns to who bos and Who has not had a convict ancestor of some kind that wo never use tho word—except in* its very modified state—assigned servant — and oven that sparingly. Wo shudder at (lie word convict in Goldsborough, not being a penal settlement, but you see—those lament ably tainted sinners of sister colonies, if they or their ' fathers have sinned over so muon are gifted with non-mi ricordo constitutions.” “I only hope Sir Hubert doos’nt think wo have any tainted veins,” added Miss Maude severely.