Chapter 174510501

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Chapter NumberXXVII
Chapter TitlePARTING
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174510501
Full Date1892-03-26
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count1774
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)
Trove TitleThe Devil's Own. An Australian Story
article text

CHAPTER XXVII.

PARTING

"Adieu! I have too grieved a heart To take a tedious leave." SHAKESPEARE. In the Albury cemetery two women

were weeping bitterly over the marble crosj of a grave. “ Oh ! my darling Her bert,” said the youngest of the two; “ it seems too cruel to go quite away and leave you all alone in this cold, cold grave, in a strange country, bat I shall not be long away dear, and wherever I go I shall always have you in my thoughts. You, who have boon ray all, God gront tha£ nothing will ever happen to wake me forget you. Ah ! I shall never for get you.” She laid gently a large cross of lovely violets on the marble slab. A bevy of happy little maidens came running and dancing along, flowers in their hands, health and light heartedness in their rosy laughing faces. They stopped suddenly, hushing their voices as they came in sight of the grave, with its two mourning women standing over it. A cloud of sorrow passed over the sunny faces of the happy children ns they slopped to vatoh the pretty ladies’ grief and devour with admiration the cross of vhlebi aid wror.ln of snowy flowers that lay on the marble slab. “ It is the pretty fraulcin who lost her husband. Ho was killed, mother told mo, oh, a long time ago. I was so sorry. Mother cried when she heard it. He used to come and scj father some times,” said an elder of tie party. “ I used to bring flowers for a Jong long time, then mother got ill, T was too busy so I left off it off. Shall I put these on tho tomb? 1 meant thorn for lif tie Fritz, but I can gob some more.” She walked up soberly atd sedately to the grave, the younger children following, half shy at their intrusion, bub watching attentively their schoolfollov as she laid her simple bunch of. wild lowers, ferns, and grasses by the side of the o<oss of violets, tho child looking hull regretful nt the unworthineus of her flavors in com parison to the choice ones. 'The widow, looked up quickly, Ohildrenhad always ru interest for her —their j»yous pres ence seemed to lift her lat of her sorrowing solf. 1 “ Thank yau, dear,” she sad, with a sweet smile. “ Whore do you lit o ? What pretty flowers V ? The child hesitated for » moment, rather startled at being spoion to by such a dainty lady she thought “ Down in the valley,” she said shyly, '“ near tho river. ' I “ Do you often come hero said the widow. I Often,” said the child} “nefrly every day. Sometimes I bring flowcs for the graves. There is a. now one taco la6t Sunday—come and see it. is very pretty, a little boys gravor—omo and. see—it is Fritz. * j ', The widow wont with them. V In the centre of d tiny mouri, quite

' covered up with simple flowers and | modest wreaths, was a simple cross in j quartz stone, on which was tho epitaph 1 Fritz Sohonborg, etat 7 months. Suffer little children to come unto Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” “Poor child, poor little follow,” she said, with tears, thinking of her own little Puck, almost the same age. “So young.” “Yes, ho was not ill at all. He was here in church last Sunday, then ho took ill that night and died. Mother said he got very hob when out wolking, aud then ate a lot of fruit, because ho was thirsty you see and drank a lot of water. Mother said it killed him. lam going to gob some moro fl >wor3, they dio so soon. It is so hot just now; soo, I only got those yesterday, some from mother’s garden, but are all dead. The wattle is the prettiest, but there is none just now.” “Was little Fritz German?” said the widow, “ No, only his fother; his mother is English. Shall I bring soon more flowers for your grave lady. . I can coma vary day—l like it," says tho child, without any hope <>f gain or expectation of reward, as is often the case. “ Will you come very often, do.ir, whenever you can, and perhaps when flowers are difficult to find yoar mother will spare a few out of her pret l y gvadm f>r tho grave whore tho violets are, Here is something for your trouble," said the widow, giving the young trirl a small gold oin. “It is no trouble raanin,” she said, ?tiling at the gift, as if reluctant to take it. “ Never mind, you will nob forget tho flowers then.” “ I think wo had better be going dear,” st'd tho elder lady, putting her arm through that of her* noice. I have been watching Norman, ho has just ridden post, looking so tired. We must go homo and cheer him, poor follow. I suppose he has seen tho last of his old home. Vera moved away quickly, anxious in her pure unselfishness to pub aside her own sorrow when she could do anything or be any comfort to othero. As they closed the gates, she noticed all the children had gathered round tho grave she had just left. “ I do hope tho little one will not forget the flowers," she said softly to her aunt. “We will hurry to tho hotel, I had no idea it was so late dear.” “You are back; I was quite surprised when I heard,” she said, entering the hotel soon after “ What a terribly hot ride you must have had. It wa< hob hero doing nothing at all.” “Yes, it was very hot,” ho said gently, “My "coat was too I ought to have taken Connie’s advice and brought my silk one. However, it is all over now. Wo build castles hope fully, and a sudden wind of ill fat* blows them all down, leaving one out of heart. Do you believe in fate Vera, 1 do, but it is very cruel. What have I dsno that I am doomed to be crashed by an avalanche of trouble. I have never done any wrong to any man, never re fused even a traveller, and tried my nest to be charitable—with what result, [ have to sell the very plane f havn made, I have worked hard for, where my childr<m have grown up around mo. Oh ! I am so glnd Connie did not como up, it would have upset her fearfully ; as it is, I must bury my sorrow in ray own heart, or put it aside for the sake of others. Phew ! it is warm. I’ll go and get a lemon squash made, thoy know how to make them here, I have had many no ie— wouldn’t you like a cool drink, tea will make you b-tter I fancy.” “ No, I have a headache, so has Aunt Dit —it must be th > heat—we will fly to women’s solace, a cup of ten.” “ Suppose we have dinn&r at six, or rather earlier, then go for a stroll to tho river. I will try and muster a rod and lino, it will remind me of oil days,” ho said, with a sigh. “ Yes, that will bo delightful. Thoy are going lo give ns a delicious dinner. I ordered it myself, so I hope it will suit your majesty tast«, I know I am a v«ry bad caterer, in spite of Connie’s teaching. I ordered Pales'ine soup.” “Palestine soup I I suppose the simple folk had never heard of such a thing ” “ Oh, yes • they a good look and know all about it. After all it is only arti choke soup well made, after which Murray cod, some curried yap and roist quail. Its too hot to think of so ids.” “ Well done little housekeeper, just the feast for a hob night, backed up witli some Albury wine from old Fricnfoldcrs callers. I’ll go and have some put in tho tank to cool—[ am not very hungry, I must toll you I had a feast of wild turkey, just kept long enough, and didn’t I enjoy it. After all there is no bird like it. I would rather have it than pheasant any day—it was delicious, and they made roe have some champagne. I told them I was going to London, like Dick Whittington, and when I had made my fortune 1 would come back and buy the old place again. Of course I wasn’t going lo lob them think that it wasn't*n hard struggle to give up Seringa, and please God I’ll got it back someday. I don’t suppose I shall make any money during our trip to the old country ; by all accounts it is easier to spend it than to save it. However, wo must hope on, hope over, as Connie always tells me. By-tho-by, I have a wild turkey, some ducks, quail, and a Murray cod—all presents—to take down. I must go and see aboqt their being packed. ’ You see wo have some kind friends in tho old place still Aunt Dorothy, We start early to-morrow to avoid the heat,” As the train wont into tho Golds borough station tho next evening Lord Vereker was tho first that mot them on the platform, with a bright look of wel come, “ Here we are, back again like bad pennies, Vereker. How are you my son, you like very much bettor.” •‘I am all right thank you, old, follow; you iqust be very tired Miss I’ll sea to your packages. Foitcacue, you get on homo will) the ladies.”- u Bless me, ain’t wo porky. Why I left you in a chronic state of sofa and tjiiics. I’ll see to .the traps.” Then there was u small fight as to who should go fifgt and who shouldn’t, during which tho luggage was being hqnloci out of tho van, thereby calling our passengers’ attention to their goods and chattels, which were soon collected; “ Ago before ho*ior, sir,” said Porto soue, handing Miss Vavasour into a han som, then jumping in himself, to tho con fusion of tho widow, who had no alterna tive but .to got'in Lord Voroker’s cab, blushing and looking rather confused as he stood watching and waiting for her, with u quiet countenance, hiding a glad heart. ; . , ' (TO DP. CONTINUED.)