Chapter 196501981

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Chapter NumberXIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1894-09-29
Page Number33
Word Count4060
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLeader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918)
Trove TitleGathered Rue. An Australian Novel
article text

i tales an0 sketches.

I gathered rue.


R by elixhton Gay. h op "dsift1no under the southern I cross. 1 Aouoss the Gulf," lie.

I iwiMS) YIIL — A Shadow Onwabd Oast.

I men theseulon hnd drawn to n close Basil |,ito«re m.rrlcd with due. pomp and, I iony, end, with the hearty oongrotalations I Sllml,. started off to the quiet solitude

I rfHMid.ban.for their blisaful honsymooD. I S-remayDO had provod hirosolf a valuable, I i£at0 tlia brains of the Logis ature, and on I Ss ol Onsnco .poke with a thorough grasp I rf hiVsubject,- whioh merited him as- a future | Irus'inr should ho continue in tho pohtioil. I "gsra's liberalism waa shakou 'by lior lover's I riiissod arguments, but not unthroned hot I Inter bnghsd amusedly at her efforts , to oon- I ml Buil to his political faith. She oould not B Bitenmlnrtond how her two legislators oould I KM II sell In private life, and .sob mot tho ito half way on debatable ground In con- I mntion until both wero nearly of accord, and B lit in tbe Rouse fight so fiercely In opposite B imps, She went less often to hear the debates I nlteconcilcd hernslf to tho conclusion that B teth sides must be right siuoo the two alio loved B tat in the world wero : in opposition to B itch other. B DiniilKirby, withont ranking as a million- Biin,wais wealthy man, and of course Morn I loildbeiolohelr to his property. He wished B Reyouog couple to tako possession of Sloondn- B hint ones tbst Basil migiit direct tho affairs B rftbe station ; but in any case to make it their principal reiidsnce, na Oondalla was Mrs. R Iitmsyne'i homo, and Yowarrce' Creek too far of totiko Mora to until communication should I bt farther opened up. To this end Kirby had I gitsn exteniiv. orders for the biiilding'of how iKeuatlloondsburra, which wore to be Urge I ud lofty, lined with polished cypress pine, and R imply rtudeil with deep verandahs. He root te India for ohoioo mattings, cool | lougH ted hangings, and hnd tbo wholo houso I fitted up newly in readluesa for them.' I Iliy begged him te mako it ie homo also, and I be lis lain to promise to do so, though resolute I til to break In on tholr felicity in the early days H of their bliss. I Alter s few weeks at Moondaburra Mrs. Tre- I Eiyne clsimel them at Oondalla for a. short riiit .She had been at their wedding, hut she 8 togei to hire her son with her a little I tbile that ah. might have a sharo in his happl- I tin i I As they drove their high Abbott buggy over I the rough bnah road botwaon tho two stations I they neither of them saw Margaret, 'who had I arreted herself in tho low ti-tree growth' by tho I ?'«'!? ,mnh In the same spot whoro woffrey Underwood had olios waited for tho I timer.'. She had dismounted and loft- her hone tied up at some distnnoo from tho traok Bj while ibs watohed for their coming with two tii spots on her sallow dark oheoks. She I A ,lim, H lovingly together ns they I t 'I'bhy by, and when thoy bad passed she I , bir horio and galloped homo, arriving I IS! f ! .1 ,k?ew of in b'roo to havo I TO'a out of the skirt of her habit (Whioh she 1 «;,!»'iiter hBf.0ii>Ary dress) ready to I Si eld ,B verandah by Mrs. Tro- I vfc'a'' fh,en Bb 'he slim, tall girl I r,rt,diii bace was a singularly por- I S d'k"«!t lull's. There wn. no Sis- I , ressmhlanc., although it was at I bwi concealed by the uulikeness of expres- I Urrbtl|ifd i"" motl>1 B little later when sho I "levnilhirw'Jf l?al,'B,iant "cowl I bllleilihJm. n,«Bar? ' ,r"b ,lle shivered a K bwd tbe Sua f !"1 "PPrehension. Basil TOatbeebHdcnrelossiy' hardly noticing her I ertnsldstnT,n T"3 i"'80 ,atantiinS at her I blide. Her f«B« t " ," brotIlor <">d his I "Mellon Sh. a T,icm,8 Iook of 0l>r0 a»d I '' br Mo,a veme , uk''11' -£ 'mr rccep- I tat»»Kious ofanvihln11 ,id? a wllol'y I Eiour, Kslhwi 8 strango in the other's I for lh! .n, i?l mU" ,oon ,h"« discovorod I t'ob'm msnner Hp/ iT?rc her carcle»0. I one rougkmed 'lan,l,ouio facs hnd be- I to'berdrelemi!? i ?ra,n?(I' ancl h« eye» I briutj ihl i- '" , with a» h" undoni- I «|oi " waa not a pleasant object to gaze I uI>«msdtedtholr,l,tn',<leo.I!'Il'lny Ilar' as I taerine ea both bo de trop, but I "ffj 'e,# of rsmonitrance!U' "r W" urao I h'urrtentsb6wa!It0I?-,"Ii#tllerine nllil1 ln I Uttr- "He U .h„ 8J lior leave a little | ®s»." Tbers V. . at Dlan 1 ''now, bar I '"I her fnnWntie<1i-en(larn<"a in I -jblly, er <>11 red hps trembled I Margsrot play I Hne ''''Ot the ol,n,iB,i i 'l'aoovcr what I &"" 'rprsssiim t ', witl> what IS?ftBl,lofi new ?B1,,ho. ,PIayod intrioato I Wl.t i lllrnsr!?. "J-1"!? msanings to I if K ' Sho thou!h? personality ro- I . r Jun in it unoanny for a cirl I &a V''« te mVeSC P'ooounced and I |,emiynis uvcB fni'u,, S,ho noticed that Mrs. I ZW y« them r.«d "Wy "ovemsnt ol I I,, 0' love and IntY"1 exProsaion not so I fifing liking. 88 o£ Intent distrust a",nlion t0 the I Ns ,' -11 to llirsnrBt M, l18' ho P'1! I'tonhnoal effort. t0':'hU8h 41,0 ollilll , , l mV,U notiaa '''"rtnowte lSonoe, "am I tall I ie«nf»Doing? Youflaidyou

would teach me next time you oame if I waa tall enough. I am nearly n« tall as — Morn. ' She hesitated before bringing out tho name, as if in doubt what she should call her. "Do not worry Basil,'1 Mrs. Tromayne said sternly ; " he haa something eke to think of now than teaching you. things no girl need know." "He promised," said Margaret In a low, concentrated voioe. ' " Did I, Margot," eaid Basil lightly, " Then of courso I must somo day— you do not want to commence this very minute, do you?" "It dooe not matter," tho girl answered in a choked tone; "I don't caro about it much if you have forgotton." , That evening when Mora waB alone with her they wero standing together at the open French window looking out on tho starlit plain inhaling tho cooler air, which was heovy with the aoent of the great white trumpet flowers. A thunderstorm was brooding in tho south, and warning poals of thunder broke the silence of the night. In tho intervals a cattle boll oianged not unmusically, as tho restless bullookB of tho teamsters who were camping by tha oreek' resented tho attacks of sandflies, and hoary wings indioatcd tho ravaging visit of flying foxes to the fruit trees. A scuffling and scrambling on the bark roof of the wide vorandah told of tho prescnco of a marauding opossum. In the clear star light the illimitable plain shono liko a grey sea in which the gaunt gum- trees seemed unlit beacons and tho flowory garden nn island. The evening air was oppres sively hot In tho house, butstamling as they wero in tho wiudow they caught a cooler breath as a slight breozo, tho fororunuer of a rainless storm,, sprang up. "My wifo," Basil murmured with tenderest intonation as Mora loaned towards him and played with the button of his ooat somewhat norvouBly, " Why does Margot c&U you by that— absurd name, my dearest?" sho asked in an embarrassed tone. "I novor thought it mattered what alio called me, darling ; iho is nothing tome, nothing. At times Idonotevsn like lior, sho hnssuoh a strange undisciplined nature hi apite of my mother's care. My Mora," ho addod after a pause during whioh she had not spoken ; drawing- her face oloss to his breast, ana resting his own oheek against hers in a boautlful reticent caress, "you must understand this, she is nothing to me, nothing and you are all tho world 1" ' : Mora was about to falter some remark about the- resemblance between her , husband aud Margot, but the stiaightforward earnestness of his tone impressed her ; she dared not doubt her husband ; she would not permit herself to see a flaw ia her . trust; aud belief in the man. she adored. She buried the little trouble, but in an unforgotten grave. Her thoughts went back against her will and gazed on the . mound. She knew what was beneath it, but she . would notacknowlodgo it. - Had she pressed the point at that moment perhaps Basil would have felt bound to impart what ho knew, or guessed, of Margot's parentage, though tho telling would have been bittor pain and qrief to bim. Had ha known the thongbti that were pass ing through his wife's mind, it is possible he might have sacrificed his own pride to spare her a momentary pang, but he was far from such knowledge. As he would have believed tbe assertion of any one In whom he bad'eonfl- denoe, bo did he expoat his simple word to bs accepted. When next Mora was constrained to ask him wby he allowed Margot to givo him the deer name of father, his prtdo was aroused and, for. the time, dominated his lovo, therefore he proudly declined to impart any informa tion beyond his bare word, and Mora's buried doubt came out of its grave and grow into such , proportions that it beoame her very life and being. Chapter XTV,— " Oh, Absence, what a Torment would'sttuou prove." Three years of happiness passed for Basil and Mora. They spent tholr time mostly at Moondaburra, but were often at tbe capital for. months together whilo Parliament was sitting. There had bean one oloud in their life. It was the separation whioh Basil's occasional long absence at Yowarreo Creek entailed. Mr. Kirby interposed his veto to 'Mora attempting the long journey with her husband, whioh must have been taken eu horse back tbe greater part of the way. If he confessed tho truth it would have been tbat ho was somewhat jealouB of tho husband, and loved to have Mora to himself during hi3 absenoe. It was a great grief to him that he had ab yet no grancblld to "dandle. on. his knee," as he fondly phrased it. Fate, whioh is always busy with, most of us, and Is the rusty peg on whioh wo hang all our disappointments and failures, became very busy with Mora Trcmayno at this time. Fate ordained that Daniel Kirby should estab lish his daughter in tho capital whilo he him self made ready to start for a prolonged trip to Europe as Boon as Basil should return from Yowarreo. Fate, too, arranged that floods Rhould detain Basil long beyond tbe time appointed, bo that Mr. Kirby reluotantly took his departure before tbe return of his son-in-law. Surely it was Fate, alxo, that planned the reappearance of Geoffroy Underwood in the colony at this par ticular time 1 Mora's beauty was enhanced rather than diminished, her figure bad attained its perfec tion, and her check had lost nothing of its youthful freshness. She was as great a favorite as ever, both with men and women. At her husband's wish she had given up daucing with out a murmur, but this deprivation hardly lessoned her pleasuro where her brightness and vivneiiy wero much appreciated Geoffrey Underwood had roturned to the colony under qnito a different aspeot than when ho loft It. "While ho was altered in appenrnuce, in dress and demeanor ho was quite other than the lazy young loafer who had hung about Ekatorin8ka, living tho life of a "oolonial ex- perioncer " year after ycer. Now he pouossBod a fortune, which rumor doubtloss did not diminish, nnd he was in the colony with tho avowed object of looking out for investments while enjoying tho vivifying sunshine, Ho was, moreover, fortified with in troductions to tho Governor, Sir Matthew Mourilyan, with whom ho was staying. Underwood first saw Mora at a small dance at Govornmont House, one of a series given ovory wock by tbe popular wifo of the Governor to a select sot of young people, and whero few married ladies were scon. "Lady Mourilyan," he said to his hostess with that deforential manner to women that hocamo him bo well, "who is the boautlful girl who is not dancing at all, but who seems to havo so muoh wit and animation ?" "Why do you not know Mrs. Tromayne ?" said Lady Mourilyan with surprise. "You. must have an introduction at onoe. Sho is a particular friend of mine, and so is hor husband, tho raombsr for tho Dampier district, you know." "Thon I do know hor, nnd him too!" Un- dorwood exclaimed. " When I saw her last she was somewhere about 14 years old and qulto a plain gawky girl. I shall bo grateful for a fresh introduotion, if you will bo so kind, for I can hardly hope she will romcmber mo."

"Mrs. Tromayne," said Lady Mourilyan to Mor«i, "let inc introduce, or reintroduce I should Bay, Mr. Underwood to you. It seoms lie had the pleasure of knowing yon years ago." Mora looked up doubtfully at Underwood as Ltidy Mourilyan walked away on the arm of an elderly gentleman who had been talking to Mora. Sho remembered him after a few moments, but her rEcoilcotions of him wero vague and not ploasant. "Mrs. Tremoync," ho was saying to her in a low melodious tone, " I nra so happy to make your acquaintance. I havo the very highest admiratiou for your father, both in his private and political capacities. It was my first dis appointment ou ronohing the colony to find I had missed him by such a short timo. I had looked forward to meeting bim and acting on hie advice." ( Mora's faoe had changed from doubt to de light as ho spoke of her beloved father. "I remombcr you quite well," she said with animation. "I remember your coming to Ooudalla just when my husband had oome back from England, and you wero then jast leaving. I wish my father had not left. I am afraid he will be away a long time, two or three years, he says." "If we can only gebthoConservatives dismissed from power," Underwood said insidiously, a little doubtful whether Mora sided with her husband's or her father's side in polities, " we shall be able to eoax bim baok sooner." - Mora oolored a little. Probably Mr. Under wood did not know that her husband was one of the Conservatives he talked of ? " Oh, what a lovely wAltz 1" she exclaimed Involuntarily, tapping her foot to the inspiring strain from . the small orchestra behind the palms. "Howremlss of me! "Will you honor mo by danoing it ?" "I do not danoe," Mora replied regretfully ; thon noticing an incredulous look In his faoe she added, " my husband does not approve of married ladies dancing round dances." "And he is— how many hundred— miles away? And you aro longing to dance ! Just one turn — do?" He pleaded earnestly. "I re member dancing with you in tho woolshed At Moondaburra when you were a little fairy of 7 or- 8! Dsnoe now, for old time's sake?" Mora smiled a little at the picture of herself flying round, the woolshed to the sound of a concertina and fiddle played by two of the Bhearers . while the rest danced At the harvest home when shearing was over. But she had not tbe smallest desiro to break her promise to her husband. " And what about tbe ubiquitous Mrs. Grundy?" she asked smilingly. "The news would fly to Yowarree on the wings of the wind, outdistancing euoh a merely soientifio forco as electricity — not that they, have the telegraph wire laid there yet."' " Mrs. Grundy ?" exolalmed. Underwood, still pleadingly, "why, when she was. 16 or there abouts she must cortainly have made a faux pas herself.. She learnt her racier from the remarks that followed. And this will bo anything hut a faux pas. . I foel oonvincod that you .danoe ns lichtly as you did of yore, ancKam sure our steps will suit to perfection." " We will take it all. for granted," Mora said lightly, "and hore comes my delightfully satirical friend, Misa Moore; she has made no promise against danoing, I. can assure you. Well, Honor, you have come back to' this safe refuge ?" " Indeed and I. have, my dear," said Miss Moore in a soft, rioh voice, in which a dolicats brogue was as paroeptibls as the soupgon of onion in. the omolstte. She oast a- comically malignant glance at her retreating partner. " aura that roan will be the death of me if ever I dance with him again 1 Yes, I know Mr. Underwood, but I don't know how he dances, dear, so faith I'll just rest my bruised shins a bit and talk to you.- A diamond ean polish another. diamond but it will only wear away a common pebble in attempting a similar process, and I have worn away several pebbles this even ing— for 1 am a diamond, though I mayn't be largo or of the first water." < Honor Moore was a tall slight girl of twonty- three, with dnrlc hair eyebrowzr and eye lashes, and blue eyes. She had a complexion of milk and roBos and a graceful figure, but a very large mouth and a rather small nose did their utmost to prevent hor from being con sidered beautiful withont wholly succeeding. She lived with her only brother (who held some Government appointment) on very small means, but nhe was so clover in managing tliat she always seemed opulent and well dressed. Mora was very kind to her, and many were the useful gifts that became miraculously trans ferred from her wardrobe to Honor's. "In the presence of two such diamonds I wish I might be tbe lapidary," Underwood said, drawing up a aeatto tha sofa tbey were on, "or else where do I como in ?" f'You would not liko the humbla part of handle to the diamond polishing tool?" said Mora. "You can be the jewel in tho toad's bead," said Honor carelessly, "of unascertained value, for it has never yet been tried by. tbs wheel of the lapidary or the add of proof. "We will givo you the benefit of the doubt." "I am content, "he said, smiling attheili con cealed hostility of hor tone. " Content goes on all-fours," Honor rejoined ; "and is only fit for quadrupeds." " And if I Am not personified content and aspire to soar, what will you say, Miss Moore?" "Say," said Honor with a little laugh ; "that a oockroack should not borrow a butterfly's wings." "Honor," said Mora, constrained to defend Uudorwood from what she thought an unwar ranted attack, "your cynicism is cheap to-day, like asparagus in tho Brompton-ro&d on Satur days. I am afraid your partner is answerable for something more than bruising your shins." " Yes, dear, tho accusation iu just ; he bruised my temper, too. I acknowledge it and cry 1 pscoavL.' Ho has just arrived from the Barcoo rot, says ho is 'passionately fond of dancing,' and then performs an antique stop (invented in the Ark) principally on portious of my body and olotbing, and ends by hinting that I am out of stop! I am afraid I said things to him that wero Bcarcoly kind or oomplimontary, but likely to rnnklo ! Women' certainly .are hateful creatures. If I were a man I should infallibly be a misogynist." "If you wero a man you would know," said Undorwood in a polito tons, " how unreal misogyny is, except whore tho idioiynerasy is exhibited towards the old women of oar own seer. I was trying to persuade Mrs. Trc mayno to waltz with me. Do you not think sho might, just for onae ? I am sure every one will bo duoroet and not mention it outside these walls." "i do not," said Miss Moors, shortly and decidedly. She hnd noticed Underwood's air of cmpresu « ment towards Mora as she joined tliom ; it was that whioh had made her tonguo r&ther sharper than usual in spooking to him. With the in sight of a koen intelligence sho had detected in Underwood's bearing towards women an indefin able shade of freodom boncath his surface de ference ; especially had sho remarked it when conversing with married women. Sho had known him a week only, hut sho had had numerous opportunities of forming hor

opinion, She know Mora was thoroughly able to toko care of. 'hewelf, but jn. tha absence of Tremayne— for wlioni sho had a. deep liking— she felt the masculine element in hor character dictating to her to stand between Mora and a threatened stain, as she" would have covered tier from the contamination of smuts from the runnel of a steamer. "I tbink, myself," Honor went. on as she re cognised tho abruptness of her tone and' adopt ing a more pronounoed brogue ; " the darlW shows us tho poethry of motion to porfcotlon whon sho's sittin' stiU I" "Whin Miss Mooro does moke a bull," Mora said, laughing, "there is nothing of the imma- in" ' k full grown, horns and " Sure Isn't it tho bard of me oountbroy tbat says, said Honor with ready parody— You may make, you may scatter the bulls as you win, . The sound of the bropuo will cling to them still ! " God save Ireland 1" Honor concluded. "And the Irish," said Underwood in a pro pitiatory tone; "wherever they aro found they are tho salt of tho earth." "And the pepper, too," said Mors, with, an affaotionate smile at her friend. : "Did you buy that ckeatnut horse you wsre asking my brother about ?" Honor asked Under wood. ''Yes, and another, he recommended— a brown filly. Do you ride now, Mrs. Tremayne ? I re member what an intrepid little horsewoman you wsre." " I ought to have boon," said Mora, pleased at. his references to her girlhood,: "with such an example as Katherine Graven continually before m®- 4 Yes, X ride a great deal at Moondaburra, and town, too, at this time of tho year." Honor Mooro noticed a sudden contraction in Underwood's eyes as Mora spoke, but she was at a loss to what cause toattributo it ( " Then may I hope to aooompany you on your rides sometimes?" Underwood said insidiously. "I know the neighborhood so Uttle.tliat I shall want a oieerone, and Lady' Mourilyan does not rido.V - "Ob, yes," Mora assented carelessly, "we can take some rules together. You can oome, too, Honor. I can mount you on Silveraido or father's cob, Nugget." " 9 will me a favor and ride my now acquisition, the ohsstant, Miss Moore? Ho has been ridden by a lady ever ainco he was.broken," said Undorwood, delighted to soe that he was going to gain his point, and reflecting that tbe rides once begun Miss Moore's presence might not always be insisted on. "It has been the dream of mylifo to ride that horse j" exolaimod Honor delightedly, after ex changing a glance with Mora, which indicated that the question of a habit would be arranged between them. Sir Matthew Mourilyan joined the trio and changed the conversation. He was a groat ad mirer of Mrs. Tremayne, and always sought op portunities for making himself agreeable to'her in his old fashioned courtly Irish style, and he delighted in exchanging passages of arms and Irishisms with Honor Moore. Lady Mourilyan sent tbe slim and graoeful nide-de-camp, Captain de Sails, to summon Underwood to her aide. He left Mrs. Tromayne with the feeling that .ho had made an excellent start in intimacy. (TO BE CONTINUED.)