|Chapter Title||STORM WRACK.|
|Newspaper Title||Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918)|
|Trove Title||Gathered Rue. An Australian Novel|
I TALES AND SSCETOillSo
I CATHERED RUE.
I IN AUSTRALIAN NOVEL,
Br Eu.ehton Gat. irrnon OP "DMFTINQ UNDER THE SOUTHERN I C0033," " ACROSS THE GULF, " Ac.
i : miapteb IN.— Storm Wrack.
I A still louder olnp of thunder, followed by a I I, jmindons crash of a tree struok by lightning I Indsratpbiirous smell, mado even those ac- B customed to the violence of a. tropical utorm B stsrtnnd tremble. 1 .. . , . , .
H "WiabV Wtiua V criea sno tmiipiB imuuuu I iriih rromsn aervant, uhoonBoionsly wringing n B towel fa hor bunds; as she rnsbed in from tbo B adjoining bedroom, whoro she bad been putting down the mosquito noti round thobeds. "Ob, B 'a tare it's the end of the worruid i The Bieued Ssinto preearve u" this night ! There's B > banshee waiting on the verandah ; euro it's B deothtom all it' manes. Ob, Jesus an' Mary B watch ovir ns I" she added with extreme fervor B ai another clap shook the slight house and re- B rirbcrated round ths slab aiiimneys. B "It will soon bo ovor, Johanna," said Mrs. B Tromaynet "it is too violent to last long. B Don't bo frightened. As for your banshee, yon B bard tbo wind whistling tbrougli tho oreepors B of the vemndab, I suspect. " B "I hoard it justtlien, too," said Olga timidly, "and I think it must bn a ghost— or somc- I thing." | "I hoard something," Mora ohimed in, listen- B log intently at the door; "hut I think it wan I only ons of the pet lambs. I shall go and see." I "Stsy hero, Mora," eaid Mrs.' Tromayno. "I I hear s cry too. I think, as you nay, it is one of | the young lambs." I 11 1 ihut them up myself, mother, when I fad I them," said Olga with chattering teeth. "I I am pirfeotly sure tlioy could not liavo got I out" | "Well, if it is not ono of the pot lambs I must I goindaeewhatitis." . I lira. Tremsyne went into tile adjoining room, I which alio opened on the verandah at tho end I from which the cry came. Sho was closely fol- I lowed by both girls and Johanna, tho latter with her face buried in the towel with which she I had been whiskiug away the mosquitoes from I under the nets by way of protootion against the I banahce. I The cry was stilled, and in the pitch darkness I there wai nothing to bo seen. Thoy all stood I expectant for tho next flush of lightning. It I urns vary quickly, lasting a moment, and lonv- I ing tbem blindod by its glare and deafened by I the thunder that followed; but tho interval of | brightness has been of sufficient duration to ro- I real tbo preaonco of an unusual objeot whioh ap- I- pearod to bo pushed as far out of tho storm as I any one standing outside oould have managed. I It was under the shelter of tho verandah, and I wai icarcely renolied by tho driving rain. I a , 'Jlen a hopeless, plaintive cry came from I Jho bundle, and Mrs. Tromayno, with no other I thought than that it was some young creaturo adopted and then forgotten by Evolyn, dragged tiro buudlo (or whatever it ohould prove to bo) lamps. Eroom and into ">o light of tho The outer husk proved to bo a fow smooth stnps of cinnamon hued bark roughly inter- T— u withes of tho monkey vino into some lemblance of a basket, whioh almost closed over w 1100 was olenrly visiolo from < w '"PP'iew of torn blue blonkot. i . ®'Q !"ejnouIatod tho astonished but Hit."? d Johanna, "whoever saw ilnv.u't- >avis '"ar(1 to" f raining onts an' ' & il i ,11 baboa Tnllinpf from tho clouds I Will r if fS ft " justnlivo t'undorbolt. Ifcim.i.V o putt,lnK ," ontaido "Saio. Mrs. fed ht tk.mra8nt tbB chi!d' wh0 Imd b«on Paol- I » cqouce m0orr'nt and tU® lisbt"' commonoed ' eil!'i? bun8!7'", "ttle Mora with tho de- iem Joh?mf« 5 ?i "give it some broad and nn, Johanna, and then givo it to mo to play brXn,jLhT lk ,n»toad of dolly that's "s. ' cry nny more now." at s1I ?Um r r ' 11 i9?'t n rale babby at all, mire' whose doubts began to appearance if V1?? ?ared »»pornatural auMlfve of tbo little visitant; "it'll witkor "DctTm0 whcn tha 'torm is ovor." ffrimsvne «.!« I!onaa"'ae. Johanna," said Mrs. sa'-ssarsteiss: "&iSSK.8i.1£!w it" walling inf?"5 fhanda Mro. Tromayno lifted bid been ykg nf „m, a,r0lSb "est, whore it boown coilonuiaiw „ ?. Sf, the 6roy liohen Whiio the two Li.i . , old mana board." pectcd visit Jili!8 5, Sizing nt tha unor- "ho Proceeded ®yea of astonislimont, sweeton some nfii't "naeoustomed hands to with a m'Jk' nnd fod it to tho infant hungry, and With the 't'nndee T do,!.from the skies asked Johnn» ? ik oome from at 'ho cup for h«r mi . wondoringly, as sho hold flhappe,r inb""d,l'rEaa nnd watched tho milk flown tho baby's three?""!? Praafc,'oal manner 0 'he whole of T,llorc, i«n' t a babby ""A not one expected." "" six mon'lia old, "nSoaffimi Ta ?ilont- Sl'c, too, was oould pooolbly h?„ aa to. where tho tiny waif "»ch a ueycra .el0"14 ,from in 'bo midst of fithongh the blnnlf.? v ? ",ot ovon wot, for 'hoy had sesreok nnnEr " fnid. with lar«» drops E,,'yn came let ?i d 'brough it. M'uishm,a?« f 'J10 room and watched with hotter was f porformisnoe tlmt his sSfSytSas 'j1 of a trouhio "', 'boy'boonbt thay mightget 'hete«ny0iU8,„y oavingiton y"r hands. Is radio, " Jijj, Jl®,®fdddd> examining tho rough might hare beau out ono mito oil
or . a hundrod; lt might havo been made by n blaokfellow or a whito man. I don't think any body could tell whioh; but it isn't a black ohild anyway. Tho blacks would not forsake one of their own, though thoy might havo stolen this nnd loft it bore. "I havo not thoughtof looking at its clothos," said Mrs. Tremayno, laying tho infant in her lap and cxnmining tho nature of its covering which proved to ho a long length of coarse, soft, wliiic muslin, such ns 19 usctl for puggjtecB. It waa just ns it mny have como from tho mami- factory, and boro no stitch or mark as- aa indi cation of its origin With Johanna's assistance Mrs. Tromnyno commenced to unwrap several yards of the stuff whioh hod evidently been rolled on with duo regard to tho comfort of tho wearer, until tho plump rod body of an infant, apparently six or eight weeks old was discovered. Round its chest a fold of muslin wn3 sewn with clumsy stitchos. Within tho fold lay a picco of paper on which Mrs. Tromayne, holding it at- arm's length to got it within focus of her longsighted eyes, read with mingled footings : — Madom, I am a pore girl, I carnt bring up your grancbild aa sho should bo brung up, if your son was homo I am sura lie wood ogreo to what I've dono, it's oney justice, I don't not blamo Mr. Basil, Sirs. Tremain, I am onoy a poro girl, her namo is Margaret, my respects to you, Madom." Tho writing was on blun lined paper, evi dently a leaf torn from an oxoroiso book, andllio writing was in printed capitals in faded iuk, such as poor people make in their little dried up ink jara with tho addition of water nnd vinegar. ' If Mrs. Tromayno had not been taken so entirely by surprise alio would fain havo kept tho con tents of this paper seorot, but Olga nnd Evelyn had mastored its largo writing uooner than Bho had horsolf, ns sho quickly disoovcrcd by. a glanee at thoir perplexed faces. " Can I have it to play with now V! said Mora, breaking in on tho painful silence. "No, no, dear," replied Mrs. Tromayne nb- sontly; "certainly not." "Is it Basil's?" naked Morn, remembering the usual reason given for any thing she was not allowed to touah. The blood uurgod Into Mrs. Tromayne's brain as tbo words she hud read beoame moro vivid in thoir meaning by the child's words than they had been at first. Basil's ohild 1 . She had a strong impulso to Btrnln it passionately to hor heart, for was not the least of his belongings doar and sacred to her ? How muoh more, than, this creature that was flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone. But tho mothor ! Who oould this illiterate "pore girl '"be? Whoever she might bo she hud abandoned tho ohild. Perhaps, though, it was all falsa, a deeoption got np by some wicked woman who know Basil was not tboro to refute the accusation. "Bring tho other lamp this end, Johanna," sho said hurriedly as she peerod into the child's small face for conflrmation of the truth of the girl's story. Yes, it was trno, it. was Basil's faoo that looked with wide, dark eyes at the brigiit light j there wero his peculiarly marked eyebrows in miniature, li is firm mouth and square javr. As muoh as evor tho unformed featnros of an in fant can resemble those of a man this child re sembled her adored son. "The little toad likes thelight," said Johanna delightedly, gurgling and crowing to tho infant. "Lnw'm, she's juBt tbo dead spit of Mr. Basil when he was that sizo." As Johanna oould neither read nor writo, and could not therefore have gathered the contents of the paper, Mrs. Tromayne took this aa an un- expootcd conflrmation. " The brunt of tho storm is now over, Evolyn ; go out and soo what dnmage has boon done. Olga and Mora, you must go to bod. Johanna, bring a small bath and Homo warm water to my room." Hor orders woro obeyed by all with the usual promptitude. Olga, with preoooious upderatand- ing, elucidnted to Mora the mystery of the ap- poarnnoo of tho baby while thoy wsro undress ing. Mora's memory in after ' years dimly recurred to tho inoidents of. tho storm, and Olga'e explanation beeamo clear to her ; though at tho time sho only understood that sho oould not have the baby to play with; as it belonged in soma way to Basil, liko his books and collections of treasured trifles whioh Bho— indulged in all else— had bean forbidden to meddlo with. With her own hands Mrs, Tremayno washed tho child and dressed it tn old garments that she kapt by her to glvo away as acoasion demanded, nnd laid it gently in an Improvised aot by her own bodslde, with everything that coald be wantod during tho night, refusing Johanna's well meant offers to look nfter the ohild. Evelyn brought bank word from the manager, Morgan, that there had not been sufficient rain to bring tho oroek down "a banker," conse quently the now dam for which they had trembled was safo ; the tree struok by lightning had been a great gumtree by the pigsties, which had killed one pig in falling; and a chimnoy of one of tho huts had been struok without doing further damage. "We may find in the morning that some of tho horses havo boon struok, Morgan says, but that won't matter so much as tho dam is safe," said Evelyn, then continuing with a nervous rush, "you— you don't moan to keep that ohild, do you, mother? I don't' beliora that Basil knows anything about It, at any rato you will write and ask him ?" " I shall certainly keep It," said his mother, "and I forbid you or anyone else to montion anything about it to Basil. I shall be up early to-morrow: you can have Groy Monarch saddled for me at 6 o'clock." Tha next morning it was found that the samo troe that had wrookod the pigsty in falling had knocked down several panels of tho thrco railed fence of tho horse paddock, and tho horses had all mado thoir oscapo in the night ; so that it was lato in tha morning before a horse could lm caught and saddled far Mrs. Tromayne. Sho rejeoted Evelyn's offer to acoompany hor, snd rodo of in tho direction of the Long Wntorhole. Of oourso tho hawker's camp had been brokon up many hours, but her practised eye soon picked up thoir trail from whoro thero fire had been made, and sho followed it up at her host speed towards Boohygnn, hut without untieing that a trail nlso went in the direction of Grass Plains. A few hours hard riding wero nothing to her, and sho soon oamo in sight of ths spring oart slowly trailing noross tho plain. Jomima in a man's hat and coat rode astride ono of tho horses, driving two poor beasts ahoad as before. Bill was oaref ully hiddon within tho oart as Mrs. Tremayno camo up with them. " Morning mum," said Jemima, with rough oourtosy. " My word, that was a storm lust night. Golly, I was oloan frightened of it ! It'll start tho grass n-growing, won't it mum ? Bill, does tho lady want anything in our way to-doy ? " Thus nddressod, Bill Boomed to booome sud denly cognisant of tho lady's approach, nnd pulled the cart to a standstill off the track. "Good morning," said Mrs. Tromayno; " havo you any muslin liko this ? " Sho pulled a picoe from her saddle poitoh whioh she had out from tho baby's wrappings. " Sorry to say I haven't any bore. Wo'vo got just tho vary sort, but it's all on th; other oart that's gono by Grass Plains. Do you happen to want any tobacoo pouches or pipes, gunpowder or oaps, billies or pannikins, shears or knives —
"I want a .kmfo," said Mrs. ' Tremnyne, breaking off Bill's voluble list of commodities, romemboring Evelyn's necessity. " Hero y'aro 'm, boo-you-tiful knife, threo blades, oorksorow, hoof piokor, tobacco stopper, toothpiok, and nail file, oomploto as thoy mako om, only five bob, and just a handy sizo for a lady I" "That will do," said Mrs. Tremayno, ab sently. "You have no ono else with you ?" she asked, after looking attentively at tho withered weather beaten face of Jemima, and amongst the heterogeneous contents of tho cart — " no young woman ?" "Are you moaning Biddy Walsh, Miok Flannigan's shlip of a girl?" said Bill, with a loer. " Sho's with the other osrt, mum, and thoy'ro gono by Grass Plains." "Perhaps I do," said Mrs. Tromayne, quietly. " Do you think that I could oome up with them this evening ?" . "That you would not, mum, said Bill, posi tively ; " for Miok, he's got the best of tho horseflesh and will be travelling lightor than we be. " "Is she a— a pretty looking girl 2" uked Mrs. Tromayno, coldly. " Pretty is it 1" As pretty as paint';, a face like a rose on her," said Bill enthusiastically. "Miok has to keep a sharp, eye on his etep- dsrtor— for nil tho young mon do bo running after her like flies to a honoybag. Dossn't thoy, Jemima?" "Handsome is ns handsome does," said Jomima derisively. "She's an artful piece, that's what ahe is." " Come this way, my good woman," said Mrr. Tremayno, tendering a pound note for thoknifo and forgetting to take the obange, and taking Jemima apart. " Has this Biddy Walsh, as you call her, beea this wiy before ?" ' . . "She has, a matter of less than a year ago."- " Has sho had. a baby latoly 2" ... - "Law, yes'm, of oourso sho had !" "Anil forsookit.2", " Forsook it — oh, no ; sho just left it where it had goodnight to be." " That will do. No, I don't require anything more."- -Wheeling her horso hastily, Mrs. Tremayne csntored homewards, convinced that in. Biddy Walsh she had found the mother of the infant that had been confided to her charge, and determined that for Basil's aako sho would koep it and do as best sho could for it. She would not follow tho girl ; for many reasons sho hoped eho might never see hor. When she reaohed tho head station late in ths afternoon, sho found her daughter ICathcrine lolling in a hammook on the verandah, with Olga and Mora waiting on her with tea and cakes. "What's all this I hear abont a. ohild of Basil's being dropped from tho oiouds' on your doorstep, so to spoak?" Katherino cried out, after a perfuuetory kiss had been coldly per formed on both sides. " I have inspected the hideous littlo brat, and I am bound to say she carries her parentage on her face. She's as like Basil as posaible. Olga says thero was a paper. If you will givo it to me I will ride into Berrt berri to-morrow, and tbo police may bo able to find the mother ; for, of course, you don't want to bo bothered with it, and I eupposoyou couldn't drown the thing— liko a superfluous kitten or puppy — thongh I don't mysolf seo why you shouldn't ! " "I mean to koep the child," said Mrs. Tre mayne frigidly. " Oil, tire modol BaBil ! " sneered Kutherine, " tho paragon of propriety, who was always so sbooked at any harmless little froiio that I in dulgod in ? I shouldn't wonder if ho wrote to say that nature and tho woman aro both liars, and that the ohild is none of his." " I beg that yon will spare mo these remarks on your brothor, Kntlierine," said her mother, authoritatively. "My mind is mado up. When Basil roturns it will be time enough to make him arbiter of the child's future. I shall not communicate the facts tn him, and I desire you to bo silent, too. You may now tell mo of your Sydney trip." "There's nothing to toll," said Katharine, sullenly. "I went, nnd I had a good time, and I came back. Clifford is a little more disagree able and eccentric than whon I went away ; that's all. . Good-by." And nodding non- ohalantly to her mother and giving Olga, and Mora a oareless pat, sho mounted her horse and. galloped off. . Chapter IV.— Basil's Return'. Mrs. Tiemayno entrusted the child to' the oare of Mary, an old black gin, who had wandered too far from her tribe ever to want to run away. She became inordinately attaohed to little Mar garet, who throve exceedingly under her care and tho watahfulncss of Mrs. Tremayne. Evelyn went to sohool in Sydney, and Olga was 30 miles off, at Moondaburra, with Mors, In chargo of a stern English governess. They all spent most of their holidays at Oondalla, when it seemed over to oomo upon them as a surprise that tho child was still there, for betweon their visits no word of her was mentionod in Mrs. Tremayno'a letters, so she passed out of their memortos. The child was an enigma to Mrs. Tremayne ; she could not satisfy herself whether sho wero more of a joy nr shame to her ; whethor it be hoved her to love and oherish her for Basil's sake, or loathe and detest her as tho wrotchod mothor who hsd abandoned her. ' Botwocn these emotions her condaot to the child was wavering and uncertain, but littlo Margaret seomod always confident of a welcome in tho arms of " Missie," as hor old aboriginal nurso had taught her to oall Mrs. Tromayno, and in her worst tempers nnd moods — whon tho like ness to Basil beoame most marked, she would always submit to Missie, though to no ono else. It secinod nn especial delight to Katherine to arouse the child's violence and then ineffectually try to coax hor to oome to her ; but Margaret would never make friends with her, and auffed and pommelled her with all hor obildish strength to avoid Katherine's occasional passionate caresses. During tha four years of Basil's absenca there had boon fow other changes at Oondalla or in tho neighborhood. Oondalla bad prospered under tho careful management of Mrs. Tre mayne, advised atid assisted by canny Daniel Kirby, Mora's father. Katborine's behavior had sobered somewhat from her earlier years, bnt her toinper had booomo more bitter and her manners moro brusque. Geoffroy Underwood still hung abont Etater- ihiska with more show of settled employment as Craven became moro and more incapacitated from aotlve supervision ; but the old ileferenoe of manner to Knthorino was no longer displayed, anil instead of exercising tho control ovor her aotions that he once did thoro was ill concealed hostility betweon thom. Tho four years whioh were to be the extrcmo limit of Basil's stay in England had enfflccd, not only to givo him honor at bis University, hnt a knowledgo of tho world and human nature. Ho had apont his vacations in travel, and had vaatiy cnlargod his experiences, all of whioh wore now to bo used for the benefit of his oolouy and the advnneement of ito interests, not forgetting his own ; for whioh purposes ho was now on ills way from Sydney, from whence ho would bo ncoompaniod by Evelyn, whose moro limited education was also completod. Thoy might bo expected at tha Btation any day. Katharine had invited herself and her husband
to Oondalla to await hsr brother'! arrival, and had driven ovor with au alarming amount of impedimenta, without which Craven protested it waa impossiklo to movo a yard— from his water bod and air pillows, which were doubtless neces sary to his comfort, to his groat telescope, his fretsaw and oroohet noodles, which cer tainly woro not, everything had to como with him. Olga's education was finished, too, andastayin Sydney with some school frionds resulted Id her engagement to a worthy young New South Wales squatter — Allan Fioldor — to whom sho was shortly to bo married. Daniel Kirby had also oome to receivo Basil on his return, bring ing with him Mora on a last visit before she wont to Boliool in Tasmania, where hsr father judged the moro bracing climnto would he bene- lloial to her after out growing her strength. Breakfast was over, nnd Clifford Cravon, propping his baok against the slabs of the house under tho verandah, and half supporting bis weak limbs on his crutches, was pointing out to Daniol Kirby, who wnlkod sturdily up and down Bmoking his short blaok pipo, tho onormous benefits tho colonies were to derive from hie latest sokomo ; whioh was to introduce the cochineal insect to food on the lands now left worso than useless through the encroachment of tho prickly pear oaotus. "You see, ICirby," he was saying in his languid, flat voice, " we should charter a ship, say at the Oapo ; plant all tho spare places un the deck with tho cactus, then catch tuo coccus cacti in groat numbers, cover them. ovor with especially constructed sieve wire netting, and loava them in the sun and the air to luxuriate on their favorito (lict all the voyage. Then we should let thom loose on tho districts covered with prickly pear. : Then all you hove to do is to oolleet tlicm'iu thousands and tens of thousands, that their' bodies may be 'converted into coohi- neah" - .. , "What capital do you propose, Or&veh?" nskod Kirby with twinkling eyes,' "and- Kow many shares will you give mo for a square mile or two of Mocudaburra whioh is covered with prickly pear?" : "I thought of making the company 300,000 shares it s pound & share," replied -Graven 'seriously ; " But as I see you are ready to fall in with my sobemo, I shall be happy to arrango details with you subsequently." " Stay 1" said Kirby, as if striiok with a sudden fear, " what do your storo insects feed on whon thoro aro no ripe purple pears ?" "I am sure I don't know)" said Graven, rather takon abaok. "Perhaps wo might make a sort of jam from tho fruit when it iB in Beason, ' and lay it abont in saucors- for. them' to food from, as you feed bees with sugar and water." "I am sure tho colonies of ants in the neigh borhood will muoh appreciate the delicate atton- tion if tho coohineai don't," said Kirby. " I must look it up," said Graven dubiously; "Katherine, bring me those Beven volumes of Bellamy's Universal Etymology, and the volume of my Encyclopedia, 'bab' to 1 fell and also bring me ray woolwork — not the' tapestry, bnt the footstool -I am making for myself. I think I feel well enough to do a few rounds this morn ing. Olga and Mora, if you will wait I will teach you the stitch. I have invented it myself. Kathorine !" he called out as his wife with a contemptuous curl of the lips rose slowly, to ful fil his ioommands; "the wool work Is in the camphor trunk with my models, so pray baearo- ful how you turn the things over." .. .Daniel Kirby, with a Bniff that implied some thing betweon disgust and amusement, did not wait for the resumption of the explanation of the aoehiueal seheme, but took himself off to obat with tho manager. Olga and Mora went Into tho garden to watoh for the mailman, who might be oxpectod to bring newsof the travellers ; and Katherine, who secinod restless and excited, settled borstlf in the deep old sofa in the sitting room with a book in hor hand, whioh sho made no pretence of reading. - - ' Mrs. Tremayno busied herself calmly In revis ing tho list of stores to bo ordored.' . ' , "Mrs. Tromayne, thoy aro coming, thoy aro coming I" cried Mora, running up the vorabdah as swiftly and as lightly as a swallow an the wing, "Wo saw the baggy the moment it oamo through the trees, and I ran baek to tell yon." Mrs. Tremnyne, with nil hor self oontrol, turned white to tho lips with excess of joy, and eintohed at her throat a moment as she stood in the doorway with Margaret holding on to her skirts. " Tho retnrn of tbo Prodigal Son," said Katherine, flinging her book violently down ns a red spot mounted to hor cheeks. "Kill the fatted oalf, overybody go forth and meet hlra, and hang garlands about his neok ! Margaret, oomo here." "I won't," Baid the ohild with singularly omphatie dislike in her tone. "You shall," said' Katherine, drawing the child towards her not ungently. " Do you know it is dada who is coming presently ? Dada, do you hear? Say 'dada ' this moment." " I won't," said Margaret defiantly. . "Katherine," said Mrs. Tromayno coldly, "you will oblige ma by not teaching the ohild to say that." "Is it not the truth?" said Katherino with an air of calm reasonableness ; " she ought to know it cerlainly." Mrs. Tremayne turned away in sjlent dis pleasure, and reeovaring from her momentary emotion bailed hersolf in giving orders for the entertainment of the travellers. Littlo Margaret wandered off in searoh of her nurse, wliiiporing ovor to herself the now word she had been taught In a fow minutes more "everyone had assembled to welcome homo. the young master; and the adoring mother, whilo ministering to both sons alike, marked the changes in her Basil. At ono time he had looked too tall and threatened to becomo ungainly, hut ho bad now filled out, until hie height seemed desoeptive, ho was ta well proportioned. His faae was clear cnt and dark ; his eyes seemed to have the singular power of altering in color and shape, so different did they look under different moods. He had beoomo an adept at all exorolses and games of skill, espooially those were the viotory lay between man and man, kuoIi as chess and fenoing. He waiqniok tempered, but slow to rouse, excessively proud and ultra-oonservatire. Giving bis nffeotionc to few, but to them absolutely, and with constancy and adoration. His faults might ho patout to others, but such as Da was ilia mother found him perfoot, and aonld not bnva wished a lino or a trait modifiod. Evolyn was round foaturad and fair, with easy going, lazy manners ; his most marked oharaoteristio seemed to bo n fondness for pets and animals of nil sorts. One by ono the friends and relations went away, leaving mother and sons to their talk ; all but Katherino, who obtusely declined to tako tho hints hor husband gave, nnd stood hor ground. Even Evelyn hurried through his re past and left them. Bnsil was leisuroly finish ing his breakfast with the honoycomb his mother was pressing on his notioo whon tho voioe of littlo Margaret without, talking to Evelyn, nttraotcd his attention. "Hullo, a child I" heoxolaimed with gonuino ourpriio, "whoso is it, mother?" Margaret, with her usual impotuous energy, hurst into the room, but soeing a stranger was struok with sutldon sbynoss and ran to Mrs. Tremayne. Sho was a swarthy child with
largo, dark eyes and' long dark carls, but with no other beauty ; dressed as she was in red turkoy twill sho looked Oriental nnd pic turesque. Hor froedom with his mother amazed Bnsil. "IVby, what child is this?" ho cried in nn nmuflod tone. . ' Como to me, littlo odo." t-«i dada," oiud Margaret, attraotod, as cmidreti often are, by a voice that plossei tuom, and running to him sho embraced his kucc9. Shea a wise child," said Katherine, ex citedly; cn perfect marvel of wisdom! Sho knows her own f ather. " "What do you mean?" he said, turning to her auddouly and mooting n frightened, im- to-1?8. !K' wl'ii ' wholly amazed him. TO;;bat » moaning 0f it? Yon explain, mother. Whoso Is this ohild who has, it appears, been taught to call me 'dada ' ?" For nil answer Mrs. Tremayno prodnaed the pieco of writing which had been found tied round tha body 0f the child. While he read it she related tho finding of the child in tho - midst of the storm ' Basil looked from the paper Into the anans- glomus eyes of his mother, then kconly into KntherineV, lastly took n long look at the k-i t .."I. ft te"0'y put questions ho" elioiteu all Mrs. Tremayne knew or suapooted. Looking again from one to the other, ho turned up the ehild's face for further sorutiny, onding by impressing kisses on its dimpled softness. Never, porhaps,, hsd the family likeness between Katherino and her brother been to marked ob. at this moraont, as alio with firmly , bent brows and softened - eyes watched him . warily ; and he, with anxious inquiring glances . looked from her to: her mothor, In whom con- : stitntional and acquired, reserve were fighting . -with thenecesaity. for speech and enlighten- ment. .- ? ... . Thesilenco was becoming oppressive whon the child (cuddled now against Basil's tshouldor in happy - confidence) , murmured V'Dada"- once , more, and Mrs Tremayne. constrained herself to speak. : - ' It is true is it not, my son?" "You believed it true, mothor?" he asked, quietly. "You wero content to believe I had behaved like a blaokgaflrd— " "Yon wero so young, Basil," she interrupted, tenderly. " I was compelled to belioveit,-no other belief was open to me ; the child was so Ike what you and tho others—Katharine— had been that I could not believe there was any deception." . , 14 Did you seek to find and roseue— the mothor of tho ohild?" he askoJ, sternly avoiding the passionate appeal on Katherine's face. I did, Basil. I made every inquiry, but i have never been able to bear again of the girl- Biddy Walsh they called her — who had passed through Oondalla that night. I have taken care of the ohild. The girl wae right, I was the proper person to look after it. Is it not so?" 44 Certainly you must have kept her under any cironmstancee ; it was right to givo the poor little waif a home. Katherine, whore wero you on this eventful oce&sion ?" 44 Katherine was in Sydney," began Mrs. Tre mayne, with Qonfideuco— 44 but, no,< you had re turned, Katherino ; was it tho next day or that very day?" . i 14 A day or two before, or after, how am I to remember?"- said- Katherine, impatiently. " What does it matter?" 44 Odd thongh," said Mrs. Tremayne to her self. 44 1 never thought— " 41 And -Kate," resumed Basil, hastily, 44 did you not adviso your mother to keep her?" \ "Pooh," Baid Katherino, with heightened color and a note of disdain. 44It is likely-that mother would aBk advico of mo, isn't it. Besides don't . flatter yourself I would have interested myself . on behalf of your brat. I would havo drowned it if I hoid beea in mother's place. It's her look out— and yours. What is it Shakspeare says 'The gods are just, and of our pleasant vioea make instruments to scourge us.' " . 44I caii't bear tho monkey faced thing, and she bates me. She would not kiss mo for -any , bribe as she is now -kissing you, whom she -sees for the first time." Kathorino's voice slightly broke, though she tossed her bead with careless disdain of the words sho was uttering. ,,Margot,,l said Basil to the child, disengag ing her arms from his neck, 44 go anu kiss that lady at once," he added firmly, seeiug she hesi tated, 44 or you shall never kiss dada again." Margarot hurried to obey,' but Katherine rose hastily and, pushing the ohild from her, rushed from the room, and seizing a hat ran through tho garden to the hut of her old foster mother, Bridget Moran. "Mother," said Basil, taking his, mother's hands in his and kissing her with solemnity, 44 believo me when I swear to you that I never wronged tho mothor of that child. My own conscience acquits me, and though I am ready to admit that you were right in adopting her, I should like to feol that you exonerate mo from an£ blame, venial sin, or how ever you may call 44 My eon," said Mrs. Tremayne simply, her mother's love getting the better of ber own reserve, 44 1 could never blame yon— you havo always been perfeot in my eyes. I always blamed tho girl. Yon see by liter writing sue does not blame you herself." 44 Yes," said Basil, with an enigmatic smile. 44 You must blame little Margaret's mother, though it sounds hatefully unohivalrous to say so ! . , I wish my consoieuce was so olear of all sin that I could swear.to you this one does not lie at my door. . , I fear ths. best of. us men have blaok enough snots on us. This is a spot that has f alleif unawares, I mustaocoptit." , 44 Say no more, Basil," said his mother, with piroud determination. "Margaret is my protdgd;. beyond that it concerns, and shall concern, no ono who . or. what sho is. - While I live she shall be my- care." " (to be continued. )