|Newspaper Title||Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918)|
|Trove Title||Gathered Rue. An Australian Novel|
jjjl| fULES AMD SKETCHES. |
ffl gathered rue.
HI a\' AUSTRALIAN NOVEL.
I Br Kllehton Gay. if«nt op "drifting under the southern Cboss," "Across the Gulf," Ac.
I /bV, -Another of Craven's Schemes. Mm, Buil found himself olono Inter in tho ; "J. rtriswed tho event of tho morning ift h!3 habitual clearness and conciseness IS ii ha thought, in all its bearings nnd Sb! He nover doubted that he had Ski fa Hght thing, it did not seem likely ltd my trouble should annuo in tho futuro Laihaafmplo course ho hnd rapidly marked for hlmsolf. The oonvontions of sooiety trfiioed that tho diigrnoo which would bo a /niter-weight on him should press Iiko load in t-utber quarter if all wereknown. The littlo waif aUh ejes and fflftturoB so like his own should ci!i him father if she liked; it would satisfy
IHimothtr sod allay any suspicions rnac nia ho diieot inquiries had ovoked. It did not nil forth any particular heroism, though he tsnliillf disliked tho subtorfugo allotted to tio, Kot that ho felt himself so wholly puro ud sinless, but it was oontrary to the proud mtrr«d bias of his mind that he should taoitly tiia tho world iuto his conflilenco by allowing jitobo proclaimed that ho was tho father of (hrgiret and accepted responsibility as such. Ifofortaoately only tho immediate aspects of flieiieitruok him. Ho saw Margaret a little Addling child, nurtured and cared for by his notber, who attached hersoif strongly to her in bii «ke. He did not look ahead to seo Uirpret grown up defiantly, olaiming her right lo his care and affeotiou after his mother's jcith, causing unbappinusa and disunion, coming betresn him and bis love ; but, oven had bo tuaibs future laid out beforo his inward vision, u the broad plain was mapped out to his view lathe bright uncompromising sunlight, bo still would not have hesitated. Family pride was an imporUntconstitutent in his oharaoter, Heoould cot conceive any oiroumstances that would in dace him to permit an expoauro of family affairs ioihtpublio viow, Ho would even desire that he alone should be tho repository of tho family Iucbhej, lest a weaker spirit, if there weroany ir.riti, should betray them. A sudden thought took him in searoh of Kitbirint, who was sauntoring listlessly among the vines, where tho gtapes were hanging in ripenfog clutters, for it was tho month of Do ctrabsr. Seeing his intentions she grew rod, ted tried to avoid him ; but ho was soon by lior lids, and relieved the tenelon of bor mind by hiking at ease of her childhood and of affairs at Ekiterimkn, "Where la that follow Underwood now?" he liked abruptly, aftor a timo taking a side long lookat her tell talofaoo. "Still on the run," replied Katherine, almost' dooie " n® or Working just as ho "Then If yon sot any store by him," ho said tea casual manner, "youmaygivo him a hint "«eep out of my way," i h! s V 8 . tlierino, through olenohed seeto, with passionate emphasis, as if to con unce herself. "Irfou'f. I Ioatho and dotoat j , 1 , hftd never seen him. If he lay wunded and helpless at my foot I would drag 2 ..bed to perish by inches." Basil looked at her curiously ; her handsome S iIMu!Md,!torW wikh hlktrod« and her wi, illght form drew np and expanded with the Kobj.srofrJiik." poi"ed for a ,prlnB l.m£OI,r ftp B Bs.il with csrelea. oon- 3,, !5 nS1 olmn8ine '!> subj.ot pointedly K»ued- "How Mora has shot up, but what 0'!'et Bo(l loolta. She was such a ft If ? thing when I loft." etmirirVt KlT Catherine, recovering of henelf, I think sho is looking for sfc f'u14 h"\ &"ainod her fullhoightof tiu t«. 8 ' 'ooked considerably moro ltd S " w.a' .wkwsrd and angular, bisuf. tJii Pron>i«" of development into KMcion. of® v"ia uot 'n the least shy or aolf faenliiv. . i WBa Ufttnral, bright and joyoue, .ffmlion.l. orpsniive, .ympathctio nnd ! nholl. ul.'nn l"r .ftt'''or| v''10 "turn was 1 |i»«n en t,P l1.'' 18 r' 'laving for some years 'in i! 'Wamentary duties, as they took ; Brtber whj had r t,00,lonB,at 0 tim0- Vecka oil) I?. ! - aIlQ wo kut a fow Auictt (a'hilu Pv«n lier tho fanciful name of wnthins tP !l" '3iUll5e<' byth. eound to liavo ia the flrjt hill" w Terb amorl- Boor Dan thit the clnhl.nN inR ,hi,8 w'f directed '« she had hr» 1 1 i ,cfortl1 1)0 ollllei1 Uora> train , £ '»gUt death in lieu of love in hoi " katiiPPP 5 , ,,el' remained, with »unnrc.U«n ?a'd w't'1 fnoo bsnming ing for von 'nerrimctit, "I have batn look- """Slit out » i b'r' Ornvon has just In to send ? Bm'"J new 'liscovery, and lie wante ''«li.r?at „ "10 f,r. M-r- Underwood to oomo Ibinga to tr» 18 to br'DK thia list of tttyno will .7. ",0mo "pcrimont, if hire. Tro- e' icience." B naaty amoll in the mteroata taitsU'|71''-v',,1S.Ketliocino flew off to her P'opped'uo in if. """S1 tinder tho verandah morablo pijj07fl Portable couch with innu- iii CSL,ierwo,fi,csn't cora i're»" she Allan Fialdor in 0 ll0UBU '» fu". nnd mother liata, i,ifn ,?mitlK to-morrow. Besidca 'trero dhpVo"' «u'ro'f'd WTS.' Tremn)'''0, with t" laoglite, if f. ?m witbln "le "om, whero hasty BDannh i '"IS. ' no' mako K«n«omP, i f dBL,0f.Tu,,. Mr' Und"- ®,d f»ouse basnil-t i? w,hc,, lt 'kis elaatio J® fpranoUsor," thcro was 5inbCrougfcU''i,l0 „w'tho«t 'I'm," said Kathc- "tyo. i » nts newest fad oan wait a fow
"Oortalnly not," said Mrs. Tremay no, ncous- tomsd to b, objoluto in her powor. "Tho ration carrier is just starting for tho Bunga out. otation, and ho oan tako tho mossago there afterwards." " Basil won't thank yon," said Kathorino. Basil, at 'oast, does not forgot the rospeot <>» to "no, and will reooiroony ouolwiob,"said Mrs, Tromnyno dooisiroly. "Then if ho ia to oomo, "said Kathorino, nftor A moment s hesitation, " I will go myself " 11 Then listcu to my idea," said Craven, amused by tho clashing of two strong wills. Mr. Kirby has honorod mo by thinking thero ia a great doal in it, and to bavorocoivod so muoh commendation in this early stage from a man of his vast practical oxporioncc means a very great deal to mo." " Ato you euro you have not ovorlookcd tho moat essential things," said Kathorino with a neer, as you did with your ouro for grass seed oountry and tho extermination of tho thistle and Bathurat burr?" "No," said Oravon hastily, whilo a pink flush oame Into eaoh pale, efFominato ohcolc. "You know how the wholo of thi9 country side is ill foated with footroot among tho shoep ? "Well, I shall work on the old adage that prevention is better than ouro ; that ia to say, that all our cures having failed I shall try prevention. I am going to dress all the sheep before they are touohed by tho disease with a composition which shall keep their hoofs dry and watorproof ; I shall keep off tho causo, and so keep off the disease. No moro bluestono and caustic and paring of hoofs and incessant worry 1" "It is a great diacovory, a vory great dis covery. I shall claim n Government grant. I think," ho added meditatively, " that I should profor my oxcoutora to declino tho honor of a statue to my memory. Modern dress is so hideous." "But that smoking coat of yours ia piotur esquo and fanciful enough, old follow," said Kirby wickadly; "bosidca tho stafcno could bo (ooatod ' with your own composition." " You will go yoursolf, then, Katherine," said Craven, waiving off Kirby's chaff as if it wore really that light but tangible substance, "and mnko him soe tho importance of his bringing ovorything oxaotly as I have written it down. I only hopo I have forgottou nothing. You wait and come back with him, and so m&ko sure of him. Ho is such a slippery beggar if ho happens not to want to do a thing." Kathorino gavo instructions to have a horso saddled, and In a vory fow minutes was galloping moodily across tho plains to Bkator iuska. Meanwhile Basil was amusing himself with teasing Mora amongst the vines, whero sho reokleasly pluokcd bunch after bunch, throwing them into the creek aftor eating a few grapes from eaoh. "Why this pigtail is worthy of Ah Fow," ho said, pulling the long plait of fair hair. "Isn't it vory hot ? By-the-byo, you havo not oh&ngod your mind about marrying me, I hope?" "You aro trying to teaso me," said Mora, demurely. 11 1 never said I would." " Oh, didn't you though 1 Why, you used to say you would not havo Evelyn, becanec his hands woro always dirty—and he usually had some livo beasts or inscots in his pockets that you were afraid of, so you volunteered to btoorao my bride, instead, when you wero grown up. Aro you grown np yot ?" " No, I am not," said Mera, impetuously. "Besides Evolyn doesn't carry beasts about now 1" "And ho does wash his hands ; in fact, he has bocome quite a buok. So you mean me to understand you have changed your mind ? It is a oovero blow, but I will try to bear it. Though I may dance at your wedding, my heart will bo heavy, though my hsels seem light, Alas I for the ohangos a few years bring about 1" " Don't talk nonsense," said Moira smilingly. "I havo just heard a piece of news. Ths blacks, who are assembled in good numbers for the Bunya feasts, want to colebrato your return by having a great corroborcs to-night. Do get your mother to promiso them some rum, and give us permission to go and see thorn." Chattkii VI.— A ConnoBoitEE, Katherine rode at her usual boadlong spoed until sho came within a mile of Ekaterinsks, when alio reined in her horso to a slow walk. Sho foil into a sombro roverlo, from whioli sho was aroused when near her homo by being hailed from behind with a low prolonged "Oooee." She turned in her Baddle, but sho knew well enough who had loarned tho true Australian call so porfootly as to be taken for an abori ginal. She wan overtaken by Geoffrey Underwood, who came up at a swinging canter, and pulled his horao up on his haunches beside her. ! o "Well ?" he exclaimed with onrt inquiry. "Well?" sho rejoined with amoroso, lowering glance. d ' ' "So Basil is back? I heard it from the mail man, so I thought you would oomo over," he went on with moro conciliation in his tone. " How does lie take it?" "As I always knew he would," said Katherine passionately, "There is one man in the world, only one, who oan be relied on to do wbatho thinks right." "That's all right," said Underwood cave leinly; "then I aupposo you feel easy in your mind at last ?" "Easy t How little you know ms ! Never in my life have I felt such an abject wretch, I — I could almost repent and confess. And as for what I think of you " "Ob, my dark-eyed passionate beauty," ho said satirically, "yon love me more than ever ! You long to fall at my feet and implore me uover toleavoyou. You—" " If I knew a ourso that would withor you in a moment, though I knew it would be death to me to utter it and hell for ever, I should say it," oaid Katherine in a low concentrated tone of self disdain.. "Yos, and all because it is true and I am mad and weak enough to love you still. Go away — lqavo mo, or I shall murdor you some day when you taunt mo with my weakness. Basil told mo to warn you to keep out of his way too." "My pretty one ! Has site come to warn me, my tender hearted Bweetheart 1 Would she put a bullet through me 1 Proparo to weep, my gcntlo Kato, I am going to leavo you soon. I have letters to-day wbioh tell mo I must go baek to England — only for a time, my preoious, con- solo yourself." He patted her on the baok with patronising gosture ; "yot, I cannot leave thee, Kate ! I will not go " " \ ! "You must, you shall," said Katherine, im patiently, shaking off his hand ; " I will kill you if you stay. I know that you bate mo as muoh as I hate you ; why should you wish to stoy ?" " Beoauso I like to see that passionate blaze in your daik eyes ; beoauso I like to keep a mad wild thing like you under control. Ah, well, it is truo I must go at onoe, too." " Have you got a flask?" Kathorino asked ; " I feol faint." "Horo you are," ho said, handing hor ono filled with brandy. "Mcthinks the plea of faintnouB is a true one on this occasion, though, my gentle Kate, it serves too often nowadays. You will spoil your oomploxion and your temper if you imbibe so freely. Are you going baok to Oondalla to-night?" Tho sun was setting in a bed of molten gold, tllo air was still, cot a leaf stirred, a shimmer-
ing hazo of boat lay over tho plain ; in a fow moments tho sun would disappear and darkness would follow after a Bhort faint twilight, Tho shrilling of loonsts in tho trees and the mono tonous croak of frogs from a lagoon near lont a mournful accompaniment to tho two human voicop. "Yos," said Katherine, rcoovering from a roverie and handing baok his flask with a shudder, " I am to tako you baok. Thoso aro my orders, but I nover meant to oboy them. Clifford wants some things for ouo of his stupid experiments. I shall say you aro preparing to go to England and aro distressed at being obliged to refuse. " "Yos, I think I will wait a fow days boforo meeting Basil. It is unnecessary to have to entor into any explanations with him, I am not thinking of my own hIcir, my dear, though you look as if you thought so. Turn baok, and I will rido most of the way with you ; thero ore a good many blaoks' camps about ; they are beginnning to disperse after tbo bunya sea son." "No blnokfellow will touoh ICathsrino Oravon," sho said proudly, "and I prefer to ride alone. I havo always got tho dovit within me for a companion ; I do not want one beaido mo." " A you like," ho onswerod indifferently. " Good-byo, if not for over, for a long time." "For evor, I hope," Katherine replied, ignoring tho hand ho held out. " I hopo I may novor see you nor hear of you again, though I feci afraid my wish may not be granted," Ho stood watohing hor fast retreating figaro until she was hidden from his view, then he laughed a low cruel laugh aud resumed bin road to tho station. When Kathorino reached Oondalla sho found Moro, her brothers and Olga preparing to walk out to a neighboring ridgo whoro tho blacks had made thoir camp, and whero tboy wore to wit ness a grand corroboreo got up for thoir especial bsnofit, witti certain rostriotions imposed by tlie prosoncc of tho "White Marios." Katherine wont with them, without taking tho trouble to aoquaint her husband of tho rosult of her mission. The blocks liad mustered around tho killing yard that aftomoon, whoro a bullock was being killed for station consumption, and had takon off with great satisfaction the offal and picogH they wero given. They had feasted and smeared themselves with fat in readiness for the dance. When their whito visitors arrived the fires had reaohod the prescribed red glow ; tho gins in fantastically arranged remnants of blankets and olothing sat round in an irrogular ring with their two pieces of rottan wood, which being knooked together emitted a soft aud not un musical sound. The lithe aparo forms of the malo3 wore aho clothed in some vestiges of European garb— ahirt or broeohos or gay colored woman's skirt. "You got 'era mm, Dan?" Thoy came round Mr. Kirby with anxious inquiries. They knew him vory woll, and, as usual with tho blaoks, called him by hia name without any cere monious prefix. "You givo 'em rum, now Dan? Mo King Billy, sit down 'long & Moond&burra. You know 'em mo?" The rum was exhibited, but withheld, and the mon woro direotod to ooramenco tho corrob oreo. It was a dark night with no moon, and the stars were hidden behind tkundrous clouds which were lightoned at short intervals with a shimmer of summer lightning. Basil lit a small smoky fire to keep the mosquitoes from troubling them as they watohod tho dance from their seat on n fallen log. Tho horo of tbo occasion was evidently a tall young savage who had recently circumvented the watchfulness of a hostile tribe, and had fluoccededin "marking" (bringing blood with a flint, shear blado or any outting instrument) a gin, whioh by tho unwritten but universal law of the tribes oonntitutod her his property toboborne off in triumph. He it was who firat leapt into the firo lit ring, flourishing his spear valiantly, and convoying by his agile contortions the story of hisoonqucst. Tho gins beat timo and raised tho oorroboree song of their tribo at intervals in high nasal tones, ono aftor another taking up the strain and lcavingoffwith a grunting Wall! wab ! wall 1 wah ! while the men joined in with war like yells. One after anothor tbo supple, slightly made blaoks sprang to their foot and pre- oipitatod thcmiolvoa among tho dancers, each trying to vie with tho otlior in pose and con tortion until fatigue caused them to retire, only to resume with more frantio enorgy after a short rest. The soene was wild and barbarous to the last dogreo, but not without significance. The monotonous chant of tho gins rose and fell in measured oadenoe, the ehiill nasal tones of the old shrivellod gins contrasting with tho fuller throaty voices of the younger gins and lubras, or maidens. The words of the corroboreo with tho air to whioh thoy were chanted were some thing after this fashion
The danoe grow in energy and threatened to degenerate into licence as they worked up their passions, forgetful of: the presence of tho "White Maries" (as they call all white women), so Mr. Kirby gave the signal for de parture. The rum was distributed and the dance resumed with mad violence, under the influence of the potent spirit, and without the restraint previously Imposed upon them. Long afterwards wails and shrieks of pain proceeded from tho oamp. and next morning many of tho gins might have been seen onrved and wounded in such a manner as to ecetn past recovery, though a day or two later, with tho simple herbs tho blaoks have discovered the uso of, the wounds would prove to bo completely healed over. Clifford Craven wan in despair at tho thought of losing Gooffrey Underwood. "What am i to do without him ?" he whined to his wife that overl ing. "Who will ride out over the run and see Into things for me ? Thero are a huudred things that no one can do but him." "Oh, yon will manage," said Katberino im patiently. " I oan take your orders to the out stations and ride about and look at tho fences; and as for anything else ho did, you must do without, or put up with me." " My dear ICatherino, I nover doubted your willingness to be of help to me in my various oxporimcnts and industrial enterprises; but Geoffrey was of especial use, because lie could seize my ideas in a moment. I enn nover hope to fiud any ono who can be to me what ho was."
- 'No, perhaps not," said Kathorino quietly. It is a loss that I shall be ablo to reconcile mysolf to wonderfully woll," "You used to bo great friends," said Craven fretfully ; but I don't think you havo made yourself bo pleasant as you might to him the last few years, So off ho goes on tho first hint from homo." " Thoro is a holein your sock," said Kathorino, doxterously changing tho subject, "I will got you another pair and try and meud that." As if I would wear a sook cobbled up by you, Katherine !" exclaimed her husband with real indignation, "No, thank you, I will mend it myself if you will bring mo my bag of wools. You must know how much better I shall do it than you would — though of oourso it was kind of you to offer." In a few days the first novolty of being amongst the familar scones of his youth had 2rP or Basil. Ho began to look into tho affairs of the station, and to long to take the reins of govornmont into his own hands. Thia was a matter wbioh proved mere difficult than ho oxpeotod, for Mrs. Tremayno olung tonaoiously to the power she had held so long ; sho did not realise that sho was doing so, it seemed to her quito natural that sho should be captain and bar son her willing lieutenant, and that he should bo dissatisfied with a subordinate position never oeourrcd to her. When Basil saw that a struggle for supremacy would bo necessary, be gavo up all idea of attempting it, and began at once to revolve a plan in his head to leave his mother in oharge of the property sho was managing so well, and with Evelyn start out to take up new laud in tho Never Novor" country. In this scheme ho would have full scope for all his energies. Tho groat half explored country out towards the sotting Run, whore vast plains aud illimitablo forest country whioh bad nover yet rung under the tread of Hooks and herds, lay thcro in all their virgin wealth for the enterprising pioneer to exploit. It was not yet time for him to moot suoh a subject to his mother, so when she talked to him of a future for Evolyn he begged hor not to allow it to trouble hor for tho presont ; they would think of it in a few months' time. Tho evening aftor the oorroboree, gro&tly to Katherine's displeasure, Gooffrey Undorwood rode up to Oondalla with a valiso on his saddle, evidently with the intention of staying the night. Katherine glared at him with a world ot disgust and dislike In her eyes ; Basil, who was with her when Underwood rode up to the sllprails, epoke to him with frigid politeness, aud made him coldly welcome. "I am on my way to Brisbane," Underwood explained In a deprecating, almost humble tone, "and thought.it would not be civil to loave tho colony without saying good byo after being neigh borly so long. Besides, Cravon wanted to see me, and I may bo of uso to him on the other sldo." Katherine had turned away abruptly without speaking, and Basil with a murmured "oortalnly" ceremoniously showed Underwood to the room he would occupy. Basil's reteption made Underwood furious; be gnashed his teeth with rage, and swore to pay him out one day, though he had to wait years. He left Oondalla at daybreak, and it was eight years before auy of them saw him again. Allan Fieldor arrived and monopolised bii fiancee, and Mora and Evelyn went for long ex cursions togethor, often disappearing for the whole day and having to encounter sly jokes on their return, which Mora received with open laughter and Evelyn with conscious, indignant silence. Then Dan Kirby went off sadly with his daughter to leave her in the temperate olimate of Tasmania for two or three years, both of them ill-reoonoilcd to the anticipated parting. (to be continued.)
Mecn ya Ooo-pon-dcr, ooo-pen-der meen ya Cpo-pond-er. coo-pcn-der
no-min-ce yar-ry, no-min-ee yar-iy, wah! wahl wah I, wah 1