Chapter 197736139

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Chapter NumberXII
Chapter TitleBURN HIM OUT !
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197736139
Full Date1880-02-07
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count6051
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912)
Trove TitleFreebench. A Tale of South African Life
article text

FREEBENCH;

A TALE OF SOUTH AFRICAN LIFE.

CHAPTER XII. BTON HIM OCX !

BT COPIA. FIMQI, S.O.L. (Author of " Twelve True Telts of the Laic.")

Taking a snack and seeing the ladies "stowed away," however, was by no means an instaata neous performance. Long before it was finished Scott's friend had left for the scene of deliberation, and it was not till the work of deliberation was about to culminate in action that young Scott and Harry Holroyd arrived at the Town Hall. The meeting was jnst breaking np amid concluding cheers. The company had aot taken long to make np their tni&ds, and, to judge by the expressions uttered by individuals and this answers to them, the proceedings seemed to have be*ri characterized by' noanimity and to have resulted ia a resolution wbjch gave general satisfaction. " I knew it would have to come to this sooner or later," said one. "Serve'm all alike," said another. " We've suffered from the rascals too long," said a third. " What are we going to do?" asked Scott of a friend in the crowd. 1 Born 'em all oat, to be sure," answered the person interrogated, " what else is left to be done?" Young Scott and Harry Holroyd followed that part oE the crowd which seemed charged with the execution of the joint resolve. They were about five hundred in number. _ They kept steadily on down the main street till they came to a turning as broad as the main street iWelf. Pursuing this side street for a little distance, they stopped opposite & small canvas shanty, over which was written a name and a sign and from which emanated the sound of many voices. "Mr. Macleroy at home?" said one of th« leaders of the crowd. " Here I am ; what d'ye want ?" said a voice from within. Very sorry to disturb yen, Mr. Macleroy," said the first speaker, " but the Committee has ordered yon to be burnt out, so clear out the women and children as fast as yon can." *' Good heavens, what harm have X done ?" said Macleroy as he came out and confronted the crowd with astonishment and terror in his face. ^ Too late to discuss that now," $»id the leader, "you've been warned. Where's the candle?"' The question was unnecessary. The canvas walls had already been saturated with petroleum and had been set on fire by .others of the party. A curse fell from the lips* of Macleroy ; a shriek was beard from his wife, and, snatching up their two children in such shawls and blankets as came to hand, they rushed out houseless into the night. Broach his stock and burn it, bat don't drink a drop shouted the leader; and. as sooa as the flames had cleared away safficienMy to admit of entrance, casks were broached and bottles broken and thrown in a heap to revive the half-extinct conflagration. Chairs, tables, aud two rudimentary bedsteads were pitched iuto ; the ttiidsc of ihs burning spirit, and bit< of tlje framework of the house shortly" fallowed.. The blue and.yellow flame lighted up thenight, jind every now and then give a new start as tbe heat burst au unbroken bottle or a new piece of the framework fell in. He hasn't much stock-in-trade left to bejir. business again," said one. " Now for the rest.'' And off they went and on they marched tih they came to another turning. Twice more was a like scene enacted. The owner was called out and informed of the decision of " The Committee;" the match was applied to his combustible dwelling, aud he and his family scrambled oat into the darkness. ' Now, then, for Blinkeyes!" they cried as they left the blaze of the third canteen to illumine the night. Blinkeyes' place was evidently the next desti nation of these executants of Diamond Fields justice, or say rather of these volunteer Diamond Fields police. The crowd traversed a long space till thej came to a small shanty very much like the others that had been burnt, and standing quite in the outskirts of the township. "Now, then, Blinkeyes!" they shouted; " time to clear out, old man .'" The challenge was unnecessary. At the open door stood the menaced proprietor, who seemed to await the crowd. The leader began to address him with the usual formula. ' I know your errand, gentlemen," said the proprietor, anticipating him. u You have come to burn down my house. You are deputed to destroy the home and the livelihood of a man who has once lived in comfort and affluence among yon and who has never injured yon; who hss never willingly injured any man on these fields." The crowd hesitated. Some had prepared to set fire to tbe canvas, but they all thought they would hear Blinkeyes ont. His name, indeed, was appropriate, for not only did his eyes blink rapidly as he spoke, bat, if the light had been more favourable, yon might have seen a spasmodic movement ot his eyebrows, and as it wasi &s he stood in the lighted doorway, the nervous twitchings of his fingers were quite observable to those near him. E am quite well aware, my friends, of the object of yonr mission," he continued, " and I sympathize with it. You are bent upon the destruction of a certain class of canteens where natives have been induced to sell their master's diamonds for rum." " Hear, hear!" they cried. " Yes, gentlemen," continued Blinkeyes, " and any white man who keeps an establishment of that sort deserves yonr vengeance. (Hear hear.) I would myself be the first to lay the torch to snch a den of infamy. (Bravo Blinkeyes.) But what have I done that I should suffer a fate in common with snch men ?'' Tbe crowd was silent. "If there is any man here who bts known me to sell ram to a black man for dismonds. or even to bay a diamond underhand, let him stand forward and face me !" "It is quite true," said one among the crowd; " he never baa." " Hear him ont!" cried another. " I say it's a shame, and TO have 110 hand in it," said a third, and others mattered among one another to the same effect. Blinkeyes thought he saw his opportunity, and made haste to take advantage of it. " Gentlemen," he said." a man who carries on the iniquitioas trade which yon are banded together to put down usually keep ram » stock You'll admit that r

" It is true," said one of the more friendly, •'and have you got none , « Hardly any/' «aid .Blinkeyes - " tny «tock -drinks is for-white men only. I have only the best ram, and it bean a very small proportionto-the rest of the stock. Come and see for yoomelves." " Yes,'" said one; " that's fair." ** Come along, mates," said another; " come and have a drink of Blinkeyes'- rum. It's time we did, for oars is dry work." « Bight!" cried several. "Drinking's better than borning, a night like this." in ten seconds the crowd would have been inside, and all discipline would have gone to the winds had not the leader stepped forward. "Not a drop!" he shouted, drawing his revolver. "Stand back! the man's stock shan't be pillaged. We don't come here as robbers, but to execute justice." Bight!" cried the gentleman in front of the pistol. " Not a drop; it's justice we want." " And is it to be equal justice for all, or are we here to show favour said the leader. ., " Serve 'em all alike !" shouted one. " All alike!" bellowed the crowd, and several surrounded the shanty. " We're sorry for you, Mr. Smiley," said one old man; " bat you see we can make no exceptions. The Committee" But Smiley—or Blinkeyes, whichever yoa please—was bo longer there to listen to the voice of apology or of consolation, for the house had been fired in several places, and he ran through the bursting flames to secure snch of his portable belongings as were capable of rescue. If he had not been so clever as to offer the crowd a taste of his stock, who knows bat the affair might have ended in his favour ? \ " The crowd were about to disperse when a voice from beside the still barniag house called to them to stay a' moment. " Don't leave me yet, gentlemen!" said Blinkeyes ~ r ** you've no more burning to do to-night. 1 won't keep yon long. I have only a few words to say." A great part of the crowd lingered, and gathered round him " My friends," continued the houseless man, I have already toULyoa that I folly concur in the necessity of patting down the dishonest purchase of diamonds by rain. *I liave aUo told yoa that I am innocent of that debasing traffic. (Hear, hear ! said a friend among: the audience.) I cannot help thinking that, when said that, a good many of yoa believed me." We do believe yoa," said two or three. 1 If I had been telling a lie, there would have been some one in that crowd of nearly 500 men who would come forward and given me the tie to my face. (Hear, hear.) Bat, in the interests of justice and fair plsy, yoa thought yourselves bound to serve sll alike. (Hear, hear.; Gentlemen, I do not qnestioa that decision. It arose frem a noble sentiment. Bat I feel it my daty to remind yoa, many of whom have known me when I was in circumstances of comparative affluence, that I, an entirely innocent msn, just straggling to begin business again, have lost all the little capital which I had invested in a new stock of white man's drinks, owing to the mode you have chosen to take of ridding the community of criminals, with whom I had no share. Now when a man suffers for the sake ot a community"—— " Let's make a collection for Blinkeyes shouted a good-natured fellow. " Hear, hear," they all cried. "Here's my hat!", said one. "And mine!" cried another. " Bight!" said half a dozen, as they dropped gold into the hats. They all seemed pleased. They were not quite comfortable before; hut this was a way out of the difficulty, and public morality was avenged aud private charity exercised as well. Nobody gate less than & pound, and many gave two or three. Jingle, jingle, jingle went the money into the hats, and poor Smiley, with his hair singed and bis shirt blackened, eat down by the embers of Lis shanty, and covered his face with his hands. '' Get another hat, mate," said a voice; " mine's caving in. It wasnt meant for this job. Here, Mr. Smiley, here's a part o' the little lot." And he emptied two hundred and fifty sovereigns at the feet of the beaded figure. Trie other hat followed, and then a third, and, thoagh I have never been a banker's clerk, I would undertake to sWear that the heap piled in front of that disconsolate figure did not consist of much less than £500. My friendssaid Smiley rising; " my kind-hearted, generous friends; if I am moved to tears—aud can scarcely articulate my thanks —it is because I am overwhelmed—not at my loss, but at your generosity; for I cannot help 1 egarding your contribution not merely as a reparation for the injury done to me, bat as an -expression of sympathy and regard 'to the unfortunate person who notv stands before yon." ~ Whawt Mr. Blinkeyes carn't eggsickly arti kerlste, gentlman," said a cockney voice dose at his elbow, "is this:—• If hever yoii warnt to barn 'iia hout agin, ee!d be most 'appy f undergo the misfawtshun at a similar rate o' compensation.' Eh, old man V And, with a roar of. good-natured laughter, the crowd moved away,aod1eft Smiley standing beside his heap of - sovereigns. CHAPTER XIII. AM OID ACQUAIKTANCB M A. NEW LIGHT. It was rather late when young Scott and Harry Holroyd "turned in" to their narrow couches in one of the small rows of cells which formed one side of the courtyard of the Kimberiey Hotel. Next morning, between eight and nine, the whole party sat down to breakfast in the long diningroom, along with the other guests of the inn. It was a coarse meal. The tablecloth was rumpled and dirty; the knives were distorted and greasy; the forks and spoons were of an unpolished yellow; big dishes of mutton-chops aud beef-steaks formed a row down the middle of the table, broken here and there by a picklebottle or a tin of sardines; the bread was coarse and clammy; the batter was small in quantity and unsavoury in quality, and tea and coffee with very little milk were the only drinks. The meal was eaten by most of the guests in great haste, and its more bestial portions were fastened on and devoured with an indecent avidity. There was an endless clatter, and conversation was nearly impossible, and so our friends were not sorry to retire to the little verandah at the back, where the gentlemen ould smoke and they could all t«lk. I do not think we ought to be long in this place, dear Harry," said Fhjllis, without your finding out. Mr. Luke SmiJey, to whom I must introduce yon. I wonder «hece his house is.'' Young Scott laughed. *' Well," said Harry; iLI can show you where it was, but no one bet a chemist could say where it is, for we burnt him ont last night. ,r "Yes," said Scott,."and poor Blinkeyes— that's the name they call him here—had to bolt for his life with a little leather bag and a blanket. I was quite sorry forhim, after his plucky defence of himself too. It's ot no use to leave a card on the cinders, Mrs. Holroyd ; bat if you want the man I can find him for you." Burnt him out! Blanket! Cinders! I don't understand you," exclaimed Phyllis iu astonishment. " Don't think us ruffians for laughing, my dear Phill," said Harry ; " but the fact is the gentleman who first introduced the merits of South Africa to your notice was keeping a low canteen of that sort where liquor is often offered to the blackfellows in exchange for diamonds which are the property of their masters. There were four of these canteens which had been doomed to be burnt, and we happened to arrive the night of the execution of the sentence. In justice to him, however, I am bound to say that he denied being a party to the practices at which the sentence was aimed, and there were a good many present who seemed to believe him. But they were obliged to serve all alike." Mr. Smiley the keeper of a canteen!" exclaimed Phyllis. " I csinnot understand it." "I did not know he was such a friend of yotirs, Mrs. Holroyd," said Scott; " but you need be under no apprehension about him, for we left him with a heap of sovereigns collected among the crowd and worth twice as much as his canvas shanty, stock-in-trade, and all." After this consolation Mrs. Holroyd rose in silence and retired to her room. " And now," said Harry, tnrning to the company, " I must be off and look out for a job. If Fm not a workman good enough for this place I mast move on farther up the country. But Fil soon see." And off he went. In about an hour's time he walked briskly back to the inn with an elastic step, and, tapping at bis wife's door, gained admittance and found poor Phyllis sitting on the bed crying. " Why, what's the matter, my beauty?" said he going up to her and giving her a kiss ; " anything wrong?" " Ob, I can't bear to think," she cried, " that I, a foolish silly girl, should have persuaded yoa to come oat to sach a place as this merely from what I had heard from" Oh! never mind about that, my angel," said he. " That's all right. Queer place, bat we'll do all right; don't be afraid about that. And if I'm not good enough for this town well move np the country; don't you see? Simplest thing in the world." There was something so cheery and confident in his manner that Phyllis looked a little ashamed and a good deal pleased, and she went np to him and pat her arms roand him. "You're a good brave fellow," she said, "and I'll trust myself anywhere with you." ' That's right, lass," said he, taking out his pipe and filling it. "Now sat down, I want to talk about business. I've got a job." "What, already?" and she begui to smile throngh her receding tears. "Yes."said he,'*to paint a sign"—here he struck a match—"got four pounds down"—puff, onff—" to pay for the woodwork"—puff, puff— " fifteen foot'by one, with a handsome beading" —paff, naff—" cream white ground, with black and bine letters. Fourteen pounds; cash. Got four pound down, sod been to order the work of the carpenter. He'll let me paint in his yard. The woodwork will be ready to-morrow, and

then Fll mix the paints." And here Harry sat down and smoked -complacently " And how ?di<L you manage to get wofk so quickly ?" asked Phyllis in great good humour. " Have you met any one you knew ?"* "Certainly,•* said Harry. "Met Smiley. Burnt ant at night; set up again in ths morning. Thafs the way here. Simnlest thing iu the world." " Oh, I see; yoa told him of oar arrival here, and he got yoa the work. How very good of him J" " Nothing at all of the eort," said Harry. "I met him in the street and said,' Good morning, Mr. Smiley; going to set np again T He said he thought so. 'That's right,' I said, ' then we can do business. Fll paint you a splendid new signboard, any sort yoa like, colour or gilt, in any style yen please. Fre just come from the mother-country, and paint in every style from Old,English to Italian; going to set op shop to-morrow.'" " Very well. This is what I want," he said, and he. wrote out the words "LUKJS SIOL8T; At7CnOKKHK,&C." "Auctioneer! oh deor.me!" said Phyllis. "What's the matter now ?" said Harry, polling at his pipe;." irt.all right. He's not going to cheat me. 'Gash, of coarsei" I said. 'I know you've got the money.' 'Bight!' he said; and he paid me four pounds down, sod here it is." And Harry polled his band oat of his trousers pocket, and showed his wife the money, and put it hack again. . Phyllis looked pleased, but st31 begin to whimper a little, and Harry cheered hit np again, and could not quite make it oat. The fact was that several kinds ot thoughts kept crossing and jostling one another in that fair early head, and were almost too moch for it to contain at onetime. Tobegin>with,she had come to a very strange place, frith what* seemed to her a most unpromising appearance, and inhabited by very strange people. Next she began to realize that her husband would have to be a workman or nothing, and this was much easier to contemplate before marriage, and at a distance, than after marriage, and quite dose. She had strength of mind enough for that, however; but then, when Lake Smiley, Esq., with his diamond mine,was turned into Blinkpyes, the burnt-out canteen-keeper, she felt the sadden transformation too painful. And bee recurring .tears sprang from a sense of disillusion, of the loss of a friend on whom she had counted, and of shame that she had been made a fool of, and that her husband knew it. The tiffin-bell, however, announced a change of scene, and ushered in a new current of ideas, and Phyllis eat and drank, and half forgot her sorrows, and the sign-painter strode oat once more'into the town " on business." CHAPTER XIV. H&B&T.HOISOYS SBTS VP IU BUSINESS. ' While the carpenter was at work. Hairy went about the town making enquiries as to how far he ^as forestalled in what he believed to be his special line of business. He introduced himself to all the lawyers and offered to do writing Mid copy plans for them, visited the parsons and announced himself as having a special talent

for decorating the walls of churches with illuminated texts, and in particular he noticed all the signboards as he went along to satisfy himself that he was able to compete with the only artist who was really distinguished in that line. The result was that |ie took on hire a small canvas house with three divisions, two of which could scarcely be called rooms, and gave a small order on his own account to the carpenter. In a few days Smiley's signboard was finished, and,. in a few days more, Harry had farnished his new house and had installed Phyllis as it 4 mistress. Over the front, and painted on wood carefully pumice-stoned, was an announcement in black and gold letters on a pale azure ffe.d, that Henry Holroyd was a sign painter, lawstationer, and ornamental writer. In the window hung a splendid panel in a gilt frame contain! L-g the following words— "Deeds Engrossed; Memorials Illuminated ; Maps, Pious, and Documents carefully copied iu Court hand. Chancery, Set Chancery, Secretary, or Engrossing, hands, or in any other style, Medieval or Modern." Splendid workshop, isn't it, Phyll?" said Harry. "You see I can get a twelve-foot signboard in here, and, when they are longer thkn that-, I can paint them in separate pieces' or work at the carpenter's. -Very good felto w, the carpenter; allows me a conunissionou all orders I get llim." " Bat can you really do all the things yoa have put on that notice in the window V asked Phyllis. " Of coarse I can, and a thousand more thing*. Why, yoa were the very first person to suggest it: to me. Look here. Here are books with specimens of different styles of sign-painting, sod,alphabets and ornaments of every sort and kind. There, for example, is > most impressive ' he.' Here's is book containing all the styles of writing .used in deeds, from Saxon times down* wards, and dictionaries of contractions and all sorts of things that are of no use here. And now I must mix the punts for a little job I am doing for the photographer. He's going to pay me by two dozen photographs." 'Of yoa and me; how charming!" said Phyllis. " Do you know the voyage has very much improved yon. Yon look so much more manly now you are a little tanned." Yes, Phyll, without the voyage in prospect I should never have been a husband or a signpainter. Bat it's only my own portrait he's going to do at present. I am to have three dozen to hang up in the stores over an announcement of my trade written in ornamental characters. I will do him another piece of work presently, and then be shall do yon and me together; something like this" And he put his arm roundPhyllis's waist ani laughed, and Phyllis threw her arm-i roand his neck, and said how good and clever he was. At this moment who should walk into the shop, but Mr. Lake Smiley, "Mr. Holroyd" said he, " I came to speak to yoa with refererce to-rbat I am afraid I disturb a private interview—I really—another time will do as well"—— .Not the least," said Harry. " I am always ready for business; hat first allow me present you to a lady you met at Earletowe. She was Miss Phyllis Warden, and is Mrs. Harry Holroyd." Smiley tnrned pale and then looked blankly at Phyllis for a moment, and seemed almost to lose his balance, and at last, as the girl advanced, smiling and slightly blashing, to greet him, his sallow countenance assumed a sort of olive hue as he mechanically bowed and touched the offered hand. I am.delighted to see yon, Mrs. Holroyd," said Smiley, twitchirg and frowning as usual, " "I hope yonr father is quite well'?"' - * ""Thank you, we left him well, and married to his cousin Margaret." ." Oh, indeed—dear me, how stupid I must have been. Of coarse that was the reason why" '"Do you know," said Phyllis b&stiiv, "we felt so sorry to hear of your misfortune the other night; and you who were so well off, too." Smiley l&oked uncomfortable, and his band's began to twitch nervously, when Harry broke " Well off! I should say he was. He was in partnership with old Solomon in the soft gpods business at that magnificent store at the comer where Mason now is. It was a dreadful bankruptcy ; liabilities over £140,000 they tell me, Mr. Smiley?" Phyllis Was more puzzIecL, than ever, and looked ialternately at her hnsWnd and at Smiley for an explanation. Before being burnt out of his canteen had Smiley been a bankrupt draper instead of tbe proprietor of a diamond mine ? Mr. Smiley's answer did not seem to clear the question np entirely. " Ah!" he said with a sigh, "I was indeed much deceived in Solomon. He was so specious, and bore such a plausible exterior. But I called in, Mr. Holroyd, about a little matter of business. You know my office is at a corner, and it struck me" ; To be sure, certainly," saiu Harry with animation ; "you need not say another word. I ought to have thought of it at first; but I had made up my mi-nd to mention it to you on the first opportunity. You mnst have another signboard to go round the corner. It won't do tc fling away any of the advantages of a commanding position.. It was occurring to me that the corner was a splendid stand for something light, chaste, and elegant, something really artistic, you know." " I never change either tbe form, colour, or wording of an advertisement, Mr. Holroyd," said Smiley with gravity. "The new board must be a facsimile of the other, but smaller." Ah, I see; you rely on a perpetual reproduction of the same impression on the eye and memory. Quite right. Bather discouraging to the artist though. It will be for cash, I suppose?" " Quite so; will you come and take the measure after dinner ?" "With pleasure." " Good morning." CHAPTER XV. THE DIAMOND FIEI.D8' KHV8E. When Smiley was gone and Harry and Phyllis had sat down to tiffin, she asked him where he had heard about the affair of. the bankruptcy, and Harry told her, as was the fact, that it was the- common talk of the town whenever tbe story of the burning out brought up Smiley's name, and was virtually acknowledged by himself when spoken of before bim. Phyllis then told her husband, more fully than she had done before, of the character which Smiley bore when she met him st the ball at Salopsbary, and when afterwards, as tbe friend of her cousin's, he was & visitor at Barlstowe; of the proposal which Margaret encouraged him to make, in order to remove an obstacle to her marriage with Mr. Warden, and how, finding the scheme unacceptable both to the father and daughter, Margaret had taken credit to herself for breaking it up, and getting rid of Smiley, and had so paved her way to the object of her ambition better than she could have done even by the success of her original scheme. Phyllis explained exactly the sort of pleasure I

which the conversation and attentions cf Smiley , produced on her girlish mind, and added that his anecdotes of colonial life became revived in her memory when she found it necessary to think of some means of subsistence for heneff end for a young gentleman to whom she had beccine attached. _ — Harry listened attentively to <tbe story, and was fcdeased with the way iu which Phyllis told it, and. when it was ever, he said:— " Weare beth of us very young, and I am not fit to teach yea wisdom, Phyllis; still I have metjmen like Smiley before—there's bo place like a. lawyer's offioe for seeing tbe characters of men—end my experience is, that fellows who blink and frown, and have twitchings of the fingers, are rascals. As for the < man appearing what he was not, I think very little of it. He had is plausible address aad wanted to get into good society, and knew that he was in a coo&try where a draper would not go down, and the owner of a diamond mine would. While you «re with me yoa will have no diffieoltj; with him; bat I entreat yoa, if ever, in this sew career of oars, we shoald chance to be separated, to avoid that man, not because be is a bankrupt diaper instead of a millionaire, but because he carries nature's own signboard to point him oat as a Villain. And now I mast express my gratitude to him for being one link in the chain which has made me your husband." And be kissed Phyllis, and west oat mea-to sure his work.«ft Smiley's. Phyllis and Harry were very happy in their canvas boose. They had a little division in it for sleeping and another for eating and cooking, and the* had a little kraal for Xamhootie the Kafir. Harry rigged up a little verandah at the side of the house, a-aeat piece of work, of canvas* stretched on ton two wpoden supports, and with a vtindyked flap hanging roand—and herd they used to have their-coffee,' and nt out of an even* ingaad. play «nasic and sing. , Harry had plenty of work, and, if be was slack in what he called his trade, he could always get a job as anil maker. In repairing a wagon-tilt or rigging up a tent. And thus, though rent and wages bad to be paid, and credit had sometimes to be given, and food, fuel,and water to be boaght, in a place where a)l are exceptionally dear, Harry did something more than merely pay his way, and one .chief pleasure of his work was, that it did not take him away from his wife. Whether she was in the workshop or not, he could always talk. to her, or listen to her while be was drawing bis letters, mixing his paints, or blowing off tbe gold-leaf from the finished performance. And his greatest delight was to receive her praises as each piece of work was finished; for she thought every new painting was cleverer than the last; and perhaps it was, for 'Harry was a clever fellow, aud took a pride in improving. 80 passed November, which was hot, and se passed part of December, which was hotter, and the New Tear, which would be worse still, had yet to coma. The climate was trying to both of them, and- this fact was a common subject of conversation with themj as with other Europeans, especially in their first season. At last it occurred to Phyllis that her brave and clever hosband hod got thinner and paler. " Don't yon think, my dear Harry," she said, that the smell of the paint is bad for you this . hot weather ?" Bad for mesaid Harry, aa he poured some more oil into a pot and stirred the mixtore, and then looked at it with fan eye of Affectionate criticism, u Bad for me! why it smells Uke a nosegay; bat if anything is wanted to rectify it, why there is a ..box fall of medicines there— everything the most greedy man could wish for, quinine, rhubarb, calomel, jalap, assafoetida, eyrup of. squills—a perfect armoury of physic. Bat,.somehow, I don't feel inclined to work to-day, and I think I'll lie down awhile." Harry did lie down, and for. a month he never got up again. First, be said he felt a little chilly, aud he shivered now and then; and Phyllis put a second blanket over him, and then she had to undress him and send for the physician. , The physician came, and without a very protracted examination told Phyllis that her hosband had the diamond fields' fever, which began to prevail at that timeof the year, and affected most new comers and many older inhabitants; that the patient wonld be ill for a month; bat that, as be seemed youqg and strong, he would be likely to;get over "it. The doctor then complimented Phyllis on her fresh English complexion, prescribed for his patient, whom he called *- the poor boy," assured her the disease was not infectious, and went away. And so Phyllis was left to do a month's nursing, with the aid of Tambooti, for ons who was all in all to her, and who^e chief hope for recovery seemed to rest in. his youth and his good constitution. She busied herself for some .time in doing snch things as she theught weze wanted, aud then she felt tired, .and sat'down "suid began to think. She thought of Barlstowe and of her life there, and indulged in p, tittle fit of contemptuous affection for her father, wondered whether a feeling of sincere sympathy could for a moment enter the heart, of her stepmother, if the plight-of theyoangcouple were nude known to her, gave a passing thought of compassion and of disgust for Smiley, whose talk had been the foundation of the lash advice she had given to Harry at lady Handicapfe ball, and finally, her mind being unsatisfied with its other subjects of sorrow and indlgnatinm she fell to thinking of her mother, and then bnrst into tears. Bat soon she checked herself, and fell on her knees before Him who controls our destinies, and tarns our sorrows into blessings. While she was still on her knees, Tanibooti came in with bis naked feet and noiseless tread, and startled Phyllis with—" Warn, 3Iissif,- umemtio P' and here he pointed to the outer door, and began blinking and .twitching his eyes and screwing his hands about in snch ludicrous imitation of Smiley, that, little attuned as was her mind to the ludicrous, poor Phill barst oat laughing, and then Tambooti laughed too. She went oat to meet tbe visitor. " Can I see, Mr, Holroyd ?." he asked, saluting her respectfully. "No: .he Aill." • " ''Oh, dear me! Nothing serious, I hope " He is struck down by s fever, which I learn is common here, but which you forgot to mention at Barlstowe as one of the attractions of tbe place." " Realty we think so little of these things here," said he, "that scarce any one in the country would "have thought of mentioning it; but I assure you I quite appreciate the surprise, the annoyance, and the anxiety that yoa-must feel; yet I derive some consolation in thinking that these pairifnl circumstances may enable me to render some neighbourly service to the husband of a lady whom 7 shall lalways regard'?— here his voice -faltered quite naturally—"-with —with esteem."" " Thank-yen;" said Phyllis for the next month or so I shall nurse my husband, *«ud when he is well I will let you know; In themeanwhile, if you want a new signboard or aoything, it is of no use coming here." And she bowed to him coldly, and shut thdoor. Let us be thankful that women do not., like men, require age to make them wise, bat th-t Love opens the door to yoathfal wisdom, and invites Pallas to enshrine herself beneath the curly locks of gold. I l " - - . - .