Chapter 20710959

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Chapter NumberXVIII.
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1881-11-12
Page Number617
Word Count7902
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleGathered In
article text

The Storyteller.

Gathered In.


BY CATHERINE HELEN SPENCE. Author of "Clara Morison," "Mr. Hogarth's Will," " Hugh Lindsay's Guest," &c.

SUPPER AND TALK IN THE MEN'S DINING-ROOM. KENNETH knew well what sort of quarters his new friend had chosen, when he declined for himself, not only the timidly-proffered hospitality

of Miss Gray, but the hearty aud reiterated in vitation of the overseer to join him and a few travellers of the better sort in the dining-room of the Bachelors' Hall, where the fare would be better and the accommodation superior. But his desire to see how David Henderson would make his way with the rough station hands, and his reluctance to loae any of his conversation, made him cling to him as closely as possible. And he was not disappointed. Instead of addressing his talk to the educated man sitting beside him, he joined in all that waß said by the most illiterate, and encouraged the most sulky and shy to apeak, by the evident interest he took in what they had to say. As, however, many of our readers may not be bo familiar with a bush kitchen as Kenneth Oswald was, it may be well to give some description of this at Wilta. It was aomewhat larger and better than that of Tingalpa, but differed little in style or com fort. It was a long low room, the walls made of pine slabs Btuok upright, and the crevices filled up with clay held together by wattles about 6in. apart, with a shingled roof, uncoiled, and a clay floor well beaten down by the tread of many feet. There was a vast chimney at one and where the meals were cooked, and with cooking utensils for ornaments at the end of the room, and rows of nails from which tin pannicans had been taken, which were now laid on the table for the ?vening meal. At the further end the walls *ere hung with woodcuts taken from illustrated pJoers, renewed occasionally as something special tock the men's fancy, or as the smoke and flies mac* the old ones somewhat dim. Al down the centre of this room extended a long table uade of four boards, which was supported on ten legs of sawn timber with the bark on, at equal intervals. Round the table were strong benchea without any backa, supported in the same way on numerous Bhort stumpy legs of sawn sapling*. There was, of course, no table cloth, and t'ae knives were merely wiped, never ?coured. The table was meant to accommodate about seventy men, and at shearing time it was too Binall for the requirements of that busy season. At the present time it was little more than half filled, although shepherds, boundary riders, stock-keepers, knockabout hands, and two Cornish well-sinkers were mustered for the evening meal, as well as two or three travellers besides Ken neth and the missionary. There was not a coat upon any back but those of our two friends ; most of the men wore waist coats, but several were satisfied with the guern sey or the Crimean shirt and trousers, which were worn without braces, but kept up by a belt round the waist. Hata of every description and of every degree of shabbiness and dirt were thrown off anywhere as they entered the room, the trie cabbage-tree, however grimy, as being the dearest and the most serviceable, being thought the best, and each mau took his accus tomed seat as the best way to prevent unplea santness. The room was lit up by the real old-fashioned bush candejabra. Neither oil nor kerosine had

"i! 1"5 i BO' 0 "gllt t0 P"hlil)M " In" in Queens land has bcon secured by tl>j proprietor* of the Quu,u-

as yet disturbed the reign of thf* three old est;;bliahed fat lamps, which, suspended from the rafters by a twist of fencing-wire, shed a soft if somewhat dim light oil the table. These lampß were constructed of the upper half of clear glass bottles, broken off quite smooth, and corked firmly as if to hold in good liquor, half-filled up with water and then filled to the top with melted tallow, in which a thiu piece of cork bored and covered with tin floated, and through that was drawn a cotton wick or any old rag that would conduct the fat, which the heat kept melted all round the cork to feed the flame. The twisted fencing wire clasped the neck of the bottle, which was turned upßido down, and was kept firm by its shoulder. At the long table, at which between thirty and forty people were assembled for the most leisurely and satisfactory meal of the day, there wav no lack of substantial food. There was mutton roasted, or rather baked, and mutton boiled, both salted and fresh. There was one large pie made of meat There were no condi ments but salt and pepper, and nothing to drink but tea without milk. There was good bread in abundance, because the old days of universal damper have given place on all well* managed stations to a tdgime of well-raised bread, baked in a huge brick oven, where also the mutton and pies were cooked. And, as Wilta boasted of a Bplendid garden, it was one of the few stations where there were green vegetables on the men's table nearly all the year round, and potatoes without fail. This made Wilta a favourite place, both with station hands and Bwagsmen, the tatter of whom were indeed a great tax upon Mr. Gray's hospitality. But he never wanted for hands, either permanent or occasional Men liked to be engaged at a place where the pay was as good as anywhere, and the "tucker" better than any. where else. The tea was not the Bweepings of the tea shops, the sugar was bright and clear, though not absolutely white. The flour was sound; the mutton killed for the Btation was Mr. Gray's own average quality, and not something inferior considered good enough for the men ; and, above all, Mr. Gray and his daughter saw that the cook did not Bpoil good food by neglect. And it was the boast at Wilta Btation that there was no functionary of the kind in Victoria better qualified or better paid than Tom Coppers, of whom they spoke in a more subdued tone of respect than of Mr. Gray himself, or of his sons or any of his managers. It would have been equal to a social revolution if the Grays had floored or ceiled the dining-room or sleeping-room for the men's use, and no one expected better quarters than he got at Wilta. In one respect Mr. Ellerton had exaggerated the amount of discomfort in the men's dining-room for more refined beings. There was undoubtedly the smell of food and of tobacoo Btnoke, and the men had only their everyday clothes, but there were no dogs under the table, gnawing bones or eating scraps from their master's plates. These were all fed elsewhere, and after their supper would be found to have taken up their quarters for the night in the sleeping-room, and were often tied to their own masters' bed. The dormitory where David Henderson also purposed to sleep was not at this season of the year crowded any more than the dining-room. Of the two tiers of beds erected there Bhip fashion, only one tier was occupied; the rough berths, made of the most easily worked native wood by a bush carpenter, had each a mattraas and a bolster and a pair of blankets. Sheets were an unheard of luxury in these quarters. The boundary riders kept their saddles in the sleeping-room, and each man had his kit of clothes close to his own bed, a very slender wardrobe at the best of times ; but this religious service of Mr. Henderson's was so im provised that there was neither time nor oppor tunity for the station hands to dress for it, and they were a little taken aback when they were asked to invite Mr. Gray and his family to join them. They, however, could not make any de cent objection, and a very civil message was sent. Probably they thought it would not be acceded to, as it must be known that they were not dressed. With the bush missionary himself they all felt perfectly at ease. From the poor boundary rider with the broken leg, who had been care fully carried in by Mr. Henderson and Kenneth and laid on a colonial sofa, to the latest comer, Donald M'Tavish, all felt no necessity for re straining their speech before him. He ate with them off their tin plates, and drank out of their tin pannicans, and praißed the cook, who was somehow so identified with the men that each took part of the credit to himself. He did not insist on asking a blessing or returning thanks, though Kenneth observed a short pause in which he must have been mentally engaged on such acknowledgment to the Giver of all good. He knew that hungry men are generally impatient of grace, whether short or long. When an oath slipped out, which was too often the case, he did not raise his eyebrows or look horrified. The Cornish well-sinkers, who were Primitive Metho dists, thought he was a queer missionary, but the bulk of the company thought him the right sort, and when, after supper was ended, they all went in for the still more keenly relished enjoy meut of smoke and talk, he smoked his pipe in the midst of them with a quiet genial good fellowship that made one and all eager to talk to him. Keaceth long ere this had learned the value of tobacco as a sedative, and it had helped him through some of his heaviest hours, but he never seemed to have seen bo well into the thoughts and wishes of the men on stations as on this even ing in the men's kitchen at Wilta. - The talk ran much on horses and dogs, especially on dogs. Every man had a dog, or had had a dog, or had known of a dog that was remarkable for something, and even Donald, the most Highland and perhaps the moat ignorant of the shepherds on the place, had something to say about a "doag of his own" which be was just beginning when Mr. Gray entered with the young ladies and the servants. There was a little disturbance to make room for them opposite the missionary and Kenneth, but MLsb Gray had caught the beguu narrative, and Mrs. Ellerton's ears were delighted with the familiar accent, and they entreated Donald to finish hia story, or rather to begin it again, and, thus encouraged, be struck out afresh. " You wasa wanting to know about my dcag,

Miss Gray, that I was telling this gentleman that will be deliferiug himself with preaching, and Mr. Keuneth, which is a very goot Highland name whatever, and when the master's daughter and a lady from the North uskß mo to go on wuss it, I must be telling you about it though it keeps back the preaching. " But you'll know that I waß keepin' the Isles for the master, and he was sending the English geutlemana over efery year to shoot the paitricks (partridgeo) on the Iblos, wubb his gun, you'll know. And wan day there comes a fine young Englisa gentleman that thoughtto paR3 for a High lauder, wubb his kilt and his trows, but ho was no Highlander, nor no gentlemans neither whatefer. "So he calls out loud to me to get out the poat you'll know, wuss the lads, for him to get over to the Isles to shoot the paitricks. And the Engliss gentleman, when I wasa gitting out the poats, and my doag—it was a big Fouudland new doag— wubb a tail as long a» that," and here Donald extended his arm, and touched it above the elbow, "as long as all that, efery bit; and when the Engliss gentleman waas gittiug into the poat, wuss ( hia gun, you'll know, he atrampit on my doag's tail, aud then my doag, he waa not pleaßed, you'll know, and he bit the Englisa gentleman on the leg, and he roared out with the pain. ' Tonald,'sayß he. ' Sir,' says I. 'Tonald,' says he ; ' I'll frequent your master wuss thus.' • I don]t care that,' says I, and I ssapped my finger in the Engliss gentleman's face, 'if you frequent my master wuss it or no.' And for a fortnight that Engl»s gentleman was on the Islea, and Bhooting the paitricks, and he would have my doag shut up all the time whatefer, and when there wasa whaakey all the day in his bag that he made me carry for him, he never wance said to Tonald,' Tonald, have you a mouth ?'— never wance whatefer. "And when the maister hia nain sell came to the Isles and he waas coming wubb me and the lads in the poat, Bays he to me,' Touald,' says he. • Sir,' says I. ' It'B a fine morning, Tonald,' Biyß he. ' It's a fine large morning, sir,' Bays I. ' What's this I hear Tonald ?' says he. ' Wat is it you'll be hearing, sir ?' Bayß I. «What for, Tonald,' Bayß he, ' will you keep a dong that will be after biting the gentleman's leg that I aend to the Isles', saya he, 'to Bhoot the paitrickß V says he. 'It's very bad manners whatefer', Bays he. 'Sir,' says I,'do you see that plack snail that is lung upon the ground V Bays I. It wass a large plack snail. 'Yes, Tonald,' says he, 'I see the snail upon the ground,' says he. ' Well, sir,' aaya I, 'if you WRBS to be stramping on that Bnail, it will be putting in its horns, and if the Engliss gentle man will be after stramping on my doag's tail, he will be putting in his teeth.' And the maißter says, ' Well spoke up, Tonald,' says he to me, and he gave the orders that my doag would be let out, and that the Engliss gentleman Bhould not never stramp upon his tail no more whatefer." " And what became of the dog ?" aaked David Henderson. " Oh ! he died," they said it was old age, but he was not so fery old neither. And then I was talked ofer to go to Milburn, and here I'm up the country, where there's no shooting aud no fushing and no lads wuss the poats. Ohone ; but I'll not delay the preaching, whatefer ;" aud, setting himßelf down next to Kenneth, he fixed his eyea on David Henderson with an interest no one had seen in the face of|the little, dark, wiry Highlander before.

Chapter XIX. WOBBHIP IN THE MKN'fi DINING-ROOM. Thk Seer stood up to pray, and as each and all rose with him there was impressed on them the irresistible conviction that he waa addressing One in whose existence, in whose immediate pre sence, in whose controlling power he intensely believed. It was no vague phraseology of adora tion and petition, according to established form or routline, but a real laying of the present wants, aapirationa, and repentances of the little knot of worshippers before the Ood who was waiting to hear, to help, to accept, to comfort them. From Donald up to his master and to Kenneth, from the housemaid to Miss Qray and Mrs. Ellerton, he seemed to touch some chord tc which they responded. It was common prayer in the rarest sense, not because the words were ao general that they must apply vaguely to all, but because he touched each soul with an in tense motion, awoke in each a desire, more or less evanescent, after a union with the Divine, rose from the transitory to the eternal, from the duties of every day to the longings for higher powera and worthier service in the long day that waa to follow, from the tenderness of our human loves and human memories to the infinite tender ness of the Divine compassion. Unwonted love warmed the heart, hope grew out of the love, hope blossomed into faith, and the unrealised world appeared for the time to be the most real thing in existence. David Henderson's voice, though solemn, sweet, and penetrating, waa not powerful enough to fill a larg<; building, and therefore he could not have affected in a similar way a large con gregation. But he gathered into sympathy with him such assemblies as this in a manner im possible to an ordinary preacher. He occasionally allowed his voice to sink to an impressive whisper which nevertheless was quite audible to such a handful of interested hearers. When he had finished the prayer and the little band of worshippers had sat down, he began his exposition. " Now, my friends, let us look together into a part of the message which is contained in this book," taking out his pocket Bible. "In your mind's eye will you go back with me more than eighteen hundred years, > and try to read thin wonderful story, not likeJfck printed words in a book, but taking in th^^HVnd death of onrj Lord as a lifs that J^^nee lived, and a de.^M that you look upon j^n the foot of the croes^H "It is the nisbJTot betrayal. The Lord^M going to eat the Tast Supper with hid twi^H Apoatles. He has sent hia orders, and the tm-^H of the house is very friendly and rr jud no do^H of the honour done him by one ho believes t<^H theJ/ffUch. *^ryou look with me, you will .see the Su^^f spread in an upper room, the Master an<^^| Apostles go up the stair, take off their wo^^H sandalß, and Bit down after their day'd kut^^^H long walkl, not on ch.iiip, but on low lu^^H

round the table. Then you see tho Lord and the twelve around him, all poor working men. Tho chief of them all had been only a carpenter working in Joseph's tibed with working men's tools, weary with the day's work, ami pleased if he had done it well. Of all the relics that some of our Christian brethren in tho Ciithulic Church (here the Irish housemaid and stable boy and two or three others looked up eagerly) lind to kindle their devotion I have had moat desire that something could have been preserved for us to look on that the Lord Jeflus had made with his own handx, had put hor.est loving work in it, and no to «how by his rx.implo to tho toiling generation who come after how divine a thing labour is. In thut carpenter's workshop I like to picture to myself the holy family that painters and poets have looked on with different eyes. And those twelve Apostles, all poor unlearned men, with bauds hard with hauling fishers' nets and managing their poor bout**, tho richest of them, Matthew, tlie most deapiaod, because he had been a tax-collector for the hated Roman Government. I dare say the priests and the Scribes and the Pharisees had many a good laugh over the thirteen men who were going to over* turn the world, and thought the number was An uulucky one for their hopes. " You see the youngest of them all sits beside the Lord, and leanß upon his breast in the Eastern fashion. But now they are eating the Passover, and see they eat all standing with their sandals on, the staff in the hand, and their long garments gathered up in their girdles, as if ready to start on their journey. They eat with their fingers, you see ; the lamb is roasted whole, and there is nothing to accompany it but bitter herbs and the unleavened bread, which was typical of the haste with which their forefathers had left Egypt at the time of the great deliverance. > " But who is this who is watching at the door > shaded from the light of the full moon of the Passover under a projecting archway. Is be a friend or an enemy ? Surely he must be a friend, who looks up and down tho street with eager eyes, and litttens intently for every word which may bo heard in the stillness from that upper chamber. It is some one who has felt that there is trouble in the air of Jerusalem) whose quick ears may have heard mutteringa or threats from people in high places, and who takes his watch to-night, in order to call friends round his Lord in case of any attempt to seize him. Some one whom the Lord has Berved or cured—yep, surely ye know him again, he is one of tho two blind men, who eat by tho wayside begging, and whoso heart waa full of,love ami gratitude, and vague fear for the safety of the Master and hia band. " He scarcely stirs from his post by a hairs breadth, because his ears, made quicker by a lifetime of blindness, catch great portions of that wonderful discourse which Our Lord poured forth to comfort and to strengthen his weary and dispirited disciples. lie hears the preparation' for washing the ApostW feet, and Peter's veho meut protestations that he could not have his Master demean himself so far, and his equally vehement entreaties to have his bands and head aIBO washed by those Divine hands. But the voices sink to a whisper ; he cannot hear the inquiries about Judas, and the reply, for that was only given to the beloved disciples. Cut the Lord's command, given aloud to Judas in the hearing of all,' What thou doest, do quickly,' he fully apprehends, and he hears the steps and recognises the face of Judas Iscariot, known to all, to even the humblest disciples, as the treasurer of the slender funds of the first Christian Church who received and laid out the gifts of the faithful. " Judas starts to see the watcher there. Had he been forestalled in his treachery ? Was there any other whom the chief priests were tampering with ? ' Who are you V he asked sharply. ' A friend,' scid the humblo watcher ; ' one whom the Lord gave Bight to ;' and with eager hand he offers to Judas a silver coin as his first gift to the good cause. Formerly he begged by the wayside, now, thanks to the Lord, he could work ; not skilled or well-paid work, but still ho could carry burdens or go errauds for small sums, and now when Judas was going on his Master's business he rejoices to pay in his mite. Judas puts the coin into the bag, and with a muttered acknowledgment goes his way. His dark eyes are cast moodily down, his cap is pulled over hia head, hia hnnd tightened over the bag, his step quick, impatient, and defiant. " What thoughts are passing through that troubled soul I Can he really foresee that his action will bring his Master—whom he had fol. lowed a& long as any of the others, whose works he had witnessed, whoßO discourses he had listened to with pleasure, nay, he is sure, with profit—to a terrible and shameful death. No, he feels that he can get tho thirty pieces of silver from the chief priests, but they will not attain their end. The thousands of the people who hailed him as the Son of David a few daya ago will rally round him, and drive off his enemies, or he will exert tor himself that super-human power he had so often exerted for others, and will strike his foes with terror aud shame, and be all the greater for the betrayal, which waa really needed to make him declare himself fullyJ " He argues within himself that if be had nifl agreed to do it there were others who knew^^H Master's haunts an well as he, who mighJ^^^J been glad of the oiler. Peter, with MU^^^^M ing, might have been talked over as^^^^^^^H — he does not see why the Lord s^^^^^^^^^H much of Peter and John and J^^^^^^^^^J way were they any better i^^^^^^^^^^^M they had had tho bag they^^^^^^^^^^^^H it finely. Why, that olJ^^^^^^^^^H door might have done f^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^l he, Judas, bad not yt-^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H do. The thirty pj^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^fl

after eighteen centurieß of change, and making and destroying of peoples and governments, is still the moat sacred religious observance among Countless millious of human beiugs, in realms where the Roman eagle never Hew, undreamed of by Roman, Jew, or Greek. He hears nearly all of that Divine address of consolation which we have recorded here," and the seer holds up tho Bible open at the 14th chapter of St. John's Gospel, " the questionings of the ignorant and doubting disciples, and the Lord's patient and en couraging replies. Surely for him may be pre pared a humble place in those mauy mansions of which the Master speaks. To him would He be the Way, tue Truth, and the Life. He who would gladly do whatever the Lord commanded would be numbered not among his servants but his friends. Surely he too had hu aharo in tho prayer which the Lord offers for His disciples, there and elsewhere, then and hereafter, which he offers for you and for me, my friends, as well as for the twelve who heard it, not that we should be taken out of the world till our time is accomplished and our earthly work is done, but that His Father and our Father should keep us from the evil that is in the word, and that we should be sanctiQed, not by forms or words or ceremonies, but by God's truth. " At last the prayer is ended, and the watcher hears the descent of the Messiah and his fol lowers, and creeps into the darkest shadow that he may, unobserved, Bee the object of so much grateful devotion. First comes the Saviour himself, with tho rapt look on his face left by that wide-spreading and prevailing prayer, and with the expectation of Judat's treachery, and his dUciplea' weakness filling his mind. To the plots of his powerful enemies, Sadducee and Pharisee, priest and Levite, whom His boldness had alarmed and irritated, He had nothing to oppose but that half-hearted populace who had hailed Him as the Messiah yesterday, but who, at the first sign of submission on Bis part, will ?well the chorus of ' Crucify Him, crucify Him,' for this is not the Messiah they look for, who gives His cheek to the amiter, and is led like a lamb to the slaughter. " Close beside Him walks Peter, speaking with the old confidence so soon to be shaken ; on the other side John, Bilent, with his eyes fixed on the beloved Master, and in his thoughts recalling every word spoken on that memorable night. James, afterwards leader of the church, behind them, speaking to Thomas about the question and answer concerning the way. All the others in a compact band (no soon to be scattered before real danger) recalling the glory and the honours heaped on them bo lately, and sure that, in Bpite of some threats from a few mighty ones, the great heart of Israel was true to this Greater Son of David and would rise to defend Him at any time of need. "They do not look for what, to devout Jews, seemed too horrible to conceive—that their aational and religious leaders would apply to the hated Roman power to crush the reformer whose rousing preaching had startled them in (heir strongholds of decent forms and hollow hypocrisy. They have some fears that the priests, who were mostly Sadducces, may oppose one who said, ' Mercy is better than sacrifice,' or that the Pharisees may stir up the rigorous sticklers for the law agaiust one who said that love was the fulfilling of the law, and that Herod and Pilate may take alarm at the crowds who had wanted to take Jesus by force and make him a king; but such an alliance of three parties who hated and opposed each other, for the purpose of crushing their Master and stifling the new spirit which had been breathed into the world, they cannot dream of. " Our watcher does not take in the full peril of the situation. The traitor has passed him unsuspected, the faithful disciples appear to him like a strong bodyguard. The Saviour him aelf, calm and collected, resolute to do and to bear whatever was laid upon Him by his Father, in spires his humble followers with courage and hope. He feels how blessed he is that can see with his bodily eyes the Messiah long promised to the fathers. He believes they are safe out of this house, which may have been marked and known, but he follows them, creeping along the ?haded side of the narrow crooked streets of Jerusalem, while they walked forth in the glori ous moonlight. The windows are open, and all along they hear the evening hymn floating in the air—the Passover hymn taken from the 118 th Psalm—ending with— Qod is the Lori, who unto us Hath made light to arise Bind ye unto the altar's horn* With cord* the sacrifice. The disciples and the Saviour and even the watcher on the other Bide catch up the triumphant ?train and join in the final verse, commemorating that the Hebrews had light in their dwellings while the Egyptians were in thick darknesß, and the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb, which typified the sacrifice so nearly ready to be offered. But see, they pass to one of the gates of the walled city of Jerusalem and take ther way to the Mount of Olives, and the Garden of Gethsemane, towards which our Lord steadfastly turnß His While feeling that for this night at least Abey are safe, our watcher can keep silence no and the pent-up feelings find vent in the ' Oh ! my Lord, may God blesa thee,' blessing of one that had been ready his head the Saviour of the world betrayal, to death, and to victory, seeks his humble couch and of heaven in his heart. since then have wonderful life and much of heaven i Oh ! my dear as I see it is not or terrors of that thirty

honest employment—pleasure that God and man forbid, wasteful and foolish, selfish, sensual, or devilish, on which we so often spend the wages of this joyless work—l feel as if I wanted a hundred tongues of fire to kindle some sort of Divine life in j ou, to speak everywhere and to every man of how noble, how helpful, and how blessed this life of ours could be made, if we only worked in Qod's way, and rested in His love. But Icm only pass from place to place, and feebly drop here and there the earnest words that bum into my very soul—here a little and there a little, but all as it were a mere nothing in the great wilderness of the world. Only if each of us does the little that he or she can, some with money, some with speech, some with writing, Rome with influence, and every one among us with one soul to bring into union with God and His Christ, we shall do something to add to the goodnesa and the happiness that He lived and disd to purchase, and to take away from the evils and the miseries of life—and so be fellow-workers with the Creator Himself. "May we all, masters and servants, learned and unlearned, young and old, be gathered into that fold, that mighty mixed multitude whom no man can number, not merely in another world hereafter, but in this here, and now, as the children of God and joint heirs with Christ, who in this Divine book reveals to us our great inherit ance. Amen." Just a whispered question to Miss Gray, and an affirmative anßwer, and David Henderson read out distinctly, twice over, a verse of a familiar hymn to Scottish ears— Twaa on the night when doomed to know The eager rage of every foe, That night in which he wai betrayed, The Saviour of the world took bread. Mrs. Ellerton led the service of song in a clear soprano of extraordinary power, and Misß Gray fell in with a second. It was wonderful how many of those rough bush shepherds and work* ing men recollected the words so impressively read, and joined with more or less musical skill, but with evident heartfelt enthusiasm. Verse by verse was read out in the same manner till the paraphrase was finished, and then, with a prayer still more impressive than the first, for he had got the whole audience completely en rapport with him, David Henderson closed the religious service, which to him and to those he led was emphatically " worship."

Chapteb XX. IMPRESSIONS MADE ON HIGH AND LOW. Whatever thoughts the company had taken with them they had laid aside is an unprece dented manner. Mr. Gray forgot the probable bargain with Kenneth. Kenneth left off wonder ing what it was in Mrs. Ellerton'B face that was familiar to him, and what was the wonderful charm of Miss Gray's, but could not help mentally indulging in one wish, that his friend Harry Stalker could have been with them in this primitive conventicle. Edith Gray forgot her speculations about Kenneth, and the missionary himself, and watched with him at the door of the house when the revolutionises of the world took their last meal together in that upper chamber. At the close of the service there were no cards brought out as usual; the men proposed to turn in at once, and bid a gruff, though civil, good night to Mr. Gray, and to the ladies, after Edith had thanked them heartily for their invitation, and begged that they would repeat it when Mr. David Henderson returned again, as she hoped he would before long. " Certainly, certainly, I shall take Wilta in my rounds until you are tired of me," said he. " You must come to the house with us," said Mr. Graf, warmly. " I must introduoe you to my son Walter, who I am sorry did not join us. We can give you better quarters than the men's dormitory or even Bachelors' Hall. I wish you could suggest something better to be done for the men, and if money is needed or any in fluence that I can exercise, pray apply to me. And, Mr. Oswald, I was sorry to be out when you came, and so gave you the trouble of waiting, but I have no doubt you think it a privilege to be present at such a religious service as this. I will take no refusal from either of you ; you must come." " I'll be back with all of you at breakfast," said David Henderson. " Good-night to you. God bless you all, my friends." " Good-night to you, Mr. Henderson, and Mr. Kenneth, too, good-night," said Donald, who lingered the last. " I did not think, when I came in late for supper, that I waas to be hearing such fine preaching, and such singing of fery good words that cannot be much behind what the angels can be doing. But about Judas, I was alwayß thinking that he was a little man wusa bowit legs, and an awfu' skelly, and hair like carrots, but you'll be seeing far better nor me whatefer. And he wass, maybe, no worse nor many a wan of ourselves, who will be taking money for some dirty trick, and will be thinking all the time that the man will nefer get no good of it But, maybe, the Lord will not be so fery angert at him after all, because, you'll see, it had to be done or the defil would be keeping the upper hand for efer and efer, and the poor man Judas nefer got no good whatefer of the thirty half a-crowns, and he hangit himself, because he was so sorry, and maybe thocht shame to be lifing on this world when the Master was dead and buried. He wass not knowing that he will be rising from the grave. He wass not knowing that it wass all for the best; no, he wass not knowing that, but after he wbbs dead he would surely be knowing. And if he wass Borry, he will maybe be taken into the good place not far ben, but just at the back of the door. If he wass fery sorry, and wass wishing that he hadn't nefer done the dirty trick, for the money that these rogues will be tempting him wuas, if he was fery sorry, it would not be just fair to put him into the pad place where the defils will not be sorry for nothing, for their ainjkin when it will j^^gry hot. hs it not^^Llr. Henderson? m ich in t!ie g°^^B)t that Tonald seeing, yu will^^My be seeing hope so, Donald." \ be seeing you in the monnng. I out fery early whate^r." to see you." And Tonald is much behol'lc4 the ladies that made' v f°r one night-"

Wulter Gray had said jestingly to his sister that her friend Mrs. Ellerton made her look plain, and she herßelf had an idea that the well born, carefully-educated, accomplished daughter of a Highland chief would make her bush acquirements and accomplishments look very small; but she rejoiced in her friend's beauty notwithstanding, and was enraptured with her singing, so that she was required to occupy a secondary place. With regard to beauty, the styles were bo different that it was a matter of fciite, but, in regard to intellectual powers and intellectual training, the girl who had almost spent her life at a station was very much in advance of the girl who had been educated at an Edinburgh institution under competent masters. In the first place, she was several years older ; in the seooud place, she had been the companion of her father and her brothers, and of their friends. There was leisure at Wilta for reading; there was money to buy the best books, and encouragement for Edith to reid what interested intelligent men. She did not fritter away her exiatenc > in morn ing visits to indifferent people when there is no getting below the merest surface of gossip, or spend her valuable hours in " doing the block," like the Misses Honey, who found their father's station unendurable, and gave him no peace till he gave up the life he loved for a Melbourne residence, where he Buffered from the most desolating ennui. Edith was the particular friend of the brother next to her in age, who had recently gone to New Zealand, and whose letters were but a poor compensation for the loss of his Bociety. Miss Gray was fairly accomplished, but nothing out of the way. Her judgment was good, her principles high ; she had a very wide acquaintance with the best of English literature, and she waß full of that unspoken poetry which a girl whose heart has been as yet untouched by love, but who is affeotionate and imaginative, throwß round her family affections, her friend ships, and her tastes. Active by temperament, and encouraged in her efforts by her father, she had a strong desire to make every one round her happy. Of course, they were to be happy in her own way, but somehow that personal feeling enters into all the best projects of all young reformers. And the world has been moved most, and that in the right direction, by thoße who not only saw that good was to be done, but had distinct opinions as to what kind of good they could do. Her interests now were greatly absorbed by Sibyl Ellerton, who had left a happy home and an affeotionate family, and had married at seventeen a man whose only recommendation appeared to be a handsome person and (when he pleased) a gentlemanly manner; but his good looks Edith could not see, and his manners were odious to her, and Bhe wondered if the young wife was not disillusioned after six months of matrimony, or if this was really the man who won the heart of the schoolgirl. What had attracted him to her was lesa diffi cult to guess, Not only was she strikingly beautiful, with a voice of rare quality, but at the time when she was in Edinburgh at school she waa living with her grandfather, and re ported to be his favourite, and this grandfather waa considered one of the wealthiest merchants in the city. Immediately after the marriage, in a commercial crisis, the mercantile house had gone down, and Sibyl was only the slenderly dowered daughter of an old Highland family ; and Mr. Ellerton, who had run through his own small patrimony, found that there was no opening for him in the old country, and etruck out for the colony of Victoria. Sibyl bad made but little objection, which Edith thought un natural, unless she had found out her mistake and wished her dearest ones to be kept in ignor ance of it. Of several letters which the young couple got to colonial people that to Mr. Gray was the most valuable to them. A home was offered at Wilta for as long as they pleased, and Mr. Gray and his son tried various ways of serving them by getting Borne opening for Mr. and had no look of a business man. In the Ellerton. But he was not a business man, meantime they lived at Wilta free of expense, and even Ellerton oould not help owning to him* self that they had " struck oil" there. The Grays, father and son, treated Mrs. Ellerton with the marked deference due to her position as the daughter of the race of the local magnates in t their old home, as well as with the attentions readily accorded to a young and lovely woman. And, whatever may be the faults aid shortcomings incident to our social condition, when wealth gets accumulated in strange hands it cannot be said that rich Aus tralians really despise or offensively patronise people poorer than themselves. Watch the society which new comers and outside critics pull to pieces bo unmercifully, and you will see that every parvenu rich family delights in and even courts the countenance of people who have not risen, who have even fallen behind in the race, if these people have good characters and some culture, even though the unsuccessful colonists know every step of their own rise from humble beginnings. Much delicate and unsus pected kindness is shown by the prosperous to the lest fortunate, which does not find its way into subscription lists or into newspaper para graphs, or even beyond the knowledge of the recipients themselves. Mr. Gray was a man so liberal in expenditure, and so generous in all ways, even from his early start in life, that some people wondered how he had accumulated bo much property. But his outlay in the matter of investments was always most carefully entered into, and pru dence in that direction will allow much latitude in current expenses. He never let himself be taken advantage of in a bargain which waa to be either kept for income or Bold at a profit. He knew the present and prospective value of every description of property by a sort of rapid weigh ing of probabilities that looked to slower men like intuition. He always had money at com mand—he could always buy anything that he thought cheap or likely to rise. He was liberal in outlay which promised fair returns, especially in the improvement of his stock, but very cautious about risky speculations under other people's management, and with such simple in expensive personal habits that superficial ob servers of another class called him wanting in and as close-fisted as his neighbour Btf>rge Oswald. Gray's sons saw that their father's plans

prospered, that he gradually bought up smaller holders, that bin fair treatment and kind uiauner to his men secured the pick of the market, and they were satisfied to follow in his footsteps. As they grew up he extended his operations, and they had done some good pioneer \tottt in Victoria before the second Bon went off to Queensland, and the two younger ones to New Zealand. He had kept his bods as busy as poaaible, and endeavoured to give them an interest in all his affairs. The long Bpella of idleness which aro the curse of station life when the improvements aro all made, and things have settled down to clockwork regularity in competent hands, had been hitherto undergone by the Gray family without any bad results, partly from the exten sion of operations before spoken of, and partly because they were fond of books and of society, and generally contrived to have visitore staying with them to share their leisure who thought bush life the very perfection of existence. A Bnatchcd holiday from the bustle and dußt of Melbourne, and the routine of office work, to the freedom and hospitality of Wiltn, was enjoyed keenly by all friends of the older or younger Grays. A large convenient house, horses and vehicles at command, a good library, a fine piano, a billiard-room, a good cellar, a good cook and magnificent cigars, and a young, handsome, and intelligent hostess, made Wilta something of an earthly paradise to such visitors. This socioty, however, consisted more of gentlemen than ladies. Edith Gray's education had been conducted by a governess at home, and she had made no school acquaintances, and some how, although abstractly she had the highest ideas about woman's powers and woman's field of action, gentlemen were to her more interesting companions than the society-girls she met with in their visits to Melbourne. But, though a popular girl with gentlemen, she had had few lovers, partly because she was considered too clever, and partly because she had none of the coquetries in her manner which enoourage hopes. Her position at home was such a good one that a man must have thought highly of himself to try to tempt her from it. She called herself v Bpoiled girl by father and brothers, but as she yielded to their wishes in almost everything, and laid out all her plans in life for their comfort and happiness, she could not have been seriously spoiled. She had never been captivated by any stranger as she had been by Sibyl Ellerton, who stimulated her curiosity as to that unknown power called love, which had invested a man so commonplace where he was not odioua with such a halo that home and country, position and independence, had been sacrificed to follow bis fortunes. [to be continued.]