Chapter 21630427

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21630427
Full Date1895-03-30
Page Number606
Corrections4
Word Count876
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2018-05-29
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleAstera-kesphoros; The Star of Healing
article text

Astera-kesphores; The star of Healing. [By Mary Hannay Foott.] [WRITTEN FOR THE QUEENSLANDER.] (Children's Corner)

CHAPTER 1.

"It—seems —to—me —a-very wild scheme," said Kenrick's mother, "quite—the —wildest scheme I ever—heard of. I—don't —think—Fran—that we should ever see—

either of you—again." "Now, Mollie, listen," replied her sister Fran, "for the tenth time I beg of you, listen. This is how things are: "We all three want change of air—you, Ken, and my beloved self. None of us have any money, but our cottage is the nicest cottage that ever could be, and the King has asked us to let it to his aunt, the Grand Duchess, who is coming to visit him and to remain as her Suite. The Grand Duchess will pay a good rent for the cottage, but her Suite have to serve her—it is so great an honour— without any wages, to wear very fine clothes, and to make her presents on her birthday, wedding day, coronation day, and the birthdays of all her eleven children—every one of them— and to offer her besides, on each of these anniversaries, a fresh-made poem, got ready for the occasion. Of course a large, well-to-do, clever Suite might rather enjoy this sort of thing. It would be a joint-stock business, and with plenty of people to help in buying the gifts and writing the poetry, it might seem to be almost a sort of game. We should find no fun in it though. We do not wish to spend the rent of the cottage on Grand Duchesses, but on our Ungrand selves. We should not shine very brightly if we were called upon to pen poetry; because we have no poetical ideas, and we cannot spell. Another thing is that I positively must keep to

my lace-making or we shall have nothing to live upon when we return to the cottage after the Grand Duchess has gone. And this I shall be able to do quite as well—rather better if anything—on Mountain Crown than here. There will be very little housework to do living in a tent, and our cookery will rest on the twin pillars of biscuits and tinned provisions." "And—tea?" suggested Mollie with a smile. "Yes—tea," said Fran, "but I shall hope to be able to levy for that on the astrologer." "Astronomer," said Mollie. "Very well, astronomer," rejoined Fran. "We shall be the visitors and we shall have to be entertained. Astronomers, I have always read, are a very absent-minded set, and once I am invited I shall go and have tea at the light- house—" "The observatory," interposed Mollie. "The observatory then, if you will have it so," said Fran, "for he will never recollect that it is not our first call." "And how do you mean to dispose of me?" her sister inquired. "You," said Fran, "shall go to the seaside. The Grand Duchess's rent will buy you some smart clothes and pay for nice lodgings for you for a month of Sundays, and still leave us with something to the good. Then when the Grand Duchess goes we shall all come home again — one more sunburnt than another. I shall have made numbers of new designs for my lace from the orchids and other plants on Mountain Crown, and perhaps by the time the King suc ceeds in finding a princess to marry him I may have a bridal veil to offer that will make all our fortunes." "I—cannot—think," said Mollie, "why— none of the princesses—can—be—persuaded to marry the—King. What—is the—loss—of— an—ear —when—you—come to—think of it? People with—one—ear —often—hear—quite well." "It isn't the want of an ear the princesses mind," said Fran, "nor anything of that sort at all. What they object to is that, since the King lost his ear, the crown will not stay straight. It falls over to one side, and instead of giving his Majesty a dignified air it makes him look ridiculous." "It is a—very great pity"—said Mollie. "The—princesses—ought to remember that the King—lost his ear in a—good cause. If— he—had let the lion make a meal of—the— poor little cage-sweeper-boy—instead of— dashing in to save him—his—ear—would be safe on his head—instead of —being — devoured." "Now," said Fran, "you had better set to work at once to do your share, and I shall lose no time doing mine. Write to the King saying that he may have the cottage for the Grand Duchess. Tell him that none of us are able to become members of the Suite. Write to the people who have the hotel at Pebble Beach, tell them you purpose staying at their house and say when they are to meet you. And then pack Ken's box, please; he and I will start to morrow." "For Mountain Crown?—You—really mean it?" "Yes; I really mean it; for Mountain Crown." "But what will you do for a tent, Fran?" Mollie inquired very anxiously. "Oh, I am making a gipsy tent," replied Fran, " out of unbleached calico. It is nearly finished. Do not worry about Ken and me. We shall do very well. What you have to do is to take care of yourself." [TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK.]