|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||Astera-kesphoros; The Star of Healing|
Astera-kesphoros; The Star of Healing. BY MARY HANNAY FOOTT. [WRITTEN FOR THE QUEENSLANDER.]
Swift and far above Mountain Crown, and beyond the Earth, and out into the starry spaces, passed Fran and little Ken on the crystal stair. Stars that seemed at first so
many specks of light in the deep midnight sky as they drew nearer loomed at first larger and brighter, then larger still and less bright, then grew small and smaller, and became specks once more. A star which when it was a mere speck looked no brighter than a blazing match head in the daylight by the time it had grown to the size of half-a-crown glowed as brightly as a tallow candle lit in the dark. When it was as big as a saucer it was as bright as gas, and by the time it was the size of a dinner plate it dazzled Fran's eyes like a globe of electric light. When it was full moon size, however, it no longer dazzled one but shone with a mild light like the light of the moon itself, and thenceforward paled. When they passed quite close to any world Fran was surprised to find such a world did not shine at all. This rather puzzled Fran for a while, but before long she bethought herself that though the earth she had left, once she was well away from it, shone as the moon shines, in the earth-sky all the nineteen years she had lived on it it had never seemed to her to shine at all. "They don't shine, any of them, I suppose," she said, "to the people who live upon them, but only to those who watch them from some other world." By-and-by the thought occurred to her that the stairway on which she stood, firm as it felt beneath her feet, must in reality be as flexible as the thread of gossamer it had looked to her to be when she had first of all beheld it through the lens. For some time she puzzled over this, pondering how such a thing could be, until
all at once she recollected that when she was a child on board ship, coming from her own country to the land of the King, she had now and then made her way, as wild little Erica Brightstone might have done, a short distance up the main rigging, and sat on a small platform, and had found the giant mast, firm as it seemed when she was on the deck, shuddering and swaying in the breeze. Some one, she remembered too, had told her that even a lofty chimney firmly built of brick must be built so to sway. The next idea which came to her was one with regard to the air she breathed in her passage through the sky. She had been taught that in space there was no air, yet she found that as she sped a gentle breeze accompanied her. "It must be like a mill-wheel, she thought, and "carry air with it as it goes, in the way in which a mill-wheel carries the water by which it turns." Again her thoughts returned to those she had left and to the stars grown dull as she neared them. "It is just so with Mollie," she said, musing, "I never knew before how bright a little star she is. So with Erica, her father and mother, and the poor King. All the princesses despise the King because his crown will not stay straight. They do not care though its crooked ness comes of his having lost part of his ear saving a little child. None of them think him anything of a star. Yet how clever he is! how kind and gentle! how blue are his eyes! He is a very bright star indeed." By-and-by Fran felt sleepy and settled her self down on the step, holding Ken still in her arms, and, after a while, thus seated, she fell fast asleep. When she awoke it was to find herself sur rounded by a little group of strangers, all very bright and pleasant to look upon, with their clear skins, rosy checks, and upright figures. One of them had carried Ken off the stair into a beautiful meadow; others were waiting until Fran awoke, ready to conduct her to where he was. As soon as she opened her eyes there was a joyous outcry from them all together. Then a young man who stood among them spoke. "I know the earth-speech," he said. "Let me undo this headpiece." As he removed the lens with its metal framework from her head and shoulders Fran caught sight of Ken as he was borne away. "Bring him back to me please," she said. "I must not let him go away from me. Once I forgot about him, and he had a dreadful fall and hurt himself, so that now he lies like one dead." "We are ready to take you to him," said the young man who had already spoken. "We are going to have breakfast with you, if we may, in the meadow." "Where am I?" inquired Fran. "What place is this?" "This," replied the young man, "is the Star of Healing." [TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK.]
The large towns in Holland are nearly equi- distant. They are at an average distance of twenty miles from one another. It is estimated that 200 tons of ostrich feathers have been exported from Cape Colony during the past thirty years, valued at £10,000,000. The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed a law for ever disfranchising any man having been convicted of selling his vote or of asking money for it. Europeans do not take kindly to American confections. The man who kept the peanut and popcorn stall at the recent Antwerp Exposi tion lost £1000. During the eighteen years ending with the 30th June, 1890,1826 persons were killed by cyclones in the United States.
BONNET WITH BEADED CROWN. [See "Dress and Fashion."]