|Chapter Title||A MOUNTAIN IDYL-THE GIRL AND THE BOY.|
|Newspaper Title||Queanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)|
|Trove Title||For Cora's Sake|
CHAPTER ItT.-A MOUNTAIN, Tnr. - THE GIRL. AND THL Boy. On a. fine day near the end of October, several years before the opening of this story, the express train from the south-west ,as speeding onward toward North End. in one of the middle cars sat a girl andI a boy-hot.h I dressed in deep ninouiig, and hoth in charge of a tall, stout gentleianni, also in deep mourn ing. These children were Corona, aged seven, and Sylvanus, aged four, or phans and co-heirs of John HIaught, a millionaire merchlans of San Francisco,' and of his wife, Felicin, only daughter of Aaron and Deborah Rockharrt, of Rockhold. They had lost their parents during the prevalence of an epidemic fever, and had been left to the guardianship of Aaron Rockharra. They were now coming, in charge of their Uncle Fabian, to their grandparents' house, which was to be their home during their minority. Tn front of thise children sat at man of middle age and a boy of about twelve years. They seemed to belong to the honourible order of working men. Their clothing was old, worn and travel-stained. They had been picked up only at the last past station, and looked as if they had tramped a long way weary and dejected. Each wore on his bat
tmred.hltt a little wisp of a dusty black crepe hand. This was a circumnsstaitco which much int'rested the little girl, Corone,"who had a longer ienoory than- her baby brother, and had not yet done grieving after her father and her mother, and she wanted to speak to the p sr hbsy, and to tell hiin how very sorry she wa for him, but was much too timid for such a v ptiuri. Neither the boy nor the man looked he ind tIem, asnd so the childres never don sisg tlse si< to North End B3oth pat.iec got out at. station. The Itockhold ca lunge was iting for tsibi.sin curl his clsrge.\ Nothi was waiting for the tramp ani I.s son. M. Fabian lsoked at them snsd took a ths hls situatisn. He put the chis Ises iidi the carrisge, tohl the coasclsn.ss to wait foesint, and then went isp to the tramps. noiki sng for ý;brk \ he said, sddressing the che.dv ýr Yes, sir, re lied the ittor, touching his old list. I hittm* csnme i lot ' wsy to look foi it, nil I nm isfound now fort ockhsrrt and Ssns' Locon , tivs Wnrks. Co li you lie so kind is to direct me where to tind them 1' ' About three miles down this side of the river. You cannot miss them if you fallow the road. Stay-T smn one of ths firm. We' have rathe more men th s ie weant just now, but I will °i you a e to the manager, and hse will fins a nece~ ryou and the boy, also,' said plausible, .satured, lying, dishonest Fabian sR ockI rss lie drew a card from his pocket and t wrosh above his name: "Tsake mo bearer a h Isis boy on.' Then on the opposite side of the cand he wrote the supersaription, ' Timothy RTyland, -Manager, North End Foundries.'
He gave this to the tramp, who touched his hat again, and led off his boy for their long walk to the works. - Fabian Roukharrt, with his' nephew and niece, reached Rockhold two hours later. Aaron Rockharrt and his younger son, Clarence, were absent, at the works; but little Mrs. Rockharrt was at home. Little Corn became the constant companion of. the grandmother, who found her well advanced in learning for a child of seven yeats. She could read, write a little, and do easy sums in the first four simple rules of arithlnotic. A school room was fitted up. on the. first floor back of the Rockhold mansion. A nursery governess was found by advertisement She was a young and beautiful girl of the wax doll ordler of beauty, and of not more than sixteen years of ago. In person she was tall, slim and fair,' with red cheeks, blue eyes and yellow hair. Her very name, as well as - her presence, was full of the aromas of Araby the Blest. It was Rose -Flowers. Rose smiled and bloomed and beamed on all, but most of all on Mr. Fabian, who was at that time a very handsome and fascinating man of no more than thirty, and to do her justice, she brought her young pupils well on in elementary education. No more wits seen or heard of the tramp and his boy, who had come to seek work at the foundries. They seemed to have been for gotten even by the little girl whose sympathies had been touched by their appearance on the train. But early in February a catastrophe oe curred which brought them back most pain. fully to her memory. There was an explosion
in the foundr y which til man was instantly killed. 1lJnele Cchrence,' asked ra of that per son, ' whier is the boy belon ng to the poor man thatAvas killed 4 You l ow they came in the airs with us to 'North End station. Oh I and they were so poor I Oh I and the boy had a bit of old crepe on his hat I Oh, and I know he'had no mother, I But I don't know whether the man was his father or his uncle. Bnt, oh, Uncle Claronce, dear, where is the hoy ?' I don't know anything about the boy, little one, but I will inquire and tell you. I think the little chap has two more friends left, dear. You are one. 1 am the other.' Oh Uncle Clarence, you are a dear ducky ducky-darling I And when I am a grown up woman, I will marry you.' 1O I well, all right, if you remain in the same mind and-' I will never, never change my mind. -I love you better than I do anybody in the world, except Sylvan and grandmn, and Miss blowers and Tip I' Clarence kept his word with the child about making inquiries as to the fate of the boy in whom she was interested. The boy was motherless, and, by death of his father, haud been utterly destitute. He had found a home with Soythia Woods, an eccentrio woman, who lived in a lut on the mountain side, half way between North End and llnekhold, and lie supported himself in a poor way by running errands and doing little jobs about the works. Littlo Cor a aught listened to this account of the poor, ;friendless, self-reliant lad with the deepest sympathy.
' Uncle, Clarence,' she pleaded,. 'you are so rich. -.Why doin't you give that poor boy clothes, and shoes; and hats, and all he ought to have? ' My good little girl, nothing, shall give me more- delight, but that fellow would see Rockharrt di Sons swallowed up by an -earth quake before he would take a cent from them that he had not earned.' ' Oh, I like that-that is grand I But why don't you take him on and give him good. pay ?' ' But, my dear, he is a boy, and 1cannot do regular heavy wvork. He is quite uneducated, and cannot do any other except what he does.' Two months later, one lovely spring day, she saw him again for the first time since their meeting on the train-six months previous. He came to Rockhold one Saturday afternooni to bring a letter from the manager to the head of the firm. He came to the back door which opened from the porch. He sent in his letter by the servant who came at his knock, and he said he was to wait for an answer. Cora, in the back parlor, saw him, recognized him, and ran out to speak to him. Perhaps the tiny lady had some faint idea of the duties and responsibilities of wealth aud station. So she spoke to the boy : 'Are you Regulas Rothsay ?' she inquired, in a soft tone. ' Yes, miss,' replied the boy. There was an awkward pause, and then the little girl said slowly: ' You won't let anybody give you anything, although you have no " father nor mother. SNow, why won't-you?'
' Because I can work for all I want, Fall but-' he began,' and then stopped. * You have all but what?' ' A little schooling.' ' Here's the answer, Rule l You are to run right away as fast as you can and take it to Mr. Ryland,' said a servant, coming out upon the porch and handing a letter to the boy. It was a week after this interview with the lad before Cora saw him again. He was on the lawn in front of the house. She was at the window of the front drawing room. As soon as she espied him she ran out to speak to him, and eagerly begged that she might teach him to read. The boy, surprised at the suddenness and the character of such an offer, blushed, thanked the little lady, and declined, then hesitated, reflected, and then, half-reluctantly and half-gratefully consented. (To be continued in our next.)