Chapter 31184301

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter TitlePATRICIA THE ENCHANTRESS.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31184301
Full Date1907-10-08
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count2205
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Age
Trove TitleFate and Patricia
article text CHAPTER IV. PATRIOIA THE ENCHANTRESS. Hers was' the beauty, dark and splendid, :Whose'spell upon the heart ofuman' Falls swiftly, as wheni day is ended, Night falls in lands Australian. It was'not long beforefPatrieia kept her promise. They. had been at the Antimacassar House : three: weeks, and already :the fatigue of moving was forgotten. in the 'delight of those first spring days' among the hills; ' ow can I tell to those who have never known them the .joys of an' Austrli'an spring-of spring . i Aus tralian:hills-of the ivide stretch of sky whereoin the. birds-and clouds.go saililg ; of tlie, 'widi., st:etehi. of' liill and valley ..nmade wonderful by floivers ; ofthe frs ;glrance of wattle and the scent of gums and the clear'sweet note of -magpie and bellbird, and' all, bush sonids' and" i lences ? :ow caw t n'.I tell of?t'e seccret grillies hiddein away. fro' 'prying eye~ among the hiills,-wlhere through drowsy days the crebk meanders between banks of feln, and throngh drowsy' nights the stars look down and ,find :themselves uniirrored in its sliollow, waters ?' To the Australianii burn the.kowledge and love of these things comes by. na ture. whether they familiarly surround ahs life or not.' Patricia's life had never' known themi, and' ili.thie very intensity of her nature she loved them moore ,dearly with each day.: And. now, since her coming to the hills, she seemed.to have a Jeeling' of :onership' with regard; to them.., Thei blue' "dayIs, the fragrant, floweilng world,. were her. inheritance,' and she to whom the inoise and whirl and lights ,of the city'ever sang their siren song, lay among the grass and listened "aild dreamed of them, yet was faithfulto her love of the hills with it all. For to Patricia there had.come in. these days :a, .hlint of the peace that she was always '.seeking-a peace which in this case was the outcome of achievement ' The love of her art. Was the greatest passion 'of `. the girl's nature, and though she was ever longing for a fuller measure of life than her quiet existence gave her, -and :thle longi'g- made her restless, vet tne longing and restlessness alike disnp luaired when she felt'that ishe was he ginigin- to nchieve.... And, ,the verynai of the hills spelt nachieremenlt toPatricia, So each day she sallied forth alone, now this way, now that, but' ever as far as possible from the civilization that with slow, but-merciless tread 'is creeping, creeping over this country of great. won 'deis. And as she went she made each step.a rung on the ladder of achievement, 'for Patricia had been schooled in the a-. cidamy of enthusiasm, and her eager eyes lost>'no" lesson' of form or colour from this new world of the' hills. A, world of marvellous beauty it .lay about' her, and through it she kinew ran the road to:the gateway of success.. Pa tricia was already travelling along' the road dreaming c` the day when in her mantle of 'htreuuousr endeavour. she should reach 'the gateway and' pass through. Meanwhile the days were passing, and at the Antimacassar House the new life that had come to disturb the dust of neglectful ,years settled into its even tenor, uneventful, undisturbed. Pa tricia'q studio still remained unarranged, but that was because Patricia wished it. so. She had a fancy to paint the door way as she had seen it that first day at the Antimacassar House, the path with its drifting leiaves outside-and 'inside the'dust and twigs in the doorway, and the space of sunlight across the floor. So-the door still swung on rusty hinges, and the room was still unawept. Only against the far wall stood a medly of canvas and prints and easels, and a chair, wheron Patricia sat of afternoons to paint her doorway. Until this picture was finished the 'studio 'was sacred ground, and none might venture' there. Already Dick was' a daily visitor at the Heriot's, coming and going as he. pleased. From the beginning they had taken. it for granted that the .old in timacy would be resumed, ahid Dick, having' mentally put" himself in their hands, forgot' his ecruples---willingly enough-and found hoiurly delight in the.breath of old times which seemed to greet him vhe|never, he entered the, An-. timacpssar House. For all about him were the old familiar :landmarks df his childhood, pii-ires 'thatl had interested or amused him, ;quaint, chairs that had first imbued him with a craze for chip carving, rosewood 'cabiiets with their freight of old china Ithe Crown Derby tea seivice. The 'latter especially a wakened vivid memories for. Dick. "I always used to think," he said to' Patricia one day, as she dispensed tea out of it, 1" that those cups would arise and hurl themselves to the floor when I. was passing them. I am not sure but that they may do so even now. Do keep' that table somewhere in a corner where I may'not approach it too nearly, 'will yon. Pattricia.? " ? Patricia looked up at him with mis chief in her eyes. :`," What, more reminiscences ? " she mociked,' " and after• three weeks, too ?I WvVljiq shall yon.u hve finished, ;)ick; do you nsuppose? , " At;least;": objected Dick, aggrieved, " I have not asked you to listen| to' my reminiscences, as you call them, because you haven't giveni me a chance., "You, make yourself so confouindedly scarce, Pa tricia.r Excuse my 'forcible laigaiage, but it is necessary to express my sense' of ill-treatnient." " Oh! I have been exploring ;the: countiy,'~ said' Patricil lightly.' I've come toltlhe conclusioin-that there. must 'be a good deal of the.primal savage: in me, for when I get into the scrub;' quite "away from'civilizationn. I develope all kinds of wild instincts, and never ~.ntt t,' come back again.. It is s trange thing,:because; I've-never felt like .that anywhere before. ?~'I t'e "always :beien ] vaguely'jealous'of:what -the' :rest of the ] world was-doing; I 'v .always wanted to I be in eyerything Euyself' ".'A'iid.ii the bush you don'ttfee jo?" queried Dick. . .,But' of .course, you wonldi;tn:'. The :bush is somehow paci fying, is 't it? It is a good: thing-:you lose 'that feeling 'somewhere, : Patricia. It isniiot a pleasant'one, I kiow. "' It's dreadful," said Patricia, abrupt ly,' ald bent her lhead a little until it rested upon her:hands. ": For a moment I it seemed- to Dick that.a', vague exlires sion `'bf pain' hovered 'across her face, then she tiirned to.lhini with soie 'gay. I .\ord to shake off their sudden, sersone ness. And behind the laughter.. he re cognised a ,new .expression, a look :of supreme courage, as tlhough some greatI fear had touched her, and'she had coi quered it'., Dick could not know w'hat Patricia might 'have to rear-pelrhaps, after all, he had been wrong. in tlhe in terpretation of her look, .but he .could never think so. And ever hfterivards, when Patricia laughed, hlie bada feeling that Sihe did so witllh it puirpose, a''d that in some iunknown way; liher laught~iir was a sign of her high courage.. . ·, But at the moment Dick had time for 1 few of thesie thoiiglits~.' Patricia, al ready quite recovered,-,was watching him gaily, and feeliing li? laughing eys unp on him, hlie shool himseltf free of thoghlts and impiessions' and turned to her with a smile . deriiig.s I w;iler ?". l he said: :'.By Tove ? Putricia, it is a vonderful ' spot, especially iby m,,inlgh. 1: went there I with the- children one evening. - The creek is rather, deeper there than in mqst places, and long ferns grow up ont of the water. ' The gully is somewhere over beyond the quarries, if I remember rightly." " I havn't been that way at all yet," said Patricia. " Is it far ? To-night will be moonlight, Dick. Why shouldn't we all walk over ?" " Excellent plan. But'please don't slay me if I am unable to find the place. My bump of locality is diminutive, and when I went I had Helen and Jessie to guide me." " Then why shouldn't we have them ?" " Because-well, becalise Mrs. Bur ton ! " . Patricia laughed. Dick's conversation sometimes contained an element of the 'dramatic that delighted her artistic soul. " But that is no argument, Dick," she said. "I shall ask Mrs. Burton to let them come." Dick opened his eyes. *He had not ,expected this from Patricia, and it sur prised and even irritated him a little. Was it possible that, after all, .she had not understood th'e position of affairs at the Burton's, while inwardly bhe. had been applauding her keen insight? He bent forward eagerly,. and, with the restrained impatience of 'one who ex plains a thing for the second time, coiiu menced to argue with her, ,pausing Lbe tween each sentence to emphasize: his words. "Mrs. Burton does not allow Jessie and Helen to associate with other girls, even of their own class," he said. " She knows no one herself. She should be most carefully approached. , She would regard your request as condescension or impertinence, Patricia. It would be the worst possible move, and would most likely make all 'further intercourse be tween you out of the question." Patricia listened to 'this tirade with smiling eyes. When it was finished she rose and stood looking down at the young man. ", I-am-goig-to-ask--Mrs. Burton-to let-them, come," she re peated, imitating his didactic tone. And then he laughed-helplessly and believed in her helplessly too.. Mrs. Heriot had been able to give Dirk and Patricia some information as tothe identity of the Bnrtons.when they spoke to her on the subject. . " I wonder if 'they could - be the Robert Burtons ?" she said. " What is his name, Dick ? Do you know ? " "Name Robert, age unknown, ap pearance effeminate, but otherwise pre posessing," chanted Dick. "" Last seen wearing a placard '1 am' a gentleman ' round his neck. - Know him; Mater ?" "Not personally, you ridiculous, boy, 'out I know who he is, I think. , Old Burton, the father, lept an hotel in the early days-not even a respectable one, either, I believe, and he made a great deal of money. And then his wife and family adopted no end of style and tried to go everywhere. Of coirse they were successful to some' extent, but nmost people took care not to know them. They were rather notoriously impossible, you see, especially the, mother aild' daughters.' But I have been told that the youngest son, Robert, had some edu cation, and .was quite the best of them. He married well, too, a very clever .and cultured Melbourne girl, who is probably your Mrs. Burtoni, Dick. She did more for her husband socially than all his money, and she. was very "popular in Adelaide. Then Robert Burton took to dabbling-in shares and lost everything. -There was a good deal of surprise felt at the timle, I remember;.because lie refused all monetary help. 'People thought it unlike the Burtons, and no doiubt it was: the wife's'doing. Well, they left Ade laide, and s`omehow sank out' of sight after that;, and it was vagAgely known they nhad Itaken up land" :somewhere. That mlist have been. sii or'seven years ago, I shonli thinik." , Dick whistled softly. . . "Rummy, isn't it 1" he said ". Yes, it, ;must certainly be the same.. 'And it' was "like her to choose' such a well-known; ;place as this for hler -new hodme, where so many ioff-er old acquaintances have summer honse's. She is too plroud to be' ashamed that they -should :know;1 her changed coridition,: and' too proud 'to. continue the acquaintanceship" lest" they should be ashamed of it. No6doibt, jif we onily knew it, her garideii esp'plies many of themi with vegetailes, and 'the jieople who would once have lent: the Burtons £1,000 now haggle with tihe Burton's man over the. price of beans ;and cabbiges -jnst to show 'their ap 'preciatoimi of relntiver values .. . ' (To be Cotinued.)e FP. 5. ,Willie (who has been adizitted a :few momients' to his' mother's aftenrioon tea) : . I've jnst thouglht of'a splen'did conam druni. Why jis aill the silver here to-day like our new servant? "',', -Guests: ?d'.Oh, why, ,wille? " Willie: "'Cause they" are both hired." - - ' ' - - " Wife : " I'-don't "know where tlat hlild got his vile teiiper from not flrom ine, I'm sure."' . Hubby (sadly) : "tNo, my dear ; you certainly haven't lost any of yours' • SMa:M ' :Shall I:. read you this animal story, Willie ?" :: ' Willie L: >'jth W r wittionth ot. Ma : "With or without what ? " ,Willie :."Affidavits..:'. .:: : Mrs.eNaggs (ititelephone) : "Is mn~ hisbaind in; the office ? " Office Boy .': i' ?o, ma':m . ' .Wheh?',will lie be in,? .". Why can't you' say? .. .. " Because he told me:tiot to. A' howling auces.-~-thee iew bby. i It takes the constant labon rof b ,(000 people to make matches for the world.