Chapter 31184862

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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter TitleONCE UPON A TIME.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31184862
Full Date1907-11-12
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count1899
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Age
Trove TitleFate and Patricia
article text er CHAPTER VIII. s OcaE UPOe A TIus. e here are- in this world some men and s' women whose passage through it is n one long triuimphal procession. >r Bad fortune dare not touch themu, dark it days and evil circumstances alike fl' be It fore the charmed beings who, with gay :e touch and careless laughter, transform this enigma we call Life into a frivolous II, conundrum which is eminently more a- diverting. d They are not great in knowledge, these ie large-souled people. Leaves might grow e backwards on .their stems. or airships t- sail to Mars and bring back its inhabi In tants without exciting their enthusiasm or surprise, for they are too busy laugh s ing and enjoying themselves to be in terested in such trumpery occurrences. y They are selfish, too, but the world o does not know it. She only knows that n they are gay, and so she loves them for a the mirth they give her, and lays her n self at their feet. For the world is a woman, and with her woman's wonder and mystery and beauty blends a woman's love of the pathetic and the emotional, r and so is at heart a very sad old dame. k But woman is an illusive being, and s loves a secret thatshe may blazon it I e forth to her kind. So the world borrows i a the laughter of some of her children that e all may know how sad she is. And r these children are her best beloved, and I t take precedence all their days. a Walter Hunt was one of them, and so r in the hills, as elshwhere, he was soon in I great demand. From the beginning a Mrs. Heriot liked him. and cordially in vited him to come to the Antimacassar House at any time with Dick. He came next day, and his action was re- f garded humorously, especially by Pa- i tricia, who now, as usual. laughed more l than anybody else. But Patricia did z not like Walter Hunt. and never pre- . tended to do so. I " He's so horribly young and satisfied with everything," she said once. " I t consider it bad taste to seem so, even if I he is." a But the others liked him, and Ida, . who rarely ran counter to Patricia, tried i to argue a little. " He's very funny; much funnier than s you, Patricia,"- she laid, " and he is not e half so clever. I suppose it is just fri volity." I " My dear girl, haven't you discovered yet that levity is the soul of wit ?" d The younger girl laughed helplessly. F " Oh I! you are frivolous, too." she b said, " but it's a pity to waste your epi grams on me. And how you do distort d words to your own use. Patricia. I don't n believe you have the least reverence for a anything." " That is the fashionable way of being d original," explained Patricia. " to take a a sentence hundreds of people have used before and alter one or two letters of it. I And it is delightfully easy, you know." r " Well, at least you have somemethod I in your madness," quoted Ida; "It wonder if Mr. Hunt has ?" "Ah, why will you couple us to- l gether when I dislike him so ?" asked r Patricia, and she laughed because she f was serious. 1 Dick also had many an argument with Patricia about Walter Hunt, for to do .1 him justice he had always liked the h young fellow in a lazy, good-natured v way, and being prone to mental analysis, he wanted to know why Patricia did not. s But Patricia's reasons were quite un- t reasonable, and therefore difficult of ex planation. so she always treated these h arguments facetiously, and continued to make fun of Dick's supposed infatuation b for his friend. .' Hunt' is most anxious to see your pictures, Patricia."'Dick said to her one ( day, "but he has some scrnples'about asking you to show them to him. Thinks you .dislike him, or something equally a'osurd." " He never admitted such a suspicion. F surely," murmured Patricia. " I scarcely gave him credit for so much perception." v • Ah, you have misjudged him for 0 once, you see," triumphed Dick, "and now you owe him some reparation. Show him your pictures, Patricia. You were t always fair." "And you were always eloquent-in n the cause of Walter Hunt. But you 1 know I am far too timid an amateur to t dare the criticism of so wonderful a per son. The ordeal would be too much for me." " But Hunt knows absolutely nothing about art," remonstrated Dick, seriously. E She laughed so gaily that Ida cane out to see what was the matter. "Oh. you refreshingly insulting per- a son," she exclaimed. "' here's Dick. Ida, begging me to let his.beloved Walter see my pictures, and saving I needn't be bi afraid of him, because he knows nothing w whatever about art." SI meant nothing of the kind," pro tes!ed Dick. " I-." But Patricia 5( had run lau?hing indoors. if nI)rinar th,-?e little -allies Tda' always I' regarded her sister with a certain amount i ' of surprise. There had been a time as she grew up when Ida herself had piled platitude upon platitude with a delighted wonder at her own cleverness. Thenl one day she awakened with a shock to the fact that they. were platitudes, and straightway gave up the practice alto gether. Had she but known it, it spoke Well for her that she had wit to discover that they were platitudes, and better, the strength of mind to relinquish them once she discovery was made. But Ida did not know it. She had read some where that platitudes are the refuge of the vulgar mind, and therefore the de lightful recklessness with which Patricia played with them, won her ungrudging admiration. Only once did she attempt a remonstrance. She was sitting in the sunlight of the studio doorway, her hands clasped round her knees, and Patricia, delighted with the picture, had paused in her work for Id a moment to make a sketch of her. She re did not want Ida to know what she was doing, nor yet to move while she was in the middle of the sketch. And so she began talking nonsense in that reckless way of hers. She did not take much notice of what she said, and so when-after a more than usually obvious d remark, the girl stopped her with- "s " That is a platitude," she was not a i. little surprised. k It seemed, however, that there had never been an occasion to which Patricia y was not equal, and her reply took Ida's n breath away. 8 " So is everything," she said. " Do e you mean to say at this period of the world's history you have any hope of say ie ing anything really new. And "yo a w young person of no ambition. Now, s there's where old Adam and Eve had i- such an advanitage over us. They were u quite sure that every sincle thing they did and said, wasabsolutely original, and it must have been so. re!reshing. I wonder if they laughed very much when 1 they discovered a new sentence." t Ida looked in at her for a moment, r then out into the sunshine again. " I think the old saying is wrong," she a said. " It should not be what one says, r but what one says it." S" Which is a very wise remark," mur mured Patricia, " albeit somewhat un gramatical." Then she threw down her sketching t book, and came and stood beside her sister. t "Let me paint you," she said per I suasively, laying a caressing hand upon I her shoulder. Ida rubbed her cheek. "Am I so pale 1" she said, "and shall you put a º dab on my nose and chin and make a clown of me? Don't you think you're clown enough for one family, Patrieja ?" Patricia smiled. "I did not mean pailit your face, but your picture, goosie," she said. ' I want you in my doorway. in that blue merveilleux evening frock.of yours. If I were to make the frock look a little short-waisted, my child, you would be quite an old picture, do-you know that ?" "But I object to being an old pic ture," protested Ida, looking up with a half bashful laugh. " I want to be quite a young picture. Patricia. Now, if you were to promise that 1 should be a young picture-" Patricia looked down at her. ' You shall be the youngest picture that was ever painted," she said. When Dick heard of this new project he was eloquent against it. " Patricia," he said, " don't paint the doorway again. Don't please. That picture ought to be quite unique. I know there is something great about it." Patricia was too good an artist to despise the opinion of one who knew nothing whatever about art, but sithe argued with him a little just the same. " But Ida looks so charming in the doorway," she said, " and perhaps this may be a better picture than the last." " It won't," sa d Dick positively, "and Ida looks charming whatever her sur roundings. Paint her somewhere else, Patricia." H -ow very excited you are," mur mured Patricia. " and why should I al low you to make these lordly demands of me? You promised to write me a story for my picture, and you've never done it. Why should I do things for you 1" "But I have done it," contradicted .Dick, pulling a rollof manuscriptout of his pocket. It is eagerly awaiting your verdict, O, critic." " How lovely," said Patiicia, and seizing it eagerly she perched herself oni the library table and began to read. Before abshe had read many lines she I looked up with a smile. I' "I am glad you shunned the obvious I beginning." she said. " Did I ?" he inquired. (To be Continued). F.P. 10:. Jimson: "What became of that man who had twenty-seven medals for saving people from drowning 2" Dock WVorker : " He fell in one day when he had them all on, and the weight of'em sunk him." Jones: "That young man who plays the cornet is ill." Green: "Do you think he will re corert" Jones :" I am afraid not. The doe tor whlo is attending him lives next door." Schoolmaster: "N'ow tell me, what were the thionghts that passed through Sir Isaac Newton's mind when the apple fell on his head T' Hopeful Pupil: "I 'xpects he was awful glad it warn't a brick." Mistress : " Remember, Mary, if you break anything I shall.stop it out of your wages." Servant (impudently triumphant.) : " Do it. Do it. I've just broke that 50-guinea vase in the drorin'-room. aid. if you can stop that out of a pound--fo I'nm going to leave at the end of the Smonthi-you'll be mighty clever,"