Chapter 31373127

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1900-12-22
Page Number1
Word Count1661
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleThe Girl He left Behind Him: An Incident of the Trannsvaal War
article text THE GIRL IE LEFT 8E11 0 IJfll. fl INCIDENT OF TIE TIIIIGSVIIIIl WIh. ORIGINAL STORY.-BY ALICE EYT'ION. CHAPTER 1. "Ani these rie unkooin it seas to uilnnowvn landi Shalt rnro-, a*liini erecti, defying death Anti. alcil cin"ish ost s ht eig apex is r atis 1 Thiatxtlondayot ofidrkices thieytxatll meet Atsi retad liie'. attiatilg in eacth other's eyes." HE ar excitement was r t its height. 1Ye (-w'slt . - in an atmosphere of glory, wherein the beat of Arums, the blare of trumpets, the -waving of flags, and the shouting of the multitude bore it elit-ni lreominanit part. Some of xIs partic patel in it ill bvtines-wll, just because we were susceptible to the thrills these things produce. ' Sons of New Eng land,' 'Citizens of Australia,' ' Brothers of One Nation,' and so on were the catch phrases of the hour. 'Thierefore, when our Australian Contin gents left for the Trannsvial, we climbed the tops of trees, crowded in front of windows, rushed the Barracks, and shouted, and waved flags, and behaved generally as the primitive iarbarian does. In the intervals our excitement was kept up by farewell dinners and daices. Foremost aminigst the latter was a ball given in honor oet Jack Deinver, a risin young surgeon of Sydney. Jack w vas onio o the first to volunteer for active service in South Africa, and, albeit a little cynical over the fuss incidental to enimarkation, lie had a genuine enthusiism for his country and the Empire-an enthusiasm unleavened by deep sifting of national right and wrong, cause ain ellete. 'T'hat would come later when the bullets had done whizzing around him, when many a cominilo had vanished into the 1lereafter, and when the memory of some strong and honest foes softened his thoughts of the loer. Mcanti tie nour hero stood in the crowded liihniroiti, and smilingly submitted to tile petting ii1nit flatteries of half-a-dozen petty girls who vied with otie another iii diptigying their "axitte kntoledge of the geography of South Atrica. Suddenly his cool, grey eyes rested upon a group of two directly opposite him. In a vague, mysterious way lhe felt a hush comeitt upon the scene. His thoughts rushed in tite resistless surge to the image of a day wherein tlie iundignified noises, anid the small talk of modern life would no longer be it necessity of social intercourse. When truth and beauty would be valued above sham and artificiality. He did not pxut his sensations thus into words. But so he felt as he smiled as the chatterboxes about him, his eyes still resting upon the two figures opposite. One was that of an old gentleman with white hair, it deeply'-furrowed, thoughtful face, tool stooping shoxlders. ' Scholar,' miused Jack. ' Ho looks as if he lived more in the past and future than the present.' The other figure showed a young girl, tall and beautifully proportioned, with auburn hair, pale, clear-cut features, and the deepest blute eyes. Her face fiad a somxe what stern expression for a woman, and her style of dress necorded well with the ilignity of her bearing. She wore a trailing, black velvet l;lpire gown, softened onitl by a cluster of white roses on one shoulder. A couple of the ixne flowers were fastened in her hair which was coiled very losr on the well.poised head. I1er manner bespoke the most perfect repose--a repose xtisugent ilig intent force, andI passion, atnd teiierness. ,Jack's mental commentitiv followed Lis A noA l te woman, nobly planned--the old man's daughter. I suppose. How eyoand, or before thtir time they 0iti nppear. I wonder who tltxy are ' Evenas i he wondered the girl moved in reoaponse to a look front a lady seatedi to the right of .lack. Site crossed the tillr -xx with a reposeful gait that scented eharneter intirl glanced at the lady who idad enth-s lir over. With a swift sense of ple.cxurt lt recogniset Mrs. Vauter, n very oli fridl ii f his -tt'n. (nl siwtl n impn lsehlie xtiriet tetd himself from the levy of girls, and strolled after the ftir Unknown. The latter leant gracefully towards Mrs. Vyxier. rYou wanted tno, Auntie?' Yes, dear, I wish to introtinct-nh, Jack, how fortunate! You ai- the chief persontae here to-night-. Nay, do niti protest ifs lie raised his hand in deprien tion. ' Look at all those girls trying to turn your iead. Butt allow ume to ltxt oui to tity ttieve, 'hies Ilnrarara Ritytoni. )larbara, this is Dioitor Denver, of whomre you have heard ete speak.' The young man lowed low. Then hle turned reproachfully to the sweet-faced oldt lady. ' You did not tell me Miss Raymond wouil be here to-night.' ' No, but you know lexpected my brother and Barbara sotetime this week. 'IThey arrived by the Ormuz yesterday, and a little reluctantly, it must be confessed, consented to acvonmpany nxe to-night.' ' It iraq awfully good of yout to come, Miss Pwymond,' said Jaok. ' Will you tztcrul your goodness and let tme i'e yo' ur programme Y~ liailtirit gave a slight smtlile. 'I never care to join in any of our ball room dances, sate the val"', Doctor Denver. Tack glinced it his own t no grantite. 11 Hilil fortu nato enough to have t we waltzes left. Let tile hope tou call give them iiie.' She handed hiin her progi-anii, in which lie acribbled his initials. Then he drew away aT MIrs. \yner intro duced some iten who had just joined the group to her niece. *VWhat do you think of our young Doctor. Barhara? asked Mrs. Vynerlater, iii the interval between dancing. I like hint, Auntie,' was the simple answer, as the beautiful tves followed .J ac's soldierly figure where ite moved antotig his ac quaintances. ' You should he friends, for you have the sante im possible ideas and tastes.' How imnpos sible ?' asked the girl. But Mrs. Vyner was saved the trouble of a reply, for Jack cante up at the very moment to claim his partner for the waltz just beginning. You know, Miss Raymond,' he .aid as lie guided her skil fully through a throng of people, 'you and I are not strangers.' No?' the girl queried. tie' paused a second to catch the mutic. Then as they glided into the tance asked : ItHow could we ho? As you atre aware, your a tii' has Ieut a c""ennar mlothnir to tile sittee Ill. ott died. 1 fief tell vont hli rtistrIl her iting the 'ear ihle 511.1 with you in I -ti 'ot. THer l1.t t . were mly chief ninatata'.' -Aunttie writes hen itifitl letteas, .10-* she not ? T'v are like snut'stof f''rtith let in tile swtuitest sympho)] ntiel.' Her comitpanioni uniled wickedly. "T'he chief theme 'if the song-I receivelt wevI. I l tha ra.' t)It!' imur intlmed the girl. it. is true,' coait int er) .JTawk. ' I have learnt more of you antl your life through those letters Ihlin I might learn in years of ordinary interooims.' Barbara was annoyed to foIl her face coloring. With an inexplicable twinge of anliuty pts trwondered if the embodinwnt of her nunt's songs had proved Biwappninting. As if in answer, Jack raid soft v: ' I thought to-night when I knew who you %.1(, that the reality blended mostl liar ni ninoiily into the ideal raised by yeur auut a letters and conversatiuu.' Tl he eonmplirnent was too severe to lie laughed at. 'iThank you ; but I oa afraid vo(u see me throught rais,"-e- loted tlos , flio sel'r, I iutglit to do the gatie with regard to your. self, tir Auntir never tired of eqpatiating upon ' her hby,' as sie calls you. 'T'hough, forgive rte for saying so, she thinks you are quite impossible in sonmc of your ideas.' lie laughed. And you also. lint you are not engaged for the next dance-the Lancers. Let us find ta seat, and discuss our relative impossi hilities. First tell rae,' as he led her to a comfortable lounge, 'why you only dance waltzes?' ' Well,' slowly, i perhaps that is one of my impossible ideas. Ally notion of dancing is that it should express in motion such poetry as exists in one's nature-just as the actions of everyday life should express one's mind, and one's thoughts express the coul within. Can there he any poetry in the way we dance ' sets' nowa ays ? 'i'e gallop or stroll through them, as the case may be, one set half-a-dozen sars hehind the music, and another half-a-dozen tars ahead.' Jack smiled. The answer was just what lie expected. Sflut,' lie said, ' this is the Topsy-Turvy Age. It is considered right to view actions, and morals, and art in a topsy-turvy spirit, you know.' 'iWho considers it right? And how will the balance he restored whilst we acquiesce, or laugh at it ?' 'My dear girl, I doni t know. Personally, I min delighted to findu someone who will step out oi the Age. and he 'serious with tie. In tact,' and his tone took a deeper note, ' I h15~ ?rs4 xNrr~ ij :n~u nl AiiriIajn,. 1kV Pil rtrr~.. ..".h1 I1L II: lU; .1:1. n s AI!: A ;AI'5PT 111:1. OWN, ~.o."utflt" hve heeto Pererthirg for such it oto~ So they cha~ttted, oceasoitniuly touchiiog a )peron~al note, inch feeliotr lout h t huir die. floojon of n hotract thontui it sweet, new Renso of their own, tni oi, an it tor' pet sonathity. As they w-nt tacit to ~Mrs. Vyttor Safter thhir Recond dannro, look Raid I as. ýt. to n e-co', Mis Rnynoul. 2itu a it that u," are cii fri ri!'ý. ali high ill i'vcs rill o i1111l,1 Ii ll'le that Barbara's fell as itnos e~l I iiiipI I shoill not target yoli. Thaniks,' hit lii i iiireil, linigcinig as lie held her hand for a sceonal inI his own.