Chapter 33100566

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Chapter NumberXIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33100566
Full Date1894-03-10
Page Number40
Corrections0
Word Count1918
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWestern Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Southern Cross
article text

OUR NOVEL.

UNDER THE SOUTHERN

CROSS;

BT

îî#. JPHÍLP0TT.

OHAt*raiR xrv. j

" To carry me off !" Lorne repeated, wondering. " Is that your plan P But I thought you said no one under twenty-one could nia.rry.r* ' .

"Now you0aro beginning to under- stand and to ask relevant questions!" said Basil, admiringly." "I was afraid you would ne ver let me reveal my iugenious plot. I have known all along that I must steal you, hut I forgot the difficulty about your age. A» .soon as I remembered it I went straight off-to Brisbane in search of a clergyman who would perform the marriage service without the consent which I knew would never be granted.. I knew the man who. would do it,' but he was away travelling with his bishop, and I could not come back until I Jutd seen

him."

" I thought you said it could not be

doneP"

"It can be done, and the marriage is all right if the clergyman is willing to risk the consequences ; of course there is always a risk of unpleasant inquiries aris- ing-but thev seldom do arise.

" And if they did F"

" Well, if they did. If, for instance, your father went tn law about it, he might got the parson into trouble. But yonr father won't interfère--once the thing is done; and even if he does, Burrows is not afraid. He is almost as aurions for it as I am, and his wife is simply wild, for it You are to go and stay with her a day -until I eau : claim you. .She is' a grand little soul, and will be like a sister to you." . - .

"Bnt, but, oh, you talk so fast, Basil ! You do not give me time to think! I want to ask you-1 want to ¿now, could anything be done to you, if my father did his worst P" !

" Why, yes: I believe they oould put rae in jail ; but I ehould glory io that when it waa for your sake !" ;

"And I had nearly consented! (Tau are cruel Basil, to try to make rae do

anything tha^htight injure yon !" j

" What I wpu wont give me a chanée to have "ray hepeism Omited far and wfde P

Hate you noambltio^^séeyour^iusband j famous P ^Wben I «öb^d jtain^iy liberty j all tbo world would orowefround tn see the man who'hud oaten bread and water for six months because he ran away with his wife!"

" I should still bo your wife then ?"

He turned, ber Uscg round and laid bis lips on bera.

"Onoeiny wife always my wife, dear ! A thousand vindictive fathers could never

undo that." ! j

She raised her troubled brown eyes ito his. j ?!

"It is bard to refuse you anything! You are wiser than I ; but I wish f felt, as sure about it as you do. Tell me inore, Tell me everything you want me toldo!"

" That .is my own bravo love ! [ Put yourself tn my hands and be guidpdby me. You will never reget it Lorne, in jail the beautiful years that lie before na."_

" Won't IP But I wish-oh, I Wish ! Well, never mind," she. added, resolutely,

Tell me what yon want me to do." <. *' Then-don't bo frightened Lorne Î I have hired Hogan's buggy-they think Í

am going toJbake botanical specimens to|

the museum 1 But I shall have a daintier?

freight, for I want you to come with me|§ We shall keep off the road, and in th« morning we can biro fresh horses al Xsrranbab-they do not know you there We can reach Brisbane in the evening^ and before noon next day you shall by my? wife!" - *y *

Like one in a dream she passively coni-l sented. She was dominated by a will sss muoh more powerful than her own; thats resistanoe was futile. He had always hs bis own way. What did it ever avail hi to raise objections P He laughed ! thei down and carried all before bim, until 1 said: ' . " -

"So, love, everything ie in readinoÄ now. We shall stay here together until nearly uiirht j then I will go and make a «.hart on t he road, and you will join me at the foot of the biU, when dankness aovara us. Y^o, can write to Bosamond when we are starting on ou,r life-long hooey mppo.** ' j

" What, you mean mo to go straight from "here} Not to see Bosàmood-if only for one, little moment! Berhaps never to seiet her agaüi P. Ô^b, Basil, I canv fiot4oití"

"'** Dear, it is the onjy safe way I 1 a,m afraid {o trust you out of my eyjht nnti| you are my ^ife V*- "

'v'B,ut s^e would think I was drowned; OÇ eaten by dingoes ! Oh, I must go back

[The right», of publlBuing. ^,Under thy Southern Cross " have boan parobated by the

Tibs Wi'araiw tuait,} .

if only for -fire-minutes.---i-wiU-oèfr-teU her anything-only just leave a little note saying ¿he must not be alarmed-and pro- mise to write later! fou must consent Basil ! There is nb danger. Father has ridden to a hoard meeting at Wooloobah, and may not be home until ten ! You must trust me, Basil! I cannot hare Ro7Üe breaking her' heart, abd perhaps losing herself in the scrub, looking for

me !"

Basil did not know how to ref nee. In his heart he knew Lorne was right-it was unkind to think of leaving her sister in suspense so long. He found that he had to give in-though it was not without grave misgivings that he agreed. <

Lorne was to go home, then, and leave a little note of farewell, that would allayRosamond's fears, without betraying their secret. This was all Lorne desired, and when evening was coming on she hurried away.

Lorne did not allow herself time to think-she tried to compose her face so that no. one meeting her would notice anything unusual in it. Everything was strangely quiet as she approached the house. She approached the house by a short cut through the Orchard and entered' at the end verandah. >.

Maggie was softly crooning an old son? in the laundry. Lorne heard the muffled thud of the smoothing iron, and thought :

" Poor Maggie ! how distressed she*will

be."

She went into the, sittingroom ; there was no one there ; then, treading softly! she entered her own room, and heard through the wooden'wall the hum of voicesjbeyond. She walked to the window and looked outr--- .1 . \. '.... T2'

, On the vine-covered verandah Rosa-

mond was sitting with Charlie Burling- ton, who held one of ber hands in his own while he read from an open hook.

Lerne was thunderstruck! She had never had the faintest, suspicion of this, and she felt a momentary revulsion at the thought of this jaild-eyed snail gatherer raising his eyes to Rosamond,

Then she looked closely at her sister, the fair face was fairer and younger than ever, with that look of new-found happi- ness and Bubdued triumph. And Charlie f. What if, after all, there was something lovable in him that she had not been able to see ? That hand clasp was a reverent caress, and he was reading, with intense feeling, some verses from the most beauti- ful passion poem in our language :

" There is noue like her. none.

Nor will be when- our summers have

deceased, "f . ' "..

Oh, art tbou sighing for Lebanon,

In the long breeze that streams to thy de-

licious East,

Sighing tor Lebanon.

Dark cedar, though thy limbs have here

inoreaaed, ,

Upon a pastoral slope, as fair,

and looking te the South, and fed With honeyed rains and delicate air,

ândtjhannced hy the starry h ¿ad

Of her whose gentle «tú has changed my fate

And made my life a perfumed altar-flame. And over whom thy darkness most hate

-spread

\. With such delight as theirs. of old, thy

<? »great, .

Forefathers of the thornie» garden, there

Shadowing the snow-limbed Eve from

whom she came P"

Lorne drew back with a sudden senBO af loser - .

~ " She is~happy-she will not miss mei ,0h, may God Mess you, Rosamond, and j rake him worthy!" i

She took a pencil and wrote :- I "DEM ROZZIB,-DO not expect me fto-night. " Spraething very strange has aiappenedj.but yon willy be glad for my Sake. If'will tell you everything soon. |(31ood-hpe.^LoSNE^

|¿ She put* that note-where it could jfcasfly be seen, toofcâpne more look at her

pieter, then kissed Jtosamond's pillow, as

the used, to kiss the , shadow on the wall long ago, and went out. '

There were other' leave takings to fol)ow. . She knew she had plenty of time,

£or Basil 'had "gone to Regans , and «he < IwouHlaot see him again/until dusk. Sba | Went^pa^ slowly, turning every., now and jjthen into gullies' and .winding, roots of j ¡Moretón Bay fig trees,:saying to 'every-i ¡thing: ...... i : " You helped moa little, and now J am going to leave yon.- « Good-bye." v -..v.... ,. '

She thought to say her last farewell to ; a big kiji-kiji log that had resisted the ulÍAr*r?á-4fa&^^

WooUah Jimmy felled it fifteen years

ago. The bott end had fallen on ite l stump, forming a. cosy alcove; and there, ! often, Lorne, a little shivering waif, had taken shelter fron) many a raging storm.

She crept into $be earthy corner onoe «gian,, for the last time* and noted the pale grasses that struggled for existence where the, ann qever shone.

"Good-bye, old nook; good-bye, old tree. Y»ou wou^d not let them bjorn yon because there, was a little neriehing jhild \ iri need of yôto pwteclito ,r . ;

«nd proud of bar,; while L who am. toking my own way, will be an outcast for ever !"

Then she thought of that father who had hated her from the beginning. " I . wanted to love you, always ! But you

shut yourself away from me, and would never help me to do right-never, never !"

She crept out from under the krji-kiji, and&tood np, with ber arms raised straight above her head, and her face turned to- wards the west.

The sun was going down, as she had seen it a hundred times before, shedding a mellow glory over the purple hills ; but it was the memory of ene sunset only that rushed over bet, filling her with that ecstasy of faith and renunciation and eternal trust, as it had done on the day when the traveller revealed to her a new interpretation of the terrible God.

Rosamond waa walking on the straight path-Rosamond would be happy in her

father's love !

Her arms fell like dead limbs at her side and for a moment a dry sob seemed to choke ber." "Bless me abo, oh, my father !" was the cry of her struggling soul. She fell upon her knees with a .burst of most bitter weeping, calling as

' she had called once before.

"O God, God, open thy gates and come for me ! or send someone to shew me the way t" »