Chapter 33101903

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Chapter NumberXVI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33101903
Full Date1894-03-17
Page Number47
Corrections0
Word Count1668
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWestern Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Southern Cross
article text

OUR NOVEL.

ÜNDBE THE SOUTHEBN

CROSS,

BY

N. V. PHILPOTT.

? ?

CHAPTER XVI.

"Are we to dine tête»»tête, Rosa mond F* Charlie asked, a few minutes later, as they weat to the dining-room together.

"Will it be very unendurableP" she asked with a smile. She was almost dis* " tracted, but she contrived to smile and

- jest as if there was not a leaden weight

upon her heart.

"It will be altogether delightful; but I am very much concerned about Lerne ; it is nothing serious, I hope ?"

"I am afraid-it is sérions !" she

replied. Her lips trembled slightly as .be thought of Lorne, lying languidly with that cruel pain in her eyes.

"And your father being npset, too, troubles me on enr own account. 1 wanted to speak to him to-night, about-"

" Don't attempt it please !" «aid abe, hurriedly. " I have been thinking it will be best to pat all that aside, until Lorne

ls better."

" Bot my holiday is drawing to a close. I find I haye been1 here a most unconscion able time; H has been a visit of auch unalloyed delight that I did not feel tho weeks Blipping away.*'

Rosamond looked at bim timidly, and her colour went and esme. j

"Ihare been happy, too, unspeakably so," said she, softly, ** but I am going tp .sk you to leave us to-morrow."

"To-morrow F bs repeated, deeply pained. " What have I done to offend

yon, dear P" j

"Ob, nothing, nothing! Don't.break my heart by doubting or questioning rio] ! I love yon, Charlie-you know Ido-most dearly ; but Lorne is very ill, and I shafl

not be able to leave her.

" If yon say so, I most go ; but it is very hard that I should have to leave yob the day after we have exchanged lover's TOWS and kisses !" he added softly.

"I knew," said Rosamond, flushing .lightly, "it is hard for me to send yon away, bnt I know it is bosk"

«' Shall I write to your father then P"

"No, noir When this trouble is over yon must come to ns again; we can arrange ai! that by letter."

" Ton are not eating anything, Rosa. mondP"

"No," she looked at him appealingly, " I am afraid I cannot touch food to- night"

" Ton ara thinking about Lorne. Don't .tay with me, dear, as if I were a stranger who required entertaining."

Rosamond rose at once. " Let me: give you your pudding, and then I will creep in and see if she is sleeping," said

she.

She, went close to him and laid her yellow head on his for an instant.

" If my father comes in, I want yon not to speak to him-unless he first speaks to yon," said she.

" Very well .dearest. I think I will go to my room and read or think of yen,"1 he

answered. '

Lorne did not appear to have moved, when Rosamond crept softly to her bed- side ; she lay white and still and wide eyed as before.

Rosamond laid her hand on Lorne's forehead, it was burning hot.

The sufferer started wildly, and then asid, with a little shivering sigh,

" Oh,.Rozrie, why did you call me back P I was almost there !" !

" Almost where, my dearest P"

"At the gates-in the mountain-gap.

Almost there!"

Rosamond's heart seemed to step boat- ing. She could dress a wound almost as wall as a hospital nurse, bnt shs had had no experience in illness.

" Lorne, turn your head this way-look at me !" she said, suddenly, " do yen know

meP"

. The nick .girl obeyed at once.

" Tea, I always know you, Rozzie, but why is your voice so far away P"

" My voice is not far away, dear. I am here, very close to von, holding your hand. Leek at me, and think about me ; you are jost a little bit silly, Lorne ; try not to let your thoughts wander away-you frighten me! I am going away for just one minute, only a minute !"

Charlie was still in the dining room

when she went there.

, " Advise me, Charlie !" said she, going up to him. " Lorne is delirious, and I have not the faintest idea what to sive her."

" I have a little medicine chest with a a few very useful phials in it," said he. " I think I could soon fix np something

{The rights of publishing "Under sha \ .'

thatis unless you object to bomoopathy !"

" I tell you I knew nothing Whatever «bout medicines !" said si», rather impa- tiently. " No-I don't object io aching, give her whatever you like, if you think it will do her good."

" I am glad your mind is unbiassed, Rosamond, there is a great -prejudice against homoeopathy and I fear ft seldom gets a fair chance-but I have known it effect wonderful cures, when the prftient is not strongly prejudiced against it !"

"Oh, get me something-anything! Only be quiek, Charlie ! It is dreadful

te hear ber."

"I shall want to know about the surface of tbe skin. Is it moist or dry P"

" Dry, and bnrning hot J"

" An, I tbongbt so. A few doses of ! aconite will soon reduce the temperature ¡ go to her now, and I will bring it to yonr door when I get it mixed."

Lorne was no worse when Rosamond sought ber again.

"Charlie is making some medicine which you must take," said she.

Lorne moved ber head restlessly.

"Nothing will do me any good," she answered. "I only want to get away from all this terrible shame !"

" Ton are thinking of what he said, about, about Basil Armitage P"

"Ob, me. Oh, rae. Oh, mel" she

moaned.

"It was terrible, I know ! No wonder the shock nearly killed youl But it is not true. I am certain of it. I knew Fur mother, Lorne. She was a saint, and

loved ber dearly. She could not de wrong-"

"Rossie! For God's sake, say no morel JIv mother? I do not under- stand ! Why should she have done wrong P What could my mother have to do with it P Ton knew her, yon say, yet yon never told me! Oh God, Ged, help

me to understand !"

Just then Charlie knocked at the doer. He bad brought the prepared medicine in a covered glass. '

"Give a teaspoonful every half-hour until you find the skin growing moist," said he. "I heard her talking in an excited tone as I came up. Ton must not encourage that. Sbo is to be kept per- fectly quiet and if she gets off into a good sleep about twelve, she will probably wake all right in the morning. Come and knock at my door ff yon want any- thing. I witt not go to bed. Don't look so frightened, my dear one. !/Lorne bas a splendid constitution,, and is* sure to pull through safely. Meanwhile, -remember that I am «ear yon waiting to be ot any assistance should you need me."

She put np ber ups ¡and kissed him with

childlike trust.

"Thank you Charlie, you are a great

comfort to me, I don't know what I should

have done without yon.**

Than she tnrned to give Lorne: her mixture, but the girl put the spoon away, and said, peremptorily : ; "

"I.want to know what you mean ty -what joh said about my mother ! I want yon W-teli me all about her at once'l"

Respond inwardly called herself so idiot'iör naring mentioned the subject, but aloud 4he only said, firmly :

î'ï.jrjtt tell you when you are better, bntJ^s%^R mB8VdriñkiaiÍ8aná tbenyos mnafc^M^inll get wall. Ton must': noí refuse, ijorne, you know^hatl koowwhai

is best."

Lorne's temporary fit of eelf-assertior. passed miickly ; sim raised her head and dran^ We medicine Ute a docile child jud did not speak again for hours excepl J&entle "3Pfeank you, Rossie," whenevei Ora dose was repeated.

glpLbout eleven ro'ojpck Rosamond hearc III father^come ba£k3and . go íiinfo hil ttpn room; rjshe pissed she nug$it g< ra him and ^emjsM^lo làiow «l^t h( ra$snt by that teinbjte statement, but ftejr presence was nfjsj^ssry-f¿rL^brae'í in$nquility ; for the suffering girl hele npj hand -andfelt forit7 restlessly when §fg$r, for a moment, it was withdrawn ti

arepare her draught.

j||tt waa t^mitóaiíwta^ve thetis luik into,afluiet <ejeep, -and, 4hen .Rosa Iföndcarefully nnclssped the.fin¿erft'th| ||ld hen,7 andstole'away. "

||§he knocked softly at her lover's doe ;jnp he opened it at once,

?lp* She seems mucji b>fAer; dear/ §hX« j sleeping quietly,, and I want. you not t< wait up any longer/'

" But I do not mind waiting np, des

Rosamsndl"

"I know, I know how good an< thoughtful yon are ! but indeed I sha! need nothing farther. I ant'just going t tell my father, and then L too, shall go ti bed. She is beautifully calm and qnie

now." . .

"That is very good indeed. I hav been trying to think what could hav caused it, probably a touch of the sus I hope I may see her to-morroW, I sha! be better able to judge then."

" Tes," she thought it best to assent Then telling him again not to sit np, sh

sought her father'a room.

She knocked, by got no answer. The; with a furiously beating lieart, she toma tiie handle and went im .

.Mr» Vttm wM fitting laoodUy t

bia chair. He looked up when hie daughter entered and demanded, harshly.

" Why are you not ia bed P"

She closed the door and adraaoed nearer to bim, saying firmly.

" I irill not go to bed until you tell me what you meant by that terrible thing yon said this evening I"