|Newspaper Title||Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Under the Southern Cross|
Basil waited for Lorne at the foot of the hill with an ever increasing anxiety, until the night was far advanced.
"I should not -have let her go," he thought. "Rosamond's distress wonld not have been so sharp as mine ; I should have kept her at my side until there was no going back. They mnst have discov- ered something-or did her courage fail her at the last moment P Hardly that, or
she would have devised some means of letting'me know."
He wsited until a ghostly dying moon, about one o'alock, ana the shadows of the gum trees seemed to mock at his patience.
" She will not come !" said the opossum in the tree tops.
"Hoot, hoot, she will not cornel' jeered a more-pork as she flapped her heavy wings over his head.
"Shoe, sbee, shoe will not come!"
said an inner voice to Basil. He turned. _ ,
bis horse's head and drovo slowly back to Jr
There was no sign of human life when he arrived, a young colt whinned as he drove np, and with arched neck scampered round and snorted at the mare, as if reproaching her for being out at snch an unseemly boor. A few sleeping cows on the road woke with a start, and got np with a sigh, to allow him to pass.
He drove into the house paddock, 'un- harnessed the horse and ran the buggy
nuder cover. Tben he went and knocked at the wall where the sleeping farmer and his wife lay.
" Regan, I have come back. I, may have my old room, I suppose P"
" Is that you Mr. Armitage P" asked the housewife. "I thought you'd fae half way to Brisbane by now."
" I got bushed," he answered, abortiv, ifeeÜug that he was speaking puntha truth. He wav iodeed, horribly '-trashed, and did not know which way to turn.
"And have you teen, driving-Aboutall night P" asked the f armer, thinking pf his horse abd trap.
I " No, I waited for the moon to rise.**
" Is the mare all right P''
" Tés, I have given her a feed. Good- night." And he went along the verandah towards his own room ; but he did not sleep that night. ?
lu the morning after an early breakfast be sought the spot where 'his love was ?
wont to meet him.
The water gargled as it slipped over the falls, and laughed "ehe will not come !"
The noisy little coachman fluttered in the top9 ot the boyong trees and called I " Goo-oo-oo-back ! Shs will not come !"
He had feared it-he was sure of it now. Had she been coming, she would Í have been there earlier than usual.
Basil did not want to go to her home. There still remained a chance that abs had been prevented by something other than discovery ; and until other means failed he would not risk his chance of winuing her by going to her home.
He went off toward the blacks' camp
j when waiting any longer seemed hopeless. I They all knew him as the " budgery whits
felloW," and greeted him with a cbeerfal
He sought out the yoong gin of whom Lorne had beeu so fond.
" Kitty, will yon take a letter for me P** I he asked.
[ "Paper yabberP" she suggested.
" Tes, I want to take a paper yabber to
I " Toi !" with her soft gurgling laugh.
Ton write him now."
He took out hts pocket book and I scribbled hastily
' "MT DABLisrct,-Why did yon not
come? What has happened? I waited j until one o'clock last night, and I have ! been expecting you all this morning. I Lorne, I have your promise. Toa have
I not failed me P Ooms to rae, or send a j line by Kitty. I am nearly oat of my
[ He folded the paper saying :
"Ton go qniok now, and give this to ' Lorne."
"Toi, I know. Baal other fellow I Mary P"
I He assented. No other Mary-only
" Me wait close up and you f etch em other yabber paper back."
" I know !" Kitty repeated, and started away to do ber errand.
(To be continued.)
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