|Chapter Number||V. (Continued).|
|Newspaper Title||Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Under the Southern Cross|
UNDER THE SOUTHERN
N. V. PHILPOTT.
CHAPTER V. (Continued).
Lorne looked at him earnestly and answered with adorable docility :
" I will not ask you to tell me-if you think it is better so."
"Thank you, yon make it se much easier for me." Be could hare worshipped her for her sweet submission, bot he did not say any more on that aubject--only tried to turn her thoughts into a happier
"They seem friendly fellows, those coloured brothers of oars. Do you ¿now that those are the first genuine Queens- land aborigines I have seen P"
" Are they really ? I have known them t
nil my life ! They are such good BOUIS- ' quite faultily generous !"
"They didn't offer to 'swap' a paddy- melon for the fragments you gave them," laughed Basil.
"No; they know my feelings on such matters. Did voa notice how quickly they went away P It was simply to spare
ino the pain of contemplating those poor,
" They, are more considerate than I imagined."
"ff you lived amongst thom as we do you would soon discover hundreds of good qualities in them that would surprise you-that is unless you expected to find absolute heroism ! And if you did you wonld deserve to be disappointed."
"They have a natural lund of curiosity," said Basil. " I did not!eel very flattered to think they were before you in seeking my name !"
"I never thought about your name/' said Lorne, flushing a little. " I thought about yon as Your-someone totally differ- ent from everyone else in the world."
"Lorne, is that true? Have yon really thought about me P" His voice was very lew and eager.
"Of coarse I have! Constantly," ehe answered, astonished tbat be should deem it necessary <?. to ask «ach a question. " How csa I help it wh>n yon are the very first portion who $as taken the trouble to listen to me, or^o «are what I thought or did P"
"The first P Are you very eure P"
a I don't mao Itatsamond, you fcuow ; sha is alwaye Mad arid good ; bat she has a greajidesí otjjó^jsensé^iso fatter says, and Ï have never spoken her about my fancies, or the friends that I have made amongst the mountains."
He looked at her and marvelled at her blissful unconsciousness ; he loved her there was no longer any doubt of that ; ; but if he dared to tell her he would only frighten that unawakened soul. He was ' madly impatient of the innocence that enshrouded her ; he wanted to look into her eyes and strike fire from their soft dark depths;'to teach her at once and for ever the glamour and the glory of love's ecstasy ; but the time was npt ripe for that lesson.
"Talk to me, Lorne," he whispered, "tell me again some of the thoughts that filled your brain in those days-before we met," 'for he could not trust himself in the sweet silence.
She turned on him the brightest look he had yet seen.
" Isn't it strange that I have courage," said she. " I never dreamed it possible for me to mention those silly fancies to anyone ! Gan yon understand it P"
He did not answer that, he though he understood, but he was not going to ruin his chance of happiness by telling her so.
" Have you ever thought how it would be if yon went away from these, gloomy surroundings P" he askel. " Would you like to ge ont into the world of people and music and song, where everyone would love you Í" ..'?.*
She looked a little wistfully at the
"I am sf raid I should be more lonely there, in the great world, than here/* said she. "These surroundings are noe gloomly to me, they have given me friends and food for thought all my life; and 1 they have given me you !" . . ;
Oh, it was hard to kèep his self control while words of passionate love were rush . ing to his lips î He leaned a little nearer
. to her end answered :
" Toa are right ! Yon must always be right ! This is the sweetest spot ou earth.*
« Ah ! you only say so to please me, I'm \ afraid," she said ; a little sadly. " It
cannot be the Barne to you as to me, for you have always had friends to toare for yon, you don't know what it is to have to trust only to silent things for companion- ship 1"
"Tell me more about your home life?
[The right« of publishing " Under the « Southern Oren " have beeninrohnsed by the
Why is it that you*are so solitary P Is- is your father unkind to you, Lorne? Forgiro me for calling you Lorne^I do not like your other name ! Is your father
" He has never spoken unkindly to me ; it would not be so hard if lie had! Bat he looks at me ns if-he hated me 1-and when he has to speak-he seems to be holding back-as if he might say some- thing terrible, if he did not keep.a watch always upon bis lips !" ,
Basil Armitage listened to the broken utterances with darkening brows ; he knew well why the stern father treated this innocent child so cruelly, and he hated
him for his hardness of heart.
" What about your mother P" ho asked, " can you remember her P" (Ho knew that she could not).
" Oh, no ! I cannot remember, and I know BO little! Only that she was not Rosamond's mother. I asked Bozzie once to tell me something about her, audshe was dreadfully afraid and told me in a whisper that he had forbidden her to speak of my dear mother ! Oh, I wish 1 could remember her ! I seem to be so old -yet I do not know anything about my
own mother !" .>
Basil got up suddenly and walked away. If this child knew what he knew
about that dead mother !
"What is it P Have I vexed you P" Lorne asked, a little wistfully.
He came back and looked down upon her with tender pity. .
" You, poor child P What could you do
to vex me P" be answered.
"'I don't know. I never did anything to vex my father, yet he is always angry !"
"I could never be angry with yon, no matter what you did !" said he gently. " Never be afraid of me, Lorne. I want you always to trust me, and, and-*-" He laid his hand upon his lips. Those words must not be spoken yet !
" I will always trust you," she answered .readily enough, too readily, he thought. "You have made the world so different for nae, I don't know why ; but.even in these two days yon seem to have taught me so
" Have I, Lorne ?" he could not help dwelling tenderly upon the name. " I
mean to teach you a great deal more ' yet!"
She smiled and stood np. *
"It oust be tomorrow then, for I have to go home now !"
His face was very pale as he answered: slowly: "Itshallbóto-morrow!" '