|Chapter Number||IV. CONTINUED.|
|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||Matched and Mated: A Romance in Real Life|
FITIOUN. t MATCHED AND MATED. li A ROMANCE IN REAL LIFE. [By Mns SHACKELL ] Authoress of 'Broken Life,' ' Re tribution,' etc. CHAPTER Iv. GOOTINUED. P Thus d&y by dry arid week by week passed away, and Jeffrey would communi cate his thoughts to his wife by writing them on a slate. This in time became p most alarming to her. Was she never n again to hear her husbands voice ? The i doctor's re-assurance c muld no longer com fort her. His fine face had become pre. 0. maturely old. He walked about the warmed rooms like an old man, though tl never attempting to use his little remain ing strength ; the cough never left him. h She never left his couch day or night, her brave, beautiful face, always near him, although in reality her young heart was b breaking. During those dark days, she it would cheer him by relating stories of their boy and girl days, reminding him of t] many a delightful little circumstance which he loved to hear repeated. No nurse ever laid hands on him. She never a tired of tending to his wants. Thus winter passed with its dark days and long a nights. The spring came again, and the gaunt, lifeless arms of the trees put forth u their new leaves, and the sweet perfume of the wild flowers filled the air; but no b change in Brandon. Summer came with its wealth of roses, II and the song of the birds thrilled through t the castle. Still he was no better. b At last the doctors told the truth to h her. He would never recover in England. t His only !hope was to live in a tropical d or semi-tropical climate. It was after the di birth of her second child, that Mrs Brandon was told the fearful news. It was a stunning blow to her to leave her father and her native land, but she made no sign of suffering. So the long vigil a was over. The long nights, praying a beside the couch of her slumbering love, praying to the all-merciful God to spare a her husband's life. Her baby was sickly n from its birth. She loved it none the a less, but her husband's life was all she b pleaded for. No one would recognise the pale, careworn woman, as the lovely g young girl of four short years ago. Still she was only 21 years of age. n Mrs Brandon readily consented to the f doctor's orders. Lord B-, one of England's peers, and b granduncle of Mrs Brandon made applica. l1 tion for an appointment, in one of the semi-tropical countries. Shortly after a " list of names was sent in to them of the c different places where good appointments were vacant. At that time, or about it, I Cape Curtis, North Australia, had become an English settlement, and under a the Gladstone Government was made separate from Queensland. s Mr Jeffrey Brandon, B.L., was ap- a pointed judge of that settlement. The new Governor Lord L-, his lady judge, and Mrs Brandon and children, a sheriff, a J.P., with a full regiment of soldiers, 0 all embarked together for the new settle- t ment. They brought with them every 1 imaginable kind of merchandise, furniture, } agricultural implements, seeds,and plants t of all kinds. After a most enjoyable voyage of three ' months they all landed safely in Sydney. C They were most enthusiastically received, and the day was proclaimed as a public t holiday. The military turned out, playing a band of music, which greeted them when their ship appeared within the harbour. Judge Brandon, as we must now call him, was feeling much better, 1 while the fresh air and renewed hope was fast bringing back the lovely bloom to the face of Mrs Brandon. The Governor and his lady were there to welcome the Brandons. A most enjoyable month was spent at Government House, Sydney. Then the whole party again set sail for the Northern Territory. Everything promised to be a voyage just as good as the last one. Mrs Brandon was perfectly idolised by all the passen gers,for every spare moment she had, in between her duties to her invalid hus band and sick child, she would give to their amusement. She would sing to them and run back to the child, then come back and play dance music for them, and run in again to the baby. Thus, she would strive to break the monotony of board-ship life, and no one wished for the end of it, so great was her power of enter tainment. One dark night when they had nearly reached their destination, a dread ful change in the weather set in. The wind rose, and the rain fell. The ship rolled and tossed about, so that each passenger feared that every moment would be their last. Judge Brandon whispered to his wife. We are in for a storm, dear, but do not be afraid.' SI have no fear Jeff' she answered, as she held her child to her breast. With that a fearful peal of thunder broke over head, and the seas dashed over the sides of the vessel, smashing in the capstans In a few moments later, the cabin was flooded, and Mrs Brandon, washed out of herberth. Thanking God that her delicate husband was in a safe place, at least for a few moments, she sprang through the water, and into the adjoining cabin,where little Hugo and his I nurse slept. Seizing the boy,and quickly bidding the nurse to follow her, she a struggled back to her husband's aide. She then put the baby inside her hus band and littleHugo,after she clung on to t the birth, begging of the maid to follow her example, she with her Sown body shielding them from the fury of the tempest. Her heart all the time in supplication to her God. At last the ship a began to bump most violently, and the e bustle and confusion on deck became e more intense, She had struck upon a sandbank. All were on deck in a few u moments. Then thelifeboats were got in y readiness,and ere the morning dawned the Lt hopeless passengers of the ill-fated ship were landed on the desolate island, North I of Queensland. Fortunately, no lives were , lost. u The sun rose to show them the shat. tered ship, half bows under water, with i- the seas beating in mournful time on ! the bells, which rung the funeral knell of the lost ship.
Before she became a complete wreck, the soldiers and sailors, brought to land everything they could get to help them to live, and make a habitation till help came.