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Chapter NumberVII
Chapter Title
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Full Date1893-11-11
Page Number9
Word Count2020
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLaunceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)
Trove TitleMatched and Mated: A Romance in Real Life
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CHAPTER VII. When left alone the two young men took out their cigars, and smoked in silence, watching the moon hide her face behind the hills. Both were in a brown study. Clifford was the first to speak. '1 say, Hugh,' he began, 'you didn't seem to be much struck on the heiress. What the deuce did you monopolise that little Irish girl for ?' ' Well,' said Hugo slowly, ' my mother will break her heart over this affair I know. Both my mother and Mr Hall have set their hearts on our marrying each other. 'Now, Cliff, I declare to you I quite dislike her; if she were the last girl in the world I would not marry her. She seems to me to be cold, proud, and has a frightened expression in her eyes. I wonder if she cares for some one else 1' ' Is that the reason that you played the fool with the green petticoat ?' 'I was not aware that I was playing ,the fool; a fellow can please himself, surely,' said Hugo crossly. ' Miss Tyr

rall was as pleased with my company as I was with hers. She is the most artless, open-hearted littie creature I ever met. So loyal to her friend, too. To hear her stand up for her ! I thought she would have boxed my ears when I gave my opinion of Pauline.' ' Are you really not thinking of trSing to win the heiress then, Hugh ?' 'I am not,' said Hugo. Before I go further into my story I must try to describe Victor Clifford. First of all, he was the only sann of a retired merchant in London. He and Hugh first met at school. If it were not accounted for by the young men's char. actors I do not know why they should be such fast friends. In the first place, Hugo,though blessed with more than an ordinary share of good looks, was most staid and circumspect with women. I never knew a woman who did not like Hugo Brandon. He always treated women with respect, with chivalry in fact. But anything bordering on an affair of the heart was never heard of in Hugo Brandon's life. His mother would often proudly boast of this, and say he was keeping his heart whole for the most noble girl in the world. Clifford on the other hand, though not nearly so tall as Hugo, was indeed very good looking. He had a high fair brow, and light curly hair, void of either whiskers or moustache, which showed his one uncer tain feature, a weak mouth. On the whole he was a well - made, gentlemanly fellow. He was a most devout worshipper at woman's shrine, and fickle as the wind. I will say he drew the line at the old and plain; but Victor Clifford was in love with every good-looking girl he met. He was also a great lover of theatrical amusement; opera bouffe was his great weakness. He would go so many nights in succession to see one particular play that he would at last get it on his brain and mix the stage conversation up with every sentence he uttered. He adored music, although he had no voice, nor did he understand one note. His enthusiasm would sometimes get the better of his prudence. He would burst out singing in accompaniment with a pianoforte solo and make everyone laugh at his expense, which I think was very good-natured of him. The letter It he would never pronounce, he always substituted W. He would call a rose a 'wose,' and so on. But to my story ' Well Brandon,' he said, 'I scarcely spoke a word to this Kitty, but I think Miss Hall perfectly adorable. 'Tis a per fect treat to hear her talk, and that riding habit became her so well. Doesn't she play well, by Jove ! I suppose we can get four good mounts here. I should enj )y a ride with her, and we are to have a row on the river.' Hugo threw away his cigar crossly, and said with more than unusual impatience, ' Oh, bother, this is the very deuce to pay. I am thinking of my mother, I wish she could see Kitty. Let us come for a stroll, it will do us good.' Clifford walked alongside him for some time. The.wslkpromised to bevery dull, as Hugo was in a brown study and not speak ing a word. Clifford began to yawn,and then to shiver and to yawn again. Hugo asked him if he would like to go to bed. ' Well, 1 am tired, old chappie,' replied Clifford. ' Good night,then,Vic,' said Hugo, 'I'll not go up yet; I want to think this matter out.' So, they parted : one to think the matter out, and the other to dream of the pretending heiress. Meanwhile, Hugo walked up and down by the light of the stars, now and then striking a light, and again throwing away the end of a cigar. He camne to the last Havanna, and to the resolution come what would to try to win Kitty's love. The next morning when the prim housemaid was doing the rooms she gathered up a lot of rough sketches, evidently drawn by Mr Brandon before going to sleep. They were all heads in different attitudes. They were all heads of Pauline Hall. The morning sun and the merry carol of the magpies and the Tasmanian jackass recalled Hugo from the land of dreams. Making a hasty toilet he came down to find Clifford and the two girls waiting for him. They looked very pretty in their plain morning gowns. It was the first glimpse of either in home dresses. Alice looked very handsome and very Spanish in her dark red cashmere, while Pauline wore a robe of pale blue. She looked more charming than ever. Hugo's eyes followed her graceful figure, looking so much taller and more womanly in the long dress. The absence of the red hood showed him her classic head, with its massive coils of shining brown hair. His heart throbbed as he noticed a slight blush on her cheek, as she looked up to greet him good morning. Hugo said he regretted not being up earlier to see the sun rise over the hills. ' 1 think you were wiser to remain in bed and have a rest ; I assure you you will require all your strength for your walk. We will test your pedestrian powers to-day. Tea or coffee,Mr Clifford ?'asked Alice. ' Do you take cream and sugar ?' 'No thank you,' said Clifford. He was not minding what she said, but was staring in admiration at her beauty, and wondering why she wore that black thumb stall on her finger. Alice handed him his coffee without milk or sugar, which he aipped like a martyr. Hugo enjoyed the joke, but made no effort to correct the mistake. ' I'll trouble you for a rissole,' said Clifford. ' A what ?' Hugo came to his assistance this time and said, 'Oh . give him a couple of rissoles, he is very fond of them.' With this a peal of low chuckling laughter vibrated through the air, Clifford coughed and coloured, and the girls looked down upon their plates. 'Oh dear,' sighed Clifford, as he sipped his black coffee, ' what a dear old place this is,' loo.k g through the window. 'I should like to dream away my whole life here.' 'What for ?' cried the voice again, and then another peal of laughter. Hugo and Clifford exchangod glances this time,but as no explanation was given by the girls, they went on eating. Then Clifford commenced again, ' What a remarkable place Tasmania is for pretty girls. I never saw such a perfectgalaxy of beauty as last night. He was inter rupted in his complimentary discourse by the voice nagain, 'Hold your tongue, you

goose, go to bid, get up, go away, pup, pup, pup, puss, puss !' Tne girls could keep their gravity no longer, but, both laughing merrily, brought in a beautiful parrot, which ex plained away the mystery. Clifford was quite relieved. Breakfast beirg over, they put a basket of provisions together and sallied forth. The morning was beautiful, and as the fresh broeze blew upon their faces, and the song of the birds reached them, the happy, free feeling of spending a day and enjoy ing a holiday out in the wild country, each with a pretty and intelligent girl for tis companion, fell upon those two young men They walked four abreast for some time, but as the journey up the hill became more difficult Hugo and Pauline found themselves somehow ahead of the others. Still they climbed up talking on the most matter-of-fact topics. As the ascent became more difficult, Hugo proposed to his companion that he thought it would be pleasant as they journeyed up the hill to go hand-in-hand together. Pauline laughed and said ' arm-in-arm would be better.' She took his arm, and on and on and up and up they climbed, leaving Alice and Cliffjrd further and further behind. ' You are a most indefatigable walker, Kitty,' said Hugo, who was beginning to puff a little. 'Ah, habit, habit, said Pauline, 'you see one gets used to this sort of thing over here.' They were very high up now,the others being out of sight. A lovely little spring of clear water bubbled noisily over the rocks, making a tiny rivulet as it streamed down chattering gaily over the stones. A natural bridge formed by a giant tree, time worn and fallen, crossed the water, and as Hugo helped his companion across she sprang past him and seated herself on the other side, her hat falling off and showing the shining braids of her hair which caught the sunbeams. ' Where are they ?' she asked, ' we had better wait for them.' Hugo sat down, too, and looked at her admiringly, wishing his mother could just see her then. They both seemed to be admiring the scene before them. Then Pauline said ' A penny for your thoughts.' ' Ten thousand millions would be more the price,' he ainswered, ' I was thinking of you.' She tried to answer carelessly, and to still the rising something in her bosom. 'A lot of money,' she laughed, 'for poor little me.' Hugo whistled softly to himself, and then pulling himself together he said 'I don't l'now you twenty-four hours yet, and still I feel as if I knewyou for years. D >n't you think we shall be great friends ?' ' I think so,' naively answered Pauline.' 'Well now. Kitty,' commenced Hugo, ' you know all about me of course, won't you tell me something about yourself? Come now.' ' What do you want to know ?' 'Oh J of your nationality, family, rela tions; and all that.' 'Well my country, to commence with, is Tasmania. My nationality English and Irish.' ' Your father was Irish then,-Tyrrell?' 'No, vice versa, the Tyrrellseclaim to be direct descendants from Sir Walter Tyrrell, with the blood of Rufus on all our heads. Both my father and mother died when I was a little child. I never remember being any-where but here in my very young days. When Pauline travelled 1 travelled. Where she went I went. Where she studied I studied. We both did exactly the same thing always.' Ruth and Sunday school days came floating uneasily through Hugo's mind. Still she continued. 'I am Pauline's equal in everything I assure you,money excepted. I have not a shilling but what she gives me.' 'You won't want her money when you marry and leave her. You must use your husband's money then.' ' I suppose so,' she 'imply replied. Hugo felt a sense of oppression leave him. It was the first time she allowed the possibility of separation from Pauline in that short sentence, ' I suppose so.' (To be continued.)