|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||Matched and Mated: A Romance in Real Life|
CHAPTER X. Upon arriving in Sydney, the first thing Hugo did was to send the promised wire to Pauline, which as my reader is already aware reached her in due course. Then taking leave of Clifford he went straight to his father's residence at Double Bay. He arrived in the evening, when all the family were at dinner. Making a hasty toilet he soon joined them. They were anxious to know how he fared in T s. mania, but as Hugo pleaded extreme fatigue and bid them wait till to-morrow the conversation became general. After dinner Hugo said good night to all and would gladly have gone to his room, but Mrs Brandon bade him be seated. When the young ones retired Mrs Bran don desired Hugo to call in to see her after he left his father. ' I want to have a chat with you,' she said. She nodded meaningly as she went from the dining room. ' Done for,' thought Hugo. The rain was pouring down in torrents, and peals of thunder rent the air as Mr Justice Brandon drew in his chair closer to the fire. ' Draw in, Hugo,' said the kind father, handing his cigar case to his son, and lighting a cigar himself. He settled himself comfortably for a long chat. Hugo talked of everything about the estate of Humphrey Hall, even the parrot was not forgotten, but not a word of Pauline. At last the Judge grew impatient. 'But what of the heiress,lad -what of Pauline ? Bow did you and she get on ? What do you think of her !' ' Ah,she is a very lovely girl,' said poor Hugo in desperation, his face blushing up. The Judge noticed the blush and giving him a playful poke, said, ' Eh ! you have felt Cupid's dart, then, have you ? Most charming girl, Pauline. A good girl, too. Your mother will be pleased. Have you spoken, eh ?' ' Well, father,' said Hugo, 'it is late to-night, and I am very tired. I'll tell you all about it to-morrow.' ' All right,Hugh,' said the Judge, ' I
have had but little to say in this matter, my boy. Love is a queer thing, and often plays at cross purposess. Pauline is, as I have said, a handsome and a good girl, she is also a great heiress, but if you both did not love one another truly you ehould nt marry.' 'God bless you,father,' was all Hugo could any. Stili he lingered, tryinu to elude his mother, but f.,te ordered it otherwise. 'You want to see your mother, she is waiting for you ;' and rising ;:.u Judge said, 'Go to her, buy, go to her. Good night, bless you.' Mother and son met; the dreaded ordeal wuas at hand. The rain still poured down in torrents, the thunder penled over head as Eiugo entered his- mother's little room. They called this room the Snuggery, and it indeed justified its name. A bright coal fire roared in the grate and the sparks flea up the chimney; the ( ne shaded lamp paled before the light of the fire. A soft bright Axminster carpet covered the polished floor, the blaze of the fire lit up the room, hung with oil paintings of the De Burg and Brandon ancestors. Ladies in court cos tumes looked down from the walls with the Brandon features, knights in full armour from the days of Cromwell smiled across the room at the ladies of their kith and kin. Mrs Brandon though 42 years old looked still young and very handsome. The slim figure was rounded and ripe and matronly, and her azure eyes were bright as ever, while the wealth of chestnuthair was just as abundant as when firstI tried to detcribe this masterpiece of God's bandiwork to my reader. iSe was seated in a low easy chair on one side of the tire, l while the shaded light fell upon something she was knitting. Hugo entered as another peal of thunder rent the air and made the whole house tremble. 'Goodness, mother, what a fearful night.' She took no notice of his remark, but pointing to a chair opposite hers, she threw down her knitting. Well, darling,' she began, ' you may be sure I am dying to know how you fared in Tasmania.' 'Ah, well, mother mine, we have had a splendid time of it.' ' Well ? was her only expression. Hugo's hI-art began to beat violently. It pained him sorely to have to disappoint her, and as he looked at her he felt that ho never loved her so dearly before. Then he thought of his Kitty, and plucked up courage. Again his mother said, ' Well ?' ' Well ?' echoed f.uge. She patted her little foot impatiently, and then said, 'Well, how Jo you like Pauline Hall ' 'Ah ! first-class, mother. She is per. fectly splendid, I suppose.' 'What an odd way you have of speak ing. At the least, dear, this is very disappointing.' Well, dear mother,' he jerked out at last, ' there is no use in beating about the bush any longer. You will have it out of a fellow. I meant to tell you all to. morrow, but I suppose I must now. I don't like Miss Hall. I never could like her ; marry her I would not, and what's more I love someone else. We have plighted our troth, and-ahb ! mother, hear me out, pray, pray be calm-let me tell you-' Mrs Brandon stood up, she looked tall and queenly as the folds of her velvet gown swept the carpet. ' Who is she ?' 'Mother, for Heaven's sake be calm.' ' Who is she ?' she sternly demanded. ' A poor girl, mother, but I love her.' 'Who is she ?-what family ?' ' No family, but I love her.' ' You dare not! you shall not!' she cried, 'you shall not bring disgrace on your family. I will not receive her; I shall disown you! ' Hugo then lost his temper, and what more was said I will spare my gentle reader.' Mrs Brandon violently rang the bell, and the butler appeared to interrupt the storm withini far greater than that with out. (To be continued.) ' I'm a-going to have everything first chop at my big dinner to the Nobe,' said Mr Noovorich as he laid in a stock of plates at Starrfany and Co's. 'Let's see what you've got in gold toothpicks.'