|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||Matched and Mated: A Romance in Real Life|
CRAPTER IX. 'Can it be possible.' said Alice when they were left alone, ' that you have not told him even at the last.? What on earth is the use of keepine up the deception ? Pauline was crying now. 'He must fight it out with his mother. I saw him falter when I mentioned the posaibility of his mother not liking me. If he has not the strength of character to give up father
and mother and cling to his wife alone, 1 will be no wife of hi3, although my heart should break,' sh.3 added sorrowfully. Alice looked at her in perfect wonder mont. '1 never could believe you p'ssessed of such determination, but I think you should have told the truth before you narted. I congratulate you, my' dear Pauline. I am sure you will never be dissappointed in Hugo.' Why don't you congratulate me on my conquest, and forg,'tting rid of my would be lovers,' continued Alice.' Oh, never was I so pestered in my life!' ' My poor old Alice, you are the b~st frinud I ever had. Now I shall count the days till I hear from him,' sighed Pauline, 'everything seems so changed to me Oh, I am so happy.' Thus they chattered end planned, and wondered how Mrs Brandon would bear the news, and how long until she relented and how glad she would be when all the trouble was over to find that Kitty was her own Pauline after all-how difficult it would be for Hugo ever to get over calling her Kitty. Thus the time passed and the day came when the two young men were due to arrive in Sydney. The promised wire came in a few hours. It was a harbinger of joy to Pauline. How they both laughed over the address, 'Miss Tyrrell.' Still Alice shook her head and said, 'You are carrying it too far.' The long-wished for day at length arrived on which the letter was due. Pauli';o went down the long drive for the post bag, which always hung at the lodge gate. With flushed cheeks and bright love lit eyes, the young girl turned the con tents of the bag out on the nearest table, but ah ! no letter from Hugo. 'Good gracious,' she cried. He must have missed the mail surely. I must wait till Saturday now.' Three days of anxious waiting had passed, and Pauline was again standing herself at the lodge gate. The mail man's two-horse chaise at last appeared, and taking the bag from his hands, she only wai ed for the man to get out of sight, when she turned its contents on to the wet grass and hurried through the letters. Alice jest then came upon the scene, and watched Pauline anxiously. The letters were all scrutinised, but no letter for her. Her brain reeled, and she would have fallen, but her friend caught her. 'No letter, no letter,' was all that she could gasp. 'Pauline, dear, don't go on like that, you will surely get a wire, or some news to-day. Oh dear,do have patience !' She only tried to soothe her, for in her own heart she thought that she had carried her joke too far. Alice helped her stricken friend to the house, and with all the efforts of her kind heart she tried to comfort her, but in vain. ' Oh,what is it ? what Is it 7' she would cry. 'Can it be that he has yielded to his mother, and if he has surely they could see through the joke. I cannot under stand it.' Thus days and weeks passed. The autumn turned into winter. The flowers were all dead, and the lifeless branches of the trees were hung with icicles, and the hills white with snow, and the river swollen into a lake before the house-but no tidings of Hugo Brandon. Pauline wandered about the still lonely house, pale and sorrowful, dark rings s.round her blue eyes, and her heart sore with sorrow and disappointment. Three months passed, and one day she received a letter from Mrs Brandon, but it contained not one word of Hugo. Mr and Mrs Hall were in England. They know nothing at all of what was going on, so she had no one to turn to for tidings which might bring her light without lons of dignity on her own part. Often during those days of pain and anxiety, Alice would beg of her to break the ice and write to Mrs Brandon for tidings of Hugo. ' No, Alice,' she would say, ' any news I get will only make ma more unhappy. It is quite clear he would not leave his mother for the poor girl. Let him go. His love was not strong enough to leave father and mother for me. I would rather go single all the days of my life.' And while Pauline was fretting herself into the grave, and losing faith in Hugo Brandon, what was he doing with himself 7 I will tell you.