|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||Farmer Mack|
FICTION. FARMER MACK, Written for the ERaaminer and Tasmanian. By ADELINE J. WHITFELD. Author of 'My Lady,' 'Madge,' 'Rex,' etc. CHAPTER I. 'There I go again,' said the old man. 'I'm always putting my foot in it, ain't I ?' ' Never mind, Mr Mack,' said his son-in-law, 'let us have the rest of the story.' ' The story-Oh yes. Well, two of them ladies I was mentionin' they up and goes to the poor woman's cottage, an' there they finds it just as she said, all bare as could be, no chairs, no food, no bed, no nothing, children half-dressed an' cryin' fit to choke themselves, and their dead father lvin' on the table covered with an old sheet. Well, the leddies, the took stock o' it all and felt that bad they were nearly cryin' themselves. They stayed a con siderable stell, and sent the oldest child straight off to the nearest shoo for victuals, an' all the time there lay the poor corpse on the table, right before 'em, Arter a bit the girl came back with the purvisions, and the leddles thought it time to take their leave, and then the widow cryin' like anything asked 'em if they would like to look at the corpse; but they wouldn't do that, an' so they left. They hadn't gone far when one found she had left her parrysole, so back she went for it, and what did she see?' and Farmer Mack paused again and looked at his listeners. No one made a suggestion, so he went on. ' The poor corpse on the table had come to life, and was sitting on a stool, and round him were his wife and children, an' all were larfin,' talkin', an' eatin,' 'Is this a fact, Mr Mack?' asked one of the gentlemen. 'It was given me as an absolute fact, sir' returned Farmer Mack. ' Well, well,' said the gentleman. 'Not only once had this trick been played by the family, but many times, I believe,' said the old man, ' but after this take in I fancy they were ex posed.' ' Guida,' said Arden Melrose that night, as Guida stood by her bedroom window gazing thoughtfully into the moonlit garden,' what makes you look so troubled, love ?' Guida turned from the window and confronted her husband. Mr Mel rose had very fine eyes, and just now they had a wonderful tenderness in their expressive depths. 'I am puzzled,' she said almost mournfully. 'There are some things that are so trying, so humiliating, and yet it is nobody's fault, I used to think that whenever anything went wrong it was always somebody's fault, but now it is no one's' and yet I am troubled and pained.' Mr Melrose stooped to kiss his wife before replying; then he said 'It is no one's fault, my queen, and 1 instead of feeling troubled and pained we should be filled with a gracious gratitude towards the good old man who has done so much to make my wife what she is. You see, dear, we mortals are so prone to make little I things of too much moment. Now, though the good father does make what Mrs Grundy is wont to designate slips, still they do not really detract from his sterling worth. Anyone could betray their vexation and let Shim see they were annoyed with, if not ashamed of, him; it is for us to ? show ourloving constancy and never t dying gratitude for all he has done for us.' 'I am not half sogood as you, Arden,' said Guida, 'you are so clever and brave, no one would have dared to show you the open pity I received Sto-night. It was that which galled me, even more than what you call father's slips.' 'You must persuade him to stay with us till Christmas Gui,' said her husband. ' It only wants three weeks till then, and young Flett can manage the farm.'