Chapter 39698545

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Chapter NumberXIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39698545
Full Date1897-09-18
Page Number2
Corrections0
Word Count577
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLaunceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)
Trove TitleLight after Darkness
article text

CHAPT'EIR XIV. Mr. Smith was 'touched -by 1his son's contrition; but the thought that he had comnritted so grievous a fault shocked 'hian exceedingly. Long and earnest 'was the conversa tion that followed, and when Bob heard how others hald suffered for his sin, and how much misery had been capsed at "The Acacias," 'he wept bit ter tears of sorrow and shame. "I will go at once to Mr. Roberts, father, and tell him all. Oh, this tardy confession unman's me. How mad I have been! Yes, I must not wait a single hour. How bitter their re proaches will be, and yet honw just!" And so Bob returned to "The Acaoias," and in earnest tones, which went to the hearts of the family, he acknowledged his error. His self-con demnation and wretchedness when he referred to Miriam's trial and Elsie's severe illness, manifested how deeply he had been moved, and how thorough was his repentance. To Mr. Roberts the story came as a great surprise; but the ladies-though they kept this fact to themselves-had long suspected him. Miriam was the first to break the silence that followed, and tthough she spoke seriously, and gave Bob a lecture that he never forgot, she extended her forgiveness freely an example that was followed by all. The money was returned, and Bob persisted in paying interest, though very much against the wish of Mrs. Roberts. ,My little story is almost finished. Bob remained with his father for six months, but at the end of tihat time hi's interest in South Africa compelled hism to return to that country. Buit the did not go alone, for tle artful felloiw had made himself so agreeable to Elsie, that, with thle consent of her parents, she expressed herself willing to change her name to that of Smith. Bob said he knew that he did not deserve such happiness, and Mariam quite agreed with him. "But," she said to her cousin on the wediding day, "if you had let him return without a companion, we should' have been shocked sooner cr later by the news that he had married -not a girl with. golden haiir, buit a flat-nosed daughter of an African chief." "How do you know the daughters of African chiefs have fiat noses?" asked Elsie, laughing. "'Bob never mentioned ,that characteristlic." "Well, my dear," replied Miriam, "the question is not a serious one to day, and it is more than likely that I shall learn in a short time' many par tic'ulars regarding South Africa, of which I am now ignorant. For you know, dear, 'that I have long contem plated writing a. book in w?hirhi the scenes will be laid, in that laud of wealth and strife."' "Oh, how glad we shall be to wel come you when you comne," said Elsie. "Your last book was so successful that I have great hope .of your being one of the most popular writers of this cen tury." "Hush! you little flatterer." said Miriam. "Wait 'till you read it before you give. me praise."' After Elsie and her husbaind had left "The Acacias," Elsie's mother and falther felt a sense .af loneliness for 'somre time; but the sweet comlpnion ship of,. Miriam, and trlie sympathy. which she 'attradted th her work, the value of which they 'had long recog

nised. filled ,the gap that would other- wise have ,been created In. their home. And so let us leave them. (Tle End.)