Chapter 39699872

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39699872
Full Date1897-10-02
Page Number2
Corrections0
Word Count1218
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLaunceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)
Trove TitleMonica
article text

FOR THE CHILDREN. > "MONICA." (By Bertha Adams, Forth.) te CHAPTER II. h The next morning dawned hazy with h heart, dim over the Deldin Hills, witth it the warm blue haze we summer lovers k delight to see. The cows stood knee ti deep in .the marshes, wlith the green a: rushes ,all around them, contentedly chewing the clud. Among the turnips o' great-.pigs, with floppy ears and short curling tails, feasted luxuriantly, and o the; sparnows in the gorse edges were filling the air with ;thievish chirpings, cl for the sheaves wit.h their yellow t; ripened ears stood in the paddocks a waiting to be carted in, and they ?ere y getting their share before it went. It was 'Monica's voice calling in through Jack Money's open window "Jack! Jack Money, are you weady for st'artin'?" Tlre answer oame back in a drowsy t1 vc'ice-"Quite ready, little 'un." h "Yciu's tellin' lies," said Monica; "its I1 after eight ocliock; Mudder said so. You c must come and Let me in." S "All righ:t, little 'un. I'll be out ina a second. Go and Jelt some cherries for b yourself while you're waitin.' Your a focrk is, out there under :tlhie tree."' "You must lie quick," said Monica impatiently. "I waiunt to go harvestin'. ' I don't wa nit any oherries." a "All right, little 'un. Don't bother f so," answered Jack in an. 'expostula- b Itory tone, "a chap don't want to be hurried so." "Well, I'll stay and shout 'Yankee 0 Doodle' until you does come out," said Monica, pouncing en a- young pullet a which had strayed unwarily into the garden. "It's too bad of you to keep b me waitin', Jack, when I'se longin' so C to go harvesbin'." It was two 'hourse latter, and Jack C Money stood 'with Monica among a lot s of high-built wagons. Some were all e ready to start, others just (hawing the harness and chains and straps fastened t on to the greait heavy horses, but Jack Money's wagon stood empty. He strcde r along through the crowd of farm boys, s and lotokleld at it disappointedly. C "Is ilt Alick Murray's wagon, I'm to have?" ,he asked. "I don't, like :this wagon of Alick's; it's too high, boys." "Mr. Nolr?h has sent out all the wagons ,to-day," said one boy. "Mil ton's and Lance's have gone already and -got one load in. Hallo, Monnie, are you comin.' harv~stin' tblo.?" "Yes," said Monica, proudly, "I'm oornin' in yours and Jack's waggin." t "Three cheers for brave little Mo- I nmca," said one of the ,lads. "Come, 1 Monnie, I'll Lift you up." Mo;nica flung him a glance over her s?hclulder, and lIE~ed her head up. "Jack always is to lift me up, and not big boys like you, Alfred Jones," she~ said- freezingly. The wagon started then. "She's a queer little stick," said Alfred Jones, laughing. "I 'beilleve Jack Money's awfully fond of her -you know." "He worships her,". said another boy decidedly. "He thlinks there's nolbody like Mclnica; sheis always about with Irim." "She's a pretty little klddi'i, but a girl all over in spite of her boy's clotrhes. Did you see that look she gave me as Jack swung her in." "Yes, 'her mother's awful poor, isn't she?" "I think so. She's got no father; you know he's dead." In the fields, sunshiine--bright,glit'ter ing sunlight-lay over everything. Monica stood in the wagon while the men and boy's piled on the sheaves upon 'her. They were laughing all the time at her funny ways and exclama tions. The little girl was filled with joy at the newness and strangeness of it all, for she had never in her life been out in the paddoccks harvesting befores. Her presence there acted as a sort of guard and check on the tongues of the workers; there were no bad words used or ill temper shown, for 'the child was just a scrap of purity and inno cence, and not ,one among them woula have wished to break the, swee?t glad ness of her happy day. Other chil dren were there In different, parts of the field; some watching the workers, some chasing the little mice as the sheaves were lifted high in'to, the wagons, and there were a few' babies lying on shawls and rugs, While dogs kept watohl over them and the cans of oa,tmeal water and tea. Far away at the farthest end ,over a few more fields the river shone, and beyond 'that again far away the Deldin Hills spread out, bounding the township, topped with a bluish purple, haze. Everyone was working hard, laughing gaily, ,Monica ,gayeat of all, in her shirt sleeves and little straw hat. "This is the thbird load," said one boy presently. "We ought to get our part cleared by sundowon, Jack." "Yes," said Jack, "we've got eniough on now in ,this load. Here, you young sters on top tlhere, sit still." "Willie M~asdn tried 'to kiss me," said Monica, eyeing lthe offender from be bind her pitchfork.' "He says girls like to be kissed. I'm not a girl am I, Jack?" "Don't make a fool of yourself, SWill," ansiwere'ed Jack shortly; "some of you wiill be tumbling off if you don't look out." Other wagons were being unloaded when theirs went in that time; a young lady stood out among them giving apples and cherries to the children and drinks of gingerlbeer. She caught sight of Monica on the wagon load, and called to ther-"Here, little boy, come and get some clherries!" "Jump," said Jack. So she leapt down, and landed in his arms. "Go along and get your cherries," he said, "and say 'thank you, Miss.' " Monica went, pitchfork in hand; her beantiful little face flushed and hair damp and curling round iher face. Mis.s North lo'o'ked at the child in surprise. "Surely this is not an Alber ton boy," she said to her father, who. stood at hbEr side. "Look at this boy's face, dad." He nodded, for Monica was standing in front of them now, hat in hand. "What is your name?" asked Miss North, as shle filled the child's trousers' pockets wi'th apples, and her hands with cherries. "Monica Lisle,' Miss," answered Mon ica, dimpling all over har face and showing her little white teeth.tk "Why, it's a girl, father," said Miss,

North laughing; "fancy -a ilttle girl dressed in boys' clothes out here in the fields. Come here to me, my child; the wagons are not ready to start yet." Jack Money looked pleased as the young lady put her arm round his pro- tege and stood her before her, then got a sketching block, and was hidden be hind it for some minutes. Monica stood there patiently eating her apples while itihe ,wagons were be- ing emptied. She did not in. the least know what Miss North wvas ,doing un- til the young lady held up the block and showed her. "Do you know what I'mdoi'ng, little one?" she asked. "No, Miss," said Monicar with wide opened eyes. "Well I'm painting your picture, child, just like you are, and I'm going to call it 'A girl harvester.' Now run away, and good-bye, little harvester. Your wagon's ;off." (To' be Continued.) ---"-?-