Chapter 52512984

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Chapter NumberIX
Chapter TitleSWEET PHOSPHOR, BRING THE DATY
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52512984
Full Date1896-07-11
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count1125
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleHalf Round the World to Find a Husband. A Comedy of Errors
article text

CHAPTER IX.-"SWKET PHOSPHOR, BRING

THE BAT."

There was DO doubt about it. Bryan WUB gone ovbr to tho enemy-and Mr«. Bellamy wan au enemy. For aome days several people on board were more or less "ill, Ann among them ; possibly from a chill caught io the sudden change of weather. Lord Thanet was wotse, and confined to hts cabin.

Worst of all, Père Courdoux hal suddenly changed in hie manner, and actually avoided his late penitent.

" Captain Goodman, you are my only ally on board. What is the matter with everybody, or have I got the plague T" Thus Ann artlessly complained to tile jolly skipper, who was everybody's hail fellow, bot her friend especially. " I utmost feel now us if even you might deBert me. Wi,.a have I done to vex

Father Courdoux t"

" Doue I Why, you went and spoke to him yesterday morning, I fancy, when he was reading on deck."

" Of course I did, just to ask if he would mind hearing my auxiliary verbs, for he offered before to help me learn my Spanish, lie wus only reading his book, ana the sub unctivc ana future conditional moods were so hard, till I invented a way of my own : Oo be-aisy t Oo he-airy ! (hubiese, hubiere'!) You see !" Miss Montague put her head on oue side, with the satisfaction of un tuvontor w ho has somewhat smoothed thc weary road of knowledge.

" Oh I I see ; but perhaps the poor Pero didn't see it. He had nearly finished reading his two hours' office, when you interrupted him ; and I believe by the laws of the church, if a priest's thoughts are called away during that time he is bound to 'begin all over again.

"Oh I Is it trae t It can't be. And he was so kind and patient. Ko wonder he keeps out of my way. But you are laughing

at ma"

Certainly Captain Goodman wai, for be roared, ano it required all Nan's entreaties to keep bim from making tho joke in public.

Strained rotarians 'between Mr«. Bellamy and the other'ladies *were 'lightened to the utmost on a Saturday evening, when, -with a brief air of anthority, ehe invited all to practise hymns forthe next days service.

"Captain Goodman'bas asked me to get up a choir, ns I always'do "on tbese voyages, and hst Sunday'swmprng was simply disgraceful. Then, in ironic inflection : "Can you rouse {'ourself. Miss Montague, to help as ? You

lave been quite playing tile Sleeping Beauty these last few days. I wonder who thc prince is to bc, don't you, Mr. Bryan ?"

Her new squire in the background laughed uneasily at this direot«ddress. fl- darted a shame-faced look at Ann, und dropped his gase while apologetically twietingliisshonlders and sturiug in thc way she know so woll.

"lam not so old a sailor as you are," re- plied Ann, in her clear voice, that rang so true it could bo heard, however low, at some distance, "and I am not seasoned, perhaps, to thc heat of tho tropics. But I have slept my sickness away, and, of course should thiuli it u duty to sing my best in thc service, even hud you not iLskou me "

" Quite so ! Quite so I" came from Bryau in thc background, looking alternate'}' at both ladies in secret discomfiture. I always go to church at home in Jamscia, and-and in London, of course. I was only lalo on

board last time because there are uo fresh

rolls for breakfast ou Sunday morning, and it didu't scorn worth while lo get up till lunch-

time."

" Ha ! Ea ! no fresh rolls, so you book au extra roll in bcd," remarked Hilly Woods sauntering up and joining the group. 14 What fashionable church did you goto in Loudon? St. Barabbas, ch ?"

"Yes-yes! I think it was," stammered Bryan, artlessly falling into the trap; and ouly « general catch of laughter fussing round the circle, as the joke reached different minds, enlightened his obtuse perception.

" Come, Mr. Bryan, I have not finished my two-mile walk yet beforo dinuur.' ouiniriauded Mrs. Bellamy, with engaging briskness, and away she went with her attendant swain to ftromenade up and down for half-an hour. A

ittlu burst of unflattering remarks exploded Uko rquibs, so soon usher back was turned on the group of brides aud young matrons, who had received Ann ainoug them with joy, almost as if she were Red Riding Hood escaped from th : society of the wolf.

" She ectherself to teach us hymns,"snorted the first.

" It's .positively sickening," declared

another.

" Well, her husband must have the patience. of a saint ; not that she is one," ended a third.

And then Billy Wood, having wisely walked away, affecting not to hear, there followed gossiping murmurs that made Ann stare in 6urpri&e.

Presen ? ly she was left mloae, and Billy

strolled back.

" I «ly, you did give it to Mrs. Bellamy rather strong," he remonstrated, though puffing with silent laughter ; " told ber she was older than yourself with such a quiet, setting-down manner. Ho, ho, ho."

But Ann did not .laugh when felic likewise found herself tn the solitude of her cabin. Others might think her victorious in the late passage of arms with ber rival, but she was deeply wounded by the way Mrs. Bellamy had flaunted Bryan, like 'a captured colour, one might Bay, in ber very lace.

"And a married woman too. Hat he thinks I am a married woman also. Oh, who am I ? What am I ? Am I really Ann Montague or Anita Palmer? I feel as if my head were going round.1'

On Sunday morning our heroine awoke .at dawn to see a tropical sky of delicate, -ex- quisite rose, across whioh filmy veils of violet grey mists were lightly drawn.

Sunday service was» weekly pleasure «nd novelty to Aun. The passengers would be lazily seated under the-awning, watching the blue sunny water apparently rushing past tho ship, till five bells struck. At the first sound out .poured a troop of sailors from thc doorway leading to the companion ladder, ell smartly dressed in blue jackets and white ducks. Opposite the stewards i-tood a-row till the Captain, followed by .his officers, ended

the inspection of the crew. Then the skipper, J

who called himself " Bishop of this Diocese," started doivo to the saloon donblcquick time ; officers an sailors disappearing ofter him in a rapid stream. Passengers followed, headed by Mrs Bellamy with a targe fan and smelling salts, w hile Mr Bryan .carried her hymnbook.