|Chapter Title||ANN OR ANITA|
|Newspaper Title||Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Half Round the World to Find a Husband. A Comedy of Errors|
CHAITEK XXXII.-" dsn OB ANITA T"
Suuday rooming dawned, and therewith came a change of routine on board ship ; and over tbe water loomed an island that grew ever clearer. It waa a real pleasure to Ann when service began, and the sailors all trim and smart, were inspected ; and then said their prayers heartily, as English salts shonld. The sense of discipline, briskness, and cleanli- ness, was refreshing after the ships on the Pacific Bide, where British captains and officers sighed over the lack of such good Saxon qnalities in their crews. By mid-day the Blue Mountains of Jamaica rose above
veiling doods; soon the ship glided into a quiet channel, opposite Port Royal.
Now Ann felt was her opportuity. She had easily persuaded Bryan to come down to service that morning. Beseemed like a child this day, ready to do her bidding, and his attention while he shared her bymn hook was exemplary ; indeed, he looked all the time as if a spring of penitence lately discovered was soaking through his being, body and mind. Now, as he stood apart, sad and alone, his good angel slipped to his side. And then, with a sweet pleading glance at his handsome face, half averted, she began
" Listen, Patrick I You promised to tell me your real position, when once we got to Jamacia, did you notl You will tell me now, won't you t"
"Yes. I suppose it will be best." Bryan heaved a big aLjii ; the prospect did not seem
" And when 1" coaxed Nan. " Shall we say this evening t"
Bryan wriggled and twisted in the way she knew BO well, etamped the deck like a vexed ohiU "Hang itali. No I This last evening let us be happy together. You will come to that boarding-house I told you of, pet, will you not ? We will drive out, you and I in a buggy. It's a very respectable place : the captain will tell you BO, ask him. liven Thanet would not disapprove," with a Blight sneer. Then loftily-"I suppose he will tllow me to know eomething about my owm
"Of course you must know best, dear," returned Ann, in dulcet soothing. Yet persistently-" Well, you will tell me to- morrow morning 1"
Bryan groaned. " I have a good mind to Jump overboard, into the jaws of Port Royal
ack. Don't yon know who Port Royal Jaok is ? Well, see that English man of war there ? The Bailors might desert and swim on shore at night, but for Jack. He fs a pen- sioner of the ship. They feed him every morning, with so much raw beef ; it is entered in the ship's booka. And he is the biggest and oldest shark in the bay. "
" Never mind him ; you gave me your word there should be no more talk about jumping overboard," persisted Ann, quietly and un-
moved. "Now I ask your promise, on your' word of honour. Will you tell me to-morrow I
" Yes. There I I will I" Bryan set his teeth, pnlled down his cap, threat his hands in his pockets, and stood a picture of despera- tion. Ann pitied him, hut felt nevertheless elated. This was an excellent beginning ; she was gaining an influence for good steadily over tilts poor black sheep.
Now the ship was approaching Kingston. Most of the passengers began discussing the various hotels, asking advice of everybody, and on receiving it, retorting that somebody else lately told them quite differently, in a generally bewildering fashion.
Ann's mind was made up. She would go to the old-fashioned inn, which the captain, as well as Bryan, vouched to be a model of
respectability, if a trifle dull and out of the > way. Yes, she would trust Patrica about this. Lord Thanet proved to be right about the Soulhern Cross Hotel, it is true ; but she was eager to show that her betrothed was now more cautious in Beeing to her welfare. Thanet and Wood seemed to hesitate in their plans. The reason why became apparent a» soon as the gangway was lowerod ; for among the first of the crowd that swarmed on board was an aidc-dc-oamp in uniform, bringing an invitation from tho Governor for Lord Thanet and Wood lo be his guests forthwith, at the King's House. In truth they had expected as much, for the Governor happened to be an old friend. Naturally the offer of hospitality was accepted ; yet not for the afternoon.
Thanet blandly made exouses ; towards dinner time they would drive out without fail ; till then some small matters delayed them. " We are coming first to your hotel for a last afternoon tea," both announced to Anu. " Yes, wc must sss yan safely established there, and be quite eure you are comfortable. Of course Bryan here will look after you ; but
" Hullo I where is Bryan? I wished particularly to present him to the aide-de camp," asked Thanet, searching the deck in vain with inquiring gaze.
Bat Bryan'wes «lown In bli cabin, raking a lut look roand, ». 'be later virtuously ea plained, "being . very careful chap ¡ especially nour when be could not afford to lose so muoh as a'pin."
Soon afterwards our four frienda drove out together to .a «nbnrban boarding-house, put pretty wooden vitim on either side of an excellent tramlald road. " What crowds of darkies I Every one seems .coloured more or less," exclaimed Ann. " But how smartly dressed they are 1" For numbers of blaok faoed girls streamed by, holding up 'white cambric gowns, to display snowy embroidered petticoats: their sleeves were wide as the widest Lon lon fashion ; their sashes of bright ribbons ; their hats finely feathered.
" It is Sunday. My people are good church' goers, at any rate," murmured Bryan, his tone of identification with the Jamaoians secretly suprising his shipboard friends.
Their destination was a house standing back from thc road, in a garden well shaded with palms and with fig trees ; gay with the poinsettias, frangí pani bushes, aud passion flowers! A hor c-nhoe flight of the brick steps led to an upper public road that tilled the width of the house, through which blew a delicious thorough draught. Off this hall, as it might he oiled, the bedrooms opened; and precisely the stout coffee-coloured landlady had just two to Bpare. Ann gratefully entered hers, gladdened by eights of her big trunks, that had been so long in the ship's hold. She eagerly plunged into one for a oool tea gown. On board the ship she could permit her ae'f no tuen luxuries. Meanwhile the three men strolled outside, Bryan doing showman amongt he tropical trees, flowers and scrubs.
Ann peeeping through her wooden sun blinds noticed with gladness that he and Thanet seemed quite friendly again together over this topic of mutual interest. It had vexed her to see their growling coolness einoe leaving Peru. Then lea came into the hall ; where, as Bryan gleefully remarked "they had it all to themselves." (Thanet and Wood glanced significantly at each other.
It was growing late now ; a dark rain squall was coining up. Sur ly suggested Bryan, thoughtful for his firii-nds, they had best tobe ordering a buggy ; they might get wet ; half en-hour s drive lay before 'hem. And they thanked him but still delayed.
(To be continued. )