Chapter 52516320

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Chapter NumberXXXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1896-10-10
Page Number3
Word Count932
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleHalf Round the World to Find a Husband. A Comedy of Errors
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Half Round the World to Find a




Author of " Bay Ronald," " A Jewel of a Girl," " Goliliu Gold," *' Dead Men's Dollars," " Ur. and Mrs. Herries," &c.


durran XXXII. (Continued)

Bryan at last got up, signiBoantlyreniRrking thal ho was going to mako himfcclf roady for diuner. His bedroom VVBB merely partitioned from anoalor portion of the hall, thc Woodwork Bereen heine about nine feet in height, so thc others could hear his every impatient sound. Perhaps it was for this reason that Thanet

aBkcd Ann iu so low a voice to write him down her address in England-itt case she should be home before himself. One could never tull

she might forget it later. (He hoped to winter herc, as she knew.)

There, down came thc rain, and how it l.lined ! Thu palm trees bowed their heads before thc deluge, and its fellow, a gale of wind. A cataract of warm water drops streamed iu Bhccts before the windows, and in thc gloom thc various Bitters were hardly recognisable to oach other. Ann only waa outlined distinctly against the window, where she had gone silently to a writing table. Klic wore a pain flowered silk, such as our grand mothcrs loved, a pinkish blossom on a delicate apricot grouud. It made her look like an old picture, so the three men, over their tea cups, admiringly remarked.

Gallop 1 Gallop 1 The squish-BquaBh of a horse's booh, on the wei gravel sounded belove ; a quick Head und jingling spurs ring ou the brick steps-and there cluttered the next instant into thc room a young officer in dark blue uniform. Ho looked round as if surprised at the assembled company, then made two strides towards Ann, and put his arm familiarly round lier shoulder. " What are you doing here, darling?" he asked authorita- tively ; '* Conic with mc into my room, I want to speak to you."

" What do you mean, sir ?" was echoed and re-echoed hy two wrathful men's voices behind,

each of whom half upset his cane rocking chair, and collided against the tea table with a crash. At thc same instant an apparition a second Ann-opener) a further door made as

though to moet the officer, then stood amazed, staring speechless through the gloom. Bryan also burst out in shirt sleeves, from his room, hearing Ann's agitated outcry, and thc clamour that followed.

" What do you mean?" Thc offioer'a voice rose above those of the others io scornful re- tort. " What does il matter .to any one present but this lady what I mean. She is my


Bryan sprang forward. So did thu listen-

ing apparition with a rustle of silk, and a diffused whiff of perfume ; aod they came full against each other, lie arresting her onward rush. She was tall with dark waving hair, and dressed in a flowered tea-gown, exactly the same as that worn by Ann ; ribbon for ribbon, lace for lace.

"Shame upon you, Weelie 1 You are my husband !" passionately breathed the second

fair one.

" Yours," repeated Bryan, seising her bands in sudden righteous indignation, that rose to boiling point. " Have yon tricked me then all this time ? Have you been shamming ?"

The eyes of the first amaaed group now turned to this fresh couple ; the officer with- drew his arm from Ann's shoulder. She broke from his touch.

The two women faced each other, just as the rain squall lightened-they looked as if each stared at her living ghost. For a second the men breathed hard ; then came two simultaneous exclamations.

" Ann I"

" Anita ?"

And next instant both flowered leagotvus became one, while their owners laughed, and hugged, and kissed and cried out questions which the others answered. It was Anita Finn, indeed ; und this waB Weelie.

Why-gabbled the lively real wife ? Ann knew they were going to the Indits. Oh ! East or West Indies, what mat tered ? Yes, they had been in Jatnaic ? since Weelie got his commission lately, iu the West India regnneul. How funny it all was !" So Ann never married Don Edoardo, after all ; what a peely ! And this was the same tea-gown aa Ann's? Of course ! I ordered another on from the same dressmaker, dear. Very extravagant, was it not ; but I felt quito sick when I thought of your wearing one while I had none. You are slaying ber« ; so are we. What a chat wo will have thi« evening !"

Then Thanet and Billy Wood took their leave. " It's a providence 1" both remarked to each other.

" It's the devil !" said Patrick Bryan to


Somewhat ta Ann's regret, be excused him- self from sluying to dinner. She would not need his company, having BO much to say to lier old friends ; ILÍB in thc town would ha \ equally wanting to see him. So he HUN off.

" lill to-inorrow morning," pul in AIK. per suusivcly.

" Till to-morrow morning," came in gloomy echo, as Bryan disappeared into the darkness ; where the fire-flics transformed that every day high road into an avenue lit by green lampB, which should lead to a fairy king's palace.

And Ann, what with Anita's gay chatter, and novelties at dinner of turtle lins, cocoa- nut cream, and number eleven mangoes, con- soled herself fairly well.