Chapter 58217150

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1876-12-23
Page Number2
Word Count1304
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAlexandra Times
Trove TitleWongawarra
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CIHAPTER I[I. Up on the spur of the Wougawarra ranges whore the huge granite rocks were piled like toys of a giant's children, the morning sun warm iawl wooing, flooded the green wattles with glory. Grey old trees, drooping and lonely, gathered together to shield sparkling houllers, or spread gaunt arms down toward the dark gorge that gunrded Wongawarra Creek, ere it stole out into the sunshine on the grassy plain, Bhds rang out such rippling music through the peppermint folinago no must have assured even a blind man that Spring had found the ranges; and on the patches of living grass that hell the sun rays all so fondly, stately magpies stalked proudly, and gurgled out music in the solitudes of Wuongawarra such as no words can describ,. Let those who say that Australia has no songebird go to Wongawarra, and listen to the flood of melody that pours from the throat of our Australian nightingale. He who can listen to the full, thrilling, gushing, gurgling notes of our proud magpie, without feeling his heart swell with sweet pain, and a rush of home though's gather into his bosom and fill his eyes with tears, has no ear for the music of nature. Let him pass onward and mingle with the crowds that seek for wealth in crowded streets; he has no part in the lonely beauty of Wongawarra. As the sun climbed higher and higher above the ranges until it topped the trees that grew up on the highest ridge, a horse man reached the foot of the acclivity, and dismoun;el topermit hinstced to walk quiet y up the r?cky and ragq channelled track. The horseman was Frederick Howard, and he walked on betide the animal with his eyes fixed on the road ouser which he passed as one in deep thought. And melancholy thoughts, if one might judge from the sad expression that lay hid in those drooped eyes. With a mechanical hand he held the bridle, moving onward, step by step, with his head bent down so low that the brim of his bat hid the deep shadow on his forehead. About half way down the Range a tiny stream-a stray from the gathered waters of the Wongawarra Creek-crossed the tr ok, and, after widening into a little pool, under a sparkling rock, fell down intoa deep gorge that rent the hill. Here Fred's horse paused to drink, and lifting up his dreamy eyes, Fred himself saw something that first ga thered all his hot blood into his heart, and then sent it surging painfully into his face. Seated on a pieceof granite, under a large boulder, was Ellinor Baveridge. She was gazing down the steep gorge which lay at her feet, and wondering much at the strange beauty of the scene, when the sound of the horse's feet startled her, and she turned suddenly to meet the eyes of Frederick Howard. Involuntarily she started to her feet, while face and neck became one vivid flush, only to fade out again with a breath, and leave the fair, statuesque features as white as a lily. Where had they met last, those two that looked Into each other's souls through dark inquiring eyes ? One might have thought that worlds depended on the look, while the unconscious horse dranki patiently of the limpid waters of Wongawarra. "And Is it thus we meet, Elllnor ?" said Freder ok, in deep, sad tones, " thus, after years-years ?" "Even thus," she answered quietly, letting her eyes drop from those of Howard, " and so we must part," she added, with a smile that was an agony. "I have strayed far to fa millarise myself with Australian nature, and must return," and with that painful smile and a gentle bow, the graceful woman turned to go. " Nol" cried Frederick, with fierce and sudden passion; "no, Ellinor, we will pot part thusl My God, are you stone?-hard, cold, unfeeling astone? Ellinor,.Ellinnr, you dare not leave me, without seign or asighl" and he laid his fingers on her arm, to stay her progress. "rWhat would you have?" she asked, up lifting her dark arched brows, with a smile that had become halt ecornful. " What is it that you would have?" "The past," he cried vehemently; " I would have the past, with its rich treasurol Give me back the past and yoiur love, my Elllnor-m-Y Ellinorl" The beautiful woman's lip trembled even under its scornful curve; but she shook her head sadly, and tried'to draw hier arm from the grasp of Frederick. " Let me go," she said, "the past is dead." "And your love? Oh, Ellimorl do not say thatl Those long, lost yearsl Elllnor, speak to me-you will kill mel Why have you hidden from me, only to turn from me at last?" "Ask Janie," she roplied, turning on him her full gaze-a gaze full of reproach and pain, "ask my young sister Janle, why I have hidden from you while you took my love away to bestow it upon her, Go to Wonga warra, and' comfort my sister Jane; she is very sad without her lover." I-llinor drew her splendid form up to its full height as she spoke these bitter words, but their effect upon Fred Howard was a different one to that which she had antici pated. Throwing the bridle of his patient horse from him, as it were indeed a thing of little moment-- "'Oh, Ellinor, Is that all?" he cried. " 1 swear to you that my heart has never wan dered from you for one moment, during all those Farted'years. Oh, my darling, my darling, am I then indeed so foolish in your eyes, that you judge meso harshly f Foolish and imprudent I may have been-vain of a silly child's preference, perh spe-but false to your love, neverl my lovel my Ellinorl" and the deeply agitated man leaned against the hard stone near himand burst into a passion of sobs, 'The tears of manhoodl--how painful they are to witness, and how painful they must be to shedl Frederfick-the cold-.seeming, calm, and careless Fred Howard-wept there with ar more bltterness than a woman weeps in er greatest troubles. Eveory sob setmed to rend his heart to pieces, although he d:shed the tears away angrily as they would burst from his eyes in floods and hide from his longing vision the woman for whom he wept. oAnd she was worth weeping for-the proad~looklng woman that stood looking there so coldly on the grief of Frederick Howard. But when he saw through his tears only that cold scorn on the lips of the woman he loved, and turned his face away that ho might not see it again, the scorn died away from around the'beautiful mouth, the erec: form relaxed, and theb dark eyes filled with loving tears. Sho were no woman to witness unmoved tlhe distress of the man she loved, and the dark hair tossed so canrolessly over the white' forehead she had so often kissed the dark glossy, hair amid whicfoh her fingers even now craved to wander, as of old-that dark brown hair, tossed against the cold rook upon which Frederick leaned, con quered, and she was a loving woman once more, "Fred," she gadsped, lsngher ha·dha over his shoulder, and,~endlng. down her proud head to look into in averted fac, Thore was tnglo in t tons, e\:,ii a moe

ment the joyous arms of Frederiok were clasped around Elliner, and the sabdes of Wongawarra Banges bore wineess to the reno`We-ye s of husband and wild 1o g parted. " Ilow gladly ho penred into Ellino-'s ear the story o-hla intimacy with Jane lBovq., ridge; how, since her.childhood.alo hbd appropriated his attention, and how hae hd lately begun to feel that she hal mis