Chapter 58217155

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1876-12-23
Page Number2
Word Count1676
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAlexandra Times
Trove TitleWongawarra
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OHIYIKPR' XII 'A 'A w eek , b a d ,ptpuan d .eln co Fi F nd driok ow'drbai l s p.~od guo, abrupty from Mug F hueridg and: thine daye since Mr Beveridgei harit uldv ,d4,w,,Qn avraa, bragingith him ..4iiiufo i ll~letoui % ."wbom:1 hai Britten;

yet MLr Howard had not again visited the station. Things were going on badl1 for Miss Janie, who had found in Ellinor Alaton a beautiful arsd strong-minded woman, who wis evidieitly determined to hold the trpst repeosed in her by Mr Beveridge with a firm hand. At first Miss Jani" had tried to patronise Miss Alston, but the attempt was met by a cool, calm smile, that overwhelmed the silly girl with ridicule. Then she had tried to make a confidante of the housekeeper, as aho persisted in calling Miss Alston behind her back, and here she was more successful. Ellinor Alston listened to Janio's minau deries, with the smiling attentiveness that she would have bestoavd upon a silly child, until she spoke of Frederick Howard, and then the changing of colour and trembling hand might have told an acute observer that the subject was a deeplyaffecting one to the listener. But, fortunately for Miss Alston, the prattling Janlo was not an acute obecr. ver, and she did not notice the deep feeling aroused in the boaons of Ellinor Alston by the sound of Fred IIoward's name. A week, then, hid passed, and Miss Alaton was sitting, one lovely morning, at the open window of the breakfast room at Wonga. warra. Ellinor Alston was a picture of almost perfect womanliness as she sat there and gazed out on the (to her) strange beauty of an Aust:nlian Spring morning. Her work, some household sawing that had occupied her fingers, had fallen on to her lap, and her large dark, lustrous eyes were full of melancholy njoyment as they drank In the full of beauty of hill and creek, rock and river. Ellinor Alaton was more than thirty years old, but she was far more beautiful than an ordinary girl in the first flush of womanhool. She was tall and erect, and of a beautifully moulded figure, whose chief characteristics were dignity and grace. Hair of the darkest brown, glossy and wavy, swept from a I forehead full of thought but not oulined with care. Indeed, care had walked hand in hand with fair Ellinor Alston for so many long years that it was no wonder ihe had placed his seal upon her so't cheeks, and filled thoseodark eyes with melancholy sweetness. At a little distance from her lounged Janie Beveridge in an armchair, idly drawing the l chain of her watch through her fingers. There was an expression of petulance on her pert features that foreshadowed a storm, and oven in the tone of her voice as she addressed Miss Alston " I'm sure I don't know what you see out there to stare at, Miss Alaton. Gooudnes knows, tho station and all upon it are eyesores to me," " You are not comp!imentary this morning,"replied Ellinor, turning toward her with a bright smile ; " but 1 am not tired yet of Wongawarra. I never saw a more lovely i scone in my life than the one oI look upon at I this moment I The enthusiasm of Hiss Aleton was loeston t the matter-of..fact Miss Janfe. o " I wonder what on earth has become of - Mr Fred I "she exclaimed ; giving her chain San angry tug that nearly snapped it. " I do believe you have frightened him away, Miss Alston. We have never been separated so e longbefore I never I" There was no reply. Ellinor still gazed out of the open indow, and her face was 1 averted from the speaker. t "I don't know what else itcan be that a keeps him away. I'm sure he is too tond of me to remain away willingly." "Does Mr Howard know that there is a r Miss Elllnor Alston heor ?" at length asked the silent listener. " Did you mention my o name tohim I " e " Of course I did. I tell Mr Fred every, thing. Mr Fred and I are-are--" t " Engaged, Janie 7" V The half smile that accompanied this f question, which was uttered by Miss Alston with her dfrk eyes fixed keenly on Miss f Beveridge'sface irritatedthe already angry r girl, and, with flashing eyes and a red face, she burst into a passion of words at Miss Alston. "What business is that of yours Miss Alston ? Presently you'll presume to prevent me from being engaged, I suppose. A pretty to-do, indeed. Is my father to bring home a woman to interfere with me and my-my a," and hero Miss Janle stopped suddenly in the most utter confusion. r Standing on the verandah, close to Miss Alston, were Mr Beveridgo and Frederick Howard.. The lattershe could perceive trying to draw back from an unwelcome scone of recrimination, while on her father's usually kind face was impressed an anger the had never witnessed before. "What is this?" he asked sharply, step ping into the room ; "what impertinent language is this that you are permitting your, self to use to Miss Alston, girl 7" " And pray who is Miss Alston, that she should not listen to anything I chose to say to her 7-who is she, that your daughter must be treated like a whipped child by her? I have not so long been the heiress of Wongawarra to be controlled to-day by the first adventuress you choose to bring into it I" rignt The squatter's face grew dark with emotion. Ellinor had arisen from her seat, and in her r beautiful features a more than natural pallor had overspread itself. She sustained herself by holding the back of the chair, with aer I face averted from the window and her eyes 'bent upon the floor, her trembling limbs almost refusing to support her. " Come hero, Elllnor, my love," said Mr SBeveridge, in a tone strangely calm ; " this r; romantic notion of yours will not do. This petulant girl needs the humility that the knowledge you would withhold from her will, it is to be hoped, bring to her. You ask who this lady is, Janie ; you would lave known before had she not wished to spare yen. Her name is Ellinor Aletoo, it is true, but it is also Elllnor Alston Bavorridgeo, and she is my' daughter, Janloe, and year elder sister. I had a wifto before I married your mother, 'my girl, and a wife whom I deservedly loved, Mr Howard, let me ilntro.* duoo you to Hiss Bevesidge, the heiress of WVongawarra." Frrederick Howard lifted his eyes from the floor, and they met those of Elinor flxed on himn with a sad meaning. His face grew white, and all the pained blood suloged into his heart, to throb there as if each throb would bhe the last. One short look was alone exohanged-a look ii which might have been read the gathered hopes and fears of years; and then Fred Howard, the oeasy and the debonnaire, bowed distantly and hurried from the verandah. There was another pair of dark eyes fixed on Frederick as he hurried towards the river to asit down and think painfully beside the quiet water-eyes' that' brightened up strangely as the owner turned from the vicinity of the open window. They belonged to Georgo Larkins, who had been an unons peoted observer, as well as listener, during the scene. "Ho, ho I" he muttered, as he walked away; "so there's a new heiress to Wongan warra, and Mr Fred is cut up about it. I'm afraid Miss Jenio will be disappointed in her hopes now, as her chief attraction is gone. SBy -," he cried, suddenly turning and lec his raised hand in the direction of Howard's disappearing digure, "he'd better let her go, for I'll have her in spite of a thousand devils," . Surely, Miss Janie's humiliation would have been, salved considerably if she had known the high value set upon'her by George Larklns; and she was fated to know it sooner than oven Mr Larkins himsolf in tended. ,As hbe was turning from' the front verandah, with the intention of going towhrd the aflecce, Janie herself, flooded in tears, hurriedr from another window of the bre'k* Ifast room. Ignorant of his preseace oshe weas hastening away in the bitterness of her dies, appointment tohidoe her grief in the garden, leaving her father and Ellinor to think of her nas they would, 'I A sudden impaleo stayed the steps of the young man.i 8lezing the hand of the agitated girl as ashe tried to pass him, heoburast into a k passionatodclaration of the affection that cvonred him. .. : • ' ", 'i hay0 heard it all, Jaile," he tiaid, a how they have choosed you outout your birthnigh, and turned yot line isweethebst.t's

mind against you. What did he care for yoa f Any one could see that it was Won. gawarra station he coveted. Look at him now, flying to hide among the wattles I But he'll come back soon and talk lora;in the cars of our noew heiress I Jnnie, girv me your band, and we'll ask this old fool of a father of yours to show is the certificate of his marriage with Miss Alston's mother.' dSarcely had the hissing words left the speaker's lips, and Janio was still staring in his face with unnisguised astonishment, when a shadow seemed to flash betwoen them and George Larkins was felled to the floor. " Scoundrel," shouted the voice of Mr B3evetidge, who, with features inflamed with passion, stood over the prostrate coward ; " is it so you requite the man whose folly saved you from prison? Got up and leave my sight. Should it ever encounter your form again I will lash you blind with your own whip."