Chapter 59575052

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Chapter NumberXV
Chapter TitleA CATASTROPHE
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59575052
Full Date1878-09-14
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1278
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMercury and Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1878 - 1903)
Trove TitleAda and her Cousin Charles, A Tale for Victorian Boys and Girls
article text

CHAPTER XV. A CATASTROPHE. "I should very much like to know how he will manage to make a fortune so rapidly?" said Mr. Grinnidge, shak ing his'head dubiously. "You ought also, Mr. Pipkins, to make an effort to become a plutocrat" cried Edith, looking at him wickedly "you would then no longer have to hide your talents under the proverbial peck or bushel measure, and you would escape the tyranny of your chief." "Oh I as for me, Miss Edith, I never succeed in anything I undertake," replied the poor bewildered clerk, sigh ing deeply. " What would you advise me to do?" " Why first of all to learn how to cut out lady's frillings without spoiling them, for that is a little matter in which you yet want much instruction" re torted Edith, bursting with laughter, whilst the wretched Mr. Pipkins felt almost ready to cry. "My dear children" interposed Mr. Grinnidge don't you think in the mean time, the wisest course we could all take would be to go to bed?" "Good night, Charles dear" said Ada rising, "I hope we shall see you to-morrow?" "Yes! certainly, Ada dearest, I will never fail to see you every day. But, as Mr. Grinnidge says, it is time that we should go to bed,- so again, good night. Come along, Pipkins." " All right! I'm ready! Let me look first for my hat and stick." "Oh I nonsence! It is the same thing with you every evening. You never remember where you have placed your hat, and anoays m.ke a fuss about having to find your stick" said Edith, speaking sharply to the unhappy clerk. Mr. Pipkins knew very well where to find both hat and stick, but it was his invariable custom to make a diffi culty about getting them when he felt it was necessary he should leave, because he always hoped it would give Edith a pretext for helping him to look for them. And he was the more anxious on this particular evening to make it appear he had forgotten their whereabouts, since he trusted that in their mutual search he would have an opportontity of being close beside her, and without the hearing of the others, ask forgiveness of her, for having un wittingly injured her trimming. The unfortunate wight was so unsophisti cated, that in the simplicity of his heart he thought he had really offended her, and longed if it were but for a moment to be alone with her, to make his peace, and get a condoning smile. He feared that he would not be able to sleep through the night, if he left her, with a feeling that she was really vexed with him. But in the search for the hat and stick, Miss Edith, purposely kept out of his way, much to the disturbance of his peace of mind. She would persist in looking for them where Ada or her uncle did. She wouldn't give him an opportunity of being with her for a second. Charles, who was standing impatiently at the street door, called repeatedly to him to hasten. The two girls ran to him to say a last good night and Mr. Pipkins was left, assisted by Mr. Grinoidge only, in the needless quest. Presently Edith's voice was heard, exclaiming "If you don't soon find your hat, I will ask uncle to lend you one of his night-caps to go home in 1" "I have it now, and my stick also," said the melancholy Mr. Pipkins, "I am really very sorry that I have kept you waiting at the doer so long: (They had not been there a minute) May I tell you how sorry I am that I had the maladroitness to cut- -" "Oh! that is enough Mr. Pipkins, good night, you may express all your regrets another time" replied Edith with a teasing laugh, taking her uncle's arm. And the door closed upon the young men, Mr. Pipkins bowing most pro foundly. Scarcely had they got in to street when opening up his mind to Charles, he said- "She dislikes me very much, I would give all she world supposing I had itto give, if I could but get her to love me as fondly as Ada loves you. When I am with her I am so awkward, she rebuffs me so cruelly-----" They..nre on their wayhome. Charles full of his own business, does not hear a word of the outspoken griefs of the, by this time wretched Mr. Pipkins. Presently to his surprise this discon solate gentleman retraces his steps, and seats himself on a fence, facing the house he has but just left. As he appears inclined to remain there Charles slaps him on the shoulder, saying, "good night old boy, you can't expect me to stay here with you all night." "Good by Mr. Charles,'" said the miser..''e Mr. Pipkine. "Ae? you going to stop here till the moaning?" '"I do not know what I shall do I am Eo very unhappy. Oh I Charles

you cannot think what it is to love as I do. You are certain of the affections of your cousin. As for me I dote upon a girl, who has the heart of a flint. She is the unkindest, creature that has been heard of. I might be in the greatest .trouble on her account, I might make my eyes red and infilmed with weeping over her cruelty to me, and she would never even once ask me what it was that'ailed me." "Then, if I were you, I would neither trouble about her nor shed tears over her." " How, when I love her as I do, can I be master of my emotions. When she is hard upon me, as she was this evening, I sob the night through, I lose my rest." " Well, good night, Pipkins, old man, I shall go home; I can't stay here bothering with you. Ihave other things of greater importance that concern me. So I shallleave you here. I have one or two schemes to work out in con nection with the fortune I intend to make." So, patting him on the shoul der, he hurried off; leaving Mr.Pipkins a ated on the fence, his face buried in hands, a prey to his misery, and hope lessly despondent because of his un requited affection. From time to timehe raised his head, hoping to see the the shadow of his adored one imaged on the window blind. If, thought he, I could only see her form but once again to-night, re flected on the curtain, the memory of it would be a consolation to me till to morrow evening. Hoping and longing to see it pictured there before she finally put out her candle for the night, he forgot, in his abstraction, the in security of the seat on which he had perched himself and, presently, making a movement, the better to watch her window, over-balancing himself, he toppled backwards, and the next moment found himself sprawling in a ditch about four feet wide and between two and three deep. As during the preceding few days it had been raining somewhat heavily, the involuntary bath he thus had taken was not one of the pleasantest. It had, however, the immediate and beneficial result of completely changing the tenor of his thoughts, if not of cooling the ardour of his love. For drenched to the skin and covered with slime and mud, he deemed it advisable to hasten to his lodgings, without waiting longer to watch for Edith's shadow limned against the curtained window. (To be continued.)