|Newspaper Title||Mercury and Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1878 - 1903)|
|Trove Title||Ada and her Cousin Charles, A Tale for Victorian Boys and Girls|
ADA -AND HER COUSIN . CHARLES, A. TALE FOR VICTORIAX BOYS AND GIRLS. BY:E. A. SAMSON. CHAPTER XVL " MONEP-MAKIG. TWELVE months have passed away. Charles speaks of nothing now but stocks and mining shares, and rates of discount, of rises and falls in the market of premiums, of shares that are above par, of those that are below par. He has become a frequenter of the verandah The wonderful plan he had conceived for getting rich, an infallible one he thought, was by his superior sharp ness and intelligence to get the better of all the bemused and bemuddled old brokers, who daily congregated in and about the entrance of the Hall of Commerce in Collins-street, and this he thought he would be able to do by always purchasing at a discount and selling at a premium. Poor old Mr. Grinnidge, had frowned portentously, then had opened his eyes in amazement when first he learned how Charles proposed building up a fortune Ada, always good. and kind, and trust ful, never thought of opposing her cousin in his schemes. Besides, at the outset, Charles had met with a little success. This is generally the case with tyros. So he was generally most amiable in his manner to Ada, when he paid her his evening visit, and made her little presents of gloves and scents, and bouquets, and once or twice had taken her and Edith to the Opera. Yet his visits to her were always short ones. Business he pleaded claimed all his leisure moments. To transact it quickly, and to get from office to broker and from broker to bank and so on as speedily as possible, he had contracted with alcabman to have the sole use of his waggonette, from ten in the morning till twelve at night. This he did while waiting for an opportunity to purchase a brougham, which when he had rea:hed a certain stage, he felt he should require as an adjunct to his dignity as a monied man. 3Mr. Pipkins, poor fellow, trudged in and out to his office on foot, and unlike Charles, who dressed in the height of fashion, and wore the newest things in ties, in coats, in hats &c. went to his office clothed in plain but neat and serviceable tweeds. One evening, to the surprise of the two girls he appeared before them radiant with smiles, in an evening suit, a crush hat a white neck-tie and laven der kid gloves. "Why whatever has happened Mr. Pipkins," said Edith, "that you should have thus emerged such a resplendent butterfly from the chrysalis you were but yesterday?" and pointing to his patent leather shoes she continued, " Why you have even got on ,' :,n and polished boots this evening" " Miss Edith I do not remember ever to have presented myself before you, otherwise than respectably dressed, and you know I am always careful to wipe my boots upon the mat before entering the parlour;" said Mr. Pipkins with some little effort at being digni fied. " Well, tell us then at once, what it is that has induced you to come to see us this evening in such resplendent war-paint! We are dying to. knowl Something extraordinary certainly must have happened." "It is this Miss Edith. I have three things to be pleased about. First, Rough Slythe hasbeensuperseded and we shall now be governed by a man, whom we all respect. Second, I have passed the examination, and I am now a classified officer. Third, I have been promoted and instead of ninety have one hundred and fifty pounds a year." " Well, then, now," responded Edith, "you are a little bit better worth know ing. So I think I may venture to treat you with a little more indulgence Iknew a gentleman once who like you had the same salary, and he had also a wife and six children-but unlike a great many civil servants he did'at owe any one a half-penny. This was chiefly though due to the fact, that no one would give him any credit. I suppose you intend settling down now. Will you tell us who is to be the happy lady that is to be honoured with the name of Pipkins." Thus rattled on the malicious Edith without a smile upon her face, though a merry twinkle was lurking in her eye. Poor Mr. Pipkins had thus come bedecked in his finest clothes, intending to ask the girls to go to a concert or to a theatre with him. He had also trusted that an opportunity would be afforded him in the course of the even ing of making a formal declaration of his love for Edith. But this young lady's raillery so effectually silenced him that he did not dare to make the proposal "I offer you my heartiest congratu lations," said Ada, "for one hundred and fifty pounds a year, certain, is worth more than the millions you might hope to gain by speculation. A bird in the hand, you know, is worth two in the bush." This was the first time the poor thing:had ever ventured the smallest remonstrance in reference to the wild ness of Charles's schemes. Naturally a sympathetic kind-hearted girl she had often urged Edith to be kinder in her manner to Mr. Pipkins, and to give him more encouragement. But Edith's invariable reply was that he was such a stnpid follow. Heewas so ugly, he had no ambition.. She wished to have a baggy, and:; to spend a few weeks at the sea-side every year. How could he ever afford tokeep her on such a small salary. Her bean-ideal was a dashihg handsome fellow like Charles. That evening Charles did not pay his accustomed visit to Ada.- The follo.wingrevening he came in for a few minutes, looked-hairassed and left with out having said 'akind -word 'to her. Then many evenings.lassied without anything being seen!of him. :-'none. bhut herself knew how tanxionuply she had watched for his coming. rihe cold and cruel blight of open and aeknow edged 'ne la M or herT iOVID'g .faithfnl hert,noild she fretted silently in sad despondence. " Pipkins walked into the little parlor, with a very dejected air, his manner was
more than usually constrained, and he sat down without speaking. Presently Edith exclaimed "What ever is the matter Mr. Pipkins ? Are you unwell ? Have you been dis charged ?" "No Miss, as regards myself I have every reason to be happy, since I have already had another fifty pounds a year added to my salary. It is about Charles that I am so concerned." Ada, bursting into tears, looked beseechingly at Mr. Pipkins. For once in her life Edith became serious. "I met Charles in town this morning, He looked gloomy and wretched, spoke wildly, said he was ruined, and gave me a letter for you." Saying this Mr. Pipkins drew a soiled and fumbled envelope from his breast-pocket and handed it to Ada. The unhappy girl, opened it with beating heart, and trembling fingers. Then to her dismay she read as follows : September, 7, 1878 "My dearest Ada, " Fate has betrayed me. I tempted fortune and she has ruined me. Not only have I lost the whole of my property but my debts are so enormous that I cannot possibly pay them. I am a dishonoured man. Pity me, but I beseech you do not hate me. Oh! fool that I was! Goodbye for always! You will not set eyes on me again. Yours affectionately but in deepest grief. CHaXLXr.