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Chapter NumberXXI
Chapter TitleBAD NEWS
Chapter Url
Full Date1878-09-28
Page Number4
Word Count1153
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
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CHAPTER XXL. BAD NEWS. During these many weary weeks Ada continued to work assiduously in the evening in the little parlor, having Edith for her sole companion, if we except Mr. Pipkins, who was teased worse than ever by that saucy girl. Ada, in her solitude, could not re frain from shedding many bitter tears. She had sacrificed everything for Charles, and now he treated her with cold neglect. At times, in the privacy of her room, she gave free vent to her sobs and sighs. For she could not help perceiving notwithstanding his protestations to the contrary, when oc casionally she ventured gently to remonstrate with him for his coolness to her, that she was no longer as well loved by him as formerly. There was a time she thought, when, where her shadow fell, there was his likewise, and when their voices followed like an echo one upon another. One evening Edith said to her "I have no patience with that cousin of yours. He appears to shun you. He is a worthless fellow, and you should fling him away from you. You ought not to grieve about him as you do." Edith at the time little knew the whole truth. As for Ada she could make no reply, but her tears trickled slowly down between her slender fingers as she held her hands before her face. Mr. Pipkins was so'iiierable at seeing her cry that he could not offer her a word of sympathy. It was as well perhaps that he held his peace, for doubtless Edith would have quickly shut him up. And for whom and for what was it that Charles had thus cruelly forsaken the girl who had practically shown her devotion to him, by sacrificing for his sake nearly the whole of her fortune ? What was the Sophonisba girl, wealthy as she was, compared with Ada ? An ignorant, selfwilled creature, ugly in features, and uglier still in mind. A pert minx, a monster of selfishness. An evil fashioned ill-made doll, as shallow in her affections as she was low and grovelling in her aims. A feminine abortion whose heaven was to be reached only through the milli ner's and the dressmaker's door. A thing with head and arms and legs, whose final end of existence was to be found in simpering flirtations with men who only tolerated her because of her father's wealth, and whose daily liturgy was the fashion book. Finally an entity so eaten up with self and pride of wealth, that she was little else than a. social pest. Had Edith known the depth of Charles's ingratitude, with what un mitigated contempt and aversion she would have regarded him. Ada at first had been inclined to at tribute his enstrangement from her, to the grief and shame that he must have experienced at the miscarriage of all his wild dreams of success, in his va rious ventures, and at the poverty which he had brought upon them both. But something whispered her from time to time, and caused her sad mis givings, that if he cared for her he would seek in her society the consola tion that she could afford him for the loss of their fortune. " Am I not still left to him ?" she would think, "and can he not find in me that hap piness that he sought in vain in his scramble for fame and wealth ?" . Edith no longer ventured to amuse herself by rallying Ada about the pre paration for the wedding. In fact such was the pervading gloom of Mr. Grin nidge's erstwhile cosy happy parlor, . that even Mr. Pipkins scarcely dared to sigh as was his wont when seated by Edith, lest it should remind Ada of him who ought to be faithfully at her side, of. him who could never manifest sufficiently his devotion to her.,. As for Mr. Grinnidge, he occupied all his .pare moments in running about from Splace to place, and .importuning his Sacquaintances to find some congenial employment for Ada's cousin. "Certainly your Charles's behaviour is of all things the most extraordinary. We never see. him. He comes home late at night, hastens to his room, and hurries away the first thing in the Smorning. Perhaps he has conceived -. some-new project for making a fortune, S:and one of these fine days we shall she , him rushing in, radiant with joy, pre pared to restore you the money of which you have deprived yourself to relieve him from his dificulties, and having ordered a wedding-cake, claim you on his bended knees, in knight-like fashion, for his liege and lawful brila" exclaimed Edith, suddenly breaking silence, one evening,, when they hiad been more than ordinarily, dull and cheerless . Ada, shaking her head sorrowfully, reply. Mr. Pipkins, opening his mouth for the first time since he

ad mide: his :.bow..'at :si=En o'clock oa entering, said , i: : "'I know. why' Mr. Charles : is so little at home now; and why; when he is, he appears to be so absorbed in his own reflections. I met him to-dity in town in the lunch hour', and we had a long talk. He spoke to me of the Mullocks, some new acquaintances of his, exceedingly rich. It seems he spends the greater part of his' time .there. They have a daughter, a Miss Sophonisba, and Charles in a joke told me she was desperately in love with him. He says she will come into an immense fortune. She would.have him to-morrow for the asking, but that his honor was: involved, since ' he was already pledged to Miss Ada; and that he would riot have her on; any account." "Mr. Pipkins, what do you. mean sir, by coming here: with` these' idle tales. You are a traducer,' sir, Mr. Charles never told you anything of the sort," said'Edith, speaking withunusual vehemence even for her. "I swear to you, Miss Edith, I have told you nothing but what Charles himself said to me," ejaculated the terrified civil servant. "I can assure you he told me over and over again, that he looked upon himself as Miss Ada's husband, that he was tied to her by bonds of gratitude * *" Edith started from her chair, to render what assistance she could to Ada, who overcome by emotion, had fainted away, and was on the point of falling on the floor. "Open the window, you stupid fellow ! Bring me the smelling salts from the chimneypiecel Hold her while Ibatheher-forehead 0 ! you wicked man, to tell her all this ! I hate you I Get out of the room, sir! What do you mean by this conduct, sir ? Never let me see your face again !" said Edith to the dismayed Mr. Pip kins, aghast with the commotion he had produced. (To be continued.)