Chapter 62144536

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter TitleHOTEL KEW-JOHN BROWN'S INTENTION-FAITHFUL-SCHOOL-START FOR DIGGINGS.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62144536
Full Date1884-08-16
Page Number6
Corrections0
Word Count2705
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleClarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW : 1859 - 1889)
Trove TitleJohn Brown and His Dog Faithful
article text

CHAPTER IV.

HOTEL KEW-JOHN BROWN'S INTENTION-FAITH-

FUL- SOUOOL-START FOB DIOGINOB.

Tho reader must suppose one mouth «ince what is recorded in the last chapter happened to have

passed, Mrs Handslip still remaining at the hotel, !

for reosonB of her own. Had «ho been a widow of ono year, one standing by with a oritioal eye might have'said she was throwing her widow's oap at Achates, but Beeing she was only. one month in widow's weeds, and not one year-society's embargo -we won't, reader, hand down to bo recorded in the archives of history suoh a slander, even by a mAhper. If wo did, the spirit of John Brown might visit us some night, in our midnight vigil, and rebuke us as ho did the landlord of tho hotel, when ho said to our hero in a jocular way :

"Tho 'widow seems rather 'hit' towards your friend." ,v . "j:,",,,. , ,. '..,., ,,,'.,

John Brown's' brow lowered a moment,'and then looking straight at boniface said,; , ,

" If it be wrong to rob one of tho sterner soz man^-bf his good name, how much more dofonoo Icss.waman, It is said that the oharaoter of. no man, however high ho may bo in the social Bcalo of life, however true,'to nil appearance, he may bc, should bo written by his bosom friend. It is a tru. ism wo all should romcmber, for none are porfect whisporerB, backbiters are as plentiful as blaok ber- ries, and inoreaso With the oyolo of tho age, especially aguinet tho-daughters of Eve.' Man should hot be oynical, ever snarling vituperation; it . is an ill savour, in tho nostrils of any truo man. A whiepor of wrong/is a seed of suspicion sown, and quickly germinates in the prolifla soil of slander mongers. Many a puro-mlndod woman has boen whispered out of Boolety, and into the.cold grave. .How will it bo with Buch cloven-footed cynics , in tho other

world? ' Will they go on whispering ? Fill up tho hiatus of their oxtstonco by whispering soma new thing? What a grand day for suoh a jubiloo of news-mongers 1 . Grand gala day of wagging tongues ! Somi-henvon for gossips ! stopping every now and then to enquire at the iron gato of hell eaoh now arri val; from this world, 1 What is the last dish of scandal from Kew ?'"

Tho landlord quailed in his shoes at this tirade of John Brown's, It'was a caso of ila trop, BO he meekly said, . ..-,

' "Pooplo will talk, sir. How aro you going to stop lt?" ' '?'' '' "- ':- ' '

John Brown ropliod, "By English law, every per- son ' ia innooont till proved guilty, If you liston nil limit protest to slander, you are as bad, perhaps worso, than the , slanderer. You, hold tho bag of corruption, while forked tongues fill it. Remember, tho recoiver of stolen wares ts considered, ovou by human laws, as bad aa the thief. How muoh moro so by tho divine codo. I remember reading au old author who stated, that thoso who spoke slander; and thoso who accepted it, ought to ba hangod ns high as Haman ; one by the ear, and tho othor by tho tongue Have you a high gallows at Kow,'in proper rig ? 'Chaonn à toiigoílt." (Every ono to his tasto.) '' ' .'?_ "': ;' '.' ?

Tho landlord waa nonplussed, so walked away

"hit."

So reader, mo must not bring John Brown from his rostías the Witch of Endor, disquiet him as Samuol was by Saul; in like manner receive a casti- gation that would make our ears tingle for ovor and a day. So wo will lot Mrs Handslip and Aobatos, at nil ovonts alone for tho present, ' But Btill, in writ- ing my reminiscences of days long gono by, I must speak, in the delineation of,Mrs Handsllp's cha- racter ; I must bo true, so must write accordingly, and risk an apparition of oven John Brown's, so pro-

ceed.

Mrs Handsllp saw dally that Hebe and John Brown woro becoming fast frionda, " quito a protege of his," sho would murmur with a self-satisfied Binllo, whon sha found tho barrister was out at tho olbows.

Lyndhurst woighed tho pro ct eon of his position in'connection with tho widow; he did not wish to bo saddled with further expenso-" shelling out," as he called it, for his late brother's wife ; so her proximity was not pleasant, hor propinquity danger- ous ?itï tho extremo to his '-pocket. So 7 ho told her enough of his affairs, thoro was danger ot him having rhetimatUm in tho olbows ; that a barrister's position in a pecuniary way in Melbourne was not Uko London, Ho only gava an ex parte reason for tho dearth of work. No casos, petty-fogging lawyers, ' leo., Sea. He preferred a kind of Bohemian life ; would go to tho diggings and make a fortuno, of course for Hebe. Ho set his face against Mrs Hand slip going ¡back to England ; Melbourne was her best place, oould do moro with her money ; plenty of wealthy men ; she would yet inake a name. So ho talked to this woman of the . world. He would

soon return and gire her aid, ¿o., 4co. .

So when Mn {landslip aaw her platform of expec

tatton sod hops so drift infamy aa far as lyndhurst waa ooaoaraed', sha sauted OB John Brown and Heh* ia their oomnaaionahip and tate a téta. Baa wasted to tate rooney, and if thia Bohemian (as she called John Brown) woald take Hebe ander bis wing-, she would be the gainer.

Hebe during the month had read and re-read all her dead mother's letters, ransacked the doak *o as to learn all she could of her mother. The letters were of the usual kind from a loving wife to an affection- ate! husband. Hebe found nothing more.

Lyndhurst queried her one day on the subject of

the letters in the escritoire.

Her simple reply waa, " They were only loving letters from dear mamma to my own papa ; then waved him off, with the hauteur of an old maid, aa she always did.

Lyndhurst seemed perfectly satisfied with Hebe's reply.

The child had grown very dear to John Brown, and the feeling wau strongly reciprocated by the orphan.

John and Achates went for their stroll aa usual, accompanied by Hebe and Faithful, the old dog act- ing OB her body guard, as she scampered along by his side, leaving tho " inseparables " to converse.

" Well, Achates, what do you think ? I will be guided by you."

" I think, John, yen can safely make the offer ; tho dark rotte should be educated, removed from her present surroundings ; that woman is not the per- son to train her. Separate them as much as possible, till the child's character is formed. Yes, John, I strongly agree in what you have said to me."

" Well, Achates, if that be your viow regarding our little mutual friend, the sooner the mutter is set at rest, one way or the other, the butter ; lost time to the ohilá is lost opportunity," and John Brown went on stroking his massive beard. " It is quite evident the unole is short of £ s d ; dearth of work, unfortunate like many moro, his natal plunoc under a cloud. So he cannot educate the orphan. Then as for Hrs Handslip, I fancy by what she soys, she hos some crooked lanes before her to face. Poverty is no disgrace, but a misfortune, as I told her yesterday ; and as you say, she is not a desirablo woman for Hebe to be with to receive hor training. I am glad you agree with me, Achates. I will abide my time to speak, then we can put your plans and strong wishes into execution, by having a turn at the gold fields. Pick and shovel life will be new to us both, und something to talk about in tho old oountry to the ' old folks at home.' "

By the bye, John, did Hundslip say anything to you about his turning digger ?"

"No, said John Brown, looking at his friend's face quiokly.

" Well, I don't wonder in some ways,'' ejaculated Aohates, " lor you at all times look so solemn at the poor fellow, look at him as if you were studying a page of tho ' whole duty of mon,' or some other re-; ligious work, and when you leave him, you seem to turn down the page until you meet again, then the olose study goes on ns before. You generally unravel mysteries quiokly, but 1 fuuoy you have an intricate problem that puzzles you at times."

John Brown simply said, " tío on," taking a hair

from his beard.

" Woll, this morning, before he wont to his olfiae, and you were engaged os usual with your ¿tratiye,

I had some conversation with him about our in- tention to seo tho gold fields. Ho immediately said, that was his intention, and that ho had told Mrs Handslip so ; that making money in Melbourne os a barrister was too slow, ito. ; would we allow him to join us and so on, and so on,"

" Well Aohates, if you think well, let him join us ; for my part, I shall be glad if you so will it, for 1 want to study this undo more. I will acknowledge he is o bit of an enigma to me, Hube's repugnance to him weighs ou my mind ; hor pure ohild mind tells her what I cannot fathom. He is a auto man, bred to the law. Yes, Aohates, you are right, I /ww buen trying r i read him as a page of a book. I want to know more of him, for Hebe's sake. I valuo a ohild s opinion in judging oharaoter, so either the little one is altogether at fault, or CIBO he is a perfect Janus (two faocd). He wanted to make friends with Faithful when tho old dog waslyingdown beside Hebe the othor evening, but Sir Oraolo jumped up, shook himself, and showed his teeth, and watched quaking HandBlip return to his Beat, then he turned round, licked Hube's hand, and then oomposed himself nt her feet. Tho barrister asked me, when walking to his ohair. If the dog would bite. I passed it off by saying, ' Faithful is in terror ot the lam, for he was locked up one time for nearly killing a police- man, simply because ho was a policeman. Ho has never forgotten tho smell of the oourt, for he had to appear, and I had to pay. Ho amelia Uno when you go near him, so is prepared to wage war with you to

the teeth,"

As John Brown finished, Hebe came up and took each of the *' inseparables " by a hand, asking if they had forgotten all about dinner. At this hint tho two f Honda returned to the hotel.

Lyndhurst was engaged with a case iu Oourt that was to be finished that night for the judge's con- venience, so ho was away the whole evening.

After tile evening dinner, Hebe as usual drew near to John Brown, to bo taken notice of, and engage him in conversation ; while Faithful plaoed

himself at his master's feet.

John Brown sat looking very grave, stroking his flowing beard.

Tho brunette stroked hia hand with her Bmall downy hand, and looked up into his face. . Still ho remained in his reverie. After a time she sat at his feet, and fondled hor presorver tho Newfoundland, but the dog too was indifferent to her caresses, he only looked up at his master's face, end at once entered into his master's spirit, then seemed to shake his head at his child companion, as rnuoh as to say, " master is in deep thought," and at onoo closed his

eyes. -.-.

Hebe at once rose, with a gentle sigh, so gentío ns hardly to oauso a ripple in the air, but it caught the ear of John Brown, for ho put out his hand and said, ; . ¡ ? . i..--:-.-. ??;

: " Why sigh, ray ohild ?" and drew ber to his Bide, and stroked her fine, soft blaok hair. .1

Her only reply was, "Mr Brown, I want you to play chess." ;

"Not to-night, my ohild; I have, taught you BO far to play, that I think for this ovaning, you might venture to ask Mr Aohates to play with you, if ho will give you tho Queon and one Book."

When John Brown found Aohatos and Hebe fully absorbed in thoir game, ho orossed to tho far end of the ' room, where Mrs Handslip was sitting, and sat by her side' on tho couoh, or ottoman. ; '

After some littlo timo Bpont in desultory conver- sation, John Brown lod Mrs Handslip to speak of hor step-child's education; the crafty woman was equal to tho occasion, pleaded poverty, Lyndhurst's inability, his intention of going to tho gold fields, icc, ¿cc, ko.

. Mrs Handslip's real fooling was to marry again, and she thought Hebe's prosonco would toll against her in tho matrimonial market.

So when John Brown unfolded to her his thoughts of being responsible for the girl's education, if she and Lyndhurst were willing, Mrs Handslip seized on the offor with tho greatest avidity, and all tho .sophistry a woman of hor stamp was oapablo of. Her thanks were groat, and uttered with gushing

tears. '

She clasped the hand of John Brown, and mur- mured, " My own dear door Hebe."

Strongly. Brown stipulated that ho should have tho choosing of tho sohool ; on no other terms would ho move furthor in the matter. This was agreed to.

The next day Lyndhurst was consulted, und acceded to all tho arrangements that John Brown should have entire control of Hebe to the finishing of her education.

Hobe rebelled for a timo, whon informed, for she loved not school ; dreaded restraint ; and abhorred tho thought of music, being made to practice too muon in England, under the governess she had.

She coaxingly asked John Brown to let her havo Faithful to bo with her at school, then she would bo a good ohild, obedient, ¿cc, icc.

John showed the impossibility of this; how his dog must go with him.

Hebe after a littlemore ponting, became satisfied.

So Hebe was plaoed at a good valuable sohool at Castlemaine, conducted by two ladies well-known (in England), to John Brown.

Lyudaarst joined Achates and hU oompaaiom ter oho gala IsUs, aU dasidingtogo to tao Blackwood diggings, taara Mn* a rna* rash there thea, kar- ia* ata Bandana ia Mafboame to shake the dies of matriseoay. Hooaehold gods. .

Baader, we left De Wert and Baoohos again drift- ing asander after De Wart's Tain attempt to fasten the two parts of the raft together.

With a sad, sorrowful feeling, De Wert witnessed the drifting away of Bacchus portion of the * aft, with its living freight, and heard the maniacal laugh of the fast bound man-a laugh that sounded farand near on the tempest-tossed ocean, and smote the ears of De Wert aa a death-knell. To all appearance it was aa if cha two Buffering men had escaped Scylla (a rook where a fearful monster lived-Tasmania), to fall into Charyldis (a dangerous whirlpool, oppo- site Scylla), by their separation.

De Wert was powerless to stretch out a helping hand to save his companion. In that dire moment, Da Wert sent np a prayer to the Baler of the Uni- verse for Bacchus-our necessities are God's oppor- tunities. Half-an-hour after the separation, the " Sir William Denuon " steamer, that ran between Hobart Town and Melbourne, o ame past, bound for the latter port, and picked the two men up, after much trouble, especially with Bacchus.