Chapter 62144722

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter Url
Full Date1884-09-06
Page Number6
Word Count5105
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

... J ,r 0HAPTER x>



What la wanting: in women, ts the intermediate aentl mont between love and hate. She knows noth-

ing of that weapon of the strong maa--indifference.

Mn Handalip wa«' OM mob..

Her huaband ame kasad ara he paasad ore« to the great' majority, henea.aa he had been unfortunate iß bosiness transactions ; had failed in the cycle of events, through no faatft ot his, like thon sands of other business men, merchants and shipowners at home. She had been loitered from her right pedestal, aa she considered ; removed from the niche she thought providence intended her to occupy.

How men and women would-yea, dilly-aim to drag down providence to their own baas level. Not Thy will mia«, but mine Thine, they inwardly ejacu- late to the Great Architect of the universe.

Mn Handslip forgot that portion of the marriage service, " To have and to hold from thia dey far ward, for better for worst, tot rioher for poorer .... till death ne do part."

Hebe she hated in her heart, for she feared the child being a barden to her-a hindrance in the matrimonial market. She waa the jnioe-the essenoe of too many stepmothers. Not all ; but many. A selfish person's throne is very small and narrow. You may sit (hie sepultus) at the throne ; but not to Bway the sceptro, or sit on the higher elevation. Self, lem non scripta. (Common law.)

Self ever speaks em eathedrâ.

It is a law of the Medea and Persians, that alters not.-Do not aa I do ; but do as I say. Yours is mine, and mine is my own. Bis. (Twice, repeated.)

Mrs Handslip could be as mild as the moonbeams, or burning as the meridian sun's rays. She could give you a sacoharine smile, emphasised by a pressure of her hand of molasses : or show her teeth, and unsheath her olaws, with any felino or canine


After the departure from the hotel of the party for the diggings, Mrs Handslip went into highly respect- able lodgings, saying it would be well worth her while to do that, so as to meet with more people than tho hotel at Kew afforded ; in short, single gentle- men of means-muttering to herself with a smile of a coquette,

" Ce «.' est que to premier pas qui coûte. (It is onlv the first step that is difficult.) Wealth and position must bo my aim. I can see well from Lyndhurst that I must not depend on him ¡ I must put on my couleur tin rose, and fight my own


She wrote ono lotter, as before said; to Hebe, and that was to got the address of John Brown,'that she might write to Lyndhurst to sound bim on the point of his success, Baying,

" Well, he should know to an extent ot my move- ments. Use the oil of sweetness, for ' he might become wealthy at the diggings, tm&possibly become

useful to me."

At the end of about twelve months after, Mrs Handslip-or, to give her her full name, Mrs Psyche Handsllpi'-left Kew, and took up ber quarters at " Tempe House."

Sho sat in the morning room, sipping a oup of green tea, having not long descended from her chamber, tho' it was nearly 11 a.m. Sha was con- versing with tho landlady, Mrs Pandora.

. This Mrs Pandora was a wizen-fooed, sharp-nosed, wry-neoked woman, with sharp, searching eyes, and fair supply of red hair. (I beg her pardon, for the red-headed fomale child is spoken of as auburn, or gulden, when »ho becomes a lady ; while the red- headed boy remainB red-headed as long as lifo romains.) She never looked at you when she spoke, but took quiok, fugitive glances at you when she thought you were not looking at her.

" Hum," said Mrs Pandora to herself, after casting one of her swift glances of inspection, and then lowering hor eyes, as if studying a square in the carpet , near her foet, 11 Hum, you have got too much' runga on your cheeks. I never did admire your feet, so you neei not show them that way. I do believe you dye your hair. Well, I prefer my golden tresses, and round went the woodpecker, wryneck again for another fugitive glance of summing up, " I question if those rings are diamonds. I oannot seo what Mr Littloheart can see in you to admire,"

" Woll, Mrs Pandora, wo spent a delightful day yesterday at St. Kilda. I BO missed my poor hus- band," and tho handkerchief went up to the oyes, " he was so thoughtful and affectionate. I will never soe his Uko again," heaving a deep sigh. While Mrs Pandora muttered, " Bosh I All widows say that. Yet I don't ; tho' I was only married two yours whon old Pandora died."

" Ah, dear I Mrs Handslip, what about Mr Little heart? Ha, ha, ha," studying the square in tho carpet.

" Yes, Mr Littteheart is nice. Do you think ho is really wealthy ?". ' ' - ,

Oh I that s your gamo," soliloquised Mrs Pandora |' and then aloud, " wealthy, did you say ? Strange Mr Littloheart put that Bame question to me about you this morning," ' Said with a vinegar ohuokle to her- self, as muon as to say, take that. " I mention this to you in confidence, dear Mrs Handslip, for I never speak or'ropeot what any of my boarders Bay to me."

. " But you have not replied to my query." Mrs Handslip was too much a diplomatist te let the woman before her see,that she waa ruffled by Mr Llttlekeart's question.

" Well,''ray dear, I think he is well to do. He al- ways pays me when tho money is duo."

'. Oh, yes, that reminds me I niüBt go to tho bank to-day, for I ara.indebted to you for three month's board ;, very careless of. me, really. I do so miss my dour husband, for ho always attended to those matters. I'll go to tho bunk at onoe," rising and leaving the room kissing her Judas' fingers to Mrs Pandora.

" Oh I Mr L., I must learn more of you. Askod if I : were wealthy, really wealthy," ejaculated ? Mrs Psyche Handslip, as she walked down the street. " Shall I pay this woman, or not. I'll see ; she is a cat."

Mrs Pandora did not Bay what reply she gave to Mr Littleheart's query. It was, " Shoappears to have money, tho' Bhe has not paid mo anything for some months," Littleheart going away murmuring to him- self. ,

So,. so,, Psycho, I must know , more of your finances oro I play tho fool.: Havo you been playing me falso by your hints; of independence? Well, Ü BO, it is a caso of, money-hunter venus cash-hunter. Ha, ha, ha. Ilute contre ruse." (Diamond out dia- mond.) ,

',' How glad I am to meet you, Mn Handslip. I missed you this morning at breakfast os usual. Are you going far, or on business bent ?" r

" Woll, Mr Littleheart, I was only on my way to

my bankers." This was said aa o feeler, not knowing, what tho landlady had said regarding the three months money due. " But this afternoon will do, now I have met you," with a coquettish smile. "I feel a drive would do me good. My bead oohed very much lost night and early this morning."

" Yes, a drivo tho order of the day, and a stroll on tho beach."

v On Sandridge beach, fencing commenced between tho two. First tierce, or thrust, by Mrs Psyohe Handslip

" I have serious thoughts of returning to England." That will make him deolaro his love, eohocd the widow.

Parry, Mr Littloheart: " Rathersuddondetermina- tion, is it not Mrs Handslip?" with coup d'ail. (Rapid glance of tho oyo.) '

Tieroo second-" Perhaps so ; but all lost night I was thinking of my dear friends in England ana my lost husband. I was going this morning to consult my banker about speculating in minos, bank shares, shipping, or houso property. You understand these matten ; for, os au independent man, you have tried, or are perhaps up to your neck in spéculations. Tell ino which you havo found the most profitable ?"

Parry two-" Haw, haw ; I hovo not bnrnt my fingers yet. (Quite true; novor having enough money to speculate.) I am on the heels of a specu- lation now, but it is only yet sub judice." Then Littloheart bared tho point of his sword, " If I may ask, Mn Handslip, what nmonnt would you bo pre ? pared to venture in a good speculation, if I pointed one out. Say a five ar six thousand pound venture, whoro you would be well repaid at high interest. Sholl I say this sum ?"

" He bares his lance," thought the widow, and thinks this will be my coup de grace. " Aha, ho little knows


" Well, Mr Littleheart, I make it a strict rule never to enter into speculative negotiations without con- sulting my man of business ;" and she thought I have parried your lance there. Now for your coup de main (quid pro quo). "My husband waa very wealthy ; but, you know, he was so ill that he died

almost as soon as he landed hen. What has been your largest ventura in money matters?'1

" Haw, ha*. I prate living on my m cana gener- ally, aa look before I leap ; thal ia why my specula- tion (he did-not say the speealatiou waa aoaae rieh woman aa a wife) ia'atill under consideration." So thia Littlaheart went on, " Yoar money I would be equally careful of."

So thia tieroing and parrying went on, leaving each other aa ignorant of the other's affairs as they wero beforj they commenoad walking; on the sand-the aanaVa flt emblem of each.

Irrxheir words we aee how near the truth many will go, yet apeak untruth ; a lie not in word, but in intent. Each in after years eonld have said, " Mo lie 1 told you ; the inference you drew ia your own look out.

Yet, how often is it, aa untruth a day old is desig- nated a lie ; a lie a year old. a falsehood ; a century old, a legend. So the world goes on. Half a truth is in most esses worse than a lie ; it ia a lie and deceit united-one a aubstauoe, the other a ah adow. Flesh, bones, sinews, you eau grasp-hold, wrestle with, to victory ; the deceit-a shadow on the wall, that eludes your grasp, bomas your efforts, escapes you as by stratagem-but leaves the smell of " Gehenna " too often on your life and doings. Innuendos what lawyer can oope with ; what king's sceptre can demolish ? Serpents in the grass, worse than the hydra killed by Hercules ; for Heroules did kill tho munster viper with seven heads. An innuendo penetrates the joints in the armour of steel. You see not your adversary, but you feel the poisoned arrow. A miasma floating in the air around ; you cannot, cannot grasp-a hidden torpedo placed under your ship of peace. It follows you into society as a shadow, accompanies you in your business transac- tions, enters the sacred presence of your family ; yet what can you do I You Bay perhaps-aha, aha, with Damocles, yet you feel the keen-edged sword hang- ing over your head as you preside at the banquet of conviviality. No hilarious mirth, or hilarity of cheerfulness, can sponge up the malaria-fetid air.

Such the drama too often a representation of action* in human life.

Give mo the fearless liar before the innuondoist ; tho highwayman before the crawling, midnight assassin ; the open bowl of poison before the serpent ring encircling the finger of a Judas' hand that presses, while the subtle poison is injeoted and sent coursing through my veins. Give me a Cerberus before a Janus ; unalloyed poison before infinitesimal doses that insidiously (in an insicoation way) treacherously eat, and eat the core of life-sapping up the vieil powers, undermining the brain-(" that home of thought, and palace of the soul ; the most beautifully organised strooturein tho human frame the source of will, the centra of sensation-the material instrument of the intelligence.") Wrecking the constitution aud work of the Great Architect, till it totters, falls, dies. In the one ease a skilful jEaoulapius oan overcome, while in tho other, no power below hoaven itself can thwart.

We are all born with eyes, but only possess one tongue, that we may see twice as much as we say. Were, this more acted on, that sin would be avoided of looking at the sin of a neighbour through a telescope, and of our own wrong with che telescope reversed.

. »....?».

Lyndhurst was perfectly staggered at the mysteri- ous disappearance of his swag ; lingered about Daylesford some two weeks, in hopes the police would get some trace of it ; and then-to use a pugilistic expression-he threw up the sponge of hope regarding the deeds, He was nonplussed-thwarted in his Boheme, but like every other man created with an immortalsoul, be he Hottentot or Asiatio, Esquimaux or European. Lyndhurst was not bsd from the roots of his hair to the soles of his feet. The matrix of

better things was not dead ; the embryo of a higher lifo was bruised, bleeding, but the germ of life


So, tho' he had not the manly, moral oourago to write to John Brown and confess his wrong, ho sut to work to save the property by writing an anonymous lotter, ungrammatical and illspelt, to Lawyer Quill, saying, " Be on the watch on John Brown's behalf, for the deeds have been stolen."

Reader, say not this was a dog in the manger act. Rise above such u low, sweeping assertion ; for the history of mun individually and collectively, people and nations from tho Torrid Zone to the North Pole -show there is a vein of good in even the worst. i/o»t ««ti qui mal' y pvme.

When Lawyer Quill received the soiled scrawl, he was puzzled, for he knew the deeds were safo in the bank. So ho wrote John Brown to see if he could throw any light on the cause of the letter ; and Brown's simple reply was, " Insanity was common, and maniacs showed their sport or freaks by oaeoéthim laribmtdi," asking the lawyer to impound the letter for him ; finishing up by a ludicrous question, or joke, " Are blacksmiths who live by forging, or carpenters who gut their bread by oounterfitting, any worse than men who sell iron and «ted."

" There," said John Brown, " That will put old Quill in good humour, lt is my own business if I let Lyndhurst go free ; no one suffers by it, and Hebe must be thought of. Lyndhurst I Lyndhurst I I would that I oould save you. I won't sound your death knell by imprisonment, hiinmnunt eat errare. (To err is human.)

Lyndhurst went on to Melbourne after pelting his letter to lawyor Quill, hoping, as ho walked Bourke atreet, he would not drop across Mrs Psyche Handslip, muttering to himself, os he pulled down his cuffs, "Women of her kind are leeohes; worse than a vampiro attorney. No, my dear, you can go ta Bath."

»' * . . . . '. * a,

John Brown, after reaching Daylesford, went on to Castlemaine to see Hebe and his old friends who kept the school. It was but port ot a day's journey'

on horseback.

Tho horse trotted along, and so did the old dog ; but after souio few milos, the Newfoundland showed a good deal of crabbedness at his master's mode of going on, throwing himself in tho way aa much os to say, ' Turn about, master ; you take ray place, and I your's for a ohange V

By kind words from John Brown, onward the old dog went, till at last the Castlemaine hotel was reached-that well-oonduatcd and grand hostelry of the palmy days of Custlemaino, ever alive with the arrival and departure of Cobb's to and from Melbourne.

feomo of the very best Amerloan whips mounted tho box there. Horses that knew and did their work ; teams of noble animals that were a credit to grooms, drivers, and owners. The noble steeds knew who held the ribbons, Six horses in each team. One ! Amerloan I have seen mount the box with twenty

four greys in hand ; drive away, and return with his twenty-four, eafo and Bound. The leaders were his backbone ; on them ho depended.

The mutual reception on meeting of Hobe and Faithful was warm. The Newfoundland stood and looked, at Hebe when sho entered the room, and as soon as he hoard her voloe, he gave a whine of full recognition, and was at her side licking her hands in a moment ; and during the whole evening ho lay at her feet, and when John Brown rose to depart, allowed an indecision to accompany his master.

" Like Achates," said John Brown, with a smile, to tho ladles, " is thu old dog in the way of weakness

for the fair sex."

Next day John Brown and Hebe had the after- noon to themselves.

" Well, my child, I need not ask you aro you happy ; the look of your face last night was enough to show mo you are in good hands. I know well your kind teachers in England. Let mo say I am moro than pleased at what I am told of your diligence and pro- gress in your studios. Teachers must work from high moral-yea, Christ-like principles. They are what the sculptor is to the rough block of marble ; what the artist is to tho newly-stretched canvas on his easel before him ; or the potter, with the olay on his work table. Still, on the other hand, thc marbia must be of good grain ; tho canvas of a right toi- ture ; the clay of a right stamp-eaoh having a parc to play. So the tcaoher and tho taught have each a work to do, to moko education perfect. The teacher firm, judioious, working from a high principle basis ; while tho pupil should bo amenable to order, pliable

in disposition, and diligent in study. Now, my ahild, as I havo tho h igheat confidonce in your teoohers, and find you yourself aro carrying out the other part of the noble compact, my mind is fully at rest, and I predict a bright future for you. May the Great Father above bless you, who lores us all, and created tho smallest flower that gives it's fragrance to bo carried by the zephyr breeze to we know not where i to tho ginnt oak that throws its cooling shade upon man or beast j formed the tiny pebblo to the glgantio crag ; and listons to his winged ohoristcrs-the

DIMS-in nature s cathedral. Ail, Hebe-man and

beast, bird and flower, landscape and the beauties of tho sky abovo-all, all brought into being by your God and mine. Do you understand me, Hebe !" lay- ing his hand affectionately on hor shoulder. " Is my language too high fer you J I think not ; for I {eel you understand oren beyond yonr years, and your intellect hos developed maoh sinoe you came here."

"Ko, no, Mr Brown, I do understand you. Toa are wise and good; your talk has done me good.

?ad oat loaf letters bar« aa opsaad ay «miad to srjiritnal tauags-to God, ta asavan, ta dattes wail« oa «arta. I think ot n a« paranta at nat-at pearn-ia tBaa«rf*Ja*m My mamma taught me to pray ; too roana; I «ras for mach more. Papa taught me of the beauties af aatare, as far aa his time per- mitted aad my yoong miad could grasp. Toa, by your dear letters and words, hare taught aie to look thronga aatare ap to nature's Ood. I see Ood ia everything now ; I never walk ont alone bat I learn some 1-m. from the busy bas to the labouring nat. I love to sit alone in the evenings aad watch the stan, and think of my happy parents beyond those stan ; not, dear air, in sorrow, bat in joy. toar letton have taaght me to feel differently even towards my nnole, so I include him in my prayer« now. Thank you for your letters. I thank Jesus for them-for my kind teachers (with tsars rolling down Hebe's ohasks). I thank the Saviour for your goodness te rae, an orphan ohild."

John Btown pressed her hand, and his lips moved. None bat the all-hearing One ever knew what the silent «peech was.

After a pause, to bring Hebe back to herself, John Brown «aid,

" And how did you spend your two vacations. I suppose with your mamma ?"

"No," replied the brunette, with a slight tremor in her voice. "No. Mr Brown, I wrote ray step

mamma a week before the commencement of the

first vacation, and she replied in such cold tones ; asked me for your address, and finished up by saying it would not be convenient te reoeive rae, and to I attend to my studios, and not mind vacations and gushing letters. I knew not what to think. I wrote her again in roference to the nert holiday, but never received a reply. Wrote a second letter; still she

remained silent."

John Brown ;knit his brows during Hebe's words, these thoughts fast running through his brain : " Here is a child ready to render filial obedience, wanting love and sympathy in her early school life, to be made feel she is not alone in tho world, met on tho threshold of her young heart's glee and joy of meeting one who knew her father-filled her dead mother's place, mat by coldness, rebuke, and aus- terity, oaring not if the orphan ia left crushed, bleeding on the altar of her dictum. The votaress of the Ganges is not more cruel, for the innocent babes enter rest, Tho votary of Juggernaut acts with better spirit, for he sacrifices kimmi/. Both the votaress and tho votary have been trained from the breast to their mode of worship, appeasing the wrath of their gods ; but here is a woman born and educated in a Christian land, that would offer up on the altar of ml/ a crushed and bleeding heart-tear the very heart out, bruise it, 'ook at it, and pass on to the other side-her oonduot worthy of tho Auto da fé."

Bach were soma of the thoughts that flashed - through John Brown's mind, aa he detected the tremor in the voioe of the orphan, and heard her speak.

Then stroking his beard, and with an effort to ehange the bent of his thoughts, he soliloquised, '' I must act in tho spirit towards this woman of the msn who had only one eye, when he said he always turned the blind eye to look when he looked on faults of others. I must aid Hebe to bear this oruel blow. I know not what yet she may have to meet ; we know not what a day will bring forth. Yet I fully think the kindest thing from the Creation that heaven has done for humanity, is denying the power of looking through the telescope of the futute. What saint or sage could bear it? Faculties un- hinged, life marred, death in the wake I Yes, now is my time, for opportunities are very sensitive ; if you negleot their first call, they too often vanish for


" My ohild, be not east down. Your mother (step- mother, murmured Hebe, to herself) may not have been well when she- wrote ; she may have been troubled. I would liku you to try and remember no two flowers are exactly alike. 80 it 1B with per- sons ; wo all have our own distinot characteristics. It is so with Mr Aohates and myself, yet we dearly love each other. One person speaks to you loud, os if you were deaf ; another in a kind of ethereal whisper, or .(Eolian harp sound. Now, each such person means well to you. So it is in writing. A friend of mine always writes like as if he had just drunk a pint of strong vinegar, that if a stranger read his letters to me, he would think the writer was a crabby fellow, but I know it is noe so. I have another friend who writes as if he were a kind of bee. gathering honey all day ; but ho has too much sugar, I sometimes think, to Btand the waves of trial. I have two other friends ; ono writes the letters in each word BO thiok, you would think he had the body of a fly at tho end of his pon, and the other writes us if he wroto with a leg of a fly, it is BO line. Now, my ohild, both these gentlemen have the kindest hearts. And further, people express themselves in different ways, when they write ; BO we must not judge hastily. Now, my ohild, think of the word in going through life- oharacterUtio."

"Tes, I will try ; another lesson you have taught me. Only my t^mamma spoke so unkindly of dear papa-reminded me how he died poor, tho' he left her one thousand pounds. She blamed him for her present position. She spoke so very unkindly. I will not soy any more."

"The virago! Tho termagant 1" muttered John Brown, calling Faithful to his side, to collect his mind, and divert Hebe's train of thoughts,

" I must tell you, my obild, all about master Faithful's behaviour since he went to tho diggings ¡ not to dig for gold, but apprehend policemen."

And he told her all, except about Bacchus, and Lyndhurst'8 swag. .

As soon SB thia was done, on their way homo Hebe said, ' "

"I have not told you Mr. Brown, that my uncle called on his way to Melbourne."" .

Involuntarily, John Brown said, ' " I thought he was not going to the oity, but to Ballarat ?" , , 7 '? -

"Yes, unolo explained that. He said,he waa only going down for a few days, on .business,..before he settled at Ballarat, and that his stay'inJown would be so short that he would not be able to call upon Btep-mamma ; so if sha asked me about him, to say I did not know whoro he was-that I hud not seen

him." :' :" ? ?'';?'<;".'? ; '' ";?..

" Duplicity I. duplioity I. injected1 into' a1 ohild's mind. Oh, Lyndhurst, I forgive you for your action to me, but not for this," solf-oommuned ?' John Brown.

"Hobo, my ohild, I must bo true to you. "Keep nothing back from your mother on this point,'if she asks you. Lot your motto in life be, truth in mord and deed."

"1 had courage enough, sir, to tell undo I would not tell a lie. Then he said, ' It does not matter,' and laughed it off. Ho thon said he wanted to bay me a handsome present, and have mamma's writing desk done up ana varnished for mo, and get a silver plato put on it, with my naroo ; so if I would givo it to him,he would take it to Melbourne, and:bring it back with him. Now, Mr Brown, unole seems curious about this escritoire. ' I don't know why, but something made, me rofuse his offer. Did I do

" Yes, my child, don't let it poss out of your hands. Have you searched it well ?"

... " Tes, and only found dear mamma's old letters to papa." -

. " Are there any secret drawers ?"

" Tes ; one papa one day showed me on board the ship. I looked in that, and found it quite empty. Papa at the time said ho might die on the voyage he was so vory ill ; that tho desk was mine, and to remember tho secret drawer. I don't think poor gipa was quito conscious at the time he. spoke,

or some nights ho was quite delirious, and quito forgot what he had'been doing tho day before."

Were yon the only ono with your papa at the timo he told you this?"

" Tee. Step-mamma was on deck at the time." :

" Keep the escritoire safe. Will you lot me look at it when we get book ?"

"Tes, I shall bo only to glad to let-you do what you like with it. 1 bol ¡ovo it was my grand mamma's, so it is an old family relic."

On thoir return, the esoritoiro was well searohed, to no purpoBO. '-??.?;?

John Brown .pondered and pondered, and searohed as it were, the desk from hoad to foot, without any satisfactory result."

Hebe put book tho writing desk to its place with a sigh, murmuring, " All T have cf my poor mamma's ¡ but I must bo thankful."

When John Brown was bidding Hebe farewell that evening, Bhe found a letter left in her hand, with an endosara. The lotter was an onlargod recapitulation of all that had passed in words between them that day, with a P.S.-" Tho enclosed ¡B tho usual monthly gift, with sn addition from Faithful, for yonr love."

Tears flowed from Hobo os she read tho lotter in her own room that night A puro prayer went up that night to Gol, and it was heard.

Aa John Brown walked back again to his hotel he said, " Hebe is no longer a child ¡ she has developed in mind and grasp. I am glad I. esme, and saw for myself."