|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW: 1881-1894)|
|Trove Title||A Girl Named Bobbie|
A Girl Named Bobbie.
- ? '] CHAPTER XVII.
It was the day after " the events narrated in the last chapter," as. story books put it. The boys had gone to \ school, but Miss Lane, the governess. who taught Bobbie every morning, was ill, and that not-too sorry young lady was debating what she should do with herself all day.
She was sitting on the top of the fence that divided the parsonage. tangle of. a garden from the outside tangle of bush. One brown scratched little hand was grasping a friendly over hanging branch for support ; the other was smoothing the creases out of a-letter that lay on ber lap.
" Dear old colonel," she said aloud, and patted the bold black writing on tbe enve- lope, " even your writing looks strong and fearless like yourself." Her brown eyes took a wistful look not very natural to them, and she stared hard at the red sun-baked clay
thé other side of the fence.
An army of great black ants was behaving in a most erratic manner, and one of the
great shining beetles¡thatí}*were the delight of Bobbie's heart was lazily malting its way to the grass beyond. The brown eyesj however, saw neither. There was a vision before them that well accounted for their rapt look, a vision of a tall, grand-looking man with a bronzed face, fierce-looking
moustache, and laughing eyes, with a hand- , some uniform, arid a long sword clanking at brightly spurred heels.
The fat beetle suddenly rolled over on its back, waving its legs in a helpless, feeble fashion, and Bobbie laughed a chuckling, jubilant little laugh.
" Any day during the next month," she said aloud, and laughed again for very glee -" Dear, dear old colonel."
" Colonel" had always been the girl's pet name for her worshipped soldier father. It was nearly two years since he had left her first at the parsonage, and gone away with his fair new wife, and now the letters said they might be expected during the next month, and Bobbie lived in a very dream of happiness.
The father's letter was eminently characteristic, short and abrupt, yet full of love, and winding up with admoni- tions, for his little girl to be brave, truthful, and honorable, whatever else she was. A postcript informed her that they had seen grand sights, but her mother would desciibe them in her letter.
Mother ! ' Bobbie sniffed a little dis-
dainfully as she picked up the pretty letter with ita íÍQe, delicate writing and fanciful monogram. Then she compared it with the careless, bold writing of her father, and I am afraid it suffered in comparison.
" Finnicking, conceited-I wonder does she ever buckle his sword on ?" she thought, and then as the soft, pretty, be-ringed little hands came to her memory, she said, "No,
I'm dead sure ehe doesn't," with, unneces- sary vehemence, considering there was only
the beetle for audience.
" I enclose a lock of little Randolph's hair, and remain, my dear Roberta, ever yours affectionately, Vera Madeline Lennox." This is how the scented little epistle closed after a somewhat guide book-like description of several places they had visited.
" Hum-colonel dear, you're a little mis- taken about the mother part," she said drily, aud then she put the letter back into the envelope with an impatient little gesture, and produced a not altogether irreproach- able handkerchief, in the corner of which was tied very securely a baby ring of soft golden hair.
" Dear little brother," whispered Bobbie very softly, and Bhe' smoothed it tenderly and then laid it for contrast against the red gold mass that tumbled riotously about her
" Oh, laws, a mercy me ! Oh, Miss Bobbie -oh, my poor head, oh, laws, oh, laws."
Bobbie tied the curl up and dropped from
the fence in terror. " What's the matter ? Oh, Bertha, what is it ? " she cried, for that good woman was. wringing her hands in a
" Oh, Miss Bobbie, it's Mike. Oh, my poor head ; an' it was 12 feet he fell ! Oh dear a mercy !"
" Oh, Bertha, poor dear, dear Bertha," cried Bobbie, running by the woman's side, tears of sympathy rolling down her cheeks. " Can't yOu go and nurse him, Bertha,
" There's the dinner and the house and
master out," sobbed Bertha. " They've; taken him to Prince Alf red Hospital j but oh, my poor Mikey."
" Bertha, I'll cook the dinner and do everything ; oh, do, do go," implored Bob- bie, stroking the rough; hard-worked red hands with her two little soft ones. " I eau do everything ; oh, do go. There'll be a
train in five minutes."
Stunned with grief. Bertha suffered her bonnet to be put on by the eager little girl, aud herself to be dragged to the statioa and pushed on board the train.
" Cook the master a chop, Miss Bobbie, dear. Don't bother over things," she called from the carringè window, and Bobbie moved gaily back, and was soon dancing
home to the parsonage in quite a light-
hearted frame of mind.
, (TO BE CONTINUED.) . '