|Chapter Number||XIV. (CONTINUED).|
|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)|
|Trove Title||A Girl Named Bobbie|
A Girl Named Bobbie.
CHAPTER XIV. (CONTINUED).
Much surprised, Midge followed the ges- ticulating black, who at every step would bow low, grin from ear to ear to show his white teeth, and then go on again. " Miss Hildegardie Lauryne " he announced pom- pously, flinging open the drawing-room door and a quaint, sedate little figure came for- ward, stiffly held out her hand, and bade " Miss Hildegarde " welcome.
Midge's spirit felt considerably chilled at this cold, formal reception, Bobbie was in an agony of fear from the whispering of the boys and the stifled bursts of laughter, and endeavored to hide it by assuming the most old-fashioned manners. And so these two mistaken little girls sat primly on the edges of their chairs " entertaining " one another. " It-it looks as if it were going to rain " remarked Bobbie, and she wrinkled her forehead and looked wisely out at the cloudless sky. " Yes, it does " answered Midge, "but perhaps it will be fine to- morrow." " It rained yesterday " said Bobbie, sententiously. " And the day before " added Midge, mournfully.
- Here again the door was flung open by the black servant, who announced as pompously as before, " Mrs. Bertha O'Flaherty, after- noon tea, and plum and seed cake," and Bertha entered, carrying a tray.
Bobbie groaned inwardly ; she had tried to impress it on Bertha that the tea was not to be brought in for quite half an hour after they had been talking, and here it came in barely two minutes.
" Mind you don't break the best little cups," whispered Bertha very audibly, as she set down the tray near Bobbie. " And you can't have no more tea, because the kitchen fire has gone out."
Bobbie grew crimson, and began to rattle the tea things, and pour out to hide her con-
Again the door was flung open, and again the black's stentorian voice announced, " Master Frederick St. John Lennox," and Suds entered, looking very subdued. Bobbie looked round, caught sight of the boy, and felt after this as if she could slay one and all of the Wallace boys. Suds had wiped, not washed his grimy face, and a black rim gave evidence where the opera- tion had left off ; his hair was literally dripping with horrible oil with which he had sought to plaster down his unruly locks ; he had not been able to find his own " best blue suit," and, in the emergency, had donned Ted's, which hung loose and baggy round his ankles. A more utterly ludicrous little figure could not be imagined, and, in bitter wrath, Bobbie motioned to him to go
from the room.
" "Where's the cake, Bobbie," he asked, putting on an angelic smile ; " do you like cake, Miss Hilgud Lorren ?"
" Is-is this your little brother, 'Miss Lennox," asked Midge, sweetly, and Bobbie smiled a faint, sickly smile.
" No,-he, he, he is another little boy who has dressed up for fun I think," and she gave Suds a little secret pinch to get him
Ugh, I say, stop that," he said, fiercely ; " I didn't dwess up for fun either ; I dwessed up for 6d, 7d, I mean, you sneak, you, aren't you goin' to give it me ?"
" Yes, Suds, anything, anything you like, if you'U only go," she whispered, in a per
1 ' i.
feet frenzy of vexations, but Frederick St. John was not to be put off like that.
" No, thank you, I know you, Bobbie Len- nox, , you'll say I never earned it ; here, where's the cake? I'll hand it round," and he seized the cake basket and held it before Midge. " Here, take some, girl, go on, or she'll do me out of my sixpence, go on, silly, it's nice, I can tell you, all currants and sugar."
" N-no, thank you little hoy," said Midge, in doubt what to do, yet deciding by Bobbie's face that she ought to refuse. " I-I'll have some soon." " No, you don't, no you don't," said Suds sturdily, "I'm going to have my 6d-my 7d, I can tell you j have some seedcake-it's awful
Thus abjured, Midge took a piece, and sat looking-what to do with it.
" Go on, stoopid ! Can't you eat it up ? I don't want to stop here waitin' on you silly girls all the afternoon-not for a paltry 6d at any rate," and he glared at Bobbie, who was standing speechless with anger at the tray.
With a desperate assumption of dignity Bobbie suddenly rang the bell, and brought the grinning black man into the room. " Sambo," she said, in a voice that quivered with anger and tears, " Sambo, take the little idiot child, and send him bade to the asylum-he has someway got loose," she added, in an explanatory tone to Midge.
" Idjut yourself, sylum yourself, here you let me alone," said Suds, hitting out as well as his cumbersome sleeves would allow, " you touch me, and I'll tell."
"Take him out quickly, Sambo," said Bobbie, in a voice sharp with anxiety, and " Sambo " grasped the young scamp to bear
"All right, now I'll tell, girl, Sambo's brother Bick blacked up, yah, let me alone, cos,-oo-oo-oo, lemme lone, cos you're so stuck-up, hoo yah lemme lone," and he fought and bit and kicked till free from Dick's arms, he stood his ground in triumph.
Bobbie struggled for a moment between the inclination to laugh or to cry. Dick's absurd black face however appealed too strongly to her risible faculties, and she laughed till the tears streamed down her face. Midge, who grasped the situation in a minute, joined too, and Dick fairly screamed in his huge enjoyment. The other boys crept in, and began laughing too, and Suds, relieved at the turn things had taken, hurrahed with delight.
And so they all became very friendly, and the dreaded visit passed off right merrily.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)