|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)|
|Trove Title||A Girl Named Bobbie|
À Girl Named Bobbie.
. CHAPTER XV.-(Continued.)
The waggonette, with* its gay young occupants, drove briskly along. Dick had persuaded the coachman to give him the reins, but after putting all their lives in imminent peril three times, he was obliged to relinquish them, to his great secret çhagrination. Suds insisted for some dis- tance on travelling on the step and clinging to the side, pretending he was an omnibus boy, and it was not till he had tumbled off twice that he was induced to come inside. To Bobbie's great joy, however, they drew up at Mrs. Laurayne's door without any more serious mishaps. Midge came flying down the steps to welcome her guests. " Mother had been obliged to go to town, and father was at the bank, but they could do anything they liked, and this was Madame D'Aubigny," she explained all in a breath, and the children became aware that a prim looking lady was standing at the top of the steps eyeing them with ill
" Pheough !-who's that," said Ted, under his breath, and Midge whispered, " It's Madame, my French governess, do talk to her a bit one of you, or she'll be horrid all day."
Now Bobbie had heard a good deal of her friend's French governess, and had thought that most probably they would be called upon to converse with her ; her knowledge of French was extremely limited, the boys, with the exception of Dick, knew nothing of the language, though they held anyone who spoke it in great veneration ; how greatly, therefore, thought Bobbie, would they respect her if they saw her conversing fluently with Madame in her own tongue. To this end she had secretly rummaged out an old French grammar from the doctor's study, had copied out a list of " phrases for polite conversation," and had learnt them off by heart. During the drive she had been repeating them again and again and felt quite equal to the conversation that was to raise her so highly in the boy's estima-
With a citizen-of-Eome-the-eyes-of-the world-are-upon-you kind of air she marched up thé steps till she stood by Madame's side.
" Bong joor," she said, with an enchanting
" Bong jour, Mademoiselle," said Madame. ' " Gomohg vous portes vous ?" pursued Bobbie, enjoying the way Ted was staring.
" Tout a fait bien, je vous remercie," re-
turned Madame, looking to see where Midge
" Kell-yeur ate ill," queried Bobbie, lean- ing up against the marble pillar.
; " Il n'est pas encore dix heures," returned Madame, civilly.
" Quel âge-àvez-vous,"-'said Bobbie, hop- ing Madame would notice she said '" avez"
and not " êtes."
"Mademoiselle!" ejaculated Madame, aghast.
" Comong va la santé ce matang ?" went cn Bobbie, unconscious of anything wrong.
" Vous êtes très," began Madame, casting a severe glance at the innocent little delin- quent, who smiled and said sweetly, " Oui, oui, Madam, le jarding de votre père est plus grand que le nôtre, mais la maisong de notre boulanger est plus jolly que la
"Ciel! que vous êtes importune." cried
Madame, turning away angrily, but Bobbie had one more sentence in her repertoire, and hastened to discharge it.
" Comong se porte, mamzelle, votre grande
" 0 Bobbie, she's dead," said Midge re- proachfully. " What have you been saying to make Madame so angry ?" for that lady was speechless, with indignation, and merely beckoned maj esticaBy- for Dick and the other boys to come up the steps, they had been grouped, open mouthed, at the foot during
"Nong, nong, je ne cannais parlee-voo at all, at all," said Dick, growing very red and backing away.
Madame cast one withering glancé at the whole group of children, and then turned
round and flounced inside.
" There, now she'll be horrid for a week, and give me irregular verbs to learn," said Midge, with a little sigh, " never mind, let's all go and have a good game in the garden."
To this day Bobbie does not know why Madame is so cold and distant to her always.
Two or three hours were passed pleasantly in the grounds, the elder boys went to look at the horses, Suds found his way to the poultry yard, and was lost to sight for some time, and Bonnie discovered a hutch of guinea pigs and was happy.
The two little girls walked up and down the paths, " telling their silly secrets," as Frank declared when, weary of the horses, he wanted to do something fresh, and saw the two in such deep conversation. " Let's go and walk up and down behind them, arm in arm, and mimic them," he suggested to Ted, who was nothing loth, so the two crept stealthily up behind,
" When I'm grown up," Midgé was say- ing, " I shall go to the theatre and balls every night, and never go to bed till 3 o'clock in the morning, and I shall always have my breakfast in bed-devilled kidneys
" I don't think I'd like that," said Bobbie, "cause I always get sleepy by 9-no, I shall build a dear little cottage all over roses on Coogee beach, and have a jolly little horse, and a lot bf birds and dogs and-and things." .
"Hal ha!" laughed the boys, "ha! ha!
ho! ho! he! he!"
" You horrid boys," cried Bobbie, turning round with flashing eyes and stamping her foot. " Midge, they aré the very hörridest boys that ever lived."
" When I'm grown up," mimicked Ted, but Midge laid her little hand on his arm.-. " Please, Teddie, don't," she pleaded, " and Bobbie doesn't mean you're horrid, either, let's go to dinner now, and afterwards we'll all sit on the lawn and say what we'll do when we're grown up."
So . a truce was proclaimed, and dinner passed off . pleasantly, presided over by Madame, who maintained a chilling silence.
They played croquet and quoits and all kinds of games after dinner, till quite tired, and then Midge proposed they should all sit under the big sycamore on the lawn, and that Bennett, the footman, should bring tea and cakes, and strawberries and cream out to them. The proposal was hailed with acclamation, and soon they were all resting and refreshing themselves.
" You begin, Dick, will you," said Midge, " what would you rather do, and have, and be, than anything in the world."
Dick, his back against the tree, was making rapid inroads upon the strawberries, and seemed unwilling to delay to do much
" I'd rather do what I am doing at present, have a kiss from Miss Hildegarde Laurayne, and be a special constable. Ask me no more," and he filled up his plate
Midgé looked disappointed-" I thought you'd say something grand," she said.
" You next, Frank."
"I'd likè to have a million books, be a pirate, and do many and bloody deeds, lik? the Lion-hunter," said Frank, smacking hit lips, and looking quite ferocious.
Midge was considerably shocked, tUöügk she made no remark,' bey ond reminding Ted
it was his turn.
" I'd like to be a special constable, too," said Ted, slowly, " and go for the strikers, I'd like to have a fight with bully Jones and lick him, and I'd like to do sums and Latin exercises by machin ery."
Bonnie declared he would like to be a
clergyman like his father, and have a pulpit and a white thing,, and he'd like to do nothing but look after white mice and guinea pigs."
Bobbie's idea of happiness consisted, it seemed, in having any colored hair but red, being with her father always, always, and never doing any sewing.
. Midge thought the height of bliss would be, having her own way in every thing, doing her hair up on top, and being " out."
" Why, there's the waggonette for us and madame beckoning," cried Bobbie regret fully.
" Quick Suds, dear, tell us yours," said. Midge, and Suds put his funny little head on one side and looked very wise. " I fink I'd like to be a fowl," he said, " a silver Dorking like the, one in there, and nobody boverin' about washin' me and doin' my hair." "
Of course every one laughed, and Suds
"A fowl's better'n bein' a pirate or a constbul, I can tell you," he remarked witheringly.
"" Yes, yes, Suds dear," said Midge sooth- ingly. " Now tell us what you'd like to
" A big pond chock full of smashed par- snips, course, silly," he replied, and again grew offended at the laughter his answer
" Well, just tell us what you'd like to do, that's all old man," said Dick.
" Kick you all and knock you down and jump on you till you was all quite deaded," he answered wrathfully.
And then hats and coats were put on, good-byes reluctantly said, and soon the carriage load of children was speeding back to the Parsonage.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)