|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)|
|Trove Title||A Girl Named Bobbie|
THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.
A Girl Named Bobbie. "
" Suds-olí, Suds, do go and be washed," "Oh, bover."
" Oh do, Suds ; she's such a-a elegant, fastidious kind of girl, she'll be quite dis- gusted."
" Bover elegant, fastidous girl !"
"Newton snatched up a tomahawk, some food, and tobacco, and darted away into the dense
(For letterpress see page 16-.« Early Days of Port Arthur.")
" All right, I would let a girl see me all dirty and untidy-never mind, perhaps she'll take you for our little shoeblack or tinker ?" And Bobbie looked disdainfully at the grubby little individual delving in his muddy garden with such keen enjoyment.
Her scorn, however, had no effect: mutter- ing " hover shoe-blacks and little tinkers " Suds went calmly on with his work of con- structing a water-work through the middle of his plot, and Bobbie grew desperate.
" Look here, Suds," she cried, changing her tactics, " if you'll go and wash yourself and brush your hair and come and hand the cake round-like-like the little boy in the book, I'll give you-sixpence, there !"
Suds paused, spade in hand, quite dazzled by this munificent offer.
" True'n honor ? Sixpence all to myself ?" " Yes, all to yourself, only you must- "
" An' I needn't give nobody nofink out of
. " No, you needn't, but go and-"
. " An' I needn't put it in my money box ?" '. " No, only to go and-"
" When'll you give it to me ?"
; Oh, when you've earned it ; go now though or she'll be here j oh, don't be so
"Sixpence!" deliberated Suds, and he stuck his hands in his pocket and began tc count-" that's a penny for cocoanut, that's oiie ; and a ha'porth of peanuts makes c penny ha'penny-tuppence at least, cos tin old woman won't make ha'porths now That's tuppence, then--"
" I won't give you a farthing if you don'' go this instant !" said Bobbie, growing irot< as the time passed, " she'll be here in thre<
" Well, I can count I should think," re turned Suds in an injured tone ; " I Avant ti see what I can get-that's tuppence, an< threepence for Dick's rat he says I can hav is threepence, fourpence, five/pence ;-five pence, oh, and I want a wed and blue pencil they're tuppence at Brown's ; oh, Bobbie, I'l do it for sevenpence,"
" Sixpence," said Bobbie inexorably.
" WeU, I'll wash for sixpence and brua
i V jtÄeg&i-S tí' kl) i- J-^ - ' t. -« í "
my hair, hut I couldn't take the cake round, too, 'cept you gave me sevenpence."
" There, now you've done it, hide quick you horrid, dirty boy, here's the carnage, mind you come in after, put on your blue suit and do be polite," and in a flutter of excitement Bobbie fled into the house. Suds did his best to efface himself behind a straggling gooseberry bush, and at the same time
watch the expected guest alight from her imposing carriage.
Dr. Wallace, calling on an old school- friend of his, Mr. Laurayne, had been much pleased with his little daughter, Midge, whom some of my young readers may remember under the title of " dreadful pickle." Mr. Laurayne was an old friend also of Colonel Lennox, and, before the Doctor left, promised that Midge should go to the Parsonage and spend the afternoon
Bobbie and the boys had looked forward quite in apprehension to the visit ; they had heard she was a very fine lady, always ele- gantly dressed, who had a German maid and a French governess all to herself, who went to theatres, and rode out in carriages, and altogether lived a life very different from the simple, free life ¿it the Parsonage.
When the actual day on which she was to come arrived, Bobbie was in a perfect fever of dread. She fidgeted round the house, arranged and re-arranged the drawing-room fifty times, and worried Bertha's very life out about what they should have for tea.
" We ought to have dinner ; it's not a bit fashionable to have tea at night," she had said, dejectedly ; " couldn't you make us some soup, and just do us a little fish, and, perhaps, a fowl or duck, and-."
" No, I couldn't just," Bertha had inter- rupted, very decisively.-" I'll give you a nice plain tea, eggs, and scones, and honey and jam and a cake, and if she doesn't like it she must just do the other thing."
" Well, can't I have afternoon tea, too ?" asked Bobbie, fit.to cry at the thought of the way her guest would despise the appoint- ments of the parsonage.
" Oh, certainly," said Bertha, grimly ; " there's them little cups in the best china cupboard ; you can have them, but I'm not coming a dancing round the drawing-room
to hand them round."
" I suppose she has a footman to do it," said Bobbie, in a most melancholy tone.
"Or black slaves who offer fragrant
Pekoe iii golden cups on their hended lenee," suggested Dick ; " I'll black up, if you like, and curl my hair."
" It's mean of you to laugh," said Bobbie, pettishly " you haven't to stay with the stuck-up girl, and talk fashions, and see her looking at the patch in the carpet, and the tear in the curtains, and sneering because we only keep one servant."
Dick repeated his offer of blacking him- self. " I'd make a grand nigger," he said ; " she'd be quite impressed, only I bar handing those cups round-I'd tumble over some- thing and smash them, and they were mother's, you know."
" Well, I might wash Suds and let him hand the cake round, ladies often let their little boys do it, and I could pour out " said Bobbie slowly ; it did not seem half a bad plan. " Bertha could open the front door and hand her to you, the black servant, and you could open the drawing-room door and
announce her to me."
Arid so they arranged it, the boys entering heartily iuto the plan, only, as we have seen, Suds at the last moment had to be bribed to do his part.
The carriage rolled up to the door, the footman sprang down, rang the bell, and assisted his young mistress to alight, then he returned to his seat, and at her orders the coachman touched up the horses and drove away, leaving Midge on the doorstep, very nervous and shy. A moment's delay and Bertha, -with cap awry and very grim face, opened the door and stared somewhat keenly at the little lady for whose sake the house had been so upset.
" Is Miss Lennox at home ?" asked Midge somewhat timidly, and Bertha's reply was reassuring.
" At home ? Of course she is ; hasn't she been expectin' ye all the Aveek ? Come right in, little miss."
Little Miss came right in, and Avas met by a very black nigger in a someAvhat shabby black suit, on Avhich large silver buttons had been clumsily SCAVII-'' Youhab de busness Avid my lady, missis ?" he queried, salaaming and smirking before her, and then there Avas a sudden, smothered explosion of laughter at the further end of the hall, and several peeping heads Avere hastily AvithdraAvn from the staircase land- ing.
" I-I-yes, I came to see Miss Lennox," said Midge, looking someAvhat alarmed at t ie black's peculiar behavior-" does she not live here ?" she added, for Avith a sudden throb of fear she thought she might have come to some place similar to the scene of her unhappy adA'enture.
" Yah ! yali ! Marse Wallace he am out, Missy is bossin' round ; you gAvine in ter see her ? Come long dis Avay, lady fair and beautiful as lotos berries, come long, her tink dat you neber come, but I xay, non, non, mais, zee viii come, and presto she
(TO BE CONTINUED.)