|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)|
|Trove Title||A Girl Named Bobbie|
A Girl Named Bobbie.
«Go on, Bobbie, do burry up, or you won't see them fed ; oh, do look sharp !"
It was all very well for Ted, with bis rough *nd ready knickerbockers, to pay look sharp, but it was quite a different matter for Bobbie, in an inconvenient clinging frook, to be sharp. Frank and Bonnie were up in the loft over the old coachhouse, whose only coaches were the same ts Cinderella's before the fairy god- mother appeared on the scene. Suds was clinging mid air with one sturdy little leg planted on the outside ledere, aud the other dangling to the breeze. Bobbie, who had been at the Parsonage now for two days, was standing in silent dismay at the foot of the rough perpendicular pole by which she was expected to "hurry up" to the joys above and Ted, bringing up in the rear, was impatiently urging her to the
"What are you waiting for; can't you see we'll be late for school ? Why don't you cut up and see the things ?"
" I'll see them another time, Ted j I-I really don't mind about seeing them now," said Bobbie, apologetically, and fervently wishing the guinea pigs at Timbuotoo, " besides, you'll be late for school."
" 0, school be hanged," returned Ted, nMHM forcibly than politely, "of course we'll be late if you don't clear up,-why, oh, by jove, I see, you can't climb ; I'd for- gotten you were only a girl, ugh-pheough wheough !" Oh the scorn in Ted's voice ! Poor Bobbie crimsoned hotly and said hur- riedly she could climb, ehe had often climbed, she was fond of climbing, but she had never tried a post like that. Wouldn't Ted show her how. Ted was all alacrity, " it's as easy as snuff," he said, swarming up and down like a monkey a la maniere bom, "you just put one foot in that notch, give a kick and a wriggle, the other foot on this nail, give your hands a push up again, and you're up."
Frank had left the guinea pigs and was looking down with a " told-you-so " kind of air. Bonnie was standing like a medita- tive fowl on one leg, considering the whys and wherefores of anybody "funking "a pole that led to guinea pigs, and Suds, flapping owl-like, half in and half out, was filling the air with derisive laughter. Who . couldhave endured it? Not Bobbie Lennox, , certainly. With courage born of despair
she made a heroic plunge at the post, one foot lodged on the notch, a pair of black silk stockinged legs were kicking wildly in the air, and a little blue-robed body was wriggling frantically with- out making any upward progress. Some- body pushed, somebody pulled, somebody shrieked delightedly; half blinded with dust, her hands bleeding, her dress torn ir 20 places, Bobbie was at length dragged ?afely on to the dusty floor of the lof t and lay panting and dishevelled.
"See, it's quite easy, little girl," saic Bonnie, serenely-he never was anythinj but serene, this blue-eyed, aweet-tempere< little laddie-*« which guinea would yoi
ute to feed ?"
But Bobbie felt a senseless fleroi antipathy against pets of all kinds ; he: hands smarted, her arms seemed almos dragged from their eockets, and sh« felt eh< would haye ljked nothing better than th<
luxury of a good cry. But Ted's con- tempt 1 Bonnie's good-natured but ex- asperating sympathy 1 Oh, it was not to be thought of. Very carefully and gingerly she picked herself up, joined the boys at the ever-observing hutches, and tried lo get up an interest in them. Sud- denly a bell rang in the distance, and there was an immediate stampede. 44 Give this lettuce to the white ones ; don't let that little Dick Dead-eye get too much ; we'll be late," said Ted. Four kiokB, four wriggles, and four bo j a were down the post and speeding like hunted hares to school, and Bobbie was left alone. With a sigh of relief she flung the bunches of leaves helter-skelter into the first hutch 'twas there resided the guinea pig, known familiarly as Dick Dead-eye, and renowned for its propensity for over-eating ; but how was Bobbie to know ? She sat down on the floor, resting her back against a broken beam, and shaking back her hair from her face like a terrier does, began to think.
.« They believe I'm a coward and a duffer,'* she thought, miserably reviewing the last two days, " I wish I'd been a boy, or I wish they'd been girls, and I do wish there was no coachhouse with only a pole to get up by-and, oh, however shall I get down ?"
She sprang up quickly and ran to the pole ; there was no one in sight, no one to give her a helping hand if she had wished it, eo timidly and cautiously abe lowered herself down as the boys had done. It was pretty rough work for the hands, and still rougher for the stockings, but she felt quite a pleasurable glow of excitement when she reached the ground. It's not so hard after all,*' she muttered, eyeing the notch and the * nail approvingly, " I think TH go up and down again sc I can do it well by next lime." Il waa quite exciting work ; up went Bobbie, slowly at first, but gaining in speed each time, rested a minute at the top, then came down with a movement something bet weer a scramble and a slither. Six times hac she fought her way up, and six timef slided down, when she heard a step on thc garden path and saw the little doctoi watching her.
Now Dr. Wallace had been sitting in hit study since breakfast, occupied in pleasant daydreams. He was a gentle, lovable old man, fond of quiet and order, but wit! five noisy, careless lads he had very little of the first or second. Now this little girl had come he thought it would b« different-a quiet, gentle little thing stu had seemed during these two days-h< did not know that Bobbie Lennox, shy and Bobbie Lennox, at home, were tw< different personages-she had cut bi morning paper for bim, and poured hin out a delicious cup of coffee, she had filler the vases with bright fresh flowers, an< dusted his study without disarranging al his beloved papers, and she had looked e pretty and fresh in her dainty little blu frock, it had been quite a pleasure for hi beauty-loving eyes to rest upon her. An« then he fell to wondering where she wae the boys had gone to school, perhaps sh was ploying with her doll or sewing unde the big tree in the garden, he would tak a book and sit with her. He found bi hat, chose a book, not a theological worl this morn inp;, but a little volume of erie; delightful little poems and ballads by ai unknown writer-she might like to listel to them. So he sauntered out across th uneven lawn to the mulberry tree, but ther was no little girlish figure sedately sewing he wandered across to the boys' quarter! the object of his search was vigorousl climbing up and slithering down the pol with apparently as great enjoyment an ease as did ever any of his own rough ladi The poor little doctor was utterly ovei whelmed, he pushed his speotae'es up o his forehead and stood looking blankly f her, as unconscious of his presence she wa starting a fresh ascent ; the little blac legs twinkled gaily up the pole,
final wriggle, and she swung hersel up to the loft floor and turning pei ctived the doctor. u Do you want m<
Doctor dear ? " alie called sweetly " do watch, how quicaly I come down." And watch he did, and the gentle ladylike little girl he had been thinking about came run- ning eagerly to him, the dresn he had admired hanging in tatters around her, a huge hole adorning the knee of each stock- ing, and her faoe-Oh ! her face was grimy and streaky as was ever Suds in its dirtiest
"Do you want me, Doctor dearP" she repeated brightly.
" N-n-no, Roberta, I think not," he said feebly, and rubbing his eyeglasses as if he
feared he was Buffering from some optieal
" Because, if you don't, I think I'll have just one more go," said Bobbie. " You see it's easy enough to come down, but going up it wants practice to know the
exact moment to put your foot on the
The doctor did see, and then he turned away and walked to the house and into his study, a sadder and a wiser man. With a sigh he put up the gaily bound poems again reached down ** Nicholson on the structure and affinities of the genus monti culipora," and as he drew his chair to the table, remarked solemnly, "They're strange creatures-very strange creatures,-Idon'l think I quite understand them."
But whether he meant creatures of tnt genus monticulipora or creatures of th« genus Bobbie Lennox did not appear.
(TO BB CONTINUED. )