Chapter 63105090

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63105090
Full Date1893-08-05
Page Number19
Corrections0
Word Count1892
IllustratedY
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)
Trove TitleGladys and the Fairies
article text

Gladys and the Fairies.

CHAPTER II.

This is a novelty. The Under-secretary for Mines on Monday received a cardboard box containing two dead animals.about the size of- large rate. One wai apparently a young hare or rabbit, or a cross between the two. The fur waB long and brown. Its companion had short hair like that of a

t both in color and length, but was more ke a very small puppy. The forest inger at Picton, in the letter accompany ng the box, writes: "The two young .abbits or hares were found alive on the Abbotsford Estate, in burrows about 3ft deep. In the burrow in which the larger one (tho long-furred one) was found there were three others similar, and in the burrow in which the smaller one was found there were four others similar. If tho, animals are not rabbits, I suppose they are hares. If so, it disposes of the theory that hares do not burrow, and have only two young ones at a time." He suggested that they should be forwarded to the curator of the Sydney Museum for identification. We have a faculty in Australia for curiosi- ties in the animal world. Not content with including among our fero naturo the greatest collection of natural curiosities the world has seen in present geological times, we are, it seems, modifying old world forma in a striking -way. Out of the domestic cat we have made a fairly respectable wild cat. The rabbit here in many places ceases to burrow, and makes a lair like the hare, and from the latest instance it appears that hares have adopted the habits discarded by the rabbit and taken to bur- rowing ; or that we aro answerable for a half hare half rabbit, or half hare half puppy creature, blending several different animals in one extraordinary carcass. By all means let us hear what the Museum authorities have to say of the singular

specimens found at Picton.

# *

At the Corowa Federal Conference Mr. E. W. O'Sullivan moved the following re- solution-" But, while approving of federa- tion, this meeting desires to state that tho only Federal Constitution which will be acceptable to the people of Australasia will be one of a democratic character, embodying . one man one vote and tho direct expression of the will of the people." (Dissent.) He

contended that we wanted a democratic form of government, which should be foi the good of the whole of the people and not a portion of them only. (Cries of No, no, and applause.) Dr. Malonoy (Vic- toria) supported the motion, which he thought would assist, in doing away with the curso of party strife. (No, no, and interruption.) Mr. Patterson said that the meeting had assembled for a speciSc pur- pose, and he suggested that the motion proposed by Mr. O'Sullivan should be withdrawn. This was done." This is the history of the action of democratic politicians in a nutshell. They are always asserting theil démocraties at the inopportune time, and invariably withdraw them for one reason or another. This is thc way in which they compound with their conscience ; and secure their own interests at the same

time. It may bo at a complimentary sug- gestion from a premier like that whicb caused Mr. O'Sullivan's withdrawal, oi the touoh of a Royal sword, such as con- verted Mr. George Dibbs, the Republican into Sir George Dibbs, the gilded lackey ot monarchy ; but in some way or another thc loudest professing democrats always see c reason to shunt democracy when it becomet MvantageouB or advisable to do so, Anc

ese are your gods, 0, Democracy ! " Mr, Sullivan»withdrew I "

* *

Since the departure of the Royal Tai v me ^ of the uneasy States of Sou tb i nerica havo burst redly into flowers ol

rolutionary fires. Tho Argentine »public is the main seat of trouble, and e first port of call of the i -"JW Australian pilgrims is Buenoi I Ayres, the capital of the blazing province I ; The predictions of those who filled the I . positions of devil's advocates to the expo

dition are thus in a fair way to be realised, Of course there will be no proceeding wit! ; the expedition up the La Plata. The Soutt American revolutionaries would infalliblj swoop upon the expedition if it attemptec , eo reokless a proceeding. Probably the Nev.

Australians will turn the prow of the Royal i Tar back to Australian shores when thej

nave such pungent and unmistakabh evidence of the character of their destinée fellow citizens j and they will be welconu back to try their experiment in Australia

Gladys walked along by the elf's eide in perfect; silence. " Is this Fairyland ?" she asked at length, in keen disappointment she bad thought it would be so wonderfully beautiful, and behold it was all grey and white, sombre and misty.

"This is Shadowland," he answered, " here are pictures of all the troubles and sorrows of the creatures below us ; here are stored various unprized belongings of those creatures j here," and he pointed to an immense book bound in lion's skin, *' here are recorded their acta-foolish, thoughtless, and wicked j shall I show you your page?"

" Ah, no," cried Gladys, shrinking back, " No, show me something else-show me the pictures, I love pictures," The elf went on again in silence for a short distance, and then stayed before a great wall, over which a grey cloud hung.

" See, do you know this ?" he said, push- ing away a piece of the soft cloud, and re- vealing one picture.

It was a small bare-looking room, the furniture old and plain, and on the walls were pasted a few cheap pictures. Beside a bed with a snow-white counterpane and hangings sat a lady with a worn, kind face and sweet, Bad eyes, that seemed to be gazing wistfully at something out of the window. Gladys recognised her in a mo- ment j it was Miss Hotham's mother, and on the bed lay her little crippled brother.

Such a pitifully white face it was, with big tired eyes, and golden hair pushed back from the white, blue-veined brow. The little fellow was playing happily with a box of common metal soldiers that he seemed to love dearly. Gladys's thoughts turned for a second to her handsomely furnished nurseries and splendid toys, of which she always wearied in a few mo- menta, and her cheeks flushed.

Behind the sweet, patient little sufferer there ever seemed a great white cloud, where, shadowy and soft, Gladys saw a pair of lovely angel's winga. Now they came nearer and nearer, and a look of ter- rible sorrow passed over the mother's face j now they seemed fainter and further away, and she looked bright aud hopeful again. Gladys wondered what the mothor'eeyes were gazing eo wistfully at through the window, and pressed for- ward, to see. To her surprise, all along the street rose up, instead of houses, row upon row of basins, labelled "Beef tea, Beef tea."

"My poor little Dick," murmured the mother, reaching down the bread and butter

and weak lemon-water.

Suddenly, in this wonderful living pic- ture the door was flung open and a young girl, Gladys's governess, came eagerly into

the room.

" I got away, mother ! Dick ; Dick, darling, I got away !" she cried gladly, " and I have some of my money. ,But, Oh ! My darling! My darling!" and with a terrible fear at her heart, she fell on her knees by the little bed. Out of the cloud the girl had seen for a moment a shadow of those grand white wings behind the sweet pale child. " Oh, Dick-my little darling Dick," and she held the tiny fragile figure in her strong young arms as if she would never, never give it up.

" Dear, dear Nellie," he said in his weak,

loving little voice, and stroking the bright bowed head with thin-Ah, such thin fin-, gers. " What is it ? Was Miss Gladys naughtier than ever P"

" Cover it up Î Ah, cover it up !" cried Gladys in a choking voice to the elf, " I will not look at it. Ah, don't show me any more pictures," and silently and sadly the elf draws the gray cloud again.

They walk among the grey shadows for some time and then stop again. " Do you see this cliff ?" said the elf, pointing to a great white cliff hovering above them. " Do you see this water falling drop by drop and wearing it away ? Do you know

what it is ?"

" Wait a bit," said Gladys, with wrinkled brow, and thinking hard. " I think I re- member $ Miss Hotham told me in my last physical geography lesson, before I was ill. " Doesn't it "-hesitatingly-" doesn't it form stalig--stalag-stalagfites ?"

" No ; this ia not limestone-these are not stalactites-these are "-and his voioe sank to a solemn impressive whisper-" these are steel drops 1 Every time you refuse to take them they flow here and wear away our beautiful country. Beware I Beware 1 Oh, mortal !" and he stalked on with his pear-blossom cap pulled over his eyes, and Gladys meekly followed.

" Won't you, Oh, won't you show me something nice," pleaded Gladys, weary o£ the sad, sad sights of Shadowland, and the elf turned round and looked keenly at her

face for some minutes.

" Yes, I think it has done you good," he said at last, slowly, noting the great tears standing in her brown eyes, the sorrowful droop of the curly, golden head, and the

crimson shamed face.

*' I am so, so sorry, I didn't think I was so very horrid," said Gladys at last, burst- ing into tears; not a storm of howling and eobbing like she generally indulged in when Miss Hotham thwarted her in any way, but sad, penitent tears.

" Heyday-tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean," said the little elf, skip- ping up to her side with a twinkle in his dancing eyes, and wiping away her tears with a tiny handkerchief woven by a spider. " Come, come, deeds will tell ; come now with me and I will show you a glimpse of real Fairyland." And Gladys brushed away her tears and followed her

elhne leader..

"This is Dreamland," he said, as they went hurriedly through a land that seemed all clouds and fancies, and different things woven up together j " you have been here before-come, haste your steps, for ere Hy- perion drives his horse in, you must away. That-that is Fairyland," and he pointed to a great golden veil that seemed to fall softly and naturally from one of the clouds, " 'tis there the fairies live-there beyond the veil."

" May I go in," said Gladys timidly, and gazing spellbound at the wonderful cur- tain. "Ah, no-no-you cannot enter," the elf replied ; " but see, I will lift up a corner, kneel down and you shall see."

And Gladys knelt down, lifted the cur- tain, and looked in.

(TO BE CONTINUED.)