|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW: 1881-1894)|
|Trove Title||A Girl Named Bobbie|
A Girl Named Bobbie
Downstairs the little absent-mindec doctor and his new charge wera staring a each other in silence. The doctor wh( could be eloquent enough in his OWE pulpit felt quite embarrassed -with thu v little red-haired girl. He had forgotten
her name and did not like to ask it, think- ing it might hurt her feelings that he had forgotten. She had sobbed convulsively while clinging to her father at the last moment, but was quite calm now and eat with her preat brown ejres fixed on the doctor's face, neither speaking nor moving. It was an eager bright little face with a pair of clear brown eyes, and it was set in a framework of tawny wonderful hair. It was not absolutely red, as Ted had stated, at least it was not a bit like the color we usually associate with the idea of rfd hair lt was a kind of auburn T suppose, and it seemed as if a stray sunbeam had got entangled in its our ly rippling masses and kept dancing
about at each turn of her head.
She was rather tall for her age, which was 10, and she was very slight. She had on a pretty pale blue dress trimmed with soft expensive lace, black stockings and shoes, and tan gloves.
This is a faithful correct portrait bf her small person as she pat in the doctor's shabby little study.
"Please, sir, the boy says Timothy liée ves is really dying this time," said Bertha, suddenly opening the door, " and he wants you to go immediately."
"You don't say so, Bertha," said the doctor, jumping up, " Oh, dear, oh, dear! this is very sad, I must go at once," and he picked up his his hat which had tumbled on the floor and began to rummage about his study table for a prayer book, mutter- ing all the time " Dear, dear-Poor old Timothy ; well» we must all go some time, poor Timothy, poor Timothy.
He had quite forgotten his young charge's existence, in fact, he did not think of her again till he was reading the prayers for the sick at Reeves's cottage and saw a little girl there, sitting on a chair in a similar attitude to that other little girl.
Bertha coming in a few minutes after the doctor had gone and Anding the poor child sitting, looking uncertain what to do, dried her hands-she was doing her wash- ing-led her to the foot of the stairs and pointing out the door of the den told her to " go and play with the boys."
Very slowly the child climbed the stairs, it was quite an ordeal to her to think of faoing all those boys. Her father had not been sure of the number she might . expect, but said he thought there was
about a round dozen of them. The den
. door was open, and as she reached the top
stair tive pairs of inquisitive eyes were turned full on her and with her one pair of brown ones she returned the gaze. "I . say, won't you sit down/' said Dick, after
along pause, suddenly remembering his father's injunctions and his duties as eldest. Thus adjured, the girl made a step into the room, but it was one thing to be asked to sit down and another to find a chair. As I remarked before there were only two in the room and at present a mechanical look- ing contrivance of Suds occupied one, while some dead butt' rflies awaiting ol assification
were spread out in rows on the other. " How can she, silly," paid Suds with his little squeaky laugh, *' that's just like our
« Our Dick" cast a glance of withering scorn on his small brother, and with one movement of his hand swept the " mechanical contrivance " on to the floor and politely offered the chair to the
Before she could accept it Suds, with a yell of anger, made for his brother and began fighting and kicking him like a young fury, much to the stranger's dit
With much outward calm, Dick lifted the young rascal up by the collar, and set him kicking and shouting for his " loclo motif" on the high mantelpiece.
" The only way to treat him when he's obstreperous," he explained, seeing the admiring look'his prowess had excited in the visitor's eyes. Then he remezobered they did not know her name. " It's rather awkward, you see," he said j " but father forgot to ask your father what-that is, we don't-you-"
" What's your name ?" interrupted Ted, bluntly.
"Bobbie!" repeated Frank.
" Bobbie!" echoed Dick.
"Bobbie! What a jolly name," said Ted. "Why, father said it began with
" Ifs Roberta really," said tve little girl ; " but then I'm always called Bobbie."
" He bet his head it would be Rosalinda," said Frank confidently.
" Well, you said it would be Rachel Rebecca Rosemary," returned Ted, angry at the breach of confidence, and Bobbie laughed outright. That laugh won Ted's
" Come and see our things," he said, and then the boys knew they must all receive her as one of themselves. Ted always made the first move in everything.
''Come and see our things; do you like guinea pigs rr white mice ?" he said.
"Guinea pigs," said Bobbie promptly. Bonnie looked disappointed,but the others were pleased and forthwith escorted her in a body to the guinea pigB' quarters in the old over-grown garden.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)