Chapter 63671689

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1893-09-09
Page Number17
Word Count1559
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleIllustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)
Trove TitleA Girl Named Bobbie
article text

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 frock, 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, and 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 ?"

" 111 see them another time, Ted ; 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, mor^ 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, she 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 born, "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, Happing owl-like, half in and half out, was filling the air with derisive laughter. Whc could have endured it? Not Bobbie Lennox, certainly. With courage born of deepaii she made a heroic plunge at the post, ona foot lodged ou the notch, a pair of black silk stockinged legs were kicking wildij .in the air, and a little blue-robec body was wriggling frantically with oat making any upward progress. Some- body pushed, somebody pulled, aomebodj shrieked delightedly; half blinded wit) oust, her hands bleeding, her dress torn ii 20 places, Bobbie was at length dragger «afely on to the dusty floor of the lof t an<

lay pantinar and dishevel led.

"bee, it's quite easy, little girl," said Bonnie, serenely-he never was anything hut serene, this blue-eyed, sweet-tempered

little laddie-44 which guinea \iould you

like to feed?"

But Bobbie felt a senseless fierce antipathy against pets of all kinds j her hands smarted, her arms seemed almost dragged from their sockets, and sh« felt she would haye ljked nothing better than the

luxury of a good cry. But Ted's con- tempt! Bonnie's good-natured but ex- asperating sympathy ! 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 to get up an interest in them. Sud- denly a bell rang in the distance, and there was an immediate stampede. "Give this lettuce to the white ones ; don't let that little Dick Bead-eye get too much ; we'll be late," said Ted. Four kicks, four wriggles, and four boys 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 os the floor, resting her back against a broker beam, and shaking back her hair from hei face like a terrier does, began to think.

" They believe I'm a coward and a duffer,' she thought, miserably reviewing the las two days, " I wish I'd been a boy, or I wisl they'd been girls, and I do wish there wai no coachhouse with only a pole to get u] by-and, oh, however shall 1 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, so timidly and cautiously sbe 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 so I can do it well by next lime." It waa quite exoiting 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 between a scramble and a slither. Six times had she fought her way up, and six times slided down, when she heard a step on the garden path and saw the little doctor

watching her.

IN ow Dr. Wallace had been sitting in his study since breakfast, occupied in pleasant day dreams. He was a gentle, lovable old man, fond of quiet and order, but with five noisy, careless lads he had very little of the first or second. Now this little girl had come he thought it would be different-a quiet, gentle little thing she had seemed during these two days-he did not know that Bobbie Lennox, shy, and Bobbie Lennox, at home, were two different personages-she had cut bis morning paper for him, and poured him out a delicious cup of coffee, she had filled the vases with bright fresh flowers, and dusted his study without disarranging all his beloved papers, and she had looked so pretty and fresh in her dainty little blue frock, it had been quite a pleasure for his beauty-loving eyes to rest upon her. And then he fell to wondering where she was, the boys had gone to school, perhaps she was playing with her doll or sewing under the big tree in the garden, he would take a book and sit with her« He found his hat, chose a book, not a theological work this morning, but a little volume of crisp delightful little poems and ballads by an unknown writer-she might like to listen to them. So he sauntered out across the uneven lawn to the mulberry tree, but there was no little girlish figure sedately sewing; he wandered across to the boys' quarters, the object of his search was vigorously climbing up and slithering down the pole with apparently as great enjoyment and ease as did ever any of his own rough lads. The poor little doctor was utterly over, whelmed, he pushed his spectac es up on his forehead and stood looking blankly at her, as unconscious of his presence she was starting a fresh ascent ; the little black legs twinkled gaily up the pole, a final wriggle, and she swung herself up to the loft floor and turning per- ceived the doctor. " Do you want me,

Doctor dear ? " ehe called sweetly " do watch how quickly I come down," And watoh he did, and the gentle ladylike little girl he had been thinking about came run- ning eagerly to him, the dress he had admired hanging in tatters around her, a huge hole adorning the knee of each stock- ing, and her face-Oh t her face was grimy

and streaky as was ever Suds in its dirtiest


"Do you want me, Doctor dear?" she repeated brightly.

" N-n-no, Roberta, I think not," he said feebly, and rubbing his eyeglasses as if he

feared he was suffering 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 hie study, a sadder and a wiser man. With i sigh he put up the gaily bound poemc again reached down "Nicholson on th< structure and affinities of the genus monti culipora," and as he drew his chair to th« table, remarked solemnly, "They're strang« creatures-very strange creatures,-I don' think I quite understand them."

But whether he meant creatures of th genus monticulipora or creatures of th genus Bobbie Lennox did not appear.