|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW: 1881-1894)|
|Trove Title||A Girl Named Bobbie|
" 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 knee," suggested Dick j " 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 knoAV."
" 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."
And so they arranged it, the boys entering heartily into the plan, only, as we have seen, Suds at the last moment had to he 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 week ? Come right in, little miss."
Little Miss came right in, and was met hy a very black nigger in a somewhat shabby black suit, on which large silver buttons had been clumsily sewn-'' You bab de busness wid my lady, missis ?" he queried, salaaming ¿ind smirking before her, and then there was a sudden, smothered explosion of laughter at the further end of the hall, and several peeping heads were hastily withdrawn from the staircase land- ing.
" I-I-yes, I came to see Miss Lennox," said Midge, looking somewhat alarmed at t ie black's peculiar behavior-" does she not live here ?" she added, for with a sudden throb of fear she thought she might have come to some place similar to the scene of her unhappy adventure.
" Yah ! yali ! Marse Wallace he am out, Missy is bossin' round ; you gwine in ter see her ? Come long dis way, lady fair and beautiful as lotos berries, como long, her tink dat you lieber come, but I zay, non, non, mais, zee viii come, and presto she
(TO BE CONTINUED.)