|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW: 1881-1894)|
|Trove Title||A Dreadful Pickle|
A Dreadful Pickle.
" Midge, I am going to drive to the station, jon may come too if you like, with
" With Madame P" repeats Midge, some- what doubtfully.
"Yes, with Madame," says Mrs. Laurayne decidedly, and Midge knows coaxing is no use when her mother speaks in that quick little tone, so she goes slowly upstairs to dress, wondering if she can manage " her plan" to-day.
But after all Madame does not go. Frank is going up the line to play tennis, so, as Mrs. Laurayne dislikes a crowded carriage on a hot day, Madame stays at home. Very cool and dainty looks little Miss Laurayne as she trips down the steps to the brougham, in her short white liberty silk frock, with its butter- cup sash, small tan shoes, and tan gloves, and large white hat with buttercups nest- ling in the silk.
" Jane need not have dressed you so ex- travagantly,1" says Mrs. Laurayne, " one of your muslin frocks would have done, we are not going anywhere."
" I told her this dress," returns Midge, coloring a little, and then as her mother begins talking to Frank, she begins think- ing of her delightful " plan " again.
Midge had been reading a great deal lately about poor people, and had longed to do something to help them. When she Bet her mind on a thing she had her way, whatever the consequences, and she meant to this time. She had nearly driven everyone distracted asking questions about poor people lately. Mrs. Laurayne, to try and content her, had taken her to the Children's Hospital, on whose com- mittee she was ; but, although much im
pressed, Midge was not satisfied; " They are not poor enough," she complained, " I want to help poor people like those in London." Her father had laughed good humoredly and given her half a sovereign when ehe applied to him ; the boys had told her not to bother her little head about them ; Madame had shuddered when she boldly proposed visiting the poor like " the girls in the book," and declared they were dirty and dishonest, all of them.
Midge, however, was not to be daunted, " visit the poor " she intended to by hook or by crook. Quite a little romance she made up in her busy little head, how she, all dressed in white, should go among the people, talking to them, not in a patron- ising little way like mamma's, but freely and kindly ; how she would take out her purse and give them money ; displaying to their astonished gaze bright silver coin in plenty (she had ker half-sovereign changed into new sixpences and threepences on purpose), how she would advise them kindly, but firmly, not to get drunk or beat their children " like the people in the book," and how, as she went from house to house distributing kind words, smiles, and silver coin, they would look after her and think she was an angel.
When 'they got to the station Mrs. Laurayne's train was in (she was going to Hurstville for the night), so Frank and Mi J ge got into the compartment with her until it started. Then the bell rang and they jumped out. Mrs. Laurayne told Frank to put his sister back in the brougham, and then the train started,
" Let me go round to the other platform, Frank," coaxed Midge, " I lore seeing the trains," and Frank took her round.
" By Jove, there's my train just whistled," he cried as they reached the other side. " My watch was wrong ; you're a big girl now, Midge j just walk strraight down the platform and get into the brougham, I'll lose my train if I come," and, still speaking, he sprang on the train that was just moving off. " Shall you be all right P" he called.
" Yes, I'm all right," she answered gaily, and then stood waiving her handkerchief to him till the train was out of sight, and she was left alone on the platform-alone, with no bothering nurse or governess, or
brothers to take care of her.
Gould anything have happened more deliciously P Here was her very opportunity to " visit the poor."
(TO BK CONTINUED.)