|Chapter Title||A QUARREL WITH COUSIN JAMES.|
|Newspaper Title||Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872)|
|Trove Title||The Golden Link|
A Q UAUREL WITH COUSIN JAMES.
On the following morning Matthew Bolton and Phillip Armstrong met at the breakfast table, bat not a word passed respecting the scene of the night before. Mr. Bolton appeared busy with the Sydney paper, while Phillip conversed in a
low undertone with his brother and sister.
Days passed on, and Matthew Bolton never once alluded to Janet Carter. He spoke very frankly to Phillip, told him of the advantages of a country life, and how, when the Government had constructed a railway through that part of the colony, all the great station properties would
become enormously increased in value. Messrs. Mi.rlie.and . Norman, the great Sydney auctioneers, had assured him that he would act very foolishly if he parted with his land, as in a few years it would be one of the most valuable
estates in New South Wales.
At last Phillip thought he should hear no more of the proposal that Janet Carter should be his future wife, but things are not always what they seem, and when Mr.
Bolton told him one fine morning that he, Phillip Arm- strong, was expected at Mowarrah that evening to make one of a party, Phillip began to feel uncomfortable.
He could not refuse, yet at the same time he did not wish to go; he did go, however, for there was something in Matthew Bolton's look which warned Phillip that to refuse would be to widen the breach already existing between them. When Phillip reached Mowarrah the first person he met was Sam Carter, who asked him to come and see the new billiard room which he had erected in the rear of the building.
It was a plain looking apartment, constructed of weather- board, but a few chairs, and a table on which was placed an earthenware vase filled with flowers, imparted an aspect of homely comfort to the room.
When Phillip entered he perceived Janet with a cue in her hand, but she was not alone, for a tall young man was with her explaining the manner in which she should strike
" Allow me to introduce you to cousin James," said Sam, as he pushed Phillip into the room ; " Mr. James Kingston, Mr. Phillip Armstrong. "
The two young men bowed stiffly to each other, and then
Phillip felt very much inclined to give cousin James a sound thrashing, but why he could not for the life' of him explain to himself ; it could not be jealousy, for did he not have a dislike for women, and did he not hate being told to
fall in love with Janet Carter ?
But this did not prevent him from having a game with cousin James, whom he found to be a very good player.
Sam Carter acted as marker, and Janet looked on with
As the game proceeded the two competitors warmed with the work, and cousin James seemed determined upon being the conqueror : he wished to lower his supposed rival in the eyes of the maiden he loved, and to that end gave all the energies of his mind and body.
But Phillip had no desire to appear a loser on such an occasion, and he allowed the impetuosity of cousin James to play into his own hands, until at last his calm and collected demeanour became a source of irritation to J anet's . lover, who was allowing the green-eyed fiend to influence
The game stood at ninety all, and consequently every
point was of importance.
" Ninety-seven-ninety-five," called out Sam, and cousin James bit his lips savagely.
" Done it, by Jove," cried Phillip, as he made a splendid cannon, or believed he had made it.
" Why, the ball missed," Baid cousin James.
" Oh ! I'll swear it didn't," was Phillip's ready reply ; "did it, Sam?"
"Don't think you'll do me in that way," interrupted' Cousin James, hotly; "I'm not such a fool as you think me, I can tell you."
"My dear fellow," replied Phillip in a very provoking tone, "my dear fellow, don't fret yourself into a rage about it ; we won't count the stroke at all, if you like."
But this did not suit cousin James ; he wanted a row.
" I don't care about the stroke," he said contemptuously, and then he added bitterly, for jealousy had made him wild, "but I did think I was playing with a gentleman."
The red blood mounted into Phillip's cheek, yet he repressed his passion and answered calmly,
" James Kingston, you, are forgetting yourself; there is a lady in the room."
" Coward !" hissed out cousin James," is that the only way in which you can shelter yourself ?"
"Phillip Armstrong drew himself up to his full height he was not angry, but his proud blood could stand this no longer-and walked up to Janet Carter.
" I think you had better leave us," we must settle this matter alone ; I cannot suffer anyone to call me a coward with impunity. You and Sam can witness that it was his quarrel, not mine."
Much as she loved cousin James, Janet could not but see the truth of this, could not but admire the calmness with which it was spoken when compared with the almost savage fury of her relative.
Sam Carter looked on with a curious twinkle in his eye, but said nothing.
His sister was very pale. She hardly knew what she was was doing ; she only knew she would have given worlds to have spoken out.
However, she took Phillip's hand in hers, and, looking up into his eyes, she prayed him
"Do not fight ; promise me you will not fight."
Why did Phillip not speak out ? He was too proud ; his pride said, " Punish cousin James," and he listened to his pride and consoled himself by thinking that the right was his ; but he forgot, as many so often forget, the soft answer which turneth away wrath, and so he answered as men answer when their better part is borne down with the
Janet glanced at Sam, and his approving look encouraged her, she felt all the woman in her.
"James, you should not be so hasty ; come, say you are sorry, and let there be an end of all this."
But cousin James shook his head ; he was in no forgiving mood before, and it did not tend to make him the better to see her hand in that of him whom he so hated!.
And still Phillip did not speak.
It was Sana Carter's turn to say a few words.
" Now, young fellows, what's the good of falling out like . this ? Why don't you listen to Janet !"
Phillip Armstrong and cousin James made no^reply, but stared moodily at the ground.
Almost in despair, Janet went up to her cousin and laid her hand on his arm, and prayed him to do as she willed. There was no standing against that prayer and those sweet blue eyes, and so sullenly, very sullenly, he obeyed.
But Phillip found no friendship in the grasp of his hand, and he felt, but for the promise made to Janet, his self-con- stituted rival would have been glad if the affair had ended
as he had meant it to have done.
Sam Carter was somewhat perplexed as to the real charac- ter of the scene, and more than once he found himself won- dering whether, after all, Phillip had a liking for Janet, and was jealous of cousin James.