|Newspaper Title||South Bourke and Mornington Journal (Richmond, Vic. : 1872 - 1920)|
|Trove Title||Dark Days: A Story of Light|
A STORY or L?GH.; IvGO. MAS tr.Le FlY.d CHArR I. , IATEVER is'the old fellow going to do?" " Let's go on the pier and see."' The 'sceno was a: fishing.village on the rocky coast of Corn wall, the time about ten o'clock on one'of those delioious Au. gust mornings whim the sun is veiled by a thin iaeo of mist,
anl the sea is dappled with delicate grey i?nt, that give it'the appearance of some of the freshly-dog ores of the neighboring land, tldvery and glossed withiridescentreflections. A dozen or so of brown-sailed htggers lay in the tiny harbor, half round which a solid gnite pier curved like a protecting armi to ,ave them from the onslaught of the waves. On the cobble.stones and' rounded ahingle below the cliff, filmy brown neta'sierelaid out to dry; and on the cliff, leaninig against its posts and iron rail, were a score or so of blue.jerseyed fishermen;rwatching,-like the two speakers, the movements of a tall, grey, militsry-looking man, who had carried a couple of boies ind what appeared to. be an casel to the end of the little pier, followed by a troupe of boys. As ,the twolfriends walked slowly down the' steps towards the harbor, the grey'military-looking man took off his cap, from which hung the folds of a puggree, and evidently said something to the boys, who kept stinding dangerously near the edge of the pier, which .was totally unprotected, and washed by ,tbo deep witor all around. . "Artist trying for a good bit to:paint," said the first speaker. : "No, Fred. Photographer for 'agolden crown." r ' ' The two friends, fresh from' London's hot pavement, had only arrived:at Trereene:the night before, having learned"that it was a' thoroughly out-of.the-way place, where they could idle away three week as holiday, enjoys ing the sea-breeze and breathing health at every inspiration, without, as Richard Barry said, being bothered:' with 'brass. bands, annoyed by niggers, and fidgetedby fashion able cads. Trereene so fully realised their expectations, that Richard:Barry had'come out from the little inn where' they had found elean rustic lodgings'in 'his"slippers, and Fred Lasmore, fully-fledged barrister,from Gray's Inn, without collar or tie." They sauntered down to the pier, drawing in long breaths of the iodine-laden air, thoroughly enjoying the peaceful calm of the quiet place. "Sea-side visitors, Dick, even here," said: the barrister; and he nodded towards where another elderly gentleman, in a straw 'hat and puggree, was helping a couple of young ladies over the rocks close to'the water's edge. Plenty of room for us, old fellow," was the reply; and they sauntered on along the pier. " Now, look here,'my lad, if you slip ofi there, you will certainly be drowned." The boy addressed, a brown bare-legged urchin, shifted his position to one far more dangerous, While his companions scuffled about, hung together, and whispered among themselves. The elderly gentleman looked up with a humorous expression of vexation upon his sun-browned face. ' "I hoped .we had left all the boys in London," said the visitor addressed nasDick, "but I see you have a few here." "Few, sir 'They abotind. " They swarm' everywhere. If I goright away amondg the rocks they follow me; and I'ye foushd itso wherever I've been. They .were a nunisance at Delhi; they nearly drove me mad 'in Ceylon; and wherever I went, from Malacca to Penany, or frpm Signapore to Siam, there they were, the young dogs, and without a rag of cotton amongst a mob." . "You haie travelled, then " "Well, yes; I had thirty years in' the East, and the number of plates' the young dogs spoiled, and the 'iottles they :upset, would have worried a saint" "You practise photography then"' said Luahmore. "M3y hobby, sir ;'my, hobby.. I was in the Engineers,- and we used it a good deal' out yonder. When I came home sick with the remains of jungle-fever; I- had 'a great deal of leisure, and at offered itself as an amuse ment;'thenl found the 'new proceeses'and inventions so fascinating that It became 'my greatresourece; and hero Iam, ready 'to get an instantaneous view" of that lovely effect yonder, with the smoke of the steamer, the foam of the water from its screw,, and the softdappled'damascene of the sea, and here re these young dogs-There, ii know it I ilelp here I help I" For just then, in a bit of a scuffle for place,' one of the urchins was elbowed. off the pier, and went down into the. deep water with a tremendoas splash. His companions shouted, there was a sluggish movement amongst the fishermen high above them on the cliff, and some of them might have arrived in time to save the boy, but it was 'doubtful, for a strong ebb' was running; and he, either from ignorance or fear, could hardly swim a stroke. Richard Barry gave one glance around for a boat, but them was none handy, and with. ont a moment's hesitation.he took a header from the pier of some ten feet into the pure deep water, rose after forming acurve, swam to the boy, and then round.the head of the little pier to some steps, nup which he carried the boy, who was roaring lustily. It wasan heroic act, but a simple feat that any swim mer could have accomplished; and as soon as.Richard tBarry had set'down his noisy eharge, h~e and his friend ,began laughing. "Nonsense, my dear sir, nonsense il' "My good air, I say it was a' very gallant et, for without you that boy'e-life: would have beei lost;' and the 'photographer rsped Barry'? wet hand 'and shook it he asrtly, he' stood there in his slippers forming the centre of a pool of water. "lallo, Tom I: anything wrong 1" shouted somebody. "No, all, right now, Jack. Boy fell off thepier. This gentleman saved him," said the photographer, with military sharpness. "More's the pity," said the new comer, as Barry and Lesmore glanced from the speaker, who 'was similarly dressed and bore no slight resemblance to their new acquaintance, and let their eyes rest upon the two ladies, his young companions, both of whom looked pale and agitated. "Don't s.y that, ;Jack; a boy's a boy. y dears, visitors from London :; gentlemen, my daughter-my niece-my brother, Cap tain actuary." Fred Luamore thought of his collar and tice lying upon his dressing table, as he raised his hat ana bowed politey ; while Richlard Barry stood in his poo looking, as Fred afterwards told him, like a drowned rat. The paleness departed from the ladies' faces - they returned the salutes, and Richard BEtry saw a peculiar.twinkle in the eyes of one of them, a rather short,. blright little
thing, asif sho were fighting down a desire :o leaugh: ,i ot 'hiu supleasnt' predicament Wasendredby tiheir',first a qulintance clap- pighim h eartily'on the'h. oulder.: p :, . Don't estaop l upon ceremony, -but ren back;, mydLer sirond'change your elotheis. Lot's see; your staying 'at Mrs Bradle's.' I eard' lost night. 3 My brother. brought in thenews.: Capital woman. Get dryflannels on d~iretly, or it my strikeointo yourecon. founded bone?No no;' I meanldamp strikes' into- mine. .Hath-ah'l 'there.: it :goes; i'a hundlred yards away. I'll send a loat after it anti have it brought, :XoaW do,"priy,':nay dear sir,- go and change yoiur things. ' Yoau're looking blue alreadym. Oh l here s Batman; don't stop 'to be introduced. There's. my place, .up theri on the cliff. Dropin by. and-bye and see us." . : As he'talked on, he .hurried ;his wet so quositance away.' along :th pthe ier,1 Fred Lotmore bowing to the ladies and following hie frtend,'pasengh'a darkgook'lsfkiig man of seven or- eight :and twenty, in straw.hat and Taohting serge suit.,' The -latter said something as the old gentleman iaud.Barry paseld, and then fxinig his glass inhis eye; remained-staring after' them. .: " s Lusmore 'came up,- he.stared :at him.t '. .. . .-, :' Fellah had decking r f1 he said. . :"Yes;'fellah had dncking, ' ,'replied' Lu. more shoritly, andwalked on.- a!'HowaI'do hate that tyle'of fellow.l" he muttered pashe overtook' Barry. and.: his new, frienld, who parted fromthem at the inn,- and repeated his reqcestthat they would call. '. As Barry came down he found. his friend jnst commenciong a cros-examination of the andlady-a . dark, rosy-faced woman, the wife of a merchant-captain, who attended to the little inn while her husband.was. carry. og cargoes of:pilchards to Eastern porte.., Majlor Sanctuary, eh i" "-Yes, air, and a very nice gentleman too, much, nicer than his brother the captain, though' he is not at all a hbad kind of ' gentle man, only he will talk as if he lived on sting ing-nettles instead of good wholesome lettuce and such like."t . Lnsmore had begun with. a leading quea. tir or.two, and :found afterwards, that he only needait still, for,the buxom 3ady.ira ready, to flow on with all she knew right.ta the end, ' . . . . ' '- " In the'army, sir. o Not nowr sir; -least. wise they was. -Poobr gentlemen, they. had both left their nladies at Cawnporo, and were awniyu withathoir :regiment;:and when theyg heack--Ah, sir I I can't bear, to think of it. Fortunately though, poor ladies, their little girls were over here, at Bath, 'which is a town in Somersetehire,'sir being educated at an officers'-daughters' boar ing-sohooL They went outto Penang and Singapore to join their pas afterwards, and four years ago, sir,. they came and settled down here, at Cliff Cottage. .The major has never.been well long at a time, .for he has. fits of.jncgley fever now and:then; and. they say his brother, the captain, has bad health, too, air; but between you and me,, sir, I think it's mostly temper. They officers out in Indy do eat such hot things; pickles, and curries, and capsy cums, air,,that they and thehot weather spoils their health." "The major photographs," said Barry, striking in. "Law, sir I I didn't hear you come down in -those soft shoes: do.let me mix you something to keep you from catching colt. Yes, air, all day long, and the captain gardens up at the cottage there.- They've got the loveliest greenlhouse there, full of flowers, grown from seedls they brought over from foreign lands. Did you see the.young ladies !" " Oh, yes, we saw the young ladies," said Lnsmore. -" Are they-er-we met a dark gentleman dressed like a sailor.".. - - '.' Oh, that is Mr. Basman, sir.i, Yes,;I think so.: One of them, sir. . Sometimes we think it's . Miss May, and sometimes we think it's Miss Dinah. He's down. hre a deal, sir.: Comes from London, he does. A very kind gentleman, they say he is;.and the major thinks a deal of him, bqt the.men down here think he's orty.'. r : . ' Oh, "they think he' 'orty,' do they " skid Lusmore., ;'Yes, sir, they do. They say, you see, sir, that a man's only a man whether you dress him fine or only in tarpaulins, and that a real kentleman, such as the major or the captain,,never seems orty at all. And now, sir, what time would you like dinner 1" "' Two?" said Barry. " Yes, two, Mrs. Bradly; and'mind this, weo've come down-to Cornwall to live on fish and cream,eso don't you ever comeand say there are none to.be had." . i I'm sure I'll do my best, gentlemen, to male you comfortable," said the landlady, curtseying, asher visitors madeafresh start out to breathe the sea-air. S ..Cu(rrn-II. . ' The two friends" waited two days.before making a movement towards accepting the warm invitation they had received, and then their laggard steps were hastened by meet ing the major upon the cliff. "Good morn ing I" he said, with a quite a military salute.. "' was in agony all day yesterday, for fear you should call. Had one of my' fits on. gentlemen; remains of my fever. Liver,-I suppose. The paradise of a place looked a desert, and the world something to get out of as soon as possible. Ah, how I envy you youngfellows your health and strength l" "Which we ran down here to touch'up," said Lusmore. "Touch up " said Captain Sanctuary, whom they suddenly came upon, spyglass in hand, seated in a niche of a granite cliff. " What do you boys know of ill-health]? Idle excuse to get away from town'for a holiday. Old story. Told it myself at school. 'Please, sir, I've got such a bad heaidache, may I gok home ?" "Brother Jack, gentlemen, is one of the best-hearted misanthropes in the world," said the major. S"Rubiahl I Misanthrope ol As to the world, it'i hollow-humbug. I'm glad. to getoutof it. We did get as:faroautof!it ae:we could without going into the eea-oh,' Tom 1" "My brother, gentlemen, has an idea in his head that I ought to have'been Coin mnander-in-Chief of Her Mfajesty's'Foreeis instead of a poor half.pay major.. : "You've been diagracefully treated, Tom, and you know it." "Nonescnse, Jack ! I'vegot ll deserved. How could a broken old fellow like I a·m ever do much good? The cruelty has been in letting you go unrewarded, after all your faithful services and wounds." "Hang it, Tom I if you can't talk com mon senoose before strangers, I must go;" and shutting the telescope up with a clang, jnst as if he were sheathing a sword, he marched off without look or salute. The major smiled. "That's how brother Jack and I quarrel,' gentlemen," he said. " He cuts me, and I cut him, and we come to high words about the rewards we ought to have bad, and then, puff~ it's all over, and we go to our hobbies. I was just looking round to see if it was worth while to bring out the camera, bhut there is too much sunshine, and-I am glad I met youe, gentlemen. Come along up to the house." Richard Barry looked at Fred Lushmore, .-and his eyes said plainly enough, "This is
an original family;" aind Lueiio rerturne'd Sthi glance'with oe? that-aid; "Quito ight, ist s and then they' followed' the imajor algig the 'o whal ile he";eopped'from tim' otine ad oited out the b seat ews, o hptt ong ?way'vobll the while. ': er'Thst aa fine'bit, he said. "You can see'the GullRock well.'' l'v pto. ba of all these, inidoora. Tiere no "nd there, both of 'you. That's quite safe' if yu don' try to, jump off, and I woi't'?iS h yon over. 'There you are now. 'atchi that great wave eslowlyr'olling'ilike'aloiig hill oftiat?; here 'it' c~me' faster aodi'faster. Tlere it is tiurned into a'breaker 'and those cascades of water are washing the rock beow qlite 'aimooth, as they 'have gio' on .wehing it for thousands of years. "How far` downisthatP' " , 'I Siityfeet," criedLuemore. "Ah'"qiuite eighty.saidd Barry.' 'Two'hihndiaed and eleven; my-dear airs, an ui'dbme mwith 'a onger- lin'annd a met. hese heights, ith preec of sonichi that is great, are'deceptve.. Fihe sea-view, is't it? One atosp end you would belout'if England: . . '. . ,Out o; the. world, I, should ,sny, said rry. .. 'Right, my dear.air,,yon would. Out-of.: the-way place for a couple.of,:ol 'soldiers to coina to,. eh Font is, we, can't atford'Ln dots.andsociety, so we..come, down here. Bnt's cheap, living ditto, and,brother Jack: an& I.ean indulge in our hobbies, and growl at theworld. Now, turn through. this gap, up, these steps, and here. we are. ..Ah. tlire'sJack gardening; 'and the girls are at They climbed up some rough granito steps, paised, between some natural pillars of rock, an found themselvei 'directly after in front ofa very :charming: cottage;' built in a sheltered nook facing the sea.- :It was pro teqted on three sides from the winds;and the rugged natural terrace on which it had been: erocted had been turned, with admirable taste, into a rookery upon an extended scale. There were no prim; straight walks,. and ,wall-shaped flower-beds; but the nooks and. corners had been filled with rich' oil, flowers" ani' ferns ?planted, and every level, spot sarpeted-with velvet turf.. In one corner. !wda aconservatory, lput were it would catch ,the full.glow ofthe southern sun, and in enflles places advantage, had been taken'oif the ruggedness of the place to form verdant nooke. p: r . ' '[ : All brother Jack's work," said the major, noting, the admiring? glances of the! frends. . 'Cotuldn't" do that' in la garden ropid 'London; forty feet' by twenty, oh'
SFred Lusmore thought of his collar aund tie a he hewed politely" (.ee tale, "Dark Days ").
There's Jack going to put on his coat again •just as he had taken it off." ! In effect the captain.disappeared behind a piece of fern-hung granitebut' his absence was hardly needed, for the 'ladies rose from where they were at work and came forward. ' "Charming I" said Lusmore that evening, as they. sauntered back'in the moonlight to the inn. 1' I never t so pleasant an eteningin my life: That giot," tall.girl, May Sanctuary, is my very ideal of.aisweet women, so natural, so full of repose. And. as for the other, she. is a regular. witch. She's as merry as a cricket." " Are cricket's merry ?" said Barry, uietly.. : : "Don't know.; never was on a cricket's visiting list; but one must havesmiles. Why, Dick, what a quiet old fellow you are I I should have thought-yo-Lwould have liked a couple of girls like those; they are so fresh and n?nrtificial." * I. did .like. them, "said Barry quietlyly " Yoeu doii't'wan't.a man to jump about and. shout becauae hbois pleased, do you Y''" " ot 1, but. you seemed, what, we ,Lin. colnshire,folk call clunch. You .were dull ahd heavy and distant all the evening." "It was from qnlet enjoyment then.,, . f "'Ah I that's right.I lsay, what a capital, 'ut of. old chaps ;they are! ,Who'd have. thought'of:meeting such men downihere!";. ?'And such women " : ., ": Murder I yo, oughtn t to talk of such's pair of sylphs as women." :;., S"There;:I':differ from you,1" said,. Barry smiling.: " Woman is the grandest title you can give to one of the other sex. Awoman I What is greater, more beautiful than a true' woman?' . i "Hark at Whim 1" said. Lusmore; addres" sing nobody. '"H is getting un a lecture. BntI say, Dick, where's t'other " " 'Where's t'other?' What do you mean I" "I'd forgot all about him- the dark gentleman in the yachting serge, who is sup. posed to be engaged to one of the young ladies. Hang the fellow I I'd made up my mind to fall in love, and:I can't do that; of course, until I know which one is free." S"Yes; I had forgotten the dark gentle man," said Barry. "However, he could be spared." " Perhaps he is off yatchting," said Lo? more, as they turned into their rooms. "If. he is, may he take it into his head to sail on all round the world, forhe would be decidedly de trop here." " Perhaps that would be his sentiment with regard to us.!'- : (.To bicontrued.) .; .