|Chapter Title||ON THE OTHER SIDE.|
|Newspaper Title||The Capricornian (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1929)|
|Trove Title||Half Round the World to Find a Husband. A Comedy of Errors|
Chlptek XHL— Os The Otheb Side.
rxactly one fortnight after she had landed in Valparaiso Ann Montague was standing on tbe harbour jetty waving h. r handkerchief, as the ' Yarrow ' raised its anchor and steamed out into »he bay, disappearing soon beyond the southern headland.
The ship was gone ; with Captain Goodman, her kind friend. But Ann — though regretting him — no longer felt in need of bis protection. During tbe paat days life had seemed not bo ranch a thing of gladness as of rest, divine, beautiful rest. The young girl's natnral shy ness of being suiong strangers had vanished like the morning mist, under tbe influence of the warm smiles and kiodly greetings that met her everywhere. Nothing could be more delicate than the eluvalrous courtesy of ber old betrothed, as she felt Dod Edoardo might be justly called. Not the faintesi show of authority ever made Ann fee! hemelf a captive, as a bird might that has flattered into some ho'ise by mistake where tbe windows are closed to keep the pretty visitant awhile. -o. Never conld she for a moment believe herself an nnwished-for guest, even were she as sensitive as a mimosa. As with all young maidens, Ann's first love was like a fever, its hot fit of jealousy tormenting her even after leaving Bahia, with its passionate pain, then a cold ague best describes the pangs of parting, mingled with doubts of meeting again. O ? tbe whole our young fern nine philosopher debated within herself whether during the voyage pain had not predominated over its pleasure. Now she had recuvered ber happy poise of mind ; her heart was like a singing bird. Kvery day some new thing pleased the stranger. One morning it wan a real Chilian
breakfast. Coming down early, as Ann often did to plsy in the garden with the children while the flowers were wet with dew and be tempted by Rostta to visit the chickens and dogs, she beard herself called by tbe old Don. wno came briskly stumping down the garden p*th. 'Come to breakfast! Ah! I have got such a treat f or you ; a real Chilian dish. He was smiling with broad satisfaction, but Rex's look presently eyeing a silver-covered disb was more c«'*ucal limn encouraging. ' There ! ' cried the old gentleman, whip ping off tbe cover with excitement. ** You shall try a real delicacy of the sea. These are herissos.' » nn spied half a dozen objects like marine biros' nests. They hart been rounded over like a wren's dwelling, but the tops were now taken off, and in eicb four orange tongues protrudedfromeeawaternucannilly. 'Why, they are alive!' she exclaimed, shrinking back aghast. ' WeU, so is an oyster when you awsllow him.' retorted her entertainer, plunging a spoon into tbe leceptade. 'Hey! What have we here? A hermit crab. Tony, this wDl do for your aquarium.' With shrieks of delight and eager spoons the children gathered round, each begging for a dear lit Je hermit, which they promptly carried off to a salt water bowl where they kept marine treasures. This was the last straw which broke down Ann's attempt at fortitude. In vain tbe old gentleman expatiated on the peculiarity that each shell should contain its hermit guest along with tbe sea urchin itself, 'as a jackal accompanies a lion.' A qualm seized her, and only that Don Bex good-naturedly befriended her fasridiousnoss, declaring that heruso omelet or tortilla was infinitely the best way to taste this exquisite morsel, she would bare felt nausea at the orange tongues which Don Kdoardo wished to pot upon her plate. It must be added that most other native dishes were excellent, if strange.- So Ann learnt to trust only in those offered her by Don Rex, although she wisely never appeared to shun hia father's tisces ; for it was curious that the old Englishman had ac quired quite Chilian liking!) in many w-*ys, while his son Bhowed himself cosmopolitan, if not wholly European. It must not be sup posed, however, that the kindness of tbe Palmer family should make our heroine entirely forget her strange position. For a week, acting on Captain Goodman's advice, she was cimpl* bappy among them ; then she sought old Don Edoardo, where he was snip ping amonx his rose trees, looking like a portly mushroom under a straw hat of gigantic size. Aunt Ines was ' seated near, dressed all in black, and with a cbiua crepe shawl of equally funereal fane, pinned in severe folds tight round her head ; for she bad just ret tuned from church. It was her presence near that encouraged Ann to speak, feeling still very shy on this delicate subject. ' Bleu my s .ul !' The old gentleman tilted his bat till it made a wide background to his hearty vi&^e, glowing fromtheexertions of stooping. 'Whatuallthisabout? Afraid of putting yourself under too deep an obliga tion to us. Upon my word ! when we are only too eratef ol - for the society of a bright young creature like yourself, fresh from rjng tand, as red as a rose,- and as'sweer as -sugar candy. - -Tbere, there 1 ~ I see .compliments make yon shy. - ' What are you aiying about Ani.a? Well now. listen to what we all think as a united family' upon that subject.' He eangfat her band as Grouted towards his sister in-law. '? Ines now tell Miss Ann. - Did we agree last night, you, and I, and Rex, that we owed ber a debt of gratitude for ridding us of that artful little ?»'?'? eh ? Did we or did we not?' 'Yes, we did,' quietly answered Aunt Ines, surveying Ann's trouble i lace in a Kentlewomanly way, if not entirely affection ately. ' Of ctrarae. you are comparatively a new acquaintance to ns yet, . iss Ann, still it is easy to see that you were honest in this matter, although too easily persuaded, like msny young girls. ' Senora,' replied Ann gratefully, gathering courage to explain her mind. ' For that very reason I nave been wishing to support myself for a while here, by giviug lessuns in (English. Then I shall not feel myself abusi g your kind hospitality until — I am — possibly —obliged to return to England.' She -u thinking of her promise to Bryan, and. deeply blushed- Tbe old don couched and blinked across the valley. Were In^j' fnll red lips smiling as she averted her head to spare Ann's nervousness? ' You speak in a right spirit of independ ence or -elf-help, my dear,' she said, with grave approval. ' Brother, that is a trait in Englishwomen which. I admire, and if that Miss An - bere can. teach some of our Chilian girls to have the same self-reliance in life, sbe will be doing the country a real service. Listen. Miss Montague, yor were teaching Rcsita. to read English thlB morning. Why not give her aod Antonio lessons ? That will be a great kindness to us, while relieving yonr own mind. Edoardo. suppose you go away, and we will talk over it together.' Left alone, th'. Senora pointed ont to her young guest that the children truly needed a governess and that were one brought ont from England, as Don Rex had lately wished, this won d be at a considerable expense. In a most obliging manner she made it plain that his obligation as a parent would be too great, unless their guest consented- to receive some monetary return therefore; and on Ann scouting this idea with fine scorn, the older woman firmly insisted that no expenses must be incurred by their guest dnring her stay in the bouse. 'I think you are quite right to remain some months, and see ho«- yon like Chili and onr ways before making up your mind to re turn to Knglaod or not.' bo Ines impress ively ended the conversation. ' You English girls arc sensible on these subjects, it seems to me.'
One last point remained u be cleared op. ' Please excuse my asking,1' stammered Ann, following lues, who rose snd walked toward the house, 'butwilliioiyourfriends,yourrelauons, think it forward of me »uying bere under the circumstances? They know I .oppose about the intended fam-ly arrangement.' For the lite of her she could not have uttered proxy ' No one knows,' said Ines, stopping and speaking clearly. ' No one, that is except tfia MaoTiRUes, and they will be silent for their own sakes, as they are so ashamed of Anita's misconduct. You see the wedding was to nave been entirely jail jut you ay, a family arrangment. Don Pedro and my brother are political friends, bnt the matter was never breathed outside onr circle. I have told tbe neighbours that you are a young I friend of my brother's family, come out from \ England to see the country, and to pay as a visit. That is quite sufficient. .English girls V travel so much alone that you will not be \- thought extraordinary.' V And, indeed, ber words proved exactly - 1 true. . . i All that afternoon, Annt Ines showed ber- V. self unnsuslly friendly towards ber young i\ guest, and at night accompanied tbe latterto V the foot of the stairs 'Sleep well, dear V Ann,'sheaud.cUppingberoouotbsboulders, : J. ending with a couple of kisses. 'I hope we '', 1 ?hall be quite good friends, for yon are such ? :- %1 sensible creature. I hope, my dear, you were . , not hurt at my coldness when first you came. You see I was wounded— for the family ! So . distinguished an alliance ; many a Chilian girl * . '* of our first families would be g*ld and proud of the oner! . . . Then to be made ridiculous by Anita MacTaeue, snd find a airanger substituted, as tbe Chinese convicts hire aome one else to be executed in their place —it seemed too bad !' Ann warmly agreed that it did. ' And you will excuse my going upstairs with you at night, dear? We Chilians bate going upstairs, our legs are not used to it ; indeed I often wonder bow the English ever grew accustomed to upper storeys, tbatmeanfl perpetually walking up steps.' A hearty laugh i rum the old don and his son, who just then came out in: o the baU, broke oft the colloquy. ' Evidently Senora Im£g is insinuating thst my ancestors were acquainted with i he treadmill,' cried Ann gaily, going upstairs with a bounding step. ' Yon must call me lues, quite short,'1 cams from the hall below in affection .te tones. *? That is our Chilian fashion, you know, and I shall call you Ann, or Anita. ' ' Yes, yes ? well all do that,' echoed tbe host, sturotly, standing with bis legs planted wide apart like an Engdah oak, somewhat withered in the bead- 'This is a free republic ; no Mbtere or Mimes here, but just Tom, or Dick, or Harry : if a man be even President of Chili You shall call me John '??dward, I like to bear my English name As - to Rex bere, I Bay nothing ; he can speak f car himself.' Ann was learning over the balusters npetairs looking down with abright faeeat those below. Rex was looking np at her, bis tall figure well defined sgaiust a red velvet enrtju. But be ,-'-: said never a word. ?? Ann went into ber room, and closing ths- ?? door gave a small «gh. Bu was tne one shadow now thrown across bersunlic- borizw. * : ' He is sUll against me, althongfa I have won j Ines. And he is so ?listiognjahed looking; a ;] handsome edition of Lord IhaneL Well, , please .goodness, I will make him like me ' ?'j before I leave Chili.' i