Chapter 71070873

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71070873
Full Date1886-12-18
Page Number12
Corrections0
Word Count2018
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleWhat Came of It: A Christmas Visit
article text

What Came of lt.

: 'JCHRISTMAS VISIT./ ? '1

- r j >Soe Ministration ou Frontispiece.) .

CHAPTBE I. . "

M-ïfc was;aliot af ternoon in summer. - ¿The flowe d l'doped their heads beneaththe < scorching, ra of the'sun.1-'-Not a leaf stirred. ^ The cattle.we gathered together in- mobs beneath the shade'

the thick bean and cedar tree3 which skirted: t river.; ;On aa'gentle rise, overlooking- a ;lar¡ ? greW jriain,-was a nice-looking house.; from ti

road ono could eeo the broad,1 cool-looking vera dahs, with thoir ; green- venetian blinds.?<> Ye' cool, indeed, 1 they - looked to ?' two young m< travelling along «that hot Christmas Eve,, on Christmas vis t. ? >?

; " Ah, that must be the house !" exclaimed' on -T How thankful I shall be to"get!there.' I had] idea that theso journeys-in Australia were "half : bad as they are. 'Puts one in - mind ¡of Gordo

doesn't it?* ' \ ' '1 >

High noon, aud not a olcutl in the sky . : ¿ , < . : ; . ; J 'Io break this Liiudnni sun..'.. ;.4-n -">'??

/Well,.I've half the day bofore ino still, - ' : ? And most of wy journey done.

There's little.OuouKh ol shade to be g*ot ; ' ?

- : But I'Jl'take what l ean got." : . . . "

., * " And so' I will," continued ho/pulling up> ar - .dismounting aâ they came to a clump of trei

overgrown-with wild clematis and other creeper ; '^Andnow, Mr.. Hargrave, while" we res-c in th

''deliciously cool place, you can tell mo all 'aboi

the Clift'onsf who >vere kind enough to'invitft u -to accompany you.'on .your , Christmas visit i

'them." ' f

, < t " Well," remarked Eustace Hargrave, f as ,said before, ' Mr. Clifton is 'au Englishman. B ^uie outhere, I believe, soon after he was marriec and bought a-station, and has been here eversinc« His wife is awfully, nico, and so aro his daügl tere. He ha3 two. L; The eldest's name is Editl and the other is Viola 5 both awfully pretty girl: ü ', by the way, they have an orphan niece livin with them'no.w,. 'I can tell you, old boy, it is

jolly place to stay at. You know the son I'be ,lieve ; and nowyou havo finished, your cigar.w had bettor move on.' You were always lazy as ¡ ,boy, but I think you are worse now." Tbeyonn¡ ' man addressed wa3 a ': tall,', : handsome fellow

broad-shouldered-a ^ rogular : Hercules y browi ;3iair, too closely cropped to bo curly j' clear, dari blue eyes ; and light brown mustache: - Ho hac come from England' on a visit to his frîond-Har, grave,- who owned a station on . the Richmond vHargrave was a handsome dark- man. ' So,. leaving them to finish their journey, wo . shall make our selves acquainted with tho Cliftons. , ' - 1 :

:- In tho front verandah, of a -house wore .throt girls sitting in easy chairs roundJ a1 littlo; table .which was covered with glass dishes filled witl 'peaches and grapes. . . - .

-. r f Will cither o£ you come with me for a ride ,when it's cooler?" demanded one of the girls ; Her name was Viola. She was- very dark. Large

loft, brown oyes, dark hair, and .brown- skin, . bright color, lipsliko the pomegranate, and pearly

white teeth. ' V

. V I know it's no use asking. Edith, for she never will when it's hot. But really^ Nellie, I think you ought to." 1 ..:. ; .'

. " Viola, you are positively cruel to try rand drag either of us ont in this terribly hot day. I pity ' aren the poor cattlo." ' r

Tho speaker was a pretty little thing, neither fair nor dark. Sho was the orphan daughter Cf Mrs. Clifton's sinter, and was now living with hes tracie and auut as ono of the familye

" Nellie, Nellie, it's too bad of you to forsake me as well as Edith. The only one loft me now," continued she laughing, "is my black boy Billy, and, thant goodness, he is reliable Girls, do you know I've found my now horse jumps beautifully. '?'1' am going to try him over the fence in the big

paddock this afternoon."

,; .:£ Don't, Viola, don't," exclaimed both girls .^simultaneously, " it's much too high."

, . Nonsense," laughed Viola, vanishing. Ten ; minutes elapsed j and she returned equipped in a

f>erfectly fitting dark blue habit, and a large soft elt hat shading her pretty face. She was busy buttoning her gloves, whon she looked up mis ; ühieviousíy, md said "Edith, Shakespeare will '? soon havo no interest fer you, I see Air. Eustace .j in the distance., Good-bye, I shall be back before ji dark. ." Toll marama .lib is coming." .,

.;ay/And . ;off ^sbor went; EdithV. checks, became

Busliod at the me'n^q^o/.-.'Mr,' .H^gr^yeV't.They ' were not ongaged as yet, .bat" ib ' was evident tb

Mr. Clifton that young Hargrave wanted to maiTv hjw daiitrhkr. "No, none," he wrote him,

when Eustaee'B letter came, aaking whether he had any objections to his asking his daughter whether ? she would be bia wife. " I don't like

losing my daughter ; but I must remember that I too took my wife away from her parents; so 1 must expect the same thing. Como and Btay with us, my dear boy, ns soon ns you like, and bring your friend with. you. Any friend of yours, ia welcome here." As soon as Hargrave received this, he rodo over with his friend from his .own

station, which was about forty milos from that oí

tho Cliftons.

. As these two young men noared the station they were startled by the sound of galloping hoofs, and a. voice exclaiming, " Don't, missy j dont ;" and a young lady came into view mounted oh a magnificent, spirited horse Sho was eittirig well back in her saddle, her reins firmly held. In front of her .was a big fence. Tho noble animal

j threw up his hoad, and shortened Iiis stride. His

mistress touchod him on the flank with her whip, and-tho young mon hold their breath. A flying leap, and thoy wore over. . '. f : "Thank goodness," ^exclaimed ¡a . ¡voice, and looking in ?. front of her < sho saw. Eustace and ,hÍE friend. Sho advanced toward) thein,; her-largo soft oyes shining and heir cheeks flushed with

excitement.

i; "Miss Viola, how can you try such dangerous

¡jumps ? Not one horse in -ahundred could-liave j cleared, that," said Eustaco, after introducing hex

to his friend. ? -:?-'. .'".Ki u! -

! .." I never ¡expected to seo vou come down alive, ! MissTClifton,". added' Victor ÍMoysterv-r~r

». ' HViôla,'laughed, and renhedi *{ . You^know^liow.] ! loVo" jumping, Mr. Hargrave.' I: always -feel,- as ! my'favorite,poet says: . . ; , ,

Thou tho loan; the riso fioWthè springy tiirfj

Tho rush throuph tho buoyant air,

. -.-.s.: And-tho Blight shock landing-the veriest Bert

is an Emperor then and there'?....... , ~

j"I am:'glad you admire«Gordon's poems., 1 myself am a great ádmirór'óf thom," said Mr, Moyster. :

"Are you?" replied Viola. "I think his verses are BO ? touching..and -true,-and he describes,, the bush life so well, but Ii must not stay "talking here j" for -I., have not half exorcised my .horse." And the restive animal sho was on began^plung ing. 'lr ' , v t

"He seems very,troublesoine," said Hargrave; "not at allflt for a lady to ride." ; ; ,.' . .

: "He is simply porfoct," returned-she ; "it~is only1 his spirits.- A -good gallop will J-soon- take the nonsense'out of him.- So au revoir till AhiE evening," and, nodding 1;> the young men, she went off .at a smart canter across the long plain, fol lowed by her faithful blabkboy. ~ . ? - "*".

. " I say, Hargrave," you'did not half prepare rae for'such loveliness. - ThoBe softrdark eyes of her? are Uko an Italian's. Is the othor Miss- Clifton

as'pretty?" -~ :-'[,n,x *

" To my eyes she is more so, but quite a differ ent style. She is ~ .

Diviuoly tall,

And most divinely fair," i-, i ~

; " Ah ! hore we are." . , And they were warmly 'welcomed by' Mr. Clifton;who advanced toward thom.- . - _-.< ; -.

..Î Just; excuse me for a few; minutes;'said ' lie, af ter ja;, short ohat.r 11< You^wül find' the ; girls on the verandah. Yoii know the way, Eustace. I won't be long. I have to 6ee to a horse that got hurt." I ~ 'V . _ . «T . ' .

There; is no need to say how glad Edith was to see Mr.'Hargrave.; for-surely lovers .are-ialways glad to'meet each "other." "And in welcoming .him' her cousin's - evident. agitation: on ¡. seeing., Mr; Moyster was unnoticed by all saye that gentle man himself. Nellie's pretty pink cheeks blanched white, and.thero wa3 a world of pain in tho bluo eyes as she sliook hands with aim:' She:'had known bim when living in England., He, too, looked surprised, but pleased as well. "Yes,',' he waa saying to Edith, "Miss Nevill and I ,are quito old friends. Yv e often met in the old 'country j did wo not?" turning to Nellie. ; : \b~y

" Yes," she replied, with a very faint'atteinpt tO.Smile. ,v;- ??? >:\c;\ i '. ' ':' ? <.<;?'! I i; '\l -1

" Viola is out riding," said/Edith. I wish she was home. She made me fidgety by^talkihg about jumping her horse over some ifence." ;v- ?

j " "We motMiss Viola,"said Mri Moyster/" about

a mile from here, in the act/of picar bag the fence. She sat it ? superbly. Her horse is .certainly a good jumper, but it is a dangerous ïeap. I can see her in the distance now, So you may . set your fearsiat rest, Miss Clifton." \" < ?

¡ri Mr, Hargrave was talking to Nellie, who had now recovered her composure. .. , \ . .

. "How do you do?" said Hargrave, as a tall, handsome, fair lady advanced toward them, " this is my friend, Moyster." . . ' . r ' ' ..

i "I am very glad to see you, Mr* 'Moyster ¡ I seem to know you so woll frontf hearing Eustace

talking about you," and Mrs» Clifton warmly I shook hands with him. They all chatted away j for some time until the dressing bell . rang, and ! they all dispersed to their rooms. - ' . -\??.

Edith was tho first to outer the drawing-room,

and soon afterward Hargrave followed. He | " crossed ovor to the sofa to whore she was sitting ; i 1 and, taking hos hoad in his, he said

Edith, you must havo guessed by thia time how much I love you. Will you be my wife,'

dear?"

" Yes, Etustaoa," she whispered softly. '

A few minutes afterward Mrs. Clifton came in. "Tho vory person wo were about to seek," they told her. "And I think I can guess the reason. Yea, Eustace, you may have her. I feel sure you will make her a good husband." Hero laughing voices interrupted them, and Nellie and Viola, closely followed by Mr. Moyster, Mr. Clif ton, and tho Cliftons' son (Edward) entered. Nellie looked bewitching, dressed in a soft palo pinki Indian muslin, knota of ribbon hore and there, and blush roses at hor throat. Viola was in cream and rod, which set off her Italian beauty to perfection. Ali through tho evening Mr. Moystor paid Viola great attention. Her bright witty manner ^harmed him, and her singing ho tîioùgnt perfection; Hero was a oioor sweet mezzo sopvana voice, and suited his well. So they sang aomo pretty duets.