Chapter 71123191

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Chapter NumberII
Chapter TitleTHE SHADOW OF A CLOUD.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71123191
Full Date1889-09-07
Page Number31
Corrections0
Word Count918
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleDark or Fair. A Story of Town and Country
article text

. CHAPTER II.

THE SHADOW OP A CLOUD. '

. ."Rollo; do not lean over the:side of the ves sel," cried Polly,,as the, child, heedless ot all danger, stood upon the great coils of rope and looked down into the foaming! waters. The little fellow laughed merrily at his sister's fear, and called Ellen to watch the dolphins as they darted up from the dashing billows, shimmering in the sunshine for one moment, then disappearing in the foamy spray. n , i;

j Ellen, a wise little maiden of 7 years, looked up into her sister's face with a questioning gaze as she inquired- , ? .

" Polly, do the dolphins wish they were birds, P" " I don't think so, dear," replied Polly, looking away over the wide expanse of water. . "I think every thing is just best as God intended it. ^ The flying fish has many enemies; and. sq has the dolphin. There is no escape from trouble. The only way to be happy is to try to love and help every one else, and not wish to be somebody else, or have somebody else's pleasures or possessions."

The little girl softly slid, her hand, in Polly's, and said contemplatively,. " I wonder whether it is right to wish to be an angel ?" t .

"Yes, dear," replied Polly, "we may wish to be angels, because we need not wait for another life, but just begin right away to help somebody, to be ministers of love to somebody who needs us ; and then we shall be learning to fly, like the dolphin. But we shall not need to wish we were somebody else, because we shall be so happy that we shall have no need to. There, are heaven .angels and earth angels. God uses both as he sees pood,"

The little girl looked up into Polly's face with love shining in. her dark eyes, as she answered, " Polly,I think you're just a dear earth angel; and mamma's a heaven angel to help you to help

us."

A kiss was the only answer the child received. But the prayer grew in Polly's heart that she might, indeed, be allowed to minister, and bo

ministered unto.

Mr. Eennick had been very unfortunate in New Zealand. First, he had tried farming. The land laws had crippled him ; the high rental exceeding the slender profits. The crops had failed ; and the unfortunate farmer found himself utterly

without resources.

Then he had tried gold mining. But again fortune had turned against him. He had patiently labored on for years in the hope of ultimate success. Eté had struggled to pay up calls which exhausted his ' slender income, and brought him no return. So at last, disheartened, and weary of speculation, he had turned hisback upon the beautiful island where he had hoped to have spent the remainder of his life, and deter mined to go over to Sydney, where his brother was engaged in the wool trade j and he hoped to find employment.

After the loss of his wife, Mr. Eennick had yielded to a melancholy which still brooded with dark, shadowy wings over his troubled life, and rendered Polly's mission as home-angel no easy task ; for the added burden of housekeeper and domestic economist was not a bight one for such young shoulders to bear. Sometimes the father would rouse himself a little, and appear to appre ciate for a moment the earnest efforts of the daughter to fill her mother's place. But such recognitions were few. and far between j and their memory had to be kept green in Polly's heart for many a day. Little Eolio and Ellen resembled their mother, being of a hopeful, san guine, cheery nature; and these were the sun beams of Polly's life.

Her mother! yes, like the echo of angels' music, came the memory of that dear mother's counsels, prayers, and example. The guardian angel of the devoted daughter never left her comfortless ; but whenever PoUy's soul grew weary, or her young heart yearned for loving sympathy, came the assurance of sweet com munion and hallowed association which kept her unspotted from the world.

The brief voyagé over, they landed in Sydney, where they were met by Benjamin Eennick, a man bf sinister countenance, and shuffling gait, whom Polly regarded with suspicions at once new as strange to her. She had ever manifested a trustful nature to all who came across her path of life. But to this man she could not help feel ing a strange dislike ; and when her father de cided to follow Benjamin up the country, and work with him on the station, Polly's hopes of happiness seemed to wither like flowers in summer heat. As she took the children by the hand, she realised a sense of 'loneliness and impending trouble, which throw a shadow over her young life, even before she knew whose influence cast the gloom athwart the distant horizon-a stranaer in a strange land, her father pledged to serve his brother's interest, weak and unstable, an easy prey to the spoiler ; two helpless children to work for ; and, it seemed to Polly just then, no one to love or care for her eave her angel-mother. Cheer up, little pilgrim ! There is light beyond

and life bath not more of shadow 'than of sun

bight to those who walk lovingly in the paths of

duty.

(TO BE CONTINUED.)