|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||A Rose Among Cornstalks|
Jt E-öse Anióííg Cornstalks.
r j. (By Ruby Whittell.). .
(Affectionately dedicated to Uncle Dick.)
- . ' CHAPTER II.
- ?Thc Darrells were home foi* the holidays, and
that meant six weeks 'of frollicking and running .wild, which they enjoyed with all their hearts", and Mrs. Darrell and Uncle John put up with in.won derful-forbearance. Jack and Ted went to the Grammar School in Sydney,. Mppla and Girlie and babette studied with -Mis" Darrell. You see, the poer, mother was1 doomed to a very inactive and what she considered a useless life, and it pleased her to think she was doing something in educating her daughters. But her gentle sweetness* and patience did more good- than- many ân active, ' strong person could have done In setting an ex
ample which, the children. tried . almost uncon sciously to follow. Of course, they were Austra
.? .Hauland had all the peculiarities belonging to
JÍJo^^AjustralIah.children. They liked slang bet íé$íttfán unexciting plain English; they, preferred a free country life to a demure city one; and.they had ? great dislike to anything artificial or. affect ed; s - aud .x.npt .. .so , .. perfectly open and careless " and" honesfc-^as ' themselves. So jio \ . wonder they were a' revelation to Rose, who had very correct . ideas, and a rather prim little air. She was confused by the bàbel of voices-at breakfast next morning-con fused by the way they quarrelled and laughed and ate..all at once'. They, were all there long before . .breakfast time.texcept Mrs. Darrell, who always
bax! ¿-cup of tea and some toast taken to her by Mella at half-past, seven, and did not get up;until about eleven. Uncle John was away on station
affairs, so the young ones were quite; unrestrained, and were as happy as they, could be.- They were all assembled In ¡the dining-room long before Rose came down. Jack was finishing mending his catapult, and Babette .was,kicking her. little strap shoed feet on the "rung of her high, chair impa tiently, for she was ready for breakfast^ and had . said her own little private grace half an hour be
fore, .and was wondering- whether VPor what we are about to receive'* would last as,long-as thirty minutes, or .whether she ought to say it over again. . Ted and Girlie were having a rather un exciting little wrangle over what color Rose's eyes were. Ted said hazel,'and .Girlie insisted on a "sort of Prussian-y blue." - Moola was snip ping off a few faded roseleaves from the outsides of the great white, hearts of the roses on the table, and. singing a .little'trill of a song to herself. v fThen came a strong odor of coffee, the clock point
ed to flve-and-twenty past eight, and Babette's
- face. fell. «
..^"Coffee," she said, plaintively, with a very long
?\:Mßb.iV.' "Horrid old coffeë!""
< .'Well, you needn't have any unless you like," said Moola, breaking off in a high note. ; But Ba
bette's face still fell. -
;t ff don't like coffee," shé said. "I hate coffee." ?i .««well, don't squirm about it," said -Jack, rather ¡érotsiy. " You're always whining lately."
V Babette looked as though she thought of melt ing into tears; so Moola hastened to put in com fortingly, "Never mind,- Betty; you ashall have milk-nice hot milk." But Babette shook her ¡fair little head with much more determination jthan one would have expected from such a deli cately fragile little thing.
' "No," she said, resignedly. "It must be cof fee, I s'pose. If I had milk, Cousin Rose would Janey I were a baby only."
."I should think Cousin Rose wouldn't fancy anything about it-she would know lt for. a fact," said Ted, rather disagreeably, for he was hun
gry, and Rose waa still to be heard moving In tho room above. "What a fearful time she does take-girls always do. Now, a man can dress in five minutes and look none the worse, for it. A man dosn't need any dolling up or^tittivating."
. ,."Men are such things, of beauty that it would bc painting the Illy if they were to ,'tittivate,
said.Moola, rather mischievous^.;;-,".Though, Ted, I'm sure you always take longer than I do to dreys, especially now you have that little set of manicure things, .and spend, suchT a/fearful time, over your nails." " . ... .. : ; ; . v :
."Oh, shut up," said Ted, reddening, for- this little piece, of vanity was' . a sore, subject with him; they, were always teasing, him 'about lt. Girlie wriggled ih'lier "cbíür in intens* enjoyment.. : k
."Edward Darrell,^máuiniriát," sha cried teasingly; "nails cut on easy terms. Testimonials from leading Sydney johnnie>-oh, stop lt-!"
For he had stuffed the cosy on her head, and eclipsed her and her shrill voice ail together Just" aa Rose pushed aside the bead curtain and came in, very fair and blue-eyed arid fresh, looking. "Pruesiany blue'* telegraphed Girlie triumphantly, but Ted shook his head with an obstinate '.'hazel."
''So "correct" Rose looked in every detail-a baau tifully'-ironed blue blouse, a black skirt; tee foîdî of
¡whioh hung as they might in a fashion plate," end der [fair; shining hair brushed smoothly back without a ripple or a curl, into a great thick plait, which fell to her waist. The roses.in her chseks told of the Eng lish climate, and she and her darker, more southern looking, cousins were a wonderful contrast. Moola,* with her. dark eyes, which always looked so liquid and star-like, and her delicately-featured face and sweet budding-'iovelineas, was perhaps the greatest contrast to her of them all-except Jack. None pf the others were so'dark. Ted was Inclined to be auburn.-and her freckles and hazel eyes; Girlie was.
ordinary 'brown' and pink; ' Babette was . peculiarly j colorless, in a fair, flower-like way.. Rose stood look ing at them rather critically a moment. .The scene pleased her sense pf the ,artistic, and the scent of the great white - roses .waa soothing and sweet. .'Then Moo la came up with a good morning kies, and Babette struggled down from her high chair and held up her little, face for . one., too;' and the others all smiled welcomingly.
"I looked in at you this, morning," said Moola, leading Rose to her seat, "but you were fast asleep. Mother never comes down to breakfast, and Uncle John is away somewhere, so we are all alone. Jack, will you carve? Do you like ooffee or cocoa,-Rose?"
And the six young things eat down; Rose with a. stiff little rustle of skirt, and a rather alarmed feel
ing at the prospect of a meal with these young, savages unrestrainedly the presence of Mrs. Darrell, or Uncle John. "And, indeed, it was a "fearsome" breakfast. Girlie dropped the butter, on the floor, and when remootrated feebly with said that it would be all the nicer; Babette rattled with a spoon and'a fork until she waa given some cheese; Jack upeet the mustard, and he and Girlie had a "àet=to" on the subject of when Easter and the Easter holi days began, and nearly come to blows, and ¿ill I through the noise and din Moola was trying to keep up a little conversation with Rcaa about the moun tain at. the back of the house, and the Indian corn which they "popped," growing in a paddock near, and the snake Zachariah had killed-nearly 4ft lcng -and of the great snake killed in Queensland not long before covered with tüe dangerous Queensland ticks-rall of which Rose tried bo understand above the' yelling of Girlie and the clattering of Babette. ". :,- '.'Do you like riding?" asked Moola. "We must go to the horse paddock some time, and you caa choose a pony for yourself-if you care for it."
"I do," nodded Rose! "I'm very fond ofriding. Father and I went for a tour of Wales last year with two. delightful little.ponies.; .it was so plea