|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||A Rose Among Cornstalks|
A Rose Among Cornstalks.
(By Ruby Whittell.)
(Affectionately dedicated to Uncle Dick.)
' CHAPTER III.
They sat by the great white bed and talked to heiyas she reclined against the frilled pillows, her transparent little hands clasped, and a tiny sun beam catching the gold of her wedding-ring and Huming it to brilliant sun-color. Then she took Rose's fair fresh face in her hands, and looked critically ait it. There was something in the shy "r,eseiive on the face which chilled her as it had ch'UJed the others, and she freed it, instead of kiss iygr;ity>and said, "Well, so you have seen a cat hunt,, dear? What did you think of it?"
"It was killed," answered Rose, and that was all. It was Moola who ran in and told all about it, and how Babette cried, and how good tho dogs were.
"And "what are you going to do to-day ?" asked Mrs. Darrell. "Is it very hot?"
"Only about 80deg in the shade-that is better than, yesterday. And, well-I expect Rose will like;vto-unpack, and we must show her Skillagalee, and<-''¿.i, Moola turned to her cousin questioningly, i. ,"I.should like to unpack," said Ross. "Father sent some photos to you, Aunt Marcella, and sent inauy messages-"
v ; "I long to have a long uninterrupted talk with
you, my dear," said Mrs. Darrell, eagerly, "about the dear old home and your déar fatherland the old friends in England-so many things."
'.'Father sent some photos of Merivale Park," .Rose went on-she seemed more at her ease .with
&unt Marcella Darrell-"and one he thoug'ht you Wpuld .specially like for it shows the windows of .ttie'froom you used to have."
. ,Mrs. Darrell 'smiled her great pleasure, and then ' 'Kate came with her hot water.
"Tell-Ghiie to come to me, Moola dear," said the mother; "she hasn't been up yet this morning
. -f-I suppose Rose's arrival and the cat hunt were
too much foi\her-she's a forgetful little- soul." She sighed a -trifle sadly, for this -weakness of hers seemed to part her from the children so, and from their joys and sorrows. Then the girls left her to .dress;-Rose went off to unpack, and Moola to attend'to the little housekeeping duties which as Í'ddest daughter fell 'to her. Meanwhile Jack
nd Ted were tacking the catskin on a board, while Hrlie and Babette looked on from the verandah
beps with interesf. j r "You ought to stretch lt far. more," said Girlie;'
?'and you ought to put more nails in. Crimes! .what a way to do it."
--'/."Oh, atop it," said Jack, for Girlie's advice .was becoming monotonous. "Little girls should be seen,, and not heard."
. ¿'ph,_(.well, if you like the look of me so much," ëàid -Girlie' impertinently.
; ¿^Rj^sqf^iid I. looked like a little angel," said ¡Bábetté; rT heard her say it to Moola."
.; "Umphi She doesn't know* you then". Jack ferunted-^-he was remarkably testy this morning. - ; ? He wasn't disagreeable to the little baby, Babette,
as a rule, so they knew he must be very cross about something, and wondered-besides he was hammering viciously.
- , "Where's Moola?" Ted asked, as he held the
. "Upstairs with Rose," Girlie said. "Jack.'you're doing that quite wrong, you know.'? . £ .Then j Jack burst out.
. VUpatairs with Rose!" he cried, throwing down $he haiunier impatiently. "Yes, that will be al
ways tn© way. Whenever we want Moola abe will be with Rose, and will get into her prim, proper, beastly ways-it's to go on for a year, and by that time Moola will be spoilt. - She even began to copy her miserable affected accent, I noticed, and-oh, by Jove.!" He sized the hammer and went on. Jack wai n;uick; of perception, and Moola-was his favor ite sister; he knew that she and Rose would be a great deal together, and .though he" would not have admitted it, even to nimself, there was a spice of jealousy in his "heart.'-' .Even in the little while he had put Rose down as affected and prim and vain, and was afraid Moola would, grow like her-^but not if he could prevent it.
The younger ones listened to his outburst in
"Don't you like Rose?" asked Girlie. "I do."
"She's a jolly well-made girl," said the "Mi crobe"-he had heard the expression somewhere, and used it now quite easily and airily. "She's just like a colored picture out of a Christmas an nual, and if Moola gets like that it'll be a jolly good thing."
"Moola's worth a dozen of Rose any. day," said Jack, his dark thin face darker still, and his rest less handsome eyes flashing dangerously-"if only she isn't influenced-there! You're only a lot of kids and can't be expected to understand. I've finished, Microbe; put the tacks away. I'll put it outside the stable to dry;" and he shoudered the board and disappeared.
"It's all rot that he says about Rose," said Ted, defending his lady love valiantly. "She's all right, only he didn't like Moola going off with her after breakfast instead of helping him. Hush, here they come ! "
The two girls appeared.' Rose's arms were full of boxes- and parcels, and Moola helped her carry some too, for she had brought them all something from the homeland, and Moola was cooing like a bird over a gold chain with a heart pendant-a heart with a.ruby glowing in the middle, red and fiery. Then Jack returned a little hot and out of breath, and threw himself on the shady verandah, and caught sight of the jewel flashing in the sun, and cried, "Crumbs! Moola, what a pretty affair;" and Girlie and Babette shrieked over it, and in sisted on having it put round their own slender throats a moment.
"I saw it last time we were in London. We stayed there a month before going on to South ampton to the boat, and thought of my unknown cousin," said Rose, throwing herself on a large verandah chair,, with the parcels on her lap and the children all around. Then she handed a book of photographs to Jack with a smile, and he took it, thanking her, and feeling ashamed he could not feel more friendly and resolved to try.
"They are photographs of London," she said "of most of the interesting places. I believe you can see the hotel »we s tayed at in one. Yes, there it is; and here is a writing-case for you. Ted-you write poetry, don't you."
Microbe reddened and twisted a little.
"Thank you, awfully," he said, ignoring her last words. "It'll be awfully jolly to write letters on."
"Ted writes love letters." Girlie volunteered. "He writes to a little girl in Sydney. He doesn't know her much, only she . passes their college every day. She's got golden hair like yours, only she's only little, .you know. Don't, pig," for Ted had taken her small thin body in his arms forcibly and held her till her heels were higher than her head.
"I will write to Rose," he said, "when we go back to beastly college again. Don't be an idiot, Girlie,1 or T won't let you go-little ass!"
"Don't quarrel," pleaded Moola, looking up from the photos. Jack and she were bending their dark heads over. Let her go,.Ted!" And Girlie es caped with a little snarl to take the large box Rose held out, and a most wonderful thing came to the children's astonished eyes. It was a small two-roomed doll's house-drawing-room and kit chen, with most complete arrangements, and Gir lie screamed with delight.
"It winds up," said Rose, fitting a small key in the side. Immediately the little doil cook in the kitchen began to make a pie of hard white wood crust and alarmingly scarlet wooden meat, with quick jerky movement, the oven door opened to admit it, and Immediately the tiny clock on the wall struck ll, and then all was over. And in the richly furnished drawing-room a most, ex citing scene was enacted by the gaily dressed little dolls. As they sat about, drinking cups of tea which never grew any emptier, then a footman appeared announcing two visitors in dumb fas hion, and a tiny lady and gentleman came mincing forward .to be greeted by a blue satin dressed hos tess, who immediately sat down at the piano without waiting to be asked and played "Home, Sweet Home," in very tinkling mean little notes, but as it was not. wound up enough it ended in the midst of a bar. Oh, how the children screamed as they. watched this wonderful cinématographe doll's house, as it was* called. Not once, but many times was it wound up, and the little cook made his Die, and the little lady received her visitors, and Moola and Jack were as interested as Babette. Babette was thinking rather wistfully that there couldn't be a more fascinating toy than that, so hei's would not be as good us Girlie's.
(To be continued.)