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Chapter NumberVIII.
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1898-12-24
Page Number38
Word Count1028
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleA Tale of Twins
article text

A Tale of Twins.

(By Muriel Clarkson.)

Affectionately/dedicated to my dear old friend,



" All the younger population of Woolgolne was

out in the verandah, amusing themselves in var

ous ways. .

Gerald was there, lying on a couch-quite well again, but woefully thin and

pale looking, ana Miriam ? was reading to him. .

When he was able to sit lip first a ceaseless string of . children passed In and out

of his room - Miriam and Jane to read or talk to : him, the other children to

tell him something that had just occurred on the farm, and Aunt Mary to see that he did not tire Ihimself, and administer doses of medi cine. Mrs. Grantley nev>?r .lr ft his side except for meals and a well-earned rest. ? ,

But that was all over now, and they were but on the verandah talking brightly, while the afternoon sun streamed in, and a litle bird iii a lilac bough trilled a

welcome to the summer.

For summer was coming, and already tinges of yellow showed on the hill sides and fn the paddocks; and swhile Mirry and Jane groan ed at the thought of long,

sleepless, mosquito tortured ; nights, their younger sisters

jia'iled wtfi'th delight the com

ing months, wihen. school was dispensed with altoge ther; and nobody minded what they did, as long as it was not toa ¡ou/trageous. .

Mag and Vivvy had a bas'n ? of soapy water on the sofa,

arid were blowing bubbles ? With penny clay pipes. As each rainbow-tinted ball

floated past shrieks of adml- . - ration came from them all,

and baby, would try to catch

them in (her. little rosy

m-Atter a while she was successful In this, but it

left such a horrid, soapy taste behind that she re» fused to try agalm and went and seated herself

on the lounge near Gerry.

"Yo're all white,¡yike a miller," she remarked;, then added, curiously, "What made you go to ye old black nigger's'camp?" ; ;i

' "I supcse he fóuhd me sick-I know I felt pretty bad-^and took me with him/' said Gerald, "the old gins were always pouring some awful mixture do.wn my throat,". ,

"Was it nasty?" asked Baby, with eager, wide open eyes." "Hourid old nigger to take co away, ' Gerry," ând she squared her small fists. .

"Why, Babs, you wouldn't fight, him, would you?" Alick asked, jokingly.

'"Tourse I weld," Baby said stoutly ; '* oo; too," " ? and she gave him a punch to show him how" it was . done. i ?', .

But Alick pretended to cry very hard, with bent head and shaking shoulders, and Baby ran -over and pull his .hands from before his

face, called him her "Dear Allie," and gave him several big kisses, .to make amends.

.Then came a triumphant shout from Vivvy, and as they looked up a huge bubble floated by, the biggest they had bliwn yet, and tinted with lovely, changing colors.

Then suddenly "the thing of beauty" burst, and simultaneously Vivvy made a dive at Mag.

"You blew on it, I saw you," she cried, her small face aflame with anger, "h rrid, jealous lit tle cat!" . She grabbed Mag by her long, dark hair, and pummelled her viciously; while Mag, with her fiery temper aroused, returned the blows with interest, ànd Jack jeered thoughtlessly. But Mirry had rushed up and separated them, and now they sat a few yards apart, glaring at each

other. -

' Jane was .darning a hole in her slocking, but somehow the stitches would n't come right, so she dropped lit in her lap, and looked out across the garden.

"It's "a lovely day," she said, andi then added: "Can't we do something better than darn?" with disgusted emphásis oh the last word.

"Let's go and fish," said Dave, jumping up and stretching: himself. 'Tm sick and tired of sit ting hore,'and we can have some fun down at the . .'creek.":'j -, .. ..

... :,. "Oh* let's," cried th» children, altogether, and

they rushed helter skelter into the hall, after hats and sunbonnets, while Dave and Alick dug for worms in the garden gutter.

"This is better than sewing," said Jane con tendedly. She was sitting on the bank, with a rod ia her hand, and the others, baiting their hooks, and settling the position of their seats, a little further up.

"And blowing nasty bubbles," said Baby, toss ing her curls.

"And flying into tempers," said Jack, looking across the pool to where Vivvy was seated, dang ling her long legs over a log.

As soor, as all the lines were cast, Mariam sat down with a sign of satisfaction, and opening "Thelma," began to read interestedly. Baby had a line too, but could catch nothing, though fish were plentiful, and tho others were whipping them up as fast as possible.

"It's this nasty line," she objected, after de claring that the fish tumbled off whenever she pulled it up. , "Give me your's, Jack." But

Jack wasn't on."

He had caught four or five himself, and felt greatly superior to his small sister.

"You're too small, baby," he said loftily; "lit tle girls like you shouldn't try to fish."

But baby only darted him a angry glance from beneath her lorg lashes. Then she drew up her line with a quick, jerky movement-to everyone's surprise a huge fish lay glittering oh the hook.

"Hold, him tight," cried Dave, .rushing up. "My! it is a beauty, the biggest one we've caught \ yet!" :,;

He was taking it off as he spoke, while Vivvy and Mag have rushed across from the opposite bank to see what the excitement-was about, and "Thelma" was face downwards on the grass.

Everyone praised Baby for catching it, and wondered how such a big fish came to their pool, but Jack looked rather sulky.

"It was only by. chance that she got it," he muttered; and Mag, who was the only one that heard him, said scornfully, "Well, you needn't be jealous."

(To be continued.)