|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||A Tale of Twins|
Two or three times before, when he had visited Burnsia House, this uncle had loaded the twins with presents, and told them yarns hy the score; so it was np wonder that they were greately ex
cited. They were in the garden, trying to weed their own particular beds and discussing their new aunt, when the cab came. "I expect she will be rather elderly, and ugly, of course," said Alick, with a groan, "and she won't like uncle to give us so many present?, and think us awful little bar-
"Oh, I hope she won't be as bad as thait!" Gerald said, looking rather startled. "Uncle's nott very old, so- why, here they are!" They both scam- pered down the path, right into the arms- of a tall, sunburnt man, who gave them a bear-like hug, and exclaimed, "well, my hearties, how are you?"
Then he turned and introduced them to his wife, and so astonished were they, that they nearly for- got their manners. For she was nothing but a girl, only 20 or se, with fluffy hair and hazel eyes
eyes that were smiling now.
"So you are the twins I've heard so much about, are you?" she said, with a emile that made both boys fall in love with her on the spot.
. But Mrs, Grantley and Aunt Marion had both seen the cab, and now they came hurrying out to welcome the visitors, so the twins had not time to speak much to her, until she came upstairs with
them to see their museum.
Then Gerald told her what they had thought she
would be like.
She wasn't a bit offended, either; but laughed merrily, and told ithem that she could climb trees to perfection, and loved playing cricket!
After dinner they went down town with Uncle Ted and Aunt Edith, into an ice cream shop first, where they tried who could eat the most; Alick
won, by disposing of five.
Then uncle brought half-a-dozen packets - of sweets, and proposed Government gardens to eat them in, so we went there.
Every seat was full of nursemaids, who read penny dreadfuls, while their charges played; on the grass lay mining men, who were taking a holiday and revelling in the freshness after the heat and dust of the gold fields.
At first ithey thought they would not find a seat, but Alick discovered a grassy spot, overshadowed by a flowering acacia tree, where they could catch a glimpse of sunlit river, dotted here and
there with white sails.
"Oh, how lovely!" said Aunt Edith, sitting down. "This is as good as England-almost," and Uncle Ted smiled a little at the last word.
Then he opened the many pockets of sweets, and
they sat round them in a ring, and began' to de-
molish the lot.
Aunt Edith could not understand why the twins liked gelatines ; they, were "horrid, leathery things," she said, and bit a chocolate cream in half with her dainty teeth.
"When the bags were almost empty, they gave them to some of the children, and strolled round the paths, admiring the gay flowerbeds, and trail- ing runners; then a sound of music came towards them, "Daisy Bell," on a hand organ, and auntie's eyes sparkled joyously.
"The merry-go-round!" she exclaimed, "come on, boys!''
Uncle Ted laughed heartily.
"Why, you're as bad as any child, Edith," he remonstrated, trying to hide his smiling eyes.
"Don't be stupid, Ted!" she returned easily. "You like a spin as well as we do."
Almost every seat was occupied when they ar- rived, well nigh breathless at the merry-go-round, and those who had not the withall to buy tickets were standing gaping at the giddy whirl of horses, with open mouths and hearts full of envy.
Uncle Ted distributed tickets broadcast among the children, and soon they began to know his kind face and joking manner, and to flock round him for the chance of sharing his bounty.
Aunt Edith was not a bit giddy; time after time she flaidhed by, her hat pushed back on her wavy hair, and her eyes sparkling with pleasure, enjoy- ing her wild ride as much as her two nephews
"Aun't is à stunner, isn't she?" whispered Alick,
once between the rides. -
"Real brick," isaid Gerald, "and not a bit affec- ted like most English girls!"
It was sundown before Uncle Ted could induce them to come away, then they had another ice cream and went back in a threepenny 'bus.
It was crowded, as evening 'buses always are, and they had hard work to squeeze themselves in ; Gerald sat beside an old, fat lady, who nursed her dog on her lap, and he amused himself by pulling the said dog's tail, and making it squeak miserably.
And he looked out of the opposite windows with ouch innocent eyes, that no one dreamed of accu- sing him, and the passengers all supposed that the dog had hurt himself.
It was. a few days-after this that the twins were told news, so wonderful that they could scarcely believe it.
Uncle Ted was going to take them for a trip in "The Swallow!" 1
He told them one afternoon out in the garden, and Alick stood on his head with delight, and Ge- rald turned "wheels" for ten minutes after.
But he did not tell them that all his persuasive powers had to be put into force, that he had talk- ed to Mrs. Grantley for half an hour, and then she had only consented because the doctor said a eea voyage would do all the good in the world to Ge- rald; and then she wanted him to leave her and take the boys only.
But Uncle Ted and Aunt Edith both declared thait they could not possibly have itwo mischievous boys on board, without their mother to look after them, so she gave a reluctant' consent, and all ar-
. They wanted to take Aunt Marlon too, but she refused; she was a dreadfully bad sailor, she said, and was positive the voyage would kill her; iso she was to be left in charge until they returned. And when they went to bed that night, I doubt if in all the wide world there were two happier boys
than Alick and Gerry.