|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||The Story of a Boy|
Princess Spinaway's Department.
THE STORY OF A BOY. J
(By Gipsy Low.) 1
. (Dedicated to "Charon.") .
Scarlet fever was raging ia the village, and we were not allowed to go outside the White House grounds, except in the opposite direction
to Lanmore Station.
Byer since the news of Captain Lorimer's dis , grace, followed by his disappearance, had come,
Mrs. Wainwright had kept Geoffry more than ever in the background, and hardly ever spoke to him, except to blame or scold him, so that he and I were left alone a lot. . Nothing had been heard about his father since, or if it had Mrs. Wainwright had not mentioned it to him.
I had been sewing in the schoolroom all the afternoon it was Saturday, until the light began to fade; then I put my work away and went to look for the boys to take them for a walk, but I could not find them anywhere. Mrs. Wain wright passed through the hall as I did, so I asked her if she had seen.them.
"Hugh is with me, Miss Sabine," she answered; ' "and Geoffry has gone to the post office."
"Geoffry gone to the post office!" I exclaimed in surprise. "But the fever, Mrs. Wainwright?"
"Really, Miss Sabine," she said coldly; "Geoffry ' is quite able to take care of himself. My letter
was very important, and I had no one to-send; he offered to take it, so I let him. They have not got the scarlet fever at the post office or any where near it. If they had, I would .not have sent him, so it is quite safe.". Then she went into-the library, where Hugh evidently was.
I hurried upstairs and put on my hat: then be gan to positively run down the drive. - Perhaps he had not been gone for long, and I would be . able to overtake him, and post the letter myself
after sending him back. I was not afraid of the post office, but what I dreaded was that he would go near the town.
Half-way I met bim returning. '<
"Look, "Dearie," he shouted, as soon as he saw me, holding a penknife up in his hand, with its four blades open and shining.
"Shut it up, Geoff, quickly,"I cried, for he was running.
"They'ré beautifully sharp,. Dearie," he said, as he came up to me, and tried his finger on the edge of the largest one.
I made him close it.
"Where did you get it, Geoffry?" I asked faintly. "At Edwards', that small shop near the station; they had lovely--"
"Geoffry!" I almost screamed; "you never went there, surely?"
"Yes, I did; what's the matter, Dearie?" he ask
ed, looking at me in surprise.,.
"Give me the knife," and, taking it from him, I threw it as far as I could, and heard it fall with a splash into the river. Then, taking his hand in mine, I started to run. ' ¿'' , .
"What have you done?" he cried, trying to get his hand free. "It's.gone in the river, and I'll never.get it again. You are hasty, Dearie;- I'
don't like you a blt."
I closed my lips firmly, and ran on, pulling: him, until we reached the house. Upstairs'to the medicine chest I went,, and took the bottle of dark-looking stuff down that the doctor had given Mrs. Wainwright to keep in case of infection; poured some into a glass, and made Geoffry drink it. . '.; I . wJ^JiJá
Then I heaved a sigh of relief.
* * ?* .
A week later came Hugh's eleventh birthday, and he was to have a picnic. Very few could: be asked to it, as there were only three other fami lies in the neighborhood aot of the laboring class. The Doctor's two sons were coming, and three of the Dickinson boys, those were all. The other family was the minister's, but they had the fever among them; so, of course, could! not come.
The day turned out fine and bright, and the boys came early. Russel and Jack Humphreys were both older than Hugh, so was Tom Dickin son, but the latter's two brothers Roy and Alan
Mrs. Wainwright was coming with us, and just as we were starting, a most unlooked for thing happened. Mr. Lorimer announced his intention of coming, too. He had a. word for all the boys, except his son's child. Geoffry looked at bim wistfully, as he passed by without noticing him.
We . all fitted In the boat, but it was rather -a tight pack. The boys and I took lt in turns to row, until we came to the place we had: fixed upon
to land at.
. Leaving Mrs. Wainwright and her father to rest with the baskets, I played rounders with the boys. ? ? ? ?
"Do play with us, mother," ;begged Hugh. When tired _ of the game, they decided to change lt to somehing eltse.
"My dear boy, I couldn't," she answered^
"Just to-day, mother; you must be rested by ? now."
"And who do you suppose will make the fire for th$. billy. Go. on, all of you, and! look for
«hips; Miss Sabine and I will be setting the lunch; it is quite time for it." .
We spread the tablecloth on the grass with a stone on each corner to keep it down while Rus
sell lit the fire.
All had a hand in the setting of .the table, from Mr. Lorimer, who put the oranges he had carried on, to small Alan, who plumped a great piece of moss with a lot of damp earth clinging to it, down onto tho snowy cloth.
When lunch was over, and' all the pink and white iced cakes had disappeared:, as well a« a larger pontion of the fruit and other" eatables, I stayed with Mr. Lorimer while Mrs. Wainwright and the boys went to look for ferns, right in the
I read to him for a while, but he was not lis tening, for now and then I glanced up, and. saw the far-away look in his eyes. His face had grown strangely thin, and lined during the last few months; his lips had tightened, and his mouth grown hard1.
"I am not following you," he said, as he caught me looking at him. "I am not in a mood for reading. Put down the book."
"Would you like to go for* a walk?" I asked.
, "No, no," he answered; "I'll do -where I am. I'm getting an old man now; and I've had a lot to.bear lately; I think I lose thé drift of things."
"Why do you believe all you near, Mr. Lori mer?" I said, earnestly. . <
"What do you mean?"
. "Why believe all you hear; often things are not
"Are you referring to the report about my about Captain Lorimer's disgrace?"
"Perhaps it isn't true, Mr. Lorimer; there may be ! some mistake, and-"
" Beg for it, Sir !"
"Stop!" hé thundered; "how dare you. I will not: have anyone speak of him to me. I don't waat to even hear his name mentioned; I want to' forget-to forget all-that I ever had a son." .
"Dearie¿ Dearie!" it was Geoffry calling; he and" Russel were running towards us. "Come quickly, Alan has hurt himself."
1 got up ait once. "Stay with your grandfather until-1 come back, Geoffry,'' I said, as I followed RUSSel. .-. : ..
It was about five minutes' walk to where they were. -Mrs: Wainwright was stan ding beside Alan, who was sitting on the ground crying, holding one of his feet with his hand. < -
"Alan has hurt hie foot, Miss Sabine," ehe said; "but he won't let me touch it; so I cannot, see what is the matter with, it."
I dropped on my .knees beside the little fellow, and firmly took his foot. When, his boot and sock.were off, I saw that his ankle was a little swollen, but not much; it was only a strain.
I sent Tom for some water, then bound it up tightly. ; ,
"There, that is all right now,V' I said, when-his. boot and sock were once more on. We rested there for a little while, then I took Alan- in my arms,, and carried him back to Geoffry and "Mr. Lorimer.
Geoff, was standing m front of his grandfather,, talking earnestly; he stopped at once when he saw
us. - .
What passed between them I heard some time
(To tis continued.)