Chapter 71464223

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Chapter NumberIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71464223
Full Date1901-03-02
Page Number40
Corrections0
Word Count1874
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleThe Pirate Isles
article text

Pi TÍíe"Pirate .Isle's.,.' ','

' W SERIAL. STORY.' '

. 11, (BYc'îTHE/iCOURT- JESTER.)

? l CHAPTER IV. ,¡ . '

-Miss Alice Tbombs1 was a -woman born to lead th'e ' wörldiV tb throw off the grinding ^tyranny : of cruel'irian^and 'establish the rights 'of her down trodden'1 sex.''1 ¡She- was secretary to v-the local Woman" and-Suffrage League, and= an'active mem ber of-fourteen; other women's societies, each of which knew "less of what its own - objects were

fthan the next. ' . . -' > '

~''3Not that* she had always known her special mission1 -in--life. At seventeen she- was ' firmly 'convihbed that she was - born to teach the truths ¡öf--theosophy to a benighted world; at eighteen

she ' had' discovered that the : great ? want of-the age was vegetarianism, and had prepared/a series of lectures thereon, which had ' never been de livered. From this she had passed through

»various stages, till at nineteen she , had > really : discovered what her aim in life was. . She could even afford; to smile at her, former theories as ¡mere youthful enthusiasms. She was sitting in her room, surrounded by ' a mass of correspond ence, with which she was at the moment dealing.

v She i had' just; concluded a letter to . the . press, signed a "Mother, of Twelve," in which she show ed^ conclusively that if women had the manage ment . ofthe State they would abolish smoking, drink, and gambling offhand,, and make every one absolutely virtuous by act>? of Parliament. .The money at present spent on gaols, and refor matories would thus, be saved and spent on Free State: Chocolate ¡Cream Factories. . :

.. ''The reign of. man, with its barbarous .system of punishments" (the letter ran) "is -nearly over. Soon like a glorious planet rising from Ocean's rim} the influence of woman will, burst, and shat ter > the mouldering battlements of'tyranny to atoms, ,'and bringing in the era of universal love and good-will, ,will cast its anchor in' the rock of destiny.""' '? ??'?'?' ??..?..??:-." .?;>.::?? .-;?>??? ? '? ?...???,? >

^ This letter being sealed jjnd.addressed, she be gan a letterto her dèàrësT friend, in which she * gavé an account oft the last meeting of the society, ivarid how? beautifully she ¡had' snubbed the trea

surer,who>was a mean, . spiteful , old cat, ? and v diesaed hideously., !i "Do ? you ;¡ know, dear, I am

'positive 'she spends. the ' funds on herself, and, what.do you thinks when I--".

f "Please,'miss," interrupted a servant at this point; "there's a deptation wants to see you."

"Very well, Mary," said Alice; "tell thom I'll ba down in five minutes."

? In;three-quarters pf an-hour, she was ready, and descended,, looking very lovely, and. feeling ex

ceedingly important at being thus waited . qn.

"What can they want?" she wondered; "perhaps* they want me to go with them to present a peti tion to Parliament, in favor of women's rights."

But the appearance of a body of men, armed to« the teeth, astonished her; and for a moment she imagined she was about to be led off to prison for having advocated the overthrow of the Govern ment. She drew herself up haughtily, prepared! to show the base tyrant man how a woman could bear herself under oppression.

"Madam," said the lieutenant, rising, and bow ing courteously; "you see before you a band of

poor, miserable pirates."

"Oh, good, gracious," said Miss Toombs, more astounded than ever; "go away at once; how dare you come In herei" '

"Do not be alarmed, I pray you," answered the lieutenant; "I assure you that, so far from wish ing to harm you, we have come to assist the noble cause for which you have worked so long and!

devotedly; and to beg you to aid us in our aspira- ; tions' to better our wretched condition." One ot the pirates present had been in the Salvation Army, and had formed the habit of groaning loud ly, when he wished to express his approbation ot what he considered a particularly telling sentence. At this stage, he endeavored to assist the Heute

nant's eloquence by making a blood-curdling noise that completed Miss Toombs's bewilderment.

"But, I don't understand," she said; "you don't mean to tell me that pirates believe in Women's

suffrage."

"Ah, madam," said the lieutenant, sadly; "lt Is only too true that we have not the best of repu tations. That we are guilty of murder and pillage, many will tell you; and, alas, we cannot deny. it..

But there are limits even to a pirate's want ot, conscience, and he. draws the line at indifference to, women's rights. .Let me begin at the. beginning. In the Pirate Island, though we have long desired this inestimable boon, from want of touch with the outside world, the matter has long remained in abeyance. Then, as reports of your marvellous devotion to the Cause spread, amongst us, .new interest awoke, and our women, began to ask why they alone should remain pas sive, when their sisters all over the world were striving to throw off the yoke of tyranny; soon.

they began to give up all their former interests. Soon the Pirate Ladies' Sewing Circle was aban doned, the meetings of the committee of the Home for Destitute Buccaneers constantly fell through for want of a quorum, and, as for the Tract Dis tribution Society, it got so badly into debt that its office furniture was sold off. ; :

"Oh, oh, it's working, it's working," interrupted

the army pirate.

"But," continued the Lieutenant, "Our Wo

men's Suffrage League, I regret to say,.has riot , met with the success it deserved. It lacks a. leader of experience to direct its efforts. . -. At a mass meeting recently held it was resolved that such a leader should be sought for from' the out side world. Our first choice fell on you; and it is .therefore with this object that we have come, namely, to ask you to come with us to organise

our efforts."

"Oh, come, come now," said the army pirate,

in a sepulchral tone.

"And suppose I refuse, what then ?" asked Miss

""Well," said the .lieutenant, "in that case we should be compelled to ask Miss Brown, the trea

surer of your society. But, pardon my forgetful-., ness, I should have stated that we feel that we could not do less than ask the lady, who confer red such a boon on us, to accept the position of queen a_t a comfortable salary."

"Glory, glory," said the army pirate.

This inducement fairly dazzled Miss Toomba with its grandeur, and she determined that : she would accept the position or die. The idea of al-,

.lowing that hateful creature the treasurer to get . such a position over her head was not to be en . tertained for a moment. ' *

"Well," she said, "just walt till pa comes home, andjl'llf see whatihe:says to it?". ., 3 pv > ¡

The lieutenant consented, being confident of his ability to persuade the clergyman also; and beg ged Miss Toombs to favor them with some music

during the Interval.

"Really," she, replied, "I haven't touched: a piano for ages, but I am sure you sing.. Perhaps you will find something you know among these."

"No," said the lieutenant, running his hands over the piano keys, "I only know pirate songs. Have you ever'heard the "Pirate's Farewell? It

goes this way."

' '.'O, do sing it?" said Miss Toombs, " it sounds

norfoptlv flwpnt." ' '

Thereupon, the lieutenant sang the following song, accompanying himself on the piano; while the Army pirate joined in with a tambourine, which he drew from his pocket. .'

Farewell, for I must go. where, glory waits ,me,, . ?

"Tis"all in vain for you to bid me stay; : . The prospect, I confess, intimidates me,

But pirate captains will not be said nay. : >??? I own I have no use for bullets flying

(I always feel Inclined myself to fly). ' ?-??'??> ?? I simply hate to .think you may be buying

Some day a mourning dress.if I should die. '

But; tears avail not now-I. must be going: , :

Though that I'd rather stay, full well you know: I do not care for seas, however flowing,

The bowl's the only thing I like in flow.

?. (Then fare'you well; though hard beyond endurance

To part. But it may comfort you to hear That I have taken out my life insurance ' 1 Iii favor of tho maid I hold so dear.

"Thank you so much," said Miss Toombs; "that was simply lovely. lt is so sad and pathetic. Won't you sing something-else; if you're not too '? tired; oh, here's pa/at la3t. Come in, pa, I want

to speak to you."

. "Very well, my child," said a voice in.the hall; "just wait till I hang up my hat," and imme diately afterwards a stately gentleman in clerical ; attire entered. '' "? - .

"Fa," said his lovely daughter, "these' gentle men are pirates." r, ...

;., VAre what, my dear?" asked ¡the- astonished , clergyman. , .

.VPirates, pa; and, oh, pa, such fun! They want me to. be their queen."

"But," said Mr. Toombs, taking a seat In a way that, suggested that the announcement had knock . ed him down, "I don't understand. Pirates, did

you say, in my house? What would the bishop say if, he heard of such a thing?"

"Permit me, sir, to explain," Interposed the lieutenant, "Miss Toombs has omitted one im

portant fact. True, we are pirates, but we are1 aerious pirates; and we are desirous of- becoming converted from our evil habits. With this end in view,'we have established a church, and no thing remains to be done except to appoint an archbishop. , We determlhèd to select some cler gyman for that purpose who should be of excep tional merit, but whose claims have been over looked. Now, it is a well-known fact that you were very badly treated over the last episcopal-appointment, and you seemed to us to fulfil every requisite. To conclude, we earnest ly beg you, my lord, to . do us the honor , of ac

centing."

The dream of Mr. Toombs's life seemed about to be realised. The skilfully interpolated, "my lord" finished him.

"Gentlemen," he said, "your highly flattering offer is irresistible, and on one condition I em brace it. Tell me. Are the pirates -willing to accede to the doctrines of the High Church?"

: / "My lord," said the lieutenant, "the altitude of

the Pirate Church would make you fairly giddy."

"Let us start at once," said the clergyman.

After packing up, they started out into the street. The lieutenant and Mr. Toombs walked .. abreast, with Alice between them. The rest of i the pirates brought up the rear, with the ex-cap

.tain of tho army pirate, who tranced backwards in \f:front.of the procession, playing on his tambourine

' like mad.

"What will the Bishop say?" Mr. Toombs kept murmuring, dreamily..

(To be continued.)'