|Newspaper Title||Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)|
|Trove Title||Midge: An Australian Story|
Princess Spinaway's Department.
. . MIDGE.
ÍBv Zorn Gross: Burwood.)
. "Pass the butter, please, »printer, un, goon . bye, August," cried Midge, BB August rode up to
the door. "Oh, hurrah," cried noisy Dick, "1 suppose you'll be back to-morrow." "Oh, yeo, sir,' said August. "I might be back to-night." "Wöll, good night, old man," cried the father, as August left, the door. "Go and shut the gate. Dick," he continued, "or the plgs'll be in the ¿arden."'
"Oh,; bless the thing," came the answer, as Dick quickly disappeared. But on returning to the house he found his father in a wild state because that "that stupid" August had forgot ten to take the letter for his wife. "Dear me, dear me," he echoed, scratching his grey hair,
"what's to be done?"
"Here, give it to me," promptly replied Dick, . "I'll catch up the old mare." "Good lad,
Sprinter," said Midge, "you're well worth your name, and, besides, the old thing'll orily. /trot at the best." "Go it, Sprinter," said a voice from the end of the table, "yer can. run better un tho bay . mare, with your boots off. " Gut along." ' Cheered with this praise even from1 a 6 year old, Dick raced hatless Into the night, before/even his father could say '.'knife!" .
"A whole penny to threepence -nev gets him," said Midge, as she rushed to tho door, to try and get a glimpse of Dick! "No, by Jove, 1 won't, bet. on a certainty," she concluded, as she resumed her seat. "No, 1 would hurt, my self, old girl," Bald curly haired Harry. "More meat?" broke ia Mr. Lanscroft's voice. "No thanks," relied Midge, "I hate pork,. and lt's our own old piggie, too. Dad, how could you?" she concluded, attacking a huge slice of bread and cream. "Poor old girl/', answered the father; "I'm so, BO, sorry for you." "Thanks, dad," said merry Midge. "I'll have the sugar, please, Midge," eÀid a curly-haired rascal from the end of the table.
"Give him Borne, please, Mary," returned Midge, as thc maid servant entered the room. "Why, Mary, whatcver's the matter?" con tinued Midge. 'Speakj. quickly."
"Please Miss" said the White-faced, horror stricken girl, "have you-have you seen Baby?"
IL was out! The worst was told, and Mary's knees knocked together hopelessly. With a face that showed more than .abject terror, wltn a long low moan, Midge's white lips uttered, "Oh! Mary, I .thought 8he was with you."
i nen in an instant the situation lay bared bo lore her. Baby missing, no mother home, no August, no Dick-only herself left of any use.
She must go and sock that darling whom Mary said had been missing since ' lunch. So before the terrified father could speak, before the dumbfounded boys.could '? scream, the pride, the darling of the. nome; had reached the door, and, like her brother -fled hatless Into -the
night. . .' .. .. ' ; '>.['' /' ? :'"..-..'?/ ' '
"My Bäbyj ; my . Babyl'': whispered her white ' lips as Midge 'flew past the stockyard and "the calf pens-;-passed tho" silvery . murmuring creek,
and in front of her loomed like some angry ' tyrant the great forest. On-on-on. Super natural strength and fleetness seemed sent from Heaven. On-oii-on, over Jutting crags and loose earth; over rolling stones and fallen logs. On-on-on. Would Bhe ever roach the scrub? For there, and there only, did sho expect to lind the wandered. On-on-on. Could sho be really moving at all? All, all was pitch dark -Inky, Inky blackness, with a dreary sky above. No stars, no moon, and the cruel peals of thunder already beginning to deafen the white-faced Midge.
Over the same road (.which she had gally can tered over only a few short hours ago). She lied-on-on-on, stopping not for breath, thinking only of tho tiny baby alone-all, all alone in a wild, wild scrub.
"I've no other sister," Midge's whlto lips murmured as she neared . thé gloomy forest; "no other beautiful Baby. , Oh! Babs, my own ' darling Babs. Baby,. Baby," sha at- length
. cried out until tho grim forest, pitying tho soil
, tary form of beloved Midge, joined In tho cry, ' and through and through tho dismal aroa echoed
"Baby, my Baby. Oh! Babs, where are you?'' from end to end. " '.
On-on-on. Could this dismal place, with the dark foreboding trees looming above tho .-. youthful Midge like angry tyrants, be tho doar
' forest which she so loved?'..
"How dark! how dre»ry! how awful!" she ut tered as she was forced to halt in her mad career and, find the path.
No moon no stars-^the dreary gums, tho sighing pines, and tho deep roar of ithunder, fol lowed hy Its accompanying' lightning, only ren dered Midge's nerves looser.
On-^on-on, now stumbling over a fallen log, now falling Into a hidden hole, now slipping on slimy barks, Midge at length found thc . path, and calling out again and again tho bo ., loved name of "Babyi" she penetrated farther '.' and.farther Into thé heart-tho very Interior of
tho blàok forest.
Dark, dark-all, all pitch darkness. Oh! If the thunder and cruel lightning would only cease; If the radiant moon wotlld only Bhlno for one brief half-hour. "If." Oh! thou aro tho cruellest of words-'thou of all art the dreari est, the weariest-tho all, all tnovltablo. Again and again Midge and the forest echoed "Baby! Baby!" But again and again, nothing, nothing, but the sighing of pines and gums, whloh en twined one anothor to form a canopy over
Midge. On-on-on, now running, now stop ping to hear if any response came to her call. Midge proceeded. '
"Baby Baby," she cried In a rrenzy; "can it be thait you're not here." Nothing, nothing, . but the moaning and groaning of the wind re
plied, and deeper and deeper . and deeper the terror-stricken Midge fled., On-on-on. Oh! horror of horrors! the thunder threatens grows fiercer; the lightning flashes in red hot chains and forks across the dreary sky. Horror, horror! the storm has commenced. Great drops fall unheeded on the 'terrified Midge, screaming in almost madness, the dear .name she loved.
"A storm-a Btorm," Midge's white lips again panted as now the wind moaned like a dying woman-now roaring like an angry tyrant, sweeping trees, sticks, stones, and Midge all before lt. .?
(To Be Continued.)