Chapter 71597452

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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71597452
Full Date1907-10-16
Page Number31
Corrections0
Word Count1107
IllustratedY
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAustralian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907)
Trove TitleThe Second Secret of Silversleigh
article text

Princess Spin away's Department.

THE SECOND SECRET OF SIL.VERSLE1GH.

By "Tho Substance" (Victoria), with apologies

to "Tho Shadow" (N.S.W.).

CHAPTER III.

When Lassie regained consciousness, on a lounge within the house, she could not, for the first minute, collect (he chaos of thoughts that surged through her brain. Suddenly thc scene in tho "born" rel urned l o her. Sho turned her eyes, which had boen sluring vacantly around

tho room, to Cis. who sat ut her side anxiously watching her; but before sho could ask the

question that was on.her lips,. Cls answered^her"',

look.

"King Nanburnlla is not dead, but seriously

injured, so Pr. Do/vls.. says,,...... Ho--4s...stiil,~un-- r

conscious. And now you must go to sleep. No! Not another word," and, having re-arranged the pillow, she turned her hack, and Lassie had, perforce, to drop off into a restful sleep.

When she awoke she was sufficiently refresh ed to get up from the lounge.

Her first anxiety was for the chief. Cis told her that ho had recovered his senses, hut lay in great pain, hardly able to move; and that he had some important communication to make

to Dr.-Davids and wished Cis and Lassie to be , pr sent.

Presently the doctor put his head in the door and beckoned to them. Lassie's heart beat fast as she tip-toed with Cis after the doctor into the sick room, and, as she saw the motionless form and heard the labored breathing, tears of compassion sprang into her eyes.

When they were seated by his side, along with a stranger who held a bundle of legal looking papers in his hand, King Nanburalla began an address in words rendered hardly audible by the low voice, broken accent, and" frequent pauses tor breath.

While wandering in the bush one day when a young man, he said, his attention was at

An Amateur Rider.

(.meted by strange cries proceeding from the undergrowth near at hand. Pushing his way through the bushes he came upon a small clearing, in which stood a dilapidated hut, the remains of a fire, and other evidences of a camp. Beside thc Are, stretched at full length on the ground, lay a white man, mumbling to himself, and occasionally uttering the mourn- ful cries that had attracted Nanburalla. For a while ho watched tho man, who apparently was not aware of his presence, In wonder at his continual tossings and incoherent ravings. Then he crept quietly nearer. On closer in- spection the man's face was flushed and fev- erish, and his eyes stared vacantly into the bush. Tn his hand ho waved a small black leather bag.

It being very evident that the man was ill, Nanburalla lifted him across his 'shoulder, and made his way toward his tribe's camp. All the way the man continued his mutter- ings, and still hold tho black bag so firmly that Nanburalla could not force it from him.

On reaching the camp. Nanburalla placed tho man in charge of his lubra, who made him as comfortable as possible; but, thoueh he soon after ceased his mutterings, he still ro mnined unconscious, and still held the black

nag.

For three days he lay in the camp, attended hy the lubra. On tho third night, after ho hud been lying quiet for some hours, he sud- denly opened his eyes, and looked about him In a dazed fashion. Presently the lubra and Nanburalla entered, and explained to him where he was, and how he had come there. After a she rt pause, during which tho man watched them thoughtfully, he spoke to thom, saying tliF.t ho knew he was dying, nnd that he wished to rewnrd the blackfellow^ kindness. "This." lie said, holding np tho black hag, which he had not. ceased tn grasp during his Illness, "contains three nuggets-which have cost mo my lifo," ho added sorrowfully. "There aro two small ones and one large ono. These I give to you. and may they bring you botter

.luck--than they have brought me. Though you.may not at present understand their value, .keep'-them,, for they may bo useful on--Some

future occasion."

An hour, later the man died, leaving nothing -bu.v-the-bl.aok- bag and. Us qonteota,--w

Nan buralla kept the nuggets, as the man had desired; but not knowing their value, he made no uwe of them, simply carrying them from place to place when he shifted camp. Even tuallv he determined to bury them In somo safe Bpot, whore he could easily get them if

necessary.

So one night he set off for the "bora" of his tribe. With a stick ho scraped a hole, and placed the bag in lt. He had covered it up, and was rising, when he heard a rustling in tho bushes near by. Springing up, he darted in the direction whence the Bound had come; but, seeing no one, he concluded that he had ima- gined the noise, and, dismissing the matter from his mind, returned to the camp, and forgot for . the time all about the black bag.

It was soon after this that, the accident hap- pened, as a result of which he came to live at

Sllversleigh.

On the fatal night when Lassie had gone to the "bora"' the chief had noticed a figure creeping amongst the treels in the same direc- tion. Instinctively he had followed, and hav- ing watched the man digging at the spot where the nuggets were buried had attacked him, with the result related in the preceding chapter. The nuggets, which had cost both his life and . their previous owner's, he bequeathed, tho : largest to Dr. David's and the others to Cis and

Lassie.

When the chief had ended his narrative, the stranger, who had been writing all the time, put before him a pen and paper, explaining that ? he was to sign it. This he did, with great

difficulty, after the fashion Lassie had isp la- boriously taught him. Then he sank back ex- hausted. At a sign from the doctor the two girls withdrew on tiptoe. Neither of them spoke, but both of them were apparently very

much affected.

There were sad hearts in Silver'sleigh that

niKht.

. . . a

Thus Silverslelgh was saved. It is still owned by Dr. David's, and is still visited by Lassie, whose hair is now "up." She spends a great deal of time in the "bora," sitting amongst the trees near a neatly trimmed mound which occu- piers the spot where the blackfellow was digging that eventful night when Nanburalla fought his last battle, of which Lassie to this day retains

vivid recollections.

[The End.]