|Newspaper Title||Northern Argus (Clare, SA : 1869 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Good at Last|
To return to Birkenhead on paper is a shorter journey than getting there over the route that Isabel had to take ; so the best way is to treat her trip as the schoolboy often has to do with his Latin nominatives-take -it as under-*
- The reader must, then, pick Isabel up at Birkenhead, Where .she was left at the.close of the fifth chapter; though how she came there in that chapter when she did not leave the neighbor borhood of Sheerness until the end of the eighth; is an aflair which, though rather comical, must not be made a noise about; as the author has only ts&en a liberty with the reader which a reader will often take with an author's book-namely, turn over the leaves, skipping dull parts of the story for the sake of seeing how some Pamela or Joseph is getting on, but finding that he (reader aforesaid) has after all to turn back to the dull
chapters to get the connection of the
"Having picked her up, the reader Vill find her employed in the same manner as she was when she was last , seen at 'Birkenhead. "She was receiv
ing the attentions of Walter Lucas,
who was "piling up the agony" to per- ] ' fection. He was really making her I believe thai, he loved her. It almost broke his heart (!) to thus doubly play 1 the hypocrite--to love one woman and
court another, both of them, too, living in the same house-spooning
I with one before the other s eyes.
Altogether, there was some capital gctiricr in the rooms of that house.
' Wheeler, longing for the time when /Walter -would pay him the bargained : for thousand pounds, with admirable
imnudanee pretended not to see Either Ellen's vexation or Walter's want of heart in the suit which he was apparently pursuing with such ardor.
Walter, if not actually " writing sonnets to his mistress's eyebrows," , was chiefly employed In whispering
any amount of soft nothings to Isabel; ? spouting Ttennyson by the yard;
talking Komeo and Juliet; and quoting hugely from a, melodramatic young lady who said something about
" Two 'with bat a single thought, Two hearts-that beat be one.". .
He was sorry to be at the work he now was ;- but Wheeler was as inexorable as a Shylock, and would in no wise let him off. He was once or - twice inclined to confide in Isabel, and
.. getber to refuse him. But here showed . man's inconsistency-he would sooner j deceive a woman than break faith with a man, even though that breach would be quite a virtue compared with the
deceit he still persevered in.
Ellen's acting was chiefly in hiding what had really now become a jealousy of Isabel, whom she regarded as no- - thing better than a poacher on ground where she (Ellen) believed her own manorial right had been, supreme. In feet, so far was this feeling carried, that she rarely spoke to Isabel, more Jthan to exchange the ordinary civilities of society. Towards Walter she pre served a feeling of don't-careishness which she was far from feeling. The idea of his so easily transferring his affections to another mate her feel so savage towards him thtit-she would almost have liked to kill him, save that she! was'learning to like the heart she had thrown away more and more every
"Isabel's share in the comedy was like that of some of the other dramatis persona-biding her inner feelings, at ' least- showing- an*,interest in what Walter said, and listening to his poetical ravings, which any gnri of
mora experience than she was would
have laughed at, as specimens of, exaggeration and burlesque. She .could not lielp comparing Walter's readings
and speakings with some that she had/ not long ago listened "to 5 and the former seemed by no means the best of the two. But as Stephen had not shown anything more than friendship and respect for her, she was not going to waste any more thought on him.
Another actor must be mentioned Wheeler pare
" He couldn't understand the turn that things were taking. No; dash his wig if he could. There was young Lucas (what the deuce had made Tom bring him there), who he thought had made it all right with Ellen, actually courting old Hillary's girl, who had been brought down especially
to make a match with Tom. And
that confounded puppy didn't appear to trouble himself at all about it, letting slip the finest chance he would perhaps ever have in his life. He must speak to the young wretch about
He spoke to Tom ; the result was a row, Tom telling his father that
" He could not like Isabel; and he felt confident she could not like him, because it was evident that she was in love with his friend Walter; so there was an end of it."
The old man ordered Tom back to
college; telling him to take his black guard of a friend with him.
Before they left Birkenhead Walter had quite a little scene with Isabel, during which he told her that he loved her; that he didn't know how he could manage to live when no longer in her presence; and.wound up by once quoting Romeo, that
" Patting is such swe?t, sweet sorrow,
That I could say good night until to morrow."
But Isabel believed it all; it was the first time any one had said so much of that sort -of thing to her. She had , no idea that aman could act and lie so ' naturally so-like truth and reality as
his behavior seemed. She told him that
their'acquaintance had been too short
for either of them to know their own minds, and deferring any answer to until he left college at the next vaca tion ; when, if he still held the feel ings towards her "that he now pro fessed, she promised (should they then be accquainted) that the acceptance or refusal of his attentions should be \ given.
In bidding adieu he imagined he felt theiforceof a couplet which he had somewhere read. As he held her hand in his, ic occurred to him that
" A shake of the hand speaks a language much clearer t
Than any the tongue can essay to express."
(To be continued.)