|Newspaper Title||Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||The Kennises|
( Written expressly for the Sovtfurn Argus )
[By Godfrey Egeemont.]
I' ? ? Chapter I.
Kehnistoa on the Mtairay— every- body ;;kirows it I a thrhgiDg township calledi after Captain Kermis, the. sheep - farmer, ftnd originally but . a rough ?wharf wherefrom he shipped his station produce.-- Captain Kermis lout his wife
?when ? his daughter Helen was bat a little -girl. This may have hastened a long-expressed resolve-rr-anyhow he sold oat of the army, 'and, with the pro ceeds of his commission; and all moneys belonging to him, took the first 'Bhip for Australia, buying a sheep run on the river. The homestead lay; farther back-^-a . . -large, straggling, : verandah surrounded house, rooms enough to 'lose oneself in, yet a very plelaSant habita tion ^en^ Helen' feenniSjjati? years of age, left'.. bsarding -school.; And ..became her father's hoaeekeeperv j'--i v- : -.a- HeJ^n, at that time, could claim little positive 'b'eauty-^-too; much; angularity, and a. general' undecidedness of figure, whiclugaye promwe only ^ tteinStiatpd, and mjgh'tpr might notoievelop intp grace and elegance in. ? ' the sweet by and hy. ' She won- all hearts, JhoWe*ieiy :-jua:. the possessor' of a very ' ioh'^'intfi, '3e£.P grey eyes, ,.«nd. an exceed,fngly, sweet vand good-natured expression of countenance. The old -Captain thought that nothing could be better, while Sam Tyrrell, his neighbour's son, was desperately smit ten from the first, and vowed, though yet unbearded, to marry her— if she would have him— ?JL wise Qualification.
It was at the period indicated that Harry Kennis arrived from England. His father and the captain were cousins, therefore he was Helen's second consin. Having been early bereft of parents he -had been educated at the expense of a rich old maiden aunt, Miss Martha Mayrick, his mother's sister, who, finding he was doing, no good in England packed him off to his relative in Australia Tvith a i£1000 in his pocket, a gilt-edged bible, and the parting information that she had made a ;Will in her nephew's favour. * A £1000 means all the money I can spare, dear Harry, as the estate is large and needs many improvements at present, which drain my pocket now but' will be all the better for you eventually; yet, I hear,' she said, * I hear that you can pick up nuggets of gold along the town streets in Australia, so that with .£1000 at your banker's, for ja stavt you will not do so badly.'
A magnificent figure indeed he pre sented to the captain- and Helen on his arrival at Kenniston, attired in faultless habiliments of the latest fashion. It would be useless to- disguise the fact that he had been for some weeks in Mel bourne, and stayed there long enough to make a hole in his .£1000. Captain Kennis welcomed and entertained him royally, and Harry had a pleasant time »t the station, enjoying the great change immensely, captivating all bands by his dare devil riding and genial disposition, and the women about by his dandy finery and. good looks. ; Later on he fell into local custom and £revr a beard, which,. of course, increased his hand some appearance. Stoutly built and strong, though healthily lean, Harry delighted in all .manly exercises, and as an accomplished horseman was, not to be beaten by Ihe best uushman near. The old country's rosy tints soon left his cheeks and gave way to an Australian brownness j his gay apparel was by degrees discarded for more appropriate attire, but, withal, one characteristic re mained — there, was no: mistaking him for any thins .but a .gentleman. .
Cast in a very diffeient mould was Mr. John Cremer, attorney and agent, who had selected Kenniston .as a place of residence ;. or, in other words, the young colonial lawyer, .'-? finding Kennistoniaus plunderage, had opened business and settled in their township. Rather tall,' sallow-countenanced, nar row-shoulderedj-black-eyed, dark-haired, with a trick of n'-ver looking you in the face when talking, was Mr. John Cremer — harmless, possibly, if working for^ a master in a narrow groove, but dangerous where no fettf r could be im posed sa ve his own sense ; of right or wrong, his own honesty or conscious ness. Dangerous to those who might trust his quick, shifty glance ; the pro fessional wrinkles put on blandly to do duty for a smile, and the overpersua sive voice, which conld glibly giwe fifty reasons in favor of any action or fifty reasons against if. An ambitious crafty rogue was Mr. John Cremer, who found it to' his interests to scrape acquain tance with Harry Kennis. He praised Harry's horses, bis riding, his shooting, his looks, his.judgment, and his friends to his face, but cursed him under his breath for, an empty-headed, cenceited young fooh ?Well, Harry', eaid the Captain one morning to that person, who waa getting rather tired of Kenniston, ' Well, Harry, my boy, wh»t are your plans ?. Helen told me you had - something in' view.' ? Helen told you?' returned Harry sur prised, that the' little brown girl should find his affairs interesting enough to talk about. ? Sam Tyrrel mentioned it comiog from church', savs she, rather flushed, 4 and I told Paoa »
4 The fact is', explained our young Englishman, ' Sam did say something about a share in a station not far from Adelaide, which he thinks may be had for a few hundreds, and I thought it would be best to go and have a look. I don't suppose ic's much, but it will do for a start.' To le continued in our next.