|Newspaper Title||Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||The Kennises|
( Written expressly for tlie JSovlfiern Argui.J
By Godfrey Egbfmont. [Author's rights reserved. |
Chapter I. (Continued from our last }
He felt guiltily conscious of having utterly ignored her, and not so very far back in time ; now be ssks eagerly — ? Where are you going ? you will tell me, won't you?' She W8S merely going to the town ship on household affairs. Could he giwnmiuiiT her ? Miohf. ru» hftp- thp.
favour ? Granted most charmingly. Soon he is retracing his steps, and wonders as he notes how lovely his companion has grown what optical delusions had possessed him two short years ago. ' I was on my way to see your papa,1 he said, after the first flutter of email talk had subsided, 'though I am told he is .not so well disposed towards me as before.' * Who told you so ?' * Mr. John Cremer.' *Mr. John Oemer? quite pet tishly. * He knows too much of other people's matters, that is my opinion; and unfortunately papa seems to look upon him as indispensable, and consults him on every subject.' * Whew' — a long whistle — ' How ib that?' ' I can not understand if. All I know is I dislike the man intensely ; but pppa appears tofcommend whatever he may do.' When Harry left Kenniston, fltr. Cremer had but just began business, being considered barely respectable — surprise in tiie^circumstances was there fore allowable. Their destination was reached so soon, and the homeward walk slipped away so quickly, that the house, as it was always called, appeared in sight juBt when each felt conversation to be a particularly enjoyable, nay, precious privilege. ' Papa,' Helen, cried running into the captain's office with Harry close behind, ' here's cousin Harry come back again.'
to receive the wanderer, not so well pleased as he would make believe. * How are you, uncle ;. as hearty as ever?' ; ?How are you, Harry? You look very well ; a little browner perhaps.' Helen has tripped away, instinctively knowing that an opportune explanation ~ is, perhaps, necessary. After a little desultory talk the captain said, * I hear, Harry, and indeed judge by your request to myself, that things have gone wrong with you.' 4 That's a fact ; but I am not in debt, and have a 'little money to spare — not much though.' 4 Oh, well, it might be worse, you WATlitfl flOTT ? Tkfllf IA+ tno 4'0I1 Y74\T1 Cir T
have heard on unimpeachable authority that your share in Mungawungarangatta has been foolishly thrown awsy.' This speech rather discomposes our friend, but he bears it meekly-^-for a certain reason. 'Perhaps you are not altogether wrong sir. I admit at once I neglected busi ness frequently — at the same time, I think those who were good enough to give you information might have minded their own affairs with a better result.' 4 I don't know about that. When a man makes an ass of himself, be is fair game for all. Besides, is it unnatural that I should listen to tidings of one who bears the same name as myself?'
* 1 can t call it unnatural, but you 11 allow, sir, it's likely enough my wrong doings have been much exaggerated.' 4 It may be so — I gather, however, from your demand on myself for pecu niary assistance, and other facts rslated to mo, tnat you have squandered the interest you once held in Mungawunga rangatta — an interest sufficient for the decent support of any young fellow, begad ! and that there is hardly any thing left out of all the money your Aunt Martha sent you. If this isn't true you can contradict me — if it is, why, damme 1 your conduct is perfectly un justifiable 1' It was not that he cared' for Harry, but losing money, to the captain, ranged as one of the cardinal sins. 4 1 Don't dispute your right to take me to task, for you are my only relation this side of the line, and I can't deny most of what yon ray, but upon my soul, I believe those to Scotchmen got the better of me in accounts.'
assistance to have the thing put properly straight? No damned Scotchman, two or forty, in the place should have got the better of me I' The captain waxes hot, and Harry has hard work to keep his temper. Helen happily hereabout interrupted their conversation with a command tea tablewards before anything further could be said. Tnat young lady persists in styling herself an Irishwoman, because she happened to be born during a viait of her parents to Ireland. Hence arises a series of sharp paying*', rejoinders, and retorts between her and Harry, which causes fresh wonder on his part as to why lie bad bees so wretchedly deaf to his fair cousin's brilliant conversational powers two years ago. Grey dusk still finds them m engaged, and willing to continue till midnight if it were possible. Captain Krnnis glowers all the wbile behind his teacup, only vouchsafing a Milky monosyllable or nod of assent or -diassnt when called on to express an opinion. He rose impatiently at last, saying ' Cremer is my right-hand man now, Harry — a clever fellow — a very elever fellow — a hard-working, indus trious fellow who is doing well and
and generally respected. If some peo ple would only stick to business as be does, there would be far less begging in this world.' Harry coloured in the shadow, bit his lips, and said calmly 'Mr. Cremer iB much to be commended, sir.' 4 1 was just going to say that he comes here to-night to go over some intricate accounts with me, and there fore I must leave you for a while. If I am wanted you will find me in the office. Perhaps, Harrv, you would like to assist; it may give you an insight regarding certain things.' No, Harry wonld rather not. He was fagged with the journey— -be would stay wiih Miss Ketinib and look over the music, if the captain bad no objection. The captain says he has no objection, which means he does object, most, thoroughly ; and leaves them alone.
j.uej' p«D» tuiuugii a j: rciicii -vyiiiuuvr into the flower garden and notice that a solitary cloud low down near the horizon still glows with the sun's departing splendour as though its verge were tipped with fire. Presently one star shines out, then another, till soon the cloud's short glory had turned to ashen gray, and the whole heaven was specked by twinkling lights. 4 1 used to think, * says Harry softly,* that these countless stars above us were windows cut in a celestial pavement over which the feet of those who have gone before and are blessed continually pass — a childish fancy, but one of those which clings to a man when he knows it is quite absurd.' 4 1 hardly like to hear you call it absurd — there is something sacred to me in these ideas of our childhood. I often wander through the garden at this hour and fancy my dim remem brance of a mother lost to me so long ago is vivified into a reality, and I see her presence at my side, and talk to her as I must have done when a tiny child.' The lamps within are lighted by this time, and they nass into the
house and open the piano. 4 What shall I play ?' she asked. Then he remembered one unappre ciated feature about ? the little, gauky, brown girl' had been what he two years ago designated 4 Btrumming.' 4 Play some of Mendelssohn's lieder,' he answered, thoroughly well ashamed of himself. She knew most of them by heart, playing in a quiet style, with a firm touch and great feeling, worthy of old Gtorge Loder himself. * Sing me something now,' he said as she paused ; ' though I could listen to jour playing1 for ever, and believe nothing could be more delightful except, perhaps, the sound of your voice.* 4 If you make such speeches,' 6he replied, 4 1 shall not be able to sing at all.' She chose a beautiful song by Blune thal, worthy even of the sweet tremu lous singing it received, yet gaining intense meaning from the deeply sympa thetic tones which thrilled the melody through the hearer's heart — ' When we are parted let me lie In some fur corner of thy heart, Silent, and from the world apart, Like a forgotten melody. Forgotten by the world beside, Cherished by one and one alone, For some loved memory of its owu ; So let me in thy heart abide Whtn we are parted. '» 4 Ah, thank you, thank you ; a song one true friend might sing to another,' Harry said as the last strain died away. 4 Yes, indeed ; but . nly a true friend might sing thus.' 4 Then it couldn't be a woman.' This speech he knows is ineffably silly, but it escapes him. 4 Then do you think all women are hypocrites ?' * No, I do not mean that ; perhaps I mean tbat placed as women are bv nature and society one can't always really depend on them ; they are so often obliged to conceal their real feelings.' 1 I can not think they do any more than men.' 4 Oh, yes they do ' 4 How -?o you know ?' * I have often seen it — known women who felt and thought a certain thing, yet simulated an entirely opposite emotion.* 4 Well, it may be so, you have seen more of the world ; but for my part I never conceal my feelings, and do not care who sees it.' 'Then you are different from most ladies,' he returned, and looks at her longing to say a great deal more, and resuming, * I am certain that men have deeper feelings, or, at least, men give their feelings honester expression.' 4 No,' she retorts ahnost defiantly,
4 women. 4 They are incapable of the deep feel ings which actuate earnest men.' * Women feel much more deeply.* 4 Nonsense.' 4 And there are more women who do feel deeply than men.' 4 Just the reverse.' 4 1 doubt whether men feel really deeply at al.'.' 4 From my expnrience, judging from myself, I can say they do,' 4 You must have met an extraordiaary man, and you judge the rest by him, a most dangerous method.' 4 1 like your perverseness ; but I declare that £ happen to know that men do feel most deeply and acutely. Can you still deny it ?' There is no denial, for there is a ten der ring in his voice which keeps her silent. She turns her face towards the music and sees, as in a mist, Oheret's picture of the impassioned lover and his sweetheart pn the title page. Harrv'a gsze can but dwell on the beautiful face half turned away, the rich brown hair which shades it and throws her iovely profile into stronger relief, the
bright honest eyes, the rounded throat, the soft, dimpled chin. What an impet uous fellow was this Harry Kennis. The inumlses of bis heart overcame every other sense, and gave him courage to say in a faltering voice — 4 Dearest Helen, how I love you.' To be continued in our next.