|Newspaper Title||Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA : 1866 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||The Kennises|
expressly for ike Southern Argua.J i*E KENNISES.
By Godfrey Egeemont. [Author's rights reservad.]
(Continued from our last)
Almost abashed at his own nasty pre sumption he saw her face etill turned from him, yet changed in its expression. A delicate blush came on the cheek, and a smile of indescribable happiness. He guessed the import with a lover's fond cunning and continued, ever so earnestly and tremblingly, ? « I know I have no business to say
this. Our friendship is only of to day, for, two years ago I was fool enough to prefer other friendships. But, Helen, none «an ever love you -as I do, and eball while life lasts. I cannot help it, I must speak. I could not leave you to-night without having apoken. Tell Hie, Helen ; let me hear my fate.' She turned to him ; put her face on Jiis breast, and said, * Dear Harry, I have always loved you.' When Captain Kennis and Mr. John Cremer (their work being finished) entered the room, Harry and Helen were far enough removed to satisfy J;he ptterest demands of propriety. . Could Mr. John Cremer have divined .what had taken place when, having ?walked back to Eenniston together, Harry and he parted late that night ? For with white face and scowling brow ? he shook his clenched fist at the receding figure, and Bnarled 4 Cursed puppy ! idle pauper 1 By ? , you shan't have her, you shan't have her.'
Chapter II. The * Oxide' turned out as too many —»»;»;«(- pdrfjifcirftHdo-— plentiful in in QicatidiiB, T7&. *2fag'~».M¥Borj , jVdo», laide speculators bought up shares and sold .them again at a large profit. ' Mining captains reported favourably of the affair, miners pottered about the claims and cheerfully pocketed their wages, directors were chosen, a Secre tary elected, an office rented, meetings -held, the 'Oxide1 Mining Company Limited flourished amazingly — the 'Oxide' mine, or rather what should have been a mine, decayed quickly, ignominiously, in public opinion, and in ':fact'.' No specimen could be unearthed, however ingenious a trial was made, sufficiently massive to restore the share holders' confidence, till even Harry . . Kennis, wiih.no talents or business, hav ing looked the situation in the face, found his existence as a mining capitalist had yet to come, though the first- phase of inuring loser waB felt keenly enough already. Captain Kennis, too, had em barked heavily, led into the mess by Mr. John Cremer's glib tongue. The
season was an especially baa one tor squatters — pleuro, scab, low prices, and drought prevailed, which affected him Co nearly that rumors were afloat that the attorney's services had been needed in procuring heavy advances. Cremer fattened, according to the wont of his . tribe, on the misfortunes of other folk As Harry's cash got scarce, as the captain became embarrassed, as wellto do, settlers were forced to curtail ex penses or borrow money, Mr. John Cremer's smile lasted longer, his con versation flowed freer, he even gave promise of adipose tissue, and had an increasing number of mortgages in his safe, with a corpulent balance at the bank. He was known as the captain's proved adviser, people thought better of the rising lawyer ; invitations showered on him, for, strange to say, even Kennis tonians followed after fortune. It did not matter much to him when the ' Oxide Mine' was finally abandoned, mine orders dishonoured, and stores left to rot away. As a ' Promoter' he had nothing to lose — indeed, as might be ex pected, he had made a handsome sum by judicious sales of stock. Trusting to Cremer'e representations, Harry held on, resisted temptins offers, obtained a necessary loan from him, de . positing his script-certificate by way of collateral security, waited results living very economically at the Colonial Arms, and saw Helen as often as possible, de spite her father's evident disapproval. He was going to msrry her — not her father— as eoon as ever he could, he said to himself — * The early old fellow might go and be hanged.' He was very poor, but very happy, because Captain Kennis, not caring to quarrel openly with his relative, hesitated to forbid him the house ; hence his hardly -disguised attentions to Helen were seemingly tolerated ; and taking advantage of cir cnmBtancep, the young couple bad a de lightful time together. Each felt it necessary to obtain the captain's con sent to their engagement. Harry had delayed performance of this unpleasant duty, not from fear of any thin x Helen's father might do or say, but because, wofully misled, he trusted that the ? Oxide's' returns for his small invest ment would better his circumstances and strengthen his ca*e infinitely. When the bubble burst, it must be confessed that Harry was hardly in a position to prefer such a request with reasonaMe hope of success. His finan ces, as we know, were in a shocking condition, his apparel shabbier and shabbier with ©very rearriving week, and all superfluities handed over to a certain jer jon who hoisted aloft the arms of the Medici. In addition to present fmuecuuiositv, the point a worldl\-ir se father would probably consider was this — that Harry Kennis, bred and edu cated by a fend, foo'ish aunt, though able to shoot, hunt, light, or spout classics with any geutleman of bis stand ing in the three kingdoms, had, withal, no profession or occupation, was uncom
? ? __ ? mercially -minded, and eminently unsui ted to make his way in a new country unless the possessor of ample means. On the other side could only be urged sundry expectations under the will_ of the aunt aforementioned, and ebe being a remarkably tough old lady might live twenty years longer than her nephew. To be continued in our next.