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600052846V 



r s 



I 

\ 



CLARA MORISON 



VOL II 







CLARA MORISON 



A TALE 



OP 



SOUTH AUSTRALIA DURING THE 

GOLD FEVER 



IN TWO VOLUMES 
VOL II 



LONDON 
JOHN W PARKER AND SON WEST STRAND 

MDCCCLIV 



^^y. ér, ^py. 



LOKDOX: 

8ÁVILL ÁVB BDWÁSDS, PRIITTERS, 

CHAITDOS STBBBT. 



CONTENTS 



OF 



THE SECOND VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 

PÁM 
CLARA L00K8 AT ADBLAIDB MOBB PLBA8ANTLT THAN BBTOBB 1 

CHAPTER II. 

A KXW NBIOHBOUR COHBS NBXT DOOB 12 

CHAPTER III. 

MR. HARRIS'S PROSPB0T8 OF OBTTINa TO THB DI00IN08 
LOOK BRIOHTBR 28 

CHAPTER IV. 

LBTTERS FROM THB DIOaiNOS 38 

OHAPTER V. 
MB. humbbrstonb's thbort and praoticb with bboard 

TO LONO BNOAOBMBNTS 54 

CHAPTER VI. 

DBFABTURBS 71 

CHAPTER VII. 

XIBS WITHEBINO'S MATRIHONIAL SOHEMB IS CROWNBD WITH 
SUOCESS 79 



VI CONTENTS. 

CHAPTEE Vni. 

PÁGB 
MOBE LETTEBS FBOM THE DIOOINOS 85 

CHAPTER IX. 

SIONS OF COLONIAL FBOSPEBITT! 99 

CHAPTER X. 

A SITUATIOir TUBNS UF FOB OLABA 113 

CHAPTER XI. 

THE BETUBN OF THE DIOOEBS 122 

CHAPTER XII. 

THB DIOOEBS SETTLE DOWN 136 

CHAPTER XIII. 

A VISITOB INQUIBES FOB MB. HAUSSEN 143 

CHAPTERXIV. 

A BIDE TO THE BUSH • 156 

CHAPTER XV. 

LIFE AT THE BABN 164 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE masteb's betubn 177 

CHAPTER XVIL 
« OLABA takes oounsel with heb fbiends 197 

CHAPTER XVni. 

OBDBF UPON OBIEF 212 

CHAPTER XIX. 
■SCAPB 221 



• • 



CONTENTS. VU 

CHAPTER XX. 

VAai 
BOBiiroA Diaanras 282 

CHAPTER XXI. 

MB. BBOUrALI) DBLIVBBB BOFHIB*S LBTTBB 240 

CHAFTER XXII. 

▲ BBI.BAHB 246 

CHAFTER XXIII. 

BBOTHBB áXD BI8TBB 254 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

OOVOLUSION 268 



■k 



CLARA MORISON. 



CHAPTER L 

CLARA L00K8 AT ADELAIDE MORE PLEASANTLY THAN 

BEFORE. 

IF Clara appeared somewhat nervous and distraught 
when she went to her new home, her cousins attri- 
buted her agitatian to her recent parting with a kind 
mistress, and to her being thrown among strangers. 
They exerted themselves to please her, and certainly 
even a lovelom damsol could not but feel somewhat 
comforted by intercourse with three new minds, all 
genuiné and kind. Margarefs dbows were of in£nite 
service to Clara; for an occasional knock from one of 
them reminded her that there were other opinions in 
the world besides Heginald*s, and other people who 
were worth studying and thinking about. The carpet 
was faded and the piano old, but the hearts in that 
little cottage were warm, and the minds unwarped by 
prejudice or ostentation; and Clara felt that if she had 
not gone through so much, and braved the world's 
estimation by accepting of a servant's place, she would 
not have been so much loved and honoured by Mar- 
garet, or so much sympathized with by Annie. 

Margaret asked her what she could do, and was 
quite pleased at her list of accomplishments. An Edin- 
burgh girl who could neither play, nor draw, nor pre- 
tend to do either, was a delightful novelty. She 
wanted to go on with Latin during her brother's ab- 
sence, and Clara knew just about as much as hei*self, 
and would spur her on. Annie expressed a strong 
desire to leam short-hand, that she might wríte long 
letters to George on small sheets of paper, which no- 
body could read if they chanced to fall into wrong 

. VOL. IL B 



2 CLASA MOBISON. 

hands (a most likely thing at the diggings' post-office) ; 
but, afber all, George could not read it himself, iinless 
he had been tanght, and it would be labour lost; but 
Margaret had an idea that if by labour the art could 
be acquired while Gilbert was away, she should like to 
surprise him by her skill when he retumed. Gilbert 
had ofben thought of leaming some system of steno- 
graphy, but was deterred by hearing that the task was 
equal to the acquirement of at least three languages. 

'Dickens calls it 'savage stenography,' and quite 
appals me about it,' observed Margaret. 

* My system is the phonetic, and is beautifíilly simple,' 
said Clara. ' I took lessons when it was fa^onable, 
and my father wished me to leam it thoroughly for 
many reasons ; particularly for taking notes from books 
and sermons. His health was so bad for the last two 
years of his life, that he rarely went to church ; and I 
used to take down the sermons I heard, and read them 
when I came home. Our clergyman was a man of 
great and varied talents, and it gives me great pleasure 
now to read over my notes, and recollect how elo- 
quently they were deHvered.' 

* Can you read them affcer years have passed V asked 
Margaret ; ' for I have often heard that reporters find 
difficulty in deciphering their own notes.' 

* I can read mine quite easily now,' said Clara. * 1 
will read you a sermon or two some day soon, and you 
will see how simple it is. At first I felt very much 
flurried from trying to keep pace with the preacher; 
but as our pew was curtained round, and no one knew 
I was taking notes, I soon overcame that nervous- 
ness.' 

* Don't you keep your joumal in short-hand ? It 
must be delightful to write what nobody else can read,' 
said Annie. 

* I shed many tears over my secret correspondence 
with myself,' answered Clara ; * and I mean to give it 
m henceforward, for I think it hurts the mind to be 
iXwijB looking into itsel£' 




8UNSHINB. 3 

* You did not keep a journal on board ship, I hope/ 
gaid Margaret. ' A man of genius would have enough 
to do to make such a joumal interesting, from the mo- 
notony of his subject; but to fínd a man chronicling 
what he had to eat at breakfast, luncheon, dinner, tea, 
and supper; counting the albatrósses and flying-físh 
killed every day; detailing every petty squabble for 
precedence ; and then expecting you to consider him 
quite a literary character, is too much for my small 
stock of politeness.' 

' I kept no joumal on board the Magnificent/ replied 
Clara. *I had no fancy then to write that I was 
misei*able, miserable, miserable; and my room-mate 
chattered so much and so constantly, that I had not 
time, even if I had had the inclination.* 

'I think that if you teach Margaret short-hand, 
Clara^ you must leam something from me; for I am 
too old to be a scholar, and yet want something to oc- 
oupy my mind/ said Grace. 'Margaret and Annie 
may say that they are glad you know nothing of music ; 
but you will fínd your ignorance of that essential ac- 
complishment a great drawback to your success here, 
and you really ought to make an effort, and master the 
first difficulties. I will give you a lesson every day; 
and though I am not at all a fíne musician, I can qua- 
lify you for giving the first lessons, at least.' 

'Oh, thank youl I shall indeed be very glad to 
leam; but I fear I shall be very stupid.* 

* None of us play superlatively, so you need not be 
afraid to make mistakes,* said Annie. 

* Is there nothing I can do for you in retum for your 
great kindness to me V asked Clara. ^ I wish you would 
let me be your servant.' 

* You are a silly little thing,' said Margaret. * Don't 
you see that we are very dull here just now, and are 
glad to have something to do that will interest us. 
You will take your part in the work of the house, and 
help Grace with the set of shirts she is making ; for I 
am not in a sewing humour, and Annie is too busy 

b2 



4 CLABA HORISON. 

with the slippers she is making for our diggers, to give 
any assistance.' 

*You will tell us how things are done at home,' 
added Grace, * without insisting that everything colo- 
nial is radically bad. You will read our books, and 
we shall read yours ; you will visit with us, and help 
us to comfort the poor widows ; and when Mra Ban- 
tam sends for you, or you meet with a desirable situa- 
tion, we shall quite miss our dear little cousin.' 

Thus Clara was made one of the family, and if she 
was not happy, it was not from any fault on the part 
of her cousins. They saw that she had been over- 
fatigued during the last week or two at Mrs. Bantam's, 
and allowed her to rest even from amusement tiU she 
was capable of exertion; and then Annie took her out 
to see all the prettiest spots round about Adelaide. 
They were both excellent walkers, and thought nothing 
of going four or five miles in search of a running stream 
or a romantic glen. They found their way up the range 
of steep hills which lie within walking distance of 
Adelaide; as long as flowers were to be found, they 
brought home nosegays ; and when the advancing sum- 
mer withered them all, they gathered green boughs 
instead. They would sit together under a gum-tree 
with a book, which they never read much of, but lis- 
tened to the screaming of the paroquets and cockatoos, 
or'the more musical chirpiag of the smaller birds. No 
one ever molested them in their rambles; there was 
scarcely a man to be seen, for at that time South Aus- 
tralia was in a very extraordinary position for a colony : 
there were for more women in it than men. Aimost 
all the boys whom they met driving cows or sheep, 
were talking about the diggings, and how feither got 
gold the very first spadeful he dug up, and how they 
were going themselves next month. The very young 
children were all busy with pannikins, making believe 
to wash for gold, and feeling convinced if they only 
had a cradle they should find plenty. Or sometimes 



8UNSHINE. 5 

Clara and Annie would wander through the quietest 
streets of Adelaide, and admire tho beautiful irregu- 
larity of the buildiugs. Annie would point out a short- 
waisted, broad-paling house, of which the bright red 
door and windows marked it as incontestably a (>er- 
man edifice. Next to that would be a two-story bríck- 
house ; then again, a low claj cottage, with dilapidated 
thatch; and close to that, a large iron-store, looking 
like a petri£ed tent. 

'Is not Adelaide a delightful place?* said Annie, 
one day, when they had been across the river by the 
little wooden bridge, and round by the back of North 
Adelaide, and then having re-crossed the river by a 
fallen tree and stepping-stones, were retuming home 
by the terraces. * I do not remember Scotland dis- 
tinotly, and my recollections of Edinburgh are merely 
of a wildemess of houses, without any open spaoes ; so 
that I love Adelaide like a native.' 

* Don't you think it would be pleasanter if there 
were less dust )* asked Clara. 

'Perhaps it might; but, you know, the dust is 
quite a boon to Grace ; for if it did not keep her so 
busy cleaning, she would be quite miserable. And 
you know, Clara, that it is not the fault of the town 
that it is 80 dusty, for it is all owing to the climate being 
80 dry. Sydney and Melboume are both very dusty, 
and I don*t suppose that they can be cured any more 
than Adelaide.' 

' Then I suppose it is the &.ult of the climate,* said 
Clara. * It does not look like rain yet, and we have 
not had a drop for six weeks.' 

'I am sure, Clara, that the climate is beautiful,' 
anfiwered Annie. * We get so much rain in winter, 
that it would be unreasonable to expect it in summer. 
An old Scotchman, whom papa knew at home, was so 
struck with the invariable beauty of our weather, that 
he exclaimed — * I never saw onything to equal this 1 It 
is juBt ae fiiie day afber anither 1' But who is this 



6 CL4BA MORISON. 

coming towards us ? Mr. Harris, I declare ! Why, 
Mr. Harris, I thought you were going to the diggings. 
Are you en rovie T 

* My route is a tedious one, Miss Annie ; bijt I hope 
that it will, in the end, land me safe at Mount 
Alexander,' said Harris. ' I am going, like the gold I 
mean to get, through the Assay Office.' 

* What is the use of that í You don't want to be 
tested, surely,' said Annie. *You look as if you 
could dig any quantity of gold.' 

* Perhaps I could if I were on the spot ; but as I 
have no wings to convey me to the diggings, and as 
my father will not allow me to jQiy any kites in his 
direction, I have taken a billet in the Assay Office ; 
where I hope, by strict economy, to save enough to 
let me off in two months. It is hard upon a genius 
like mine to be condemned to look at gold continually; 
but envy is an evil passion, and ought to be repressecL 
This young lady is not one of your sisters, surely V 

* Oh, no ! it is our cousin, Miss Morison, lately come 
from Edinbui^h, who is kind enough to stay with us 
in these duU times.' 

'Have you heard from your brothers or Martin 
yet ; and what do they say V asked Harris. 

•We have had one letter, written at Melboume, 
from Henry Martin,' said Annie. 'They had been 
dreadfully crammed on board ship ; the three were in 
one cabin, and there were only berths for two, so they 
took their tums of the beds ; but the first night not 
one of them could sleep at all, for the 'row* their 
watches made. They had each a watch, and very 
properly wound them all up at night, but the miserable 
ticlong kept them awake. Henry says that none 
of the watches were wound up next night. They got 
lodgings in Melboume at most exorbitant rates, for 
one night, and next day they were to set off on foot, 
throwing their luggage into a cart. How brown they 
will be when they come back ! — and what beards they 
wUlallhave!' 



SUNSHINE. 7 

* I hope to see them when I go/ said Harris ; * but 
they -will have got so much gold then that they will 
quite despise me I* 

' I am sure they will not/ said Annie ; ' but I do 
not want them to stay more than three months at 
the Mount, so that one of us must be disappointed. 
Margaret will be quite glad that you are in the Assay 
Ofice, for she is enthusiastic about the good it must 
do. Money seems a little more plentiful already.' 

' I am glad to hear it. I hope I may get some of 
my debtors to pay me as the times get better. Martin 
owes me five shillings. No, by-the-by, it is the other 
way j but it does not signify much among friends. I 
must come to see you soon. I hope you will make 
me welcome.' 

* I am sure we shall all be glad to see you — Grace 
especially, as you were a friend of Henry's. I have 
tried all your sister*s songs, and I think I know a great 
many of them. You have not missed the book, I 
hope V 

^ Not at all 1 And taUdng of songs puts me in mind 
of your friend Minnie. She has a powerfíil voice, 
though it is not so sweet as yours. How is Miss 
Hodges V 

' She is quite well, but a good deal distressed about 
her brother Charley going off to the diggings. If he 
had gone with George, they would have been quite 
satisfied ; but he was too late in applying, and would 
not wait till he heard where our party was located, but 
started off last week with a party of working men. 
Minnie writes to me quite unhappily, for he is her 
fiivourite brother, and has never been from home 
before.' 

* What a lucky dog he is to get away at all 1' said 
Harris. * I suppose your visiting acquaintance is 
thinned considerably now 1' 

* Plenty of ladies,' answered Annie, * are stiU lefl, 
who will not Qome to see us, but expect us to visit 
them once a week ; and we have had a few gentlemen 



8 CLAEA MORISON. 

bidding Tis good-bye ; but that is all, I think, except 
Mr. Bell, who comes occasionally/ 

' William Bell, I suppose. Is not he an odd fish V 
' Margaret likes him becanse he does not flatter, and 
is not obtrusiye,* said Annia ' I think Clara likes 
him too, because he is a study for her. - Grace £bids his 
services usefuly and, I am sure, I ought to feel gratefiil 
too.' 

* Gratefiil for being bored !' exclaimed Harris. * It 
is certainly great benevolence on his part to bestow his 
tediousness on you. Where does he live, for I am in 
search of lodgings f 

* At Mrs. Brown's,' replied Annie. ' I believe there 
are vacancies there, and you would be comfortable, I 
dare say.' 

'Then I go to Handy's,' said Harris. *I only 
asked, that I might avoid him. Good-bye, young 
ladies. I may be expected at your house this evening ; 
80 tell Miss Margaret that she must not be too 
political !' 

'What do you think of this gentleman, Clara?' 
asked Annie, when he was out of hearing. 'Don't 
you think him very amusing V 

*I have not made up my mind what to think of 
him. I will tell you when I know mysel£' 

* But you said you Hked Wílliam Bell the first day 
you saw him, and I have noticed that you are re- 
markably quick in seeing through people.' 

'Mr. Harris is not so easily seen through as Mr. 
Bell,' said Clara. *fíi8 temper and manner seem 
very flighty.' 

* Yes, of course ; he is far cleverer than the other,' 
Annie observed. 

* A parcel for you, Clara, with Mr. Reginald's com- 
pliments,' said Margaret, on their retum. 'lt feels 
like books, and I have had a great desire to open it, 
but have honourably refrained.' 

* Yes,' said Clara, unwrapping it. ' He promised 
me a reading of these poems ; but you must recollect 



8TJNSHINB. 9 

they are sent as much to you as to me. Take you one 
volumey and Annie the other. I cannot read to-day ; 
80, Grace, do give me some work, aud tell me wliat has 
happened while we were out.' 

* The pigs have been in the garden/ answered Grace, 
*through the hole in the fence, between us and Mr. 
Bantam's cottage; and those schoolboys have broken 
another window of the empty house. I wish we could 
get somebody to live there to take care of it, for they 
don't mind me at all,* said Grace. 

' I will go and stop up the gap in the fence,' said 
Clara ; and she went. 

* Olara is rather ungracious about these books,' re- 
marked Margaret. *Not even to open them when 
they have been sent so far ! — and so fond of j>oetry aa 
she is in general ! — one wonders at hor preference of 
hammer and nails to-day !' 

Clara took a long time to mend the fence, for she 
was very awkward at the work. She bruised one of 
her fíngers, and ran a splinter into her thumb ; but she 
contrived to hammer herself out of her excitement, and 
was more inclined to accept Keginald's compliments 
cooUy after her little bit of fencing. 

She even took up one of the volumes when she came 
in, and read aloud to her cousins, making Margaret 
admire what she admired from the eamestness with 
which she read it. But the book opened naturally at 
the &iest passages, and reminded her of traits of a cha- 
racter which she wished to forget. 

' Really he has íine taste !* said she to herself. ' In 
these matter-of-fe.ct days, how rare it is to see a vein 
of poetical feeling running through a man's nature, as 
this does through his.' 

William Bell came in to tea, and was quite pleased 
at the idea of seeing Mr. Harris again. 

' I have not seen him for a year and a half, and I 
suppose he wiU be changed as weU as myself/ said he. 
* You cannot think how insufferable I was then, and 
for several yéars before, Miss Aimie. I thought I had 



10 CLARA MORISON. 

seen all tKat was worth seeing, and knew a great deal 
more than was worth knowing. Harris nsed to show 
me up amazingly, while I despised his capabilities of 
enjoyment then, but which I envy now, and hope to 
acquire; for I grow younger every day. I have shaken 
off a good many wrinkles in this room, and I hope the 
sight of Harris wiU rid me of the few grey hairs I have 
still about me.' 

* You are in a transition state,' said Margaret. * I 
have observed you casting your slough, and am sure 
you will come out quite a butterfly soon.' 

' Afber my absurd affectation of old age at one-and- 
twenty,' said Bell, * I got into another state — a sort of 
doubting, wrangling, disputing humour seized me. I 
began to see that there was something in the world 
worth living for, and was anxious to prove all things, 
and hold fasb by what was good; but disputing about 
the truth is not always the best way to get at it, for I 
think I leam more from quiet listening, or reading 
and refiiection afberwards, than from the keenest alter- 
cation.' 

* I remember how well you listened to Mr. Staynes, 
when we met him at Mr. Plummer's,' said Margaret; 
^ I had good hopes of you from that day. Was he not 
very delightfiilí' 

* He was indeed the very best talker I ever heard,' 
answered BelL 

'Do you know,' whispered Annie to Clara, *Mr. 
Staynes told Mrs. Plummer that Margaret was the 
most intelligent young lady he had seen in the colony. 
Don't you think, Mr. Bell,' she added, aloud, * that ladies 
are generally very bad talkers V 

* Cerbainly not, Miss Annie; of course I know that 
ladies talk a great deal.' 

* Yes, in quantity ; but what do you think of the 
qualityi' said Annie. 

*The quality depends on the speakers,' was the 
answer. 
^Didjrou not tbink there was aome on^ beaidea Mr, 



SUNSHINE, 11 

Staynes who talked well on that particular evening/ 
asked Annie. 

* Yes; I thought the little I said myself was very 
mnch to the pnq^ose/ said BeU. 

* You are incorrigible/ cried Annie ; * but here 
comes Mr. fíarris, who will teach you better than I 
can.' 

Clara was curious to discover the footing on which 
these gentlemen stood towards Margaret and Anniei 
and particularly the latter. Her youngest cousin was 
prettier than the other two, and her manner more 
winning. Clara liked Bell, because she thought there 
was a sturdy uprightness about him that would make 
him a suitable support for gentle Annie, who had been 
accustomed to lean on other people all her life. But 
she did not like Harris, considering him fuU of afíec- 
tation; and she did not like the attentions which he 
paid to Annie, and which seemed to be well received« 
She watched them narrowly, and saw that her cousin 
drank in all he said with delighted ears; while Wil- 
liam Bell was evidently uncomfortable, and took refuge 
with Margaret. Harris supposed his flattery could do 
no harm, because everybody knew that he could not 
afford to marry. But he did not consider that a girl^ 
brought up as Annie Elliot had been, thought nothing 
of poverty, and knew. that a steady young man might 
easíly eam a livelihood sufficient to maintain a wife. 
He had as good a salary as George had, or William 
Bell j he had no lack of abilities, and if he was only in 
love, sufficient motive would be given for exertion. 
And his constant appeals to her taste, his eamest 
manner of looking at and addressing her, were making 
Annie believe that he did love her. 

* I will find out, through Mrs. Handy, what sort of 
man this Mr. Harris really is,* thought Clara; ^she 
■will let me know many traits of him in her incidental 
remarks. I hope poor Annie will not give her heart 
away, as I have done, only to repent of it Í3ibit»t«cias«& 
bU her life, ' 



12 CLAEA MORISON. 

CHAPTER II 

A NEW NEIGHBOUB COMES NEXT DOOR. 

lU'RS. HANDY waa not known to the Elliots, but 
-»-'-■- when they heard how kind she had been to Clara, 
they had desired her to invite her to visit them. Mrs. 
Haussen was not included in the invitation, at which 
she was surprised, but consoled herself by making a 
very pretty bonnet in the absence of her hostess. She 
did all her needlework in her own room, with the 
blinds drawn, for she could not bear to be seen work- 
ing; yet she was very fond of society, so that there 
was ofben a severe conflict between her desire to have 
everything very smart, and her wish to be amused. 
Now that Mr. Harris had come to Handy's, she par- 
ticularly wished to look well, and as flirting was a ne- 
cessity of his nature, she received more compliments 
from him in the course of the first half hour, than her 
husband had paid her during all his coiui»hip and the 
honeymoon. His letters were in broken English, and 
in a German hand, which she could not read ; and she 
oould only conjecture from their frequency that he had 
not forgotten her, trusting to his reading them to her 
when he retumed. (Annie Elliot thought it was very 
perverse that such useless letters should come all right, 
while the news that they were pining for at home 
seemed to be buried in the post-office.) Mrs. Haussen 
was very anxious for the oblivion of the fact that she 
had been a milliner, and talked of 'her relatives in 
England' with as much importance as if they had been 
members of parliament at least j so she thought she 
had convinced Mr. Harris that she had been bom and 
educated a lady. 

Such was the substance of what Mra Handy said; 
but she could not help expatiating on the clevemess 
and good-humour of her new boarder. 

' I wont say that he is as good as Mr. Beginald, but 



A NEW NEIGHBOUR. 13 

he stdts a house like mine better, for he keops every- 
body meny. We have had two Melbounie geutlemen, 
who have come across to buy flour, staying with us, 
and they were delighted with Mr. Harris, and have 
invited him to come and see them on his way to the 
diggings. As for Mrs. Haussen, she is not like the 
same person since he came; she is as blithe as a hirk, 
and my own spirits have got up too ; and that was l)e- 
fore I heard from Handy from Mount Alexander. He 
is doing better now, and will send me some gold when 
he can find a safe way.* 

* We are going to have an Adelaide escort to bring 
the gold here,' said Margaret. * I ho|>e we shall hear 
from our brothers when it comes down, for we are 
sick with hope deferred. It will be some time before 
we can be sure of that; for the escort has not yet 
started, and must be several weeks going and retum- 
ing. I hope they may find water all the way, and a 
tolerable road, for it will be a great thing for our people 
to get the yellow dirt direct.* 

* Have you heard from Mrs. Bantam yet, Miss Mori- 
sonl' asked Mrs. Handy. 

* Not yet,' said Clara, *but I am in daily expectation 
of a letter, for I hear that the vessel has arrived, and 
she promised to write to me immediately. I wish we 
knew what to do about the house, for it is getting quite 
pulled to pieces.' 

'Do you know, I found out Miss Ker yesterday, 
living in a room of a miserable house in a lane,' said 
Mrs. Handy. * She goes by the name of Mrs. Smith, 
and seems very iU indeed, as well as the baby. She is 
not in want of anything but decent society, and a kind 
word now and then; for she gets rations and medical 
comforts from the Destitute Board. The person she 
lives with is a noisy, quarrelsome Comish woman, and 
the sound of her voice is enough to make a person ill 
of itself ; if the poor thing could be taken away from 
the set of people she is among, she might get better, 
or at least die more comfortably.* 



14 CLAKA MORISON. 

* What do you think of getting her to occupy Mrs, 
Bantam's house till it is sold or let,' said Grace. * It 
is a nice healthy situation, and we could look in now 
and then; and even a woman living in the house would 
save it from destruction. My remonstrances from our 
yard are of no use.' 

* What a good idea,' said Clara, ' particularly as Mrs. 
Bantam seemed to feel a great sympathy for her wretched 
£Ëtte. I must go to see her as soon as possible; will 
you come with me, Grace V 

' No, I am in such bad spirits that I should do 
no goodj I would rather that Margaret went with 
you.' 

* If you will come with me,' said Mrs. Handy, * I will 
take you to the house she lives in. It is in a low neigh- 
bourhood, but I shall be a sort of protection.' 

Olara and Margaret were glad of Mrs. Handy's offer, 
and accompanied her to Mrs. Smith's wretched lodging. 
There was noise and dirt all around ; and the sight of 
the thin wasted young woman, of whose beauty scarcely 
a trace remained, and whom no one would have taken 
to be a lady, fallen as she was very much to the level 
of the people she was among, excited great pity in 
both the cousins. 

She did not care for being removed — she was very 
well where she was — ^her baby was fond of the noisy 
Comish woman, and would go to her when he was- 
cross with herself — and as she had no fumiture but a 
bed, a chair, and a small table, it would be nonsense to 
go into a large house. But her objections were all over- 
ruled by the doctor, who happened to call when the 
visitors were in, and ordered her to accept the kind 
offer. 

* You are getting into such a low nervous state,' said 
he, * that you want a little rousing, and the exertion of 
moving will do you good; besides that, this is not a fit 
place for an invalid.' 

* I will get our waterman to call with his cart to- 
morrow to bring you over,' added Margaret ; * and you 



A NEW NEIGHBOUR. 15 

will find that yonr boy will be much the better for 
having a little garden to run about in.* 

' He can't walk yet, and he is eighteen months old/ 
Jiyf rs. Smith said, despondingly. 

* He will soon leam/ said Clara. 

* He has been a very troublesome thing ever since he 
was bom,' continued the mother — ' and I did not know 
how to manage him, and I dare say I have done hinn a 
deal of mischief, but it can't be helped. Don*t scream 
so, Bobby, my darling — Shall I give you to your own 
Tregillian ? You will break your heart to part with her 
to-morrow.' 

This was rather an ungracious retum for substantial 
kindness ; but our three friends were not easily daunted, 
and went away, quite pleased at doing the poor thing 
good against her wiU. When they parted from Mrs. 
Handy, Clara told her cousin that at £rst she had con- 
sidered her a commonplace talkative woman, without 
any refinement or delicacy of feeling, but that gradually 
she had shaken ofi* the landlady, and shown herself a 
true gentlewoman. 

* The most brilliant genius,' Clara said, * could not 
have comforted me so much as Mrs. Handy did in my 
desolate kitchen, when I sent for her ; and the way she 
asked me to do her a fiivour then, not even yoiirself 
could have improved upon.* 

' I am not gbod at doing things of that kind,* said 
Margaret; 'Grace and Annie are more delicate. But 
with regard to fi rst impressions, I am very apt to judge 
of people from them, and often find myself mistaken ; 
but I thought you were so quick-sighted you could 
read people at a glance.' 

* I leave that to my friend, Miss Withering. When 
I look into my own heart, and reflect that I have been 
studying it for twenty years, and do not half under- 
Btand it yet, I should be diffident in my judgment of 
others. But, Margaret, is it not delightful to think 
that the more you know people the better you like 
them ) Surely poor human nature cannot be so bad as 



lA CLARA MOSISOK. 

it \n m\hu]f or that would not be the case. I dialiked 
MÍMM V/nU^mtom at first, but grew to see that she had 
liiaiiy ^mxl imntik Mrs. Handy I looked down upon, 
liiid iiow I lovo her dearly. Mrs. Bantam taught me 
a nrmi <\m\ ; and Mr. Bantam has twenty timee more 
iHinMii tliaii I gavo him credit for at first.' 

* You díd not loam to like Miss Withering, how- 
«vnr/ Hiiid Margaret. 

* I (lid Tiot know her, even at the last,' answered 
(1|am. * Poor woman ! what a misfortune it must be 
i(i lío ailUntod with such a disagreeable temper, and 
to Imvt» uobody to love her. But she really knew 
woU Ikow to roanage leeohes, and was a painstaking 
\\\\m\ 

* W Ivat did you think of me when you saw me first V 
niikt^d M«u>nuH>t« 

* l wtta ttv»t onvious of you, then afraid of you, and 
noNV l lun gtuiig to tiy to be like you,' replied Clara. 
^ H \ Imd Imd as mach courage and strength of mind 
«si Y\m hAVt\ 1 Sihould bave got better throu^ my 

^ Vou vrvmM bave done no such thing,' Maigaiet 
9iM\l ^ My ttdud i» iS^^Dg when it is employcMÍ oq 
•MÍl^U^ vA^H$ : but I cvmld doI brmg mysdf to take 
Hi ïj^l\«tjili\>iv. ^vvii »» jevvenMetss;. in tke b^ £imilT in 
^Hill^ Au^tiradiziL 1 nittsl and wiU speak ook my mïnd 
^irWif^Yvr I MNw ïmmI I know I sbouÚ bave qiBUTcHed 
>K^ Mrs^ HttiliMa tW vm- árst week oi my seni- 

^ Aihsl yyt yvxK %lk> im Kmd Ibu>í wvck or tti£k;«z& 

sv«it^t»^^^íiM»mQ ixvm ;tB:y v^ose/ 

iW ;iim$w^ ; *- ^tiA l v»Djx»Ki b^ar Ttaii aik>& ot*^ sialínc 111:«' 

$11 wvtií^ W xni:^ pw^tir ïil pctMenc vnzsnxiiaBKtiMB^^ I 



A NEW NEIGHBOUR. .17 

' Could not I get a situation V Clara inquirod j * for 
I am a burden to you.' 

* No j for I cannot spare you/ replied Margaret. 
* If our brothers do not succeed, and we are forced to 
live on our own very scanty means, will you submit to 
a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, in preference 
to a better style of Hving where there is not so much 
lovel You have mado me quite interestcd in your 
phonetic short-hand, and I must go on with it till I 
conquer it entirely ; you sit and talk with Grace while 
I am engaged with law ; and you take long walks with 
Annie, which do her a great deal of good ; so I beg, as 
a fiivour to myself, that you wiU not think of leaving 
us till our brothers retum. I have now more leisure 
than I ever had in my life before, and I am anxious to 
make the most of it.' 

* Carlyle says : — ' Find your work, and do it,' ' re- 
marked Clara. ' I wish I could find out what is my 
proper work ; for though I have some good theoretical 
ideas on education, I do not think I should make a 
good teacher ; and I never felt that the work I did at 
Mrs. Bantam's, was the work I was sent into the world 
to do.' 

* Your vocation is marriage,' said Margaret. * You 
are formed to make some good man very happy, and I 
hope ere long to see you do it. All your little talents 
are pleasure-giving; you have feeling, and taste, and 
tact, and I can Êtncy your husband finding new charms 
in you every day.' 

* Many people mistake their vocation when they 
marry,' said Clara ; ' and if I were to meet with the 
one man in a thousand that I should like for a husband, 
how many chances there are that ho would not like me 
for a wife. I suppose the poor girl we have just seen 
fancied she should be happy when she entered into 
her new state; and yet it has brought her into a depth 
of misery, which I hope, even at service, to escape. Is 
there a prejudice here against old maids ? for it is a 
very mischievous one V 

VOL. II. 



18 CLAEA MORISON. 

■s 

' Of course, old maids are laughed at here as else- 
where/ Margaret answered, smiling herself; *and 
though all our married friends advise us never to marry, 
as we are so much happier single, I fancy that when I 
get gray and wrinkled, they will change their tone. 
They are always complaining of the trouble and care 
of children, till I often feel angry with them for it.' 

* Perhaps it is a delicate way of expressing their 
sense of their responsibility,' observed Clara. 

' You are charitable, Clara ; but I believe they do 
think too much of the trouble,' Margaret persisted. 
' And as for the fathers, they seem to look upon their 
children as pleasures, not as duties. They keep them 
beside them while they are amusing ; but as soon as 
they begin to be naughty or tiresome, they hand them 
over to their mothers.' 

' My father never did so,' Clara said ; ' but I have 
observed it in others, and have felt as angry at it as 
you can do.' 

* I am glad you did,' said Margaret. ' Different as 
we are, Clara, we agree on all great points : you 
despise what is petty, and hate what you think wrong, 
just as imcompromisingly as I do. People think me 
hard and cold ; but you know me better.' 

There was not ' an elbow' Margaret had that Clara 
did not love her the better for. There were many en- 
dearing points about her, and one true soul always 
recognises another. It was pleasant to have some- 
thing again to leam, and to associate with people who 
were not so engrossed with the petty concems and 
cares of the present, as to neglect preparation for the 
future. Margaret's religion was not kept for Simday 
use only ; it was a continual up-looking — an habitual 
cbnscientiousness; and Clarafelt that she grew stronger 
and happier under her cousin's influence. She knew 
that in religion alone she could find consolation imder 
her trials ; and in the comparative leisure she now en-i 
joyed, she foimd sermons more interesting, and religious 
meditation more profitable than she had done at Mrs^ 



A NEW NEIOHBOUB. 19 

Bantam^s ; when she was oilen too weary to lÍBten to 
what was preached, and too anxions lest any piece of 
work shoiïld be forgotten or neglected, to pursue any 
connected train of thought. One requires time to 
think ; and Clara now sometimes laid down her work, 
and would sit for a quarter of an hour endeavouring 
either to subdue her idle reveries, or to induce some- 
thing more profítable, without her cousins, either by 
words or looks, reproaching her for her idleness. She 
oflen saw one snule chasing another on Annie's íace, 
or heard an occasional little sigh escape her, as she 
worked diligently at the slippers, and wondered what 
she was thinking of, without daring to ask. 

Annie took quite as much interest in Miss Ker as 
anj of the others, and was the fírst to offer to take the 
baby for an hour or two, while his mother rested from 
the fatigue of the removal. He was not nicely dressed ; 
but Clara rummaged out something, and got Grace to 
show her how to cut a new frock for him, and set 
about making it as fast as possible. Bobby was crying 
in Annie's arms when Mr. Harris called, and he looked 
annoyed to fínd her so much engrossed with the cross 
little monkey, as he called it, when he had expected 
her to be both ready and able to amuse him, either by 
music or badinage. 

Clara related the history of the unfortunate mother, 
as far as she knew it, with eamestness ; but her en- 
thusiasm called forth no correspondent feeling from 
him. Perhaps it was too much to expect a man to 
sympathize in a woman's wrongs; but he seemed 
flippant. 

* How very heroic you all are,' said he, ' to venture 
on benevolence to such a questionable object ! I was 
reading, in a silly novel, recommended to me by Mrs. 
Haussen, that very serious imputations were cast upon 
a young lady of rank, who deigned to visit a person 
who had been entrapped into a mock marriage, like 
your friend Miss Ker ; but that the angelic creature 
was superior to all suoh considerations. Certainly, 

2 



20 CLABA MOEISOK. 

Miss Margaret has courage enough for anything ; but 
' I did not expect Miss Annie and Miss Monson to be 
so quixotic.' 

* I do not think you like children,' said Clara. 
*They are horrid pests when they are babies/ he 

answered ; * but I like them when they begin to talk^ 
and are amusing. I believe there is a great deal of 
affectation in the fdss ladies make about them. It 
looks amiable, does it not, Miss Annie V 

Annie kept rocking the chHd in her arms, and sing- 
ing monotonously to it; but she felt grieved that 
Harris should think her affected. 

' Have you heard from your brothers, Miss Elliot V 
continued he. * There is a vessel in from Melboume 
to-day, and we are getting a great deal of gold into the 
office.' 

* We have not heard yet,' said Grace ; ' but we get 
such accounts of the miserable state of things at the 
diggings, that we are quite unhappy. Nobody dares 
to go out at night for fear of being robbed and mur- 
dered, and the health of the generality of the diggers 
is very bad. Annie, give me the child ; you cannot 
pacify it.' 

' No, Grace, let me keep it. I promised his mother 
to nurse him mysel^ and I will keep my promise,' said 
Annie. 

Mr. Harns talked to Margaret and Grace for half 
an hour, and then went home to Handy's to dinner ; 
where he was pleased to see that he coiild make Mrs. 
Haussen nearly forget, that her husband had sent her 
thirty ounces of gold by the newly arrived ship. 

The Elliots found their new neighbour rather ex- 
acting, liking some one to talk to, and being always 
glad to get rid of the baby, which cried so much that 
it made her ill ; so that they were almost constantly 
encumbered with it. Adversity had changed Miss 
Ker from a lively, good-humoured girl, into a miserable 
and selfish woman. She liked to see the new frocks 
her neighbours made for Bobby, but wanted energy to 



A NEW NEIGHBOUE. 21 

do anything for him herself. The doctor begged tho 
Elliots to bear with her, telling them it was impossible 
either mother or child could live many weeks. Miss 
Ker talked about her husband with bittemess, aud 
was fond of recounting all the falsehoods he had told 
her. She also dwelt on the appearance of his truo 
wife, saying how much she hated her, and what pert, 
ugly thmgs all the children were. But not even of 
her husband did she speak so bitterly as of Mrs. Camp- 
bell ; for, she said, * If it had not been for her, I am 
sure I could have married Mr. Johnson, and I should 
have been rich and comfortable, instead of being trod- 
den upon by everybody. If he had only seen more of 
me, I am sure he would have made me a proposal. Do 
you know him, Miss Annie, for I should like to see him 
again?' 

* I have met him once or twice,' said Annie. * He 
Í8 at the diggings now.' 

* Just let me see him when he retums,' said Miss 
Ker, * for I may have some hold on him yet.' 

William Bell was authorized to take in the letters for 
the Elliots and Miss Morison, and to bring them to 
their house. Their hearts used to beat quick in antici- 
pation when they saw him walking hastily to the house, 
but the first letter he brought was a great disappoint- 
ment to the Elliots, for it was from Mrs. Bantam to 
Clara. The first pang over, they were anxious to know 
if Clara was to leave them, and as there were no secrets 
in it, she read it to her cousina It ran thus : — 

*My dear Clara, — 

' I promised to write to you when we got 
settled, and as we are as much established here as we 
can hope to be for some time to come, I take up my 
pen to tell you my adventures. 

' Our voyage was rather a quick one, as we got across 
in a week ; but the ship was so crowded, and tho poople 
in the next cabins were so disagreeable, that I was quite 



22 CLARA MORISON. 

glad when it was over. I did not want to stay in the 
Tessel after Mr. Bantam had lefb it, so we landed 
together, and began the difficult search for lodgings. 
We were directed first to one house, then to another, 
and another ; but every place was ftdl to overflowing. 
Then we tried the inns, and though I offered to wait 
upon myself, and to give no trouble if they would only 
give us house^room, it was of no use. The streets were 
crowded with noisy men and women driving about 
furiously in gigs; I counted five diggers' weddings 
while I was going about ; the women were prodigiously 
smart, but the bridegrooms had only those horrid tartan 
things, like short smock-frocks — ^they call thein jumpers 
here— which all the retumed diggers seem to wear, and 
which looked very shabby beside white satin and lace 
veils. I was footsore and miserable, but still was deter- 
mined not to go back to the ship if I could help it, 
when at the last public-house Mr. Bantam inquired at, 
we were directed to go up a narrow lane, where there 
were apartments to let. 

' For the first time that day, we got an answer of 
* Yes' to our inquiries. I was so glad that I sat down, 
but was vexed to hear that we could not have a room 
to ourselves. I could have a bed in a room where there 
were three ladies already, and Mr. Bantam was to have 
a sofii in the parlour. However, there was no help for 
it, and Mr. !E^tam went back to see about getting our 
most necessary luggage brought to our lodgings, and 
left me staring- at the six so&s, that were ranged 
all round the room, with an idea that each of 
them was slept on at night. I begged to be shown 
into my room, that I might arrange my dress before 
dinner j and the landlady, who was a red-faced, vulgar 
woman, made a sort of apolc^ for Mrs. Tomkins, who 
was in bed, as she felt poorly. The bedroom was 
wretchedly dirty, and there was such a smell of spirits 
and tobacco in the house, that I felt quite sick. I had 
not got myself Êdrly tidy when I was summoned to 



A NEW NBIOHBOUR. 28 

dinner; but ohl what a soene met mj eyea Dirty, 
unshaved men, who were swearing at everything and 
nothing, and women who séemed unsexed altogether. 
It was a ship-load of convicts from Yan Dieman*s 
Land, with or without a ticket-of-leave ; none of 
them deserved to be let loose on society, I was 
sure ; the people who kept the house were old con- 
victs; Mrs. Tomkins was intoxicated; and there was 
I without my husband, exposed to every kind of 
insolence. 

* I thought Mr. Bantam would never retum ; when 
he did, I begged him tó take me back to the ship. Of 
oourse we forfeited the three pounds ten shiUingswe had 
advanced, and got a great deal of abuse besides from the 
people in the house. I was obliged to go into the bed- 
room for my bonnet and shawl, and found that Mr& 
Tomkins had got well enough to help herself to my 
handsome cameo, which I had lefb on the dressing- 
table. She used such dreadful language, that I did not 
dare to complain, but went off with Mr. Bautam as £Gurti 
as I oould. 

* We stayed on board ship for a few days, paying for 
the accommodation, till Mr. Bantam could get the house 
we live in now. We pay a hundred a year for it, and 
it only consists of two smali rooms ; but it is in a nice 
situation in Collingwood, which may be called the 
North Adelaide of Melboume. It is more crowded 
than North Adelaide, and there are scarcely any gardens 
or vineyards to be seen, nor any villages round about 
the town; but yet it is better than Melboume itsel£ 
Mr. Bantam has to walk between two and three miles 
every day to his business, but he does not seem to mind 
it. Melboume is a much finer town than Adelaide in 
many respects, but it is not a nice place to live in. 
The streets are altemately broad and narrow, such as 
Great Collins-street and Little Collins-street, Great 
Rourke-street and Little Rourke-street ; but all these 
are well built on. The lanes are horrible ; and there 



24 CLABA MOEISON. 

are bo many of them, and they are tenanted by such 
low people, that it is a wonder they do not bring a 
pestilence on the town. I miss the park lands very 
much here, and also the fruit, so abundant at this time 
in Adelaide, but here extravagantly dear. Vegetables, 
too, are unattainable ; milk is four shillings a quart, 
and butter as much per pound. Water is four shillings 
a hogshead, though we are quite near the river. I see 
quite respectable-lookingwomen, withhandsome dresses, 
drawing water £rom the river in pailsful. 

* Melboume is a wonderfully stirring town, and Mr. 
Bantam thinks his prospects are good. I have seen a 
good many Adelaide people, and you cannot think how 
my heart warms to them. There is a nice íÍEanily 
living near us, that I am grown quite attached to. Mr. 
Hallam is a pleasant old gentleman, and his wife is 
very clever, but never disagreeable, as Miss Withering 
used to be. Two of the young men are at the diggings, 
and the girls are always talking about their clevemess ; 
so I hope the Hallams would make up to you for the 
Elliots, in some measure. They used to live in North 
Adelaide, but I never saw them before. 

*Mr. Éeginald's letter did Mr. Bantam good, for 
Mr. Harringdean has shown us great kindness. Your 
friend, Mr. Campbell, is getting into first-rate business 
here, and has paid the three himdred pounds to Mr. 
Bantam, who has since remitted it to our friend, Mr. 
Keginald. 

* I cannot think of asking you to come across here, 
while we are in such a small house, but depend upon 
it, that whenever we can find room we shall want you. 
Write to me how things go on in Adelaide, and if our 
poor cottage has been inquired about, and if the garden 
has gone to ruin. Have you seen or heard anything 
of Miss Withering? Mr. Bantam told Mr. Dillon his 
mind about her when he announced our removal : 
he called her an insufierable incubus. I hope to 
goodness she will not change her mind, and come 
here. 



A NEW NEIOHBOUR. 25 

' I trust you get on nioely with your cousms^ and 
that the young gentlemen are doing well at the dig- 
gings. There seems to be no falling off, but rather an 
increase in the quantity of gold brought down weekly. 
Give the Misses Elliot my kind regards, and remember 
Mr. Bantam and myself to Mr. Reginald; when you 
see him ; and believe me, ever yours truly, 

* K Bantam.' 

Afler Clara had told Mr. Bell what might be consi- 
dered the public news of this letter, Annie showed 
Bobby to him, saying — 

'This is one of the present occupants of poor 
Mrs. Bantam's cottage. Even his sick mother pre- 
vents the mischievous children from pulling it to 
pieces.' 

* Will you do us a favour, Mr. Bell Y said Grace. 
f We have no small wood, and should be glad if you 
would take George's place, and chop us a little.' 

The visitor at once complied, and went into the 
yard, while Annie foUowed with the child, who wanted 
to be out of doors. She sat down on a log, and pleased 
Bobby by letting him watch the chopping ; while Wil- 
liam secretly admired her gentle face and soffc brown 
eyes, as they tumed tenderly on the helpless object on 
her knee. 

* What a sad story that is of Miss Ker,' said he ; ' I 
heard of it at the time it happened. I think there is 
nothing so dastardly as to deceive a woman, as Smith 
deceived her. There she is, or at least the wreck of 
what she was, coming up to us.* 

* Are you tired of Bobby ?' the mother asked. 

* Not at all,' answered Annie. * I think he is be- 
ginning to be fond of me, and to forget his old land- 
lady. Don't you think he looks better since he came 
here Y 

' I don't expoct I shall be able to rear him at all,' ' 
said Mrs. Smith. ' But, however, you are more able to 
nurse him than I am, for I have such a pain in my 



26 CLABA MOEISON. 

side, I cannot do it.* And Mrs. Smith retnmed to her 
cottage. 

* She is not very grateful,' said Bell ; * but I am glad 
to see you do not expect too much. She has had much 
to try her temper, and we who have been more fortu- 
nate should make allowances. Look ! Bobby, here is a 
£ajnous stroke coming down ! — ^There is a lady just 
come to Mrs. Brown's, who seems to hate children ; 
pushing little Amy about, and scolding Fred. It is 
not good to see a woman without a kind heart for 
children, and I am sure I shall never like this Miss 
Withering.' 

* Miss Withering !* cried Annie. * Has she lefb Mrs. 
Denfield's, or is she only on a visit to townl' 

' It is no business of mine, and I made no inquiries ; 
but when ladies whisper very loud, one cannot help 
hearing,' said BelL * I heard Miss Withering telling 
our hostess what a very superior person Mrs. Denfield 
was, and that the family were excellent, with one ex- 
ception ; but, as she said, ' one bitter drop is sufficient 
for me, I would not remain to create disunion in the 
Êunily; and I hope Mr. Denfield will reflect seriously 
on the sacriflce that has been made to him.' ' 

'I shall write Minnie Hodges all about it,' said 
Annie ; * she was staying at Mrs. Bantam's while Miss 
Withering was there, and was made quite wretched 
and ill by her; and indeed so was Clara, all the time 
Miss Withering was in the house.' 

Here Annie stopped short, and blushed. She had 
tried to keep Clara's situation at Mrs. Bantam's secret 
fix)m everybody, and had presented her as a fashionable 
cousin from Edinburgh ; insisting on her sewing on all 
her flounces agaln, and wearing her best dresses. 

* I knew what your cousin was bëfore she came to 
you,' said William ; * but you do not fancy I should 
think the less of her for what she did ; or the less of 
you, because you had been kind to Mrs. Bantam's ser- 
vant.' 

* Why, Mr. Bell, that is but a negative compliment,' 



A KEW NEIGHBOUB. 27 

Annie answered ; ' as I get no positive ones from you, 
I must treasure this up/ 

William looked rather sadly in her face, and began 
to chop very hard indeed ; and Annie thought it was 
a great pity Harrís and he could not divide each other*8 
good qualities between them, forthey would make two 
delightful men, if better balanced 



♦ 

♦♦♦ 

♦♦♦♦♦ 

♦♦♦ 

♦ 



28 CLABA MOBISOK. 



CHAPTER ra. 

MB. HÁXBSSÍB PBOSPBCT8 OF GETTIN6 TO THE DIGOINGS 

LOOK BBIGHTEB. 

AS tbe weeks and months passed away without any 
letters amvmg from their brothere, the Elliots felt 
very imhappy, and Clara found she must throw aside 
' her own grLe& in order to try to mitigate theirs. Grace 
woidd cry over her needlework, Margaret could no 
longer fix her attention on her books, and poor Annie 
fbund the slippers very trying to her eyes, and used to 
walk with Bobby every day towards the Flagstaff, to 
see if any vessels were coming in from Melboume. 
William Bell told them to blame the post-office, which 
was wretchedly managed; and assured them that if 
anything seriously bad had happened, they would cer- 
tainly have heard of it. Everything that he could hear 
about the diggings that was at all cheerful, he told them ; 
he advised them not to judge of the state of things at 
the Mount by what was reported of Melboume, for, as 
he said, people who were digging for gold were fer more 
orderly than those who were spending it. 

* You are sure to hear from them by the Escort at 
any rate ; and when T go, I will deliver your letters into 
their own hands. I wish I had this concem feirly wound 
up, but I cannot leave Adelaide till I have disposed of 
my brother's premises, and Mr. Macnab is a cautious 
Sootohman, who is very slow in coming to terms. He 
has been five evenings at Mrs. Brown's already to talk 
to me about it, and gave Miss Withering an opportunity 
of displaying her eloquence. He seems to think her 
a olever, sensible woman, and I am afraid she will en- 
slave him.* 

* I do not think it,' said Clara ; * for I never saw a 
man so afraid of female &8cination as he is.' 

* But MÍBS Withering is not fiuscinating, and there 



HOTHEB AND CHILD. 29 

lies his danger/ answered Bell ; * if she were young and 
pretty, and seemed amiable, he would be on his guard j 
but she is none of these, and makes no secret of her 
real love of money. She talks at great length on the 
importance of wealth, on the weight it gives its possessor, 
and the miserable condition of those who have it not, 
and Mr. Macnab cannot help agreeing with all she says. 
She tells him of her engagement as a daily govemess, 
does not disguise that she has only a paltry salary, but 
boasts that she can make as handsome an appearance 
on a little, as other people on a great deaL Eeally I 
hate the woman.' 

* Because she slights you, and prefers Mr. Macnab,* 
said Annie, laughing. 

* "No, it is not for that ; it is because she is so un- 
feminine; she seems to lower the character of the sex 
by ignoring everything good and gentle.' 

* I am dad she did not come to HandVs/ said Harris, 
who had alsodroppedin this evening, 'fo^though Mrs! 
H!aussen is intensely silly, she tries to be agreeable even 
to a penniless dog like myself ; and she is both yoimg 
and pretty, which would make me overlook a host of 
£siults.' 

* So it would not me,* exclaimed Bell ; * for if a person 
is not good or amiable when young and pretty, when 
can she heí I think it is much harder to be amiable 
when one is old and ugly; don't you think so, Miss 
AnnieT 

* People always reckon youth and beauty as tempta- 
tions, but I suppose that is only to comfort those who 
have not got them,' replied Annie. 

' I think it is very hard to be good when one has 
nothing to attract the liking of other people,' said Bell ; 
* it is a mistake in novels to represent the neglected 
child growing up beautiful and amiable, for coldness is 
a bad atmosphere for the virtues to thrive in. Many 
whom we find it difficult to love, would be made more 
amiable by a little affection, than more attractive people 
are by a great deaL' 



80 CULBA. M0BI80N. 

*JJke all yoTir coimtryinen, Bell, you are fond of 
getting metapliysicaV remarked Harria. 

* Líke all your conntrymen, you are fond of having 
notbing said that you cannot say better yourself, I 
might retort/ said BelL 

*What countryman do you suppose me to heV 
Harris asked. 

' Irish, of course,* was the answer. 

* I am English by extraction ; but I was bom in 
Scotland, and educated in Ireland. You are all Scotch 
here, so I choose to be considered a Caledonian.' 

* / am not Scotch T said Annie ; * I am colonial !' 

' Then I, too, am coloniaL An adept in all colonial 
phraseology, skilful in compoimding colonial beverages, 
unriyalled in enlivening Colonial public dinners, and 
drawing all I have to live upon from the colonial 
treasury r 

' I suppose you will not do the last long, for you in- 
tended to be at the diggings before Mr. BeU,' said 
Clara. 

'I intended to do so, Miss Morison, but really 
Adelaide is a more expensive place to live in than 
Kooringa ; and at my present rate of saving, it wiU 
take me three years and four months to get to Mount 
Alexander, according to an elaborate calciQation which 
I made last night.* 

' Is there any necessity for your spending so much 
money)' Margaret asked, gravely. 'Setting aside 
your desire to go to the diggings, you should think of 
the possibilities of sickness and accidents, and provide 
against them* 

* I don't think you are very anxious to go to the 
diggings,' observed BelL ' You lead a pleasant enough 
Ufe here, and are not driven out of the oolony by ne- 
oessity, as so many of us are.' 

'And if you were in my plaoe you would stay,' 
said Harris ; — * you would be quite oontented with a 
luindred and thirty pounds aryear, whUe so many 



MOTHER AND CHILD. 81 

fellows were making their thousands gold-digging ? 
Why, even if my salaiy were ten times what it is, 1 
should want to see the gold fíelds just the same. It 
shows a great lack of spirit to stay quietly boxed up in 
an office, when all the adventurous young men in the 
colony are camping at Mount Alexander 1* 

*Then you really wish to go?' said Bell, empha- 
ticaUy. 

* Yes, I do ; — ^but what is the use of tantalizing me 
about it 1 It only makes me miserable 1 Pray, Miss 
Elliot, play something that we can dance to, to put me 
in good humour.' 

Grace played a polka ; Harris asked Clara to dance 
with him, and William Bell took Annie. Harris 
had never danced with Clara before ; and when he saw 
how graceful she was, he thought Annie must feel 
jealous, particularly as Bell was a very second-rate 
performer. He talked to Clara, and tried to make 
himself agreeable ; while Clara, wiUing on her part to 
draw him out, kept up the conversation with spirit. 
William Bell very soon became tired, and set his 
partner down. 

* Don't you think my cousin very pretty V then 
whispered Annie to him; *and does not she dance 
much better than we poor colonial girls do V 

' Yes, I dare say she does,' answered he. ' But I hope 
you do not let Harris know all about her, for he might 
make her feel uncomfortable.* 

* I don't think he would, Mr. Bell. You do not do 
Mr. Harris justice,' replied Annie, not liking Bell's 
attempt to take advantage of his rival's neglect. 

Singing soon followed. William Bell begged Annie 
to sing * The Flowers of the Forest' She tried it, but 
soon broke down ; for she could not overcome the feel- 
ing of its applicability to their present case ; all the 
flowers of South Australia being indeed gone, and no 
one knowing when they would return. Mr. Harris 
almost regained the ground he had lost, by praising the 




32 CLABA MOEISOK. 

air very mucli, and requesting Annie to copy it for him, 
io take to the diggings, and sing there, which she 
promised to do. 

When the young men were on their way home, Bell 
said to his companion, ' I could lend you enough money 
to take you to the Mount, if you do not need much ; 
and I dare say you will be able to pay me in nuggets 
when I get up there myself.' 

' Oh ! twenty pounds is all I want, and you really 
are a good fellow to make the ofTer. You shall be 
paid, principal and interest, whenever I have it ; but 
take care not to give it to me till I am on the point of 
starting, or I may lose sight of it; I am the worst 
fellow in the world to take care of money.' 

* I do not want any interest, but of course I should 
like my money again, for I have had much.ado to save 
the little I have.' 

* You are a brickT said Harris, 'and you will lose 
nothing by me, I assure you. I shall give notice 
at the office to-morrow, and then, hurrah for the 
diggings!' 

The attention of the Elliots was diverted from their 
personal anxieties by the alarming il]|Less of poor little 
Bobby, who, as his mother had anticipated, was not 
strong enough to cut his double teeth. The'little fellow 
fretted and pined for two days, and then, on the third, 
became so quiet and peacefúl, that Clara and Annie 
were sure he would win through it ; but Grace shook 
her head. Grace had had great experience amongst 
her married friends' families, and tumed out to be in 
the right; for Bobby died in Clara's arms late on the 
third night. Though the mother had talked with ap- 
paarent indifferenoe of the probability of his death, the 
reality awoke all her matemal instinct, and her grief 
was violent The only thing she had on earth was 
taken from her — her own dear pretty boy ! How she 
loDged now to hear his querulous cry, and felt that she 
oodUL never weaiy of watching over and working for 
"^^ 1 Sbe tkanked her friends for all their kindness 



MOTHER AND CHILD. 33 

to her poor child, but would not trouble them any 
more, she said ; she only wanted to die, and be with 
her boy. She looked at the dress she wore, which was 
old and faded, saying something about not having any- 
thing black ; but it was no matter ; and then begged 
them all to go away, and leave her to weep by herself. 

Next moming, the family held a sort of council about 
providing her with mourning: * For it is evident,' said 
Grace, * that it would comfort poor Mrs. Smith to have 
a black gown to wear for her boy.' 

*It is an absurd custom,' observed Margaret, *to 
wear mouming at alL It gives people gloomy ideas 
of deatb, and is a very expensive thing at a very ex- 
pensive time. The Society of Friends wear no moum- 
ing, and I think they are right.' 

* You wore mouming yourself for our father and 
mother/ said Annie, 'and I think it is a graceful 
custom ; and if I were Mrs. Smith, I should not like 
wearing coloured clothes.' 

* I wore mourning, first, because my mother wished 
me to do so, and afberwards to please George and Grace, 
but not because I thought it either necessary or right ; 
still, I make no objection to Miss Ker having mouming, 
and if I had the money, I should think it well bestowed 
on any comfort to her.' 

* Do you think she would be too proud to wear an 
old dress?' asked Clara; *I have two tolerably good, 
which I threw off when it got so hot on board-ship.' 

The dresses were brought out, and Mrs. Smith was 
pleased with them, and laid them down, saying that 
when she got up next morning, she would try on one 
of them. But they lay imtouched for days and days ; 
the bereaved mother never grew strong enough to rise ; 
she became weaker and weaker, and one or other of her 
neighbours was constantly with her. 

* BÍAve you any relations in Scotland V asked 
Clara, wishing, in case of her death, to know to whom 
to write. 

' Only Bome brothers and sisters by the half-blood, 
VOL. u. D 



34 CLA3UL M0KIS03I. 

ftfid a nU!p4ather, whom I nerer coald bear. My 
jnr/iher ha» been lóng dead, and her busband married 
again. I wa« at flchool all my life till I came out 
hcre/ 

* Did you líke your teacher?' asked Clara, remem- 
boring the love and gentleness of her own dear in- 
»tnjotrei«i. 

* Oh 1 yes, when she was not cross ; but I was quite 
glad when they told me I was to come here, for I 
tfioiight I should have my own way; but you see it 
haH boen a very miserable way.' 

* I woii Bont out with a letter to Mr. Campbell, like 
you/ Olara said ; * and with a strong recommendation 
to Mw. Oampbeira motherly care ; but she had been 
(Íoftd a yoar when I came out, and Mr. Campbell was 
quito «urprisod that I did not know of it. I regretted 
it oxoooihugly at the time, for I found myself compelled 
to go to servioe ; but, after all, it was not a bad thing 
fl)r uio. So you need not be siurprised that I take a 
gtH>at iutorest in you.* 

* ï dart> aay Mr. Oampbell &tncied you were sent out 
to Ih> hi« second wif&,' said Mrs. Smith ; * he was always 
raUior susmcious, though not so bad as Mrs. Camp- 
hdV 

U AtVfiluHl acn^ dara's mind that this was tnie, firom 
a !<inmilar ctx^Mrosssion which she had sometímes ob- 
^iTNXHi iu Mr. OMnpWU^s £m» ; and she wondered if her 
lUxcW IvMÍ r(?«dly iMm sr> regaidless of her character and 
<^^i<\wtH a» to ^iid h^ out with so quesdoikable an 
<iA\jWt But h«r^ w« will do Mr. M«»idon justica He 
4m \hvI U\miUI« Kinisielf to md the Adelaide luipas, 
>rKkli Mts OíUiq[4^ i'misioiiaUT sMit to him, and was 
<<^^w$iiN|W«it% ijf^Kwait oTtW d«ttth of hb friaidrs wijfeL 
H<^ W iwi H 'Ji iW t ^ tlKiilt tlie Oua{4<i«lk ww kind, ha^ 
%aib^|i^<^ «a EáunbwqglL aiia tras^^tliat Clan's oc»- 

^ i w át fiitsii k»ia«»i jiciCMT mlM^ ske 




NbU 



MOTHEB AND CHILD. 85 

to haye a pretty girl to bring out, and he expected no 
less in South Australia. 

When Mrs. Smith once began to talk of Mrs. Camp- 
bell, she was apt to continue the subject till she was 
quite exhausted ; and on this occasion she brought on 
such a Yiolent fít of coughing, that Clara was dread- 
fully alarmed, and called in her cousins. Margaret 
went for the doctor with all possible despatch ; but when 
he came, he said that nothing could be done ; he had 
been expecting his patient to be carried off in this way 
for some time back ; and he assured Clara, who re- 
proached herself for exciting Miss Ker by taUdng of 
past events, that nothing could have prolonged her life 
for a week, while the most trifling exertion might have 
killed her before. 

* Poor Miss Ker !* said Margaret ; ' this has been an 
im£iendly land for her : here she has lost name and 
fame, a^/joy and hope' 

' Let us trust that she leaves this world for a better,' 
said the doctor, as he closed her eyes, and told the 
Elliots that all their cares on her account were over. 

They were sitting talking of their late neighbour, 
and almost forgetting that there was such a thing as 
a Flag-staff, when Annie exclaimed, — 

' Here is William Bell ; he is bringing us letters, I 
am sure, by his face.* 

She opened the door for him with a radiant smile, 
and he lost no time in delivering three letters — one for 
each of the Elliots — saying, that the escort was coming 
in with the gold in the afbemoon, but that the mail 
had been sent forward for delivery first. 

He was going away to let them read their letters in 
quiet, but he looked very anxious to hear the news ; and 
Margaret insisted on his staying till they had picked 
out what might interest him. 

* Well,* said William, * then I shall ask Miss Morison 
to come into the garden with me, for I am afraid I may 
otherwise look inquisitive while you read.* 

Clara stepped out of the Frenoh window with him, 

d2 



36 CLABA HORISON. 

and told hiin the sad tale of the death of their neigh- 
boor. 

' I wonder how Smith feels now/ said he ; ' I shonld 
not be snrprised if I meet him at the diggings, for he 
was always a roving character ; if so, I will tell him 
what has happened, and I hope he may have the grace 
to be sorry. I looked hard at the addresses of these 
letters, and I think they seemed healthy enough. How 
I long to get beside George and Gilbert again! You 
do not know them yet, Miss Morison ; but I am sure 
you will like them when you do. They have had the 
adyantage of being always in ladies' society, and though 
they are not very polished, they are never so awkward 
as I am.' 

' They are not so accomplished as Mr. Harris, but I 
cannot say I like him much,' observed Clara. 

' I thought all ladies liked him,' said BelL 

*0h, noT exclaimed Clara. *Women are not so 
simple as you think them. A man can very rarely 
sing or dance himself into a woman's heart ; I think we 
understand the beauty of truth and uprightness as well 
asyou.' 

* I am glad you say so, for unless I have these, I 
have little else to recommend me,' Bell answered 

* And you really wish to please us,' said Clara; ' you 
need not then doubt of success. Do you expect ta 
start soonf 

* Yes ; Macnab has come to terms at last, and I hope 
to go in a fortnight I fear Miss Withering will miss 
her swain, for he will hardly come to Mrs. Brown's, 
except on business. His assistant has lefb him, which 
the lady considers a great hardship; 'for,' says she, 
Hhough Mr. MacnaVs mind is eminently a commercial 
one, it is not fitted for the petty details of the counter, 
and it must be ruinous to his constitution to have no 
reUxation and no congenial society.' ' 

* Th«i Mr. lUnton ïas gonel' ^d Clara; * I must 
go into tlM shop aome day, and see how Mr. Macnab 
••■^ «a fcy biiiaelt* 




MOTHEE AND CHILD. 87 

' I think Benton was foolish to go to the diggings, 
when Macnab ofiered him a share of the business; but 
it was in duU times, and he thought there was little 
prospect of things looking up again. However, the 
place is open for him when he retums.' 

' Mr. Harris goes on Wednesday, does he notl' said 
Clara. * I cannot think where he found the money, 
unless he only makes a parade of extravagance, while 
secretly saving. Margaret is beginning to suspect the 
latter, and you know she is more lenient to extrava- 
gance than to avarice; but she does not know what to 
think of this sudden change.' 

William Bell felt reluctant to tell even Clara that 
he had lent the reqtiisite money to Harris, for he was 
not sure that it was right either to lend it or to talk of 
it. He began to twist the creepers roimd the twine 
that Annie had nailed and tied to the pillars of the 
verandah, while Clara snipped off the withered roses 
which disfigured the bushes. 

When they were called in to hear the news, Grace 
in the first place gave Bell an escort-receipt for five 
ounces and a half of gold, which had been enclosed to 
her. 

^ Is it not a poor thing for these three dear fellows 
to have been working for so long and so hard? You 
must try to dispose of it for us, for little as it is, we 
need it greatly ; and indeed, Mr. Bell, we shall miss 
you very much. They have written ofben to us, but 
these are the first letters that have come safe, and Henry 
says he has only received one of mine, though I wrote 
regularly once a fortnight.* 

Margaret read her letter from Gilbert straight 
through, but Grace and Annie lefb out great pieces of 
theirs. However, we will give them entire, as we 
have no secrets with our readers. 



38 CLARA MORISON. 

CHAPTER IV. 

LETTEBS FBOM THE DIGGDíGS. 

From Hewty Ma/rtin to Grace EUiot. 

Forest Creek. 
^IITY DEABEST GrACE, — 

IfX < if I ^gj.^ jjQjj gure that you wríte to me, 

and that your affection is unchanged, I should have 
been miserable indeed, for I never received a letter till 
last Sunday, and that was written about ten days after 
wesailed. 

^ We are accustomed to be separated, but I used to 
go once a week to the post-office at Kooringa, as oertain 
of a letter as I was of my dinner, — indeed, more so, for 
Mrs. White sometimes disappointed me, but you never 
did. Now, Simday afber Simday, I dress myself as well 
as circumstances will permit, at least putting on a clean 
shirt, but of course not shaving — for a man would be 
quite a Guy here without a beard — and sally to the 
tent which serves as a post-office, which is three miles 
off, but can hear nothmg either good or bad. How 
thankfal I was to see Tolmer and his band come up the 
other day, for I feel sure that what I write now will 
reach you, and that next escort will bring an answer. 
There is a great deal of jealousy of Adelaide men 
amongst the Victoria and New South Wales people, 
and they are making rather a row about our police 
coming through their coimtry, to fetch away the gold 
we have dug, without its passing through their city and 
port of Melboume. But I was glad to see Tobner 
sitting in the Ohief Commissioner's tent; they were 
drinking wine together, and the Commissioner seemed 
quite gracious, so I hope it is all right It is intended 
to erect a house for the Commissioner soon; at present 
he is in a tent handsomely fitted up, and lined with 
black velvet. 

* Though we have all written ofben, I suppose I must 



NEWS F&OM THE DIG0ING8. 89 

take it for granted that you have received none of our 
letters, and begin at the beginning. We stayed only 
one night at Melboume, in a miserable lodging-house, 
where we three slept in the same room with three other 
queer (nistomers. There was a lame man, a verj deaf 
man, and one subject to fíts, all bound for the digginga 
It cost us thirty Hhillings for the day and night, food 
and accommodation for three, which is not so bad as 
Califomia used to be. 

' Next moming we set out on our eighty miles walk, 
and putting our traps on a dray, we walked by the side 
of them, and camped every night. We might have got 
up in three days easily if we had not been obliged to 
stay with our goods; but the roads for vehicles are 
horrible. The streets of Melboume are highly praised, 
and are really better than those of Adelaide; but once 
out of the town^ there is not a mile of made road in any 
direction. So we took six days to reach Forest Oreek, 
where we pitched our tent. It is entirely occupied by 
Adelaide men, as the South Australians are all called 
here, whether they come £rom Mount Kemarkable or 
Encounter Bay. They are wonderfully friendly among 
themselves, and we were glad to hear familiar voices 
amongst them when we came up. 

' It is a perfect lottery here ; we have sunk nine 
holes already, and have got nothing, while from holes 
close by us fellows have taken pounds upon pounds of 
gold. I saw one party take eighteen pounds' weight 
of gold from a hole that touched ours^ in a day and a 
hal£ We can only say, ' Better luck next time;' but 
I must confess, my dear Grace, that I am ashamed of 
our fírst remittance, for it ia the fírst, — ^we have sent 
nothing before, either viá Melboume, or by private 
hand. Here have we paid two months' licence — ^that 
is nine pounds for three — ^we have worked like slaves, 
and send you fíve oimces and a half of gold, worth here 
only two pounds fííteen per ounce. 

' However, we have cleared our expenses hitherto, 
for we bought a lot of stuíf from a party who were so 



40 CLAEA MORISOK. 

busy nuggeting, tliat they •would not take the trouble 
to wash for the smaller particles, and we hired a horse 
and cart, and took it four miles to wash it in the creek. 
Such dust we had to drive through ! Adelaide is a 
joke to it, and even the Burra road is, comparatively 
speaking, a pure atmosphere. Oh, Grace ! if you could 
have seen me there, with such a dirty face and hands, 
and looking as cross as the policemen do when they 
catch a chap working without a licence, I fear you 
would neither have known me when you saw me, nor 
liked me when you knew me. But it always did me 
good to remember your dear, gentle face, and I can tell 
you that one thought of you used to make me relax 
the muscles of my begrimed coimtenance, and give an 
afflicted sort of smile. 

* Five ounces and a half ! This does not look like 
our getting married soon ; but don't think I despair. 
If people will only persevere long enough, they will 
be successful in the end, and if we cannot raise the 
money for our licences next month, we shall go into 
some employment, and not be too proud to work for 
wages, tiil we can raise the thirty sbillings a piece, and 
start afresh. If we could just clear two himdred each, 
and come back to find Adelaide so far recovered as to 
give us employment again, 1 think we need deiay 
matters no longer. It is two years and a half now since 
we were engaged, and though I have been very patient 
hitherto, the thought that a lucky stroke may enable 
us to maiTy at once, makes my heart beat very rest- 
lessly, and sends my pickaxe down with double force. 
Now, write to me, dear Grace, to tell me how little 
you would be satisfied with, and also how things are 
going on, for we hear such confused accounts. It is of 
no use sending newspapers through the post-office, but 
if William Bell comes, make up a packet for h(m to 
bring us. 

* I have tumed out a capital cook — decidedly the 
best of the party — so you will know who to apply to 
on an emergency. No doubt I made mistakes some- 



NBWS FROM THE DIOOINOS. 41 

iAmes ; the first plum-pudding we made was a singular 
production. I made George stone the plums, and 
Gilbert chop the suet, while I put on the pot to boil 
the pudding in, and made a damper. There was a 
pannikin full of plums, and another of suet ; with this 
I mixed up five pannikins of flour, and kneaded it up 
as stiff as the damper. It was in vain that Gteorge 
told me puddings were made in a basin, and stirred 
with a spoon. I told him that these were delusive 
puddings, and not the substantial fare which working 
men required ; so I tied it in a cloth, and boiled it for 
five hours. And was it not a stiff piece of work? We 
took three days to get through it; and the jokes that 
were perpetrated, as I chewed away at the cold pudding, 
were very aggravating. However, I am now quite a 
proficient in the art, and some of our hungry neigh- 
bours like to drop in on a Sunday to take a share of 
Martin's pudding; for there are many here worse off 
than ourselves, who live in a sort of scrambling way 
upon chance hospitality ; and they do clear everything 
before them Many a time we have thought ourselves 
provisioned for two days, and half-a-dozen fellows 
would drop in, sometimes altogether, but generally by 
two and two, and polish off everything we had in the 
house, so that we were obliged to bake fresh damper 
for tea, and eat it without mutton ; for it is only in the 
moming that the butchers will serve you, and then you 
must buy a whole quarter, or you wiil get none. 

' And, oh ! Grace, the washing has been a dreadful 
business ; we should have taken lessons from you before 
we went away, but we had a conceited idea that all 
women's work was easy, and could be done by instinct. 
And I had passed myself off to your brothers as com- 
pletely up to the thing, and was entrusted with the 
management of the firstwashing. I took the clothes, and 
cut up half a bar of soap, and put them into the pot with a 
lot of stones and pebbles, thinking that the friction would 
be beneficial, and boiled all together for two or three 
hours. Then I took them out, saying that if they were 



42 CLABA MORTSON. 

not clean, they ought to be by this time; but the 
stewed shirts and trousers looked horrible ; even diggers 
were ashamed to wear them, for the dirt was com- 
pletely boiled into them, — ^fast colours, and no mistake ; 
and I felt so completely discomfited, that I let George 
and Gilbert wash by themselves next time ; but their 
exploits were very Httle better than mine, which con- 
soled me in some measure. However, one day I saw 
an old woman drawing water from a deserted hole, 
(these holes are all the weUs we have here,) which was 
very hard work for her ; she was the first woman I had 
seen on the diggings, and I was glad to have it in my 
power to help her. She was profiise in her thanks, 
and I insinuated that I should be more than repaid by 
a few plain directions about washing; these she gave 
me at considerable length, and my success has been 
brilliant ever since, though we find it very hard work. 
We are all very much shocked at the idea of your 
having to wash, now that we know how disagreeable 
it is, and hope that if we are successfiil, you will not 
need to do it in fiiture. 

* We have a lot of Burra miners here, who have a 
bad trick of undermining other people's holes, and taking 
the gold out of them, so that when you fiincy you are 
striking into the real good stuff, down comes your 
crowbar upon disappointing emptiness. They have not 
been uniformly successful, and I have seen a good many 
who regret their comfortable billets under the South 
Australian Mining Association. 

' We send you the escort receipt for the gold; it is 
m a chamois-leather bag, marked with your name. 
JNext tmie you wiU have to pay two per cent. for ita 
safe conveyance to Adelaide, but this Tolmer says is a 
labour of love ; so you wiU have it aU ; and a miserable 
iot it is. it is part of what we washed out of Jones' 
part/s rejected stuff; I beUeve it is Hkely to be pub- 
hflhed in the Adekide newspapers, so there wiU be 
plentyof chaff flying about touching EUiot's party's 
laE>ge remittanca ^ •' 




NEWS FBOM THB DIGGINOS. 48 

^ I know it was you that put up the portfolio for us 
to wTÍte upon, and we are very glad of it ; for it íb un- 
pleasant to write on one's knee, or even on the top of 
one's hat ; I must now resign it to George, who looks 
volumes at me, and will, no doubt, write a voluminous 
letter to Annie. 

* And now, dear Grace, I must bid you fexewell ; you 
cannot think how reluctant I am to cease, when I think 
that you will really get my letter. God bless you, my 
dear girl, comfort you in all your troubleu, and make 
me worthy of you, is the constant prayer of 

' Yours more than ever, 

'Henby Mabtin.' 



George Elliot to hia siater Armie, 

Forest Creek. 

*Mt deab little Sisteb, — 

* I hope you have given up crying for us 
by this time, though I do not wish you to give up 
TnÍHCTng \is. It was a comfort to receive one letter 
from you, though a very old one, in which you said 
something about £nding a relation in whom you are 
interested, for anything that diverts your mind will 
also relieve it. I feel curious to see this new-found 
cousin, whom you call so pretty. I fear she will 
become a formidkble rival to Minnie in your friendship, 
if she stays long with you. We have seen nothing yet 
of Charley Hodges, but as we are not sure that you 
have been able to tell him where we are, perhaps he has 
not started. You can let him know that we are at 
Forest Creek, three miles from the post-office, and next 
tent to Esdaile's store. When you write to Minnie, 
tell her that we have all been very glad of her 
* Shakspeare.' Perhaps it is as well that Charley did 
not join us, for we have been by no means lucky, and 
J should have been vexed to have taken him into such 
a poor afiair. 



44 CLAKA HOBISON. 

'I think you would langli to see what a fierce- 
lookmg fellow I am now, * bearded like a pard.' Of 
cowne Heniy and Gilbert are bearded too, but they are 
recognisable. Tom Dennis, wbo was working in the 
next hole, knew Hany by his voice, and foiind out 
Gilbert afíer a good look, but was obliged to ask who 
t'other chap was ; and I could not help laughing to 
think that a fellow who had been for years in the same 
store with me, should not know me; but my laugh 
betrayed me, and he slapped me on the back, and asked 
me what I ineant by disguising myself so. But the 
voice is the great means of recognition all over the 
diggings. 

* I have not seen anything of Harris yet, and as I 
hear he has got a situation in the Assay Office, we can 
hardly expect him now. He promised to teach me to 
Bing the Standard Bearer, and he should be just the 
man to enliven poor diggers. Should William Bell 
come over, I hope he will join our party, supposing we 
become more successful, for he is really a capital fellow, 
though not so amusing as Harris. William acts upon 
principle, and Harris upon impulse; and though the 
impulses are generally good, one places more depend- 
enoe upon principles. 

* Both you and Minnie would be delighted to liear 
the Adelaide men talk of their own colony with pride 
and affection. Victoria is not to be compared with it, 
and all our diggers mean to retum and spend their 
gold at home. Tell Mrs. Trueman that her husband 
is looking very well ; he cannot get his coat on, he 
has got 80 much stouter. His party are doing more 
than ours, but nothing great. I have not seen Mr. 
Brown, but I hear he is doing better. Mr. Reid 
means to go home soon, having got very tired of the 
diggings i but, of course, they will all have written by 
the escort However, this will show that we diggers 
know aomething about each other. 

*Do you ranember Tom Bames, who used to be so 
j» ItttioalMr in his dress at Adelaide } I saw him 




NEWS FROM THE DIGOINGS. 45 

yesterday, looking such an object. He had on a blue 
serge shirt, with a leathem belt, broken in several 
places, and sewed together with twine ; knee breeches, 
with blue worsted stockings, each of them tom down 
the leg ; a boot on one foot, and a shoe on the other ; 
a hat, tom out of all shape, tied down with a piece of 
string ; and a black pipe, sticking, I don't know how, 
through a rent in the straw. He certainly had a most 
Hibernian appearance, but laughed so heartily at his 
own accoutrements, that I quite envied his good- 
humour. I myself have a fidgety uneasiness if I 
have any holes about me, and apply to your huswife- 
case more frequently than the others. I manage every- 
thing better than the stockings, for I always make my 
dams into a hard knot, which is ugly to look at, and 
uncomfortable to wear. 

* I have not many adventures to tell you, but per- 
haps you may elicit something from me when I get 
home, by judicious cross-questioning ; or you may walk 
me up and down the verandah, and get me to remem- 
ber many things, which now, without any prompting 
but Gilbert's evident desire to have the portfolio, I 
cannot call to mind. I thought I should have one 
tale of midnight robbery to relate the other night, 
when Harry started out of bed, crying * Thieves !' I 
heard a rustling outside, and began to try to recollect 
what valuable property was in danger, when Gilbert 
said, sleepily, * We have nothing to steal, Harry ; there 
is not an ounce of gold in the tent.' 

* Nothing to steal 1' cried Harry, ' didn't T leave a 
pail of water outside 1 and now there is some rascal 
making off with it.' 

* However, it tumed out to be only a horse who 
wanted a drink, and had emptied the pail ; and Harry 
did not much mind the loss of the water, so long as 
the pail was extant. We are obliged to get the water 
in very early, if we want to have it pure ; for it settles 
during the night at the bottom of the holes, and when 
takeu before it is disturbed, it is as good as most of the 




4« 

wdl wster áown ín the aoodi; iMrt h iias not the 
áthckm» flavoor of wood tlnt yoa ftdmire so mneli in 
ilne TorreDS water. I thoogiit of throiring a log or 
iwo ínto the holes we freqnent, bnt laziness preyioled, 
and I did not. 

' We have sbifted our tent three times, in the hope 
that^ by changing groond, we shonld change the Inek, 
btit hitherto withont success. I saw the drayman 
who was the cauae of our not taking Charley with us, 
about a fortnight ago. I told him the mischief he had 
done, and he had the grace to look rather ashamed ; 
but he condescendingly said, that if Charley wotdd 
oome to him, he could let him have a few oimces if he 
wa« hard up, for he had done a very snug thing, and 
though his mates were sofb at first, they did not want 
for pluck, and he would like to see a party who had 
done botter. * I seen Hodges' overseer here,* said Ben 
Hardy, *aiid I fancy he wants Charley at home to lend 
a haud with the cattle, and look to the stations ; so 
HiídgoB will be glad enough I did not take the letter 
lu iluio, and it*8 all for the best. George,* continued 
hts ^*^^^^ great afiability, * I am sending my old woman 
ihvw pouud weight of gold, just to spruce her np a bit 
aíor^ I go home^ but I am taking the bulk of my booty 
tii> Adokide M\\"«elf.* 

* Mr» Roid. whom ^rou know to be rather a timid 
wiau, xn*» very n«urly robbed the other night; but 
>«i^ ï^vxHÍ V>y Ui« extneme cautionsness, which had been 
W^xtHÍ ï^tK H<e Kad a gooddesJ of gold, whidi he had 
jHif in his t«vHï$iersi' i^ocketn and his tronsers imder bis 
K^i MvyyfxÍiu^ t>»> tbe ordUnanr cneit^Hn bere ; but fbr 
W(l^iit;^H^ ^Hmtv be p«it a tin disb just ot» bis bead, 
^M^i ww^ ;i^w;iU;^f«^ by beuing it nttle down ow bis 
y«M^ H^ $<;Mrt^i ^ saw tbat bts moiieT ^r» snfe, 
M^ Vv^^ <^tv deM^dl ;ii ttaa nmmn^ awsiT as fe4 
*;^ W xVífcU ; *JlW mbjdki b^ i^^tcnd a tjr«it áai <nt in 
lNt«^%M^J^«t«b^Wik«fb3sb<iMl IVtbSefmuKt 
%ei lnm |«M btt^ liiaiá imaer 1&. B<9d^$ )mmL »d 
H HÍ fct4 ^ ><ilfc ^ iraiM^biiR i^ oi^gab 



NEWS FROM THE DI60INGS. 47 

the alarm ; and Harry says he means to take the same 
precaution whenever he has anything worth stealing. 

'Tell our minister that we hear a sermon every 
Sunday, and are not becoming heathens altogether. 
Grace had better pay our landlord his rent, if you can 
afíbrd it out of our miserable remittance. I hope you 
haye had the intere^t paid upon your own little mort- 
gages, for you must be sadly put about if you have not. 
I lefb the matter with Wilíiam Bell, but I think when 
he goes, that Mr. Plummer might be kind enough to 
look after it. I fear it is but ' water-brose and muslin- 
kail' hospitality that you can give to your cousin, Miss 
Morison ; but if, as you say, she is in want of a safe 
home, she must overlook the poverty of it 

* Now, my own little sister, I must bid you good 
bye, with the hope that we may be imited soon again, 
as loving and happy as ever we were in old times ; and 
believe me, ever your affectionate brother, 

* Geobge Elliot.' 



GUbert EUiot to hia sister Margaret, 

Forest Creek. 

' Mt deab Mabgabet, 

* I can fancy Chitty thrown aside at the sight 
of this letter, and that it will drive musty law out of 
your head for at least twelve hours. I have got out 
of the habit of thinking of my old studies, and though 
I ofben long to be at home again, I fear that my enthu- 
siasm for Blackstone and the rest of his fratemity has 
gone for ever. However, we were to bring home the 
same hearts, and that I think we shall all do, for I 
never felt how dear you all were till now. 

* An Anglo-Saxon has always had the character of 
adapting himself better to new coimtries than one of 
any other race, and where he can make a home he 
grows attached to it. We cannot make a home in 
this sort of vagabond life at the gold diggings, and our 



48 CLABA MORISON. 

affections cling to the home we have made for ourselves 
in Adelaide, with an eamestness which could not be 
exceeded by the people of any old coimtry in the world. 
I have not met a South Australian who did not mean 
to retum, and really at present there are few induce- 
ments to settle in Victoria. I say at present, because 
by judicious legislation much might be doneto improve 
the great natural advantages of this wonderful colony ; 
and when the news of the gold discoveríes reaches the 
mother country, it may bring out such an immense 
number of people, that the gold fields may be exhausted, 
and civilization and cultivation take the place of the 
present nomadic system 

* This is not such a democratic colony as our own ; 
society has been divided into two classes, the great 
sheep farmers and their servants, but the body of hard 
headed yeomanry is wanting. Our working Êirmers, 
struggling for and obtaining comfort and even opulence, 
buying section after section, and making the value of 
their land ten times greater by their labour, have a 
much stronger attachment to the soil than the squatters 
here, who have only a lease of their runs, or the shep- 
herds, who are not connected with the iand at alL 

' Land cannot be bought here in sections of eighty 
acres, as in South Australia ; nothing less than a square 
mile is sold by govemment ; and the squatters are so 
jealous of interference with their runs, that they keep 
fine agricultural land out of the market, even within 
a few miles of Melboume. So you see the reason why 
the Port Phillip people have imported wheat from us 
and fi-om Tasmania, is, that they have never grown 
enough for their own consumption. Of course, thev 
grow still less now, and flour is likely to be very high 
before next harvest comes in. All our farmers whom 
I have met here, mean to go home, whether they are 
successfiil or not, to put in their crops ; for they see 
what a number of unproductive mouths there are to 
feed, and the more abundant the gold is, the higher 
vill be the price of wheat 



NEWS FBOM THE DIOOINOS. 49 

' The coimtry around Melboume looks very different 
from that near Adelaide ; there are not tbe scattered 
villages nor the fíne gardens and vineyards that make 
our suburbs so beautifuL And when we remember 
that people could go nearly forty miles on the south 
road, between fenced sections generally cultivated, and 
that there were so many houses, that one could have 
as many drinks of water as one wanted along the road 
on the hottest day in February, the contrast is very 
striking. Once out of Melbourne, you are in the bush. 
There are no roads made, and it looks desolate to see a 
sheep or cattle station within two or three miles of 
town. 

* We are among friends here; for the Adelaide people 
keep together, partly from choice, and partly because 
the people from the other colonies are so bitterly jea- 
lous of us. We consider ourselves as by far the most 
respectable part of the digging community, and are as 
sociable as the engrossing nature of our employment 
will permit. I think this bout of rough country work 
and country life is a capital thing for my health, for I 
was thrust intoanofficeveryyoung,and had got pale and 
nerveless ; but now I am as brown as Charley Hodges, 
and nobody laughs at my strokes, however they may 
laugh at the feeble results of them. It is well that 
none of you had very extravagant ideas of our gold 
digging success, for you would have been all the more 
disappointed at the sight of our poor five ounces and a 
half. Here, as elsewhere, the working men carry the 
day, partly from their greater strength and skiU, but 
really mostly from luck. I think I may call myself a 
working man now, and require to be legislated for, 
like our friends of old. If we can only weather it, we 
shall not regret going, unless you have sufiered a great 
deal in our absence ; for this change must do us good 
in many ways, and it makes us feel how much you 
always did for us. I suppose no party at the diggings 
misses their sisters so much as we do ; when we sit 
down to sew on a buttou, or set about our miserable 

VOL. u. E 



50 CLARA MORISON. 

washings, we remember whose hands were alwajB ready 
to work for us, and whose goodnature never complained 
of the trouble we gave. 

* I am growing extremely anxious to £nd a good 
hole, and bring you home pockets fiill of gold, because 
I know 70U would make a good use of it. At first, I 
fi^ncy your proposing some TJtopian scheme to do every- 
body good but yourself ; but I think my practical wis- 
dom would overrule you ; and we should settle down 
comfortably on a property of our own, and have plenty 
of books, which we need not study unless we were in 
the humour. It would be delightfíil to see your rest- 
less energy tamed down to a life of philosophic and 
literary ease; and only think what weight your opinion 
would have, if you were an independent woman of for- 
tune. But I am more Utopian than you, and your 
practical common sense will point to the five ounces 
and a half as rather a narrow superstructure for such 
extensive castle& But I have hopes still that we shall 
make something before we leave, and so tum the laugh 
on our side. 

* I hope people have not been frightening you with 
absurd tales of the insecurity of life and property at 
the diggings, for if one behaves with ordinaiy prudence, 
one is as safe here as in Adelaide. If you go into a 
stranger s tent at night he is at liberty to shoot you, 
but then you have no business there. Summary jus- 
tice is executed on those who are guilty of theft or 
assault, but here it is absolutely necessary. No wines 
or spirits are allowed to be sold on the diggings, and 
if any one is discovered keeping a sly grog shop, his 
tent is bumt to the ground with all that it contains. 
Nevertheless, a good deal of this illicit trade goes on, 
as it is very profitable. They sell a miserable com- 
pound which they call wine, at one shilling the glass, 
and another which they dignify with the name of 
brandy, at two shillings and sixpence. The diggers are 
^enerally very sober while they are digging, but I sup- 



NEW8 FEOM THB DIGGINGS. 51 

pose when they are in Melbourne or Adelaide, they are 
as bad as Ënglish sailors. 

* You wonld be snrprised to see what a medley of 
people we have here. Gentlemen, whom you remem- 
ber seeing in professional black, are now digging in 
Guemsey shirts and moleskin trousers ; those who 
used to drive about in gigs, with hands that looked too 
genteel to hold the reins, are now handling the pick- 
axe ; and those who bowed across the counter are now 
hallooing from the bottom of a hole. You recollect 
Dr. Endell, that respectable old gentleman, whom our 
father used to hold up as the very pink of medical 
practitioners — he is digging with such blistered hands, 
that it is grievous to look on them. I advised him to 
get a pair of hedger's gloves to protect his hands, but 
he said he could not, for he should be laughed at by 
his party, as they were a very rough lot. 

* We get for our thirty shiUings a month a block of 
land eight feet square, which we may change as ofben 
as we like ; but a hole abandoned for twenty-four hours 
(Sundays excepted) is no longer ours. Any one who 
likes may take it, and we were provoked to find that 
a hole we had deserted as useless, had been seized upon 
by another party, who took forty oimces out of it. 
The process is very simple, but very dirty ; we take 
the stuff to the river, and generally puddle it down in 
tubs to get off the bulk of the clay, before we put it 
into the cradle. We use no quicksilver to separate 
the precious metal from the clay, as they do at Bathurst 
and in California, but trust to washing alone. The 
dirtiness of the work has eamed for it the sobriquet 
of Jack the Painter; and for the laat three weeks we 
have given up the more aristocratic employment of 
sinking, for the certain though small gains of Jack the 
Painter's mob. People can always clear their expenses 
washing, but the great gains are when you sink a good 
hole, and pick out nuggets with fossicking knives. 
Many lucky parties never think of waahm^, «*\» \«afiáv»^ 

£ 2 



\ 



52 CLARA MOEISON. 

at this season of the year ; if they stay over winter, 
they cannot do anything else. It is cheerless to come 
home after a hard day's work, and have to cook, and 
bake, and wash ; but our party is too small to afford a 
hutkeeper. Nobody digs on Bundays, though there is 
more cooking and eating than you would quite approve 
of We go to hear a sermon while the pudding boils ; 
Mr. Henderson, who is cook to a party, preaches under 
a spreading gum-tree ; and I was shocked to hear that 
his mates complain of his neglecting them, in order to 
study and preach his sermons. No clergyman has as 
yet been sent up to the diggings by govemment, though 
the voluntary principle is not predominant in the Vic- 
torian legislature, and there is a grant for the clergy 
of all denominations who will accept of it. Victoria 
has ahnost no country churches, no district being suffi- 
ciently settled to maintain one ; but if these diggings 
go on as they have begun, both clergymen and school- 
masters must be sent up ; for we would hope that the 
example of South Australia, in considering govemment 
as a mere system of police, will not be followed in such 
critical circumstances as society is placed in here. 

* They threaten to send us soldiers to preserve order, 
and mean to double the licence fee in order to pay 
them ; but they will find out their mistake. If the 
licence fee is doubled, the most respectable people will 
leave the gold fields, and no soldiers can keep order if 
there is no salt left in society to purify it. Write to 
me if the constitutional party are makmg any head in 
Adelaide, or if they excuse themselves from exertion 
on account of the bad times. 

* We hear that going to the post-ofl&ce on Sundaý is 
soon to be stopped, which I suppose you will approve 
of ; but I must say, that the general gathering of dig- 
gers round that tent on that day has rather a civilizing 
effect upon us. We are clean enough to be recognisable 
by our friends, whom we recognise in tum. However, 
ire have had very little encouragement to go to the 
post-office, for we have only had one letter each, and 



NEWS FBOM TUE DIG6IN0S. 53 

we know that you have written at least six by this 
time. Register your letters in future, that we may 
have some chance of having them returned to you if 
we do not get them ; for I cannot bear the idea of 
stmngers reading what íb meant for us, and perhaps 
laughing at anxious Grace, romantic Annie, or your 
dear blue self 

' It is now very late, as I have been the last indulged 
with the writing materiab, so I must bid you good- 
bye. Ever, my dear Margaret, 

* Your most affectionate brother, 

* GlLBERT ElLIOT.' 

* It is well that they have kept their health so well,' 
said William Bell, * and have not lost heart with their 
iudifferent success. I shall be off in a fortnight, and 
if they will take me on with them, we shall see if I do 
not tum the tide of luck. You must make me up a 
packet of letters and newspapers, that I may deliver 
them, and win a welcome for their sake, if not for my 
own, Will any of you ladies turn out to see the Escort 
come in this afbemoon ? I cannot stay to talk now, 
for I have a deal to do with that slow Macnab yet. I 
will come over again in the evening ; but you must 
not expect more than three pounds íive or six for your 
gold, for it is too small a lot to go into the assay office, 
and you must submit to something short of the three 
eleven. Good-bye.* 



54 CLABA MORISOlf. 



CHAPTER V. 

XR. HUHBEBSTOKE's THEOBT AVD FRACnCE WITH 
BEGABD TO LONO ENGAGEMENTS. 

THE Elliots were wonderfully cheered by the news 
they had got, and though Clara grieved that ahe was 
a burden upon them when they were really so poor, 
the frank manner in which George had spoken of it was 
a consolation to her. The fimeral of poor Miss Ker 
was to take place the next day, and Annie was looking 
depressed when she saw the imdertaker coming to make 
preparations for it, so Clara proposed that they should 
all go out to see the Escort come in. Neither Grace 
nor Margaret cared to go, ánd perhaps if the yoimger 
girls had anticipated the crowd that was collected, they 
too would have stayed at home. They got squeezed 
hetween a stout German woman and two Irishmen, who 
were shouting, * Hurrah for Tolmer;' and they were 
becoming very uncomfortable, when at a short distance 
they saw Mr. Harris, with Reginald on one side and 
Humberstone on the other. The three gentlemen came 
up to the girls, and took them into Handy's, from 
whence they could see the Escort pass. 

When they were settled comfortably at the window, 
Mr. Harris took the opportunity of introducing Annie 
Elliot to Mr. Humberstone. 

* A phoínix, a ra/ra avis, Miss Annie. A gentleman 
who declares he has no intention of going to the 
diggings.' 

' Mr. Reginald has no intention either,' said Annie; 
* 80 your rara avis is not so rare, afber all.' 

* But Reginald cannot go, if he were ever so willing- 
whereas it is only a principle of fidelity that keeps 
Humberstone constant to Escott/ said Harris. < I am 
sure that your sisters would admire his conduct, and 
tbAt MÍBs Margaret would put his name down in her 



MATTERS MATRIMONIAL. 55 

album Bs a bright example to all South Australiaii 
overseers. Yours has gone, I suppose, Reginald V 

* Yes,' answered Reginald, * and I cannot get another, 
so I have to work double myself. But here come 
Tolmer and the Escort.' 

* How brown and dusty they all look, and how their 
teeth shine through between the thickets of moustache 
and beard,* exclaimed Annie. * It is quite delightful. 
The men look fresher than the poor horses, which want 
the excitemeni of being admired and cheered.* 

And Annie waved her handkerchief from thewindow, 
as also did Mrs. Handy and Mrs. Haussen. But Clara 
sat back, and ventured upon no sign of applause. 

'Miss Morison does not share in the general en- 
thusiasm, or perhaps she is stunned by the Adelaide 
band, playing their three tunes with more force than 
elegance,' said Harris. 

* I feel a stranger here ; I have no brother at the 
diggings,' answered Clara. 

* Nor any gold coming by the Escort,' continued 
Harris. *How much have you got, Miss Annie? 
Mrs. Handy and Mrs. Haussen have got two pounds* 
weight between them, and I suppose your party will 
have sent you more, for it is their íirst remittance.' 

* We have got five ounces and a half,* replied Aiinie. 
* Don*t laugh now, Mr. Harris, for I am sure they have 
worked hard enough to get it.* 

'I mean to do things famously when I go,* said 
Harris. *Now, Reginald, don*t you envy me? There 
you are, tied to a parcel of sheep, and unable to 
pursue adventure at the mouth of a hole.* 

*How do you like Adelaide now, Miss Morisonï* 
asked B/eginald. * You must find it dull now thore 
are so few gentlemen in it.* 

' Indeed, my cousins leave me nothing to wish for, 
and I am beginning to get quite attached to the dear, 
dusty town, as Annie calls it,* Clara answered. 

* Oh 1 we have stiU a few gentlemen,* said Annie, 
' but they are all going this month or next, and one 



56 CLARA MORISON. 

gets sad at so many leavetakings. Mr. Bell goes in a 
fortniglit, and I suppose you go in a day or two, Mr. 
Harrisr 

* Alas ! it is even so,' said Harria * I am coming 
down this evening for a preliminary farewell, just to 
break it off by degrees; for unless I practise bidding 
good-bye, I shall never be equal to the final parting. 
I am sure your sisters will be glad to see Keginald and 
Humberstone, so I will bring them over with me. 
Bell is sure to be with you, and we shall positively 
muster a gentleman to every lady, which will put you 
in mind of old times.' 

Mrs. Handy wished the young ladies to stay and 
take tea with her, but they declined, and went home 
to tell what they had seen and whom they had met. 

Clara wondered whether Mr. Reginald's question 
about the duhiess of Adelaide was intended to discover 
how she would like Taringa. How ofben a little pre- 
vious knowledge sets one wrong, and the merest 
commonplace is invested with important meaning! 
Reginald had really meant very little by his question, 
and had never fimcied that Clara would suit Julia, from 
the time he had seen her at Mrs. Bantam's. She was 
too sensible to worship her as she would expect, and 
too clear-sighted not to find out her faults, which, 
though he saw them himself, he would fein conceal from 
all the world besides. 

^- Humberstone, the overseer, was delighted at the 
idea of encountering no less than four younff ladies, 
more particularly as he had had first one ri^ in his 
^TIZ T"^ ^ a hundred and fifty pounds a year, 
and agaan this month to two hundred, which, Vith 
Sn Tl: "^-^^^g^-d of a.commodatio'n, Z 



MATTEBS MATRIMONIAL. 57 

to tlie ends of the earth to handlo the pick-axe and 
rock the cradle, and perhaps get nothing, afber all. 
Escott, in the hope of makmg his stay more perma- 
nent still, had said to him, when he was starting for 
town : — 

* I wish, Humberstone, that you could pick up a wife 
in Adelaide ; one who could keep things in order at the 
home-station, where these Shetland people are so 
horridly dirty and careless ; a pleasant, active woman, 
not too young, with a cheerful face and a good temper. 
We woiild make everything comfortable for her, and 
with tolerable sense and prudence, she would be quite 
a queen among us. I know you have a very sofb 
heaxt, and can fell in love whenever you think it con- 
venient' 

Humberstone gave a sigh to the memory of Miss 
Waterstone, and tried all the way into Adelaide to re- 
coUect who among his female acquaintance would suit 
both him and !Écott There was Mrs. Archer, tho 
widow of a publican on the road, but she had too many 
children, and was also too old ; Miss Morison was too 
young and far too little; besides, she could know nothing 
of housekeeping. Then there was Miss Hartop, but 
she had a bad temper, while EUen Casey was nr»t 
genteel enough. He had thought of taking Mrs. Handy 
into his confídenoe, but when he was invited to the 
Elliots', and heard from Harris that the two eldest 
sisters were tall and sensible girls, who could do every- 
thing about a house, he thought that he had better 
judge for himself as to whether one of them would 
suit him, before consulting his hostess. Harris easily 
saw through thetransparent Humberstone, and thought 
what fun it would be if he fell in love with either Grace 
or Margaret. So he instigated him to buy glovos, and 
a new and surprising waistcoat, in order to make him- 
self agreeable ; and talked much as they went along of 
the good gifts and great poverty of the family ; while 
Reginald thought over the letter he had just reoeived 
from Julia, and chafed at being compelled to stay in 



58 CLABA MORISON. 

the colonyy instead of going home and discovering how 
she really felt affected to him. 

Nothmg escaped Clara that evening, for love had 
quickened all her perceptions, naturally very acute, to 
a painful degree. She heard all that Humberstone 
said to Grace, and all that Harris whispered to Annie; 
she lost nothing of the side talk between Margaret and 
Bell, while at the same time she carried on a conversa- 
tion with Eeginald, which she had thought woidd be 
constrained, but was agreeably disappointed to fínd the 
reverse ; for, indeed, when two minds are tuned to per- 
fect harmony, it is not easy to strike jarring notes. 
Besides, Keginald was not aware that Clara knew his 
secret. They canvassed Mrs. Browning's poems, and 
quoted what pleased them ; they appealed to Mai^aret 
for a share of admiration, which she did not bestow so 
lavishly as Clara, for never having herself been in love, 
she did not quite understand love poetry, and discovered 
faults which Clara could not perceive. 

* What do you think on the subject, Mr. Harrisí' 
asked Annie. * Here is Mr. Reginald saying he prefers 
Mrs. Browning's * Eve' to Milton's.' 

* Treason !' said Harris. * Nothing can possibly sur- 
pass Milton's ' Eve,' so beautiful, so clinging, and so 
tender j with the idea that her husband has God to 
serve, while he stands in the place of God to her.' 

* But,' observed Reginald, * such entire dependence 
of a wife upon her husband, though it would be well if 
men were angels, does not suit a world like ours. I 
think, in general, that a woman's conscience is less 
warped than her husband's ; and that she has a great 
duty to perform in giving him unworldly counsel, and 
telling him how things look to her less sophisticated 
mind. Besides, I do not say that Mrs. Browning^s 
* Adam' is so fine as Milton's. Women describe women 
best; I hear great complaints of the monsters they 
make for men, but I dare say that we make as great 
blunders in describing them. Is it not so, Miss 

Monsoní' 



MATTEBS MATBIMONIAL. 59 

* You make us so absurdly amiable, and so dazzlingly 
lovely, that we do not recognise ourselves at all/ 
Clara answered. ' Is not Jane Eyre, who is neither 
handsome nor what is called good, a much more inter- 
esting and natural character than you will fínd in 
men's books?' 

' I think so/ said Bell ; ' for I never can fancy that 
any of these super-angelic beings would smile on a plain 
fellow like myself ; and, afber all, how little effect has 
beauty on the heart !' 

* I do not airree with Bell : beauty has always irre- 
sistible charms for me,' murmured HarrÍ8 to Aunie, in 
a low, emphatic whisper, which sent the blood up to 
her face. 

*Poor Mrs. Smith died this moming,' said Annie, 
wishing to start another subject, 'and she is to be 
buried to-morrow. She only survived poor little Bobby 
a fortnight.* 

' Oh ! then, the house wiU be vacant ; I think I have 
heard of a tenant, perhaps a purchaser for it; but I 
did not like to disturb the sick woman,* Harris re- 
plied. 

* We would have taken Mrs. Smith here, rather than 
that Mr. Bantam should have sufiered from her staying 
in his house,' said Grace. 

Mr. Harris gave an almost imperceptible shrug. 

' Oh ! no time has been lost yet,' said he ; * for Pen- 
garvon only told me of it the other day. He was a 
miner at the Burra, and did very well at the diggings. 
We have got three hundred pounds' worth of gold of 
his in the office, and his two sons have each as much ; 
so they want to cut a dash, and get a house in town. 
They took a fancy to the cottage because it looked 
quiet and genteel. They had also seen a young lady 
twining the creepers up the verandah next door, and 
thought they should be all right in such good neigh- 
bourhood. Pengarvon wants to settle before his eldest 
son is married ; for the last wedding woa eel^bt«Aftk^ vcl^ 
two-roomed cottage, where there waa ec^q^7 x^^xsiXd^ 



60 CLAAA MOBISON. 

tum. I think I told you, Mks Aimie, that I was 
invited to a digger's wedding last week j one of the 
Miss Pengarvons', who was united to a certain Bill 
Weston, who had also done well at the diggings. Truly, 
the talk was much of sinking, and sur&cing, and 
nuggets, and such things ; but everything was done in 
style : the bride, in a white silk dress, with a blue 
drawn bonnet; and her mother rejoicing in a grass- 
green satin, and an amethyst-coloured bonnet with a 
scarlet feather. The dejeuner, or collation, or dinner, was 
very splendid, but very long in being produced. There 
was a turkey at one end, where the clergyman presided, 
and a pair of fowls graced the other, where I had the 
post of honour ; and the worst of it was, that nobody 
would carve but the parson and myself. For, as it 
was half-past four before we sat down, and the company 
had assembled at eleven, you may imagine we were aíl 
pretty sharp-set. The parson's wife looked very hungry, 
so I helped her first ; but there was one voracious old 
gentleman, for whose sake the dinner had been delayed, 
who was dressed entirely in black, with a massive gold 
watch, and chain and seals corresponding, who sent 
in his plate again and again ; while half a dozen 
hungry lads beside him stared on their empty platters 
in vain desire.' 

' How very ill-bred !' said Annie. ' Surely he coidd 
not have been a gentleman, in spite of his costume !' 

' A gentleman! — oh, no, not within a hundred degrees 
of one ! I heard him ask the clergyman's wife, while 
her husband was saying grace, ^ D'ye see that lad o' 
mine down there ] D'ye see that lad o' mine down 
theref three or four times, while she in vain pre- 
tended not to hear ; and when, at last, she answered — 
* Yes, I see him;' he replied, in a stentorian voice, *Well, 
that lad o' mine that ye see, every hole he dug he took 
goold out o't.' There was a pie opposite to him, and it 
was hinted that he might relieve the exhausted carvers, 
and cut it up. ' No, indeed, Mrs. Kedslie, I'U do no 
such thing; I dunna consider myself qualified to cut 



MATTEBS MATEIMONIAL. 61 

up that pie.' ' It is quite a simple matter/ said she ; 
^ and you see all those lads, including your sons, are 
getting nothing to eat, whilo Mr. Harris and Mr. 
Kedslie are starving in the midst of plenty.' * I'U 
trouble you for another slice of turkey/ said the in- 
exorable man, -whose name I discovered to be Iiuggle& 

* As for these lads, I &ncy they are no more used to 
them sort of things than I am myself ; and they may 
just wait, for I do not consider myself qualiíied to cut 
up that pie.' And he resumed his process of devouring. 
I quite pitied Mrs. Kedslie, for he only taiked of very 
vulgar subjects, in a very rough way, and never would 
take a hint to hold his tongue.' 

* I don't think they would be nice neighbours at all,' 
said Annie. * So noisy and disagreeable, they would 
make us remember you very unpleasantly.' 

*I do not wish to be forgotten,* Harris answered; 

* and I do not think Mrs. Pengarvon will annoy you 
further than by passing your door, arrayed in all sorts 
of incongruous colours ; but you must make allowance 
for defective taste. Every one has not your eye for 
harmonious colouring, Miss Annie ;' and he looked at 
her simple but becoming dress with evident admi- 
ration. 

William Bell saw how prettily Annie blushed at 
this compliment, and wondered if he could ever leam 
to make himself agreeable. He thought he might 
venture on a small tribute to Margaret. 

* You are never guilty of such a solecism as wearing 
amethyst and green, . Miss Margaret,' he said, and 
looked quite pleased with his attempt, but only for a 
moment; for both Harris and Annie laughed, and 
assured him that those colours were the finest contrast 
imaginable; wondering, also, that any one could think 
of complimenting Margaret on her dress, a subject 
about which she was perfectly indifferent. 

* It is no matter what a lady wears,' said Humber- 
stone. * One always knows her; and some people look 
better in gingham than others in satin. Mrs. Haussen 



62 CLABJL HOBISON. 

buys a new bonnet every letter she gets from lier 
husband, and she must spend quite a fortune in silk 
dresses. I have seen her in three since I came to town 
this time ; a black satin, a sky-blue silk, and one the 
colour of a pigeon's neck; but though they are all 
handsome^ and fít her, and she puts them on well 
enough, she don't look the lady in them, in spite of 
alL' 

* There is a great deal of the grisette about her/ said 
Harris. * But you must allow that she is pretty and 
coquettish enough to tum the head of a fellow like 
Haussen.' 

' I don't know what he means by a grisette ! Will 
you be so good as explain it to me, Miss Elliot V asked 
Humberstone. 

Miss Elliot explained; and Humberstone could not 
help thinking she was just the person for him She 
was evidently not h,r from thirty, but yet she looked 
very well ; her house was in beautiful order, yet she 
kept no servant ; she talked to him without quizzing 
him, and allowed him to make himself agreeable ; for 
Grace, happy in the thought that Henry was well and 
cheerful, had simshine to spare even to this under- 
educated man, and listened to his 'facts' and broad 
compliments without either weariness or dislike. 

Harris begged that they might be indulged with a 
dance ; and as Himiberstone could dance nothing more 
modem than country dances, he contented himself with 
standing over the piano, and admiring Grace's un- 
wearied fingers as she supplied music for the party. 
Clara coxdd scarcely believe that she was awake when 
Beginald asked her to waltz with him, and went 
through it in a kind of dream. Harris preferred the 
polka and schottische, and would not dance with any 
one but Annie; for he saw that William Bell was 
anxious for an opportunity to speak to her, and waa 
determined to prevent it. Yery soon he should be 
obliged to leave her altogether, and, while still in the 
colony, he was resolved to be first with her. He had 



MATTEBS MATBÍhONIAL. 63 

never admired her so much as now; she had so much 
knowledge of some things, and such delightful igno- 
rance of others; there was a tinge of sentiment in her 
thoughts, and a charming candour in admitting the 
merit of other people : and, altogether, Harris thought 
that, if he ever could afford to marry, she would be 
exactly the wife for him Ho insinuated that he should 
be glad if she would make him a needlo-book, or some- 
thing of the kind, for he had lost that which Maria 
had made him; and Annie promised to do it. An 
eamest whisper, that it would be preserved as a precious 
memento, produced quite as great an effect as the 
whisperer intended. 

Now, though William Bell had done so much for 
them all, and only recently had exerted his influence 
with a friendly shoemaker to induce him to make up 
the slippers for the dear diggcrs — a task of no small 
difliculty in Adelaide in tho«o times — Annie did not 
feel 80 grateful for what he had doiio as for what Harris 
had asked : and she almost smiled at a joke of the 
latter's about his rival's vulgar acquaintances. 

' I hate long engagements !' said Harris, aloud, 
suddenly. *What is tbe use of two poople setting 
themselves for months and years to íind out each 
others faults V 

Clara could not help looking at lleginald. His lip 
quivered, but he said nothing ; and she thought he was 
indignant at Harris for speaking against what was 
right and proper. 

* But suppose people only find out virtues,' said 
Grace, with a frankness which made Harris think 
Humberstone would take the alarm: 'it is delightiul 
to see one good point after another developÍQg itself !' 

*Would it not be as well to find out the virtues 
after marriage as before Y asked Reginald, with some 
constraint. 

* I don*t know,* answered Grace. ' But it gives such 
confidence of happiness when you are thoroughly ac- 
quainted.' 



64« CLABA HOBISON. 

* I tliiiik,' said Humberstone, * ' BÍAppy 's the wooing 
that 's not long a doing.' If a fellow bas made enoxigh 
to keep a wife, and admires a girl, let him ask her at 
once, and have the thing over, that they maj settle 
down to be perfectly happy — in fact, comfortable.' 

'But if a fellow has not made enough/ suggested 
Harris; * what would the oracular Humberstone advise 
him to do V 

' Wait till he has, and leave both parties free. A 
long engagement is, in point of fact, a millstone tied 
roimd a man^s neck.' 

Clara saw Keginald shrink a little fíirther into the 
comer of the sofa at this expression of Humberstone's 
opinion, and wondered what he could be thinking of ; 
when Annie asked him to sing with Margaret. Glara 
had never envied the power of singing before; but 
this evening she did, when she heard Margaret's clear 
voice, aided by Reginald's second. Then Harris 
sung with Annie ; while William Bell, who only liked 
a Scotch ballad now and then, and could not tum a 
tune any more than Clara, looked remarkably \m- 
comfortable. Himiberstone was delighted with so 
much music, and sang a ballad which had been popular 
sixteen years ago, with much applause from Harn& 

Shortly afterwards, all the four gentlemen took leave; 
and Humberstone was profiise in his thanks to H!arris 
for introducing him to such a delightful family. On 
their way, they passed an inn, which was brilliantly 
lighted up for a ball, and Harris proposed they should 
adjoum thither. 

' I shall miss the govemment ball through going to 
the diggings,' said he; 'but I daresay we shall get 
quite as much fim here. Come, Reginald, tickets only 
éve shillings, and a select ball. Bell shakes his head, 
but you other two will come with me.' 

* Not I,' said Reginald. ' I suppose the company 
cannot be very select.' 

* You will find as good gentlemen as yourself, and 
you see so few female fetces in the bush, that you should 



MATTEES MATEIMONIAL. 65 

be glad to danoe with green-grocer's daughters, aud 
pretty servant girls. I know two or three good 
dancers among them, and will fínd you a partner/ 

' I am not going. It is neither good for them nor 
for me to miz together at public-house balls/ said 
B^inald. 

'As if you have never danced with servant girls 
before !* exclaimed Harris, at random. ' You are in- 
clined to be priggish, because Bell is here, and you 
want to show me up before him ; but I wash my hcmds 
of you. You will come, Humberstone, though I don't 
expect you will see any one to equal Miss Elliot here. 
G<>od-bye, Bell and Beginald. * Do ye think, because 
ye are virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale ?" 

' I think,' said Beginald to Bell, as they walked on, 
' that the home we have just lefb is too sacred a place 
to ezchange for amusement such as this ; and there 
has been so much to-night for my mind to rest on with 
pleasure, that I feel quite a horror of any inferior 
entertainment.' 

' So do I,' was the answer ; ' but Harris, who has just 
been bidding good-bye, and appearing so sorry at 
parting, will dance as merrily at this a£&ir as anybody 
there.' 

'I have always admired the Elliots from report,' 
said Beginald, * but I admire them still more, now I 
know them. I suppose that, if they were in similar 
circumstances in England, in these days of absurd pre- 
tensions, one, or perhaps two, of these girls would go 
out as govemess, in order that the third might be able 
to keep her brothers' house, with a servant and a few 
showy luxuries. How much more independent and 
happy they are living all together ; able to help one 
another, and to show substantial kindness to those who 
need it 1' 

* You mean Miss Morison. Do you know, I like her, 
though she is not quite colonial ? I think Gilbert will 
like her too, when he comes back, particularly if he 
does well at Forest Creek.' 

VOL. II. P 



66 CLABA MOBISOK. 

In the meantiine, HarrÍB and Humberstone were 
fnaking their way in the ball-room. The first was a 
great fe.vourite at everything of this kind, for he threw 
himself into the pleasure of the moment with careless 
enjojment, and descended easily to the level of the 
oompaDjy unlike the affected govemment clerks. He 
brushed against a gentleman in a polka^ and recognised 
Mr. Beaufort, of the North, whom he addressed at the 
end of the dance in these words : — 

* I never expected to see you here, Beaufort, for I 
fencied you had tumed over a new leaf since you 
married. I wanted B^inald to come in with Humber- 
stone and myseL^ but the milksop declined; and it is 
as well for you, for he would have been sure to tell 
Mrs. Beaufort' 

' Mrs. Beaufort be hanged i' said the gentleman. ' I 
am on my way to the diggings, and want one night's 
fling to put me in mind of merry bachelor days.' 

*Then you, too, are going to the Mount T said 
Harris. * So am I. I start the day after to-morrow; 
but I leave nothing behind me, except a few small 
debts, not worth mentioning; while you leave a young 
wife, a fine farm, and a lot of sheep and cattle to look 
after themselves.' 

' The fexït is, Harris, that I am sick of the place,' 
answered Beaufort. ' I am tired of seeing nothing 
new and hearing my wife talk of nothing but the 
comforts of domestic life; so I am going totry a Httle 
tZ^lii^ ^'^' ^^' ^ ^ ^ ^ont of town to 

are tL^™es^Jf ""^ "^^**^ ^^^ ^here 
must^^sTmr onetfT"^ "^' ^^ ^ ^^<>^ 
Bheep Ldr^leTha^,^: ^> ^í - ^- *^- 
neighbours— put them Ifl u T "^ ^^® ^ "^^ 
ho^ they wiU thrivrj^^ ^ 'Í^^^'^ ^^ I 

ever done with me TW i *^ ^^^"^ *^ *W ^^^ 
in town, Harris V * ^^ ^ Humberstone been 

'He came in the day before yesterday.' 



MATTEES MATEIMONIAL. 67 

' All right/ said Beaufort. ' I shall hope to see you 
again^ Hajris^ at the diggings. I set sail to-morrow, 
and mean to go to Adelaide Gully in the fírst place, to 
join my Mend Tumer. If you want a party, we 
should be glad to take you.' 

' m think about it/ replied Harris, who had grudged 
the time occupied in this conyersation, and now began 
to dance again with a certain Miss Selina Bames, 
nearly as good a dancer, he thought, as Annie Elliot, 
and one not so soon tired. A country-dance gave Mr. 
Humberstone an opportunity of coming out; and 
though both Miss Barnes, and her Mend, Miss Price, 
voted it low at first, they nevertheless enjoyed it very 
much. Harris was evidently considered the best partner 
in the room; and Miss Bames was morti£ed to see 
him leave her for a pretty young woman, who was 
just newly married, but whose husband was at the 
diggings. 

, * Upon my word, Emma Price,' said she, * there's 
&r too many grass widows at this ball ; quite half of 
the ladies has wedding-nngs on. I think when girls 
get married they should leave the beaux to them as is 
single.' 

'Hard up, now, I suppose,' said Beaufort to Harris, 
when they met again. ' Well, I can't say I am ; it is 
merely a roving disposition that takes me to the dig- 
gings, and I could make it worth your while to join 
me, for I have got everything in first-chop style. Mrs* 
Beaufort took care that I should be oomfortable, and I 
have no end of biscuits, and preserves, and hams, and 
cheeses in my kit.' 

* Well, that is tempting, and I do not think I can 
resist your offer,' answered Harris. ' I say, Humber- 
stone, how do you feel by this timel Have you 
danced your heart into its right place )' 

* I can't tell whether I have a heart or not, I have 
been whirled about so. I must have a nobbler or a 
spider to put me to rights. What will you take, Miss 
Amelia)' 

F 2 



68 CLARA MOEISON. 

^Nothing at all; I leave youto the error of your 
ways. I am a teetotaller.* 

*So are all the ladies I have danced with,' said 
Harris ; * I suspect for this occasioii only.' 

After a very long polka, and Sir Roger de Coverley 
for a finale, the ball broke up at five o'dock, and 
Harris and Humberstone walked home with their 
partners, and reached Hand/B about six. 

It was impossible for Humberstone to sleep in day- 
light, even íf his mind had been at ease ; and now, 
though he had danced so much, and tried to forget his 
love in excitement, his admiration of Grace Mliot was 
stronger than ever. Not one girl at the ball was fit 
to hold the candle to her. So while Harris lay down 
to get a little sleep, the restless overseer walked about 
Adelaide, wondering how early he might call upon 
the Elliots to have another look at Grace. 

It was washing day, and Clara, Annie, and Mar- 
garet were busy in the kitchen, chatting so pleasantly^ 
that Clara wondered at the dislike she used to have to 
this piece of work. In fact, in good company, and 
with a tolerable subject of conversation, washing is 
really far from disagreeable. They were talking over 
Henry's distresses with his stewed clothes, whíle Grace, 
housemaid for the day, waa busy with a duster, and 
taking an occasional share in the conversation, when 
Humberstone knocked at the door. Annie laughed a 
merry little laugh when she heard his voice, and con- 
jectured that he had come to pay a moming calL 
TVT- ï^v^^ ^ opportunity for Mr. Humberstone— 
Miss JUhot was alone, and now was the time to speak, 
for he really admired her very much, and he could 
aftord to marry. Affcer a few stammering common- 
places, he began to describe the home-sUtion with 
great nmiuten^; then he diverged to teU how long 
he had been with Escott, and how comfortable he had 
always been ; how he had obtained a great rise in his 
ï^«r^*^v^*"^''^^'^^^*l««tWthere 
wa» only one thmg now wanting to make him perfectly 




MATTEES MATRIMONIAL. 69 

happy. Then he made a long pause, and Grace won- 
dered what oould make him so commiinicativa 

^ I am in want of a companion/ said he, after mucfa 
hesitation, ' in fact, a wife.* 

* Indeed !' answered Grace ; * then why don*t you 
try to find one V 

' Am I not trying all I can V asked he, in retum. 
*"Will you have mel I am sure you are just the 
woman — I beg pardon, I mean the lady — ^for me, and 
I would make you a good husband.' 

*I thought everybody knew I was engaged,* said 
Qraoe, scarcely less amused than astonished. 

^Engaged — ^whom to V asked Humberstone, eagerly. 

* To Henry Martin, who is now with my brothers 
at the diggings. We have been engaged two years 
and a hal^ and I never dreamed of your not know- 
ingit.' 

'Two years and a half! Henry Martin of the 
Burra I Why, bless my soul ! who would have thought 
of such a thing 1 And you don't think you could like 
me better. I am rich enough, and would cross you in 
nothing, and Escott is so anxious to have a lady about 
the place.* Grace shook her head. ' Could you speak 
a good word for me to your sister V said Humberstone. 
* K I cannot have you, I should like her next best. 
She is not engaged to anybody, I hope.' 

* Which sister do you mean, for it would be awk- 
ward if I recommended you to the wrong one V Grace 
answered, with comic gravity. 

* I mean your tall sister, with the clear blue eyes ; 
the one that sung with Beginald. I think she would 
suit me nearly as well as yourself' 

* Well 1' said Grace, almost laughing outright, * I 
will mention the thing to Margaret.' 

* Will you beg her to come and see me now V quoth 
ihe impatient suitor. ' Only don't let her know that 
I asked you, for she might not like to wear your old 
shoes, you understand.' 

AU Grace's command of countenance was needed to 



70 CLAEA HOBISOK. 

annonnce to her cdster, that Mr. Hnmberstone wiáhed 
to see her immediately, and to offer her his hand. 

Margaret did not dress hersel^ bnt went in her 
moming gown, looking so dignified, that Hnmberstone, 
whose conrage had been oozing out at his finger ends 
írom the moment Grace lefb him, and who began to 
sospect he was nift.lriTig himself ridiculons^ oould only 
falter out : 

^ I thought — ^that is, I hoped — ^but it is all nonsensey 
I suppose ; in fect, no go.' 

* Certainly not,' said Margaret. 

'Then I must bid you a good moming,' said the 
forlom swain, and he hurried out of the house, inter- 
nally vowing yengeance on his Mend Hanris for 
betraying hmi into such a position, and feeling con- 
scious it was not the thing to propose to one lady, not 
to say to two, affcer sitting up all night at a public-honse 
ball, and drinking more than enough. Without mnch 
delay he started on his retum to the nortL 





DBPARTURES. 71 

CHAPTEK VI. 

DEPABTURES. 

WHEN Harris came again to say good bye, he 
foimd that Annie EUiot had the needle-book 
ready for him, as well as the song he had asked, and 
he really felt very sorry to leave her. What between 
recent want of sleep and present grief, he looked quite 
dull ; and though he tried to quiz Grace about Hum- 
berstone*s sudden departure, he failed in eliciting a 
laugh even £rom himself When he bade Annie fare- 
well, the last of them all, he grasped her hand, gazing 
long and eamestly into her ^e, and repressing a sigh, 
said that he should see her again in a few months, 
and hoped her brothers would let him join them at 
Forest Creek. 

Clara's quick eye saw that Harris had made great 
way in her cousin*s heart, and hoped that time would 
mend all, for it was not likely to be a happy lova 
She had given away her own, but then she had never 
doubted that it was on a worthy object; and though 
she had been very miserable in her hopelessness, it had 
not made her querulous or ungenerous. But Annie*8 
uncertainty as to whether she was loved or not, and as 
to whether Harris deserved her love, was affecting her 
temper as well as her spirits. Margaret sometimes 
made harsh remarks about Mr. Harris, and Annie*s 
own judgment told her that WiUiam Bell was a better 
man, and more likely to please all the {amiLy. Even 
Minnie had preferred Bell at the fírst; and Annie 
vainly tried to picture to herself all his good qualities, 
in the hope of changing her sentiments. 

* If Harris really loves me/ thought she, ' I have no 
right to say he is not good enough for me, when I 
have so many faults myself ; and I am sure that either 
Margaret or Clara would make William fiar happier 
than I could. But then he has never avowed his 



72 CLARA MORISON. 

affection, and I shall never fínd out what he thinks, 
unless he gets rich at the diggings, and so can afford 
to marry; which is very right, I dare say ; but I like 
Henry's way best. How happy Grace is, compared to 
me 1 She has something fíxed, instead of this hateful 
uncertainty; 

William Bell was disappointed to fínd that he eained 
nothing by Harris'a depSire. It grieved liim to see 
Annie so dull and spiritless, and he longed to begin 
his hard work, and to serve her brothers as much as 
he could, that she might hear good accoimts of him. 
He begged Margaret to allow him to write to her, for, 
as he said, he was alone in the world, and should feeí 
wretched, when George and Gilbert were writing, to 
have no correspondent himself *I do not expect,' 
said he, ' that you will open my letter till you have 
read all the others, but promise to read it some 
time.' 

Margaret promised both to read and answer, and 
Annie thought that what she had so long wished was 
in train, and that Bell was transferring his affection to 
her sister; but she scarcely fo\md the idea so pleasant 
as she had expected. When he was feirly gone, she 
was surprised to find how much she missed him; there 
was nobody to fetch them a new book now, or to read 
it aloud, or to talk it over; there was no one to keep 
up Grace's spirits, or to be good-natured enough to 
submit to ridicule for the benefít of her own. And 
WiUiam had not asked her for the slightest Êtvour ; 
he had gone away, leaving her immeasurably in his 
debt. 

Olara received a letter from her uncle before Bell 

went, very characteristic of the man. He told her he 

was shocked at the selfíshness Mr. Campbell had dis- 

played in makmg no exertion in her behalf, and in 

^ allowing her to demean herself so much; but that he 

1 liad always heard people grew very avaricious and un- 

í gemerous in oolonies, and that now he fullybelieved it. 

M0 wondered th&t she should have &iled in getting a 



DEFARTUBE8. 73 

sitaation in a oolony where, by gtatistical returmi which 
he had been at ihe pains to examine for himself, there 
were so few teachers and so many scholars; feared that 
her manners would be ruined, and that it would be im- 
pofisible for her to take any position in society, even 
where the dreadíul fact was unknown ; hoped that she 
had either risen above the sphere she had chosen, or 
else brought down her mind to its level ; and concluded 
with a very guarded invitatiou to retum to Scotland, 
where he would do his best to procure her some kind 
of situation. 

Susan wrote, entreating her to oome back, and de- 
ploring the sad íigkte she had met with in that miserable 
Austnilia; but blaming no one, — ^not even Mr. Camp- 
beU. 

Clara read the letters to her cousins, and they ad- 
vised her to stay where she was, for some months at 
least, till either a situation opened for her in Adelaide, 
or Mr. Morison should see that, even for Susan*s sake, 
he ought to do more for her sister. 

Cla^ had expected more kindness from her uncle, 
and her spirits fell below their usual level, so that 
she felt imable to comfort Annie in her evident 
suffering. 

^ Don*t you think, Annie/ said she, one moming, 
' that it would do us good to make a roimd of calls to- 
dayl We have been quite neglectfíil of the widows 
sinoe the Escort came in, and surely they will be in 
better spirits now that they have heard from their 
husbandÊ.' 

' Well/ Annie said, ' let us start early, and ao through 
all that are within walking distance. We shall have 
the two extremes, — Mrs. Brown at eighteen and Mra 
Fielding at sixty ; and we must fínd out whether the 
yoimg or the old wives bear the parting best. I have 
never been at Mrs. Fielding*s since the old gentleman 
Btarted overland, and I dare say she feels anxious ; but 
perhaps we are too young to attempt to condole with 
her. Will you oome with us, Gracel* 



74 CLARA MOBISON. 

* I think two are plenty to go abroad,' answered 
Grace, * and you know how fond Mrs. Fielding is of 
yonng people.' 

So the two girls set out by themselves, and paid their 
first visit to Mrs. Brown, whom they found in tears. 
She had heard from somebody that somebody else had 
told him that he had seen one of Brown's party, 
who said that he was very ilL Clara tried to comfort 
her, by saying that George Elliot had written he was 
quite well ; but Mrs. Brown's intelligence was a fort- 
night later, and she feared it was too true. 

' And oh!' said she, *to think of his being ill — ^per- 
haps dying — and I that was to be with him in sickness 
and in health, can do nothing for him 1 Dear, dear, it 
seems all a dream that I am married at all, — just three 
bright months, and then to be parted thus ! If ï could 
do anything at all, it would ease my mind ; but there is 
nothing to be done but to sit and pine for letters, which 
perhaps may never come.' 

'Brown íb a very common name,' Clara said; *I 
know another Mr. Brown at the digginga' 

* And I know of four besides your Mr. Brown,' added 
Annie. 

* But Stroker is not at all a common name, and he 
was of poor James's party, and it is from him the in- 
formation came,' Mrs. Brown persisted. 

The visitors sat nearly an hour with the poor young 
wife, without improving either her spirits or their 
own, and then proceeded to Mrs. Fielding's : where they 

Whiston had four young children, andtheVonngest 
was very lU; whúe Mrs. Fielding was grieving he^ 
httJS'^ní^^f ' rheumat^ whicwXig rí 
ïn.S ^ "" «f ^^«^«^PÍng out every night waf sure 
to brmg on; and she reproached herself for lettine Wm 
go without accompanying hLm herself ^^ '^^8 ^ 



DEPAKTURES. 75 

'Yoti coald never haye bome such a joumey, 
mother/ aaid Mrs. Whiston. ' If you coidd have kept 
my íather at home, that would have been of some use; 
but &nc7what I should have felt if you had gonewith 
him, particularly now Agnee is so ilL* 

*A wife's firet duty is with her husband,' Mrs. 
Fielding answered; ' and as she cannot command him 
to stay with her, she should go with him ; not that I 
think you should have gone, for you would have been a 
burden instead of support, with those four helpless 
babes.' 

^ I can tell you, young ladies, that you are fortunate, 
fbr people never know what anxiety is till they are 
marriedy' said Mrs. Whiston. 

Both Annie and Clara rather doubted the fact in 
their own minds, but assented to the proposition 
mechanically ; for they had heard it so ofben of late, that 
they saw it would not do to contradict it. 

* We will (ry Mrs. Beid's next/ said Annie, as she 
and Olara departed, * for I know she had some gold by 
the Escort, and surely her husband is not ill, too.* 

But Mrs. Beid thought the quantity of hergold very 
small for the toil and misery it had cost ; Mr. Beid had 
been once in danger of his life; he had written that the 
diggings were a dreadfïil place; and then, afber re- 
counting with great minuteness two short illnesses he 
had had, he wound up by declaring that he was very 
miserable, which of course made his wife still more so. 
The chUdren were all quite well except the baby, but 
áhe could not expect baby to be well while she fretted 
80 much hersel£ 

*My brothers have done very little, — ^much less 
than Mr. Beid/ said Annie, ' but they write in good 
epirits.' 

* Depend upon it, they are not so cheerful as they 
make out. My husband's first letters were written 
much more cheerfully than this last, but he says he 
finds it impossible to keep up the deception any longer, 



76 CULRA MOKISON. 

and tdls me all he feels, which I am thankfol to knowy 
thongh of course it giyes me great distress. How many 
are ti^ere in yoiD: brother^s party nowf 

* Only George, Gilbert, and Henry at present, but 
Mr. Harris and Mr. Bell both talked of joining 
ihem.' 

* Harris will never do any good,' said Mrs. Reid;: 
' he can't work, and he has no notion of saving what he 
may maka Bell might do better, but your brothers 
should get a Comish man — Martin must ^ow hundreds 
of them — ^to sink the holes. It would be worth while 
to give him a double share, for Mr. Eeid gained much 
by the hard-working miner he took in his party, though 
now that he is ill, he will find ^^^n an inaitentive 
nurse and an \mcongenial companion;' and here Mrs. 
Reid's eyes fílled again. 

'Shall we go home nowl' asked Clara^ as they left 
Mrs. Reid's, * or shall we go to Mrs. Trueman'sl We 
heard her husband was doing tolerably w^ ; so never 
fear, Annie, let us make another attempt to get up our 
spirita' 

Mrs. Trueman was sewing when they came in, but 
she thrust her work under the sofer-mattress, and ex- 
claimed : — 

* Where have you been all this while, you two girlsï 
You have not been near me these three weeks, and you 
know how few acquaintances I have in the colony, and 
how solitary my life is.' 

* We have been very busy at-home, and the weather 
r^Hed aI^ ^^*^ b^* we wiU call sooner next time/ 

Ji S^f^^l^^i if^^^' ^^^ ^ «i* ^oping so that I can. 

^ an Xfl\: ^^ ^^ «^ <^^^' ^^d ^ lettera 
areansokind,that I am sure I ought to feel quite 

Here Mrs. Trueman began to cry 



DEPARTURE8. 77 

* No, indeed I that would be paying him a poor com- 
pliment/ said Annie ; ' all you can do is to be resigned, 
wMch you are ; and I quite admire you for it' 

' I think we should moum less for those that go 
away than for those lefl behind/ observed Clara. 

' I am sure our sufferings are nothing oompared to 
theirs/ said Mrs. Trueman. 

* Your husband has active work,' urged Clara ; * he 
has the hope of gaining a good sum of money, which 
will prevent you from being separated again ; he sees 
new &ces, and hears new adventures every day, while 
you sit alone over the dreariest of occupations, and 
have nothing to break the monotony of your life.' 

* Then you think Mr. Trueman is happy away fix)m 
mer 

* Of course he grieves to be parted from you, 
but that only makes him work the harder,' was the 
answer. 

' Come home with us, and see Grace and Margaret,' 
said Annie; * they will comfort you better than I can, 
for I always begin by crying out of sympathy.' 

* I can't leave the house, but you two shaJl stay the 
evening with me.* 

This invitation was accepted, and Mrs. Trueman took 
off the young ladies' bonnets, and made them sit down 
with her to an early tea, emptyingher mindof allits most 
distressing thoughts, and professing to be much relieved 
by their visit; but Annie and Clara walked home in 
the twilight very sad indeed. 

* Mr. Plummer has been here,' Margaret told them, 
when they reached home, ' and has asked us all to tea 
with him to-morrow, to meet Mrs. Brown, and Sarah 
Attwood, and Jane Rivers, and several other ladies. 
He does not promise us any gentlemen, but will make 
an effort to secure Mr. Dalton, a clerk in his depart- 
ment, who affects to be shy of parties now, he is made 
so much of.' 

*Now, you will see a specimen of under-educated 
colonial girls, Clara,' said Annie, ' and if Edward Dalton 



78 



CLA£A MOBISON. 



ÍB ihere, of the most insufíerable of colonial coxcombs, 
ignorant and assuming. So different from cmr style 
of yomig men. But who of us are to go, Margaretf 

* We will lock up the house/ answered Grace, * and 
go altogether. There is nothing here worth steaHng, 
as poor Henry says; and Adelaide has not yet lost its 
character for honesty.' 




NEWS OF A WEDDING. 79 



CHAPTEE VII. 

MISS WITHEBIKO'S MATBIMONIAL SCHEME IS GBOWNED 

WITH SUCCESB. 

IT certainly was enough to tum any yonng man's head, 
to fuid himself the only single gentíeman among such 
a bevy of ladies as were assembled at Mr. Plummer's; 
and it was all the more dangerous to Mr. Dalton, 
because he was a very old colonist, and had often been 
cast into the shade by pleasanter men when yoimg 
ladies were in an important minority. The present 
party woidd, perhaps, have been more agreeable with- 
out hÍTTi^ in the opioion of most of the ladies. 

^ And what is your opinion of things in general, Miss 
Margaret Elliot Y said he. 

' Things are too unsettled at present for me to ven- 
ture on an opinion,' she repUed. 

*For my part,' said Dalton, 'people may say this 
and that, and prophesy great results from these gold 
discoveries; but I woiddfein retire from this miserable 
world to a hermitage, or any such secluded spot, if it 
were not that society claims me as the invaluable 
Edward Dalton 1' 

* Mr. Dalton,' replied Margaret, * God has not made 
this beautiftd world for you to get tired of, or pretend 
to get tired of, at thirty; and if you cannot Tnív in 
society wLth pleasure to yourself, or with profit to 
others, I, for one, think you may leave it when you 
please.' 

But Mr. Dalton appealed to Miss Attwood and Miss 
Rivers, and obtained a more favourable judgment ; the 
latter yoimg lady pointing sarcastically to a blue 
ríband which Margaret wore roimd her neck, and 
asking if she were not particularly fond of that colour. 
Margaret answered simply, that it wa& tliou*^^^ \f:» ^s^ 
her complexion; when Mr. Daltou io\io^e>^ 'vic^ ""QíaRk 



80 CLAfiA MORISON. 

attack with some reflectíons upon learned ladies, niiich 
put her upon her metde. 

^ YeB/ Baid she, ' I believe it is the rule that, though 
a ladj may strain all her accomplishnientB to ti^e 
utmost, gíngíng her very loudest, and pbiying her Terj 
atrongest befbre gentlemen — though she may dispbiy 
her maaterpiecea in drawing, in painting, in emlmid^y, 
and even in crochet, to the most mixed sodety;— yet, 
if ahe ha« thought out a subject, she must be sil^t on 
it — íf she has gained a hct, she must not oommunicate 
it, — she must let her ÍEunilties rust from want of the 
brightening which mind exerts over mind; — and must 
habitually talk below hersel^ lest she should be sup- 
posed to arrogate either equality to the lords of creation, 
or perhaps superiority over them.' 

Mr. Plummer, who was rather slow of apprehension, 
began to discover about this time that Margaret Elliot 
was not complimentary to his single gentleman and 
subaltem in office, and put in a word for him : — 

* You must not induce Mr. Dalix)n to go into a 
hermitage, or to the diggings either, Miss Margaret,' 
said he ; * for I don't know how we should get on 
without him. He writes decidedly the best hand in 
the office, and is the most punctual m the momings. 
Indeed, the head of our department observed to me the 
other day, * So long as you and Dalton remain, we can 
get through business creditably; but, were either of 
you to leave, I could not answer for the conse- 
quences !* ' 

* When did you hear last from Mr. Watson, Miss 
Rivers Y asked Mr. Dalton, endeavouring, at last, to 
reoover from Margaret's sarcasm. 

* Oh, Mr. Dalton, I wonder why you should ask me 
about him,' was the answer. * I know nothing at all 
about him. I suppose he is digging with the rest of 
them. What buainess is it of mine 1 You had better 
ask Miss Attwood how Mr. Williams is, for I am sure 
áhe knows more about him than I do about Mr. 
Wataon,' 



NEWS OP A WEDDINO. 81 

Hereupon ensued a perfect war of fricndly r(H;riinina- 
tion between the two girls, during which Mra rhunniiT, 
who was telling Chira how much Johnny had Hut)\>rt'd 
with his teeth, ' though, tlnink God ! thoy woro w(4l 
through now/ oould scaroely keo]) u]) tho Htnuun of hor 
narration, when, suddenly, Miss Doníiold canio in. 

' Am not I very Ute V she criod. * 1 ani quiU) 
ashamed of mysel^ Mrs. Pluinmor ; but I liavo hoon at 
Miss Withering's wedding, and wo havo had a nioHt 
delightful day. We went all round by Glon Osniond ; 
and then mamma and I had some sho]>i)in^ to do ; anti 
now I have leave to stay all night, as you ])roinisod 
me a bed, and am to walk to Langley in tho niorning. 
Oh ! Miss Morison, I did not ox])oct to hoo you \wn\, 
I wish you had come to us, instoad of that orosH oUl 
Miss Witheríng, that ma* tliought so much of. 1 can 
tell you, Mrs. Plummer, that I was thankful to hoo hor 
fidrly marríed, for I was always afnúd slio wouKi oomo 
back, in pa*s teeth. Ah ! Stirah Attwood, I could U^ll 
you who was asking particuhu:ly aflor you last wook, 
but I wont.' 

And then Miss Denfield, who was just ooming out, 
and liked it very much, sat down bosido Míhh Aiiwood, 
to tantalize her conoeming this unknowu adniiiH)r. 
But she was not long quiet. 

* I vote,' she exclaimed, aloud, * tliat wo havo a 
dance, even with no music but singing. And i ani 
sure tíiat Mr. Dalton can whistlo, sup])0HÍng ho has no 
intrument to play on I' 

* Whistle í^ said Dalton, scomfuUy, * I wondor at 
any one presuming to say I couhl do Huch a thing 1* 

* I see an accordion, Mr. Phuimior. Can any ono 
play on it V asked Carolino. 

*I can pky *Qod save the King' and tho H)Ul 
Hundredth;' but theso aro not danciiig tunos/ answorod 
Mr. Plummer, ruefully. 

'What is to be donel' urged Carolino; *I novor 
could fanoy I had been at a wedding luiloss I liad a 
dance in the evening; and only think what it would bo 

VOL. IL O 



82 CLABA MOBISON. 

to íancy Mrs. Macnab Miss Withering stilL I shall 
sing a polka. Come, Sarah, will you dance with me V 

' I think I could play a slow waltz on the accordion, 
if Miss Denfíeld would like it/ said Grace Elliot. 

' Oh ! thank you, Miss EÚiot. Wont you dance, 
Sarahr 

' No, I don't like making a show of mysel^' replied 
Miss Attwood. 

' Wont you, Miss Riyers T But Garoline was again 
answered in the negative. 

^I know that Miss Morison will be good-natured 
enough to go two or three rounds with me, just to let 
me say I have had a dance ;* and, so saying, Gar(»line 
looked intreatingly in Glara's face. 

Mrs. Flummer, who feared the party was rather dull, 
begged Glara to comply, and not in vain. Garoline 
had never had so delightful a partner ; she had never 
&incied a slow waltz could be so charming. By 
degrees, chairs and so£eus were crowded into comers> 
and all the ladies rose and waltzed, leaving Mr. Dalton, 
who could not, talking largely to Mr. Plmnmer upon 
the absurdity of the proceeding. 

The rest of the evening was spent over a round 
game of cards; and Mr. Dalton, afber protesting, at 
least six times, that cards were an intolerable bore, 
and standing aloof for fíye deals, at last sat down be- 
tween Miss Denfíeld and Miss Attwood, begged the 
richest ladies for counters, and grew keener in the 
game than any other of the company. 

' Are you staying with the Elliots, or are you in a 
situationf asked Miss Denfield of Glara, who was 
sitting on the other side of her. 

* I am with my cousins at present.' 

' We have got such a good-natured girl for a gover- 
ness now,' continued Garoline. ' She lets me do what- 
ever I like; but I should have liked you better, because 
you dance so nicely. However, mamma likes the one 
we have, and it is a capital change for me, for I had 
no pleasure while Miss Withering was with us; and at 



NEW8 OF A WEDDINO. 83 

last complaáned to pa'; and he told mamma that he 
would go to the d^gingB, and take my two eldest 
brothers with him, if Mísb Withering was not sent 
away. So I got ríd of her; and though mamma says 
we do not make haif the progress uow, I can eat my 
dinner, and laugh when I please. This one never minds 
whether I laugh at her or not, she is so very good- 
natured. But I quite pity Mr. Macnab. Do you 
think she will set lum ta^ T 

^ I should think it very likely/ said Clara ; ' for it is 
her Tocation, you know.' 

' Well, it is a vacation to me, at all ovents, and this 
has been a delightful day. Young Mr. Hastie, who 
was a fellow-passenger of Mr. Macnab's, was groom^s- 
man; he called himself hest mom, and really, for a 
8cot(diman, he is quite agreeable. I have seen him 
several times before, but neither of us thought of meet- 
ing each other at a shopkeeper's marriage. You know 
that mamma does not like mixiug with tradespeople at 
all, but Miss Withering had sent her sMAÍh a note ! — 
begging that I might honour the ceremony by being 
her brídesmaid, and humbly soliciting mamma to be 
present at the trying occasion, in order to communi- 
cate courage to her own palpitating heart, and to invest 
with her sanction the step she had been overpersuaded 
to takci — ^all strongly underlined. I leamed the note 
by heart, in case I should ever need to ask Lady Young 
to my own marriage, and might want a model. Is not 
your cousin Margaret a frightful quiz ? I never saw 
her befbre, for mamma has only just made the acquaint- 
ance of Mrs. Plummer. But see, the deal is with you 
noWy Miss Morison.' 

' You have lost your two beaux lately,' said Miss 
Attwood to Annie Elliot; * I hope you will be able to 
make up your mind which to take before they come 
bacL' 

'There is no doubt about that,' added Miss Rivers; 
' Bell is so awkward, and Harris so agreeable.' 

< Only think of Bell lending Harris twenty pounds 

o2 



84 CLAKA MO&ISON. 

to take him to the diggings;* said Dalton; ' Harris told 
me so himseK How simple Bell must have been T 

Nothing that could have beeu said against Mr. Hanis 
by people whose opinion she valued, would have annoyed 
Annie so much as to hear him praised by persons she 
despised. And to think of poor William Bell being so 
generous, and getting no credit for it ! She tried to 
laugh at the sallies pointed against her, but made a sad 
feilure ; and was glad when Mrs. Brown gave the signal, 
and they rose to go. She would not stay to listen to 
the half hour's gossip which Sarah, Jane, and Garoline 
liked to keep up in the bed-room ; but hurried her 
sisters and cousin away. Mr. Plimmier escorted thom 
home, leaving Mr. Dalton imder the painful necessity 
of accompanying the other ladies, which he told the 
clerks in the office next day was the most disagreeable 
part of the duties he owed to society, but &a they all 
lived near each other, he was spared the dangers of 
a tête-á-tête. 

Mr. Plummer was a slow man, and a pompous man, 
but he was kind-hearted and upright ; and Annie was 
soothed by his praising William Bell, and hoping he 
would succeed at the gold fields. Then he reverted to 
the old subject, that Gilbert should never have gone, 
for it would imsettle him, and there would soon be 
openings for young men in Adelaide. 

* You will be sorry you did not take my advice, Miss 
Margaret,' said he, 'and keep him at home; for one of 
our old hands who started off and came back im- 
successful, cannot settle to his desk again at alL How- 
ever it can't be helped now.' 

And Mr. Plummer sighed as he showed the ladies 
in at the gate, and bade them ' good night.' 



4» 



MOBE NEWS FBOM THE DI66IN0S. 85 

CHAPTER VIII. 

MORE LETTERS FROM THE DIGGINGS. 

* 'T^HE Escort is coming in again,' said Annie, one 
-L moming ; * the milk girl tells me, and she ex- 
pects to hear from her fisither ; and so in her joy, I think 
she has put a double dose of water in the milk, for it 
looks remarkably blue this moming. Whom shall we 
get to sell our gold for us, now Willmm Bell is not here.' 

But Annie might have spared her anxiety on this 
score, for though four letters arrived, every one was 
shaken for an Escort receipt, but none appeared ; and 
they had merely to suppose that no good luck had 
attended their party. 

* And see,' said Annie, * the date is not Forest»Creek, 
but Bendigo. They must have shifbed quarters again.' 

The letters were as foUows : — 

From Hemry Martin to Grace JEUiot 

«Bendigo, 1852. 

^ Mt deabest Grace, 

*Don't be very much disappointed at our 
wretched success, but bear the news that we have no- 
thing to send you as well as you did our recent small 
remittance ; for we are now in hopes of better things. 
Since William Bell came up a week ago, and put us 
both in funds and in spirits, so that we could move to 
these new diggings, we are getting our hopes up 
amazingly. We had sunk hole affcer hole, but we never 
chanced upon the right thing, and we saw that we 
could not raise the four pounds ten for our licences. If 
William had not come the day he did, we should have 
gone as storekeeper's assistants or day-labourers, getting 
the licence fee as an advance on our wages. But he 
insisted on paying all for us, and being at the expense 
of moving our goods to Bendigo, between thirty and 
forty miles from our old location. The roads are not 



86 CLABA MORISON. 

very bad yet, but in winter they are sure to be horrible. 
We are now sinking two boles ; Gilbert and I working 
at one, and George and William at the other; and are 
expecting great things, but have got nothing in time 
for the 'ÉBCOTt, 

* Your letter sent by Harris has never reached me, 
nor Annie's to George. He might at least have put 
them into the post-ojQBice, if it was not convenient to 
bring them himself ; but perhaps he did — ^for that post- 
office is a guli^ a Maelstrom, which sucks in all our 
letters, and never delivers them up.' It was well you 
wrote me a few lines by Bell, for they came safe 
enough j and the newspapers with Margaret's marginal 
notes, which make them more valuable to all of us, 
were most welcome. We have scarcely had time to 
read them yet, having been so busy with the removal, 
and other things. William prophesies that we shall 
bring back most of them imread, for we mean to find 
such quantities of gold, that all our spare time will be 
employed in washmg it. And when people are very 
lucky, they dare not desert their holes through the 
night, but are obliged to watch by tums, lest any 
imprincipled fossicker should make off with their 
tr€»fiure. 

* All the married men are getting very sick of the 

life here. I, who am next thing to a married man, 

but who have never known the comfort of a home of 

my own, bear up better ; but I know that you, my 

dearest girl, are with your sisters, and that you believe 

we are doing our best, and trust in Providence to bless 

our endeavours. Bell tells us your cousin, Miss Mori- 

son, is a great acquisition to you all, although he 

had always thought the íamily complete before ; but 

she, he says, seems to form one side of a symmetrical 

square — a mathematical compliment quite worthy of 

WilliamBelL 

♦ ♦♦♦♦♦ 

^ There is abundance of wood here for a slab hut, in 
case we sbould want to stay over t\ie ^wmtex -, Wt we 



MOAE NEWS FBOM THE DIGGINGS. 87 

shall not do so if we can help it, for it will be miser- 
My wet, and we should rather gain a little and retnm 
home soon, than be separated muoh longer, even for a 
great deaL 

* We have no sermons yet at Bendigo, but hope to 
have some soon. There is a post-office here, to which 
you must address your letters; but really I cannot 
mention the post-office at all without getting angry, a 
very bad frame of mind in which to conclude a letter 
to my gentle, loving Grace. Farewell, and God bless 
you. Eyer most íiuthfully yours, 

*Henry Martin.' 



From George EUiot to Jda sister Armie, 

* Bendigo, 1852. 

' My dear Annie, 

* You cannot think how delighted we were 
to see William, and to hear about you all &om him. 
He wrote his letter to Margaret last night, that we 
might all have time to write to-day, and I suppose he 
has told her of the good prospects he might have taken 
advantage of in Melboume ; but he preferred trying 
his luck with us, and we now feel coufídent of success. 
There is nothing like trying new ground at these 
diggings. 

* We found Gharley Hodges to-day, but you will be 
grieved to hear that he is very unwell. I do not 
think there is anything serious the matter with him, 
but his x>srty had neglected him, and had taken pos- 
session of all the comforts which his mother and Minnie 
had provided for him. The man that possessed the 
horse and cart quarrelled with the other man on the 
road^ and Gharley took the side of the man without 
property ; so he was in the wrong box, for you cannot 
think how tyrannical the keeper of all your eatables 
can be. Then both of the men always took Gharley's 
gun to amuse themselves on the road ; and when they 



88 CLASA MORISON. 

killed a turkey, or a lot of teal, gradged giving the 
poor fellow a share. When they came to dig they 
only allowed him a seventh, though he had fiu'nished 
half of the provisions, and they had bronght over three 
months* supply. There was one share for him as a 
boy, two for each man, one for the horse, and one for 
the cart ; and he thinks they cheated him besides, for 
they always seemed to have plenty, while he scarcely 
ever got anything. They made him cook on Sundays, 
telling him he must leam to rough it, while they went 
out shooting or amusing themselves ; and they wanted 
him to wash for them too, but he would not submit to 
that. When he was taken ill, they were on the point 
of going to Bendigo, and proposed to leave him at 
Forest Creek; but Charley insisted on their taking 
him with them, and, as an invalid, he was allowed to 
ride on the top of the cart. Then the heat of the 
weather and the long joumey quite overcame him. 
He was lying in bed, without a drop of water in the 
tent, when William and I happened to pass on our 
way from our hole, and as the tent was open we could 
see in. * There's a poor fellow that wants his mother 
by him,' said William ; * he looks quite young. Let 
us see what is the matter with him.' So we went in, 
and you may guess how glad Charley was to see Mends. 
William would not hear of our leaving liim in the 
hands of the Philistines, so affcer scrawling in chalk on 
a box in the tent that Charley had been taken away 
by EUiot's party, we managed to bring him here. 

* Is it not good in William to encimiber himself with 
a useless hand ? Charley has dictated a few lines to 
Minnie, and I shall write as much to his father, to let 
them aU know he is in safe hands, and that I expect 
him to recover soon. It is all very weU at the dig- 
gmgs while you keep your health, but to be Ul amonff 
strangers is a dreadfiil thing. 

' Mr. Brown had a sunstroke about three weeks affo, 
that nearly kúled him ; but he is slowly recoverÍM 
md means to go home when he is able to waUc He 



MOKE NEWS FROM THE DI06IN0S. 89 

looks very queer, for his mates cat off all his hair and 
his whiskers in tíieir Mght. Mrs. Brown will expect 
him to retum with a superabundance of hair, instead 
of none at all. I fear all he had made will have 
vanished in this expensive ilhiess. In genoral, the 
gentlemen have been unsuccessful, and the married 
gentlemen most unlucky of all ; but often the weakest 
and the worst worker gets a great deal, for, as you 
hear everywhere, it is a lottery. 

' I cannot imagine what Harris is about. His ship 
arrived in Melboume ten days before William's, and 
the latter heard there he had gone to the digginga 
directly, so that as he knew where we lived, we might 
have expected to see him before William ; but neither 
he nor the letters you sent by him have yet made their 
appearance. 

* Bell tells me that, in spite of the bad times, you had 
your quarter's interest paid, and that you said you had 
enough to live on till this Escort should come in ; but 
I am vexed and puzzled to think how you can hold over 
till the next, in these days of shaken credit, for we have 
nothing to send now. I wish I had left you my watch 
to sell, for it is of no use to me here. I stupidly left 
my Ëuclid, which would have been ten times more 
vsduable ; but William has brought his ; and in spite 
of all his anticipations that we shall have no time for 
mathematics, I believewe shall get ííeu: beyond Margaret 
before we retum. 

* Henry has been trying, by boiling his puddings for 
a very long time, to make up for the paucity of plums, 
and insists they are as good as the old ones. We 
had a famous one last Sunday, in honour of Beirs 
arrival ; you would have stared at the amount of fruit 
in it,— quite enough for a Scotch bim. 

* Tmeman has done very little more than clear his 
expenses, and is becoming anxious to get home again. 
I hope you go pretty often to see that sweet little wife 
of his, íbr his heart is very sore about leaving her so 
long. 



90 CLASA MOKISOX. 

* I bave Doihing inoTe to say, exoept that I hope yoa 
wiU keep up yoor íipiritB in q)ite of dull táiiies and cqd- 
tímied dísappoíntnieiit. Love to all at home, and com- 
plimentB to mj ooosin, nnknown, in whom William 
has made me íÍEÍel qnite interested. And belieTe me, 

* Your very affectionate brother, 

^Geobge Elliot.' 



GUbert EUiot to Ms sister Margaret, 

'Bendigo, 1852. 

'My deab Maboabet, 

' I feel angry and disgusted at myself and 
the whole afiair here, when I find that afber so many 
months of hard work the result is nothing. * Money,' 
as Charles Lamb says, ' is not dross ; but books, pictures, 
wines, and many other pleasant things ;' and when I 
see so many here getting more gold than they know 
what to do with, and whioh will probably be a curse 
to them, and then think of the comfort and indepen- 
dence such gains would bring to us, I can only take 
refuge in the German book I am studying, which rails 
at the unprofítableuess of all human pursuits, and which 
would no doubt rail at gold-digging if the writer had 
tried it. I know that you want money at home ; I feel 
ashamed of the di'udgery you have to do, and the miser- 
able hospitality you have to offer; and when that fellow 
Tom OoUins — ^whom you may remember a dirty stable- 
boy, that could neither read nor write — told me the 
other day he had sent word to his sisters to leave their 
plaoes, and take a house, and dress smart, and see 
oompany, and that he had sent them plenty to do it 
upon, I felt the contrast so much, that I could scarcely 
help knocking the fellow down. In these diggings we 
hear of nothing but how a man ia doing, — ^well, ill, or 
middling, as the oase may be, but as to what he is 
or what he knows, that is a matter of perfect in- 



¥OBE KEWS FSOM THE DIOOIN08. 01 

^ I was surprised to hear tliat you were leaming 
short-band and Latin with your cowdn. What Hingular 
accompliflhments for a young ladj ! I am afraid Hhe ï» 
bluer than you. But I am sorrj jou are taking no 
much trouble, as I have felt quite a dingust for law HÍnce 
I came here, and I íáxicj it Í8 principallj on my account 
that you are prosecuting these studies. You are hard 
at work with tiie laws of real projiertj, wliile we are 
shifting about from one block of eight feet fMjuaro to 
another, looking for the real predous metal. I &ncv 
70U have found out nothing about our tenure in all 
yourr«idint^ 

* Your account of the political world with you is just 
what I expected. No effort made in the right diroc- 
tion, but every one looking with feverish impatience to 
the shifbing clouds in the mercantile horizrni, to soe 
whether South Australia is to be a nation, before any 
effort is made to benefít it. 

' One good thing is, that your govemor, if powerless 
for good, is also powerless for evil. If he gave up the 
Church grant to the clamours of &ction, he has also 
yielded to the popular voice in establÍMhing the assay 
office, and sendmg the escort. Wo hear that tho re- 
duced salaries of all the officials aro to bo mado tip to 
their full amount, as the Troasury is ablo to boar it ; 
so our friend Mr. Plummer's disintcrostod attachmont 
to government will be rewardod. 

* The govemment here is very unpopular, and much 
more obstinate than that of South Australia ; thore is 
an exclusive attachment to old intorosts, and a blind- 
ness to the mighty new oncs that are arising, which in 
times like these, when difficulties should bo met with 
promptitude, is a grievous injustice to the colony. 

' If land is to be withheld from sale in ordor to 
please the squatters, while for want of a right and safe 
investment for his money, the successful digger squan- 
ders or gambles it away, it is not to be expected that 
the people will be satii^ed. 

' South Australia gains by this defídency in Yictoria, 



92 CLABA MORISON. 

for 80 long as land is sold by auction in convenient 
blockSy it wiU be an attractive investment, and will 
besides tend to keep people at home to improve it. A 
great many of onr ^ekrming friends are leaving ns with 
the view of getting in their crops, and I hope the 
season will be íavourable. 

* I suppose George has written all about Charley to 
Annie; he is the only friend we have seen here, though 
we hear that this part of Bendigo is the Adelaide district. 
I fear that we shall not find it so orderly as Forest 
Creek. There is very little chance of finding a horse 
here if once you lose him ; for many parties find horse 
stealing much more profitable than digging ; and you 
may see colimins of advertisements for horses lost and 
stolen at the diggings in the Melboume papers. 

* I think, if I had been Bell, I should have stayed 
in Melboume— two hundred and fiffcy pounds a year is 
a handsome salary for a clerk, even in Melboume. But 
you see that steady as BeÚ is, there is a touch of 
romance about him, and being forced out of Adelaide, 
he has no idea of giving up the diggings th\is. Believe 
me with love to my sisters, and respects (nothing more 
familiar) to my leamed cousin, 

' Your very affectionate brother, 

* GlLBERT ElLIOT.' 



From WiUiam Beïl to MoA'gm'et EllioL 
cnjT -., , *Bendigo, 1852. 

My dear Miss Margaret, 

'I liave chosen the evening before the last 
day of letter-writing to write to you, for I should not 
hke to be hurried in opening a correspondence with 
so good a judge. Henry haa forfcified me with a good 
supper; Gilbert has given me the portfoUo and the 
best pen m the tent; and George has promised not to 
ask me any questions while I concoct my epistle, so 
you may aee with what consideration I am treated. 



MOBE NEWS FBOM THE DIGOINGS. 93 

' I can give you no account of tho diggings so good 
as you have had from y our brothers ; but as I stiiyed 
three days in Melboume, while tliey came in at du^k 
aud lefl next moming, I have the advantage of tliem 
there. Do not elevate your eyebrows, and say im- 
patiently, * What kept the idle fellow so long in that 
wretched townf till you read my reasons. I had a small 
bill to settle with Mr. Campbell on my brother James's 
account,and like an honest man went to his place of busi- 
ness in Melbourne to pay it. He received me graciously, 
was glad I had remembered my debt, which he had 
forgotten completely, and begged me to sit down while 
he gave me the receipt. Then he told me in a good 
many words that he wanted a trust-worthy yoimg man 
as clerk, for his last had gone to the diggings ; and 
concluded by offeríng me a salary of two hundred and 
fifty, if I would promise to stay out the year. This 
was twice as much as I ever had before, and I promised 
^ tbink over it, and give him an answer in two days. 

' So these two days I poked about from street to 
lane, and from lane to street. I inquired the price of 
lodgings, and what sort of accommodation I could get 
for thirty-five shillings a-week, the sum named by 
Mr. C. , but in no case could I have a room to myself, 
and in every instance the parlour was full of those 
symptomatic sofas Mrs. Bantam liked so ill. Where 
I actually was I had the fourth part of a room; the 
inmates were all noisy and quarrelsome, and I had 
good reason to believe, from the broad arrow on the 
night-cap of my nearest neighbour, that he was an old 
convict. Now, that is not at all my idea of comfort- 
able lodgings, and though Miss Withering used to com- 
plain of the state of matters at Mrs. Brown's, you can- 
not think how superior Mrs. B.'s is to anything you 
could find in this Babel of a town. The houses are ^er 
and the shops more splendid ; there is a sort of cen- 
tsalization in Melboume, which your scattered irregular 
town cannot boast of ; but it seems to me that rich 
and busy as it is, there is very little enjoyment or 



94 CLABA HOBISOK. 

happiness in it. It is imcomfortable, and indeed 
dangerous, to be out at night, and tliat to a man slint 
up in an office all day is a great depriyation. One had 
better remain in Adelaide with one hundred, where 
one had a room to oneself, and where it was perfectly 
safe, at least in a physical point of view, to walk over 
to your cottage of an evening, and chat with you and 
your sisters, than dwell in Iroubled Melboume with 
two hundred and fifty. 

' It is true that the best society ru Melboume has 
always been ccmsidered by Scotch people superior to 
its counterpart in Adelaide ; but how was a stranger 
and a clerk, with such very slender social talents as you 
know I have, to get into it ï Where should I find a 
place in the universal overtum of society which is 
taking place in Victoria ? * The aristocratic members 
of the community are retreating when they can to 
England, to keep out of the crowd and discomfort; the 
mercantile are turmng over money with unexampled 
rapidity, large profits and quick retums being the 
order of the day; and there is the same keen money- 
making look about them, which you used to observe in 
the frequenters of your Exchange, but with more 
feverish anxiety about the Melboume men. 

' The town is densely crowded ; places bmlt in nar- 
row lanes for stables are fiUed by human occupants, 
who live in dirt and discomfort, injuring the general 
health of the town. Owing to the stringent Building 
Act there have been many good streets bmlt, because 
every man in buying his piece of land got the plan of 
the house to be erected towards the front ; but as there 
wa« nothing to prevent the back being divided into 
lanes, the profit of the speculation has induced many to 
do it, It is shamefiil that with an unlimited extent 
of ooiiiitr^, and in suoh a new town, people should be 
lÍTÍng in rowi of kouses only ten feet apart. Tou 
lEaoir ft ftiw 11011 phow in Adelaade; you know them 
tff ftfPHP «iid lioknesB; and when I tell you 
timtwo hundred and ninety 




HOBE NEW8 FBOH THE DIGOINOS. 95 

of these pri'vate aUeys íd Melbourne not subjecfc to the 
street regulations, you will not believe it cau bo a 
healthy city. Nor will you think so tho more wheu 
you consider that a great pn^i^ortiou of the poople are 
the Bweepings of Britigh jails, who have just made 
their way to a place where almost every description of 
crime may be committod with impunity. A foeblo 
goyemment, which is now led by a clique of m^uatters, 
a wretched police, and incompeteiit courts of law, is a 
great obstruction to the course of justice. I heard a 
gentleman say it was no bad thing for fche colony that 
Melboume was not a desirable place of residonce ; for 
that in a new state comfortable and luxurious cities 
impede the spread of the peoplo aiid the subjugation of 
the soil. And there is some truth in that, but the 
only subjugation people tliink of now, is gettiug the 
gold out of the land; and every ofcher descripfcion of 
industry is for the time paralyzod. I did not see 
much gambling in my peregrinations, at least not 
nearly so much as I expected, from our knowlodge of 
its exfcenfc in Califomia ; but I suppose that the great 
medley of nations who fínd a common language and 
common sympathies over the gambling table, have not 
yet come to an Tmdersfcanding. Bufc of drinking and 
swearing I saw more than enough. I thought Adelaide 
was not particularly moral, bufc it is infinifcely betfcer 
than this. Even genfclemen make a boast of sweariug 
in Victoria, while few, exoept bullock-drivers, do so in 
South Australia. 

'I happened to look into a shop when an Irish 
orphan, who had come to the colony with scarcely a 
ahoe to her foot, was buying white satin for a bridal 
dress at twelve shillings a yard, and scomfully reject- 
ing any shawl uuder ten guineas. Marriages are very 
frequent, and on a few days* acquaintance. The dis- 
proportion of the sexes was always great, for Melboume 
was peopled chiefly by independent emigrants and 
people from the other colonies; and not so muoh from 
free emigration, paid for out of the colony's land fímd, 



96 CULKA MOBISOX. 

in which case pains are taken to eqnalize them. The 
high upeet price of crown lands has on the whole been 
a great benefít to South Australia; for when half the 
price was devoted to bringing out hibonr to improve 
the land it benefíted both the mother country and the 
yoimg colony. 

' Saircely any wages will tempt a girl to remain in 
service, when she sees the foolish finerv in which the 
foolish brides go off; and the ladies of Victoria are 
forced to do the meanest drudgery, even occasional as- 
sistance not being to be had. To them it is a special hard- 
ship, for they never were so independent of servants as 
the Adelaide ladies. I met Mr. Bantam in Great Collins 
Street one day, and he took me home to see his wife. 
Their cottage is nicely situated but very smalL He is 
doing a good business as a commission-agent ; but his 
wife seems to pine affcer Adelaide yet, and was pleased 
to hear, that things were looking up a little when I left. 
They were both glad that Miss Morison had not found 
a situation, for they still hoped she would have no objec- 
tion to join them at some ftiture time. 

' So after my two days' researches, I determined to 
reftise Mr. Campbell*s offer of a situation, and to set off 
immediately to join your brothers, and deliver your 
letters and messages. Mr. Campbell shook his head, 
called me a rash yoimg man, and gave me back my 
money with some hesitation, seeming to fear that I 
could not be trusted with it. And thus I quitted Mel- 
boume, with the conviction, that if the discovery of gold 
in South Australia would bring such characters there 
as I had seen poured into this devoted city, we ought 
to pray daily that God would not send such a curse 
upon us, as a punishment for our colonial sin of worldly- 
mindedness. 

*I lost no time on the road; and did not Elliot's 
party give me a shout of welcome ! I consider myself 
remarkably fortunate in joining a party which has been 
unlucky hitherto; for I shall share all the good foi-tune 
they may juatly expect in retum. Our change of 



HO&E NEWS FBOM THE DIGGINGS. 97 

quarters also gives a prestige of success. I do iiot need 
to buy a cradle or a tent, and I am benetited by the 
experience of my comrade& Your brothers and Mai-tin 
are all looking well, and seem to have excellent health. 
I hope that you will answer this long epistle, and 
remain, 

' Yours very faithfully, 

WiLLiAM Bell.* 

' I like this letter/ said Margaret, afler reading both 
of her letters aloud ; 4t is written in a better spirit 
than Gilbert's.' And she sunk into tdlent thought, lean- 
ing her head on her hands. 

Annie wanted to say something about Gilbert's 
having been so long disappointed, but her tongue re- 
Aised to speak. She thought how happy William 
would be with Margaret, but she felt wretched herself. 

* Can we retrench our expenses any further, since we 
are not likely to get any money for a while V enquired 
Grace. 

' We can do without the newspaper and the library 
subscription,' suggested Margaret. 

* We must buy no more fruit,' added Annie. 

* I must go away,' said Clara; * I cannot be a burden 
to you any longer, and Mrs. Trueman would take me 
as a servant, I dare say.' 

* And do you think we would let our cousin go to 
service there V exclaimed Annie. * No, Clara ; do not 
leave us in our sorrow ; I cannot do without you.' 

' I think you are making a rash proposal ; let us wait 
a day or two and see what is to be done,' said Margaret. 
' If you can get a comfortable situation as a govemess, 
I shall not be selfish enough to make any objection; but 
I feel confident that there is good luck in store for our 
party at Bendigo ; and if in a month we are to set up 
for as great ladies as Mrs. Pengarvon next door, you 
had better not aflfront us by taking a place. I hope 
that prosperity may find us all in a frame of mind to 
profit by it. Hand me down Ohitty, Clara; and look 

VOL. II. H 



98 CLAUA MOBISON. 

over the short hand I wrote this moming, to see if it 
is all right. I have not put aiij vowels, so jon must 
ezercise your iugenidtj. If you talk of leaving us, I 
may as well get as much good out of you as possibla' 

And Margaret fíxed herself at her book, malríng notes 
and extracts as she went along, while Annie's trembling 
fingers endeaToured yaánly to get through a simple 
piece of (arochet 



««« 
« 



SIGN9 OP PROSPEMTY. 99 



CHAPTER IX. 

SIQNS OF COLONIAL PBOSPEBITT 1 

' A NNIE is not well/ said Clara to Margaret, as they 
-^ went out walking together on the day after they 
had the lctters. ^ She wants change of air and scene. 
Do you know any friends in the country, who are not 
particularly doleíul, to whom you oould send her V 

^ She might go to the Hodges', though they have 
been sad enough about Charley, and Minnie has written 
in wretched spirits lately; but perhaps now that they 
have heard of him, they will be more cheerful. What 
do you think is the matter with Annie, for I am a 
very bad judge ? I suppose Adelaide is very duU for 
her; and then she was so wrapped up in Goorge, that 
she cannot bear the long separation. I am sure I am 
quite as anxious about Gilbert ; but I can settle myself 
to more engrossing occupations than Annie, who sings 
sad songs, and draws dreaiy pictures from her own 
cheerless imagination; so that her very amusements 
aggravate her complaint Don't you think I might 
write to Mr. Hodges, asking him to take Annie for 
a while to the south? Not a hint, but an honest 
request.* 

* I think you might ; but will not Mr. Hodges be 
in town himself soon, to hear more about Charley V 

* He may, but ho has been rather shy of us lately ; 
and he may be sure that Annie will give him all the 
information he wants in her letters to Minnie. — Do 
you see the woman who is standing at the door of the 
* pizé* cottage before us ? She was our washerwoman 
long ago, and initiated me into the mystery. Let us 
go and ask for a drink of water, How do you do, 
Mrs. Tubbins ? My cousin and I would be obUged to 
you for a drink of water.' 

* You are welcome hearty, Miss Marget^' answered 

H 2 



100 CLABA MORISON. 

the person addressed, who had on a smart cap^ bnt a 
dirty gown, with rather a slipshod appearance about 
the feet ; * come in and chat with me a bit, for I am 
lonesome now my master is off to them diggings a^in.' 

Never had such an incongruons-looking abode greeted 
the eyes of the coiisins. Into one room, which had a 
clay floor, and was indeed the only room in the housey 
there was crammed so much fumiture, that there was 
scarcely standing room. A piano, by Collard and 
Collard, stood in one comer; a cheffonier, with a great 
array of decanters and glasses, graced another ; there 
were two chests of drawers, wedged between a common 
stretcher and a heap of bedding, which seemed intended 
for a nightly shakedown. There was, in tmth, an 
abundance of everything but chairs, and that deficiency 
was made up by a number of three-legged stools, which 
the children liked to lift on to the drawers, and, climb- 
ing by the handles, to perch themselves where they 
could reach the rafbers of the unceiled house. A very 
small piece of matting lay under the table, but the 
legs of the piano and of all the valuable fumiture rested 
on the earthen floor. 

* Bather a change of days for us,' said Mrs. Tubbins, 
glancing complacently from her fumiture to her 
visitors. * Aint we snug now, Miss Marget ? This is a 
prettier piany than yours, and cost more money too, I 
expect, for my master gin sixty guineas for it the week 
before he left me, that I jnight have something cheerful 
in the house ; but the children are for ever strumming 
on it, and broke three of the prettiest of the brass 
wires no further gone than last night. They tear at 
the wires with their fingers, and scrape across them 
with an iron hoop they picked up, which aint doing 
justice to the piany. Just play us a time, Miss Mar- 
get, to let them see how it should be done.' 

Margaret foimd that the piano had suffered very 
much from the course of treatment which the young 
Tubbinses had pursued; she played very softly, in 
order to spare her own ears. 



SIGNS OF PEOSPEEITY. 101 

' Just try now, Fanny, if you can play like that,' 
said Mrs. Tubbins. 

Fanny struck the notes at random, more gently than 
her wont, and her mother smiled approvingly, and said 
she knew she would come on if she had any one to tell 
her how to play. Then Clara was asked to give a 
tune, and as she was but a tyro, she could not moderate 
her style to the piano, but played as hard as she did 
on her cousin's. 

* Your cousin beats you, Miss Marget ; but if she 
would just put her foot on the stick below, it would 
niake a wonderful improvement. It soimds quite 
grand, and booms in your ears; but I think there 
ought to be two sticks, one for each foot, that folk 
may have all their limbs helping the music ; but yours 
had only one. Do you know anybody who would 
come in for a few hours every day to teach me and 
Fanny, for it would be grand to be able to play to Mr. 
Tubbins when he comes back V 

* Have you any music Y asked Clara, wondering at 
the extraordinary tones of the handsome and apparently 
new piano. 

* Oh 1 I beg your pardon, Miss. I should have given 
you the books. I never play without them myself ' 
And Mrs. Tubbins handed her a leaf of Jeannette and 
Jeannot, and another which had formed part of the 
overture to Tancredi, saying that she really ought to 
buy another book or two. *I went to Platts' last 
week, and they wanted to sell me an instruction book, 
as they called it, and asked a guinea for it, but I saw 
they thought me green, for the book was more words 
than music ; so I told the young man as served me 
that I knew chalk from cheese, and that was not the 
book for my money, and did not spend a brass farthing 
in the shop afber all. You'U stop and have a glass of 
wine with me, Miss Marget? Fanny, run across to 
the public-house for a pint of sherry, the best they 
have got.* 

'I wish Annie had been with us,' said Margaret, 



102 CLABA MORISON. 

imable to r^ress a smile. ^ She has noi been well or 
in good spirits lately, and it would have done her good 
to haye aeen you in the midst of all yonr splendour.' 

* I «xpect her young man is at the dlggings, and 
she is pining about him ; but it's £bít worse to have 
to pine afber one's old man;' and Mrs. Tubbins heaved 
a sigh, but controUed her feelings afc the sight of her 
piano. 

' All our young men are at the diggings— Gewge, 
Gilbert, and Henry Martin,' observed Margaret. 

'That's the young man Miss Grace has married,' 
said Mrs. Tubbins. 

* Only going to marry.' 

* Dear, dear ! how long you two misses have been 
in settling for yourselves! But here's Fanny with 
the wine and biscuits.' 

*Give me my fourpenny, mother, for going your 
message.' 

* I only said I'd give you twopenoe, and I can see 
you have been nibbling, and don't deserve a brass fer- 
thing, you little good-for-nothing I Oh, how I wish I 
had not lost my keys !' 

' Bob has planted them somewhere, mother, to get 
at the pbims and the sugar. I've got my fourpenny, 
so I don't mind how soon you find them.' And Fanny 
ran away to the nearest lolly shop, and all her brothers 
and sisters fbllowed her. 

' Don't you send the children to school V asked 
Margaret. 'lt is very bad fbr them to be running 
about idle.' 

' I did send them a bit, but Fanny got scolded, and 
Bob got thrashed; and the little ones were kept in, asd 
got no dinner at all one day ; so they just hate the 
school, and wont go to it no mom' 

* You should make them go, whether they will or 
not,' said Margaret. * You will ruin your children if 
you allow them to do as they please, and all the gold 
and all the fine fumiture in the world will never make 

up to yon £or tíie misery disóbedieiit cbildiftiiNinll ^ve 



SIGNS Ot PROSPEKITY. 108 

you. I speak seriotisly to you, Mrs. Tubbins : for I see 
Jreat eXconúng oí nL ^lony from moW being 
thrown into the liands of people '^o, instead of teacli- 
ing their children the uaes and duties of wealth. indulge 
them in everything they ask for. Send your children 
to school regularly, and insist upon their obeying you 
at home, that their Êither may be proud of them when 
he retums, and may find, afber all his toil and hard- 
sMps, a happy fireside and an orderly £unily.' 

* What you say is all very true, Miss Marget, but 
you are over hard on the likes of us, who never got no 
leaming, and don*t quite see the use of it.' 

' Jí you don't see the use of their leaming, make 
them work as they used to do.' 

* They aint got no call to work, for I have lots of 
clothes for them, and a silk gown for myself to go to 
town with ; and where is the use of them slaving just 
as if we had not a penny.' 

* I have not seen you at diurch for a long time,* said 
Margaret. * Do you go to chapel now V 

' índeed, I aint got a sitting anywheres just at pre- 
sent, and I don't tíke getting my religion for nothing 
now, when I can afford to pay for it. Your church is 
not ours, and I am just wondering which one to join ; 
but, after all, I never get time to go to church, for 
there is the dinner to make ready in the moming, and 
the children to put to bed at night, so it is ill conve- 
nient for me to get away.' 

*But don't the children go to church or Sunday 
school ? I remember your telling me how fond Fanny 
was of leaming hymns and catechism.' 

' So she was then, and I was glad to get an old frock 
of yours to make down fM* her, to look decent to go to 
school in ; but we are much smarter now.' 

And Mrs. Tubbins took from a very miscellaneous 
lot of things Fanny's pink satin bonnet and dress of 
green and lavender silk, saying that she thought ihem 
very genteel, and that they took her fancy in the shop 
at first sight. Then her owii g|OT^eQ.m «tóscfe icst %«a.- 



101 CLARA MOBISON. 

ÚSLJB was brought out for Margaret's inspection and 
admiration; and she was busy telling how much every 
article had cost, when her two nieces, Sarah and Lu- 
cinda Hagget, came in. 

* Oh, aunty how vain you are of your finery !* said 
Miss Lucinda. * You never let anybody miss the sight 
of it if you can help. I fancy you are prouder of 
that fine silk dress than you are of your piany, though 
it's the piany I envy,' — ^but the speaker looked very 
hard at the gown too. 

' Have you lefb your places, girls, that you are both 
here at this time of day ? — and such good places you 
had too,' said Mrs. Tubbins. 

* I hadn't enough of wages,' said Sarah. * How do 
people expect one to dress on seven shillings a-week ] 
I sha'n't take a place again under eight, if I have wash- 
ing to do. Lucinda had no waslmig, so she might 
have stopped' 

* Stopped at such a place ! Why, it was so dull that 
you could hear the grass growing, for want of anything 
else to hear. If I could get a good cheerful place, I 
shouldn't mind taking six shillings a-week till we hear 
from Mher: 

' I know a lady who wants a girl ; she would give 
you an easy place, and she is a good mistress — Mrs. 
Trueman,' said Margaret. 

' A grass widow ! — I wont go there,' cried Lucinda. 
* It is enough to pull down any creature's spirits, to 
live with such whining people. You, aunt/ are the 
cheerfiillest of the lot, and me and Sarah have come to 
stop with you till we get siiited.' 

* Where are you all to sleep V asked Margaret. 

* Oh ! I make up a bed on the piany every night,' 
replied Mrs. Tubbins; 'and it holds a good many of 
the little ones, and Sarah may go beside them. It is 
quite handy for a bed. I can manage, I warrant.' 

Miss Lucinda meanwhile was busily engaged trying 
to make out a nigger melody, but could not manage it. 
She was just going to ask Margaret to tell her what 



SIGNS OP PROSPBEITY. 105 

notes should be struck, when the cousins rose to de- 
part. Clara could not get over the idea of the handi- 
ness of the large square piano, and its being strummed 
on and raked with hoops all day, and slept on all 
night: she hurried out of hearing of the people 
inside, and indulged in a long and hearty fít of 
laughter. 

* ít is all very well for you to laugh,' said Margaret ; 
* but I must say it is no laughing matter. I remember 
Mrs. Tubbins a hard-working honest woman, who 
brought up her family better than the average of her 
class ; and now this suddenly-acquired wealth is ruin- 
ing them all. When his gold is spent, I suppose 
Tubbins will set off for more; and until the diggings 
are worked out, South AustraÍia is none the better for 
that &inily.' 

*Are you longing to see the end of the gold, Mar- 
garetr 

* Heartily !' was the answer ; *I do longfor it, though 
my brothers get none. Indeed, I do not wish them to 
get much, though it is hard for poor Grace and Henry 
to be disappointed.* 

* Do you know, I had an idea of offering to give 
your old friend and her daughter lessons on the piano,' 
said Clara. * They seemed to admire my playing more 
than yours, and it would have brought in a little 
money.' 

* You are an absurd girl, Clara. Tubbins was tipsy, 
I am sure, when he bought the instrument, and you 
would be mad to go to such a place. I do not know 
what sort of characters you might meet there. And 
besides, I thought you despised quackery — you are not 
an accomplished musician, and I hopo you will not 
pretend to be what you are not.' 

* You need bring forward no further argument, Mar- 
garet; I am not qualified to give music lessons, even 
to a digger's wife. But why does not Mrs. Tubbins 
get a better house, when she has so much finery to put 
into it V 



106 CLABA líOEISON. 

*01i, the hoose is their own property; I remember 
her borrowing five poimds from my Êitber to make 
«ap tbe purcbase-money, and coming back proiidly to 
pay it, and inviting me to come to see ber in ber 
own bouse. Besides, sbe likes tbe situation of tbe 
place ; it is close to tbe sbop wbere sbe makes ber daily 
pnrcbases, and enjoys ber daily gossip ; tben tbree of 
ber cbildren were bom in it; and small and mean as 
it is, I do not wonder afc ber being attacbed to it. But 
a nice bedroom could bave been added for tbe price of 
tbe piano; wbile tbe cbeffonier and its appurtenances 
Tnight bave put up a back kitcben. StiU, tbe poor 
woman is proud and pleased, and ber nieces are envious ; 
Bud I suppose sbe bas great enjoyment in the midst of 
her heterogeneous property. But tbe cbildren — ab ! 
Olara, I am grieved about tbe cbildren. You cannot 
be expected to care mucb about tbe colony or tbe cba- 
racter of tbe colonists bere; but such tbings affect me 
keenly and deeply. Do you remember Gilbert at 
all, Olara? Did you know one brotber £rom tbe 
otber V 

' Gilbert was the younger, and sligbter and band- 
somer, I tbink,' Olara answered. 

' Just 80 ; and he bas finer abilities than Greorge. 
He can do anytbing he sets bimself to do. I wish be 
were back witb us again. Did you ever try anytbing 
in tbe way of original composition, Olara V 

* Sometimes. I used to write imaginary conversa- 
tions, in wbicb I gave myself greater latitude tban I 
had any rigbt. I once inade you call me a miseiable 
little cowaíd; but ibat was before I knew you.' 

* I have no tum that way — not tbe least in tbe 
world,' said Margaret; *but Gilbert writes welL I 
must sbow you some of his essays when we go home. 
You must spur bim on, for it is a gift he sbould not 
allow to go to rust.' 

After calling on one or two Mends, tbey retumed 
home, and Olara told Annie about tbe piano, and all 
Mrs. Tubbins' possessions, as grotesquely as sbe could ; 



9i(iNs OF prospebity: lOT 

not minding Margaret's theory, that it was really verj 
deplorable, but glad to see Annie laugh again. 

Though Mr. Hodges had been shj of the Elliots for 
Bome time, as Margaret said, the news of the kindness 
received bj his son at the diggings from his old friends, 
made him come into town on purpose to thank them 
through their sisters. Minnie begged to come with 
him ; and was pleased to think that all her time would 
be £^nt with Annie this visit. Neither Mrs. Bantam 
nor Miss Withering could come between her and her 
friend now. She knew, too, that Annie would show 
her George's letters; so she arrived at the Ëlliots* in 
great spirits. 

* I cannot tell you how much we feel obliged to your 
brothers for their kindness to Charley. We feel sure 
that he is as comfortable as he can be under the dr- 
cumstances, and both his mother and myself are com- 
paratively easy about him now.' 

* You should thank William Bell, too, for it is more 
his doing than theirs,' answered Margaret. * Of course 
they have all the good-will in the world; but, poor 
fellows, they have very little power.* 

' Oh yes, we are very grateful to Mr. Bell, too,' said 
Mr. Hodges; 'but we can thank you young ladies fbr 
your brothers, — ^whereas we must delay showing our 
gratitude to Bell till he retums, unless one of you will 
take the onus of receiving it for him. Eh, Miss Mar- 
garet, you take a great interest in that young man I 
I see what it will end in.' And Mr. Hodges looked 
positively sly. * But now tell me what I can do for 
you, by way of retuming, in some trifling degree, your 
brother's kmdness to my boy.* 

' I have two fevours to ask of you,' replied Margaret. 
' One is, the loan of ten pounds till our brothers come 
back ; and the other — * 

* Stop,* said Mr. Hodges, taking out his pocket-book, 
* tiU I give you the first. * Would you not be the 
better for twenty 1 No I very well, ask for more when 
you want it, and in the mean time here are the notes — 



108 CLABA MOEISON. 

count them, Margaret; you should never take money. 
even from your fiíther, without counting it. And now 
for your second requestf 

* Which is, that you would take Annie with you for 
a fortnight or three weeks. She wants a change— she 
is not welL' 

'Delighted to do such a thing! Indeed, poor 
Minnie has been moped to death, and had made me 
promise to take Annie out at all events ; so that re- 
quest goes for nothing; you must make another.' 

' I have nothing more to ask,' said Margaret. 

* Not even on William Bell's account V hinted Mr. 
Hodges. * I'll pay my debt to Bell in a white satin 
dress, or something of that sort, when you consent to 
give up your dearly beloved will, and love, honour. and 
obey.' 

* You are taUdng nonsense, and you know you are,' 
said Margaret. 

* I know nothing of the kind,' retorted Mr. Hodges ; 
' I can see quite as fax into these things as my neigh- 
bours. Ah ! Annie, there are very few young fellows 
down our way now. Even the sheep farmers stick so 
close to their sheep that they can very seldom come 
over to amuse us ; and all the agriculturists are off to 
the diggings. But the change of air and riding on 
horseback with Minnie will do you good, though we 
are so stupid.' 

* I am sure it will do me a great deal of good to be 
with Minnie,' replied Annie. 

* And I shall be delighted to have you,' said Minnie , 
* for the only young ladies in the neighbourhood are 
so busy with their accomplishments that they are but 
dull company. First Miss Forbes plays, then Miss 
Jemima, then Miss Bose, then little JVÚss Jane ; and 
at last the govemess winds up with a thundering 
piece. Then out come the drawings and the fejicy 
work ; and this with complaints of bad servants and 
neglected gardens, forms all our amusement. But with 



SIGNS OP PROSPBRITY. 109 

you, Annie, tliere will be an inexhaustible variety of 
amusement. — Do you know I want to see how pooi* 
Mr. Macnab looks after his marriage? And I am 
going to do a great deal of shopping, and shall en- 
courage him in the first place. And you will come 
with me, Annie, I know.' 

* Of course I will,' was the answer. 

' Olara will come, too,' said Minnie, ^ as she is an old 
friend of both parties.* 

* No, excuse me !* exclaimed Olara, * I cannot go 
where I have the faintest chance of seeing Miss 
Withering.* 

Annie and Minnie asked Mr. Macnab to show them 
several troublesome articles, in order that they might 
have a good look at the poor victim ; and he certainly 
seemed uncomfortable and awkward enough. He was 
trying to drill a small boy and a raw though middle- 
aged man, into the duties of serving customers, but 
apparently without much success ; for neither of them 
tmderstood either the names of the goods, or the 
marked prices ; and they were continually applying to 
him as to what was barége and what was cluntz, and 
what was the price of each. 

* I wonder that you do not have a lady in the shop,' 
said Minnie, maliciously. ^ There are many girls who 
wait upon customers much better than young men, and 
you know they would be cheaper.' 

* No ! no !* said Macnab ; ' silly things that go on 
giggling at every body ! I would not have such crea- 
tures behind my coimter if I were paid for them. Is 
it thread buttons or pearl buttons you want V 

* I want both, Mr. Macnab ; just let me choose for 
myself Here is another customer coming, a digger, 
I see.' 

And a man, in one of those plaid jumpei*s which 
have so long been the characteristic dress of retumed 
diggers, with a bushy beard and way-soiled aspect, 
shouted out, * Well, mate, what have you got in my 
line, eh V 



ll(f CLABA MOBISON. 

* Wha* would you wish to see, air ? silks or parasols V 
asked Mr. Macnab, looking somewliat puzzled. 'Or 
perhaps ready-made shirts ï We have tíiem of every 
quaUty, and at eyery figura' 

' You are out altogether, Mac, my old chufl^' said 
Kenton, for it was he ; ' I want to see the shop and 
you, but I am going to buy nothing — cleaned out, d'ye 
see !' and he tumed his pockets inside out in testimony 
of the fect. 

' If ever you catch me going to the diggings again, 
I give you leave to put a strait waistcoat on me. I 
have come back to my old quarters, and you'll give me 
a slice of the busmess, as you promised befora' 

' Well, Renton, I am glad to see you again,' answered 
Macnab. ' Go to your own room, where your box is ; 
take your beard off, and make yourself decent. Then 
you may come and take that blockhead Sims' place ; 
and when I have consulted with Mr& Macnab, I will 
speak to you about your share in the concenL' 

' Hooked at last 1' said Benton, laughing. ' That is 
jolly ! Why don't you get your wife to wait on the 
ladies ? You know you make a very poor hand of it 
yourself.' 

^ The fact is,' Macnab answered, in a low emphatic 
whisper, ' that Mrs. Macnab has not been used to that 
sort of thing ; and though she said she should be ser- 
viceable to me in my business, and I thought she would 
be just the person to take the fency department, she 
wont do it. She says she can help in the counting'- 
house, and superintend the domestic arrangements, but 
she has no notion of the counter.' 

' The counting-room you could always manage your- 
self ; and you let domestic matters take care of tíiem- 
selves ; so I don't see that you are much the better for 
such an expensive supemumerary as a wife. However, 
I am a host in mysel^ and will make things ship-shape 
presently.' 

ATid ao saying Renton withdrew to make himself 



^^'_ . . . 



SIGN8 OP PEOSPEEITY. 111 

preseotable, while Sims, antÍGÍpating the loss of hia 
place, looked after him vdth ineffable disgust. 

Mr. Macnab really stood in awe of his wife; for 
having battled an entire week to persuade her to serve 
in the shop, and having not only fEiiled signaJly, but 
also been compelled to give her a handsome dress as a 
peace-offering, he felt it was best to let her have her 
owa way. She w«« alwayB wanting somethmg from 
the shop, to give a cheerful appearance to her little par- 
lour; but after all it was a dreaiy place, and akeady 
she had begun to teaze her husband for a house in the 
oountry. Every person of property and standing, she 
woidd say, had a country-house; and the confinement 
of town would kill her ; fbr she could not get out of 
doors at all, except through the shop, and that was so 
disagreeable. So many diggers and vulgar diggers* wiyes 
írequented it, that it was imfít for a lady to pass 
through ; and she had always been accustomed to have 
plenty of fresh air, and the doctor declared that cou- 
fínement would ruin her constitution. 

Mrs. Macnab was quite aware^ if nobody else was, 
that she had thrown herself away in marrying a trades- 
man ; and she wore an air of quiet digni£ed resignation^, 
which charmed people who did not know her. But it 
was a puzzle to those who visited her, to find out how 
she got rid of the days as they passed. She gave her 
servant no rest, yet still complained of her laziness; 
she sent out all her needlework, and grumbled at the 
expense; she neither sewed nor read, but sat in a com- 
fortable easy chair; lamenting that there was nothing 
to be seen from the window; and telling her husband 
that if she was in the oountry she would rise with the 
lark, and work in the garden ; and attend to his buttons 
too, which were a perfect bore in town. 

Mr. Renton was not likely to be a fiivourite with 
Mrs. Macnab; she thought him low, and was thunder- 
struck at his impudence in asking for a share of the 
profits, without having a penny to put into the concem. 
£ut Macnab had suffered too severely from the absence 



112 CLABA MORISOK. 

of his shipmate aud shopman, to part with him lightly 
again. A riyal house on the other &dde of the street 
endeavoured, by the offer of a very large salary, to secure 
the services of the irresistible Renton; and, in spite of 
his wife's entreaties and remonstrances, Mr. Macnab 
took him into partnership, and added his name on the 
sign over the door. 

It was in vain he told his wife that the salary the 
new partner had been offered, was equal to more than 
the sixth of his own profits; it was the degradation 
that she disliked; and the idea that Kenton would rise 
as they rose, and that every one would consider the late 
shopman their equal. And when Mr. Macnab brought 
him in to dinner, and asked her to see that he was com- 
fortable, she feirly took ill, and persuaded the doctor 
to insist that she should get out of Adelaide as soon as 
possible. 

She read the newspapers to see what properties were 
advertised to sell or let; and made her husband drive 
her out so often to look at them one after another, that 
at last he began to think he should lose less time and 
money by yielding to her wishes, and to muse seriously 
on becoming a purchaser. 




A SITUATION FOR CLAEA. 113 

CHAPTER X 

A SITUATION TURNS UP FOB CLARA. 

TTTHEN Aimie retumed from her three weeks' stay 
^^ in the south, she looked much better than when 
she left Adelaide. Two letters from her brothers, of 
marvellously old date, sent by private hands, and telling 
of hopes quite as brilliant as their present chance at the 
Bendlgo, but which had since been contradicted by the 
Escort letters — ^were not forwarded to her, lest she 
might be depressed by new forebodings of disappoint* 
ment. She had ridden about with Minnie and her 
brother John, had had an occasional dip in the sea, and 
had recovered her appetite; so that she looked once 
more like the Annie Elliot of old times. 

Eeginald had passed an evening with the Elliots while 
Annie was in the south, and as usual, had enjoyed the 
society of girls who were so much like what he thought 
young ladies should be. His pleasure was less mixed 
than poor Clara's ; who was apt to fancy that if he 
looked sad, he must be pining for his beautiful Julia; or 
if he seemed happy and animated, that he was in hopes 
of being soon united to her. But she rejoiced in a con- 
viction which forced itseíf upon her, that he was him- 
self interested in her character and opinions; and that 
though he might wish his wife to like her too, it was 
not merely or even chiefly with a view to her, that he 
drew her out. 

She was pleased when Grace gently rallied her on 
Mr. Beginald's attentions; the thought that her cousins 
considered her his equal on all points, seemed to justify, 
or at least to excuse, the vain hopes in which she had 
indulged for one happy week. But she was deter- 
mined, that if ever she met another man who loved her, 
and who was worthy of being loved, she would do her 
atmost to foster a prepossession in his favour; for she 
had no idea of dying for love, or of shutting up her 

VOL. II. I 



114 CLABA MOBISOIC. 

heart for ever because tlie first time she liad opened it, 
it had been in vain. Even her Mendship for WiUiam 
Bell had done her good j and when she looked forward 
to the retnm of two pleasant and clever cousins, she 
was determined to like them both veiy much, so as to 
try whether friendship for three would not inflict & 
death-blow on her love for ona 

Margaret liked to talk to her about Gilbert, and 
showed her his essays ; pointed out to her his peculiar 
marks and jottings in books; and was pleased to fínd 
that Clara's opinion of his abilities was equal to her 
own. 

'Gilbert, however, is not poetical,' said Margaret 
one day to her cousin ; * he could not repeat verses by 
the hour together like our Mend Beginald, much less 
compose them, as I strongly suspect Reginald does 
when he is left by himself For so yoimg a man 
Gilbert has not much imagination ; but he has strength 
and cleamess of thought, whereas, begging your 
pardon, my dear couain, Kegiimld is apt to be mÍBty. 
Do you always understand him yourself, Clara V 

* I never háve any difficulty whatever in making out 
his meaning. You always understand me, Margaret, 
and I am ofben in a kind of dreamy mood. I am sure 
you imderstood all he told you about Mr. Dent, at any 
rate.' 

' Yes, I certainly understood that,' answered Mar- 
garet. ^ Mr. Dent has settled as an English country 
gentleman, making improvements in his own property, 
enlivening the neighbourhood by his occasional visits, 
charming Beginald's mother and sisters by his agree- 
able manners, and in short conducting himself with 
exceeding propriety. Was I foolish to refuse to share 
such a respectable position, cousin Clara V 

* Not at all ! for Mr. Reginald has a contempt for 
him, even when he tells us how other people respect 
him.' 

' Well, Clara,' said Margaret, musingly, * I have had 
two ojffers in my life. One man £Buicied that I was 



A SITUATION POR CLARA. 115 

ladylike, and anotlier that I should make a good step- 
mother ; they were both mistaken, for I do not pre- 
tend to be a lady, and I never will be any man's 
second wife. I wonder if I shall ever be loved for 
what I am ; for it is mortifying to find oneself only 
loved by mistake. Well, at any rate, I can love my 
brothers as much as I please, and I hope they will love 
me nearly as much in retum. But here is Mrs. 
Plummer coming to call. What can bring her here 
to-day ? for though she considers us boimd to visit her 
at least twice every month, the cares of her jGamily, and 
of Johnny in particular, quite exonerate her from re- 
tuming our visita* 

When Mrs. Plummer came in, she complained that 
it was a very headachy day ; took out her smelling- 
bottle, and asked where Grace was. 

' I am sorry she has gone out with Annie to see 
Mrs. Tmeman, but she will be back in time for tea. 
You had better stay till she retums,* said Margaret 

* Stay three hours here, and my Johnny so ill of the 
croup ! You could not ask me to do such a thing, 
Margaret.' 

' I am very sorry to hear it. When was he taken 
ilir 

* Only last night, and we had such a fright with him. 
Mr. Plummer was for tuming up the cyclopedia for 
croup, but I insisted on his going for the doctor, and 
when he came he gave the boy something that relieved 
him greatly. He is lying now in Betsy's arms, quite 
spiritless, poor little angel, and I have just stept across. 
I am sorry Grace is not at home.' 

* Did you want her to go home with you V asked 
Margaret ; * I will tell her when she retums, and I 
think I may promise that she will be with you to- 
night. She is always glad to be of service to her 
friends.' 

* Oh, no ! it was not that,' replied Mrs. Plummer, 
* but I think it strange that Grace should be out the 
only day I have callecl for months.' 

i2 



116 CLABA MOBTSON. 

' You may say yeaxs/ said Margaret, smiling. 

* Well, perhaps it may be years, but you girls can- 
not fency how tied a wife and mother is. However, 
my business to-day is -with Clara. Did you not say 
that she would be happy to get a situation either as 
govemess or companion V 

* Oh, yes,' said Clara^ * háve you heard of anything 
for me V 

' Dr. Bennet asked me if I knew of a cheerfiil plea- 
sant young lady who would go as companion to a lady 
in the country who was in delicate health ; and I said 
1 thought 1 did ; and promised that you should be at 
my house in the aftemoon, when he was to call again. 
So I hope you will put on your things, and come at 
once with ma Don't make yourself too smart, for 
the doctor is an oddity, but he has wonderfdl skill with 
children.' 

Clara lost no tíme iu dressing herself suitably, and 
went out with Mrs. Plummer, affcer receiving Mar- 
garet's injunctions on two points ; fírst, that she was 
not to be made a mere sick-nurse o^ for it would kill 
her; and secondly, not to go for nothing, for she 
would gladly keep her on those terms herself 

Dr. Bennet was a middle-aged man, with a pair of 
very sharp eyes, an abrupt way of speaking, and a 
habit of nodding his head £rom side to side, as if he 
gained-or at any rate fixed-a great deal of informa- 
tion by that means. Mrs. Plummer had unbounded 
confídence in him, and though he had called her a 
nervous fool many times in her various alarms about 
Johnny, he had accounted for it satisfBw^orily by say- 
ing, that with her head and her temperament she 
could be nothing else. Clara had naturally a great 
deal of courage, or she would have disliked the ^arp 
glances that seemed determined to see into her and 
through her; but the expression was kindly though 
inquisitive, and she felt that the doctor had a duty to 
perform towards his patient Just fancy his taking 
such a person as Miss Withering to wait upon a sick 



A SITUATION POR CLAKA, 117 

lady, and not closely questioning her, and scrutinizing 
her answers. 

' Temperament — nervous-sangaineous — it will do/ 
said Dr. Bennet. * Mrs. Beaufort's is bilious-sanguine- 
ous — ^the two will suit tolerably well. Hope, large— 
benevolence, full — ^keep your comparison and causality 
to yourself, young lady, and you will get on very well. 

Language, very f ull — mirthAilness, foir — ^yes How 

old are you ]* 

* Twenty,* answered Clara. 

* Yes. Yes, you are just twenty ; I could have told 
you so myself, but I am pleased you don*t call yourself 
seventeen. Do you know anything about nursing in- 
valids, young lady ?" 

^ I nursed my &,ther in his last illness,' she replied. 

* What was the matter with him V asked Dr. Ben- 
net. 

* He had had a paralytio shock, and had lost the use 
of one side. He did not want much nursing, but he 
liked to be amused.' 

' And how did you amuse him ? sing and play, and 
all that sort of thing, eh !' 

' No, I cannot sing,* Clara said. ' I read and talked 
to him ; I wrote for him ; I sat beside him and looked 
at him, and whether he answered me or not, I know he 
was never weary of hearing my voice.' 

^Never had anything to do with diseases of the 
limgs?' 

* A very little, sir,' said Clara, feëling alarmed. ' Mrs. 
Smith, who died in a decline next door to where I live 
with my cousins, sometimes had me to sit up with her, 
and Grace said I did pretty well ; but really, sir, I 
should be afraid to have the charge of a lady in a con- 
sumption out in the bush, where there is no doctor near. 
I fear I must decline the situation.' 

^Nonsense!' cried Dr. Bennet 'While there is 
hope, you have only to foUow my directions, and write 
to me frequently to let me know if any change takes 
plaoe. Aud if the case is hopeless, what can all the 



118 CLAEA MORISON. 

fárculty of physicians do, more than you ? But I must 
tell you tliat Mrs. Beauifort is not at all aware of her 
danger, and would not hear of such a thing as a profes- 
sional nurse being sent to her. She would stay alone 
in the house with her baby and a miserable, faithful 
servant of hers, and never fancy she wanted anything 
more. I might have prea<;hed to her for hours on the 
necessity of her having a cheerful young companion to 
enliven her till her husband retums (here Dr. Bennet 
thrust his stick into his mouth), and she would never 
have allowed it was needed ; but when I hinted that 
little Lucy would grow duU and sad if she had not a 
smiling &ce to look at, she, affcer trying in vain to laugh 
and look cheerful, begged me to look out for a young 
lady to come to stay with her ; telling me that she would 
give her thirty pounds a year, and would make the Bam as 
comfortable for her as it was in her power to do. What 
fools women are after all !' and the doctor sucked his 
stick and stared very hard at Clara. 

* Philoprogenitiveness full, I see ; but do you know 
anything about children Y 

' Not much, but I like them ; how old is the baby V 
'Onlyfive weeks; the mother wanted to nurse it 
herself, and so commit a double murder ; but 1 would 
not hear of it — on the child's account, of course — and 
it is brought up by hand — ^rather a troublesome busi- 
ness for you, young lady.' 

* I never had anything to do with so young a baby. 
Can you trust me with it V 

' Of course I can,' said Dr. Bennet. ' We may trust 
to instinct in such cases, for it is marvellous how natu- 
rally women leam how to manage babies. Light 
sleeper, eh V 

'I am easily aroused, but I like a good deal of 
sleep.' 

' E-ight— -of course you do. Sleep is the best thing in 
the world. Take as much of it as you can, young lady, 
when you can get it. But, Miss Morison, Mrs. Beau- 
fort, though not your ostensible charge, must be your 



A SITUATION FOR CLARA. 119 

piincipal one. You must frame all manner of excuses 
íbr the non-arrival of letters £rom the diggings ; you 
must take her out to walk with you and Lucy in simny 
days,but beware of letting her out of doors if it is at all 
damp. You must keep faithful Dorothy as much as 
possible in the kitchen, for the woman is enough to pull 
down the spirits of a rhinoceros ; and you miist, if you 
see it is advisable^ take the management of the house- 
hold.' 

' Do you think I oan do all these things? I am in- 
clined to hesitate about my being competent/ said 
Clara. 

^ I know you can do them. You have a good head, 
and you have been in a good schooL' 

*Did you know anything about Miss Marshall 
or me, that you are so sure 1 have been in a good 
school V 

' I don't mean boarding-school education/ answered 
Dr. Bennet ; * but Mr. Plummer says that you have been 
for some months with the Elliots, and you can leam 
nothing but good from those girls. Well, Miss Morison, 
I shall write to Mrs. Beaufort to-night that I have en- 
gaged you, and that I know you will suit her exactly ; 
so hold yourself in readiness to go out when you are 
sent for.' 

* How far is it from town V asked Clara. 

* A good long joumey ; you will be tired enough be- 
fore you get out in a shaky spring cart. I never counted 
the miles, but it is somewhere between Adelaide and 
the Burra. You can go out in a day, so you need not 
make preparations for bushing it at night' 

' How £ar is this place I am going to from the post- 
office V asked Clara, thinking what delightiul letters 
Margaret would write to her. 

* Why, I don*t know, but I should not think it is 
more than ten miles off — ^nothing at all for the bush. 
And the house is roomy enough, though ill laid out. I 
really think houses here are contrived to make people 
catch cold. If the colonial houses were built like Eng- 



t 



120 CLABA MOBISON. 

lish houses we should not have so much busmess, Mrs; 
Plummer.' 

' I am sure/ said Mrs. Plummer, ' that our back-KÍoor 
is enough to kill Johnny sometimes ; but it is useless 
to talk of altering it now, when there is not a car- 
penter or a bricklayer to be had for ahnost anj 
money.' 

; ThíngB are stiU worae with people in the country,' 
said the doctor. ' Last time I was out at the Bam, I 
found Dorothy pasting up the broken windows with 
brown paper. They had plenty of glass panes, but no- 
body to put them in ; however, as I have the use of my 
hands, and utterly detest brown paper, I managed to 
make the windows tiáj before I lefb.' 

' Mrs. Beaufort is an English lady, is she not ?' asked 
Mrs. Plummer. ' Her husband went home for her two 
years ago, or thereabouts. I suppose it was an old en- 
gagementf 

* No, I rather think it was not,' replied the doctor. 

^ She had a fíne fortune, to be sure. I have heard 
it called ten thousand poimds,* observed Mrs. Plum- 
mer. 

* It was only five thousand,' said Dr. Bennet. * But 
I must be off now, so good bye. Hold yourself in 
readiness to go to the bush when Mrs. Beaufort sends 
for you, Miss Morison.' 

Clara was anxious to get home to tell her cousins 
what had happened, and also to leam something about 
the place, and the people to whom she was going. It 
was somewhere on the Burra-road ; surely Grace would 
be able to give her some idea of the locallty. 

' I am fixed, Margaret,' said she, when she got home. 
* I must be ready to start at a day's notice.' 

* Are you going to be a sick-nurse V 

^ I rather think I am ; but I am to get thirty pounds 
a-year, and a comfortable home ; so don't be angry with 
me, and don't pity me.' 

' Who is the lady you are going to nurse V asked 
Marg&ret 



A SITUATION FOR CLASA. 121 

'Mrs. Beaufort; she is an Englishwoman, and has 
not been long here. She lives at a place called the 
£am, and Dr. Bennet says she is a most amiable 
woman.' 

* Milk-and-water, you may depend upon it, Clara, 
my dear. I shall sadly miss you, for you have been a 
great help to me, particularly this last month.* 

' If I have, you have repaid me tenfold,* said Clara. 
* I was very wretched when I came here, and now I 
am myself again — or nearly so,* she added to herself 

Grace and Annie were of course very much surprised 
at anything so sudden and energetic as Clara's new 
engagement, being brought about through Mrs. Plum- 
mer ; but none of the family knew anythmg about Mrs. 
Beaufort Each of them promised to write ofben and 
fully to her; and she was to come home to them if she 
was uncomfortable. How delightful it was to Clara to 
think that she had now a home in the colony, and that 
instead of being tossed from one situation to another, 
she might occasionally rejoin a loving cirde of friends. 



♦♦♦♦♦ 
♦ 



122 CLASA MOEISOK. 



CHAPTEil XL 

THE BETUBN OF THE DIGGEBS. 

NEXT moming came a letter, which had been sent 
by private hand. It was from George to all his 
Bisters, and was very short, but remarkably pleasant, 
for it told them the party had had good luck at last, 
having got about twelve poimds weight a-head, from 
the holes they had sunk at the Bendigo; they would 
tell all about it when they got home, which might be 
expected every day, as they should lose no time on the 
road. Charley was well, though he had never been able 
to dig, and they were all jolly. Gilbert wanted to stay 
another month or two, but the others thought it would 
be better to start while the roads were passable, be- 
sides that they pined for Adelaide, and all dearfriends 
there. 

* We must air all their clothes, and give their room 
a thorough look up,' said Grace. 

' I can do nothing but dance,' cried Annie. ' What 
good luck William Bell has brought them ! — but we 
shall lose you very soon, Grace, I am afraid.' 

' It is líkely enough, if Henry can get employment, 
that he and I shall wait no longer; but Annie, you 
must not be sorry about what you have expected so 
long, and wished for too.' 

*What a pity that you are going away so soon, 
Clara !' observed Margaret. * We shall all be so happy, 
and I should so like to show you a brighter phase of 
Adelaide life than ypu have yet seen.' 

' And Grace woiúd like you to help with her needle- 
work; you had better write to Dr. Bennet, and tell 
him tíiat you cannot go.' 

' I cannot do that now, Annie, though I should very 
much like to see and know your wonderfiil brothers. 
Yon must let me make a cake beíore I ^o, that Gilbert 



THB DIGGERS* EETUEN. 123 

may see that I can do other things as well as write 
short-hand.' 

* You shall make a cake this very day,' replied Annie. 
* I wont help you a bit with it, for it must be all your 
own. Oh ! dear Greorge is coming back, and Gilbert, 
and Henry, and Charleyr 

' And William Bell,' said Margaret. * You surely 
do not mean to leaye him out of the list of expected 
fiiends, for he is one of the best we have in the 
world.* 

Margaret helped Grace with her employments, and 
Clara worked in the garden with Annie all the mom- 
ing. There were still a few roses on the bushes, but 
there was little promise of more; however, Annie was 
sure her Mends would- be back before they were over. 
After dinner, Clara began to think about her cake, and 
by the time the fruit was picked and the eggs beat and 
everything ready for baking, it was getting late. It 
was twilight when she put the cake in the camp oven, 
and covered the lid with the hot red embers. She raised 
her glowing face from her work, and shook a live coal 
from the large apron she wore, and saw entering the 
kitchen a host of bearded men. 

* I thought they would be in the kitchen at this time 
of day, looking after tea, but instead of them we have 
Mrs. Bantam's Clara,' said G«orge. 

' They must have heard of our good luck,' said Gil- 
bert, ' and have lost no time in getting a servant. But 
here they are ' 

William BeU hung back to allow the brothers and 
sisters, and Grace and her lover, to meet without re- 
straint; but Charley Hodges had no such delicacy, and 
walked into the parlour with them. 

' You have not been long at the diggings, Mr. Bell,* 
said Clara. * Are you tired of the work?* 

* Not at all ; but I am disinclined to stay over the 
winter,' said he. * Besides, George and I think that a 
small capital may be made something of now ; whereaa 
money will soon be too abundaiit m Xddá^^^ \si Nsfó 



124 CLARA MORISON. 

valuable. K T cannot get on here, I shall go back in 
September, but I would rather not.' 

* Have you heard anything of Mr. Harris V asked 
Clara. 

* Greorge met him in Melboume ten days ago. He 
had quarrelled with his party somehow, and had got 
disgusted with the diggings; so he retumed to Mel- 
boume, where he has got a good billet under govem- 
ment. But, Miss Morison, you know nothing about 
managing the camp oven. You have not half enough 
of ashes in the heartL You will never be able to 
make a bush damper in your life. You have lefb a 
gap for the air to get in to cool the oven. Take my 
word for it, the loaf will be raw.' 

' It is a cake,' said Clara, ' and I am sure it will be 
an admirable one.' 

* Not without my help,' said William BelL * I sup- 
pose you have observed that everybody thinks he can 
manage a £re better than anybody else, and I am no 
exception ; I must and shall remodel that fire.' 

And William Bell took the tongs and filled up the 
gap, while Clara laughed at his Êuncy that smothering 
the fire would improve it. 

* We used to d^ the gold in the camp oven afber it 
had been washed,' continued he ; * I can't tell how many 
uses it was put to, but we shoiild have done very iU 
without it. The only woman who had any fowls in 
the neighbourhood used to sell eggs at eighteen pence 
a-piece to invalids, and how do you think she got 
theml When I went to buy one for Charley, she 
bade me rest a bit, while she caught a hen and put her 
imder the camp oven. In about half an hour I had 
my egg, and there was no mistake about its being a 
firêfih one.* 

* Where ai» yoni, Olanr asked Annie, cominfr ioy- 
hOw into ibe ktdMn. *My biothers wantiU> s^ 
ýmthtm WMhiti y^ yoa look lod ^oogh now~peT- 

^ëBoe I Qune^* aaid ^^ 




THi; DIGGEBS^ RETURN. 125 

* Did you expect me to see or think of ánybody but 
my brotiliers) It was only when Margaxet asked 
eagerly where you were, that I thought I might find 
you here. How glad I am that you are not gone to 
that stupid Mrs. Beaufort's, Clara ! I would not have 
had you miss the sight of our joy for a great deal. But 
I wish they would shave themselves, for they are all 
frights but Charleyj and he sighs for a beard, as if it 
would improve him.' 

' Then you do not like the hirsute appearance of a 
retumed digger, MÍ88 Aimier said BelL 

' Not at all ! I never can tell what a man is think- 
ing about, if I cannot see the changing expression of 
his mouth, which those thickets quite conceal,' said 
Annie. 

* You cannot, then, tell by the eyes; your cousin 
can — at least I hncy so, by some remarks she has made 
to me,' said Bell. 

* O yes ! Clara is very quick sighted,' Annie answered, 
ooldly. 

'And this is Miss Morison, or rather our oousin 
Clara,' said George Mliot, taking her hand. ^I am 
quite sorry you are going away so soon, for I wished 
very much to become acquainted with so dear a Mend 
of all my sisters; but we shall have time for that by 
and by, I hope.' 

' This is the leamed lady, who is equally skiUed in 
shorthand and shortbread,' added Gilbert. 'I cer- 
tainly did not think you looked very alarming in the 
kitchen, but now I see you are rather formidable. You 
don't know German, I hope V 

* Not at all,' answered Clara, smiling. 

' I am glad to hear it. I have one tower of refíige 
&om you in that,' said Gilbert. ' Have you had t^ 
Graceí' 

* I don't know,' said Grace. ' Perhaps we have. I 
am not sure. Do you remember, Margaret, whether 
we have had tea V 

Margaret was talking to Willia.m BeW, «jdl^ ^\\ísí\» 



126 CLARA. MOEISON. 

liear ; Annie was listening to what they were saying^ 
and could not attend to anything elsej but Clara 
settled the matter. 

'Nobody has had tea in the honse this evening. 
Graoe and I wiLl get it directlj j but my cake is not 
ready for eating yet.' 

In ten minutes, Clara brought in tea, and sat down 
to make it, invading Grace's privilege for once j and, 
amid all the bustle and noise of so many people taUdng 
at once upon all imaginable subjects, she managed to 
give sugar to those who liked it, and to commit no 
blunder with regard to the quantity of milk 

* Ah, Grace !' said Henry Maítin, * it is such a 
pleasure to drink from a teacup again, with you at my 
side ! I wont deny that tea is good at all times, and 
that by pouring it quickly from one pannikin to another, 
we raised a froth upon it, and made believe there was 
cream in it, pretty successfully ; but still it was nothing 
to compare to this.' 

* I have never got reconciled to a pannikin yet,' said 
George ; * it is always hotter or colder than what you 
drink out of it. 'H&ye you got any new fumiture, 
Graoe, that the room looks so bright and pretty V 

'No; we leave buying ftimiture to our Mends, 
Mrs. Tubbings and Mrs. Pengarvon. Indeed, I thought 
you would think the carpet very dingy afber the dust 
and wear of another summer.' 

' It is positively beautiful f said George. 

' I am glad you like home again,' Aniiie said ; ' and 
I hope, dear George, that you will never thhik of 
leaving us again ; for I have been veiy miserable and 
ill while you were away.' 

* I see you loc^ thin, my little sister ; but don't be 
«kimed. I am going to set about looking for employ. 
injeii.t tcHuoRoir.* 

«Foor CbMlef Iim done nodiing f said Annie. 
*QkT mÍÊmÊd OSEbtKt, *ChMiíey means to go to 
' ^^'■* *^ a Sqptember, a&d we inteaod to 




THE DIOGEBS' BETUBN» 127 

'Yes, we shall astonish the natiyes then,* said 
Charles. 

<You don't mean to go again to the diggings, 
Gilbert]' Margaret asked, anxiously. ^Mr. Hastings 
will be glad to get you back again. Mr. Plummer 
thinks it a great pity you ever left, for though you 
may haye made a little more at the Bendigo, you have 
lost much time.' 

' I did not think you attached so much weight to 
Mr. Plummer's opinion, Margaret/ he answered. 

' It is very unlond in you to talk of leaving us again 
so soon,' said Annie. * You haye quite taken away my 
appetite. And afber bringing home far more gold than 
I ever expected you would.' 

* Four hundred pounds I' said Gilbert. * Your am- 
bition is very moderate, Annie. This is not the com- 
petence that was to procure for Margaret her life of 
literary and philosophic ease, nor for me the position I 
wish to hold in the colony.' 

' But are you sure that a life of ease is a life for me V 
asked Margaret. * I prefer a life of labour and activity ; 
and the position you ought to hold is one you will have 
risen up to by slow and painstaking steps, and not 
one that you can mount to on the back of a bag of 
nuggets.' 

*Give me another cup of tea, if youplease, oousinClara,' 
said Henry Martin j ' and let me tell you all what a sight 
I saw at the Port to-day. A wholesale diggers' wedding I 
— ^twelveoouples started at once inthe matrimonial raoe I 
One man had told his mates he meant to get married on 
suoh a day, and they had a good mind to do the same ; 
so they tried among all the loungers at the Port, and 
actually made up a round dozen, which, with a brides- 
maid for each lady, and a groomsman for each gentle- 
man, grew to quite a large party. The forenoon was spent 
in driving about through the streets of Port Adelaide. 
At last, they tired of it, and alighted ; and then the four- 
and-twenty ladies walked all round the Port arm-in- 
anu j while the twelve happy bridegrooms adjourned 



) 



128 CLARA MOBISON. 

to a hotel, where they treated all who came. Tlbe 
landlord told me he had a notion some of them had^ 
wÍYes before; and that there had been instances of 
men being married twice over to different paities at 
the Port — ^by licence, of course.' 

' It is an absurd system,' observed Margaret. * People 
ought to be married by proclamation of banns, or hy 
advertisement in the newspaper, or posting the inten- 
tion in a public part of the town, for three weeks 
before the marriage takes place. The secresy and 
despatch of the licence system is a great encouragement 
to deception.' 

* Would you like to have your own banns proclaimed 
in church three times, Miss Margaret V asked BelL 

^ If I could make up my mind to marry a man,* 
answered Margaret, ' I think I should not feel ashamed, 
even though the whole world knew of it. I certamlj 
will never countenance by my example so great a 
mockery of a public marriage as the Ucence is. It 
is a branch of the ecclesiastical law — a relic of Doctor's 
Commons. How rotten all that part of the law seems 
to be ! Does it not want reform, Gilbert V 

* I daresay it does ; but I wrote to you that I was 
sick of law, and though I may fínd my knowledge of it 
useful to 77i€ in enabling me to keep out of it, I have 
not much desire to be usefiil to U,^ 

* What Gilbert says about law reminds me of what 
Mr. Brown says about the diggings,' remarked Grace. 
' He tells me he has leamed wisdom there ; the most 
important part of which is, never to go back to them 
on any accoimt.' 

* Well, Grace,' asked Henry, * have you any objection 
to being married by banns ? or will you try the rotten 
lioence system, in confidence that I am not deceiving 
you in any way V 

* I think registration would be a good compromiso/ 
Graoe answered. 

' It is a quiet way, but not secret or hurried,' said BelL 
'And it is not so expensive as the licence, which is 



TUE DIGOEBS' EETUBN. 129 

another recommendation/ added Gilbert, with a laugh, 
that Margaret did not like. 

^I am going home to-morrow/ said Charley to 
Annie. ' Shall you haye any letter for me to take to 
my sister V 

^ I do not think I can write, in mj joy to-night; but 
give her mj lore, and tell her how reij happy we all 
are.' 

But Annie's restless eyes and throbbing pulses 
scarcely showed the happiness she spoke of. 

'I have a message for jou all £rom Harris,' said 
George. 'He did not like the diggingSi or, at least, 
he did not like his party. Both his mates were lazy. 
He could have bome Beaufort's want of push; but 
Tumer's sulkiness was too much for him. You know 
what a good-humoured fellow he is himself And, 
indeedy if a man does not work hard at the diggings, 
there is no getting on with him at all ; and I must a&j 
that, for a good-tempered, hard-working mate, William 
Bell is a paragon. There was not such a thing as 
sulking ever seen or heard in our tent. I can promise 
you, Grace, that if Henry preserves his good himiour 
under all the trials of domestic life, as he has done 
under the hardships, disappointments, and annoyances 
of Forest Creek and Bendigo, you are likely to lead a 
happy life." 

* But,' said Clara, * this has nothing to do with Mr. 
Harris. We are all dying to receive his message. We 
have been hating him so much for not forwarding your 
letters, that imless you can deliver it with his own 
insinuating voice and irresistible smile, I fear we shall 
not be melted.' 

"Oh, yes — ^the letters. I felt quite angry and 
spoke fiercely about them to him in Melboume ; but 
he told me he had sent them by a chap that was going 
our way, but that he had found out afberwards the 
fellow was not to be trusted. It is a scoundrelly 
thing to promise and not perform, particularly in the 
matter of letters.* 

VOL. II. K 



130 CLABA MOBISON. 

* Bnt we have not yet heard the message,' said Clara^ 
who saw the intense interest with which Annie was 
listening, while Greorge was leisurely and digressively 
telling his story. 

' Oh, yes; it is not much of a me^sage afler all, but I 
thought you would like to hear something about him. 
He has got a govemment appointment in Melboume, 
and has taken a house, in conjunction with two others 
in the same department. You know one of them, Tom 
Davis, that used to be in the same office with Gilbert. 
Harris is getting into good society, and was going to a 
party the evening I met him. He sent his compli- 
ments to all the young ladies at home, and wished 
them to persuade me to settle in Melboume without 
delay ; for there was no place like Victoria for getting 
on. He said the Melboume young ladies were not so 
clever or amusing as those in Adelaide. I hope you 
take' it as a compliment, for Harris is a good judge. I 
told him I had no intention of leaving Adelaide again 
if I could make a livelihood there; and that, par- 
ticularly on my sisters' account, I disliked the idea of 
living in such a disorganized town as Melboume. He 
said it was a thousand pities I had any scmples, for 
they would be sure to take a good position there. 
He seemed very sorry to part from me, particularly as 
there was little chance of our meeting again. He 
was looking remarkably well. I never saw him look 
better.' 

* Did he pay you back the money he borrowed from 
you, Mr. Bell V asked Margaret ' 

* Oh yes ! I got it all, and in sovereigns too,' said Bell. 
* Harris was perfectly honest, though thoughtless and 
forgetful.' 

* And how did you like Melboume the second time 
you passed through it?' asked Margaret. 

' It is a strange place,' replied he ; * so full of noise and 
con^ion; money flying about as it never did anywhere 
before, and nothing thought too much to ask for any- 
tMag, The Melboume people look upon us with pity; 



THE DIGGERS' RETUEN. 131 

consider us as completely eclipsed; laugh at our Bullion 
Act, despise our copper-mines, smile at any suggestion 
that an Adelaide man may offer; but I really think 
that, as a whole, the Adelaide folks are more intelligent. 
They are not such great readers in Victoria as we used 
to be; but of course the gold discoveries will bring out 
clever men as well as diggers ; and let a country once 
have good leaders, it is in a fair way to go right.' 

* True/ said Margaret ; * very true. We want some 
great men here now more than ever.' 

* There are strange scenes to be witnessed in Mel- 
boume occasionally/ said BelL ' I wish you ladies had 
been with me in láie shop I went to for a coat, because 
you would have enjoyed the absurdity of the thing more 
than I could do. The master was waiting upon the 
govemor's lady; and the only assistant was supplying 
the wants of a digger and his wife, who looked as if 
they were going to buy the whole stock of goods. The 
man had a huge roU of notes in his hand, and insisted 
on paying for each thing as he chose it, and gettíng. 
his change; for he said his head got confused witb 
figures, and he always preferred paying cash on the 
naiL They had spent about sixty pounds, and were 
looking at the distinguished lady on the other side, as 
if to take the cue from her for their next purchases, 
when the shop-keeper showed her some superb silks. 
'What is the price of this?' said she, holdmg one of 
them to the light. *Twenty-five pounds the dress, 
ma'am ; it is a magnificent article.' The lady smiled, 
as if she thought it an exorbitant price ; but the digger 
crossed over and laid his hand on her shoulder. ^ Put 
up that one for me, mate,' said he; and then looking in 
the lad/s face with a knowing wink, added, * If my old 
woman wasn't a looking on, I'd treat you to any one of 
them gowns you took a fancy to !" 

' Did you sell your gold in Melboume V Annie asked. 

*No; we have brought it all with us,' answered 
Gleorge. * I hope you wont be afraid to sleep in thft 
house with so much valuable b\ii^Oïi Vcl \\». XwsL^a»^ 

k2 



132 OLAEA MOEISON. 

take your choice of a nugget from my lot, Annie, and 
bny something prettier with it. Take the biggest you 
can find, tbere is nothing above an ounce and a hal£' 

* And here is my best nugget for you, Grace/ said 
Henry. 'An ugly misshapen thing it is, but it nearly 
cost me my life. You know what a feimous hole we 
sunk at Bendigo. We excavated pretty extensively, 
and had only a pillar to keep the soil from falling in. I 
was sitting in the bottom of the hole with the candle, 
which I tumed round to show off the bits of gold as 
they shone in the light. The pillar was right in the 
vein of the gold, and I was too greedy ; I picked at it 
with my fossicking knife ; and when I saw the end of 
this large nugget sticking out, I thought I mnst have 
it for you, and made a desperate thrust for it. I had 
just put it safe in my pocket when I saw the pillar 
shakej and before I could move, down came a ton of 
earth on my legs. Luckily my head was thrown well 
back at the time, so it escaped. I thought it was all 
over with me, Grace ; but Gilbert, who was at the top, 
came down and dug me out, very much bruised, but 
with no bones broken.' 

* I don't think I shoidd like to have that nugget ; 
give me another,' said Graca 

' But I really wish you to have this particular one; 
take another besides, but I can't keep your nugget, the 
one I got especially for yotL* 

Margaret chose what she liked from Gilbert's bag ; and 
William Bell asked, with rather a rueful countenanoe, 
if nobody would accept of a specimen from him. None 
of the Elliots seemed to like to take any; but Clara 
frankly came forward and chose an odd looking little 
bit; which she said she woidd keep in remembranoe of 
the slights the donor had put on her management of 
the camp-oven. 

' Where are you going, Miss Morison V asked Wil- 
liam BelL * If to the bush, you will need some lessons 
before you can make a damper.' 

* I am going to the Bam, to a Mrs. Beaufort's. Do 



THE DIOOEBS' BETXJEN. 133 

any of you know where it is ? Dr. Bennet did not 
seem to have a clear idea himsel£' 

' It is in the north,' answered Henry Martin. ' Beau- 
fort was with Harris and Tumer at Adelaide Gkdly, 
and had done nothing when Harris lefb the party. He 
only settled in the north when he retumed from Eng- 
land with his rich wife. I have not heard much about 
him, except that he was very imsettled, and that Mrs. 
Beaufort was too stupid to amuse him.' 

' That does not promise you a very pleasant life, Miss 
Morison,' said Gilbert, * You will wiali yourself back 
in Adelaide before a week is oyer ; for to Be shut up 
with a stupid woman in the bush is the most miserable 
of all fates.' 

* You should not try to depress me,' Clara replied. 
* I am to cheer and support a delicate lady ; and I dare 
say I shall haye too much to do to feel it very dull.' 

' Hard work is the dullest thing of all,' remarked 
Gilbert; * particularly woman's work.' 

'Ciam is right, and you are wrong,' said George. 
' Making up your mind so bravely, you are sure to do 
well, Clara. I am not afraid for you.' 

The family sat up to a very late hour; William Bell 
talking almost all the evening to Margaret and Clara ; 
for ATvnie was so shy towards him, and apparently so 
wrapped up in her brother George, that even if he had 
wished, he could scarcely have spoken to her. Mar- 
garet seemed to look in William's eyes with delighted 
confidence; and Annie groaned inwardly when she 
thought of the tme heart she had rejected for a mere 
trifler like Mr. Harris. Harris's compliments fell like 
ice upon her heart ; his wish that the &mily should 
settle in Melboume seemed abnost an instdt, for of 
course he only cared to be amused ; while every ser- 
vice William had done, every sacrifice he had made, 
rose up in judgment against her. When, at last, he 
reluctantly went home to his lodgings, she could not 
even wish him a good-night; she seemed quite indif- 
ferent, and she felt that he thought her so. All his 



134 CLABA MOEISOïí. 

party began to praise hiih directly he was gone; Grace 
and Margaret joined warmly with the diggers, wbile 
Annie could not say a word in his favonr, and Clara 
would not, for fear of paining Annie. 

It had ofben and offcen been declared bed-time before 
the family parfcy finally broke up ; and then Clara and 
Annie, who slept together, had not a word to say to 
each other afber all their exciting day. Clara lay so 
stiLl, that her companion thought her asleep, and rose 
to give vent to the grief which was choking her as she 
lay. 

* Annie,' then said Clara, rising also to console her, 
^ I do not care for William Bell. If you would only 
smile on hÍTn a little more, he would be as devoted to 
you as ever. Don't let yourself get miserable, but hope 
for better things.' 

* I am not jealous of y(my Clara — at least, not very. 
But I cannot bear to see William so fond of Margaret, 
who has done so much for me, and who would make 
him such a good wife. Do not you hate me for it, 
Claral' 

* No; for love is the most tyrannical of all things; 
but I think your fancy is mistaken.' 

* Oh, Clara, I have offcen imagined what a glorious 
thing it would be to give up the man I loved to my 
sister! I have read of such things, and thought of 
imitating them. But — ^but — ^* 

* But it is hard to see yourself neglected for your 
sister — to see no chance for showing such magnanimity,' 
said Clara. * Of course it is; but my opinion is, that 
Bell still prefers yoú.' 

* Do you think so % Oh, no, Clara. I know I have 
treated William ill; I have been blind, blind, for a 
long time, and now I see too welL' 

' I will try to find out the truth,' said Clara, ' if I 
do not go to the Bam very soon ; and I shall be a cooler 
observer than you. But do not repel William as you 
did to-night. If he likes you, as I believe, he must 
have been miserable to see you so distant.' 



THE DIOGEBS^ EETTJBlf. 135 

' He did not look at all miserable,' replied Aimie. 
' And Margaret was more excited, and looked more 
beautiful to-nigbt than ever I saw her before. You 
know how restless she has been ever since fihe had that 
letter from him' 

' Thoae letters,' said Clara. ' I believe Gilbert's waa 
the one which affected Margaret so much, and that now 
her anxieties are chiefly about him.' 

Annie was somewhat tranquillized by her cousin's 
suggestions, and, to her own surprise, fell asleepi and 
did not wake tiU daylight. 



♦ 

♦♦!♦♦ 
♦♦♦ 

♦ 



136 CLARA MOEISON. 

CHAPTER XII. 

THE DIOGERS SETTLE DOWN. 

IN the moming the young men appeared at the break- 
&st table, looking civilized; and Annie said she 
knew tbem all now, and was snre that when Gilbeit 
had relinquished so substantial a token of the diggings 
as his beard, he conld not think of going again. Gilbert 
langhed, but said that his mind was made up on ihe 
subject; and sitting beside Clara, seemed determined 
to let her see that his late rough life had not lessened 
his politeness. Clara thought she had neyer seen a 
handsomer young man than her attentive oousin, but 
jet his appearance was not, to her, prepossessing. A 
very high forehead, dark, keen grey eyes, an aquiline 
nose, and a thin-lipped but well-formed mouth, gave 
her an idea of his energy and decision; his sentenoes 
were well put together, and his language more choice 
than either George's or Henry's, who had both a large 
infusion of colonial colloquialisms in their talk. For so 
yoimg a man, he had read a great deal, and whatever 
he read, his memory never lost; he did not positively 
quote, but he tumed other people's ideas to good Jiae, 
and had an original genius which invested even bor- 
rowed thoughts with force and novelty. 

Margaret listened with delighted attention to Gil- 
bert*s remarks on the convict system, its evil influenoe 
throughout all the Australian colonies, and the large 
proportion of expirees and escaped criminals that b<^ 
found a way to Yictoria. 

' Tou must write out your ideas on this, and send 
them to one of the newspi^pers,' said she. 

<What good woukl that do mef asked Gilbert. 
< The editor would make quite a &vour of inaerting it. 
and I áhoiiild nol gst entk tlAiiks for my trouble. I 

aqr OQHlrilMrtMiMi ware treftted befoie I 



SETTLING DOWN. 137 

' Newspapers here are merely meant to give news/ 
said George. ' It is of more consequence to the sale 
of the paper that the shipping reports should be brought 
down to the last moment, and that the public should 
be informed how many men were fined five shillings 
for drunkenness, than that it should contain the most 
brilliant and powerful leading articles, or the most 
amusing and interesting letters.' 

' That is not my idea of a public instructor/ said 
Margaret. ^ Gentlemen may saj that they do not read 
the editorial matter, but the working dasses do; they 
take their political creed in a great measure from the 
joumfll they read, and it behoves those who write for 
it to write with honesty and talent. More good is to 
be done by improving the tone of our newspapers, than 
by all the public libraries that could be established in 
South Australia, for there are thousands who never 
open a book who &ithfully read the local papers. Let 
us make all the papers wiser and better^ and the people 
will improve with them.' 

* But a good paper will not pay/ said Gilbert. * Any 
trash suits the working man better than a style too 
high for him.' 

^ And must we do like the Americans/ asked Mar- 
garet — * write down to our readers, instead of raising 
our readers with us ] Oh, Gilbert, something must be 
done for our people! This convulsion has imfixed 
everything. Beligion is neglected, education despised, 
the Jibraries are almost deserted; nobody is doing any- 
thing great or generous, but everybody is engrossed by 
the single object of making a great deal of money in a 
very short time. I know that you can write the truth 
clearly, Gilbert; and you have ability enough to make 
it agreeable, if you choose. Put it to the good sense 
of our people and our govemment if, in circumstances 
like these, this colony is to be trusted to swpply cmd 
dema/nd for its moral and religious regeneration.' 

^ I really did not expect to be set to task so soon, 
Margaret. I am going to Mr. Hastings to-day to see 



138 CLAEA MORISON. 

if he will take me into the office for the "winter ; surely 
that is doing a great deal for the first day in Adelaide, 
my energetic sister V 

* I tliiiik you could get your articles now if you asked 
for them/ said Margaret. 

*And be tied to Hastings' desk for ^yq years,— 
unable to take adyantage of any tum of fortune— 
imable to go to the diggings again when I choose — ^in 
order to leam fix)m him what I know quite as well as 
he already !' 
. * There is a form in all things/ said Margaret. * The 
wisdom of our ancestors has fíxed a j&ve years' appren- 
ticeship as proper and necessary. If you think other- 
wise, you may agitate the matter when you haye 
undergone the probation, and are considered a com- 
petent judge.' 

* I thought that you despised forms, and the wisdom 
of our ancestors, too. But I know you admire prudence 
and caution. I must see what prospects I have out of 
the law before I bind myself to be its slave for five 
years. As for the newspaper article, you had better 
write it yourself I have given you all the &<cts, or, 
as it is technically called, crammed yoiu' 

*You know, I cannot write, Gilbert. I wish I 
coidd, but I can only think,' repÚed Margaret. 

' And I'm not sorry for it. I was only joking. Only 
&ncy my sister scribbling for the Adelaide presa 
People would have qmte a horror of you, Margaret, if 
you did such a thing.' 

Charley Hodges set off homewards immediately afber 
breakfast, bearing many kind messages from the Ellipts. 
Charley felt a great admiration for Annie, and thought 
she looked prettier now than ever. He wished he was 
two or three years older, or that he had been successful 
at the diggings ; it would have been so charming to 
have brought her a bag of gold, and told her he had dug 
it for her sake. He looked forward eagerly to going 
back with Gilbert in September, when he would surely 
be more fortunate ; perhaps, too, by that time his beard 



SETTLDÍG DOWN. 139 

would have made its appearance ; and, thougli Annie 
had said slie did not admire that addition, lie feared his 
smooth chin was a terrible drawback. 

The three other young men went up to town, and 
found there woidd be no difficulty in obtaining employ- 
ment ; for business was getting brisk, and the tide of 
labour had been setting out of South Australia so con- 
stantly, that there was a scarcity of hands in ahnost 
every department. George came home in great glee ; 
for when he had gone up to his late employer's store, 
Mr. Ainslie had asked him eagerly how he had suc- 
ceeded; and hearing that he had cleared about four 
hundred pounds, said to him : — 

* You are the very man I wanted to see, Elliot. I 
am going to Melboume in a fortnight. I have suc- 
ceeded in securing premises in a central situation, and 
I am sure to make my fortune.' 

' You don*t wish me to go to Melboume with you, I 
hope V G«orge answered. 

* No. I want you to take this concem in Adelaide 
off my hands. I leave some goods in the store, and 
pxpect consignments regularly to come here, part of 
which you will forward to me as I advise you. You 
will have to watch the Adelaide markets, and correspond 
with me. You will buy flour to send across, and hay, 
and such like farm produce ; and I shall buy English 
goods before they are landed at Melbourne, and ship 
them back to you. Do you understand? We shaíl 
thus save the tremendous expenses of lighterage, and 
heaven knows what, which will double the price of the 
goods Adelaide must get from Melboume. In this 
way we shall play into each other*s hands, and each 
make a good thing of it. Advauce me the money you 
have got, and I will give you time for the remainder ; 
for you are a steady fellow, and certain to do well.* 

* I will considt with my brother and sisters,' 
answered Greorge ; * but I think I shall be glad to accept 
of your offer, if your valuation of the property is not 
too high.' 



140 CLASA MORISOX. 

* Oh, rerj moderate, indeed,' said Mr. Ainalie^ aíttíiig 
down to miike a líst of what he wonld leaye. ' Toa 
see there what price I pat npon the ccmcemy and yoa 
maj cotimilt with anj Mend as to whether I aak too 
much. Kemember, you may nerer have another chanee 
o( setting up on your own acconnt A good aitiiation 
and an established bosiness ; if a yonng man so steady 
and indnstrions as yonrself cannot make a handaome 
income out of it, call me a Dutchman !' 

Am Mr. Ainslie had really been moderate in his 
valuation, the ElliotB were delighted at the opening 
for George. 

*1 know you will do well,' said Margarety ^íot 
you will never try to overreach anybody. But I 
fear I shall not like you so well if you starve us, and 
send awaj all ourflour to Yictoría; though, to be 
8ure, the poor diggers must have something to eat. 
I wish a regulation coiQd be made that the diggers 
should send us a large detachment, chosen by lot, to 
assist at seed-time and harvest ; for I am really appre- 
hensive of a &mine.' 

*It could not be done. There would be a publio 
meeting of the diggers to protest against such tyranny,' 
replied George. * But how have you got on, Henry V 

' I went to the Burra Office,' was the answer, * and 
found they had a vacancy at the mine for a good book* 
keeper. I am to get sixty pounds advance on my old 
salary, and a cottage at a low rent, or, if I like to buy 
the lease of a oottage, the price would be moderata I 
told tho secretary I had some thoughts of getting 
married ; and he said I had better look sharp, for I 
must be up at Kooringa in a fortnight if the Board 
•ppú^ted me, whioh he had no doubt they would. 
what do you say, Graoe í Could you make up your 
mind, for better and worae, by that time 9' 

* I think I oould/ aaid ahe ; <for I auppose you don't 
oare for my being Tory splendid in my attire f 

^ T VÍÊi^tMi MaD, yk on íIm other aide,' answered Henry 
r W-..1 Ji^.^ to^vby «U the oolours of the 



SETTLING DOWN. 141 

rainbow. I never saw so few pretty &oes in Adelaide, 
or 80 many bandsome bonnets.* 

* I bave seen creatures in silks of every varied hue/ 
added Gilbert, * whose feet were oased in thick, strong 
boots this fíne day 1' 

*Thick boots are very dear, Gilbert/ said Annie, 
'and, consequently, must be wom in all weathers. 
People give a pound or twenty-five shillings for them, 
if they are very clumsy.' 

'But what have you been doing, Gilbertf' asked 
Margaret. 

* I have done very little,' he replied. * Mr. Hastings 
inquired if I had come to stay. And when 1 told him 
I only meant to remain over the winter, he said he did 
not like being made a convenience of ; but as he was 
short of hands, he woidd give me two pounds ten a 
week. So I go to work to-morrow. And what has my 
task-mistress been doing herself all this moming V^ 

' I have been looking out some things that must be 
made for Grace. We must be very busy at needle- 
work all this fortnight, and neither read nor write at 
all. But what has become of William Bell Y 

' He has gone part of the way with Charley, to see 
about a section belonging to him, which he had let, 
and which his tenant threw up to go to the diggings, 
where William met him. Bell has a notion of taking 
it into his own hands, though it will be hard to get 
people to plough and sow ; and as for the reaping, we 
must trust to the machina* 

* And very likely, afber being at great expense, and 
growing a crop that will only pay at seven shiÚings 
the bushel, the Yankees may inundate the colonies 
with flour, and bring the price down to a losing point,' 
observed Gilbert. 

* But American flour is very bad,' said Annie ; ' it 
is not to compare with ours, and will never fetch such 
a high price.' 

' American flour is the best in the world,' answered 
Gilbert. * It imbibes more water than any other, and 
is therefore more economical.' 



142 CLAEA MORISON. 

* Bat it is horribly sour/ urged Annie. 

'Only when ill packed; good Amerícan flour is a 
splendid article.' 

* I never heard of any of that description in South 
Australia, and until I see it, I will not belierv'e it,' 
Annie persisted. 

' You are absurdly patriotic, Annie,' said her brother. 
' Everything South Australian is the best in the world 
with you. I suppose now you will not believe that the 
soil and climate of Yictoria are better than ours.' 

' No, I will not ; for why are our people so willing 
to retum? besides, it is no good sign of either soil or 
climate, that the colony has never grown enough of 
food for itself.' 

* That is accounted for by the monster interest of 
sheep-farmÍQg being followed by the other monster in- 
terest of gold-digging,' Grilbert replied; 'and by the 
folly of the legisíature in not encouraging agrícidture ; 
but the soiL is really much better; a £ne black loam 
for himdreds of square miles, which woidd grow thirty- 
five or forty bushels of wheat to the acre, and the climate 
is a little cooler than ours, and not quite so dry. The 
scenery too is remarkably fine ; I never saw anything 
in this colony to compare with the romantic views all 
round the Bendigo. George was always meaning to 
take sketches, but, poor fellow, he had no time.' 

* What a shame,' said Annie, with tears in her eyes, 
* that you shoidd praise that horríd Yictoria above our 
own dear colony, where we have all grown up together, 
where we have had joy and sorrow, where all our re- 
membrances tum, and all our hopes are fixedl' 

* Not all our hopes; for I hope to get a great deal of 
gold at the Bendigo in September,' retumed Grilbert. 

* But the people 1 Surely you don't like the people* 
there as you do those that are hereï' said Annie. 

* Certainly not,' Grilbert answered, putting his arms 
round his sister, and kissing her fondly. * There are no 
people in all Úie colonies to compare with Adelaide 
people; that I grant you, Annie.' 



IN A STRANGE LAND. 143 

CHAPTER XIIL 

A yiSITOB INQUIRES FOR MB. HAUSSEN. 

CLAKA wonddred, as day afber day passed, that she 
got no message from Mrs. Beaufort. She began to 
think that Dr. Bennet had not been authorized to en- 
gage her ; and^ though sorry in one sense, she was pleased 
to think she shoidd be present at Grace's marriage. 
But one day when the four girls were sitting in the 
parlour sewing, and there was a great litter of dress- 
making, and all kinds of making, Dr. Bennet walked 
in imceremoniously. 

' A marriageT said he; 'glad to see such good signs! 
Which young lady or ladiesí Not you, I hope, for you 
can't marry anybody so long as you are engaged to me.' 
And he shook his stick at Clara. 

* Certainly, you will not be disappointed, for I am 
not going to be married. It is my cousin Grace^s wedding 
we are preparing for.* 

* Well, Miss Grace going off at last. A good wife you 
wiU make, I am sure. Not too yoimg, but as blooming 
as ever. I wish you joy. I expect to see all you girls 
going off before the new year ; there is nothing like a 
good example in such cases. It is a long time since I 
have seen you, Margaret. I think you have grown 
taller, have you notT 

' I think I have been past growing ever since I knew 
you,' said Margaret. 

* But what am I to do about Mrs. Beaufort V Clara 
asked. ' She has sent me no message.* 

* That is the very thing I came about,' answered the 
doctor. * She has written to me that one of her neigh- 
bours has offered to bring the young lady out. A very 
steady gentleman he is, and a very careful driver, so 
you need be in no alaim He will probably come into 
town to-day or to-morrow; and so I came to give you 
a reminder; for bush genúemen don't like to bekept 



144 CLABA MORISON. 

waiting, even for a young lady. I have no tíme to 
stay to-day, thongh I shoidd like a chat with Margaret 
Elliot, of all things. Good bye^ yoiing ladies, I must 
beoflf.' 

In the evening Clara was snrprised to see B^iiiald 
stop at the door; he was in a spring cart witib a paír 
of horses. 

^I called to see yonr brothers, Miss Elliot; I heard 
they had come home; how have they succeededl' 

' Oh ! very well indeed, as times go/ answered Grace; 
Hhey have made quite a little fortune. But what 
brings you into town so soon again? not to inquire after 
my brothers, I suppose?' 

'Not entirely that, though I was very anxioiis to 
know their fortune ; but I have to see about {»rocuring 
servants ; and Mrs. Beaufort has desired me to call on 
Dr. Bennet, conceming a young lady coming out as 
companion to her.' 

^That is Clara. Mrs. Beaufort has sent an old 
firiend for you, Clara.' 

* Dare you trust yourself with me, Miss Moriscm,' 
asked Keginald, ' and the respectable married woman 
I am going to engage to look after things at Tannga t 
The place has got into such a state of confíision for 
want of a woman's care, that I have made a vow not 
to leave Adelaide without taking one out in the cart; 
by which also I make sure that her husband will keep 
his engagement. I want them both.' 

Clara was much obliged to Keginald for his trouble, 
and thankful in her heart that she shoidd not have to 
drive tête-á-tete with him that long way. Beginald 
promised to come back to tea affcer putting his horses 
in the stable, and looking in at Mrs. Hiindy's. 

He found Mrs. Handy much excited. 

' Oh, Mr. Reginald !' she exclaimed, * I never was 
so glad to see you in my life.' 

' Has your husband retumed V asked he. 

^No, it Ji not that Bon't you speak German ? 
^ .k4|PJ«íkoome here to inquixe fop 




IN A STBAKOE LAND. 145 

Mr. Haussen, and my mind misgiyes me that all is not 
right. She speaks very little Ënglish, but she looks 
like a gentlewoman hy her dress and manner, though 
she is yery foreign looking too. Mrs. Haussen is out 
spending the eyening at Korth Adelaide. I am thank> 
ful she was not in when this lady called, for I might 
haye made some dreadful blunder.' 

Eeginald sighed deeply, and desired Mr& Handy to 
let the lady know that a friend of Mr. Haussen's, who 
could speak G^rman, would be glad to see her. He 
was instantly admitted to her room, and shut the door 
festafterhii 

'Miss Sophie Wemer, I presumel' said he, in 
German. 

' Then Max has told you he expected me, though tiU 
lately there was iittle prospect of it ] Where is Max 
Haussen — ^he used to liye here? Do you know where 
he has gone, Mr. Y 

' Eeginalcl is my name. I haye known Mr. Haussen 
eyer since I came to the colony. He is now at the 
gold diggings, at Mount Alexander.' 

* I hope he is doing well,* saidMiss Wemer, neryously. 

* He was doing yery well by last accounti^' answered 
Keginald; musing how he could break the fact of 
Haussen's marriage. 

Sophie was tall and pale, with high features, and a 
profusion of magnificent brown hair. Her air was 
unquestionably lady-like, and though she seemed flut- 
tered, it did not look like her habitual demeanour. 

^When is Max expeoted homef she asked, with 
more anxiety. 

* In a month or two — ^in a month or two,' he repeated. 
* But, madam, I haye bad news, which it is my duty 
to tell you. Mr. Haussen told me of an attachment, 
but neyer of an engagement. H^ haa married in this 
colony.' 

Sophie's features grew rigid ; she sank back in her 
chair, and though she neither groaned nor shrieked, 
Beginald saw how much she suffered. 

YOL. IL L 



146 CULRA MOKISON. 

^ I assure yon that he did not forget you ; bnt he 
thought his position was hopeless ; and — and the giil 
was pretty — * 

'And y(yu/ngy said Sophie, with a sad look in her 
eyes, which spoke of thirty. 

* Yes, she was young, but he did not love her as he 
had loved you. He had told me much of you, and he 
despised hunself for his inconstancy ; but you cannot 
telí--no woman can tell — ^what a temptation it is to 
our fidelity, to be so hi apart, with so &int and dift- 
tant a hope of being united' 

* And I dare say he thought my letters were cold,' 
poor Sophie said; * for I coidd not leave my Êither 
while he lived, and dared not tell Max all I felt in 
being so long separated. We were not positively en- 
gaged, because my fEither objected to otir betrothal; 
but we have always corresponded, and I was resolved 
that as soon as I was lefb at liberty, no scruple, no 
coquetry on my part, shoidd prevent my coming out 
to join Max. If Max was disappointed in my appear- 
ance, if his affection had died out, or if he coidd not 
afford to marry, I meant to take a situation ; for among 
so many oi my countrymen as are here, I surely cotdd 
find |employment. But since he is married, I will re- 
turn home, and eam my bread among my own people. 
I have been accustomed to tuition for ten years.' 

Reginald's heart bled for the woman who had been 
wearing out her life and soul teaching tiresome children, 
and nursing an invaJid father, for ten years, in Íhe 
hope that Max Haussen would make her happy at last; 
and all only to find that hope disappointed. 

* Do you know his wifeï' Sophie asked. 

* I do a little; she is siUy and conceited, but I think 
she likes Haussen.' 

^Silly and conceited !' said Sophie; *but she is 
young, and if her heart is good, all may be right for 
him and her. But for me 1 Could I see her without 
her suspecting anything? You oould introduce me as 
a cousin of Mr. Haussen's (which I am, though a dis- 



IN A STBANGE LAND. 147 

tant one), who has come out on a long sea voyage for 
the benefít of her health ; I shall retum in the yessel 
I came in, for the captain and his lady were both very 
kind to me. Can I see Max*s wifef 

* She lives in this house, and you will be able to see 
her to-morrow, if you please. But do you think your 
chances of success in your own country are greater than 
they are here ] Grerman ladies are well thought of as 
governesses here, so that if you would remain in A4e- 
laide, I have no doubt you could get a good situation.* 

* It would not be happy for either Max or myself if 
I remained. We cannot forget each other — that is 
impossible : a ten years* attachment is no such light 
matter. But in time we may, if we are separated, re- 
member without such pain as we feel now ; whereas, 
if I were exposed to meet him and his wife any day, 
it would kill me ; and if, as you say, Madame Haussen 
is siUy, perhaps he might feel vain regrets. No, I must 
go home, and never see him more ! I should like to 
be lefb alone this evening; good night.' 

* This is a lesson and a waming for me,' said Regi- 
nald, as he walked to the Elliots* to keep his appoint- 
ment. * I must see a great deal of Clara Monson when 
she is at the Barn, for Mrs. Beaufort will miss me if I 
do not come as ofben as usual, and she needs all the 
comfort I can give her, poor woman ! And what were 
Haussen*s temptations to mine? But now I see what 
sufiering Haussen^s weakness has brought on that poor 
Sophie, I must be doubly cautious. And she says she 
wrote coldly; could she have written such letters as I 
get from Juliaf 

' When do you go out of town, Mr. Reginaldï* asked 
George, when the visitor came in. * I hope not for a 
week, for we want to keep Clara till Grace leaves us.* 

* I mean to leave town the day afber to-morrow, if I 
can get servants,* was the answer; *and Miss Morison 
will please be ready at seven o*clock precisely, for it is 
a long way, and the days are getting short.' 

' What a comfort it is that you are going, Clara,' 

l2 



í 



149 CLASA MOBisas. 

mA Gílberty laui^iíng; * íofr with jam 
img mj mxter Mío^arety I lealhr ^et ik» will of sj 
own at ftlL I can numage Margu^t lF|r keEBeU^W 
thisríí m m with«taDilÍDg twa l>oii.''t ytm tiláBk, Ib. 

Kííí^mïd^ that a man who has been mt tbe 
nhóuid \te alkiwed to do as he pleasesf 

* Not Uf go back again, howevia/ aaid 
^ (mt we had better drop this sobject. We are all waj 
m%iouH to know Bomething of Mjsl Beanfotty «mGlaia^i 
ftoeoutit You know the lady, Mr. ReginaM f 

^ YtMf and I like her/ he replied. * She is not kuid- 
Morru^, nor clever^ nor active; but she is gentle and 
fominine, and V/ears up againirti veiy bad healúi witíi 
grfiat )>atience/ 

* Xt muMt be very miserable for her to be ill whoi 
liar liuitband í» away ; «he must weary for hini sadl^.' 

* Hh<i doeH weary for him, but she has great comJbft 
Íu hiir baby ; I do not generally admire yoimg bábiefl^ 
but I am greatly interested in iittle Lucy.' 

* Thm you visit pretty frequently at the Bani,' saíd 
OratHi. 

* Yííh; «ho Í8 the only married lady I know in the 
ndighbourhood, though you town ladies would scaioely 
Uiiiik her within vi«iting distance.' 

iiit|(iiiiil(l Htíomcd dull and out of spirits, and Glaia 
for cmcM wiiH right in her conjecture that he was think- 
itig of J uliiu 'Htí talkod to the young men, and asked 
tiwíi» inaiiy quostions about the diggings ; but with 
botli Margarct and Olara he was unusually sby and 
Hilmit '^ 

* \ t\<>n*t know what is the matter with Charles 
Kcgiimlcl to-uight; said Morgaret, when he waa Rone: 

lic UHCHÍ to talk Bo much to Olara ; I expected Idm t^ 

f\7Z i'"* "'^''í^'' ^^« ^^^ ^«^ aTusual; but 
to- iiight he Bcarcely opened his mouth.' 

1 • w ^r V^^^*y ^^ *i^« to talk to her in ihe 

tou^tewhioh i am Wd rS^i^'^T^^ 



IN A STBAN6E LAND. 149 

have some copying to do, and must fínisli it before I 
go to bed, though I know it is three hours' work.' 

' I hope it is not engrossing/ said Olara ; ' for if it is 
not, I could take part of it off your hands. I can write 
quite like you.* 

* Thank you, Clara. I shall be very glad of your 
assi8tance,' he answered. And they sat up writing 
afber the rest of the fiimily had gone to bed. When 
the task was fínished, they compared it with the copy. 

* Thank you, Clara,' then said Gilbert ; * it is very 
nicely done — not a single blunder in it all through. 
You could make a good income at threepence a folio ; 
and I suppose you like it better than women's work.' 

* I do. I am very fond of using the pen, even to 
copy such stupid involved sentences as these; but I 
prefer writing according to my own fancy, and in short- 
hand.' 

* Capital !' said Gilbert ; * I got hold of a book of 
your writing the other day, not one word of which I 
could read. Why, you should have been a lawyer, or 
a reporter, and not a governess.* 

' I suppose that if I had not happened to be a woman, 
I could have been taken on the staff of one of the 
newspapers here as a reporter.' 

' No doubt of it ; but it is not a very enviable em- 
ployment, nor very well paid. What a deal of despicable 
twÉiddle your fingers would have had to chronicle, if 
you had taken notes in Adelaide this last year or two ! 
£ut, as a lawyer's clerk, you oould get a tolerable 
livelihood, though it is a drudging business you woidd 
soon have tired o£' 

* I shoidd not like it without the prospeot of riidng ; 
but with your abilities, and with the tum of your 
niind for hard study, I think nothing could be so 
delightful as threading the mazes of the law, in order 
to make it clearer and more intelligible to others.' 

* It is not delightful to work with such a fÍEdnt 
prospect of success. Even if I were to go through five 
years' articles, and read hard with Margaret all the 



150 CLARA MORISON. 

time, I flhoidd never make a popular lawyer. Any 
BhaT^microscopic^yedpettifoggerwould 8uo4ed beirter 
in Adelaide than I could do. George is fortnnate. 
He has got a start ; and he will iindoubtedly succeed 
in business. Henry is happy ; for he has not much 
ambition; and Grrace is satisfied with humble com- 
petence. William Bell will get on well here; for 
everybody places confidence in him ; and he is ready 
to take advantage of any opening that may present 
itself But I am young and unsettled, and chafe a 
good deal more at being ordered about by a master 
than any of them. I don't even like Margaret's way 
of telling me what I ought to do. Harris used to say 
I was imder petticoat govemment; and I think it is 
time now that I were free.' 

* I think you mistake Margaret/ said Clara. ' It is 
because she has such a high opinion of your ability^ that 
she is fearful you may not make a good use of it ; and 
no brother was ever more loved than you are by her.' 

* But yet she would tie me down to Hastings* desk; 
and then, thinking she had done her duty, she would 
marry William Bell, and leave me to go on by mysel£' 
And Gilbert's handsome &ce looked dark, as he bent 
his eyes searchingly on Clara. 

' Are you not perfectly able to go on by yourself ? I 
thought you were impatient of leading-strings; and 
yet you seem unable to go on without them Besides, 
I do not think Margaret cares for William BelL He 
is scarcely so old as she is.' 

' But he has so much sense and steadiness, that he 
might pass for thirty,' said Gilbert; 'and she is always 
bringing forward his opinions and conduct as an 
example to me. I grow quite to dislike him, in spite 
of all his kindness.' 

* Sleep off all these mistaken notions, Gilbert : I must 
bid you good night.' 

Sophie Wemer was very much stmck with the ex- 
treme prettineaa of Mrs. Hausaen, and overlooked her 



IN A STRANGE LAND. 151- 

silliness ; wMchy indeed, as it was expressed in EDglisli, 
she coiild not understand; "while her ignorance of English 
manners made her think that the little creature's 
restlessness might, in the eyes of her country folks, be 
perfect good-breeding. 

Mrs, Haussen was vain of her youth, and was pleased 
to see how faded her husband's cousin looked beside 
her. But E/eginald secretly admired the lofby refine- 
ment of Sophie, and felt disgusted by the absurd pre- 
tensions of tíie uneducated and slip-slop milliner ; while, 
on the other hand, both the ladies were thoroughly 
convinced, Sophie from ignorance, and Mrs. Haussen 
from vanity, of the wife's superiority. 

*I must go back to the vessel immediately, Mr. 
Reginald,' said Sophie in G^rman, * for this is painfdl 
to me. I have seen her ; and I find her very charm- 
ing, and that is enough.' 

^ Permit me to accompany you on board,' he answered. 
* I have business at the poi't, and my escort may be 
usefuL' 

The offer was gratefdlly accepted. The two ladies 
bade each other ferewell ; one with tearfiil eamestness, 
and the other with self-conscious indifference. And 
Sophie took leave for ever of the land of Max Haussen's 
adoption. Reginald saw her safe on board, and re- 
ceived a message and letter for Haussen, which he 
promised to deliver in person. He then visited a 
newly-arrived vessel, and succeeded in engaging an 
Orkney man and his wife, with five children, the 
yoimgest of whom was three years old. Having ex- 
plained that the woman, with her yoimgest child, was 
to go out with him in his spring-cart early on the 
ensuing day, while the husband and the others were to 
follow by the dray, and having seen them all on a 
port cart to come up to Adelaide, he retumed himself 
to transact the rest of his business in town. AU was 
accomplished in time ; and in the evening he called to 
know if Clara would be ready in the moming. 

* We have everything in reaáimeisaj «aÍL^ kzwvvv^^ 




152 

^«««fpi wílltiijgiMMi to pari widi 
HtfpnsM^ if sbe ís not hapfpr at tlie 
r/f Ú^ pkce does not agree widi ker, t 
ber liacky or we wíll never forgnre yon.* 

^I wínmgly promise to brmg ker bft^ w^n abe 
mkn me/ he annwered. ' I know wliat a Umaute Ae 
wíll íye to Mr». Beanfort ; and I think it lik^ tiiat 
MiiM lA/fnncfn. will be verj oomfortable at the Bani, at 
leaMt till Mr. Beanfort retnma I wonld not adiise 
her U) ntaj anj longer than ahe feels oomfortable^* 

* 1)0 jou think the lady is dangeronalj iD f aídrad 
Clara. 

* Hho haft a bad congh, and has no strength ; bot 
I do not think she is in inunediate danger. "H her 
NTfiritN wero good she might rally. A long letter from 
tn« diggiiigs would do her a great deal of good.' 

* I low nuich of our happiness depends on the poet- 
ofWíso/ Haid Honry Martin. 'That was the worst €Í 
tho (liggiiig» : we were never certain of otir letters.* 

* Vou will not write much in future,' observed 
Margiirot; 'for you never cared to correspond with 
anybody but Grace. And now that you are going to 
havo hor always beside you, you will tum over aJl the 
lottor-writing to her.* 

* Graoo ím ru adniirable letter-writer ; you could not 
havo a bottor hand to trust to.* 

*I boliovo Clara can write beautiful letters,* said 
Anuio; <and she is going to write altemately to 
Mai*garot and me.' 

Uort> William Bell came in to see Clara before she 
wout io tho oountry; and Reginald could not hdp 
mbuiriug tho way in which aU the femily, and aU the 
Mwula of the family, seemed to indude Clara as one 
of ita mombers; and how ihoronghly she nnder- 
«t^HHÍ tho peouliaríties of each, and never jarred 
against any, When he had aeen her at Mra. Handys. 
«h<> had beeii flutteredat a casoal remark, and anno^ 
«I % I^MM : bm did wm pedectly at her eaae, and 



IN A STBAKGE LAND. 153 

seemed to smootli down everything aad everybody 
before her. 

'What are you thinking ofï' asked Reginald of 
Annie, when he saw her looking very eamestly at 
Margaret and Olara. 

Annie started, and said, ' I was wondering whether 
casual observers would prefer Clara^s pretty Httle hand 
to Margaret's handsome large one, for I do not know 
which of them I admire most myself.' 

'Neither do I/ said he; *they both suit their pos- 
sessors, and look well on them, but would look very ill 
if exchanged. — What prospect do you see of ferming to 
advantage, Mr. Bell]' he asked, in a louder voice. 

* I can do nothing this year but let the land grow a 
crop of hay. The man I let it to has got the ground 
so full of wild oats and drake, that I don't see any other 
way of clearing it.' 

^Hay will be up to a tremendous price in Mel- 
boume next year,* said Gilbert ; * but surely you are 
not going to settle in the country to look after your 
self-sown hay, William V 

^ No, I mean to start on the Exchange as a bullion- 
broker and commission-agent. I am pretty well known 
in Adelaide, and I think I have a good chance of 
success.' 

* I am going to speculate with my little capital,* 
Gilbert said; 'buycheap and sell dear. I have the 
offer of a group of cottages at a reasonable price, which 
I shall be able to sell again for double the money in a 
few months' time, for rents are sure to rise.' 

* They are not nice cottages,' observed Annie ; * and 
I advise you to have nothing to do with them.' 

* They are in an unhealthy part of the town, too,' 
added Margaret. * You ought to do something to im- 
prove them if they become your property.' 

* It will not pay to make improvements at the pre- 
sent rate of wages,' replied Gilbert. 

* I think we should have a building act passed soon,' 



154 CLABA HOKISOX. i 

Marpm^ «aid, ' fbr uoir tbst no bnildÍDg is goÍDg m, 
Bobody will make anj objectioiiiS, aod wise T^^DlatioDS 
may be made withont aaj one raiamg a cry <^ Teetad 
íntereste, vbicli is alv&ys sncli a bar to progresB. Nd 
bonses should be permitted to be built back to bad^ 
and lanes should be of a certun prescribed width. In 
our hot climate, ventilation íb of tlie greatest import- 
ance. The Gennans seem to have a great &iicy for 
crowding their bnilding-gronnd. You will know a 
Germau acre in Adelaide bj seeing the wood laid down 
at the iront door, and being carried painfiillj' throu^ 
the honse, sometimes through the windowa.' 

'Melboume is &r worse than Adelaide in these 
respecte,' obeerred Gilbert, 'in spite of its Coilding 
Actj for thongh that compelled tíie proprietor to put 
np a good house in the fi-ont street, tiiere was aotlujig 
said about the backgromid.' 

'And it lies in a hollow,' added Williani BeU, 'so 
that it is very difficult to get thorough rentilatíon.* 

' Adelaide itt on a riung grouud, and though we get 
dost with it, there is no want of circulation of air,' mid 

' There is no place bke the bush for &«ah air,' re- 
marked Beginald. ' Misa Morison is going to see how 
mnch pleaitauter the countiy ia than the town, and will 
bear me ont when she retums.' 

' If I like the country better iban the town, I ahall 
like it qnite as well as Scotland, for I have got singn- 
larlf fond of Adelaide and Adelaide people.' 

AAer a long, discursÍTe conversation, Reginald and 
William Bell left the Elliots, and Claia sat np late with 
Mai^;aret, forgetting how early she was to rise next 
day. Tbey had many things to talk about, and Claia 
VBS anxïous to know wbat chiefly engroesed her 
cousiji's thoughts, and ao far as she could judge, it was 
Gilbert, and the ^fBculty of getting him to take an 
interert is IiÍb old piuBujts. What she aaid of Bell waa 
"'^'^ fatÍMi. but she nuUt» blnahed nor 

B mentioned him. 



IN A STBANOE LAND. 155 

* You will see a great deal of Cliarles Ilegmald when 
you are at the Barn, Clara/ said she ; * you must write 
to me if you find out any new point in his character. 
There is a great deal of good in him, but he would be 
improved by a conversation with you once a week. 
These sheep-farmers let their minds rust sadly.' 

* Do you think that I can polish his at bIW asked 
Clara. 

' You can bring him out, and that is all he wants, 
for he has plenty in him, but is backward in displaying 
it. Do you think him handsome, Clara?* 

' His face pleases me,* Clara answered. 

* But Gilbert is handsomer,* said Margai*et, ' and he 
has more information for his age. Besides, he is ten 
years younger than Eeginald, I should think; if he 
would but apply, what a splendid figure he could make 
in ten years ! Write always some message to him, 
that he may see that others expect much from him as 
well as I. I am twenty-five to-day, Clara; I do not 
in general keep birthdays, but now you must drink my 
health, and wísh with all your heart that another year 
may find me happier than I am now. So I have lived 
a quarter of a century ! I may now expect to fall off 
in my looks, but not I hope in other respects.* 

* I am sure you will not fall off for many years to 
come, either in looks or in ínind,* replied Clara. * You 
are very lovely to all who haVe eyes to see you.' 




M 



CLAHA MOEISON. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

KIDE TO THE BTJSH. 

AY ia alwaya a lovely month in AuBtralia, and u | 
Clara drove along the fine level road that leada ont 
of Adelaide to the North, she telt her heart lighter, and 
her hopes of happiness at the Bam rose brightly. 
Everywhere the fresh grass and new shoota Beemed 
starting up aa at the touch of spring; the air waa cool 
and bracing; and Mr. Seginald kne'w all about tbe 
road, and could tell Clara who lived in every house; 
and by this time ahe took bo great an intereet in the 
oolony, that ahe liked to hear the names of all who 
were in it. Mrs. DnncanBon and her little bw were 
aitting behind; ehe waa a decent-looking Sootch- 
womaii ; aiul both heraelf and her child were well and 
wanuly olothed, though their apparel preeented rather 
tuk ant^iluviau air. 

' I oftii scarcely understand a word ahe utterB,' aaid 
Kot^uald to Clara; ' for thongh I can read and iiiider- 
Mtnnd Sootoh pootry, the apoken language po^ea me 
naiUy; wid I have tAken mQst of her qualificatíoiiB 
fiii- gnukttHl. She tooka as if ahe oonld wor^ tuad be 

' llnw do vou think you will like the colonyï* asked 
t^ltvnt oftlio vinnan. 

''rUoro'ii a haiitlubonnie treea, and the grass is braw 
luiil Hnwn, Imt oh, ain! we're gaun a lang way &ae 
tlio mm. W» wuuoa bae a fis^ fne ae year's end to 
lUvtUtor, l'm thlnkiiig;' 

*UHppM»yowhidbMidwHittathafiahingat homer 

ihalo fishing i 

. and hail tho DORk ti^t 

'T bn i.'ttm homïi, ^nwre a a han.ile 

.uur Wlty, yc kA.' 

'~^ fci IIÚUI.I sh«epT CUm. BHked. 






A RIDB TO THB BUSH. 157 

' Oo aye ! we had nae less than fíve sheep of our ain, 
and a cowforbye; and I span a* the woo' in thewinter 
nichts, and braw stockings an flannen coats I made 
o't ; but the gudeman is a canny man as weel.' 

^ A canny man !' echoed Clara ; ^ I am at fault here. 
Do you mean that he is gentle V 

* Oh we're no gentle — we're simple bodies ; but he 
is canny, ye ken.' 

' You mean that he is quiet/ Clara said, ' and not 
quarrelsome ; or that he is nothing out of the common, 
nothing * unco,' in &ct]' 

* We are na unco, for we hae been on the mainland 
for twal generations; but Sandy is canny; — he can 
mak shoon, and shape and sew his ain claes.' 

* Ah, I understand now; you mean he is canning, 
skilful. — You see the word is from the same Saxon 
root from which we get our word king, Mr. Keginald.' 

* We hae nae kings in the Orkneys, and never had 
ony,' said Mrs. Dimcanson. 'There waa naething 
grander than yerls in the Orkneys.' 

^ If your husband can make shoes, he will be in- 
valuable in the bush,' said Clara, ' and I have no doubt 
that a little tailor's craft will be useful too.' 

'Can do is easy carried aboot wi' ane,' observed 
Mrs. Dimcanson, sententiously. 

* What can you doí' asked Clara. * This gentleman 
does not well understand what you say, and I am a 
countrywoman, and can interpret.' 

' I can bake, an' milk, an' kim, an' mak cheese ; an' 
wash an' dress claes, an' soop the hoose ; an' scrub, an' 
spin, an* knit; an' mind swine an' hens, an' pickle 
henin; but we needna' speak aboot físh in this 
unkent land, an' I misdoot we're hx frae ony preachin, 
too.' 

* We have no church within thirty miles,' Regmald 
aaid; 'and I am afraid many of Mrs. Duncanson's ao- 
complishments will be lost upon us at Taringa; for we 
have neither cows, nor hens, nor pigs.' 

* Dear xne 1 this is a queer country,' remarked Mra. 



158 CLASA MOBISON. 

Dimcanson. ' I heard that folk a* eat oot o' tins here^ 
like we did on boord-ship, sae I dinna wunner at the 
want o' pigs ; but cows, an* hens, an' swine are things 
that canna be dune withoot.' 

' I will get them for you,' said HeginaJd, * if you 
can manage them, and do not mind the trouble ; but 
remember this, that if you leave me the cows will be 
allowed to go dry, the hens will lay away or be seized 
upon by the hawks, and the pigs will be starved; for 
I never can get hut-keepers to do any extra work, 
even to make themselves comfortable.' 

* We have appointed to bide wi' you a towmont, sir, 
an' we are nae gangrel bodies, Sandy or me ; we hae 
nae will to leave a gude place when we find ane. 
There's just twa things I diima like — ^nae Hrk, an' nae 
schule for the baims, puir things ! — ^but Sandy micht 
gie them a lesson at an orra time, at nicht, when there 
is na muckle thrangï' 

'Certainly,' said Reginald- 'Your husband will 
find his education of use to him here, for he may be 
promoted to an overseer's place if he deserves it I 
have a very clever yoimg Englishman, Miss Morison, 
who has been a shepherd for many years in the colony, 
whom I would gladly make an overseer, but he cannot 
write or cast accounts, and I cannot dispense with 
these qualificationa Your countrymen, however poorly 
they may have been brought up, have alwayB some 
book-knowledge.' 

It was past sunset when they reached the Baniy 
which was a large low building, thatched with reeds, 
with a broad verandah all round it, and French win- 
dows with green venetian blinds in great abundanoei. 
A somewhat neglected looking garden surrounded the 
house, with some tolerably lai^ fruit trees and a nmn- 
ber of young vÍQeSy now ahedding iheir leaves and 
lookÍDg d^jeoted. ThmwmBtíll aíewflowerBbloom- 
mgíMiit mMm^lgl^ which oovered 

* " lí^Mielioiiaetoo much for 



A EIDE TO THB BUSH. 159 

the season of the year. The stables were large, but 
there was no man-servant in the place to look after the 
horses, which were all tumed out into a paddock, and 
were the plague of Doroth/s life ; for they had grown 
80 wild that she scarcely durst go near them, and they 
were every now and then getting into the garden, or 
lifbing the slip-panels of the paddock and running 
away; requiring to be advertised, with rewards for 
their recovery. Besides, as Dorothy offcen told her 
mistress, drawing water for five horses, or driving them 
two miles to the creek, was not woman's work ; and 
though she would do a great deal for Mrs. Beauforty 
flesh and blood could stand it no longer. But the 
horses were Mr. Beaufort's favourites, and his wife had 
promised they should be well cared for in his absence, 
and had now given Reginald carte-blanche to procure 
her a man-servant. 

The cart drew up at the door, and Reginald told 
Dorothy that Miss Morison was the young lady whom 
Dr. Bennet had engaged to stay with Mrs. Beáufort. 
Dorothy, who hated the doctor, and thought her mis- 
tress wanted no companion while she was with her, 
received the new-comer with a moumful smile, and 
introduced her into the parlour, where Mrs. Beaufort 
was lying on a sofa, with an imtasted cup of tea beside 
her. 

* This young lady is an old friend of mine,* said 
Reginald ; * and I am sure that Dr. Bennet couíd not 
have made a better choice. I know, Mrs. Beaufort, 
that you and Miss Morison will be excellent friends.* 

*I am glad you know the lady,' Mra Beaufort 
answered, in a low, weak voice, *for any fiiend of 
yours must be welcome at the Bam. Have you been 
able to get me a man-servant Y 

* Yes; at twenty-seven shillings a-week, with board 
and lodging; it is too much, but you told me not to 
mind expense.* 

* I am very much obliged to you; I don't mind the 
wages, and only hope he will not quarrel with Dorothy ; 



160 CLABA MORISON. 

for, good creature as she is, she is very touchy, and 
has much to try her. Will you call her as you pass 
through the hall, Mr. Reginald V 

Dorothy came when she was summoned; she was 
rather deaf, and though she came close up to her mis- 
tress, Clara could see that it was only with a great 
effort that the invalid could make herself heard. 

' Show Miss Morison into the little room next mine, 
Dorothy; and see that Mr. Reginald's room is in order 
for him ; make his servant and her child as comfortr 
able as you can in the kitchen, and bnng in tea-thiiigs 
for three.' 

'Shall I make tea in the parlour, ma'am?' asked 
Dorothy. 

*No, I thank you, Dorothy; if Miss Morison does 
not like to do it, you know Mr. Reginald wilL There 
is Lucy waking — ^give her to me.* 

The baby was lifbed írom the basket where she lay 
by the side of the so&>, and given to her mamma; and 
Clara, who had thought Mrs. Beaufort a remarkablý 
plain-looking woman, saw her fjEice light up with such 
a beautiful smile as she looked on the pretty little 
creature, that it reminded her of her sister Susan's, 
and she knew she should love her. Mrs. Beaufort was 
certainly upwards of thirty ; she had bad teeth, and 
her hair and eyes were too light for her complexion; 
her figure was not good, and her hands were large and 
clumsy ; but yet Reginald could see a great deal that 
was lovely in her, and Clara was disposed to agree with 
him. While taking off her bonnet and cloak, she 
scrutinized a picture that hung over the chimney-piece, 
and hoped it was not the portrait of Mr. Beaufort; for 
though it represented a yoimg and handsome man, the 
expression of the face was so disagreeable, that Clara 
would fain have tumed it to the wall, to avoid the 
mean, searching eyes, which seemed to follow her 
wherever she moved. 

* I expected you to-night,' said Mrs. Beaufort, when 
they had sat down to tea, ' and stayed up a little longer 



A EIDE TO THE BUSH. 161 

than usuaL What do you think of your charge^ Miss 
Moríson V 

* She is a little darling, and I am sure I shall teach 
her to like me soon,' Ckúra answered. 

' I wish papa were here to see her/ said Mrs. Beau- 
fort, sighing. * I suppose there are no letters yet, Mr. 
Reginald V 

*I have heard something of Mr. Beaufort/ said 
Clara. * He was then digging in Adehiide gully with 
a Mr. Tumer and a Mr. Harris. I believe Mr. Beau- 
fort was quite well at that time, but the party had not 
found much gold. My cousin George met Mr. Harris 
in Melboume, and he supposed the others were still at 
their old quarters.' 

* 1 am trlad to hear anythini; of Beaufort, when I 
caa hear nothÍBg from lii^,'laid Mrs. Beaufórt 

* The post-office is wretchedly conducted,' remarked 
Clara. * My cousins have had letters four months old, 
and there were many they never got, and never will 
get; and everybody says the same thing.' 

Mrs. Beaufort put a number of questions relative to 
the diggings to Clara, who found herself established as 
quite an authority on the subject; and by telling every- 
thing cheerful and amusing that she heard, and treat- 
ing the hardships as lightly as her cousins had done, 
she made Mr& Beaufort's mind more comfortable than 
it had been since her husband had gona But she was 
not strong enough to sit up long; and, soon afber tea^ 
she said ^t she would leave Mr. Reginald to amuse 
Miss Morison, and retired to bed. 

' Is this the portrait of the master of the house V 
asked Clara. 

' Yes ; and it is very like him,' replied Eeginald. 

*I feel disinclined to stay after he retums,' she 
added. 

*I should not advise you; for though I am very 
sorry for it on Mrs. Beaiibrt's account, I cannot dis- 
guise the &ct that he is a worthless person, and the 
less you know of him the better.' 

VOL. II. M 



16£ CLABA Mosisoy. 

* She loyes him tnúj, however/ said Clara. 

* Yes; love is blind, and it would be death to heat 
to have her e^es opened,' B^inald answered. . ' She is 
older than ha I often have thought, Miss Morison, 
that people loTe most strongly when they have the 
least chance of winning love. The attachment of a 
woman of thirty-two mnst be a stronger feeling than 
that of a girl of seventeeny and probably it is the same 
with our sex too/ 

' I dare say it is,* Clara said. ' Bnt tell me, if yoa 
can, how I shall best please Mrs. Beaufort^ for this is 
a terra incognUa to me.* 

' You will please her ijaost by admiring her baby, 
and taJking about her husband. You must act as a 
sort of telegraph between her and Dorothy; for the 
servant's dea6iess is a sad trial to Mrs. Beaufort's weak 
lungs. And, if possible, keep Dorothy from talking 
Ho much against the peii&dy of our much-abused sex; 
the poor woman's husband deserted her shamefiilly, 
and she hates and distrusts all mankind in consequence. 
You know it is not good for a nervous invalid to 
hear philippics of any kind; and the misconduct ofa 
truant husband is a very tender point with a grass 
widow.' 

^ There are very few books in the house, apparently,' 
said Clara. 

' And the piano is out of tune, and has not been 
opened for six months, to my certain knowledge,' ob- 
served Reginald. * You will have no lack of employmenl 
horo, but you will want amusement. You will miss 
your cousin Margaret sadly.' 

*I do not expect to be so happy here as at my 
cousins',' Clara answered; 'but I hope to be more 
useful ; and, at any rate, I shall be less miserable than 
at Mr& Baiitam'& My life there seems like a painfiil 
droam, whioh I would fioa shake £rom my memory ; 
while my ▼Qjag» oat^ ind the few weeks I spent at 
^^ w^ A-i- . — . * iwfga» dreaminees about them, 

Bot to haye lived at 




A RIDB TO THE BTJSH. 163 

all in the interval between leaving Scotland and 
coming to the EUiots.' 

Reginald tumed the conversation from these re- 
miniscences; and he and Clara talked about books, 
and things colonial or otherwise, till it was time to 
retire. 




m2 



164 CLABA HOEISON. 



CHAPTEE XV. 

LIFE AT TH£ BABN. 

* T MTJST tell you, Miss Morison,' said Mrs. Beaufort 
-■- to Clara, when E/eginald had gone next day, * tliat 
I might have sent Mr. Chaloner, or Mr. Digby, or Mr. 
Stone, or Mr. Ree for you, and I am sure each would 
have been happy to be honoured with the commission ; 
but I thought Mr. Beginald was the oldest and the 
steadiest of my acquaintance, and as you knew him 
before, it is as well I fíxed upon him. I have very 
kind, obliging neighboairs, and I expect that now I 
have a young lady staying with me, they will be still 
more attentive in coming to inquire for me and Lucy, 
Mr. Chaloner is very handsome, Mr. Stones is very 
witty, Mr. Eee is clever, and Mr. Digby has fine 
manners ; but I think Mr. Reginald has the best heart 
of them all, and he takes most notice of baby. Don't 
you think Lucy very like her papa, Miss Morison V 

Clara checked the * no,' which rose to her lips, and 
said, ' I think that her nose will be like his, and the 
shape of her feice is similar. We must go out for a 
waík, now, baby ; and I hope, ma'am, you wiU accom- 
pany us into the garden.' 

* Well, I should like to see how my poor flowers 
look to-day. How I wish I was strong enough to 
work among them ! I will walk beside you and Lucy, 
that she may not feel strange with you, though she 
really seems to know you aJr^dy.' 

Clara was at once domesticated at the Bam; and 
though Dorothy was jealous of her influence, and 
disliked Scotch people, she felt relieved from a great 
deal of trouble by the companion ; and when the man 
came, and she could order him to bring in the cows, to 
water the horses, and mend the fences, she felt her life 
8o much eajsier, that she did not grumble half so much 



LIPE AT THB BABN. 165 

as she had done before. Clara waited on Mrs. Beaufort, 
took care of the baby, and was always a pleasant object 
for the invalid to look upon ; and though to her the 
Bam was very dull and silent afber the continual 
talking she had been accustomed to in town, she 
saw that the same quietude was favourable to her 
patient. 

Mrs. Beaufort would never allow there was anything 
the matter with her, and complained bitterly to Clara 
of Dr. Bennet's cruelty in not allowing her to nurse 
her baby. It was difficult, also, to induce her to attend 
to his prescriptions. She could not, she said, be 
expected to be well or strong when Beaufort was 
away, and it was of no use employing remedies ; but 
when he retumed, she was sure she should change all 
at once. 

Clara chanced one day to mention the sermons she 
had taken down in short-hand in Edinburgh; and on 
the first Sunday after her arrival, Mrs. Beaufort begged 
to hear one. So Clara chose a discourse which had 
always been a great favourite with her sister, and read 
it to Mrs. Beaufort and Dorothy. They both ex- 
pressed themselves very much pleased : but Clara 
thought it rather too hard a 8e4on fo^ an invalid, 
and observed that Mrs. Beaufort seemed a good deal 
excited by it. Sermons are prepared for people in 
health; and that is one reason why the sick are ofben 
made worse by going to church ; for the strong meat 
which suits the general congregation is not the best 
food for a nervous and delicate patient. Many times 
during the week Clara glanced over her notes, in the 
hope of finding somethmg more gentle and soothing; 
but the clerirvman whom she had attended was what is 
caUed a ro^, powerfol preacher, and none of his 
discourses seemed suitable to her principal auditor. So 
Clara thought she would try to write a sermon herself ; 
and on Saturday night, when everybody had gone to 
bed, she wrote what reflections occurred to her, on part 
of tke twenty-second verse of the fourteenth chapter of 



166 CLABA MORISON. 

Luke, * And yet there is room;' with the mtention of 
trying how it would sound when read aloud on the 
following day : — 

' You must read me another of your short-hand 
sermons to-day,' said Mrs. Beaufort on the Sunday 
forenoon ; * for I have read everything in the house so 
often, that makes no impression on me, and it is next 
to hearing a sermon preached, to hear you read those 
odd hieroglyphics so welL' 

Clara had settled herself to her discourse, and had 
read the two first sentences, when Mr. Heginald 
came in. 

' Just in time to hear a good sérmon,' said Mrs. 
Beaufort; 'and if you woúd be so good as read 
prayers first, and allow Clara to act as clerk, it would 
remind me pleasantly of England.' 

Clara got through her share in the unfamiliar service 
without much blundering; but she cotdd not help 
thinking how her sermon would pass muster before the 
new listener. She had begun it, and could not change 
it now; but she thought E/Cginald would consider it a 
curious specimen of Scotch ptdpit eloquence. 

* What a beautiful sermon !' exclaimed Mrs. Beaufort, 
when it was finished. *I like this better than the 
last you read, though I admired that very much, too ; 
but this seems so full of promise and encouragement. 
What do you think, Dorothy ]' 

* I liked the last one the best, for it was more of a 
trimmer,' said Dorothy. 

' Well, I feel the better for this,' Mrs. Beaufort said. 
' I wish you could sing a hymn now, Clara, for then 
we should have had all the forms of public worship, as 
well as the spirit.' 

* I cannot sing,' Clara answered ; * but there is baby 
singing now. Has she not been good, to sleep all this 
time V 

Mrs. Beaufort always took a siesta afber dinner, and 
He^ginald and Clara were entrusted with the baby. 



LIFE AT THE BARN. 167 

while she was out of the room. Clara saw by the 
smile that was rising on E/eginald's lips that she had 
not escaped detection. 

* You never heard that sermon preached in Edin- 
burgh, or anywhere else, Miss Morison/ said he. 

' I knew that you would find me out ; but I hope 
you don't think it was wrong in me to do it; for 
though it was not exactly the sermon for you, it pleased 
Mrs. Beaufort, without exciting her toó mucL I did 
it for the best.' 

' I know you did,' he answered ; ' and I advise you 
to continue the experiment, for you really made a 
charming little discourse, and I felt the better for 
your mild theology myself Yes; we must all enter 
the kingdom of heaven as little children. But I am 
apt to grow hard and dogmatic in my solitary readings 
and reflections, and to &iicy this point of Êdth, and 
that line of conduct, imperatively necessary to our 
salvation ; whereas you only insisted on two things — 
himiility and love. There was a freshness in your 
views and your phrases which one rarely finds in 
sermons by regular preachers. Is this your first 
attempt V 

*It is,' replied Clara; 'but I was once acquainted 
with two ladies, in straitened circumstances, who wrote 
sermons for their livelihood, and sent them to London 
fer sale — Edinburgh not being a place in which to* 
dispose of such things. They were very pious women, 
and wrote very good, sound discourses ; so let us hope 
that they did good. If ministers are too lazy or too 
stupid to write their own sermons, I hope they at 
least know a good sermon when they read it. These 
ladies used to ask me to criticise their sermons, for I 
had the reputation of being a judge, and they were 
a&aid that, writing so many, they might unconsciously 
write themselves out. Women are generally sadly 
underpaid, and get into a hurried way of executing 
their work, which makes people think they cannot 
possibly do anything so well as men.' 



168 CLASA MOEISON. 

' Do you tliink they caa, under equal circumstanoes, 
Miss Morisonf asked Reginald. 

*I admit our general inferiority in matters of 
ability and skill, though there are brilliant exoeptionsy' 
she replied; *and you know you own to our geneittl 
superiority in a moral point of view, though you can 
produce still more brilliant exceptions. It is a 
glorious thing to see a man imspoiled by the world.' 

'We are interrupting an interesting conversation, 
we fear/ said a voice strange to Clara, as a very ourly 
head popped in at the French window, followed 
closely by a head covered with straight shining black 
hair. The new comers were introduced by Reginald 
as Mr. Ohaloner and Mr. Digby, two sheep-farmers in 
the neighbourhood. 

Mr. Chaloner was of a very good family; he visited 
at Govemment House, was made much of among the 
exclusives of Adelaide, and for a partner at a ball was 
well enough to look at ; for he was tall, and he danced 
nicely, and his hair had a beautiful curl; but he was 
very dull in conversation. He had a few stock 
phrases, which did duty on all occasions; but though 
his vocabulary waa so limited, he never could master 
it completely, and his words were oftener misapplied 
than otherwise. If hfe told an incident twice over, it 
was always in exactly the same words ; but he made a 
little variation by raising his tone every repetition. 
He was good-natured, but vain; he thought that his 
&jnily, his appearance, and his position should com- 
mand universal respect, and he would let Mrs. Beau- 
fort's companion see and feel that he condescended to 
her. 

Mr. Digby was different, yet the same ; he had many 
words at command, and paid many little attentions; 
but after hearing and receiving them all, you felt that 
there was absolutely nothing in them. He, too, was 
of an imexceptionable family, and had received a good 
education ; but he seemed to have taken pains to forget 



LIFE AT THE BAKS. 169 

all he had ever leamed, and made a parade of havinir 
entirely giyen up readi^, and of knowing everTthini 
without taking the trouble to study anything. He 
never confessed to ignoranoe of any subject, though 
ofben to indifference about it; and used to laugh at 
Keginald, who was always reading and plodding, but 
whom he had heard confessing one day that he knew 
nothing whatever of the differential calculus, and giving 
a very timid and hesitating opinion with regard to the 
oonstitution of Mexico ; while Digby would have made 
a bold guess, likely enough to pass for oorrect, and 
which, even if proved to be erroneous, would not dis- 
concert him at all. Fluent and flippant, Mr. Digby 
was considered a delightful and clever young gentleman 
hj all the half-educated girls he met in polite society; 
but Margaret Elliot would have taken him to pieces in 
half an hour, and have entailed on herself his undying 
hatred. 

' Charming day, Miss Morison,' said Mr. Ohaloner. 
* And how is Mrs. Beaufort?* 

' She feels fatigued, and is resting a little,* answered 
Clara. 

* Baby quite welU' asked Mr. Chaloner. 

* Very well indeed, I am glad to say. You would not 
have me disturb Mrs. Beaufort now. She will be up 
to tea, and I suppose you wiU stay till then.' 

' Certainly,' said Mr. Digby. * We poor bachelora 
are so happy when we can catch a glimpse of the íairer 
part of the creation, that we could wait for hours in 
patient expectation.' 

' I suppose there are not many ladies in Íhe neigh- 
bourhood?' Clara said. 

* You are the only single lady for a circuit of twenty 
lídles,' Mr. Digby replied, * and of course have only to 
command to be obeyed.' 

' ThÍB is quite a delightful phase of country life,' 
said Clara, ' for in Adelaide the ladies form so great a 
majority, that they have lost their importance.' 



1 



170 CLARA MORISON. 

* And we can't get into Adelaide for a few monthg 
now-a-days to cut a dash,' observed Chaloner. ' It is a 
confounded shame.' 

' Business must be attended to, my dear fellow; and 
now tLat Miss Morison honours the Bam with her 
presence, "we shall not feel so completely out of the pale 
of civilization,' said Digby. — ' Have you heard of the 
new partnersliip in the neighbourhood, ïteginald? 
Stones and Ree have joined their flocks and their 
shepherds, and are living together at Stones' home 
station. How do you thrnk they will pull together in 
these queer timesf 

' It will be a good arrangement for Stones, for his 
flocks are not so large nor in such good condition as 
Ree's; but I do not know how they will agree, 
for they are of very opposite tempers,' answered Re- 
ginald. 

* Well,' said Chaloner, ' I wonder at a gentleman like 
Stones taking on a fellow who has kept a retail shop in 
Adelaide. Sheep-farming will be spoiled altogether if 
a parcel of petty tradesmen are allowed to mix in it.' 

' Nobody cares for such things now, for cash is the 
universal solvent. I myself, nephew of Sir Henry 
Digby, would take any man into partnership who 
would give me pecuniary advantages to counterbalance 
his want of gentility or reputation. Money is not so 
plentifiil among us sheep-farmers as to let us be 
scrupulous where it comes from.' 

* I think that Mr. Ree has mistaken his vocation in 
giving up his shop,' said Reginald; ^for he understood 
his business thoroughly, and I fear he will not improve 
his position by this partnership with Stones, who wants 
steadiness.' 

* BeaTifort never cared who he mixed with,' said 
Chaloner ; * I thought he would have cut Ree when he 
brought out his wife; but he did not; and Mrs. Beau- 
fort is gracious to everybody.' 

* What a beautiful specimen of female submission wé 
have here,' said Digby, pointing to the pipe, tobacco- 



LIFE AT THB BAEN. 171 

box, and cigar-case, that lay always on the chimney* 
piece, to be ready in case Mr. Beaufort should come 
home. * Very few ladies are so considerate to their 
husbands' little pleasures as Mrs. Beaufort is.' 

'1 am considered qualified to dust the mantel- 
piece now/ said Clara; 'Dorothy used always to ar- 
range this comer with such ill-will, that Mrs. Beaufort 
could not bear to let her meddle with it, and did it 
herself when she was able; but as I touch every 
article tenderly, and lay it down with no impatient 
noise, I am invested with full power over the pipe and 
its appurtenances.' 

* Would you allow a fellow to smoke, now, if you 
were married to him?' asked Mr. Chaloner. 

*Not unless I liked him very much indeed,' 
answered Clara, laughing ; * and I don't think even 
then that I could submit to it in the house.' 

' Then we dare not take one of Mr. Beaufort's cigarsï' 
said Digby. 

'You may take it if you please, and if you can 
answer to Mrs. Beaufort for the thefb, but you must 
not smoke it,' Clara said. 

' Tyrannical already,' cried Digby. ' Eeginald, you 
must aid me and Chaloner in the defence of our 
favourite pipe.' 

* I am trying to give it up, for I am quite aware that 
it is a very silly custom,' said Reginald ; ' but you must 
excuse bushmen, Miss Morison, for making a com- 
panion of their pipe when they have no other com- 
pany.' 

* Certainly,' said Digby; ' under present circumstances 
we should be inexcusable if we annoyed Miss Morison 
in any way ; but she may rest assured that all of us 
indulge ia the * pernicious weed,' as Byron calls it, 
when uncheered by the smiles of the arbiters of our 
destiny.' 

'Anything stirring in town, Reginald, when you 
were in last V asked Chaloner. 

' A good many diggers have retumed,' said he ; * but 



172 CLABA MOAISON. 

almost all of tliem taJk of going back to the gcdd-fidds 
in September, so how we are to get oar wool off this 
year, I cannot tell ; and I fear that though the príces 
will rise, they will not be at all in proportion to onr 
increased expenditure.' 

^ Any parties in Adelaide — ^not digging, but dancmg 
parties, I mean?* 

^ Why, I am not in the way of knowing anythiiig 
about such things ; but I did hear something of a ball 
and an ' at home' at Govemment-house.' 

' It is a confounded shame/ said Chalonery ^ that mj 
shepherds know nothing about their business, and want 
as much looking affcer as if they were a parcel of bahies; 
and that stupid of a new overseer is a humbug altoge- 
ther; so I could not go when I was invited. How do 
your new people get on at Taringa^ Beginald ?' 

'I think they will suit me veiy well,' was the 
answer. ^ The man takes a pretty large flock of aheep, 
and the eldest boy a small one, and I think the second 
boy may soon be made useM ; while Mrs. Ihmcanson 
cooks for us all in an odd Êtshion. They are so asto- 
nished at the abimdance of provisions, that they will 
not make use of them, and I am in a fÍBdr way of being 
starved amongst them. I happened to be out for three 
days among the stations, and when I retumed as hungiy 
as possible, asking for supper, Mrs. Duncanson said she 
could give me fine bread and wealth of tea, but they 
had not thought it worth their while to kill a sheep 
when I was awa'.' 

* To oflTer a fellow who had been riding sixty miles 
&sting, bread and tea !' said Chaloner, in a tone of the 
greatest disgust and horror. ' The woman must have 
been cranky !' 

' But Mrs. Duncanson assures me that, if she had 
but hens, she could kill me a chuckie ony day, or boil 
me eggs; an' I maun hae swine, too, and then there 
would be aye a bit o' bacon to ready for the maister; 
and if we had a cow to milk, there would be butter to 
kitchen my bread. I think I must indulge her^ for 



LIFE AT THB BASJf. 178 

she seems to think slie has not got enough to do. 
Don't I manage the Scotch fEkmously now, Miss Mori- 
sonl My knowledge of German helps me a good 
deai; 

* There is a foreign aocent about your Scotch stiU, 
but you will soon get over it,' she answered. 

Mr. Bigby now became very attentive to Clara; he 
told her whose parties were considered the best in 
town, and regretted that the best musicians had lefb 
the colony; hoped that the races would be kept up 
in Adelaide, for there was always a good deal of 
amusement to be found in them; asked her what she 
thought of the Bloomer costume, and ventured on an 
opinion that the waistcoat would be very becoming 
to her; hoped that some lady of influence in Ade- 
laide would show the example, that it might be fol- 
lowed; talked eloquently of the misery gentlemen 
sufiered from wearing black hats in this hot climate, 
and asked her opinion of his own wide-awake ; while 
Mr. Chaloner displayed his broad-leaved panama, and 
begged that she would only try it on, that she might 
see what a becoming thing it was to a lady. 

When Mrs. BeaiSbrt came in to tea, she found that 
Mr. Chaloner and Mr. Digby had been amused for the 
whole afbemoon without giving her any trouble; and 
perceived that her new companion would be usefal in 
many ways. She saw that very few words of her own 
were required, and by this time she found speaking 
much very wearisome. When she got well, and Mr. 
Beaufort came home, she hoped Clara might marry one 
of her nearest neighbours; for she was much in want 
of female society, and Clara was really a dear, good 
girl. 

Mr. Stoncs called a few days afberwards, accompa- 
nied by his partner: and Clara, remembering the 
character Mrs. Beaufort had given them, hoped they 
would be more agreeable than the other gentlemen; but 
Mr. Stones was so loud, and Mr. Eee so nervous, that 
for some time she could make nothing of them. The 



174 CLARA MORISON. 

retired shopkeeper had a much more mtelligeiit coun- 
tenance than his gentlemanly partner, but there was 
an irresolute expression about his mouth ; and, possibl y 
from not being at ease in ladies* society, he seemed un- 
able to give an opinion about anything, except that 
sheep-fe,rming was a very poor trade indeed — a remark 
which he repeated several times with much emphasis. 

Mr. Ree was looking back with regret to his deserted 
coTmter, where money was to be made, and where, 
afber all, he was much more influential than he could 
be in the bush. He had a talent for buying and sell- 
ing j he imderstood the wants and tastes of the colonial 
population; and having always had the command of 
money, he was able to be fírst in the market, and to 
keep up his prices, and hold his own with £mmess and 
success. But out of his shop his resolution was gone; 
he read, but formed no fixed opinion on any subject; 
he was lukewarm in politics, and vague in his ideas of 
right and wrong. Without a single relation in the 
colony, and keeping up no correspondence with those 
whom he had leffc in the mother-country, his domestic 
affections had not been called out ; he had been accus- 
tomed to make no sacrifices for others, and was qmte 
ignorant of the minor morals of life. 

Clara might have brought any of the other gentle- 
men to her feet by going half-way to meet them; but 
with the retired shopkeeper she must have gone a good 
deal fiirther. There is nothing so dangerous to a bush- 
man as the idea that a girl prefers him to all the world 
besides ; and an unscrupulous coquette, by feigning a 
little love, can drag them in her fetters for years. But 
none of these gentlemen, or of the other casual visitors 
who looked in occasionally at the Bam, were men to cap- 
tivate Clara, even if her heart had been unoccupied. 
She began to think that, in general, poor clerks in 
Adelaide were a superior race to the independent gen- 
tlemen of the country ; but perhaps, if she had remem- 
bered Mrs. Handy's young gentlemen, she would have 
been more mercifúl in her comparison. However, she 



LIFE AT THE BAEN. 175 

offended none of Mrs. Beaufort*s friendB, and only in- 
dulged in her dissection of character in her letters to 
her cousins. Margaret wrote that her letters were 
common property, and that GHbert, in particular, was 
delighted with her lively descriptions and sharp ob- 
servations. 

Beginald oame to the Bam pretty frequently — ^gene- 
rally on a Sunday — and criticised Clara's sermon; 
always ending by saying that hearing it had done him 
good ; and maintaining a style of conversation which, 
without being gloomy, or dogmatic, or disputative, was 
still very well suited for Sunday. Clara felt that she 
could say what she liked to him ; and was so happy in 
his presence that she forgave herself for her wish to 
see him oftener and longer ; while every new interview 
convinced Reginald that CÍara was a very dangerous 
neighbour. But he felt improved by her society; he 
had been in danger of losing sight of his religious 
prinoiples and feelings, from utter want of any one to 
sympathize with his difíiculties and deal kindly with 
his doubts. Clara's mind was of much the same cast 
as his own, but more gentle and hopeful; and his hori- 
zon brightened as she looked upon it. She threw a 
cleamess and beauty over every subject which they 
discussed together; and the cold-mannered and re- 
served Charles Reginald thawed and grew gemal under 
her influence. 

But how lonely and dull did Taringa seem to him 
now ! how moodily he sat over the fire in the long 
winter evenings, trying to read, and longing for a lis- 
tener; raising his eyes now and then to look on blank 
walls, or to start at the sound of his own breath when 
he involuntarily sighed. The black pipe, formerly his 
only consolation, had been sacrificed to Julia's request ; 
and when month succeeded month, and he heard no- 
thing from her, he chafed at the bondage which pre- 
vented him from making a bold effort to secure happi- 
ness, and soliciting Clara to share all he had, includmg 
even his solitude. There was muoh for the master to 



176 CLABA MOEISON. 

do during this long, duU, wet winter; and when he 
retumed from his long joumeys, tired and drenched, 
&iicy would paint how bright his dwelling would look 
if CÍara stood on the threshold, and welcomed hiTn to 
their home. Her light step, her pleasant voice, would 
make all the house musical, without either piano or 
harp j the books woidd be more delightful if they could 
be r^MÍ together ; all things would work for good, if 
they could joumey hand-in-hand through time to 
eternity. 

But Sophie Wemer*s sad eyes haunted him; and 
not seldom made him wake with a wild start from 
such delicious day-dreams. And besides, Clara herself 
would despise him if he was so base as to forget a 
solemn engagement; and would think such love as he 
had to offer a very mockery. 




THE MASTEE^S RETURN. 177 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE MASTER'S RETURN. 

WHEN Dr. Bennet oame again to visit his patient, 
he found her considerably worse than before 
Clara went out; for never hearing from her husband 
was such a constant source of distress to her, that even 
Clara's care and gentleness could not counteract its bad 
effects. But Dr. Bennet chuckled over the choice of 
a companion that he had made, when he saw how 
useful and how dear she was to the invalid. 

* Now, Mrs. Beaufort/ said he, * you must believe in 
phrenology ; for I fixed upon Miss Morison solely on 
account of her head.' 

* I like her heart better than her head,' Mrs. Beaufort 
answered; * and that you could not see in a quarter of 
an hour !* 

* I could form a very good idea of her heart from 
the moral organs being so well developed. You had 
better get Miss Morison to sleep in the room with you, 
for it is cold for baby to be where there is no fire. And, 
Mrs. Beaufort, you must not worry yourself about the 
harrowing; for lam sure Miss Morison knows as much 
about it as you do, and can direct the men quite as 
well. And as to the house-keeping, I suppose Dorothy 
likes as little to be interfered with as ever ; but she 
ought to take her orders from Miss Morison ; for you 
must save your voice to speak to Mr. Beaufort when 
he retums. And, by-the-bye, I have heard that Mr. 
Beaufort had made up his mind to leave the diggings, 
for he hes never got any gold ; and if he has favour- 
able weather, he will be here in a few weeks. So you 
must try to get up your strength, and eat a little more 
than you have done. Baby gets on well, I see, and 
can give us a smile now, Don't you think I was right 
about having a cheerftd nurse V 

'You were very kind and thoughtful,' said Mrs, 

VOL. II. N 



178 CLAEA. MOEISON,. 

Beaufort; 'and Clara is a great oomfort to us alL 
Wliat do you think of lier putting in two panes of 
glass for us the other day Y 

' Clara is a good girý said Dr. Bennet^ giving her 
three hearty pats on the back, 'and must not let 
any of the young men about here take possession of 
her heart, and seduce her away from the Bam ; for 
you and baby would get on very ill without her. 
Besides, my dear/ said he, gravely, ' there is not a maxt 
within ten or a dozen miles with half as much brains 
as you, and it does not do for a dever woman to macry 
a fool, even if she govems him, which is the best arrange- 
ment.' 

* It is too much for a poor girl to do, to rule her 
house, and her husband as well,' Glara said ^ I intend 
to obey — ^that is to say, I will do anything in reason 
that my husband wishes.' 

^ But if he is a fool, and asks tmreasonable things, of 
coiu^e you will not ; nobody could expect it of you,' 
observed Dr. Bennet. 

* There is a pleasure in giving up one's own will to 
a husband,' said Mrs. Beaiifort. 'I am sure that if 
Mr. Beaufort were here, I could do anything in reason, 
or out of it, for his sake.' 

* The chief thing you have to do,' said the doctor, 
* is to take care of yoursellj my dear madam. Don't 
you feel this winter colder than the last, for it really 
is, youknowï' 

* I used to complain of the heat of this climate/ 
Mrs. Beaufort answered; 'but really, I cannot keep 
myself warm now. What must it be for the poor 
diggers at Mount Alexander and the Bendigo 1 My 
poor husband will have nothing but a tent to protect 
hinri jfrom the inclemency of the weather.' 

' My dear Mrs. Beaiifort,' said the doctor, ' I have 
often told you your husband's constitution is very 
hardy; and his temperament, which is bilious-san* 
guineous, is one which suffers very little from changes 
of weather, or of mode of life. When I say bilious, I 



THE MASTER^S RETUEN. 179 

use a wrong phrase ; but it is a vulgar error. I know 
you have been always afraid of his having jaundice, or 
some such iUness, from the time when I first mentioned 
what his temperament was; but the correct nomen- 
olature is fibrous, which expresses endurance.' 

Olara received her directions for the management of 
the patient in private. And the doctor shook his 
head when she asked what chance there was of Mrs. 
Beaufort's ultimate recovery. 

' I fear, Miss Morison/ said he, ^ she cannot possibly 
get over this ; the disease is maJdng yery much more 
progress than I expected. I must write to Beaufort 
again, telling him to retum immediately, if he wishes 
to see his wife alive; but I fear that even the sight of 
her husband will not lengthen her life many week& 
But, my good girl, be as careful and painstaking with 
her as if there were hope; and let her last days be as 
easy as you can make them.' 

* My greatest difficulty is with Dorothy,' Clara said. 
^ She places no confídence in me, and is alwa^rs talking 
against interlopers. I never could manage servants.' 

^ And Dorothy is a most impractioable specimen of 
her class/ said Dr. Bennet. ^ But you must make the 
best you can of her. I know that no salary can re- 
munerate you for your many toils and cares; but if 
you have a consciousness that you are doing your duty, 
that will be your reward. And do not leave Mrs. 
Beaufort while she lives. Promise me that,' said the 
doctor, eamestly. 

* I will not leave her,' Clara answered. 

* That is what I expected from you, my little pearl 
of a BÍck nurse,' said Dr. Bennet * And now tell me 
all about your cousins; for, of course, you hear from 
them ofben ; and where your cousin, Grace Elliot, has 
settled, and how the wedding went o£' 

* Grace is now Mrs, Henry Martin, and she lives at 
ihe Burra,' replied Clara; * and the wedding went off 
beautifully. The only things to disooncert the party 
were, that Mr. Bell, who was present, wore a remark- 

N 2 



180 CLABA MOEISON. 

ably ngly coat, and that my cousin Annie cried a 
great deaL' 

'Margaret is my favourite,' said the doctor. 'I 
ahould insist on coming to her wedding, whether in- 
vited or not. I hear áie is going to marry William 
Bell, and I dare say they will do very well, for he is 
an excellent young man. I attended his brother in 
his last iUness; and if you had seen how tendeorly 
William nursed him,.and how patient he "was with all 
his whims, you would have been surprised at such 
gentleness from such a plain, rough fellow. God orders 
everything for the best. It was a great blow to 
Wiliïam to lose his brother; and, for a while, he felt 
isolated and wretched; but still, it is better as it is; 
for his brother was a misanthropic and disappointed 
man, who required William to love him, but would 
not allow hím to like any one else. Now, he bids fiúr 
to gain a good wife, and to be taken into a kind feonily, 
and all his fine qualities will be brought out by 
sympathy. There are many things in life, my dear 
child, that at the time we would like to have altered ; 
but aflerwards, we see the good we get £rom them, 
and would no more have them changed or erased 
than we would disturb the plot of a well-constructed 
tale.' 

* There are some things in my life that I wish had 
never happened,' Clara said, sadly. 

' You wish it now, but ten years hence tell me if 
your opinion is the same,' said the doctor. ' Yes, it is a 
mingled tangled thread, but One higher than we holds 
it in his hands ; and if we submit at first, we may rejoioe 
afberwards. I am pleased to see how William Bell has 
brightened up by getting to know the Elliots; and 
that his life seems now to have a purpose. Mai^garet 
is a jewel worth winning too ; I remember the Adelaide 
folks' indignation at her refíising a fellow with such a 
little head; but that she could ever have married such 
a dolt, was absurd and impossible.' 

<So,' thought Olara, 'then perhaps, after all, Annie 



THE MASTEE^S EETURN. 181 

has really lost her suitor. No wonder that she writes 
so sadly — but Margaret's letters are by no means cheer- 
ful either — I wish I could get into town for a few 
days.' 

But Clara kept these thoughts to herself, and laughed 
aloud at Dr. Bennet's characteristic way of decrying 
Mr. Dent, and began to ask him questions with regard 
to phrenology. Dr. Bennet rode his hobby to his heart's 
content, and was charmed with his attentiye and in- 
telligent listener. 

* I tell you what it is,' said he, in conclusion ; ' I see 
you believe all you understand on the subject; but you 
must study the thing and make yourself master of it ; 
for with such observing fe^ulties as you have, (I have 
rarely seen such a fine development,) phrenology will be 
invaluable to you in the choice of your friends, and of 
your husband too, which is of more consequence than 
all. If Mrs. Beaufort had had your eyes, and my 
knowledge, she would never have given herself and her 
fortune to such a paltry scoundrel as Beaufort Take 
waming, my dear'chilZ' 

Mrs. Beaufort's man, after harrowing in the wheat, 
became restive under Dorothy's rigorously exercised 
authority, and intimated his desire for a change. 

* And indeed, ma'am,' said Dorothy, ' now that the 
wheat is put to rights, and there is plenty of water in 
the water-holes for the horses and cows, I don't see 
what earthly use we have for Thomas : and it would be 
a «Uef to 4 mind tohave no more' growling in the 
kitchen. I can't ask him to do the least thing, but he 
comes down on me with his impudence, or begins to 
sidk directly; but men are all alike. They are smooth 
and pleasant enough for a month or six weeks, and you 
think you are in paradise with them ; but they are all 
false and fickle. I wish Mr. Beaufort may ever find 
his way back to the Bam at all, for I am getting very 
doubtftil about it,' 

'I should like Thomas to stay, for we shall have 



18.^ CLABA MOSISOX. 

nobody to send to the post-office, and Dr. Beimet toU 
me I was sore to hear firom Mr. Beaufort soon.' 

* Of course Dr. Bennet pats the best fiu» on fte 
matter, and stands up for his sect,' said Dorothj. *I 
dare say Miss Morison could get Mr. I>igbj or Mr.Bee 
to go for her letters, and I don't see any uae in os 
keeping a man to go for letters to xis when there neni 
is ona What business have young women to get ktlen 
from their sweethearts eveiy week, when ns poor wira 
nev er get a line from our husbands 1 ' and I^orothj be^B 
to ciy piteously. 

^ Glara gets letters from her oousins» and often retd» 
part of them to me, so she does not deserve your in- 
sinuationj but tell Thomas I should like to q^eakwiA 
him ; I want to know why he wishes to leaTe the Bus.' 

* If he does not go, I must,' said Dorothj, who knew 
her power, 'for nothing can máke me submit to htt 
temper.' 

' Well, do as you like; bnt you know that you inll 
have more to do when he goes, for we cannot get anotíiflr 
man-servant,' observed Mrs. Beanfort. 

Dorothy joyfully acceded to this, and hastened to 
tell Thomas that her mistress saw how useless he waa^ 
and was very glad to get quit of him. For some days 
after his departure she enjoyed her triumph, and oon- 
gratulated herself on the quiet tidy kitchen she oonld 
keep now Thomas was not there. But she made a veiy 
wry &ce the next week, when the woman who lived at 
the ond of the large paddock, and who had taken in the 
family's washing, brought back the dothes as thej 
went; saying that her husband had retumed from the 
diggings with a himdred and fifty pounds ; and that he 
would nover let hor wash any more; and she was gomg 
to bo a lady for tho future; — ^utterly forgetting who 
had givon lior and hor children bread, when six months 
beforo tlmy hiul bcMm lofb with only a bag of flonr and 
two HliillingH and nixponco in the house. 

* Tbo nn>(rn.tnful IniHHy 1' said Dorothy to Clara; 'they 
would havo hmx all Htarvod if it had not been forMrB. 



THB.MASTER^S RETUEN. 183 

Beaufort and me— -the very gown on her baok was a 
present from the missis — and now that we are in such 
trouble, the missis ill, and the master away, and no 
man-servant about the plaoe, she comes here with her 
sauoe. She is just as bad as if she was a man ; but I 
told her a bit of my mind. A fine lady ahe will make, 
the slattemly creature, with her shoes down at the 
heels, and her hair flying about her face like a mop. I 
very near offered her an old cap to cover her head. I 
wish I had, for it would have made her pretty mad, 
I expect. But now, Miss Morison, I make free to tell 
you that though I will wash for my missis and her baby, 
I wont bargain to do your things, for it is more than I 
am able ; and all servants object to wash for govemesses 
and such lika' 

*I would pay you for it,* replied Clara; *but as you 
say you cannot do it for love, it is not likely you can 
do it for money.* 

^You are just right there, Miss Morison/ said 
Dorothy, grinning. 

' Then all I can do is to help you when baby sleeps 
in the day or at night. I cam wash ; — I have not been 
a year and a half in South Australia for nothing.' 

'That is speaking like a sensible woman,* said 
Dorothy, who was delighted to have brought Olara to 
know her level. 

Thus Clara's duties grew heavier every day; the 
baby slept less, and required more nursing and 
dandling; and Mrs. Beaufort, though she gave as little 
trouble as possible, now became so ill that she needed 
a great deal of attendance. The gentlemen who 
visited at the Bam perceived that the new inmate fell 
off sadly in her appearance, and Mr. Digby pretended 
to believe she had Mlen a victim to his &scinations ; 
but Beginald, who knew how Clara looked when she 
was over-worked, attributed her pale cheeks and 
weary eyes to their real cauae. Dr. Bennet had ad- 
vised Mrs. Beaufort to get more help, but the difliculty 
of finding any one who would submit implicitly to 



184 CLABA MOEISON. 

Dorothy, and the probable annoyance of continiial 
qnarrels, prevented Clara from pressing the matter. 
Certainly, nobody could be more gratefíil than Ma. 
Beaufort; but still Clara's post was a difficult and 
painful one. Her only comfort was in Beginald's oo- 
casional visits. She asked Hs advice, and took it; 
and availed herself of his offer to call at the postr-ojffice 
for her letters, being disinclined to ask such a favour 
from any of her nearer neighbours. 

* Mr. Ree knows a good deal,* said she one day to 
Keginald. ^ In talking with him the last time he was 
here, I found that he had a great deal of information, 
but it lies dormant in his mind, and produces no 
fruits.' 

* Could not you apply a torch, and kindle him to 
actionf asked Beginald. ' It is a pity that a mind 
like his should be of no use to the world.' 

* I do not think I could, for he does not see the 
worth of action,' answered Clara ; * he is contented to 
be nothing, and to do nothing, and I suppose considers 
his indifference philosophy. Margaret would get out 
of all patience with his indolence, while his nervousness 
in the presence of ladies would make her despise him ; 
for you know how brave she is herself, and how much 
courage she expects from your sex. She does not think 
that you have enough of courage ; but I think that you 
are improving, and will soon come up to her standard.' 

* The first remark you made to me which caught my 
attention as striking,* said Eeginald, with a half-sighy 
*was on the admiration with which women regard 
moral courage in men; and I shall not easily forget itu 
Do you remember what I said to you as weUf 

Clara commanded her countenance with an efforfc, 
and did not blusL 

* You know,' she replied, * that I have a very good 
memory, and forget nothing that I hear which is worth 
hearing ; I could repeat every conversation I have had 
with Margaret/ or Gilbert, or you, almost word for 
word. I like to remember anything delis^htfuL' > 



THE. MASTER^S EETUEN. 185 

* To me the pleasures of memory are far fix)m im- 
alloyed,' said Reginald. * How many things I would 
fain forget ! But what do you think of Mr. Stones, 
Miss Morisonl' 

* If he used less slang, he might be called witty ; but 
I do not see the point of the greater part of his jokes. 
My cousin George and Mr. Martin indulged sometimes 
in popular corruptions of the vemacular, but not dis- 
agreeably; but really Mr. Stones never speaks a 
sentence of English. Then he is always taking me up 
if I utter a Scotticism, and making his partner laugh 
at me in an uncomfortable, nervous way, — not 
heartily, but in a manner under protest; so I don't like 
him at all.' 

* I think you speak very well, Miss Morison,' said 
Eeginald. 'After hearing my Scotch family at 
Taringa talk, your dialect seems to me English unde- 
íiled. Beaufort is nearly as vulgar as Stones, and when 
they are together, I fancy their conversation would 
be quite incomprehensible to you. But I suppose there 
is little chance of your being so indulged, for Mr. 
Beaufort seems to be in no hurry to retum home.* 

* Dr. Bennet seems to expect him soon,* Clara said; 
* he has written to him so pressingly. But Dorothy 
assures me he will never come again, unless he wants 
money. She does not see that her mistress is in any 
danger, though Mrs. Beaufort seems to be getting 
gradually aware of it, and has not left preparation for 
etemity to her death-bed. Nobody could be in a 
more humble and pious frame of mind, and from all I 
can gather from what she relates of her past life, this 
piety has been habitual from childhood. You cannot 
thmk what a relief it is to me to know all this.' 

* You should try to get out of doors a little, Miss 
Morison,' Beginald said, * or you will lose your own 
health, and be unable to take care of Mrs. Beau- 
fort's.' 

* I really should be glad of some fresh air,' Clara 
answered, * but Dorothy leaves me no time.' 



186 CLABA MOBISON. 

' I will speak to her/ said Reginaldy ' and tdl lur 
how tmreasoiiable ^ 

' Don't, I beg of you, tmless it be to find &ii]tiriA 
mey and then perhaps she would indulge mey fram^ 
spirit of contradiction,' said Clara. 

A f ew days after this conversation, Clara saooeeded 
in getting an hour's respite in the afbemoony aoá 
walked out in the direction of Adelaide, r^oscís^ 
rather irrationally, in the idea that she was ^™íiniglnBg 
the distance between herself and her consinfl. AB 
seemed quiet along the road, so she sat down m i 
little grassy hillock, and took out Margaret and Annieffl 
last letters, and read them again. Margaret's ins 
filled with politics; she told Clara what Council Cfo^ 
to do during the session, but what they would not do, 
and gave her own ideas of what woxQd actaally be 
done j quoted some speeches in Parliament on oolonÍBl 
questions, and enlarged on the ignorance of the Britiflh 
public with regard to their dependencies; deprecated 
the policy of the Govemor of Van Dieman's Xiand in 
writing home for more convicts, and ho|)ed that the 
Home Govemment would not consent to snch a 
suicidal request. These topics so filled her letter, that 
she scarcely left herself room for *Yours in haste^ 
Margaret Elliot;' and as she was unladylike enou^ 
never to cross her letters, or to append a postscripty 
it seemed to Clara a very unsatisfactory epistle. Annie 
enlarged upon the high price of boots, described how 
she had made the new winter dress George had given 
to her, said that George was gettiog on very well in 
his business, and that he would soon be able to many, 
and was sure that Minnie would not refdse him, &>r 
she had confessed her partiality for him when they 
were in the country together last April; then she 
complained of a nervous headach, and closed her letter 
abmptly. 

Clara was wondering how matters really stood with 
"WiUiam Bell, when she heard the tramp of horses, and 
saw three gentlemen riding towards her quickly. One 



THE MASTEE^S EETUEN. 187 

-f ahe recognised as Mr. Beaufort, from his resemblance 
to the portrait at the Bam j another was certainly Mr. 

^1 Dalton, whom she had met at Mrs. Plummer's; and 

i the third gentleman was a stranger. 

' A young lady reading love-letters on the sly,' said 

I Beaufort to Dalton. * Would you like to hear any- 

, thing from the diggings, ma'am 1 I have just retumed, 
and have got lots of letters for different parties— -quite 
a small post-office, in point of &ucí, If you would tell 
me your name, I will see if I have anything for you.' 

*You are Mr. Beaufort, of the Barn,' answered 
Clara. ' You must not go home so abruptly, for the 
shock will be too much for Mrs. Beaufort. You will 
allow me to prepare her for seeing you.' 

* And who are you who know me so well,' asked Mr. 
Beaufort ; * and are so ready with your advice, though 
I never cast eyes on you before V 

'Myname is Morison; I have been staying with 
Mrs. Beaufort for some time,' was the answer. 

*Any relation of Morison's Pills, I wonder,' said 
the stranger, who was the Mr. Tumer of Beaufort's 
party at the diggings. 

* Mr. Dalton knows me, for I met him one evening 
at Mrs. Plummer's.' 

' B«ally I cannot say,' said Dalton; * but I will take 
your word for it, Mrs. Morison, and believe that I 
have met you.' 

' She does look like a grass widow, after all,' ob- 
sérved Beaufort to Tumer. * Your husband is at the 
diggings, I expect, Mrs. Morison?' 

*I am not married; Mr. Dalton is mistaken in sup- 
posing so. I am Miss Morison.' 

* Well, Miss Morison, make haste and tell my wife 
that I have got back safe and sound, and have brought 
out two friends with me to enliven the Bam, for you 
must have spent a very dull winter.' 

* Mrs. Beaufort has not left her bed for a week, and 
only wants quiet,' said Olara, with emphasis, indignant 
at two disagreeable strangers being brought upon them 



I8HÍ CLABA MORISON. 

thus, to double everybody's work, and to make Dorotíiy 
ten times crosser than ever. 

^ Her spirits will rise when she sees me, and ahe 
was always pleased to see my Mends; so^ make haste^ 
Miss Morison.' 

Clara lost no time in getting home, but was toi^ 
mented with doubts as to how the news could be broken 
to Mrs. Beaufort, and how these gentlemen could be 
made aware that their presence at the Bam would \» 
exceedingly inconvenient. 

Grently as she made the announcement, it was very 
sudden and surprising. 

^I must get up, Clara,' Mrs. Beaufort exclaimed; 
^ help me to dress, and I will get across the hall into 
the parlour. I have been saving up my strength all 
this week, just as if I knew he was coming. And put 
a prettier cap on Lucy. How pleased papa will be 
to see his little beauty ! Oh, Clara, this J07 will either 
kill or cure me ! I cannot help thinking that, now I 
have 80 much to live for, strength will be given me to 
live. But poor Beaufort is tired, and I am so crael as 
to keep him within half a mile of his own house ; run 
out and tell him to come — I can dress myself No, I 
see I cannot ; so send Dorothy, and stay you here to 
help me. It was kind in him to bring out visitors, 
for of course he does not know how ill and lazy I have 
grown.' 

Clara would have advised Mrs. Beaufort to remain 
in bed, but she could not prevail over her anxiety to 
meet her husband. 

Mr. Beaufort certainly was shocked to see how 
changed his wife looked from what she was when he 
started for the diggings; and his two companions 
deemed themselves badly treated in being ensnared to 
such a miserable place as the Bam. Little Lucy was 
much admired by her father, partly because he thought 
her very like himself ; and Mrs. Beaufort felt so happy, 
that she forgot how long and how much she had suf- 
fered. 



THE MASTBE^S EBTURN. 189 

'I never have received a single letter from you, 
Beaufort/ she said, *all the time you have been 
away.' 

* It is such an abominable post-office/ he answered. 
' I WTote to you four times, and it is really shameful 
that none of the letters reached you.' 

Dorothy, who was setting down the tea-things at 
the time, gave an ahnost imperceptible but very unbe- 
lieving shake of the head, and went out of the room to 
shake it to her own satis&ction. 

* Did you reoeive mine, dear ? I wrote eight, but 
the last you could not possibly have had.* 

' I had one, in which you said you were complaining 
a little, but that baby was very well. I did not ex- 
pect to find you so ill.' 

'Did you receive any letters from Dr. Bennetf 
Clara asked. 

<Well, I think I did,' replied Beaufort, slightly 
colouring; 'but he is such a croaker that I did not 
believe him. I see our Dorothy is as cantankerous 
as ever ; she began to scold me before she came 
within hearing, and all the way along she has been 
laying the blame of the man going away, and the 
horses breaking the fences and destroying the gar- 
den, and old Mother Dawson giving up washing 
for the Bam, and Miss Morison's high airs, and 
God knows what beside, upon my shoulders. I 
expect I have faults enough of my own to answer for, 
without being burdened with those of the whole 
neighbourhood.' 

'Poor DorothyT said Mrs. Beaufort; 'she certainly 
is cross ; but don't be very angry with her, for if she 
leaves us we shall never get another. And tell me, 
Beaufort, how did you succeed at the diggings )' 

^ I just made nothing, and have had work enough to 
get home. We consumed everything we took away 
with us. All we dug would not cover my expensesi 
and I expect I am iiSy pounds out of pocket by the 
trip; but Tumer is more savingly inclined, and has 



190 CLAKA MOBISOX. 

positively got an ounce and a balf of gold in a iMg íi 
his pocket.' 

' I have never seen any Australian gold,* renuiáBd 
Mrs. Beaufort * Would you let me look at jaan, Vr. 
Tumerï' 

Mr. Tumer took out his bag^ displayed bis goldy and 
put it up again very carefally. 

* You had better have stayed at the Bam, Beaufim^ 
than have lefb home so long, for less than notfaÍD^ 
And you look thin, too/ said Mrs. Beaufort. 

' I have had a hard life of it^ and somehow I dimt 
Buit with so much discomfort. We spent fíve nuaeraUb 
days in Melboume, on our way home, when the town 
was crowded more than it had ever been before. TIib 
balkoom of our hotel was tumed into a bedroom, and 
twenty-one stretchers put in it; and there Tumer and 
I were fixed with nineteen others.' 

* And the only way to know our own beds,' added 
Mr. Tumer, 'was by counting from the door tothe 
chimney. I had the sixteenth stretcher, and Beaufart 
the seventeenth. And at dinner time, it was only the 
flrst comers that could get a seat at the table; those 
who were late had to stand round it like beggars or 
waiters.' 

' How miserable it must have been for youy Beau- 
fort !' said his wife. 

' Well, I think the voyage home was more miserable 
still/ he answered. 'We took cabin passages, and 
thought we had a respectable captain; but such a set 
of feUows we got amongst ! Six hundred dozen of ale 
and porter were sold during the voyage, at half-€i- 
crown the bottle, and four hundred dozen of bad 
sherry, at six sliillings, besides brandy and gin. 
But you are tired now, Mary, and I £uicy you would 
like to go to bed. Miss Morison will go on making 
tea, for I am inclined to make a comfortable meal for 
once.' 

When Mrs. Beaufort had retired, her husband for- 
got how ill she was. Pleased to be in a house where 



THE MASTES'S KETUEN. 191 

he was lord and master, and comfortable in the thought 
that an upper servant like Clara would not dare to re* 
sent anjrthing he said, he began to talk to her with im- 
pertinent {amiliarity. Tnmer was rude, and Dalton 
supercilious ; and Clara*s cheeks bumed, but she could 
not trust herself to speak. When Dorothy removed 
the tea equipage, Clara saw her looking inquisitiyely 
and maliciously both at herself and at Beaidbrt, who 
was sitting close beside her, and asking her indifferent 
questions in a manner quite the reverse. 

* Did our neighbours ever come to see you when I 
was absent )* he inquired. ' I should think that you 
would prove an attraction to the Bam.' 

* Yes,* answered Clara. 

^ Miss Morison says she was an attraction/ interposed 
Mr. Tumer, with a loud laugh ; ' that is candid, at 
least.' 

' I mean that visitors did come to see us sometimes, 
said Clara, quietly. 

* Who came V asked Beaufort * Not Henryson, foi 
I quarrelled with him about the run ; nor Koberts, foi 
ever since he jockeyed me with a worthless mare, he 
has never shown &u3e ; nor Escott, for he has had a bad 
bargain with my sheep — ^they are not sound, and I ex- 
pect they will have infected his own, in spite of all 
Humberstone^s care. Has Escott been here, Miss 
Morison V 

' He called once in passing, and appeared very much 
dissatisfíed ; but when I told him Mrs. Beaufort was 
so ill, he did not annoy her, and only complained to me, 
which was a great comfort' 

* I admire the cool way in which you take the mat- 
ter, Clara, (it is a pretty name, and I like it better than 
Miss Morison.) But did no one else come here either 
to grumble at or flatter you V 

< Mr. Eee and Mr. Stones, Mr. Chaloner and Mr. 
Digby did neither the one nor the other ; nor did Mr. 
Beginald. They called to see Mrs. Beaufort, and to 
inquire after her healtL' 



192 CLílRá MO&ISON. 

Clara here saw tliat Mr. Beaufort was bringing 
out wine and spirits, and felt imeasy at what nught 
ensue. 

* I must go to see how Mrs. Beaufort is now,' she 
said. * I have been in the habit of sitting with her 
constantly, and I know she cannot do without me.' 

* Neither can I,* answered Beaufort ; * you must sit 
with us, and drink to my safe retum. We saw very 
few ladies at the diggings, and are glad of such society 
now. I have brought out a lot of new ' Punches' 
you shall look at — get them out of my portmanteau, 
Tumer ; we must not let Clara slip away.' 

But Clara would not be detained, and went to her 
patient She found Mrs. Beaufort too much excitedto 
tliink of sleeping, but so happy in her husband's retum, 
that she needed no company. 

* Really, Clara,' said she, * I think I am quite well 
now, but not strong, you know ; go back and entertain 
Beaufort and his friends ; since I cannot do it mysel^ 
I must provide a substitute. And, by and by, tell 
him I should like him to come here and chat half an 
hour with me, that I may be sure I have not merely 
been dreaming that he has come home ; and ask Doro- 
thy to make my gmel to-night ; it is too much for you 
to have to do it always.' 

Clara did as she was desired, but Dorothy grumbled 
at everything, and felt quite injured by her mistress's 
request. 

*I knew how it would be,' muttered she; 'Miss 
Morison will be having it all her own way now Mr. 
Beaufort has come home. Faithless wretches all men 
are, and A^ is as bad as him.* 

Clara did not hear these words, as she moved reluc- 
tantly to retum to the parlour. She sat down and 
endeavoured to get absorbed in the 'Punches.' The 
gentlemen had just looked at the wood-cuts, and 
&jicied they had seen all that waa worth seeing ; and 
they wondered at Clara's slow jprogress, the letter-press 
being to her the most attractive part. She was read- 



M. THE MASTER's RETURN. 198 

gfi mg one of those serious articles which axe sometimes to 
yi be found in the witty periodical, and had almost for- 
gotten her company, when Beaufort snatched the paper 
^. £rom her, and said it was treating him very cavaUerly, 
^ to neglect answering his last question. 
^ 'What waa itf said Clara, wonderingly. *I beg 

., pardon, sir, but I did not hear.' 

^ / Sold r exclaimed Mr. TJumer. * Mr. Beaufort did 
r>| not ask anything ; but you looked so taken up with 
j what you were reading, that he ventured to say so, and 
g you were caught.* 

* I ask you a question now. WiU you sing us a song?* 
Beaufort said. 

* I cannot sing, and if I could, I would not, when 
^ Mrs. Beaufort is so ill. The noise would certainly make 

her worse,' ^Clara answered, wishing to put a veto on 
singing by any of the party. 

* She could not hear through two deal doors and a 
large hall, unless her ears are double million magnifíers, 
like Sam Weller*s eyes,* cried Beaufort. 

* I beg of you,' said Clara, eamestly, * not to think of 
such a thing. Mrs. Beaufort has been very much ex- 
cited by seeing you again ; she asked me if she had not 
dreamed it all ; and she would like to talk with you for 
half an hour when you are a little rested afber your 
joumey.* 

* Then I will go now; pass the bottle, you two^ while 
I am away, and keep Clara in order ; I see well enough 
she wants to rule the roast.* 

Clara, however, managed to keep the gentlemen in 
better order than before. A yoimg lady, if she chooses, 
can generally silence impertinence, unless, indeed, her 
situation be as peculiar as Clara*s was at Mrs. Handy's. 
She gave Messrs. Tumer and Dalton to understand 
that they ought not to make a long stay at the Bam, 
and they quite agreed with her. 

* I shall go and see Chaloner to-morrow,* said Dalton ; 
' he will be very glad to hear the news of Adelaide ; 
and I shall spend my fortnight's le9.ve of absence with 

VOL. n. o 



194 CLABA MORISON. 

him and Bigby, for I have no notion of staying wto 
I am unwelcome.' 

' How is Mr. Plummer r aaked Clara. ' You aw m 
the same department of the public service as he ifl, Mr. 
Dalton; are you notí* 

* He was very well when I left him, but I 8^^«* 
he will look differently before I retum, for notliing 
can go on rightly in my absence ; and the young feflov 
under me has his heart in the highlands, or at the 
diggings, for he is never there when he is wanted. I 
remember you now, Miss Morison ; you are a cotbbh 
of Margaret Elliot's. I suppose you have heard tiiat 
Annie has lost both of her admirers; Harris h« 
settled in Melboume, and is very sweet upon a yoTing 
lady there ; and Wilíiam Bell ha!s shifted his quarten, 
and pays all his clumsy attentions to Margaret. After 
refusing Dent and Somerset, I isuppose the blue- 
stocking will accept Bell as a pis-cdler, I say, Tumer, 
I should Hke to see you and Margaret Elliot together; 
she is such a Tartar. She always pounces upon me- 
fiercely whenever she sees me; — ^not that I care; itis 
very good fun. But I fe,ncy Bell will get very littiie 
of his own way, or any peace in his own house, if he 
marries her. Ánd she is neither pretty, nor rich, nor 
yoxmg.' 

*She is all those things to me,' said Clara; 'and 
whomsoever she marries, she will do her duty by.' 

Beaufort returned, and the evening slowly wore 
away. Clara escaped before the gentlemen were in- 
clined to leave their wine, and gladly sought her bed 
to obtain rest of body, though not peace of mind. 
Weory of the perplexiag thoughts that haunted her, 
she rose in the night, and wrote to Marearet for 
advice; and then, somewhat relieved, dropped to sleeo 
for an hour or two. ^ 

* Dorothy,' said Mr. Beaufort the foUowinc dav at 
dinner-tmxe,^ what do you mean by giving us no tea 
at dmner, when you know I cannot do without it? 



THE mastee's return. 195 

Mr. Tumer is accustomed to it too ; and Miss Morisou 
looks as if she would be the better for it.' 

^ It is a deal of trouble, sir, on a washing-day,' 
answered Dorothy, tartly; *and Mrs. Beaufort and 
Miss Morison never asked for it all the time you were 
away. They contented themselves with a glass of 
feir water ; — and it*s quite good enough for any one of 
you,' she added, within her teeth. 

* I insist on it,' said Beaufort. * Did you ever hear 
of a house in the country, where the teapot was not 
brought in regularly with dinnerí You have been 
very badly treated, Miss Morison, if Dorothy*s laziness 
has prevented you from seeing what bush-life really is.' 

Dorothy brought in tea most reluctantly, and when 
Clara began to make it, thought it was all her fault, 
and hated her accordingly. Patience and good humour 
were quite thrown away upon Dorothy. When Clara 
left her dinner almost untasted, to take up the little 
Lucy, who was crying to be nursed, and sat with the 
babe upon her lap, while every one else was being 
attended to, Dorothy could only see an artful creature 
endeavouring to attract attention by pretended fond- 
ness for Mr. Beaufort's child, and complaisance to his 
guests. She had not much esprit de corpa; she hated 
all men, but she liked few women; her sympathies 
were confined to wives afflicted with brutal or fiáithless 
husbands ; and all young women and widows she looked 
upon witíi suspicion, as mere traps to lead astray. 
There was something in the tum of Clara's head which 
reminded her of the girl to whose arts her own happi- 
ness had been sacnficed, and she had always re- 
solved to watch her narrowly whenever Mr. Beaufort 
should return. 

She was glad when the strangers departed, and there 
was no object to divert Mr. Beaufort*s attention. Her 
eyes foUowed Clara's movements with an unkindly and 
uncomfortable gleam in them, which cost Clara many 
tears when she could shed them unseen. But Mrs. 
Beaufort always insisted on her sitting with her hus- 

o2 



> 



196 CLABA MO&ISON. 

band as mucli as possible, for, poor man ! it was such 
a dull thing for hiin to be left in tbat solitary parlour 
without a soul to speak to. Beaufort himself could not 
object to the arrangement ; pale and reserved as Clara 
was, he thought her both pretty and clever ; and it was 
worth his while to make her agreeable, particularly as 
for several days heavy rain prevented him from getting 
out of doors. He found that Clara liked him best 
when he talked about his wife and child, and that he 
could not make himself more agreeable than by 
nursing and taking notice of little Lucy. He promised 
tíiat a nursemaid should be procured for her; for, said 
he, it was reaJly too much for Clara to have the charge of 
an invalid and a young baby, and when the weather 
cleared, he would go to the nearest German village, 
and obtain one. But Clara would have hoped more 
from the proposal, if Dorothy's ominous brows had not 
distinctly pronounced her disapprobation. 



♦ 



COUNSEL WITH FBXENDS. 197 



CHAPTER XYII. 

CLARA TAKES COUNSEL WITH HEB FBIENDS^ ' 

/^WING to the badness of the weather, some time 
^ elapsed before ïteginald heard of Beaufort- s retum. 
He learnt it from Dalton and Chaloner, who rode up 
to Taringa on the fírst fine day, being somewhat at a 
loss what to do with themselves. Mr. Dalton hinted 
that Beaufort finding his wife so ill, thought her comr 
panion infínitely more agreeable. 

* Yes,' added Mr. Chaloner, * Beaufort wiU monopo- 
lize the only girl in the neighbourhood, and marry her 
too, before the year's mouming is out. I just give him 
six months to have it all over.' 

' It is a shame in you, Chaloner,' said Iteginald, * to 
telk of Beaufort, heartlesa bs he is, manying again in 
six months, — and his poor wife alive when you say it, — 
or that Miss Morison would take Beaufort, even if he 
were free to ask her.' 

* She wont be able to help herself if she stops there 
long,' replied Dalton; * with Beaufort so attentive, and 
that horror of a servant watching her like a wild cat. 
Besides, Beaufort is young, handsome, and has a good 
deal of property through his wife, if not of his own ; 
and I think that Miss Clara Morison will snap at such 
an offer, and, indeed, do her utmost to bring it on.' 

* I believe you are very much mistaken,' Beginald 
said ; * Miss Morison has a happy home in Adelaide, 
and need not stay, except from her attachment to Mrs. 
Beaufort' 

Eeginald determined to go to the Barn on the next 
day, which was Sunday; and when his visitors leffc 
him, to make a run across to the Burra, pretty early 
in the moming, he mounted his horse, and rode as fast 
as he could. Within half a mile of the Bam he met 
Clara^ walking as if to meet him, lookixi% «ft ^síA^'íík^ 



198 CLABA MORISON. 

wan, and so hopeless, tliat he started at her appear- 
ance. 

* I wished to speak to you by yourself,' said she ; 
* and as I had a presentiment that you wonld be here 
to-day, I begged Mrs. Beaufort to take care of Lucy, 
while I had a walk.' 

For once, Clara felt thankfiil that Keginald was 
engaged ; for she could never have brought herself to 
telL him how miserable she really felt, or to ask hím 
what he thought would be her wisest policy, if she had 
not known that his &ith was pledged to another. 
Keginald dismounted, threw his bridle over a post, 
and sitting down beside Clara on a fallen tree, gave his 
earnest attention to what she had to say. 

* You are the only friend here to whom I can speak; 
for, of course, I cannot complain to Mrs. Beaufort/ she 
began. * Dorothy went away yesterday, after áaaailing 
me with every sort of insinuation and calumny. She 
said that no girl who was worth anything at all, would 
submit to such language as Mr. Beaufort used to me; 
declared she would tell Mrs. Beaufort how basely her 
husband and pretended friend betrayed her, and 
threatened to publish my conduct all over the colony. 
Now judge for me, Mr. Reginald, if I can quarrel with 
Mr. Beaufort, or say one word to his wife, when I 
know well that she cannot live more than a few weeks 
at most. But Dorothy said that her mistress was not 
dying, as we pretended; and that she would live to 
find out how deceitfiil I was; and she was just rushing 
into Mrs. Beaufort's room to tell her all, when I inter- 
cepted her, and entreated her to spare her mistress's 
feelings, however much she might choose to wound my 
own. So she went off directly to Mrs. Dawson's, to 
go with her husband to town ; and has leffc me alone 
with her master and mistresa I cannot make a satis- 
feíïtory excuse for her to Mrs. Beaufort ; and she keeps 
repeating that it is cruel, cruel, in Dorothy to leave 
when she is so ill. Mr. Beaufort has engaged a Ger- 
man and his wife and daughter, and they are coming 



COUNSEL WITH FEIENDS. 199 

home to the Bam to-morrow. But in the meantime 
my position is worse than ever. I cannot tell what to 
do or think. I have written to Margaret for advice, 
and asked Mr. Beanfort to post my letter, but he forgot 
it, and has it in his pocket now. So I have come to 
you as an old Mend, and one on whose judgment I 
can rely, to ask you if you think I should leave the 
Bam, or remain.' 

Never had E/Cginald felt his real interest in Clara 
so strongly as now, when, with her pale cheeks and 
tearful eyes, she looked up to him as her only firiend 
and adviser. Never had he felt so powerful an inclina- 
tion to shake off his bondage, and ask her hand; for 
if, as his affianced bride, he approved of her remaining 
at the Bam, and told Beaufort of his intentions with 
regard to her, nobody could say anything against her; 
and even Dorothy's slanders would fell harmless to the 
ground And Clara, he thought, would not refiise 
him: she could not; for her friendship was of such a 
nature, that a word from him might change it into 
love. And she was so wretched now, that the acknow- 
ledgment of his feelings might be to her as light out 
of darkness j but then what would she not suffer when 
she discovered that he had no right to ask her, and 
no right to love herl — ^he could never keep the secret 
from her, for she was so tme herself that it would be 
impossible to have any concealment from her when 
they were married. And to give up all this for Julia, 
who cared so little for him ! 

But he conmianded himself sufficiently to say, with 
tolerable calmness, * You have taken coomsel from One 
wiser than me, Miss Morison ; and after such coimsel, 
what do your own instincts say on this matterf 

* They tell me to remain,' Clara answered ; ' I feel that 
it would be base and ungenerous to leave so helpless 
a sufferer without a friend beside her ; but I am fuUy 
aware of the extent of the sacrifíce I make, and it 
ovei-powers me. Do not think me a coward, Mr. 
Keginald.' 



200 CLABA HOAISOK. 

' I do not/ said he ; ' but are you sure that you can 
go through with what you have undertaken 1 I think 
you are right in your views of your duty, as you always 
are ; and surely no one can blame you for remaíning 
with your fíiend as long as you are of service to her.' 

* And I promised the docior that I would not leaye 
her,' said Clara. 

* Beaufort is a scoundrel, but he is not a viUain,' 
observed Reginald. * He has neither talent nor bold- 
ness enough to be dangerous.' 

'I can keep him at a greater distance now that 
Dorothy has gone, than I could before ; but I certainly 
dislike and despise him very much. He has such a 
mean soul, and is so thoroughly selfish 1 — but I believe 
he is a little a&aid of me. StiU I should like much to 
know what Margaret would advise me to do ; will you 
post a letter for me V 

* I can do better,' was the answer; * I will ride into 
Adelaide myself with your letter, and explain how 
matters stand at the Bam; and if your cousins think 
you must stay here no longer, I will take you back 
with all possible expedition.' 

'Thank you — ^thank you a thousand timesl' said 
Clara; * but is it not very inconvenient for you to go 
just now into Adelaide V 

Reginald looked reproachftdly into her eyes, and she 
felt that she should have said nothing about the incon- 
venience. The blood rushed to her finger tips, as a 
strange and sudden surmise crossed her mind, that he 
was not absolutely indifferent to her, in spite of his 
engagement to Miss Marston. 

* I must retiuTi home now,' she continued, aftror a 
pause. * My mind is greatly relieved by your kind- 
ness — I asked for advice, and you have given me assist- 
ance, which I needed stiil more.' 

Reginald felt greatly inclined to start for Adelaide 
there and then ; but Clara interposed — 

* You must not go without your instructions. I 
have to get my letter from Mr. Beaufort, and to add a 



C0UN8EL WITH FSIENDS. 201 

postscript to it; and I rather think that you will have 
to call at the doctor*s for some medicine; and very 
likely Mr. Beanfort will have other commissions for 
you. You are so willing to take trouble for your 
íriends, that we have no mercy upon you. I am very 
doubtful as to your chance of getting any dinner here, 
for Mr. Beaufort is cook, and his success hitherto has 
been sadly disproportionate to his exertions. Only 
think of his milking the cow this moniing 1 I said 
plainly that I could not do it^ and that^ besides, I 
could not leave Mrs. Beaufort so long ; so he set out 
heroically with the pail, and contrived to fill it toler- 
ably well.' 

Beaufort was not particularly partial to Keginald, 
whom he considered unsocial and priggish; but when 
he heard that he was going into town, he remembered 
twenty things that he should like him to do for him 
there. 

' I wish I could get my trap mended and fresh 
stuffed/ said he ; ' but I suppose you could not take it 
into town through such roaids. The weather will soon 
be fíne, and I should like to drive Mrs. Beaufort and 
Clara out to see a bit of the country. You wont forget 
to call at the saddler's, and ask if he has fínished the 
saddle I ordered the other day. And just get me a 
good case of cigars — ^you are a judge ; and bid my wine- 
merchant send me out something better than the last. 
And you can look in at any sale of horses that may be 
going on, and ask what I could get for ' Friam ;' and 
you may bid for a half-broke thing for me — one that 
would suit a lady; for Clara, poor thing, cannot get 
out at all ; and I could soon make it fit for her riding. 
And then get me some powder and shot, like a good 
fellow as you are. You must tell KegLnald what is to 
be said to the doctor yourself, Clara ; for I do not un- 
derstand symptoms; but I think Mary*s cough is not 
so bad as it was — is it, Clara V 

* No, it is not qmte so bad,' said she ; * but Mr. Regi- 
nald has undertaken to deliver my letter, and I will 



20£ CLABA XOSISOK. 

tliank yon for it, as I bave a postBcript to add. Asd 
in the meanwhile you may get on with jour oooldiig.' 

* Oh yes ! Regbiald, fay the bye^ yoa muBt fltay £d- 
ner, and see if diggings ezperíence lias not made net 
first-chop cook. I have soup^ a jomt^ and a pnddin^ 
in a state of progress jnst now, aníl flatter mysdf iii^ 
they will all be famous.' 

Clara did not take long to finish wliat writmg die 
had to do, and was glad to retum to Mrs. Beaofixi, wiúi 
a mind comparatively easy. She tried to dÍYert Mi& 
Beaufort's thoughts firom Dorotihy's desertian, nsb^ t 
little excosable dissimnlation in snpposingtliatpeilnpfi 
the old dame had heard something of ber hnsband. 

'I never thonght of that, Clara^' said Mrs. Beaoftft; 
' and of course if she had good news she would be y&j 
omwilling to tell it, for she dealt chiefly in the ^íoomj. 
Perhaps Mr. Keginald may see or hear something of 
her in town. I have such an absurd question to ask 
you, Clara, I hope you wont laugh at me. Don^t yoa 
think baby is beginning to feel her teeth f 

* Yes, I think she is/ Clara answered ; * but there is 
nothing absurd in that question.' 

* No, but that is not it. I am naturally very anxioiis 
about Lucy, and of course would like her to get her 
teeth easily.' 

* You wish Mr. Keginald to ask Dr. Bennet abont 
it,' Clara suggested. 

* But that is not it either,' said Mrs. Beaufort * Do 
you think Mr. Beginald could be trusted to buy a ooral 
for Lucy ? There — the murder is out at last' 

' I think he might,' replied Clara, laughíng. * Will 
you ask him yourself to bring it out V 

* I feel half ashamed to trouble him about sach a 
thing ; but you can ask for me ; he likes to do anything 
for you.' 

' He likes to do any good he can,' Clara said ; ' and 
I am siu*e, my dear Mra. Beaufort, he will attend to 
your slightest wish.' 

< Yes, I am very grateful to him. But still, Clara» 



C0UN8EL WITH PRIEND8. Si03 

I think he likes you, and a good husband he will make, 
I am sure. At first, I thought I should like to see you 
settled nearer to the Bam ; but it is plain none of the 
gentlemen about here will suit you. And if you are 
at Tannga^ the distance is not so very great but that 
you could come to see poor Lucy now and then. If I 
am taken away from her, who will love her as you do? — 
and we are having strangers among us now. Dorothy 
was ofben cross and imreasonable, but still she loved 
both me and Lucy, and what can I ask for moref 

' Ferhaps she may come back again/ Clara suggested. 

'Pray Qod she may, for my poor child*s sake. I 
must trust Lucy to God. Don't tell Beaufort how 
doubtful I feel now about my recovery, for it would 
only grieve him.' 

Beginald chafed at the familiar manner in which 
Beaufort spoke to Clara ; his eyes flashed, his colour 
rose, and his voice trembled. Clara felt that this arose 
from his generous nature, and thanked him in her heart 
for his interest in her comfort and happiness. Beaufort 
thought that if Eeginald admired Miss Morison, he 
would surely speak out ; and as he did not, he felt quite 
at ease with regard to his intentions. 

Clara pined sadly for Beginald's retum, and felt quite 
angry within herself at the absurd and troublesome 
commissions Beaufort had given him to execute. The 
German people, who came when they were expected 
(for a wonder), were very stupid-looking, and neither 
spoke nor understood English. Their master knew a 
smattering of German, and was skilful in gestures of 
command, so that he managed to explain his wants ; 
but Clara could not make herself understood ; and little 
Lucy would not look at the new nurse, whose queer, 
quaint dress, round íace, and elaborately braided and 
plaited hair, were strange to her ; and whose foreign 
accents frightened her out of her usual good be- 
haviour. 

At last, late one evening, Beginald retumed, and 



204 CLABA HOSISON. 

while Beanfort eagerly inquired conceming his Yarions 
commissions, Clara was devouring her letters from 
Margaret and Annie ; there was another, too, from her 
uncle, but it was not the first read. 

Margaret could not think of such a thing as Clara's 
leaYÍng Mrs. Beaufort in her last iUness, merely from 
a fear of what the world would say ; advised her to rely 
on Mr. Keginald's promise to bring her back to Ade- 
laide wheneyer prudence might require ; and assured 
her she would always be welcome to their house and 
their hearts, whatever Dorothy might say or Beaufort 
either. Then Margaret praised Charles Beginald for 
his kindness and his good sense, and confessed that he 
had no lack of courage or decision, in spite of his un- 
derstanding Grerman and admiring Carlyle ; after which 
she branched off into an account of a discussion she had 
had with a Melboume gentleman on the subject of the 
colonial currency, which he considered to be in an un- 
soimd state, because Adelaide notes were at a discount 
in the other colony. 

* I am doubtful,' she wrote, * whether it will do us 
any good to have a local coinage at all, but I am sure 
that it will not suit the wants of the colony if the coins 
are made over-weight. You know that the CaliforDÍan 
gold coins are eagerly bought up by speculators for a 
profitable investment, and ií' the currency is not to cir- 
culate through the country in which it is coined, but 
to be sent out of it in order to be re-coined, it is a'com- 
plete waste of time and labour to pass it through the 
Mint at all. 

*To the best of my recoUection, these were my 
principal arguments ; but, as usual, my opponent was 
not convinced. I ran over the heads of our discussion 
to Charles E^ginald last night, and he agreed with me 
on every point. It has quite raised him in my opinion, 
to see what a sensible view he takes of this matter. 
He said what I thought very tme, that it would be 
well for the colony if all other things were in as sound 
a state as the currency. 



t' 



E 



í 



COUNSEL WITH FEIENDS. 205 

' GHbert stm proposes to go to the diggings again 
next month. He is working very hard with Mr. 
Hastings; but he has no inclination to study. Mr. 
Plununer reminded me, last Tuesday, that he had dis- 
approved of his going at all, but that I advised it. * I 
felt it keenly; but I do not think Mr. Plummer ob- 

' served it. 

^ ' Thank God, Greorge has no thought of going again. 
He Í8 getting on reiy weU in his business; and it 
appears that he could not havé started at a better time ; 
for whatever sort of goods you may have on hand are 
sure to sell in the present scarcity. George is protected 
from becoming too absorbed in money-getting, by his 
attachment to Minnie, who cares very little whether 
he has two himdred a-year or two thousand. I expect 
him to settle down soon ; and Annie can live with him 
and his wife, and will be perfectly happy when she sees 
George happy. At least, I hope so. She is in a fídget 
now to get the declaration and acceptance over; and 
seems to be more nervous than the occasion demands; 
but you know she was always an excitable little thing. 
* I think of shifting for myself, now that Gilbert has 
made up his mind to give up law, and that I can be 
of no use whatever to George. I have a project in my 
head with which I will not trouble you now, but upon 
which you will perhaps advise me when you come to 
town. Till then, I remain, 

* Yours feithfully, 

* M. Elliot.' 

Annie's was a sadder letter. It was full of pity for 
Clara, of anger at Beaufort and Dorothy, and of hopes 
that Clara would not kill herself outright. And it 
gave a long extract from Grace's last letter, in which 
Clara was very kindly mentioned ; but there was very 
little of Annie Elliot in it. 

Her uncle's letter was kinder than she expected. 
He had, at length, found an opening for her in Scot- 
land; in fact, he had become acquainted with a &mily 



206 CLABA HOBISON. 

who wanted a goyemess like Olara^ and who were in 
no hurry. The children were young ; and it was not 
till next year, when they would leave Edinburgh for 
the Higlúands, that they required a govemess at alL 
Mr. Morison described the lady as a most superior and 
sensible woman, who never said anything that was not 
worth remembering; and who had taken a great &ncy 
to Mrs. Morison and her eldest daughter at first sight 
Clara would receive a moderate salary, and would be 
able to see her sister once a-year. Her uncle then 
empowered her to draw upon him for her passage 
money, in a style of such grandiloquent generosity, 
that Clara felt great repugnance to do so. She sat 
with the three letters in her hand, wondering why it 
was she felt so little desire to retum to Sootland. 

Charles Keginald was sitting opposite to her; and 
when she looked up and met his eyes, her heart de- 
tected the cause of her irresolution at once ; she could 
not bear to leave the country which was his home. It. 
was not without a certain scom that she acknowledged 
it to herself ; but she felt that it was tme. 

* Did you see Mr. Bell when you were in town V she 
asked, to escape from her thoughts. 

* Yes ; I met him one evening at the Elliots', and 
next day on the Exchange. He is getting into busi- 
ness slowly, but, Miss ElUot says, surely.' 

*How are my cousins lookingf Clara inquired 
again. 

' George looks very well indeed. Gilbert seems dis- 
satisfied with something or other; but appears in good 
health.' 

' And Margaret and Annie V said Clara. * You do 
not fency it is only the young men I am interested 
in.' 

'Depend upon it,' said Beaufort, *you have gone 
the right way with your answer, in spite of what she 
says.' 

* Well, Miss Morison, I do not think either of the 
yoimg ladies looks as she used to do,' said E/Cginald. 



COUNSBL WITH FRIENDS. 207 

ut ^ They seem thin and anxious : and complain of the 
'. winter being long and dull, and of having so muoh to 
^ dó that they can find no leisure. Margaret — she will 
excuse my freedom ; I do like to call her Margaret — 
had been muoh interested in a long disoussion with a 
gentleman from the Victoria side, on the subject of the 
currency; and told me how the argument" went. I 
agreed with her, for I thought she had decidedly the 
best of it.' 

' What in the world have ladies to do with the cur- 
rency V cried Beaufort. * Don*t take a leaf out of 
your cousin's book, Clara, or set yourself down as an 
old maid at once. Currants are more in your line. I 
wish you could manage to make us some cakes to- 
morrow ; perhaps my wife might take a fiincy to them. 
She used to be fond of such things.' 

* By-the-bye,' said B^eginald, ' I have acquitted my- 
self of Mra Beaufort's commission. I have got a coral 
for Lucy.' 

' Come, then, into her own room and deliver it. She 
is very much better to-day; and I know she would 
like to see you.' 

B^ginald accompanied his host to Mrs. Beaufort's 
room, and received her thanks for his attention. He 
was pleased to see her looking so well ; and she spoke 
more cheerfuUy than he had expected. 

*I do not know why people should all be so kind to 
me,' said she. * I shall get well soon now, that I have 
my husband near me, and you to fetch and carry things 
from Adelaide for me; and Clara, too. I cannot tell 
you what a comfort she has been, and is still, to me. 
I "wish I was not so troublesome to her, and engrossed 
less of her time; she is such pleasant company for 
Beaufort when I can spare her.' 

*0h, yes ! Clara and I get on nicely; though she is 
rather saucy sometimes,' Beaufort said. 

' I am sure I have never found her so. She must 
have learned it from you.' 

* I suppose she knows I like a little spirit, and shows 



208 CLAEA HORISON. 

it, in order to please me,' observed Beaufort. ' I can 
see I am a prodigions fayourite of hers.' 

* I wish we could have the little tea-table brought 
in here; for if you gentlemen will excuse my dressing- 
gown, I should be glad of your companj to-night 
Though I am 80 much better, Clara will not let me 
out of my room yet; but I hope to be released on 
Monday, if I improve as I have done these last two 
days.' 

The table was brought in ; and when tea was over, 
Beaufort challenged BeginaJd to a game of back- 
gammon ; and as his wife said she should rather enjoy 
the noise than otherwise, Keginald made no objection. 
Clara sat with little Lucy on her knee, who would not 
go to sleep on any consideration, and watched the Êu;es 
of the two players. Beaufort was rather the yoxmger 
man of the two, but that was all the advantage he had, 
at least in Clara's eyes. 

' You have had letters, Clara,' observed Mrs. Beau- 
fort. * Have you good news from England — Scotland, 
I meanf 

* My uncle wishes me to retum home; and T am in- 
clined to think that I ought to go,' was the answer. 

* Not to leave me !' exclaimed Mrs. Beaufort * Ah, 
Clara, do not foUow Dorothy's cruel example ! Though, 
to be sure, your uncle is your natural guardian, and in 
the place of a parent to you, and so you ought to obey 
him. And really there are so many trials and annoy- 
ances in this colony, that, I dare .say, England looks 
very tempting to you. If I were not married, I should 
certainly wish to go home to England; but my hus- 
band's country Í8 mine, and wiU always be.' 

* Clara must get mamed,' Beaufort said ; * and then 
she need not mind what her uncle says. Deuce — ace. 
Confoimd the luck !' 

* Well, I must say, I don't wish Clara to marry yet 
awhile,' remarked Mrs. Beaufort * You must try to 
excuse yourself to your uncle, my dear ; and stay here 
with me and Lucy.' 



COUNSEL WITH FRIENDS. 209 

* You always leave me out/ said Beaufbrt; 'and you 
know what a favourite I am of Clara's, aud Clara of 
mine. Don't take me up, Eeginald. Your hands are 
tied, my boy ; and the game's my own. — Did you ever 
play draughts with Humberstone ?' he continued, as 
the game ended in his favour. ' He is a very keen 
player.' 

* Draughts is the dreariest of games, in my opinion,' 
Reginald answered; *and whenever I have played 
with Humberstone, it has been against my will. He 
knows I cannot play, yet exults greatly over my defeat, 
and is fond of boasting that nobody in the colony can 
beat him except one.' 

* That is myself,* said Beaufort. ' He tells me I am 
the only man in the provinoe that can do it.' 

' I have heard three other gentlemen lay claim to 
the honour, however,' said Reginald. 

* By-the-way,' remarked Beaufort, ' Humberstone 
must be getting rich ; for he was always of a saving 
tum, and I fancy he has a famous billet under Escott.' 

' Yes ; he is in fair circumstances,' said Keginald. 
' He told me, the other day, Miss Morison, that he 
had had rather a painfiil meeting lately. He had gone 
up to the Burra, with some sheep for the butcher, and 
he met your cousin, Mrs. Martin, in the street. He 
was di'eadfuUy confused for a minute or two ; but re- 
covered himself, and asked for an invitation to dinner, 
which she good-naturedly gave him He told me all 
about it next day, and how well Miss Elliot that was, 
looked ; and how kind she was, and what an orderly 
house she kept, and how comfortable she made her 
husband. Then he began to rail at Mr. Harris for 
leading him into such a scrape with Miss Margaret, or, 
as he called her, the tall, blue-eyed one. Did Harris 
ever talk about him at the diggings, Beaufort V 

* Oh, yes ! by-the-bye, I did hear all about it from 
him. How poor Humberstone rode straight off to 
the north, immediately after receiving three or four 
refusaJs.' 

VOL. IL P 



210 CLAKA MOEISON. 

'Harris has been exaggerating, as usual^' aaid 
Beginald. 

' He was a strange companion, was Harris,' observed 
Beaufort. ' He used to take sucli furious fíts of work, 
and look quite black at both Tumer and me^ because 
we were not so keen about it as he was ; and, by-and- 
bye, when our courage was up, his would be down; 
and he would stand beside us idle, and dispirit us com- 
pletely by telling us he knew tiutt hole was no good' 

' Harris wants perseverance sadly,* said Keginald. 

' It was well for him that he (fid not persevere in 
digging, for he has a good billet in Melboume. We 
made up our difference there, over a couple of botiles 
of wine, and a tolerable allotment of cigars. One can 
see with half an eye that he lives up to his incoxne 
there, as he always did ; so I fency he will never be 
rich. But he says he is always happy, and always ad- 
mired, and therefore is all right,' said Beaufort. 

* That will do well enough so long as he is yoimg,' 
observed Reginald ; * but when his animal spirits £aal, 
and he is too old to be flattered and caressed, he will 
feel how his talents were thrown away — how he 
*beggared his autumn to enrich his May.' That is 
not the correct quotation, Miss Morison, is it V 

^Not literally,' Clara answered; 'but true in its 
application to Mr. Harris. I always felt sad in hÍB 
company; for I could not help thinkáng how much 
better and more useful he might be.' 

* I hope, Clara, you don't think such things of me,' 
said Beaufort. ' I am in the habit of thinking that I 
oannot be improved.' 

' I dare say Miss Morison sometimes despises the 
sort of vegetable life I lead,' Eeginald said, *in the 
midst of my sheep. But I had a Uving to make ; and, 
having been brought up to no profession, and con- 
siderably spoilt at home, I thought it rather heroic to 
start as a sheep-farmer in the wilds of Australia. At 
first, when everything was to be done, there was 
enough to excite all my energy; but afberwards I fell 



COUNSEL WITH FBIENDS. 211 

into a lazy and monotonous sort of life, and have been 
rather glad at being roused to action again, since the 
gold fever tempted away so many of my hands. I am 
naturally rather a dreamer^ Mrs. Beaufort; and my 
dreams are more rational and healthy, afber riding 
sixty miles, and setting right what was going wrong, 
than while sauntering about my home-station, and 
wondering over the ásorder of my garden. I wish 
somebody would scold me about the state of my place, 
for I really ought to keep it more comfortable.' 

' It is a joUy place enough for a bachelor,* Beaufort 
said. * It will be time to make improvements, when 
you are looking out for a wife, and I don't see much 
chance of that just now.' 

* But Mr. Reginald wishes to be scolded,' remarked 
Mrs. Beaufort ; * and when I get well, I will go up to 
Taringa for change of air, and scold him weU then if 
everything is not in apple-pie order.' 

' And Clara will help : she has quite a genius that 
way,' added the husband. 

* Well, Mrs. Beaufort,' said Beginald, * I shall beg 
some seeds and cuttings of you, and try to brighten 
the garden with a few Sowers in time for your visit.' 

'Let us try another hit, Reginald,* said Beaufort. 
* You play worse than Clara, and I'm sure to beat you ; 
but it does to pass the time.' 

So a few more games were played, to the discomáture 
of Eeginald, and the consequent delight of his host. 
The former had often before found Beaufort a bore ; 
but now he felt him more tiresome than ever; for he 
interrupted all conversation, and prevented him from 
enjoying the society of Clara. 






p 2 



212 CLABA HOBISON. 

CHAPTER XVm 

OBIEF UPON OBIEF. 

REGINALD quitted the Bam early on the following 
moming, leaying Clai*a disappoiated to have had 
no opportnnity of telling him that Mrs. Beaufoit 
was not really better, but that this apparent change 
was merely a transient flicker. However, he had 
promised to repeat his viait soon; and her mind had 
been greatly reHeved by the letters from her consins, 
and even by the thought that, if the worst came 
to the worst, she might go home to her uncle with- 
out the risk of displeasing him, or making Susan 
uncomfortable ; so that, though her duties were as 
numerous and laborious as before, she worked more 
hopefully. She begged that Dr. Bennet might be sent 
for. But Mrs. Beaufort thought it would be absurd 
to make the poor man ride so far through such roads, 
and perhaps catch his death of cold, merely to see how 
much better she was getting ; and Mr. Beaufort was 
easily persuaded to his wife's opinion. But veiy few 
days elapsed before a great and alarming change took 
place in the symptoms of the invalid ; and Clara felt 
herself obliged to communicate her fears to the hitherto 
unsuspicious husband. He was greatly shocked, and 
much sofbened. He had never contemplated danger — 
at least, immediate danger; and he began now to think 
he had been to blame for his wild trip to the diggings; 
— ^he hung over his wife, and entreated her to forgive 
him for that and all his many other faults ; and pro- 
mised that, if she were only spared to him, he wonld be 
more observant of her wishes, and more grateful for 
her love. 

' I am sure I have nothing to complain of in you, 
Beaufort,' she answered, at the same time visibly sink- 
ing. * You have always been kinder to me than I de- 
served. But oh ! it is hard to die, when one is so 



GRIEP UPON GEIEP. 213 

happy; — it is hard to submit to the will of God in this 
matter — ^to leave my husband, my child, and my friend. 
Do you really think me so veiy ill, Clara ] Must I 
dier 

* Cannot Fritz go for the nearest doctor V Clara in- 
quired, aside, of Mr. Beaufort. * He would know so 
much better than I can pretend to do.' 

* Fritz is an idiot, and would make some silly blimder,' 
replied Beaufort, in a louder tone. *But I will go 
myself Bid him saddle my horse directly.' 

* You don*t mean to ride off in this pouring rain, 
Beaufortf said his wife, feebly. 'Besides, no one 
would be any good but Dr. Bennet; and he is too far 
— too far,* she murmured. 

* But, Mary, I must go. I cannot leave a stone tm- 
tumed * 

'No, no — ^you must not. I shall die if you leave 
me. ít is a fearful night. So cold !' she moaned. 
' Surely the fire is out.' She had seized her husband's 
hands, and held him beside her, fixing her eyes on his 
iace with an intenseness of expression which gradually 
wore off, though the grasp seemed to grow firoier. 

Before moming she was dead. And Clara sat weep- 
ing, with little Lucy on her knee, wholly imable to 
meet the child's imwitting mirthfulness with any of 
her usual encouragement. 

Mr. Beaufort showed great grief for a day or two, 
and was very gentle and quiet; but when the funeral 
was over, he seemed to find relief, and to relapse into 
his old manner. Mrs. Beaufort was buried tmder a 
fine old tree in her own garden, where she had ex- 
pressed a wish to have her grave made in case of her 
death. The fimeral took place on a very wet and 
stormy day; and but few of the neighbours were pre- 
sent. Clara expected Beginald to be there ; but he 
did not come, though Fritz had gone to Taringa toAsk 
him. He had not been at home, but was expected 
backimmediately; and Beaufort wasrather offended at 
his absence. 



214 CLABA MOEISON. 

When all waa over, and the guests departéd, Bean- 
fort thought he might as well seek comfort and amuse- 
ment from Clara; and accordingly he asked her tojoin 
hinn in the parlour while he smoked his pipe. 

* I am busy/ she answered; * I cannot come.' 

* What are you about now 1 You can have nothing 
particular to do.' 

* I am getting my things ready to go to Adehdde.' 

* To Adelaide ! — ^you are not going to Adelaide! I 
don't mean you to go away from the Bam.' 

* But I desire to go back to my own relations. I 
cannot stay here any longer, now that I have lost my 
friend.' 

' But what, in the name of wonder, can Tiney and I 
do without you 1 You know there is no getting her 
to go to that dismal Grerman girl; and as for mysel^ I 
have no intention of parting with you at all — at any 
rate, so soon. It would be ungrateful in you to leave 
your friend's child to strangers, and poor Mary would 
never have expected you to desert me in my affliction. 
She trusted in your being always our friend, and would 
have been shocked to hear you talk of getting away aa 
sooïi as possible, and sooner too, for this is no weather 
for long joumeys. What do you mean to do in Ade- 
laide 1— look out for a situation as a govemess 1 A 
nice life you would have of it l K you don't think 
your salary high enough, I will raise it. And you will 
not have half so much to do now— only to see afber 
those idiots in the kitchen, look to Lucy a bit, and sit 
at meals and in the evenings with me. Nothing dis- 
agreeable in any of these duties, Clara; you may be 
quite the lady here, if you have any sense.' 

'lcannot stay,' persisted Clara; *you must know 
very well that it is out of my power.' 

* It is not at all out of your power, and the Bam 
will be unbearable if you leave it. I shall positively 
start oflf for the diggings again, and put the child out 
to nurse. And you best Êiow who will be to blome 
if any harm oomes to it.' 



GRIEF UPON OEIEF. 216 

' You are cruel, Mr. Beaufort, to Erpeak so. I would 
do anything in n^ power to serve Lucy, but this is 
impossible.* 

* It is out of your power to go till I choose to drive 
you, at any rate, you stubbom thing ; and I hope you 
will be reasonable before I fínd it convenient. You had 
better make up your mind to be comfortable at once. 
Come, sit down here, and read me something while I 
smoke. That request is too much after your own heart 
to be refused.' 

Clara set her teeth together, and whispered to her- 
self, ' This cannot last long ; Éeginald will surely be 
here to-morrow : I may as well keep terms with him, 
while I am so much in his power; and there can be 
no harm in reading to him.' 

It was a sporting magazine which Beaufort gave her 
to read, and she read mechanically, without observing 
the meaning; but he seemed to understand it, and ex- 
pressed himself much obliged to her. But she found 
it a most tedious occupation. 

' I do not like reading this just now,' she said, in a 
weary voice, after finishing two long articles. ' It tires 
me, and I feel very nervous to-day.* 

* Oh, you have done vastly well for one day,' Beau- 
fort answered. * I dare say you are tired, for you have 
read more than an hour. Now, what say you to a 
game at backgammon V 

* I say, I wont play,' said Clara, shocked out of all 
her resolutions of acquiescence. 

* That is rather strong,* cried he. * Why, where is 
the harm ? You are fond of the game, and you play 
it well, and you have often played with me before. 
Come, Clara, get the box.' 

* Not to-day. By-and-bye — ^perhaps — ' 

* Then you are going to stay, after all? I feel so 
much obliged for that kind * by-and-bye,' that I quite 
forgive your cruel * I wont play ;' and I wont ask you to 
do anything for me again till to-morrow. Let us have 
tea.' 



216 CLABA HOSISON. 

When Clara had made tea to his likiiig; he dedaied 
therc was nothÍDg so miserable as haTÍiig it almie; and 
Clara, remembering her own solitaiy meals at Mi& 
Bantam*8, felt some sympathj with him. Bnt when 
ahe saw that he was determined to foiget his late loss, 
and was angry with her for anj alluaion to it, telling 
her he was miserable enongh when alone, and wanted 
her cheerfid oonversation to sostain his spiiits^ she 
could scarcely restrain her tears. 

' Don*t be a fool, Clara,' said he, on seeing them; 
' you know it is both foolish and sinful to monm over 
thoso who are happier than we conld make theuL' 

A week had elapsed since Mrs. Beaufort's fanenl, 
and still R^inald had not made his appeaianoa Mr. 
Beaufort had not announced the death of his wife in 
any of the Adelaide papers, and Clara's letter, comma- 
nioating the news, had never been posted, so that her 
oouains were ignorant of her situation. The weather 
was wretchedly bad, and Fritz had never been told by 
his master to go to the post-office, while all that Clara 
herself coiUd say to him was utterly nnintelligible. 
How ahe longed to be able to speak Crerman ! — she 
would have given every accomplishment she possessed 
for the power of telling Fritz's wife that she wished to 
get away from the Barn — ^for she was very unhappy — 
aud of aaking her advice and assistanca But the two 
Cerman women seeroed to consider her as their mis- 
tress, and she saw them several times exchange signi- 
ficant looks with each other, which she trembled to 
think were aimed at her doubtM position. She tried 
to speak to them in broken English, and then again in 
broad Sootch, as Beginald had said there was some , 
affinity between Scotch and C^rman; but all in vain — 
she was never understood. 

*What can have become of Reginald?' she asked 
herself every hour of every day. Was he ill, or was 
he changed 1 Had Miss Marston come out to Australia 
to marry him, and was she forgotten in his happiness ? 



GMEP UPON GRIEP. 217 

Fritz had not leamed where he was when he went to 
the station, but only that he was not at home. Beau- 
fort often abused him for not coming to inquire after 
the family, but knew nothing of the extent of Clara*s 
disappointment. He began to think she was now so 
completely in his own hands, that she must of necessity 
listen to reason, and stay to keep house at the Bam. 
He was not very sure himself how matters would end; 
she was undoubtedly pretty, and if she were only a 
little less obstinate and more complying, it would per- 
haps be her own fault if she ever wanted a house of 
her own; but these were too early days to talk of such 
things. At any rate, he was bound to detain her to 
take charge of the baby for the present, and by-and- 
bye she would be at his mercy. Reginald, if he cared 
for her at all (which was very doubtful), had lost his 
opportunity, and would not be inclined to interfere. 
Mr. Beaufort was rather amused than otherwise at 
Clara's restlessness, her írequent and anxious looks at 
the weather, and her repeated inquiries whether he 
would drive her in the next day. All this, he thought, 
would soon subside; and while Clara sat silent at 
breakfast or dinner, scarcely able to utter the neces- 
sary phrases of the table, he congratulated himself that 
she was taming down amazingly welL 

She was in her own room one morning, thinking of 
walking herself to the post-office, or of c^Uing on some 
neighbour who could speak English, and would under- 
stand what she wanted, when she heard a visitor on 
horseback ride up to the door, and Beaufort's voice 
welcoming him. 

' It must be Beginald at last,' said she, and she sat 
down for a few minutes to calm herself sufficiently to 
meet him. 

* Come in near the fire,' she heard Beaufort say ; * you 
must be half frozen. You are just in time, for we are 
going to have rain, and no mistake.' 

Clara could not hear the answer, but she heard the 
rain rattling against the roof and tíie windows. 



í 



218 CLASA MOEISOK. . 

' How good of him to come througli such weather 1' 
thought úie, ' I could not have got to the post, even. 
if I knew the road, while it rains so hard. But I must 
go to see him,' and she went into the hall, and per- 
ceived Fritz leading a horse to the stable. ít was not 
like any of Keginald*s horses, but she knew that he had 
a great many, and this might be a new one, so she did 
not doubt that the visitor was her Mend. She was on 
the point of tuming the handle of the parlour door, 
when a voice, unmistakably Ohaloner's, drawled out — 

' You thought it a confounded shame that Reginald 
was not here last week, Beaufort, did you notl But 
you see the poor fellow could not help it.' 

*How 80 V asked Beaufortj * I know nothing about 
him' 

* Have you not heard what has happened to himf 

* Not I, indeed.' 

* He was crossing the river that very day ; and as 
sure as I sit here, Beaufort, he slipped in; and it is all 
up with him' 

' You don't mean to say he is drowned?' Beaufort 
exclaimed. 

* No mistake about it ; I sent two days ago to borrow 
some tobacco of him for my men, and those Scotch 
people were all in a fluster. The man had gone off to 
see the body, and the woman was wringing her hands, 
and wondering what was to be done. PhiL Blake had 
brought the news, but he had gone off again before my 
man went up, so he could give me no particulars. The 
woman woiild lend nothmg, for she said that the 
master would surely have somebody to leave his pos- 
sessions to; and so I have been obliged to give away 
my first-rate tobacco. BLave you any to spare, Beau- 
fort?' 

*Not a bitj — ^but this is a strange story about 
Beginald. He used to have more sense than to cross 
a dangerous river during the floods.' 

* So he did,' said Chaloner ; * but Phil said he was 
bent on getting home, and had also said something 



GRIEF UPON GRIBP. 219 

about going to town, and would not be prevented. 
The woman told my fellow that her master mnst have 
been * fey;' I suppose she meant cracked. He has left 
a fine lot of sheep and a &inous run. If I can raise 
the wind, rU make a bid for it* 

*Who will be heir or administrator, I wonder?' 
asked Beaufort. * He has two good horses and * 

Clara could hear no more; — she hurried back into 
her own room, and sat with dry eyes and buming 
brain, remembering all Reginald had been to her, and 
how very much she had loved him. She recalled her 
íirst meeting with him; how they had understood each 
other from the beginning; how kingly he had looked 
among Mrs. Handy*s young gentlemen; then how 
kindly he had spoken to her when she was at servioe ; 
how delightful he had been when he visited the 
Elliots ; and, above all, how, since she had come to the 
country, he had been her only adviser and friend. He 
had been anxious to serve her, he had braved the 
swollen river for her sake; she had cost him his life^ 
and now she cared nothing for her own. 

Then she began to piece together his history from 
the little he had told her of his life in England. She 
was imagining the grief of his mother at this dreadfal 
misfortune, when the thought struck her like a blow 
that to Miss Marston it would bring a real and legiti- 
mate sorrow. His last thought would be given to 
Julia; though it was for OLËira's sake he died, he 
would not feel that any one but Julia was left hope- 
less and desolate. His mother would try to comfort 
Julia ; she would encourage her to talk of him ; Julia's 
bereavement would be no secret, and all the world 
would sympathize with her who had lost her betrothed. 
A momentary thought flashed upon her; — she must go 
and tell everybody how much she had loved him; she, 
too, must claim a right toweepfor him; but a laugh — 
positively a loud laugh — ^from the parlour, fell with 
sudden discord upon her ear, and chilled the ardour of 
her heart. 



220 CLABA HOBTSON. 

* Homel' ahe thonght; * I need not care to go home 
now; I may die here as "well as there. It is here that 
I have seen most of him, and I need not care now 
what people may say of ma — Dead ! — Charles R^- 
nald ' 

She sat with her door bolted ; little liucjr, who waa 
asleep on her bed, woke np and began to cry. Claia 
caUed Carolina to take her, regardless now of her 
screams j she pointed to her head, and sighed, to make 
the girl understand she was ill, and again secored her- 
self in her solitude. 

She had sat so a considerable time, when some one 
knocked at the door. 

*Come in to dinner, Clara,' said Beaufort; *Mr. 
Chaloner is here.' 

* I cannot come; I am very ilL' 

' Do come, Clara ! — there is dreadfol news of Regi- 
nald;-— drowned crossing the river, on his way to his 
homcHstation. You would like to hear all the parti- 
culars, and Chaloner knows all that is known.' 

* I am too ill to hear anything; you can tell me by- 
and-bya' 

* What can I send you for dinner, Claral' he asked 
' Nothing,' she answered; * I want nothing.' 

* You will surely take a cup of teaï' 

* No, no, — I want nothing.' 

' Clara is in her tantrums to-day,' said Beaufort, on 
retuming to Chaloner, *and pretends she is ill, and 
wants no dinner; so we must do without her. There 
is the child squalling, too, but she pays no attention to 
it. I believe that girl Carolina pinches it slilv, lust to 
get quit of it.' ^ •' 






ESCAPE. 221 

CHAPTER XIX. 

ESCAPE. 

THE rain ceased in the aftemoon, and Chaloner 
started home'wards. His host was so loth to part 
with him, that he accompanied him as far as Digby's, 
where he was going to try to get a little tobacco. 
They were both away before Clara knew of it; ánd she 
blamed herself for not requesting Mr. Chaloner to post 
her letter, though, to be sure, it was of very little con- 
sequence now. She lefb her room, and wandered 
through the house. She took Lucy in her arms, and 
though she could not speak to her, the child grew quiet 
at the sight of her familiar iace ; and Clara, carrying 
her into the parlour, tried to warm her own frozen 
hands and feet, but in vain. 

A slight clatter sounded outside; — ^it must be 
Beaufort retuming. Clara wished to avoid him, and 
mshing through the hall, beheld Charles Beginald 
entering at the door, wet and pale, with a scar across 
his temple, but still indisputably alive. 

She stared at him for a few moments, threw the 
child into Carolina's arms, seized Reginald*s hands, 
drew him into the parlour, and burst into tears. 

< Thank God ! thank God !' said she, when she could 
speak, *you have come at last But are you really 
safe ? Oh 1 oh ! how I have wearied for you !* and 
half unconsciously she kissed his brown hands. 

' Clara,' said he, ^I have come as soon as I could; I 
know you have been reproaching me for my delay, 
but I have had a slight accident, and did not come 
rightly to myself till yesterday.' 

* I heard to-day that you were drowned ; but you 
are not, — I see that you are not. But how did you get 
this dreadf ul scar V 

' A snag in the river struck me, I suppose ; but I 
don't exactly know what happened^ for I lost my 



1 



222 CLABA HORISON. 

sensee ; and the fírst tbing I remembered afterwards 
was that you depended on me ; sol lefb the people that 
saved me, without leaming anything. There will be 
time enough for that by-and-bye.' 

* You thought of me first !' Clara said, dreamily; 
* and I have looked and listened for you tíll my ejes 
and my ears were weary. Mr. Beaufort will not 
let me leave ; but you will take me away; in spite of 
him.' 

* 'W'ill you be ready to go to Adelaide with me to- 
morrow ) Mrs. Duncanson will come with me, which 
will make it more comfortable for you, and deprÍTe 
Beaufort of any feasible excuse for detaining you. The 
old dame thinks it unsafe for me to go anywhere by 
myaelf, having at fírst taken me for a ghost, then for a 
•wraitii,' and now, I believe, considering me *non 
oomjHvs ;' but you see that I am sane enough.' 

*I boliove I am soarcely sane myself,' said Clara, 
uow at last relinquishing the hand she had so long 
held; ^but I am ready to go away from this place 
whenever you will take me ; and I cannot tell — I never 
oan mako you understand how grateM I feel to you. 
But how canie they to say you were drownedl I over- 
liCArd Mr. Chaloner telling Mr. Beaufort about it ; he 
had sent his man up to borrow something.' 

' Oh 1 a story told by an Irishman to a Scotchman, 
and thon to another Inshman, was likely to be some- 
what distortod. I suppose Phil told them I was kilt, 
for I was stunned, and Duncanson and his wife thought 
it was all over with me. You look faint^ IMtíss 
Morison ; can I get you a glass of wine ? No; — ^then 
wator V 

* I am more able to wait on myself than you on 
me,' said she, smiling, as she rose tremblingly, and 
obtained a glass. 

* What Imve you thought of me all this week V asked 
Beginald. 

*I thought you were ill — I thought a thousand 
things — ^I don't know what I thought.' 



ii 



ESCAPE. 223 

* You did not tliink that I had forgotten you, or my 
promise.* 

* Sometimes, but not often.* 

' I fear you will hardly be able to travel to-morrow,' 
Reginald said, observing her falter. 

* Of course she wiU not,' said Beaufort, entering at 
the moment. * Where do you think of going, Miw 
Clara V 

' Mr. Reginald is going to drive me in to Adelaide,' 
Clara answered. 

* Beginald ! Adelaide ! Clara, too ill to-day to eat 
any dinner, and looking like a ghost, and now going 
with a drowned man to Adelaide ! Am I in the land 
of the living myself 1' 

* Pray give your ghosts some tea,' Reginald said ; * and 
let your man take the hamess oÉ my horses. I have 
had a shake, though I am not quite drowned. I should 
be all the better for dry clothes, too, for I have had 
more than one shower since leaving Taringa.' 

* All that looks life-like, but I am not quite sure about 
you yet. Let me see Clara making tea, and you drink- 
ing it, and perhaps I shall be convinced. I'U go and 
see if your horses look as ghost-like as yourself.' 

* Those brutes of yours wont take you to Adelaide 
to-morrow,' said Beaufort to Beginald at tea. * You 
must give them a rest for a few days, and keep me 
company the while.' 

* I expect you to lend me a fresh pair — the best you 
have got.' 

* There are two words to that bargain,' Beaufort said. 

* Besides, I don't see why Clara should go at all, or why 
she should go with you rather than with me. I always 
meant to take her home if she was not comfortable 
here, and I think it looks veiy ill to see her setting off 
in this way with a stranger. You may well blush, 
Miss Morison.' 

* Mr. Beginald brought me here, and promised to 
take me home whenever I wished it,' Clara answered ; 

* and Mrs. Duncanson is going iu with us.' 



224 CLA2A UOBJSON. 

* And yon really fcish to go,' said Beaufort, bitterly. 
' I am sore I don't know what I am to do with the 
babv. XJnfeeling — nngratefbl,' he muttered. 

* I promised jour cousins to bring you back safe aad 
sound ; but you do not look as you iised to do. Yon 
must try not to shock your cousin Margaret by those 
pale cheeks to-morrow.' 

* Margaret will never observe they are pale, thoTigh 
Annie "will; but the drive will revive me, I do not 
doubt' 

Clara quitted the room after tea, to finish her pr^»- 
rations for startíng at the first peep of dawn. She then 
went into the kitchen, and inquired of Mrs. Duncanson 
whether she should be ready, and was answered in the 
affirmative. 

* Pm thrifty of the momings,' said the old dame, 
* and never cared muckle for sleep a' my days ; sae ril 
hae a cup o' tea ready for the maister and you afore ye 
gang. But oh ! sirs l he's far frsud weeL Do you thÍTilr 
he's fit to gang the length V 

* Oh ! I think he is,' said Clara ; ' but perhaps that is 
because I am so anxious to go myself Oh ! how grate- 
fiil I feel to both him and you.' 

* Deed it was na' for your behoof that I came, though 
I daur say it's no' a place for you to bide here when t£e 
mistress is ta'en awa, puir thing, and ye'U be a' the bet- 
ter o' a 'sponsible body like mysel' to see ye safe to 
your fireends. But the maister looks sae queer an sae 
wild that I thocht I maun e'en gang to tak' care o' 
him, and he said I micht gang to the preaching on 
Sabbath, and see my fi'eends in the toun forbye ; but 
it's a lang road an' a rough one.' 

* And how do you like Taringa ? Can you live with- 
oat fish V 

* Oh, brawly ! it's a bonnie bit, an' when ane has a 
gude maister ane can pit bye wi* a hantle o' things. 
An I hae gotten a' I wanted to mak' the place wise- 
like, sae there's only ae want noo, an' that I'm think- 



ESCAPE. 225 

ing wainna be lang o' gettin' filled up neither, for it's 
mair his want nor ours.' 

' Is that a churcli V asked Clara. 

* To be sure there is nae kirk, an' nae chance o' get- 
ting ane ; but that wasna what I meant/ said Mrs. 
Duncanson, looking somewhat sly. *We would be 
nane the waur of a mistress, an' Maister Keginald 
would be muckle the better o' a wife, for it*s dull an' 
lonesome for him to sit by his-seF at nichts wi* naething 
but buiks ; an' it's queer for him to be living in sic 
plenty, and hae naebody to tak' pairt wi' him. Weel, 
it is a wimnerfu' place this ! I was just saying to Sandy, 
nae further gane than last week, that if ony body had 
telt me in the Orkneys that we should come to siccan 
a land o' Goshen beyond the sea, where we could get 
for oursels' an' our baims as muckle wheat breed an' 
grand mutton as we could set our iaces to, wi' tea by 
neive-fus an' the will o' the sugar bag, and fifby-six 
pounds by the year forbye, I would hae called it just 
senseless havers. And as for the work we get to do, 
it's just baim's play to what we had to do in the Ork- 
neys. I'm thinking that if we do get a mistress she'll 
mak' us stir our shanks a bit faster. But here comes 
the maister — I ken his fit weel.' 

* You'll be ready in time, I hope,' said Keginald, as 
he came in. 

* Nae fear of us,' answered Mrs. Duncanson ; ' but 
ye maun gang to bed yoursel, sir, for ye look sair dune 
out, and want a gude nicht's rest.' 

* Fm just going to bed now,' said he. * I see you 
have got my clothes drying ; you never need to be re- 
minded of anything. Qood night, Miss Morison.' 

Clara was so glad to talk with a woman who under- 
stood her, that she would willingly have sat up half the 
night with Mrs. Duncanson, but she was very soon 
ordered off to bed by her. As she passed the parlour, 
she heard Beaufort rattling the dice by himself ; and 
soon afterwards she heard his foot treading up and 

VOL. 11. Q 



226 CLABA MOBISON. 

down the hall with heavy, impatíent steps, imtál at 
length he knocked at her door. 

* You are not gone to bed yet, Clara — you have not 
bid me good-night Come out and speak to me ; 70U 
know we have business to settle together. Just oome 
and speak to me for ten minutes.' 

She opened the door, and Beaufort took her hand 
and led her across to the fire. The candles were out, 
but he heaped several logs of wood on the fire, and sat 
silent till they blazed. 

'You look quite unearthly by this light, Cka. 
Where is my cheque-book 1 I must write you out a 
cheque for what I owe you — but hang me if I can 
part with you like this.' He threw down the pen and 
ink. *I tell you, Clara, I never meant you harm. 
What are you afraid of, that you cower fix>m me hke 
thatl Come now; let us be Mends. Why don'tyon 
speak 1 What are you going to do in Adelaáde ? not 
marry Beginald, I hope V 

* Oertainly not ; I think of going home to Scotland 
by the first opportunity,' and Clara sighed 

* You sha'n't go to Scotland, on any account. I should 
never see you again if you di<L What is there to hinder 
you from staying here as Lucy's governess and my 
housekeeper for the present 1 by and bye I can put the 
matter on a better footing. Hang it, Clara, you don't 
want me to oflfer you marriage just directly ; but if you 
wont listen to me without, I will marry you whenever 
you please.' 

' I never can marry you,' replied Clara. * We should 
be ndserable together. And how can you think of it 
80 soon after * 

* You compel me to think of it, Clara. I thought 
you had more courage. You leave your friend's child 
to n^lect and misery, perhaps to death, because you do 
not like to be talked about' 

*You should send Lucy to her mother's sister in 
England. Mrs. Beaufort told me that was her wish.' 

* *®*i to a woman who hates me like poison, and 



ESCAPE. 227 

who "will bring up my child to do the sam& Do you 
think I care so Httle for her as that 1 Now, you love 
my child, you loved her mother, say that you will love 
me — say that you don*t hate ma Olara, give me an 
answer.* 

* I can never love you. I could not do my duty by 
you, nor by Lucy either. . . . But I am tired ; let me 
go to bed.' 

' If this is the last time we are to talk together, I 
have a great deal more to say; if you will give me an- 
other opportunity, I wiU let you off now. Besides, I 
must write you out your cheque, and not fly into a 
passion with it again.* He succeeded in writing it this 
time, and handed it to her. * You would be offended 
if I offered you more than I owe you, or I would have 
made it double. I am sure you worked hard enough for 
this paltry simi. Now say, * thank you,' and give me one 
smile. That looks a little better. You always thought 
my wife was fcoo good for me, did you not V 

* Yes, I did,' Clara answered. 

* Perhaps she was. I never cared much for her, and 
I dare say she would have found it out soon ; so it is 
as well that she is taken away. You are different. I 
would give yóu fiur more of your own way than I gave 
to Mary. And don*t fancy that I should make a bad 
husband. You have only seen me in a wrong box — I 
mean, in a false position.' 

*Mr. Beaufort,* said Olara, solemnly, *you would 
have preferred to keep me here against my will, until 
you thought I had no altemative but to accept you, 
whenever you might choose to make me an offer. I 
consider that you have treated me ungenerously, and I 
despise you for it. Now, that I can escape, you try to 
move my pity for you and Lucy, and it is selfisL I 
despise you for that. And, for my own part, I wiU 
never marry any man whom I do not love.' 

* You must be in love with some one abeady, or you 
never would be so scomful. If it is Reginald, I can 
tell you, he wont have you now. I sounded him to- 

Q 2 



\ 



228 CLARA MOKISOK. 

night ; and if he had cared two straws about jou, he 
would have spoken out. And our Dorothy's tongue 
wont help you to a husband in Adelaide. Why, even 
these German people are not over nice in their remarks. 
There will be a pretty tale among the yiUagers here- 
abouts.' 

' Is this all you have to say to me, sir V Clara de* 
manded, haughtily. * I wish you a good night.' 

^ I am mad,' said Beaufort, intercepting her retreat, 
and taking her hand. * Crood night, do you say 1 It 
is a very bad night to me : to be refused and despised 
is not good for such a temper as mine.' 

* Belease me then, sir, while you are tolerable. I 
may else provoke you again.' 

*Then we are Mends,' said Beaufort, kissing her 
hand. ' Let this little conversation be kept quiet, for 
it is awfiilly mortifying to me. Good-bye, Clara. I 
hope you may be happy with some one else. That 
is the style, is it notï Bnt hang me if I mean 

it; 

Clara made her escape, as he muttered these words, 
heartily thankful that her last interview with him was 
over. She was too much engrossed with her own varied 
excitement on this eventful day, to think of poor little 
Lucy, till she got into bed, and felt her nestlmg in her 
arms. On the morrow, she must leave her to strangers. 
There was no altemative; but surely even these 
G^rman people would be kind to the little motherless 
child; and when she herself was away, Lucy would 
take to them more kindly. Clara did not believe Mr. 
Beaufort's accoimt of the English aimt ; for his wife's 
description was very different; and it was probable 
his story was invented, in the hope of persuading her 
to stay with him. Still, her heart grieved for the 
baby ; and, amidst her broken and restless slimibers, 
she had visions of its mother entreating her to remain 
at the Bam, and take care of Lucy; and when she 
tried to explain to the phantom why she was obliged 
to go, the effort to find words always awoke her. 



ESCAPE. 229 

Mrs. Duncanson had breakfast ready before daylight, 
and Beanfort was up to see Clara away. He sat 
sulkily beside tlie travellers, and would neither speak 
himself, nor allow them to speak with any degree of 
freedom. 

* Mr. Reginald,' Clara said, ' I wish you would tell 
Fritz's wife and Carolina how anxious I feel about 
Lucy, before we go. Carolina must sleep with her at 
nights now, and take great care to keep her warm, for 
she is naturally of a cold temperament.* 

* Caught that of you, I expect l* cried Beaufort. 

* Fritz, saddle grey Bess for me, and give Mr. Reginald 
the two gig-horses. Don't you understand ? I suppose 
I must go to the stable myself What an idiot the 
fellow is !' 

* Where can Mr. Beaufort be going V asked Clara. 

* I hope not into town with us.' 

* I hope not, too,* answered Beginald ; ' but he seems 
in a strange humour, and you look quite afraid of him. 
You will be safe with your cousins to-night. It is a 
promising moming, and these brown horses of Beau- 
fort's are famous ones to go. We shall be in town 
before siindown.' 

When Beaufort retumed with the horse, Beginald 
asked him where he was bound for. 

* As fer as the gate with you, at any rate; afberwards 
I shall be guided by circumstanoes. You have not bid 
Lucy good-bye yet, Clara; and I don't think you will 
before me.' 

* God bless you, darling,' Clara said, kissing her late 
charge fondly, while her tears fell on its face. 

* Now, let me hand you in,' said Beaufort. ' Look 
in my face, girl. I am not going to eat you. There 
are two roads when we come to the gate— north and 
soutL Which direction do you take V 

* South, of course,' Clara answered. 
' And shall I take the same road V 

* You have no business in town.' 

* None, but to see you safe there.' 



230 CLABA MOBISON. 

<Mr. Reginald and Mrs. Dxmcanson can do Íhflt, 
without taMng you away from your home and yoTn 
child. I do not need — ^I do not desire yonr escort' 

^Then I go north. CkxKl-byey Clara. Keginald, 
70U must call as jou retum for your own hanea. I 
do not mean to spare Bess to-day.* And so saying, 
Mr. Beaufort rode off at a furious rate. 

Clara drew a long breath, and composed heiselí 
The last peep at the Bam was sad; but in a short 
time the &esh air, the spirited horses, and the prospect 
of retuming home to Adelaide, made her heart hght 
and her voice cheerfuL 

' You have leffc the north without ever seemg 
Taringa/ said Beginald. ^ It was an old promise of 
poor Mrs. Beaufort's, that she would take me by sur- 
prise some day, and, of course, you would have accom- 
panied her.' 

' I suppose I have missed a great treat/ said Claia. 
* Mrs. Dimcanson calls it * a bonnie bit.' ' 

* It has little artifícial beauty to boast oj^ for I have 
been too lazy to improve it; but it is prettÓy situated, 
and might be made a very beautifiil place. I íancy 
that at present lady-visitors would consider it desolate 
enougL I dare say, you conceive yourself as having 
been fairly in the bush, and knowing all about it; but, 
as you have never been at a sheepnstation, or seen what 
wretched lives stock-holders who are not blessed with 
wives, lead in their lonely huts, you really cannot say 
that you have been in the bush at alL* 

* I have been quite far enough out of town surely — 
farther than any of my cousins, although they have 
been so many years in the colony; for they have never 
been beyond Mr. Hodges' £arm.' 

* By-the-bye, is there not some talk of a marriage 
between Creorge Elliot and Miss Hodges?' asked 
Reginald. 

*I think nothing is yet settled; but it is very 
likely. I know he is attached to her, and I fancied 
more than twelve months a^o that she liked one of the 



ESCAPE. 281 

brothers. How Miss Witliering used to watch her in 
those days 1* 

' What a dreadful woman that was !' said Beginald. 
* Poor Mr. Macnab ! I think his cup of life must be 
intensely bitter.' 

In spite of the badness of the roads, good horses and 
a good dríver made Clara feel as confident and secure 
as if she had been in a fírst-class railway-carriage at 
home. In her present frame of mind the jolting was 
rather agreeable than otherwise ; but the ocoasional 
interruptions of conversation caused by a bad gully or 
an awkward piece of * Bay of Biscay groimd,' gave her 
time to remember how strangely she had reoeived 
Beginald on the preceding day, when he had come upon 
her as if from the dead; and the recollection brought 
some intemal coniusion. 

'What coTild he think of meV she asked herself 
' Could he suppose it was only joy 1 I certainly told 
him I was beside myself at the time, and I hope and 
trust he believed me.' 




232 CLABA MOUISON. 

CHAPTER XX. 

THE ECHIKOA D I O O I N G S. 

' T SUPPOSE you have heard the news, sir/ 

-^ host of an iiin where ihey stopped to rest for an 
hour; * it is going over the country like wildfire.' 

' The only news I have heard latel y is, that I wu 
drowned,* Beginald answered; 'and I should adTÍse 
you not to believe that. Is there anjrthiiig else more 
trustworthy?* 

* The diggings, sir ! — ^the new diggings at Echinga, 
on the Oukaparinga, sir ! The Colonial Secretary Íbb 
been up with a party to see if it was not all a hoax, 
and every hole they dug they found gold in — yes, eveiy 
single individual spadeful, sir. The place is nice aiid 
handy to town, and a made road all the way ; so we 
may yet beat the Port Phillip folks hollow, and see 
them coming over in thousands to have a look at our 
gold fields, sir. It don't do me any good, for here I 
am in the wrong direction altogether; but there will 
be nice pickings for my brother host at !E]chinga» sir. 
But here comes a gentleman from Adelaide; youll 
excuse me, sir; but I must go and get the latc^ par- 
ticulars of this grand discovery, sir. Would you not 
like to inquire for yourself, sir V 

* I have heard enough for the present,' replied Begi- 
nald. * 1 am on my way to Adelaide myseh^ and shall 
hear all about it there. We want dinner as soon as 
possible. These new diggÍDgs will not suit me, Miss 
Morison; where are we poor sheep-fexmers to find ser- 
vants, when one gold field is discovered afber another, 
and now in such a tempting proximity to town V 

' There have been many hoaxes ab:*eady,' suggested 
Clara ; * perhaps this is one too, though our host talks 
very positively.' 

* Well, the news need not take away our appetites, 
at all events,' said Eeginald. 'Mrs. Duncanson, I 



THE ECHINGA DIGGINGS. 238 

have done an iU thing in bringing you to town; your 
head will be tumed with this excitement, and you 
wiU tum Sandy's too when you get back.* 

* We appointed to bide out the year, sir/ answered 
Mrs. Duncanson ; * an' it would be queer diggins that 
turned us frae our solemn engagement. Ka, na, I hae 
nae broo o' leaving a gude place an' a gude maister, just 
because a hantle fule-bodies sets off wi' tin milk-pans 
an' shules, saying theyVe gaun to mak their fortunes 
howking holes.' 

The coimtry did not look quite so beautiful as it had 
done when Clara went out to the north ; there were 
too many muddy lagoons and long marshes, where the 
points of the grass were alone visible over the surface 
of the water ; and the road itself was deep in mud; but 
Clara was going home, and was satisfied with every- 
thing. 

'There is Adelaide,' said Beginald, suddenly; 'áo 
you see the church on North Adelaide hill ?— does not 
your heart warm to the dear dirty town, Miss Mo- 
rison V 

* Yes, indeed ;' and Clara gazed on the still distant 
church with delighted eyes. * Yes, indeed; and to the 
people there, too.' 

* Where do you wish to be landed, Mrs. Duncanson?* 
continued E^e^nald, as they drew nearer. 

* At my gude-brither's, where ye cam' for me to tak* 
me oot; he's been langer settled in the place, an' he'll 
be glad to hear news o' Sandy an' the balm&' 

* That is near the stable where I put up my horses, 
so I will take Miss Morison home first.' 

Clara's heart beat violently when at last she alighted ; 
she stood at the French window for a minute before 
she could open it or knock. She saw Margaret walk- 
ing up and down the parlour in a state of high excite- 
ment, while G^orge, sitting on the sofa, was apparently 
endeavouring to pacify her, but to no purpose. 

' Don't teU me, G^orge,' Margaret was in fact saying, 



234 CLABA MOBISOK. 

^ that if they tum out productive it will be all for the 
best What do I care about its beíng good for busi- 
ness? You must be degenerating yoursel^ or you 
would not bring forward such an argument' 

' Margaret !' said Clara, here opening tbe door, * will 
you give me a home again, now I need one V 

* Clara ! you !' — and the cousins were locked in 
each other's arms. * Where are you from 1 — ^how have 
you come?' Margaret asked quickly, afber tbe fírst 
embrace. 

'Mr. Beginald has brought me; he is at the door.' 
'AndMrs. Beaufort?' 
^ She died ten days ago.' 

* Poor thing ! — poor thing ! And the poor little 
baby ! But why have you been so long ? Mr. Begi- 
nald promised to bring you home as soon as you wished 
it, and that must have been a week ago.' 

' Yes; but Mr. Beginald has had an accident, and is 
still far from well.' 

G^orge was out of the house before this was said, to 
invite Beginald to come in ; but the latter said be must 
take Mrs. Duncanson to her brother's. 

* George will do that for you,' said Margaret, foUow- 
ing to the door; ' and also put up your horses. Call 
at Mra Plummer's as you come back, George, and bring 
bome Annie; she will be quite overjoyed to hear who 
has come.' 

Clara seemed to recoguise every tlrifle at a glance, 
and was struck by one novelty. 

* Does the kitchen fíre smoke,' she asked, ' that you 
have got the black kettle on in the parlour )' 

' No, Clara, not at all; it is all these Echinga dig- 
gings,' answered Margaret, with reviving excitement. 
* You will find cold comfort here, afber your long drive.' 
And Margaret gave a hasty blow with the bellows, and 
began to walk about the room as before. ' But I will 
not pay five poimds ten for a load of wood to any maa. 
What need had we of diggings here, in the name of all 
that is rational 1 Our people were just beginning to 



THE ECHINGA DIGGINGS. 235 

settle down for tlie winter j carpenters and shoemakers 
were busy at their trades: and now they are all seized 
with the gold fever agaÍB/and are leaving us to whistle 
for the necessaries of life. I coiinted twenty people 
passing this window to-day, with pannikins, and shovels, 
aod milk-pans; all of whom I knew to be tradesmen 
earning easily ten shillings a-day. Wood has been 
more than double the old prices all this winter, and we 
thought it very dear at two pounds the load; but only 
yesterday I was asked five pounds ten, for some no larger 
than we got for fourteen shillings when you were with 
us, and qiiite green besides.' 

* It is an enormous price,* said Clara. 

* George was saying we could as well afford the high 
price now, as we could the fourteen shillings when they 
were at the diggings ; but I know many families who 
cannot, and I will not pay it, on principle. We have 
a few large logs in the yard; George and Gilbert must 
just warm themselves in the moming with splitting 
them ; and we may warm oiirselves with blowing the 
bellows ; for it is the * dourest* wood to bum I ever 
saw in my life.' 

*How do you think your cousin is looking, ]yíiss 
Elliot?' Keginald asked. And Margaret then observed 
that Clara was very pale. 

* But she is tired now,' she said ; ' and I have been 
forgetting to make her take off her bonnet. You must 
rest on the soía while we are away, Mr. Beginald, for 
you look worse than Clara.' 

' Now, Clara,' said Margaret, when they were alone 
together, ' I know you have a great deal to tell me, but 
I will not let you say anything till you have answered 
a question of mine. Can you teU me what is the 
matter with Annie 1 I thought she would be all nght 
when her brothers came home, but instead of that, she 
seems to get worse j and yet I cannot get her to say 
what ails her.' 

* You wrote me you meant to shift for yourself, 
Margaret, and not live with the rest. Did you mean 



236 CLA£A MORISON. 

yoa were going to be married to the gentleman mmoQr 
gÍTes you toT 

* Gives me to ! What do you mean, Clara? No, I 
never thought of marriage. My project was to open a 
school for tbe poorest cbildren in the colony, and settle 
myself as tbe teacber ; and I thonght of »«Tríng yoa to 
join me ; but tben I reflected tbat it would be alinost 
like taking tbe veil, and tbat you might bave some 
entanglement to prevent it.' 

'And 8o you bave no entanglement at present^ 
Margaret % In sbort, you are not engaged to William 
BeUr 

< William Bell ! my Tery good friend, William Bell! 
Wby, Clara, be is tbree montbs younger than I am, 

and indeed it is too ridiculous altogetber. I 

baTe belped to traui tbe boy, and I never oould 
promise to obey bim, — ^nor, in trutb, would he ever 
ask me.* 

* Tben you must tell Annie so, for I believe her bad 
bealtb and spirits aríse from a struggle between ber 
aflection for bim and for you.' 

* I will tell ber so to-nigbt, — ^I will tell her as soon 
as sbe comes bome. Ob ! Clara, wbat a weight yon 
baTe taken from my mind ! I am sure William Bell 
likes ber, and if she were to search OTer all Australis, 
she neTer oould find a wortbier or a better husband. 
I wish you could relieTC my other anxiety about 
Gilbert as satisfectorily. K be would only settle down 
to be comfortable witb us, I sbould haTC notbing more 
to desire ; I would gÍTe up my project of the ragged 
school, and go on with wbat is perhaps not so useíul, 
but which suits my disposition better.* 

' I think Gilbert has the same idea about William 
Bell, for he binted as much to me the last nigbt I sat 
up copying witb bim.' 

* What can haTe come OTer my brotber and sister to 
make them fency I have any concealment with tbem ? 
I told them at once about Mr. Dent and the widower ; 
when Graoe accepted Heniy Martin, sbe came straight 



THB ECHINGA DIGGINGS. 237 

to us, and told us all ; and now liere are Gilbert and 
Annie finding an absurd mare's-nest, which one question 
would have exposed. And you think Annie is really 
fond of William 1 Well, she must let him see it, and 
not be so dreadfully shy. There, you look better now, 
Clara, with your curls about your fiuje. 1 hope you 
have not quite cried your eyes out, or blunted your 
wit at that wretched Bam, for I want you very much 
to help me keep Gilbert at home. I have never been 
able to imderstand him since he came from the diggings, 
and I am constantly making blimders. Try, Clara, fbr 
my sake, to please him, and to fínd out what arguments 
are likely to prevail with him. Add your influence to 
mine, for it would indeed be a pity if Gilbert Elliot 
should find no better field for his talent and energy 
than the gold-fields.' 

* What can my influence do if yours fails?' said Clara ; 
« but I wUl try,' 

Keginald had taken up Margarefs album in her 
absence, and found in it some very curious notes and 
abstracts, legal and statistical. Still he did not think 
her at all unfeminine ; there was a basket of stockings 
which she had been mending, lying on the side-table, 
the piano on which she had been playing was still open, 
and when she came in, she put down the tea-thmgs, 
and cut bread-and-butter with a housewifely air, in 
which there was nothing alarming. 

It was not long before Annie came home with 
another warm greeting for Clara, in the midst of which 
Gilbert also arrived. 

* Here he is,' Annie cried, * with the usual papers 
imder his arm. But there shall be no writing done 
to-night, Gilbert, for Clara has come home ; Mr. Regi- 
nald has brought her back safe at last.* 

' And she is welcome,* said Gilbert. * I shall soon 
make y ou useful again, Clara ; you will help me like you 
used with my copying, for I must go through a great 
deal of work before I start for the Bendigo again.' 



288 CLABA MORISON. 

< You will have time to do it all for yourself before 
then/ Clara answered. * So you don't think of trying 
theAdelaidediggings?' 

* I may possibly look at them, but I am told it is afl 
puddling work there, and that no great piizes are 
offered. Besides, one cannot call it going to ihe 
diggings to move only twenty miles fix)m home. There 
is a certain adventure in a trip to !Forest Creek, or 
even to Ballarat, which is utterly wanting in a joumey 
to Echinga.' 

**Far fowls have feir feathers," said Margarei. 
' But indeed I wish these new diggings were ftiither 
from town. If they tum out productive, Adelaide will 
be intolerable as a residence. K Melboume, eiglity 
miles from the nearest gold-fields, is made so disagiee- 
able and dangerous by them, what will this town be 
when the diggers can come down in a day, and 
will probably £avour us with their company everj 
Sundayr 

* Well, Margaret,* said George, * I have just leamed 
for your satisfaction, that there is not much chance of 
Echinga rivalling even the Txiron. It wiU be well for 
us in that case, fbr it was a respectable thing to say of 
South Australia, in addition to ^No convicts here,' 
* No gold found here.' ' 

Tea had been but a short time over, when Beginald 
rose to take leave. They wished him to accept a bed, 
but he had business, he said, at Handy's. Mr. Haussen 
was retumed, he had heard, and he had a message for 
him. He must bid them good night. 

'Then come and spend to-morrow with us,' said 
Margaret. * Come to church with us, and dine here 
aflerwarda' 

* That I shall be most happy to do. At present I 
feel too weary to be good company for such a happy 
party. Good night, Miss Morison ; you look wonder- 
friUy well after so long a joumey. Good night— good 
night.' 

*I must go to bed,' said Clara, when the door 



THE ECHINGA DIG6INGS. 239 

closed after him. ^I am more fatigued than I 
appear.' 

And slie retired with Amiie, after a repeated ' good 
night' to the others. 

^ T want sleep, Annie dear,' she said, when they 
were together, * and so I will not sleep with you to- 
night, for if we begin to talk, we shall lie awake all 
the night.' 

* Yes, yoii shall be by yourself to-night. — But do 
you know what Margaret has been telling me ? Do 
you really think Margaret will feel no pain if 
WiUiam ' 

'Nothing but pleasure, Annie. Irresistible as he 
appears to you, you must not fenoy other people have 
exactly the same taste.' 

* But he is so true, so upright, so generous, that one 
would think even Margaret could wish for nothing 
more. How good Margaret has been to me 1' 




240 CULIU MORISON. 

CHAPTER XXL 

XR. BBQCíALD DELIVEBS SOPHIE'S IíETTEB. 

BOTH HandT and Haussen had been, on the vMey 
fortunate at tlie diggings, and brought home abont 
two hundi^ pounds* worth of gold with them. Handy 
was lavishing his monev in presents to his wife, and in 
trcating his firiends ; but Mrs. Handy was still doing 
her best to keep her boarders together, for she m 
that her husband*s habits of steady industiy were com- 
pletely broken up, and that she must depend hencefor- 
ward on her own exertions. Haussen was seeking em- 
ployment, but with Tery little encouragement from his 
helpless little wife. She had forgotten all about the 
cousin who had spent a night in the hoiise, and onlj 
remembered, for her hushand*s information and enter- 
tainment, the pretty speeches and compliments whidi 
had been paid to her by Harris and other gentlemeiL 
Mrs. Handy was prevented by a certain foreboding 
from mentioning the visitor, and left it to Reginald to 
tell the news. It was not till the next moming that 
he found an opportunity to deliver the letter, and to 
explain how he had received it Haussen was much 
agitated by the tala 

* If I had known — ^if I could have imagined that 
I was so near happiness, nothing could have made me 
swerve from my fidelity,' said he. * Poor dear Sophie ! 
how did she look ? I have not seen her for many years. 
She is just my own age, and I dare say her appearance 
may have changed, but her heart is the same — so true, 
so warm, so unselfish. And I have left her to pine 
out her life in solitude, toil, and poverty. She waited 
for me till her youth was over, and she has but a 
poor chance of settling in life comfortably at thirty- 
two. You saw her down to the vessel she says, and 
you showed her kindness. Thank you for it, my good 
friend. Do you think she will get over this blow V 



A SURPEISB AKD DISOUSSIOX. 241 

' I think she may in time ; she, at least, has nothing 
to roproach herself with.' 

' But how did Rhe speak to Maria V Haussen asked. 
' How did they look beside each other V 

' She spoke gently and kindly, and seemed to think 
Mrs. Haussen pretty and fieuBCÍnating; but, to my eyes, 
Miss Wemer was muoh the more attractive of the 
two ; for though she does not look young, she is a very 
handsome woman, and has a fíne manner.* 

' I hope she may marry some one better than I am/ 
said Haussen, sighing, 'and be happier. But, Begi- 
nald, I cannot stay here spending money, and doing 
no good. I must either go out to the country and 
&rm, or go to Melboume. I should prefer the farm, 
but Maria has a horror of the bush, so I must set off 
as soon as possible for Yictoria. I think I shall go by 
the * Sea-bird' on Tuesday.* 

* This is a very sudden resolution/ Eeginald said. 
* Have you consulted your wife about it V 

' It just came into my head this minute ; but what 
good would it do to consult my wife T 

' WiU you come to church with me, Mr. Haussen V 
said the lady spoken of, tapping at the door of Begi- 
nald's room, where he and Haussen wore talking Ger- 
man together. 

* No, my love, you must pray for me to-day. She 
has got a new bonnet and mantle, and wants to show 
them off, Eeginald. I am going into the fields with 
Sophie's letter, and hope I shall not feel savage when 
I come back.' 

* I don*t like you to talk that horrid German, Mr. 
Haussen ; it looks as if you did not want me to un- 
derstand what you say. Well, good-bye, I am off to 
church ; Mr. Bradshaw will only be too glad of the 
chance of esoorting me.' 

* I think it wiU be good to take her to Melboumo, 
Keginald, away from these foolish people who flattor 
her so much. So, you are going to church too ; but 1 
shall see you at diimer V 

VOL. 11. B 



t40 



l'»'.,;o5t»'? j b«> -^ 




242 CLAKA Moiusoir. 

> I am cug ig cd to dine with Greoi^ Ellioty so I sbll 
nol see tou agpin till ni^tw' 



Bdl wis ako dining with the ElliotB on 
this daj. and was akgreeaUj snipriaed at Annie's oommg, 
of her own aococd, to ait heside him, aaking him ques- 
ticcis^ and kmking to him ^mt attentLon and oonversa- 
don. Theze was a mixtore of finankness and tíinidity 
in her msnner which gaTe him great encouragement, 
and made him think that she had quite foigotten Mr. 
Harn& Annie wished she coold forget him, for she 
fdx ashuned of heraelf whoieTer a thought of hiin 
croesed her mind. 

As Ibr Marguet» she woold scaroely speak to William 
at alLand lather overdid her little piece of managemeDÍ 
9ie desired to throw tog^ether Gilbert and Clara, and 
WiUiam and Annie ; and thns it fell to her to eater- 
tain B^inald. Bnt he was not one to flatter himself 
Úist her qnesticms as to the working of the volnntajy 
sjstem in the north, her r^iets that there was no 
draich near Taringa» her sympathy with his difficnlties 
in getting shepheidsy and her interest in the idsÍDg 
piice of wool, expiessed any peisonal feeling. He saw 
what was in her mind with r^aid to Olara^ and he 
thought th^ne was no doubt of her sucoess. 

'Is theie any vessel going home to Biitain soonf 
asked Claia. 

' Yes, theie is one expected to sail in a fortnight)* 
Geoige answeied ; ' but it is of no \ise to write hj iiy 
when we ezpect the fiist steamer in eveiy day.' 

' M7 question did not lelate to wiiting,' Clara said ; 
' but I think of going home to Scotland.' 

* Nonsense, Claia,' exclaimed Gilbert ; * don't break 
our heaits by talking so. I have plenty of writing for 
you to do, and Margaiet has a month's work in store 
in dedphering her hieroglyphic& And, besides, you 
cannot mean to leave the colony the same Clara Mori- 
son you came.' 



A SURPRISB AND DISCUSSION, 243 

* My uncle has written for me, and Susan is very 
anxious that I should be with her again. I have 
authority to draw, George; I suppose it oan be done 
through one of the banks)' 

* Exchanges are very heavy against England now, 
Clara,* observed Gilbert. * Wait till the current of 
gold flows back upon us coined, and you may get the 
bill done at par. Your uncle wiU excuse your delay, 
if you save him seven per cent. discount.' 

* That is an odd reason for sta^dng where I seem un- 
able to eam my Uving.' 

* You are perfectly able to eam your living here,' 
said Gilbert ; * and you know that when I go to the 
diggings, you wiU be wanted to keep Margaret com- 
pany. I wish you would teach her something new 
next trip ; I have a &jnous study for her.' 

'What is thatl' asked Margaret, eagerly; *what 
would you like me to leamí* 

* I want you to leam that graphio style of describing 
people and characters which Olara excels in. She hit 
off the people of the north to a nicety, Mr. Reginald ; 
the whole bevy of sheep-&rmers who visited at Mrs. 
Beaufort*s, and who, I dare say, thought they made 
themselves vastly agreeable to her, have been dissected 
in masterly style. I do not suppose I have escaped 
myself ; and as for you . . . .' 

* Stop, Gilbert,' said Olara. ' You may imagine my 
opinion of yourself, if you please; but you have no 
right to meddle with other people. I really think I 
ought to go back to my uncle; he has a situation ready 
for me in the Highlands.' 

* You wiU not like Scotland afber being here nearly 
two years, Clara,' GUbert urged. 'You may shake 
your head, and fancy you have had misery enough in 
AustraUa; but by-and-bye you would be sorry you 
ever left the colony of colonies, as Annie calls it' 

* Why, then, are you so anxious to leave it yourself, 
GUbert ]' Olara asked. 

r2 



244 CLABA MOBISON. 

* Oh,' was the answer, ' you know that I only go in 
the hope of retuming with gold enough to increaae my 
influence, and to improve my prospects.' 

* But that is very commonplace/ said Olara. * Every- 
])oáj looks for advancement by means oí money: it 
would be much more distinguished — ^much more strik- 
íng — ^to trust to prudence and talent. And I am sure 
it would be pleasanter, when you grow old, to have 
people date your rise from the time when you made an 
eloquent speech or an important reform, than from the 
day when you brought home a large bag full of nug- 
gets from the gold-fields.' 

'What makes you always throw law in my teeth, 
Clara 1 Have you ever looked through my boioksl — ^I 
am sure, if you have, you must have been ahocked at 
the amount of rubbish you foimd in them.' 

' Which a clever man might do something towards 
clearing away,' Clara said. 'A colonial lawyer has 
great advantages in that respect, for antiquated abuses 
cannot be looked on with the same reverence here as 
in the mother country.' 

* Would you like to leam to engross, Clara 1 We 
want a good hand, and I could fínd you employment; 
I hate the thing myself, I am so very slowj but you 
are clever with the pen, and I have no doubt that you 
would very soon do it in first-rate style.' 

^ I have a fancy for everything imladylike^ and of 
course should like to leam it. And there is another 
thing I wish to leam — ^that is, to speak German; for ï 
have suffered from my inability.' 

*I have nearly forgotten the little I ever knew,' 
said GHbert; ' but I think it is pretty clear, from aU 
this, that you are not going away to Scotland.' 

^And you, Gilbert, I hope, are not going to the 
Bendigo either,' observed Margaret, who had been de- 
lighted with the force of Clara's arguments. 

' You are much too strong for me, now you bave 
Clara to back you,' Gilbert answered. * I must own 
that at present I have very little desire to go to the 



A SURPEISE AND DISCUSSION. 245 

'diggings; I must fortify myself with an hour's soli- 
' tude, and consider how ill used I am, how little I am 
, appreciated, and how slowly I can rise, before I am fit 

• for another battle.' 

■ ' Does he look like an iU-used man Y said Annie to 
' William Bell. * He has his own way far more than 
' George has, and I am sure he does not deserve it.* 
' ' Annie upon me, too l' said Gilbert, trying to make 
' round eyes. ' The first time she has condesoended to 

• notice me to-day, and now so severe.' 

' * I fancy you must be in the wrong,' observed Regi- 
nald, ' for you seem always apprehensive of an attack.' 
' The conversation now tumed upon the requisites of 
I sermons, and Reginald saw that Gilbert and Clara dif- 
I fered in respect to what constituted a good one. The 
poetical element in her mind had no counterpart in her 
cousin's, and the discordance seemed to give Gilbert all 
the more to say, and increased spirit to say it well; so 
that the good-humoured contest served to show them 
both to advantage. Gilbert treated Clara's opinions 
with respect and tendemess, even while he dissented 
from them ; he seemed to remember all she had said 
in the week afber his retum from the diggings; and he 
appeared to know her letters by heart Clara herself 
tnought him improved since they parted; he was moré 
frank and agreeable, though he certainly talked too 
much to her, and did not treat Beginald with sufficient 
attention. 

Afber tea, Eeginald accompanied the rest to church, 
but was not able to ofier Clara his arm, as Gilbert wa£i 
before him, and walked with her Êtr in advance of the 
other& His conversation with Margaret flagged sadly, 
and yet she talked well — ^it was better Sundísty conver- 
sation than he had heard all day — ^but an idea that his 
interest with Clara was declinmg, a j&ncy that even 
her friendship might cool under the new infiuences 
around her, made him so absent and blundering, that 
Margaret wondered why Clara had ever called him the 
best of Sunday companions. 



246 CLAHA MORISON. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

A BELEASE. 

REGINALD went out to liis station on the follow- 
ing day. Little dreaming that Clara was agitated 
by a struggle very similar to his own — a struggle be- 
tween affection and duty — ^he hoped that the solitude 
of Taringa would calm down the fever of his mind. 
Months had now passed since he heard from Julia ; he 
no longer doubted her indifference; he had written 
twice to her since he received her last letter, explain- 
ing that, in the position of the colony, it was impossible 
for hÍTïi to go home even for a short time ; and also 
telling her that owing to the rise in wages, and all 
other expenses, he was now a much poorer man than 
he had been. But at that time everybody in the 
colony was complaining of the non-arrival of letters, 
for the sailing vessels all went round by Melboume, 
where their seamen deserted for the diggings, and they 
were often detained for months ; while the govemment 
steamers varied in their paasages from three months to 
five, and thus made things very little better. So on 
the present occasion the Australian had been long over- 
due ; and when at last it arrived, Ileginald had subsided 
into such a state of gloomy indifference, that he let 
several days pass before he sent for his letters. 

' The * Australian* is in, sir,' said Duncanson, when 
he came back; ' an' I ha'e gotten a muckle letter for ye, 
an* paid just the dooble price for it. It's no like at 
hame, where sic a letter would only cost tippence, but 
to be sure it comes a lang way. There's a little ane 
forbye.' 

Reginald tore open the Httle letter first, for it was 
from Julia; and read thus: — 

^SiR, — I beg to set you free from an engagement 
whicii I can easíly aee ix^<^ you. miserable. It hafi 



A RELEASE. 247 

givon me no happiness either, and though your mother 
is grieved, and your sisters are indignant, I think you 
owe me thanks for this decisive step. 

* I wish. you happy with some one better suited to 
you than I am, and remain, 

* Your sincere friend, 

*JULIA MaRSTON.' 

Reginald could not help smiling at this curt littlé 
note, and wondering if any one had dictated it to the 
writer ; it was so unlike her usual style. But, relieved 
and amused as he was, the cavalier manner of the dis- 
missal was still somewhat mortifying. 

The other letter was partly from Alice, and partly 
from Jane; and there was also a short letter from 
Reginald's mother, which he read first, but which, 
though full of pity for his disappointment, and of 
wonder at Julia's conduct, explained nothing. ^ Alice 
puts most news into her letters; I will see what she 
says.' Alice did not extenuate what had occurred. 

* You are not only rejected,' she wrote, afber some 
preliminary lamentation, *but rejeoted in favour of 
another ; and that other, your friend, Mr. Dent I It 
was partly our own fault, for we liked him and en- 
couraged him to visit us ; and our mother was so pleased 
at his settling in the neighbourhood — all on your 
account ; — ^but had we known how it was to tum out, 
I am sure we should never have spoken to him.' 

^ I believe he never declared himself till he heard 
the news of the gold discoveries; and then he went 
and told Julia that everybody in South Australia, and 
the sheep-farmers in particular, were utterly ruined ; 
and that the colony was being deserted as ást as the 
ships could convey people away. I believe he told her 
also that his own income was materially lessened by 
the stopping of the Burra mine in the crisis. I suppose 
she looked concemed; but at any rate, somehow or 
another, he managed to make a proposal; and what 



248 CLASA MOMSON. 

do jou think wa£i her answer 1 she told him thal^ if ahe 
had not been entangled in a childish engagement to 
you, she would have been happy to accept him even 
with half his former means ! A childish engagement, 
indeed !' 

Beginald, reading the letter in a vein whoUy diffe- 
rent from that of the writer, hurried rapidly over the 
rest of the story — ^how Mr. Dent appUed to Julia's 
Mends ; how they protested against the proposed breach 
of Mth ; and how the suitor only became more pressing 
in consequence ; until he read that the matter ended in 
an elopement — ^when he aknost clapped his hands, and 
tossing the letter on the table, called eagerly to Dun- 
canson for the newspapers. 

* Walth o' papers, sir, half a pokefu. There's a lot 
o* the picture papers amang them ; I put them a' aneath 
the book shelves.' 

The ' lUustrated London News' was however tossed 
heedlessly aside; even the 'Evening Mail* was not 
looked at; while Beginald sought hastily for the insig- 
nifícant-looking Adelaide papers, and glanced eagerly 
over their shipping news. — * The Petrel has taken all 
her cargo and passengers on board, and wiU clear out 
to-morrow.' — But to-morrow was yesterday, and no 
list of passengers was given. — Could Clara have gone 
to Scotland without letting him know 1 had he been 
treated as a common acquaintance, and left to glean 
the intelligence from the newspapers ? — ^And now he 
was free. — ^Why had not Julia released him months 
ago? why did she wait for a better offer beforé she told 
him her engagement was a bondage? — ^Why had not the 
steamer kept its time, that he might have declared 
himself to Clara when her heart was sofbened to hm 
by gratitude and hope, when her kisses were on his 
Imnds, and her blessings rising to Heaven for him) — 
Then the thought of Gilbert flashed across his mind ; 
then again he recalled Clara's apparent determination 
to leave the unfriendly colony; thinking, with a sigh, 
tbai be himself had not urged her to stay. He was 



A EELEASE. 249 

ondering if it would still be of any use to go into town 
id tiy his &te ; and imagining his feelings if he should 
id that Clara had gone off in the hateful Petrel ; when 
) heard a vehiole of some kind approaching his housa 
iurrying to the door, he saw Mr. Hodges alighting 
^m his gig; Minnie was with him, but waited to 
low if Heginald oould give tired travellers a night*s 
iging. 

' Minnie and I meant to have reached the Burra to- 
ght/ said Mr. Hodges; * but the roads are too heavy ; 
d so we are come to ask you for some sort of bush 
oommodation.* 

* I shall be too happy,' E^ginald answered. * We have 
enty of room, but Miss Hodges must not expect 
3gance.* 

'Oh! I am so tired!' exclaimed Minnie, when she 

is seated in the easy chair by the fíre. ' It was a silly 

ng of me to come with papa, but he had business at 

Burra, and I had such a wish to see Grace. Why, 

i is a palace of a sheep-station, Mr. Beginald. Bookis, 

ures, fire-irons, why you only want paper-hangings 

a carpet, to be equal to us, who do not consider 

elves bush people at alL I shall never allow again 

you bachelor sheep-fermers deserve any pity; you 

dt here and smoke your independent pipe; you 

a pretty cat and two handsome dogs for company ; 

'hat can you want morel' 

eU, somefewthÍDgs,' Beginald said, smiling; <but 
ive brought a little sunshine with you, and my 
ation looks all the brighter for it. Have you 
^ross the countryí' 

ao ! we came by Adelaide,' replied lilr. Hodges. 

» does not mind tiring the horse, and she has 

'' dear friends in town, she will not miss any 

lity of seeing them. I expect her to cut her 

csonnexions altogether very soon.' 

) blushed, and said something about the 

^f saving five or ten miles, at the expense of 

orse roads and no bridges. Beginald| who 



250 CLARA MORISON. 

was very anxious to know all about her dear friends in 
town, tned to speak indifTerently^ as he asked how they 
had lefb the Elliots. 

* All weU,' answered Minnie ; * everjrthing going on 
delightfully ; William Bell has at last summoned resolu- 
tion to propose to Annie, and she has not said ' no.' I 
never saw her looking so well ; she was always a very 
pretty creature, but now she looks so happy that I think 
her positively beautiful; and as for him, he is really the 
pleasantest feUow I ever saw.' 

* Except * said her father. 

* Don't interrupt me, papa, please; it is to be atleast 
a twelvemonth's engagement, as William wishes to be 
more settled in business before he marries. Our poor 
Charley is sadly cast down, and declares he will not go 
to the marriage, even if he is asked ; but I expect that 
before a year has passed, master Charley will have got 
over his disappointment, and be very glad of an invitar- 
tion.' 

^ And how is — Miss Margaret making up her mind 
to ' Reginald hesitated. 

' To ' wearing green stockingsï' ' said Minnie. ' More 
than philosophicaUy, delightedly. She knows Annie 
wiU be happy, and she has been rather anxious about 
her of late. Clara has done them all good. I rather 
think she poked up WiUiam BeU to make the offer; 
and now she is teasing GUbert out of his determination 
to go to the diggings. She has leamed to engross, and 
is beginning to teach him short-hand; Margaret wiU be 
able to keep it up when Clara has gone.' 

'Gone!' exclaimed Eeginald, *gone where? Not to 
Scotland, I hope !' 

* Oh no I the ElUots wUl not spare her, though her 
poor sister at home has written for her quite piteously. 
And Mrs. Bantam has written to her too, offering her 
a handsome salary if she wUl go over to Melboume to 
be her factotum ; but to that Margaret objected, saying 
that the position of half-servant, half-compaiúon, is not 
at aïl comfortable.' 



A RELEASE. 251 

* Where is she goiug, thení' asked Beginald, with the 
greatest impatience. 

' Minnie takes a long time to tell a plain story/ said 
her father ; ' but it is evident enough that self-willed 
Maggie Elliot does not wish her pretty little cousin to 
leave the colony, and anybody, with common penetra- 
tion, can easily see why. She and all of us are anxious 
that Gilbert should not go back to the diggings again, 
and take my Charley, when I want the boy so badly at 
home ; and so if Miss Morison can help Maggie to fíx 
him to the law — and he is sure to make a figure there, 
for I never saw such a clear head for business in so 
young a man ; and he has a good memory, and great 
quickness both in speaking and thinking, so that I think 
his success may be looked on as certain — if Miss Morison 
can help to do this, it will be a very good thing for 
everybody. And I for one think it likely enough she 
will be Mrs. Gilbert Elliot, shortly afber Gilbert is out 
of his time.' 

' Papa is a great deal more tedious than I am,' said 
Minnie. *The fact is, that we have prevailed upon 
Clara to come out as govemess to us; and as papa 
thinks he shall be able to part with her in £ve or six 
years, he good-naturedly gives her to Gilbert, as soon 
as it is convenient for himself. I think it likely enough 
myself, but it is rather premature to speak of it. Who 
would have thought, when we first saw the quiet little 
servant-girl at Mrs. Bantam*s, that she was by-and-bye 
to become such an important person in our eyes ï — at 
least in mine; I must beg pardon for including you.' 

^ I thought that you taught your brothers and sisters 
yourself,' Reginald said, vainly trying to suppress a 
sigh. 

* Oh, they have got much too clever for me, now,' 
oried Minnie. 

' That*s a good joke,' said her father; 'a fine excuse 
for your deserting them ! It is no secret, Reginald — and 
I rather enjoy telling it — ^that my girl is going to marry 
George Elliot in six weeks; and though, of course, I 




252 CLASA MOBISON, 

ghall miss lier, I doii*t think I shall ever repent giving 
her to one we have known so long, and never heard 
anything against. He is getting into an exoellent 
bnsiness, and will by-and-bye take a lead in the colony, 
I expect.' 

Reginald acknowledged that he had already had his 
sospioions of an attachment between the yoiing people ; 
congratnlating Mr. Hodges on his son-in-law elect, and 
wishing Minnie every happiness. Minnie was prond 
of her lover^ and looked more radiant than ever. Her 
&ther and Beginald began to talk over the English 
news, and to £índ the last quotations in the previously 
despised papers; and then to discnss the expense of 
their respective sheep-shearings; while she looked 
through the ' Blustrated News' for the fashions^ to see 
if she could hit on something pretty for her wedding- 
dress. But she soon laid down the papers, and sat 
gazing at the cheerful fire, pondering over her old ran- 
dom supposition that Reginald was engaged to some 
lady at home, of which she had been reminded by the 
hurried and agitated manner in which he crumpled his 
letters into his pocket when she entered with her 
&ther. This idea, however, did not engross her long ; 
she soon let her thoughts tum to their habitual sub- 
ject, which, of course, was Greorge Elliot; and drew 
pictures in her imagination fáx finer than any either 
painted or engraved. 

She made tea for the party ; and Beginald could not 
help thinking how well Clara managed it, and how 
pretty she would look sitting in that place as mistress 
of the house. Minnie*s praises of Taringa were én- 
couraging; and, afber aU, there had not been many 
weeks for Gilbert to make his way with Clara, and he, 
Beginald, was a much older acquamtance. Clara had 
asked his advice, she had trusted to his protection. He 
would go to town as soon as hís guests lefb him, and 
see how she looked, at any rate. And if unable to ob- 
tain a private interview with her, he would write his 

posal^ and explain why it had been so long delayed. 



A BELEASE. 253 

Mr. Hodges and Minnie retired in good time, so that 
about ten o'clock Iteginald found himself alone, trying 
to conooot a letter to Clara, but long faíling to satisfy 
himself His sixth attempt proved no better than his 
first, but he adopted it in despair. 

Breakfast at Taringa was early enough to please 
even Mr. Hodges; and as Minnie vras anxious to get 
to Mr& Martin's in good time, they started immediately 
it was over. Beginald said that he must go into Ade- 
laide, as he was dbort of wool-bags, and also wanted to 
hire two additional handsj so he set off at the same 
time with his guests. 

*Papa,' said Minnie, as they drove away on their 
separate roads, ' t am afraid you will have to advertise 
for a govemess, for I am rather doubtfíil about Clara 
Morison.' 






254 CLARA MOBISON. 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

BBOTHEB AND SISTEB. 

ON the aftemoo j of that same day, it happened that 
Annie Elliot had appointed to take a walk with 
William BeU, who was to oome for her at four o'clock. 
Gilbert declared he must have a walk, too, for he felt 
completely smoke-dried, with being so much in-doors 
all winter, and the weather was now so beautiful that 
it almost made him feel romantic. Would his cousin 
Clara favour him with her company? But Clara had 
a letter to write to her sister, annouficing her change 
of destination, and the Petrel was positively to sail to- 
morrow. So Margaret offered to accompany him, say- 
ing she should like it above all things, as she had never 
been out with Gilbert since he came from the diggings. 

William Bell came punctually to his hour, and both 
Margaret and Clara were deUghted to see AnQÍe's 
happy face tumed up with confidence towards hÍÉ^ as 
they went arm-in-arm out of the gate towards the hills. 
But Margaret soon became impatient for the arrival of 
Gilbert. 

* I have not had a walk with him for many months/ 
she said to Clara ; ' and I have a great deal to say to 
him that I cannot say before these foolish lovers, or 
even before you, Clara. I hope you do not mind being 
left by yourself, and indeed, I dare say you will like 
the quiet to write in. I suppose you find it easy 
enough to write home to your sister, having left her so 
recently. But I find it hard work to write to people 
who remember me a mere child, and of whom my own 
recoUections are rather dim. I am obliged to put a 
great deal of politics inio my letters, Clara, for want of 
anything else to say; but that is a common habit of 
mine. Those letters I wrote to you at the Bam were 
a very poor exchange for yours ; but then I was so un- 
happy, so uncertain, so diffident of everything, that I 



, BEOTHER AND SISTEE. 255 

ould not write bome news. I will wríte better letters 
— o you at the south, particularly if Gilbert does not go 

~ o the diggings ^Ah, here he comes at last ! I think 

,^ou know where my parasol is, for I certainly do not; 

r— thank you. I will meet him at tl^e gate.* 
And Margaret took her brother's arm, and walked 
jSÍlently with him till they were clear of the town. 

* Now, Margaret,* then said he, * I know you have 
^ something on your mind, but you seem to want words. 
g Don*t be afraid to scold me, for I know I deserve some 
I blame for my absurd jealousy of William BelVs influ- 

ence with you. That cloud is cleared away now, and 
I think I can quite appreciate all his good qualities.' 

* Gilbert,* Margaret answered, ' I have a great deal 
to say to you, but I must have time, and you must 
have patience with me. I know that ofben, when I 
have the best intentions in the world, I notwithstand- 
ing give offence, because I want tact and discemment; 
but surely there need be no half-hints or beating about 
the bush between brother and sister; particularly be- 
tween such a brother and sister as we are. I have 
always thought that such a family as ours forms a va- 
luable element in colonial society; we came here not 
to make our fortunes and leave the colony forthwith, 
but to grow up and settle in it; we have all rather 
more than average abilities; we have had good prin- 
ciples instilled in us from early youth; we have all a 
deep feeling of our accountability to God for both our 
private and public conduct; we have all, I think, a 
love for the country of our adoption, and a wish to 
seWe it; and we are not eager about money — we 
do not care to make haste to be rich, at least we used 
to show moderation on this point, though lately I have 
been grieved to see this passion growing upon you.' 

* It is not love of money, Margaret,' said Gilbert, 
eagerly; 'it is because wealth is the only lever by 
which we can move our little world. It is because 
money brings distinction, influence, and authority, and 
because nothing else can do so, We have no patronage 



\ 



256 CLABA MOBISON. 

in the ooloniesj even suppoBÍiig I became a fLrBir-nite 
lawyer, as I could if I tried, should I ever have a chanoe 
of rising to the bench, or even of being adTocate- 
generall I am aware that an equal amomit of stndy 
in the colony would make a better colonial lawyer or 
colonial jndge than the same study in England; but 
how few would believe this. Every office is fiUed by 
8ome needy hanger-on of DowningHstreet; by seoond 
or third-rate middle-aged men, who never imderstand 
our wants, and never leam to care for our interests. 
And as for private practice, I am not pettifogging 
enough or sharp enough about technicalities to sncceed 
well in Adelaide. I admire broad principles, and canr 
not stoop to a mere ferreting out of verbal errora' 

' But before you are a first-rate lawyer^ I expect that 
things will be changed here. I think that the dis- 
covery of these gold-fíelds will throw ns at onoe into a 
more advanced state ; I do not mean of morals^ bat it 
will bring us improvements in arts and scienoes : we 
shall have steam and railways ; towns will grow sud- 
denly into cities; population will increase at an nnex* 
ampled rate ; and not only diggers and speculators will 
come to our shores, but men of inteUect and enterprise. 
The English govemment will fínd out that the surest 
way to keep her colonies, is to leave them very much 
to act for themselves. It was the want of patronage, 
more than the Stamp Act, that lost her America. And, 
Gilbert, we shall soon be an important nation; you 
must get into coimcil by-and-bye, and help to clear 
away the cumbrous and expensive trappings of justice. 
It is likely that transportation to these colonies will 
soon be abolished; but the effect of so many criminahs 
having been poiu'ed into them wholesale for so many 
years must be long felt in every part of Australia. íf 
you can make any improvements in our criminal law — 
if you can make our prison discipline reformatory — ^if 
you can do somethmg towards raising our moral 
standard of education, so that we may not sink in the 
seale of nations through having been deluged with 



BROTHER AND SISTER. 257 

thieves and pickpockets — jou will have lived to a great 
and useful purposa Yes, Gilbert, you must get into 
council, and I must live to see it.' 

^ As a delegate !' exclaimed Gilbert, scomfully. 
^ Shall it be mine to implore the most sweet voices of 
the lieges, with bowing and cringing ? to represent all 
men as naturally equal 1 and — ^reckoning the most igno- 
rant mechanics or day-labourers as wise as myself — 
humbly to beg them to accept of me as their mouth- 
piece, and retum to my constituents every session for 
insti*uctions what to say, and how to vote V 

^ No, you must be a representative, not a delegate,' 
Margaret answered; 'you need not cringe to the 
people, but, on the other hand, you must not despise 
them. They certainly have a right to some courtesy 
and consideration. You must speak the tmth, and 
deal honestly, and I believe that you will inspire con- 
fídence. I was not satisfied with the manner in which 
the candidates on both sides conducted their election» 
eering affairs last year. Votes ought to be solicited 
respectfíilly by the candidate in person, and not left to 
an unscmpulous committee, who are ready to promise 
anything, but whose promise does not bind the re- 
tumed member. First deserve public favour, and then 
ask for it. Be carefiú now of your reputation ; let no 
one say that you were ever mean or grasping ; let no 
one say that you ever were insincere or dishonest ; and 
by-and-bye your country will be nearly as proud of you 
as I am. I am glad it is ambition that has made you 
80 restless, and not avarice, for ambition can be tumed 
towards noble objects, while avarice is always of the 
earth, earthy.' 

* If I were to go to the diggings, would you stay 
contentedly with G^orge V Gilbert asked. 

* No ; I have thought of opening a school in the 
most populous part of the town. I suppose I might 
expect a grant from govemment, and that even our 
liberal legislators would not prevent me from teaching 
religion, as fiajr as a human teacher can instil it. I 

VOL. IL s 



258 CLABA MOBISOK, 

oould afford to teach for very low fees, if I had not a 
high rent to pay for my school-room, for my wants are 
very few. The very poorest childreii I would teach 
for nothing, for you know, Gilbert, that there íb a 
great lack of labourers in this harvest, and girls are 
tempted by the high wages offered them, to go to 
service before they can readtheir Bibles, and before they 
have any distinct principles of right and wrong to goide 
them through life. They are exposed to many dangers 
and temptations, cast amongst strangers with empty 
minds and uncultivated consciences; they marry yoimg, 
and ofben imprudently ; and when children come, they 
do not know how to teach them anything. * Religion 
can be taught only at the mother's knee,' say our 
liberal members ; but if the mothers know nothing of 
it, what is to become of the children 1 I suppose it is 
better that they should perish for lack of faiowledge, 
than that government should lift its finger to save 
them. But so long as the same govemment will let 
me work on sufferance in a cause which it disowns, I 
suppose I may do so.' 

*But you do not like teaching, Margaret,' said 
Gilbert. 

* I can't help my likings or dislikings, Gilbert,' she 
replied. 

* But do you think you will ever make a good 
teacher, without some natural taste for the occupation ? 
It is dreadful drudgery to teach such ignorant and 
tiresome children as you propose to instruct. You will 
meet with nothing but ingratitude from your pupils 
and their parents, and you will perhaps hear the in- 
spector say, that Miss Elliot is in great want of training, 
and that she has apparently taken up the business for 
a livelihood, as she has neither the acquired skill nor 
the natural talent requisite to success. To think that 
yoUy who have never been found fault with in your 
life — you, who are so admired and honoured in your 
own femily, should be subjected to such remarks ! The 
nian might recommend you to go to a normal school !' 



BROTHER AND SISTER. 259 

Margaret's colour had changed several times during 
her brother's speecL She put her hand to her heart, 
as she answered — 

* Perhaps the best thing I could do would be to go 
to a normal school, but there is none within reacL I 
must do something more interesting than washing 
dishes and sweeping floors, — ^very good occupations in 
their way, but not enough to fill my mind I have 
been grieved at my distaste to teaching, and that at 
twenly-five I am not so pliant as I was at eighteen ; 
but since I have lost the labour of the last few years, 
— ^for it is only through you that my legal knowledge 
can be of any avail — I must bend myself to the only 
career now open to me, and undertake a sort of ragged 
schooL' 

* Have you spoken to Clara of this strange resolu- 
lution V Gilbert asked. 

* Yes ; I thought at first of her joining me, but as it 
might hurt her prospects of settling in life, I have re- 
commended her to go to Mrs. Hodges' instead. — I 
thought Clara might have influenced you, Gilbert ; she 
is very averse to your going back to Bendigo. You 
are fond of Clara ; are you not V 

* Yes ; she is a very nice girl.' 

* Are you not in love with her, Gilbert 1 Look into 
your heart, and tell me truly; she is a sister to me 
already, and my most earnest wish is, that by-and-bye 
she should be your wife.' 

* Why, Margaret, I thought that you disapproved of 
cousins marrying.* 

* But you are once removed on both sides of the 
house ; so that is a very trifling objection.' 

* But really I am not in love with her at all. She is 
a very clever girl, and a very charming girl, but she is 
too clear-sighted for me. She sees all my faults fe,r 
better than you can do, and will never love me half so 
well. Besides, I have no idea of entangling myself in 
a long engagement.' 

* AÍ !' said Margaret, in a disappointfód \tóixa/ Wjúw^'ïk 

s 2 



I 



260 CLABA MORISON. 

been mistaken, I see. I am yery sony, for I thoo^t 
jou would take Clara^s advioe if you loved her.* 

^ And caDnot I take yours, when I love youy mj dear 
sister í Did you really think that a little chit of a 
couainy whom I have only known for a few weeksy 
oould do more with me than the sister I am so proud 
of ? I have news for you, Margaret ; Mr. Hastings 
offered me my articles to-day; I suppose he does not 
want me to go just now, because he begins to find mj 
head useM, and two of the other clerks have given 
notioe to leave next week. I said that I would give 
h\vn an answer to-morrow ; and I wish to consult you 
about it. It is reallj a consideration to me, that in 
throwing law overboard, I throw away the fruits of 
your years of patient study; and though five years is a 
long time to wait before our knowledge becomes avail- 
able, we shall be all the more thorough lawyers when 
we do begin. Now, in the first place, we must oon- 
sider ourways and means; we must make sure thatwe 
have enough to live on during our probation. Interest 
is coming down, and all the necessaries of life are 
rising, so that my four hundred pounds is a very poor 
thing to depend on, and the interest you can expect 
for your own money will not nearly keep you even in 
dress.' 

* I am not a bad manager,' Margaret said ; * but I 
think we must live by ourselves, and leave George and 
his wife here ; for if you are to study hard, it will be 
dull for them. We must have a smaU cottage to our- 
selves and our books. Oh ! Gilbert, how happy you 
make me ! I have nothing now to wish for.' 

^ Except that I should marry Clara ; perhaps in time 
when I can afibrd it, I may foster a little attachment, 
for she is really a pretty creature, and you love her so 
much. But do you never think of marrying your- 
selfr 

* I think I am past all danger of fiJling in love now, 
and certainly I will not desert you while you are in 
your articles. Poot G\aa»i V 



BEOTHEB, AND SISTEE. 261 

* Wliat are you pitying her for 1 do you think she 
likes me ? How much you are mistaken ! Did you not 
observe how miserable I made Keginald when he 
brought her into to wn, by talking and flirting with her ? 
How I did enjoy it !' 

^ It was heajrtless in you, GiLbert. You mean me to 
understand that you thought he was in love with 
Clara, and that you tried to wound him. You shock 
ma' 

* It served him right/ said Gilbert. * There had he 
been visiting constantly at the Bam, listening to Clara's 
sermons, and praising them, going to the post for her, 
asking her opinion about books, quoting poetry, very 
likely opening to her his religious opinions and his 
religious difficulties, till poor Clara came home with 
her heart considerably touched, and all the while he, 
Mr. Charles Keginald, had never dreamed of proposing 
to a girl who had been once at service. I quite enjoyed 
making him wretched' 

* Cowardly — ^unmanly !' exclaimed Margaret, indig- 
nantly ; *I thought better things of Charles Keginald; 
but Carlyle and G^rman philosophy only make men 
lip-valiant. Clara is his equal in every sense ; she is 
superior to him in tact ; she has youth and beauty in 
her favour ; and yet, because circumstances once forced 
her to eam her bread by honest labour, he considers it 
would be stooping too low to ask her to make him 
happy. And happy she would make him ! He could 
not have been in love with her, or so slight an obstacle 
would not have prevented a declaration.' 

* You seem to know more about love than I do,' said 
Gilbert. * I merely speak from my own observations, 
which I think are correct.' 

* I am afraid they are correct,' answered Margaret. 
* But I must open Clara*s eyes, and show her that 
Keginald is only a creature of conventionalism afber alL 
And I have been praising him so much to her lately— 
he understands the currency, is not lukewarm in his 
politics, is a member of the church oí EiEi.^3KsA^w>iSasssj|^ 



262 CLARA. MORISON. 

being either indifferent or bigoted, agrees with me on 
the voluntary question, likes a good sermon, is a kind 
master, a good neighbour, and a valuable Mend. Oh ! 
Gilbert, surely you must be mistaken ; he could never 
be so cruel to Clara as you say.' 

'Well, let us hope so,' said Gilbert. *But it is 
getting late, we must go home now.' 

Margaret*s mind was coniused between joy and sor- 
row; joy that Gilbert had been so reasonable and 
kind, and that he was restored to her still dearer from 
the temporary alienation ; and sorrow that K^inald 
was so imworthy of her friendship and poor Clara*s 
love. 



4* 4" 4" 



Hi^ 



CONCLUSION. 263 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

CONCLUSION. 

CLARA had scarcely settled to her letter afber Mar- 
garet had gone, when Reginald arrived. He was 
surprised to fínd her alone, and though they had ofben 
been tête-^tête before, he felt this meeting to be at once 
inost embarrassing and most happy. He took a few 
wild flowers from his button-hole and offered them to 
Clara. 

* They are the first of the season,' he said. * I picked 
them on that sunny bank near the Bam. I looked in 
and saw Lucy ; and the blue flower was gathered under 
poor Mrs. Beaufort's bedroom window. You remember 
the bush.' 

Clara tied the flowers together with a thread, and 
fastened them in her bosom. 

* How is little Lucy V she asked 

* Quite well ; Carolina seems to have got very fond 
of her now, and she has taken more kindly to Carolina. 
I did not see Beaufort ; I believe he is in town.' 

* I am glad to hear such good news of Lucy,' said 
Clara ; and she could not thi^ of anything else to say. 
Reginald, too, looked at her without speaking, which 
was very strange, for they had always had topics 
enough and to spare, to discuss. Afber a long pause he 
inquired to whom she was writing. 

* To Susan, my sister. The * Petrel' has been delayed 
for want of hands, and thus I have had time to change 
my mind about going home, and shall send my letter 
by the ship I thought of going in myself I am going 
as govemess to Mrs. Hodges. Minnie is to be married 
to Greorge in six weeks, and I hope to be at the mar- 
riage before I go.' 

* Are you sure that teaching is your vocation Y Re- 
ginald asked. * I have heard you say that you were 



264 CLABA MOBISON. 

more theoretic than practical, and that you doubted 
joar capacitj for teaching.' 

* How can I ever he practical if I have no praciáoei 
Do not throw cold water on mj projects when I meaB 
to he 80 good, Mr. K^inald. If t^u^hing ía not my 
y ocation, what else can I do ? I am so unfortun&te s 
to he a woman, and my ephere is very limited. Suielj 
you woold not have me to go to seryioe again.' 

' No/ said K^inald, in an agitated voice ; ' hut yoi 
have such admnrable qualities for a delightfol cqd- 
panion, that it seems like throwing y our gifts away io 
go among children.' 

' The lady is coming,' thought Glara ; ' but I will be 
no companion of hers. I do not like,' said she, aloiid, 
' to go to a situation where I have no tangible services 
to perform ; and if I had not been also sick nurse aná 
nursemaid at the Bam, I would not have gone as cfínt 
panion to Mrs. Beaufort I do not think I should be 
at all a pleasant companion to healthy people.' And 
Clara pouted her pretty mouth, and tned to look crofl& 

' Clara,' said he, ' I reaUy want you for a companion 
at Taringa.' 

'No. Mrs. K^inald ought to be enough for yon, 
and you for her. I will be a govemess.' 

' Yes ; and teach me many things. Mrs. Reginald 
would indeed be enough for me if you were she. Tell 
me, Clara, should I be enough for you í I am in eamest 
— Clara, will you marry me V 

^What would Miss Julia Marston say to such a 
proposal, sir?' said Clara, haughtily. 

' Julia Marston is now Mrs. Dent, and has no right 
to give any opinion as to my afifairs. I have been jilted, 
Clara. My handsome bride has been^too happy to ao- 
cept your cousin Margaret's rejected suitor, and, thank 
God, I am free. This declaiútion would have come 
long ago, but that I was bound to an indifferent and 
unloving woman. It is not from any caprice I ask 
your hand ; it is from the deep conviction that you only, 
of all women in the world, can make me happy ; and if 



CONCLTTSION. 265 

,: you wiH tr«8t me with your happiness, I wiU guard it 
as my own. You may find yoimger, and handsomer, 

i and better men in the world, but I am sure you can 

;■ never find one who loves you more. Do not refuse me, 

. Clara.' 

Clara put her hand in his. ' I am very proud of 

; your loví sir,' she said; 'and I wiU tryVdeserve 
it. You are yoimg enough, and handsome enough, 
and good enough for me. I can trust myself entirely 
to you.' Her eyes were full of tears, but she shook 
them off, 

* Have you thought me cold,» Clara ? Have you 
thought me indiflferent? Have you ever guessed at 
my struggles? I have sufiered a great deal when I 
could not speak. I only heard of my freedom last 
night, and you see I have lost no time.' 

* I do not wish to conceal anything from you now,' 
answered Clara. ' I must confess that I have loved 
you for a long time; and when I heard of your engage- 
ment, on the night before Mrs. Bantam went to Mel- 
boume, it was a dreadful blow to me. I have tried to 
conquer this attachment, for I knew it was not right ; 
and I have done all I could since I came to town to 
please Margaret, by putting Gilbert in your place, but 
without any success.' 

* Poor Gilbert 1' said ïleginald. 

* Oh 1 do not pity him; he does not care for me.' 
They sat silent for a few minutes. 

* I suppose you think me a voiceless lover, Clara. 
But I was just thinking how difierently I feel towards 
you than I ever did to Julia. I was determined to 
himiour her — to exact nothing from her — ^to bend my 
tastes to hers — and to obtrude none of my peculiar 
idiosyncrasies on her. And now, loving you incom- 
parably more and better than ever I loved her, I feel 
that I shall be an exacting husband. I shall want a 

^very great deal of your time and attention; I shall tell 
you every thought as it arises, without asking myself if 
it is likely to be agreeable to you ; I shall insist on your 



iH« 






iQziBaiiítt iiF 3IT nrvfZiiwfieK lo inake flBcrifiea^iiÍf 
31IC ottTÍn^ nxe w> aiaáz- » y^oo. ^Gniiíe miulg^^ 
nnTTg; mii íiO' 3«sisECzf£l hsrs^ eo miUy guden wki 
^ TTar-^ : ^mn*"» BOBe and dim wing wfll be liii 
jffiiiti. i:r ^is^ loiibsaii wiH lake no intiexest in tlia; 
•Í3*» 'iad -? ItíSTP: *:i áer re^MSÍooB and frieiids, and 
iiiai&á. iersiif «j új^Rxnm : — ^wfaile I hmT^ noi a an^ 
iSÊSStM^ riT-'ii^ T^jereis aolTone little flacnfioety 
I «SBL siú^ : TOx ottj ksiV' jQiir pipe wfaeneirer and 
w^t3^^^^ jm pLeiee : bat tkat is notiiing.' 

- AtiiÍ jnz «Í7 moc e«iáAer tfaat Toa wiU be IwiidMd 
^TOL T*^ïxr íraaafe wá >gqoMnf nces wfaen you go to 
TMTn r gk > R^ïades» TiQQ gi¥eme m first lorefisr a seoood, 
oc p^ï^» A t&ird :— tfaere is m gieat sacrifioe at onc&' 

-lÏEit wat$do«ie ki^aga And, besides, ^o caia 
iJsfí^ báng L>Tied fet I AH I want is to be loved 
besc ud Lmsest : aod tbat I know I sfaall be. £nt do 
né?í expsct p£TlS»!tiofi from me^ for I shall want to be 
hnm»3ciiei a«»n«tim€& And^ above all, if J do not 
nsanase Tonr st^rvants well, do not be angiy with me, 
iar Toa know that is mT weak point.' 

* Do Ton think that Toa coold manage Mr& Xhmcan- 
90Q r Beginald asked smiling. 

' I cannot be too confident even of tbat. And, be- 
sides, she maj not stajmore than the year she engaged 
with you.' 

* But by that time we may get a better manager 
than my little Clara. Write to your aister to come 
and live with you, to help you in this difficult bnsiness 
with her experience. Believe me, your sister will be 
mine, and my house will be a home to her till she 
finds one for herself. I will write to her, too, to intro- 
duce mywïlf to hor as her brother. I am not rich, but 
matterH ar(5 looking up with us now; and I do not 
think 1 liave got an oxtravagant little wife.' 



. CONCLUSION. 267 

^ Clora oould not speak her thanks : she was more 

-r^ pleased than surprised at Beginald's kindness. 

^ * I quite grudge to tell my uncle of my happiness/ 

said she; 'for he will think it is all owing to his 

excellent management. Now, there were ten thousand 

^ ohances to one against mj making either a comfortable 

^ or a happy marriage ; and I do believe that if I had 

not found my cousins, I should have married any one 

only for a home. I tried hard to steel myself against 

it; but time would have wom away all my resolutions. 

And yet my uncle wiU congratulate himself on hÍB 

admirable foresight in his views for Clara.' 

* I suppose they told you, when you came out, that 
you were sure to marry to keep a carriage.' 

' Of course they did,' said Clara, laughing. 

' Then dwell on the fact, that my only vehicle is a 
spring-cart; that I have only one sitting-room, and 
that it has no carpet ; that we are going to live with- 
out any pretensions to style ; that you will have to do 
a great deal of work, and will never go out into com- 
pany. But when you write to your sister, tell her 
that we mean to be very happy; and that some 
improvements can be made at Taringa before she 
comes; though, whén I once see you in it, I shall 
think it paradise abeady. Now, Clara, what is the 
use of delay? We love each other — ^you have no 
parents to make objections, — ^why should we not be 
married this week, and go home quietly Y 

' That is too sudden,' said Clara. ' I have not made 
up my mind that I am not dreaming yet. Besides, 
your busy season is coming on ; and if you leave me 
long by myself at first, I shall be sure to cry a great 
deal, and that wiU be a bad beginning. Your shearing 
will be over in six weeks. Minnie is to be married 
then; and I would rather be married on the same 
day.' 

' I am sure the shearing need not take six weeks; 
but your will is sufficient for me.' 

* And you must write me little scraps of notes as 
you find time ; and let me get better acquainted with 



268 CLABJL MOBISOK. 

jon in tliat way. Bat wliat am I to saj to %l 
Hodges'? for this is treatlng her very ilL' 

^Marríage is a safficient excuse for any bmáij 
contract,* said Reginald 

* But how conld Mias Margton prefer Mr. Dent to ynf 

'Abeence does not make the heart grow Mk 
Clara; and he was richer than I was, and saw bs 
ofben. Here are a few of her letters. And lookil 
mj sister Alice*s : see how she pities me^ and reo» 
mends another ladj.' 

Clara glanced at the letters, and defended !£■ 
Marston. 

' I dare say/ she conclnded, ' MLargaret's old admira 
will be very happy with your loTeljr «Tulia.' 

'Not so happy as I am^' said Heginald, preBÓBg 
Clara's hand. 

It reminded her of a passage in her life that happenBd 
a few weeks ago, and she blnshed deeplj. The reton 
of Margaret and GiLbert relieved her firom embamo- 
ment. 

' I suppose the clergyman can marry two coaples it 
once/ said Beginald; 'for I have prevailed on yoor 
coosin to trast herself to me; and I hope that yon 
will make no objection to adouble marriage, Miss Ellioif 

^ None at all,' said Margaret, looking triumphantly 
at Gilbert. * Clara, I wish you happiness both in thi 
world and in the next. I am glad to see that jrou aie 
not ashamed to be looked at. I wonder if Minnie and 
you will have courage to let yourselves be prodaimed 
three times in church. It is not genteel, Mr. Begi- 
nald, but it is really the right way of getting married, 
and we ought to set our &ces against those absord 
Ucences.' 

* I am completely cut out, afber all,' said Gilbert 
* Could you not have broken the news to me by de- 
grees, CÍaraí You really camiot fiuicy what I suffin: 
Well, I am wedded to the law for five years at least^ 
and raust submit to my fBite. — ^By the way, 1 want thai 
indenture, Clara; come and showme where you put it, 



C0NCLU6I0N. 269 

r.if you are not too confused. But I fancy you are 
jUkely to look in the fireplace, or the teapot.' 

* No I am not/ said Clara; * come and see.' 

So they went Margaret fixed her eyes on Regi- 
•nald's. 

'Why "was not this declaration made before, Mr. 
Ileginaldr she asked; ' it would have relieved Clara's 
mind very much when she was at the Bam.' 

'Clara will explain the reason/ he answered. 
* Believe me, it was not voluntary on my part.* 

* Now, I have really nothing more to wish for,' said 
Margaret, who seemed far more excited than Clara, 
and was getting tea in a very confused manner. 

' Except the failure of the Echinga diggings,' said 
Ileginald; ^and as I hear that they are tuming out 
very poorly, perhaps that wish will be gratified too.' 

When the femily party collected for tea, ever^rthing 
was told over and over again. Margaret made a great 
many blimders, and called everybody by wrong names, 
but was very happy. Reginald was no longer stiff or 
reserved, and he began to think he had been labouring 
under a delusion in fancying himself a grave man; but 
Clara knew that his natural character would soon 
assert itself again. She never could have loved him so 
well if he had not been so grave and so quiet. 

The notes that were written by the lovers somehow 
expanded into long letters, and were of course very 
delightful to both parties. The double marriage went 
off very pleasantly; William Bell's coat fitted him 
pretty well, and Aiinie did not cry very immoderately. 
Mrs. Handy put on the handsomest dress her husband 
had given her, to do honour to the ceremony, and 
was firmly persuaded that Clara's marriage was ono of 
her making. 

Mrs. Macnab ferreted out that 'Clara^ second 
daughter of the late William Morison, Esq., of EdÍQ- 
burgh,' was the identical Clara who had been at Mrs. 
Bantam's, and was very much astonished and shocked 
at the strange marriages that took place in the colonies. 



270 CLA&A MOBISOK. 

* Gentlemen many people who are not ladies, and ladies 
frequently many persons who are not gentlemen,' she 
said, looHng at her husband in a dissatisfíed manner. 

Although both Mr. Macnab and Mr. Henton said 
that Miss Morison was really a lady, she did not think 
that they knew anything about the subject, and kept 
her own opinion. Her life is still embittered by the 
name of the firm — ^Macnab and Renton — and by the 
impossibility of getting into good society. She says 
she has discovered that it is best to keep oneself to 
oneself at Adelaide, and has got a gloomy place in the 
coimtry, which she calls * The Retreat,' where she sits 
in stately solitude, and whence she would fain drive 
forth in her gig for a daily airing ; but no man is ob- 
tainable to drive, and Mr. Macnab goes to his business 
at such unreasonably early hours, that it is impossible 
for a lady to be ready to accompany hiuL However, 
she makes him drive her about all Sunday, when the 
poor man would rather rest at home. He has not 
become at all polished, but is growing rich, in spite of 
his insatiable wife. 

Mr. Renton is on the point of marrying a wealthy 
widow, but means to * stick to Mac. like a good one,' 
even when he is independent. 

Mr. Beaufort set off again for the diggings, when 
Ileginald brought his wife to the north, but did not 
get any further than Melboume. He returned, bringing 
a tall, dashing lady as Mrs. Beaufort, who gave herself 
out to be the widow of a British officer. But it is 
strongly doubted whether her tale is true ; and though 
she rides about and visits all the unmarried sheep- 
&rmers in the neighbourhood, and is visited by them 
in retum, Reginald will not allow his wife to call upon 
her, though both of them long to see the child they 
loved so well. The German girl has gofc very fond of 
the little Lucy, and takes more interest in her than the 
careless father and step-mother; and it is expected 
that the English aunt will not be opposed if she offers 
to bring up her unknown niece. 



CONCLUSION. 271 

Mr. Dent*s losses on his Bnrra shares have been more 
than made up to him by the rise in value of a small 
property near Melboume, which he had sold, but which 
the buyer repudiated as too dear. This land has since 
been sold out in small allotments, and is becoming a 
populous little village ; while the purchase-money will 
enable Mr. Dent to hold his head higher than ever ; 
and Julia will have no reason to regret accepting him 
in his comparative poverty. 

When Margaret went up to the north some time after 
the marriages, to see Clara and Grace, she found that 
whitewash and paper-hangings had quite divested 
Tarínga of the gloomy appearance Reginald used to 
ascribe to it. It was really a cheerful, pretty place ; 
the garden was thriving, and under Mrs. Duncanson's 
able management, the sheep-station began to look like 
a comfortable farm-house, for the domestic animals 
were her pride and her pleasure. 

Clara was industrious without being a drudge, and 
it was evident to Mai'garet that she had all that her 
heart desired. She was the companion, the friend, the 
counsellor of her husband, and his life seemed to him 
but newly begun. All his vague wishes were satisfied, and 
he rested in the consciousness of entire happiness. Mar- 
garet thought his life was too inactive, and his ambition 
too low ; but it suited Clara, though it would not have 
suited her. 

And Grace, too, was happy with her upright, good- 
humoured husband, who laughed at every annoyance, 
and was never known to be out of temper. * Mamages 
are surely made in heaven, otherwise I might have been 
allotted to Reginald or Henry, and I never could have 
made them happy,' thought Margaret. 

So, afber spending some weeks with those happy 
married people, and seeing daily how well G^rge and 
Minnie were suited to each other, Margaret settled 
herself down with her brother in their cottage, and 
studied with all the energy of her active nature ; with- 
out ever fancying that such a home was in store for 



í 



272 CLASA MOBISON. 

herself, or that she ever could be anythingbutaniiide- 
pendent old maid. She rejoices over the almost total 
deeertion of the Echinga diggings, and is in hopes that 
the Yictoria gold fields will soon yield nothing more 
than good wages for hard work ; so as to offer no veiy 
powerful induoement for South Australians to desert 
their agricultural and mechanical pursuits. Even Yic- 
toria is getting into a wonderfally orderly state; and 
Margaret's alarm about the demoralization of the colo- 
nies has greatly subsided The abimdance of money 
has raised the price of almost every description of pro- 
perty, so that Humberstone triumphantly tells Mr. 
Escott) that if last year he was inclined to haJye the 
yalue of his property, he must this year double it ; for 
sheep and cattle are now worth looking afber in such 
markets. Still there is a contínual ebb and flow of 
the population to and firom Melboume and the gold 
fields; and some of the discomforts which afflict Vic- 
toria, are now felt pretty severely in South Australia ; 
so tliat many who have the means, are retreating to 
England, where people can live for so much less, and 
where civil and cheap servants are obtainable. Mar- 
garet is of opinion that it is cowardly to leave the co- 
lony, merely because it is a little imcomfortable; but 
though she will not acknowledge it, her notion on that 
point is quite as transcendental as any of those of her pet 
aversions — Carlyle and the German philosophers. Still, 
to her and her brother Gilbert, it is the country they 
are happy to live and work in; and Mr. Plummer has 
at last perceived that it is time to drop his old re- 
proaches on accoimt of Margaret's letting Gilbert go to 
the diggings; for he is now as industrious and metho- 
dical in his own business, as any member of Mr. Plum- 
mer's department of the public service, or of any ser- 
vice, public or private, in the colony. 



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