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swered nothing, but sat and gazed at self confidently against Townshend's the picaninny.
shoulder. He would let no other touch One by one the black troopers gath- him. ered in. They were in great glee; they came and stood or sat about Townshend On the previous night Barbara and the child as a centre of interest. Townshend had retired in a happy exThe picaninny cowered closer against hilaration. In the inspiring presence the dead body; when a trooper came of the young police officer she freshnear he glared at the man like a hunt- ened, glowed, expanded like a rose in ed beast; his head flattened like a sunshine. In bed she even cried a little, snake's.
quietly, not at all in bitterness, or in "Wake up, Jep!” said Brown, and longing for the irrevocable past that bad slapped Townshend on the shoulder. been awakened suddenly; but in sorrow You'll call this a fine day's work some for her strange unlovingness, and with day when you have broken the young- a healing sense of fortitude upon her. ster in for a stockman."
The tears refreshed her; they came to "It's paying dear for labor, Brown." prove the strictured soul was stirring
"Rot, man! Do you remember how wholesomely again within her. Hope you felt when you found your cattle had revived; the future beckoned; life mauled, and thought of the conse- on Oontoona was no more to be a quences ?"
crushing affair that called merely for "I remember."
endurance. She planned, penitently, “There will be no more of that, then; many healthful resolutions that the you'll bless this day's work inside a suffocating cloud upon her life and fortnight."
love-so happily dispersed-was to de"I shall be ashamed of this day as scend no more. long as I live.”
Then, as she was drifting happily Brown flourished his pipe impatient into slumber, the men's voices reached ly. "If I didn't know your pluck, Jep, her, and her heart went cold when she and that you were upset for a minute, heard vaguely of blood and blacks. I should call that croaking. That's the and cattle-spearing. But she shrank sort of rot, begging your pardon, that from starting upon this more hopeful stands in the way of conquest.”
chapter of her life, that was to date Townshend held out a hand towards from this night, by showing foolish, the picaninny and the dead parents. fears—she was to be a real helpmeet to He tried to repeat the word-it stuck her husband now-and so, when he in his throat.
came and stood above her and kissed The child ran to Townshend and her hair, she was not asleep, but fightclosed its little fists round two of the ing down the impulse to cling about. fingers held out towards him. Brown his neck and tell him she was wildly, swore vehemently at a trooper for horribly afraid. laughing.
She heard no more, but lay throttling. Townshend stooped down and stroked the terror that had so suddenly rethe picaninny's shoulder; it was vel- placed her new-found happiness. In vety soft, and he made no resistance the very effort to keep herself rigid in when the white man lifted him in his thought and limb, lest she should play arms. When the party moved away the coward, she slept and woke no more towards the horses, the child looked until the morning. back once at his mother and gave his Jasper's note, the quietness about the monotonous little cry, then settled him- homestead, and the stockman's clumsy
and mysterious manner, began a strange day for Barbara. The mute. Darkness had fallen before Townsness that had lain so long upon her hend drew near the homestead; the had broken up; she was full of longings troopers stopped by their camp at the and wild fears, and insupportable rest- river; the squatter and police officer rode lessness. The empty vastness out of on to the house. The night was still doors drove her within; she was no and serene, and in the east a young sooner in the house than she could have moon swung low and shone a sulky screamed out in terror; for her fear red-gold. Townshend was tired to the persuaded her that, through the long heart and his bones ached, but the picgrass and ambushed in the river-bed, aninny was sleeping quietly on his pitiless, uncouthly weaponed savages arm.
He was dully, strangely ill at were closing in upon the homestead. ease. And so, round and about, her nameless There was no light showing, and the terrors hunted her.
stockman was posted by the track fifty It was high noon; she had eaten noth- yards from the house. Townshend ing, and was bending distractedly above pulled up and flung a question at him. the poor little bundle of sewing, listen The man showed an untidy outline. ing abroad; full of sympathy for the His thumbs were in his belt; his face dumb Barbara of yesterday, who had glowed crimson and faded thrice above engaged in such pitiful futility; and his pipe-bowl, and he sent three clouds yet wringing a sweet prophecy from it, of smoke out and upward in the stagtoo, and fingering the baby-clothes long. nant air before he spoke. The face ingly–when she heard a distant rush- looked wildly puzzled. "She's--the ing in the grass, and many great moan- Missis is—" ings, and felt the earth tremble.
"Speak, you blazing idiot! Dead? When the stockman came and called Say it!" her, he found no trembling, frightened “No-queer. That's what she is. It girl, but a woman, steady and serene, was like this—I took away the gun," armed with her husband's rifle; the called after Townshend. thimble was on one of the fingers that A gray figure was standing perfectly were round the rifle-stock as she stood still in the doorway. Townshend disas if on guard, above the dainty litter mounted softly, still with the sleeping of her sewing.
child on his right arm. She came with him to the stockyard, "Barbara,” he said, quietly. "Barand even helped him to put up the rails bara." upon fifty terrified cattle that were “Who is it?" a strange voice answered surging and huddling there-panting, him. “Something's pinned quite tight foaming, hollow-flanked and terror- round my head.” driven, like the wing of a routed army. He put his hand upon her forehead, Several beasts had smears of blood then round her neck and drew her toupon their ribs; and in one corner a wards him. “Come, Barbara, it's Jasyoung cow had fallen. Her eyes were per, you know. And it's all right.” glazing in death; six inches of a jagged She came to him and he saw her in broken spear protruded from her ribs, the dimness, looking for an instant wild and her calf stood off and bellowed and strange. Then, as though in the frantically to her. Barbara-large-eyed depths of her something had looseened, and very white, but very firm-looked broken and melted, he saw the Barbara on while the stockman ended the brute's he had known aforetime. She clung to agony with a knife thrust in her neck. him sobbing and crying passionately.
Presently, the first intensity of her time she swung herself from foot to sobbing past, and though her face was foot with a cradling, motherly movestill hidden against his neck, her hands ment. began to wander over him, pressing Brown, who had withdrawn, came him fondly here and there. In doing so back; the two men stood together in she touched the little naked body of the amazement. She looked up at them picaninny. She raised herself up with presently, and laughed a deep-chested a strange, wild cry.
happy laugh, and fled, hugging the picHe tried to hold it from her, to ex aninny to her. plain; but she would hear nothing, and The two men stood alone for a while, followed him, holding out both hands saying nothing. By and bye they stole and staring hungrily at the child. guiltily, within; Townshend lit the lamp
"A child-give it me, quick! Give it and they foraged, still exchanging me, Jasper!"
scarcely a word, for something to eat. "Barbara,” he said, blunderingly—“it's An hour later Townshend crept quietblack-and motherless. We mustn't ly back from his wife's room. hurt_”
“They're asleep,” he whispered, “dead "Hurt? Motherless? Oh you—. Give asleep, cuddled up together, black and me the child!" She stamped her foot. white. It's been a strange
day, There was something imperious in Crackey. Let's go out and smoke." the demand; be handed her the sleeping They went forth. The illimitable creature. She clutched it fiercely, and downs were white beneath the moon. seemed to crush it to her breast; yet The two men lay in the grass and it was taken and held with such uner watched the smoke-clouds poise and ring gentleness, that the picaninny vanish in the dewless, windless night. merely opened two large sleepy eyes But they found little to say to one anand closed them again. Then he snug- other. gled against her neck and went to sleep again.
That was the first and last "disperBarbara laughed and sobbed at once sal” of the blacks on Townshend's catfor joy. She rubbed her cheek on the tle-run. The picaninny lived to be a picaninny's shoulder; she took one of stockrider there; and within a year of the fat little arms and pressed it round the picaninny's coming a child was her neck; she nibbled at the child here born at the Oontoona homestead. and there with her lips. And all the
Herbert C. Macilroaine. The Cornhin Magazine.
WORK AND REST ARE BOTH BUILDERS,
O brother-toiler, when my heart was dried,
I had this grace-to smile, and stand aside,
BEHIND THE PURDAH.*
subordinate, who whipped a long piece
of cotton off a small white ball, and A straggling building with a spiked requisitioned both toes and fingers gateway, sadly out of repair, and need- while he helped the creation of the ing manipulation in the opening, as it coats through the next stage, preparaled through a bare courtyard to a por- tory to the operations of the large imtico that did its best to be imposing,- portant man at the sewing-machine. such was your introduction to the roy. Yes, a veritable sewing machine it was, alty of Balsnigh Rai, of an Indian and the colony and the State were principality. And if indeed the iron and rightly proud of it. mortar had failed to impress you, there Before you look further, you should was always the chance that the ill- note the way the men work. 'Tis nondressed, ill-drilled guard would excite Western, topsy-turvy, the needle pulled what was lacking in the sentiment. away from you, and travelling there
But there was time for a regular se- fore, from left to right of the seam, inries of impressions to lounge through stead of vice versa. In a group by themyour unoccupied mind. The opium-eat selves sit the gold and silver embroiding courtiers around his magnificent crers, lean men with keen faces and Highness believed in admitting you to bent backs. They sit on the floor crossthe presence in detachments, as it legged, and the most beautiful designs were. The more abject you felt, the grow under circumstances and with more likely was it that you would ap- the aid of implements primitive to a preciate their pinchbeck glories; and degree. Beside each worker lies the you sat on in the durbar vehicle, the bullion (gold and silver in tiny spangtwo lean horses foaming with the les or delicate wire lengths) in some drive from the guest house, under the rough receptacle, an old newspaper, weight of a not too modern chariot and perhaps, or the contents of your wastea harness patched up with strips of paper basket. The design is chalked soiled rag or old packing-cord. Along out on the velvet or satin; and he sews the unwashed stone verandahs were the bullion on to this, running the disposed dirzies (tailors), of varying ca- sharpest of needles through the wire, pacity. Their chief sat holding some which he has first snipped to the size cheap Manchester print between the required. The manipulation of that toes of his right foot, the while he mass of glittering gold and silver beclicked the unerring steel of the work- comes fascinating,-but here is man whose craft had come to him, like Chunital the herald. Miss Rebecca his existence, from his immediate ante- Yeastman, the lady-doctor, through cedents. Curious garments they were whose spectacles we have been lookwhich he cut, loose, shapeless coats ing, is summoned to the durbar-room. with tight interminable sleeves; and he Tall is Miss Rebecca, and spare, and threw them now to this, now to that angular. As she alights, her chatelainc
* Purdah, a vell or curtain, and especially a ment behind the purdah as a badge of rank, curtain screening women from the sight of and also as a sign of chastity, and are exceedmen; the phrase is equivalent to Zenana, the ingly proud of it.” LIFE IN THE MOFUSSIL, women's apartments as distinct from the by an Ex-Civilian. Two volumes, 1878. men's. “Native ladies look upon the confine
jingles ominously. Have you ever no- for an hour or more. No one will disticed how much personality there is in turb the lady." a jingle? There is the cheerful jingle An hour or more! the practical soul of the maiden of seventeen, an inviting of the woman of business abhorred the tintinnabulation, saying,—"I am com- long vacuity; however, she had reing, play with me, laugh with sources within possible reach. From a me, waste as many precious min- capacious pocket she produced some utes as you dare!" There is the feminine filigree occupation, and ran decided resonant clash of the el- the ivory bobbin in and out under the derly matron: “I have come,” it says, vigilant pince-nez. "to set things straight;"—don't you Presently it occurred to her that it hear the sound? Then lastly there is might be as well to put together her tbe mean between the two; the confi- impressions of the room. A compredent, active jingle of the woman of hensive glance sufficed. "Plush and business, not enticing, but yet not jar- broken crockery!" she said, with her ring, just pleasantly negative. "I know characteristic grunt, and as her eyes not what your work may be, but I've wandered back to the bobbin, she income to do mine, and to do it well;"' tercepted the steady scrutiny of a pair and at the sound all idlers despise of black eyes. They were not, by any themselves, and slink into unseen cor- means, a nice pair of eyes, long, narners. In India there is a further jin- row, a little quizzical, wholly wily and gle, the jingle of the domestic, "rings untrustworthy-hall-marked spy. Reon her fingers, bells on her toes;" but hecca Yeastman was certainly not senher ditty is.—“This is my bank! my sitive, or she would have realized earbank! In this showy, noisy form I lier that behind almost every curtain carry my savings.”
larked some such watcher, soft-footed, Rebecca Yeastman was of the third noiseless, wakeful. However, this parcategory, and the tailors instinctively ticular inspection in no way disconcertsat the more upright as she passed ed her; neither annoyance nor curtosthem, and sleepy Huri, in the corner, ity, even the most fleeting, varied the rubbed his eyes, and cracked his toes, immobility of her face; and, albeit she and fell vigorously to his tacking. knew it not, it was to this fact that
Not a whit bashful was she, as she she owed the termination of her vigil. followed her guide up the marble stair- The old harridan, who directed affairs case; the outlook was improving, but behind the purdah, carried back a faher environment very seldom affects a vorable verdict. "She'll do,” she said. woman of Rebecca's calibre. For so "She's as ugly as the toad which croaks self-possessed, brisk a person her walk in the pond yonder; and she can keep was a surprise; 'twas rather like a cam- a secret, or may the Gods forever still el's,-head protruding, steps long and my lying tongue!" halting-but it did still suggest dogged It was this old woman, Parbathi hersteadfastness of purpose; and she was self, who went back for her; and she a thoroughly good creature, every fac- led her through such dark, intentional. ulty of her, of that you might be cer- ly devious passages, that Rebecca, tain.
though excellent at locality, could "Lady Sahib will wait here," said the never tell whether or not the room she man. "Ranee Sahib have not yet had finally entered were in the same buildpermission to receive. Rajah Sahib has ing as the one she had left. the white mark on his forehead, will not The sight which greeted her was suffinish the service of the holy Vishnu ficiently new and engrossing. The room