Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

1 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

Short Story.


Short Story. q;hs (Drdeal of 2)aistf price. By MARIE CROWTHER. (Continued from No. 2). By this time, Daisy was herself again, and when Jane met us at the door with the news that Will Humphreys was in the parlour, she sighed wearily, and without a word, led me into the room where the farmer and his wife sat. The other occupant of the room, whom I concluded was Humphreys, was engaged in an animated dis- cussion with the farmer on the relative value of certain wheat crops. He had a sun-burnt counten- ance, and the ilLconcealed pleasure which lit up his face when Daisy entered seemed to gratify her father and mother beyond measure, though Daisy appeared to be pained when she noticed it. "Margaret, my girl," the farmer said, get us a bit of supper, and let Will see what a good hand you are at making cheese." She is her mother's right hand," he continued when she had left the room. It will be right hard to spare her, though," with a sly glance at Will," we must not stand in the way of the girl's happiness when the time comes. And lately she is that thought- ful and quiet that we think she is beginning to take a sensible view of her future prospects." Daisy is a good girl," Will said fervently, and I can assure you, John Price, that when she is mis- tress of Bronydd she shall be made very happy." I admired the rough, honest manner of Will, but, recalling Daisy's vehement outburst of a few hours ago, I doubted very much whether the change her Parents had noticed in her, indicated that she had any intention of encouraging Will's attentions. During supper, which consisted of home-brewed bread-and-butter and cheese, John and Hester Price manifested their approval of Will, by the Praises which they bestowed upon him for his good nianagement of the Bronydd lands, and though Daisy smiled when he slyly remarked that it was only the mistress that was wanting to make Bronydd an ideal home, the sad, almost miserable look which soon took the place of the smile, confirmed me in my conviction that if she married Will she would do So against the dictates of her own heart; and I re- solved, that, on the first opportunity which, presented 1 s^» I should broach the subject to her. That opportunity arrived sooner than I anticipated. £ the following day, I accompanied her to the wheatfield, whither she was going to fetch one of the en reapers, whose services were required in the tarm-yard. reaching the field, we stopped for a moment, the gate, to watch the reapers. It was a pretty cene; the long, yellow stalks bending beneath the weight of the heavy, ripe ears, and waving in the breeze which served to mitigate the heat of the afternoon sun the reapers in their bright cotton dresses and wide trimmed hats while the deep blue of the sky overhead, and the green hills in the back- ground, formed a pleasing picture for the eye to rest upon. Standing in the midst of the reapers, with a fishing- rod in his hand, and a basket swung carelessly over his shoulder, I recognised the Squire's son, whom we had seen on the previous day, and I again detected the tremor which ran through Daisy's frame as her eye fell upon him in the field. On our approach, he moved towards us, cast a glance of curiosity towards me, and, addressing Daisy, said carelessly, It is quite a rare pleasure to see you now, Daisy. How is it we have not met before since I am at home ? Daisy coloured, and said We have been un- usually busy this season, as the weather has been so favourable. But I must not stay," she continued for I have a message to convey to Henry Vaughan," and with those words she sped away, and he, turning into the opposite direction, walked away towards the river. On our way back to the farm I said to Daisy: You must take me to see Bronydd one day, for I wish to look upon your future home, before I leave Hafod." "Miss Steele she said quietly," Bronydd will never be my home. I shall never marry Will Humphreys, though he loves me well. I have always liked him, and I once thought I could be happy as mistress of Bronydd, and Will's wife." But," I said, Will loves you, and is certain to make your life happy when you are his wife." No," Daisy said sadly, love only can not make life happy. When the novelty of the new situation is worn off, as it is sure to do, a man and wife gradually, but surely drift apart, if they have no common sympathies and aspirations, and the same ideals in life to enable each to find happiness in the company of the other. Without that band, to which love serves as a lock, or a knot, one must not expect to find true happiness in marriage, and in that res- pect Will Humphreys and I, are as widely apart, as though the ocean separated us, and if I married him I should thereby make his life a misery, and my own a living death." As she spoke, a look of almost fierce resentment came into her eyes, but calming herself, she said I do not know why I should let these thoughts harrass me. No one will understand." While Daisy spoke, my thoughts reverted to the Squire's son, of whom, though she seemed to be intimate with him, she had not spoken at all. We walked for a little while in silence, and I ventured to ask, "Do the Squire's folk often come to Hafod ? (To be continued).