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...During the drowsy afternoon, Rose still a little weak, sat knitting, the baby in his cradle close by. Through a lattice of extravagantly blossoming bougainvillea, her eyes swept over the green lawn to the stone wall where Fred Dennis had planted zinnias and cannas now ablaze with colour. She surrendered her thoughts to her life in this strange beautiful place. At times it seemed a dream, so much happiness, yet always that cloud that hung so darkly when she allowed herself to think of it.
Aroused from her reverie by the sound of spinning wheels, she looked up as Harry, with Abraham at the reins, swept around the bend under the tulip trees. He sat smiling at her, his old familiar grin, holding aloft a bundle of letters. He kissed her, then he lifted the net to look at his son. 'No doubt about it Rosie, he has your looks, not a bit like me, thank God!'
She laughed. 'All right flatterer, pull up a chair and read me the letters.' She looked up suddenly at a slight scratching sound. 'Harry what on earth have you got in that basket?'' Shut your eyes Rosie, a little surprise for you!'' Oh Harry! Isn't it lovely?' In his arms he held a black Persian kitten. 'Where did it come from?' She held out her arms. 'Let me hold him.'' It's not a 'he' Rose it's a 'she'. Given to me by the Padre. One of his flock had sent it from Sydney for his wife. Made her sneeze.' The kitten settled on Rose's lap, purring. 'Harry, what shall we call her?'' She is already named old girl. Ebony, Rev Trendel suggests, Ebby, would be easier to say. And you know, full grown Persians are ferocious killers, that's why I was glad to take her. Snakes haven't got a chance with cats like these.'
The door opened, Emma appeared pushing a laden trolley. 'I saw you coming Mr Wakefield, I knew you would want your tea.'' 'You are a treasure, Emma, you read my mind.' He gave a start, a flaxen haired girl followed Emma carrying a plate of scones. 'Alice! what a pleasant surprise. When did you arrive?'..............