Page:Bush Studies (1902).djvu/58

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46
BUSH STUDIES

into a sea on which the hut floated lonely. Through its open door a fire gleamed like the red, steaming mouth of an engine. Beyond the hut a clump of myalls loomed spectral and wraith-like, and round them a gang of crows cawed noisily, irreverent of the great silence.

Inside the hut, the old man, still querulous, talked to the listening dog. He uncovered a cabbage-tree hat—his task of the past year—and laid upside down, on the centre of the crown, a star-shaped button that the woman had worked for him.

"It's orl wrong, see!" The dog said he did. "'Twon't do!" he shouted with the emphasis of deafness. The dog admitted it would not. "An' she done it like thet, ter spile it on me er purpus. She done it outa jealersy, cos I was makin' it for 'im. Could 'ave done it better meself, though I'm no 'and at fancy stitchin'. But she can't make a 'at like thet. No woman could. The're no good." The dog did not dispute this condemnation.

"I tole 'er ter put a anker jes' there," he continued. He pointed to the middle of the button which he still held upside down. "Thet's no anker!" The dog subtly indicated that there