Page:Bush Studies (1902).djvu/70

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58
BUSH STUDIES

ain't so fur away, I know! 'Twar them killed ther lamb down in ther creek." He spoke unusually loudly. He hoped they wouldn't catch "poor ole one-'anded Scrammy". He said how sorry he was for "poor ole Scrammy, cos Scrammy wouldn't 'urt no one. He on'y jes' came ter see us cos 'e was a ole friend. He was gone along ways ter look fur work, cos 'e was stony broke after blueing 'is cheque at ther shanty sixty miles away."

"I tole 'im," he continued in an altered voice, "thet I couldn't lend 'im eny cos I 'ad sent all my little bit a money" (he whispered "money") "to ther bank be ther boss. Didn' I?" Emphatically his mate intimated that this was the case. He held his head in his shaking hands, and complained to the dog of having "come ova dizzy".

He was silent for a few moments, then, abruptly raising his voice, he remarked that their master was a better tracker than "Saddle-strap Jimmy", or any of the blacks. He looked at the tally stick, and suddenly announced that he knew for a certainty that the boss and his wife would return that night or early next morning, and that he must see about making them a damper. He got up and began laboriously to mix soda and