Page:Bush Studies (1902).djvu/84

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with fifty brutal blows. He would kill him by day or night.

He ran round the brush sheepyard, kicking and thrusting the axe through the thickest parts. He had not hidden there, nor among the myall clump where he had practised his bloody plot. The dog stood at the doorway of the hut. He saw this as he passed through the sheep on his way to search the creek. He was half minded to try to invite the dog's confidence and cooperation by yarding them.

He looked at them, and the moonlight's undulating white scales across their shorn backs brought out the fresh tar brand 8, setting him thinking of the links of that convict gang chain long ago. Lord, how light it must be for him to see that!

He held out his hand again. There was no perceptible change in the light. There were hours yet before daylight. He moulded his mind to that.

The creek split the plain, and along it here and there a few sheoak blots defined it. He traversed it with his eyes. There were no likely hiding places among the trees, and it would be useless to search them. Suddenly it struck him