Page:Bush Studies (1902).djvu/91

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BILLY SKYWONKIE.

The line was unfenced, so with due regard to the possibility of the drought-dulled sheep attempting to chew it, the train crept cautiously along, stopping occasionally, without warning, to clear it from the listless starving brutes. In the carriage nearest the cattle-vans, some drovers and scrub-cutters were playing euchre, and spasmodically chorusing the shrill music from an uncertain concertina. When the train stopped, the player thrust his head from the carriage window. From one nearer the engine, a commercial traveller remonstrated with the guard, concerning the snail's pace and the many unnecessary halts.

"Take yer time, ole die-'ard," yelled the drover to the guard. "Whips er time—don't bust yerself fer no one. Wot's orl the worl' to a man w'en his wife's a widder." He laughed noisily and waved his hat at the seething bag-