Page:While the Billy Boils, 1913.djvu/244

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214
A VISIT OF CONDOLENCE

everywheres. An', besides, the kids git sharp, an' pick up a good deal in an alley like this; 'twon't do 'em no harm; it's no use kids bein' green if they wanter get on in a city. You ain't been in Sydney all yer life, have yer?'

'No. We came from the bush, about five years ago. My poor husband thought he could do better in the city. I was brought up in the bush.'

'I thought yer was. Well, men are sich fools. I'm thinking about gittin' a billet up-country, myself, soon. Where's he goin' ter be buried?'

'At Rookwood, to-morrow?'

'I carn't come. I've got ter work. Is the Guvmint goin' to bury him?'

'Yes.'

Bill looked at the body with increased respect. 'Kin I do anythin' for you? Now, don't be frightened to arsk!'

'No. Thank you very much, all the same.'

'Well, I must be goin'; thank yer fur yer trouble, mum.'

'No trouble, my boy―mind the step.'

'It is gone. I'll bring a piece of board round some night and mend it for you, if you like; I'm learnin' the carpenterin'; I kin nearly make a door. Tell yer what, I'll send the old woman round to-night to fix up Arvie and lend yer a hand.'

'No, thank you. I suppose your mother's got work and trouble enough; I'll manage.'

'I'll send her round, anyway; she's a bit rough, but she's got a soft gizzard; an' there's nothin' she enjoys better' than fixin' up a body. Good-bye, mum.'