Chapter 123549627

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article123549627
Full Date1871-12-23
Page Number4
Corrections1
Word Count5269
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2018-12-23
Newspaper TitleThe Gundagai Times andTumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 - 1931)
Trove TitleThe Planter's Friend, and How The Plant Came Up At Christmas
article text

THE PLANTER'S FRIEND, AND HOW THE PLANT CAME UP AT CHRISTMAS. —o— [CONTRIBUTED.]

CHAPTER I.

THE PLANT was not the Zulu Kaffre Impbee the Rev.E. Holland recommends, and he was not the Planter's-Friend, as those who read this simple story of Colonial life will learn. Sgme'.ycars 'ago a publican kept a roadside hostelry-designated '-'The Traveller's. Joy ' in. n prosperous {district,- where. 'sheep-shearers

haying.-, finishert,- shearing tljese . inouensivo. animals came to him to.be fleeced, nnd whoroi nrjarge''jer iieVitage of the wages of the reapers employed- by-neighbouring farmers was reaped by-the landlord ? Thi3 -host's real name was Peters j but lie ; waB, 'generally ? known as '(Blowhard '. on account of.his wonderful-gift of bqasting' and.. telling lies., -There was.a Mrs-Peters, -whoVwas a patient, hard-working drudge, and some young Petersea inhabited the baok regions of the houBO.'-hn'd were taught by . a diVapiaated! old tutor who. took out his salary

III grue ? iiuojf uccu «V* Vy -u^uui uicuiiuuuui Blowhard was a tolerably cute, thoroughly selfish man, with' the stomach of an ostrich, and., a. .head that, no amount of liquor could render incapable.' of looking after Us owner's interestsi'-iBeaides keeping the Traveller's Joy h'e'^farmed' some land and had also a good rta'Sy iie'a'dfbf di'ttle' and horses knocking about, near hia;pjticel;,'})ut !the'pa8t6rally:nahied pur euit' to which he chiefly devoted himself, and itT^whicbTire' yaa thoroughly proficient, was '? lambing down':1.puatomers.^ Shearers' or reapers' cheques entrusted. to him melted away e»J:he:m6niing' mist does, before the sun, and diraipafebi1^ iu'ta :ndbblers. witb :^ rapidity

luilb even uurpriguu bue piiviuiib uiiuuxptuiciiuou victims-w.ho.wgrq.kBpcking them down! But if afterthia feat had been accomplished the per SDDBiengnged-in it were. much prostrated and enervated^ Blawhard always., allowed them to reroSin -a day or two' on tie premises, daring which time he ' bxought_th,em round,' as he said, witjbk, ..strong .beof-tea and spirits ad ministered -in -homcepathic doses, and when tbH^J«ft presen.t.qd,. them with, a .bottle of rum eacnT Sjjbe »!asgeneriiily.. voted noli a bad fellow, though 'rather a nipper.'.'. His better guests were ?waited on by t very smart, good loaklng-1 girl 'named.' Bridget ? Bruce, but generally,,known^ simply. as,.Biddy, and for general 'utility 'man he had a good 'fellow whose proper title was Jack Smith, but who. was alluded tjjras ?? Jack;the;Sailor,' Jack tow one qf those, men who can turn their hands wln^hirigi-te^a'd beAitoaeai'n yonth.'but he never returned to it again, and he. was as generally.acoompliehed in nil up-country work as the Hod. John rtobertson is— and that is saying a good deal if wq reniembev the cata logue of his accomplishments in the pastoral and agricultural line the present . Colonial Secretary detailed to the electors of the Clarence River. Jack could also ulav on the

fiddle, sing a good song, arid make love to a ^^^pretty girl. He made strong 'love to Bridget, '*'r '^'.JfiHAJ'Iw »was a rnanlyfgo'bd-looking fellow, ' Bnd evidently very fond of her, Biddy liked Jack. But she was a girl of considerable: practical good sense, determination, and; ambition, so when Jack avowed his love and. asked her to marry him she responded as follows :— w:.:.j i ...:??!?. 'It's no use Jack. you and I thinking of . marrying just now'; 'We ore both bettor off, single. If We'TfeTe^married and bad .children: (being colonially trained Biddy eaid11 kids,'; I fear), Blowhard w.ould.get'anbther,parlour-; maid and I should have to go to the wash-tub,; and we'd be senttoaivb ib old Bill's hut ; (Bill umn An inferior fuuuotjmt\ find navA nnv wacraa

dropped. ItiHiimasters iancLinistresses that Jmva.good.tiniea.and.inake money, and! mean to ha^e ft public-house of my own yet. Ii you like^te'save^up^your-wageVril save uj inine, and if ypu'll'wait'tiU we.have enough to ^i^rX^'pu'r'.own/hpbk/rilmar^ j 'It's such a tinxe _tor'waiti' pleaded' Jack; 'andrfirt .seeing you every day and,loving you .^p.^hafl/oft^n.can'tsleep'fpr thinking of you; ''and always 'dream of you when X 'do 'get to sleep.'' .!','' ? ' i _^So. 'W-fe; -Jack;,1! laid 'Biddy with a sight . for 'ahe^likld' Jack'- and he Hooked vefymanly and loving as he stood pleading before her, ,..?.:bt# . it's .the-.only,, way it, is,. to be.done,and jijnyVffl'n^'s.niade.npl';./ . ,j;,- ,',.,' ',;,./,. ?/'' ; j '?' 'So-'Jaek ^becafflo-rigidly-ecoiioinical. He saved up all his wages, never had: a nobbier at' ~Tiirown7exp^ris67though he sometimes partoo uifa^^libat^ from 'a. patient who- was bein lambed-down by Blowhard, wore shabby clothes, and made deals in, horses when he could turn.,,!*. . penny by'sordo.ing ; and Biddy also, laid bj' 'all' she could;' 'but Iheirjoint-stoc of funds'-aobumulated-' but slowly despite all their efforts, and Jack sometimes felt savage, and-gidd^sadg A-.:[ .,,. ;f;. | -.:: '.-.?'?Tbewj were ,. several settlers resident ' within an easy distancen-bt the Traveller's Joy ; in ._.. fact thV^plara^as ina'iair.wayito becomo:a ' »'^';toBp^p,^re..;WnVaWa4y aljlajk ^«HhVitelp^iHJ\a* Vr-anf^t near; ^It is' needless to say that 'tho vicinity possessed vakt, .H.lilndeKaU)pa'dTeaQtirces-r-alt awntryr disf rjcta in' this colony do. ' j — — Tho—moat iinportant-of-the— neighbouring -ettli8£3~»lts:a-n»!'G»pkef7^0Bey Crooke he

c'ftmh;;';hV:iaW'6¥gs-n having been levelled by i'SSdSS. fpfmfir jiccnfeDt undinttelftd'oiiKBo as to cover the mj\jox .part of hia countenance. He was a, Ware,' wiry' '-Jd. man, burnt to| a dingy y^iflbw cielaUrJ By'tlie 'ixm.. He hh& — ^ittd th'is'-'iolort* ^yAha-ideslrB-Biia a-di6J expense of the fifipefial' Government, anct'hnd ^^aev^fed'some^enre^S-tliB-improvSment ot its highways. . 8inc^.then!he,(ind a uwto of hiar who'r bad followed the§e' 'flattie- industrial pnr .''' -iiiiitsj ht\d acquired' a ncbhelderable tjuanf ity! of - iJ 'laid' ana'cattle^'aVia'on^.his.jnate'i decease ,i;,.;these.becanie CrpQke.'a property, by some legal, rnanosuvring on (he .'part of a smartiattorrieyl ii-j :;jjg- employed 'which -;need -not bo detailed.. ,'XJhere . had ..beear(.y £irs Crook' e: but she 'had .'.vjinished'witli another p'arty, leaving behind . her, a very , indifferent reputation and a son 'S:wjjom Crbdke, sen;, trained !afftir'a-'si;yle-x-f his .?:.'vc own.': ,He 'Carefully 'Avoided having iim taught: ' 'iftSdihg oi^^riting',(.:pserting that-'-'hedication spoiled. a;:m4^a^dT^at^^ileyi8.rJknew a boot ,n»Jiwn,54twaff) »feb§|r{vi» l&L W°*$fi 'M^ ' got his mate's property &ir.:jbi:mrT-.i»JiQ.'ws.s pot ? I'y'fiKilV'i'witb?-flrrtii3|ebwSft'signifying sanguinary ''? ,prefixud. ?young'Cronke accordingly grew up with At much knowledge of religion, morality

arts, sciences, .and literature as a blackfellow possesses ; but he could play cards, smoke, and swear proficiently.™ In~c'6mpany with his fatherland ah; old' reprobate1 who lived with them/helalso'gnined a most thorough acquaint ance with the i b'y;ways, :bush~ pnths, short' cross ^outs, gullies,; and rh'riges of the district he lived in and others -adjacent.1 He' was an acuto judge of. the .value of horses and cattle, which kno^ed'go .wasvisoful to 'him when dispbsihg of them ; but both young iindold Grooke con sidered the cheapest menus' of obtaining such stock the best, and were deterred by no con scientious scruples from adopting these means. It need only be said further that this promis ing youth, who was a lank-haired, sun-tanned lad about 17 years of age, rode his horse as if ho was part of it, 'and iu the saddle did not seem £p know what fatigue was,. vHe and the

as active as many a young man,- were fre quently from homo ; :but whe.ro they wont to few could tell It was observed, however, that after theso. absences calves were unusually abundant on Crooko's ?' land, . and ' that ? old Crooke often made -excellent purchases at sales held at a pound located in. an obscure part of the district, most ; of the stock he bought having, 'by. some strauge;:fatality, blotched or indistinct brands. So the Crooke's prospered, and the.father used to remark exultantly when calves were plentiful, or ho had bought a good

IOC 01 ooscureiy uranaea unrses ur culuu, bunt his son- was 'a chip of the old block;' :,This many would not have held to bo high praise, as the .'.' old block ' in question was as greedy, gross, blasphemous, close-fisted, hard-hearted an old reprobate as. ever stepped in shoe leather j but the father's brief summary of his son's character.^yas undoubtedly. correct,: This {pleasant -..pair arid their servant lived in a ;miserabie,. slovenly, slab-built, bark-thatched ihut, and subsisted on salt-junk and damper, all ;the year round.. The :only luxury old Crooke didnot-grudge himself was a deep debauch of ?rum 'and explosion of blasphemy at Blowhard's, jaftor ho had ,,eS acted a good purchase at his favourite poriiid, or rnacle 'a 'satisfactory sale ; his only ? genuine joy' in lifo was hoarding

money,* Due wnere iio uesiowea it no ono Knew, not even his son, thorigh he made secret and earnest efforts to satisfy himself on this point. When, advised, by Blowhard, to' bank, hi3 money he retorted with great disdain. 'D'ye think.. I'ni j -going Vto. jlet.the sanguinary flash banker at ? :(naming. the neighbouring township) have my money to handlo and do what he likes with I No, no more than I'm going. to take the bits o' paper he calls notes instead o'. gold. It -ahould-.be mentioned that when' old Crooke sold cattle he always stipu lated that he should be paid.in sovereigns. ' I've got no money to speak of,' the old inan 'ivould. continue, . 'only n few sovs. to buy what I, want, orto pay for. a spree, and I know where to get 'em and nobody else does; that's the best of it.!1 When old Crooke said, ho h,ad. only a few sovs., despite his utmost efforts a' grin would nicker over his face,, and those he addressed were aware that ho was speaking untruly. His own hoarded1 wealth mUBt have been very con siderable, and it was known that his mate had been* a richer , man and; greater miser than

urooKe ; ouc wuen me , ioriue^r uicu nui- unu shilling belonging to him could be found, therefore it- was generally surmised that old Crooke had either appropriated his- money or knew where it was concealed. ,- As he may again be. s referred to :.it,may be mentioned that CrpokeWdeceased--mate was' named Banks:'' ?'?-??__. :---\- . ??-; . -'..? - ?;,.-.?;; jj .. ?; ;. CHAPTEE n. . , It was approaching 'Christmas time, that! blessed'.iieason.'o'f ,-kindly . hospitality and general geniality. In England snow lay deep, on the ground, and village-spires pointed up. to heaven. Former friends who had abused and detested ; 'each other through' ?: eleven1 months . pf/tlieyear were '[preparing id- shake; hands,1 'to say ' 'howj are ' you my dear old' follow^' and to^sk.e.aeh other and .each other's wives'. and. child'ren'.tp dinner.' If itwo men, quarelled and hit each-othertney shook hands immediately afterwards, and said ' neighbours should npt qliarrel now, bles3-our souls -it's Christmas tide.' ' Scrooge was making ready . to 'aeW the: ghosts. pf,'' Christmas past, present, andtd come,; and afferwardsio turn into the jolliest old cock ever known; Mrs, ..Crjatchit had bought tho goose-that Bob and Tiny Tim and. the' family were to eat ; Trotty Veck was 'going to go into the basin of tripe his daughter bfoyght him on '. Alderman .Cute's door-step j and the' 'Haunted Slan'. was about to conr ? :n_ i.;_ j ? i_i_ x-__ f..MLi«A« «n-.(!a»'

verse wico. am uuuoxe. . *vi xunuci paitjuu lars see Mr. Dickens's Christmas tales.-. Tha style.does not.suit this story of real.' life, ' ah( we are speaking of Christmas in Australia^ ?We must, try againi' '',.;? .., r -? 'fo iWell, it was Christmas time in this colony L the heat was oppressive; 'the ait was heavy s and dimijwith smoke ,from, smouldering bus JS' fires ; the roads were white with dust, and th ^ grass was yellow.:aud : sere ; waterholes ha lni dried up and, the ..mud at their bottoms; we lei baked and cracked ; flies were abundant, s ' were mosquitoes, atid ants,- snakes,1 and othf rB* :yermin.; The disreputable ; portion, of o rating communities -were preparing to. . inebriat Ui ;tnemsBlves withrflery-^plritsriitt'lionorvofrtbB' Jsea8on|Sbris -and T-aii§hters ? of Temperance ?wero. going to pic-nic iri-the ? blazing sunshine, iand^eat.BtWe bunBicsniiTdxink tepid lemonade, while family parties'woro nbout madiyi to' attempt to ieep.upold customs by consuming hot roast' tuiricey ' arid heavy plum pudding

shade. Away, faring, man, who had.been (Jrigiged-'forJaeverSTf- lays at Blowhard's in exchanging a vanishing cheque for a future attacks of -dcliriiini iteming arid had nearly atcomplished that feat, had lost a good horse -«ri whfth he rode.up to1 ' The. Traveller's Joy,' owing tMhe.nnimal jumping over the'rails :of . .the! paddock' 'in which it had been placpd.: Asilowhard .calculated.. that .after drinking his choquo ? hia, guest would , probably drink tho valub' of ttie'lfdrsSalsb;1 he -was naturally anxious :iti should' not : be lost ; jtherefore he debj(atctie4! Jack'-' the Sailor in aeiuoh of it on the;.day..befofe Chyis?hia4!. 'day; f Japk- obeyed ..willingly enough, being',', stimuhued with; tho promise of a reward if he found the missing' steel' He rodo up ranges, down gullys,' and over burnt,, flats; but could find no trace of the animal ho was in quest of.;i' '-. i :r .K I i\»prjd.er.; . U- MioBa, ^opudemned (Crppkes 'havo'goti it stowed; awoy.iia the vrange8 at the back of their \pWce,' thought lie as lie. paused ?u^afer'the1 meagre shad'o'ii 'gum ' tree afforded,' in a considerable 'state' 'of.:heat atid ilWetirnef; ? iUtit:a!.rouga bit pf country and I doirfc'kho\v' it very well,' ho . continued, ' no one does but these two senffips and that precious old

servant, of theirs; but.J don't, like to be beaten; I'll go. and see,' arid ]' he' rode i off accordingly,: It was a rough bit 'of comitry, butJack trayersed..it;:he.saw several .good' looking horses, with very indistinct brands, hobbled out in a sequestered 'ijully, walled in by steep rocks ; but the our be was in quest of was not there. By this time the shades of evening were falling, and a dark: cloud:was rapidly overspreading' tlio'1 sky; '. so . ' Jack concluded to abandon hid search and push for home, not without .some misgivings tbat ho had lost 'his way. Ho accordingly urged his tired steed up a. spur of the Mnge and pro ceeded to descend tho other side. While so doing his horse stumbled, and Jack, who was riding carelessly and- meditating on; the charms of Biddy, found himself imddenly thrown some foot forward over his steed's

several symptoms' of impatience and disgust, and : no 'sooner did it Joel ; itself relieved of Jaok's superincumbont weight -than it ' 'gave' a' neigh of triumph, swerved to one side, nnd dashed down tho' range1 'at' a speed that rendered pursuit hopeless. ? ? ? : ; Jaokgot up, not much hurt but greatly aggravated, and having relieved his mind1 by soyeral appropriate imprecations of hisrunaway steed, proceeded to consider the situation he was placed in. Tho lesiilt of his cogitations was that it was of no use trying to reach the

xitivuuui a ouy . irijub lllgui:, 1 . niUSli camp out,' thought Jack, 'and I may as well do so at tho foot of the range, for I'm fairly tired.' Having arrived at this resolve ho crawleddown the range' and picked out tho softest piece of turf ha could find, near where a large old tree had fallen. He had a biscuit in his pocket which Biddy had given to him, arid ho found a small pobl of clear water in a hollow in one of the water-courses' that fur rowed the side of tho range. After his liglit meal he lighted his pipe and lay contentedly 'enough, down to rest. The only thing that troubled him wasthe thought that if his horse made its way home to the Traveller's Joy before'.him'next day Biddy might be alarmod, land'might suppose- ho had met with some serious accident, ' But .she'Jl bo all tho better pleased' when 'she scbV me 'safiFnnd ^sound ' thought jackjj.and, with tins philo Isophic reflection he fell asleep;-;:, :. ,?; . Early next moihing-'he awoke. Tho air was delightfully fresh and pure; a pleasant odour was wafted from the eucalypti that ;grew. around ; insects -were .sporting, in the early sunshine, and a mftgpib was^singirigViii rich metallic notes near. '! Christmas -day is not bad in tho. bush after all,' said Jack as

UW ll»jr )lUfclll££ VUbOD blJUJgO. 1Y1LU Ultll pllliy KiJ\JS% and thinking dreamily of past.. Christmas times at sea, and of one spent at home,: when! he had just come off a voyage,' and when 'he saw'hisold mother for the last time.' ;; 'J1 The.placo Jack had camped at was just at the edge of a comparatively clear patch of ground, on which several largo trees grew, and which was surrounded by small saplings and under wood.. One .tree mitch larger than thoVeW in size stood apart from the others. Ttliad a rent in its.stom likea rude gothic portal, leading into the interior »f the trunk, which was hollow arid could have sheltered two or thrco people.' Its giant limbs were white and dead; except one,, which stretched above the rest towards the sky, having at its extremity, some finger-like branches, fringed with a few groeu leaves.

.Jack: was looking lazily ynt this tree, when hejthoughthe heard, the, spuud .of cautious, stealthy footsteps and the crackling of a dry itwig. in the ,;undenvopd near.. ,, A. moment afterwards old Crooke appeared in-sight. Jack was about to hail him, and to ask how far he was from his place ; but there was something so secret, furtive, and mysterious in the old ' man!s demeanour that, ho kept' silence. Jack's body was' concealed. by thp; trunk of thetreo! beside which he had camped ; but he could; through an opening iii some' leaves nnd grass where;;bjs head rested . iObservo^the old.- man iunseeii .'After;. peering '.keenly virbund' 'and' listening and,lopking about, during, whi'ch'last process he camo so near' Jack that the latter' shut nis eye's,' fearing that their gleam might betray him, Crooke seemed satisfied, arid drawing a trowel from his pocket proceeded to the hoUow tree, which ho entered. Jack's curiosity was now fairly aroused nnel ho watched the old man's proceedings attentively.; Ho first removed some earth, then brought out one or two- flat; stones which ho laid carefully down, then dug up the earth ? again for some time, and filially, came put and sat down in front of the ..hollow tree. After another sharp suspicious glance round, and a further listeninc pause, he put his hand- back

into tho recess, arid drew from thence nu apparently weighty bag, which he unloo3od r Molbncy 'sjien'i wliifc mlnoytW fi(r'if6Wir(ifiYjji 1, nnd defendant came to the gaol, told Sinnet bis X won in want, and offered to buy the blankets in % tion, which Sinnet Ji.id left at a hut at Kimo reef. s%. md bis wife must not sell them nnd cautioned Mis. Ill' kins against buying them, but it seemed she after- be? Is did bo. ., iv is worship referred in terms of strong censure to i ot's conduct. When it answered his purpose lie s?' i the woman ho was living with his wife, and had eft iat ground obtained permission for her to visit him pic ol ; now he had tho audacity to turn round and J,l lhe was only liis mistress. The defendant had. ^ ? [ wrongly, hnt she had bought the blaukets Jfv ring that Mary Koloney was Sinnct's wife. A wd! ?xAlAeirthWf.triWtien-hvxVafBiTOjTnhrttiiirea- me on Christmas day^frrgo for doctor's stuff for him I was siire.ho wanted to get mo . out. of the .way. that- l)e,might go and- lool^.at his ?gold, again ; it was what I'd have done myself. ;So Iwent and got riiy horse and ? galloped roff till I was, out of .bearing, and thoril tied' the

.UUIOV. bW (? aik|/illl^ 111 bllU UUiUl .tllU V.IUIU creeping -baok- along -the range above, the house. And there w.as the old man in tho door peeping out, but he did not see me. He hanVdresse'd hisself,1 nnd 16 crawled Sri below .'] .with the help of ' his stick, stopping to' rest arid cough' and, draw his breath, and'I crawled on: above till I saw him go to the old tree arid fight, and tear., till he got this bag; and ho' counted- the money and kissed it, he did, and could hardly bear to Jeavo it ; but at last ho went crying into the hollow treo to hide; it agaipi' arid/I ciit off to -my 'h'orse' aftd rodo like. blazes to tho .doctop'fl.jplace.j When I came back with tho 'medicine Banks was in bad;, and said I hnd! been:a lbrig time, nnd I said th'eidbb'tor was out%hijh I; firsf;wout. '?'. Oh ! what a lark it ' was';] IBanka. never got^oyer that.walk, it kUled Wih,r arid- aftdr2lib_wns buried I ..camp .hero, nnd jdug up tho golden guinens 'and hitl thim° 'ng'nin. They have' been here ever sinoff/ijjiid'.I) jpmq.rto see that they're safe aud sound-overy year on Christijias' day.'l: Ai.tho conclusion of this long soliloquy: -'pid'-iCrpbke; pifs'sbd' his1 hands °thrrtugh;- (he 'clinking '' ^an'ey'^^^^i^e^lhi^^c^ over it, nnd ' woraiuppe'd ' if' 'as? 'a' savage worships hU felish, and finally buried

it1 very carefully again. Jack, meantime, having heard most of tho ab'ovo remarks, lay as still as death, with his eyes closed, and hardly dared to, breathe. ... Presently he heard old Crooko's retreating footsteps, but ho lay still, for some time after that, nnd then 'slowly, and noiselessly, followed tho path he had taken. Hiding himself; behind...1), .trpe^and, looking.' cautiously out on the clear plnin beyond, Jaclf oted old Crooke nt the other eide, in the act of mounting his horse, and then saWjhim rido away. . He returned in a state of .great pxcite-, ment and triumph. : ; 'Vf '' ' So that's old Banks's tin,' he said, ^tha^ ;this, avaricious .old skeloton .keeps hid,aw.ayy .Well, I've aaigopd aright;|tb.bo jBank's/s ...h'qir!( as he has ; if' the old man ]iad;waiitedjiim.tp); have,the;monoy. he'd have told lii,m .wliero^.it;,!

,was. rne greedy, oia conpie 01 .planters^ ip(i ileayo, money, lying hid in tuegr'ouiiduiid^iriany,', a gopd.man walking about wanting jit. , .But. they've got a friend' that' won't allo'.\Y'.,jtli£m', ' to.'act in that way. I'm that friend ; I'ui ^ji.E Planter's Fribnd. ? Shall I spring ? ,the';plnnt nowi? I'll go home and tell Biddy '.first ;rits quite.isafe, old .Crooke. won't be. horo ngnin till this time noxt. year, ' Tiiun, . I'll come . back again .and - have .up the' gold this blessed Christmas. Day. : With .theso words -Jack started, off in a different direction from that old Crooke had taken, and made his wny home, speedily, but by devious tracks. His horse,

saddled nna rjndlcu, nnd rencneci ?? rue Traveller's Joy ' some hours- before him, and Biddy had been much alarmed as to his safety ; but her fears were dissipated by his arrival, nnd they afterwards had a long nnd. most interesting conversation togqther ; the way farer's steed had also been brought in bjf a neighbour. Blowhard. was busy, ' a good 'shouting' company having assembled at' whoso expense he was drinking, liberally, and to whom he 'was boasting frightfully, and telling most atrocious lies.'. One of the customers present .Jfiidjinformed Blowhard that ho had, heard ? tliat a party of diggers had been, soeri at work on tho banks' of a creek about' a. mile nwny, which was supposed to contain n golden deposit,, nnd that they were, said to^ have .got ciipital ;. prpspe'ets. ... Jack, r'seiziiig; '; the' op :portupity?'6ffei:ed to go jnnd look at the^placq Widie'porttlie'redii; ,: A3' ' payable' 'gold; 'being;

tpuna 111 ciio creeK linpnea a rusn ioiiio piaco, laiiVr.that in' its'turii betokened ;;nn; infills !'of !cu'stbmera arid, corresponding prpfitsl,'BI6wh'ard 'risseA'Eed, to :Jack's pro'posal ''''jyiffi' manifest' rtpp¥6'v'iil,'a'nd in . token 'thereof^bes'towed ?'? on ljim'a glass Lof,:sriperior grogj1 from' a' sm'nll ?greeri-coyered ' bbttlo named ' 'The ' A'dhiiralj' which he genbrally,ap'p'ropruited for his own ;U'80!,'('/.'''''..i\'' [.',','.'' '.' ,'?' '. ''?? /' '?'?':'/'~ ! ; So':Jnck't6ok (i'spntfennd tin dish arid vsef off 'iri;the;;djrection b'f .thp'creek ;;.brit- when lib; was out of 'sight of. ' The' Traveller's Joy ' ho changed his course and struck into the bush.' He pushed oil till he camo to the place he hnd toft thnt rnbrhing, anJ went . up tp the tree with thVhollotv'stbin,' and' the long limb witli the' finger-Iiko tranches fringed with leaves pointing upwards.' After listening as keenly and 'looking round ns 'cautiously as old Crooke hnd done; he went inside the stoni nnd began to '.prospect there. .'. First' he removed earth, then stnnes,'then earth ngnin, and nt length came ripbu'a goodly , auriferous deposit, con tained riot in' wash dirt but in wash leather. The gold was'neith'er'irregnlar'nbr water-worn , but lay piled' in 'flai circular'' piece's;, with milled, , edges, and bearing ' an irhngo and

inscription on them. . There were over nve jiu'ii'dred .'such pieces, ''[ arid' each' piecd'.was Wbrtli !; twenty .shillings. . On' his :. return to ' The Trayellfer's' Joy .' Jack , 'briefljr ? iritirriatoil that, ho 'thbught ' tli'o creek 'of ',nb ' abcohtit' '; for gold-se'eking 'purposes. '; '''. '' ':.; ,?''''??; ''''?''''.?'' Late-that 'night Biddy was vcryi busy opack. jng-up, and .Jack afterwards ^entrusted, ..two' boxes to a friendly teamster,' who was bound | for th'e' neiglioburih'g'-'itown'sbip.liiext day, giving him directions ns to whore they wero to be left, likewise a letter pi, iuiiiortanco nddres scd.to a.reypreqd gentleman 'resident in tho| ;tbwnship. ;' Shortly.'.' nfterwnrds: 'Biddy', wtfs: seized with Va conviction, thnt slid ' , had..' of late neglected her religious duties, and th.itit, was, -imperative : she should go to ' Church .next Sunday; Jack would go with, her,; she snid,i and take care of her oil the way back. Blow-; hard .sanctioned, this somewhat unwillingly. He did not like his employes to possess religious inclinations ;' but he reasoned thnt if Jack, who was manifestly ' spoony ' on Biddy married her; they, would bo a vory useful couple, and' would be loss likely to leave his service,, 'and after I have thcrii/safo I can drop their wages ' said, the worthy man internally. So Jnck . and ?? Biddy j went to Church; but they did ' not come rbnck,':and

XJIW n UiklLt iiuiiIq tutu vui- ivnuautjf, uu uwuhuj 'afternoon, found that 1 they had . been married on tho previous diiy, thnt the -friendly, enrrier h'ndb'y a preyibus arrangement' bought the horses they rode, j.. which were, .their, own property, at a yaluntion, and that.:Jaclc ;aud: Biddy:' hnd:igoiie' o'nwnrds towards ; Sydney '.by',.' Suiiijay night's' (mail.. Blowhard ' wns disgusted and indignant ; but they jh(id. taken nothing but their own nway; hadi. indeed-; left' wages due 111 liis hands,- which ho1 coiisoled1 hiuise'lf-' by 'confiscating'..'''.;'.! !: .; ^'^ ','',' '' i ?' ?! ..I I! :n! ?.-.:_: : CHAPTER III.l'l.TM !.-i i ?* j '. .'^'Tiip, Ihosf.'lpf ;.,;f.Tfijof'Tniv9lie'r's ifo^'' ' hired^ other, servants, butho never ngain gotso smart* .a barmnidns Biddy or such niuseful -man as' '.iJack'tho; Sailor. Matters wentpri in their usual course nt the roadside , inn, : except that

aliuiu^;ni.uiiu LUiipuia Ulll uubDU iiilvii tjd» vmo l-lace, aucV 'Blowhard's pastoral pursuit:1 of ' lambing down ' wns'riot so frequently called Into requisition: .But on tho Christmas Dn'y1 twely;embritli from thnt pn which, Jack and1 Biddy had so suddenly departed.'his power's in thnt lino were called into operation by no less a pnrty thnn old'Crooko; Early in the morn ing, he, galloped up to ' The .Traveller's Joy,1 breathless, foaming.with rngo, an4,;Wasphem ing horribly. ! ? ? ? . . .' . .-. : ;' . Myimtpn earth is, the miitter V 'said } Blow 'hafd' aghast.;.' ';.'? .',''!'|..J;''. ':'.''?' ',',, / T!f '^ ., : lV ? Mhttorj'l yelled .old Crgokej^with a. hideous ? ;vol!ey«pf . '.impreoatiqns, !. the „ plaufe ^sprung ', it's all gono, fivo hundred ' golden sovs.' that1 old Banks left' hid';' ;'oKd-- that I'vo looked |at' every Christmas forten years ; oh ! if I but'j know who todk'tihe'm.';'-rd: hunt him dow)i';'! I'd cut ontlhis heart and cat lit, I would ; I'd '-follow'Hinii through. this .world .and ,tp — — '? after; ; -'Bring nidsoino strong rum, quickly,' , .rjfiitl; plenty, of it, or I slinll go mad,' arid hero' thoinuBernbio old wretch sprung off, his hpr'se, androlling-'o'ii' thbground; broke-, out into 'wild .?iriboherentexclnmntioris'Oflrago nnd .despair-,1 mingled wiiif execfntibns'in which He-eb'H8igrta'; ed the body, soul, eyes, limbs, lungs, nnd liver

of the person who ''sprung the; plant 'to 'the hottest, .corner of. the infernal regions. ' ' Blowhard gave old Crooko'str6ng rum, but1 he took such a quantity of this liquor to drown his grief and assuage ,his' despair that he very nearly drank himself to death;' and Blowhard's great skill nnd experience ; were tnxcd'to the uttermost to' bring' him 'round with' beef tea arid' mjnritp ... doses 'of liquor. 'When he' recpyeve'dhq innde solitary 'journeys lo'diffe'rerit' obscuro parts of his land, and 'after ench rode .into the neighbouring township arid deposited ^sunis pf 'money in the' bank there, having, nt jlougth'j lost faitlrin the^plantirig system. ' ' -The .final i.sceno; of our .tale is laid in a different part, of the .colony altogether. 1 The Lev., MrviUolland had that ? evening delivered a .glo.wing. lecture on tho; advantages to be derived from i-the, cultivation of the Imphee

sugar cane, ;Whiolii nelins cnristened .. the Hunter's tFriond, and ..several of his auditors. aro;disuussing it in the comfortable bar parlour of an hotel which, has been recently, taken by a young couple named j\Ir. and Mrs. John Smith,! who nre doing an excellent stroke of business. Thelandlady is a pretty, smart; lively woman, evidently perfoct mistress of- her calling '\t her husbandj who is a jolly, good-natured, good looking. fellow, calls her familiarly Biddy, arid she responds ' well Jack, what is it ?' ' Did you hear what thorev. Mr. Hollaud.

said? asked a highly enthusiastic party present. ' It's a wonderful cano, you can make sugar, and molasses, and rum out of the juice ; you can manure your land with the trash left ; you can make felt hats and brown paper out of the stalks ; you can feed your cows and horses with the leaves, and you can fatten pigs and poultry and goats, in fact everything but cats and dogs, on the seeds. Nothing1 is wasted ; it's a magnificoiit discovery and will be the making of the colony.' 'What is this wonderful thing?' asked the landlord. . ;-' ' ' What is it ?' replied the enthusiastic party with some scorn; ' ^ylly'the Planter's Friend; !the:grriudest thing out. Did:you never honr of:it?' ' ?'?'?' ? -. ??? ??????, ? . ?' :: i '' Well, yes; I'rnther think I have,' .'said the landlord, with n' queer humorous smile'' to 'his '? wifer.j -t'M once went' into -thoFlnuier's Friend

,luie!mysolf?;:but.oiily.on a: small scale,,; only ?foroneiplant.1' .-i.ii.-. -. ??.--. ,?.,.? V' t.-nn^h ??:'(' Indeed,' said the enthusiastic; party,, 'and did it come up -well. ' -'??!.| :? , . ,?.,?;! .^..r.Mni. ; ? 'It did,' replied :mineihost,,,'.'i very well,; did it not Biddy %\ ,'????,:? :?'? ^'-.o-.tji iui\-. tib .'It-did that, old^mnn,'.' repliedhis wife.. -,.-, .'And the sugar- from it-r-was-;it ,of good quality?' asked the interrogator. ,? -?;. ?;. ?; i ..;, .'' Tho ibest sort .going,' said, .the .landlord emphatically, but still smiling.: ,:i ; -: , 'I'll lay down ten ncrcs immediately,' said tho enthusinstic party, ' nnd I'll go now nnd nsk tho Rev. Mr. Holland where I can get the seed.' ; . . ?? : :....-? .... But the plant the landlord spoke of, ;as- hns been snid, wns not tho Imphee, nnd tho ' sugnr ' ho referred to was a motallic not a saccharino substance. — B..