Chapter 169146458

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Chapter NumberXI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttps://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169146458
Full Date1927-03-23
Page Number27
Corrections1
Word Count3263
IllustratedY
Last Corrected2019-04-27
Newspaper TitleSydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938)
Trove TitleSons of the Seven Mile
article text

Sons of the Seven Mile

An Australian Novel of

Country & City Life

by Zora Cross

CHAPTER XI.

Aye! xce had a glorious gallop after Starlight, and hi? gang When they bolted from Sylvester's on the flat ; How the sun-dried reed-beds crackled, how the. flint strewn ranges rang To the strokes of Mountaineer and Acrobat. — Adam Lindsay llvnhnl. '1 \ UT no horse was making faster' progress than

I— ^ Dave's unless it was Campbellwell's own. |3 Tne hunted black, rlizzy from lo:s of blood. '* his maddened horse whipped witli the slinging nettle, snorting and drawing in his .breath with some thing like, rage and fear as he ran, was making for 1lie creek. Just in sight, of it the black heard of a sudden the hoofbeats of a horse behind him. He dared not look behind. He was on (he scrub track, the secret haunted track. Who but a spirit would take that track? No white man would use it, surely. . . . Panting-, the black reached the creek, and Dave saw him almost wit.li a yell of de-lighl. He was limned oui in the moonlight like some great- and horrible, beast. Looking back in alarm Campbellwell saw Dave. Then, as if I hey had only been playing at chase be fore, a chase began in earnest. A track ran round the base of the rocks to point the load to Hillborough. Maddened by the sight of his pursuer Campbellweil crossed the creek, and pulled back his horse to stop it trom drinking, for doalL would only follow the Jirst draught, of wafer. Dave saw him with amazing agility almost lift the animal along, slash and cut it about tl.e face brutally

to urge it- on. But Dave was in the stream now, mak ing the crossing at the shallow junction of the Deepwater Creek and the lagoon. The horses seemed to he ploughing the1 water, and, feeling that, the bushranger's horse was giving in, Dave cried out, 'I've, uot you beaten, Campbell well. Might as well give up.' lie. could have fired and killed him, but he preferred to take him alive; so on and on lie urged his horse. The reward lie would receive for the capture would take him and Ruth for a honeymoon to Sydney. 'On, on, on. on. L'p. Boy,' he cried. Hatch him. . . Now! ... Round by I he curve. He can't get out.' CampbelhveH's horse was over. Dave's was half way across. The black made for the track, and Dave, followed faster. . . . '(live it up, Campbellwell. Stand. Hands up!*' A fearful thing happened — Campbell- well's horse rolled over, and the black leapt clear of its back. Dave shut his eyes as he saw the unfortunate animal roll into the creek and gulp at; the water. But he bad to keep his eyes on the black, who, refusing lo surrender, began climbing the steep face of the. rock in a mad endeavour to reach his cave. All about him he felt that the bush was roaring with the sound of the hoof-beats of white men's horses. He was like an eagle with a broken wing making; for his eerie. ??Hands up, or I'll shoot you down like t!ie snake you are, Campbellwell,' Dave cried. Campbeilwell, glaring down now on horse and rider, rolled a great stone down. Dave fired, missing bim. Then it was the black's turn to won

der. Dave was bringing his. horse up after him. The animal seemed to be a l.ui'sli .(animal with claws rather than a horse as its -'rider cried 'On, on,- on, up now. Beauty Boy. Up!' This chase had some thrill in it. It Was like shoot ing opossums by moonlight, like, picking out Ihe flying i'oxcs in Ihe fruit trees. Campbellwell seemed to -hang from Ihis crag; and then from that like a, monster bird. lie' saw the .entrance to his oavn. never dreaming that by. this time the others had climbed up from the other side, and even now were in possession of the cave. The. police had often chased the black to his cave like this, bi;(; he. had always escaped. Now he was to give, away his own secret. Dave knew that he could not l'ide up much further, and expected the, black lo climb round the summit of Hie steep spur and drop into iiis j'ave defeated. Dave did not expect what followed. Campbellwell threw a boomerang which whizzed past his ear so narrowly that Ihe fraction of an inch more and his ear would have been severed. A spe;ir followed Hie boomerang. Then suddenly the black disappeared. Dave's heart stood still. Had they boon beaten again? His horse began to slip back, lie slid off it quickly and picking up Campbellweir? tracks breath lessly pursued his quarry. There was a clump of bushes before Ihe. entrance to the, cave. Dave almost crept into them, lie fell hack just in tinir. The muzzle, of a revolver was point ing from the, midst of the bushes. Dave slid back under cover nf the bushes near him. He guessed at once that, the cave ran through the spur to the other side. Campbellwell had reached safely, which meant that he liar] guns with which lo flghl his

attackers, and could hold them up yet and so escape ; again. j Dave noiselessly ascended the slippery rocks just \ above him. so that he commanded the roof of the cave. If Gampbellwell tired he would attract those on the other \ side away. Dave saw at once that Ihis was how he must ; have always made his escape. The police ran one way ? while he. ran the other. \ Dave, took off his coal, and rolled up his sleeves, put j by his weapon, and wailed just above the cave door for \ Ihe black. ' ! As soon as he appeared he intended lo leap down on :, him as Cainphellwell hud intended lo leap down on Dave himself a lew hours ago. \ There was a stiff tenseness in I he very air about : him as it' the night knew his intention, \ BUT Campbellwell was wary. Having blocked up the j opposite entrance to his cave, lie knew he was in j no danger from lhat side. *' j. The sudden cessation of the, hoof beats and the j sound of a horse cropping, grass made him crouch - siekeningly inside his cave, waiting, wailing, just as ' | slMTly lense as his lormenlor. I .\othing happened. Taking heart, he stole through \ his cave, and, removing the stone before, the entrance, i. he came, out, only to iind on the road below him six ; horsemen waiting and two troopers not half a dozen yards from his cave. The sight of I hern all unnerved him. ; There was n shout from below as one of the men ; cried, 'There he is!' The black tied hack to Hie cave while beating of horses' hooves rang in his ears again. Dave, tired of wailing, leapt down from his ledge . just as the black fled into Ihe cave. All was darkness ' within, and Dave fired blindly. Campbellwell answered

'Holloa1 Holloa!' cried a voice from the other end, and a police light flashed. Campbellwell, caught like a rat now. knew that his only chance, of escape was lo got n police horse., Jake a .great risk, and try lo kill the two troopers blocking him from the main road, and so make for Mombea, Hie home.slead he had marked as a good place to rob. He might have been successful had it not been for Dave's bullet, which caught the fleshy part of his leg and sent him howling to the mouth of the cave, only to glare out on the assembled pursuers. He faced them magnificent in failure; made an almost heroic attempt to overthrow them all. and burling' one of the troopers down the face of the rock as he grappled with him, snaiching his weapon, be bad the diabolical pleasure of hearing; the young man cry out in pain as badly bruised he was saved from death by a clump of small bushes. 'Markham! Markham! Are you there?' one of the troopers called down into the cave. 'Markham!' Campbellwell was struggling and pani ing. and fighting for his liberty still, glaring like a savage animal at them all. These white men had taken hi? coun try, and were doing; what they liked with it. He could not die by their hands. 'Hold him! Hold him! He's trying to go over the cliff,' someone cried when Dave ran through the cave and caught the black by the arms pulling them back. He snarled at Dave, and spat st him, but Dave dodged, and said in triumph, 'We've got you now, Campbellwell, and we mean to keep you.' Sullenly the captured black allowed I hem to bind his wound and help him down to the road. {Continued on Next Page.)

'Two little girls shewed her path with roses as she entered the church.'

(Continued from Opposite Page.) Cheers greeted his arrival. He onlv /r'ared on them and growled in a low cul tural voice. 'Me'* got a we right, through Hie spur.7'1 Dave said. Up fell, victorious The pleasure of hav jner cfl'Jffhl the black was terrific now that H descenrjp.fi on him. Tliis brutal creature Im.i he'd llie lives of white women and children so lightly |jlai ne ]iad j}]-trea1ed and murdered three in one wenk. Uampbeljwcll \vas tied and bound to ins horse. He hung his head, and let them lead him off to the town. Dave rode on. ahead. WHAT a night, it had been! He had captured Ruth and run away with her from the Hill, only to return lo it with the captured Campliellwell. They rode inlo liie mil singing: 'lVffj/ fill the clouds roll by, Jennv Wail till, clouds roll. by. Jenny, my own true loved one. Wait lil.I tlm rlniirlo ms\ll hi, »

Then the peoplo realised that the notorious bush ranger had been c?mght. No longer was the bush dark imd treacherous. .No more need they fear to travel to Brisbane with their gold. Palmcrly and Camphellwell had both been caught. Delirious with joy, Ihey beat tin cans and tin dishes, waved arms wildly, and men and women in the pas sionate release of I he moment; were shaking hands and even kissing: one another amid tears and laughter. Carrie Larson cried out, 'The coach will come through safely. Thank goodness Agnes will be safe.' And impulsive Carrie, having to kiss someone, kissed Charley Began. Ruth flew to Dave's arms. He held her close to him while others pressed forward lo see the captured man. 'Hurrah, Ihey got him! No more bushrangers! Aus tralia's frae. of thieves and cut-throats! Dave Markham got him! The troopers got him! Oh, isn't he an ugly looking brute' ' said one nn'd another. 'What a face!'' 'So that's a murder'.!]'!' 'Oh, fancy mcrling thai in the dark!' Gamphellwell, knowing' that lie could never rob and murder again, clenched his teeth, but would not . face them. 'Come on. Quick march:' the troopers said. People followed him all the way to the lock-up. He would £o to Brisliaiif1 for his trial, and Nosey Bob. the hangman, would lianji- him. and his head would be em balmed and sent, to London so that scientists could exa mine it and try to discover how so horrible a monster had existed and why? But, Charley Rogan and Andy Blake turned away1 from the sight of Ruth and Dave. She was lost, to them, for ever. Good-hmnourpd'y Sandy MePhie began to sing: 'Oh, mo tlarlm,' on. me riarlin,' oh, me tfarlin,' Clementine, Thou art Jost and gone for ever, oh, me darlin; Clemen tine.' DAVE was in compMe command now; master of him self and her. _ «„.,., ''What happens *° mp now- Dave?' sne'.asked him lenderly, f-viin^ n-'.w that he was with her. she , would do anything he wished bar lo do. ?. :, 'You com' fionif wJl.h me.' Dave said, 'for the pre- ' sciil. To-mon-ow o' l'e nex1 day we set out for Bris' Imne and your riioi'-ier's arid step-father's consent to our marria™? Then n-fil come hack here and be married at the Rill Wii !^e eight bridesmaids in pink and blue and Miotroru- «ilkff and two pages Jn black velvet . to holcl ii* vnnr -ona: wedding train. The pins will sli-ew rose* in' vour path, Ruth, ana well go dosvn Jn Svdney for our hone moon, and stay at Icnby House.

Then we'll come back to Mombca. Mother and father always told me it was to be mine when -I married.' Jeanie heard her brother's eager, excited talk. Something1 within her seemed to send a sudden thrill to her heart. If Dave married Ruth, Andy would be free perhaps lo marry her. Though Jeanie could not like Ruth, she was deter mined to serve her own ends and win Andy for herself, to make Ruth' comfortable at Mombea, and act like a future sister-in-law, if she could feel no sisterly love towards her. Besides, Dave would receive some reward for the capture of Campbellwell, since he had done most, to bring it about, and she knew Ruth would have a great wedding. A wedding. was somethinsjo look forward to, even,., if she were not moved to enthusiasm -for ??'her brother's, bride. . CHAPTER XII. And — on horizons hidden yet — There shall be happy days. — Mary Hannay Foole. AND after' all, the ' wedd.'hg1' of ' Ruth 'Duggen 'and Dave Markham was something to remember for years afterwards. Rutli, .who, .sang, popular . songs at Morgan's dance hall, could also win the heart with : the sweet old songs, and it was her singing of; some o'f these in the big old drawing-room at Mombea tliat had wonher the hearts, of Dave's mother and father:--' ' Emmy' had helped Jeanie. to^ make the -Wonderful., wedding dress which had cost a small fortune, witli. its cream corded silk, Its tight bodice, and long sleeves, and its -three deep flounces of lace, every yard of which cost a pound.- Ruth's'.1 stepfather was present to, give tier aWay, and Andy Blake and Charley Regan were grooms men. .' ??'. '; ' ? ? . : : ... ?-. .. ' :. ?' ^ . . . : All , .-Hill borough came out -to see the: wedding, to comment'- on. the .pretty little bridesmaids -in .their pink and blue and heliotrope, silk, and tho two little pages in black velvet who held up Ruth's 3ong, -beautiful train. - Emmy bad lent her wedding veil, and Ruth wore a wreath of orange blossoms. Two little si rls. strewed her path with roses as she entered the .church.- and a horseshoe of roses hung over the church door, -.white .a l;ell. of.. roses swung in the flower-decked. interior. '? . Dave -[allowed- himself to wear a JaJUsjlk-h^t'. and actually ' submitted to V\a orthodox lavender, trousers, a 'long 'frock coat, white kid s'Iovps. and a white 'lie'. He had received a goodly share of the reward: for Campbeltweli's'. capture. . .....:.?... ?Rutli,' the centre of t lie pretty scene, was herself J he fairest, of the .flowers.. , - . . ...-??- ./ ? 1 lor mother had conic up. from' Brisbane to be, present nnd she looked 'wil h rrr«^]ridc upon ^lier 'wayward little Ruth —for Ruth had always been wayward. Mrs. Dug

gun was a pretty little brown-eyed woman, who regarded this day as one of the hap piest in her life. ' They bad decided to hold the weddinjr breakfast at Dave's* home, as they, could use the big barn for the hundreds of wed ding guests. It was appropriate enough, too, though some people said it was bad luck for Ruth to be married from her husband's home, the home that was to be hers after her marriage. Ruth laughed at the old superstitions. As they gaily drove through the Mom bea gates an old Scotchwoman broke a LJortcake over Ruth's head for luck, and, though the surprised blow dazed her, Ruth, smiled. The old lady bad tied the shortbread, up in a handkerchief, and Ruth had no idea for a moment or two what had struck her. Caterers from Hillborough had been out at Mombea for nearly a week previously

cooking and. baking for the great wedding feast. Ruth, helped by Jeanie, changed -into -her' travel- ling dress, and, a great downpour of rain 'coming just before the breakfast, the whole yard was swamped. Dave put his coat about Ruth and carried her across the yard from the dining-room to the barn where the wedding feast was set out. Emmy,- jokingly said, 'You've given her the coat, son. See you don't give her the breeches, too.1' The simple people took up the joke and laughed, little realising that Ruth was destined to be the mistress always. After the wedding breakfast they left by the train for Parbury, as the new line had just been opened. At. Parbury they caught the boat for Brisbane, and a few days later were on board the Wonga for Sydney. .'! Ruihiwas as terrified on the Wonga as she had been the 'night in the bush with the blacks. Fog-horns were blowing all night, and she was glad when they readied Sydney, and took up their residence at Tenby House, in Wyriyard-squar'e. ,Dave spared nothing lo give Ruth the happiest of honeymoons. They shopped together, and, besides buy ing some of the long-flounced dresses and new., little flowery-, hats, Ruth bought a silk dress with a train. ''..They went out to visit a friend of Dave's at Mos man Bay, where there was not a single house to be seen —only tents — but they found a delightful wine kiosk, and took long picturesque walks through the bush. ' ?' Coming home they were caught in a harbour storm, and reached the Circular Quay with difficulty. ?Because, the land was going so cheaply Ruth in sisted- on -buying a block of land at Cremorne Poini. 'litfi.e- dreaming that the day would come when it would be .worth twenty times tho. price she gave for it. : '- ' Bqi honeymoon time could not last for over. V Soon they had to return to Hillborough, and as Ruth had ''given up her stage work, she was beginning to won der, how she would live in the bush always. ' ' : She ''did not intend to drive cut Dave's family. She told him that she felt sure she could agree1 with his parents; buLnot with Jeanie. It was with joy they learned just before they left ^Sydney -that Jeanie and Andy. Blake were married, and tliat Charley Regan was engaged to Carrie Larson's sister, 'Agnes, and Sandy had wed Maggie. Templeton. ..-So jRutli returned like a queen to Hillborou&h, an-l went; home '. to his old home with Dave for a few years lo ^really -.enjoy the freedom that such a life offered her. ? IMombea. because Ruth was its hostess, soon became -the j'en.trc.of Hie social life about her. .- . ? ? ?*?? ' But ;sjie. was an actress underneath it all, and, though he, had taken her to his bush home, Dave knew that he ?cotild not keep Ruth there always. Nor; could he. , (To be Continued.) .'...?