|Newspaper Title||The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)|
|Trove Title||The Devil's Own. An Australian Story|
"This is a traveller sir, knows men and man ners; Has ploughed up sen so fur till both the poles have knocked.
xJns scon tho sun take coaoli, and can distinguish Tho color of bin horses ami thoir kinds. ” Beaumont and Fletcheu, J no dull grey Unto of curly dawn wore
only visible when Captain Harwell, of the Bangalore, turned in for a litfclo rest he had woll earned, poor fellow, and slept soundly after all the noise and tur moil of such a night of fatigue. . All un usual stillness pervaded the ship, perhaps it was more apparent after the late racket. A few of tho dusky crow were lying about, over-tired with the night’s extra work. The stewards, who had managed to put their department some what ship-shape, were retiring “ for a anoozf,” when the splashing of oars arrested their attention. A boat had pulled up alongside, or as near ns could bo safe, followed by a yabbering of foreign tongues, echoed by a few blunt English (ones of somo of those on tho Banga lore. “ People are oil long ago,” said the steward, “ in bed and asleep before this. Stay, can you tako a passenger? All right, thou wait a second,” and Martin had turned on bis heel. “Ship nhoy,” he said, in a loud whisper, tapping at a small cabin door, from whence issued Gustave, looking spic and span in a dark tweed suit us if ho had ariseu from a refreshing night's rest. He looked over tho ship’s sid-j as if eager to survey tho boat’s crew, then followed a conversation in French, in which tho courier seemed to have tho best of it. " Its La Heine Margot bound for Mar seilles; aha will suit mo. Here, tako this as a beginning, I owe you more. Here’s my address, if I can do you a good turn look me up.” He handed a curd and a neat little roule of ten sovereigns to the steward. “ Bosh ! I don't want payment, if as you say, its all right, I can do a good turn for a follow without wanting pay ment, Take it back, you will want it more than J shall now your wage? are docked. If [ come your way I’ll lind you out fast enough, Monsieur Gustave.” “ Don’t lose my address,” said Gnative. “ My luggage is all addressed; I suppose it will bo landed safe and forwarded. I can wait, I will only take this. I’ve strapped it in a opossum rug. I do nob see anyone about except the officers ” He descended the ladder, and shaking hands heartily with the steward, Martin, Gustavo was soon away from the Banga lore and in new ship’s quarters, where being utterly done up with fatigue and anxious for some hours sleep, ho was allowed to retire to a cabioSftthout any questioning from tho Jew that was on the deck of Li Heine Margot, when ho boarded her. It was late in the day when ho awoke acd looked about him, “Snug quarters,” ho said, looking round tho well fitted cabin with its numerous nick naoks and other signs of occupation. “ I suppose it belongs to some of the ship’s company by that barometer.” A strong smell of French dinner cimo puffing in as he opened his port hoi *, an omnium gatherum of savory aroran, soup, meat, vegetables, all concentrat’d in pulls of air, favored with onions. Ho put bimsoif to rights, washed, brushed his and went on deck, there to notice that La Heine Margot was evi* dently a merchant ship from some of tho colonies; that thoro were very few passengers compared to the ships lie had travelled in, and tho few that were scat tered about the deck seemed of mixed type, most of them looking tho picture of misery, quite unused to the-trials of a sea voyage, with its objectionable mal da mer. Their only hope seemed to bo in tho thought that ere many days would be over tiiey would be out of their pur gatory. He was soon joined by tho cap tain, who was politeness itself, partly from curiosity, partly from the imposing appearance of Gustave’s fur cca r , and debonnair style of the bearer. “Had monsieur breakfasted? He must be hungry ; the tables would soon, bo laid for dinner, but monsieur nosd not wait for that. Would he please go down and give orders. It would be some time before dinner wou’d be ready.” “No, a biscuit-and a glass of wine would suffice for the present,” Gustavo said politely. So they adjourned to the saloon, where, over a bo tie of French wit.o and some biscuits, a long conversation ensued con cerning the B ingalore. Freuchmen, as a rule, are easily amused, and especially when amusement is a» a premium. Be fore the evening was out tho captain, together with tho passengers and crew, had all more or less succumbed to tho charms of Monsieur Lestranges lively and very interesting conversation. “ It is wonderful,”* they declared, as ho re lated his experience?. How lie bad boon in Australia, bad been clone in tho gold mines, had seen the diggers digging out tho gold, crushing the quartz, separat ing tho gold. He had seen it all—the whole process. He had soon kougaioos, emus, wallaby, and opossums. ** What hadn’t monsieur soon?” said a screwy little ferret eyed man with a hook nose. “ Mon dieu, what hasn’t monsieur seen ? ” “ Monsieur, will kangaroo eat you up ! ” said a squabby French woman, shaking with fat like a mould of jelly, | and equally shapeless, ns, spectacles on her nose, she divided her attention between Gu'two and an elephantine stocking she was knitting busily. Gustavo had the gift of drawing effec tive pictures in his descriptions. When ho came to tho account of New Year’s eve on the Bangalore, with the alurming details of lovely dresses; the dancers, the music, tho decorations, and the finale of the night’s entertainment, the subject for a good picture if tho punter could have delineated tho varied expression of the many faces as they listened with fixed attention to Mons. ad ventures. “ What’s his name,” said somo curious passenger, “ Monsieur Lestraugo,” said another. “ What a queer name,” said a third. Gustave heard their remarks, but did not toll thorn .otherwise. It suited him beat tins queer name, so henceforth ho was known as Monsieur Lostrango ns the days flow by and La Heine Margot would soon bo at her destination, the port of Marseilles,