Chapter 196751571

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Chapter NumberIX
Chapter TitleA BUSH PAUL PRY.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196751571
Full Date1887-04-22
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count5577
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916)
Trove TitleBenbonuna: A Tale of Thirty Years Ago
article text

BSNBONU2CA i

a T4LB> OF THIRTY YEABS AGOt

right* reserved by the author.] ; mmm^mmmm » | CHAPTER IX. .';' A BU3S PAUL PBY. j

BT ROBERT BRUCE;

"Hooroo! Be -the powers ye've bite him. I tould ye, ye would !" cried the delighted Mick, as he hurried np with Heal op's hat, which had fallen off at {he \>omm«ioetnratof the straggle. _ n But idotft ye get'oif,*orr, or the oal&ttnniot ^I think he'a fcept®d ye. v Til just mtjye + S'flhrinh ov^Sy/ an' theWye'd hettb*give him aturh or two on the^flat before ye gossl*. " ' '* ' . "All rightMick, I think I can do another pannican now." . < " Mywoird, Sir, youatuck to Jbim grand, and he'll carry you quiet enough after this" said Jack Jones, the horsedrirer, substituting a respectful " Sir 11 this time for the objectionable "infete.'-' ' 4 1 He gave me quite enough to do, ancj I believe • I fehould have come ( off, bat foe. the. kid, "replied .Heslop frankly, as be sawtd the month of the Odd .Trick till he got his head "hp, and then made him walk towards .the kitchen door.., AsMick banded 'up the tea, h e exclaimed " Be the powers, there's all hands from Govermiat- house on the flat, anV Mise Mary wid 'em, widoat her bonnet." Frank looked in ;the direction indicated, apd there saw'4he Schlinkecouplsand old .Mrs Blowbard sfanding near the centre of the flat, wbilBt a little distance from them vu Mary Ashhy, her apron over her head —going back towards the honBe. Frank afterwards iBamedftbat when <he and the horse plunged headlong into the' cre#k, Mia Schlinke, jumping to the conclusion tbat be must be killed, lost not an instant in communicating (he thrilling intelligence to her mistress and Miss Ashhy, causipg the former to volubly express her sorrow and concern, and the latter instantly to hnrry forth to render assistance, of coarse attracting in her 1 progress the Scblinkes and Mrs Blowhard, whilst Mrs Ashby remained with her greatly excited husband. " Tbey mast have thought that I was hurt,"-exclaimed Frank as his eye took in the situation. " Bknre atf th^y thocght ys WOT kilt itftoirty an' was comin' tp wake ye, Sorr," •aid Mick with a twinkle in his eye. ; - 1 1 I'll have, to explain matters," fried Heslop, eagerly digging his heels into the Odd Trick's ribs, quite forgetting that the animal might buck again ; but as Jones had 'truly said, the horse would carry him quietly enough for the future; it started 1 at a trot which another application of the heels quickened into a canter, and Frank WBS soon by the side of Miss Ashby, who said eagerly as he came up "01 Mr Heslop; I was afraid that yoa were killed." " I deserved to. be, after disregarding your kind warning," returned Frank asjhe sprang to the ground and walked beside the yoqng|ady; "bat indeed Miss Ashby I was in a manner forced to do as I did. Mr Hawley told me he expected that I would reaover the horse I lost last eight, and gave me the Odd Trick to do it with." " "Mr Hawley ought to be ashamed of himself; bat Mr. Heslop, yoa are afar totter horseman than 1 gave you credit for, and I should not feel frightened another time," replied Mary with a smile which made Frank almost thankful to Hawley for his share iu the transaction. I am -glad you forgive me, Miss Ashby and I'll promise not to offend again if I can help it" he said. " I am not offended in the least, but I was , dreadfully frightened when Mrs Schlinke snid you were killed, and you cannot imagine the relief I felt when I saw you riding out of the creek ; but I must hasten in to father and relieve his anxiety"—as they reached the side of the verandah—" Won't yoa come in with me, Mr Heslop." " I think I had better not, " replied he reluctantly," but with your permission I •will wait to bear how Mr Ashby is, and then I must start, for it is getting late I" " I do not see any necessity for your going on such a dreadful day as this, and I am sure my father would rather lose the horse than you should go. If be were well he woold not hear of such a thing. It seems so unkind and inhospitable," said Mary, her boneBt eyes confirming the sincerity of her words. " Oh, I don't mind it at all, and I beg yon will not distress yourself on my account," replied Frank gratefully, feeling his admiration for this charming young hush. girl increasing with every word she uttered. 8he hastened into the house, and the-Scblinkes—who had followed in their train— took a farewell stare and went into the kitchen, whilst Mrs Blowhard with the delicacy of herxace—stationed herself at a verandah post and regarded him 1 with unwinking eyes. " Yoa will know me another time, old lady," remarked the amused Heslop. " Yes, yes," simpered this by no means distantly removed descendant of the chimpanzee, adding as she extended wrinkled paw, " You got it bacca ?" " No, yonr worthy son Moses > got all had last night." " Ah 1 you got it pipa ?" " Yoa be off, Mrs Blowbard (" cried Mrs Ashby, who issued from the house as she spoke, adding to Frank, " they aTe such dreadful beggars Mr Heslop, 1 hope you have not given her anything." " No poor old body, I had no tobacco to give; if I had I am afraid Bhe wonld have got it" "Ah 1 you are too good-natured. But however did you come to ride that vicious brute, Mr Heslop ?'.' asked the lady reprovingly, " you might have been killed 1" Frank thought to 'himself that it was no fault of her brother that he bad.not been killed, but replied, " I am not easily killed; and besides, I must learn to ride rough horses now I am in the busb, ; suppose." " But .you should, be more careful You cannot think what a shock it gave ice. I am trembling yet, and poor Mr Ashby Is terribly excited." Frank could see no signs of extra ordinary emotion about the lady, 'but politely replied that he waB extremely aorry for having occasioned any uneasiness. As he spoke Mary appeared from the French window, and giving a glance of reproach, so Frank thought, to her step-mother*, said, "I am sorry to'say father is not so well now, and I hope you will excuse my going back to him at once, Mr Heslop." " 1 hope this wretched business of mine bu bad. nothing to do with your father'e relapse ?" "Oh, no, Mr HeBlop, it is not your fault," said Mary quickly," and now good morning"—holding oat her band—" I hope you will not bave far to go." Frank silently pressed the hand , she gave him, and would have given much to have been able to stay and assist her; but be felt it incumbent on bim to recover the lost horse, and allowed her to retire without venturing to proffer his services. I suppose bis countenance betrayed his thoughts, for Mrs Aehby hastened to remark, " Mr Ashby is very trying, but he. is not nearly so ill as Mi6s Ashby imagines. She is so fussy, you know." " Miss Ashby fussy !" cried Frank with sudden warmth, forgetting in bis eagerness to defend the daughter the more serious matter of ber father'e illness. »Ah!" cried Mrs ABhby, playfully, abooting a fascinating glance at him from <ber great black eyes, " yoa youpg fellows

are all alike, ever ready to champion a pretty girl's cause, whilst old women like myself must fight their own battles." J "Especially when the pretty girl's cause happens to be a just one, Mrs Ashby. As for the old ladies, from what little I bave «een of-them, tbey are quite able * tp take care -of themselves," answered Frank, too nettled at the injustice done Miss Ashby to be gallant, yet not meaning to be personal. " You ere a heartless creature 1" replied the -lady in an injured tone, as if she applied the latter part of HeBlop'e speech to herself. < "There you are wrong again," laughed Frank, " and to prove it. I will wish you gbod morning, for I cannot be so heartlesssas to keep yoa longer in this hot verandah." " A little heat does not hurt me; but will you not take some refreshment—a little brandy and' water? Yoa muBt require something after your violent exertions I" inquired Mrs Ashby with a show of ^ hospitality. " Thank you vgry much, but indeed I do not need anything; besides I have drank something like a gallon of tea 1 daring, the last hour." - " Oh, that everlasting tea 1 But now, as yon will not take anything, and toill go . on that absurd errand, I suppose I must not keep you," said Mrs Ashby, with a gracious smile, as she bade Heslop g<|od. morning. Frank mounted his horse and rode slowly away, cogitating on the cause of Mary's ^reproachful glance to her stepmother, and as to what manner of woman r Mrs Ashby really WSB. That lady meanwhile looked after him with a half frown, muttering to herself' as she entered the'honBe, "Yes, Stephen; is right. That young man will have to be got rid of ,as soon as possible !" Daring Frank's absence at the house, Mick bad reduced one of the damaged quart pots to something like shape, bad discovered a reliable canteen, shaken oat one of the rugs, and filled several little calico bags with, provisions, and he now said,' " Tie betther for ye to be takin' something wid ye, in case ye foind yljrablf some place where'yes won't know where ye are ; so I've put up a bit ov tucker an tay. an'abugger." " I hope I am not going to get lost again I A very jittje of that sort of ,thing goeB along way," replied Frank with assumed apprehension. "Sure-now, Mistber Heslop, ye know fhwat I mane J Id's not loBht at all, id's ounly ye'll maybe foind yourself someplace an' not know where to git ' a" dhrink or bite to ate. Bod see now, sorr, av ye do be gojn' all the way to Udenyaka, "tie the station ye should call at, for Misther Probyn is the foine man, so he is, an it's plased himsilf will be to have ye in Govermint house." " Oh! bat I do not know Mr Probyn I" " Sure an' that same doesn't matther at all, at aU 1" " But Mick, I don't see how I can call without an introduction I" " Sorra a inthrojuction ye'II need, for Misther Probyn is the rale jintleman, an' knows anoder whin he sees him." " Thank you Mick," said Frank with a low bow. "Sure an' id's the trudth sorr; an' besides 'tis ownly the likes ov Misther Hawley as snakes pasht, all the same as a wild dog; the risht of the squatters an' overseers shtop there, for. Udenyaka is all the same as a hotil, so id is, barrin' there's Dothin' to pay." " Well, I will call then, if I go so far." " Id's the hist thing ye can do, sorr; an' so if ye's jiet be afther givin' me a clane shirt, I'll rowl it in the rug for ye, whilst ye have a drink ov tay an' a bit to ate, for sure'n ye'il git no dinner. I've put Bome in there for ye," eaid Mick, pointing aB he concluded to Bachelor's Hall. Frank of course protested that he did not want anything, as he had so lately breakfasted ; but somehow or other in a minute afterwards he found his teeth busily employed on the homely fare prepared for him ; and by the time he had finished a very fair meal and changed bis shirt, Mick had the rug and its contents strapped on the Baddle, and the quart pot, canteen, and hobbles bung to the side straps. " I'll honld him, jiet to make sure, seein' ye're not used to a big swag ; an' be keerful for a bit whin ye're fly ketchin' an' lightin' yer pipe, in case he might take ye unawares." " All right, Mick, I'll look out; but if I am once fairly behind that bundle, I don't see how he could get rid of me unless my legs came off," replied Frank laughing. " 'Tis better to be sure nor sorry, Misther Heslop," said Mick as he took the Odd Trick by the head and held him till Frank had insinuated himself into the saddle. The horse seemed not to mind in the least the miscellaneous assortment of jingling hobbles and tinware hung about him ; and Mick was giving Heslop sdme parting directions as to the track, when he was interrupted by the shepherd, who issued from the kitchen, pipe in mouth, and said without removing it from between his teeth, " I'm goin' his way, dye see,: an' so I'll put him on the track, dye see." " So ye kin, Brusber, an' maybe ye'll be able to find hiB saddle as he hung in a pine tree, for id's on yer run," assented Miok. " If you can find it I'll be glad to give you something by way of reward," supplemented Frank. " If yer kin poot me on the tracks, dye see I'm bound ter git it, dye see ; an ef BO be as yer can't, dye see, the crows '11 show me where it is, dye see, for they'll be flockin round, dye see, thinkin to git a feed off some dead cove, as they alius does, dye see 1" said Mr Brusher, who spoke as if " dead coves" were plentiful as fiieB, and constituted the usual provender'of the crow. I think I shall know the place where Peter left the creek ; it was cloBe to a water bole!" " Oh I there's dozens ov water-holes, yer see. But does yer know whieh waterhole, dye see 1" " Never mind the wat- erholes, Brasher, Misther Heslop doesn't know any ov 'em, but he'll show ye the one when ye comes to it, an' so ye'd better be off wid yer," eaid Mick—adding to Frank—" Don't moind that ould divil, or he'll be axin' yer hind leg off wid his questions, dye it see. " Which ain't no business ov yourn, dye Bee, if so be I don't ax off your hind leg, dye see, Mr Impidence," retorted Brasher, as be slouched off followed by his dog. " Good day, Sorr, an' don't ye forgpt to fill yer canteen at the last wather," said Mick, not noticing the shepherd's sally. " Good day Mick 1 I won't forget the water," said Frank, following his conductor, a man past middle age, with long thin arms and legs, a protuberant stomach, faded yellow tangled hair, low forehead, greenish grey eyes, long unctuous nose, large mouth with thin lips which described a half circle round his chin, and clean shaved, leathery cheeks, which hung down like saddle bags. To any one who believed in the transmigration of BOUIS, it would in fact, have been at once apparent that the next preceding lodging of Brusher's soul had been the body of a toad, and that when it changed quarters it had taken with it and incorporated in its present tenement a considerable portion of its old bodily lodging. Brusher bad been " sent out" at Government expense—for poaching be eaid— though rumor had it that he had narrowly escapfad hanging for a crime which richly deserved that punishment.

Frank, now that be had leisure to study his Strang? companion, could not help feeling an instinctive repugnance to him, though the "man's civility was almost overpowering. However, Brusher speedily developed an immense interest in Frank's affairs, and began a running fire of questions as to who his people were ; what were their circumstances in life; where their place of abode, See., &c., &c. ? bat. Mick's parting caution, backed by Frank's quickly conceived aversion for him, caused Brusher's cariosity to be but poorly -rewarded ; and by the- time the pair entered the gum creek he was little more enlightened than at starting, and began to repent of his precipitate selfsacrifice in leaving the station, where (Hawley being out of the way), he might have stayed and gossiped for hours, and enjoyed a hot dinner into the bargain. However, there, was a couple of miles still before them, and there was no knowing what he might not learn before reaching the waterhole at which his sbeep were camped. How cool, comparatively speaking, it was under those grand old gums, whose strangely whispering, willow-like Bprays cast trembling shadows on the boulderstrewn bed of the creek and on the pellucid rillB which here and there issued from amongst them to merrily pursue their brief courses—only to suddenly disappear again, like happy children surprised by Death on the bead waters of the river of life, ere they have had timfe to explore its rough channel and care-clouded eaches. The creek wound its way for some distance between high rocky banks; and tbe echoes awakened by the hoofs of the horses disturbed numerous flocks of noisy ring-necked parrots, which darting to more distant coverts, flashed like variegated lightning into the dbszling sunshine from a dense mass of shadow. " That there's the Wirracowie creek, d'ye see, wot yer must 'ave crossed this rnornin', d'ye ' see ?" observed Brusher, pointing to a large gum creek which there joined the one tbey were crossing. "Yes, I got a drink at a spring in it." " Pooty dry, was yer?" " No, not particularly ; Moses brought me a drink." " Bum cove, Moses, d'ye see. But how did yer come for to go for to lose yourself, d'ye see ?" _ Frank felt constrained to satisfy- the man's curiosity on this point, but' did BO as briefly as possible, only to'find that this slight concession encouraged tbe inquisitive Brusher to reopen his question battery with renewed vigor ; but hiB fire failed even more signally than before to penetrate the armor of - reserve which Frank had assumed, and if he answered at all it was to convey little or no information. Brusher was naturally disgusted, but far from attributing Frank's reticence to its true cause, quickly came to the conclusion that there must have been something shady about his antecedents, which he, in his greenness, was shy about owning up to; and therefore, after several leading questions as why he had left England, he asked with a satyr-like leer, " Yer didn't get inter a mess with some gal, did yer, and have to slope, dye see?" " No 1" replied Frank shortly, in his annoyance causing the Odd Trick to increase his pace to about five miles an hour, and thereby accelerating Brusher's walk to a trot, which he kept up for a short time, and then exclaimed, " Look here, Mister, if I am to show you the way, dye see, you'll have to go slower nor that, dye see—for it's too — hot for runnin', dye see." Frank answered nothing, but reined back his horse to a more companionable pace, and steadily contemplated the landscape. But if he thought Brusher was to be silenced so easily, he was greatly mistaken, for presently that inveterate querist returned to the charge with, " Yer didn't do a bit with the " books" or the " bones," did yer, an' couldn't post the spohdoolicks, dye see ?" " No 1" " Well then," with a strictly confidential lowering of his voice, "yer didn't imeitate some body else's writin' by mistake, did yer, dye see ?" This was too much for Frank, who reined round his horse suddenly and demanded, with a look which made Brusher drop his lower jaw and throw up his hands as if to guard his head, " Do you wish to insult me, you scoundrel ?" " Wish ter insult yer 1" ejaculated the man with evident astonishment, for according to his lights any of tbe above causes for Frank's emigration would have rather redounded to his credit than otherwise. " Yes, insult me 1 If you cannot find something better to talk about, you bud better keep silent." " Yer needen't get yer shirt out, dye see ! for I diden't intend no insult whatever, dye see 1 an ef yer thinks I did, dye see, yer mistaken, dye see I" "Very well, we will let the matter drop then; but remember I. am not accustomed to such questions, and Bball not put up with them 1" said Frank as he started his horse again. Brusher ambled along for awhile in silence, mopping his face with a dirty red cotton handkerchief; then, as if nothing had occurred to strain the friendly relations which ought, as he thought, to subsist between Heslop and himself, he inquired— " Don't yer smoke, dye pee ?" " Yes." " Haven't got yer pipe, dye see ?" " Yes, I bave one 1" " Got no terbaccer then, dye Bee ?" " No. I bave none with me." " Well, Master, ef yer ain't too proud, yer can bave some of mine, dye see I as isn't bad, dye see;" and Brusher, producing as he spoke some damp-lookiDg sticks of negrohead from the breast of his blue shirt, where they had been nestling next to his skin, and tendered them to Frank. " No, thanks. I do not wish to smoke, said Frank politely, at tbe same time thinking he; shonld be very hard set before he could bring himself to inhale vapor from such villainous looking stuff. " Well, then, dye see, there's no harm done, dye see," replied Brusher, with the air of *t man who had done his level best to promote amity, and replaced the tobacco in hiB bosom. CHAPTER X. NEW FRIENDS. What direction the ex-poacher's next colloquial sally would have taken it is impossible to say, for when the strangely assorted companions had crossed the base of a low, spinifex-covered hill round which the creek curved sharply, they saw two men seated on the projecting roots of a gum tree, enjoying a smoke under its grateful shade and amusing themselves by tossing pebbles into a beautiful sequestered pool. It extended under the rocky bank of the creek in several low browed cavorns, and was in fact the Holowelluna waterhole, near which, the evening before, Moses bad heard Frank's shouts, and was reputed to contain the purest and coolest water obtainable in the whole coarse of the creek ; hence travellers who knew of the existence of tbe pool preferred to come on to it, rather than stop to slake their thirst at the often luke warm and weedtainted waters lower down. The hones of tbe Bmokers stood quietly near them, their reins dropped loosely io the ground ; and under a neighboring tree stood the horse which Frank had come in search of, the saddle stains of yesterday's journey

still upon it, but round as a barrel from the quantity of water it had drunk. " By Jove, there is my horse," cried Frank, forgetting in the pleasure which the sight of the sorry beast afforded him, all previous unpleasantnesses, " Do yoa know who tbey are?" alluding to the strangers. ' Does I know 'em, d'ye see, I should rather think I did, seein' as how, d'ya see, the big un in the blue shirt and moleskin pants is Mr Bowyer, d'ye see, as owns Winnawarillia, d'ye see, and tother d'ye see, is Toby Gulliver, the "Far North Pitcher,' d'ye see." 1 Well, I don't quite see. What did you say he was ?" "The 'Far North Pitcher,' d'ye Bee, seein' as how he caps Tom Pepper a lyin' d'ye see." " You mean he has a slightly too fertile imagination, I suppose." " I ain't no snholard, d'ye see, an' so I don't know what them words means, d'ye see ; but you'll see for yourself, d'ye see, presently, an' now d'ye see, yer all right, d'ye see, seein' aa how you've got yer horse agin, d'ye see." They were now close to the two squatters, who greeted Heslop with a frank " Good day," and Brusber with a nod of recognition, and then Mr Bowyer addressed the former interrogatively, " T suppose you are after that horse"— glancing towards the animal as he spoke. " Yes, Mr Hawley sent me to find him.'' " And a nice beast he gave you to do it on There'll, he a clear case of manslaughter against h^m some of these days, and I tell you what it is, young fellow, not many people would be where you are now with the same mount," concluded Mr Bowyer with an approving look. " Didn't he bave a go in with you?" asked Mr Gulliver, with animation. " Went in a ram un, dye see 1" answered Brusber, as if the question had been put to himself, and to show what friendly relations existed between himself and tbe rider of the Odd Trick. "And he didn't get rid of you, eh?" pursued Mr Gulliver, as if his last question had been answered by Frank himself. " I managed to stop on him somehow, but I was glad enough when he gave in 1" answered Heslop, modestly. " You're made of the right sort of stuff for the North, young fellow," said Mr Bowyer approvingly. " Gulliver and I are glad we fell in with your horse, for he was on bis way to the verdant fields and purling streams, of hiB youth. You would have had a beastly hot ride before you caaght him; the beBt thing yoa coald oan do now iB to get down and have a smoke, for this is the cooleBt place I know of, and there is nothing for you to do at the station." HeBlop, who was of a frank, impulsive disposition, took to the big man at once, and Boon found himself seated beside him on a large stone, having first—by his new friend's advice—short hobbled his horse, aB it hud the reputation of being a bridle breaker. Brusber, coolly squatting on his heels, prepared to make one of the party, though judging by their looks, his presence was most distasteful to them, especially to Mr Bowyer, who presently said, " How is it that you are not with your sheep, Brusher ?" " Well! dye see, they're all right at the water, dye see!" " I'm not so sure of that, for there was the track of a dog jast opposite the old chimney, and it waB coming this way, as if coming in to water." " A regular ' boomer' he must have been too, from the size of his tracks," supplemented Gulliver. " Well, dye see, I don't think as how he'll meddle with my sheep, dye see ; an' I'll chance it, dye eee." " Look here, Brusher, if anything happens to your sheep through your negligence, I shall make it my business to let Mr Hawley know the facts of the matter. At any rate you are not wanted here, so please to take yourself off," said Mr Bowyer with an asperity of tone and an accompanying look that quite cowed the shepherd, who picked himself up and slunk off, muttering as he went. " You were rather hard on the old fellow, don't you think, Bowyer?" observed Gulliver, who appeared to be of a very kindly disposition, notwithstanding his Munchausen like reputation. " Hard on him, not at all, the unsavory old scoundrel. Such fellows should be kept in their proper places. I suppose you don't know that for some time he was hangman in Tasmania, and that he is the filthiest beast in the universe. Faugh! the sight of him sickens me." " But still, you know, Bowyer—" " I know this, Toby, such wretches are fit only to herd with their fellow convicts ; they are like fever germs, and spread contamination wherever they go, I maintain that their being let loose on society is a standing menace to law and order, and a disgrace to any Government 1" replied Bowyer with the fire and force of intense conviction. " I say, is your name Demosthenes ?" queried Gulliver quizzically. " Hang you and Demosthenes. What is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong; and if everyone had the courage of his convictions and spoke out boldly and persistently in a just cause, in place of blindly following the lead of other people and trusting in the powers that be, there would be°fewer abuses to deplore in these degenerate days—and that old miscreant would have been hung long ago, too," concluded Bowyer, throwing a boulder into the water with vicious emphasis. Frank, who had listened with great interest to the foregoing speech, now said, " I bate to think ill of anyone, and first impressions are often misleading; but I certainly took a most intense dislike to tbe man you are speaking about, at sight, and almost blamed myself for prejudice till he asked me some insulting questions and I had to silence him. But what a curious habit he has of interlarding his conversation with ' d'ye see.'" " He is known all over the North by tho name of ' d'ye see,' and lots of people laugh at bim ; but I can tell you that he is a most dangerous fellow, for though so civil in bis manner, he is a fiend when roused, and would as soon put a knife into you as look at you. So be careful when you have any dealings with him, Mr" ? " Heslop" filled in Frank, as Bowyer paused, "In fact the less you have to do with him the better," adding as he extended his hand, " My name is Bowyer, of Winnawarrillia, where I shall be happy to see you any time you may chose to ride over, and my friend here is one Toby Gulliver, who sits down in the mountains of Yeltacndenya, is a worthy decendant of the celebrated traveller of the same nam«, and first cousin to the Munchausen of baronic and veracious fame, as can readily be verified by an inspection of tbe family tree and coat of arms (bearing tbe noose proper), which are carefully preserved in the national museum at Newgate :—see ' Grant,' pages innumerable, reference to any particular volume not necessary." Frank could not help laughing, and Mr Gulliver seemed to feel rather flattered than otherwise by this notice of bimself, given by Mr Bowyer with the most serious expression of countenance; though he said, " You will go on till I give you a good thrashing, Mr Bowyer," and turning to Frank he shook him by the hand most cordially, and insisted on his viBiting Yeltacndenya at once, adding, " My wife will be delighted to see you, I assure you, delighted to see yon 1" "1 shall be very glad to come when I

am at liberty, and can get a horse, but at present I am afrai l I must decline your kind invitation," answered Frank, thinking, at the 8a.tnc time, that these were the? sort of squatters lie had read about. " Oh, you'll have nothing to do at Benbonuna, nothing to do, and if you can't get a horee I'll come and fetch yon, for I've any amount of fat horses, any amount!" urged Gulliver tbe hospitable, as if determined to entertain Frank as a gueBt. Your horses most havo fattened remarkably quick then, Toby. I thought you hadn't a horse fit to ride a week ago," observed Bowyer. " Ob, they'll all be as fat as fools by this time, fat as fools 1 Plenty ot water and a week out on tbe feed, when the porcupine seed is ripe, does it. perfectly wonderful how the Yeltacudenya porcupine wiil fatten stock, perfectly wonderful," cried Mr Gulliver with an appreciative smack of the lips. " Yes, if they carried ladders about with them to climb up to it with, they'd do all right, no doubt;. but otherwise I don't see bow they could get to any feed that's left," replied Bowyer. " Ladders! pshaw ! Why there's hundreds of square miles of feed close to tbe waters —hundreds of miles I" "On Yeltacudenya?" Mr Gulliver prudently ignored the query, and went on with the air of a man not to be denied, " We shall expcct you, It is T b k o Mr Heslop, we shall oxpect you. You will come, won't you ?" " Yes, perhaps," replied Frank, not quite so warmly as at first, for he was already beginning to appraise tbe character of Mr Gulliver at its proper value.