Chapter 65386427

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Chapter NumberXVI
Chapter TitleJIM'S REPORT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65386427
Full Date1891-06-26
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count5623
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitlePortland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953)
Trove TitleA Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia
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A FINAL. RECKONING. A TALE OF BUSH LIFE IN AUSTRALIA. B O. A. HENTY. CHAPTER XVL-J?Z 's Ibroav, "Well, Jones, whatisitY" "Your black has just come, sir. I would cat lt him come in, for the fact is he ain't a Efore to inteodoe a mong ladies." "What's the matter with him, Jonei? -not hart. I hope." "He has been knocked abouta bit, ir, ana te is done up with traellins..The poor elow oan hatrdly crawl, qd ehaltf. starved, Io aeotbimto work etingend came off to fetchyou." . By tlu time they had arrivea at the'door of the shed. Jim was sitting by a fire eagerly devouring a hunch of cold meat. The men were standing round waiting tll he had ap. pased his hunger before they asked say que. ton. He loked lup and nodaed when euben entered. "Well, Jim, I amglad to see yon uck '" flteben eidieartil . Iwas beginning to 'eatdaebooltyol.k ha oiyouare not hurt ' S-for thbl r a h dkabif tied rond his head. Jim gave a grant, but continued staffing great lampsomMeatinto his mouth. Beuben sawthat he must wait till the black's hunger was sati?led, and stood quetly lookingon until, rangdevoered some five pounds of meat, he rasige h of contentment, and then took a long daht of r and ter which Constable Jonashhndedtoblim. "Jim betternow." he siid. "That's ight? Jim; now tell as all about "Jimun' story was a long one; and it took more than n hour in the t , for his Eng was not alays distint,and it often re m much questionig on Reuben's pert bfor he souldquite ao cut ill meaning. The anob sthones was as follows : - On learing some ten days before an the umaion of discovering the bant of the bush. rangers, he knew that it was of no use to o among the wild blacks, their allies, as t hoestility aanst their eminidlised fellows swa greettLt he would have been killed. He veed togotbakto the spot where the track had been obliterated by thatof the flock ofseheep to make a wide circuit ad peekit np beyo sad if poible follow it nutibhe found them., The di~ielties we gre for the buebrangershad apared s peinein hill.g their trill, keeping always uponhardhighgroud, and ast oe time getting into the bed of a running stream and followinit for two mile before they gain struck for their rndevous. However, te by step Jimhad tracked them, sometimes losing the tro altogether, some. times guidedmerely bya fresh made scrt" on the surface of stone, or bya broken twig or bruised blade of gra. lest be t it far out into the bca4, many miles beyond thefurthest range of settlement, and then he lostit altogether. Therebad beena halt for some time at this spot" . Beyond this Jim. wis ntirely at fault. He made' drler after circle round the spot, ' but could find no trace whatever of their. pusae, and returned thepointwhere he mised ttherail He relit the embers of the Bre which the bush. rangers had made, cooked some food, and laid himself down first tothink it over, then to sleep, for it was now just the close of day. It was clear to him that here more than any. where else thebushrangers had made a great dortto throw anyone who might be punuing thenoffthetrn?l. Hehad uo doubt that the buahrangera had muffled their bores' hoofs with cloth, and had proceeded with the greatest care through the bush, so as to avoid breaking a sngle twig in their passage, and the onlyreason for uch greater caution could be that it was here and here only that they wished to throw the pursuers off the trail Itwould have seemed to a whi:e man that they bhd done this eore, especially whonthey bed kept in the w'orccurse; but to black Jim's peeptio it ppea.-red that theyhad been more careless than woul lte expected, ad teat while apparently doing their utmost to conceal their tracks, they had rea!lr leftmficient indicatious to allow a practised tracker tofollowthem. Why, then, nowthat they were far boyond the settler:t rLt and fiirir in the country of their natiev alliei, hhull they for the first time so hide their tray that he could not discover it ? Thereeultof Jim's thoughts was that when he awoke at dahybreak ha started bach towari the settlements. When he came to the river which the party ha"l i.red in pur :it of the natives, hekept nlano it sbank ecruti sing :he ground with the greatet care. After six miles' wslking he suddenlyr etupped at a point where the seit turf near tile marin was cat upby the passoge of the party of Is eer. men. Her, was the conufiration of bh? iJe.s. Arguing the matter out with himself, Jim had arrived at the ctnelusion that hith.rto the tall had been a fa?to oer, the bushraniers' ob. ject being to leal their pursuers to belere that they had gone far Cnt into the native country, whereas in fact their hiding-place was scme where among the settements, Should this to so, theonly way to find them was to search fortheirb rcktrack. Thisbe had now fo::d, and, withe hbout of triumph a: his own cer ness, Jim forded the river and followed the track of the hones. This was now clear enough, the hoE-c'en taking no pains whatever to cnoeal their traces, feeling perfectly conident that auy pursners muart now be thrown off tostcent. Jim followed it till sundown, when he Ltd made some thirty miles, and then, withirawing some little distance from the track, he made his fire and camped ior the night. le was now inside the lihe of the outlying stations. and had approached to the edge of a bit of wild and broken country which ote~d so few in ducements to settlers that it had been pal-? by for the better land beyond, although oces -onally, when herage was scarce, the settlers in the ndighborlol drove te suinns up to feda?am?ngit hil!s. The black had no touht that the gang of which he ne in panrsit hal teir hount Isoimeheeo in the heart Of this w;Ild and little known trasct. In the morning he agarin turted, nod Ifttr traveallinu ,etral mhite, entered a narrow talley with ver ?etep ride,, with tree and brusIwhrood growing wherever toey coull get a foothold. Hs now adopted a eareleas sod in. difoerent carriage, and although he hip! a sharp look.out, n one who -nw him wouil htav _upposed that ha hzi soy particular object in Prertlwhe nw, je that the tr?slrs turned eharply o from the line he thad followed in the centre of the rvalley, and entered the trees whEich grew thickly here at trhe foot of the hills. il madenohal erven for asn inoant, b~ut wl-ked itraiht on. Halfa mile further he eat down and his fire, and hoan to cook some food. hed ao dcoubtthat he wasr athed, or just after he pseed the umont where the tra~ci turned od he hoard a whistle among te threesq. OPubbL~h egos serigemeat with the asathe

the direction from which hehadeome, and when .presently heLam footstepe o change in his attitude betrayed that he was conscidous of the fact that persons wero naproarhing him until two men stopped beside him. Then wiUth a cry as of sudden alarm he Icapt to his feet. "Lor'•ar ussy!"' he exclaimed, "de white man frighten me bery much. What for dcy no say dey come:" ' ho are ouo nigger, and where do you come from, aoll what are)you doing here ?" "M y nanme Jir," he said; "me going tro'the rauntry lookin' for plate to 'tend hoes. IMe terv good at boses. Me look arter dehosces ob Mr. lludson." "What did you ltave Lim for " one of the ren uked staernly. "Someting lost from de house,"Jim said in double quick time." "Nouie. "Maa ndson tink ireat terrook it. It de truth sure 'nouh. Jim ran atay tand ook forat Sydney, Couldn't get, 1 throt lar ano aheok hmsses, so keepon and tink drre mere chance out furder. UDoes mas a want a Ly for hoas" "What do you think. Bill?" the man who had spoken asked hie ompanion. ,;hall owe put a bullet in this fallow's head at cute cr make hm a b'eful ;" "I dssay he is a liar," the other reploied, "b'tt then all there blackfellows are liars, so that does notmake mach differene. A blck. fellow would certainly be uoeful for the horses and to look aftier the lire. We can always shoot him when we hare dons with him. We shall soon eee by the way he handles the hores whether he has been accustomed to them." "All right," the other aid. "You come along with us, then." "What wages massa pay y" Jim asked. "Anything yea may he worth. Don't you fret about wages." Jim pretended to hold out for a fixed sum, but the man said in stern totes, "Coma along, we don't want no more jaw, so you had at old your toner No other words passed till they got back to the trees, and then tmed of where the hnrsea had sly donae o. Two minutes' walk brought them to a roghly.made shed bnilt against the almot perpendicular side of the hill. It was built of logs, and there was nothing to show that it was inhabited. No smoke curled up from the chimney; the door and' hautter were closed. Any one who, rassing through the valley, had turned among the frees and aceidently come upon it, would have taken it for some but erectedbya woodcutter. One of the men knocked three times at the door, and it was at ones opened. Jim j thesside, th a re firmen foled in.ade the cottage tasked angri?y. "It'antggerwho wants work. r es he is ecsoms e.to bores, so as it was the ehice between shooting him and !inging him hire, .we thought we might as well brienghim to'rou. It would be handy to rhe a fellow to look ifter the horses and cut the wood, and make himell usefl. If we nd he is of no ue, there W be noTreat trouble in getting ridof him." SThat is true anougb,' the other said, "ind I don't think there's mu risk about it. Come here, you fellow, and let melook atyou. : Jim tepped forward towards the fire. He saw now t thhe hut was bult against the entrance to a care of esiderable size. In the centre was a'great fire the smoke of which probably made its way h the surfaie through crevices in' the rock above. Fouear other men besides the one who had addressed him were lying on sheepskins against the wall. There was at opening at tbe farther end of the care into aninner chamber, au d here Jim knew, by au omoaroal snat ort l impatient wiawan, the horses were stabled. The chef of the party asked a fe inore questions as to where Jim had Come from, and how he chanced to he pissing through aso unfrncsted a country. As the black d already decideld open his stor. the questions were answered satisfactorily enough. "Ithink he's all right," the man said at last "At any rate, heas he is, and he's not likelytogooutagait . Wehave been talking of getting a hbackfellor for some time, and as herel ?one ready to hand, we may as well make the best of him. Look you here," be went on sternlyc o theblaek, "you come of your own free will, ad here you hae to stop. You will have as much to eat as you can taff,plenty of rum to drinkland 'mace to smoke, and if there's anything else you fancy, no doubt you canhare it; only look you;if you put your 'loot outside that door nleses you are ordered to so, Iwill pt abllet through your black brain." "Allsight,"Jiu id. "Plenty eat, plenty drink, plenty smoke; dat suit Jim.bery well Heno want to go out of d house it mssa 'Ta t's settelw. the. Now put some more los opn that are." TJlmat onassumed his new duty, and the bushrangers, who all hated the slightest work, were soon well satisfled with their new acquisi. tico. There were rreral carees of sheep hanging from hooks placed in the roof, where they were alowly smoked by the fumes from the wod. A le of logs were heaped up in one corner, and these had to be cut up into nines andlengths suitable for the fire. At cue end a space was roughly partitioned off, and this was filled with groceres, flour, and cases of wines and spirits which had been taken from waggons goinag upcountry. In the stable were eeral sacks of oats and a barrel filled with water which was drawn from aspringa shortdistance from the hnt. The first time Jim went into the stable the captain accompanied him, and soon saw by the black's handling of the horses that his account was so far acurate, and that he was thoroughly a?cnstomedto stable work. The cooking was also handed over to him. and the goan parsed their time in fleeir.ng, drinking, playing cards, and discunsinsg p irs of robbery. For the tirst few days a isharp watch was kept up on the black, and the men went out themselves to chop wood or bring in water when it was required. After a few days, how. ever, they re!laxed their riniknce, and Jim gradually took these tasks anso tehn hires!f. iHe was ierfectly aware, althoug;h he pretended to be uncon'cious of it, that the frct fefw time he went out one or other of the ba,hrantgers stole nuitly after hon and wa:thel him at wrk, but aJ nothin? . upie cioue was ot sred in his conduct this euprvi:0on was graiually giren up. '" It's time to be moving again," the ?eCer of the band .i.d about a woo-k aft r Jim :ad ioined them. " We settled the next job should be Donald'ts tation. We know for certain chat ht gecrrally has rooney by him, and there will be the .uitcles .ndltrinkelt of thewcomen. That fellow Thcpsorn, who worked for them at f:rt, say e h Es ot a firstrate celltr ret win, and that the womo'n are both out-and-,uters. If ther are pretty as he taoe we mill have them here, lads, to do the hueheening. We want tone.thirg toliven us up; heides we shall for. get our corm lny rsuint rs if we don t get sme ladies to keep us up to the mark a little." There was a burst of coarse lauthtor. " What do ycu say, boys; shall we start tomorrow ? It's a long ide, an lI we had best leave about noron. We must get intothe telbh b?orhood before dark, o s o give the horse, twelvi hours' rest before we begin, for wo may have to ride for it. "Ir nin't likely. tarker's is the nearest sration, and it would be hours blefre they could get together men enough who would dare to follow us; but still it's just as well to be pre pared, and since that confounded new police otdceer has been on the station there's never toenuocertainty about things. We owe hima ore for that IS?1t affsir, which cost Smith, Wileon, and 3ulresdy their lives, but we will p?s him out yet. Who would have thought of hii being there just on tha.t very night ? I swear if I ever c?-tch him I will roa-t him alive." " He is no fool." one of the orders said. "tHe gove it those blacktfellows hot and no ro:iake. The sooner he's put out of the way the better. ie's a dite?rent sort of chapl than the last fellow. I sha'n't feel romfortabe till he's got either a spear or a p*solbullet in him." Jim, who wass squattin in the corner apparently half sireeo, was li.tening intently to every word. Thoy did not heed his presc'eE ie the hlghtest, for, indeed, he htd since his arrival so mixed his talk with native words that the l,u',rangers tool no idea that 1e could follow thir convereatio?s. lie was thinkirog now what wnshis best curs?e to adot; t. In the first place, he had gathered from their talk that this nas only one of their hiding. plco, and that they seldom stayed very long in one neighb-urhood. The qu stin, therefore, was whether they would rurn. It woo of no uee his going to gs;a the alarm u~n.a he could return btfore is escape w e..uspert?. or ther would have made off before he could get ?ch aegain. As for the DoJnlds, whose tatico was to 1e attclktd, it grase him no concern whatever, for the Aus. talin taceks had little or no rogad ifar life,. ecrept thsoe of people to whm they were attached. It was lIeue's mission to capture ithe bhra~ ers. ainl hat iba necesadry Jim Swould have retanisod quiet while a doeca' families wore stein until he found an orpor. tunity of bringing the police down uopn tuem; be lihstene now intently for amy sord which

might afford an index to their intentions. Pre. seattly the question he hoped for came. " asnppoeo you will not come back here again, Tomt' " No, I thinks it's getting too hot to hold us in these parts. We might ride leak here, nive ourhorses a rest, and load up with a few things we may want. We can bring two or threesplre horses from Donald's. The weather is pleasaut now, and we might very well put in a few eeks with the blacks. 'that last haul we made of traders' goods-cottons, end beads, aned trum peries for the gins, and bra's rings and such like for the men-will put them in the best of humours. You may be sure there will be a hot chase after us after this business, and I should ropose that we try our luck down south for a I" agree with you," one of the others said. "We have had a very good spell here for the last ten months, and it don't do to te:upt luck toe long. That losing three of our number last week lnoked as if it was going to turn." "What's it matter i" the captain laughed. "So much the more for us to divide. We have got a goodish Lit of brass now, to say nothing of the goods we hare got at each of our places We can tillup their placeg easy enough any time, and those who come in are free to their share of what there is in the war of grub and goods, but they cnly hlar!e in thli trar' from the time they join." Jim had heard what h, waste 1, and he now lay down and thought it out. They were only coming back for a shert time: ps?ibly they might change their minis and not return at all. It would be a risky thing to depend npon it ; besides, his master might be L'n:e,lt it this attsck on the Donalds sueedered. It would be better, then, to try to get word to tirn in time for him to be there before the bushrangers arrived. Ie himself would seturn to the hut, so that if the police arrived too late he would beable to continue with the tue:a ,gers till somefresh opportunity occurred for bringing his master upon them. It was p: ss:le, of course, thatoneof the men would be left in the bhut, in which casehe tal.1 only to wait. The next morning the men ?tu:ed themselves examining and cleaning their arms, and after dinner they went to the inner care and led out their horses. ":Now, look here," the leader aid to him, "we are going away, you see." Jim nodded. "We come bhck again tomorrow. I lock this place up, you stop quiet till we come back. Ifanyone comesand knocks while we away, don't Jim answer. Let them think place " l ri"ht," Jim said shortly, and went and astdown b thef8re as f he had no further inter?tinteirproeedings. The windows,he had lrsay noticed, had not only shtters out. ide, but they were firmly dosed within with pmass hantks surly nailed and fastened. _Jimheada the last of the party goot, and then the ddoo was shut and the leok traned. Jim heard the party ride off. and then threw himself on the ground and listened to assure himself that they kept steadily on their way. The moment he was are they were gone he began to searchthe place for a tool which would fairly sit his purpoae. Presently he found a large butcher's knife with which they cat up the carmoes, and with this he set to work to dig a hole in the ground close to the wall of the hut. The bottom log was only suank a few inches in the soil, and in two hours he had burrowed under itand made his way out beyond; then he crept back again, scraped the earth into the hole again as tightly as ha could, crawling out backwards. He then placed a piece of turf over the outside hole and stamped it down flat. It was possible that after he had started they might change their mind and send one of their number back again; that, however, had to be risked, and at a steady run he set off for the settlements. Ie did not make for the nearest, for he had gathered from the talk of the men that the convict labourers of most of the ettle. ments in the neighbourhood were in leaguewith them. After three hoers' steady running, in which he had covered over twenty miles, he saw a shepherd's cottage, and making for it gave the man the message whichbe had taken to Reuben. He hal no rooner done so, and had found that the man was willing to set off with it at once, than he turned and retraced his steps to the hut as rapidlyashe had come. It was alreadydusk when he reached it. Instead of approaching boldl he made a circuit, and crawled up to it on his belly, and lay for some time listenm?i intently with his ear to the door. He felt counvinced that no one was there; but to make sure he knocked, an.1 thee, withdrew among the trees. But all was still, and feeling sure now that the place was un tenanted, he removed the piece of turf from the hole and made his war back into the but again, carefully replacing the piece of turf, and then packing earth under it so that it would not give way if trodden upon. This, however, was a very unlikely occurrence, as he had made the opening where some bus.es tecenet it from Itew. Hle swept up every scrap cf toil from the floor inside, filed up the hole there anl trampled it down, and then, after indulging his appetite to the fullest, threw himself Cown and went to sleep. When he awoke a few streaks of light streaming through the cracks of the door showed that it was day, and he emade up the fire and awaited the return of the bushrangers. It was four or fire hours before they returned, and the in~stnt they openedthe dor and entered Jim was sure that they had failed; but to his disappointment all were there, and his plan of taking them in a trap had not succeeded. At this he was not surprised, for his own calcula tions as to the distance to be traversed had shown him that it was very questionable whether, even under the most favourable cr cumatances Reuben could have got there in time with hismen. Without spoeaing a word to him the men led their harses through to the inner cave and threw themselves down by the fire. Jim at once precoded to unslddle the horses and rub them down, keeping an ear open all the time to what was being said by the bush rangers. T'heir remarks, ofwever, were for a time con. fined to terrible cures as to their luck. ' IIow dit it come about. that's what I want to know i" the leader sni 1; "this is the second time that accursed paree fellow has turnel up andput a spoke in our wheel Why, it was not more than halif an Lour aoter the tirst shot was tired lcture they was down upen us: there ret have av bn prttly nigh twecnty of them. How couldl they hose g'ot such a lot of men os that together if they hadn't known that we wore coming ? It beats me altoge'her." "So it do:res e:" was the general ex?clain toin. "They seerae regelarlt to jump out of the Cgriund just when all was going pleaen. Never knew such a bit ci luck-that is, if it was luck, and not done o' purpose; and yet I don't see as they could have kuown poceible as we were going there. Why, we didn't know ourselrves tll yestdeday, not what day it was to e, an. ecrt oursael~ts and that black fellow no one coulad tave known it." "Well, it's certain none of us blabbed, and I don't see as how he could have told anycne." "Net eractly," the leader ,aiJ, "considering he's been shut up here ever since we have been away; besides, I don't he!lierve he mknew any thingabout it. Ie don't make out half we say to him, atd when we are talking together hbe minds us no more than if he had been a black monkey; but if he did it's no odds: he could not have l?ased through these walls and back acais, anlf he could who wans het to tellit tol The men round here are all our pals, and would have cut he jaw short with a ballet ut tthere, it's no use talking about it, he's not been out, and thereu's an end of it. Still, it beats me al tgetbher; that police fellow seems to know what we are up to just as well as wt do our selves. I woeli ie all my share of the swag we have made for the last six months for a shot at him." "1 don't like it," one of the others said, "I don't; blet if I do, and I says as the sooner we are out of here the better. After what's happened I sha'n't feel safe till I am well out in the blacks' country. If he knows what we are going to do, there ain't any reeaOns why he shoulde't know where we are." "Why, Johnson," his leader sneered, "rau don't really believe the tellow's a sort of don. junrr do youp" I don't know," the man soid dog:edly, "afiter he has turned up twice as he ho.' I shouldn't be surprised at nothisng-not if I heard the sound of him and his mea galloping up out?ide now." There was a muoment's sileece as each in. voluntarily listened. " We are getting to be like a pack of gals," the leader said savagely, "and I agree with you the sooner we are out of this the betler. As soon as it gets dark we will be on the mores but I tell wou deretly we get out amoen the blsaks I shell come hack again. I am going to carry oil that gul someeho'. I'vo owed her eo, for years and yearn, and I ?lways pay my delbt--at least, that nmrt of debtL "Now thea, you black, just leave them hores for the p ,esent, and coJe and cook tome food; the quicker the bkterT." Jim hurried atout, but in the bushnwgers' presentast' of tenmper nothing would satisfy them, and when, in his burry to satisfy their aryorders, he stumbled and upset a glaus of tepirit and water he was handingtothecatptaini the latter caught up a brand from the fire and strlok him so violent blow on the temple with

the glowing end that he fell senseless on the ground. He must have lain there a long time. He ves brought to his senses by a bucket of water being dashed over him, and he found when he staggered to his feet that the Land were pre paring to depart. They Lad already iacked up the akles of prescnts for the blarks and placed them on the hcres. Some of their more valuable blonginr were packed anay in a secret ding.pfce, the rest were left to take their chance till they returned, and, indeed, except by their friends among tho sheph'rds ,there was little probability of anyone paving a vriit to the hut, however long their absence might be. Iled it not been that Jim had proved himself a really useful fellow fir the last week they would have shot him at once and toned his body in the wood; but they found it so pleasant ltring all their work taken ofe their hands that after a short di'cus;ion they decided to take him with them. The door was locked, andthey started at a trot, but e;ening was closing in, their hroes had already performed two long journeys in the last twenty-four houts, and they soon settled into a walk. They travelled for some hours, and it eiung then evident that the hceaes cuc:l proceed no further, a halt was called. \No fre was lighted, for they were scarcely levunl the settlements, and for aught they could tell, an active search might still be carred on for te!.:::. So anxious were they that they agreed to keep watch by turns, but when oarniing broke it was discovered that the, black was a sing. The next quarter of an hou r wos .t in angry recriminations ; Lbut as none c:uld sov in whose watch he made his ercape their qua-rel c'ared. " It's tio use bothering about it." t'.: le.oer said; "there's one thing, l.e knhws nothing and can tell notiinu a ains un; he may guess what Le likes, but people don't waste time in listening to black fellows' stories. I expect Le Las cily given us the slip becauso of that lick crs the head I gave him last night. I admit I was a fool to do it. Cut I wasn't in the leCt of tempers however, if the worst comes to the worst he can only lead them to the hut, and they won't lid mouch worth taking there. When we oncare get out to the blacks we can snap our fingers at ther." It was, indeed, about midnight when Jim bhad stolen away:; he was still faint and giddy, and his face was terribly hurned by the blow which had been dealt him; but when once fairly away from the bushrangers he set out in the directioe in which he knew the Donalds' station lay, and never halted until he arrived there on the following evening, utterly wearied and worn out. " Then they have got away after all, Jim." Reuben said, when he hbl listened patiently to the long narration. "You have donedall that was possible, Jim; you ..hae d splcnlidly,mv poor fellow. and althoughwe were just too late to catch the buhranger,we saved the people here: but it is ineed am fortunate that they should have gotnoff.' . "Jim knows where dey hab gntel le black said: " dey hab gone to de euntir of Bobitu-Iheard dem sayde name. Jimknow dat country well-he come from der." ,, t Further question showed, that Jim e had indred belonged to Bobitu's, tribe, andhad come with a party of his people down to?he settlements, wherehe wastaLken illandleft to die, but was picked up and naned by ir. Hudson. ., : . '-e "And you nld take us there '" . " Jimnodded. . " ery long march, maso;stree days' iot horses. Plenty ad people: much fight." " Id don't care how far it is.:or how much fighting we havre got to do; I am bodto hunt down that fellow however far be's gne. I suppose there is no trouble about wtterIif they can go there, we on." "Four, six waterholes." Jim said: "no trouble about dat; trouble from de black fellow." " Well, we must risk it, anyhow. We can't tart for a day or two. I must sand and fetch up all the police, and I daresay some of the colonists will join. The nersof this business here has maddened everyone, and as it is not likely that the blacks will give any trouble for some time. and as we know the ba.,rangers have left for the lresent, no one netd be afraid of leaving their stati:n for a week or two." The next day mounted messengers were sent off in all directions, giving notice that the police would start in three days' time for a hunt after the bushrangers, and that there was this time every prospect of saoces, as their hiding place was known. On the day named no less than thirty settlersn assembled, together with the whole of the police force. All were well armed, and had brought several days' provisions with them. Mr. uonald had made marked progress, and the surgeon had now every hope of his re covery ; but as he could not be moved, and it was just possible the bushranger might return to carry out his threat during their absence, two constables were left in the house, and Kate was charged on no account to put her foot outside the door. (TO BE conrtx?D.)