|Chapter Title||IN PURSUIT|
|Newspaper Title||Euroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 - 1920)|
|Trove Title||A Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia|
A 1 1N AL .IlE: KONING?. * TALE OF BUSH LIFE IN AUSTRALIA. ti By G. A. IENTY. CHAPTER XVII.-Is Punsurr. The last thing before the party started Reuben went into the house. Mr. Barker was r going to remain behind; he was past middle life, and the expedition was likely to be a very tailsome one, and Reuben was glad when he said that he thought six days' severe riding would be rather too much for him, and that he t should constitute himself the guardian of the ladies. I "bMy wife has arranged to stay here while you are away, so I shall ride over to my place and see that all is going on straight every day, I and sleep here at night." "Well, ladies," Reuben said as he entered the room, "we are just off. So I will say good-bye to you, and i1 hope that on my return l I shall find Mr. Donald much better. I am uare that Mr. Ruskin would not have left this morning unless he felt that he had quite turned thecorner. Praytakecaroof yourselveswhilowe I are away. You know 1 don't want to alarm you, but pray he careful." - "Good-bye, CSptain Vhitney; you know you I hlave all. our best wishes," ire. Barker said. " Wewill take care of ourselves till we hear that you have destroyed the band, and above 1 all its leader." "The neWs that you have done so." Mrs. Donald said, "will do more, I think, for my 1 husband than anything in the way of doctoring. But take care of yourself, Captain Whitney; I knowfhom what Mr. Barker said that, although 1 you make light of your expedition, it is a dangerous one. He said the police had never -ventured so far in the bush, and you may ex rect sharp fighting with the blacks." " We may have a brush with them," Reuben said lightly; "but do not be anxious about us: we are a very strong party, and you need have no fear of the result. Good-bye, fiss Etlisonu; pray be careful till I return." The last words were said in an undertone as he held her hand. "Good-bye, Captain Whitney," she said; "God' bless you alt and bring you safely Two minutes later the party rode off... Jim was, like the rest, mounted, as they would travel fast. Four led horses carried provisious, for they would not, as before, find - ood by the way. It was 2 o'clock in the day when they started, and they rode thirty miles "before they halted for the night at a waterhole, They had seen no signs of natives during the day, but Reuben at once posted four men as sentries. It was a merry party round the fire, for all were in high spirits at the prospect of an expe dition to a point far beyond that. to which any white men, with the exception of fugitives from justice, had penetrated, and they weredelighted with the tlhouht of putting a stop at last to the operations of the hand who had so long been a EcTurge to the settlement, Mr. Mount, Dick Caister, and several others who had formed part of the last expedition, were of the party, and- the confidence which these felt in their young leader and in the sagacity of his native follower communicated itself to those who had not formed part of the previous expedition. " Must start early," Jim said to Reuben the last thing. " Long way to water, ride all day, oot get dere before dark." They rode rapidly for sometimeafterstarting, soasto allow the horses to takeit easily during the bheat of the day. when there was a halt of three hours; but in the afternoon they quickened their pace again, and men and horses were jaded and done up when, just as the sun was setting, they arrived at their destination. - "How thatblack fellow of yours finds his way through this ush is a perfect marvel to me," Dick Caister said. "The country has become more undulating this afternoon, but the first thirty miles were almost perfectly level, and I could see nothing whatever that could serve as an index, except of course the sun. Still that is only a guide as to the general direction. It must have been nine or ten years aince that fellow was here, and yet he led us as straight as if he was making for a church - steeple." " It seems to be a sort of instinct," Reuben said, " although possibly for the last part of -the distance he may have seen signs of the passage of the natives. As far as I can under. stand, lie tells me at this time of year there is no other water-hole within a long distance, so that naturally there will be many natives making for it. I am glad there are not any of them here now. Why isn't that horse hobbled like the rest?" Reuben asked suddenly. -' Whoseis it?" " That is the one your black fellow rode, sir," Sergeant O'Connor said. "Jim, where are you ?" Reuben called, but noroply came. "'What hasbecome of him, I wonder?" Reuben said. "Has anyone seen him since we rode up '" " He jumped off the instant we came here," one of the policemen replied, " and said to me, 'look after captain horse.' and I haven't seen _ anythiog of him since."' - g-" Ther " as been seomebody _hero,' sir;" anotherpoliceman said coming up. "Here's the remains of fire behind this bush." "Yes," Mr. Blount said examining them, and pulling out a brand that was still glowing. "Do von see, a lot of sand has been thrown overit. Whoever was here must have seen us coming, and tried to extinguish the fire when they caught sight of us." " That is most unfortunate," Reuben said. ' The fellows must have made off to e?r y the news of our coming to their friends. However, it's too late to do anything now; it's already getting dark, and theymuest have got a quarter of an hour's start. We have taken quite enough out of thehorses, and can do no more with them if they have to travel to-morrow; but I would give a year's pay if this hadn't happened. Well, there's nothing to do for it but to light our tires and camp." The knowledge that they had been seen, and that the news would be carried to those of whom they were in searcr, acted as a great damper on the spirits of the party, and the camp was much more quiet and subdued than it had been on the previous evening. "All is not quite lost," Reuben said, when, two hours later, he found that Jim was still absent from the camp. "I can only account for his stealing away from us in that manner by supposing thathe must either have caught sight of t'e natives or come upon their trail, and at once set off in pursuit. I don't see what it could be otherwise." "But if he saw them, why didn't he tell you, Whitney?" Mr. Blount said. "Tired ai our horses were they could have got up a gallop for a tit." "Yes, but for a eery short distance," Dick Caister nut in; '- audas it was getting dusk, if the blacks had had anything like a start, we could not have overtaken thembefore it had got quite dauk. Those blacks can run like the wind; it takes a well-mounted man to overtake them." An hour after the party had lain down one of he sentries challenged, and the answer which came back, "All right, me Jim," at once brought everyone to their feet. "ell. eJim, what is it!-where have you been f" Reuben saked. " Jim hungry." "Tht ou be quite sure," Dick Caister said aith laugh. W Was there ever a native vho wasn't hungry, unless he bhad stuffel him self half man hor before " - "Yes, I kept come moWer for you, Jim," Reuben said: "but before you begin to eat just tell me if everything is Oll right." "rerytingd all right," Jim said, squatting himself beside Ika still glowing fire and be giuning to eat. Reuben knew by experience that it was of no nse questioning him unhl he had finished, and ie therefore waitedpatiently, although one or two of the settlers grumbled at being kept waiting for the news. When Jim had finished lis meal he looked round. Reuben knew - what he was expecting, and handed him a hornful of rum and water. The black took a ?.,Lr~.-sught, and thee without any'further deaIy ?7 .'bean .to tell iis story. Re had. wrhilo still c~7:.asse distance from the halting-place, seen a - light smoke coming up, and was sure that a party was already there. "nut why did you not tell us, Jim1" Reuben interrupted. "n' Ve might have galloed on and caught them." "No, slh, no catch dem; horses too tire, black fellow run away when oee white men coming. Dt nodoatall; only one way to do. Let 'em fink dat noone saw dam, else dey run - ond run all de way to oitu. When et near -camp Jim see dat mokie not mes up, know de black fellow see white man and put out um .ire. When Jim come here heiump osi hoes, find re, an d follow de track. Dey four meo: ne go one wayr, one go anoder. two men g straight on. Dey go on to tell Bobikt, do oders go to black fellows in alde ush. Jim not Sare for doem, follow detlo." "But how could you follow them in the dark r"' - "Dim were sore de way dey go, dat enough for Jim. He suppose dat dey 'top after a bit, - and when dse see de white man all 'top quiet -. at de ant er-ole and ight Ofre dey tink it all "right. o make hurry, perhaps 'ten and light Sa fire demselves. So Jim go on quigt for tao tgee hoar, don at lurt he see fire sure 'hough. He crawl ep quiet and see two black fellow Spar, and henr what 'em say. Dey tired, make long walk to-day to water-hole; say no hurry, white men all go sleep round fire, not go on till sun get up, so dce 'top for two tree hour to rest demselves. Jrm get qsrite close and jump up, den cut off one black fellow head with sword, run sword through de body . of other, finish 'em both and den come back • Well done, indeed, Jim !" Reuben ex -lnlemed, and a chorus of satisfaction" rose from o ltthe party at hearing that the -men--who, .ad they reached the bushrangers, would have - . -gven the alarm, and eo enabled them to' make - -thetr escape before-Ohe expedition arrived--had been klled. The news, however, that two of * -the prty had escaped, and might bring the b : do-n upon. them before morning, • meaesatated an increase of prcautioun. I- -Reubenatonce divided the fonce into four
parties, each consisting of five constables and n aevensettler8. One party weresat once placed h on watch, and were to be relieved in two hours' i time. " Inot tink daoy come before morning, ah' ," Jim said. "No waterhole near here; to- a morrow plenty black fellow come." - " All right, Jim, we don't care for them in 1 the daylight, and now that I know the bush- t rangers won't be alarmed I don't mind." I Jim's prediction proved correct; the night I passed off quietly, and the party again started i at daylight. The country hecome more and ] more broken as they proceeded, the undula tions became hills; some of these were so steep that all had to dismount and lead their horses up. " Is Bobitu's camp among these hulls, Jim ?" " Ober toder side, ab. Iim place in valloey toder side bush; plenty game.for black fellow." " How far is it to this valley, Jim i" Jim's ideas of figures were but vague, nd he could only say that they would get there somewhereabout sunset. " That would be a bad time to get there, Jim. We must halt a mile or two this side of them, addyou must lead half the party round so as to cut off their retreat, even ii we don't attack them till the morning. On their fresh horses those fellows will gallop right -away from us if they once get a start. There is no fear, I hope, of any of the other blacks getting there before is and giving the alarm ?" Jim'shook his head. "iNo; we come straight from waterhole; black fellow go round long way. No fear dey get dere ;. dey fight when we go bick." " That's all ight. obhitu's fellows and the bushrangers will be quite en6ugh to tackle at once. As for the others, we will make short work of them if they venture to attack us on the march back. They fight pluckily enough against men ia foot, because they know they can make oftt fhoe they like, but they can't stand a charge of horsemen." Although not so long as the journey on the preceding da~, the men were heartily glad r when, at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the halt was called, and they heard that the place where the bushrangers were supposed to be Y was butfour miles away. After some consul tation it was ddoed that Jim should land half the bad, oaristinse of ten-conistables. under r O'Connor and fifteen colonists, round through the hills to a. position near the mouth of the Svalley, in which the blacks and hushrangers were likely to be, and that when he had posted them there he should come lack again to their present halting-place and lead forward the party underRleuben. S"Mind," Reuben said before the others started, "we doan't want to attack the blacks unless they show fight; our object is the bush-rangers. Jim says that by what he aherd they have got some sort of houses they have builtthere: let us make straight for them; if the blacks attack, drive them off, but we can settle with them afterwards. The great point i is to capture or kill the bush-rangers." All agreed to this, for although the blacks gave great trouble by driving off the sheep and cattle, and sometimes killing the shep ierds, there was not the salme feeling of hatred enter tained for them as for the bush-rangers. It was felt to be natliral that the natives should resent the occupation of their hunting-grounds, and although they were shot down without merey in fair fight, or if overtaken while carrying off cattle, there was no active feeling of animosity against them, and they were generally kindly treated when they called unarmed at the ! stations and asked for food. Against the bush-rangers, on the other hand, a deadly hatred was felt by the colonists, and the fact that theae were constantly aided by the ticket-of-leave labourers increased the hostility r with whichthey were regarded. Jim left his horse behind him when he started with his party, saying that coming back at Snight in the dark he would ratherbe without it. s After their comrades had set out, those who re t mained behind posted two men as sentries, and then. as soon as they had cooked and eaten a meal, laidthemselvesdown to sleep until the time should come for their advance. It was just midnight when Jim returned. He reported that he had seen no blacks by thew?ay, Sand thathe believed be had posted his pi?ty without their being observed. He himsellf.in. stead of returning by the same route that he a had taken them, had come straight up the e valley. There were, he said, two hnts which had been built by the bush-rangers,' and these were now Soccupied by them. There were great fires blazing, and he thought that the natives had s robably only arrived there. that evening. He ad got near enough to find that they were in a d high state of delight at the presents which their white friends had brought them. "Did you catch sight of any of the bush rangers, Jim?" Reuben asked. "Two ob deir e?me out and spoke to black fellows at fire, but too far off to see which dey were." a An hour before daybreak the.party moved forward and halted within half' a mile. of the bush-ranger's camp. There they stopped till they could see th sunlight touch the top of the hill at the right 1and side of the valley. :.this was the signal ogreed upin, and mounting they rode forward at full speed. 'Just as they got within sight of the huts they heard 'a wild shouting, followed instantly by the crack of rifles. Another minate and they bad reached the scene and joined the other party, who had made straight to the huts. The blacks, awakened suddenlv as they were sleeping round the em hers of their fires, had hastily thrown a volley of spears, and had darted away among the bushes. "Surrender in tha Queen's name!" Reuben shouted, "and I promise you that you shall be Y taken down and have a fair trial." The answer camein the fiash of a rifle from the window of one of the huts, and a constable immediately behindRteuben fell dead with the ball through his head. - - " Dismount!" Reuben shouted, i' and break t in the doors." With a shout the men threw themselves from their homes and rushed at the doors of the huts.. "tSergeant O'Connor," f Reuben said; "do you with six of your men keep up a fire at the windows. Don't let .a man show himself there. Let ten of the others n look after the horses. Wo shall have the blacks back in no time. So saying he ran forward and joined thooie who were battering" at the doors. Several of. r them had brought stout axes with them, and t the doors speedily gave way. There was a rush forward. t Mr. Blount fell dead, and Dick Caister's shoulder was broken by a bullet; but there was no check as the colonists poured into the huts. There was a short, sharp fight, but in r two minutes it was over. Three of the gang P had been shot as they leapt from the windows. Four more lay dead or dying in the huts. One of them had thrown down his arms and shouted if for mercy. He had been knocked down and 1e stunned by the but-end of a rifle, but was ot therwse unwouuded. Short as was the fight ' it had given timue to the blacks to rally. Their ashouts were cging ing the air, and the spear? were flying thickly as the parly,, having finished their work, rushed outside again to Sassist the constables who were guarding the Shorses. '"Pour a volley into the bushes," Reuben Sabshouted; "then mount and charge them." The order was executed, and in a minute the horsemen were dashing hither and thither r among the hushes shooting down with their e pistols the blacks who resisted, or dealing tre " mendous blovws among them with theirhunting. whips. The charge wasirresissible, and in five minutes the main body of the blacks were flying at full speed up the steep hillsides. Thovictors soon gathered round the huts. Several men Sand horses had been wounded with spears, but none of the injuries were of a serious character . 0" Well, how about the nrsounersat'' Reuben n asked'the sergeant who had arrived before him. "There's only one prisoner, sir; all the rest are accounted for." d "Is it their eptain?"' "I don't kiow, sir, I have never set eyes on him; but if he's a young'ehap, as they say, it ain't him."-. ?. · ,,-. ~ ?.- ., ",nJim," Relibeni idid'"i.ist sirs'rnund and examine the leodiee, and sdeswhidheof them ist the captain" .. - f:;. . . ? Jim returned in a counle of minutes. "L None of dt m in't hle, sah; he isot dere." Reuben started. .! 0 "Are you quite sure, Jim P'" "Quite sure, eab." "Are you sure none of them escaped, ser Sgeant ??" " Lam quite sure of that, sir; no one came 0 out of either of the doors, and there were only tr three aho tried to bolt through the winid owe, and we accounterd for them all. Perhaps that Schap who is pisoner can tell you where to find the captain. It, 'sa bad job indeed if he has ; esomped.', S "Is the mai recovering his senses " t "Yes, sir, he's just coming round." Reuben stepsed into the hut. The escapo of Thorne destlr?' d all the satisfaction which his success would have given him. He had good reason toknov t:e fiendish malignity of the man, aid in F,:r.e of the warnings he had given Kate EIison, s'un his strict orders t1 the police on guard, he felt a thrillof anxiety now that he was aware heir enemy was still at large. The prisoner was sittiug up in a corner of the hut, a policeman with drawn sword standing near " Where is your leader?'" Renben asked sternly-the mau you call Fothergill.' "He went awayyesterday morning," the man said with a grin of satisfaction. "You haven'tcaught him yet, and you will hear more of him before you do," . - "Where was he goingS" Reuben demanded. "You won't et nothing out of me," the fellow said. " He's been a good mate and a true, and I ain't going.to put you bloodhounds on his scent. He's gone a-wooing, that's where's he's gone, and that won't help you much." Reuben at once weatotslide and called the aetters roundhim. ' sXamserry to sa, said, "that the leader of theportybas got away. He rode of yesteday ymorning, and although the prisoner we have taken did not say where he han goua, I have not the least doubt he hastilden back to I the Donoalds' to t7rand carry out his threat to - 'e ' .2 . - n ev4eo..c. 5 - .
may I ask you to start homeward at once. The bi hoxses have only done a few -miles, and if we di presfsiorward we may manage to get to our bi camp of the evening before last. We have no hi moreo to do here, except to eeo if there are any si valuables hidden in thcl huts, and set fire to s them. I expect we hall have-fighting with the blacks on our way back.. Those parties the ii two follows who geotaway wenut to fetch will ri likely cnouh bar our way. If it were not for u that I should ride on by myself, but my duty is a to stop with my maei until at anyrate we have b passed the place where the blacks are likely to h attack us. That done, I shall push on. It is t annoyilg indeed to think that that fellow must I' have passedu somtwhere on the way yester- t day.'5 .. ;---- r The settlers agreed at onee. They all sym pathised with Reuben in his disappomintment at the escape of the leader of the bushrangers, and regretted the matter deeply on their own account. They were, too, now that the work was done, anxious to he off, not only because J they wished to return to their stations, but becausethey felt that their position was a den gerousone. They had pesetrated to a ditansce hitherto uiattempted into the country of the natives, and they knew that these would gather F round them like hornets on their return march. Ten minutes were spent in the search of the 1 huts. The police probed the ground with cheir 1 swords and closely examined the walls. They found under some sheep-skins in one corner a bag containing upwards of two hundred pounds which was doubtless the amuount which the bnshrangers had brought back with them from their last plundering expedition,andlhad not yet been added to their main store,- wherever that might be.. This, however, was a welcome find to the police, and they abandoned the idea of searching further, and were about to set fire to the hut when the prisoner said: "Lookee here! I may as well' tell- you where the lot'is' hidden. It may do me good when it comes to the trial, and you may as well have it as for it to lay there.' You tdig up the ground in front of that tree behind the hut and you will find it." ' Five minuteslater alargeleather bagcontain ing a considerable quantity of gold anid notes, and a number of watches,. chains, and other trinkets, was brought to-light. " -'---Ddon't-tOl, eto counte the ;,monoy,.now,' atentins5fd"'fsten'-lcn onoi of.,the-irn? ae aMd-let us be off. Sergeant, let Jones ride beside ths prisoner? and be reslpnasiblo for his Ssafety. Se thliat hishands rer tied behind him, stald his ankles tied securely to stirrup-leathers. Let four men take charge of the eight horses of the bushrangers.- Do you rhle head with four others, and keep a sharp look-out as you go. Don't press the horses, but we mniust go at a sma rt pace, for we have a long day's march before us. It is fully sixty miles to the water hole where we camped the night before last." -A few minute s later the party werein motion. Although disappointed at the escape of the leader of the band, they were all satisted with the result of the expedition, and at the small amount of loss at which it had been' accom plished. There was general regret at the death of Mir. Blount; but two lives were considered to be but a small loss for the capture of so strong a body of bushrangers, who, knowing that they fought with ropes round their necks, always made a desperate resistance. Half the journey was accomplished without incident, and Reuben felt satisfied that-they w ould at least have no trouble with the- tribe Sheyyhad scattercd in the morning. The speedy start that they had- made had taken thete Ibeyond their pursuit, and if attacked, it would be by other trbes. After ait hour's halt to feed the horses and cook some meat for them selves the party proceeded again. Another fifteen miles were passed, -then Itel?en-saw the sergeant with, the little 'party ahead suddenly draw rein. He galloped for ward to them. - - " What is it, sergeant?" . . " I am pretty sure I saw a blackfellow's head over that rock, sir. It's a nasty piece of ground. I noticed it yesterdiay as I. came alang. It would be the worst place to be attacked in of any we have passed. If the blacks are here in force they know what they are doing." Reuben examined the position. It was 'cer tainly a- nasty place to : be attacked in. The valley: was narrow- and:thickly -strewn with boulders of all sizes which- had rolled down from the hillsides. Among these the bush' grew thickly, and it was only down.a narrow path in the centre formed by a winter.. stream, now dry, that horsemen could pass. - "I don't think it would do to make a bolt Sthrough that,sir," the sergetat said, shaking his head. "Weo could only:ride two abieast, and if .they are strong we shlould be riddled -with spears before we got through, aind there's no- charging - them among these stones and bush.'t".: . - - " That is so, sergeant; we shall have to dis. mount and drive them out foot by foot. There's nothing else for it." - 'By this time all the party had arms up, and Reuben explained to them the situation. All - agreed that they could do nothing on horseback on such ground. The whole party therefore dismounted. The horses were tied to bushes, and the prisoner securely fastened to a tree. SThen rifle in bahd they moved forward. The sergeant's eye had not deceived him, for as they approached the spot where the boulders and bushgrew thickest ashower of spears was thrown, and the native cry rose shrill in the air. Theparty were advancingin skirmishing order, and most of them threw themselves down or dodged behind rocks as the blacks rose to throw. their spears, and a moment- later the rifles cracked out. Several of the blacks fell and the rest dieappeared among the bushes. "- fake your way forward steadily and care fully. Let each man watch his neighbour to the right and left, and keep in line as much as you can." The fight now commenced in earnest, but the settlers and police gradually made their way forward. l.ot only.had'they the advantage in Seapons, but the fact that they were able to fire while lying down or stooping gave them an Simmense advantage over the blacks, who had to expose themselves when rising to throw their spears or take aim with their bows. Several timnes, emboldened by their superior numbers, the blacks attempted a rush, -but the heavy fire from'rifleand pistol which greeted them each time sent them back in diminished numbers..- -At last the resistance became feebler, as the natives, seeing that they were being driven outof their shelter, began to slink off so as not to' be exposed to the tire of the white men-in the comparatively open ground beyond. Many, however, were not qiick enough. and were shot down as they scaled the asteep hillside. - The party of whitespgathered and compared g notes.. Manvy hadroceived wounds maror less severe, butnoneof a nature to prevent them from continuing their journey. They quickly returned to their horses, and mounting, con tinued their way. . a "There is no fear of any farther _attack I t should think, sergcantt" - ?" S"I should thlink not, eir. The beggears must havehaebad enouah of it. They must hare lost from forty to fifty men." - - - - ' a-Two hours.later the party arrived at the Shalting.place. - - "Now, sergeant," Reuben said; ";I shall Shand over the command to you and dlsll ride on at once with my boy. - Iam most anxious about the manil who has scaped. I shall take four of the bushrangers' horses. -They, have r hotbeen ridden, aid having had three orfour daysj' rest, are comparativelyfresh. The fellow has had only one day's start, and if I push strisight on I may be there before him." - g Reuben briefly bade adieu td his friends while'Jim wras transferring the saddles to two of the bushrangers' horses, and leading two others, they started together in darkness. Channgi sgddles every ten miles, they rode on till past midnight, when they halted, for the horses, accustomed as they were to long journeys, were now conipltely broken down, mand Jim and his master could scarce keep their seats. "Too much long," ;m said, as he threw Shimself down after taking off the saddles and I hobblingthe horses; "itoo msch long, slb.," B " It in loog, Jim," treubenreplied. "People in Eigland would- hardly believe horses could go a himdred miles in a day ecent if led a- part of-the distanice.. Anotherfifty miles will take us to Donld's. It is about twenty miles to the water-hole where we camped the first night, and that was about thirty miles from the station." "Shall Jim light a fire, ssh?" " No, Jim, it isn't worth while. There is some cold meat in my haveriack if vou are a hungry. but I am too tired to eat. If there are Sany natives prowling about a fire might bring them round on us." "i No link black fellows near, massa." "I don't think so either, but I don't want to Srun the risk, Jim; besides, I am sure neither of us can be trusted to keep watch." Reuben, in epito of his fati-ue, was some time before he could get nit to sleep. The Sthought that probably Tom Thorne was at that stime camped at the water-hole twenty miles 1 ahead, and that in the morning his horse would be far fresher than those he had ridden, was maddening to him. At one time he thought oof getting up and pursuing his vay en foet; Shat he was stiff in every limb, and felt that tCte journeyg was beyond hm; moreover, if the bushranger had taken some other line aod was not camping there, he would have no means of pursuing his journey. At the first gleam of dayvlght they were afoot, the saddles were put on the horses. and Sthey continued their way. Reuben soon found, however, thatthe five hours he had rested had been insufficient to restore the homre., and even by riding them alternately he coul get them bet little beyond a walk. On ariving at the water-hole the remains of a f re were found. Jim examined the ground carefully, and found the tracks of a horse, and was of opinion that the rider had started three I or four hours previously. 'Ruben carried a remained in it aowa the throats of the horses and given them a drink at the pool, hs again premed on. Ten miles farther he arrved at - hi first outlyng station. The owner of this ad not joined in the expedition. heing a' massesd man, and newilineg to Itave his wife in Suck at exposed position. But upon I.eubeu'e i anrival s at onceagreed tolend him two fresh ] i0hon., anlto take care of toisa which Iteeben i
brought with him. While the settler was driving them in from the paddock, his wife busied herself in preparing two huge bowls of bread and milk. These were thankfully swallowed by Reuben; and Jim, and five minutes later they started on the fresh horses. It was indeed a relief to Iteubcn's anxiety to find himElf again flying Od?e the ground at a rapid gallop after the slow and tedious pace at which he had travelled since morning. His spirits rose, and the fears which had oppressed him seemed lifted as if by magic. He assured himself that he had ino cause for anxiety, for that the two constables would assuredly be on the watch, and Kate had promised not to ven turs beyond the doors of the house until his return. -. --.. (ro (TOs dg flnrD.) -