Chapter 82229292

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter TitleAT GOONDI VALE STATION.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82229292
Full Date1894-12-22
Page Number2
Corrections0
Word Count1082
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWarwick Examiner and Times (Qld. : 1867 - 1919)
Trove TitleWhich One!
article text

CHRISTMAS STORY.

"Wlifcli One I" j

IWllITTKN FOB THE ExAMfNEi; AND XlMKti.] |

CIUPTLIK I.

AT GOOXDI VALE STATION.

If w&s many years ago, away back in Che J

fievcntif-s, when 1 and my cbum( Jack Travel,

were out in tbe western country of the great I wool growing colony, New South Wales. The I heat was pretty great, rather stronger than (or

some Jjjue /wst. 14 waated only a !cw days to i Christmas and I was then on Goondi, a 6heep I station on the Lacblan, we were very well I treated by the manager of the run which had a ] hundred thousand sheep on it. The 44 boss"

lived on the property and he had two daughters | who kept house for Mm, being a widower. Welf, j .lack uud I were great nialea and were over I head and ears iu love with the elder Miss Ca* I /Jieron, who was a specimen *'f tUc Australian I hush horn girl. She was the best horsewoman in the district and could ride anythiug on the place, Jipr sister was & demure, quiet, deep gill, about three years younger, and she watched

our little game very closely. As to who re« J ceived favour at the hands of Nellie Cameron it

was a toss up, and we would one day ewear by | all that was good and true that she had only to 1 be nsked to have the quietus given to either of

our suit*. But by a happy way she managed 1 to keep ue in check and HO the trouble pro-1 cecdcd. We were as fast friends aB ever, but there war just u shade of jealousy growing, and as Christmas Day approached I felt that the crisis must come, and one would have to make

the fatal cast /or her.

" I say, Tom," called out Jack one morning, "who do you think is coming to the station from Sydney at the end of the week?"

" Blessed if I know and care cither/1 came the reply, quick and short.

41 Well, a whole crowd of them, and we are going to have a merry time after all. The boss has just told Nellie lhat Mr. and Mrs. M'Kenzie and the Misses M'Kenzie and a recent arrival from London are to come up by train and will come the rest of the road by coach; and we are ordered to meet them down at the crossing on Thursday eveniug and escort the visitors up to the house."

" Won't that be awful jolly," I replied.

441 don't think so at all; X prefer a quiet time on the station at Christmas. I have a good mind to apply for & holiday and go post haste off to the city," answered Jack,

44 And leave tbe field open to this new chum

and me ?"

" Not much-that settles it," replied Jack.

On Thursday evening we rode down lo the crossing and met the M'Kenzies and Mr. M4Ivor at tbe coach stage where they bad arrived about sunset, after a dusty and long coach ride from ibe railway terminus on tbe

previous day.

* # . . *

After tea bad been disoussed and the whole company were assembled on the spacious verandah of Goondi Vale, we proceeded to 4,'aize" up our visitors. The usual diacussioo upon the state oC the wool market, chances of a strike next season, and (he Jong spell of dry weather having been disposed of, I inquired of the 41 boss" what were the arrangements for the morrowto entertain our visitors. The Misses M'Keories were charming girls, fresh from the gaiety of city life, and were charmed with tbe free and easy life of tbe west.

44 Well, Jack," said Mr, Cameron, 441 am going to hand the party over to Nellie and you and Tom, and you can do just as you like with them. I am Iqo old now to know tbe beBt places lo go to, but you may take tbern for riding parties, picnics, or just whatever yoa think best. They are to be here a fortnight or longer if they like it. 1 want you to make them at home and to go away back to Sydney pleased with the hospitality of Goondi Vale."

After the usual smoke and a 41 night cap," over which we made th£ acquaintance of Mr. M'Kenzie and bis young friend M'lvor, who was not a bad speoimen of the Britisher, but who had the usual 41 dont*cher*know" way of speaking and could not help speaking with a decided drawl, we turned into our respective

4> camps."

« * « . .

It was arranged by Nellie. Tom, and I that the first thing to do would be to take the visitors to the Caves, a ride of 20 miles, where it was reckoned by those who had been there before that a good day could be spent.

Accordingly on Friday early in the morning a start was made, and we took a tent and other equipments to make a camp there for a night, our intention being to stay there and .return to Goondi Vale on the Saturday.

On the ride over we of course singled out and I had the good fortune to be alongside Nellie while Tom made friends with one of the Miss M'Kenzies-Ethel was her name, and M'lvor charmed the elder Miss M'Kenzie, who was a 41 topnotcher," as we busbm&n would describe

her.

But M'lvor, no matter bow well be could ait a beast when riding down Rotten Bow or tbe parks in London, cut a sorry dash when astride one of our western nags. We had the fun, while we had the laughter against him at times. The horse he rode was not a bad tempered one, but he Boon found out that hia rider was not the usual Australian and he wanted to take command. After one or two narrow escapes from epills, all arrived safely at the Caves.

44 Now then, Jack, and you M'lvor too, turn to and get together wood for a fire and let us

have the billy on," cried Tom, so soon as our j

horses had been hobbled.

He proceeded to rig up tbe tent and make a snug camp for the ladies who all along the road had been charmed with the scenery and the great change from city to the freedom of

country life.