|Newspaper Title||The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 - 1918)|
|Trove Title||The Bush Wedding|
.--T-HE- B USH:- TWDDINa.: - - [BY J. R LOCKEYEAI?.] Author of "Goiilb'urn Mary," "Little Mother,'" 'l r.. Bunyip,": or " Mary Sbinervl 's Rantble," &c., &c. -Well:.knei these:' when ,,hildren; where to unearth the indigenous roots, and seek the seeds, fruits and'beri'ies bo hig~ly'priiedl by thliir ebon re tainers, whilstuiipon thei'r re'turn to 'tWijiW hiiies the ' lessons" they 'had learned in mia-mi;a, whvirley, or gunyah construction,:would, with the -various-- elaborations -and --supposedi improvements which might suggest themselves to their youthful ininds,, be put iiitdolpriibtice min th'eih parents': paddocks and gEirdens., Often again` had they gone. mile° after mile in .,various directions«i ltlrteamsters for the pleasuree of a ride- in'ivaggoni Sbullock dray or otheritvchicle, I withl the .certainty they knuew 'of lilbcral regaling lbythe wa by 'the :daveis, and then watched their opportunit; .when they should ti hink theyliad travelled;sufficiently far, .torsecure aa return lift, or failing this, be content` ;to trudge backaLhomie?;on 'foot; takqingj near cuts across the bush i;wth' everyi inch of which they were acquainted and whih to thle inexperienced'is ould have iproved a labyriuth indeed. These.whose early histories:ve have' 'thus. endeavouered to describe '::and whio'itlie imajoriity of cases were accouipanied lby happy-looking lasses whose experiences.. were similarr to their, own; hbad come in mihiny iinstan~es a score or more of miles to wish liappi ness to their old school and playmate, young Tom S ;, -.ir~ his -new character of ",Benedick the, married man.' I Thero theyl sat "or strolled about the township; or, extemiorised '.lovers ' walks" eye speakinig to eye, aRid iand to haid; in that 'most elo quent of all tiontgules,; the :silent language of love. Here, happily, in this favoured land, this earthly Eden, these -young people, the offspringof Saroni, Celt, and Scot, wiould never know the heartburnings, religions, political, or, othel,, expeiienced :even up to this day in their parents island homes beyond the seas: .Bere they would "brithers be, an ' that,ha re specting . eachl: the 'eonsci~bntions scruples of his: neiglb?h Tr-rgiing proof in their everyday: life of ;the iipssiessin of ?lft':cha rity i.which s'eeleth hot her own'b i, not' easily provoked, thiunketh--no evil"-prac tisingi, indeed the!·:.t Christianity preached these, imauiy, many years intlhose other lands, but, intoo maiiy instances ?preached alas, aloie! But to.return to i';The.:Shearers' Arms." - How "-Jack," as the pro prietor of :the' Ini' was ifamiliarilv teiiited; wa's going to' dispo6s?.of all thsei&-eople, oe seri. it first. at a loi to t onceive, for: a goodly>;num lier would not return to their homes tillthe following day; but fortlntfely thleresounices of ani up-cofintiry Inu are pretty elastic, and.ipeopie 's a rule not ov;er fastidious in the matter of ;accommiodation at such times, the difliculty, we remembered upon due reflection, was likely to be tided over fairly satifactorily. Tlhe usual bushitopics werei now to be heard to advantage--the prospects of the en suiug hairvest, rust, sriut the clearidg of lanld; the 'irelatie "adi·antages of the various agricultural implements, manures; stock, prices of produce, and the hundred and one kindred subjects which serve to. form the s`taple of agricultural and pastoral conversai tion Onie o:ld - grentlei'sa, bordeiing upoi niniety, a :Peuinsular.:' hero, whose two sturdy sons cultivated an extensive tract: of: land, and swhose regiment had been stationedin Sydney, whleie'lihe had obtamned hi.s-disclaige, formed the centrtae of; an -admiring circle':of bth younng -and old decorated 'as lie wa;s with medals and clasps .:.for = :Salamanca, Badajos. Qartre Bras, and Waterloo, which lie had been unable to residost iealing upon this memorable occasion. HBale and hlearty, pf rnddy complexion, and clear, sparkling eye,lhe could still " shouldeir.his crutch ,"as represented by agood stout cudgel, "and show how fields were won," whilst the tale he was;now telling, and! the almonist endless questions hle was answering, lhaied been doubtless told and answeired beneatl the wide-spreading oaks rind beecliesofold England1 as i~Illast.lhe eucalypti of Austrlidi. Sitting liere with beaming faces, he and- his, good old vife of nell nihi his own agea, al peared the personifications of happi ness, receiving the congiatuilations of "troops of friends " upon .their ei;er greed appearance, and replying to the various questions .in reference-t, the stormy days of tlhe old gentleman's military .career. ; :ipe foi-the sickle of?t!e, great i reaper,i Deathg there sat the good old couple iipon one of the rustic seats encircling a large gum tree, whliose sapling years:dditedback to those obf -h old' n?'i ioi':llimself, and.whose-foliage furnished a shade from the heat of the noondaysun to one :side of the -Sheareirs' :Ari:ms From a mistaken notion of kindness tlie:"old :Cobloi'-Seeagent aliid' be i pressed to take more drink tliiah 'iv?s good 'fou him, and the consequence wias'that befoie tli c afternoon vas fair advanced hlie had to lie:accommoduted with a bed, to which lie was escorted, a kind of prisoner :of var, by his good old wife, wiho administered to him on mend, degradii nhim 'ias srellfor the time being, l;b reuovrin his medals und clasps. IHe l;d faced, without flinching, the Old Guard at:Waterloo; Sbutaun older ?uar.d ih the -person Jof his ?veneinabld'ivife; ;whb"- hadi ??'"f speak comti ~,martialled, lihd'd lhi?n'n ins'fdcustody in his room, under lock adnd ley where Weolens"-'oleii' he: ?,ia tooremain until the followgignhorning 'So" 'dften had the old soldier - driank to the memor,6f: hi h??e?i?rt' and glorious Georethe'l:ethirdl thit' he lilidio in- the- first place become quite'gl6rious himsclf;.-which conrii tion was. however, quickly:siicceeded byotlrat iof..utter., helplessness-.- He isbo ehad so ofteni arid successfully encountered. the..foes of his:native .land --- had. brought ..the tattered remains of the.colors of his riegiment s'afely opt of the blood-drenchled field of ,Waterloo, and thereby saved his regiment's honor-had now fallen a .vicam to the insedius tactics of a salpping and mining chlaracter, of that fell destroyei, of myriads, who treachlerously comes in the form of a friend, the fiend alcohol himself. But to return to the wedding guests. By three o'clock they lhad nearly all arrived, the females and chlildren being taken charge of by the land nlady, a kind-hearted being :who
poss~.sed'the happy knack of inakingi people feel thoroughly at home, the ability to accomplish this not always secopding the desire. It was too early and pleasant beside::, for the guests to remain long within doors, so after refreshing them:;elves with solids add fluids from timle toýtime, they continued strolling about (some strange circumstance or other delay-' ing the arrival of the bride and bride groom), sundry ones taking a look at "Jack's" garden and cultivation paddocks, and interviewing his live stock, cattle, horses, pigs and poultry, others.improving the shining hours in repeating the old, old story, with all its endless variations, as it has been transinitted to us frointlievery earliest times, when "billing and cooing "' ivere' first introduiced into' the wt'oild and xreogn ised: by:ospoietty :as;both a, pleasing and ressent'iat institution. -B:ut h :'"tare these ;to' minute specs .whic a keen pair of eyes. desciry, in ?the fati? distance,:.coming downn the mnain road ulon--which the inn abtts,aiidof which it comrinands an almostunsuter t ptedviewfor somle wo titreffe miles or so.:1j pairf ques trians surely ? Yes,:, and?, teaiing along at racing speed,- is thougli the life of tlie one the lat?tto reach the township must, ;spiy the forfeit. A young::matn and 'his swetheart,. old playmates 'of the :biidegoom, they ultimately prove to;be; arid, all eyes are at once rivettedL upon them;- as now .he; ow ;she, appears "to'gdia the advantage ;:-.he. interest: of0f? the on lookers increasing in intensity as the distance between themselves and the riders_ becomes, each, .moment .still fu?lhei'r aid further lessened:" Worien and children .from. within the inn, carried away by the general excite ment, are soon miugling, with the rest outside, keenly watcbhing each movemienet of the riders; both?v'ell aoiinted, and: evidenitly understaduiing their business well besides ! On 'ind_ on they come, now hiddeni by a. clump of trees, now emerging therefrom, she having for a while a slight~advautge, which he, creeping up, inch by inch diminishes,. He overtakes her, passes her by, and .leaves her. a length or two behlind. A touch of her little whip, together with:' the'pi'essnre of her foot, to which her hortse responds, and she iregains as .gradually as -she lost it, lh'er previous-advantage. For ward now shlie bends, with the deter mination of a Boadicea expressed in her every feature, t.ho skirt of her riding habit fluttering and snapping in the brieeze,, as -if Itself infected with the:genleral excitement as it flies well-nigli level with the horse's side. Neareti': aid .:nearei' 'they ap proeach the inn; and she is fairly on her metal noiw, as hei cheek's flush of excitement fairly shows, the ap plause of the onlookers -'being of 'tie most demotibntiative character,'? vhi off flies her hat, and down falls. hei hlaii, its aubutin tresses no:w, streami iug in the breeze. How splendid she looks, whaat a subject for:t poet ::o Ipainter! Did the future of ikstiralia hinge upon the result of the race, more -feverish excitement could scarcely be displayed, the sympiithlies of thle onlookers centring; as a 'miatter of course, in the young girl: A few thundred yards more; and it t? ill be all ovei', and he is doin? his very behst to overtake her standing almidst creel in the stirrups. But it 'is' all to uc purpose, for up she ushles i n'front of the inn amidst.such a tuniult.ol ohiers and genteral excitement as te fairly make the '-neighboring hilI, ring again, the like" of which l,had inever "been heard iii those p art; before Such .a ush: of strong arms to lift het ffrom liin saddle she could have dismouhntell s ell enouglh without theirt'Aid ' by the ~bye--as pfii'tinf from her exertiotisl she is supportet tilll:hir i s';?etheairat comes up. t claini:her. such. a-fusilade of " chaff': poured :into him about the': marE p:roitig tlihb. bette:r horse,". and ? forth, and whliihli he takes, as a mattei of ioirse, in good- part, -pronder' fat of..hoer; success: than he :would hasm been of his own. i More than once, has that, youni girl helped her father and brotliei" in the harvest' field wh?len laborer hiave been feis ''and iin feats a strengthl and 'enduraiice ..would" sfi many a; towlismani to the bluslh .;,V: cannot hill-; ;tlininkng, ais :'e.stanc looking. at her, thiat Australia need iot. feat, iphpsical ,degeneracy oflier sons and d'ughlters whilst girls suce as she, and stalwart young fellows oa the stamp of h'eu lo?era are to hbe found"upon its soil.tb She.-owre Ilite caimelia ii her bosom, symbolit. re' trust, obf the " white s flowei of a blameless life, God graint it may eer be her yhappiness to ldad i Theb young fellows, the recent equiesti ain episode-this neuv version of Haste to the TVeddingu! -furitishl ing the'cue,s wei'e soon absorbed ini the subjectof horseflesh, the qualities of their various steeds, their pd weras of speed- oa: endurance, /or : both, : tlie distances .those: had accomplished upon special urgent occasions. in a given. tine, sayf,,for instance, when the doetor: lihad to be fetchled, this in tihe bush frequetitly necessitating a ride of m'any mniles, often on pitch dark tights over wild nrugy cu'd iti y, nothing but ad: kn-i ledge of" th .gronnd, 'a d entire reliance upon their horse.cnalbling theem to under take sucilh task.. TThrice happy the youth aba i'ihfond?ly?eIlie?led hisunag to posses? some" fess :"drojps of " Bangalore'? oi "Fencetaket"' bloodlini his veins or odther liorse which had peilhaps come in th'lid ustmanagdl to escape the ruck ?'I--upon some particnla bocc'as?oii--sy when ruin ning for;-!the >.' Wallygobborree" Stakes, somewhere.in the direction of the- Murray, ;Biliabong, or King Parroti Rive. ith . What feverish exciterimentwould not' that~ youth dilate to young eager ears upon the nilter iiin which tlist distinguished relative of his naig:liad borne himself upon that ::eer memorable and trying occasion, which shed such undying lustre upon the annals of the Austt'a litn turf, and would lhave done still better in :that youth's fervid imagina tion, had the jockey better understood his work,or tie horse received fair p'lay in otlher respects: This is a topic of never-failing interest to a large section of the up-country youth, tlie Arabhimself indeed could scarcely take a deeper interest rn his horse than does the young. Australian, lwhilst to do him jnstice the Arn'tb himself again could scarcely feel more at hlome than does lie. Only give him a buck-jumper of thie most pronounced cabarbilities in thlat direc tion, and ple?ty of room, with the knowledge as iwell that eyes critical
in-suchl matters are upon him, then he is as happy as a king-or stock rider. Noriis his sister much behind him in this respect, as watch for instance " Jack's" daughter " Polly " of thirteen go into her father's paddock, secure a horse by the mane, lead him to ia log or other object lying upon the ground, vault like -"Feathered Mercury" upon his back, neither, using nor needing saddle oi bridle,. simply entwininig a finger or ti?o in his mane, scarcellv indeed requiring even that to enalble her to: retain her seat, and then -with her bare feet-for excepting:hlieu dressed Polly scorns the wvearing of shoes and stockings-tonch t.lhe: horse's side, scampes, off helter skelte to round. up " Poley.' Jessie.', and ,. Beauty,"' for _ilking,;singing at.the top of her voice the whilee as she .bounds? ver the dead timber and other. obstaal&s lying in he mirayi, a:-bllthe and free from care. as the bliifsl bird. that flies acioss lier pah " Nor are bush girls' accomplishments;" in this, direction always confined. to horseflesh, as we have aknown wa Gippsland dahcsel wl?o ias'iii the habitsomeiyears backl of 'mounhing boyfathes a bull an animal of q tliet?nature, androonding up-the cows :with him;,:he takingllies.logs tind: ,other:- im pedi menta', ii;' lthle greatest glee, aind ithi as muchi grace as., could reasonably; ?e expected of hli?.?It" si :generally believed albout, there; that "upon ii?dincdhthat young girl iodiild ?iiot'lcave'h iesitateid to avail herself of the services of a kangaroo forthe smitie purpose: T.'o be Coitiiused.