|Chapter Title||Chapter XXVII - end.|
|Newspaper Title||Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940)|
|Trove Title||Wings above the Diamintina|
AN" AUSTRALIAN MYSTERY STORY WINGS ABOVE THE DIAMANTINA By: ARTHUR W. UPFIELD.
"Ie is over there playing with a pup," Loveacre replied, pointing out through the 'fly-gauze to the ancienr chief, sitting in the shade cast by the office and fondling an energetic cattle pup. . . - ""I will retu'l In a moment. Pardon me," Bony murmured. He left the group and walked along the verandah to the white bed'screens. Outside them he coughed loudly, and then with a happy smile stepped round them to see Miss Kane sitting' propped with pillows on the bed, with' her medical attendant standing .beside her.: Her face was flushed, either with return ing .health or some mental excitement. Bony had been a constant visitor since that dramatic ,night when Illa walli thawed the ice freezing all her muscles, the ice that had kept her ,prisoner inr her own body . . ' "I have come to say good-bye, Miss Kane," the detective said softly.. "Oh, not goodibye, Bony! Let it be oiily~ n revoir," the girl cried, her eyes becoming abruptly misty. "You will come again some time to see' us, won't you?" -"Thank you! I would like to return to -stay witli you and Dr. Knowles, say late next year. You will not, I trust, fail to send rme at least. one crumb of the wedding' cake?" "0Oh Bony! How did ydu- guess?" He smiled. "To 'Bony' all things are known." Steipping forward, he gallantly kiss ed the warm hand held. outt to him. The doctor's hland lie clasped and shook vigorously, and then, wishingi them all good luck, lie left them. iThe others were waiting for' him outside the ve'andah door. Bony notice ed how Ted Sharp kept in the back. ground, as 'had become liis habit. He had observed, too, that Elizabeth's at titude to the boss stdckman was dis tinctly cold. '"Gitve me another minute, Seigeant,' he pleaded. "uIiss Nettlefold, I wish you to come withl me. You, too, Ted." Taking .the girl's arm he urged her across to the perplexed Ted Sharp and then' with his other hand grip ping Ted's arm he' took then~ both across ito the lounging -Illawalli. 'On seeing them approach, the chief stood up to receive them with dignity. S"I am 'about, to leave you, Illawalli," Bony told him regretfully. '"!Before I 'o I want you, as '.i favuour, to read me this '.white feller's iind." "Give your hand," "requested. the ancient, his expression stern. Ted Sharp .hesitated; 'Give him your 'hand, there's a good fellow," urged. Bony- genially... Tihe boss stockman,.; complied then, lhos. tility. yet in his mind,against the de tective. For thirty, seconds his strong brown hand was gripped by the skinny -black one before: Illawalli: said: "You come to Coolibah many. years ago. You find here nice young white girl. Bimeby .you:-tell ".her you love her, and she say, no;'-she no un'er stand her own-heart; Then your fathi er's brother -lhe die and say you have two-three thousand:. quid. All . ihem quids they very nice, but they no good you buy beeg station aiid.plenty cattle! So you say nothin'. P''haps you tell white girl again you love her 'and again she no -tell ier' owi heart.' .'"And then letter comie and you told your 'father him die and him'say'you have orl' his :money.i ?The law mar him write you go Brisbane and sign papers and then yoa, ;get oril bees money. You say: No. I stay here and ,your off-sider him bIrings papers tc Gurner's Hotel,. I sign .em.there.' Sc law man's 'offsider h"hm come to Gur ner's: pub that night -the fine feller captain's plane him stolen. You' ge there and 'sign 'em 'papers and law feller's offisder him say orl them quids 'belonga you in bank. "Now you' say yourself, I buy Garth Station.. You know, old John Kant he own Garth. Way back .long time, Mr. Nettlefold and 'Johnu Kane they have row,' and' ,bimeby 'Mr. Nettlefold he tell Kane him buy 'Garth. And John Kane him laugh and him 'say:, 'No, never you buy' Garth, -I watch that.' You know if you go ,Kane and say you buy Garth,- Kane' him say: 'You want. Garth for Mr..Nettlefold and I say plenty times.I id sell Garth to Mr. Nettlefold.' "You cunning feller, orI right! You teIl them .ask Kaned how much he want for Garth. 'Youi tell'them go care f-ul or Kane him find out you .after-buy Gaurth. They say so much.,,You say wait. ' Then d'reetly' you sign. pa-pers belong.i law man's offsider, 'you send wire message- to: station. fellei's, ii Brlisbaine tell them, they buy Garth quick' yoil got -plenty' money. You reckoni you '.have Girth and .seven thousand cattle you say to white girl you love her;:she mnarry you, you got plenty cash; plenty. cattle. You cun ning feller; too' right! You nearly go ja'il:'cos you, cunning feller, too." The old: man' released , the brown hand, and, looking into Sharp's .aston ished face, chuckled, grimly. Then blie forei the b'oss stockman c:ould' say :a word Illawalli took Elizabeth's hand. "The white lubra is joyful," he. said. "Sre knows fiat.,tlie sick' white lubi'a soon be better,'tliat;e she soon go away with doctor felleri . One -:time iss Eliz"beth she' :lonely diandsa:. She' not knIow .what nmake ,hei r:sad and lonely.' Then she knlow, then she:linow when she take sick:,white librit and nurse her. She tihinli she linow vhat she 'vant, so, thati no: niore ~she will be lonely and ead. 'Theis"some 'hii'te feller, lie -play the fool :with miy friilnd Bony. IHe no talk: when he:i sliounl. H-Ie think him cunhiiig ifelleri.and: he dloi't say nothing wi~hen Bony pit him questions. Now -she ?knbwo that fellei him not crook and' shi? joyful; She know she want to look' after hini and bimeby . . ." - "Oh, Illawalll!" 'tlei blushilng Eliza beth exclaimed' iuesroaschfully., Ted Slharl) straighltened his shoulders aiid looked tfrom lier to' Bon'y who was bildding Illawalli, an affectionate fare well. Bony smiled at thiem in thu:r and hurried 'back to the house where the others were gathered. about Cox's car. The good.byes 'weie prolonged. Nettlefold was lhearty. Loveaoi e was lashing dlespi-te tile disfigurliii' band ages. Elizabeth catme hurryiny l with" Ted Siharp fromnsth :directioni of lte office, Her eyes wvere like stai.'. Cox .&imbed in 'bdhiqd the. w;heel,: and tony joined hmin;'ln the ''front seat. 13ony waved -to. hliawalli, unnit then, just when the car Žwas about to move
off, Ted Sharp sprang to Bony's side to , whisper: * "I apologise, Mr. Bonaparte, for being suchl a stupid cad." "Not a cad, Ted; merely too caunti oulS." "You are generous. Tell .me this: Did that old chap really read our minds? He guessed a lot of things about me . . . and . .. sIn the office, Elizabeth told me that hle read her mind all right." Bony chuckled and pinched the boss stockman's arm. " 'No," he confessed., "I am a'fraid I to"d Illawalli what. to say." :, "So you see, sir, that I fell down on the job," Bony pointed oust to the wihi'te-haired, .fierce eyedl gentlemanail sitting' in a lounge chair within a comfortably-furnished study. !'Had .1 used my brain .properly I could have finalised' the case weeks ' ago and have saved the State the expense of' sending that aeroplane for Illawalli, and the expense of sending another *back with him. To Sergeant Cox is due the enti:e credit for clearing up a nice little puzzle." "'H'rumph!" snorted Colonel Spend or., "Now tell me 'why yon had tlio effrontery to telegraph me here at my private residence concerning tan' official matter? And why the devil do 'you come here to make your re port? The office is the place, sir, for all official business." "But are you not pleased ,to .see me, sir?" asked Bony with innocent astonishment. "Of course, but what's that to . . "And, sir, hSave you not been enter tained by my story of the 'stolen aero plane?" "I 'do not deny it," silolted the colonel. "Bring two of those glasses .from ,the sideboard-and tile damned whisky." Hi! We must have thitt Illa walli feller attached to us 'for difty.' "Would you kill an old man, sir?" Bony -inquired, setting glasses and decanter on the 'small table beside the Chief of the Queensland Police Force. "Why, no! Of 'course not!" "Then permit him .to return to his own. people. He would die soon in .a ?wite man's city. In return for his services, I told. him that .you ,would be pleased to present him with a gold watch and4 chain." "A gold . . . A gold watch and chain! Where the devil am I to .,',t gold watches and chains to present to aboriginal chiefs? Tell me that." "I thought, sir, that you might like to, buy him one. The Chief Secretai'r .a. a special grant 'sir. Illawalli would be so 'prbud to ave' a watch presenteid by you,,sir. . The 'colonel glared. 'He was about to/suggest a. toast, remembered, him self,: and 'glared again at the w'qll dressed and debonair half-caste. "Well, remind me about it in the morning. What.next?" . "Er .... with reference to Sergeant Cox, sir. I hear that a sub-inspector ship will shoirtly become vacant. The Red Tape Worshippers. are ibacking Mller. .Now Sergeant Cox . Colonel Spendori banlged' the table, ihis face growing deeply scarlet, andi through the open french windows from the verandall came a cool, sweet voice wlhichl said: "Now, Father! IKeep your temlier." "Er... .l'.rumph. Yes, of courle. my 'dear," the colonel stuttered. "B..t this damned Bony feller . . ." '"Please, Father, . vary your explet-, lives. The one becomes so nlonoton 'ous," pleaded the sweet voice. "Your pardon, my dear. I foret, ,vo1 l *were there." 'Colonel Spendor glared at .Bony. He was very angry. And. then slowly anger melted before .the sun of a big and. generous heart. "There is a vacancy 'here and now, of which you know nothing," he said. "If your report, to reach me to-mor row, coincides with your verbal re port tills evening, Sergeant Cox shall receive 'the promotion and a transfer." "I 'will keep the Colonel to his word, Bony," promised: the sweet voice. "Sir, I know a good policeman when I meet him," added Bony, referring to Sergeant Cox; "And I know a damned bad o0ia when 'I look at 1him, and I am looking at one thls moment,' tilhe colonel flashed. "Your opinion of me, sir, exactly colicides .with my own," Bony 'instant ly agreed. ' STihe colonel chucklel, n-l rouse to his feet to stand .with military stiff. ness. Together they" passed lilroiugh 'the windows to te ve'iandah' wihere a' little woman sat in the falling twi light. '"Madam," Bony murmured, .bowirig. "I thank .you for. your support tills evenling." , . "You deservedl it,. Bony, in retilrn for your, most interesting story, well told,": replied Mrs. Spendor:' fAnd you need not remind the Colonel: of his promise td send 'to that wonderiful ai'orliginril,chief. the gold; watch and 'chain;' ' will see to that, too." 'And when: the sound of Bony's di . Darting. taxi died away, Colonel Spend. or. llt a cigar.-' . .-My worst 'policeman," he said. "My best detective." . ;.,.' r; ":* *'/ ',TH E B END. '. . '