Chapter 196751655

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Chapter NumberXI
Chapter Url
Full Date1887-05-03
Page Number4
Word Count2186
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Port Augusta Dispatch, Newcastle and Flinders Chronicle (SA : 1885 - 1916)
Trove TitleBenbonuna: A Tale of Thirty Years Ago
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[AU righto reserved by the author.] CHAPTER XI {continued). MORE COLONIAL EXPERIENCE.


" Hie, hie," stuttered the voice," bowsh Mishush Ash- (hie) Ashbee ? Howsh MiBh-MishuBh Ashbee ?" M Hug the fellow," muttered the disgoBted Bowyer. " I thought he was safe.' " Oh Mr Gulliver, is that you ? Why, where did you spring from ?" queried Mrs A8bby in a tone that did not betray the slightest indication of outraged propriety. " Wheredi 8hpring(bic)wheredi ebpring from? Why (bio) outnerehun, outner ahun." "Ah," said the lady, "so I see, Mr Gulliver, very much so." "Yesh, Mishash Ashbee (hie). Bush howsh Mishash Ashbee (bic), howsh Misbush Ashbee, eh ?" " I am sorry to say I've a very bad headache, Mr Gulliver. Will you not sit down?" 1 1 Thanksh." Here followed an nnmistakeable creak, as Mr Gulliver subsided suddenly into a Beat. " Wash you shay 'boat (bio) headachse ? waah you shay ?" " Only that I have a very bad one." " Head- (bic) beadachse," hiccoughed Gulliver, the ruling passion strong even in hie state of liquor. " Dish (hie) dish 1 ever (bic) ever telsb y'bout whatsh (hie) corred tertne on the (hie) Mum-mur Murray (hie)." " No, Mr Gulliver ; what was it, pray ?" " Welly sbee (hie), wash trav (bic) travelling long (hie), Mum-Mnrray, y* Bhe (bic), bead fit sphlit; g-goin' drown meshelf (hie)—goin* drown myshelf." "As bed as that, was it ?" " Yer-yer-yesb, ni (hie) put-mi-bead in (bic) washer hole (bic), an' in brasher Bbakech (hie), bracbe-sbaksh beadachsbe

g-gone; wasbershay it wae ?" " Whatever was it ?" " Leeshes (hie), leesbeB." " Leeches, do you mean ?" H Yesh, leeshes (hie) ehick ash (bic') hairs on catsch back (hie). PoBhtiff fac. " 0, Mr Gulliver, how can you tell such fibs ?" oried Mrs Ash by, while Bowyer in the other room internally anathematised his bibulous fellow traveller, and expressed a wish to throw him into the waterhole. " Don't bo cross with him now ; scolding would only make him worse. I do hope though be will not disturb poor father, now he is getting on so well," said Mary, who knew from bitter experience what a hopeless thing it is to attempt to reason with a drunken man. " If he comes here I'll break biB neck," said Bowyer savagely; whilst Gulliver, who apparently had now caught sight of Frank as he sat quietly in a corner of the room, addressed him with, "Ah, Mieher (hie) Heslop, you (hie) he-here ? (hie.) Sly dog 1 Slidog (hie). 1 ' " Yes, Mr Gulliver; but as Mr Asbby is very ill, I tbink it would be iust as well if we went over to Bachelors' Hall for the present, don't you tbink ?" said Frank persuasively, evidently feeling moBt un comfortable, but willing to be martyred for the sake of ridding the invalid of Gulliver's intrusiveness. " Want get meaway (bic). Going nush (hie) nashmefriend (hie) goinnushmefriend." Here it was apparent to those in the invalid's room that Mr Gulliver, with the obBtinacy of intoxication, was bent on joining tbem ; they heard a shuffling of feet, as if one person was trying to pass another who was endeavouring to prevent the passage, and Frank's voice in low, but earneBt expostulation. " For goodness' sake Mr Gulliver, do come away ; or at least be quiet." " Goin(hic)gointonusb"—began Gulliver obstinately, but he did not finish th sentence, for Bowyer, after whispering Mary not to be fiigbtened, strode into the rooui, and without the slightest ceremony, pinioned Gulliver from behind, HII<4 in HU instant had him out in the vtran<)ali—without allowing any time for opposition or outcry, and BBying as he did so to Frank, " G«-t your hat, Heslop and lend me a hand," a command which Frank obeyed with alacrity ; for he saw at once that the course Bowyer was taking, though peculiar, was the only effectual one under the circumstances. As for Mrs Ash by, she seemed to take the whole affair as a matter of course, not even uttering an exclamation or making a remark, which rather astonished Frank, and further confused his ideaB as to her character. " Hie, hie, watsber mean, Bowyer ? (hie) Watsher mean," panted Gulliver as he fruitlessly struggled to free himself from Bowyer's clutch. " Push (hie) pusb- "er-'ead (bic), when I get loose." " All right. Your hear what be says, Heslop ? and so we'll go and have it out at tbe back of Bachelors' Hall. Is that ripbt Gulliver?" " Y»-8h (hie), yesh, lesh go (hie) an'- 'ave-it-out,'* answered the innocent victim to this guileful fraud. " Leah go-an'-'aveit-out 1" " Spoken like the bit of stuff I always took you to be, Toby," said Bowyer approvingly, " and we must have something to drink between the rounds, this hot day. You go on with Heslop, and I'll catch you up with a bottle of whiskey. Off you go 1" "Hon (hie) honor-bright?" asked Gulliver with drunken gravity BP he swayed about, supported by Frank, and held out biB hand to his opponent. " Yes, honor bright, old man," answered Bowyer, almost crushing the other's hand in his iron grip. " It's either you or me for it this time"—with a sly glance to Frank, which was as good as a host of explanations, and which induced him to put in, " Won't it be rather too hot to fight just now ?" " Not-'tall (hie), not-'tall. Bush-I- shay, can't (hie), can'ty-get (hie), can'ty-get me nobbier noto(hio) ? can'ty-get-me nobblernow ?" " Of course I can, and will too, if you'll keep quiet a minute ; it's just what you want to put you right," Baid Bowyer significantly, and going into the house he quickly returned with what he called " a steadier" in tbe Bhape of a stiff glass of brandy and water, which he administered to his thirsty friend, taking care that none should be spilt and adding as tbelastdrop disappeared,"I'll bring some morewithme." Then as Frank got under weigh with his liquor laden galleon, Bowyer whispered "Tell Mick to put him to bed and faBten him in." Frank, reflecting that a vast amount of " colonial experience" might be crowded into a very small space of time, applied himself manfully to tbe disagreeable task before him. It was no easy one either, for Gulliver wae not of tbe same mind for one minute together, now wanting to go back, next to fight his conductor, and again to lie down ; and as he was as heavy ae he was obstinate, it was doubtful whether Frank with all bis persuasions, both vocal and physical, would have got nim to the desired haven, had not tbe ever ready Mick sallied forth to the rescue. By their united efforts Gulliver was steadied down one bank of the blind creek, hoisted up the opposite one, and piloted after several collisions with tbe doorposts into the " Pirate's Den," was swung in the bedroom, and backed to a berth on a green bide stretcher. His boots were removed by Mick, and he toot " right"—that last glass had proved " a steadier."

" When did he come Mick ?" inquired Frank, alluding to Gulliver. " Whin did he come sorr; why jist whin I kem over from doin* tbim windsails ; an' I loaght I had him safe ; for I seen him asleep where he is now, bud he is the quare man, so he is, an can carry a hape ov licker. The nixt thing I seen ov him, wis you ladin' him acrass the flat. He didn't disturb the masther, did be ?" " No, Mr Bowyer prevented that!" " Deed, an' its himself that would, sorr. Bud Misther Gulliver is a quare cashk to handle whin he's full, an' his tongue 'ad bate out a whole market full ov fish fags, so it would." " He's not tbe pleasantest of company when be is the worse for drink," acquiesced Frank. " But tell me, Borr, bow did Misther Bowyer git him out BO aisy ?" asked Mick, with evident curiosity. Frank gave a brief outline of M Gulliver's escapades, which seemed to amuse Mick mightily, especially the episode of the sudden ejection, and the proposed combat. " Deed, an 'tis Misther Bowyer that knows him ; an' barrin' hitcself there's not anoder in these parts as ud have got hiin out widout breaking Bome ov tbe chairs an' may be a windey or two I" " I shonld not have thought that, Mick, Mr Gulliver seemed a very harmless man when sober!" " So be is, sorr, bud he's a crass little crayture whin he bin " in the sun;" bud he's happy now, for sorra a care he cares for the flies nor the hate!" said Mick as he mopped his face with one of his shirt sleveB, and regarded the now snoring toper with a comical grin " What a horrible thing drink is," moralised Frank, as be led the way into the next room, for be was too much disgusted with tbe whole affair to see anything comical in it. " Sometoimes id is, sorr," said Mick with reservation. " And what trouble it causes." " 'Deed and it do, sorr," agreed Mick.

" You don't drink, do you, Mick ?" Ownly once a year, sorr." " Well that ought not to hurt you, especially if yon don't drink to excess." " 'Deed thin, tbe publickin won't allow that, sorr ; for wbin the cheqae is lambed down, he says, " Look here, Mick, ye've bin as happy as a prince for the last two weeks; ye've thrated iveryone in tbe township; ye've bad half a dozen scrimmages a day, an' bin dthrunk all the toime ; so ye've had lasbins ov fun for yer fifty pounds, and 'tie toime ye wint bank to the station to raise me anoder cheque J' " Fifty pounds in two weeks ! You don't mean to say that you spend your year's hard-earned wages in two weeks— and in such a manner ! I would not have believed it had you not told me yourself, Mick," baid Frank, regretfully, though he could not help feeling amused at hi friend's notion of not drinking to excess " Sorra a lie is in id, sorr ; an' av I bad a horse it's most loikely I'd jump bim over the bar afther the cheque. Thiin as has a horse mosthly does it," answered Mick in the most matter of fact way. " The old story,' Working for money like horses, to spend it like asses.' I wish you did not spend yours so," said Heslop who could not help taking an interest in the honest Irishman. " Deed an' I know it, 6orr. But phvat 'ud I do wid me money ? An' the pub licans musbt live, an' the troopers must have somethin' to do to kape thim from growin' blue moulded." " Put your money in the bank for a rainy day. Charity begins at home, you know. Let the publicans go to come other business, and let tbe police get pro perly mouldy if too lazy to rub themselves I've not seen a great deal of the world yet but I'm fast coming to tbe conclusion that the greater portion of its troubles have their origin in drink. I begin to hate the name of it."' e " Well, 60rr, an' that's where we two differ. 1 don't. An' a good tot ov whisky ud go down foine this |avenin' but as there isn't any I'll have to make tay do. Will I bring ye a pannican, sorr ?" " Yes, Mick ; but what had I better do with the horsee ?" " 0, I've put 'em out, 6orr ; Mr Bowyer tould me to. Bud see now, id's near dinner toime. Will ye have a bit here, or will ye go over to Govermint House for it ? I've a lig ov mutton in the camp oven, an' id's about done." " I suspect I'd better have it here ; they have enough to do at the bouse just now !" said Frank, as he threw himself full length on a stretcher. " That's roight sorr! Take id aisy, for there's no knowin' what watchin' ye majhave to do with Misther Asbby; an' ye've had adacentspell ov knockin' about since Iasht night—I'll bring ye yer dinner whin id's ready—an' the tay now." Mick quickly returned with the tea which Frank as speedily disposed of, and then resuming his recumbent position, he gazed meditatively up at the tbatcbcovered rafters. His mind busied itself with the curiously crowded incidents of the past morning, till the heat and the fatigue of hie late exertions asserted their power, and despite the flies, the cobwebbed panorama above him gradually became more and more indistinct, and he fell sound asleep. (To be continued.)