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The Squatter's Dream - A story of Australian Life von Boldrewood, Rolf (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 10.09.2016
  • Verlag: anboco
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The Squatter's Dream - A story of Australian Life

Jack Redgrave was a jolly, well-to-do young squatter, who, in the year 185-, had a very fair cattle station in one of the Australian colonies, upon which he lived in much comfort and reasonable possession of the minor luxuries of life. He had, in bush parlance, 'taken it up' himself, when hardly more than a lad, had faced bad seasons, blacks, bush-fires, bushrangers, and bankers (these last he always said terrified him far more than the others), and had finally settled down into a somewhat too easy possession of a couple of thousand good cattle, a well-bred, rather fortunate stud, and a roomy, cool cottage with a broad verandah all covered with creepers...

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 656
    Erscheinungsdatum: 10.09.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783736414891
    Verlag: anboco
    Größe: 468 kBytes
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The Squatter's Dream - A story of Australian Life

CHAPTER II.

"Who calleth thee, heart? World's strife,

With a golden heft to his knife."- E.B. Browning

The sun was setting over the broad, open creek flat, which was dotted with groups of cattle, the prevailing white and roan colouring of which testified to their short-horn extraction. It was the autumnal season, but the early rains, which never failed in that favoured district, had promoted the growth of a thick and green if rather short sward, grateful to the eye after the somewhat hot day. A couple of favourite mares and half-a dozen blood yearlings came galloping up, neighing, and causing Hassan, his favourite old hack, to put up his head and sidle about. Everything looked prosperous and peaceful, and, withal, wore that indescribable air of half solitude which characterizes the Australian bush.

Jack's heart swelled as he saw the place which he had first chosen out of the waste, which he had made and built up, stick by stick, hut by hut, into its present comfortable completeness, and he said to himself-"I have half a mind to stick to old Hampden after all!" Here was the place where, a mere boy, he had ridden a tired horse one night, neither of them having eaten since early morn, into the thick of a camp of hostile blacks! How he had called upon the old horse with sudden spur, and how gallantly the good nag, so dead beat but a moment before, had answered, and carried him safely away from the half-childish, half-ferocious beings who would have knocked him on the head with as little remorse then as an opossum! Yonder was where the old sod but stood, put up by him and the faithful Geordie, and in which he had considered himself luxuriously lodged, as a contrast to living under a dray.

Over there was where he had sowed his first vegetable seeds, cutting down and carrying the saplings with which it was fenced. It was, certainly, so small that the blacks believed he had buried some one there, whom he had done to death secretly, and would never be convinced to the contrary, disbelieving both his vows and his vegetables. There was the stockyard which he and Geordie had put up, carrying much of the material on their shoulders, when the bullocks, as was their custom, "quite frequent," were lost for a week.

He gazed at the old slab hut, the first real expensive regular station-building which the property had boasted. How proud he had been of it too! Slabs averaging over a foot wide! Upper and lower wall-plates all complete. Loop holes, necessities of the period, on either side of the chimney. Never was there such a hut. It was the first one he had helped to build, and it was shrined as a palace in his imagination for years after.

And now that the rude old days were gone, and the pretty cottage stood, amid the fruitful orchard and trim flower-beds, that the brown face of Harry the groom appears, from a well-ordered stable, with half-a-dozen colts and hacks duly done by at rack and manger, that the stackyard showed imposingly with its trimly-thatched ricks, and that the table was already laid by Mrs. Stirling, the housekeeper, in the cool dining-room, and "decored with napery" very creditable to a bachelor establishment;-was he to leave all this realized order, this capitalized comfort, and go forth into the arid wilderness of the interior, suffering the passed-away privations of the "bark hut and tin pot era"-all for the sake of-what? Making more money! He felt ashamed of himself, as Geordie came forward with a smile of welcome upon his rugged face, and said-

"Well, master, I was afraid you was never coming back. Here's that fellow Fakewell been and mustered on the sly again, and it's the greatest mercy as I heard only the day before."

"You were there, I'll be bound, Geordie."

"Ye'll ken that, sir, though I had to ride half the night. It was well worth a ride, though. I got ten good calves and a gra-and two-year-old, unbranded heifer, old P

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