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and ant-eaten; there were no young branches
dancing with joy in the sunbeams, hiding little
nests of warbling birds in their rich clusters of
green leaves. And yet it was spring-time.

In the distance there appeared to be a large
pile of packing-cases, but, on closer inspection,
we made out the packing-cases to be the
dwelling-place of the old woman who kept
goats; the habitation had a cask for a chimney-
pot, and around it on the ground lay heaps of
porter bottles and ale bottles, old boots and shoes,
bones, rags, and other rubbish; on a line were
shirts, pocket-handkerchiefs, and socks drying;
five beautiful Cochin China fowls were scratching
up some ants' nests near the stump of an old
tree; and rows of ants in single file, like Chinamen
when they travel, were marching off in all
directions, heavily laden, each carrying an egg
bigger than itself. On the top of some felled
trees, a pretty little white kid had perched itself;
it was nibbling the bark until we approached,
when it suddenly bobbed its little head, darted
about backwards and forwards, kicked up
behind, cut capers sideways, and then leaping to
the ground, bounded off to its mother far away.

No one seemed to be either inside or outside
the hut, so, after waiting some time, we agreed
it would be better to come another day. But
somebody, quite close to us apparently, said:
"Be aisy, now, and I'll be wid you." And an
ugly bloated-looking visage, with a broad frill
round it, suddenly appeared at a small opening
in the building which served for a window.
In answer to my request, it said, in a soft
soothing tone of voice,

"And is it the milk you're afther? The Lord
be wid you! Maybe you're a fresh hemigrunt,
me blessin' an thim! and the counthrey's new
to you?"

After telling her that we had landed in
Australia only the day before, late in the afternoon,
and that, understanding she kept a number
of goats, we had come to her, wishing to
have milk sent to us every day, she said:

"But it's precious little milk I gets out o'
thim hanimals; its starving they is for want o'
the grass that's all burned up, and they can't
make milk out o' nothing at all; you're a
mother yourself, I'm thinking. Long life to
you! and sure, now, that's thrue, ivery word
av it, ye know; its meself likes the dhrop o'
milk in me tay, but divil a taste av it can I git
no how; howsumdiver, I'll see what I can do
far you to-morrow marning."

Vivid flashes of lightning, followed by heavy
peals of thunder just over our heads, startled
us, and, in spite of the excessive heat, we ran
all the way home. We were fortunate enough
to get within doors as the rain came pouring
down in torrents, and streams of foaming waters
came rushing down the hill behind our cottage
which was no impediment in their way, for it
was built on sunken stumps of trees, and stood
at least a couple of feet above the ground.

The storm continued throughout the night;
but next morning the sun shone out again
most splendidly, the air was delightfully cool
and refreshing, and tiny trickling streams of
water wound their way down the hill.



I was lying on a sofa reading an entertaining
book at an hotel in Geelong one day, when I
was suddenly interrupted in my agreeable
occupation by the landlady, who rushed into the
room, exclaiming,

"Oh, do come into the bar. A number of
natives are there, come down from the bush.
You'll have such a sight of them!"

A large crowd, chattering in all sorts of
discordant keys, surrounded us the instant we
entered the bar, screaming out, "Giv saxpence!
giv saxpence! giv saxpence!"

I was about to comply with their request,
when my landlady whispered,

"Don't give them money on any account;
they are sure to buy brandy with it, and it
makes them mad. We should, be fined fifteen
pounds if we gave them anything but water to

I thought I never had, in my life before, seen
such ugly men and women; their skins were
dark brown, almost black, and their features
had an unfinished appearance, like those of a
portrait just dead-coloured in; the women were
uglier than the men, and seemed more abject.
Each had a profusion of matted hair, all had
jet-black eyes, and ill-shapen mouths. They
were naked, with the exception of a dirty ragged
blanket, which was worn as a cloak, or only
wrapped loosely round the body. Presently, one
man came out of the street into the bar with a
waistcoat and a high-crowned beaver hat on,
that somebody had just given him; he was very
proud of these decorations, and strutted about
finely. Then, coming close up to us, he held
out a beautifully-carved club.

"Knock head, black man," said he, giving
his own head a gentle tap with it.

"Then they can speak a little English?" said
I to the landlady.

"He can," said she, "because he picks up a
few words from the drovers, who employ him to
find their cattle when lost."

A miserable-looking skinny old woman stepped
out from amongst them, who had been bitten
by a savage dog. The flesh was hanging ragged
and jagged from her fingers, which she held up
for us to see.

"Dogs never go mad in Australia, that's one
comfort," whispered my landlady. Then, catching
hold of my arm, and pulling me into a
corner, she added, "Do you see that black fellow
with a dirty red rag round his head?"

"That one with his shaggy black hair pulled
out over the top of it?" said I. "He who
looks as if he had two heads of hair, one on the
top of the other?"

"Yes, that one. Would you believe it
that black fellow one morning saved my Jerry's
life in this very bar? You must know that
one night last rainy season, just as we had
got warm and comfortable in bed, my poor Jerry
was obliged to get up again to open the door

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