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for a digger, come down from Ballarat, who
wanted a night's lodgingthe digger had slept
on the wet ground the night before, poor fellow!
them diggers suffers a mortle lot, I can tell
you, ay, that they do. Well! My Jerry slipped
on his great-coat, for it was a hawful night,
raining in torrents as it always does here if it
rains at all. I'm sure I wonder he didn't catch
his death o' cold, for he wouldn't put on
anything else though I wanted him'tween you
and I, he's got a queer bit of temper at times,
precious obstinate, like all the men, when he
takes a thing in his headwell, he lets the
man in, tells him to throw his mattress and
blanket down in that corner, and follow him
into the long room at the back where the
travellers sleep. After that, he comes a shivering
and a shaking into bed again. I never shall
forget how his teeth did chatter, to be sure.
My Jerry is an American, you know, and the
cold cuts him up hawfully."

"An American!" said I, perfectly astonished,
for I thought her husband was an African negro,
and had oiten wondered how she came to marry
him: she being a fine handsome blue-eyed
Englishwoman. "Yes, yes, I know now," said
I, on second thoughts; "you mean he was born
in America."

"To be sure he was," said she. "That
accounts for his complexion. Well! At five, up he
gets as usual, and goes down into the bar to open
the door and take the shutters down, for we had
no man to help us thencouldn't get one for
love or moneyall up at the diggings, bless ye.
Well! When he'd the heavy shutter in his hand,
what should he see, think ye, but that native
there, creeping into the bar; so, down he puts
the shutter, flies into a dreadful passion, and
kicks him out. Then he goes outside again, to
take the other shutter down. Will you believe
it now? That black fellow slipped into the bar
again. Now it was haggrivating, wasn't it?
My Jerry told me afterwards when it was all
over, that it sent him into the most dreadfullest
passion he ever was in in his life; so this time
he catches hold of a sticka good thick one,
too, it wasand he rushes at that fellow, and
that fellow leaps over the counter, and what do
you think he clutches hold of? Why, a large
snake. And Jerry declares he slapped his face
with it."

"What! are there snakes about here, in
Geelong?" said I, shuddering.

"Lord bless you, no! I'll tell you how it
happened. The poor digger had slept on the
damp ground at the side of his fire in the bush,
the night before, and the snake, no doubt about
it, had got into his mattress while he was fast
asleep. But what a mercy, to be sure, it didn't
catch hold of my Jerry!"


Having a twelve hours' journey before us to
Singletonso, at least, we were toldwhere I
had advertised a concert, to take place the day
after, we, with our packed boxes, were getting
very anxious and impatient for the arrival of
the conveyance we had ordered. It was an hour
and a half past the time appointed by the driver
for starting, and we had heard that the roads
were dangerous to travel at night; so we stood
at the window of our room in the hotel at
Maitland, looking at the bare sandy plains that
stretch themselves out in front, in anything but
a contented frame of mind. The only conveyance
to be had on that road was a small cart,
with a seat on either side, an iron rail to lean
against, and a door behind. At last we saw it
coming down the road, and we at once hastened
down to the door-steps to get into it.

After taking a wide circuit on the smooth
sandy ground in front of the hotel, the whole
time flourishing his long whip over the backs of
the two poor lean horses harnessed tandem
fashion, the driver of the little cart drew up
before us proudly, and very much to the enjoyment
of two or three pretty women who were
leaning out of the bedroom windows.

He was a funny good-natured-looking little
Irishman, with roguish grey eyes (that had the
habit of looking two ways at once) under thick
overhanging brows, and a mouth grinning from,
ear to ear. His arrival was the signal for a
number of men belonging to the hotel and
neighbourhood to gather round his little cart for a
gossip, and to hear the news.

"The tap o' the morning to you, ladies," said
he, raising his cabbage-tree hat half a yard, at
least, above his head; then jumping down from
his elevated position, he very gallantly assisted
us into the cart.

"Those two boxes are ours," said I, pointing
to them; "you must take great care of them, if
you please."

"Boxes? You said boxes?" He stood scratching
his head and considering. "Oh, ah! They
must come afther us another day, that's all about
it; it's intirely unpossible to carry thim with
us; they're too heavy far the hosses."

"But we can't go without them," said I.

"Y'up there!" he shouted to a stableman;
"haist the boxes up here, ye dirty blackghuard;
d'ye think I'm the man to lave the lovely
craythurs' boxes behind? Gintly now, my boy,
there's pink and white sarsenet gowns in 'em,
and lace, and flowers, and feathers, and all sorts
of fal-de-rals." And he leered at us, as much
as to say, " I know who you are, you see."

We started on our journey at last, and Mike
commenced cutting at the poor half-starved
horses frantically. The weather was overpoweringly
hot, and the road so rough and uneven
that we were obliged to lay hold of the iron rail
which went round the top of the cart to keep
ourselves from tumbling out.

Mike was in excellent spirits, singing Irish,
songs the whole way he went:

"Bryan O'Lynn had no breeches to wear,
So he bought him a sheepskin to make him a pair;
With the skinny side out, and the woolly side in,
'They are pleasant and cool,' says Bryan O'Lynn."

At that moment the, horses suddenly plunged
into a gully, which stopped his song, and very
nearly jolted us out of the cart.

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