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"That's nothing at all to what we shall have
to endure, far this road is full av thim owld
gullies," said he, as soon as the horses were
all right again.

One of my companions heaved a sigh like a
groan, and another declared that her hands were
already sore through clinging to the rail; but on
we went, over stumps of trees, up and down
hills, into gullies and out again: while Mike,
in ecstasies of delight, cleverly threaded his
way everywhere.

"By Gor! it's my belafe you'll all have the
romantics; it's a shocking road, this. Just give
us up t'other whip; it's undher the sate; I'll
touchen up a bit. Now, Sultan, you baste!
Get out there, Ginger! Now my little bosses,
and be blowed to ye, what are you afther there?
Sure, now, you forgits I'm behind ye." At last,
exhausted with the exertion so heavy a whip
required in handling so freely, he sat down, wiped
his head and face with his pocket-handkerchief,
and said to us, in a confidential tone of voice,
"You mustn't be alarmed when you hears me a
cussing and swearing; the divil himself couldn't
git thim hosses on without it."

"A little corn would, perhaps," said I.

"Carn! Faith, that's ondeniable. Carn would
do it, sure enough; but that same carn's too
dear far sich cattle. Now I'll tell you a story
that's thrue, ivery word av it:

"There was wonst a praste in a most dreadful
rage with his coachman (a counthryman of mine
he was), bekase of his swearing at the hosses
he was a dhriven. 'Your rivirince,' says Dan,
'it's my belafe if your honor's holiness had these
varmint afore ye you'd be obleedged to swear a
bit too; they won't go no how without it, you
see.' 'Tut, tut,' says his rivirince, 'I'll not
believe it.' 'It's the thruth I'm spakin', be me
sowl it is,' says Dan; but his holiness wouldn't
belave a word av it, at all, at all. So he tuk the
strings in his own precious hands, and began
patting the hosses with the whip, and saying,
'Be aff, my little hearties! Gee up, my Lady
Mayoress!' (That was the name av one av
thim, afther an owld sweetheart of his rivirince's.)
Well, the hosses all av a suddint stopped, pawed
the ground, and says they, 'We won't go home
till morning,' or such loike; his rivirince geed
up, and geed up, and at last he gits up and
forgits hisself. 'You cussed brutes, be aff wid
you!' says he. 'From this time forth no man
shall iver do penance for the loikes av you.'

"So I'm privilidgid," said Mike, with one
eye shut. And at the same time he stopped in
front of a miserable log-hut, which had a bottle,
a glass, and an orange, in the window.

He was round at the back of the cart in an
instant. We three got up, fancying we were
going to alight.

"Prisintly, not yet a while," said Mike. I'm
ownly wanting the bag av sassages; they're
uudher the sate. Hillo! Be aisy now wid 'em,
or they'll all be thumbling out."

He quickly disappeared with the bag into
the log-hut, and we, glad to rest after the jolting
we had had, sat patiently waiting for him. We
had got into an interesting conversation, when
roars of laughter within the hut attracting our
attention, we saw the whole window filled with
grinning- faces, looking at us. Presently, out
came Mike, followed by a smart broad-shouldered
woman with a widow's cap on, screaming with
laughter, and showing a splendid set of teeth.

"Lave aff making sich a disturbance," said
Mike, himself one extensive grin. "Don't you
see my shupayriors a lookin' at me?" He
jumped up into his seat; the widow held a
pannikin of whisky to him; he drank it off at a
draught, whipped the horses, and away we went
again, helter-skelter.

Mike every now and then cast furtive glances
at us, and burst out laughing.

"Your friends were merry," said one of my
friends, "and seemed glad to see you."

"I believe you," said he. "I've had sich
fun! Be aff ye little hosses, now! You see
they all says to me on goin' in: 'By the
powers, Mike, you're in luck's way to-day!'
'You may say that, you may; and proud I
feels,' says I; 'it isn't aften we gits the lovely
craythurs on this road, anyhow; is it, my boys?'
Upon that, the women all sets up a scraming
out, 'If you don't tell us all about thim, they
shall dhrive thimselves all the rest av the way;'
and they tuk howld o' me, they did. 'Is it
murtherin' me you'd be afther, far divarshin?'
says I; 'bekase that 'ud be moighty p'lite
afther bringing you the sassages.' 'Then tell
us all about thim, at wonst,' says they, 'and
we'll let go on you.' 'Well, then,' says I,
'they are the most wonderfullest craythurs I
knows on in Australy. The one with the green
feather in her bonnet quavers like a nightingal;
the little un in the chimley-carner av the
convenience, warbles like a bullfinch; and the tother
wargin does unpossible meandherings on a
gohanna.'"

The half way house now came in sight, and
put an end to his description of us.

"We shall git a morsel av somethin' to ate
here," said Mike, "if we're in time." So, he
whipped his horses, and we arrived in front of
the old hut, with a jerk.

In a room with nothing in it but a table and
a few wooden chairs, we sat some time waiting,
until at last a dirty overworked Irish girl
brought a coarse joint of underdone beef, and
placed it before us. Shortly afterwards, the
mistress of the establishment made her appearance
with a tin pan of boiled cabbage. We had
just helped ourselves to some cabbagefor
vegetables of any kind were a treatwhen Mike,
peeping in at the door, said, in a confidential
low tone of voice, "Have you got your cloaks
in the boxes? It'll come down prisintly, if ever
it did. Whoo!" As he spoke, a flash of lightning
was quickly followed by a heavy roll of
thunder that seemed traversing the whole
firmament; then down came the rain in torrents.
"I towld you so! Be aisy now, and make
yourselves comfortable while I have a smoke.
I'll come prisintly."

For nearly an hour the rain continued falling.

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