previous
next

“Colonial Experience.”

HE was a good fellow—the boss liked him, the hands liked him: in fact, we all liked him.

It was only eight months since he had come from England to Yowlahmine Station with a letter of recommendation to Mr. Foster, our boss. His name was Edward—Ted, we used to call him; Ted Oscott. Nobody thought of calling him Mister now, except Maggie M'Farlane.

Maggie's father was the married man on the home station. Ted thought a lot of Maggie, and often used to sit with her under


  ― 294 ―
the old fig-tree behind the store of a night and tell her about England and his people.

One night he asked her why she didn't call him “Ted” and not “Mister Oscott.” She said she did n't like, as he might think her forward. Maggie was very shy.

Ted thought he would change the conversation, so he asked her if she knew that Murphy was leaving. Murphy was one of the married boundary-riders.

Maggie said she had heard her father saying something about it, and she was very glad if it was true; because she never did like Murphy, and did n't want to see him any more—or his wife, either.

Ted assured her that it was true, and the boss had offered the billet to him (Ted), remarking at the time that it would be a good chance for him to marry Maggie.

Ted then drew a little closer, and asked her if he might tell Mr. Foster that he would take his offer. Maggie said she would see what her father said.

Anyhow, it was soon arranged. They were to ride into Nerribong on Monday, get married and spend a few days, and then on Sunday ride home to Murphy's, where everything would be ready for them.

Nerribong, Saturday night. Maggie had gone to bed, and Ted was paying Hennessy, the landlord, for the week's accommodation, when who should walk into the bar but Murphy! Ted ordered drinks, and Murphy wished him luck and told him he had got another job, at Greendale, and was going out in the morning. Then they went to bed.

When Ted walked into the yard next morning, two horses were hung up at the post, saddled. One was Murphy's; the other the one that Maggie had ridden in from Yowlahmine. Murphy had brought them up from the paddock, but couldn't find Ted's horse anywhere. Ted went to look for him, but with no success.

When he came back Maggie was mounted and ready, and Murphy was pulling down the slip-rails to let her pass through.


  ― 295 ―
Having got both horses outside, he carefully replaced the rails and bade Ted “Good morning!”

“Wait a minute,” says Ted. “Where are you going?”

“Greendale,” answers Murphy.

“She going with you?”

“Yes.”

“Going to stay with you?”

“Yes.”

“But where's your wife?”

“Left her at Yowlahmine—she expects you to-night.”

“Ah, well,” says Ted, “you had better come and have a drink before you go. It's pretty sultry this morning.”

“Going to have a hot day, I think,” says Murphy.

Ted thought so too.

He was a good fellow—we all liked him. He has n't come back from Nerribong yet.

J. P.

previous
next