Robbery under Arms: A Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia

By Rolf Boldrewood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III

So the years went on--slow enough they seemed to us sometimes -- the green winters, pretty cold, I tell you, with frost and hail-storms, and the long hot summers. We were not called boys any longer, except by mother and Aileen, but took our places among the men of the district. We lived mostly at home, in the old way; sometimes working pretty hard, sometimes doing very little. When the cows were milked and the wood chopped, there was nothing to do for the rest of the day. The creek was that close that mother used to go and dip the bucket into it herself, when she wanted one, from a little wooden step above the clear reedy waterhole.

Now and then we used to dig in the garden. There was reaping and corn-pulling and husking for part of the year; but often, for weeks at a time, there was next to nothing to do. No hunting worth much--we were sick of kangarooing, like the dogs themselves, that as they grew old would run a little way and then pull up if a mob came, jump, jump, past them. No shooting, except a few ducks and pigeons. Father used to laugh at the shooting in this country, and say they'd never have poachers here--the game wasn't worth it. No fishing, except an odd codfish, in the deepest waterholes; and you might sit half a day without a bite.

Now this was very bad for us boys. Lads want plenty of work, and a little play now and then to keep them straight. If there's none, they'll make it; and you can't tell how far they'll go when they once start.

Well, Jim and I used to get our horses and ride off quietly in the afternoon, as if we were going after cattle; but, in reality, as soon as we were out of sight of mother, to ride over to that old villain, Grimes, the shanty-keeper, where we met the young Dalys, and others of the same sort--talked a good deal of nonsense and gossip; what was worse played at all-fours and euchre, which we had learned from an American harvest hand, at one of the large farms.

Besides playing for money, which put us rather into trouble sometimes, as we couldn't always find a half-crown if we lost it.

-15-

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Robbery under Arms: A Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface to New Edition *
  • Chapter 1 1
  • Chapter II 9
  • Chapter III 15
  • Chapter IV 24
  • Chapter V 30
  • Chapter VI 38
  • Chapter VII 45
  • Chapter VIII 51
  • Chapter IX 56
  • Chapter X 61
  • Chapter XI 67
  • Chapter XII 77
  • Chapter XIII 86
  • Chapter XIV 95
  • Chapter XV 102
  • Chapter XVI 107
  • Chapter XVII 115
  • Chapter XVIII 125
  • Chapter XIX 134
  • Chapter XX 142
  • Chapter XXI 150
  • Chapter XXII 159
  • Chapter XXIII 167
  • Chapter XXIV 176
  • Chapter XXV 191
  • Chapter XVII 198
  • Chapter XXVII 206
  • Chapter XXVIII 214
  • Chapter XXIX 222
  • Chapter XXX 229
  • Chapter XXXI 238
  • Chapter XXXII 245
  • Chapter XXXIII 253
  • Chapter XXXIV 258
  • Chapter XXXV 265
  • Chapter XXXVI 272
  • Chapter XXXVII 280
  • Chapter XXXVIII 287
  • Chapter Xxxix 295
  • Chapter XL 304
  • Chapter XLI 312
  • Chapter XLII 322
  • Chapter XLIII 332
  • Chapter XLIV 340
  • Chapter XLV 347
  • Chapter XLVI 354
  • Chapter XLVII 359
  • Chapter XLVIII 367
  • Chapter Xlix 376
  • Chapter L 390
  • Chapter LI 396
  • Chapter LII 402
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