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 XVI

WHEN we got home it was pretty late, and the air was beginning to cool after the hot day. There was a low moon, and everything showed out clear, so that you could see the smallest branches of the trees on Nulla Mountain, where it stood like a dark cloud-bank against the western sky. There wasn't the smallest breeze. The air was that still and quiet you could have heard anything stir in the grass, or almost a 'possum digging his claws into the smooth bark of the white gum trees. The curlews set up a cry from time to time; but they didn't sound so queer and shrill as they mostly do at night. I don't know how it was, but everything seemed quiet and pleasant and homelike, as if a chap might live a hundred years, if it was all like this, and keep growing better and happier every day. I remember all this so particular because it was the only time I'd felt like it for years, and I never had the same feeling afterwards --nor likely to.

'Oh! what a happy day I've had,' Aileen said, on a sudden. Jim and I and her had been riding a long spell without speaking. 'I don't know when I've enjoyed myself so much; I've got quite out of the way of being happy lately, and hardly know the taste of it. How lovely it would be if you and Jim could always stay at home like this, and we could do our work happy and comfortable together, without separating, and all this deadly fear of something terrible happening, that's never out of my mind. Oh! Dick, won't you promise me to stop quiet and work steady at home, if you--if you and Jim haven't anything brought against you?'

She bent forward and looked into my face as she said this. I could see her eyes shine, and every word she said seemed to come straight from her heart. How sad and pitiful she looked, and we felt for a moment just as we did when we were boys, and she used to come and persuade us to go on with our work and not grieve mother, and run the risk of a licking from father when he came home.

Her mare, Lowan, was close alongside of my horse, stepping along at her fast tearing walk, throwing up her head and snort-

-107-

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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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