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 XX

WHAT a different feel from prison air the fresh night breeze had as we swept along a lonely outside track! The stars were out, though the sky was cloudy now and then, and the big forest trees looked strange in the broken light. It was so long since I'd seen any. I felt as if I was going to a new world. None of us spoke for a bit. Jim pulled up at a small hut by the roadside; it looked like a farm, but there was not much show of crops or anything about the place. There was a tumbledown old barn, with a strong door to it, and a padlock; it seemed the only building that there was any care taken about. A man opened the door of the hut and looked out.

'Look sharp,' says Jim. 'Is the horse all right and fit?'

'Fit enough to go for the Hawkesbury Guineas. I was up and fed him three hours ago. He's----'

'Bring him out, and be hanged to you,' says Jim; 'we've no time for chat.'

The man went straight to the barn, and after a minute or two brought out a horse--the same I'd ridden from Gippsland, saddled and bridled, and ready to jump out of his skin. Jim leaned forward and put something into his hand, which pleased him, for he held my rein and stirrup, and then said--

'Good luck and a long reign to you,' as we rode away. All this time Starlight had sat on his horse in the shade of a tree a good bit away. When we started he rode alongside of us. We were soon in a pretty fair hand-gallop, and we kept it up. All our horses were good, and we bowled along as if we were going to ride for a week without stopping.

What a ride it was! It was a grand night, anyway I thought so. I blessed the stars, I know. Mile after mile, and still the horses seemed to go all the fresher the farther they went. I felt I could ride on that way for ever. As the horses pulled and snorted and snatched at their bridles I felt as happy as ever I did in my life. Mile after mile it was all the same; we could hear Rainbow snorting from time to time and see his star move as he tossed up his head. We had many a night ride after together, but that was the best. We had laid it out to make for

-142-

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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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