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 XXXI

I GOT to Bates's paddocks about daylight, and went straight up to the hut where the man lived that looked after it. Most of the diggers that cared about their horses rid for their grass in farmers and squatters' paddocks, though the price was pretty high. Old Bates, who had a bit of a good grassed flat, made a pretty fair thing out of it by taking in horses at half, a-crown a week apiece. As luck would have it, the man in charge knew me; he'd seen me out with the Yankees one day, and saw I was a friend with them, and when I said I'd come for Bill's sorrel he thought it likely enough, and got out the saddle and bridle. I tipped him well, and went off, telling him I was going to Wattle Flat to look at a quartz-crushing plant that was for sale. I accounted for coming up so early by saying I'd lost my road, and that I wanted to get to Wattle Flat sharp, as another chap wished to buy the plant. I cut across the range, kept the sun on my right hand, and pushed on for Jonathan's. I got there early, and it's well I did. I rode the sorrel hard, but I knew he was pretty tough, and I was able to pay for him if I killed him. I trusted to leaving him at Jonathan's, and getting a fresh horse there. What with the walk over the bluff and the forest, having no sleep the night before, and the bother and trouble of it all, I was pretty well used up. I was real glad to see Jonathan's paddock fence and the old house we'd thought so little of lately. It's wonderful how soon people rise grand notions and begin to get too big for their boots.

'Hello, Dick, what's up?' says Jonathan. 'No swag, 'lasticside boots, flyaway tie, new rifle, old horse; looks a bit fishy don't it ?'

'I can't stop barneying,' I said. 'Have you a decent horse to give me ? The game's up. I must ride night and day till I get home. Heard anything? '

'No; but Billy the Boy's just rode up. I hear him a-talkin' to the gals. He knows if anybody does. I'll take the old moke and put him in the paddock. I can let you have a stunner.'

-238-

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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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