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 XXXIII

A MONTH'S loafing in the Hollow. Nothing doing and nothing to think of except what was miserable enough, God knows. Then things began to shape themselves, in a manner of speaking. We didn't talk much together but each man could see plain enough what the others was thinking of. Dad growled out a word now and then, and Warrigal would look at us from time to time with a flash in his hawk's eyes that we'd seen once or twice before and knew the meaning of. As for Jim, we were bound to do something or other, if it was only to keep him from going melancholy mad. I never seen any man changed more from what he used to be than Jim did. He that was the most careless, happy-go-lucky chap that ever stepped, always in a good temper and full of his larks. At the end of the hottest day in summer on the plains, with no water handy, or the middle of the coldest winter night in an ironbark forest, and we sitting on our horses waiting for daylight, with the rain pouring down our backs, not game to light a fire, and our hands that cold we could hardly hold the reins, it was all one to Jim. Always jolly, always ready to make little of it all. Always ready to laugh or chaff or go on with monkey tricks like a boy. Now it was all the other way with him. He'd sit grizzling and smoking by himself all day long. No getting a word out of him. The only time he seemed to brighten up was once when he got a letter from Jeanie. He took it away into the bush and stayed hours and hours.

From never thinking about anything or caring what came uppermost, he seemed to have changed all on the other tack and do nothing but think. I'd seen a chap in Berrima something like him for a month or two; one day he manned the barber's razor and cut his throat. I began to be afraid Jim would go off his head and blow his brains out with his own revolver. Starlight himself got to be cranky and restless-like too. One night he broke out as we were standing smoking under a tree, a mile or so from the cave--

'By all the devils, Dick, I can't stand this sort of thing much longer. We shall go mad or drink ourselves to death'--(we'd

-253-

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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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