It were some kindly Mammoth creature, wandering at will through
Here and there, kangaroos and other wild creatures of the bush hopped out
of our way, and sitting up, looked curiously after us; again and again
little groups of blacks hailed us, and scrambled after water-melon and
tobacco, with shouts of delight, and, invariably, on nearing the tiny
settlements along the railway, we drove before us white fleeing flocks of
At every settlement we stopped and passed the time of day and, giving out
mail-bags, moved on again into the forest. Now and again, stockmen rode
out of the timber and received mail-bags, and once a great burly bushman,
a staunch old friend of the Maluka's, boarded the train, and greeted him
with a hearty hand-shake.
"Hullo! old chap!" he called in welcome, as he mounted the steps of the
little platform, "I've come to inspect your latest investment"; but
catching sight of the "latest investment" he broke into a deafening roar.
"Good Lord!" he shouted, looking down upon me from his great height, "is
that all there is of her? They're expecting one of the prize-fighting
variety down there," and he jerked his head towards the Never-Never. Then
he congratulated the Maluka on the size of his missus.