It Was A Wholesome Lesson, Though, And No One Took Liberties With
The rubbish disposed of, leaking water-butts, and the ruins of collapsed
water-butts, were carried to the billabong, swelled in the water,
hammered and hooped back into steadfast, reliable water-butts, and
trundled along to their places in a merry, joyous procession.
With Cheon's hand on the helm, cream rose on the milk from somewhere. The
meat no longer turned sour. An expert fisherman was discovered among the
helpers - one Bob by name. Cheon's shot-gun appeared to have a magnetic
attraction for wild duck. A garden sprang up as by magic, grasshoppers
being literally chased off the vegetables. The only thing we lacked was
butter; and after a week of order and cleanliness and dazzlingly varied
menus, we wondered how we had ever existed without them.
It was no use trying to wriggle from under Cheon's foot once he put it
down. At the slightest neglect of duty, lubras or boys were marshalled
and kept relentlessly to their work until he was satisfied; and woe
betide the lubras who had neglected to wash hands, and pail and cow,
before sitting down to their milking. The very fowls that laid out-bush
gained nothing by their subtlety. At the faintest sound of a cackle, a
dosing lubra was roused by the point of Cheon's toe, as he shouted
excitedly above her: "Fowl sing out! That way! Catch 'im egg! Go on!"
pointing out the direction with much pantomime; and as the egg-basket
filled to overflowing, he either chuckled with glee or expressed further
contempt for Sam's ways.
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