There Was A Roly-Poly Pudding To Make For Dan, Baked Custard For The
Dandy, Jam-Tarts For Happy Dick, Cake And Biscuits For All Comers, In
Addition To A Dinner And Supper Waiting To Be Cooked For Fifteen Black
Boys, Several Lubras, And Half-A-Dozen Hungry White Folk.
Cheon had his
own peculiar form of welcome for his many favourites, regaling each one
of them with delicacies to their particular liking, each and every time
they came in.
Happy Dick, also, had his own peculiar form of welcome. "Good-day! Real
glad to see you!" was his usual greeting. Sure of his own welcome
wherever he went, he never waited to hear it, but hastened to welcome all
men into his fellowship. "Real glad to see you," he would say, with a
ready smile of comradeship; and it always seemed as though he had added:
"I hope you'll make yourself at home while with me." In some mysterious
way, Happy Dick was at all times the host giving liberally of the best he
had to his fellow-men.
He was one of the pillars of the Line Party. "Born in it, I think," he
would say. "Don't quite remember," adding with his ever-varying smile,
"Remember when it was born, anyway."
When the "Overland Telegraph" was built across the Australian continent
from sea to sea, a clear broad avenue two chains wide, was cut for it
through bush and scrub and dense forests, along the backbone of
Australia, and in this avenue the line party was "born" and bred - a party
of axemen and mechanics under the orders of a foreman, whose duty it is
to keep the "Territory section" of the line in repair, and this avenue
free from the scrub and timber that spring up unceasingly in its length.
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