We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie
We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn - Page 190 of 304 - First - Home

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He Had Spoken In His Sleep A Short While Before The Dandy Said As The Maluka Bent Over Him With A Cup Of Warm Milk, But The Cup Was Returned To The Table Untasted.

Many travellers had come into our lies and passed on with a bright nod of farewell; but at the

First stirring of the dawn, without one word of farewell, this traveller had passed on and left us; left us, and the faithful mate of those seven strong young years and those last few days of weariness. "Unexpected heart failure," our chief said, as the Dandy went to fulfil his promise to the sleeping mate. He promised to waken him at the dawn, and leaving that awakening in the Dandy's hands, as we thought of that lonely Warloch camp our one great thankfulness was that when the awakening came the man was not to be alone there with his dead comrade. The bush can be cruel at times, and yet, although she may leave us alone with our beloved dead, her very cruelty bungs with it a fierce, consoling pain; for out-bush our dead are all our own.

Beyond those seven faithful years the mate could tell us but little of his comrade's life. He was William Neaves, born at Woolongong, with a mother living somewhere there. That was all he knew. "He was always a reticent chap," he reiterated. "He never wanted any one but me about him," and the unspoken request was understood. He was his mate, and no one but himself must render the last services.

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