We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie
We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn - Page 230 of 304 - First - Home

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But Cheon's Attitude Towards The Water-Melons Did Not Change, Although He Had Begun To Look With Favour Upon Mail-Matter And Station Books, Finding In Them A Power That Could Keep The Maluka At The Homestead.

For two full weeks after our return from the drovers' camp our life was exactly as Cheon would have

It - peaceful and regular, with an occasional single day "out-bush"; and when the Maluka in his leisure began to fulfil his long-standing promise of a defence around my garden, Cheon expressed himself well-pleased with his reform.

But even the demands of station books and accumulated mail-matter can be satisfied in time, and Dan reporting that he was "getting going with the bullocks," Cheon found his approval had been premature; for, to his dismay, the Maluka abandoned the fence, and began preparations for a trip "bush." "Surely the missus was not going?" he said; and next day we left him at the homestead, a lonely figure, seated on an overturned bucket, disconsolate and fearing the worst.

Cheon often favoured an upside-down bucket for a seat. Nothing more uncomfortable for a fat man can be imagined, yet Cheon sat on his rickety perch, for the most part chuckling and happy. Perhaps, like Mark Tapley, he felt it a "credit being jolly" under such circumstances.

By way of contrast, we found Dan and Jack optimistic and happy, with some good bullocks in hand, a record branding to report for the fortnight's work, and a drover in camp of such a delightful turn of mind that he was inclined to look upon every bullock mustered as "just the thing." He was easily disposed of, and within a week we were back at the homestead.

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