"Buck up, chaps!" he chuckled encouraging! "They're not all snorters, you
know. You might have the luck to strike one of the "ministering angel
But the Sanguine Scot had been thinking rapidly, and with characteristic
hopefulness, felt he had the bull by the horns. "We'll just have to
block her, chaps; that's all," he said. "A wire or two should do it";
and, inviting the Dandy "to come and lend a hand," led the way to the
telegraph office; and presently there quivered into Darwin the first hint
that a missus was not wanted at the Elsey.
"Would advise leaving wife behind till homestead can be repaired," it
said; and, still confident of success, Mac felt that "ought to do the
trick." "If it doesn't," he added, "we'll give her something stronger."
We in Darwin, having exhausted the sight-seeing resources of the little
town, were wishing "something interesting would happen," when the message
was handed to the Maluka.
"This may do as a stopgap," he said, opening it, adding as he read it,
"It looks brimful of possibilities for interested onlookers, seeing it
advises leaving the wife behind." The Maluka spoke from experience,
having been himself an interested onlooker "down south," when it had been
suggested there that the wife should be left behind while he spied out
the land; for although the Maluka knew most of the Territory, he had not
yet been to the Elsey Cattle Station.