We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie
We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn - Page 6 of 304 - First - Home

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The Maluka's Eyes Twinkled As He Listened.

"Does the cap fit, little 'un?" he asked; but the women-folk told him that it was not a matter for joking.

"Do you know there is not another white woman within a hundred-mile radius ?" they asked; and the Maluka pointed out that it was not all disadvantage for a woman to be alone in a world of men. "The men who form her world are generally better and truer men, because the woman in their midst is dependent on them alone, for companionship, and love, and protecting care," he assured them.

"Men are selfish brutes," the opposition declared, rather irrelevantly, looking pointedly at the Maluka.

He smiled with as much deference as he could command. "Also," he said, "a woman alone in a world of men rarely complains of their selfishness"; and I hastened to his assistance. "Particularly when those men are chivalrous bushmen," I began, then hesitated, for, since reading the telegrams, my ideas of bush chivalry needed readjustment.

"Particularly when those men are chivalrous bushmen," the Maluka agreed, with the merry twinkle in his eyes; for he perfectly understood the cause of the sudden breakdown. Then he added gravely: "For the average bushman will face fire, and flood, hunger, and even death itself, to help the frail or weak ones who come into his life; although he'll strive to the utmost to keep the Unknown Woman out of his environments particularly when those environments are a hundred miles from anywhere."

The opposition looked incredulous.

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