We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie
We Of The Never-Never By Jeanie "Mrs. Aeneas" Gunn - Page 9 of 304 - First - Home

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It Boiled A Billy For Us At Its Furnace; Loitered Through The Pleasantest Valleys; Smiled Indulgently, And Slackened Speed Whenever

We made merry with blacks, by pelting them with chunks of water-melon; and generally waited on us hand and

Foot, the Man-in-Charge pointing out the beauty spots and places of interest, and making tea for us at frequent intervals.

It was a delightful train - just a simple-hearted, chivalrous, weather-beaten old bush-whacker, at the service of the entire Territory. "There's nothing the least bit officious or standoffish about it," I was saying, when the Man-in-Charge came in with the first billy of tea.

"Of course not!" he said, unhooking cups from various crooked-up fingers. "It's a Territorian, you see."

"And had all the false veneer of civilisation peeled off long ago," the Maluka said, adding, with a sly look at my discarded gloves and gossamer, "It's wonderful how quietly the Territory does its work."

The Man-in-Charge smiled openly as he poured out the tea, proving thereby his kinship with all other Territorians; and as the train came to a standstill, swung off and slipped some letters into a box nailed to an old tree-trunk.

At the far end of the train, away from the engine, the passengers' car had been placed, and as in front of it a long, long line of low-stacked sinuous trucks slipped along in the rear of the engine, all was open view before us; and all day long, as the engine trudged onwards - hands in pockets, so to speak, and whistling merrily as it trudged - I stood beside the Maluka on the little platform in front of the passengers' car, drinking in my first deep, intoxicating draught of the glories of the tropical bush.

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