HE was unfolding some tucker from his swag, and making profane remarks to the carcase of a dead sheep which floated calmly in the waterhole from which he had filled his billy, when a stranger rode up.
“Good-day, mate,” he said, and, after a pause, “Have a bit t’ eat?”
“I’ll take a pint of tea,” said the stranger, and got off his horse. Then rolling a stone over to sit on, he asked the other, “Where are you bound?”
“Heard old Tyson wanted a fencer—goin’ up t’ see. This is his run we’re on now, ain’t it?”
“Yes” (blowing the hot tea).
“The miserable old hound! B’lieve he’d skin a crow for his hide and stew him for the drippin’. Wonder, if he came along here now, would he strip and rescue that monkey for the wool? And he’s a native, too—that’s the part that hurts me! They say he’s ugly, too—got a face like a broken fire-brand. Have some more tea, mate?”
“No more, thanks.” And he stranger mounted and left.
The fencer arrived at the station, and threw down his swag on the verandah of the store, in front on which his friend of the day before was standing.
“Hello!” he said. “What the devil are you doing here? In before me for the job, eh? Thought that was your game yesterday.”
Not waiting for a reply, he tramped in.
“Storekeeper, I’ve come to see about a job o’ fencin’.”
“Ask Mr. Tyson.”
“Where is he?”
“There on the verandah.”
“H——!” (whispers) “yer don’t say so!”