North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
GllEENSB'JRO, N. C., THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1875.
Wlion the whiter is cold,
I keep myself warm;
When tlie summer is liot
I keep my.seif cool;
It’s iiicbbc I’m bold,
And it’s mebbe Fm not;
But a go-soon’s a fool
Wlien he goes into harm;
Sez my old Uncle Dan—
A wi-e one, and stiddy—
What’s the world to a man
When his wife is a widdy?”
When tiie soldier struts by
With the sword at his side,
And tlic rattle, rattle dmiiis
Beat tlie roll and the ctill,
He may go or may fly—
I stay here ’till death comes,
And mind me of all
'L'liat in battle have died !
I am like Uncle Dan,
For he .said—troth and did he—
“What’s the world to a man
When his wife is a widdyV”
When the sailor hoists sail,
And stands out oii the deep,
Laving sweetheart or wife
And the childer behind,
He cimpts the wild gale,
And he trifles wid lif‘,
And he sinks, d’ye mind,
Wljere the merrnaidens sleep !
Pat,” sez old Uncle Dan,
Stay at home with your Biddy ;
What’s the world to a man
When Ids wife is a widdy?”
Le* the scholar sit up
And write late and long,
To insure him a name—
lie may sit up for me;
Give me but a full cup,
He may have all his Fame,
For it’s stuff, d’ye see,
And not worth an old song;
Let us live, sez Uncle Dan,
us live and love, Biddy ;
What’s the world to a auin,
When his wife is a widdy ?
Did He Deserve It ?
Billy Merriam was a “cattle boy” at a
stock farm iu tbe “bush” in South Austra
lia. He was a happy-go-lucky sort of a
lad, aad from all accounts, a rather grace
It was his business, in company with
half-a-dozen other stockmen, to watch
over a herd of eleven thousand cattle, that
had their pasturage in the valley of a
email river called the “Wirrum,” flowing
into the Murray.
The pasture, or “run,” extended for
many miles along the South bank of the
stream. No fences inclosed it. To the
Southward it stretched off to the almost
boundless deserts of sand and “scrub,”
where roam the wild black tribes, the ab
origines of this strange Southern Conti
nent. The stockruen are in the saddle all
day long, and lead a rough life,' full of
adventure and peril.
One day a wild young bullock belong
ing to Billy’s “division” made a “bolt ;”
that is to ”ay, he put up head and tail.
uttered a vicious bellow, and dashed off
over the hills toward the scrub. In a
moment Bill*' was following him with a
whoop and a hallo, his long whip coiled,
ready for a stinging cast.
B.it the wily brute gained covert in a
ravine full of tangled grass-trees, which
led out of the valley on to the de.sert.
To turn him bacK, Billy was obliged to
make a long detour over the hills. In
the meantime the bullock returned to the
plain, and ran from thic.i:et to thicket,
darning in and out of the tangled scrub,
where it was impossible to follow him on
Half a score of miles are soon gone
over in such a chase. The half-wi'd
Australian cattle are very fleet, and have
remarkable endurance ; but Billy over
took the runaway at last. Tired out and
breathless, the steer stumbled and fell
heavily. There he lay palpitating, with
the whites of his wicked little eyes glar
ing at his pursuer.
“I’ll teach you a lesson !” cried Billy,
galloping alongside and leaping off his
horse. “I’ll take the quirks out of you,
sir !” and the heavy lash came cruelly
down with a sounding crack, which made
the hair fly up, in a long line, and drew a
wild bellow of pain from the prostrate
The wild, rough boy had no pity in his
heart. One stroke by no means satisfied
his temper. A score of lashei fell fast
and heavy, and when his arm ached, he
rested a few moments, then commenced
afresh ; and, to tell the truth, kept flog
ging the poor animal till the hair was
nearly all off its back, and not only the
hair, but the hide with it.
Just at this stage of the performance,
ag unexpected event happened. Billy’s
horse---a native bred and rather wild
creature, named Blinker—finding Lii
master’s attention occupied, concluded to
forage for himself, and so trotted briskly
away. No very good understanding ex
isted between Billy and Blinker. There
frequently arose antagonism betwixt them
which Billy generally settled with a few
sound cuts of his whip.
The horse took no notice of Billy’s an
gry shout of “Whoa, Blinker !” other
than to display both his hind hoofs and
move away at increased speed.
Billy threw down his whip and setoff
after his faithless steed, exhorting him to
stop, in very strong terms. But Blinker,
having got the start, kept it, and the boy
soon lost sight of him amidst the thickets
To add to the lad's discomfort, a “scud”
had arisen. It began to rain furiously.
To escape a drenching, he crept under a
grass-tree, the long drooping leaves of
which depended nearly to the grouiid.
It continued to rain—-as it rains only
in Australia—for an hour or two. A vi
olent wind drove the blinding sheets of
water. Billy could only remain where
he was, and wail for the shower to pass.
When at length the tornado slackened, it
was late in the afternoon, and owing to
the black, rolling clouds, it was rapidly
growing dark. The boy crept out from
his shelter, however, and set off at a round
pace, kn.^wing that if he would reach the
ranche that night, he had no ^ime to lose.
His thoughts were occupied rather
with the prodigious flogging he meant to
give Blinker than with the course borne
ward, and it is not surpiising that in a
little time he found he had lost his way.
He was on an almost level plain, sur
rounded on all sides by scattered scrub
and by bare sand-hills that looked bewil.
deringly alike. Along the whole dim
horizon there was no mountain to serve
as a landmark. Billy was puzzled and
lost hut not frightened. He ran on at a
venture past thicket and hillock, till it
had grown dark ; so dark, indeed, that he
could scarcely see, and had no longer the
least idea toward what point of the com
pass he was going.
The desert is not a comfortable place
10 be lost in, and Billy’s sensations were
far from pleasant. To fall into the hands
of the blacks and he kept a prisoner, or
perhaps be roasted and eaten, were among
the chances of remaining long in the lo
cality in which he found himself.
On horseback there was little danger
of being caught by the natives. On foot,,
however, few Europeans would care to
try a race with these long-legged blacks,
with their boomerangs whistling about
A kind of large black snake, very ac
live, and a deadly biter, is common in the
scrub. Billy dreaded the snakes almost
as much as the blacks. Then, too, he was
wet, and the night was chilly.
He Lad, however, a bit of “damper”
bread in the leathern pocket of his jacket.
This Le ate while peering about for some
nook or sheltered spot, where he might
creep to escape the cold wind and to pass
At the foot of one of the bare hillocks
close at hand, he presently saw a large
rook half hidden by the shaggy grass-
trees. Pushing through the shrubbery,
he found that the rook overhung on the
lower side, offering a partial shelter
Here he sat down and determined to
remain till daylight. It was a dreary
evening, and the slow Aours draggevl on
a still drearier night.
At first Billy was not inclined to sleep.
Once a kangaroo passed at a little dis
tance, making the ground jar heavily at
each of its unwieldy leaps. Later, he
heard the low, shrill “pheet” of a snake
close at hand, and hasiily threw stones,
sticks and dirt, to frighten off so undesir
able a visitor.
Two or three times he fancied he heard
a queer sound of snuffing further up un
der the rock, and concluded that there
was a burrow of wonibats behind the
bowlder, who were dissatisfied because he
had taken possession of their front door
step. But though somewhat large ani
mals, Billy had very little fear of wombats.
Towards morning he grew drowsy, and
at length fell asleep. At broad daylight
he awoke. Starting hastily, a sudden
rumble caught his ear, and turning, he
espied a big mottled tail disappearing in
a rather large black hols, that seemed to
lead back under the rook. He concluded-
the animal was a wombat that had prob
ably been o’oserving him curiously.
“I'll dig you out. of here some day”,-
Was Billy’s mental comment. Then he
bethought himself of bis situation, and
sat up to consider it. He felt hungry,
and by careful search he found a few
dirty crumbs of “damper” in his leather
pouch, and ate them one by one.
While thus engaged, a sharp snapping
of twigs drew his attention. It came
nearer, and a moment later there burst
through the trailing leaves the lean, black
paws, and gray, wolfish head ot a native
At sight of him, Billy jumped up in
sudden apprehension. The dog snarled,
then harked noisily. Immediately there
arose a low, peculiar cry, apparently not
a hundred yards off. It was answered
from all about—“Cooe ! cooe !’’
The blacks were abroad on a hunt.
Billy’s heaft almost came through his
ribs. If he ran, the dog would follow
him. and the whole pack of natives would
boon be at Ills heels.
He glanced helplessly around. The
wombat hole met his eye. The blacks
were coming. There was no time to
think twice. Billy instantly resolved to
take his chances with the wombats, and
dived into the hole.
The dog snapped and tore at his hoots,
hut he wormed his way in. The hole
led straight back under the rock eight or
ten feet, int® the very heart of the hillock,
where it expanded into a sort of den as
big as a baker’s oven.
Seeing him coming the wombats snift'-
ed noisily, and went scrambling further
back under the hillock. Here Billy had
the satisfaction of being able to turn over.
The dog was still worrying his heels ■;
but taking a stone, he struck at the brute’s
head with such effect that it backed hast
ily out, howling with pain.
Meanwhile, he heard ajahhcring out
side. The blacks had come up. Several
other dogs rushed successively into the
hole, but on getting within range of Bil
ly’s heavy boot heel, heat a speedy re-
There is no need to remark that he
listened intently to hear what the sava
ges were about. They were chattering
eagerly-, hut in a jargon quite unintelligi
Presently the hole darkened. Some
thing had been pushed np into the mouth
of it. At first Billy thought that the
blacks were stopping it up ; but a mo
ment after an ominous crackling, accom
panied by a smothered roaring, began.
The natives had placed a fire at the en
trance of the burrow.
It flashed to Billy’s mind that he had
heard that the natives captured wom
bats by smoking them out. An agony
of terror seized upon him. Ten times
[fo Sth page.^