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Colonial Born A tale of the Queensland bush   By:

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COLONIAL BORN

[Illustration: THE HORSE AND ITS RIDER DASHED OUT OF THE SMOKE. [ Page 287. ]

COLONIAL BORN

A TALE OF THE QUEENSLAND BUSH

BY

G. FIRTH SCOTT

AUTHOR OF

"THE TRACK OF MIDNIGHT," "THE ROMANCE OF AUSTRALIAN EXPLORING," "AT FRIENDLY POINT," ETC.

WITH SIX ILLUSTRATIONS BY PERCY F. S. SPENCE

LONDON SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON AND COMPANY LIMITED

TO

THE ORIGINAL AILLEEN

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE ROMANCE OF TAYLOR'S FLAT 1

II. TWENTY YEARS AFTER 16

III. THE BELLE OF BIRRALONG 30

IV. THE ROUT OF BOULDER CREEK 40

V. THE SWAY OF GOLD 59

VI. THE LADY OF BARELLAN 80

VII. THE EVOLUTION OF SLAUGHTER 93

VIII. SKINNING THE WILD CAT 110

IX. CHORDS AND DISCORDS 128

X. THE RACE FOR GOLD 146

XI. BILLIARDS MADE EASY 161

XII. RIVAL ISSUES 180

XIII. TONY VISITS THE FLAT 193

XIV. THE FINDING OF PETERS'S REEF 204

XV. BLACK AND WHITE 219

XVI. TWO SIDES OF A STORY 233

XVII. A BUSHMAN'S BANKER 246

XVIII. A TANGLED SKEIN 260

XIX. STRANDS IN THE COIL 274

XX. THE LAST LOOP 293

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

TO FACE PAGE

THE HORSE AND ITS RIDER DASHED OUT OF THE SMOKE Frontispiece

"THANK YOU," SHE SAID 30

"THEN ROLL THE SWAG AND BLANKET UP, AND LET US HASTE AWAY" 56

"I AIN'T NO STRANGER, MISS" 100

CAPERED ROUND THE BOULDER 216

THROUGH THE BUSH IT WENT, RACING LIKE MAD 268

COLONIAL BORN

CHAPTER I.

THE ROMANCE OF TAYLOR'S FLAT.

Where the road to the west from Birralong dips down to the valley of Boulder Creek, a selection stretches out on the left hand side, well cleared and fenced, and with the selector's homestead standing back a couple of hundred yards from the main road. Slip rails in the fence, serving as a gateway, open on to the half worn track which runs from the roadway to the house; and on either side of it there are cultivation paddocks, the one verdant with lucerne, and the other picturesque with the grey sheen of iron bark pumpkins showing from among the broad leaves of the still growing vines.

The house, unpretentious and substantial, has long since taken to itself the nondescript hue to which the Australian sun soon reduces the unpainted surface of hard wood slabs and shingles. A square, heavy chimney, smoke stained and clumsy at the base, rises above the sloping roof at one end, and a roughly fashioned verandah runs along the front of the house, the opposite end to where the chimney is situated being occupied by an odd collection of water tanks. By the side of the door, and under shelter of the verandah, a saddle is standing on end, while a bridle hangs from a peg in the wall overhead. A heap of two foot logs is near the water tanks, with a short handled axe stuck in an upturned stump which does duty for a chopping block.

Behind the house a few gum trees in the paddocks lead the eye to where the untouched bush grows thick and sombre in the strength of crowded timber, the bleached trunks of the dead ring barked trees, where the sunlight plays upon them, gleaming white against the dark purple blue of the distant foliage... Continue reading book >>




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