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Queensland Cousins   By: (1870-)

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QUEENSLAND COUSINS

[Illustration: It was the great native chief.]

QUEENSLAND COUSINS

BY

E. L. HAVERFIELD

THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, LTD. LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN AT THE PRESS OF THE PUBLISHERS

CONTENTS.

I. Home , 9

II. Bob , 22

III. The Barefoot Visitor , 39

IV. A Night of Terror , 49

V. The First Shot , 60

VI. Bob's Verdict , 69

VII. Peter's Nightmare , 80

VIII. The Witch , 91

IX. A Riderless Horse , 102

X. A Voice from the Scrub , 114

XI. Black fellows , 124

XII. The Secret of the Thicket , 136

XIII. A Great Surprise , 148

XIV. A Moonlight Disturbance , 158

XV. Who is in the Boat? 168

XVI. What the Tide brought in , 177

XVII. Mother's Home , 188

XVIII. Peter makes a Diversion , 201

XIX. The Last Straw , 212

XX. Breaking the News , 225

QUEENSLAND COUSINS.

CHAPTER I.

HOME.

"It has come, it has come, it has come! Oh, do be quick, father!"

The cry rang out lustily from three young voices, three eager heads were thrust over the veranda railings. Below, on horseback, was a big, brown haired, brown bearded man, who looked up from under his soft slouch hat with a laugh, and exclaimed,

"What has come, you outrageously noisy youngsters? One would think I had a family of dingoes, to hear you."

Then another head appeared over the railings a gentle faced, fair haired woman looked down.

"It is the parcel from home, Jack," she said. "Hadji brought it up an hour ago."

"Yes, yes, father; it is the parcel from England at last, and mother wouldn't open it till you came, so we have been waiting a whole hour the longest hour I have ever lived."

Nesta Orban, to whom one of the first heads over the railing belonged, shook back her masses of fair, fluffy hair with an impatient little toss.

"Stuff, Nesta; you always say that," exclaimed Eustace, her twin of fourteen. "You said it yesterday coming through the scrub because you were tired; and the day before when mother made you sew for an hour instead of reading; and the day before "

"Oh, shut up!" Nesta retorted. "You needn't quote pages from my biography like that. Let's think about the parcel. Hurry up, dad, darling."

This last she called after her father, for Mr. Orban had not stayed a second after his wife's explanation of the excitement.

"The parcel from home," he repeated, all the laughter dying out of his face, and he spurred his horse into a trot round the house towards the stable.

The heads all came back into the veranda, and there fell a hush of expectancy as every one listened for Mr. Orban's footsteps coming up through the house.

"La, la, la! look, Nesta. Dolly downside up; Becky done it," piped a little voice from the floor.

"Oh, do be quiet, Becky. Think about the parcel from England. Perhaps there is something in it for you," said Nesta.

Mrs. Orban had seated herself again in a low wicker chair, and was busy sewing patching a well worn shirt with utmost patience.

"Don't be cross with Becky," she said gently. "She can't be expected at two years old to realize the meaning of a parcel from home. I don't believe you do yourself, Nesta. It is just a lot of nice things from England to you only to father and me is it 'a parcel from home.'"

Nesta flushed a little and looked grave as she stood by the table fingering the string of the wonderful parcel. Such a lot of string there was, and so much sewing and writing! Whatever it might contain, at least the parcel looked interesting.

The owner of the third head that had looked over the veranda railing to shout the news was ten year old Peter... Continue reading book >>




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