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Stingaree   By: (1866-1921)

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First Page:




Illustrated by George W. Lambert

[Illustration: "My name's Stingaree!"]

Charles Scribner's Sons New York 1910

Copyright, 1905, by Charles Scribner's Sons

CONTENTS Page I. A Voice in the Wilderness 1 II. The Black Hole of Glenranald 32 III. "To the Vile Dust" 70 IV. A Bushranger at Bay 98 V. The Taking of Stingaree 121 VI. The Honor of the Road 144 VII. The Purification of Mulfera 168 VIII. A Duel in the Desert 190 IX. The Villain Worshipper 215 X. The Moth and the Star 252


"My name's Stingaree!" Frontispiece

"Any message, young fellow?" 66

Mr. Kentish watched the little operation of "sticking up" 98 without a word

The gray sergeant flung his arms round their prisoner 166

Stingaree toppled out of the saddle 198

The mare spun round, bucking as she spun 238

Stingaree knocked in vain 246


A Voice in the Wilderness


"La parlate d'amor, O cari fior, Recate i miei sospiri, Narrate i miei matiri, Ditele o cari fior "

Miss Bouverie ceased on the high note, as abruptly as string that snaps beneath the bow, and revolved with the music stool, to catch but her echoes in the empty room. None had entered behind her back; there was neither sound nor shadow in the deep veranda through the open door. But for the startled girl at the open piano, Mrs. Clarkson's sanctum was precisely as Mrs. Clarkson had left it an hour before; her own photograph, in as many modes, beamed from the usual number of ornamental frames; there was nothing whatever to confirm a wild suspicion of the living lady's untimely return. And yet either guilty consciences, or an ear as sensitive as it was true, had heard an unmistakable step outside.

Hilda Bouverie lived to look magnificent when she sang, her fine frame drawn up to its last inch, her throat a pillar of pale coral, her mouth the perfect round, her teeth a noble relic of barbarism; but sweeter she never was than in these days, or at this moment of them, as she sat with lips just parted and teeth just showing, in a simple summer frock of her own unaided making. Her eyes, of the one deep Tasmanian blue, were still open very wide, but no longer with the same apprehension; for a step there was, but a step that jingled; nor did they recognize the silhouette in top boots which at length stood bowing on the threshold.

"Please finish it!" prayed a voice that Miss Bouverie liked in her turn; but it was too much at ease for one entirely strange to her, and she rose with little embarrassment and no hesitation at all.

"Indeed, no! I thought I had the station to myself."

"So you had I have not seen a soul."

Miss Bouverie instantly perceived that honors were due from her.

"I am so sorry! You've come to see Mr. and Mrs. Clarkson?" she cried. "Mrs. Clarkson has just left for Melbourne with her maid, and Mr. Clarkson has gone mustering with all his men. But the Indian cook is about somewhere. I'll find him, and he shall make some tea."

The visitor planted himself with much gallantry in the doorway; he was a man still young, with a single eye glass and a martial mustache, which combined to give distinction to a somewhat swarthy countenance. At the moment he had also an engaging smile.

"I didn't come to see either Mr. or Mrs. Clarkson," said he; "in fact, I never heard their name before. I was passing the station, and I simply came to see who it was who could sing like that to believe my own ears!"

Miss Bouverie was thrilled... Continue reading book >>

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