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: 1892 - 1905), Monday 17 December 1900, page 26
fascinating game is it said the to-day/ than had 'We old traveller. grey-haired of bullocks at the just delivered a mob trucking yards, and I was travelling to in search stock route wards the main
hi WAS sheep-droving and
when looking out for after one horses and myself a camp hid almost hut, old I sighted an noon, in nar a wilgas den from view by shady most bend of Marra Creek. Like row
it was homesteads lor.g, green surrounded by a patch of I thought, a roof the thing Just grass. for myself and picking for the mokes. It was a and inspected it I rode over iron Half the Weird looking shanty. the wall and blown away, roof was built chimney facing east and the slab if mind to had a as good they looked a Inside was fall down there and then. brok or four three table and worm-eaten The earthen floor was bunks. en-dowa toadstools, and frogs with swarming and of mass moss a and the walla were in ashes coid cobwebs, while the hard,
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cobwebs, while the hard, coid ashes sure proof that no die fire-place were
and thoughts of a. while, other vermin in and scorpions snakes, for a and look on ride to duced me cattle 'Monty', in the open. my camp the place about care to d«g, didn't seem through suspiciously sniffed either, for he
body had camped in the place
his old-fash-, crack in the wall, shook if about doubts his he had ioned head as farther led the way shanty, and the creek. the down I found good feed and plenty of wood in the next bend, hard'y 200 yards away,
drink, hobbled fpr the night. while the billy
,and fire ,and I lit a Then the chops boiling and was grilling, picked leaves to lie on and rnadfc myself comfortable. After a hearty meal I lit my pipe and beau a It was and thought. laid down
a them them go
covered sky was stars, and the with millions of twinkling a curiously peeping over was moUn clump of dense mulga scrub. stillness was only broken The solemn a curlew of plaialive passing cry by the
went pipe soon asleep with the dog at
I fell out, and feet watching my when
welfare. have slept several hours
onj my. my
what see moon The change! up. pitch dark. The hidden and it was was hours clear, starry sky of a few ago swiftly-travell of mass was a covered by ing black and grey clouds. A bitterly rustling- through wind was cold North I could hear faint roars .the scrub, and cf thunder in the distance. hurriedly 3nd -I jumped up, dressed was The storm considered what to do.
back. and eyes
hadn't many Of old hut!
reflge. tut nearest *vas my I But again thought of the creeping things of the earth, and it sent a shud der through me. No, I wouldn't camp The only tiling left there at any price.
some had noticcd the two With about. straight poles lying three of them I could rig my tent in or So, ordering my dog short lime. a very for things, I hurried away to watch my I found a Arrived the sticks. heap of
to pitch my old shanty
dry saplings stacked against the leaning
As I stooped to +eel for a straight dark to see-I fancied too ones-it was I heard a low moaning sound in the hut I straightened up and listened, but a gust of wind rattling through the old wall.
alt other noise. Im drowned agination! I thought and went on grop again! ing for poles. But there it was I listened care peculiar sound. the same loud fully once more. Y«s; there it was Now moan a ever! er than long-drawn pain; then in acute from someone as and chattering of quick, short groans teeth, like the gurgling death rattle of What The could it be? the dying.
I fully lone, and dreary, and somehow of Yet tremble. 'thoughts to began things supernatural didn't enter my mind usual presence of mind leav did1 my nor still for I a minute and then stood me. round to the back tip iocs sneaked on There., through an op of the chimney. the slabs I felt the ashes. ening between cold. were There ccuid be nobody They inside, for to light a fire is the first
Another blait of 'vind, and then again that ghastly groaning, growing louder l^ear now louder, and began to seize
fifteen yards away, vvalke 1 ten or From there, determined to solve the tnys I threw a handiul of pebbles with tery. hut, on force to the roof of-the great
awaited results, and anxiously ofthe stone low* crackling noise
answered by, a
ting the iron,
ghostiier and yet another,
and louder than
seconds I -was «iy sticks. For some ^yairt, paralysed with fear. <Ki^rys'host
flashed" vividly through since childhood Re mind.' It was awful! my unhinged as £ast as ran
shock I covered from my Through carry.- me. legs would my fallen -scrub, oyer of prickly bunches scrambling up ag logs, falling down and torn to rags, ain as quick. My shirt was face and hands bleeding pro and my Monty, I reached camp. fusely when saviour! was He my dog, met me. my I" should have But for him I believe sight of died of fear that night The &ah somewhat. him" cahred :ne down did the can't express hoiv I loved gtt&ge dog
that that I
He- seemed, to moment. tor terribly agitated, was
again he jumped up, licking and trying to pacify me.
claps of thunder,
around where, the rain
trees cracking every and !>lew the gale, fierce pouring down.
heavens! my horsSg had strayed fearful hut» in opposite directions to that Snatching the bridles I ran and caught huddled close togeth them. They were with fear. er and trembled and snorted saddling notime Host Back at the camp life, heedless of off for my up and rode into ray f^ce and through beating the rain of $he darkness, Heedless clothes. my blinding and thealmost the falling limbs for I cared lightning, flashes of chain
put distance self and that awful shanty. and yells were ful moans ;md threatened ears. in my
mad! before or I rode all night, and never welcome life the break did I since in my of daylight like that morning! As Icng forget that awful never as I live I shaU
of shall always be reminded hair, which had turned snow my during those few terrible hours.
cold winter's night on in Muldrum's hands
sit himself were including the surveyor fire. ting round a cheerfully blazing the topic. been had Ghost yarns Ghosts and spooks and such like,' re marked the surveyor, *are in my opinion created by dis but bosh and humbug, eased and highly imaginative minds!' *Kh, what?' said the cook, a shrivelled .up old fellow, 'bosh, boss an' whatyer call it mmds? Shows what yer knows all told a lot of it! Now about yer ve of, but none tell of yarns yer've heerd ye'li If can talk from experience. yez minits I'll tell yez what I listen fur two me Yez all wid own saw on-a eyes. tell fibs an' make I ain't a chap to know all I take* know hew and things; up yez sometimes, pertick Bad wid rheumatism rain s sticking out. The boss Jer when time yer a ,eh boss? that Knows Many wettin', eh?' an' missed a stopped home
makin* cross and wur country to I'se shepherding in them a township. knew the lay of the country. days, an third The nioming on the track I feels
afore slight, look fur I to myself an* I must sez dummies* a uster be There shelter. more'n 7 or8 miles no time place in my ihen. It might lie where I wur from
I'm goin* ter catch
Jootpuft? Best half of a« ^ealfe^-bsat^ water-tight,: that did me. kof ihetocf was gcttin*
'The pains in thy legs
and worsen* I
inter one. anything, but turned straight bit like of the bunks. It didn't look a I was rain then, but I knew by the way It came suffering that It'was a-coming. o'clock. Holy jumpin* close ter twelve
were lit a
twelve did it come! How Moses! minute hurricane, an' every close
It blew a I spected
the roof say good-bye.
of the loose of the whole wUr an' the lightnitl wuz to,
sheets of iron an' the crack
enough ter blind In fact the sqqafkiti' of 'strononier. a rattlin', fustlin', and asd tlie frogs 'bout the old place seated the
calmed dowii Suddenly when something* walkjn' about I hears
side. as,stiff I
could. Only as I laid let a groan, ter I had then and now Inf. It ter bad keep too the pains wur After a while relieves yer, a gi'oan does. it wasn't I knew I hears the steps again. tell could I horse. a by the a sheep or
Now it was sneakm' round to the steps. No human fireplace. being thinks I can in sich a lonely in a night sich be out on rose sweat n:y spot, an' the cold it might it that me struck forehead when murdered be the ghost or spirit of some beatin* like a heart wuz fellow. horseshoe, and I could hear myself groan first ing like a pig. Well chaps, fur the
Jist- theft a life I prayed. in my lit flash of lightning tip the hut.
I am Here Isaw a bare human and off at the elbow, grope arm, fire the in theold ashes ab3ut wriggle ant an place, like a half-dead snake on
'The sight took
I hair stand up endways. it, fur shivered awfully, an' rbe worst of I couldn't help groaning. the life o' me Then it started ter blow again, and I nore. Presently I couldn't hear, any and a mighty outside, feet a of rush hears air. all sudden. a Then of in the sound it. a There came I shall never forget slicks1, stones and <Jod of hailstorm the roof an* on knows what else, down through it on to the old table an* my bunk! an* hell I thought me time had come, let loosi on poor an' all the devils wur I knew me. then JE*wUr in a haunted house, an" lets fly tWo or three loud yells fur help an'-well, I must have
off into ,a fit or something, for til! I don't remember anything more I woke up next morning. Wheii I woke gone
singing outside, an' die ^ through the open root
The birds shining
I rolls from swag get away up my the haunted shanty.. Did I look? Yes, I looked inter the fire place, an* there wur fresh and plain finger marks ill the the ashes. Besides table and floor little stones. wuz with covered Yet devil a track or t ign of life could I find had
:*WeH, boss, if there weren't now, ghosts about that-ihere hut, don't tell strike a line due north and can us yer south.
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