"I am a rouseabout of the rouseabouts. I have fallen so far that itis beneath me to try to climb to the proud position of 'ringer' of theshed. I had that ambition once, when I was the softest of green hands;but then I thought I could work out my salvation and go home. I've gotused to hell since then. I only get twenty-five shillings a week (lessstation store charges) and tucker here. I have been seven years west ofthe Darling and never shore a sheep. Why don't I learn to shear, andso make money? What should I do with more money? Get out of this and gohome? I would never go home unless I had enough money to keep me forthe rest of my life, and I'll never make that Out Back. Otherwise, whatshould I do at home? And how should I account for the seven years, ifI were to go home? Could I describe shed life to them and explain howI lived. They think shearing only takes a few days of the year--at thebeginning of summer. They'd want to know how I lived the rest of theyear. Could I explain that I 'jabbed trotters' and was a 'tea-and-sugarburglar' between sheds. They'd think I'd been a tramp and a beggar allthe time. Could I explain ANYTHING so that they'd understand? I'd haveto be lying all the time and would soon be tripped up and found out.For, whatever else I have been I was never much of a liar. No, I'llnever go home.。， "The fellows would see me, and--and----"
"'Yer rooster knocked the stuffin' out of my rooster, but I bear nomalice. 'Twas a grand foight.'。， You are getting well on in the thirties, and haven't left off being afool yet. You have been away in another colony or country for a year orso, and have now come back again. Most of your chums have gone away orgot married, or, worse still, signed the pledge--settled down and gotsteady; and you feel lonely and desolate and left-behind enough foranything. While drifting aimlessly round town with an eye out for somechance acquaintance to have a knock round with, you run against an oldchum whom you never dreamt of meeting, or whom you thought to be in someother part of the country--or perhaps you knock up against someone whoknows the old chum in question, and he says:
Peter's smile had a peculiar fascination for us children. We wouldstand by his pointing forge when he'd be sharpening picks in the earlymorning, and watch his face for five minutes at a time, wonderingsometimes whether he was always SMILING INSIDE, or whether the smilewent on externally irrespective of any variation in Peter's condition ofmind.。， "Have you got a bottle?"
"About a month after--or a year, I lost count of the time long ago--shecame back to me. At first she'd come in the night, then sometimes whenI was at work--and she had the baby--it was a girl--in her arms. Andby-and-bye she came to stay altogether.... I didn't blame her for goingaway that time--it was no place for a woman.... She was a good wife tome. She was a jolly girl when I married her. The little girl grew uplike her. I was going to send her down country to be educated--it was noplace for a girl.。，
。， "I wish we had a canvas bag to put it in," he said, "or a cover of somesort. But never mind. The landlord's an old Australian bushman, nowI come to think of it; the swag looks Australian enough, and it mightappeal to his feelings, you know--bring up old recollections. But you'dbest not say you come from Australia, because he's been there, and he'dsoon trip you up. He might have been where you've been, you know, sodon't try to do too much. You always do mug-up the business when youtry to do more than I tell you. You might tell him your mate came fromAustralia--but no, he might want you to bring me in. Better stick toMaoriland. I don't believe in too much ornamentation. Plain lies are thebest."
。， Henry Lawson was born near Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia on17 June 1867. Although he has since become Australia's most acclaimedwriter, in his own lifetime his writing was often "on the side"--his"real" work being whatever he could find. His writing was frequentlytaken from memories of his childhood, especially at Pipeclay/Eurunderee.In his autobiography, he states that many of his characters weretaken from the better class of diggers and bushmen he knew there.His experiences at this time deeply influenced his work, for it isinteresting to note a number of descriptions and phrases that areidentical in his autobiography and in his stories and poems. He died atSydney, 2 September 1922. He is most famous for his short stories.
"There was a black shepherd three or four miles away. I rode over whileMary was asleep, and started the black boy into town. I'd 'a shot himafterwards if I'd 'a caught him. The old black gin was dead the weekbefore, or Mary would a' bin alright. She was tied up in a bunch withstrips of blanket and greenhide, and put in a hole. So there wasn't evena gin near the place. It was no place for a woman!。，
。， "I wanted to go down badly and see the fight, and barrack for Bill. ButI daren't, because I'd been coming up the road late the night beforewith my brother Joe, and there was about three panels of turkeysroosting along on the top rail of Page's front fence; and we brushed 'emwith a bough, and they got up such a blessed gobbling fuss about it thatPage came out in his shirt and saw us running away; and I knew he waslaying for us with a bullock whip. Besides, there was friction betweenthe two families on account of a thoroughbred bull that Page borrowedand wouldn't lend to us, and that got into our paddock on account of memending a panel in the party fence, and carelessly leaving the toprail down after sundown while our cows was moving round there in thesaplings.
Anniversary Day: Alluded to in the text, is now known as AustraliaDay. It commemorates the establishment of the first Englishsettlement in Australia, at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), on 26January 1788.。， "We seize our tin plate from the pile, knife and fork from thecandle-box, and crowd round the camp-oven to jab out lean chops, dry aschips, boiled in fat. Chops or curry-and-rice. There is some growlingand cursing. We slip into our places without removing our hats. There'sno time to hunt for mislaid hats when the whistle goes. Row of hatbrims, level, drawn over eyes, or thrust back--according to charactersor temperaments. Thrust back denotes a lucky absence of brains, I fancy.Row of forks going up, or jabbing, or poised, loaded, waiting for lastmouthful to be bolted.