|Date:||Sun, 17 Sep 2006 20:49:32 +0800|
Cabell shook his head to chase away the flies, for his arms werestill tied up.
Hesat staring dully at the grey oblong of window, weighed down by hismisery. Cabell demanded through a crack inthe mud wall.
Ducks and solitary jabiru passed across the moon and geesehastening to a rendezvous at the lagoons.
Itsfair cruel, Sambo, he said in a little cracked voice. In the next breath he complained: One good season in four. Seein yeh hear sich a lot, Sambo said, laughing, have you heardthat runaway horse lately? Cabell began to talk again, in a quiet voice, as of one rememberinga long-vanished past. Their eyes werepurple-rimmed and the palms of their hands grey.
Heconversed with her in low, wondering snorts, and his bony, equineface took on a look of doubt.
It was something the moon was doing to everyone andeverything in the valley. They lost threehours leading their horses to the place where the cattle had beenraided.
Yehll have to blow yer own head off to get rid of them noises,Sambo told him disparagingly. Half a dozen or so would have died during the night.
At noon they came ona spot where the calves had been killed and cut up. Here Sambo hesitated between two likely patches ofscrub.
When the smoke cleared McGovern was still standing in the doorway,laughing.
Figures moved against the glare of a big fire. Gawd stiffen the crows, Bill commentedbitterly. The veryair seemed to be green and slimy here, a primeval twilight throughwhich the rain oozed. Next day six mencame out of the bush and beckoned from the opposite bank of theriver.
Not a shade of brown was left onthe landscape. For some time Sambo peered, or rather breathed, towardsthis. The coming dawn faintlyoutlined the black form of the trees.
While Gursey was tidying up some spilt grain he started back to thepens.
Rainand sun alternately drenched and baked them.
Aint I tryin to tell you when I has half a chance, Billgrowled, hitched up his trousers. Aone-eye giant of a fellow made a long speech, waved his spear, andthey withdrew. See, he said, holding it up forCabell to inspect. Hesmoked his short, black pipe, making little noises with his lips ashe puffed.
Eighty lambs had been dropped altogether. Waitll it grows up inter a crossbred wether, yehstoopid old mutton-face, yeh.
A black mound, like a heapof fresh cow-dung, palpitated with a sluggish, evil life.
Yehll have to blow yer own head off to get rid of them noises,Sambo told him disparagingly. They were hunting kangaroo and feasting on the fishtrapped in the shrunken pools.
Then he raised his ashen-grey face and gave Sambo a look ofhopeless misery.
At noon they came ona spot where the calves had been killed and cut up. Waitll it grows up inter a crossbred wether, yehstoopid old mutton-face, yeh. Cabellpushed his plate away and went to the door.
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