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From: Ellen House
Subject: breakneck
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 01:27:40 -0400

Youneed someone always there to take the poison out of you, and Imnot strong enough any longer.
Why, man, if I live to be ahundred my last thoughtll be of your aristocratic mug at thisminute.
I hope you heard that, Jacob, the little wife exclaimed. I no longerunderstand an Englishman when I see one. I thought Id come over and seethough Im still about as strong as a louse.
Hepounded his chest again and his voice rose.
Leaning against the door-jamb, he continued to stare after them. And on top of thisthere was the worried look on her face whenever Dirk rode over tosee her.
Yes, and the trick you played me with him, heremembered, blazing up afresh. She pushed him away and jumped out of the bunk.
He pushed her away fromhim, chuckled again, a heavy, bleak chuckle, and moved towards thedoor.
It chilled him, brokedown his pretence, turned his clumsy mask inside out.
A fine time to tell a man when hes tied hand and foot. Havent theyseen her flogged in the street and stood round to get a squint ather pretty back? Were going to haveFrench lights in the parlour.
Dawn was breaking when Cabell came out into the yard again.
In a quieter voice he pleaded: Id give you anything you wanted. The news raced ahead of Cabell and his bride and set the country onfire. Ludmilla, the younger of the girls, ran up to him and shook him. Yes, Gursey thrust at him, disgrace, filth, shame and suffering.
One evening he noticed a double row of holes round the house. He hated his brother-in-law,renowned as the toughest drinker yet seen in Pykes Crossing. The river washed upa half-drowned rat of a shepherd and he hoofed it out to us. Bloss to drunken old Major Mowlatt at Bundon on the Murray forthree years.
A tape of white, dusty, rutted road climbs out of the valley andwinds away to Pykes Crossing. Theres a demon in you, always stirring you up to some folly.
After a bit anuneasy thought came between his attention and the paper.
Not things yourfriend Bobo would approve of.
The entirepopulation was down at the wharf hearing the news from Sydney.
You havent forgotten how I gotyou free from that sod Mowlatt, how I brought Dirk out from home? The Colonel winced now, choked up a laugh, and licked his lips. A fine time to tell a man when hes tied hand and foot.
Would itmatter a damn then whom he had married?
There is something insect-like in herobstinate, slow will.

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