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WE OF THE NEVER-NEVER
To begin somewhere near the beginning, the Maluka--better known
at that time as the new Boss for the Elsey--and I, his "missus,"
were at Darwin, in the Northern Territory, waiting for the train
that was to take us just as far as it could--one hundred and fifty miles--
on our way to the Never-Never. It was out of town just then,
up-country somewhere, billabonging in true bush-whacker style,
but was expected to return in a day or two, when it would be at our service.
Jack, the Quiet Stockman, was out at the homestead, "seeing to things"
there. The Sanguine Scot, the Head Stockman, and the Dandy, were
in at the Katherine, marking time, as it were, awaiting instructions
by wire from the Maluka, while some of the Company "put finishing touches"
to their New Year celebrations. And every one, with, of course,
the exception of those in Darwin, was blissfully unconscious of even
the existence of the Maluka's missus. Knowing the Maluka by repute,
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