Mr. Stamford was riding slowly, wearily homeward in the late autumnal twilight along the dusty track which led to the Windāhgil station. The life of a pastoral tenant of the Crown in Australia is, for the most part, free, pleasant, and devoid of the cares which assail so mordantly the heart of modern man in cities.
But striking exceptions to this rule are furnished periodically. “A dry season,” in the bush vernacular, supervenes. In the drear months which follow, “the flower fadeth, the grass withereth” as in the olden Pharaoh days. The waters are “forgotten of the footstep”; the flocks and herds which, in the years of plenty, afford so liberal an income, so untrammelled an existence to their proprietor, are apt to perish if not removed. Prudence and energy may serve to modify such a calamity. No human foresight can avert it.Less