While the Billy Boils

Henry Lawson
While the Billy Boils

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Title: While the Billy Boils
Author: Henry Lawson
Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7144] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 16,
Edition: 10

Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Geoffrey Cowling

[Transcriber's note: In 'A Day on a Selection' a speech is attributed to
"Tom"--in first edition as well as recent ones--which clearly belongs to
"Corney" alias "neighbour". This has been noted in loc.]

While the Billy Boils
by Henry Lawson
First Series
An Old Mate of Your Father's
Settling on the Land
Enter Mitchell
Stiffner and Jim (Thirdly, Bill)
When the Sun Went Down
The Man who Forgot
A Camp-fire Yarn
His Country--After All
A Day on a Selection
That There Dog of Mine
Going Blind
Arvie Aspinall's Alarm Clock
The Union Buries its Dead
On the Edge of a Plain
In a Dry Season
He's Come Back
Another of Mitchell's Plans

Drifted Back
Mitchell Doesn't Believe in the Sack
Shooting the Moon
His Father's Mate
An Echo from the Old Bark School
The Shearing of the Cook's Dog
"Dossing Out" and "Camping"
Across the Straits
Some Day
Brummy Usen

Second Series
The Drover's Wife
Steelman's Pupil
An Unfinished Love Story
Board and Residence
His Colonial Oath
A Visit of Condolence
In a Wet Season
Mitchell: A Character Sketch
The Bush Undertaker
Our Pipes
Coming Across
The Story of Malachi
Two Dogs and a Fence
Jones's Alley
Bogg of Geebung
She Wouldn't Speak
The Geological Spieler
Macquarie's Mate
Baldy Thompson
For Auld Lang Syne

First Series
You remember when we hurried home from the old bush school how
we were sometimes startled by a bearded apparition, who smiled kindly
down on us, and whom our mother introduced, as we raked off our hats,
as "An old mate of your father's on the diggings, Johnny." And he
would pat our heads and say we were fine boys, or girls--as the case
may have been--and that we had our father's nose but our mother's eyes,
or the other way about; and say that the baby was the dead spit of its
mother, and then added, for father's benefit: "But yet he's like you,
Tom." It did seem strange to the children to hear him address the old
man by his Christian name---considering that the mother always
referred to him as "Father." She called the old mate Mr So-and-so, and
father called him Bill, or something to that effect.
Occasionally the old mate would come dressed in the latest city fashion,
and at other times in a new suit of reach-me-downs, and yet again he
would turn up in clean white moleskins, washed tweed coat, Crimean
shirt, blucher boots, soft felt hat, with a fresh-looking speckled
handkerchief round his neck. But his face was mostly round and brown
and jolly, his hands were always horny, and his beard grey. Sometimes
he might have seemed strange and uncouth to us at first, but the old
man never appeared the least surprised at anything he said or did--they
understood each other so well--and we would soon take to this relic of
our father's past, who would have fruit or lollies for us--strange that he
always remembered them--and would surreptitiously slip "shilluns"
into our dirty little hands, and tell us stories about the old days, "when
me an' yer father was on the diggin's, an' you wasn't thought of, my
Sometimes the old mate would stay over Sunday, and in the forenoon
or after dinner he and father would take a walk amongst the deserted
shafts of Sapling Gully or along Quartz Ridge, and criticize old ground,
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