my shout this time, boys, so come along and breast
And kindly mention what you're going to take;
I don't feel extra thirsty, so I'll sample that
Now, lad! come, look alive, for goodness sake."
So spake he, as he raised the brimming glass towards the
So spake “Long Jack,” the boldest mountaineer
Who ever down from Nungar raced a “brumby” mob in
Or laid a stockwhip on a stubborn steer.
From Jindabyne to Providence along the Eucumbene
The kindest-hearted fellow to be found;
And when he crossed the saddle not a horse was ever seen
That could make Jack quit his hold to seek the ground.
The women smiled with pleasure, the children laughed aloud,
The very dogs came barking at his feet,
While outside the “Squatter's Arms” the men came forward
in a crowd
To welcome Jack when he rode up the street.
though the boldest horseman who by midnight or
E'er held a mob of cattle on a camp,
There were squatters on Monaro, who had yet been known
That Jack was an unmitigated scamp.
And true it is Jack Corrigan possessed a serious fault
Which caused his gentle, blue-eyed wife much grief,
And many were the bitter tears she mingled with the salt
With which she cured their neighbours' tend'rest beef.
And often would she tearful take her smiling spouse to
Who'd answer, as her pretty face he kissed,
That a beast lost all identity when pickled in the cask,
And a bullock more or less would ne'er be missed.
as Jack stood all prepared to toss his nobbler
A softly-murmured whisper met his ear -
"I just saw Trooper Fraser get a warrant up the town,
He's after you, old man: you'd better clear!"
Jack never thanked the donor of this excellent advice,
As the glass fell through his fingers with a crash.
With a bound across the footpath, he was mounted in
And speeding down the roadway like a flash,
While Trooper William Fraser wore a very gloomy face,
As he watched his prey go flying down the road.
But he settled in the saddle and prepared to give him chase,
As Jack struck out a line for his abode.
road toward the Show Ground, then, there hung
a big swing-gate,
Jack's filly cleared its bars in glorious style,
But he held her well together, for he knew the trooper's
Would give him distance in each mile;
For Jack rode twelve stone fully, while Bill Fraser rode
Sweetbriar's strength must surely soon be spent,
Being grass-fed, while the trooper's chestnut horse could
Off oats and barley to his heart's content.
And all aloud Jack cursed the day he'd ever killed a beast
Or branded calf he couldn't call his own,
While the hoof-strokes on the road beat out a song that
To echo in his ears with mocking tone.
years in gaol, in gaol three years," the jeering
The granite boulders caught the wild refrain.
"A broken life, a weeping wife," 'twas thus the rhythm
"And a baby boy you'll never see again" –
groaned, and then, to dull the sound, spoke loudly
to the mare,
And bade her never slacken in her speed.
"For God's sake take me home, lass, with a little time
Five minutes, at the most, is all I need -
Just time to catch old Dandy, where he's munching second
Of hay; just time to leap upon his back,
And then the smartest trap who ever swore a lying
Could never foot me down the River track."
pricked her ears, and shook a foam flake from
As she heard his words, and doubtless caught their sense,
And the rotten granite pebbles rattled round her as she
On the homeward side the Rosedale bound'ry fence –
scrambled round by Locker's-Hill, Jack Corrigan
And as he looked was filled with stern delight,
For he saw the baldfaced chestnut struggling fiercely on
Though the hill shut out the sequel from his sight;
His triumph was but short, for, as he stemmed the wide
Where floods had muddied waters once so clear,
And left the giant tussocks tangled tightly in a mass,
The trooper still kept drawing on his rear;
Murrumbidgee's icy stream was widened out by flood;
They swam it at the willow-shaded ford,
As they passed the station buildings his long spurs were
red with blood,
Sweetbriar's heaving flanks were deeply scored.
Her stride grew more uneven, though she answered every
No jockey rode a better race than Jack
As he eased her up the hills and pressed her onward down
Round the sidlings of the Billylingra track.
O'Rourke's behind them, where it fronts the big
At the Flat Rock Jack was riding all he knew -
With all the dash and judgement of the famed Monaro skill,
Yet he couldn't keep the trooper out of view;
He spied his tiny homestead as Bill Fraser gained apace
And loudly warned the fugitive to yield,
Who turned half round but saw no sign of pity in his face
As they swept across the cultivation field;
hoofs’ dull thunder brought the wife in wonder to
She waved her hand in answer to his shout;
While Dandy from his paddock whinnied loudly to his
To know what all the trouble was about.
help us now - the end has come!" the wretched woman
And leant against the gate to catch her breath;
While the tiny, blue-eyed toddler cheered his father on
Towards the ghastly winning-post of Death.
filly's failing fast," thought Jack; "she's nothing
but a weed,
It’s a certainty she can't keep long in front.
I'll make a splendid target, if he likes to draw a bead,
As I try to cross the river on the punt."
the mare and scrambled through the ti-tree growing
Deep rooted in its bed of yellow clay,
But when he reached the river, stood and trembled on
the bank -
"My God!" he hoarsely said, "it's swept away!"
The punt was gone, the rope of wire still stretched from shore
Jack paused but half a moment to decide,
And as he
scrambled down the bank the wond'ring trooper
Him struggling half across the rushing tide,
The angry waters swept him down, and every nerve was
To keep his hold upon the frail support,
Though icy numbness seized him, yet his courage never
The hope of freedom filled his every thought.
swayed low beneath his weight and bellied to
Around his head the flying ripples curled,
While high above the river's roar rang out the awful scream
Of a soul that flies in terror from the world.
A mighty log, borne swiftly on the bosom of the flood,
Resistless swept him 'neath the eager wave,
And sucked him down to river depths, and there beneath
Jack Corrigan sought out a nameless grave -
"Good-bye to life, good-bye to life," the mocking wavelets
The towering cliffs took up the wild refrain,
"A broken life, a weeping wife," 'twas thus the rhythm
"And a baby boy he'll never see again."