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> Issue 10 > Page 15 - Joe Allan MacLean: A Tale of the Round Drover

Page 15 - Joe Allan MacLean: A Tale of the Round Drover

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/3/31 (604 reads)

ing and he saw a man sitting on a log alongside the road. And the man that was sit? ting on the log said, "Be kind enough to give me a dollar. I want to get something to eat." "Oh, yes," said the drover • took out a roll of bills and took off a dollar and "Here," he says. Says the man that was on the log, "Strange to me, you are car? rying a lot of money without any guard." "I got the dog and the sword*" "Let me have the sword and I'll see vdiat guard it is." And he handed him over the sword and he clipped the head off the dog. Well, my gosh, the drover didn't know what he was go? ing to do. "You give me every cent you got or I'll chop the head off you like I did to the dog." "I don't know," the drover says, "It's pretty tough for me to go home without a mark on me. They wouldn't believe me at all. I guess they'll be telling me that I drink the money. But I want you to do this. I'll put my fingers on the log. And you just cut them off me. And be sure," he says, "as strong as you can now." '. "All right," says the tramp was on the log. And the drover went over and put his hand on the log and he was v?atching the sword. And when the sword came down he pulled his hand and the sword went in the log. And before he got the sword the dro? ver got hira, put him down. He started kicking him, smashing his face • and then he was half dead anyway and the drover told him, "Get up." "I can't," he says, "my bones are broke." And there was a big hump on the tramp and he put his sword in and ripped his coat and a lot of bills fall out. Dollar bills and twenty bills and every thing. And he started filling his pockets and filled every dam pocket and left the fellow alongside the road there half dead. That was all right. He come home and in a week's time, you know, early in the morn? ing he heard the rap at the door and he got up and there was two able men there. Well, one of them says, "Will you be kind enough to give me a cup of tea?" "Oh, yes," says the Round Drover. And they were drinking the tea and the two boys • the drover's two boys • were in the next room and they were listening to this. And they drank the tea and one of them got up and said: "You are the man that pretty near killed my father." "I don't know," he says."I damn near killed one man anyway. I don't know whether it was your father or not." "Well look," says one of the boys, "you are going to pay for that today." And one of them went over and grabbed the drover. And the boys that were in the other room came over and they grabbed them and they slashed them to the floor. And they kicked them and raked their faces and kicked them outside. And a week's time after that the drover told his wife and boys, "I'm going on a journey," he says, "to see my friends and neighbors. And I'll be a week or two be? fore I'll come back." And the drover went from house to house, you know, and I don't know how many miles he went out • and he came to a big white hill alongside the road, just like a house. And he went around it, you know, and there was only a lit? tle low door on the lower side of it. And he went over and rapped and somebody o- pened the door and he came in. The drover went in. And he was a good step-dancer. And there was a good violin player there and an old fellow on the floor dancing. They told the drover to sit down for a minute or two. He was listening to the music STORY CONTINUED NEXT PAGE
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