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A BUSH FIRE.

(IGITCTED BY " GUNPOWDEB."}

THE SETTLEB'S TALE.

We'd about a-finißhed milkin', an' the time was just on ten, An* I sez to Jane, my wife, " We'll trad to the store our little nipper. Ben. We're nearly out o' sugar, an* I wuta pound o' naile, r% * An" the weekly Stab beßides, to read (be reg'lar auction Bales." " Don't forget my baccy, lad," (I like* my pipe jus' now an' than) An* be trotted off jus 1 ' joyfully, an* ks, " Dad, I'll soon be back agen." Ben 'd bin gone an hour or bo— the store was Bix mile away— An' wife an* me had fed the calves, *n' fixed 'em for the day. We'd worked hard on that, Motion, »• choppin 1 , burnin' wood. An' we'd a sort o' got things ship'Shipe, as well as wbat we oould. Tbe bouse, it wara't muob—'twas ilab an' ehingle top ; But 'twas all we oould afiord, for at debt we'd alters stop. ' Ourfenoin* wae dog-leg— not very bin* som, true— We hadn't the money to buy wire, an* we made the Btick*fenoe do. She helped to fix that fence up, an* in tbe dwellin* built the bobs, An' ehe'd allers have her band in frdoin' little bandy jobs. She it was as planned tbe cowshed, t>n* me aa oarried 'em out, An' tbe arohiteot, she was handy round, to see em' fixed up stout. An* them there instalments, too, at times they bothered me in a mighty way, But she'd allera show me, in her Btylej how we'd find a means to pay. An' now we'd things a kindo' straight, an' a pound or two we'd got, (Bat we'd worked hard for it, an' we was - allers on tbe spot) ; An' to-day we was a'sittin' down, a-takin of a epelli An' there came a sound upon us, an' both our spirits fell. 11 Good God, the bush is a.firs I"— oar clearin' was in flames— Tbe fire bad kern from tbat busb jus 1 felled by neighbor James. The smoke kern down upon us, and the fire at lightnin' rate it sped, An' the wind was blowin' the flames straight onter our seed- shed. In it we had our cocksfoot stored, safe from wind an* rain. (But we never reokoned on that fire to rob- " us of our gain.) Jane aez to me, " Jack, take this bag, an' don't think o' bavin* a spell, An' knock tbe fire out, an' I'll bring you water from the well." She gey me one look an' I felt I bad tbe power To knock creation out o' sparks (even if they fell in a shower). I set to work with tbe heart of a lion, an' pounded with tbat bag, An' I sez to tbe fire, " Ton fiend, this time you've struck an awk'ard snag !" She brought tbe water to me an' I threw it first on bouse, tben sbed ; Then with the drippin' bag I welted till my sight it a'most fled. Tbe fire it was all round us, ravenous without sham, For it had tbe awful hunger of a six-foot* four hired man,. We worked like fury for two hours, a* drivin* baok the flames, But they went on gleefully, aoarrjin' on their fast-de'stroyin' games. JnV tben tbe wind turned round, an' it drove tbe fire away, An' it scooted down tbe road—it seem'd it bad some further debts to pay ! • * # # I've beard tell o' deeds o' soldierin' on' bravery done in war, Bat a woman workin' in a buah«firo is sometbin' to adore. < Continued on page 4.)

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A BUSH FIRE. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XXVI, Issue 2676, 10 March 1894

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