29 August 1911
A PROPERTY OWNER
He is to leave the chestnut at Greta, where he picks up another horse, and the new owner of the pony, beside herself with joy, goes rolling joyously thither ward in the visitors' gig, talking blithely of the glorious time that the advent of the horse upon her youthful horizon has uncurtained for her.
A boy friend passes, astride a sorry-looking nag. Him she hails enthusiastically, at first - till the recollection of her new importance comes home to her, whereupon she check the effusiveness of her greetings, because now she is a person of substance, albeit small. She owns property, horse property, the only property of value in that region - and through bred at that! None of the boys of her acquaintance even had the privilege of occasionally riding such a horse as she now owned, absolutely, as her own.
"Comin," to the party next week?" queried the boy, reining up.
"I don't know yet," was the thoughtful reply.
"I'll get yer the loan of a horse all right," pleaded the youngster.
The girl's eyes dilated and her bosom swelled. There was the ineffable conceit of the property owner in her reply:
"Thankyou you: I have my own."
"Where d'jer get it?" asks the boy in surprise.
"Uncle Jim gave it to me," said the girl, with a great affection of unconcern - the chestnut - the fast chestnut - you know it. It belongs to me, now."
The boy suddenly realises that this sudden accumulation of wealth, has placed a big gulf between him and the young lady. Hopeless now for him to aspire to a place in her .. wild affections - she, the owner of horse property worth anything up to a hundred pounds or two." No he rides gloomerly away.
For the horse is everything in the Kelly country - it is the medium of exchange, the rest of all temptation, the outward and wistful evidence of respectability, and position, and means. By his horse is a nag judged. And lucky be he reckoned who even in these days of sublime conformity with the principles of law and order, takes a good horse into that country - and takes it out again.
But up in the doorway of the rough slab cottage a gaunt woman, spent with the grief of a life of dire misfortune is left to draw her weird of woe. No brightness can come to silver the cloud of gloom that mingles with the approaching shadow of death, weighs down her spirit in despair unto the earth. For her there is no hope of earthly happiness any more. For her the future in all black and dismal as her life has been. Patiently; and with the quiet resignation of despair, she stands at the doorway of her cottage. This poor poor tin bosomed lady looks downward into things not visible to any but herself. May God, in his great mercy send her peace!
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