We - are just some of the bush-folk of the Never-Never.
Distinct in the foreground stand:
The Maluka, The Little Missus, The Sanguine Scot, The Head Stockman, The
Dandy, The Quiet Stockman, The Fizzer, Mine Host, The Wag, Some of our
Guests, A few black "boys" and lubras, A dog or two, Tam-o'-Shanter,
Happy Dick, Sam Lee, and last, but by no means least, Cheon - the
ever-mirthful, ever-helpful, irrepressible Cheon, who was crudely
recorded on the station books as cook and gardener.
The background is filled in with an ever-moving company - a strange
medley of Whites, Blacks, and Chinese; of travellers, overlanders, and
billabongers, who passed in and out of our lives, leaving behind them
sometimes bright memories, sometimes sad, and sometimes little memory at
And All of Us, and many of this company, shared each other's lives for
one bright, sunny year, away Behind the Back of Beyond, in the Land of
the Never-Never; in that elusive land with an elusive name - a land of
dangers and hardships and privations yet loved as few lands are loved - a
land that bewitches her people with strange spells and mysteries, until
they call sweet bitter, and bitter sweet. Called the Never-Never, the
Maluka loved to say, because they, who have lived in it and loved it
Never-Never voluntarily leave it. Sadly enough, there are too many who
Never-Never do leave it.
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