Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Corpus of Oz Early English 4-058 (Original)

4-058 (Original)

Item metadata
author,male,Darrell, George,42 addressee
Word Count :
Plaint Text :
Speech Based
Darrell, 1883
Document metadata

4-058.txt — 11 KB

File contents

The mining camp in Australia, twelve months after. Time scene opens with a dance, after which the characters break up into groups - SMIFFERS and REBECCA, IVO and other characters.
JOE: Now then, clear the course here for the sack race. 
OMNES: The sack race! The sack race!
Here they come! Here they come!
(Business. SMIFFERS knocks against JINKS.) 
JINKS: Where are you going to, eh? Get out!
(Business with REBECCA. who knocks JOE on the head with her parasol.)
JOE: Here, I say, what are you up to?
REBECCA: Keep hoff or I'll prod yer.
OMNES: Here they come, here they come! Clear the course!
(Business with sack race etc.)
JOE: Now then, all this way to the ring for the wrestling match. All this way!
OMNES: The wrestling watch! All this way! etc.
JINKS: (to REBECCA) Excuse me, Miss, are you engaged for the next dance?
REBECCA: I ham not, nor is I likely to be. I hain't in the habit of dancing with her Colonial.
JINKS: Oh, you needn't put any frills on. I suppose you're going to have a turn with the chimney ornament.
(He indicates SMIFFERS.)
REBECCA: Chimney ornament! Don't you go a-chaffing of me, young man, as two can play at that game. [32]
JINKS: I pass.
JINKS: Don't play - -I pass.
REBECCA: I believe yer does - anythink from a lead sixpence to a bad sovereign.
JINKS: That's one for the orphan, anyhow.
(Business. Enter MONTE JACK and BUTTONER. Three card trick, etc.)
Here's a lark. The three card monte man and his buttoner in full black. (Singing) Will you walk into my parlour, says the spider to the fly.
MONTE JACK: Now then, gents, pop it down - the simplest game as is, now. Here you goes - There he is. - Now you see him Then you don't! Three cards - a nine, a four - -and a blooming king - and what you has to do is to find the picter card. Now. skin yer lamps and watch. One, two, three, and away she goes! I bets live to ten, fifteen bob or a quid, as nobody 
(Business with cards.)
REBECCA: Oh, Smiffers, it's has heasy as say knife! I see him safe as houses.
(Business. BUTTONER holds tip note.)
MONTE: You goes a sov, sir? Done, sir. Which on 'em, sir? Mind what you're hat, sir.
(BUTTONER picks up king.)
OMNES: Hurrah, he's got the right one!
MONTE: Well, who'd a thought it - you poked him first time! Here's your money, sir. Now here we goes agin. One, two, three, and there's the king - the nine - and the four - any part of a flyer nobody finds the king!
(Business.) [33]
Now, gents, pop it down. (To SMIFFERS) Pop it down, pop it down. You, sir?
(SMIFFERS nods.)
How much, sir? One sov? Two - or three?
MONTE: Right you is, three thick 'uns it is, and I gives yer the straight griffen - what you has to do is to spot his Royal Nibs. If you catches the king! give you three pound, and if the bobby catches me he gives me three months.
(All laugh.)
Now then, where's yer three quid?
(Business. REBECCA puts three sovereigns on table, and picks up wrong card.)
REBECCA: It's the wrong one - who'd have thought it!
(He takes up money. All laugh. Enter POLICEMAN.)
It's a burgerly and a swindle. I'll have my money back!
(All laugh.)
Here, policeman, collar him!
(POLICEMAN does so.)
MONTE: Here, cheese it, cheese it!
REBECCA: Take him away, officer, he's a garrotter.
MONTE: Here, I say, copper, what yer doing interfering with the working man like this?
(Business with POLICEMAN. Exit all except principal characters.)
REBECCA: (to SMIFFERS) And you standing there like a stuck pig and the man bolting with my money!
SMIFFERS: Your money! If I remember distincually it was my money! [34]
REBECCA: P. Smiffers, Esquire, as the future Mrs. Smiffers I begs to remark that what's yours is mine and what's mine's my own, and if ever I catches you gambling again -
SMIFFERS: Rebecca Hann, it was yourself!
REBECCA: Don't contradict me, Smiffers, or I gives yer yer walking ticket and marries the sergeant, and that'll upset your applecart!
(Exit SMIFFERS and REBECCA. GRUMP, now drunk, rolls from the bar. Enter BUBS and IVO.)
BUBS: (to GRUMP) Hello mate. Enjoying yourself as usual? He has been going it, and no mistake!
IVO: Seems a little off-colour. Friend of yours?
BUBS: Oh no. I've seen him about the camp. The boys call him Grump, He's a hatter.
IVO: Is he? By Jove, when he's sober I can give him a job.
IVO: I sat on my stalker the other day.
BUBS: Oh, you muggins!
IVO: Muggins! Thank you.
BUBS: You don't see it?
IVO: I certainly do not.
BUBS: He fossicks up the gully alone. He's a fossicker.
IVO: A whaticker?
BUBS: A fossicker.
IVO: You said he was a hatter just now.
BUBS: So he is - works by himself - plays a lone hand, d'ye tumble?
IVO: Certainly not - -what should I tumble for?
BUBS: Oh, you don't take?
IVO: Oh, I see. Tumble - oh yes, I tumble now to 'tumble', but I don't altogether tumble to the other tumble.
BUBS: Well. Grump is a digger who fossicks and digs alone without mates, and that's what we call a hatter. D'ye see?
IVO: Oh yes, I see - I tumble now, all over.
BUBS: Oh dear, you're still an awful New Chum. You're green enough for a jackeroo.
IVO: A what?
BUBS: Never heard of a jackeroo?
IVO: No. I've heard of a Mick hurroo, but never a Jack. [35]
(BUBS laughs. Cheers are heard off for MATT MORLEY. Enter MATT and CLARICE.)
MORLEY: Thank you, boys. Hope you are all enjoying yourselves. It's a beautiful day, regular Queen's weather, and I'm going to shout all round that we may drink Her Majesty's health.
(All cheer.)
Before I do, will you just give three cheers for her. Now, hats off, boys!
(All take hats off but two IRISHMEN.)
Three cheers for the Queen!
(All cheer but the two IRISH MEN.)
JINKS: (to IRISHMEN) Why didn't you take off your hats and cheer?
(JINKS knocks off one IRISH MAN's hat and IVO the other's. Fight with IRISHMEN. Enter SMIFFERS, REBECCA and SWOOP.)
SWOOP: Come on wid you. I'll teach ye to beat the Force! (He seizes SMIFFERS.)
REBECCA: Murder!
MORLEY: Hold on there, what's the matter?
SWOOP: Obstructing the Force and creating a disturbance. Go on now.
(All hoot and howl.)
MORLEY: You've got the wrong party. The man you want ran down there. You go after him and I'll take care of this fellow till you come back. (Handing him money) And you can drink the Queen's health meanwhile.
SWOOP: Ah, sure I couldn't do it. [36]
MORLEY: Oh, yes you can now.
SWOOP: Faith, I could not.
MORLEY: There he is --that's the man
SWOOP: What, yonder?
SWOOP: The man that made the row?
MORLEY: The very same.
SWOOP: Sure, I'll run him in - I'll teach him to break the peace and attack the Force.
(Exit. Business with REBECCA and SMIFFERS. Enter JOE.)
JOE: Order! Order! Have you heard the news?
JOE: They've just found a terrific nugget in Matt Morley's claim, and Ben Brewer and your men are bringing it here on the road to the bank.
(All cheer.)
Here they come. Make room, there - look out.
(Enter BEN, JINKS, MINERS, etc. They wheel on the nugget.)
MORLEY: Well, BEN, old boy, what's up?
JINKS: Spit it out, Ben, old sport.
OMNES: Give it mouth!
BEN: I'm a digger, I am, and I ain't much on palaver, but what I says I means and what I says I does, and what I says, old pal (to MORLEY) is as we've struck it hot - that's what we have, struck it hot.
BUBS: Good for you, Benny, old man! We're in!
BEN: What did I say that night to my mates! Here, Hub and Matt, why, says I, I has a presentiment as how the Queen's Birthday is going to turn up trumps, and I'm going to work for luck, says I, on speck. Did I say that or didn't I?
MORLEY: You did, Ben, old man, you did.
BUBS: Right you are, Benny, old man.
BEN: Well, I'm a digger, I am, and what I means I says, and what I Says I does. So this morning I goes to the claim and we've struck it hot, that's what we have - and it's there. [37]
JINKS: Show it up, Benny, old toucher!
BEN: It's the Queen's Birthday as brings him forth - it's the Queen's flag as covers him - and here he is - the Birthday Nugget!
BUBS: My word, he is a beauty.
MORLEY: He's a daisy and no flies.
JINKS: Ain't he a whopper I don't think!
OMNES: Oh, what a big 'un!
MORLEY: Lift him up, Ben.
(Business. All cheer.)
MORLEY: He weighs a bit.
BEN: Seven thousand pounds' worth if there's a pennyweight. I'm a digger, I am, and I know.
MORLEY: Back he goes, and off to the bank with him. BEN: There he lies. I call him the Birthday Nugget - found him on the Old Woman's birthday - I wraps him up in the Old Flag.
(All cheer loudly.)
OMNES: Aye, sing the song! Go it, Morley! Now, then, old pal - SONG AND CHORUS
Night scene in bush near diggings. Enter BLACK STEVE.
STEVE: Come on. Couldn't strike a better place than this.
DUGGAN: This will do. Drop down to that tree, Steve, and see no one comes up the gully.
STEVE: All right.
(Exit.) [38]
DUGGAN: Now then, mate, there's no one else within cooeeing distance. What ye got to say?
POUNCE: Hush! Not so loud. We must be careful, sir, careful, altho' it's a mere matter of business, sir - nothing more.
DUGGAN: All right - spit it out. And look here - take off them goggles when you're jawing to me. I want to see that you're dealing on the square. There's no one to spot you here - -take 'em off.
(POUNCE does so.)
Now what do you want with us ?
POUNCE: Hush! You know Matt Morley, don't you?
POUNCE: Ah yes, yes, and I'm told that you've no particular reason to love him.
DUGGAN: Love him!
POUNCE: Hush, my dear sir. For Heaven's sake be quiet.
DUGGAN: Well, get on. If you know who I am, and that bad blood's between Matt Morley and me, come straight to what you want at once.
POUNCE: Yes, certainly, yes. You don't love him, and if you could you'd pay him the grudge you owe him.
DUGGAN: I would.
POUNCE: Good, very good. Now I know another party who has a grudge against this Morley and who wouldn't mind paying liberally to gratify that grudge.
DUGGAN: What do you want done and what'll you pay?
POUNCE: Well, you see, my principal objects to Mr. Morley's presence in England, and he's willing to pay certain sums to any person who will prevent said Mr. Morley leaving the Colonies.
DUGGAN: There's one sure way to prevent him. (Drawing pistol) Is it this you mean?
Pounce: Put it up, it's dangerous - besides, I said nothing of violence.
DUGGAN: No, you didn't, but I don't suppose you'd cry your eyes out if he'd an ounce of lead in him. What d'yer pay for it?
POUNCE: Nothing at all, sir. Good gracious, I suggested a simple thing - - that as long as Mr. Morley stayed in the Colonies my principal is prepared to pay certain sums --- - -mere matter of business, nothing more. [39]
DUGGAN: What makes you think he's going to leave?
POUNCE: That's my business, sir. Why shouldn't he? His claim's turned out well and today I hear they've found a gigantic nugget.
DUGGAN: Eh! They have! Where is it! What's its value?
POUNCE: They took it to the bank, and I'm told it's worth six or seven thousand pounds.
DUGGAN: Well, suppose I says as 'ow Matt Morley shan't leave the Colonies for England, what's yer pay if I stop him?