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At the present claim he and his mates had toiled for months, overcoming one difficulty after another.The slabbing, for instance, had cost them infinite trouble; it was roughly done, too, and, even after the pins were in, great flakes of earth would come tumbling down from between the joints, on one occasion nearly knocking silly the man who was below.They had only been eight in all—a hand-to-mouth number for a deep wet hole.Then, one had died of dysentery, contracted from working constantly in water up to his middle; another had been nabbed in a manhunt and clapped into the "logs." And finally, but a day or two back, the three men who completed the nightshift had deserted for a new "rush" to the Avoca. There was nothing left for him, Long Jim, to do, but to take his dish and turn fossicker; or even to aim no higher than washing over the tailings rejected by the fossicker. He cursed the day on which he had first set foot on Ballarat. " "'Ere, 'ave another drink, matey, and fergit yer bloody troubles." His re-filled pannikin drained, he grew warmer round the heart; and sang the praises of his former life.She takes them to the bedroom and encourages them to warm up by kissing, unbuttoning Suzi’s shirt to reveal her beautiful breasts and fondling them as Suzi sucks her lover’s stiff nipples.Suzi lies back in Cindy’s lap and Francys tugs down her panties and licks her pussy, with Cindy spreading her lips open to expose her clit.Well, they wouldn't be many; this was not a place that made old bones.And, as he sat, worked on by grief and liquor, he was seized by a desperate homesickness for the old country. He shut his eyes, and all the well-known sights and sounds of the familiar streets came back to him.
He and another man had gone to the hills, to hew trees for more slabs; the rest to the grog-shop.In a shaft on the Gravel Pits, a man had been buried alive.At work in a deep wet hole, he had recklessly omitted to slab the walls of a drive; uprights and tailors yielded under the lateral pressure, and the rotten earth collapsed, bringing down the roof in its train.It was quick in coming; and the lad was hauled to the surface.
No hope: both drives had fallen in; the bottom of the shaft was blocked.Might the rogues who had spread these lies be damned to all eternity!