Far Off eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about Far Off.

The whole party were become so weak from fatigue and thirst, that they could not get on fast, and they found it necessary to save their food as much as possible, that it might last to the end of the long journey.  They took a little flour every day out of their bag, and made it into a paste.  Sometimes they caught a fish, or shot a bird or beast, and then they had a hearty meal.  When they killed one of their sheep, then they had plenty of mutton.  At last, all the sheep were killed but one.

It happened at this time, that one of the horses was so sick that he could not move.  It was plain he would soon die; therefore the travellers determined to kill him, and eat his flesh.  Mr. Eyre was grieved at the thought of killing his horse, neither could he bear the idea of eating horse flesh; but then he feared, that if the horse were not killed, the whole party would be starved.

The native boys were delighted when they knew the horse was to be eaten; for they had long been fretting for more food.  They would like to have devoured it all on the spot; but they were not allowed to do so; the greater part of the flesh was cut off in thin slices, dipped in salt water, and then hung up in the sun to dry, to serve as provision for many days to come.  The boys were permitted to devour the rest of the carcase.

With what haste they prepared the feast!  They made a fire close to the carcase, and then cut off lumps of flesh, which they roasted quickly, and then ate.  They spent the whole afternoon in this manner, looking more like ravenous wolves than human creatures.  When night came, they were not willing to leave their meat, but took as much as ever they could carry into their beds, that they might eat whenever they awoke.  Next day, they returned to the roasting and eating, and the next night again they took meat with them to bed.

Mr. Eyre wondered at their gluttony and he thought it necessary to give them an allowance of food, instead of letting them eat as much as they liked.  He gave five pounds of meat to each boy every day.  Five pounds is as much as a shoulder of mutton—­and ten English boys would think it quite enough for dinner; but the Australian boys were not satisfied!

Mr. Eyre began to suspect that in the night they stole some of the meat hanging up to dry on the trees.  Therefore one night he weighed the meat, and in the morning weighed it again.  He found that four pounds were gone.  He thought it was very ungrateful of boys, to whom he gave so much, to steal from his small stock.  As a punishment he gave them less meat next day than usual.

He entreated the boys to tell him who was the thief.  The eldest and youngest declared that they had not stolen any meat; but Neramberein would not answer at all, and looked sulky and angry, and muttered something about going away, and taking Wylie with him.  Mr. Eyre replied, that he might go if he pleased, while at the same time he warned him of the dangers of the way.

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Far Off from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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