“Your noble actin’,” said Bill, “has saved our Puddin’s life.”
“Them Puddin’-thieves,” said Sam, “was children in your hands.”
“We hear you,” sang out the Possum, and the Wombat added, “Oh, what deceit! "
“Enough of you two,” shouted Bill. “If we catch you sneakin’ after our Puddin’ again, you’ll get such a beltin’ that you’ll wish you was vegetarians. And now,” said he, “for a glorious reunion round the camp fire.”
And a glorious reunion they had, tucking into hot steak-and-kidney puddin’ and boiled jam roll, which, after the exertions of the day, went down, as Bill said, “Grand.”
“If them Puddin’-thieves ain’t sufferin’ the agonies of despair at this very moment, I’ll eat my hat along with the Puddin’,” said Bill, exultantly.
“Indeed,” said Bunyip Bluegum, “the consciousness that our enemies are deservedly the victims of acute mental and physical anguish, imparts, it must be admitted, an additional flavour to the admirable Puddin’.”
“Well spoken,” said Bill, admiringly. “Which I will say, that for turning off a few well-chosen words no parson in the land is the equal of yourself.”
“Your health!” said Bunyip Bluegum.
The singing that evening was particularly loud and prolonged, owing to the satisfaction they all felt at the recovery of their beloved Puddin’. The Puddin’, who had got the sulks over Sam’s remark that fifteen goes of steak and kidney were enough for any self-respecting man, protested against the singing, which, he said, disturbed his gravy. “`More eating and less noise,’ is my motto,” he said, and he called Bill a leather-headed old barrel organ for reproving him.
“Albert is a spoilt child, I fear,” said Bill, shoving him into the bag to keep him quiet, and without more ado, led off with—
“Ho! aboard the Salt Junk Sarah,
Rollin’ home around the Horn,
The Bo’sun pulls the Captain’s nose
For treatin’ him with scorn.
“Rollin’ home, rollin’ home,
Rollin’ home across the foam.
The Bo’sun goes with thumps and blows
The whole way rollin’ home.
“But,” said Bill to Bunyip Bluegum, after about fifteen verses of the ‘Salt Junk Sarah’, “the superior skill, ingenuity an’ darin’ with which you bested them Puddin’-snatchers reminds me of a similar incident in Sam’s youth, which I will now sing you. The incident, though similar as regards courage an’ darin’, is totally different in regard to everythin’ else, and is entitled—
“’Twas on the “Saucy Soup Tureen”,
That Sam was foremast hand,
When on the quarter-deck was see
A maiding fit to be a Queen
With her old Uncle stand.
“And Sam he chewed salt junk all
Day with grief forlorn,
Because the Hearl of Buncle,
The lovely maiding’s Uncle,
Regarded him with scorn.