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¡1 "WILDERNESS I jJ ORPHAN"
ll The Story Of Chut, [
li The Kangaroo.
j Dorothy Cottrell j
Like an ovil shadow on tho sunshine of (his young romance hovered the nial cvolenl-oyed Mutton, always ready to charge upon the unguarded Chut.
Hut Chut was growing fast now- He was Kt il l nowhere near his full growth, hut he was long-honed, erect, with muscles swelling beneath the fur of his forearms and back. When be drew him- self up he was almost as tall as Mrs
After the manner of kangaroos, he was consumingly curious. He wanted to see everything. He tasted every- thing, and he particularly loved bread and sugar.
All three kangaroos would come beg- ging for this about the dinner table gentle things, modest and embarrassed on tho slippery linoleum. When they received their pieces of sugared bread, they were trained to carry tbcm out-
One day they had just got their sweet- ened bread and carried it out beneath the big pepper tree, when the maraud- ing Mutton bore down upon them- He was a big, curl-horned sheep now, but his nature waa unchanged, and his pur- poses evil, OB of old.
Chut and Zodie hopped nimbly out of the way, still holding their crusts, but Blue Baby dropped hers. Had William Mutton contented himself with merely taking the bread, it is doubtful that Chut would have noticed, but William, who in thc paBt had always confined his attacks lo Chut, suddenly decided that Blue Baby would do as well. And wifb. an evil "Baa," lie charged her-sending her sprawling to the gra6B with little chitting exclamations of frightl
Chut dropped his bread, drew himself up on toes and lower tail-arch, and made a few bouncing, dancing stepB , a kangaroo's invitation lo fight or to j r,fty
1 William Mutton was now munching
the crust. Chut danced up to the sheep, his arms hanging out from his sides, his ribs expanded. "Chut!" he cried harsh- ly. "Chut! Chut! Chut! "
"Ba-a" said William Mutton, con- temptuously masticating. Next moment be was grabbed by the back-wool, and
one ol Clint's iona hind toes kicked him
in the side, tearing out a hunk of wool aa it ripped downward.
Like- moet bullies. William was an ar- rant coward. He bleated and leaped for safety-Chut clawed for his fat rump as he went, and pulled out more wool. William fled blindly, crying loudly for undeserved help. Chut followed him. Tho swimming pool lay before them. At its edge, William, who dreaded water, tried to wheel, and at the same moment gave a foolish prancing1 rear.
This was fatal. A kangaroo cannot kick well unless it can embrace the thing it ia kicking. William's eemi-leap brought him to the perfect height for Chut's best attentions. Chut's strong muscled arms clasped the writhing form of Mutton to his chest. With chuts and twitters of rage he delivered a whirl- wind of kicks to his victim's stomach.
They were his first fighting kicks, and were not really well directed which was as welt for - William-but they drew bleats and wool at each ap- plication. Then Chut lost his balance, released his hold for a foment, and Wil- liam Mutton made a frantic leap. for safety-into the pool.
Tom Henton, who had been an amused and astonished spectator, fished him out again. He emerged a sadder and a wiser sheep to whom a kangaroo's stom- ach was forever sacred.
But Chut had tasted the hot wine of his own strength. He wanted to wres- tle. During the next days he hopped about the garden enclosure, with his arma swinging out from his sides, his chest expanded, and his spine curving backward. He stood in front of Tom Henton, as the men came in of an even- ing and made little sparring aide-hops on the extreme tips of bis toes and the rigid arch of his lower tail.
One night the man laughingly put on boxing gloves and sparred with the kan- garoo. Mrs Henton watched them with alarm, for a kangaroo can disembowel a man or a dog with a single scythe rip of his hooked foot. But it was soon obvious that Chut understood the play- ful nature of the battle. They clinched and swayed, they sparred and side- stepped. After this they wrestled al- most every evening, and so " boxing "
was added to Chut s tricks.
That summer had been a particularly busy one for Tom Henton, and ao he had engaged a " yardman " to look after the cows and the wood-chopping and the home vegetable garden. The youth who performed these duties was not prepos- sessing, and his progress was exasperat- ingly deliberate. Still, labour was hard to get, and Tom decided to keep him until after the shearing.
Chut ignored the fellow's existence. At least, he ignored it until shearing
The shearing shed and the sheep yards were half a mile from the house, but Chut caught far Meatings, exciting scents, distant shoutings....
Chut wanted to see the shearing! He plainly intimated as much when Tom Henton was riding out of a morning, placing one horny, confiding hand upon the man's Btirrup as a hint that he was coming, too. When, in spit« of this hint, lie was left behind, he hopped up and down inside the enclosure fence, thumping his 20-pound tail loudly upon the ground as an indication of his ex- treme displeasure.
Tom had given instructions that the big kangaroo was not to he let out during shearing. He didn't want any shearer man's tricks played upon Chut. Hut the yardman resolved to take Chut down to the shed and stage a demonstration fight for a shilling-a-man admission.
In order to do this, he waited until a Sunday afternoon when Tom waa away bringing in sheep for Monday'» "run," and Mrs Henton was asleep. Clint was doling under a pepper-tree when the yardman called him softly and enticed
him with bread. But Chut took no
notice until he paw the man open thc gate. Then he followed all the way to the shed, hopping confidently behind the yardman's pony. At the flied ho was embarrassed by thc number of people about, and because the yardman was at least familiar, Chut followed him more closely still.
The yardman collected his shillings, Iand then lcd thc pulled kangaroo into
the wool mom, while the audience scated itself upon the stacked bules of wool. The yardman fastened on Chut's gloves and put on gloves himself. Then lie stepped out in a fighting attitude, baying: "Come on, boy."
Chut did not move. He was fright
ened by the laughter, the voice». Also, he was particular about the people with whom he fought. His boxing was a love gaine that he played with Tom.
"Put 'e.-i up!r' said that yardman, tapping Chut lightly on the cheek.
Chut sat far back on his haunches and chutted offendedly. The man danced up and down before him and poked him in the ribs. Chut protested with dignity but made so attempt to fight.
Grumbling began among the members of the audience. "Hey, where's my shil- ling t " . . . " ThiB is a dead show 7 " ..." That the beBt he can do t "
The yardman began to loBe his tem- per. The fool beast fought quick enough when he wanted to! He was going to fight now ! He hit Chut in the lower ribs. Chut twittered and looked about with greet soft eyes-appealing for fair play.
Still, he obviously hod no intention of sparring. He was a picture of gentle, slightly pompous, much offended cour- tesy. His small twitters and chuts were in appealing and comical contrast to bis
sice. He looked about for Tom or Mrs
Tho yardman WBB hot. nervous, and exasperated. His audience was threot ening to walk out on him. Unnoticed by any of the spectators, he surrepti- tiously took his cigarette from his lips, and holding it hidden in bis glove, he pressed the glowing tip upon Chut's
Tho sequel happened so quickly thal no one wns sure of just how Chut got the silly cloves ott. But the next second he was holding the screaming yardman in his powerful hug, and, having torn the youth's trousers off, was operating
on his shirt tail.
As the shirt vanished, the kangaroo's great toe plied artistically for a hold on thc yardman's abdomen. With his hands he clawed out the yardman's hair. Ilia eyes had a new, murderous light, ile shook and hent thc man in his