As everything looked so fair-weather-like, Jim and Jeanie made it up to be married as soon after she came up as he could get a house ready. She came up to Sydney, first by sea and after that to the diggings by the coach. She was always a quiet, hard-working, good little soul, awful timid, and prudent in everything but in taking a fancy to Jim. But that's neither here nor there. Women will take fancies as long as the world lasts, and if they happen to fancy the wrong people the more obstinate they hold on to 'em. Jeanie was one of the prettiest girls I ever set eyes on in her way, very fair and clear coloured, with big, soft blue eyes, and hair like a cloud of spun silk. Nothing like her was ever seen on the field when she came up, so all the diggers said.

When they began to write to one another after we came to the Turon, Jim told her straight out that though we were doing well now it mightn't last. He thought she was a great fool to leave Melbourne when she was safe and comfortable, and come to a wild place, in a way like the Turon. Of course he was ready and willing to marry her; but, speaking all for her own good, he advised her not. She'd better give him up and set her mind on somebody else. Girls that was anyway good-looking and kept themselves proper and decent were very scarce in Melbourne and Sydney now, considering the number of men that were making fortunes and were anxious to get a wife and settle down. A girl like her could marry anybody -- most likely some one above her own rank in life. Of course she wouldn't have no one but Jim, and if he was ready to marry her, and could get a little cottage, she was ready too. She would always be his own Jeanie, and was willing to run any kind of risk so as to be with him and near him, and so on.

Starlight and I both tried to keep Jim from it all we knew. It would make things twice as bad for him if he had to turn out again, and there was no knowing the moment when we might have to make a bolt for it; and where could Jeanie go then?

But Jim had got one of his obstinate fits. He said we were regularly mixed up with the diggers now. He never intended to follow any other life, and wouldn't go back to the Hollow or take part in any fresh cross work, no matter how good it might be. Poor old Jim! I really believe he'd made up his mind to go straight from the very hour he was buckled to Jeanie; and if he'd only had common luck he'd have been as square and right as George Storefield to this very hour.

I was near forgetting about old George. My word! he was getting on faster than we were, though he hadn't a golden hole. He was gold-finding in a different way, and no mistake. One day we saw a stoutish man drive up Main Street to the camp, with a well-groomed horse, in a dogcart, and a servant with him; and who was this but old George? He didn't twig us. He drove close alongside of Jim, who was coming back from the creek, where he'd been puddling, with two shovels and a pick over his shoulder, and a pair of old yellow trousers on, and him splashed up to the eyes. George didn't know him a bit. But we knew him and laughed to ourselves to see the big swell he had grown into. He stopped at the camp and left his dogcart outside with his man. Next thing we saw was the Commissioner walking about outside the camp with him, and talking to him just as if he was a regular intimate friend.

The Commissioner, that was so proud that he wouldn't look at a digger or shake hands with him, not if he was a young marquis, as long as he was a digger. 'No!' he used to say, 'I have to keep my authority over these thousands and tens of thousands of people, some of them very wild and lawless, principally by moral influence, though, of course, I have the Government to fall back upon. To do that I must keep up my position, and over-familiarity would be the destruction of it.' When we saw him shaking hands with old George and inviting him to lunch we asked one of the miners next to our claim if he knew what that man's name and occupation was there.

'Oh!' he says, 'I thought everybody knew him. That's Storefield, the great contractor. He has all the contracts for horse-feed for the camps and police stations; nearly every one between here and Kiandra. He's took 'em lucky this year, and he's making money hand over fist.'

Well done, steady old George! No wonder he could afford to drive a good horse and a swell dogcart. He was getting up in the world. We were a bit more astonished when we heard the Commissioner say --

'I am just about to open court, Mr. Storefield. Would you mind taking a few cases with me this morning?'

We went into the courthouse just for a lark. There was old George sitting on the bench as grave as a judge, and a rattling good magistrate he made too. He disagreed from the Commissioner once or twice, and showed him where he was right, too, not in the law but in the facts of the case, where George's knowing working men and their ways gave him the pull. He wasn't over sharp and hard either, like some men directly they're raised up a bit, just to show their power. But just seemed to do a fair thing, neither too much one way or the other. George stayed and had lunch at the camp with the Commissioner when the court was adjourned, and he drove away afterwards with his upstanding eighty-guinea horse -- horses was horses in those days -- just as good a gentleman to look at as anybody. Of course we knew there was a difference, and he'd never get over a few things he'd missed when he was young, in the way of education. But he was liked and respected for all that, and made welcome everywhere. He was a man as didn't push himself one bit. There didn't seem anything but his money and his good-natured honest face, and now and then a bit of a clumsy joke, to make him a place. But when the swells make up their minds to take a man in among themselves they're not half as particular as commoner people; they do a thing well when they're about it.