'Hold up your hand,' she said. 'Now, papa, lend me yours.' With the last she cleared the wound of the flowing blood, and then neatly and skilfully bound up the wrist firmly with the strips of cambric. This she further protected by her father's handkerchief, which she helped herself to and finally stopped the blood with.

Jim kept looking at her small white hands all the time she was doing it. Neither of us had ever seen such before -- the dainty skin, the pink nails, the glittering rings.

'There,' she said, 'I don't think you ought to shear any more to-day; it might bring on inflammation. I'll send to know how it gets on tomorrow.'

'No, miss; my grateful thanks, miss,' said Jim, opening his eyes and looking as if he'd like to drop down on his knees and pray to her. 'I shall never forget your goodness, Miss Falkland, if I live till I'm a hundred.' Then Jim bent his head a bit -- I don't suppose he ever made a bow in his life before -- and then drew himself up as straight as a soldier, and Miss Falkland made a kind of bow and smile to us all and passed out.

Jim did shear all the same that afternoon, though the tally wasn't any great things. 'I can't go and lie down in a bunk in the men's hut,' he said; 'I must chance it,' and he did. Next day it was worse and very painful, but Jim stuck to the shears, though he used to turn white with the pain at times, and I thought he'd faint. However, it gradually got better, and, except a scar, Jim's hand was as good as ever.

Jim sent back Mr. Falkland's handkerchief after getting the cook to wash it and iron it out with a bit of a broken axletree; but the strips of white handkerchief -- one had C. F. in the corner -- he put away in his swag, and made some foolish excuse when I laughed at him about it.

She sent down a boy from the house next day to ask how Jim's hand was, and the day after that, but she never came to the shed any more. So we didn't see her again.

So it was this young lady that we saw coming tearing down the back road, as they called it, that led over the Pretty Plain. A good way behind we saw Mr. Falkland, but he had as much chance of coming up with her as a cattle dog of catching a 'brush flyer'.

The stable boy, Billy Donnellan, had told us (of course, like all those sort of youngsters, he was fond of getting among the men and listening to them talk) all about Miss Falkland's new mare.

She was a great beauty and thoroughbred. The stud groom had bought her out of a travelling mob from New England when she was dog-poor and hardly able to drag herself along. Everybody thought she was going to be the best lady's horse in the district; but though she was as quiet as a lamb at first she had begun to show a nasty temper lately, and to get very touchy. 'I don't care about chestnuts myself,' says Master Billy, smoking a short pipe as if he was thirty; 'they've a deal of temper, and she's got too much white in her eye for my money. I'm afeard she'll do some mischief afore we've done with her; and Miss Falkland's that game as she won't have nothing done to her. I'd ride the tail off her but what I'd bring her to, if I had my way.'

So this was the brute that had got away with Miss Falkland, the day we were coming back from Bundah. Some horses, and a good many men and women, are all pretty right as long as they're well kept under and starved a bit at odd times. But give them an easy life and four feeds of corn a day, and they're troublesome brutes, and mischievous too.

It seems this mare came of a strain that had turned out more devils and killed more grooms and breakers than any other in the country. She was a Troubadour, it seems; there never was a Troubadour yet that wouldn't buck and bolt, and smash himself and his rider, if he got a fright, or his temper was roused. Men and women, horses and dogs, are very much alike. I know which can talk best. As to the rest, I don't know whether there's so much for us to be proud of.

It seems that this cranky wretch of a mare had been sideling and fidgeting when Mr. Falkland and his daughter started for their ride; but had gone pretty fairly -- Miss Falkland, like my sister Aileen, could ride anything in reason -- when suddenly a dead limb dropped off a tree close to the side of the road.

I believe she made one wild plunge, and set to; she propped and reared, but Miss Falkland sat her splendidly and got her head up. When she saw she could do nothing that way, she stretched out her head and went off as hard as she could lay legs to the ground.

She had one of those mouths that are not so bad when horses are going easy, but get quite callous when they are over-eager and excited. Anyhow, it was like trying to stop a mail-coach going down Mount Victoria with the brake off.

So what we saw was the wretch of a mare coming along as if the devil was after her, and heading straight across the plain at its narrowest part; it wasn't more than half-a-mile wide there, in fact, it was more like a flat than a plain. The people about Boree didn't see much open country, so they made a lot out of what they had.

The mare, like some women when they get their monkey up, was clean out of her senses, and I don't believe anything could have held her under a hide rope with a turn round a stockyard post. This was what she wanted, and if it had broken her infernal neck so much the better.

Miss Falkland was sitting straight and square, with her hands down, leaning a bit back, and doing her level best to stop the brute. Her hat was off and her hair had fallen down and hung down her back -- plenty of it there was, too. The mare's neck was stretched straight out; her mouth was like a deal board, I expect, by that time.

We didn't sit staring at her all the time, you bet. We could see the boy ever so far off. We gathered up our reins and went after her, not in a hurry, but just collecting ourselves a bit to see what would be the best way to wheel the brute and stop her.

Jim's horse was far and away the fastest, and he let out to head the mare off from a creek that was just in front and at the end of the plain.

'By George!' said one of the men -- a young fellow who lived near the place -- 'the mare's turning off her course, and she's heading straight for the Trooper's Downfall, where the policeman was killed. If she goes over that, they'll be smashed up like a matchbox, horse and rider.'

'What's that?' I said, closing up alongside of him. We were all doing our best, and were just in the line to back up Jim, who looked as if he was overhauling the mare fast.

'Why, it's a bluff a hundred feet deep -- a straight drop -- and rocks at the bottom. She's making as straight as a bee-line for it now, blast her!'

'And Jim don't know it,' I said; 'he's closing up to her, but he doesn't calculate to do it for a quarter of a mile more; he's letting her take it out of herself.'

'He'll never catch her in time,' said the young chap. 'My God! it's an awful thing, isn't it? and a fine young lady like her -- so kind to us chaps as she was.'

'I'll see if I can make Jim hear,' I said, for though I looked cool I was as nearly mad as I could be to think of such a girl being lost before our eyes. 'No, I can't do that, but I'll TELEGRAPH.'