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And so, for two years, they lived on at Castle Lashcairn; for long days sometimes Louis went off to Cook's Wall, and she despaired. Most of the time she hoped blindly. Much of the time they were incredibly happy in small things. Some slight measure of prosperity came to Loose End. The uncle who used to send the gramophone records retired from business and, buying himself an annuity, divided his money between his few relatives so that he could see what they did with it before he died. Quite a respectable flock of sheep came to take the place of those drowned in the flood and burnt in the fire; a horse and buggy went to and fro between Loose End and the station; Scottie the collie got busy and two shepherds came, building another hut at the other side of the run. A plague of rabbits showed Mr. Twist the folly of putting off the construction of rabbit-proof fencing any longer, now that he could afford it, and the gorse was once more left uncleared for months in the pressure of new things. Neighbours came, too the deposit of manganese at Cook's Wall was found cropping up on the extreme borders of Gaynor's run, and a tiny mining township called Klondyke settled itself round the excavations five miles from the Homestead. Marcella made friends with everyone, to Louis's amazement. To him friendliness was only possible when whisky had taken away his self-consciousness; the parties of miscellaneous folks who turned up on Sundays, bringing their own food, as is the way in the Bush where the nearest store is often fifty miles away, worried him at first. He stammered and was awkward and ungracious with them, but Marcella, dimly realizing that it must be bad for him to be drawn in so much upon their égoïsme