"Thanks, Bittern! thanks!" they both cried, but the creamy brown bird paid no attention to their gratitude: it seemed absorbed in looking for frogs on its way. All that day the Kangaroo and Dot stayed near the cave, so that the poor animal might get quite well again.
"Dear me, no!" replied the Kangaroo, "but I'd rather have a talk with any other bush creature. First of all, the sight of it makes me so uncomfortable, that I want to hop away the instant I set eyes upon it. Then, too, it's so difficult to be polite to the Platypus, because one never knows how to behave towards it.
Unless, therefore, the ground be well known, it is always advisable to take a native, who can inform you where the pools or springs are situated. Four of us set out, well mounted, and attended by a native on foot, and five kangaroo dogs. These dogs are descended from a cross between a bloodhound and a greyhound, and combine strength, fleetness, scent, and sight.
'You don't laugh at me behind my back? 'No, dear. You see, you are more to me than any one else. Put this cloak thing round you, or you'll get chilled. Maisie wrapped herself in the soft marten skins, turning the gray kangaroo fur to the outside. 'This is delicious, she said, rubbing her chin thoughtfully along the fur. 'Well? Why am I wrong in trying to get a little success?
At about noon they came to a part of the country which the Kangaroo said she well knew. "But we must be careful," she added, "as we are very near Humans in this part." Dot had to promise the Kangaroo over and over again, not to leave the spot during her absence. She was afraid lest the little girl should get lost, like the little Joey.
You also must have lost something. Tell me what it is?" "I've lost my way," said Dot; rather wondering if the Kangaroo would understand her. "Ah!" said the Kangaroo, quite delighted at her own cleverness, "I knew you had lost something! Isn't it a dreadful feeling? You feel as if you had no inside, don't you? And you're not inclined to eat anything not even the youngest grass.
They attempted to follow the times and the manners of England; but here they were in the Antipodes, where everything was exactly opposite to English conditions. There were no natural grain-crops; there were practically no food-animals good to eat. Even so it was in very limited supply. The early settlers ate kangaroo flesh gladly, but they were not able to get enough of it to keep them in meat.
The Kangaroo saw at a glance where lay their only chance of life. She picked up Dot, placed her in her pouch, and without a word leaped forward towards that fearful gulf of darkness and foaming waters. As they neared the spot, Dot saw that the hunted animal was going to try and leap across to the other side.
Shriek upon shriek of despair came piercing the gloomy night, and then, as Augusta struggled to her feet, she felt a horrible succession of bumps, accompanied by a crushing, grinding noise. It was the Kangaroo driving right over the remains of the whaler.