Ben; and Kyley returned as silently to his seat, and sat smoking throughout the scene that followed, apparently quite listless. 'Am I selling sly grog, Mr. Sergeant? Then it's a miracle where it comes from. I haven't a drop in the place, or I'd stand you a nobbler gladly. It's my opinion there are worse-looking men than Sergeant Wallis in gaol.
At such places "The Crew" paddles ashore in the dingey, or possibly a boat comes off to us, bearing two or three bushmen, who, may be, think that the opportunity for getting a nobbler ought not to be suffered to pass by. We have three or four townships to call at, places where the Government has set aside a certain tract of land for a future town.
We merely thought that you might be willing to assist in carrying our luggage." "I assist you in carrying your luggage! A good joke! But I see you are not quite what I took you for; and if you'll stand a nobbler or two, I don't mind calling a porter for you, and showing you to a slap-up inn to suit you," said the man, his manner completely changing.
I said, "Well, now, my impression is that it would require very little grog to do that." He said, "Why, I'd drink six bottles off and never know it." I said, "Well, the next bottle we open you shall have as much out of it as you can take in one drink, even if you drink the whole bottle." He replied, "Oh, all right, I'll leave a nobbler for you, you know, Mr.
Beer, or more frequently spirits, form the favourite 'nobbler, the price of which varies from fourpence to eightpence in Sydney and Adelaide according to the drink. In Melbourne all drinks are sixpence.
Here's your health, Boss, and the Ladyship's. And the mailman gulped down his 'nobbler' and turned to remount the lean chestnut, which was standing hitched to the palings, observing cheerfully: 'Well, so long, Sir. Go'day, Ma'am. This sort of argufying ain't going to carry my mail-bags along the river. 'Go up to the Quarters and ask Mrs Hensor for a feed, called McKeith.
Apart from bush terms, there are town appellations, such as 'larrikin, which means a 'rough. The word is said to have originated with an Irish policeman, who spoke of some boys who had been brought before the Melbourne Police Court as 'larriking around, instead of 'larking. To 'have a nip' is to take a 'nobbler. A white man born in Australia is a 'colonial, vulgarly a 'gum-sucker; if he was born in New South Wales, he is also a 'cornstalk. An aboriginal is always a 'black fellow. A native of Australia would mean a white man born in the colony.
In those parts Georgie Brownbie was regarded almost as the Evil One himself, and Jacko, knowing what mischief was, as it were, in the word, thought that he was entitled to bread and jam, if not to a nobbler itself, in bringing such tidings to Gangoil. "Is that all?" asked Heathcote. "And Bos is at Boolabong, and Bill Nokes was there all Sunday, and Jerry Brownbie's been out with Bos and Georgie."
What liquor there was to be seized was taken and swallowed before its owner could raise a protest; but a dozen promises to pay ten times over for every nobbler was made on all sides, and, like a wise man, Cudlip hesitated before he opposed overwhelming odds.
If you meet an old friend, his first greeting is, 'Come and have a nobbler! No bargain can be concluded without it. If it is a warm day, you must have a nobbler to quench your thirst; if it is freezing, to keep the cold out. There is no trade at which more fortunes have been made here than the publican's.