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Conroy’s Gap
by [?]

He rode all night and he steered his course
By the shining stars with a bushman’s skill,
And every time that he pressed his horse
The Swagman answered him gamely still.
He neared his home as the east was bright,
The doctor met him outside the town:
‘Carew! How far did you come last night?’
‘A hundred miles since the sun went down.’

And his wife got round, and an oath he passed,
So long as he or one of his breed
Could raise a coin, though it took their last
The Swagman never should want a feed.
And Kate Carew, when her father died,
She kept the horse and she kept him well:
The pride of the district far and wide,
He lived in style at the bush hotel.

Such was the Swagman; and Ryan knew
Nothing about could pace the crack;
Little he’d care for the man in blue
If once he got on the Swagman’s back.
But how to do it? A word let fall
Gave him the hint as the girl passed by;
Nothing but ‘Swagman — stable-wall;
‘Go to the stable and mind your eye.’

He caught her meaning, and quickly turned
To the trooper: ‘Reckon you’ll gain a stripe
By arresting me, and it’s easily earned;
Let’s go to the stable and get my pipe,
The Swagman has it.’ So off they went,
And soon as ever they turned their backs
The girl slipped down, on some errand bent
Behind the stable, and seized an axe.

The trooper stood at the stable door
While Ryan went in quite cool and slow,
And then (the trick had been played before)
The girl outside gave the wall a blow.
Three slabs fell out of the stable wall —
‘Twas done ‘fore ever the trooper knew —
And Ryan, as soon as he saw them fall,
Mounted the Swagman and rushed him through.

The trooper heard the hoof-beats ring
In the stable yard, and he slammed the gate,
But the Swagman rose with a mighty spring
At the fence, and the trooper fired too late,
As they raced away and his shots flew wide
And Ryan no longer need care a rap,
For never a horse that was lapped in hide
Could catch the Swagman in Conroy’s Gap.

And that’s the story. You want to know
If Ryan came back to his Kate Carew;
Of course he should have, as stories go,
But the worst of it is, this story’s true:
And in real life it’s a certain rule,
Whatever poets and authors say
Of high-toned robbers and all their school,
These horsethief fellows aren’t built that way.

Come back! Don’t hope it — the slinking hound,
He sloped across to the Queensland side,
And sold the Swagman for fifty pound,
And stole the money, and more beside.
And took to drink, and by some good chance
Was killed — thrown out of a stolen trap.
And that was the end of this small romance,
The end of the story of Conroy’s Gap.