His borrowed horse shied as the last strap was cinched tight.
Andie straightened up from checking the girth strap, and turned to his wife.
"Now you look after things here, lassie. I know the
shop'll be in good hands. Mr. Sharkley is not due his rent for another three
weeks, and there should be plenty of trade in that time to cover it."
"Don't you go worrying yourself about me, my love."
Jessie replied bravely. "Ian and me, we can handle things here while
you are off gallivantin' after yer heroes. Now, get ye gone or they'll be back
home with all the best stories told, before you reach Melbourne."
He looked down into her deep brown eyes for some time,
seeing the tears start to swell in the corners, then wiped them away with his
thumbs as his hands caught hold of her face. A deep kiss, telling of past
loving and future desires crushed her full lips and her arms came up to
imprison him for a moment. Time passed unnoticed and after a brief eternity
he broke away and hoisted himself onto the saddle.
"It should only be a short while, my love. Then I will
return with such a story as you will not believe. Until then my dear,
farewell and may God be with you."
The larrikin streak in him surfaced then as he
wheeled his mount in the narrow street and galloped off around the bend
towards the main street, leaving naught but dust and clatter in his wake.