Sunday, January 14, 2018


     The day went on with Jim sitting in his rocker and Iris fussed around the house. Sandra laughed and joked around with me. The time came for me to get ready to go out or I'd be late. I threw on some good clothes just in time for the knock on the back door.

"See ya later everybody.", I said in a cheery voice and walked toward the door.
"What time are you coming home tonight Richard?"
"I have no idea mother so don't wait up for me again."
"I'll have my house key back then."
"What? How will I get in when I come home?"
"We go to bed a 11 O'clock her so if you're not home by then, the house will be locked."
"Suit ya self!", I said as I threw the keys on the table.

     Now I was really pissed and angry. Once I got outside with mi couple of school chums, who I hadn't seen for years, I put the domestic garbage of mi mothers' houses aside and went off for a good night out.
     It was great being out with my two pals and their wives, although I felt a bit left out because everyone I met was married with children. Not that they put any crap on me, they were generous to the max and asked me all about my life in Australia.
     That evening we drank a lot of beer at the Star Hotel in Upper Sowerby Bridge. I met a bloke called John Lodge who I'd been somewhat 'pally' with at Ryburn School. He was a very short bloke and like most short men he had a complex about it. A real chip on his shoulder!
     As the night went on he got into some trouble with 3 blokes from another area. So muggins-me, thinking I was still in Australia where mates are real mates, walked over to where they were standing at the bar. The three blokes were threatening to punch his head in, so I said,
"Ya having problems, Johnny?"
"Yeah Dick, these 3 blokes are hassling me."
"Leave him alone fellas. He's not on his own now. There's two of us!"
"Great!", said one bloke, then hauled off and punched me in the face. I shook my head and said, "Good shot mate! Now it's my turn!"
     I cracked him in the head with a big right hand and arse over head he went, but next minute found me on the floor with his two mates on top of me! All I remember was rolling around on the barroom floor, under the round tables. There were punches flying everywhere and most of 'em were aimed at me! Out of the corner of my eye, I saw John Lodge crawling away under the tables, out of harm.
"Hey! Where are you sneaking off to, Johnny?", I called.

He never looked back. Once he was away from the fight he kept going, straight out he door!

     When it was finally over, I was in a right mess. Although the three blokes had various injuries, I'd caught a few punches myself mainly with my face. Steve and Colin helped me clean up a bit but nothing could repair my shirt which was covered in blood, with a big tear down the front.

     I walked home alone that evening vowing to myself not to help anyone else when it wasn't my problem. My bigheartedness and sense of loyalty had yielded me a fat lip, a bloody nose and a bruised cheek. 

     Iris is not going to like this', I thought as I walked down the cobblestone street towards her house.
When I tried the door it was locked and the lights were out. It was about 1:30 and there was thick layer of frost covering the house walls. I started to feel the cold now as I was only wearing a thin shirt and cardigan. It was obvious to me that she would blow her brains if I knocked at this time, so I decided to look for some shelter or another way into her house. I tried the lower window but it was firmly locked. The coal cellar shute was wet and black from coal dust, so that was out of the question.
     The only other option I could see was to sit on the outside toilet until the morning and do the best I could to keep myself from freezing to death.
     By about 4 O'clock my false teeth were chattering so badly they were keeping me awake so I took 'em out and put them in my pocket. It was one of the longest and most uncomfortable nights I think I've ever had. The temperature was below zero but somehow I managed to make it.

     The back door opened at 7 when Jim Bailey came out for the milk. It took me a few minutes to get the stiffness out of my joints so I could walk but once this was done, I walked in the house as if nothing mattered at all.

     When mi mother saw me she hit the roof. I was in no mood for any of her lectures so I walked off upstairs to wash up and change mi clothes. Once I was cleaned up I felt a lot better so I lay down on mi bed for a few minutes and before long the daydream dissolved into darkness.

    I woke up a few hours later, washed mi face, combed mi hair and went downstairs. When I walked into the kitchen, my suitcase was sitting next to the back door.
"Who put mi suitcase there?"
"I did.", said Jim Bailey.
"What for?"
"Because you're leaving!"

Saturday, January 6, 2018

NURSE NANCY ~ Part 2 ©

     Despite the fact that Sammy the dago had tried to put the kibosh on my budding, fantasy romance with Nurse Nancy on our goat-hunting trip, I was more determined than ever to pursue it one way or another.
     Laid in bed, of a night time, my sex-starved brain would create all sorts of situations where I was sexually and romantically involved with her. The best part of the fantasy was that she was madly in love with me as much as I was with her.  The worst part of the fantasy was a voice that told me that she was a slut and a whore. After all, she did fuck a dago and as everybody in the Bush knows, dagos are greezy bastards that are not to be trusted. They're only good for cooking T-bone steaks and mixed grills.
     Back and forth, my fantasies went bouncing between the positive and negatives, highs and lows. In the end, I felt so fucking confused that I wished that I'd never even seen her. As fate had determined, I finally got to see her again at Sammy the dagos' cafe.
     It happened one lunch time on a slow work week. I was feeling a bit on the tooth so the decision was made to go for a feed at the dagos' shop. I was still thinking about her as I turned down the main street, then turned into the cafe. As soon as I pushed open the door, I could not believe my eyes. There was my one and only, the new-found love of my life, sitting at a booth with Sammy the dago.
     Under normal circumstances, when I walked into the cafe, Sammy would call out 'Yorky, ya pommy bastard! How are ya?', and I would respond in kind. Not so today. Upon seeing me, he turned his head back to face Nurse Nancy and totally ignored me. 'You fucking greezy wop bastard!' was the first thought that jumped to the front of mi mind. 'The first chance I get, I'll fuckin' skin ya alive, ya Dago bastard, just like I skinned that stinkin', fuckin' goat!' All of this mind activity happened in less than a nano second. Not to mention, the jealousy that was so hot, I thought mi fuckin' head was on fire. 'Fuck that dago bastard', mi mind said. 'Just walk over to the table and introduce ya self!'
     Standing in front of the table, I dug up the best smile I could, under the circumstances and said,
"Sammy, how are ya mate?"
     He flashed one of his phony plastic smiles and said,
"Yorky, ya pommy  bastard. How are ya?"
     A quick decision was made not to call him a greezy, dago, pufta. In mi best manners I said,
"I'm very well, thanks Sammy."
     Turning to face Nurse Nancy I said,
"G'day love, Yorky's mi name. What's yours?"
"I'm Nancy. Pleased to meet ya Yorky."
"Oh the pleasure is all mine love."
     I could tell from the look on Sammys' face that he was not too pleased with my charming introduction. I said to Nancy,
"Do you mind if I join you?"
"No, not at all Yorky."
     Turning to Sammy, I said,
"Would you mind sliding over on the seat Sammy?"
      Mentally, I finished off my polite request with, 'ya fuckin' dago bastard!' Sammy got up the table and said,
"You sit on the inside so I can get out when a customer comes in."
     In truth, he wanted to sit on the outside because Nancy was sat on the outside. That way, he was still sat opposite her. There was quite a bit of tension at the table by now. If Nurse Nancy could feel it, she by no means showed it as she said to me,
"So where are you from Yorky?"
     'Not fuckin' Athens!' I thought. Instead, I said,
"I'm from the North of England. I've been in Lake Cargelligo for about 3 years now."
     Before Nancy could reply, Sammy said,
"Minus the 5 months ya spent on the Showgrounds chasing that little blonde strip-tease sheila!"
     'You rotten dago fucking bastard', I thought. That's it, this is fucking WAR!
     Nancy laughed and smiled when she said,
"Did you catch her Yorky?"
     Before I could answer, Sammy jumped in and said,
"Course he didn't catch her but everyone else did. That's because he's a slow, pommy bastard!"
"Oh that's not a very polite thing to say Sammy. Maybe she already had a boyfriend."
"As a matter of fact Nancy, you are quite correct. Her boyfriend was called Samson. He had a weight-lifting act and used to lay on a bed of nails with a huge rock on his chest."
"Why would he do that?", she asked, showing some interest in my showground exploits.
"Once the rock was balanced on his chest, he invited blokes from the audience to try and smash it with a big sledge hammer."
"My goodness. Why would someone do that?"
     Sammy jumped in again and said,
"Because he was stupid!"
     Using my wits, I promptly said,
"The outside of his tent had a large colored banner that read, SAMSON THE GREEK GIANT. STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD!"
     This statement brought forth another smile from Nancy, as she looked at Sammy and said,
"Isn't that where you're from Sammy?"
"Yeah, but not all greeks are stupid, which is more than I can say for Pommys."
     Although Nancy gave a little titter, it was obviously forced. My next line was,
"And where are you from Nancy?"
"I'm from Sydney."
" How did you end up in Lake Cargelligo?"
"The Lake hospital ran an ad for a nurse because they were short-handed.  I applied and lucky for me I got the job."
"Did you work as a nurse in Sydney?"
"Yeah, but I was getting a bit sick of the Big Smoke. Besides that, I'd always wanted to try Bush life."
"So I take it you like working at the Lake Hospital?"
"Course she does!", said Sammy with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
     Nancy ignored Sammys' little interjection and said,
"I love being a nurse but the hospital is still short-staffed so sometimes we have to do extra shifts."
"What do you do when you're not workin'?"
"Is there anything to do in Lake Cargelligo when one is not working?"
"Ya can always help out at the cafe.", said Sammy, in a feeble attempt at making a joke.
"Thanks for the offer Sammy but the last thing I need, at the moment, is more work."
"I was thinking more along the lines of fun.", I said.

     Before Sammy could get another word in, his wife appeared at the back of the cafe carrying a large crate full of Coca Cola bottles. As she struggled towards the glass-fronted refrigerator, she yelled out to Sammy in her squeaky dago voice.
"Got to go.", said Sammy as he got up from the table. "Talk to ya later Nancy."
     With that, he took off to help his fat missus who was still struggling with the crate as she tried to squeeze her fat arse, behind the narrow counter.
"She doesn't sound too happy.", said Nancy as Sammy made his way to the back of the cafe.
"She isn't.", I said.
"I'd love to know what she said to him but I can't understand Greek. Can you Yorky?"
"Yeah, I've picked up a bit of Greek from the odd times I've worked in the cafe for Jimmy Xmas."
"Come on, out with it. What did she say?"
"She said, "Hey Sammy, how much longer are ya gonna sit on ya fat arse talking to the customers? I need some help over here!"
"Are you sure? She really said that?"
"Yeah, fair dinkum! COLO means arse in greek. Can ya think of another sentence that would include 'arse' when you're struggling with a crate of soft drinks?"
     The situation had taken a turn for the better since Sammy departed. I now had my beloved Nancys' attention all to myself. Nancy and I could laugh and joke without Sammy interjecting some sarcastic remark.
     Sammy didn't approve of the fun we were having. Every now and then, he would walk  to the front of the cafe and pretend to be tidying something up behind the counter. I was on to the dago bastards little game, so at these times, I would laugh a little louder than normal just to piss him off! It worked like a charm. Well, as we all know, all good things eventually come to an end and my private time with Nancy was  no exception.
"Well yorky, regrettably I have to go. I've got some jobs to do at home before my shift starts. I also need some sleep, otherwise I'll be half asleep on the ward which won't please the Ward sister one little bit."
"That's a shame Nancy, seeing as we're having a good laugh but I don't want you to get into trouble."
"She'll be right Yorky. I won't get into any trouble, even half asleep, I'm good at my job."
     It was now or never, so I blurted out,
"Would ya like to go for a drive or something one night, after ya finish ya shift?"
"Yeah, why not. That sounds great. At least, it will be something to do. What kind of car do you have?"
"It's an old A55, but it'a good for a cruise around town. What night are ya free?"
"Well, I'm on night shift tonight and tomorrow night, then I've got a couple of afternoon shifts where I finish at 10. So Wednesday or Thursday. Take your pick."
"How about Thursday night? It'll give me time to clean up the old car."
"Sounds great to me. I'll see ya then.", she said.
     As she got up from the table, she said,
"Oh, by the way, I've had a great time talking with ya. Hurru!"
     With that positive little statement she left the cafe and took off up the street. Within minutes of Nancy's' leaving, Sammy the dago was back at my table with the excuse of wiping it down with the manky cloth he held in his slimy dago hand.
"Are you trying to git under my neck mate? She's my girlfriend, not yours."
"How the fuck can she be your girlfriend mate? You've already got a missus and one-and- a-half kids!"
"What's that got to do with anything mate? And besides, I'm already rootin' her. She's mine!"
"Fuck you Sammy, you dago bastard! Don't you try and tell me what I can and can't do. I had a step-father who was three times your size and he couldn't control what I did!"
"What were ya laughin' about?"
"Ya know what Sammy, under normal conditions I really like ya, but these are not normal conditions. This is fuckin' war so fuck off and mind ya own business. Go and help ya wife of Jimmy Xmas, ya makin' a nuisance out of ya self!"
"Fuck you, ya pommy bastard!", said Sammy.
"Yeah? And fuck you ya dago dick-head!", I said with a lot more force behind my words than Sammy could muster up. The power behind my words had the intended affect and Sammy headed back to the kitchen, muttering something under his breath, in Greek, as he went.

     After leaving the Dagos' shop, I made my way back to Giltraps. On the way, I decided to stick mi head in the bar to see what was happening, if anything.
"Yorky!", said Freddy, who was sat with War Dog. "Come and have a middy mate."
"G'day Freddy, how the fuck are ya mate? War Dog,  how's things on the hole?"
"Not bad on it and not bad off it.", said War Dog who was obviously half-cut already, and it was still only the afternoon.
"How long have you blokes been here?"
"Since about 11.", said Freddy, who also had a good glow on. " I knocked on ya door earlier and tried the knob but ya obviously weren't in so I've been havin' a few with War dog."
"Yeah, I had no work today either and I was bored shitless sittin' in mi room so I went for a walk down the street."
"What about you War Dog?"
"No work. Sweet fuck -all mate! I haven't picked anything up for over a fucking week now. I can tell ya one thing for sure, it's starting to wear pretty fuckin' thin."
"Hey Yorky.", said Freddy "Have ya seen that nurse since the last time we spoke?"
"Funny you should say that mate. I just had a cuppachino with her at the dagos' shop."
"Are ya makin' any progress with her?"
     Before I could answer, War Dog jumped into the conversation and said,
"Fuck me dead, what are you chasing this time, ya pommy bastard? I know it's bound to be pussy but what color is it, black or white?"
"Very fuckin' funny War Dog.", I said as I took a couple of swigs from the fresh middy that Giltrap put in front of me. "Don't you ever have anything positive to say mate?"
"As far as you and pussy go, what is there to say that's positive? In all the time I've known ya, ya still haven't got ya self a root."
"Yeah well it's not for the lack of trying mate, and while we're at it, I don't see too many sheilas hanging around you War Dog."
"I'm not chasing any, that's why."
"Ya not chasing any War Dog because of ya crook knees. the only thing that you'd catch is some poor old geriatric in a fuckin' wheel chair!"
     This little joke gave Freddy a good laugh, so  much so, that he nearly spat his beer out. Freddy was a good mate and always cracked up when I put one over on War Dog. The reason being was that he couldn't do it himself for fear of War Dogs verbal abuse, which he couldn't match. I, on the other hand, had no problem keeping up with War Dog, so I did it for the both of us.
"Let's see if you're in as good a shape as me when ya get my age, ya pommy bastard."
"We can War Dog. The only snag is, when I'm your age, you'll be six fucking feet under. You won't be around to see it mate."
"Fuck you ya smart-arsed pommy bastard." said War Dog, who was started getting red in the face.
"Yeah and fuck you too War Dog!"
"I have been." said War Dog. "Shake hands with ya dad!"
     This little joke of War Dogs' almost made me laugh, but under the circumstances, I managed to keep a straight face. Freddy, on the other hand, was having a great old laugh which pissed off War Dog to no end and caused him to revert to his standard line, which was,
"Why am I drinkin' with you two fuckin' yobos when I could be having an interesting conversation with someone at Twitcheys?"
     With that, he downed his middy, got up off his stool and said,
"Fuck you two dick-heads."
     As he was leaving Giltraps, Freddy shouted out,
"Hey War Dog, it's your round mate."
"Shove it up ya Kaiber pass ya fuckin' dingbat! I thought you had more brains than that Freddy but I guess I was wrong."
"Well, you've done it again Yorky mate. I wish I could think things up as fast as you."
"Ya probably could if ya had to live my life Freddy."
"No thanks mate. I'll stick to mi own."

     The next three days seemed like three weeks as I waited for Thursday night to roll around. I had arranged to meet Nancy outside the Dagos' shop after her shift had finished. I'd  hosed down the old A55 and cleaned up the inside. Apart from a crook engine, she didn't look too bad.
     One of Nancys' work mates dropped her off at the corner of the main street. I got out of the car and walked up the street to meet her.
"G'day, how are ya?", I said as she walked towards me.
"Pretty good Yorky. How are you?"
"Great! Did ya have a heavy shift?"
"Nah, not really. A couple of patients went home today so there wasn't as much work to do which was quite welcome. I need to get some smokes from the cafe. D'ya mind waiting a minute?"
"Not at all love, I'll come in with ya."
     As we walked in the Dagos' shop, Sammy was cleaning off a few tables. As soon as he saw us, he dropped the cloth into the soapy bowl and walked over to serve us. The look on his face was not very welcoming and the tone of his voice was quite flat when he said,
"What can I get ya?"
"G'day Sammy.", said Nancy. "How are ya?"
"I'm alright. What d'ya need?"
"Ya don't sound too good Sammy. Ya had a hard day?"
"Yeah, I've been stock-taking all day and re-stocking the shelves."
"Ah well, a good night's rest'll do ya goo eh?"
"Yeah, I suppose so."
     It was pretty obvious that Sammy wasn't even going to say G'day to me. So, I said,
"How's business mate? Ya been busy apart from stock-taking?"
"So-so.", he said, as he made his way around the counter."
"So what d'ya need?"
"Give us a pack of Styvesants.", said Nancy.
"Yeah, and give me a pack of Camels while ya at it mate."
     Nancys' smokes were put on the counter in front of her and mine were causally thrown on the counter to the side of me.
"What are you up to tonight Nancy.", said Sammy, doing his best not to show his disapproval of the situation.
"Me and Yorky are off for a cruise around town for something to do. I just finished work and I need a bit of relaxation before going home."
"Ya could of asked me. We could have gone out to the Common again."
"Well how sweet of you Sammy but I arranged to go with Yorky last time we were in here."
"Ya wanna be careful that old bomb of his doesn't break down."
     I wasn't gonna let this snidy, little remark go by without a response, so I said,
"Does that mean your offering us a loan of your new station wagon Sammy?"
"Not bloody likely mate. You'd probably run it into the Lake!"
"Oh I don't think Yorky's that bad a driver, are ya?"
"Nah. I've driven Semi-trailers full of wheat. A little 8-cylinder station wagon shouldn't be much of a problem."
     Sammys'  mood was darkening by the minute. I said to Nancy,
"Shall we take off?"
"Yeah, why not."
     As we turned to go, she said to Sammy,
"Get a good nights rest. You'll feel a lot better tomorrow."
"Yeah, right.", said Sammy as he turned around and headed towards the kitchen.

     As we walked towards the car, my mind started to re-run what Sammy had said at the counter,
'You could have asked me. We could have gone out to the Common again.' So it's true, I thought. The dago bastard wasn't lying when he said he took her out to the Common and rooted rooted her in the back of his station-wagon!  Fuck it! I'm not gonna' be the idiot I was on the Showground with Christine the stripper and end up with mi dick in mi hand. Here I am, almost 18 and the only relationship I'd had so far was with 'Mrs. Palm and her five daughters and one of those was a fatty!'
     Once we were in the car, we lit up some smokes and drove off up the main street. Nancy was the first to speak when she said,
"Poor Sammy, he was feeling a bit under the weather tonight. I hope he's alright and not coming down with something."
"Oh I wouldn't worry about that. He's probably got a lot on his plate what with the cafe business and a pregnant wife."
     If the truth be known, what I would have liked to have said was 'Fuck that slimy dago bastard. I hope he falls through his arsehole and hangs himself!'
     Once we had driven around dow for a while, we parked up at the Lake side. The Lake side was quite a romantic place to park, especially as there was a good-sized moon that was casting a lovely light across the dark waters.
"Isn't that a beautiful glow.", said Nancy as she stared out of the windscreen, across the Lake.
"Yeah, it's very romantic.", I said, remembering some old black and white movies I'd seen of couples parked up looking at a similar scene.
     The moon was now getting higher in the night sky, as we sat there, which caused the reflective light on the water to diminish quite a bit. I said to Nancy,
"Would ya like to drive out to the Common for awhile? The moon will probably be a lot brighter out there, away from the town lights."
"Yeah why not. I love it out there. There's something about that place that gives off a peaceful feeling."

     We drove out to the Common, mostly in silence. I, for one, was thinking about what was not going to happen. Nancy was a pretty decent sort of sheila but the fact that she rooted a dago colored my thinking in one way only.  How was I going to git a root out of her?
     It didn't take long to reach our destination. Once there, I looked for a somewhat secluded space where no one could see the car and we could still see the moon. My plan of action was first, to have a bit of a kiss and a cuddle and then slowly make mi way down to the jackpot! The kissing and cuddling part seemed to be going quite well as Nancy responded in a warm and affectionate way.
     I had put a lot of thought into this plan of action of mine. Instead of putting mi hand straight on her knee, I slid mi hand down her back and slowly rubbed the top part of her butt cheek, whilst still giving her a big, long snog!
     The voice in mi head told me I was making good progress so I allowed mi hand to slide down a bit further till I was actually squeezing her arse cheek. There was a lot of sexual tension starting to build up on the front seat of mi old car now. I slowly slid mi hand down further to the top part of her thight and gently squeezed it. My mind, by this time, was at least a couple of steps in front of mi hand. So far no problem at all. Slowly, I inched mi hand up the outside of her thigh and down to the inside warm, soft part.
'You'd better not move too fast now.', said the mind. 'Keep ya hand there for a while until she gets used to it.'
     This was the closest I'd ever gotten to a root in mi life. Once false move now and it could all be over! Patience, as a young man, was not one of my virtues. Ignoring the mind, I slid mi had a little further up the inside of her thigh. By my reckoning, I only had about another four inches  to go before I would get mi first feel of the elusive prize!
     The next thing the mind said to me was,
'Old War Dog won't be able to take the piss out of ya, after tonight. This is gonna stop his bullshit in its tracks.'
     No sooner had that thought come up, I felt a warm hand on top of mine which proceeded to slide my hand back down to her knee. The next emotion I felt was great disappointment, mixed with a good dose of anger. 'Fuck me rome', I thought as mi hand was back where it started. 'What the fuck went wrong? This part of the game was not in the plan. My hand was supposed to be heading up, not down!' After trying several more times to reach a higher part of her thigh, with no luck at all, I stopped kissing her and said,
"Let's have a smoke."
     Once the smokes were going I just sat there quietly looking out of the windscreen, not knowing what to do or say. My mind was now racing around at top speed, telling me I wouldn't get a fuck in a brothel with a wallet-full of money. By this time, I could have cut the air with a knife. I decided to confront Nancy about the nights lack of progress. I was just about to say something when she spoke first and said,
"Ya don't seem to happy, is something wrong?"
"You've got to be fucking joking!", I blurted out, not being able to hide my anger and disappointment. "I thought we came out here for a good time."
"I thought we were having a good time.", she said with a surprised look on her face.
"We were, till you put the kibosh on it!"
"What d'ya mean by that?"
"You know what I mean. I thought we were gonna go all the way. I wasn't planning to drive out here just for a kiss and a cuddle!"
"What were you planning then?"
"You know.", I said feeling awkward and not knowing how to express miself.
"Do you mean you were planning on having sex with me?"
"Well seeing as you mention it, why not?"
"Because I thought we were just driving out here for something to do and maybe a bit of kissing and petting."
"Oh bullshit Nancy! Ya get in mi car and agree to drive out here at this time of night and when we get out here all ya wanna do is kiss and cuddle, which I don't mind as long as it leads somewhere!"
"I just don't understand why you think I'm that type of girl?"
     The conversation was going nowhere fast. I decided to spill mi guts.
"Sammy.", I said.
"What about Sammy?"
"I got the idea from Sammy. He said you drove out here with him and he rooted ya in the back of his station wagon. I got to thinking, if you rooted a fucking dago, what's wrong with givin' me one?"
     At this point, I gotta tell ya, mi mother brought me up, as a child, to always be honest and tell the truth. What she didn't tell me was, the truth doesn't always make people happy.
"Fuck you!", she blurted out. "Sammy is a lying sack a' shit. I never let him go that far."
     I was quite surprised at her outburst. I had never seen this side of her before.
"What reason would he have to lie to me for?", I asked.
"I don't know and I don't fucking care. I never rooted him!"
"But you admit ya let him get, at least, as far as I got?"
"I don't believe I'm hearing this. How far I let a man go is my business and my business alone!"
"Alright then, If ya didn't go all the way with him and ya certainly didn't go all the way with me then you're nothin' but a prick teaser!"
"Ya know what, you're a real fucking bastard Yorky. Even if I did root Sammy, which I didn't, why should I root you?"
"Well, for one thing", I said half-joking, "Mi balls are swollen and sore. I suppose a fuck is right out of the question now is it?"
"Your swollen testicles are your problem, not mine. And yes, a fuck, as you call it, is right out of the question!"
"So, you're gonna' sit there and tell me that it never occurred to you that I'd try to git a root our of ya?"
"Yeah! That's what I'm telling ya."
"I don't believe ya. It must have, at least, crossed ya mind?"
"Don't tell me what crosses my mind. You need to take care of your own fucking sick mind!"
"You're trying to tell  me that all of this, that's goin' on, is all my fault and nothing to do with you at all?"
"Yeah, that's right. And while we're at it, take me home!"
"Ya know what Nancy? It takes two to tango and since it's pretty obvious we're not gonna' tango, ya can fucking walk home! Git out of my car ya prick-teasing bitch!"
"I beg your pardon, did I just hear right? You're gonna' make me walk home?"
"Right, first time! Either cock it up or start walking. Maybe you'll think twice before conning another mug into your little romantic game!"
     Before she could say another word, I leaned across her knees and opened the catch on the car door, which creaked open on a rusty hinge.
"You're serious aren't you?", she said.
"Yeah, mi sore balls and your sore feet will make a good match. Now get out before I fuckin' drag ya out!"
     If she didn't know I was serious before, she did now when she said to me,
"What if I get lost?"
"Just follow the dirt track. It'll come out this side of the bitumen. Make a left and you'll be home in no time!"
     That said, she got out of the car. Her last defiant act was to slam the door so fucking hard, the window-winder ended up on the floor! The very last thing I saw of here that night, was in the rearview mirror, as she disappeared in a cloud of bull dust.

     It was pretty late now as I parked the old oil-burner behind Giltraps and headed down the corridor to my room. I was just about to go inside when Freddy came out from his room with a can in his hand.
"Where ya off to Freddy?"
"G'day Yorky, how are ya mate?"
"Where ya goin'?"
"I was off to War Dogs' room to see if he wanted a beer."
"Ah fuck him Freddy, grab a couple of tinnies and come to my room mate. It'll be more fun!"
"Ya wanna come in my room mate?"
"Have ya cleaned it up yet?"
"Not yet, I'm still thinking about it."
"I think my room might be a bit more comfortable mate."
"Yeah, I guess ya right. I was never much of a housekeeper, at the best of times."
"Ya just got back from ya date with that hot nurse?"
"Yeah, I'll tell ya all about it over a beer."
     Once Freddy and miself were sat down and a couple of fresh tinnies were opened Freddy said,
"Alright Yorky mate, give us the skinny on ya big night out."
     After I'd finished giving Freddy all the gory details of the nights entertainment, all he could say at the end was,
"Fuck me blind Yorky mate, you're fair dinkum aren't ya. Ya really kicked the prick-teaser ut and made her walk home?"
"Fuckin' oath mate."
"Ya reckon if we sat on Giltraps steps for half hour or so we'd probably see her walking down the main street at some point?"
"Guaranteed mate, but I've seen enough of her for one night. In fact, I'm not lookin' forward to seeing her again."
     The way I related the story of my night out with Nurse Nancy was extremely funny but after Freddy left and I laid down on mi bed, in the privacy of mi room, it was time to get more truthful with miself.
     All my life I've always been able to bullshit and exaggerate a good story. That said, I've never been able to bullshit and lie to miself. I decided to start the post mortem of my dead relationship with Nurse Nancy from the very beginning, which of course started off with, I now believed was, a fucking lie told to me by Sammy the fucking dago.
     Tomorrow I would confront the dago bastard and get to the truth of the matter. Tonight, it was my responsibility. My first thought was why I felt pangs of guilt for the way I acted. Had Sammy not told me he rooted her I would have seen Nancy in a much different light. Knowing myself pretty well, I would have probably asked her to go to dinner with me at George and Marys' Cafe on the opposite side of the street from Sammys' place. Although George and Marys' cafe was still a dago shop, it was a little bit more intimate than Sammys place, due to the lighting and seating arrangements. If I had gone that route I would have seen her as a potential girlfriend instead of a 'root and dump'.
     That was my first mistake and lesson. I needed to learn to never believe a word anyone ever tells me without doing what I could to verify the truth. I was still to fucking naive where women were concerned.
     I thought about what my mother taught me as a boy. 'Never disrepect women son. Only weak men do things like that. Thinking about her words I felt like a weak piece of shit who had let down my mother, Nancy and myself. That left me feeling really guilt-ridden and not too proud of what I had done. I tried to justify my behavior by telling myself, 'serve the bitch right for agreeing to go out to the Common with me. What else did she expect?' That little feel good thought didn't quite get off the ground as another voice said, 'Yeah, that's what rapist and murderers say in their defense, when they're caught!' It didn't take long for me to abandon that line of defense, not to mention the fact that it made me feel worse.
     'What about the two beers I had before I met her tonight? Before I could even get to the end of that thought, another thought said, 'Ya not gonna' try and blame a couple of beers on what happened tonight are ya? If that's the case, you should stop drinkin' grog. 'What about her responsibility? That's her problem, not yours. Don't try and dump the blame on her.'
     'Why don't ya just cut ya dick off? Problem solved! Why don't you git fucked!, said mi dick. Besides being the stupidest thought you've ever had, you'll have to sit down for a piss and ya know what that means don't ya? No more tryin' to sign ya name on the piss house wall before ya run out a' piss! All in all, the obvious made itself as clear as crystal to me. There was no other legitimate option but to do my best to meet up with her again and apologize for my behavior, especially the walking home part.
     Once I turned out the light and got into bed, my last thought was, 'Oh Jesus, my balls are so swollen and sore. I took a look at them and found they had turned to Lake Placid Blue! Now what?', I thought as I lay there. 'Oh shut up fuck up', said a voice,'You're nothin' but a whingin', pommy bastard. Just flog ya maggot and be done with it! It won't be the first time and the way you're goin' about this girl friend situation, it looks like it won't be the last. Good Night!

"Hey Sammy.", I said as he looked up. "You and me need a bit of a natter mate!"
     Sammy could tell from the tone of  my voice that I was not in best of moods.
"I don't have time now mate. I've got a lot of work to do today."
"No worries mate, I'll  just talk while you work. It's about Nancy!"
     Soon as I mentioned Nancy, he straightened up and said,
"Not here mate. It's too close to my living quarters, the missus might hear. It's a bit more private. So what d'ya want?", he said once we were out of earshot of his wife.
"You fuckin' lied to me about Nancy mate! You told me ya rooted her  out at the Common, the other night."
"Bullshit! I did root her on the back seat just as I told ya'!"
"You're a fuckin' lyin' sack a' shit Sammy. All she gave ya was a kiss and cuddlin' session!"
"Nah mate. She gave me a root."
"Fuckin' bullshit Sammy!"
"How do you know what she gave me? You weren't there!"
"I didn't have to be there sport! I did the next best thing, I asked her and she said you're a lyin' dago bastard. Ya never rooted her!"
"Well of course she's gonna' say that. She's not gonna' admit that to you is she? Anyway, why d'ya have to go and tell her what I said?"
"Because she wouldn't give me a root mate, when I tried it on with her last night."
"Ah that's because she likes me better than you, ya pommy bastard."
"So ya still claim that you rooted her mate? Well, try this on for size. One of the last things she said to me before I kicked her out of the car and made her walk home was that you've slandered her name and she's coming down to the Cafe to have it out with ya and if ya still persist in claiming ya rooted her, she's gonna' complain to ya missus."
     This piece of information took him by complete surprize and rattled his fuckin' cage no end!
"Bullshit, she wouldn't dare! Look at my face Sammy, unlike you, I'm not a fuckin' liar!"
"Did you really make her walk home?"
"Yeah, we drove out to the Common and parked up for awhile. Once it was obvious to me that she wasn't goin' to give me a root, I asked her why she rooted you, and what was wrong with giving me one!"
"Oh fuck!", said Sammy, who was now starting to realize I was telling him the truth.
"What the fuck am I gonna' do now? What if she really does come down to the face and wants to see Christina?"
"Ya got a root out of her, or so you say. I guess you'll have to face the consequences."
"Fuck that for a joke, Christina will hit the fuckin' roof, all for a snog and a cuddle!"
"What d'ya mean a snog and a cuddle? That's what I got. You got a good, old-fashioned root off her."
"No, I didn't!"
"Yeah ya did Sammy! That's what you told me anyway."
"I was bullshittin' ya mate."
"Ya mean ya were fucking lying your arse off to me. Big noting ya self just to put ya self one rung on the ladder above me?"
"Nah mate, it's called bullshittin'."
"No it's fuckin' not Sammy! Bullshit only lasts for a short time and then ya admit ya bullshit and everyone has a good laugh. You outright lied to me with a straight face and now you're in the shit big time sport!"
"Fuck me dead Yorky mate! What an I gonna' do now? Will you lie for me if she comes to the cafe and tell Christina that you made it all up?"
"Jesus Sammy, you're a real piece a fuckin' work aren't ya! First up, ya tell me a big, fuckin' lie and now ya want me to lie for ya so you don't get in the shit with ya missus! Have you any fucking idea how much shit I'm in with Nancy now, based on your fuckin' lies mate? I treated her worse than a bloody whore. Whores get paid and I never even offered her a brass razoo. Plus, I threw her out a the car and called her a fuckin' prick teaser!"
     Sammy was stunned and close to tears as he contemplated the situation he now found himself in.
"It's alright for you, Yorky mate. You're singe. Ya don't have a wife to answer to."
"Oh Sammy, you're not tryin' to put the blame on mi for all of this bullshit drama are ya?"
"No, no mate. I'm fuckin' panicking! What the fuck am I gonna do?"
"I don't know mate. That's your problem. My problem was believing you, ya lyin' bastard. I'm not blaming you for what happened. I admitted my part in it to miself last night when I got home and I'll tell ya one thing for sure mate, I'll never believe another fuckin' word you tell me, unless I check it out for miself. When push comes to shove, you pretty  much fucked up our friendship sport!"
"Don't be like that Yorky. It's times like this that a bloke needs a good mate!"
"Good mates bullshit Sammy but they don't drop their mate in the shit with outrageous fuckin' lies!"
"Yeah mate, I know you're right but that doesn't help me does it? What d'ya think I should do now?"
"Let me ask ya a question mate. Do you ever think of anyone else other than ya self?  My feeling is, if ya did, ya wouldn't have let the lie stand for so long, without tellin' me the truth."
"Yeah, yeah, ya fuckin' right again Yorky. The missus is always telling me what a selfish bastard I am.  I guess the possibility of fuckin' up mi marriage is proving her right. Yorky mate, I apologize  to ya. I was jealous of ya because you're single and can hit up the sheilas' any time ya like and my single life is over since I got married."
"So why d'ya get married in the first place, if ya like chasing sheilas so much?"
"I had to get married mate. Christina was in the family way and if ya get a greek girl pregnant ya gotta marry her or die!"
     Even though Sammy was an egotistical lyin' bastard, after he told me about his marriage, my heart felt compassion for him.
"Alright Sanmy this is what I'm gonna' do mate. I'm gonna' find out what shift Nancy's on and what time she finishes. Then I'm gonna' drive up to the hospital and wait for her to come out. If I can get within 10 feet of her, I'm gonna' apologize for being an immature, mongrel bred, pommy bastard."
"Would ya consider puttin' in a good word for me while ya at it mate?"
"No fuckin' way! I'll tell her that you admitted to me that you were lying and you're not going to repeat  the story again!"
"Good on ya Yorky. You're a bloody good mate. I won't make the same mistake again, that's for fuckin' sure. Just the thought of Christina finding out I fucked around on her almost make mi puke with fear! Ya can't imagine what her father would do to me if he ever found out I disgraced his only daughter. Cutting my nuts off would be a fuckin' blessing!"
"That's a bit heavy duty isn't it mate?"
"Not if ya ever met him. To say he has a connection to the Greek underworld would be a bloody understatement, if ya know what I mean!"

     It wasn't long before the day of reckoning arrived. The decision had been made to take care of this self-created problem, as soon as possible. I found out from someone who worked with Nancy, what time her shift finished and was now waiting in mi car for her to walk out the hospital door. I didn't have long to wait. As soon as I saw her, I got out and headed in her direction. As I got within speaking distance of her she said,
"I don't believe what I'm seeing! What are you doing here? Looking for a root and dump, or a one-way ticket to the Common? Get out of my sight. If I ever see you again in my life, it will be too bloody soon!"
"Nancy, I just need a couple of minutes of your time. I'd like to apologize for my behavior the other night."
"Well goody goody for you! Now ya can piss off back to the rock ya crawled out from under!"
"Nancy, give me a minute and let me explain."
"Why? So you can feel good about ya self again?"
"Listen, I accept full responsibility for my actions and what a dick-head I was for treating you that way. I'd also like to say that I wasn't entirely to blame other than being stupid enough to listen to Sammys' lies about you."
"Don't mention that dago bastards name in my  company. He's going to get a mouthful from me the next time I see him and I don't care whether his wife hears me or not!"
"I went to confront him about his lies and eventually he admitted that he'd made most of it up."
"And that's supposed to make everything better is it?"
"No, no way. I'm just lettin' ya know, he's shittin' himself that you're gonna tell his missus."
"So he should be! By the time I'm finished with him, he won't be slandering anymore women's names."
     There was no way in hell I was goin' to apologize on Sammys' behalf.
"Once again, I'm really sorry I treated like shit. It won't happen again."
"Ya not wrong there Yorky. It won't ever happen again, I can assure you of that. Oh, before I go, let me give you a something to think about. I really liked you when I first met you and I was actually thinking that if we got on together, after some time, we could have had a physical relationship but that's totally out a the question now. Ya well and truly blew that!"
"Yeah, I understand Nancy. I guess being friends is also not gonna' happen eh?"
"I don't think so. Ya know what, I gotta' go. I don't have any more time for you!"
     With that said, she turned away and walked over to her friends' car, where her friend had been patiently waiting for her.

     Back at Giltraps', sittin' on mi bed, I was still thinking about all that had happened in the last few days, when a knock came on mi door.
"Yorky? Ya in there mate?"
"Yeah Freddy. It's open. Come in."
"How are ya' Yorky mate? How did the meeting with ya hot nurse go?"
"Just as I expected. Up to shit bonza! She was really pissed off."
"Oh well, never mind mate. There's plenty more fish in the sea."
"Well Freddy, if we lived on the coast that might be the case, but the fact is we live in the Bush where there's a definite lack of water and a sad lack of pussy!"
"Yeah, I guess ya right Yorky mate. Anyways, who wants to fuck a fish. Let's go and have a beer sport. That'll cheer ya up!"


Tuesday, January 2, 2018


     I was introduced to a gun shearer, Ian Redpath. He was a tall bloke who always wore a pork-pie, punters hat when he wasn't shearing.  He was mostly bald at the front of his head which made his appearance seem older than his years. A heavy drinking problem did nothing to correct it either.  Redpath was a quiet bloke until he had too much grog, then he could become very argumentative or he'd simply go to sleep on the bar stool with his head on the counter until the Publican decided he'd had enough rest then he'd wake him up. Upon waking, the first words out of Redpaths' mouth were, "Give us another middy mate."

     In town, Redpath was a hopeless drunk but when he got back in the sheds, after a couple of slow days he would be ringing the shed again. I became very fond of Redpath, despite his drinking habit. When he told me he was leaving the Lake to drive over to Western Australia, I asked him if I could go with him.
"No worries mate. Sling ya swag in the back of mi Ute. I'll be leaving tonight after Giltraps closes. It didn't take me very long to pack up mi case and as soon as Giltraps did close, Redpath very casually sauntered out, carrying a dozen cans under his arm for the ride to Hilston where he was based.
     We arrived in Hilston well after midnight. Instead of going to his room, which he rented at at a mates house, he made his way to the back door of the Hilston Hotel. Once inside, we stayed there for at least 3 hours until the Publican refused to serve anymore beer.
     The following day, Redpath got up at 1pm and headed towards the bar again. He kept this activity up for at least 3 days until I finally said to him,
"I'm going back to the Lake mate. I didn't come with you to watch ya drink ya self to death. I'll be leaving as soon as I find a ride back."
     This statement of mine must have given him a bit of a shock because he finished his beer, bought another dozen and said, "Alright, come on mate, let's hit the road!"
     Pretty soon we were on our way with my self behind the wheel of his brand new Ute. I knew he really liked me, otherwise he would have stayed at the bar drinking until he was broke. Also, he liked me to drive. No one lets a bloke drive his new Ute unless he enjoys his company.
     We must have been on the road for 6 hours. We'd changed seats and Redpath was now driving. Drunk or sober, he drove the Ute at around 80 miles an hour. Just as I was settling in for the long haul a big, semi passed us on the dirt road. The next thing I heard was a loud 'BANG' as a stone shattered the windscreen to pieces. Immediately, Redpath applied the brakes and at the same time he pushed out a big enough hole in the windscreen, which enabled him to see where we were heading. As soon as the vehicle ground to a halt, we pushed out the whole windscreen. There was shattered glass all over the place.
"What a bastard!", said Redpath. "This calls for another beer!"
      I cleaned up as much of the small pieces of glass as I could without a small dust pan and broom. When it looked alright to Redpath he said, "Fuck it Yorky, that'll do sport. Open ya self a beer mate and well get moving again."
     It's amazing how uncomfortable one can be in a Ute with no windscreen, especially traveling on a dirt road. Every car that drives past kicks up a huge amount of dry red dust. When we finally reached a town called Wilcania, we were covered in a thick layer of dust form head to toe. Once we found the largest garage in town, the owner said he'd have to order a windscreen because it was a new Ute and he didn't carry spares for new vehicles. He also said that it would take at least 4 days before it arrived. Redpath ordered it and then drove straight to the Hotel to contemplate what to do, over a few cold middys.
     That evening, as we made friends with a few of the local shearer, Redpath, who was known all over the Outback of NSW, managed to pick up some shearing and crutching for us. At least we'd make a few dollars while we waited in Wilcania.

     That evening, we drove out to a station called Mount Pleasant. I can tell you, it was anything but. There was only a few sheep to shear. so the rest of our time was spent crutching, daggy-arse sheep.
     Crutching consists of dragging out sheep, shearing the wool off of their rear-end in a fan-like shape. Under normal conditions, one can make a lot of money out of crutching.  Unfortunately, we were not crutching in ideal conditions.
     Let me explain. Once sheep have been let into a paddock that has plenty of green feed they tend to get the scours. In a nutshell, they shit all over the wool around their arse. Over a period of time, the blow-flys, who see sheep shit as a five star meal, land all over the sheeps' arse. In the process, the blow-flys lay their eggs on the shit. After some time, the eggs hatch out as maggots. Now, maggots, being what they are, will look for food. Once they are firmly on the skin, they will start eating the sheep alive! They bore holes deep down into the sheeps' read end. If not caught in time, they will kill the sheep. Any shearer knows a fly-blown sheep. He can smell it. The antidote for this little trauma is to shear off all the wool where the maggots have been. After he has done this, he yells out "TAR BOY!" A roustabout runs down the board to the shearer with a can of liquid, which he daubs all over where the blow-flys have been, which stops them getting re-infected. The other operation that one encounters while crutching, is when the shit on the rear end of the sheep has dried hard as a rock. The only way to get this off is to chip away with the hand-piece until it's all gone. That was how we spent our time at Mt. Pleasant.
     After we finished our few days, he luckily found another 2 weeks shearing for us. It was decided that we'd forget about driving a few thousand miles across the Nullabar Plain and remain in Wilcania for as long as the work held out.
     The following Friday evening Redpath and me drove back into town from a weeks hard work in rough old wethers. We decided to try out one of the other bars, just for a change in scenery. We already knew quite a few shearers now which made the stay a bit more enjoyable.
     At around 9:30 I decided to go for a walk down the street for some fresh air. I was not interested in getting blind drunk with Redpath that night. Once I got outside a couple of Aborigine girls smiled a big smile at me and asked me my name and where I came from. Once I said Lake Cargelligo they asked me if knew all of their relations who lived out at the mission. After 10 minutes of talking they suggested that after the bar closed down, if I bought some beer and wine we could all go for a bit of a party out at the place they were living. I agreed to meet them later.
     After I had a feed at the local Dago shop, I went back up to the bar to see how old Redpath was faring. By this time, he was firing on all 8 cylinders and was already quite argumentative when the Publican called 'Time' at 11. I told Redpath about the the 2 Abbo sheilas I'd met earlier. He seemed to like the idea cause he said,
"At least it's somewhere to go where we can hang around and drink some more grog."
     When we went around the back of the Hotel where Redpath had parked his Ute, the girls were waiting for us.
"G'day", they said as we approached. "Ya got some grog?"
"Of course I've got some fucking grog.", said Redpath. "Have ya ever known me not to have any?"
     One of the girls said, with a smile,
"How would we know? We've only just met ya mate."
"Then fucking go and ask anybody that knows me, they'll all tell ya the same thing. Ya might see old Redpath without food on many occasion but grog, you'll never see him without."
"Alright mate.", said the older one. "Keep ya fucking hat on. We only asked."
"Where the hell are ya taking us anyway?", asked Redpath.
"Few miles out of town. Got a humpy out there. We can have a party without being disturbed.", said on of 'em.
     Once we were all squashed in the front seat of the Ute, he started it up and drove out of the car park and then up the main road. For some reason, he was driving very slow tonight which was totally out of character for him. He was driving so slow in fact,  one of the girls said,
"Can't this Ute go any fucking faster?"
"Course it fucking can. It's a brand new Ute.", he said. "What d'ya wanna go faster for?
"Well mate, some one might see us with 2 white fellas."
"So fucking what?", said Redpath, who had now opened a new can.
"Don't worry me mate, but if the local cops see us with ya, you'll git into big trouble.", said one of the girls.
"Fuck the cops. I've been in jail overnight more times than I can remember so once more won't make any difference to me.", said Redpath.
     At long last, we arrived at an old rusty, broken down tin shack at the end of a dirt track on the outskirts of town. When we went inside, I got quite a shock as I looked around me. It was a one-room place with a dirt floor. The inside walls were just as  rusty as the outside. The only furniture in the room was 2 single beds, one at each side of the room. On the actual bed part there were no mattresses, only a sagging chain-link spring  affair which was supposed to hold at least a flock mattress. Instead, all that covered them were an old wool blanket. The only other furniture I could see was an old wooden chair which only had 3 legs.
     Redpath walked over to one of the beds and sat down on the edge of the frame with the booze at the side of him.
"Alright mate, give us a drink.", said one of the girls to him.
"I don't know whether or not I should waste mi good beer on you Abbo sheilas. Here, ya can open up this bottle of Plonk, if ya like.
"Is this where you live?". I asked.
"Sure is mate. What else do we need?"
"Where d'ya cook?", I asked, cause there was no electricity or running water.
"Outside mate. We make a fire when we wanna cook up something."
"Where d'ya put ya clothes?", I asked.
"On mi body. Where else would I put 'em?"
"No, ya spare clothes.", I said.
"What spare clothes is he talking about?", said the other girl.
"Fucked if I know." said the other one. "He must know something we don't."
"Are these thin cotton dresses the only clothes ya have?
"Course they are. What do I need anymore for. I can only wear one dress at a time."
"What d'ya do when ya have to wash 'em?"
"I wash it in the river and hang it over a bush till it dries. What else."
     As we sat and talked, I asked them many questions about their lives. Most of the time, they thought I was pretty weird. Eventually Redpath started to talk politics to the girl who was now sitting next to him. He asked her for an opinion on the war in Vietnam.
"What you mean, 'Vietnam?' What war? Where abouts in NSW is Vietnam? I haven't never heard of it mate."
"What about all those young white kids that are dying  over there so that you bastards can be 'free'?" said Redpath, who was now pretty drunk.
"What bullshit you fucking talking white fella?", she said. "Maybe you had too much grog. Black fellas never have war. No white fella ever die for black fellas but plenty black fellas die at the hand of white fellas. If ya so worried about this Bush town, Vietnam, why don't you go to war instead of gittin' on the grog?"
"Ya stupid, bloody Giin.", said Redpath, as he took another big swig out of his can. "Vietnam ain't in the Bush. It's another bloody country all together. Didn't ya learn anything at school?"
     The girl who was now sat next to me said to him,
"She never went to no white fellas school mate. She learn from tribal family everything about ancestors. Same as me mate. White fellas learning no good to black fellas. Only good thing white fellas have is plonk and Marlboroughs.
"Yeah that 's the bloody problem with you black bastards.", said Redpath. "Ya never work or look after the land."
     The girl who was sitting next to him took another swig out of the wine bottle and said,
"What d'ya mean, black fellas not work or look after the land. Just look at you white fellas. You come to our land and in a few years it's almost dead! Ya put those chemical things on the land and then ya put up fences and tell us it's yours and if we walk on it, we're trespassing. Then ya go and call the white fella sergeant on us."
"Ya can have ya land back for all I care.", said Redpath, who was by now really drunk.
     The Abbo girl, who was now herself a bit drunk said to him,
"We don't want it back now. You white fellas fucked it up  so ya can have it. It's no good to us black fellas anymore."
     As they were arguing back and forth, the girl who was sat with me said,
"Come on mate, I wanna show ya something. Come outside."
     When we got outside, she closed the door and then grabbed hold of my hand and took off at a fast pace into the Bush. After about 10 minutes of walking we came to a big clearing in the Malley. The full moon was directly up above now and filled the clearing with a warm glow.
"Pretty place eh?", she said as she looked around.
"Yeah,", I said. "It's really peaceful out here."
"I wanna give you some thing very special.", she said as she pulled off her dress. "You are a very special white fella. You are a very good man. Come on.", she said as she laid down in the thick red dust. "Take off ya clothes and put it in here. I've got a gift for you."
     We laid down in the Bush for at least 3 hours. When we were finished, I looked more like a black fella than a white one cause I was covered all over in layers of red earth.
"Let's go back now.", she said. "The Sun will be comin' up soon. It's not good for you if white fellas see you with a black Gin."
     When we got back to the tin humpy, Redpath was fast asleep in the front of his Ute. The other Abbo girl was asleep on one of the rickety beds.
"You'd better wake him up and go now before some of my family show up."

     It took me ages to wake up Redpath. When he eventually came too, he said,
"Gives us a middy mate!"

     Come Sunday evening Redpath and me drove back out into the Bush for another weeks hard work shearing Wethers. The cooks name was Paddy Slaven. He was an old Irish immigrant with a bald head, fat round face and a chronic drinking problem.

     People who live in the Bush that have bad drinking problems are not called 'alcoholics' as long as they can get up and go to work everyday but once the grog has really gotten hold of 'em and they can no longer work, then and only then are they branded as close to being an 'alchy'.

     Old Paddy was as close to being an 'alchy' as possible, without actually being labeled one. He drank from 5 in the morning until 11 at night, when he eventually ran out of grog. If he couldn't borrow a half-gallon of plonk, he would start on the Vanilla Essence. Many a contractor thought that Paddy would be baking a lot of cakes by the amount of Vanilla Essence he ordered for the stores but I can't remember ever eating one of Paddys' cakes.

     When we finished that shed, we drove back into Wilcania for the weekend. On Saturday morning old Paddy was propped up at the bar drinking with one of his mates he'd met in town. By the time the afternoon arrived, he was broke down to the bones of his arse. When I walked into the bar, he made a bee line for me. He gave me a sob story about having no money left for food. I was still pretty naive in those days. It only took old Paddy a few minutes to relieve me of a 10 dollar note, after promising to go to the Dagos' shop and buy himself a good feed. When he walked away from me with the 10 bucks, I decided to keep an eye on him to make sure he didn't forget the purpose of the loan.
     As I watched him closely, he slid the 10 dollar bill over the counter for the Publican to change. When he got it back in two fives he gave his drinkin' mate $5 and ordered another round of booze out of his 5. Once I saw that, I was really pissed! I walked over to where he was sittin' and said,
"Hey Paddy, ya told me ya wanted to buy ya self some food cause ya hadn't eaten for 24 hours!"
"Yeah, Yeah Yorky. Ya know how it is mate."
"No I fucking don't Paddy. All I know is that you're a fucking liar! If I had known you were gonna blow it on booze, I'd have never given it to ya!"
"You'll git ya fucking money back mate. Why are ya so angry?"
"Cause you're a real fucking con-man Paddy and on top of that you're a chronic fucking alcoholic!"
"Don't ya fucking dare speak to me like that ya pommy bastard!"
"Why Paddy, what ya gonna do about it. You'll never be sober enough to remember what I called ya."
"I'll knock ya arse over head in a minute."
"You and who Paddy, ya drunken alchy mate? I could beat the shit out of both of ya with one fucking arm. Anyway, I'll tell ya one thing for sure, ya fucking lush. If I ever saw ya starving in the gutter, I wouldn't piss on ya if ya were on fire. You're better off dead! As far as the 10 bucks go, ya can keep it Sport. From now on I'll warn everybody I know about ya, ya fucking con-man!"
     With that, I left him to his misery and went to the cafe miself for a good breakfast. I didn't very often get angry with people but that morning, if old Paddy had have pushed the issue too far I would have put him out of his fuckin' misery.

     I spent most of the afternoon playing pool and having a few beers with some of the shearers I'd met. As I was scanning the local paper, I read a small article about 3 blokes who'd killed themselves in a car crash on the outskirts of town.  The article said that they were all blind drunk and had hit a Semi-trailer head on. The articles' headline read, TWO MEN AND A SHEARER KILLED! That headline was the usual local attitude toward shearers or anyone who worked in the sheds.

     Later on that evening, I saw the Aborigine girl I'd met the week before.  I took off into the Bush with her again before the long night was over. The following morning, as I was having a beer with Redpath, who was in a pretty bad state, the local Wilcania Sergeant appeared at the front door of the pub. I know, because I could see him in the large mirror behind the bar.
"Oye! You ya bastard. Come out here."
     Every one in the bar turned around, except me.
"Oye!", he said again. "If I have to come in there and git ya, you'll be in deep shit mate!"
     Slowly, I turned around on my stool and faced the front door.
"Yeh, you ya bastard."
"Come out here, I wanna a fucking word with you!"
"G'day sport.", he said in a nasty tone of voice.
"G'day, Sergeant what can I do for ya?", I said.
"Ya can't do a thing for me cobber but I've got a message for you!"
     I had no idea whatsoever what the big, ugly Sergeant was talking about so I just kept quiet and waited.
"I understand from my source that ya fucking one of our local Gins."
     His nasty tone and bluntness took me by surprise, but only for a second. I said to him, "Your understanding from your source is wrong Sergeant."
"I don't think so cobber, so listen to me and listen real good sport. If ya still in Wilcania by 1 O'clock this afternoon, I'll fucking lock ya up!"
"Why would ya do that? I haven't broken any of ya laws?"
"We've got a law in this town called 'Consorting'. If I was you sport I'd get the fuck out-a this town and don't fucking come back!"
     With that, he walked off down the street to where he'd parked the local blue Bull-Wagon.

     When I walked back into the bar, Redpath, seedy as he was from his Saturday night binge said to me, "What did that big ugly bastard want?"
"He told me if I was still in town by 1 O'clock today, he was going to jail me for consorting."
"Fuckin' streuth!", said Redpath, who was now wide awake. "Let's grab a couple dozen bottles and git out of here before the ugly bastard comes back."
"Why, what does 'consorting' mean?"
"It means, ya not even allowed to talk to those black sheilas and if he finds out for sure that ya fucked one of 'em, he'll fuckin' lock both of us up and throw away the fuckin' key!"
     Redpath downed his middy in one large swallow. He paid the Publican for 2 dozen large bottles of Pilsner, then said to me,
"Let's git our gear from the hotel and git out a' here. I'm sick of this scungy fucking town anyway!"
     Once our swags were packed and put in the back of the Ute, we were once more on our way. We left Wilcania behind in a cloud of red dust.

     Redpath only drove a few miles before he said to me,
"I'll pull over to the side of the road and you can drive if ya like. This driving caper is interfering with a mans' drinkin'."
     When the Ute stopped, we exchanged seats. I pushed mi foot down on the accelerator and I said to Redpath,
"Where to now mate?"
"I think we'll head off South, Yorky. We'll see if we can pick up a pen in those big, fat Corradale sheep. I'm a bit sick of shearing rough Wethers. Besides, that Victorian Bitter is not too bad a drop of grog. I haven't had any since last year so we'll head down to a place called Hamilton. I'll git the road map out and once we know where we're heading, I can relax and have a few beers while you drive."

     On the way down to Hamilton, we stopped at a place called Horsham.  Redpath ran into a contractor that he'd worked for a few years previous. His name was Ron McClure. McClure was looking for one shearer. He had about six weeks worth of work so Redpath took the pen.
     As we sat in the bar, I was starting to worry a bit because I had no work and no way of traveling without Redpath. At the end of the evening Redpath said,
"We're gonna stay at McClures' place tonight and tomorrow I'm gonna drive ya down to Hamilton. McClure says you're sure to pick up a pen shearing at this time of year. They're in full swing down there."
     The following day, we took off early cause Redpath had to get back to Horsham. He dropped me off at the local shearers' pub. After I booked in, we had a couple of beers together.
      For all his problems, old Redpath had a big heart. Anyone else would have left me stuck in Horsham, but not old Redpath. After we said our goodbyes, he took off and I ordered another beer. I remember it was somewhere around 3 O'clock in the afternoon. I had another 3 hours to wait until the local shearers started to roll in.
     One thing about a shearers' pub is it doesn't take very long before one gets to know the local crowd. By 10 O'clock that evening,  I'd met who a bloke who arranged a pen for me, starting in a couple of days.

    A couple of days later as we drove onto the cockys' place, I noticed the size of the sheep. A Merino sheep is usually pretty light unless they've been on real good tucker. These sheep I was now looking at were huge, wooly Coradales', probably weighing around the 150 pound mark.
     The cocky was and old German called Shultz. Him and his son, who was about 22 ran the place. The shearers quarters was an old run-down house which had no electricity or fly screens on the windows. Because the grass around that area was long and green, mosquitos were a constant plague.
     In the morning, I got into mi shearing gear and made mi way over to the main house for a bit of breakfast before I started. Shultz was also the cook. He told me his old lady had died a few years back and he was left to raise the boy on his own.
     At 7:30 I was loaded up and ready to start shearing. the shed was a small 2-stander and just after 7:30 another shearer turned up from town. He was a decent bloke. He walked into the shed with his tucker box and a comb and cutter tin. As soon as he looked over the wall into his pen, he said to me,
"Jesus Christ mate, these fucking sheep look like baby elephants! I'll be flatstrap shearing a fucking 100 a day in these bastards!"
     It took me all my my strength to drag the big, wooly Coradale Ewes out of the holding pen, not to mention shearing them. I'd only been shearing for about a year but not consistently so my lack of experience did not enhance my ability to shear a good tally.
     Normally, if I worked mi guts out all day I could hear anywhere between 80 to 100 Merinos. After 2 hard hours of shearing old Shultzs' Coradales, I had only managed to poke out 15! The wool was really long and hard-cutting which meant I had to change the combs and cutters a lot. Because the sheep were so fat they did not like being sat up or rolled on their backs. To show their disapproval, they kicked like hell. The bloke next to me cursed and swore as he sweated over the huge Coradales.  By lunch time he had shorn 45. Once old Shultz was out of earshot, he said to me,
"I'll be looking for another pen tonight when I git back to town. The bloke who told me about this place said they were not bad shearing. Wait till I see that lying bastard again!"
"How long ya been shearing?", I asked him.
"15 years mate. How about you?"
"About a year, but not every week."
"You've only been shearing a year mate? Jesus sport, you're going real well in these mongrel bastards!"
"Not really. I'll be flat out getting 60 today."
"But that's pretty good for a learner Yorky. Look at me, I've only done 45. The last place I was at, I was shearing 150 a day."
"So ya think I'm going alright?"
"Listen mate, I'm one of the fastest shearers in Hamilton. Any bastard will tell ya that. As far as I'm concerned, if you can shear 60 for the day in these bastards, you're alright in my book sport."
     At first, I was feeling really down cause I expected to shear at least 80 a day but this bloke on the stand next to me helped me feel a lot better about miself. He was a real supportive bloke.
     He stayed at the shed about a week before he  pulled the pin on the old cocky. Over the next few days he stopped several times to give me some good pointers on how to make the job easier for miself.

     On Friday night, I drove into Hamilton with him and booked into the Hotel for the weekend. Over the weekend I met quite a few shearers in the barroom. Some of 'em were good blokes and some of 'em were real bastards. One bloke asked me how many a day I was shearing. When I told him 60, he started to laugh and take the piss out of  me. As he was doing this, the shearer who had been working with me all week came into the bar. He was a well-known bloke around Hamilton. People greeted him as he waked in. When he saw me at the bar, he came over and said,
"Drink up Yorky, I'll buy ya a beer mate."
"Good on ya.", I said. "Good to see ya again,"
     The shearer who had been taking the piss out of me knew the gun shearer who had just bought me a beer. He said to him,
"Where ya been shearing at mate?"
"I've been shearing with Yorky all week out at Shultzs' place."
"How many ya doing a day there?", he asked him.
"90 was mi best day,"
"Fucking hell sport, they must be real tough going for you to only shear 90 in 'em?"
"They fucking are.", he said. Old Yorky here was doing as well as me for the length of time he's been shearing."
"Jesus Christ.", said the piss taker. "I'm sorry for taking the piss out of ya mate. I didn't realize how touch a going the sheep were."
     The bloke I worked all week with said, "They been taking the piss out of ya Yorky, have they mate? Well don't let it worry ya sport cause these lazy bastards wouldn't shear 50 a day in those sheep. I'll put mi money on you any day of the fucking week mate. Drink up Yorky, I'll buy ya another beer."
     From that point on, no one else took the piss out of me. In fact, I had a pretty good time in Hamilton the 6 weekends I spent there."
     After the bar closed down at 10:30, I made mi way out to the lounge. The lounge was open at least another 3 hours for residents and their guests. I met a shearer called Brian Cullen. Brian was a pretty big, strong bloke who came from Cunnamula. We hit it off right from the beginning. That made mi stay there a lot more comfortable.
     Once that shed was finished, I left a message for Redpath at McClures' place. He returned my message saying,  'hitchhike up to Horsham. I've got a pen for ya, shearing with me.' The message made me feel really good. I packed up mi case, paid mi bill at the bar and made mi way up to the Hotel in Horsham where I found Redpath, full as a boot, propping the bar up.
     Redpath was very supportive of my shearing efforts. The following day we drove out to the Bush to start another shed.  One weekend, whilst hanging out in the bar, I met a bloke, Clay O'malley. He was a handsome looking bloke with wide shoulders and a reputation to match. He was very popular with the sheilas and the contractors for his respective talents.
     Redpath and me were sat quietly at the bar drinking a cold beer when he made his grand entrance. Modesty was not one of O'malleys' better qualities. Before long, he was bragging about the amount of sheep he could shear, the amount of sheilas he had and the amount of grog he could hold. During his bragging session, the subject somehow got on to snakes. As expected, O'malley was also an authority on poisonous snakes. To prove it, he said he'd head out into the bush and catch one. The Publican told him no to be so stupid because he had too much grog in him. True to form, O'malley would not have a bar of it. He downed his beer in one mouthful, picked up his change, then made his exit from the bar.
     Whilst he was gone, no one gave it another thought because most people were used to his ways. It wasn't until he made his grand entrance again, carrying a small sugar bag that anyone took him seriously.
"Give us another middy.", he said to the publican as he sat down on the bar stool and put the sugar bag on top of the bar.
"What's in the bag Clay?", said Redpath, who was not at all keen on snakes.
"It's a copper-head mate?"
"Oh Bullshit!", said Redpath, who was now sliding his stool a couple more feet to the right of the bag.
"I tell ya, it's a copper head mate. As soon as I've finished this beer, I'll get it out and show you.
     O'malley didn't wait to finish his beer, instead he slid his bar stool back from the counter and started to undo the string which held the top of the sugar bag securely tied. Once the string had been loosened he held it closed with his left hand.
"Now I'll show you bastards what's in the bag!", he said as he felt around the outside of it. "Ah, here we go!" he said as he held onto something from the outside.
"I've got hold of his head now. I'm gonna put mi hand inside the bag and pull him out!"
     Everyone, including myself, stepped back at least another 3 feet as he let go of the bag opening. O'malley pushed his hand, very carefully, into the bag as we all looked on. Just then he pulled his hand back out at great speed and said,
"Shit! Bastard! He fucking got me!"
"What d'ya mean, 'he got me?", said Redpath.
"I thought I had hold of his head securely but he wriggled free and bit me thumb!", he said as he closed the bag tightly.
"Hurry up!", he said in a panicked voice. "You've gotta get me to a hospital!"
     Redpath, drunk as he was, sprang into action!
"Alright, hurry up mate. My Ute's outside. I'll take ya!
     The publican told us where the closest hospital was. Before we went any further, O'malley cut his thumb and tied a piece of string around it as fast as he could. In no time at all, we were doing 90 miles an hour up the wide bitchuman highway towards the hospital. On the way, O'malley kept saying to me, "Undo the tourniquet and move it up a bit and then pull it as tight as ya can." Once this was done, he said, "Well, it looks like I'm really fucked now. I'll never make it cause once the tourniquet's up to the top of mi arm, there's no where else to tie it!"
     Redpath drove like a first-class racing car driver as he steered the Ute around the wide corners with the needle bouncing on 105, most of the time. Before long, I had made the last tie just below the shoulder muscle in O'malleys' left arm.
"That's it. We can't move it again. I'm out of time mate! I always wondered how was gonna die. Now I don't have to wonder anymore."
"You'll be alright mate.", I said. "Don't worry, there's not too far to go now!"
"How far to go, Redpath?", asked O'malley.
"Twenty miles mate but at this speed it won't take long."
"I'm fucked! Now I'm really fucked! Tell mi old lady what happened will ya and do what ya can for mi kids."
     O'malley was now starting to get groggy. His eyes started to close and his breathing became shallow and slower.
"Don't let me go to sleep." he said in a whisper. "Keep me awake."
     The only thing I could think to do was to slap his face and shake him.
"Tell me how many sheep ya shore last week mate?", I said
"I was the fastest in the shed.", he said softly.
"Just as fucking well for you that I wasn't shearing next to you, ya  gutless bastard. I'd have run rings around ya!", I said.
    This statement brought him back a bit, so I pursued it further.
"The only problem with you fucking Aussies is ya full of shit and ya got no balls. A fucking good pommy could blow ya arse off in a shed!". I said, as his head lolled from side to side.
"Wake up, ya gutless bastard!". I screamed at him as I slapped his face from side to side.
"That fucking hurts.", he said in a soft whisper.
"That's because you've got no fucking guts O'malley. You're all fucking talk and no action!, I yelled in his face.
"I could work you into the ground, ya fucking pommy bastard." he said as his head lolled forwards.
"You haven't got the fucking balls O'malley!", I screamed at him.
     I pulled his head up and I slapped his face around a bit more.
"Hospital's coming up on the left", said Redpath. "Smack him around a bit more mate. Don't let him drift off!"
     As we pulled up outside the Emergency entrance, a couple of doctors were waiting with a wheel chair. The publican had called ahead and everyone was fully prepared for him. It only took seconds before he was out of the front bench seat of the Ute and in the wheelchair heading for the front door.
     Redpath and me parked the Ute and then went into the Emergency waiting room to wait for some information. After about an hour, a doctor came out and said,
"He's gonna be alright now. We gave him a good shot of anti-venom and he's sleeping peacefully. It's a good job you kept him conscious, cause if not, he'd be dead by now."
"How long will he be kept in?" asked Redpath.
"At least 5 hours or so. We want to make sure he's alright before we let him go."
     We decided there was no more we could do. We filled up the Ute with petrol and drove back to the hotel, only this time the speedo needle never got about 60.
"You're not a bad driver.", I jokingly said to Redpath.
"You're not a bad psychologist. Ya really got his attention when ya called him a gutless bastard and told him ya were gonna run rings around him if ever you were in the same shed together."
"Yeah mate, but I wouldn't dare tell him that, had he been alright."
"Fucking hell no. He's knocked some real big men arse over head for just looking sideways at him."
"Oh shit. I hope he doesn't remember!"
     Late that afternoon, O'malley made another grand entrance into the barroom. This time his thumb was bandaged and his ego was a bit bruised.
"Are ya alright mate?", I asked him.
"Course I'm fucking alright. I'm an Aussie. If it had been a pommy bastard that had gotten bit, he'd have been dead by now."
     Redpath piped up, in a drunken slur, and said,
"If it wasn't for this pommy, you'd have been one big, dead, fucking Aussie. I think you owe us, at least, a round of beer so quit your skiting and put ya fucking money where ya mouth is!"
"We'll have 2 more middys' publican." said O'malley.

     Not long after that Redpath and me did a couple of sheds in South Australia at a place called Narrow Count. We both lost a good few bucks on a horse called Tobin Bronze. According to Redpath, he could not lose! After that, we drove to a place called White Cliffs where they mine for Opal. There was not much work around by now. Redpath told me to go to Broken Hill cause he was gonna get on the grog for at least a week. He said he'd had it with shearing for a while.

     I said goodbye to Redpath the following day and got a ride with the mail truck to Broken Hill. I never saw Redpath again after that. I firmly believe that if he's still alive, he can  be found propping up the bar at the Hilston Hotel in New South Wales!


     I'd been working on Burts' property for about five and a half months and things had not improved one iota. One evening, Peter Smith unexpectedly drove into Burts' yeard and stopped his Ute, in a cloud of dust, outside my tin shed doorway.
"G'day ya bastard.", he said with a huge grin on his face.
"G'day Peter. How are ya mate?"
     My use of the Aussie accent and lingo was now improving, somewhat.
"I'm good sport, and I'm good because I've got some good news for ya Yorky!"
"Ya got me a new job Peter?"
"Sure have mate. It took me awhile but I eventually found one for ya."
"What's it doing? Who will I be working for?"
"Well mate, you'll be starting a new career in contract fencing with a real good bloke called Jim Smith."
"Is he any relation to you Peter?"
"Na mate, no relation at all but he's a beaut  bloke. Ya can start with him in a fortnight from today."
"That's really great, but why can't I start tomorrow mate?"
" Cause first you've got to give old Burt a couple of weeks notice."
"Why should I do that Peter? Why not just leave the old bastard in the shit where he belongs?"
"Can't do that. For one thing, it's not the done thing in the Bush and for another you've probably got almost half a years holiday pay comin' to ya. It would be stupid to forfeit that so old Burt could keep it. Besides mate, we'll have a hell of a battle getting it out of him as it is!"
"Alright Peter, whatever you say. When should I break the good news to him?"
"Tell him first thing tomorrow morning. If he gives ya a hard time, tell him to call  me. I don't particularly want to get on the wrong side of Burt but it's my job to look after ya, if ya need any help. I was a bit luckier that you when I first came out here. They sent me to Fred Harzeys' place and he's not too bad a bloke. Mind you, he can be a bit of a bastard when he wants to be but he know he can't find a better worker than me. Most of the time we see eye to eye on things. Anyways Yorky, give us a call as soon as ya 14 days are up and I'll come and pick ya up and take ya over to Jims' place. I think you'll like him, he's a real kind-hearted sort of bloke."
"I don't know how to thank ya mate."
No need mate. I told you once already, I'd do the same for a white fella' anyday!"
     This statement eased the situation and made us both laugh out loud.
"Alright mate, gotta run. See ya later and don't forget, give us a ring if ya need me."
     I expressed my gratefulness once again. Peter turned the key of his Ute, put it in first and spun the wheels in the red dust as he tore off down the Paddock track, over the ramp and right, towards Lake Cargelligo.
     That evening, I found it hard to rest because of all the unknown factors that were about to come into play in my young life. The main source of excitement came from the fact of knowing I was about to pull the bin on old Burtie!
     The following morning I was up earlier than usual. The cows were brought in and milked with time to spare. I decided to go back to mi room to wait for breakfast. I left mi door open, as I lay on top of mi bed with mi boots resting on the bottom rail. I'd just rolled a home-made Drum cigarette  when old Burt came striding across the yard. I'd left mi door open so i could see him or anyone else, who was up and around.
"Come on!, he called to me in an un unusually rough manner. "What are you doing still in bed, laid there smoking? We've got work to do! Go and get the cows in. I'm runnin' a bit late this morning!"
"They're in! Milked and back out in the paddock already."
"What d'ya mean. It's only 6 O'clock?"
"I couldn't rest so I started a bit earlier this morning."
"Alright then, ya can go and weed the wifes' veggie garden before breakfast!"
     Old Kay had a good veggie garden that she was real proud of. She was always skyting about how clean she kept it but it was me who always had to pull out the hard chickweed and skeleton weed so I said to Burt, 'NO'!
"What d'ya mean NO? Get up off ya lazy pommy back and do as ya told, ya bastard!"
"FUCK YOUR BURT!  I didn't start at 4:30 this mroning to end up pulling lousy weeds out of your wifes' garden!"
     Burts' face was not turning a dark crimson color by the second.
"I'll knock ya arse over head if ya talk to me like that, and further more, I'll call the BBM and have ya deported, ya ungrateful pommy bstard!"
"Hey Burt, You've been cursing at me for 5 months now and I did not leave home and come 12,800 miles to live with someone worse than mi stepfather and furthermore I came out here to learn a trade of some sort. So far, all I've done is to swing a bloody axe, shovel hot coals, pick up bloody stumps and weed your wifes' veggie garden. She's so proud of that veggie patch, she can weed it herself!"
     Burt was so cranky now, he was starting to stutter.
"I'll-I'll I'll- knock ya arse over head ya bastard and then I'll fire ya, ya pommy bastard!", he roared.
"You'll do nothing of the sort Burt.", I said in a cool manner. "Cause I'm pulling the pin. I'm giving ya 14 days notice, from this morning and when I leave I'll expect some holiday pay as well as mi monthly 12 quid!"
"What did you say, ya cheeky bastard?"
"You heard Burt! I'm pullin' the pin on ya mate."
"Ya can't pull the pin on me mate!", he roared. I'm gonna call Sydney now and have a word with Mansell about you!"
"Call whoever ya like Burt, Mansell knows I'm leaving here. Peter Smith already called him and Mansell says he'll not send anymore pommys to this place if ya don't give me my holiday pay at the end of 14 days and furthermore Burt, for every day you make me wait over the 14 days, you'll be charged a penalty! How d'ya like that Burt?"
'You'll git no holiday pay out a' me, ya lazy mongrel bastard! I'll see you in hell first!"
"I'll be waiting for ya when ya get there Burt!, I said, then laid back on mi bed and finished mi smoke.
     Old Burt strode off across the dirt yard at double his normal speed now. The garden gates slammed shut and the back fly-screen door bounced on its hinges more than its usual twice.
     Mi heart was now beating 10 to the dozen and mi hands had a slight shake to them as the life-force banged out a kettle drum beat in mi navel.
'At long last,' I thought, '5 1/2 long months of putting up with that miserable, tight arsed old bastards abuse. 5 1/2 months of living in fear of him deporting me, but today is Yorkys' day! Let that be a lesson to you Yorky mate, said my inner heart, Once ya buy into fear ya rooted! You'd may as well lie down and die!'
     Twenty minutes later old Kay rang the cow bell for breakfast. I walked slowly over to the house, not knowing what was going to happen. When I got inside, Burt was chomping down on a small  mutton chop bone. His hands were still shaking as he picked up his cup of tea. When I sat down, Kay said to me,  "Burt tells me you're leaving us Richard. Aren't you happy here anymore?"
"It's nothing to do with you, Mrs. Booth, but I've never been happy since they sent me hear from Cabrammatta."
"Oh, I had no idea ya felt like that. Why aren't you happy here?"
"Ask Burt, he'll tell ya."
"It's no good asking me.", said Burt. "Far as I'm concerned you've been treated well."
"Yeh, I thought we'd been very good to you Richard.", said Kay.
"Oh really, d'ya think it's good being abused all day and getting chased through the bush by an axe-wielding madman?"
"l've got no idea what you're talking about Richard.", said Kay.
"Then Burt, obviously, doesn't tell you much Mrs. Booth. Anyway, it's nearly all over now and there's nothing you can say will change mi mind. I've pulled the pin now and I'll be off in 14 days. I'm not very hungry this morning Mrs. Booth. I'll wait for ya outside Burt.",I said, as I pushed mi chair back and walked out of the kitchen.

     Over the next 14 days, Burt carried on as normal. I thought he might loosen up a bit but he never  changed, right up until the morning Peter Smith drove up the track to pick me up.
"Ya got ya gear all packed up mate?", he asked as he leaned out the window of the Ute.
"I never unpacked it. I knew from the first day, I wouldn't be retiring here."
     Peter had a chuckle and then said, "Put ya gear in the back, mate. I'll let old Burt know where to send ya holiday money to."
     Just then Burt called to me from the back veranda,"You better come and git ya money before ya go mate."
"I'll be there in a minute.", I said.
"Go and pick up ya pay said Peter."
"Alright.", I said and than walked over to Burts' house for the last time.
"Ya gotta months pay coming.", he said, as I entered the kitchen.
"A months' pay and 5 1/2 months holiday pay,", I said to him.
"You'll git no holiday pay from me mate!", he said, as he wrote out a check for 12 pounds and 2 shillings.
"The Award Sheet says I'm due for holiday pay, Burt."
"I don't give a rats' arse what the Award Sheet says, you'll git no holiday pay from me mate!"
"Ya don't mind working off the Award Sheet when it comes to paying wages and taking board and tucker though eh Burt?"
     He didn't bother to answer me, he just said, "Here, sign here if ya want ya wages. I got work to do today!"

"Did he give you ya holiday pay Yorky?", said Peter, when I got back to the Ute.
"No mate, he said he won't pay it."
"Alright mate, wait here for me. I'll go and have a word with him."
"No luck mate.", he said, as he returned.  "He's determined not to pay it, so we'll have to call Mansell in Sydney.  If anyone can get it, he will.", said Peter. "Hop in the Ute Yorky, Let's git out of here. Jim Smith is waiting for us at Burts' far boundary fence."


On Monday morning at 10 to 6, I was sitting on Gilltraps' steps waiting for Kevin Skippy to pick me up for a couple of days work, marking lambs.
"G'day, ya pommy fucking bastard.", he yelled out the window as he pulled into the curb. "Chuck ya tucker box in the back and hop in mate."
"How are ya, ya Aussie fuckin' bastard?", I asked as we shook hands.
"Jesus!", said Kevin, as he spun the wheels and left a small dust cloud behind us. "Ya really gettin' our Aussie lingo down Yorky mate."
"Yeah, I've been gettin' a bit sick of people mimicking myYorkshire accent and taking the piss out of me."
"Oh, don't worry about that sport. We've been extracting the urine out a' pommys since they've been coming out here. Ask Stan Granthem, he speaks good Occa lingo now and we still take the piss! So what have ya been up to Yorky? Ya got yourself a good root since ya been livin' in town?"
"No mate. No such luck in that department."
"What about some of those young Mission sheilas' that hang out around Gilltarps?"
"No mate, no luck there either."
"Ya still haven't had a root yet Yorky mate?"
"In one work Skippy - No!"
"I've got a pretty good-looking sheep in the backyard at our place.  I could put a good word in there for ya, if ya like."
"Fuck you Skippy. I'm desperate but not that desperate."
"I don't blame ya.", he said as he laughed out loud. "Anyway it's too hard to pull their head around to kiss  'em!"
     This little joke gave me a really good laugh as I said,
"Oh mate, what a fucking great joke. I'm gonna' remember that one."
"Good on ya Yorky mate. She's a pretty tough life out here in the Bush sport and a good joke never goes astray. They tell me ya gittin' a few middys into ya self since you've been living at Traps."
"Yeah, there's not much else to do in the Lake, if ya single/"
"Ya not gonna' end up liek some of those old Alchis' are ya?"
"Course I'm fucking not. Just because I'm a pommy doesn't mean I'm stupid."
"You'll have to give me a few minutes to think about that one mate!
"Fuck you Skippy.", I said with a smile. "What we doing today anyway?"
"Marking lambs mate, before we fatten up for the auction."
"I've never done it before ya know."
"No worries mate, you'll be catching 'em, Digger's gonna' mark 'em and I'm gonna' draft 'em off and shift 'em back into the paddocks."
     Pretty soon we were driving over the ramp at Skippys' property. I could already see a large mob of Ewes and lambs in an around the sheep yards. We parked the ute under a shady tree and walked towards the yards. Digger was filling up a back pack of drench. As soon as he saw me, he said,
"Yorky, ya pommy bastard. How are ya cobber?"
"Good mate.", I said as we shook hands.
"Ya like living in town mate?"
"It's not bad mate. There's still not much to do though."
"I don't know about that Yorky. A little bird told me that ya rooting one of those pretty little half-cast ginns from out at the Mission."
"Bullshit Digger.", I said. "Ya little bird's full a' shit!"
"That's not what I heard Yorky. I don't wanna' see ya sittin' on Chamens' corner with a couple a'  pickaninis' on ya knee next time I'm in town."
"Fuck you Digger, you're such a bullshiter mate."
"Yeah, I know, but it's good fun Yorky. You're always good for a laugh mate."
"G'day Yorky.", said Dick as he walked over to where we were laughing and joking. "Didn't ya' bring that pretty little half-cast sheila I saw ya with on Saturday night?"
"Fucking hell Dick, you're just as bad as ya sons."
"Right, first time Yorky. Where d'ya think they git it from? Hey Kevin, bring that mob a' ewes and lambs in from the back boundary paddock, near Diggers' place. We'll git started on this mob. I'll draft 'em off while we're waitin' for ya."
"So, what d'ya want me to do Dick?", I asked.
"Digger will show ya mate. He's the expert."
"Bullshit Dad, I'm the mug that ends up with the shitty end of the stick!"
"Come on Yorky mate. Let's git started.", said Digger. "Sooner we start, the sooner we finish."
     Digger and me walked over to a part of the sheep yard fence that had a 2 foot long, 1 foot wide plank that was screwed onto the top rail.
"Right mate, you catch the lambs after they're drafted off from the ewes and carry them over here. I'll go grab one and show ya how to hold 'em."
     Digger grabbed hold of a lamb and carried it over to the fence.
"Alright, ya hold it like this mate, with his front and back leg together on each side. Ya sit his arse on the plank and push down a bit. Ya got it mate?"
"Looks easy enough to me Digger."
"It's easy at the beginning of the day Yorky, but by Sundown tonight ya hands will have cramp in 'em from the little bastards' struggling. Grab hold of this one mate while I get on the other side of the fence."
     As soon as Digger was ready he said,
"Now hang on to her mate!"
     First up, he grabbed a pair of ear-marking pliers. He took half of the lambs' ear and clipped a piece out of it which left their brand hole in it. The hole filled up with a small amount of blood.
"This is a ewe mate, so ear-mark and tail is all we do on this one." Then he picked up a small, sharp-bladed knife which had 2 spring-like jaws for a handle. The spring jaws had serrated teeth on each side. "Ya see this bit of bare skin under her tail, here right before the wool starts growing?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
"SWISH! Ya cut the tail off right there." The tail came off quite easily as the knife was really sharp. "If ya cut it too short mate, the  blow-flys will get on its arse-hole and chances are they'll blow it"
"What happens then mate?"
"Maggots mate. They'll start boring holes into and around its tucker shute.  How d'y like maggots boring into ya tucker shoot Yorky?"
"Not fucking likely!", I said as Digger had a good laugh.
     Digger dabbed a bit of tar on the lambs tail and then said,
"Let her go mate."
     Once the lambs' feet were on the ground again, she ran around a bit, twitching her tail and ear, bleating for her mother. The next lamb I caught turned out to be a male.
"Jesus mate, ya got a wether, or soon to be. Hold him steady mate." said Digger as he marked the opposite ear.
     This time he cut the top of the lambs ball sack. Then he pushed back the ball sack with his fingers and two small pink testicles popped out. What he did next, fucking shocked me. Digger put his head between the lambs back legs, grabbed one of the balls between his teeth and then pulled his head back. He now had a pink testicle in his mouth which had a small tube hanging off of it. Then he spit the testicle onto the dusty ground. Almost immediately one of the red Kelpies ran in, grabbed it and swallowed it in one gulp. Repeating the process, the lamb was now short his 2 small balls. After he cut off the tail, he chucked it on the ground, dabbed the stump and empty ball sack with tar and said,
"Let it go Yorky mate. He's done."

     The front of mi singlet had now acquired blood streaks which came from cutting the tail off, all down the front. Each time a tail was cut, the hairline veins spurted out a thin stream of blood. I now had it on mi face as well as mi arms. It wasn't long before the bush flies arrived, which by days end was torturous.
"Don't some cockys put rubber rings on their balls and tail Digger?"
"Yeah mate, but that hurts 'em a hell of a lot more than this way."
"How d'ya know that mate?"
"Well mate, once ya let 'em up doing it this way, they run around and jump up and down a bit, right?Now when ya put a ring on their ball sack and tail, they run and jump a little bit and then they lay down on the ground for quite a while."
"Why's that Digger?"
"Why d'ya think mate."
" 'Cause you've cut the blood supply off?"
"Right first time mate. It also takes a good few days for the nuts and tail to rot off."
"Fuck that for a game of tin soldiers Digger! I'm fuckin' glad I'm not a sheep!"
     Just then, old Dick came over and said to me,
"I think when we've marked all these lambs Yorky, we'd better do you mate! It'll save ya havin' a swag of pickaninis to look after. What d'ya reckon mate?"
"Fuck you Dick! My balls are staying right where they are, even though I haven't needed 'em yet!"
     We all had a good laugh over that one till Digger said,
"Alright Yorky mate, it's your turn. I'll go catch one for ya."