The Best Australian Bush Stories

By Jim Haynes | Go to book overview

POSSUM GULLY

MILES FRANKLIN
(EXCERPT FROM MY BRILLIANT CAREER)

I WAS NEARLY NINE summers old when my father conceived the idea that he was wasting his talents by keeping them rolled up in the small napkin of an out-of-the-way place like Bruggabrong and the Bin Bin stations. Therefore he determined to take up his residence in a locality where he would have more scope for his ability. He gave up Bruggabrong, Bin Bin East and Bin Bin West, bought Possum Gully, a small farm of one thousand acres, and brought us all to live near Goulburn.

Here we arrived one autumn afternoon. Father, mother, and children packed in the buggy, myself, and the one servant-girl, who had accompanied us, on horseback. The one man father had retained in his service was awaiting our arrival. He had preceded us with a bullock-drayload of furniture and belongings, which was all father had retained of his household property. Just sufficient for us to get along with, until he had time to settle and purchase more, he said.

That was ten years ago, and that is the only furniture we possess yet—just enough to get along with. My first impression of Possum Gully was bitter disappointment—an impression which time has failed to soften or wipe away. How flat, common, and monotonous the scenery appeared after the rugged peaks of the Timlinbilly Range!

We had been resident in our new quarters nearly a month when my parents received an intimation from the teacher of the public

-335-

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The Best Australian Bush Stories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part 1- Delights of the Bush 1
  • ‘Mallee Morning’ 3
  • The Killer Koala 5
  • The Delights of the Bush 12
  • The Tallagandra Turkey 16
  • The Hotel in Maryborough 21
  • Down among the Wombats 26
  • The Drunken Kangaroo 29
  • ‘The Drover’s Lament’ 36
  • Part 2- Bush Justice 37
  • ‘The Six-Stitcher’ 39
  • Bush Justice 40
  • The Irqnbark Chip 44
  • Here Comes the Bride 50
  • His Bad Luck 62
  • Shooting Stars 70
  • Marks’s Cutter 78
  • ‘A Walgett Episode’ 87
  • Part 3- Dave in Love 89
  • ‘To Many Ladies’ 91
  • The Wrong Turning 92
  • Spicer’s Courtship 97
  • Dave in Love 102
  • Poor Joe 106
  • Strawberry - A Love Story 113
  • A Box of Dead Roses 118
  • Drifted Back 122
  • ‘The Free-Selector’s Daughter’ 125
  • Part 4- There’s a Patron Saint of Drunks 127
  • ‘Drunks’ 128
  • Snakes and Alcohol 129
  • There’s a Patron Saint of Drunks 139
  • The Evenin’ before Leavin’ Home 146
  • The Six O’Clock Swells 150
  • Where the Cooler Bars Grow 158
  • One Hundred Stubbies 162
  • ‘The Alcoholics’ Creed’ 172
  • Part 5- To the City 173
  • ‘simple Sister Goes to Sydney’ 175
  • The Waybacks Go to Sydney 177
  • A Zack to Central 191
  • The Downfall of Mulligan’s 198
  • To the City 203
  • Miner’s Holiday 211
  • ‘Westward HQ!’ 217
  • Part 6- Benefit of Clergy 219
  • ‘God and Poets’ 221
  • I Used to Read the Comics First 222
  • The Reign of Eugene Ham 229
  • Benefit of Clergy 241
  • A Sabbath Morn at Waddy 245
  • Bill’s Religion 251
  • Everyone Liked Father Connolly 254
  • First Confession 259
  • The Parson’s Blackboy 264
  • ‘The Parson and the Prelate’ 269
  • Part 7- The Conquering Bush 271
  • ‘spinifex’ 273
  • The First Bush Fire 275
  • The Drover’s Wife 280
  • Mallee 289
  • An Error in Administration 296
  • The Feud 299
  • The Conquering Bush 304
  • Rats 309
  • ‘The Wind That Buries the Dead’ 313
  • Part 8- The Night We Watched for Wallabies 315
  • ‘Picking Lemons’ 317
  • The Night We Watched for Wallabies 318
  • Crutching the Rams 322
  • Conversation in a Pantry 328
  • Possum Gully 335
  • Old Heinrich and the Lambing Ewe 343
  • ‘success’ 351
  • Part 9- The Lost Souls’ Hotel 353
  • ‘After Many Years’ 355
  • ‘Bring Your Fiddle, Joe’ 357
  • Going Blind 367
  • A Letter from Colleen 374
  • The Hagney Affair 381
  • The Lost Souls’ Hotel 391
  • ‘Question Not’ 402
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