20

The three men sitting by the side of the road rose to their feet as I came into sight fleeing before the nose of pursuing dust. They watched me approaching them, the attitude of each a study in concentration. They were each occupied in looking for signs that suggested I would pull up and give them a lift.

The car was old and shabby which was promising. A modern car would have suggested wealth and a driver with little sympathy for the unemployed. You had much more chance of getting a lift in a rattletrap car. But it was a singleseater and this was bad. The truth would come from me.

I wouldn’t look at them if I were going to continue on, or I would increase my speed, or I would gaze at the instrument panel, and pretend to be occupied with a defective instrument, or I would gaze across the paddocks to where sheep were nibbling their way through tussocks on the opposite side of the road to where they were standing.

One of the men reached a decision quicker than the others. He turned swiftly, lifted his swag and stepped out on to the road smiling. I pulled up opposite them and watched the other two pick up their swags and billies before coming over.

‘Where ya making?’ I asked the first one to reach the car, the one with the smiling face.

‘Wherever you are, sport,’ he said swinging his swag into the open boot where upon the dickey seat my belongings were stacked.

Melbourne lay over two hundred miles behind me. I was making for Queensland not only because winter was at hand and it would be warmer up there but because of a desire to

-178-

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In Mine Own Heart
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • 1 1
  • 2 17
  • 3 26
  • 4 35
  • 5 43
  • 6 51
  • 7 65
  • 8 71
  • 9 79
  • 10 91
  • 11 98
  • 12 106
  • 13 118
  • 14 128
  • 15 138
  • 16 150
  • 17 158
  • 18 162
  • 19 171
  • 20 178
  • 21 186
  • 22 202
  • 23 216
  • 24 230
  • 25 241
  • 26 250
  • 27 255
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