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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:53 pm

'The Drover' - Page 83:

Both men agreed and decided to return to camp and move it closer to their quarry the next day.

The sun was almost below the horizon when the men returned to camp. Liz had dinner waiting; the children had eaten, bathed in the nearby lagoon whilst Rose remained on her bed.
‘Thanks Liz, that is delicious. We at least know where they are. In the morning we’ll move camp to their water hole.’ Harry told Liz.
‘Do you think Rose will be up to it?’ Liz’s face frowned knowing her sister-in-law was behaving unusual. Although she’d never lost a child, particularly a boy, she didn’t know why Rose was acting this way.
‘I’ll have a word with her tonight and see if she can move on.’ Harry said.
Later that night before Harry retired to bed Rose was reading a Mills & Boon book by the dim light of a kerosene lamp.
‘Can you put the book down for a minute so I can tell you what we’re doing tomorrow?’ He asked Rose in a quiet and gentle voice.
She closed the book, ‘so what are we doing tomorrow, what’s so urgent?’ Rose said in a sarcastic voice.
‘We saw the mob today but it’s too far from here to ride, muster and yard them. I want to move camp closer to where they are.’ Harry explained.
‘I don’t care what you do Harry, move the camp, do what you want but leave me out of it. All I want is to be left alone to read my books.’
‘What about the children?’ He whispered.
‘What about them. Liz is there, she’s doing a fine job looking after them. I didn’t have to do anything today only read my book and sleep. She made sure they bathed, ate their dinner and put them to bed.’ Rose said with glee.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:24 pm

'The Drover' - Page 82:

‘Aunt Liz,’ Claire directed the question at her aunt, ‘do you know why Mummy is so angry all of the time. I can’t do anything to please her.’
‘She’s sad child. You’ve got to be patient with her for awhile and she will get better.’
‘How long will it take?’
‘I don’t know – but until she is back to her old self again we’re all got to be kind to her.’
‘Thank you Aunt Liz. I will be kind to her.’
Claire returned to the camp and saw her mother lying on a shearers stretcher reading a book, ‘can I do anything for you Mummy?’ Claire asked her mother.
‘Just get out of my sight – go and play but leave me alone.’ She scorned.
Claire’s face screwed into a mystified shape wondering why her mother was so cruel and angry with her. She didn’t do anything to hurt her. She went away from the camp to sit under a mulga bush to keep out of the way.

On top of a hill Harry and Mick had a bird’s eye view of most of the property. Each looked from this site to see any horses. Far in the distance on the flat Harry pointed, ‘there they are, look at them gallop, must be a hundred or so.’
‘Yeah, look at the big black leading them. It’d be the stallion of the mob. They’re heading toward those two hills in among the mulga.’ Mick shared with Harry.
‘Okay, from here, our camp is south about a couple of miles, they’re gone in a north-westerly direction, it’d be about two mile from our camp. What’d think?’ Harry asked Mick.
‘Yeah, you’re probably right. We’ll need to get back; at least we know where they are. What say we move our camp up towards those hills and get closer so we can keep an eye on them to see where they go and what they’ll do.’ Mick replied.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:43 pm

'The Drover' - Page 81:

‘See you when I get back.’ He finished and walked away.
Taking sufficient food and water for their day’s ride Mick and Harry rode away from the camp toward the northern end of the property.
‘We’ll head north because it’ll give us a better view of the land from up there on top of the hill.’ Harry instructed.
The two men rode silently until Mick joked, ‘remember when we were young and broke those dozen horses in for the old man. Boy, did they buck. We took them saddle and all into the swamp and let them buck themselves out first.’
‘Hope we don’t have to do it here. It took us a month of Sundays to get our gear clean. It was fun back in those days. We’re a bit older and wiser don’t you think?’ Harry replied.
‘Yeah, but it was fun.’ Mick remembered and had a small chuckle.
They continued until the sun was high in the sky.
‘What about we have a break for lunch.’ Harry beckoned.
They let their horses’ lose while Harry built a fire and soon had the quart pot boiling for their tea. Each sat on a log discussing how they were going to muster the brumbies.

Back at the camp Claire pestered her mother to let her ride Paddy to muster kid goats.
‘No – I’ve already lost one child. I’m not losing another.’ Her mother growled.
Claire didn’t want to upset her mother and didn’t know why she was angry most of the time. She tried to play with Louise but Louise wanted to play in the back of the truck.
She didn’t want to play Cowboys and Indians or hide and seek or any other game away from the camp.
Claire wanted to be with her father. She wanted to grow up exactly like him, tough, hard worker, great father and a good provider for the family. She dreamed of one day herself becoming a drover, having sheep or cattle on the road taking them from place to place.
Claire decided to visit her Aunt Liz at her truck.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:22 pm

'The Drover' - Page 80:

After breakfast the next morning Harry saddled his horse to ride with Mick in search of tracks near water holes and look at the lie of the land. It was mainly rocky country with some Mitchell grass on the flats with gidgee, mulga and gum trees.
‘Can I come too Daddy?’ Claire dragged on her father’s trousers. ‘I’ll be good – I’m almost eight year old and can ride Paddy real good – can I – can I?’ She pleaded.
‘Not this time Bub. See those goats – the little ones, you muster them.’ This was a job for the men and long days in the saddle were the order of the day. Harry thought it would be fun for his daughter to chase the small kid goats.
Earlier that morning he’d sighted a small mob of goats led by a Billy and a few nannies with kid goats. She’d have fun mustering them, Harry pictured in his minds eye.
Before he left camp he went to say good-bye to Rose.
‘How’re you feeling love?’ He whispered beside her ear and gave her a peek on the cheek. She looked awful to Harry who had never seen his wife look this way in all of their days since they’d met. She must be feeling it hard, he thought as he drew away from her.
‘How the bloody hell do you think I feel – losing my one and only son, out here in the heat and flies and you taking off for the day and leaving me to suffer alone. How do you think I feel?’ She exploded.
‘We’ve got to find these horses and I don’t know how long it’s going to take. It’s a big place and today we want to go and have a look around the water holes. We shouldn’t be too long.’ He tried to explain.
‘Go on – get out of here, go and look for your precious horses and leave me alone.’ Rose exploded. Harry thought about staying but declined because he had a job to do and Mick couldn’t do it by himself.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:27 am

'The Drover' - Page 79:
Breaking camp the next morning both trucks journeyed along the dirt track beside the Paroo River. After a break for lunch, late in the afternoon they reached the boundary of Mount Alfred property where Harry and Mick were going to trap brumbies and drove them back to Cunnamulla to sell.
Mount Alfred property didn’t have a homestead or anyone working on the property. It had been let go because the owners didn’t want to spend money on improvements.
The boundary fences were good in parts but mainly the property carried wild goats and brumby horses. Station horses had been let loose to breed into mobs. The Paroo River didn’t flow through the property and water was mainly in lagoons or gullies.
Mick or Harry didn’t know how many brumbies were on the property but after their muster they’d have an idea of how many they would capture, drive to Cunnamulla and sell.
After making camp inside of the property near a gully holding water, Mick and Harry worked on a plan on how to trap the brumbies.
‘What about we go for a ride tomorrow and look over the place.’ Harry asked Mick.
‘I’ve never been here before and from the gibber country here about hopefully there’ll be some brumbies somewhere.’ Mick muttered in between rolling a smoke.
‘How big is this place – do you know?’ Harry asked.
‘About half a million acres – I’ve been told, could be more – I don’t really know.’ Mick replied.
‘All right then – you’re right, tomorrow we take the horses and see where we need to go – have a look for water and see where they camp. We might have to build a holding yard to hold them.’ Harry shared with his brother.
‘It’s not going to be easy. Do you think you’ll be up to it with Rose the way she is?’ Mick questioned.
‘Oh Jesus I hope so Mick. I don’t know what to do. She’s so withdrawn, I can’t even make her comb her hair nor have a bathe. I’m almost at the end of my tether.’ Harry wanted his brother to wave a magic wand to make things the way they were.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:35 pm

'The Drover' - Page 78:

Chapter 10

Mick and Liz with their daughter Dianne travelled in their truck with a couple of dogs and three horses. Harry, Rose and the girls journeyed in their truck also had a couple of dogs; two horses plus Claire’s pony Paddy. Mick led the way and Harry followed.
They journeyed out to the township of Eulo, crossed the Paroo River and travelled north. The first night they made camp on the banks of the Paroo River.
Liz prepared the meal for both families. She was worried about Rose. Up until this time she’d only met Rose on one occasion and thought at the time how beautiful the woman was compared to the women in this part of the country, particularly her raven black hair giving her the beauty.
This time Rose didn’t want to help or look after the children. She grieved her son, as what would be expected, but in a camp everyone, especially the women folk pitch in to help rather than sit back to be waited upon.
Harry noticed Rose’s withdrawal. She wasn’t the bubbly, beautiful woman he’d married. Her hair was a mess, tangled and unruly; she hadn’t bathed for a number of days. She sat around the camp with a blank look on her face; Harry didn’t know what to do. Thank goodness Liz was there to keep everything in order like cook and take care of the children.
That night Harry dreamed of ‘little Harry’ and wondered why he died. He wasn’t a doctor. Reason ‘why’ filled his dreams, he couldn’t read or write so there was no way to find the answer to his dreams. He’d need to put it to the back of his mind and get on with the job at hand. His concern was Rose or moreso her health and the way she looked after herself.
If the children did anything – it needed be anything wrong, she’d bellow at them. She was angry and hurt and he didn’t know what to do. Perhaps Mick may know or Liz might have a chat with her, he thought.
He needed to understand what was going on in his wife’s mind and each moment she became worse instead of improving.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:37 pm

'The Drover' - Page 77:
Harry’s brother Mick attended the funeral with his wife Liz and their 12 month old daughter. They returned to Harry’s house for the wake to provide support for both Harry and Rose.
Mick camped in the cattle yards across the road from Harry’s house. They wanted a couple of days to give Harry time to mourn the loss of his son before he went to speak with him.
On the third day Mick walked over to Harry’s home.
Harry was seated on a chair in the front yard, ‘how’re ya going mate?’ It was a stupid question to ask and he wasn’t looking for an answer.
‘Not so good, Mick, thanks for coming.’ Harry mumbled.
‘When do you reckon you can get back to work?’ Mick asked Harry, wanting him to move on from his loss and start life again.
‘I don’t know – why?’ Harry replied.
‘Liz and I are going out to muster some horses on Mount Alfred. There’re supposed to be about 300 hundred head out there and I want a hand. We’ll split the difference if you’re up to it.’
‘I got no trips for awhile so I suppose I can lend you a hand. Horses will be a bit different from looking at the arse-end of sheep all day.’
‘Is that a yes?’ Mick asked.
‘Yeah, I’ll clear it with Rose first but I’m sure we can do it. It’ll be good to get back into the swing of things again.’
Harry asked Rose - she agreed and they arranged to go with Mick and Liz to muster the horses.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 pm

'The Drover' - Page 76:

The child slightly opened his small mouth and stopped breathing. A radiant glow formed around his small face.
‘Help us please, someone help us.’ Harry called to the doctor and nurses.
They rushed to the bedside but the child had breathed his final breath. He was dead.
Harry tried to console Rose but he didn’t know what to do only look at his dead boy still wrapped inside the blue rug. His mind filled with sorry or hate, he didn’t know which one. Why! Kept going through his mind, why him.

The funeral service was held in the same church Harry and Rose wed. At the alter lay the small white coffin, no larger than a shoe box.
The Minister prayed for the family to see them through this horrible ordeal. The congregation in the church overflowed with parishioners.
Before the church service the baby was baptised Harold Clarence Williams, named after his father. Harry wanted to have a final look at his son before they closed the small coffin.
Tears filled his eyes, sorrow tugged at his soul. He removed the ring his parents had given him on his seventeenth birthday. He placed the ring onto the chest of his dead son and whispered, ‘I give you this ring with all of my love – I love you, son’. He closed the lid of the coffin.
At the cemetery Harry lowered the small white shoe box coffin into the grave with the use of thin ropes to steady the coffin to the bottom of the grave. Words were spoken by the Minister however Harry or Rose did not hear them. Each was in shock and disbelief.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:40 pm

'The Drover' - Page 75:

Rose was pregnant again and this time Harry demanded she stay in town with their children.
It was on one of his return trips when Rose was almost at the end of her pregnancy.
‘You’ll have to take me to hospital, Harry. I think the baby is coming.’ It was two o’clock in the morning.
‘Okay…I’ll drop Claire and Louise off at your mothers and take you.’ He stammered.
Harry woke Claire and Louise from their sleep putting on their dressing gowns. Rubbing sleep from her eyes Claire said, ‘What’s wrong?’
‘Mummy’s going to the hospital and I’m taking you to your grandmother’s house, come on Louise.’
He ushered his daughters and pregnant wife to the car and dropped his daughters off at his parents-in-law’s home after explaining to his mother-in-law what happened.
‘They’re right here, Harry. You look after your wife and baby.’ His mother-in-law echoed. Over time they made amends in their relationship and were now getting along like a house on fire.
He continued to the hospital.
Rose was ushered into the delivery room and within an hour gave birth to a boy. Harry’s chest grew two-fold after hearing he fathered a son. At last a son, he thought, to teach him everything he knows about droving.
The doctor wanted to talk with Harry.
‘I’m sorry to tell you Harry but your son hasn’t got long to live. It was a difficult pregnancy and his lungs haven’t developed. We’re doing all we can but I don’t hold much hope for his chance of survival.’
Harry felt his world crumble in on top of him. How could this happen? His only son had a short time to live, he couldn’t believe it.
Rose was crying and holding their son when Harry entered the ward. Curtains were drawn around the bed and when Rose looked at Harry all she muttered in a soft voice, ‘I’m sorry Harry.’ He placed his arms around her shaking shoulders and looked at their son who was wrapped in a blue coloured rug.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:14 pm

'The Drover' - Page 74:

Rose insisted she and Claire join Harry and Henry on future droving trips. Harry knew it was of no use ignoring Rose’s pleas and she and Claire joined Harry and Henry on the road. Since the introduction of road transport lesser drovers were seen between Cunnamulla and Bourke.
Stock and Station Agents confirmed to Harry he would always have work because he was dependable and reliable and was in the highest bracket in the district for a person of his craft.
Whilst Harry noticed less and less drovers taking sheep from Cunnamulla to Bourke he regularly each month had a mob of at least one thousand.
As the year grew near to the end Rose suffered another miscarriage. Harry was gravely concerned; his life working on the road, taking his family, living out of the back of a truck through the blazing heat of summer and freezing westerly winds in the winter worried him enough he wanted Rose and Claire to be at home at their own small house in Cunnamulla.
Each time he raised the issue Rose shot him down in flames of disagreement telling him it wasn’t his fault she had another miscarriage or his fault she lived on the road. It was her decision to be with her husband through trick and thin.
Eventually in the following year Rose fell pregnant and this time another daughter was born. They named her Louise. Claire was now two years old and followed her father everywhere like his shadow. If he stopped, Claire bumped into him. He’d pick her up in his strong brown arms and toss her high in the sky causing her to laugh her childish giggle. She was a beauty and Harry knew she had him screwed around his little finger.
‘I love you Daddy.’ Claire would say in her child like voice and giggle.
‘And I love you too Bub.’ Harry echoed.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:25 pm

'The Drover' - Page 73:

Harry’s happiness excelled in his way of life; since his marriage to Rose he knew he was the luckiest man alive. He continued to do what he’d been doing with pride and glory of moving stock to their destination in good condition.
Henry continued to cook and worked with Harry and Rose, now called her the missus.

At the end of one trip in mid-year 1952 Rose declared she was pregnant; this was her second pregnancy, unfortunately six months earlier she lost a child through a miscarriage. Harry was determined Rose would have this child. He wanted her to stay at home instead of joining him on the road.
‘I’m coming with you.’ Rose demanded, ‘what am I going to do on my own.’ She pleaded.
‘Why can’t you stay with your mother while I’m away and she can look after you?’ Harry protested. He knew he was losing the fight and Rose demanded to stay with him on the road.
‘I won’t ride; I’ll be good and help Henry with the cooking.’ Rose’s eyes filled with tears.
‘Alright, but if anything happens I’ll never forgive myself.’
‘Nothing will happen – I’ll make certain.’
A fortnight before Christmas 1952 Harry and Rose became parents to a beautiful girl they named Claire born on the 14th December at Cunnamulla Base Hospital.
Harry was over the moon with happiness; his love for Rose glowed within him but to have a daughter as beautiful as her mother was a love he never imagined he could ever experience.
His sister Anna had by this time borne five children, four boys and one girl. Harry loved his nephews and nieces but it wasn’t the same love as the love he had for his own daughter.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:24 pm

'The Drover' - Page 72:

Rose emerged from being a horse tailer to a full blown drover in her own right learning her craft from her husband who was second to none in the craft of droving.
Christmas was emerging and they were on their final trip for the year. Droving had been good for them during the year and Harry believed it could go on.
His wages didn’t increase but other drovers were slowly leaving the craft to follow contract mustering or work as a station hand on a surrounding property leaving him with sufficient work to keep his head above water and to do the job he much loved.
Harry wouldn’t hear of droving being lost to the up and coming motor transport, although he’d seen deceased number of drovers taking sheep from Cunnamulla to Bourke.
Beside his sister’s house was a block of land; a half-an-acre. Harry wanted to buy the block and settle down. Over the past twelve months he’d saved enough money to pay cash for the land and now he and Rose were the proud owners of half-an-acre of land in Cunnamulla. He felt proud to be able to provide for his wife and soon would place a house on the land.
Within the next three months he purchased a small cottage, kitchen quarters, from a grazier who had no further use for it and moved it onto his block of ground. With the help of a local builder he soon made a nice cosy home for Rose.
Harry never had a home to call his own and this was the first time, apart from his sister’s home and his parent’s-in-law he had his own house to share with his bride. It was much cosier than his days living in the back of a truck on the road.
In little time he fenced the half-an-acre, built stock yards for his horses and a chook run. While they were on the road droving, the house was locked and waited for their return. It was humble beginnings.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:12 pm

'The Drover' - Page 71:

‘Roger’s a bully, he shouldn’t have taken advantage of you, and I don’t know why he came out here – probably to see my mother. I’ve given her a tongue lashing and hopefully it will be the last we’ll see or hear of Roger.’
‘I feel embarrassed.’ Harry muttered in a whisper.
‘Don’t worry about it – we’ll put it behind us and get on with our lives.’
Rose stayed and helped Harry with the remainder of the trip. They returned to Cunnamulla and announced their engagement to be married.
Ted was a proud man while Mrs Henderson swallowed her pride and accepted Harry to be her future son-in-law. His sister Anna was delighted her brother had finally found love and Les handed Harry a beer wishing him all of the best for the future.
The marriage ceremony took place on a Saturday afternoon in the Church of England. Next door at the church hall, the newly wed couple celebrated their wedding breakfast with friends and relatives.
Harry made the usual speech to thank his guests and friends for attending his wedding; quoting it was the best day in his life he met Rose and now she was his bride. They didn’t celebrate for long because early Monday morning the newly weds set off with another thousand sheep to Bourke on their honeymoon.

Those early days on the road placed Harry in heaven floating on cloud nine with Rose constantly by his side. He didn’t think life could get better. By the end of each drive they stayed at his parents-in-law house taking over Rose’s bedroom as their own.
Droving sheep during the year was constant almost one trip leading onto the next. Rose and Harry became a formable team and became known throughout the district as the most reliable drovers to get the job done.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:39 pm

'The Drover' - Page 70:

Chapter 9

Christmas Day passed, Harry nursed his swollen jaw; his personal pride hurt beyond any description. Les mounted a battle of wits to encourage Harry to forget about women.
Harry’s true feelings for Rose were ‘he loved her’ and felt humiliated by his actions at the hotel. The informal grapevine spread around town and by the time the story reached ‘Hollywood’ it was embellished to the degree, Harry was almost beaten to death by a stranger from the city. He wanted to apologise to Roger for being such a fool but didn’t have the guts to farewell him from the train. He decided to return to droving and get on with his life.
Shortly after New Year he took one thousand sheep along the stock route to Bourke. With Henry they set out at daybreak to start the drive.
Since the night of the confrontation with Roger he hadn’t seen Rose or her parents. Inside he felt ashamed he had behaved in the manner he did and honestly wouldn’t blame Rose if she didn’t want to see him again. Perhaps his brother-in-law was right when he told him ‘to forget about women’. If only he could, his mind constantly filled with visions of Rose - day and night.
Harry crossed the Bourke-Cunnamulla Road and walked the sheep to the open plains south of the town. He stopped to put his quart-pot on at mid-morning. While waiting for the water to boil, he heard the sound of a horse approach. He looked to see a horse and rider stop beside his fire.
‘You want a hand?’ Rose’s voice echoed in the wind.
Harry thought it was a mirage when Rose stood beside him holding the reins of her horse. She dropped the reins and fell into his open arms, they kissed and Harry muttered, ‘I’m sorry.’
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:28 pm

'The Drover' - Page 69:

Both men’s eyes searched the other for either one to start. Harry’s mind filled with anxiety; fear encased his mind for he didn’t know anything about fighting but knew he needed to do something to defend his honour, or Rose’s honour. How did this start? He thought, over bloody horses – bloody horses.
‘What’d you going to do Harry – stand there like a stale bottle of piss.’ Came a call from one of the audience, ‘give it to him,’ came a shout from the crowd.
Harry had never fought in his life, only a tussle with his brothers when they were children. Bubbles of sweat popped on his brow; his eyes started to blur, he went to raise his clenched fists, his heart pounded almost out of his chest, his body shook.
He awoke lying on the ground with Rose looking directly into his face. He didn’t see what happened; only knew later from a friend who told him not to feel ashamed of being knocked out by a champion.
‘It was the straightest left I’d ever seen.’ His friend admitted.
Rose lifted Harry’s head onto her lap and brushed dirt from his face. Blood flowed from a cut on his jaw. Roger was no where to be seen, he left once he saw Rose go to Harry and at the same time she said, ‘why did you have to hit him?’ Roger felt ashamed.
Harry went to the Cunnamulla Hospital, the doctor examined him and sutured the cut; placed sticky plaster over the wound. He didn’t feel pain only humiliation of what happened. It was his fault; he should have been man enough to put up with Roger’s comments about his horses; after all his horses are brumbies and could not be compared to Roger’s horses.
Roger returned to Rose’s home, gathered his belongings and moved into a hotel for the night. The train left early next morning and he was on it. Why he travelled all the way to the outback, he couldn’t understand. It was to see if he could win Rose’s heart and encourage her to return to Brisbane to become his wife. Now he realised it was a wasted trip and shouldn’t have taken any notice of Mrs Henderson’s letter.
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