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Pat Ritter. Books

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Mon May 11, 2015 10:23 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

After losing the strike, the unions, and others in Queensland formed ‘Labour Electoral Leagues’ which later became the ‘Labour Party’ and eventually the ‘Australian Labor Party’. Joe Ryan became the first ‘Labour’ representative in any government, anywhere in the world. Labour Day is an official day set aside beginning 6 May 1891 when striking shearers and bush workers marched in Barcaldine on May Day, linking May Day with Labour Day.

Chapter 9

Hannah woke; smoke burned her eyes. Ma’s Guest House was alight, fire raged through the ancient wooden building. She’d been in a deep sleep and to wake to this catastrophe became a nightmare. Smoke filled her bedroom, her thoughts only on Ma and if she was okay. She tried to call out. No sound came out of her mouth. Her mouth dry.
She pushed the blankets and sheet away and sprung from her bed dragging a blanket, wrapped it around her shoulders and head to cover her face to stop inhaling smoke. Thick smoke enveloped her body which stopped her seeing the way to the bedroom door. Reaching the door she turned the knob to open it. Heat rushed her, she called out as loud as she could, ‘Ma, Ma, where are you?’
Sound of a squeaky voice, ‘over here.’ Ma reached for Hannah who threw the blanket over their heads. Hannah held onto Ma around the waist and carried her to the front of the house. The front door opened, Hannah couldn’t see who opened the door until she recognised Alex from the hotel.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Tue May 12, 2015 10:25 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

‘Hurry,’ Alex took Ma wrapped in a blanket whilst Hannah followed. ‘Are there any body else inside’, Alex shouted once they were on the footpath and clear of the fire.
‘Yes, Mr Cummings, his bedroom is across from mine.’ Hannah shouted. Alex left the women and ran into the burning building. ‘Alex, it’s too hot, you’ll get yourself killed’, Hannah forced the words from her mouth through fits of coughing.
Within a couple of minutes Alex returned dragging a man. He saved Mr Cummings life. On the footpath many of the townsfolk gathered. A fire always aroused the curiosity of people in any country town. A coat wrapped around her shoulders. She stared into the eyes of the person who gave her his coat, ‘thought you might want this. Stop you being cold.’ The stranger said in a soft sincere voice.
She remembered the voice. Hannah stared into the eyes of this stranger, ‘thank you,’ she nodded. ‘Are you Joe?’ She squeaked continued to stare at the stranger’s face.
‘Yes, you must be Hannah; I’ll never forget your voice. Last time we spoke, almost four years ago.’ Joe couldn’t believe meeting Hannah under these circumstances. He’d been staying at the Railway Hotel when Alex called. ‘Fire!’
‘I’ve got to get Joker.’ Hannah screamed throwing the coat from her shoulders and ran toward the back of the house.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Wed May 13, 2015 10:45 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

Her horse Joker stabled in the bottom paddock behind Ma’s Guest House. She felt someone beside her as she ran. Blaze from the fire fully engulfed Ma’s Guest House. There was nothing anyone could’ve done to stop the home burn to the ground.
‘I’ll help you,’ Joe called to Hannah. Both increased their pace to reach the stable at the bottom portion of Ma’s property. Joker galloped around the small enclosure, fear in his eyes. Hannah reached the gate, swiftly unlatched it and threw the gate wide open almost breaking from its hinges. Joker pushed through the space and galloped away from the inferno.
‘He’ll be right. I’ll find him later when he settles down.’ Joe still held the coat, ‘I might want your coat now.’ Joe placed it around her shoulders, her body shook and Joe thought Hannah may be going into shock. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders, holding her tight against his chest; she wept and sobbed, ‘thank you. I’ve got to find Ma.’
They returned to the footpath, Ma stood almost paralysed watching the remains of her home burn to the ground. ‘Ma,’ Hannah wrapped her arms around her, ‘everything will be alright,' she assured her, 'we’re alive,’ her voice soothing and whispered into Ma’s ear, ‘I’m here.’
‘Ma, you and Hannah, follow me.’ Alex commanded, he took hold of both their arms and led them away from their home. Nothing could be done until morning when the damage would be assessed. Ma and Hannah willingly left with Alex and walked to his hotel.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Thu May 14, 2015 10:41 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

‘Come to the kitchen and I’ll make you ladies a lovely cup of tea, or if you want something stronger, let me know. Come along Joe, join us.’ Alex took control and seated the three at the kitchen table. He made a cup of tea for each and left, shortly returned with a bottle of whiskey which he poured liquid from the bottle into each of their cups.
‘Thank you Alex, I don’t know what we’d done without your help. Saving Mr Cummings and us. How can I ever thank you’, Hannah expressed her true feelings.
‘Don’t worry about a thing, I’ve a room for you both. You can stay here as long as you want.’ Alex smiled, he knew Ma for many years and understood she was not careless enough to leave anything burning before she went to bed.
‘How’s Mr Cummings?’ Hannah asked.
‘Sergeant Gray took him to the hospital. He started the fire by accident. I overheard him tell Sergeant Gray he fell and knocked over the lantern. I’m certain Sergeant Gray will work out what happened.’ Alex shared with the group.
‘Is there anything I can do.’ Joe interrupted.
Feelings of appreciation swept over Hannah. ‘Thank you Joe for what you did. Will you be staying in town?’ Hannah's eyes sought out his face.
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: I'M ABSENT UNTIL 23RD MAY 2015. HAVING A VACATION.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Fri May 22, 2015 10:48 pm

'Click Go The Shears':
‘Yes, I decided to return to Cunnamulla after what happened.’ His head bowed in shame.
‘You’re most welcome.’ Ma said taking his hand in hers, ‘to do what you did for another human being is one of the bravest things possible .’ She continued to hold his hand. While she waited for Hannah to return after she left to let the horse out of the stable, she asked Alex who the stranger was who went with Hannah. Alex told her he was Joe Gibson who took Joe Ryan’s place after the strike. Memories of how Joe Ryan betrayed her after what she’d done to make him comfortable swept through her mind. She released her grasp on his hand and said, ‘Alex, thank you so much for offering us a place to stay. I don’t think I can sleep but a good lie down would make a difference.’
‘Everything will be okay Ma, come with me and I’ll take you to your rooms.’ Alex stood walked to keys hanging on a board opposite to where they were seated, took two keys from the board and handed one each to Hannah and Ma, ‘follow me ladies,’ he instructed.
‘See you in the morning Joe and thanks again.’ Hannah said and left the kitchen.
Ma couldn’t sleep, her mind focused on her future. Where am I going to live? She thought at the same time the morning sun broke across the horizon and shone into her room. No use lying here might get up and see if I can be of some use. She pushed the blankets back and got out of bed. Smell of smoke still clogged her nostrils and clothes she wore. Where will I get a change of clothes, mine are all burnt.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sat May 23, 2015 10:35 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

Entering the kitchen Alex stood in front of the stove cooking breakfast, ‘how are you this morning Ma?’ Alex asked whilst tending to his cooking, ‘breakfast will be ready in a jiffy. Take a seat, the kettle’s boiled if you want a cup-of-tea.’ He continued about his task.
‘Can’t I do something for you; I owe you so much for saving our lives.’ Ma asked sitting down at the same chair she sat earlier.
‘No, you make yourself at home; this is your home as long as you want. By the way, people donated clothes for you and Hannah. Over on the counter beside the door, hope they fit.’ Alex replied. He finished cooking breakfast, piled food onto a plate and placed the plate in front of Ma, ‘here, get this lot into ya. If you want toast it’s on the table.’
‘Isn’t it kind of people in this town to donate these clothes, I’ll check them out soon after I eat something. I'm half dressed in my nightdress. Is Hannah up yet?’ Ma asked taking a piece of toast and began to eat her breakfast.
‘Don’t worry about Hannah, she and Joe rose earlier and gone in search for Joker, her horse. They each had breakfast. You relax Ma; we’ll take care of everything.’ Alex poured another cup of tea.
Ma finished her breakfast, ‘Alex, thank you, this was delicious. I didn’t realise how hungry I became. Now, I’ll wash up, got to earn my keep somehow. Goodness knows when I’ll be back to myself again. I haven’t a clue what I’m to do now I’ve lost my business and home.’ She almost cried, her feelings rose to the top realising her dilemma.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sun May 24, 2015 10:06 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

Alex walked over to Ma wrapped his arms around her in a comforting hold, ‘let it all out Ma,’ he rubbed her back while she sobbed.
‘I’ll be right, thanks Alex. Just the shock of everything happening, I expect.’ Ma whimpered.
‘Don’t worry about anything. These clothes might fit. If not, we’ll find something else.’ Alex faced Ma with concern on his face.
Hannah and Joe walked into the kitchen, ‘Ma, you alright,’ she said when she noticed Alex holding Ma.
‘She’s worried about what’s going to happen next. You both can stay here as long as you want.’ Alex released Ma.
‘Joe and I found Joker and placed him back into his paddock. I’m afraid there’s nothing to salvage from your home. Everything is burnt to a cinder.’ Hannah explained to Ma.
‘What are we going to do Hannah?’ Ma squeaked placed her hands over her face.
‘We’re not feeling sorry for what happened. I’ll hire a sulky and take us to Pa and mother. I’m certain they’ll want you to stay there until we work out what to do.’ Hannah explained, ‘the good people of this town left us clothes to wear. I found a pair of trousers and shirt.’ Hannah paraded her clothes to Ma.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Mon May 25, 2015 10:07 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

‘I think that’s a good idea. Martha will help. When do we go? Ma said and walked to the cardboard box, opened it and sifted through the clothes, holding up a dress and underwear. ‘I think this will do’.
‘After we finish breakfast I’ll go and hire a sulky and we’ll head off.’ Hannah said.
‘Do you mind if I hire the sulky and come along with you.’ Joe asked. ‘I don’t want to intrude but I want to meet your father to ask if there's any work for me,’ Joe asked.
‘If it’s not putting you out. I’m certain my parents would love to meet you. I’ll tell him to hire you. You can use Joker if you want.’ Hannah explained.
‘Then as soon as we finish breakfast, I’ll hire the sulky, harness Joker and we’ll head out to your parent’s property.’ Joe said, his face spread into a smile.
‘I’ll go and change. Alex is there a chance to bathe before I leave.’ Ma asked.
‘Most certainly, I’ll bring the tub around to your room and you can bathe in private, I’ll find some incidentals for you. I won’t be long.’ Alex left the kitchen.
‘I’d better earn my keep by washing up and clearing away the dishes.’ Hannah started gathering the used dishes to place into a wash bowl.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Tue May 26, 2015 10:03 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

‘I’ll give you a hand, I learnt how to do this whilst I was on St Helena Island’, Joe commented. He moved toward Hannah found a cloth to dry the dishes after she’d washed and placed them onto the table.
‘What was it like in prison?’ Hannah asked gazing across at Joe.
‘Why?’ He answered.
‘I’d love to hear the whole story from when I last spoke to you in the cells at Cunnamulla police station the morning I visited you. Incidentally, thank you for allowing me to take care of your horse. I named him Joker. Hope you don't mind.’ Hannah kept washing the dishes.
‘Thank you for looking after the horse. Joe told me you’d take good care of him. He's much better than the last time I saw him almost four years ago. Ah, he mentioned you own him now.’ He explained.
‘I’d rather not speak about Joe Ryan if you don’t mind.’ Hannah replied sharply. ‘What you did to take his place puts you into a higher bracket of respect than Joe Ryan will ever reach.’ She almost spat the words from her mouth.
‘We buried the hatchet a couple of months ago when we spoke at Barcaldine after the celebration of our return. He apologised for what he’d done and if he could’ve taken it back, he would have. Its water under the bridge now and all I want is to get on with my life.’ Joe explained while finished wiping the dishes.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Wed May 27, 2015 11:18 pm

'Click Go The Shears':

‘I still want to listen to your story. When you’re ready to tell me,’ Hannah gathered a broom and swept the kitchen floor.
‘You’d be surprised who I met in St Helena Island Prison.’ Joe said with a smirk on his face knowing Hannah wouldn’t guess the person's name in a million years.
‘Wouldn’t been Billy Wells by any chance.’ She looked at Joe with a smile.
‘In fact, it was. We became quite close over the time we were there. He recognised I wasn’t Joe Ryan because of the different eye colour, how about it, he told me the secret was fine with him and couldn’t understand why I took the place of another person.’
‘I understand why he asked you that particular question because honestly I couldn’t figure it out myself. I still think you are a hero and my Pa thinks the same and will give you a job, I’m certain of it.’ She finished sweeping the floor and replaced the broom, ‘we’d better find out what’s keeping Ma. One last question before we go. Are you now Joe Gibson or Joe Ryan?’
‘Joe Gibson. I've got my papers to prove it.’ He answered.
‘Good, I don’t think I could’ve referred to you as Joe Ryan.’
Hannah checked on Ma who finished her bath and almost dressed. ‘What do you think of this dress?’ Ma asked Hannah when she entered her room.
‘It suits you. Are you ready?’
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