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Expand view Topic review: Pat Ritter. Books

Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:28 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 28:

To My Dearest Darling Hannah

This day we arrived at Roma Street, Brisbane greeted by The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA. Joseph insisted Billy and I be his guests before we sail tomorrow to South Africa. Joseph invited guests to a farewell party for Billy and I. His home overlooks Brisbane. His servants, yes servants, treat us like heroes. We’re staying in his home before we sail on SS Cornwall in the morning.
Hannah, I miss you already. You must be brave until my return. Billy will keep me safe. You must be concerned why I wanted to fight in the Boer War. My reason being my patronage to our Empire. I will return safe. Billy and I have no idea what we’re getting ourselves into. We can try to do our best to come back safe and sure to continue our lives.
I love you so very much and miss you Hannah.
Your Husband – Joe.

Joe signed off on the letter, addressed an envelope to his wife, folded the letter placed the letter inside the envelope. After resting for an hour, he bathed, dressed in his military uniform.
Joining Billy, also dressed in his military uniform, Joseph greeted them. ‘I’d like you to meet some friends of mine.’ Joseph paraded his two soldiers in front of the gathering. ‘Evening everyone. Thank you for attending this function.’ A slight laughter echoed across the gathering. ‘These two gentlemen standing before you are soldiers ready to fight the Boers in South Africa who are representing our great State of Queensland but the British Empire. Would you please make them welcome?’ Everyone clapped and cheered.
Soon after Joseph finished his introduction men walked up to Joe and Billy shaking their hands, slapping them on the shoulders wishing them all the best for representing their Empire. They each had never been paraded in front of a gathering of people before. Joe wished he remained in Cunnamulla with his Hannah whilst Billy’s stomach churned with nerves.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:18 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 27:

‘No Billy. Where I go. You go. We’re in this together. We’re not having too much to drink tonight. Are we?’ He asked Joseph.
‘I expect you’ll have a couple of beers before your departure. I’ve invited a couple of others to join us. They can’t stop talking about how you’re going to fight the Boers.’ Joseph concluded. ‘Come on.' Joseph directed a question to a nearby man. 'Sam, will you tend to these gentlemen’s horses and gear to keep them safe until their departure.’ He commanded. ‘This way gentlemen.’ Joseph led the way from the platform to his waiting carriage parked in front of Roma Street Railway Station.
Making their way through the streets of Brisbane they stopped in front of a huge Victorian home. ‘Welcome gentlemen to my humble abode.’ Joseph beckoned for his friends to depart from the carriage. Leaving the carriage, they followed Joseph to the front entrance who addressed his staff. ‘My staff will escort you to your rooms. When you have rested, would you do me the honour of wearing your parade uniforms. I want to show you off.’ Joseph bid them farewell. Joe and Billy escorted to their rooms.
Joe couldn’t believe, less than a decade ago he worked with Joseph Ryan on ‘Tilbaroo Station’ as a shearer. Now Joseph, a member of Parliament, lived in the capital of Queensland with staff to attend his every need. Before the staff member left his presence, Joe asked. ‘You wouldn’t perhaps have any writing material?’ Without speaking the staff member pointed to a desk with the appropriate material on top of the desk. Joe followed the staff’s pointing, ‘thank you.’
Joe wrote a letter to Hannah:
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:50 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 26:

They sat at a table for two, a waitress placed a cup filled with tea together with a scone on a plate. ‘This is on the house gentlemen. What you’re about to do for our country doesn’t need payment. Tell me when you want more.’ She left both men to enjoy their refreshments. These same gifts from people along the track to Brisbane became frequent. Joe and Billy didn’t need to pay for anything. They represented the colony of Queensland to fight the Boers in South Africa. Both men relished in their heroic status.
When their train arrived at Roma Street, Brisbane a contingent of officials awaited their arrival. Head of this parade The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA. Joe stepped from the railway carriage to be greeted by his Parliamentary member, shaking hands, ‘Joe, I’m thrilled to be here to greet you before you sail to South Africa.’ They released their grip.
‘Joseph, this is Billy Campbell, a fellow soldier who will be beside me fighting in South Africa.’ Joseph shook Billy’s hand with glee.
‘Pleased to meet you Billy. Proud you are fighting beside Joe.’ Joseph expressed in an authoritative voice releasing Billy hand.
‘My pleasure Sir.’ Billy shouted.
‘You both will sail on SS Cornwall which departs Brisbane in the morning. Until then you will be guests at my home until your departure.’
‘You need not worry about us. We have our horses to look after until our departure.’ Joe explained.
‘I insist.’ Joseph demanded. ‘I’ll have one of my men take care of your horses and belongings. You both travel with me in my carriage at the front of the station. This is the least I can do before your departure.’ Joseph concluded.
Joe and Billy looked at each other. Billy said, ‘I don’t mind staying behind to look after our horses while you stay with The Honourable Member of Parliament.’
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 25:

Chapter 4

Day of reckoning arrived for Joe and Billy to depart Cunnamulla. Most of the townsfolk gathered at the Cunnamulla Railway Station to farewell them with a couple of other young fellows who wanted to join the fight. Hannah couldn’t stop blubbering, wiping her face, not knowing when or if her husband returned.
‘Please don’t go.’ Hannah pleaded to Joe who stood erect shouldering his haversack. Joe looked handsome in his uniform, polished boots, wearing a slouch hat curled at one side, a plume of emu feathers showing his place from the colony he represented.
‘Stop worrying Hannah. Billy will have my back.’ Hugging his wife for the final time. A loud whistle echoed through the covered platform. ‘Time to go.’ Wrapped his arms around Hannah, kissed her on the lips, whispered in her ear, ‘I love you.’
‘Good luck my boy. We’ll miss you both.’ Nat shook Joe and Billy’s hand before they stepped onto the train.
‘Don’t forget your mother-in-law.’ Martha cried out wrapping his arms around Joe’s broad shoulders. ‘May God be with you at all times. We’ll look after Hannah until you return.’
Joe pulled shut the passenger door as the train departed from the station. Waving to Hannah until they were out of sight. Sounds of Waltzing Matilda echoed through the station played by Cunnamulla Town Band.
Cheers rang out from the passengers on the train to show their gratitude for the men going to fight in a foreign country. Joe sat silent thinking about the next couple of years not having a clue of who his enemy will be or if he’ll ever return home. His mate Billy sat beside him solemn.
‘Don’t look so glum.’ Joe said to Billy. ‘We’ll survive. Think about the adventure, sailing overseas, walking on soil from another country. Wonder if their country is similar to ours.’ Joe questioned.
‘She’ll be right mate. We’re in this fight together.’ Billy expressed pulling his slouch hat over his eyes. Soon snores echoed from under his hat. Joe sat silent looking at the countryside from his seat wondering if he or Billy will ever return to this land again. ‘How did he talk himself into this predicament?’ Joe pondered before copying his friend, pulling his hat over his face to grab a shut eye.
Stopping at all stations more soldiers entered the train. Charleville being the first stop for refreshments. Joe and Billy entered the refreshment room to have a cuppa and scone when a cheer rang out from the patrons seated at the table cheering the soldiers plus wishing them the best of luck.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:47 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 24:

Joe nor Billy had never left Australian shores before except Joe serving time on St Helen Island Prison which was within eyesight of the mainland. This adventure would take each man across to the opposites side of the world to fight an enemy neither understood the reason.
Hannah, being a school teacher, inquisitive mind searched through books she obtained to enlighten Joe and Billy on their quest. She wanted to make both men aware of their journey plus deeds to serve the British Empire. Her research revealed Britain acquired the southern tip of Africa to share between British colonies and independent republics of Dutch-Afrikaner settlers regarded as Boers. Many Boers escaped British rule moved north and east to settle on new islands to become Boer republics of Orange Free State and the Transvaal. More Hannah researched this information, more she became afraid for both Joe and Billy. ‘Why do they want to go?’ kept buzzing through her mind.
Her research showed discovery of gold and diamonds in the Boer republics thus British subjects flooded into the Boer territories in search of wealth. Boers didn’t appreciate British again invading their territories so to stop the British invasion Boers fought for their land killing many British invaders.
The Australian colonies being part of British Empire offered troops for the war in South Africa. Joe and Billy being amongst the Australians to leave their homeland to fight the Boers. They would join other Australians from colonies throughout the country to form a unit to become 'Colonial Mounted Rifles'.
Hannah hated the thought of Joe leaving to fight an unknown enemy across the other side of the world. After many pleads with Joe to remain home, her pleads fell on deaf ears. More information Hannah fed Joe about the conflict between British and the Boers, more determined he became to represent his country and the British Empire.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:39 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 23:

Joe sipped his tea, ate a biscuit. ‘Sounds as if this’ll be a huge shindig by the sound of things to come. With The Honourable Joseph Bloody Ryan, Esquire, M.L.A. being in charge. He gave me the job to arrange volunteers, not him to do what I needed to do.’ Joe’s anger rose at the thought of Joe Ryan making him do things he wouldn’t receive gratitude for.
‘Don’t worry Joe. In the end, you and I both will be fighting whoever we’re to fight. I’m going because you asked me so nice.’ Billy laughed, drank his tea, ate his biscuit. Silence fell between the two friends. Luck would play a huge part in their future for each didn’t have a clue on their future.

Over the next week Joe and Billy broke their horses into saddle. Spartan pig rooted a little when the saddle tightened on his girth, apart from this small incident Joe rode him out. After satisfied with their breaking-in ability of their horses they cleared the camp to ride back to the homestead.
‘They’re as quiet as mice.’ Nat told them when they arrived back at the homestead.
‘Yeah, Spartan pig rooted a couple of times afterwards settled. He’s got a brain in his head.’ Joe answered Nat.
‘What’re you going to do now you’ve found your horse?’ Nat asked aware of Joe’s answer. He was about to lose his right-hand man.
‘I’d love to stay with Hannah until we leave. Going to be a little tough on her without me being around. Have no idea how long I’ll be away. By the look of things; we’ll be heading off in a couple of weeks. The ship sails in October. Okay with you Nat?’ Joe asked.
Nat walked over to Joe, shook his hand, wrapped his arm around his shoulder and hugged him. ‘Of course. Okay with me. You both take care of yourselves. We’ll be in town to farewell you both off on the train. Better say bye to Martha before you take off.’ Nat’s eyes filled with tears. Joe was after all his son-in-law but more of a son he never had.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:11 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 22:

‘Good names. Suits each horse. How long before you return to the homestead?’ Nat asked.
‘A couple of days. Going to try the saddles tomorrow. We’ll ride them back to the homestead. Lead the other two. Why?’ Joe inquired.
‘I received a letter from The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA asking if you have recruited any volunteers for South Africa yet?’ Nat expressed.
‘Bloody hell. He hasn’t changed much, has he? Still bullying his way like a bull charging through a china shop. Write back to tell him, we’ll be on time.’ Joe’s anger showed.
‘He wants you to go by train to Brisbane. He’s arranged a special train for ‘Boer War’ volunteers from Cunnamulla to Brisbane. Spreading the news along the line. More the merrier he says.’ Nat finished. ‘Martha packed food for both of you for a couple of days. I’ll catch up with you both when you return to the homestead.’ Nat unpacked the food. Untied the horse. ‘Catch up with you both later.’ His words vanished into the wind as he drove the sulky toward the homestead.
‘What about The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA? He’s sucked me in again.’ Joe muttered.
‘This is a huge task for him to gather volunteers to fight in another country. Think he’s doing the right thing?’ Billy answered. ‘I’ll put the billy on.’
Joe followed Billy to their makeshift camp in amongst the mulga. ‘You still want to come? Don’t you Billy.’ Joe asked his friend.
‘Bloody oath mate. We’re in this together.’ Billy soon had a fire going with the billy beginning to boil. ‘I’ll make a cuppa. Have a look what food the missus sent us.’ Billy made two pannikins of tea. Handed one to Joe. ‘Here’s a biscuit.’
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:33 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 21:

‘Something I picked up one time. I always wanted to try to find out if this idea worked. Billy, this method works. Lot better than skull dragging the horse to force them to break-in to man. More gentle. You want to try this method on your horse?’ Joe led Spartan to the other side of the yard, tied him secure to the rail.
Billy prepared himself similar to how Joe did with his horse. ‘I’ve named her ‘South Africa’ on where we'll be going,’ Billy shouted to Joe. Billy whirled his rope around in a circular motion forcing his horse to gallop in a circle. More she galloped, faster she travelled.
‘Slow her down a little Billy. Let her realise you are the alpha in this mob.’ Joe interjected.
Billy did as Joe suggested. South Africa slowed to a stop. Billy walked to the railing, turned his back to his horse. Stood erect. Without delay South Africa walked to Billy, sniffed his face, Billy rubbed her nose saying. ‘You’re the best.’ After repeating what Joe did with Spartan connected the halter and lead, he led her to where Joe and Spartan stood. ‘I would not have believed what we did. This is unbelievable.’ Billy smiled, rubbed his horse’s nose. ‘Good girl. What now!’ Billy asked.
‘That’ll do for today. Saddles tomorrow. We’ll leave them here until tomorrow, return to our camp.’ Joe stated. Sound of a horse and sulky soon drew their attention. Nat drove toward them stopping near the makeshift yard.
‘How’re you two going? Thought I’d better bring some grub. You’ve captured your horses.’ Nat climbed down from the sulky securing the rein to a nearby tree. ‘Nice horses. I think we better leave this yard here in case we need more horses in the future.’ Nat walked over to the two men. Shook their hands.
‘We’ve picked our horses. Billy decided to come with me to South Africa. His is the bay mare. Mine’s the black stallion. I named him Spartan, Billy named his mare, South Africa.’ Joe said.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:45 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 20:

Have a look at him Billy. Tough, bright eye, built like a country dunny. Can’t wait to break him in to saddle.’ Joe expressed in excitement. Apart from Joker plus horses from the station this is Joe’s first horse. ‘You better pick one for yourself. We’ll break them in together.’ Billy looked across at the brumbies, settled, drinking from the drain.
By the end of the next day Joe controlled his black stallion he named ‘Spartan’ whilst Billy captured a bay mare to his liking. ‘I’ll take this one.’ Billy called to Joe after securing his mare. ‘She’s a beauty. I like her.’ Billy smiled.
After allowing the other brumbies to leave the yard; the tough work begun. Breaking in both horses would take a couple of days to calm them to Joe and Billy’s control. First Joe drove Spartan around the yard so they would join up. Man, beast together as one. Joe drove Spartan around the yard; Spartan’s ears moving forward, backward. Time to join up. Joe walked away from Spartan stood facing the outside yard with his back to the horse. If the horse displayed sufficient confidence with the breaker, the horse would walk up to Joe. Joe stood erect, not a muscle moving waiting for Spartan to join up. Billy sat on the top rail on the opposite side of the yard.
After a couple of moments Spartan walked up to Joe, placed his nose close to the side of Joe’s face, sniffed, stood still. Joe placed his hand onto Spartan’s nose, rubbed the horse's nose, spoke in a low voice, ‘good boy’. Joe wrapped a lead rope around Spartan’s neck moved a halter over the horse’s nose secured the straps behind the horse’s ears. ‘Good boy’. After clipping the halter into place, fastened the lead to the halter Spartan and Joe joined up. They would never be separated.
Billy couldn’t believe this manner of horse and man being joined. ‘How did you do that?’ He questioned.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Post by patritter » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:57 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 19:

Next day while working with Billy Campbell Joe mentioned about his task of recruiting men to fight the Boers in South Africa. Billy agreed without hesitation. ‘I’d be delighted to fight beside you Joe. What do we need to do? When do we leave?’ Excitement flowed from Billy.
‘First we need to muster those brumbies in the back paddock. I want to capture the black stallion. You may want one for yourself since you’re coming with me.’ Joe admitted.
‘What does Hannah think about you going over to South Africa?’ Billy asked.
‘At first, she wasn’t happy. She listened to my reason for going; understood I need to go. Pleased you’re coming with me. Someone needs to look out for me.’ Joe expressed slapping Billy on the shoulder.
‘I’ll always keep your back Joe.’ Billy finished.
In the next fortnight, the two men built a makeshift yard to hold the brumbies from escape at the end of the boredrain. Hidden in the scrub they waited at dusk for the brumbies to water. Joe couldn’t believe how majestic the black stallion looked leading the mob. Before entering the makeshift yard, the stallion baulked, raised his head, smelt the air, stamped his front hooves, walked into the yard toward the boredrain.
Joe and Billy sprang from their hiding place after the final brumby entered the yard.
‘Quick Billy, grab the gate before they escape.’ Joe called. Both ran toward the gate to stop the stallion and other brumbies from escape. They grabbed the gate at the same time, yelling to the brumbies to stop before forcing their way through the bush-made gate.
Joe swung his whip in a circle, sound of a crack caused the brumbies to stop in their tracks. Billy fastened the gate secure enough the brumbies couldn’t escape.
‘Let them settle, Billy. They can’t escape. We’ll camp here tonight. Tomorrow we’ll work on catching the stallion.
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