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Pat Ritter. Books

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:09 pm

'The Drover' - Page 23:

When everyone was asleep he stole from his swag and crept across the ground to the open plain. Lights shone from the hotel windows and voices, he heard, sounded like fun.
To his surprise when he graced the bar of the hotel standing beside him was Malcolm.
‘What’re you doing here?’ Snowy asked.
‘Ya didn’t think I was going to miss out on an opportunity like this, did ya.’ His hand held a glass of cold beer about to be placed to his lips.
‘What about the Boss if he finds out.’
‘Are you going to tell him? We’ll be back before you know it. I’m only having a couple but the taste is too good. Hurry up or you’ll miss out.’
Both men drank glass after glass of beer until the barman shouted, ‘last drink gentlemen.’
‘We’d better have one for the road and get back to camp before we’re missed.’ Malcolm confided in Snowy.

Breakfast the next morning wasn’t cooked as well as previous mornings. The cook felt seedy.
‘What’s wrong with the breakfast Snowy? It tastes like crap.’ Harry shouted at Snowy and almost threw his plate at him.
‘I’m not feeling well this morning. Must be a bug.’ He replied.
‘Malcolm must have caught the same bug because he looks crook and seedy too.’
Harry knew what’d happened. He woke to see each one steal away from the camp the night before. He couldn’t do anything about it because Snowy was there as a volunteer cook and Malcolm was his father’s problem. His first lesson in droving was about to take place.
A stock route is two chains wide, the size of two cricket pitches placed length on length. Stock routes are designated for drovers to follow with their stock so they don’t need to go through a property. If they enter a property they need to go to the owner to seek their permission and have someone accompany them while they cross in case the drover takes a sheep by mistake. It was a common saying in the bush to invite your neighbour over for a meal to eat their own meat.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:48 pm

'The Drover' - Page 24:

At the camp that night Harry whispered to his father, ‘do you know where to go from here?’
‘Yeah, I thought we’d bypass Quilpie though. Malcolm wasn’t feeling too well the other day after we left Toompine. It must have been the wind blowing the smell of alcohol across the plain. It affected him.’
‘Where do we go then?’
‘Across through Ray Station, it’s owned by the Tully family. They’ve owned it since Patsy Tully drove through these parts in 1853.’
‘How do you know all this?’
‘I listen a lot to others and they tell me. Anyway, its old folk lore that the Tully and Durack families discovered this area in the mid 1850’s and took up properties in the area. It’s history son.’
‘But that’s not the stock route.’
‘No – I’ll leave early in the morning and go to the homestead to speak with Mr Tully to see if we can go through ‘Ray Station’ to Adavale.’
‘Okay Dad, I’ll keep things going until you return. How long do you think you’d be away?’
‘A couple of days at the latest – just keep heading toward ‘Ray Station’, it’s on the Bulloo River but go around before you reach Quilpie. I’ll meet you at the boundary of ‘Ray Station’ in a couple of days.’
Harry felt better about leaving the stock route and getting away from Quilpie. His task was to see the sheep arrive at Wakes Lagoon in good order. If the men got pissed and didn’t work he wouldn’t be able to finish his job.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:35 pm

'The Drover' - Page 25:

Early the next morning Harry’s father left the camp and told the others he would catch up with them in a couple of days. None of the others knew what was happening, only Harry. He would follow his father’s suggestion and meet him on the boundary of ‘Ray Station’.

Harry’s father was waiting for the mob when they arrived at the gate to the boundary of ‘Ray Station’. He ushered them through and rode up to Harry, ‘I’ve got permission. We follow this road through the property and it’ll bring us out not far from Adavale.’
‘Great.’ Harry replied.
After a couple of weeks they arrived at Wakes Lagoon to meet the manager, who’d contacted the manager of Dyvenor Downs and arranged to pick up Davey, Malcolm and Snowy.
Before Harry and his father left to return to Cunnamulla they bid farewell to the three men and promised to catch up with them again if they were out that way. They thanked them for their help and a good drove.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:40 pm

'The Drover' - Page 26:

Chapter 4

Harry soon found sufficient work to carry him throughout the year along the stock route from Cunnamulla to Bourke. His father retired and settled in Bollon.
Harry hired an aborigine, Henry Shillington, as camp cook, who lived on the aboriginal reserve south of Cunnamulla. His tribe were one of the original aboriginal tribes before Cunnamulla was named, after the area was settled by whites in 1800’s at the time Cobb & Co used the town as a depot. Aboriginal meaning for the name of Cunnamulla is long stretch of water.
There were two aboriginal reserves, one on the north of town, known to the town folk as Paris, situated on the banks of the Warrego River; and the other, south of town in the sand hills, known as Hollywood. How they received these names is a mystery.
Aboriginal families didn’t live in the township, except for a couple of families, who had their own homes. On the reserves, aboriginals lived the best way they knew how.
Normal use for their home was a one thousand gallon water tank, cut in half, to use as shelter to accommodate two families or more if visitors arrived.
They cooked on an open fire at the front of their shelter and slept inside out of the weather. Over 200 families lived on the reserves. Most were happy living under these conditions. Some of the men folk worked on local sheep and cattle stations whilst others, like Henry followed droving employed as a cook or ringer to support their wife and children.

Harry was droving mobs of sheep from Cunnamulla to Bourke along the Warrego River four to five times a year. On one particular trip he and Henry were the only two in camp.
Harry recently purchased a Bedford Truck to use rather than the wagonette and celebrated his twenty-first birthday on the road.
Henry set up camp near water for the night, on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, opposite the town of Barringun; and prepared their dinner in a camp oven. Their meal was lamb chops; potato; unions and damper. He unloaded the swags from the truck and waited for his Boss to bring the mob of sheep into camp.
After the sheep were housed in the brake, Harry settled his dogs and returned to the camp. He was visited by a young woman riding a horse.
‘How ya going?’ came an unfamiliar voice. He looked at the rider, his mouth dropped; he felt a rush of blood to his brain. He’d never seen such a beautiful woman in these parts before. Words failed to enter his mind.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:11 pm

'The Drover' - Page 27:

She sat a horse well; her long raven black hair fell down her back. She wore an akubra hat curled up at the sides with a pink ribbon around its crown. The sun was slowly dropping on the horizon.
‘Great.’ He stammered, ‘what can I do for ya?’ was all he could muster.
‘My folks have the mob next to youse, I wanted to come over and have a chat, that’s all.’ She dismounted gracefully from her horse.
Harry noticed the style how she dismounted and knew this woman knew a thing or too about horses and riding. She wasn’t a western rider, as he’d seen in these parts of the country, but she had an ability to sit a horse rather well.
‘Harry Williams the name.’ He didn’t know whether to shake her hand or kiss her on the cheek. What Harry knew about women you could write on the back of a postage stamp.
‘Rosemary Henderson - I’m pleased to meet you Harry Williams.’ She said positively, putting her hand out to shake his. He complied. His mind in overdrive, this was a rose in full bloom.
‘Take up a stump,’ was all his mind could muster and thought all his Christmases had come at once? They talked about the weather and Harry discovered Rose was from the city of Brisbane; her parents recently moved to live in Cunnamulla.
Her father returned from the war and droving suited their lifestyle. He was pleased to hear her story; however his story was a little boring for all he’d done was droving and knew nothing else. He’d never been to the city nor ventured further than Bollon or Dirranbandi, only visited St George once.
She thanked Harry and left. He wanted to see her again.
‘Who was that Boss?’ Henry asked when he returned to the camp.
‘Rosemary Henderson – her father’s got that mob over there.’
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:46 pm

'The Drover' - Page 28:

‘She’s preddy.’ Remarked Henry and both had a grin on their faces.
Rosemary’s family did live in Brisbane up until her father returned after fighting in the war. He was a returned soldier and wanted to escape the city. Rose was the second eldest of a family of six children, one sister and four brothers. When she returned to the camp her father said in a hash voice, ‘Where’ve you been girl?’
‘Pa, I went over to the camp over there and introduced myself. His name is Harry Williams and he’s got 1000 head and taking them to Bourke. He’s nice Pa.’
‘Stay away from him - you hear. You don’t know who he is; I don’t want you going near him again. Do you hear me?’ Her father bellowed.
‘Yes Pa,’ she replied in a low tone. Rosemary liked Harry right from the first time she laid eyes on him. He was the man she saw in her dreams, a country hero not afraid of anything or anyone, strong and knew what he wanted.
When her father told her they were moving to Cunnamulla, she didn’t know where Cunnamulla was, and had found it on a map. It was in the outback of Queensland. Her nightly dreams of living in the outback far away from her friends in Brisbane became a nightmare.
She loved her Pa but after he returned from the war he was a different person before he left. His manner had changed and now he was far distanced and unloving. Something happened to him in the war, she thought. She wanted her old Pa back and if it meant a move to Cunnamulla to have him back then she would do it.
It was on the night Rosemary celebrated her twenty-first birthday her father told guests and family he’d made his mind up to move his family to Cunnamulla and take up droving.
Everyone was shocked to hear the news, Rosemary especially, because she recently competed at the Mount Gravatt Show Jumping Competition and won first prize. She wanted to continue show jumping because she was good at it.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:17 pm

'The Drover' - Page 29:

When she heard the news she was devastated, but soon realised she would do anything to please her father.
Her Pa purchased a home on the outskirts of Cunnamulla joining the town common. It is an area of land provided by local town council for residents to run their own livestock.
The town common surrounded Cunnamulla. In the north the common ventured twenty-six miles north and three miles west bordered by the Warrego River that flowed through the town. Local people paid a small rent to the town ranger for the number of stock they ran on the common.
Rose thought about what her father told her and didn’t want to betray his trust. She was a young woman and had her own desires. From the moment she saw Harry Williams and shook his hand – she could not think of anyone else. Had she fallen in love with this rugged cowboy from the west? She wanted to visit him again and knew her father wouldn’t give his permission. All she could do was to look from afar.
Their mob of sheep was close enough she could see his silhouette in the fireplace at night and whisper to herself she wanted to visit his camp.
After delivering the sheep to Tancred’s meatworks on the outskirts of Bourke in New South Wales Harry returned to Cunnamulla.

Harry’s sister Anna lived on the northern end of the town near the Charleville Road. He used his sister’s home as his residence between trips.
Anna was married to a drover, Les Cameron; they had two boys and one girl. Two boys went with their father on droving trips about the district and were seldom home.
His mind was filled with Rose; perhaps he could bump into her around town someday and ask why she didn’t return to his camp. Along the trip he watched and hoped to see her again. Unfortunately he didn’t. He knew it was only a first time meeting but could it have been ‘love at first sight’, he thought.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:28 pm

'The Drover' - Page 30:

Eric, a stock and station agent in Cunnamulla knew Harry had returned from his trip and was looking for him to take another mob of sheep to Bourke. He met him at the Oxford Hotel which was around the corner from his sister Anna’s home. The Oxford Hotel was a common meeting place, where drovers, ringers and station hands gathered to enjoy their time in town and to spread any word about jobs in the area.
‘Harry, how’re you going?’ Eric greeted him when he walked through the open front door and saw Harry sitting at the bar with a beer in his hand.
‘Good mate –you got another mob?’ Harry said in an excited voice hoping to go droving soon because each day he sat in the pub drinking; he wasn’t being paid. He wanted to be back on the road.
‘Yeah, there’s five thousand head of sheep to take to Tancred’s. Can you handle it?’ He asked.
‘I’ll need more people to help, if you know of any.’
‘There’s a family named Henderson around the corner – they could help.’ Eric remarked. ‘Do you want me to see them?’
‘Yeah, if you would ask them, I’d be Boss Drover.’ This could be a way to met Rose again, Harry thought.
‘I’ll let you know.’ Eric left Harry to his beer.
Eric arranged for the Henderson family to work with Harry and to take the five thousand sheep from Cunnamulla to Tancred’s Meatworks at Bourke.
A couple of days later Harry was seated at the public bar at the Oxford Hotel when a tall gent walked into the bar. He was not recognized as one of the locals. Harry looked at the tall man and wondered who he was, he definitely wasn’t from around these parts, he thought.
‘Is Harry Williams here?’ the tall gent called out.
‘Yeah, I’m Harry Williams, what can I do for ya.’ Harry replied.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:21 pm

'The Drover' - Page 31:

The tall gent walked to where Harry was seated, ‘I’m Ted Henderson, Eric the stock and station agent told me you might want a hand to take some sheep to Bourke’.
So this is Rose’s old man, Harry thought. ‘Five thousand head.’ Harry muttered.
‘I’ve never taken that many before. The last trip we went to Bourke was a thousand head. I have a family to help me. I think you’ve already met my daughter Rose.’
‘Yeah…yeah,’ what am I going to say to this fellow, Harry thought. I’ll treat him like anyone else until I know any different. He felt nervous and didn’t want to blow any chance he had with getting to better know Rose.
‘Do you know much about droving sheep…do you want a beer Ted?’ Harry said.
‘I don’t drink beer only rum.’ Ted remarked.
Harry ordered a beer and two rums.
‘No - only one rum for me thanks Harry.’ Ted replied.
‘I’m having a rum chaser.’ Harry replied.
‘What’s that?’ Ted wanted to know.
‘I’ll show you when the rums arrive.’ Harry replied in delight. The barman served two nips of rum and a glass of beer and placed them in front of Harry and Ted.
‘Take it out of my money thanks.’ Harry said. He scooped the glass of beer up in his right hand and swallowed half the contents. He replaced the glass on the bar and took the glass of rum and drew the contents to his lips and swallowed in one gulp. ‘That’s better.’ Harry mused, ‘I’ve certainly missed that.’
Ted and Harry drank into the night. Harry felt a little tipsy; Ted stood upright and didn’t appear to have had a drink. He looked sober. They spoke about the upcoming trip to Bourke with the sheep and Harry took the bit between his teeth and told Ted he was the Boss Drover and everything was under his control.
‘I’ll give you credit where credits due, Harry, you’re the Boss Drover because what I know about drover isn’t much to write home about.’ He was feeling a little tipsy but still held his own with Harry, ‘what about you come home to meet the family.’ Ted offered. Harry wasn’t sure if he wanted to meet the family in his present condition. In the end agreed.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:47 pm

'The Drover' - Page 32:

It was a short walk from the hotel to Ted’s home, ‘we’re home mother,’ Ted yelled inviting Harry into his home, ‘we have a guest for dinner – Rose, where are you?’
Harry couldn’t believe his eyes when a dark haired gorgeous woman walked into the room, ‘we meet again,’ she said looking directly at Harry with love in her eyes. Although Harry thought he was sober, he was drunk with love to see Rose.
‘Dinner’s ready,’ a female voice called from the kitchen. Mrs Henderson had prepared a baked dinner. Harry thought he’d died and gone to heaven when he sat beside Rose at the dinner table. A sweet smell of rose perfume emitted from her body, she was beautiful and the more he looked at her the more he thought how lucky he was to be sitting beside her.
His table manners weren’t up to scratch because in the bush he sat on the nearest log and ate from an enamel plate scooping food as quickly as he could because of the flies or mosquitoes.
‘Do you know Rose is engaged to be married?’ Mrs Henderson said.
Harry was about to put food into his mouth when it dropped and fell onto the table, his eyes directed toward Rose who sat to his left. The fork he was holding drooped in his mouth waiting for the message to enter his mind. She’s engaged to be married, he thought – well, that puts me out of the picture, doesn’t it.
‘He’s a lovely fellow is Roger, he’s the State Champion in Show Jumping.’ She said with a proud tone of pride. Harry thought of asking Rose how long she has been engaged but thought better not to do so. What a shame – he’d need to fight harder now. He wanted to marry this girl – she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever met.
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