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Pat Ritter. Books

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:03 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 30:

Flashes in his mind reminded him of the years he spent as a prisoner for taking the place of Joseph Ryan after ‘The Great Shearers Strike of 1891’. His mind filled with memories, particular thoughts if Billy Wells still remained on the island. His thoughts flashed to this similar occasion after The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA asked him to fight for the Empire. This time he made his own decision to fight for the Empire not to take his friend's place.
‘Joe. Can I ask you a question?’ Billy asked his companion after the ship passed through the passage on their journey north.
‘By all means. Go ahead.’ Joe answered not having a clue what question his friend was to ask.
‘How did you meet The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA?’ Billy queried.
Before Joe answered, thoughts rushed through his mind how to explain their association. ‘We shore sheep together on ‘Tilbaroo Station’ in 1890.’ Joe answered with the truth.
Joe imagined the wheels of thought racing through Billy’s mind. ‘You own ‘Tilbaroo Station’.’ Billy replied in an inquisitive voice.
‘Yes. Nat and Martha gifted the station to Hannah and I when we married.’ Joe explained.
‘This is like drawing teeth. If you worked with The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA as a shearer. How did he become a member of Parliament?’ Billy questioned.
‘We have plenty of time. I’ll tell you the whole story.’ Joe commenced to share his story with Billy. Started with shearing with Joseph on ‘Tilbaroo Station’ explaining the intense idea Joseph developed wanting to help his fellow shearers improve wages and working conditions. Joe followed with the event of ‘The Great Shearers Strike of 1891’ continued on with swapping places. His conviction and imprisonment on St Helena Island Prison finishing off with meeting Joseph at Barcaldine to change back to their rightful identities.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:41 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 31:

‘Wow! What a story. You’re a bloody hero Joe. I’m in the presence of a hero.’ Billy shouted with joy shaking his friend’s hand, slapping him on the shoulder.
‘Not so much of the hero stuff, Billy. More a bloody idiot for going along with the plan.’ Joe answered.
‘No mate. You are a hero to take the place of a coward like The Honourable Joseph Ryan, Esquire, MLA. You are a hero mate.’ Billy couldn’t make his expression clearer.
‘Billy, you’ve got to understand at the time we swapped places, Joseph Ryan was engaged to Hannah. This was my idea to change places because I wanted them together. I didn’t realise at the time I’d be thrown into prison.’ Joe explained.
‘Doesn’t matter. You are with me. We’re going to another country to fight the bloody Boers for our Empire. I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else but you to be by my side through this fight.’ Billy did something which was uncalled for at this stage. He hugged Joe, wrapped his arms around his shoulders. ‘I’ll look out for you.’ Billy released his hold. Never had he ever done this act of friendship to another human being before.
Joe and Billy stood on the top deck of the SS Cornwall. Neither man had ever sailed before. Up to this point of their journey the ocean calm until the winds blew, waves rose above the deck where Joe and Billy stood.
‘What’s up Billy? You’re turning green.’ Joe shouted above the noise of the waves lashing their bodies. Billy turned toward the waves, placed his hand over his mouth, a huge wave almost pushing him against Joe. Billy opened his mouth to speak, his stomach emptied against the wave. Vomit covered his face and shoulders. Joe grabbed hold of Billy to steady him. ‘Come on mate. You’re crook. I'll help you inside before you end up over the side of the ship.’ They grabbed hold of each other, forced the door open, climbed inside, forced the door closed. Joe carried Billy to the sick bay of the ship.
Aboard the ship whispers of the conflict in South Africa seeped through to five hundred soldiers leaving their homeland to fight the Boers in South Africa. British armies, infantry, were defeated by mobile Boer mounted troops. Rumours spread throughout the troops the result of this battle referred to as ‘black week’ when 2300 men were killed or wounded by the Boers in three separate engagements.
‘From the rumours among the soldiers we’re in for the fight of our lives.’ Joe told Billy after their dinner one night. They’d been at sea for almost two months. Billy recovered from his sickness. Officers told them they’d arrive on South Africa shores in December 1899.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:52 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 32:
Chapter 5
True to this gossip SS Cornwall birthed at Port Elizabeth on the morning of late December 1899. Two days before Christmas Day. Joe plus Billy with the remainder of volunteers from Queensland readied themselves for departure.
‘My friend.' Joe said to Billy. 'Hope we stay alive to return home in one piece.’ They departed the ship carrying their haversacks. ‘Let’s go find our horses.’
With five hundred other soldiers disembarking SS Cornwall, Billy and Joe waited for their horses to be unloaded. A slow process. Winches used to unload each horse one at a time. Spartan came into view, his legs kicking; landed on the wharf. Joe collected his haversack, ran to Spartan. Said to the operator, ‘I’ll take him from here.’ Joe’s face spread into a huge smile to take possession of his horse. Billy joined him with his horse.
‘Where to from here?’ Billy asked throwing a saddle onto his horse.
‘This is a bit of a shamble. No one appears to be in charge. Haven’t sighted any top brass since we berthed.’ Joe looked around to figure out who was in charge. ‘We’ll wait here on the dock until someone tells us otherwise.’ They stood by their horses, each saddled ready to continued their journey. Eight horses unloaded from the ship. Six other soldiers took possession of their horses, joined Joe and Billy on the dock.
On their trip, they met some of the soldiers who volunteered as they'd done. Joe recognised one fellow. Stretched his hand to shake, ‘I’m Joe Gibson; my friend here is Billy Campbell.’ They shook hands. ‘Don’t suppose you have any idea of what’s going on?’ Joe asked.
‘I’m same as you mate. Like your horse.’ The stranger looked over Spartan as if he had a good eye for a horse. ‘Sure looks a good one.’ The stranger admitted.
‘Spartan's a brumby mate. Billy’s horse, the same. Caught them on my father-in-law’s property before we volunteered for this trip.’ Joe explained.
The stranger looked in disbelief. ‘Brumbies. Don’t look like brumbies from where I came from.’ The stranger commented.
‘Where do you come from?’ Billy asked.
‘Croydon mate.’ The stranger told them.
Buss around the crowd grew louder each asking the same question. ‘Where’s the top brass?’ The eight soldiers with horses formed together as a band.
‘We should stick together.’ One of the soldiers told the small gathering. Each nodded. Stayed with their horse and equipment.
‘She’ll be right mate. Having their morning cup-of-tea.’ Joe jested in his best English accent.
After waiting another hour without any appearance from the top brass Joe wondered what next. Rumbles amongst the troops began to voice their opinions of what to do instead of waiting. Some decided to explore Port Elizabeth. Joe thought about joining these other soldiers instead cautioned Billy to wait.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: I'LL BE ABSENT UNTIL 27TH DECEMBER 2017. I WISH YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS. A PERSONAL THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT THROUGHOUT 2017. MUCH APPRECIATED.
TO PURCHASE THIS BOOK CLICK ONTO THIS LINK: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/758644.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:49 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 33:

They unsaddled their horses, left them tethered nearby. Placing his saddle on the ground, Joe lay, rested his head against his saddle, pulled his slouch hat over his face to sleep. Billy followed.
Joe dreamed of Hannah celebrating their second wedding anniversary. His dream swimming in their bore nearby to their new home on ‘Tilbaroo Station’. Why is Hannah kicking me? He moved his feet, kicking continued. Opening his eyes, pushing his hat onto his head, a man in uniform stood over him shouting words he couldn’t understand.
‘Bout time you woke up. You, ignorant Aussie bastard.’ This voice shouted at Joe.
Joe sprung to his feet, squeezed his hand into a fist ready to punch this person’s lights out. Billy held Joe’s shoulder, whispered. ‘Calm down mate. Pommy Top Brass.’ Joe relaxed.
‘Fall in line.’ Commanded the Pommy soldier. The remainder of the soldiers who stayed with Joe and Billy stood erect against the building staring at this Pommy soldier waiting for their next order.
‘Where are the others?’ Came another order louder than the first. No one spoke. ‘Listen up. Saddle your horses. Form a line.’ Pommy Top Brass commanded.
Each soldier saddled their horse as commanded. ‘Mount’, came the next command. All eight in unison mounted lined up in a straight line. Each looked ready for battle holding erect their rifles staring ahead with their heads held high.
‘March.’ Shouted the soldier giving the orders.
‘He hasn’t told us where to go.’ Joe thought. Without thinking Joe looked at the soldier giving the commands shouted, ‘Sir! Where to?’
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:51 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 34:

‘Halt!’ Each soldier halted their horse. Soldier giving the orders walked up to Joe’s mount, looked Joe in the eye. ‘Where do you want to go soldier?’ Came the command.
Joe didn’t realise he was being spoken to until a whip struck his leg. ‘Tell us where we’re going? If you don’t tell us?’ Joe replied in an authoritative voice.
‘What is your name soldier?’ Asked the top brass interrupted.
‘Joe Gibson.’
‘Joe Gibson what?’
Joe thought for a moment. ‘Joe Gibson Sir!’
‘Joe Gibson. You will command this band of convicts.’ Top Brass stared Joe down.
‘We are not convicts Sir.’ Joe attempted to explain.
'What do you call yourselves if not convicts?' Top Brass shouted.
‘Colonial Mounted Rifles. Sir!’.’ Joe shouted. Top Brass walked away leaving Joe with his soldiers.
‘Isn’t this fun and games. Don’t you think. Making me in command. Bloody Pommy bastard.’ Joe told his fellow soldiers.
‘You’ll do us.’ One of the soldiers replied. All in unison agreed. Joe became their instant leader.
‘If you’re all agreeable.’ Joe said. All agreed. ‘Wait here men. I want to catch up, ask what we Colonists should do.’ Joe rode away from his troops to find Top Brass.
Approaching Top Brass; he remained on Spartan looked down on Top Brass, said in a loud voice, ‘Have you any orders for 'Colonial Mounted Rifles', Sir’ Joe shouted.
Top Brass stared at Joe mounted on his horse. ‘You will take your troop to Port Elizabeth Railway Station. Board your horses plus yourselves on the train. Your train is to leave in one hour, destination Pretoria.’ He commanded. Joe gave a haphazard salute with his right hand, turned his horse returned to his troops.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:48 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 35:

Within an hour horses and troops boarded the train on route to Pretoria. Joe had no idea how long their journey would take. By the time they reached Pretoria his knowledge of what’s happening will be much clearer, he thought.
‘Bloody harsh country Billy.’ Joe told his friend seated next to him amongst his fellow soldiers.
‘Nothing like our bushland. Dry, hot. Heat waves in the distance.’ Billy replied.
Neither Joe nor Billy understood why they were going to Pretoria. Joe decided to sleep, relax, not worry about anything in particular, think of Hannah back home. They’d travelled through the night stopping for the train to refuel with water.
Breaking daylight Joe seen clouds of dust in the distance. ‘Have-a-look at the dust storm on the horizon, Billy.’ Both men starred at the horizon.
‘Joe. Never a dust storm like this one at home. Must be something else.’ Billy replied.
The dust storm moved closer to their train. ‘Wait a bloody minute.’ Joe exploded. ‘Men on horseback. They’re heading this way. Must be about fifty of them.’ Joe’s heart beat faster signalling danger. ‘Let’s stop this puffin billy, unload the horses; begin our first fight with the Boers.’ Joe shouted.
Joe signalled the driver to stop the train. The train came to a halt. ‘Quick men unload your horses. You other men use the train as a shield. Don’t fire until I give the signal.’ Joe commanded to all. Joe’s men released their horses from the carriage, saddled, mounted formed a straight line to fight the enemy.
Soon the riders approaching the train came into sight. ‘Ready men.’ Joe screamed. ‘When I drop my hand, start firing.’ Joe sat astride Spartan waiting for the Boers to be within shooting distance. A 303 rifle dropped an animal at one hundred yards. Joe held his right arm in the air. When he calculated, the enemy were closing in around one hundred yards he dropped his arm. Instant discharge of five hundred rifles blasted toward the enemy. Many fell. More kept coming. By the time each soldier re-loaded, aimed their rifle toward the enemy, less mounted Boers appeared.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:09 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 36:

‘We’re in deep shit.’ Joe told Billy standing beside him mounted on his horse.
Another blast of shots fired from each carriage striking their target twenty yards away. Five mounted Boers continued with their rifles aimed at soldiers in the train.
‘Come on men, let’s finish what they started.’ Joe kicked Spartan in the ribs pushing into a full gallop toward the remaining Boers attacking the train. Other mounted soldiers followed Joe into battle. By the time they reached remainding Boers. All dead. Joe raised his right arm in the air for his troop to stop. Working his way through the lifeless bodies, his gut filled with guilt on the battle to save their lives.
Joe turned to address his troop. ‘Catch their horses, load them onto the train. Bury the dead.’ By this time soldiers emptied from the carriages to help those mounted soldiers to carry out Joe’s orders. A couple of soldiers walked toward him. ‘How many causalities have we?’ Joe asked.
‘About a dozen. Ten of our boys killed. My mate got one in the face. Do we need to bury these bastards?’ He admonished.
‘Yes. Also, the deceased men on the train.’ Without hesitation, instant mobs of soldiers readied themselves for grave digging duty. Joe couldn’t believe the number of soldiers who without being told arranged the burial of all soldiers, Boers plus their own soldiers in a line of graves next to the railway track.
Joe decided to speak with the driver and conductor.
‘Have you any idea why the Boers attacked this train?’ He asked.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:32 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 37:

‘Attack each week.’ The Conductor answered. His accent difficult to understand.
‘Where are we going?’ Joe asked both men.
‘Pretoria.’ The driver admitted.
This was like drawing teeth to receive answers to his questions. Joe decided to allow both men move on with their job of driving the train. After all dead buried the conductor shouted for all to re-join the train continued on its journey.
Joe recorded information of the dead soldiers as he moved through the train to note injury of soldiers. Sighting a couple of soldiers with bandaged heads he asked. ‘How're you doing soldier?’ Joe's concern showed.
‘Lucky to be alive thanks to you Sir. If you hadn’t taken control of the situation how many more friends be dead. Good job.’ The injured soldier attempted to salute. Joe stopped him.
‘Who are looking after these soldiers?’ Joe questioned. The bandages appeared to be professional wrapped.
‘I am Sir. Before volunteering I was a doctor.’ A soldier admitted.
‘You’ve done a fine job. Continue. Thank you for your services.’ Joe spoke in an endearing voice. ‘How are the other soldiers who were injured?’ Joe questioned.
‘Each one have minor injuries. One soldier copped a bullet to the shoulder. The bullet passed through. I stitched the wound. He should recover.’ The doctor soldier replied.
‘Any other medical personnel here?’ Joe commanded. Two soldiers raised their hands in response.
‘What medical experience do you each have?’ Asked Joe.
‘Ambulance bearer. First-aid. Sir’. One said.
‘Same here.’ Other replied.
‘Would you each help the doctor with what he needs to do. I’d appreciate your help.' Both nodded.
Joe raised his voice so all of the remaining soldiers understood. ‘This was a battle we didn’t expect. Thank you all for your courage and fight. Keep your eyes open for any other attacks. We should arrive in Pretoria without any further trouble.’ Cheers rang out from all of the men.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:15 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 38:

Joe returned to sit with Billy plus 'Colonial Mounted Rifles' soldiers.
‘You did a bloody great job Joe. Or should I address you as Sir?’ Billy questioned.
‘No need for that bullshit. Did what I thought was right at the time. Tomorrow is Christmas Day. Wonder if the conductor carries any refreshments on board this train.’ Joe questioned.
‘I’ll ask.’ Billy left his seat walked to the rear carriage of the train to ask the conductor. Afterwards Billy returned with the conductor carrying cartons of alcohol. ‘We found this lot in the back carriage. Didn’t have a name. Have no idea who owns the bottles. Champagne written on the box. Conductor tells me the liquor is transported for Top Brass at Pretoria.’ Billy finished by extracting a bottle from one of the cartons, open the lid, swallowed a mouth full. ‘Fizzy, but good.’ He finished, handed the bottle to Joe.
Joe took a swig, coughed, shouted. ‘Hand these out to all who want them. Merry Christmas everyone.’ Joe continued to drink from the bottle.
Within a short time, everyone on the train discovered Champagne.
Joe asked. ‘Does anyone have knowledge how to drive this train apart from the driver?’
A young fellow stood up raised his hand. ‘Yes Sir. I drove these trains before I joined this fight.’ The young soldier shouted.
‘Are you happy to go ahead to the driver to relieve him while he also enjoys Christmas Eve drinks?’ Joe asked of the soldier.
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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:13 pm

'The Year That Never Was' - Page 39:

‘Yes Sir. My pleasure Sir.’ The soldier walked through the carriages carrying a couple of bottles of Champagne.
Joe returned to his seat relaxed to enjoy the company of his friend Billy gathered together with 'Colonial Mounted Rifles' soldiers. His mind returned to Hannah wondering what she’d think of his actions in handing out grog to all the soldiers not knowing who owned the Champagne.
Whilst the train chugged along some soldiers harmonised in songs of Christmas starting with Waltzing Matilda. The Champagne worked, thought Joe when he joined in the chorus with Billy and the other soldiers.
‘Billy. Can you do me a favour mate?’ Joe asked his friend.
‘Anything.’ Billy slurred holding a bottle of Champagne up to his lips slurping the final dregs from the bottom of the bottle.
‘Would you grab a couple of soldiers, gather the empty bottles. Make certain everyone is finished. Replace them into the empty cartons, return them to the conductor who’ll put them back where he found them. I’d hate to think the owner of the Champagne don’t miss the contents.’ Joe finished.
‘Good as done.’ Billy gathered the empty bottles replaced them into their cartons with the help of the other soldiers. Returned them to the conductor’s wagon.
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