1 Dec 1940
a snifter snooze last night, & I sure needed it; hadn't had a decent
snooze since Tues night, since when I'd come 377 miles in jolting steel
trucks & won a well earned 15/- or so. I washed myself & a pair
of socks, hung the socks on a barbed wire fence out of reach of the
goats, & tidied my gear. Had breakfast on cold mutton & steamed
pudding; last night I went up a lane to the back of Gregory's Hotel,
which is noted for its handouts, & politely offered to dispose of
any superfluous eatables they had. A charming young demoselle gave me
a 2/3 demolished leg of mutton, half a steamed pudding & a few trimmings
of bread etc. Well, I chucked the remains to the goats - I'd kept it
all last night hung up from the rafters by string, safe from ants, rats
etc, - and at 8.00 went up town in my cleanest clothes to church. I
was there 20 mins too early, & wasted no time leaving after service.
took a stroll to seek labour and food - the latter in large quantities.
Wandered round and landed a couple of negligable jobs, got some negligable
tucker & negligable cash. I bought a water bag for 5/-; only a small
one worth half the price, but there is a wartime shortage of canvas.
The other day the storekeeper sent down to Brisbane for a pair of collar
bags, but Brisbane hadn't enough to make them! As I was meandering down
the main drag this arvo I noticed the bank of NSW, which was of course
closed, had a nice cool verandah & two comfy deck chairs on same.
I went thru the gate & the 3 yds tothe steps, collapsed in a chair
& started to write up my diary. I hadn't been there 1/2 an hour
when I saw Lobo holding up his trousers & a post nearby. I whistled
& he came over & yarned, criticising my ancestors for my stupidity
in annexing the Banks's verandah. Soon after a car went by & a bloke
glared angrily at us. Five minutes later it came back, & he got
out, a big, officious looking gent came thru' the gate. He glowered.
you doing here?"
Aw, just resting.
What?! Don't you know this is private property? Bla Blah.
Well, are we hurting it?
We're not going to rob the joint!
You clear out of here! Quick, before I call the Police!
Aw, Ok, Ok. Keep you're shirt on.
went off, met one of Lobo's friends & held up the pub posts for
an hour. At 7.30 or so, dusk, when I imagined tea was over I said I
was going in to bite; they said they'd try after me. I went in, &
had just popped the question when Mrs Shannon, the proprietor, appeared.
She'd seen me at Mass & complimented me in no uncertain manner,
so I turned on the gush & she finished by seeing seven thousand
diadems of halos around my hatpeg. Gave me 4/- & her luck, &
as she went up the steps again I turned to go. The maid I'd palled up
to called me back & presented me with a beaming smile and sundry
foodstuffs. She didn't know about the 4 bob, the missus didn't know
about the sandwiches. Lobo got some too - corned beef, all of 'em, &
we sat down on a doorstep & shared them with another hungry feller
who happened along.
calls himself 'the Wolf', and looks as swarthy and treacherous as one.
Small in stature, with a big mop of greasy, curly black hair, black
eyes, brown to dark in colour, uneducated & liable to mix in any
sort of dirty work. You have to say everything twice, & his words
stumble over the top of each other. I don't like him. I went back to
camp after my dinner, content, under a peacefull, starry sky, wondering
what tomorrow and Longreach held in store for me.
has hot and cold water laid on, tho I only found this out in a weeks
time. Of course all the people rely on bore water and beer, but the
peculiar fact is that the bore H20 is 75°C, and has to be cooled
off by allowing to stand in tanks. The beer is apparently not so bad,
is cooled in tankards. I don't think I saw one shade tree in Winton;
most 'bo's say its a rotten dump for a daytime sleep, but the corker
camp more than makes up for it; weatherproof, comfy, big & airy,
& if a cop's half a mile away you can't miss seeing him. Not many
goats come near it either; it's too hot for cows here they reckon, &
the cafes use goats milk instead; isn't too bad, but tastes milkier
than cows milk.