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- Swag of Memories
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A Swag of Memories is a collection 46 stories. Here are some excerpts from the book.
"As the riders passed by, it must have been a time in sadness or was it joy, for her to ponder on her life. It is a crying shame that such as she had to survive in such isolation, where deprivation dawned with every new day. let us always remember these women of the bush. They left a nugget in the dish of our Australian heritage.
Being the last rider, I had time to dismount and give the old lady a small posy of wild flowers, a gesture of farewell from us all. Mrs Volkman stood there, lonely and frail, and recieved the posy with great dignity and humble charm. The look on her face told me that ride was a fitting tribute to her and those of her kind buried down there on the flat at Thornborough, and also for those who lie in unmarked graves about this sometimes harsh land. It was also a tribute to the beginning of Cairns, and I am thankful that I was able to contribute."
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From 'The Moonlight Stallion'
" Moana Omah, the white stallion, had presented himself as no other horse we had ever owned. On that mystic morning, it was as though he communicated with his ancestors in the Arabian deserts, for his stud-book breeding was Silver Moonlight."
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From 'Hector' (a Rat of Tabrouk)
"The afternoon passed swiftly as I shared with this 96-year-old man memories of friends and places we both knew. The coincidences were quite uncanny. This 'Pom' had laid his life on the line for Australia; he had fought every yard and earned every breath he had taken since. He is an Australian, in my reckoning.
The afternoon drew on, and I reluctantly closed his door behind me. I had, in fancy, been living a book I had read many years ago."
From 'Dangerous Dan Smith'
"... he can row a boat faster than anybody I ever seen! Him and his old man were havin' a blue at the house. Dangerous is comin' out on top, so the old fella goes to get the rifle and Dan heads for the creek where they had a small rowboat upside down. Dangerous flips her and jumps in and goin' for 'is coit, and the old fella's up on the verandah rail takin' pot shots at 'im with the pea rifle. Dan was rowin' 'is heart out, and there's bullets landin' all around 'im. Yeh, 'e come up tough, ol' Dan!"