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A Bunch of Battlers

They crept out through the bushes to the edge of the river Billy
paddled in a shallow muddy part while the others talked.
Pete”beganRobyn“WhataboutChristmas?shetoldhim
about Billy's visit to the church.
Noproblemwe’llhaveenoughmoneytobuyhimafewlittle
toys. Besides that I read an interesting notice in the window of
the grocery store. Because this is the poor part of the city, the
Brotherhood of Saint Laurence put on a Christmas party. It is on
Christmas Day at the church and costs only five dollars per family
andeachkidundertengetsapresentfromSantaI’vealreadyput
our name down and paid the money." Pete smiled broadly.
Robyn flung her arms around him. "Oh Pete you’re just the best
big brother in the world".
"This afternoon," went on Pete, "do you reckon we could leave
Billy to play at the farm while we go scrounge some timber from
the rubbish at the back of those abandoned factories?" He
pointed across the river, itwon’ttakemuchtofixthisplaceup, I
got nails and rope from a store this morning, oh and I thought
you could go to the Brotherhood’s second hand store too and
buy the cooking and eating gear we need. I’vealreadygotsome
food."
"Righto" said Robyn. They called Billy and walked back to the
farm. Billy was quite happy to be spending the afternoon with
‘his’chooks
Byfouro’clockthetreehousewasasnuglittlehomePetehad
found a large piece of heavy plastic and had roped this securely
for a roof. He went to fetch Billy while Robyn went to the
Brotherhood Store. She brought all that they needed for under
five dollars the lot.
Robyn cooked tea over a fire. Peter unloaded their bikes, carrying
their swags up to the tree house. Meanwhile Billy practiced
climbing up and down the tree using the rope as Peter had
shown him.
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