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A Bunch of Battlers

jokeatPete’sexpenseHewassopleasedwithhisownwitthat
he failed to notice the supervisor appear at his elbow, until she
remarkedicily“syouseemtohaveforgottenyourmannersMr
Sturgessyouwon’tbeservingthepublictodayThestoreroom
needs cleaning, all the bins need a good scrub, and as the tea
ladyisoffsickyouwilltakeoverherduties”
The fellow blushed to the shade of a ripe apple and slunk away.
Pete felt sorry for him.
ThesupervisorhandledPete’srequestandinafewminuteshe
was pedalling towards a vineyard 6km west of the town. Here the
owner, a short tubby man dressed in a singlet and shorts was
welcoming - helikedthelookoftheboy“Westartpickinginfour
daysStartatdawnworktil’darkWeekendsoffThreeweeks
work. I reckon. You bring your own bedding and you can camp on
our veranda and eat with us too. Usually the workers camp in the
huts down there and cook for themselves, but you look like a lad
whocoulddowithasquarefeed”HepunchedPeteonthe
shoulderandgrinned“SeeyaMondaythen– andthanksalot”
said Pete as he swung aboard his bike.
It was late afternoon when Pete arrived back at the camp. While
Robyn opened the mail from the Correspondence School, Pete
toldthemeyesshiningwithexcitementabouthisday“Think
youcanmanagewhileI’mawayforfivedaysatatime?”
“Ofcoursewecanmanage”repliedRobyn“It’snotasifyoudo
much of the house-work, anyway! Billy and I are going to be kept
verybusydoingtheseschoollessonsYoudidn’tthinktobuyus
somepensandpencilsandsoondidyou?”
Pete reached into his pannier bag and handed over a parcel.
“Naturally”hesaidwithasuperiorair“Ithinkofeverything!”
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