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A Bunch of Battlers

Billyliftedtheroofoff“nimalsIknow – it’saNoah’srk!We
had that story, Robyn, remember....” he started arranging the
animals in the sand by the light of the fire.
Robyn handed Pete a mug of tea and they sat a bit away from
Billy to talk.
“Idecidedwedeservedapresenttoo”announced Pete
“Here!”HeputaboxintoRobyn’shandItwasasmallradio!
“PetethisisabeautideaWecanhearthenewsandweather
forecastsandlistentotheBCschools’broadcastsHowmuch
didyougetpaid?Thisradiomusthavecostabit”
“No”rejoinedPete“ItwasonlytwentydollarsWecanthink
aboutwanderingonnowRobynWe’vegotplentyofmoney
Enough to last us for .... Oh, about three months at least –
without touching any of the savings that we banked in the city. I
got paid NINE HUNDREDDOLLRS!!!”
“Wow!WellIbetyouworkedreallylonghoursforit– anddon’t
forgetthatwasforthreeweeks”remindedRobyn“Itjustseems
alotwhenyougetitallatonce”“GeePetewereallyarelucky
that you got that job. Now we can have a good look around
beforeworryingaboutfindingmorework”
“I’vebeendoingsomeplanning”assertedPete“andI’ve
decided that up around that West Queensland border, is where
I’mmostlikelytofindworkonastationThere’s not many
people live in that part of the bush, so we should be able to make
aprettydecentsortofcampwithoutanyoneknowing”
Robyn went over to one of the parcels and pulled out the map.
She lit two candles, stuck them in the sand, and spread the map
out.
“There’salotofcountry to cover between here and there, but
we’veplentyoftimeJusthavetoremembertogivethe
Correspondence School a Post Office address every so often, so
wecanpickupourlessons”Robynsaidthoughtfully
The two children pored over the map. They decided on a route
that followed the Lachlan, Bogan and Culgoa Rivers. They knew
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