Sydney Sun, Cookson, 30 08 1911 1
30 August 1911
THE TROUBLE AT THE HOMESTEAD
JIM KELLY'S VERSION OF THE AFFAIR
(Interview with Jim Kelly continued from yesterday)
"Yes: it was true, Kate's children wanted a home . . . . So they had to have one. It was nothing . . . . . The roads were not hard to find . . . . . No: I had not much food . . . . Sometimes water was scarce. It was a time of drought . . . But it was nothing . . . Nothing at all . . . . When you keep going you must get there, some time."
The tall, grave bushman's gaze is straight ahead. But the brown eyes see far beyond the reeking mist-clad ranges that shut off the landscape in rolling banks of dim-colored foliage and fog. He, no doubt, sees before him the grim panorama of that dreary journey over those hundreds of arid miles, and himself, with the anguish of his dearest sister's shocking death, and the pressing needs of her little ones gnawing cruelly at his heart strings, and urging him ever onwards, and to greater and still more self sacrificing exertions. Yes, he made the journey to Forbes in six days. He took seven to return. Beyond doubt this gaunt bushman could tell of the hardships that that one day's shortening of his journey meant. But he will never tell-out he. His gaze, inscrutable, but thoughtful, is still on the mountains when we ask him what was the manner of his sister's death. For it had been reported in many places that she was not dead, but living and prosperous.
The sad and distant gaze comes back to Glenrowan at once. Then, as his mother had done before him, Jim begins at the beginning-of the trouble.
"You know what they say about what took place in the homestead when that young constable went there for Dan? Well . . . it's all lies . . . . all lies! . . . But . . . it's too late, now. The trouble's all done. Our lives have been ruined. . . . It is finished."
He is speaking very slowly, scratching the wet, lichen-covered top rail of the fence before him the while. The rain is still pelting down, cold and drenching. As he chooses his terms and stalwart drover chips a splinter off the fence rail. Instantly the dry place beneath becomes soaked, and a small many-legged insect that had found shelter there runs hither and thither in vain search of drier quarters. The bushman stops talking altogether-stops thinking, too, and carefully lifting the insect on the end of the splinter, sets it safely in the morticed hole in the post that receives the end of the rail, and which will be dry enough. It was a small incident, but luminous. Seldom is it that those who have chastened with much pain and sorrow can find it in them to be even unwittingly cruel to the meanest of earth's creatures. The action was one of which any man recognising the quiet benignity with which the grave expression on the big drover's face was associated, would at once say, "I knew it." He had suffered. He would see none other suffer, could he prevent it.
See previous page / next page
|!||The text has been retyped from a microfiche copy of the original.
We have taken care to reproduce this document but areas of the original text may been damaged.
the previous day / next day . . . BW Cookson in the Sydney Sun index