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Alec Rainey

A WAY OF LI FE
Unde r Sun and St ar s
Re mi ni s c e nc e s of a l os t wor l d.
AUSTIN MACAULEY
Copyright Alec Rainey
The right of Alec Rainey to be identified as author of this work has
been asserted by him in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the
Copyright, Designs and atents Act !"88.
All rights reser#ed. $o part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrie#al system, or transmitted in any form or by any
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otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.
Any person who commits any unauthori%ed act in relation to this
publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and ci#il claims for
damages.
A C& catalogue record for this title is
a#ailable from the 'ritish (ibrary.
ISBN 978-1-84963-003-0
www.austinmacauley.com
)irst ublished *+,!,-
Austin . /acauley ublishers (td.
+0 Canada 12uare
Canary 3harf
(ondon
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rinted . 'ound in 6reat 'ritain
D4D&CAT&7$
This book is dedicated to my Aborigine working
companions, auly, 8Ale9andria: Da#id, 'illy 8Cockerel:,
Adam, and, with respect, 8;eller: <acky, on 'runette
Downs 1tation, and 'ill =arney, 'illy =umbert, 'asil
)ra%er and 'ob 3alnoo, on >ildurk 1tation.
AC>$73(4D64/4$T1
& ha#e to thank the late Anthony 'lond for selflessly
and painstakingly applying his incisi#e mind and great
e9perience in publishing and writing to teach me the art of
turning out a readable, intelligent book.
& am grateful to (ynette Dodson, editor of /ontana
Crossroads /aga%ine, for gi#ing me the opportunity and
encouragement to write about e9periences of a personal
nature, which set me on the road to writing this
recollection.
Although it was ages ago now, & shouldn:t forget the
fact that the horseman?ad#enturer <ean?)ran@ois 'allereau
de#oted a great deal of his personal time and energy into
helping me write, and then editing and translating into
)rench for Che#al /aga%ine, an article it commissioned me
to write about my e9perience horse?breaking in the
$orthern Territory, and published *in !"80 A a task for
which he took no credit, e#en though the translation is a
work of art, a much finer thing than my original A-. &t
ser#ed as an inspiration for my account of this work here.
Tim Cahill took the time to read my work and arraign
me Bustly when & was guilty of apathy towards my subBect.
=is ad#ice helped me to find my #oice.
& am also indebted to 'eatrice Teissier, Ca#ier #an
/elckenbeke, Christa #on 7ppen, /arion >rebs, <oyce
Canel, Diana and Alston Chase, Richard 3heeler, 3illiam
=BDrtsberg, Charlie >ern &&, >en /cCollough, <ohn
Tallafiero, Aurora Cru% Cabe%a, atricia 6uina, (e#no #on
lato and Adrian and Caroline Rainey for their
encouragement for me to continue writing and general
de#otion to the cause.
And & thank Da#id Durack and (e#no #on lato for
his useful feedback on reading the manuscript.
(astly, none of this would ha#e happened had not
3assia 3yrouboff in Argentina selflessly gi#en me the
opportunity to launch into this pastoral lifestyle. =e can:t
ha#e known where it would lead. And my thanks are due
also to Robin 3elch who instructed us apprentices in the
cowherd:s art on 4stancia 4l alomar, where my
professional life began.
A WAY OF LIFE
Under Sun and Stars
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W"n#*ester 187601
reface
E&t is no easy thing to tell a story plainly and distinctly by
mouthF but to tell one on paper is difficult indeed, so many
snares lie in the way. eople are afraid to put down what is
common on paperF they seek to embellish their narrati#es, as
they think, by philosophical speculations and reflectionsF they
are an9ious to shine, and people who are an9ious to shine can
ne#er tell a plain storyGH
6eorge 'orrow wrote these words in !85+ in his semi?
autobiographical no#el 8(a#engro: *!80!-. & ha#e found this
passage 2uoted in 3alter 1tarkie:s introduction to 8Romany
Rye:, the se2uel to (a#engro, *in an edition published in
!"58-. &t occurs in 'orrow:s account of his own e9periences as
a young man, when he had to read accounts written by
prisoners in $ewgate rison about their li#es twenty years
earlier. And & recognise its #alidity in writing this memoir,
which & hope & ha#e managed to do in a concise and clear
manner *again to use 6eorge 'orrow:s choice of words-.
Part 1
11
=istorical setting.
/uch of the centre of Australia and the country north of it, as
far as the Timor and Arafura 1eas and the 6ulf of Carpentaria,
was being e9ploited to raise and fatten cattle for meat
production in !"II. The land here, in particular in the $orthern
Territory, had been cut into #ery large units of property,
shaped following lines of latitude and longitude, known as
8stations:. The terms 8farm: or e#en 8ranch: fails to con#ey
their immense si%e. The typical smaller one co#ers an area of
I5,,,,,?odd acres *!,,, s2uare miles or +,0,, s2uare
kilometres-. 7ne of the largest of the stations, 'runette Downs,
measures around three million acres, or 5,70, s2uare miles
*about !J,,,, s2uare kilometres-, or about the si%e of the 1i9
Counties of $orthern &reland, or of the 1tate of Connecticut in
the K.1.A. $eighbouring Ale9andria Downs had co#ered
twel#e thousand s2uare miles or more, but was then di#ided
into a number of separate sections.
&t is hard to imagine what could Bustify pri#ate land
ownership A actually go#ernment leaseholds in this case A of
such huge proportions. =ere economic considerations are a
factor. The rainfall in most of those parts is e9tremely low,
#irtually non?e9istent in certain places further inland,
increasing in #olume closer to the coast, where the smaller
properties are located. 'runette Downs, which consists mostly
of grasslands, only had a carrying capacity of ten cows per
s2uare mile *I5, acres or about +0" hectares- the year round.
And most of the centres of population and markets *Adelaide,
'risbane, Towns#ille- were o#er two thousand kilometres
away. 1o the si%e of the stations was ob#iously chosen at least
partly on the basis of the practicalities of running pastoral
establishments in such remote areas. /eat?works were also
created in >atherine and the ort of 3yndham to absorb some
of the production. 'ut & e9pect the underlying reason why
these #ast establishments were created was that at the time the
Administration thought that there was so much land to dispose
of amongst so few people that they might as well be generous
with it. /ost of this de#elopment had taken place o#er a period
of well under a hundred years.
'ut, as we know, the island?continent was already home to
an e9isting human population when the 4uropeans arri#ed, and
had been so for si9ty?odd thousand years, perhaps longer. The
$orthern Territory:s 'arkly Tableland, an area about the si%e
of 4ngland and 3ales, which runs on into neighbouring
Lueensland, is a #ery slightly undulating country in the
tropics, mostly grasslands, with meandering seasonal ri#er
systems draining into inland lakes. (ying within the range of
the $orth?3est /onsoon, in the northern half of the territory,
it recei#es all its rainfall in the summer *December to /arch-.
This is when the ri#ers run and the lakes fill. Then, when the
rain ceases, they dry up. And for the rest of the year, which is
dry and cloudless, only waterholes punctuate their courses.
The grass dries standing and the country looks like one great
rolling golden sea, in which those ri#er beds, shaded by
luscious eucalypt gro#es, appear as long, sage green snakes.
The people who inhabited this area before the 4uropeans:
arri#al had split up into smallish groups, each consisting of a
number of e9tended families. A group li#ed on a separate
stretch of a particular ri#er ? 8creek: in local terminology ? and
its surrounding countryside. They relied entirely on their
section to pro#ide themsel#es with food and other needs. 'y
and large it was a mutually agreed arrangement with the
neighbouring groups. Anthropologists would describe them as
8hunters and gatherers:.
$eedless to say they were seen and classed by the
newcomers as 8primiti#e:. =owe#er, they had actually
o#ercome some e9traordinarily difficult e9istential challenges.
)or instance they may ha#e found a way of keeping their
numbers stable so that the area of wilderness under their
stewardship could continue to support them.
They had instituted a surgical operation, presumably in the
distant past, whereby when a boy reached the age of twel#e or
thirteen, that is Bust before he was to be introduced to
manhood, a slice was cut out of his penis, in its length. This
produced what has been called in 4nglish a 8whistlecock:. As a
result of this operation his sperm, or some or much of it, when
in operation, would, supposedly, fail to enter a girl:s #agina,
and spill out into the open. resumably this constituted a
method of birth control. &t may well ha#e been designed to
help maintain the numbers in the group in each stretch of the
ri#er at a steady le#el that corresponded with how much life it
could sustain.
A particular marriage system also operated here, which
must ha#e been designed to ensure the minimum of
inbreeding, and thus the population:s physical and mental
health. &t was thorough, genetically sound, sophisticated and
far?sighted. &t in#ol#ed the classification of each indi#idual at
birth. A person was cast with what has been translated into
4nglish *for some reason or other- as a 8skin: when he or she
was born. This classification was decided on the basis of each
of the parent:s 8skins:. )or instance the offspring of an 8a: and
a 8d: had to be an 8h:. Then the 8h: could only marry a 8w:.
And their offspring had to be a 8g:, who had to marry an 8s:,
and so on. There were male 8skins: and female ones, si9 or
se#en of each, and so they had to pass through 2uite a few
generations before any consanguinity occurred. $ames of
skins *of some of the peoples of the 'arkly Tableland- were
e.g. 'alyarinBi *m.- M $Nmaraguna *f.-F 'OngarinBi *m.- M
;akamarina *f.-F DBamaragu *m.- M 'alyarinya *f.- etc.
These conBugal arrangements were applied with draconian
strictness. Anyone failing to obey them would be e9posed to a
kind of curse or magic spell, which, it seems, was usually, if
not always, effecti#e. The elder in charge of this rule
apparently 8pointed a bone: at this person, and they soon died.
*resumably this worked through an effect of suggestion,
although it was said that e#en when the person was not aware
that the bone had been pointed at them they still diedP-.
4nsuring the genetic fitness of the population in this way,
though brutal, would ha#e acted as a form of medical ser#ice
to the community too, which must ha#e been essential under
the circumstances. &n other words social measures were being
taken to pre#ent problems from arising rather than to try and
cure them after they had arisen.
;oung people were then subBected to #ery tough
endurance tests A such as re2uiring a girl to endure lying in an
ant?bed for a certain time, or a boy to go out and fend for
himself on his own ? before they were allowed to become adult
members of the community. This sort of ordeal was designed
to prepare them for the hardship of life. A rich cultural world
was built round all these rules and regulations, and this must
ha#e contributed to the #itality of these Australian
communities.
The 2uestion of whether Australia was wet or dry when
human beings first arri#ed there is still a subBect of debate. 'ut
whate#er the en#ironment, they needed at some time or
another to adapt to the continent:s present aridity. The tough
social mores they adopted to deal with these conditions, of
which the EwhistlecockH is only one feature, may frighten and
indeed horrify us for their se#erity today, but it must be
admitted that they seem to ha#e adapted ama%ingly well to this
challenging en#ironment. Apparently the disappearance, or
annihilation, of some of the larger nati#e species of animal
followed the arri#al of human beings on the continent. 'ut
who knows what conditions e9isted thenQ At all e#ents the
Aborigines: system seems to ha#e worked for a #ery long time
and was still going strong when the 4uropeans *mostly 'ritons
and &rish- arri#ed.
The encounter between these two peoples nearly pro#ed
fatal to the Australians. 1uch is the comple9 and #aried nature
of the human mind that neither people were able to fathom
how the other understood life. Although it seems that the initial
contact between them, when indi#idual Budgement pre#ailed,
was relati#ely harmonious, before long the 4uropeans, as they
spread out in the country, began to interfere with and upset the
Australians: way of life. They, naturally, attempted to protect
it and resisted the occupation. The 4uropean settlers began to
regard this as intolerable, and, using different means, and
either intentionally or unintentionally, they almost managed to
e9terminate the nati#e population.
Another factor that may ha#e contributed to the nati#e
Australians: fate in the !"
th
and on into the +,
th
centuries was
the eagerness with which 4uropeans adopted the idea that they
A the white people ? represented the culmination of human
e#olution, the crme de la crme of humanity, and that the
Australian Aborigines had barely e#ol#ed beyond the animal
state. &ronically this #iew grew up in the !"
th
century with the
emergence of a scientific #iew of the world. And it persisted
until 2uite recent times. &t seems to ha#e represented a way of
e9plaining the cultural differences between the peoples of the
world, notably the disparity between those that were
mechanised and industrialised and those who preferred li#ing
in conBunction with the natural world, and how and why this
came to be.
The last region the 4uropeans reached in Australia
*approaching the end of the nineteenth century-, apart from
some of the deserts, was the $orthern Territory and the
>imberley district, in 3estern Australia. A good number of
the nati#e inhabitants of Australia had sur#i#ed and had,
apparently, managed to hang on to their way of looking at the
world and their social mores here. &t was remote from the new
urban centres and therefore probably hadn:t interested the
4uropeans so much.
This hea#y, Rictorian perception the colonisers held of an
indigenous population, which suggested that they did not
2ualify as fully?fledged human beings and members of society,
lasted until as late as !"I+, when, as a result of humanitarian
social and political pressures, they were 8accorded: full human
rights. Then, in !"I0, a law was introduced re2uiring that they
be paid the same wages as white people. /eanwhile, in
keeping with their record of adapting to new circumstances,
the Aborigines in those northern areas had become adept at
cow herding, and formed the backbone of the workforce on the
huge cattle stations that operated there.
This, needless to say, is an o#ersimplification of what was
ob#iously a comple9 and slow process. 4#ents were by no
means as straightforward, or as black and white A so to speak A
as that. 3e ha#e the re#olting photographs of bemused
Aborigines standing in hea#y chains around the beginning of
the twentieth century. *The nati#es look bemused because
being shackled was absolutely meaningless, and
incomprehensible, to them.- 7n the other hand we gather from
reading /ary Durack:s history of her own family, the
Australian classic E>ings in 6rass CastlesH, for which she had
ample access to original sources, that well?meaning and
compassionate 4uropeans A &rish and 'ritish A numbered
amongst the settlers, and some genuinely harmonious
relationships grew up between whites and Aborigines at this
time. =er family were pioneer pastoralists in the >imberley
district. They first trekked there from the already colonised
southeast in !88+.
'ut the o#erall de#astation of the nati#e population, at
least in the richer and more densely inhabited southern parts of
the island?continent, was still the net outcome of e#ents.
>1
'eginnings.
& li#ed in the $orthern Territory, working as a Backeroo on
'runette Downs 1tation, in the I,s and 7,s. & arri#ed there
from 4ngland in !"II. A Backeroo was then, and & presume
still is, a boy or young man, generally between about si9teen
and twenty or so, taken on by a station or farm to learn about
its management through practical real?life e9perience, in other
words an apprentice manager. 1ome Billeroos worked in this
capacity, elsewhere, too. & was already twenty?se#en, due &
suppose to the time it took me to put at least some rudimentary
order into my life.
& had tra#elled to 1pain to work there soon after lea#ing
school, the Bob had not materialised, and & had been stranded
there for nine months. 'ut & had found a Bob there and learnt
1panish and to play the )lamenco guitar *from an old gypsy in
/urcia- in the process. & had then studied at and graduated
from Trinity College Dublin *)rench and 1panish-. 3e were
fortunate in those days in that a world of career opportunities
was open to those of us who emerged from the cocoon of
uni#ersity life flashing an honours degree. 3e were gi#en a
book that listed opportunities for graduates, showing your
progressi#e ad#ancement towards the top and the steady
increase in your salary, which would ha#e been comfortable
*but proportionate-, fi#e, ten and fifteen years hence.
'ut glancing through this book & had reeled at the prospect
of ha#ing my whole future life preordained for me, and & had
said to myself, E;ou ha#e one life. /ake the most of it. Decide
what your greatest dream is, and make it a reality,H and had
promptly thrown the book away.
/y greatest dream then was to find a lost city in the
Ama%on Bungle. & was immersed in the history of the early
1outh American ci#ili%ations at that time, and had been
reading about these mysterious cities and unknown tribes in
the Ama%on Bungle. &n the course of these in#estigations & had
read about how an early +,
th
century e9plorer, a certain
Colonel )awcett, thought he had disco#ered the ruins of such a
city *in a book he wrote called 849ploration )awcett:-. And &
was desirous to emulate his e9perience *though not
subse2uently disappear, as he did-.
&n my efforts to find a way of reaching 1outh America to
achie#e this end & found a Bob a#ailable in Argentina. &t was
related to the li#estock industry *in parasite control-, about
which & knew nothing. 'ut & felt it would bring me one step
closer to the Ama%on and my dream, so & sei%ed the
opportunity while it was going.
A few days after arri#ing in 'uenos Aires & was sent out
on a horse on an estancia to work with the peones *or gauchos-
for a day or two, by way of preparation for this Bob. This
estancia was located not far from 'ra%il in a rolling subtropical
sa#annah that looked to me Bust like 4ast Africa. & only knew
this from ha#ing as a young boy read se#eral of =. Rider?
=aggard:s books, such as 81he: and 8>ing 1olomon:s /ines:,
which were set in that part of the world, and ha#ing seen a film
of the latter. & had plunged into that world head first and
probably not yet emerged from it. At any rate & considered &
was li#ing that dream.
& accompanied the gauchos rounding up and dri#ing cattle
to a corral. All of us sat astride our woolly saddles, whooping
and whistling and yelping and grinning in the dust. The
foreman was decked out with a lasso o#er each shoulder, and a
dagger, a knife and a re#ol#er, and a splendid moustache. 4#en
the children of the gauchos carried daggers. They wore long
spurs on their bare feet, sported misshapen hats, and e#eryone
spoke a weird and wonderful, musical &ndian language
*6uaranS- together, though when the foreman addressed me, he
spoke in 'aro2ue 1panish, that is the archaic language of
Cer#antes A the e2ui#alent of 1hakespeare:s 4nglish, and he
had beha#ed with e9actly the kind of courtesy that we
associate with that period. & was, 2uite simply, in my se#enth
hea#en. & had decided in my head that this was un2uestionably
the life for me *and had forgotten all about the fabled lost city-.
'ut the prospect of such a life had remained only the
glimmer of an impossible dream in my head. Then & had left
my original Bob dealing with parasite control, because & didn:t
seem to be making any progress in it, and had been offered
another Bob in the city that promised me great riches *in
international stock?broking-. & had written to my girlfriend to
announce this triumphant step that would lead me to money
and success in life.
1he had written back, E&s that all you can do with your
great dreams and idealsQH
3ell, & soon got the sack from that Bob. And & had then
gone to stay with some friends who owned an estancia in 4ntre
Rios. & had already #isited them there a few times. And one
day my hostess said, E3hy don:t you do what you lo#e
doingQH
& had en2uired what she considered that to be.
1he had replied, ERiding round the estancia.H
Another factor no doubt deeply influenced the choices &
made at that time, by the way. & was embarrassed at my lack of
awareness of myself and of my actions, and thus of an
understanding of myself, and by what & felt was a terrible
ineptitude. )or instance, when & was staying on my uncle:s
farm aged se#enteen or eighteen, and e#eryone was
haymaking, & was there to help in the work, but apparently &
Bust drifted around doing #irtually nothing. & think it ne#er
occurred to me that my help was needed. *Afterwards my
uncle generously Budged that & had simply been a late
de#eloper.- Then later, when & was a student, my girlfriend and
& had been like two innocent little children, blissfully happy
together. & had been like a little boy.
And, recognising this, & decided that & needed toG well, do
something mad.
This may be an obscure reference, but & think & recognise
myself then in rince (eo $icolaye#ich /yshkin, in
Dostoye#sky:s masterpiece, 8The &diot:. *& belie#e the title is
satirical.-
)ollowing my friend:s ad#ice about my path towards
happiness & had gone on to do nearly a year:s apprenticeship in
cattle raising management on an estancia in Argentina, in the
pro#ince of 'uenos Aires. This, incidentally, is what 2ualified
me to be taken on at 'runette Downs. To obtain a Backerooing
position there you had to ha#e a year or two:s e9perience in
this work behind you. & was by that time set on making a
career in the beef cattle industry.
3hat & lo#ed about the work was the solitude while & rode
round the estancia inspecting the cattle and fences, following
the manager:s instructions. &t was as if & had been freed at last.
Don Roberto 3elch, or Robin 3elch, was a first class
manager, who took a great deal of trouble o#er teaching me
about the profession. The gauchos: heirs on the estancia, who
are now called 8peones:, were a warm, thoughtful people. *The
8peones:, or, technically 8peones de a caballo: A workers on
horseback A were settled folk, many of whom supported a
family. They were professionals, and held a regular paid Bob
and li#ed on the estancia. The real gauchos had been wild,
romantic, independent indi#iduals who roamed the ampas
and beyond, li#ing entirely by their own rules in !"
th
and early
+,
th
century Argentina. Their only possessions had been their
string of horses, poncho and a #ery long knife, which they used
either for eating A this was still the case in my time A or for
settling scores, and they had long passed into history.
&t was a magnificent, rich establishment, indeed so
magnificent that a hundred and fifty hectares of its surface
were de#oted purely to a park surrounding the homestead. All
was peace, tran2uillity and stability there. 'ut then, riding my
horse around on the ampas all day, almost e#ery day, with
delicious food with the manager and his wife daily, & had
begun to feel uneasy about the lack of an intellectual stimulus.
& was frustrated by my own inaction, or mental la%iness. And
so & had abandoned this idyllic life and any dreams & had
entertained of one day ac2uiring an estancia of my own A and &
had dreamt of this ?, and applied for a Bob in =er /aBesty:s
)oreign 7ffice, which & belie#ed then meant fame and a
glorious future. & spoke se#eral languages, and this seemed to
me the ideal path along which & could use my talents. 1o, after
embarking on a little solo e9pedition on horseback in
atagonia and the Andes, to spread my wings a little and
sa#our the wildness of 1outh America to the ma9imum, & had
said goodbye to Argentina and returned to 4ngland, to take the
)oreign 7ffice entrance e9ams. & had already sent for and
recei#ed application forms and pre#ious e9amination papers
while & was at 4l alomar, the estancia, to prepare myself for
them.
& tra#elled back to 4ngland by ship, a passenger liner, and
this had brought une9pected conse2uences. /i9ing socially &
had met a man who might ha#e been in his thirties, a scientist,
with whom & carried on regular stimulating con#ersations. &
had told him about my plan. =e read though the )oreign 7ffice
papers & had been sent, which & had not really absorbed yet,
with me. 3e discussed them light?heartedly. And we had both
concluded that the )oreign 7ffice was clearly not looking for
someone like me at all. &t became ob#ious that & was
completely unsuited for such a role. & decided that since & had
already learnt so much about estancia management my best
plan was to return to Argentina and carry on where & had left
off.
1ome comple9, difficult family matters at home ? which
need not be gone into here A led to my not returning to
Argentina *perhaps pro#identially, gi#en the dreadful e#ents
that de#eloped subse2uently there-. & had then written to some
old friends in Australia asking them if they could help me find
a Bob in the cattle ranching business there. A few weeks later &
had recei#ed a wire from them containing the offer for the Bob
on 'runette Downs.
& flew to Australia in a 'ristol 'ritannia, a comfortable,
large, propeller passenger aircraft. & went as an emigrant, not
being able to afford the ticket. 'y emigrating you only needed
to pay T!, for the fare, but you were then re2uired to stay for a
minimum of two years.
& stayed with some old friends in /elbourne, and, to cut a
long story short, after another 2uite long, roundabout Bourney,
which was re2uired by the airline connections, & ended up, on
its last leg, sitting in an e9?wartime Douglas DCJ on my way
to 'runette Downs. &t was a commercial flight, complete with
airhostess, e#en though the plane lacked any kind of
furnishings, other than the screwed?in seats.
$ot long before we reached our destination the airhostess,
turning to me, chirped, E3ell, aren:t you going to gi#e us a
tuneQH and she wasn:t Boking. /y 1panish guitar was near at
hand, and so against the muted rattle of the engines & played,
and may e#en ha#e sung something for the assembled
company before we landed.
'ut a bleaker, more lonely, emptier place than the scene &
faced when the plane door opened you would be hard put to
imagine. & stepped down onto a hard, reddish sandy ground. A
few scrubby bushes and stunted trees grew in the distance. &
spotted a couple of old 55?gallon drums, a bit of fence. The
surrounding countryside was entirely flat. & remember turning
to the air hostess and asking her doubtfully, E&sG thisG
'runette DownsQH
&t was. The pilot or co?pilot unloaded my luggage. The
engines were re##ed up, the plane turned, it ta9ied away and
was off. $ow no one was in sight.
The reason for my bewilderment was that & didn:t seem to
be anywhere. There was no sign of the station. Then a Beep
appeared out of nowhere. &t stopped ne9t to some bo9es, which
had also been unloaded from the plane. The dri#er got out, put
the bo9es in his Beep and turned round and dro#e back the way
he had come. As it departed & stared at it in disbelief. =e had
apparently not seen me e#en though & was the only salient
feature in the whole landscape A and & was wearing a white
straw cowboy hat & had ac2uired.
& thought to myself, E'ut where:s the managerQH
1peedily reco#ering from my stupor & called out to the
dri#er. The Beep stopped, & walked up to it and asked him if he
could take me to the station. At first he only looked blankly at
me as if & was a notice pinned up on a tree stating 8$o
=unting:. Then he said, E7kayH, & climbed in, and he started
dri#ing away. /y luggage was still standing where & had left it,
not far away, and in full #iew, guitar and all. 3hen & remarked
on their presence there he turned back without obBection and &
loaded them onto the Beep.
N$tes ta;en $n Brunette A$'ns: 19671