Dick Yorke is invited to Billabong to be a companion to Bill, and his sister Betty goes too. Bill is far from pleased to have a new boy to show around but eventually, after a tussle, they become great mates.
Aware that prospectors will come after the gold, the Billabong people clear land and peg claims in a substantial area surrounding their find. Newcomers, some hard-bitten and obnoxious, have to settle for claims on the outskirts. Two of them visit the homestead uninvited, confronting Norah and her son Davie demanding food. Dick sounds the alarm, Jim’s dog Kim comes to the rescue and savages the tough McGill. Improved defence of Billabong is arranged.
Back at the diggings, Jim hears that McGill has taken over the Walker camp opposite their sluice boxes. Fearing skulduggery they hope to catch McGill red-handed. Lee Wing devises an ingenious plan, which works brilliantly, leaving the would-be thieves extremely sorry for themselves to the amusement of the entire diggings. Shamed, McGill, relegated to camp cook duties goes hunting, returning with meat of a Billabong calf, calling it a wallaby – again and again. Mrs Walker returns to ‘keep an eye’ day in, day out on her mine whilst McGill’s crowd work it, annoying them greatly.
Billy is called on to track McGill when he goes hunting for food and returns to tell that another calf has been slaughtered. The whole camp awaits McGill’s return and Jim gets his chance to teach him a lesson. McGill’s ‘mates’ clear out the next day and he decides to make a last effort to get the Billabong gold, injuring Lee Wing and forcing Bill and Dick to lead him to the gold store deep in the caves. The boys trick him in the dark, leaving him stranded on the wrong side of a deep hole until the police take him away. Peace returns to the diggings and Billabong.
This book is under copyright owned by the Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust.
First Published in: 1937
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London and Melbourne