In Billabong’s Daughter, Norah has just visited Tommy. She rescues Mrs Reilly, an Irish immigrant mother, and her daughter, Mary-Kate, from their runaway horse and sulky. At ‘Billabong’, her father relives old memories of the wilder side of his youth. Left alone at home, an intruder frightens Tommy. The man escapes when Jim comes on the scene. The girls visit the Reillys, finding Mrs Reilly desperately ill so both families help out where they can. Mary-Kate becomes a willing pupil at ‘Billabong’, learning everything from cooking and cleaning to dispatching snakes. There is a dance at night:
Her eyes went from them, back to that other tall pair, brown-faced and merry-eyed, who looked as if they had been made to dance together. Then the music stopped with a jar, and they drifted apart, and little Mary-Kate Reilly came back to earth.
“Oh, Mrs Brownie, darlin’!” she whispered—“I’d give annything if I could ever learn to dance like that!”
“Humph!” said Brownie (‘Billabong’s cook), with a snort. “Much better to be thinkin’ of learnin’ to cook!”
During a mustering of cattle, a rogue bull terrorises Norah until Wally charges in to save her—and surprises himself.
They find the escaped criminal, but haven’t the heart to turn him in. Wally returns to Queensland to deal with his brother’s property. Routing devious cattle-stealing station hands, he finds himself in trouble and is very nearly killed. Rescue comes out of the blue. Jim is summoned to his side and Norah will not be left behind. They hope Wally will live.
The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights to this story.
First Published in: 1924
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London and Melbourne