It is holiday time again in New South Wales. 16-year-old twins Jill and Derek Sherwood happily re-unite on the train homeward bound for Brandan’s Point after another term at their respective boarding schools. Father is away in Queensland, and Mother is called to attend their ailing Grandmother. So the twins are left with the household help, Joker their exuberant little fox terrier, and the use of the family motor launch, Seahawk. They set off to visit friends, catching some fish as they go, but as their friends are in the grip of measles, they decide instead to explore the myriad of islands just off the coast.
Buying supplies and taking them to Seahawk, they are impressed by a very sleek launch at the jetty, but not by the large fat man from it who viciously kicks Joker into the water, breaking his leg and nearly killing him. Fortunately, someone in the village is able to mend and care for Joker, allowing the twins to go off on their expedition, burning with anger about the injury. Exploring the islands, they find one with a cave perfectly suited to their camping needs – once mattresses of bracken ferns have been collected.
Delightful days are spent swimming, fishing, exploring the hills and caves, the flora, fauna and bird watching, and discussing all manner of things important to country teenagers. All is well, until exploration leads them to a cave obviously inhabited by others and Derek encounters the large man, strangely not as fat as before, finding him bad-tempered and dangerous. Derek manages to give him a black eye in pay back for injuring Joker. The man and his two companions act suspiciously, and Derek secretly finds a way back into their cave, discovering that they are drug smugglers hiding their haul in the pockets of the large man’s coat – which is what made him appear so fat at first. The twins devise a plan to steal the coat, planning to alert police. But their boat won’t start and they know the men are after them.
This book is under copyright owned by the Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust.
First Published in: 1934
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London and Melbourne