Following straight on from Billabong Gold, McGill is tried and found guilty on all counts. A woman with a weak heart faints in court and is taken to hospital in a state of exhaustion… McGill’s oft–deserted wife who refuses to believe he is totally bad. She visits him in prison only to be rebuffed, and sadly returns to her quiet little farm and her old, somewhat demented helper.
Jim and Tommy are married at Billabong. Wally shows signs of exhaustion and Norah talks him into taking a holiday to recuperate, with her and Davie, their three-year old boy. Davie speaks his own brand of English spattered with Irish brogue, Aboriginal pidgin and Chinese inflections. They drive north-east toward the sea, stopping at will, fetching up at the Wallace family farm for a couple of days where Davie plays happily with other children. Reaching the sea at last — to Davie a “Welly big lagoon” — they delight in days on the sand and in the waves, watched enviously from the cliffs by a pair of sad eyes.
Mrs McGill, pining for a child, kidnaps Davie. Making him a dress she says is ‘work clothes’ she convinces her helper that the lad is her niece called Daisy. Davie pines for his family and they, in turn, are absolutely frantic. Weeks pass with no sign of him, but Norah refuses to believe that Davie is not alive.
Mr Wallace, looking for a getaway bull, finds himself at a strange woman’s property and notices a little girl there who speaks just like Davie. Telling his wife, she puts two and two together and they go to find him. But Mrs McGill has had a change of heart and drives Davie back to Billabong, reaching it just as the Wallace’s call comes through.
This book is under copyright owned by the Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust.
First Published in: 1939
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London and Melbourne