The Twins of Emu Plains are Jean and Jo Weston, aged 15. They are just finishing their first year at boarding school in Melbourne, and beat another school at tennis. Next year they’ll be prefects.
Then their father writes to them: the drought has hit hard, and he can’t afford to pay for boarding school next year. So they must stay at home and help as best they can, and be teachers to their little brother, Billy.
But just before they leave for home, Helen Forester, their school captain has an idea. Her little brother Rex needs looking after for the next year, and ‘Emu Plains’ might be just the place for him. He could take the same classes as Billy, and be his companion. The Foresters, who are tea planters in Ceylon where there is no drought, will pay well for this. The Twins agree, and fix things up with Mrs Forester, but not yet with their parents, before they go home . . .
Drought is no stranger to Australia, and here it is handled masterfully by a first-class story teller.
After the first few chapters, The Twins of Emu Plains is set in the country. There is plenty of riding, mustering and several rural events. The climax comes with the breaking of the severe drought, which is probably the only thing which might have outclassed even Christmas for colonial Australia’s children and adults alike.
The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights to this story.
First Published in: 1923
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London and Melbourne