By A.B. Facey
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Additional resources for A Fortunate Life
Then he said, 'Serves them right. ' Bill said that the old lady was no good and he didn't like her. He told me that she had never been married but had lived with a man called Alf, and he was his (Bill's) mother's father. When Alf left her old Albert came and lived with her and he was Bob's father and he was the only one who stopped with her. When he had told me this Bill said, 'Now you know the truth about them all don't tell anyone that I told you. My mother told me all about them. ' Bob and Alec took two horses in a spring-cart and Bill said they were going to town for supplies.
They frightened the very devil out of me. The bush seemed to come alive at night. The possums calling to one another sounded like a flat, loud whisper, and occasionally there was a distressed noise, some possum or kangaroo rat fighting for its life. The kangaroo rats only came out at night. They are a small animal, about the size of a house cat, with a body and legs and tail like a kangaroo, and a head like a rat's. When the native cat catches one of these small animals it puts up a real fight.
It was always left open during the summer nights. I got away without anyone knowing. I got my swag and set off towards Uncle's place and freedom. When I got clear of the Cave Rock homestead I sat down and put on my first pair of bag boots and tied them to my feet with string. This enabled me to walk off the track a few yards and not leave any footprints that could be followed. I walked all that night and when daylight came I was very tired. It had been a tiring and frightening night. I wasn't used to the weird noises made by the wild animals: the sharp, piercing howl of the wild dog or dingo.
A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey